Do you ever find yourself apologising for choosing to eat healthy? Do you ever find yourself lying about, or hiding the fact that you are trying to loose weight? In week 3 of my 12 week healthy bikini body challenge I have realised that I am no longer going to apologise for making healthy, positive decisions that make me feel better about myself- and when you put it that way: why should I?
In our Weight Watchers meetings last week we were talking about triggers, and situations where we can find ourselves making bad choices or loosing control. A few people mentioned finding it hard at work, especially when colleagues are sharing unhealthy foods. You know how it goes; it’s somebody’s birthday, they bring in a cake, everyone has a piece, and even though you don’t really want it, you feel pressured to say yes when offered. We discussed strategies for dealing with this type of situation, many of which revolved around accepting a piece and subtly not eating it, or saying ‘thanks I will have some later’ and then later never comes. There were some great ideas. But later that day I got to thinking: why should we make excuses for not wanting some cake? Why do we apologise for choosing to eat healthy? Are we ashamed of our decision to try loose weight or eat healthier? Why don’t we just say: no thanks I don’t want any.
I know I have done this in the past. I’ve been out for dinner with friends and made feeble excuses about why I am only having a salad and skipping dessert: ‘oh I had a massive lunch’ or ‘I am trying to save some money so I will skip wine and just have pudding at home’. I guess I didn’t want the embarrassment of saying I was trying to loose weight, or worse admit I was and people pester me to make unhealthy food choices I would later regret. And that has happened. I have experienced that situation where I have said: ‘no thanks, I am trying to watch what I eat’, and been barraged with; ‘oh god you’re not a diet are you? I am sure one piece of cake isn’t going to do any harm’. No, one piece wont, but if I say yes every time it is offered then I will never succeed.
Even this week I was planning how I could hide my current efforts from my friends on our girly night out. My sister-in-law and one of my best friends were coming up to visit, and the general consensus was there would be lots of cocktails with a side serving of bottom wiggling. I know all to well the hidden calories of cocktails and how quickly they can chew up the ProPoints budget. Then there is the inevitable intoxicated decision to eat something greasy from somewhere that you wouldn’t dream of entering sober, and no doubt a recovery breakfast in the morning. Safe to say there was to be a few challenges to my weight loss efforts. Then adding to that, the feeling of not wanting to be the party pooper with my current healthy eating efforts. So what to do? I planned to just not mention it, totally hide it, I could stick to gin and slim tonic, order something chicken based and not eat it all, then claim a dodgy tummy at breakfast.
However my plot was foiled. Within minutes of walking in the door my best friend said: how’s the bikini challenge going? Oh yes- this blog, can’t really disguise it can I? So deep breath, the confession… ‘Yes it’s going OK thanks, I’ve lost a couple of pounds so far, but I am feeling loads better about myself’. The reply was unexpected: ‘great work, I’ve been trying to eat a bit better myself last few weeks, I could use some tips’. My first thought: why is she eating better? She looks a million dollars exactly as she is? But I know how she feels, it doesn’t really matter what other people think, it’s about feeling better in your own skin, in your own body, and most importantly feeling better in your jeans (or my case bikini). And even if she wasn’t herself trying to eat better, why wouldn’t she be happy for me. This is one of my oldest friends, I love her, and would want nothing but her happiness, surely she wants the same for me? Why would anyone who cares about me not want me to feel better about myself? I wouldn’t apologise for having a nice relaxing bath, getting my nails done, or listening to my favourite songs to make me feel better, so why should I apologise for choosing to eat healthy. Because that is what it is: it’s a choice, and not one I regret or which I should feel embarrassed about.
The modern age dictionary (google) defines ‘apology’ as: a regretful acknowledgement of an offence or failure. Surely my decisions to eat healthier are not offending anyone, and I certainly don’t regret them? So who or what am I apologising for? What am I trying to hide? So no more apologies, no more shame. My decision to eat healthy should no more offend, influence, upset or inconvenience anyone else, as much as other people’s decisions to eat unhealthy do me.
So the next time someone offers you cake don’t say ‘sorry I cant’; take a stand, be proud, look them in the face and say: thanks, it looks great, but I am trying to make some healthier decisions to feel better about myself, would you be offended if I didn’t have any? I pretty much guarantee they won’t say yes.
I am Jennie, founder of set U free fitness, and Weight Watchers leader in Leeds. I lost 7 stone with Weight Watchers and transformed by body through exercise. I always dreamt that life after goal would be easier, but the reality is- it’s not. This personal blog is my ongoing journey to stay healthy and happy. It is a collection of my thoughts, tips, lessons learnt and mistakes made in trying to create a balanced healthy lifestyle that I can follow for life. I always love to hear your thoughts, and hear from people undergoing similar journeys, so please comment or get in touch.
A quarter of the way through my 12 week bikini body challenge, and I am definitely feeling a lot more in control. The aim of the challenge was to try get myself to a place where I feel more happy and confident in my bikini, without resorting to extreme measures. You can read more about my past mistakes with dieting. Please excuse the terrible state of my face in these photos- hormones and hangover= skin challenge! This week I have enjoyed spending some time with loved ones so haven’t always managed to post my meals and snacks on Instagram, but I have been making sensible choices. I did have a good night out with the girls and enjoyed a couple of cocktails and more than a couple of gin and tonics, but I did avoid the greasy end of night takeaway, and was very controlled at breakfast with a hearty but healthy choices. So far I have lost 2.5lbs- weigh in is Tuesday night, but think I will have stayed the same this week. But I don’t mind as I am definitely seeing more definition in my arms and stomach as I get back to my weights training.