Tell me if this has ever happened to you:
You’re out to dinner with your friends and family, or maybe just in your break-room…
You’re trying like Hell to make healthy eating decisions because you want to feel sexy, gain confidence, have more energy, or whatever you want to do…
You are offered something you know you shouldn’t eat (let’s just say rolls), so you politely decline them…
Without fail, someone instigates a scene RIGHT at this very moment.
“What do you mean you can’t eat it?”
“Oh, you’re on a diet?”
“Why can’t you eat rolls?”
“You don’t need to lose weight.”
“It won’t kill you, anyway.”
Sound familiar? I bet it does. Trust me, I know the feeling!
A little exposition
If you are new, you might want to read the very first post I wrote for Homegrown and Healthy before you continue, because you’ll learn a bit about me that might illustrate and clarify everything I’m about to tell you. So open that in a new tab and read that first if you haven’t already.
Done? Okay. So back when I was an over-weight guy trying to get fit and healthy, I worked an office job. All of the ladies in said office just so happened to be wonderful cooks, but unfortunately the stuff they made wasn’t always that healthy (quite the opposite, mmmmm southern comfort food!)…
… add in the fact that someone brought doughnuts almost every day; most people had fast food for lunch; plus a stressful work environment…
And you can see how it would be hard to make positive, healthy decisions in this environment.
It wasn’t easy, but I did it.
It was hard to say “no” to all of these delicious things surrounding me, but I knew my long term want (getting fit) was more important than my short term want (eating baked goods), so I learned to avoid temptation. Here are some ways I stacked the odds in my favor:
-Eat a nourishing breakfast before you leave home.
Eggs are a solid source of protein, they’re cheap, AND it takes like 5 minutes to scramble them. No excuses. Get free range if you can! Add in a piece or two of fruit and some coffee or tea, and you’re good-to-go!
For bonus points, upgrade those eggs to an omelet, and throw in some chopped veggies (onions/pepper/mushrooms) with mozzarella cheese and hot sauce (delicious!).
-Pack your lunch if at all possible.
Finding healthy options in restaurants isn’t easy (and becomes impossible if you’re limited to fast food establishments)… so I’d encourage you to brown-bag it most of the time if you can! Your lunch doesn’t have to be elaborate. Aim for a good fist-full of protein, one or two veggies, and maybe a fruit.
For example: grilled chicken salad, banana, and a handful of nuts (and yes, you may have an occasional treat here if you so desire!).
When (not if) someone starts a scene…
I hate to put it that way, but let’s be real. For some reason, we human beings tend to be just fascinated with each other’s eating decisions… so it’s best to be prepared to deal with it.
Why are people so interested in what you eat? Sometimes it’s genuine curiosity. Or your positive decisions might make somebody else feel bad about their negative decisions, so they lash out at you. It’s a lot easier for them to pick on you and your grilled chicken salad than it is to actually do something positive about their health and well-being. Or, if your new and improved decisions are a lot different from your past behaviors, they just might not understand why you’re acting so differently.
Whatever the case may be, here’s what you need to do… be honest. Yes, it is that simple
If you’re asked why you are eating (insert thing here) or why you don’t want to eat (insert thing here), just say something like this:
“I know I might be acting kinda different, but it’s because I really want to get healthy and feel confident in my body. I need to make better eating decisions to do that, and sometimes it’s hard to stay encouraged, so please try to help me stay on track!”
If they are a good friend, they’ll understand and turn into an excellent cheerleader. But if they continue to tempt you beyond this point, dump them. Toxic people are unworthy of your time or friendship.
“I love hanging out with negative people who just bring others down and complain about everything,” said nobody anywhere ever.
Do you have any tips for staying encouraged at the office? Or do you have any questions I didn’t answer here? If so, drop them in the comments below!
Like this article? Then you’d probably enjoy my free course the Mind + Body Make-Over. You’re welcome to sign up here!