How to Say No (Loudly) to Your Aunt in the Back
It has arrived… holiday snack season is upon on. But before anyone panics or collapses under the pressure, read this. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to eat like an asshole this holiday season (or any season).
Step 1 to not eating like an asshole is to recognize what that means and when it happens.
Another way to say, “don’t eat like an asshole” is “eat with intent.” Are you going back for 2nds, 3rds, and dessert? Are you full but still eating more? Are you willfully ignoring the sugar content in the food you’re about to consume? Is it past 10pm and suddenly you’re a gourmet chef cooking another meal? Are you only eating because you’re bored? Are you co-workers munching and you don’t want to be left out? These are the type of questions everyone must begin asking themselves to create awareness on when and how they are no longer eating with intent.
Step 2: Learn what it means to properly fuel yourself. Properly fueling yourself can look like 100 different things to a 100 different people. At the end of the day all this means is the food you put in your body should be put there with intention to best serve you. Does that snack provide you with energy or does it leave you feeling lethargic? Does the food you eat cause inflammation in your system? Does the meal you just had cause you to bloat, be gassy, or feel heavy? Do you feel guilty after a meal or do you feel happy that you made a positive decision? Recognize what’s not working and set a plan to find what works.
Step 3: Connect eating to a purpose greater than yourself. An example of this would be becoming healthier so you set a great example for your kids. Or eating with intent in order to have better mental acuity to be more productive at work. If everyone becomes the healthiest version of them imagine how much happier this would could be!
Step 4: Follow through and make it a habit. You know what to do and you have a higher purpose to connect to… so what are you waiting for? Do it. Stop creating fake stories for yourself. “If only I had more time…” Prioritize it. “I can’t make it to the gym today because work is going late.” Go to the gym before work. “I haven’t had time to grocery shop so I’m just going to order something quick.” You can even order groceries to be delivered these days. Do that instead if you must. Recognize the story you are telling yourself and being creating a better one. “I’m going to train on my lunch break because I’m the kind of person who gets the work done.” Or “because my family and I deserve the best, I’ll help pack healthy lunches for everybody.”
Step 5: Stick with it and learn to say no. Write down your purpose, your goals, and your action plan. Hang up those words somewhere you see them every day. Update the goals, dial in your purpose, and continue to refine your action plans. When distractions arise, repeat your purpose. Here’s an example: you’re at a holiday party and your aunt says “let’s get some meat on those bones! Here, sweetie, have another piece of pie!” Instead of taking the pie to please someone else (or worse yet – taking the pie because that you temporarily lost sight of your goals), don’t. Instead, say “no thank you.”
If saying no is not enough and someone is persistent you have two options:
1) stay strong and continue to say no or 2) stay strong and explain to them why you’re not interested in consuming foods that don’t serve you. If someone won’t take no for an answer you can always tell them the story you’ve been creating for yourself. “Because I want to be able to keep up with my daughter on the soccer field, I will not be indulging.” Or “its important to me to treat my body with respect because I always feel better when I do.” If anyone tries to argue with those answers – it’s time to throw that pie at them.
The holidays, or anytime of the year, does not need to be a time for gluttony or instant gratification. Here are three quick tips to make this your healthiest holidays yet: 1) There is a healthy alternative or version of almost every recipe – choose that option. 2) Spend time with loved ones by walking around and visiting lights, having a snowball fight, or playing cards instead of sitting around a table eating yourself into a “food coma.” 3) Go in with a game plan. If you know a holiday party won’t have any healthy food options, eat before you go. Spend more time talking to friends instead of trying out the latest 5 layer Oreo cake.
What’s better than a basket of cookies or grandma’s special marshmallow dessert? You. You are stronger than your temptations. You are smart enough to prepare, plan, and execute. The health of your family, friends, and you are what makes the holidays special. So, go forth and stop eating like an asshole. Eat and live with intent.