I am occasionally met with questions and sometimes even challenged about my healthy lifestyle. Even friends and family sometimes poke at my intent for engaging in my routine cleanses or self-led reboot program and subsequent green eating routine.
It goes something like this, “You didn’t need to lose weight,” or “You’re a marathon runner, you were already healthy and you had lots of energy!” And most recently, my longtime foodie friend wrote, “…Guess bringing cookies to your family is out of the question!” It made me sad. Very sad.
Being healthy doesn’t mean “no more fun” or “count me out of festive activities.”
When we choose to get healthy, we choose to live fully, to live as our authentic self. But, let’s get real, it’s not easy! Making the choice to put health as a priority in your life, requires that you must first become comfortable with “fitting out.”
Again, let’s be honest. It’s not cool to drink lemon water instead of a cocktail. It’s not acceptable to order healthy when your friends are eating pizza. What’s more, your friends might even criticize you for losing weight! You may even lose a friend or two in the process of reclaiming your body and your health.
Social eating norms, cultural traditions, family habits and the food-mood connection are engrained and cemented the moment one is born. If you’re a parent, you’ll recall the crying baby get’s mama’s milk, and the journey of food and happiness is commenced. Mama’s milk has natural sugars to release happy hormones in the baby’s brain, and according to researchers at Newcastle University in England, throughout childhood, food gratification is sustained and reinforced with the family habits of our Standard American Diet, robust with cookies, desserts, frappucinos, chips, and soda.
It’s no lie, we have a significantly strong emotional connection to food and beverages. Starbucks and Diet Coke – just to name a few- know this! It’s time we, too, acknowledged this relationship. We enjoy social eating norms at home for parties, at lunch with friends, and in the evenings with family. Food, happiness, culture, family habits, and social norms are real! So “fitting out” can feel like a daunting and scary proposition if not “mission impossible!” Some might even think you are no fun anymore….including yourself!
So, breaking ties with food as fun takes work. It requires you to look at your belief system around food and what role it plays in your life. Is food your fun? Is food your friend? Is food what makes you feel confident and unstoppable?
When you break the emotional ties YOU have with food, claim your identity as a healthy person, who sticks to an eating plan -regardless of the friends or circumstances, and you add pleasure in your life that is not food or drink oriented, you become comfortable with fitting out.
Until then, trying on the identity of a healthy person is an important first step. The more comfortable you become with your identity as a healthy person, who is perfectly imperfect, the more others will do the same.
So, start taking the actions of a healthy person and learn to be okay that it might compromise the life you have become accustomed to living. You might lose a few friends, who are not ready to get healthy. You might have to try new actions. You might have to live with judgement and feeling of discomfort.
Many people have never visited a health food store, happily gulped down a green drink, or even eaten a largely plant-based diet. It’s easier not to do so. It’s easier to Fit IN! It’s easier to pull friends back in the other direction of social eating norms. When you make the choice to “go green,” you may threaten relationships as you subtly and unintentionally make a judgement about others’ lives with the Standard American Diet.
“WHEN YOU’RE FITTING OUT, YOU’RE BEING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF.”
~ JOSHUA ROSENTHAL
Please keep in mind, however, that trying to fit in actually requires more work than being yourself! Imagine what you could accomplish by putting your own dreams of being healthy as the priority, without compromising a part of yourself to fit in? While you will typically fit out, you will also gain empowerment over food, your happiness, and your life!
Sometimes a transformation is required to reset and get focused on food as a way to fuel and nourish our bodies and to make social eating norms a small, but polite consideration. The more you develop and sustain a healthy lifestyle, the more conviction you will develop, and surrounding yourself with a healthy community is paramount!
Health is not a destination, it’s not intended to be perfect.
Instead it’s an ongoing journey of fitting out!
And, yes, balance (80/20 rule) is still required and so is the added reassurance that despite your green eating, relationships remain intact. So, bring on the cookies…I’ve already planned for a few, and also spend time with loved ones in genuine, non-food related fun.. But first, load up with the “good, plant- based stuff.” Your body is counting on it!
My Infinity Health Program helps you to move into a plant-based diet while you are surrounded by a private community of like-minded women, who share your concerns, values, and successes in getting healthy. Develop a sustainable lifestyle in which you thrive! Schedule your free consultation today!