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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Toxic Eat Clean Skeptics - Handling Friends and Family

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It's weird that you eat six meals a day, right? What???? NO SUGAR!! Huh? One can exist like that? How do you do it? Can you help me even though I will never really take your advice? You don't really want to look like that do you?

If you have started your journey to a Clean Eating lifestyle, I'm sure you have heard these questions and comments, among others. It's not easy, but you are not alone!

"Toxic" friends and family are a large problem when switching over to eating clean. A problem that you are going to have to overcome if you want to be successful. I have put together a quick list of things that are helpful to remember as you become healthy and look forward to the future.



1. This is your decision - NOT theirs. You are choosing right now to eat this way. Try not to complain about how long you are spending in the kitchen cooking or chopping veggies - it will only make your situation worse by giving them something negative to "battle" with you about and turn them off of eating clean if they were ever to consider it. Eliminate excuses!

2. Let them know how much this means to you. Ask for their support, but assure them you are not trying to convert them or in no way, shape or form are you going to judge them for what they are eating. In fact, shortly after Jim and I started blogging, we had a birthday celebration for him. I went out of my way to make  clean treats (you can find many of the recipes on the blog!) and treats that were not-so-clean for other members of our family. I didn't want them to feel ostracized because they had come to our house. It's their decision what they eat - I made sure that Jim and I were taken care of with our healthy treats and that's all that matters! At the end of the night, I packed up what they wanted to take home and trashed the rest (I know, shame on me for wasting food, but sugary food isn't good for anybody anyway!)

3. Give them a little insight into how to eat clean so they know what to expect. Both mine and Jim's families are great when it comes to our lifestyle (although don't let me fool you - we took a LOT of flack in the beginning). They know we eat six meals a day and now think nothing of me bringing my own food to a family meal (now they even try to cook something we can eat!) or popping a pack of grapes and almonds out of my purse for a midday snack. The more they understand that food doesn't consume your life and that you are just as normal as them, the more they will become comfortable with it.

4. Give it time. You are a pioneer of sorts to them if they are not knowledgeable about eating clean. Let them observe you and how your lifestyle fits with theirs. Two things could happen - they could get it and realize you aren't much different OR they could flip out and never want to talk to you again (this sounds nuts, right? Let's hope that doesn't happen).

4. People are by nature, insecure about their appearance/weight. In my experience, this is the answer to why people will snub you or mock you for eating clean - RIGHT HERE! I wish we could change this, but when most people see someone succeeding, they begin to question their own success. If you are mocked, or snubbed by a friend or relative, it's 99% of their own insecurity. Why wouldn't someone want to feel better, look better and enhance their health?

I really hope this helps. Please know you are not alone, Jim, myself, Whitney and Scott have all experienced this. We would love to hear your stories about "toxic" friends and family - it would be great to prove we are not alone!

Ciao!
Tiffany

17 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more. It seems like people don't understand "you are what you eat" is such a true thing until they change their diet. Its not just about how it affects your body, but how it affects your state of mind. Keep up with the Pinterest posts, I'm glad I follow your boards.

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    1. Greg! So excited that you are following us on Pinterest - there are some amazing motivational tools and recipes on there. Thanks for commenting - we really appreciate your support. Eat Clean!

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  2. Oh my goodness I am so excited to have discovered your blog. I found you through the blog hop and am so glad that I did!! We started eating this way a few months ago and have experienced some of these very things.

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    1. Alicia, that's great that you came over from the blog hop. It isn't much fun to deal with some of these issues but just as we have to learn to eat this way, others have to learn to cope with us eating this way. Hope you will follow us on the blog and facebook - looking forward to more of your comments.

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  3. This blog is everything I need! My toxic friend is actually my boyfriend that I live with so it is a HUGE struggle for me to eat clean. I figure I eat clean about 60% of the time, because it is usually me giving into him wanting to cook a frozen pizza and things of that nature. This blog is giving me the confidence to really do what I want to do for ME! Thank You!

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    1. Thank You Leah! It really makes us happy to read comments like yours! We are here to help so let us know if you ever have any questions! I believe you can do it - you just have to believe in yourself! Lead by example & I bet your boyfriend will follow eventually! ;-)

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  4. Any advice on how to manage when you're a dinner guest at someone else's house? I always offer to bring a side dish so I can have something clean but sometimes it's rejected or I feel pressured to eat what they've prepared. Do you just suck it up to save on social graces?

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    1. Honestly, I wouldn't offer to bring something, I would just bring the dish and surprise them! Also, I would eat about 100 calories before you go over there just so you can eat smaller portions of their food if it isn't clean.

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  5. Im 4 months post baby and my husband and I started eating clean 2.5 months ago and neither of us can believe how much better our bodies feel. It makes a serious difference from the inside out. Anyways, thanks so much for taking the time to blog and share recipes, its been a huge help!!

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    1. Yay! We are so glad to hear that! It is an amazing feeling to have energy and just feel good overall! Keep it up!

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  6. I needed to read this post! It is exactly what I'm going through now that I've started eating clean (and packing meals) 100% of the time. My hubby is so supportive but he still offers me the junk food and candy that HE likes to eat, and most of my friends and family are getting the idea that I have an "eating disorder". They don't understand this is a lifestyle change for being a healthier person and feeling better every day about myself. And as a mom, something I also want to do for my children! Thanks so much for being so supportive!! :o)

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    1. Keep on doing what you are doing Nicole! We STILL get this sometimes but it doesn't bother us anymore! Just know that you are doing what is right for YOU AND your children! Keep up the hard work!

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  7. I've been a vegetarian for almost 4 years now. I love it! I feel much cleaner, and when I realized how gross greasy meats made me feel when I ate them, I became even happier with my decision. I've received a LOT of criticism for being vegetarian, though. I don't know how many times I've been asked if I get enough protein, ugh. The most common reaction I get is people thinking I'm going to judge them like I'm an undercover agent for PETA or something. I've found the best thing to do is to not make people feel like you are judging them for what they're eating. The only person's diet I need to be concerned with is my own. Berating people for eating meat makes people think all vegetarians are like that, and that couldn't be further from the truth. Just gotta keep up with it no matter what people might have to say about it! :)

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  8. I agree totally. When I was at my goal weight two years ago following bfl eating clean 6 meals & training six days a week, I had energy & felt happier. Then comments would start 'you don't need to workout', or 'don't lose any more weight', or saying I was a bag of bones!, I was toned and looked fantastic. Slowly started listening to all these people & have now put on 10kg & stopped training, eating junk. I love this blog, very motivational. I have been eating clean now for two weeks and am working out 4 days a week (building up slowly) & starting to feel great again.

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  10. Any advice on how to handle coworkers who are less than understanding? Food is a social event and can greatly impact your career. I am fortunate to have many supportive friends and family members, but have suffered career set-backs because of my clean eating. I assume vegetarians and recovering alcoholics experience the same stigma. Any advice would be really appreciated!

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  11. I've been eating clean for the past 2 weeks & today I gave in to not-so-good food and Whoa! I feel like YUCK! I crashed at 2 p.m. Having tummy issues & a headache. Makes me want the" eat clean" lifestyle even more. Must make good habits and stick with them.

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