My perfectly planned Saturday afternoon was ruined.
I was sucker punched out of the blue. And while it bugged me a little, it reminded me that most of my TT readers, like you, will be dealing with this too over Christmas & New Years…so here’s how you can handle it.
But first, let me explain how a nutrition “jerk” ruined my Saturday…
There I was relaxing in a relative’s cozy kitchen, catching up with one of my closest family members. We were talking hockey, lifting, and music over a couple of delicious hot chocolates – with whipped cream – from the local independent coffee shop here in Stratford, Balzac’s.
About an hour into my visit, the day took a surprising turn for the worse.
Another relative came into the kitchen and made a big scene.
“Would you like a sandwich?”, she asked him, “Or do you eat all weird like him?” she said, pointing to me, rolling her eyes, and raising her voice for dramatic effect.
Whoa, what did I do to deserve this?
It was unprovoked, undeserved, and unnecessary.
This person was being a nutrition “jerk”…and I say that in a loving manner about family, of course.
The mood went from festive to tense in a matter of seconds. I decided to grin and bear it and brush it off. It wasn’t worth the confrontation.
After a few more snarky comments my way, the sandwich was made and we were able to return to our conversation in peace.
But the insult stuck with me and got me thinking about how I can guide you through similar, stressful scenarios this week.
There’s no doubt that at some point over the holidays a family member or friend will give you a hard time about what you eat.
After all, if your goal is to avoid gaining 10 pounds of fat over the next two weeks, you’ll have to make some hard choices and you won’t be able to eat like a teenage boy at every one of your parties.
So here are 3 ways to deal with the nutrition jerks this Christmas.
#1 – Plan and prepare in advance. Manage their – and your – expectations.
The worst part about yesterday’s insult was that I wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t have a plan for how to deal with it.
In hindsight, it was my fault. I should have been ready for it. And I will be for the rest of the holidays. I’ll just smile, deflect the conversation to something else, and won’t get stressed out about it.
For example, today is our big family Christmas (we alternate between Christmas Day and the Sunday before Christmas each year). I know that someone will make a big deal out of my decision to go for a 2nd helping of turkey and potatoes rather than hitting the dessert table.
I’m prepared with snappy one-liners such as…
“It’s not every day that you get such a good feed.”
“I’m a growing boy, so I need all the meat and potatoes I can get.” and, “But this is what Bally the Dog says I should eat.”
I’ll have fun with it. I’ll smile. I’ll let them take their shots. And I’ll stick with my plan. It’s a lot easier to handle when you know you have to handle it.
#2 – Choose your battles. Enjoy your rewards. Otherwise, stay strong.
Listen, there are certain holiday foods that you don’t want to miss. Without them, it just wouldn’t seem like the holidays. And that’s fine.
That’s what life is all about.
So if you have visions of Aunt Pauleen’s shortbread cookies dancing in your head, then by all means, enjoy some.
But be realistic. If you have 10 parties to go to in 7 nights, and you truly want to minimize the damage, you must accept the fact that you can’t eat whatever you want at each event.
And for those occasions, make sure you follow rule #1.
By the way, you have to remember why your friends and relatives are giving you a hard time.
It’s possible they might be threatened by your decision…they don’t want you to change, and they fear losing you. I’m serious, it sounds crazy, but humans hate change.
Second, it’s possible they are making up for their own inadequacies. They wish they could say no to a third round of pie, but all their willpower has been spent on not spanking their rowdy lil’ rug rats. So you have to cut them some slack, they are under a lot of stress. Let them have their little victory where they make a snide comment. It’s not worth the fight.
Third, they are just a Grinch, and unless your name is Cindy-Lou-Who, you probably can’t change them. Let them have their Scroogey-moment. So smile and stick to your plan.
#3 – Use this diet for the rest of the day to lose fat over the holidays.
If you do give in to peer pressure, or if you really want to enjoy a big meal guilt free, there’s a really easy way to do that. It’s all outlined here in:
It works all year-round of course, but never better than right now when temptations are everywhere.
The Holiday 1-Day Diet is a free gift for you. Just grab it at that link above.
Speaking of free gifts, I’m really excited to bring you some free workouts tomorrow. T’is the season for giving to you too, not just receiving criticism on your diet.
So let that be your guide to dealing with what is hopefully the one and only stressful item that will come up over the holidays.
You can use those tips and that diet all year round, of course.
Alright, time to get ready for Family Christmas.
It’s going to be one of my favorite days of the year.
Merry Christmas to you,
‘Christmassy’ Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – I can’t wait…
…I’d make a terrible Santa. I just can’t wait to give people gifts.
So here’s a free workout already: