Who influences you?

Last week I did a round trip of nearly 800 miles to visit a friend and her new baby. It involved being awake for 23 hours of the day. But some folks are worth going the distance for, aren’t they? This friend isn’t the one from uni, the one from school days or even the one that made the cut to play a ‘part’ in my wedding. She’s just one that’s played an important part in other ways.

Essential new baby shot – well worth travelling 40o miles and back for, right?

Isla Collage

This was someone I worked with. Someone I also worked out with. Someone that would tell me my clothes were ill fitting, my bra straps were too loose, commend my efforts when I attempted to lean out a bit (rather than provide some painful “oh but you don’t need to” obligatory rubbish), pushed me to go on a date with the guy I wasn’t overly sure about (yet am now married to…), sent a long gossipy and distracting email at a time when I needed it most. She also LOVED to wax lyrical about Paleo and clean eating.

And that’s where the connection in this post comes… So many clean eating journeys are met with resistance from our social circles at that time.

What do you mean you don’t want to go out on all night benders anymore?

Since when did cupcakes (and gluten free at that) become a rare treat?

Are you seriously running to the restaurant?

And the one so, so many clean eaters will identify with.. You can’t possibly eat THAT for breakfast, that’s just $%@£-ing weird!, normally said whilst cradling a spoon over a bowl of diabetes-inducing Special K… 

You’re the product of the people around you. Why let others throw you off track? Don’t apologise for your own drive, motivation and determination to do something different. Stick with it. Those that respect you will back you every inch of the way.

I have the friend that totally gets why at an all you can eat pancake restaurant in the Caribbean I pay over the odds for scrambled egg instead; the girls that book restaurants starting their email with “is it a cheat meal or not?”; the work colleague that ate a microscopic fillet of white fish and some steamed greens when I invited her round for a meal once; the husband that has gladly amused himself whilst I’ve made trips to the gym – including on honeymoon; the Twitter pal that compares notes on Tupperware contents as if it were a game of top trumps.

Often people judge what they don’t always understand. Take time to tell people why you’re doing what you’re doing (and this doesn’t have to be just clean eating) and you’ll often be surprised to see their attitude change. But above all, surround yourself with the supportive folk, stay strong, determined and don’t let anyone stray you off track*

*unless it’s your breast feeding new Mummy friend who tells you cake with tea is her religion these days so you’d better darn well have a piece…

9 thoughts on “Who influences you?

  1. I recognise so much in this. The amount of times I get told “how can you eat that?”, “I could never live my life like that” (which in turn is ultimately a questioning of my ability to) and such like is something to behold at times. Ironically though, a few months into it, it’s surprising how many of the most vocal that regard have begun asking for advice and help.

    I do think though on so many levels it’s positive to have your views on approaches challenged if the person is kind and willing to be understanding of difference of opinion. Like you said, worthwhile explanations can help those questioning, but perhaps more importantly having to present your goals/approach means you get better at understanding it through expression. There is a huge difference between doing and teaching, so having to explain to people what you are trying to do is an extra string to your bow and will help you achieve.

    I was lucky I had Ruth on the end of an email/phone/talk, as well as my wife who was a critical friend of what I was doing but was totally supportive. A lot of people don’t have that support though and it can be daunting swimming against what is often a social tide. On a wider point it does make you realise how much societal trends around food and diet are skewed towards eating things that aren’t good for you.

    • It was a pleasure to support you on your journey Marcus. You’ve taught yourself and others so much along the way. I got filthy looks (from an over weight fellow passenger on the National Express the other day eating not one, but two Mars bars) when I dared to eat some squid lettuce wraps. Will she look on quite so critically when she’s battling her inevitable diabetes issues? I’d imagine not… Thanks for checking in. Great to have your opinions.

  2. Oooh oooh my first ever comment on your blog! Totally agree you need to have great support around you. I’m nor on the paleo diet but have been doing WW for 3 yrs (lost 3+ st) and am all about healthy eating- lots of fruit/veg/lean protien. I do eat ‘junk’ but when I do it’s a treat. I think we’ve gotten into the habit of having what we want when we want it and that’s just not a good idea. So when I do have a chocolate bar or cake it really is a treat- one I only allow myself once a month if that! It’s yummy and I enjoy it much more for it.

    I gave up bread last week- am a total addict! I made this decision while hubs was in Tel Aviv for work. Imagine his shock when he came home to an empty breadbox and my proclamation that we are now a bread free house. After the initial resistance he’s totally on board as he knows it’s my gateway drug to bad eating habits. On week 2 of no bread in the house (although I have had it when I’ve gone out to lunch). It’s all about small steps for me.

    • New commenters are always so very welcome, Lindy! Hello there. There’s so much to be said on the point you raise about being grateful for our food and also the whole debate around the need v want. Well done for recognising that bread’s perhaps not the one for you and I love your tales of ‘returning husband in empty bread bin shocker’. Thanks for following, it’s great to have you on board.

  3. Pingback: This week I…(‘ve been a bad blogger but a good sister) « Let Her Eat Clean

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