How many times have you committed to a diet and then arrived at work only to see a box of donuts in the break room? Were you too afraid of what your coworkers would say about you, so you ate a donut, or two, or three?
When you were in high school, did you succumb to the pressure of your friends who said “Come on, it’s just one drink?” And now you cannot go one day without a beer or a glass of wine?
Did a cute guy call you fat one day, and since then all you can think about is starving yourself to lose weight?
Fear of others and their opinions can cause you and me to make choices that may not be the best for our overall health.
Say you partake in donut Friday each week and bagel Monday and happy hour Thursday. Overtime, your fear of saying no to your coworkers can result in unwanted weight gain and low self-esteem.
Your fear of saying no to your friends results in a spiraling dependency on alcohol and potential liver damage.
The hurt you experienced by that cute boy has caused you to develop an eating disorder and now you don’t know how to turn back.
Now I am not saying if you eat donuts you will have low self-esteem or if you drink alcohol you will get liver damage, etc. I am just pointing out how fearing what others think can be affecting your health without you realizing it.
The fear of others is a serious issue that can influence our daily habits and behaviors. How can you put that fear aside and make decisions that are best for you?
THINK ABOUT YOUR END GOAL
“I want to lose 25 pounds by Christmas.” If your end goal is weight loss, then great! Post that goal everywhere to remind you of what you want to accomplish. Put a sticky note on the fridge or in the car as a reminder before you grab something to eat. When you are hungry, ask yourself, “What can I choose to eat that will help me reach my end goal?”
You do not have to have salad every single day, but surrounding yourself with the remembrance of your end goal will help you be more conscious of the choices you are making.
I am not saying to avoid foods you love in order to lose weight. I am saying, when you have a goal that you really want to accomplish, remind yourself of that goal, daily. It will be your motivation to push past the fear of others.
When you are at work and all of your coworkers are eating a donut, how can you push aside the fear of their criticism? Remind yourself of your end goal. Think about how strong and confident you will feel knowing that you were able to accomplish a goal you set out to achieve. If you want a donut every once in awhile, that is totally fine! Healthy living is all about finding balance.
STAND FIRM IN YOUR DECISIONS
Do you feel as though people will not like you as much if you do not do certain things like drinking? Are you afraid people will ask you why you’re eating so healthy all of a sudden?
I am 24 years old, and I have never had a sip of alcohol. Yup, I said it. Yes I think alcohol can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. No I do not see it as something I am missing out on. I have certainly experienced some awkward situations when people ask me why I don’t drink. They always ask if it’s because I like to be healthy or if it’s for religious reasons.
Honestly, my parents did not drink while I grew up, so it was not a normality in my household. I saw other members of my family get drunk and do foolish things. Also, as a volleyball player, I never wanted to get in trouble for drinking. I was fearful of disappointing my coaches and I never wanted to let down my teammates. Now as an adult, I do not see alcohol as something I need in my life.
I bring this up because even though I was often ridiculed for not drinking, I was confident in my decision. In my head, I knew no one could change my mind because I had reasons to not drink. I did not want to be like my family members who got crazy and made decisions they regretted. My coaches and teammates depended on me. Now that I am older, I don’t need to drink because I already have fun, and I enjoy my life without it.
Yes I have said no to certain outings and events because I know people will be drinking and I don’t like putting myself in situations where I will be uncomfortable. However, I do not let that stop me from making friends. I have friends who accept me exactly as I am, and they honor the fact that I do not drink.
When you stand your ground, and you make the decision to live a healthier life, start a new workout program, say no to a donut or a glass of wine, it might result in a few questions and comments from others. It is up to you to remind yourself of your goals, and to be confident in your decisions. People will honor you for boldness, and may even join you in those changes.
KNOW YOUR WORTH
If you are someone who has been called fat, chubby, or thick, believe me, I know it stings. I know how it is to want to be accepted by others and want to look a certain way. I was a college athlete, and I was unhappy with my weight and my image. All of my teammates were thinner and more fit than I was. I thought starving myself was the best way to attain the image I had in my head.
I am here to tell you, you are worth so much more than your outward appearance. Yes it is painful to be called certain words, but those words can only hurt you if you let them. You have been created in God’s image, and He loves you more than anyone else could ever love you. Trust that He has a plan for your life, and that He has created you exactly how He wanted you to look.
You do not have to starve yourself, you do not have to look a certain way. If someone does not like you because of your appearance, then they are not worth your time or attention. Find friends who love you for your personality, and who support you in your decisions. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, encourage you, and honor your beliefs.
When you learn to appreciate the body and the life you have been given, you will begin to make changes for yourself. Do not fear others. Be yourself and attract those who love you for who you are. It is okay to stand firm and be alone for a little while.
Remember your end goal. Is it weight loss? Happiness? Confidence? Stand firm in your decisions, and know your worth.
Happy Saturday friends.