Here are a few definitions of “offending”:
- causing problems or displeasure.
- relating to the committing of an illegal act or the breaking of a rule.
On both fronts, we do NOT want to engage in any activities or behaviors that would be considered “offensive” or offending others.
Let’s now bring this concept to the social arena, such as going out to dinner with a group of friends, attending a party/event at a family member’s home or gathering with colleagues at a work holiday party or retirement celebration. Most of these situations will involve the availability of food and alcohol containing beverages.
At these gatherings, we often find ourselves being coaxed by others to eat foods and drink alcohol to conform with everyone else’s behaviors. The friends you are out to dinner with are all ordering alcohol drinks before dinner and eating that warm bread that was brought to the table. You will be encouraged to do the same. Your elderly family member that spent time making that great looking cake will implore you to join everyone in eating a piece. The colleague being honored at the retirement ceremony will ask that you join her/him in a toast of the champagne that was popped open for the event.
At these times we often give in to the weight-derailing eating/drinking behaviors because we are afraid we will be “offending others” if we do not. It is much easier to eat the cake or down the drink rather than take the time to explain the reasons why you are trying to control weight, As much as we would like to join the eat/drink fest, we really do not want to engage in these activities that will hinder our weight control plans. I would like to flip this around a bit. Poor weight control is not like having diabetes or hypertension where people cannot see you have this issue. Perhaps, it is sort of offensive to YOU that anyone will try to coax you into activities that derail your plan and goal to become healthier and happier via weight control.
YOU are NOT offending others by politely saying “no” when coaxed to engage in the eating and drinking behaviors that will obviously hinder your weight control efforts. Please try to not to allow this fear of offending others to creep into your psyche during your long-term weight control journey. Doing so will make it much easier to be at social and family events without fearing that your entire diligent week will be ruined by one day of straying off the plan that will bring you much better health and happiness.