OK OK I’m putting my hands up. I’m on the wagon. I do not plan falling off it as I have not done so in previous years. It really isn’t that hard. No, I’m not doing it for charity because frankly, I don’t think giving up alcohol is the right thing to do to raise money. No, I’m not doing it because I want to lose weight. No, I’m not doing it because everyone else is doing it. And no to whatever other reason you think I’m doing it for.
I’m doing it because I know it makes me feel better, sleep better and train better (and, very handily, save money) However, as per previous years, comments are already cropping up left right and centre about why I’m doing it, if I’m drinking on certain occasions, why in preaching about it to everyone (I’m not, but if you ask, I will tell you) and I feel like I am CONSTANTLY having to defend my corner and my decision.
But, enough about alcohol particularly, that was just a prompt – I’ve got a few thoughts on healthy lifestyles in general and the constant struggle you actually go through to try and justify your choices…which shouldn’t be the case!
How many times do people feel they slip up from their planned healthy activities because of something they did? How many times is it because, eventually, people gave into someone else trying to persuade them to hop off the wagon, because just once won’t hurt?
For example, if I was trying to quit smoking (I am not a smoker, never have been, but hypothetically), in general, people would be very supportive and encouraging. No-one would call me boring if I didn’t want a cigarette. No-one would be pestering me with ‘come on, just one won’t hurt’.
However, if you are trying to cut down drinking, eat healthily or get to the gym more, there seems to be a bit more lee-way from people as to what they can persuade you to do…and surely it is AS important as not smoking for your health.
PS to all my friends who are reading this, this is not me making snide comments behind your backs! I think everyone could learn to be a bit more sensitive about other people’s habits, whatever they are. We don’t know everyone’s relationship with food, exercise and alcohol and the impact it has or has had on them and what a seemingly flippant comment can mean.
- If someone says they are not drinking, don’t call them boring. Don’t then spend the entire night trying to bribe or coerce them into doing it. Seriously, what have you gained from this? Hardly the sign of a supportive friend…
- If you go out for dinner and someone asks for no butter on their vegetables, or their fish to be grilled rather than fried, don’t question it. No-one wants to be preachy about their eating habits or explain why they are doing it, so leave them be. Most of the time people are trying to hide the fact they’re making a specific order, they aren’t making a song and dance about it. Their food is not your food. You do not have to eat it.
- Be more aware of people’s reactions and if they seem uncertain or slightly agnostic about a specific activity or restaurant. People typically don’t like making a big fuss about eating healthily so it might be hard to spot. My boyfriend can easily pick out when I don’t actually want to go to a specific restaurant because I’m dithering. And I don’t talk much. And I say ‘whatever’ and ‘I don’t mind’ a lot. We then change ideas…
- Celebratory dinners and drinks might not be everyone’s idea of a celebration. Same for social gatherings – if you want to catch up, how about going for a walk?
- If someone leaves an evening early because they have to be up to train, let them go. Again, they’re not boring, they’ve set themselves a challenge and goals, and you should be supporting them, not playing a part in their downfall (this sounds slightly sinister!!)
- Think about why it matters to you what someone else is doing. For example, are you trying to bribe them out of dry January because you caved last week? Is it just helping you feel a bit better about your choices?
- Don’t make assumptions. Went out for lunch recently, boyfriend chose to have a burger without a bun and switched out the chips and the waiter automatically assumed it was for me. Nope I’m long running tomorrow and I want a burger and ALL THE CHIPS thank you very much
- If I want to go running on holiday, why is that a problem? If you want to lie on the beach all day, is that a problem? I don’t question why you do it. Exactly. Holidays mean different things to different people
People seem to think that ‘healthy people’ are preaching, and I admit, sometimes they might. But to be quite honest, if you question someone’s choices, they will probably end up explaining them to you. And not because they are up on their soapbox, but YOU ASKED THEM SO OF COURSE THEY WILL EXPLAIN.
To sum it up…what people choose to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle is THEIR BUSINESS UNLESS THEY ASK YOU OTHERWISE! People often find it hard to open up about healthy habits, and actually, will sometimes avoid social situations because of the problems it causes when you are being slightly ‘unconventional’, so if someone has the courage to do so, they are putting their trust in you. And therefore you should respect it. Because one day, you might need their support…