You’re all set to start on your Wellness Warriors Sugar Detox Program, and it feels a little bit like the night before Christmas you’re so giddy with anticipation. You have your program materials and have stocked your pantry with plenty of our “embrace” foods to get you through the next few weeks.
The night before day one, you are feeling proud of yourself for making the commitment to clean up your diet to break free from the sugar and carb cravings you’ve been having lately, which you know aren’t good for you. You know it won’t be easy, but you’re ready to give it your best.
You wake up on day one and go about your normal business of getting ready for work, except that your usual breakfast of sugar-free yogurt and cereal is replaced with a coconut milk smoothie with spinach, chia seeds, avocado, and collagen peptides for that extra bit of protein. It looks a little green for your liking, but when you take a sip it’s actually…unbelievably delicious.
Just as you’re heading out the door, your husband walks in and makes a funny face when he sees your breakfast concoction and he says he wouldn’t be caught dead drinking that “green goop.” Not wanting a fight, you kindly remind him that today is the first day on your Sugar Detox and you’re getting back to healthy eating. He says that we had better not be eating just “rabbit food” from now on and that you’d better not get rid of all his favorite foods either. (Sigh.) Not the best way to start the program, but you know that this is important to your health and there are plenty of foods that you can both enjoy, so you just let it go. You’ll just have to avoid the carton of ice cream in the freezer and the bag of pretzels in the cupboard even though you’d rather have cleaned everything out.
Fast forward a week into the detox and you’re sleeping better, your skin is glowing, and you have more energy than you’ve had in a long time. When it comes time for lunch, you go into the breakroom to heat up your leftover mustard chicken thighs and turmeric riced cauliflower (which is soooo delicious), and you see it’s someone’s retirement party. There is a catered lunch of subs, soda, cake and cookies. You surprise yourself when you realize you’re not even tempted by any of it. Not one bit. (Silent whoo hoo!)
As you proceed to courteously socialize as work etiquette requires, your coworker rudely (and much too loudly) asks why you’re not eating cake with everyone else. You feel put on the spot, kind of like a deer in headlights as all eyes turn to you. You politely respond that you’re not in the mood for cake but it’s nice that we’re here to celebrate Susie’s contributions.
For some reason, she just won’t let it go and she continues to harass you, saying that you’re crazy for going on a fad diet and she’d never do something so strict. You try to explain that the Wellness Warriors Sugar Detox is really about eating unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods, but it just ends up in an awkward confrontation. You were feeling great about yourself but now you just want to scream!
This is where I stop you and come in as your Health Coach. I, too, am shocked at how many times I’ve gotten snarky comments about eating healthy when you’d think that people would be encouraging. Not so much. What I tell my clients is that this is more about them than it is about you and you can’t let it discourage you or get you down. You also shouldn’t try to argue or change others' viewpoints in that moment. You need to worry about yourself first and realize that you can’t change others.
Sometimes talking about food is a little like politics or religion and in certain situations should be avoided. In these cases, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Ignore them. I personally think that life is too short to surround myself with negative energy, so I have learned that I can be a positive influence and just do my own thing. Sure, there are those people that will give you a hard time, but most often people are too wrapped up thinking about themselves that the majority won’t even notice what you’re doing if you can focus the conversation on something else other than food.
Have honest conversations with those that count. Now, I also realize that there are certain people in your life that you cannot cut out completely, and in those cases you may need to have a difficult, yet honest conversation. Again, don’t make it about them, but focus on you when you explain why you’re doing what you’re doing and how them understanding (even if they don’t join in) means a lot to you. If discussed at the right moment in a calm way, this can help them to realize that their comments do matter.
Don’t try to change anyone but yourself. You’d be surprised how many of my clients have resistant husbands or parents who start to take small steps to improve their choices on their own. You will end up being a positive influence if you don’t force or nag them.
Decide whether or not to share. Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on how you use it. I tell my clients that they can post their diet accomplishments on Facebook, or they can just keep it within our private Wellness Warriors Radio community. That’s one reason why group coaching works so well…you always have a Health Coach and other people to cheer you on and to make you feel like you’re not weird for genuinely liking zucchini noodles.
Remember it’s not a competition. There is a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt that “Comparison is the Thief of Joy.” As a Health Coach, I hereby give you permission to be selfish and focus only on you and what positive steps you’ve taken to reach your goals. Sometimes I even feel a little envious about the mouth-watering meal pics on Pinterest when I see them. I realize that there are times when I’m too tired after work to cook a gourmet meal, but I can still have something healthy and satisfying that works just fine for me.
Deciding whether or not to “come out” during your sugar detox is a personal choice you need to make. It’s helpful to realize going into it that some people will be receptive and supportive and some won’t–and that’s perfectly okay. I hope that this post makes you feel even more at home in our Wellness Warriors Radio community, which is a safe place where you’ll always feel welcome.
As a Health Coach, I hereby grant you permission to rock your healthy lifestyle in YOUR own way!