I was meeting an old friend after a gap of 8 years. After a lot of back and forth over phone and text messages, finally, a lunch meeting on a Tuesday was finalised.
The venue was the best pizzeria in town that was coincidentally very close to the place my friend was staying for her business trip.
As the day drew closer, I noticed a pang of anxiety build a knot in my stomach. I was one month into my weight loss journey. Though I had no doubts about my resolve to lose weight, I wasn’t sure about what I would eat when I would meet my friend.
In the beginning, I tried to talk myself out of worrying by thinking that it was just one meal and it could in no way derail my progress.
As the day started drawing closer, I could sense feelings of restlessness rise in me.
Would it be alright to order a salad and make it the highlight of my meal?
What would my friend think if I tried to eat only healthy options on the menu?
Would I be able to resist the temptation to overeat after eating healthy foods for over a month?
And what would I do if my friend orders a dessert? Would I eat one too?
Should I be telling my friend that I was trying to lose weight and didn’t want to order any junk foods?
Will my friend judge me for AGAIN trying to lose weight?
In no time, I noticed my excitement of meeting my friend turn into a nightmare that I was no longer looking forward to.
I was full of dread and fear of ruining my weight loss progress and found myself wondering what was the whole point of trying to lose weight if I couldn’t enjoy life on my terms.
Does this sound familiar?
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation?
Weight loss journey can feel pretty lonely and daunting if:
- Your family isn’t eating the same foods as you.
- You have thoughts that you can’t be eating certain foods without derailing your progress.
- You feel that eating ‘healthy’ foods means eating only salads, broccoli and tasteless bland foods that you despise.
- You believe that you can’t enjoy life and make healthy food choices at the same time.
- You feel everyone else can balance weight loss, life and social commitments but you.
- You are worried that people will judge your weight loss efforts and might even push you into eating the special foods or the usually banned during dieting foods.
The bitter truth is this –
We have to learn to lose weight and support ourselves without waiting for the world to come to our rescue.
And that is what I did on that fateful Tuesday afternoon when I met my friend.
I went in for our lunch date with a clear mind. I had decided to stay honest – to myself, my dreams and to my friend.
It was this one decision that changed the course of not only that meeting but my life from thereon.
We met at the venue we had pre-decided. After the initial pleasantries and catching up, when the time came to order food, we decided what all adults do. Order foods that best suited our liking.
I had the foods I had decided to order ahead of the meeting. I had taken the time to think the afternoon through and to pre-decide what foods would serve my life-goals best.
As the afternoon progressed, I felt a surge of pride filled me. I was not only enjoying the foods I loved but was proud to have adapted the menu in a way that I had no unwarranted fears of ruining my hard work at losing weight.
The magic was not in will-powering my way through the lunch.
The game-changer was the belief that I willingly chose to eat the foods that I’d be proud of hours and even days after the meeting.
When my friend ordered a large dessert, I noticed my mind didn’t rush to the default thought of –
“I can’t eat that.”
Instead, I was thinking “I am choosing to not have that.”
It was a source of major relief.
Having my own back was a liberating feeling. My first exposure to a way of thinking I had never experienced before.
I found myself smiling effortlessly as I thought, “I should think these thoughts more often.”
The truth is if our mind thinks thoughts that make us feel bad or as if we are missing out on life, it is our duty to steer them in a direction that would feel right for us.
Asking our friends and family to adjust, change or worse to not eat the foods they love is unfair to them.
Expecting others to adjust their eating simply to make us feel good is simple manipulation that is neither right nor warranted to lose weight.
If our thoughts develop loneliness and a pity party, we can’t just go up to people and tell them they can’t have dessert or appetizers or pizzas.
Our weight loss journey is our own.
We have to make it happen for us without waiting for the whole world to support us and without pressurising our loved ones to make it easier for us.
When we choose not to have something, we get a good weigh-in.
We get to feel proud of ourselves tomorrow.
We might not like it at the moment because we are tempted, but not acting on our temptation and not acting as if we are a prisoner takes COURAGE.
Desserts are tempting. And because we are normal human beings, it is normal to feel tempted. But what makes our efforts worth it is the CHOICE to sit with the discomfort of not acting in the moment of temptation.
When we don’t create our pity party, we choose to eat the foods that would nourish our body and support our health goals we reinforce the belief that we have our back.
Making healthier choices isn’t easy at the start.
It is okay to feel antsy about it because eating a salad isn’t as satisfying as eating a slice of cake that we are craving.
Every healthy choice we make is a vote in favour of us winning the weight loss and healthier life.
In the Be Healthy Be You weight loss program I teach my clients how to make a food plan. And the foods we plan are exactly what my clients want to eat.
Yes, you read that right.
My clients are grown-up women and they get to choose what they would like to eat.
Just like I chose what I would eat on that Tuesday lunch date with my friend. However, if you are at a party or dining out at a restaurant, and if you are overly worried about what foods you should eat or not.
I’d like to offer a question to ponder-
Is food the best part of your experience?
If yes, why is that?
If the best part of going to dinner with your spouse is the food you are going to eat, maybe you need to look at your relationship more closely and worry less about the food.
The same applies to any other event where you are worried about what you will be eating.
There is a difference between pondering over the food choices and being worried or overly focussed on the food every time you eat out of the home.
I encourage my clients to focus on the experience and have fun doing the activities they enjoy rather than fearing or worrying about food.
And if there is nothing better than food to enjoy at a party, it is important to wonder why is that the case. Going about attending parties which force us to survive with food need serious thought and perhaps even question the reason why we are even attending them.
We have just one life and it is worth spending some time exploring and choosing the experiences we want as part of our lives.
Learning to mind what goes on our plate is a skill that keeps us healthy in the long run. At the same time, unlearning to stop bothering about what other people are eating is an investment in long-term peace of mind.
If thoughts like, “everyone else can eat what they want but me” strike you, you may want to consider thinking, “I am choosing my dreams and my health” and feel proud of the choices you are making.
Yes, you should enjoy life to the fullest.
However, making choices that make you feel proud at the moment and gift you the joy of accomplishing long-term health goals are worth striving for.
As for having fun, I am all in for having lots of fun. Seek fun from the experiences, relationships and activities that make your heart sing.
And if you are feeling ‘stuck’ at the moment around people whose company you don’t quite enjoy, instead of seeking relief from food, consider thinking about:
How can you support yourself at that moment without food?
Coming back to my meeting with the friend.
If I had hoped to rely totally on my friend to make a healthier food choice that day simply because I was on a weight loss journey, I might have ruined the experience by burdening her with responsibilities that were not hers to carry.
It is okay to look for support, but forcing our expectations onto the people in our lives is not a good strategy. It’s not fair either.
We have to take ownership of our choices.
We have to work on seeking the answers that are leaving us feeling miserable when left unanswered.
Weight loss isn’t impossible or hard.
Weight loss isn’t easy, either.
But it doesn’t mean weight loss can’t be simple.
When we choose to leave over-worrying and overcomplicating life with pushing responsibilities, we clear up space for doing the things that actually make the scale tip in our favour.
If you’d love to learn how to have fun while losing weight, the blog post – How to Have Fun Losing Weight might be a good start.
Do you find your thoughts being the biggest roadblock in your weight-loss success? Then weight-loss coaching might just be the thing you need.
I want to invite you to join my Be Healthy Be You program where you’re going to lose weight, be done with the struggle and know exactly how to maintain and enjoy those results with unapologetic confidence. It’s time to stop dreaming about the results you want and start enjoying them. Take the leap of faith and apply here.
If you’re at the start of your weight loss journey, begin with the strategies that have helped lose 60 pounds and that I teach my coaching clients to achieve sustainable results. Take the FREE Weight Loss Ownership Course.