How To Handle Criticism When Eating Healthy During The Holidays
Eating healthy isn't easy during the holidays. If you're catching flack from friends and family - do what's best for you.
"Oh, of course, Mike would bring a healthy dessert with him. What does it have in it? Kale?!"
Laughter erupts from the family.
I just smile.
Now, before we get into this, let me just say that I LOVE pizza. I LOVE burgers. I do eat things that aren't "good for me".
But, generally, when I go to family gatherings or group outings, there aren't the most healthy options available and sometimes it's not even the fact that those options aren't healthy…I just don't enjoy them (why does green bean casserole exist?!).
Back to my response from the joke from my family member and the laughter ensued.
I literally didn't care.
It had taken a long time to get to that point, but I simply didn't care anymore. Holiday after holiday, gathering after gathering I either brought my own food, opted not to eat, or ate some things, but not all things. Purely because I don't enjoy them. Slightly because they didn't match my long-term goals, but definitely because I didn't like them.
Sometimes there would be comments ("Mike doesn't eat unhealthily!...hint: trainers are humans too. We eat all the same things you do :)
Sometimes there wouldn't be comments.
After a while, it didn't matter. I knew what I wanted for my life and I learned when it was okay to enjoy the foods that I loved and when not to. And I definitely wasn't going to consume foods that I didn't enjoy just because it's a holiday or because I was worried about hurting someone's feelings (whomever feelings you're worried about hurting doesn't have to live with the consequences of your choices if you're someone who consistently doesn't eat well). Over time, they began to understand and accept that is just who I am.
Of course, I will still get the occasional joke thrown my way, but I'm good with it.
I do this even in scenarios where I don't know the people that I'm around. I understand that sometimes we can feel pressured to partake because we are afraid of coming off as disrespectful or we don't want to make ourselves the center of attention, but I've literally never had anybody outside of family & friends make a comment to me when I say with a smile "No thank you. I'm all set."
My best advice this holiday season is to do whatever you feel is best for you. Just know that the option of saying "No thank you" is always there and you're not a bad person for it. Your loved ones will eventually understand this new lifestyle that you've adopted.
Of course, the other option is that if you truly enjoy holiday foods, then enjoy them in moderation :-) You shouldn't have it all, but you can definitely have some.
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