Do you ever start a new diet, extremely dedicated to do well, expecting support from your family and your friends at work to realize that you are all alone? Even worse they know you want to start living a healthy lifestyle and it seems that everything they do is meant to sabotage all your efforts.
- Let’s go to the Cheesecake Factory for our girls’ night out.
- Let’s order pizza or chinese food for the book club on Friday.
- Don’t forget the big birthday cake at work and they insist you be “a team player” an get a big slice, “Here take some home with you, we don’t want this nice cake to go to waste.”
- What about the “free food” excuses. After a big meeting at work, lots of food end up in the kitchen, well “I never say no to free food.”
- Let’s not forget our loved ones having a BBQ where the menu is: ribs, gigantic sausages, chicken wings, mac’n cheese and potato salad loaded with God knows what.
Tabitha, the winner of the last giveaway made a comment and asked me to blog on how to overcome social pressure and to keep on seeing yourself as the new “You” when you start a healthy lifestyle journey.
Let me tackle the first part, overcoming social pressure. When I started doing Weight Watchers, one of my co-workers tried to get Weight Watchers to come to our department. We needed only 5 people to sign-up; although most of the people in the department claimed they wanted to lose weight, absolutely no one wanted to sign-up for Weight Watchers. Ok, if not this program let’s start a walking group, nada. Free food at the kitchen, an email would go out about it, first come first serve. A gigantic cake for someone’s birthday, take an extra slice with you home. It didn’t matter how clearly I stated my intentions to stay on track, bring my own food from home, someone, somehow was the saboteur of the day.
I didn’t want to be rude or come out as the one who had it all together but the environment was against my efforts. One day I just decided that enough was enough. Only 1 person shared my interest and guess what? She was the only person I had lunch with or shared my interest and my successes.
You have to pick an environment that challenges you; an environment that is better than you in other words a group of people already succeeding in what you are trying to accomplish. It means something to let your loved ones know about your goals but if they insist on putting you – most of the time not with the intention of sabotaging you – in a situation that is tempting I think it’s best to just go all Nike on them and Do it. Do what is best for you, avoid them, don’t talk about your goals with them because they will never understand or they are just not at that level of commitment yet. No one influences your progress unless you allow them to. Just tell them “Thanks but no Thanks”. Honesty is the best policy and when you tell them no long enough they just leave you alone.
Now the second part, to keep on seeing yourself as the new you. It’s hard to see it sometimes when your gut is staring at you every time you look at yourself in the mirror. The solution is to have faith in the process. If you are doing everything you know in your heart you should be doing to get results i.e. eat clean, exercise regularly than you will remain motivated. You did not get where you are overnight so don’t expect it to change over night. It is as Darren Hardy describes it in his book The Compound Effect, a series of small choice over time that leads to success. Stress and self-doubt in this case most of the times come from not doing what you know you are supposed to be doing.
One thing I use and know works for sure is taking pictures of yourself in a bikini. Take a picture of yourself now in the bikini when it looks like it wants to dial 911 “What in the world is she thinking about?”. 3 weeks or 1 month later take new pictures and compare them to the previous ones. In this case seeing is believing and pictures don’t lie. When you see the compounded progress you will regain confidence and your future You will seem closer and closer. So be patient and keep in mind that small choices over time will make the new You a reality. One more thing I keep the picture I hate the most on my iPhone and when I get tempted, I look at it and the temptation doesn’t seem so attractive anymore especially when I think about all the hard work and sweat I put in to lose 2 pounds at a time (yes 7000 calories that is no joke when exercising but easy when eating whatever, whenever).
So my friend be patient, be the tortoise in your race and be careful with your association.
Until next time, spread the love…
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