We talked earlier in the course about how others can affect our eating choices, largely in relating to eating out in social situations. But there are other very important ways that we need to think about the influence that others have on our nutrition lifestyle.
Imagine an alcoholic who wants to quit drinking. Likely, this person will not spend a lot of time around individuals who are drinking. They would not spend a lot of time at bars or put themselves in social situations where drinking is the central part of the gathering. Hopefully, this person has support from their family and friends who are encouraging them to follow through on their sobriety. Now, let's imagine for a moment that the family does not understand their desire to quit drinking. Perhaps they give this person a hard time when they don't have a glass of wine at dinner. They might say something like, "Well, why can't you just have one glass of wine?"
From an outside perspective, we can see that a family member or close friend encouraging a sobering alcoholic to have one drink will not help them achieve that goal of sobriety. The same thing can be applied to nutrition. We have a lot of people that we eat around - family members, spouses, friends. It is important that those people we are closest with understand the goals that we are trying to achieve and why we are trying to achieve them. If you have a significant other that gives you a hard time for not eating pizza when you are trying to clean up your nutrition, you can see how this would be a definite struggle to achieve a goal of weight loss. Of course, you still need to live your life and not avoid everything that would pose a challenge to you, but it is really helpful to think of how you can better manage those situations.
Today, I challenge you to really think about the people in your life that have an influence on your nutrition. Have you had a conversation with them about your goals? Perhaps they don't really even understand what you're trying to do and, therefore, are not interacting with you in ways that are helpful and constructive. These can be hard conversations to have with the people that we love because we don't want to feel judged or ashamed of what we're doing. And we certainly don’t want those people to think that they can't eat around us because we might be too easily influenced.
Take a minute to identify these people in your life and plan a crucial conversation with them. Decide how you will explain your seriousness towards weight loss and better nutrition. Prepare yourself for questions that they may have or for potential backlash. For example, maybe you have decided that having chips in the house is a huge trigger for you, but your spouse eats chips daily as they do not have the same goals as you. How will you discuss a compromise that will allow you to work towards your goals without impeding their lifestyle?
This might be one of the most challenging tasks I've given you thus far, so make sure that you really think it through and be honest with yourself and the people in your life. I realize that this might not be accomplished in one day, but today, I am asking you to decide on a course of action that's right for you.