Not everyone is going to agree with your healthy lifestyle. And guess what…that’s completely ok! It’s about being confident enough to explain to your friends and family why you choose to eat and live healthily. Food is typically the focus in social situations, whether it’s meeting a friend for lunch, grabbing a snack or coffee at a cafe, family dinners, the list goes on! You get the point. You can still have fun and enjoy social situations without feeling like you’re the odd one of the group. I have personal experience with this after deciding to transition to a plant-based diet back in February of 2016. My family and friends are now very understanding of my dietary choices, but it definitely took some practice as to how best explain it.
Own Your Journey
Don’t feel the need to defend yourself. Remember why you started this health journey in the first place. You don’t need anyone’s approval! You are the only one responsible for taking care of your body. It can be a little intimidating to be out to a restaurant with a group of friends and feel like you’re ordering the “healthiest” dish. Try not to feel embarrassed or get defensive. Instead, explain how eating this way makes you feel amazing. It’s easier for people to understand if you tell them how you feel, instead of sharing a list of nutritional facts. You might even be surprised that people will come around and ask you for advice.
Change is uncomfortable
There is a lot of emotional attachment associated with food. Whether it be holiday traditions or certain comfort foods that bring back memories, it can be hard to change these. Maybe some of your friendships are based on going out for ice cream or a pastry at a coffee shop. Try to suggest other ways to treat yourself. You could go for a walk, take a yoga class, get a pedicure or make smoothies together. The possibilities are endless! True friends will be open to trying new, healthier alternatives.
Avoid Pushing Your Agenda
As excited as you might be to share everything about your new healthy lifestyle, your friends and family may not be ready to hear all about it. Be open and honest with those who are wondering why you look healthier and happier, but with those not quite interested yet, it may be best to let them come to you. It’s hard not to notice glowing skin, extra energy, and toned muscles! Pretty soon, those who were a little hesitant before will be coming to you and be inspired to join you. Just be patient. Sometimes it takes awhile for people to warm up!
At the end of the day, be confident in your food and lifestyle choices. You know what makes your body feel its best.
I hope this helps you the next time someone asks why you eat the way you do. Remember to check out some healthy recipes ideas to share them with your family and friends!