What happens when the very people who are supposed to bring us joy, cause undo stress which you can’t express? Those feelings get stuffed deep inside and covered with a smile because after all, we’re supposed to be “gracious” Christians. You think: There goes my resolve, so why bother?!! If they don’t support me, who will? and discouragement sets in.
How one avoids the holiday saboteurs is a real-life obstacle course! Depending on your personality, this festive season is challenging. How does one gracefully avoid hurt feelings, be true to yourself and not cave to peer pressure? “Of course you should eat – you’re so thin now, you look gaunt!”
Recognize peer pressure It’s not only for high schoolers. Do these examples sound familiar?
Scenario #1: Your spouse brought home donuts or cooked something fattening because, “Well, you’re doing so well, I wanted to do something nice, okay???”
“Why’d they do that?” you ask.
- Could be scared. The thinner you get, ‘spouse‘ might think they’re not measuring up and you’ll find someone else. They don’t like the seductive looks others give you. So now what? Communicate. Reassure them that you made a lifetime commitment for a long, healthier life with them. Ask if they’ll support you. Freeze the goodies for “one at a time, once a week.” Continue on.
- They’re competitive and you’re demonstrating more disciple than them. Confirm that you’re a team. Create goals and exercise together as support partners. Celebrate victories with non-food items.
- They’re a jerk who wants you to stay frumpy and unhealthy because it makes them look better by comparison. In that case, stand your ground! No one lives inside your body but you and your first responsibility is to God.
- Kiss, Say, “. . . next time just bring home jewelry instead.” 🙂
Scenario # 2: Your co-worker brings in her favorite Christmas goodie for lunch.
- Stay away from the break room until January 2nd. This is one season it’s okay to eat at your desk or walk outside during lunch.
- Bring something sweet, like fruit tipped with bittersweet chocolate for dessert. Have something to look forward to. Eating isn’t wrong, it’s being controlled by food that is.
Scenario #3: Your new neighbor stopped by, bringing Christmas gift cookies to share with you over coffee.
- Sit down and socialize. Thank her for her kindness and let her know you were hoping to get to know her better.
- Place one/two cookies on two plates and leave the rest on the counter.
- Since they are a gift, she won’t ask for another. Sit with your back away from the food, eat very slowly, savoring every bite and talk, talk, talk!
- Later, place leftovers in a solid container.
Scenario #4: At a family gathering, Grandma made your favorite double fudge brownies just for you! Now what?
If you’re a people pleaser you might think it’s a no-win situation; you’ve got to eat it or hurt Grandma’s feelings. (After-all you love Grandma with her future inheritance.) There’s always a way out while sticking to your principles. 1 Corinthians 10:13.
- Thank her. Have a tasteful sliver. If possible, explain that since you are currently so full, ask if you can take most home with you.
- Generously share with guests. Cut up portions for them to take home as well.
- At home, cut into smaller bites and freeze for later. Call Grandma the next day and let her know how much better it tasted because you could fully enjoy it.
Most importantly, visualize other potential scenarios and create personal strategies for success and remain disciplined!
“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27 )
(Yes, it’s a reblog but bears repeating.)