I'm sure we’ve all been in this situation: You're sitting with a group of peers either at lunch, out to a dinner, or at someone’s house for a casual dinner get together. You're committed to Team WAG and to yourself to be the best that you can be and make the most of each week working towards your goals and attempting to make progress. You pull out your phone and maybe even your food scale to keep you on track with your macros when someone says, “Seriously? You aren't going to weigh each little morsel are you?" or "You really track and weigh everything that you eat? How can you live like that?"
You’ve been there, I’ve been there…we’ve all been there. Someone who doesn’t follow flexible dieting questions your motive, your perseverance and you’re determination to follow the program. You feel embarrassed and sometimes even angry that someone would make fun of your method of eating. We all have different goals, dreams and aspirations, but sometimes other people can’t quite understand the methods and the steps we’re willing to take to reach our goals.
So what is the best approach to interacting with those who are not on the same journey as you right now, that allows you to still stand behind your beliefs and goals while still appreciating their opinions? We’ve come up with three tips to use to help manage those interactions and help deal with these social situations in a balanced and thoughtful way.
- Let them know that you have hard-set goals
Do you have a meet coming up that you need to make a specific weight for? Are you working towards a competition, photoshoot, or vacation? There’s definitely a reason you joined Team WAG, so let your peers, family, and friends know that so they understand what you’re working so hard for. If you’re not ready to open up and say, “I just really need to lose weight and get me back to being healthy,” just tell them you’re trying to maintain a healthier and more balanced approach to living, one meal at a time.
Most of the population doesn’t have a reason that they need to follow a diet, nor do they understand why anyone would really need to watch what they’re eating. If you let them know that you have a goal, with a timeline, a specific weight, or just an overall mission, that should hopefully help them to realize what you’re working for and the steps you need to accomplish this.
- Let them know how much progress you’ve made so far.
Thinking about how far you have come usually doesn’t happen until a few weeks of following the program, but this can be a great tool to realize how much you have progressed already and the small sacrifices you have made along the way that have added up and made the difference.
Maybe you’ve adjusted your lifestyle for the better; getting up early to pack your food, meal prepping on the weekends to set yourself up for success throughout the week, and even getting an extra cardio or gym session in when you’re schedule is already super packed. These are all forms of progress. Things you weren’t doing previously to improve your life, find balance, and stick with your goals have now become second nature. Even if you haven’t lost 10 lbs, or even 5 lbs, let them know that you’ve been tracking for 30 days straight and don’t want to lose that streak. Or that you’ve consistently hit your macros for 12 days straight and you’d like to keep that motivation rolling. You could even tell them that your overall health is improving with the progress you’ve made; it’s getting easier to train, you’re hitting bigger lifts, or you just feel better when you stick with the plan.
- Educate them about flexible dieting
Most people have no idea what “counting macros” or what “flexible dieting” is. Spread the word! Let them know that you can basically eat everything in moderation and explain how it has to fit your macros. Put a positive spin on it by telling them that nothing is off limits and instead of feeling like you’re on a super restricted and regimented diet, you’ve built the greatest relationship you’ve ever had with food. Most of the time people become intrigued by this since you’re setting an example of someone who is making progress (losing weight, improving your health and lifestyle, and increasing your strength) while eating formerly “off limits” foods in moderation.
The best advice we can give to you is to stick to your guns! Believe in yourself, in your abilities, and look how far you have come. Not everyone is on the same journey as you and sometimes others will refuse to even comprehend or understand how much something means to you – whether it be this program, your training, or your healthy lifestyle. And while they may feel better about themselves for criticizing your choices, most of the time there is some deeper reason behind their need to belittle others. You’re on Team WAG for a reason – you’ve decided to focus on yourself and improve your life, and that should be enough reason to keep you going. Be proud of yourself.
What other strategies do you use to help manage these situations? Let us know in the comments below.