Your Changes are Not Just About You

*When I say changes I’m talking about dietary, health, fitness, etc*

So you have a goal. You have a plan. You have a new diet. You have found the holy grail of workout plans, You have done all this.

What about your spouse? Your friends? Your co-workers?

The people you spend your hours of the day with. What are they doing?

The people we spend our days with can have a huge influence on us as a whole, but also can be influencers on individual decisions – good or bad – through out the day.

I’m not saying that everyone around you needs to go on the same diet plan, and assimilate to your new life – but they need to be aware of your goals, and thus will hopefully lead to support from them if they truly care about you.

At Work

This might be hard, but if you share your plan with co-workers, friends, etc – they will hopefully be more apt to help out, or avoid putting you in certain situations.

Think about it – how would a coworker know that an alcoholic is trying to quit drinking if they don’t even tell them? Say you go out for happy hour, and your coworker – knowing you enjoy a tall amber beer – orders you one without even asking.

They don’t mean to sabotage your efforts, they just don’t know!

You also don’t want to be that guy or gal, that is always saying no to lunch invites, and passing on potlucks – I get it.

You have two options here:

  1. Politely decline most invites, because you have already brought a bagged lunch that fits within your goals, and your budget. Pure pressure can be a witch, but hopefully most adults understand what no thank you means at this point.
  2. Accept the offer, knowing that there will be plenty of healthy opportunities for you to choose from because restaurants are not inherently unhealthy, but the choices we make are. Time to buckle up the willpower belt and stick to something that fits within your goals because you WANT your beach body.Image result for chilis 500 calorie menu

With Friends

Friends can be even tougher than co-workers because these people hopefully care even more about you. On the flip side, it should be easier to share your goals with your friends and hopefully not feel ridiculed for wanting to improve your health or look sexy. (It’s not shallow)

At the same time, friends can be bigger sources of pure pressure. “Oh come on man, just one day won’t kill you!”

So how do you handle this without being an anti-social hermit?

Same as with co-workers. Let your friends know that your plan is. Who knows, you might even motivate one or two of them to join you.

I personally think this is harder for men, because for some reason men aren’t supposed to talk about eating healthy and cutting back on alcohol – because apparently that’s not manly.  

One thing that I have found works well is replace the word “cant” with “don’t”.

I can’t eat pizza today vs. I don’t eat pizza on weekdays.

I can’t have that beer vs. I don’t drink on weekdays.

By saying cant, you give the notion that there is maybe someone else holding you back, and that it is still an option – but you just can’t do it. When you use ‘don’t’ – this implies that it is a rule of yours that you follow, and thus part of your manta so to say. Don’t will be much stronger than can’t in these situations.

With Family

Family. They love you. They care for you. Yet they can be your biggest saboteur.

Start by letting your family know your goals. Maybe it’s just you and your spouse. If you have kids, be sure not to shed any kind of negative light on “mommy’s crappy diet” – this can lead to negative psychological associations with good, healthy food.

Anyways, you should never feel like you are on a crappy diet in the first place. Go back and read many posts found on here on how not to diet, and how dieting should not be bland, boring or miserable – shameless self plug.

Even if your spouse isn’t trying to or doesn’t need to lose weight, I feel anyone can get on board with eating healthier options.

Even if they aren’t wanting to go to the gym and “workout”, I feel that everyone can enjoy and benefits from some form of physical activity daily – remember the bare bones minimum is 150 minutes per week 😉 (it really should be double that, but I’m not in charge of the national recommendations – yet).

When it comes to eating meals at home, most of the time this is dinner.

Your spouse/roommate/partner sits at the table enjoying whatever while you wallow in shame at the edge of the table eating your 100 calorie all veggie salad…only to go hog-wild on ice cream/popcorn/etc.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Image result for family dinner retroYou can literally make any meal work for your calorie goals if you just put in the effort and a little thought. If you aren’t into calorie counting try this:

  1. Half your plate is covered in veggies.
  2. 1/4th of you plate is covered in a lean protein source.
  3. 1/4th of your plate is covered in whole grain/starchy carbohydrates.

If you stick close to that goal of portion distributions I can almost guarantee that you will be okay and still be able to enjoy a great meal with your family.

You don’t have to pursue your goals alone – nor should you try. Your co-workers, friends, and family can all greatly increase your chances of success, and through their support, you can accomplish what you are after. Who knows – maybe you will inspire someone else to make a positive change in their life as well!



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Stay healthy my friends,


Published by Mike Gorski

Registered Dietitian and Fitness Coach OWNER OF MG FIT LIFE LLC

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