Who’s Responsibility Is It Anyway?

I’m sure you’ve all been there….the diet sabotage.  We’ve either done it to ourselves or someone has done it to us.  Or have they??

I love catching up with my clients after the weekend.  It’s great to hear about the travel they did (living in Europe offers countless opportunities!), or the simple stay-at-home relaxing couple of days.  I asked a client how her weekend was.  I also asked how she had done with her nutrition over the weekend.  She said, “not so good….”  She had gone to a friend’s house for dinner and had eaten what she knew was not in her plan for her fitness and weight loss goals.  Not only was the meal not exactly healthy and balanced, the host continued to insist they have more.  My client felt like she was obligated to eat…..and eat some more.  She was worried it would offend her friend or hurt her feelings.  So who’s fault was it anyway?

We feel better about our poor choices, or “falling off the wagon” when we can place blame on circumstances, such as traveling or being too busy, or even placing blame on other people, like friends that invite us for dinner or bringing desserts to the office.  It’s easier for us to excuse our behaviors when there is an external force at work.  “It’s not my fault!”

But is that truly the case? Would you seriously offend someone if you shared your  lifestyle and nutrition goals with someone and refrained from partaking in foods that you know would sabotage your efforts?  Put yourself in a host’s shoes for a moment.  Scenario #1 – Pretend you invited someone with a gluten and dairy allergy for dinner.  Not knowing this information prior, you prepared a wonderful Shrimp Alfredo Pasta with homemade Focaccia Bread and a salad.  Your guest shows up and informs you of their allergies, so the only option for them is the salad, which they graciously eat.  Would you be angry? Scenario #2 – Same guest, however this time you’re aware of the allergies ahead of time and plan a menu accordingly.  Would you hold it against your guest that you had to possibly put in a little extra effort in your menu selection? Scenario #3 – Your guest and her family arrive and she has planned ahead and brought some or all of her meal with her to avoid you having to go out of your way for everyone else.  Would you be offended?  Scenario #4 – You invite ME for dinner….. what would you consider for menu options? (It’s funny……I actually never get invited for dinner…..LOL!)

I eat a very regimented meal plan most of the year.  I am very dedicated to eating whole, nutritious, protein-rich foods.  I have had countless occasions where I am eating out of my tupperware containers – once at the Air Force Ball the night before I competed!!  I promise you, when people know you are serious and dedicated to your goal, they will do everything to help you out, NOT sabotage your efforts.  It’s when you give them permission that they will offer every way possible to let you out of your commitment.  And truly, it’s not their responsibility to make sure you eat healthy.  This isn’t their goal, it’s YOURS! Only you can decide what goes into your body.  You have the ultimate say-so and control. 

Here are some ways to help you through those tough situations;

  • Vocalize your specific goal to everyone you can, especially those you’ll be dining with.  Be confident and unapologetic for your lifestyle choices!!
  • Ask your host what she intends to prepare for the meal.  Offer a healthy and delicious recipe that “she just HAS to try” (you don’t have to tell her that it’s healthy!)
  • Opt to host the dinner at your house so you’re in complete control of the menu choices
  • If it’s a potluck, bring a healthy dish/dessert that you can enjoy
  • Know a restaurant’s menu BEFORE you RSVP.  Ask if substitutions can be made and have your selection decided before arriving
  • Plan ahead and bring your own food! Even if it’s a “Plan B”, you know you can stay on track with no excuses!
  • Need more help? Contact me!

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