This is my favorite time of year! Everyone is especially cheerful, smiling, and although probably under stress, everyone seems better able to handle it at Christmas time. Over the past two years there is one area however, that I notice people are not particularly supportive of others and that area is healthy eating and dieting during the holidays. Whether or not you have started a new diet or trying to maintain your diet during this yummy time of year, it is common to hear negative comments when someone notices how determined your are to maintain your healthy eating skills.
My first encounter with this has come early this year when some friends of ours had an early festive gathering because they will be traveling throughout the holidays. The party was lovely with a table full of food fit for a king. First there was a wonderful festive dinner and then or course dessert. Let me not forget all the munchies they had before and after dinner.
I had already decided that night that I would enjoy the dinner but maintain having a normal plate of food as opposed to over doing it and having a stomach ache the rest of the night. I also decided I would not have any sweets at all. Twice during dinner I had to hear how I eat like a bird. Totally not true! Well, maybe it is true if I am being compared to the others who had enough on their plate to feed 3 people! Then I had to listen to why I am so strict with my food when I have never even been over weight. Then my favorite one of all was when another guest said to me, "You people and your healthy eating - as if you need to even worry about it Michel!"
Annoying, annoying annoying!! Of these people every single on of them was over weight. Every single one of these people have tried to lose weight over the past 5 years that I have known them, and each of these people left the party overly intoxicated, whining of a full stomach, and then have nerve to think they are just going to drive home - drunk! Seems to me they need to be more concerned with themselves then with me and the way I eat.
What these people don't know is that I do eat sweets and goodies, particularly around this time of year. But, I pace myself. The other thing is that since I embarked on my healthy eating road, I have found that heavy sweets, like chocolate cakes, mousse, etc doesn't do that much for my taste buds. I will have a few bites and then be finished with it - somehow it just isn't all that great and it has to be great for me to finish it.
If you find yourself surrounded by people who only have something negative to say about your strength in dieting, it is usually because they are disappointed in themselves. Most of these people are themselves over weight. People who are happy with themselves are less likely to impose negative comments on people. Instead they add a positive spin on things.
So when you are faced with adversity while maintaining your diet this festive season keep these things in mind:
1. Keep a positive attitude and give a little giggle because the person who commented negatively is more than likely jealous and insecure about their own weight loss failures.
2. Keep firmly in your mind your reasons for starting your healthy dieting journey and don't let anyone take it away from you. You will not be sorry but they will! You might even try to encourage some of these people to get on the boat with you.
3. Be sure, if you can, to spend time with people who will encourage you, admire you, and maybe even follow you.
Yes it is the festive season and if there is any time of year to give yourself a few treats this is that time! However, what these other people don't know is that all of us healthy eaters will pace ourselves differently. Each of us has a different schedule and different wants. If I am going to eat a yummy treat it is going to be one I really love as opposed to one that is semi good or not really what I prefer. If there had been plain old fashioned cheesecake at the party I would definitely have had a piece (one of my all time favorites) but everything was chocolate, not really one of my favorites. I do however love candied yams which I had with my dinner that night. I was perfectly satisfied and did not desire anymore sweet things.
The final and most important thing is for you to remember how incredible you are! Why? It is not easy to make these changes and maintain them. Your strength, courage and devotion will be admired by many and you will set an example that others will use as an incentive to do the right thing for themselves by eating healthy, even if they don't need to lose weight.