*(A close friend of mine invites me home for lunch)*
Friend’s mom: What flavour ice cream with the gulaab jamoons?
Me: Oh aunty, I’ll skip it.. Thanks 🙂
Friend’s mom:What do you mean? You love gulaab jamoons! You love ice cream! Tell me, what flavor do you want?”
Me: “No aunty, see, I’m doing this thing called the Paleo diet, and I don’t eat gulaab jamoons or ice cream.”
Friend’s mom: “Paleo? Like Paleontology? What are you trying to be, a dinosaur?”
Me: “LOL, not Paleontology. Paleolithic.”
Friend’s mom: “Is that that new fad where you eat raw meat with your hands while hanging upside down from trees?”
Me: “No, it’s a diet where you try to eat like our ancient ancestors…just eat mostly vegetables, some meat, fruit, nuts and seeds. No grains or sugars. It makes me feel good and I love it.”
Friend’s Grandpa: “Well I’m your ancient ancestor and I eat gulaab jamoons! If you don’t want it, give it to me!”
Does this seem all too familiar?
I’m sure you guys have heard/read a million tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays, from drinking more water , filling up half your plate with vegetables first, using a smaller plate, to taking a walk after your meal. etc
But let’s be honest for a second here, the hardest part isn’t always about resisting the massive amounts of food that is available to you, for a lot of us it’s the peer pressure from your friends and family, who mean well but don’t understand that they are destroying all of the hard work you’ve built up. They may not not even realize what they’re doing is making things difficult for you.
SO, HOW DO YOU SAY NO AND AVOID ALL CONFRONTATIONS? HERE’S HOW:
1. BECOME A CHAMELEON. BLEND IN
LOL If your family always goes up for seconds (or thirds!), FOLLOW THEM! and try to take less food each time, or only take certain foods each trip.
2. DONT DRAW ATTENTION TO IT IF NECESSARY
Avoid bringing up that you’re following a different diet or eating differently, unless asked. If you are asked, keep your answers short and to the point. Be polite, but firm – sounding like you’re unsure gives them an oppurtunity to say “aww, come on!” – LOL u dont want to get stuck in that situation.
3. NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE EATING
If you start saying things like, “Godammit, I wish I could eat that, but I’m on a diet!” or “ Gosh!, I can’t believe all I can have is chicken and vegetables” not only brings attention to yourself, but will also raise a BIG red flag of concern from your family members.
Nobody wants to see you miserable, especially on the holidays, so this will give them an opening to challenge your new healthy habits.
Remember, you’re spending time with your family to spend time with your family
If you choose to eat healthy, that’s great – but don’t think about the fact that you “can’t” have something. Don’t make them miserable because you are. If you think that’s how you’re going to react, consider just eating however you want, enjoying the holiday, and getting back on track tomorrow. Simple. Don’t fret.
4. ANSWER, AND THEN SHRUG THE QUESTION OFF LIKE IT’S NOTHING:
Example: “You’re doing the Paleo diet now?”
“Yeah, the Paleo diet, it’s great. You know, I traveled by metro the first time last week where I …”
LOL by the time you finish talking about your first metro experience, they’ve probably forgotten about the initial question.
5. ASK THEM TO JOIN YOUR WOLFPACK
Explain to them that this is something you need to do for you, and ask for their support. This lets them know that you’re serious, and that you need them to help yourself along your journey. Some understand this very well, begin to appreciate your efforts, and begin the journey with you.
I have laid out most of the main tools in my arsenal which you might need to survive the upcoming holiday season with unhealthy family members. I’m sure you hopefully know your family well enough to interact with each in a way that makes everyone comfortable.
RELAX!..Don’t freak out if you decide to take Christmas off and eat whatever you want. I plan on eating plum cakes and other ‘unhealthy foods too, I don’t worry too much because im right back on track the next day.
PS: I soooo wanted to say, YEAH I am trying to be a dinosaur!
Isn’t everyone? RAWR!”