Social Pressures

my man and I post workout

We’ve all faced them. At times it’s likely that we have been the person doing it to someone else. Peer pressures can be intense. I’ll say it like this, and if you disagree that’s okay..but this is my blog and my opinion 😉 Misery loves company. We don’t want to go off the rails on our own because that makes us feel bad. We want someone else to join us and then it’s easier to justify. Now, of course not ALL the people are in this generalization are interested in sabotaging your efforts. Not ALL the people are in their own “misery” but I think you get my point.

If you are at a party, gathering, social situation and someone is suggesting that you are less fun because you aren’t eating whatever food may be out..what do you do? How do you handle it? You are probably already hyper-aware of the food, possibly thinking non-stop about it’s very presence and how you are going to go about NOT consuming all of it and now you have Auntie Susan telling you that you can just “forget about your diet for one day and enjoy yourself” right? Well..that’s certainly an option because hey, this is NOT a diet, it’s a lifestyle and in any good nutrition program you need room for treats. But this is YOUR choice, not Auntie Susan’s. If you don’t WANT the treats..don’t eat them. Seems simple..right?

I think the first key is surrounding yourself with people who know your priorities. Ask them straight out for support..people LOVE to help when they can..and make specific suggestions. “hey, I’m working really hard at changing my nutrition habits, can we meet for a walk instead of the great bakery with the yummy croissants I can’t resist?” or maybe “hey can we meet at the sandwich shop instead of the fast food place for lunch, I’m working really hard at staying away from processed foods”. Along those lines.

Sometimes, I go out of my way to avoid situations that I know are going to be a high calorie situation. My kids, for example, LOVE eating out. And so do I. Instead of taking them to our favourite burger place, I take them to Subway. They love it and it offers absolutely no temptation to me. It’s just not my jam. I can walk into the burger place with the best intentions and STILL put down a burger without thinking about it. Of course, I still love to take them there because sometimes I really want a cheeseburger that I don’t have to make and clean up after.

What about the times you are at someones house and can’t control what’s out there? That’s a much harder situation for most of us and it happens all the time. Filling up before you leave the house is a good one. Make a super shake packed full of healthiness that will fill your tummy so you simply don’t have room for other stuff. Make the choice to have some of what they have out but keep the portions smaller.

Again, changing your inner circle can help immensely with a lot of these situations. Being with like minded individuals or groups can help you, inspire you, and motivate you. It can encourage you to be more disciplined as well..and the more disciplined you are the less you have to rely on motivation. Accountability partners are HUGE. I know I say it all the time but that’s because once I introduced these people into my world, eating and training became a whole new world for me. It became easier to say no to what wasn’t serving my best interests and to allow me to get into the best shape of my life. No joke.

Family. Oy. That’s a tough one. “You are too skinny” is about as hard to hear as “you’ve put on some weight lately”. Nobody wants to hear that. It isn’t anyones place to comment on your physique, but, that likely won’t stop them. If you’ve ever been pregnant you know exactly what I mean. It’s open season on women’s pregnant/ post pregnant bodies..am I right ladies?? **disclaimer** **of course this does not imply that loved ones shouldn’t reach out and talk if there is a legitimate concern over sudden or drastic weight loss/gain. There’s always extremes. We are talking in generals though..not those special situations** Sometimes I think it’s hard to see people we love change. There are fears associated with it. Intense fears. “Will my husband still love me if he gets in amazing shape and I don’t?” “Will my wife find someone else who suits her new lifestyle”..big fears like that. Also, it can bring to people’s attention the things they aren’t doing for themselves…that old adage: if there is something about someone we don’t like..it’s usually something we don’t like about ourselves. Once you start taking care of yourself and improving your health..it can be a big ol’ mirror for those around you. Now, we know it’s not about them..it’s about working on us..but they can still feel that hurt. That’s okay. You can’t control other peoples feelings. You have to stay the course and help yourself. It’s not selfish..it’s necessary. You never know who’s on the brink of following you down the healthy road!! Little eyes especially. Keep going. Don’t stop. Be kind. Don’t feel superior because of your changes. Have compassion. Understanding. And know, beyond a doubt, that the changes you are making are positive and are good for everyone around you!!!

kids and I post-family workout

This weekend I’ll be going away with a couple of girlfriends and they are both active and healthy and together we will eat and laugh and sweat and possibly have a glass of wine or 2. But if I chose NOT to drink or eat something..they’d completely support that decision and not bother me about it. Freedom. It’s a beautiful thing. I support their choices and they support mine. We are like-minded and that makes a world of difference. I know there won’t be eyes rolling at the idea of a morning workout..they’ll be doing it right along side me. Which encourages me to do it. And me doing it encourages them. #winning

my beautiful friends pre-spin class together

Fitness and health is contagious. So is obesity and illness. Hang with the crowd and don’t listen to the haters.

CM

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