The Holidays are a wonderful time to come together with family that you may not see on a regular basis. Since you have been working so hard, you should be rocking a new outfit that, well to be honest makes your butt look great… Some will be curious and excited for you as you tell them how hard you have been working out and you describe your clean eating habits. Few things are better than when cousins and family you have not seen in months or even years notice the changes you are making. They will have questions and want to know more about what you are doing and how you are doing it.
That said, there always seems to be one Aunt Mable or Cousin Farcis that finds joy in mocking your new healthy lifestyle. Maybe is it the good, albeit misdirected, intentions of Grandma Edina who wants to make sure that your cup and plate are always full as she is worried that you are ‘wasting away’. Here are a few talking tips to help you express what you are doing while keeping peace in the family…
When talking with those that are supportive and truly want to learn from you, share as much information as you are comfortable with and focus on the positive.
- Don’t talk about being ‘on a diet’ or starving yourself, talk about how you are enjoying eating healthy, whole foods that nourish your body and give you more energy. I like to say that people would be surprised how much food I eat and that I do love to eat! I just choose whole, real food – fresh, natural foods like vegetables, fruits, lots of protein and a balance of complex carbs and healthy fats.
- Share your passion for working out but emphasize that you do not spend hours a day in the gym. I train to keep my body healthy and strong but also because I feel so good inside and out when I have had a good workout. I have more energy and feel more positive. You don’t have to spend forever in the gym and that you can workout anywhere with some basic equipment. Working out is not just good for the body, it is great for the mind and the soul too!
For those that ridicule or put down your healthy habits for a variety of their own personal reasons…
- Know when to walk away or change the subject. If they continue to badger you and make you feel uncomfortable, avoid them. It is sad, but you should not allow negative people to drag you down into an argument and having to defend your healthy choices. Limit your conversation with that person. If friends or relatives can’t be supportive of you and your fitness goals, don’t share the details of your life with them. Then they won’t be able to berate or criticize you.
- What not to do… don’t insist that everyone should be doing what you are doing. Even though it would be wonderful if your whole family would suddenly eat clean, workout and lose weight (well, those that desperately need too) know that it is best to lead by example, with your actions. Pushing your new lifestyle on your family can turn them off and push them away. Instead answer questions when asked but don’t come off preachy. It really is more powerful to speak loudly with your actions.
Who knows, at the next family event, you may just find that you have inspired someone to make positive changes of their own!
Have a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year!