It came to my attention that some people might not realize how “funny” they are when they make little small-talk comments about your health habits. When you are a “healthy” person in a sea of “normal” people, they say some ridiculous things! Here are some examples of phrases I’ve heard (so. many. times.), what I immediately think in my head (which I…usually…don’t say out loud), and some thoughts on what to say in response.
#1- “Oh, you wont eat the (insert delicious treat here) because you hate sugar.” False. I do not hate sugar. How can anyone? It literally lights up your brain with dopamine! What they mean to say is, “you won’t eat this because you are committed to your diet and I’m jealous and/or trying to justify my bad choices.”
I recommend responding with a laugh and something light, like a,”yep. Sugar is the devil!” Or something like that. This is not the moment to get on your soap box and preach that moderation is key and balance is the spice of life. Just laugh with them and let it go.
#2- “I wish I was as thin/skinny as you!” Lady (or Gentleman), you can be. It’s called being consistent with your eating and exercise routine! Also, I’m not skinny, I’m LEAN. I’m STRONG. I work hard, and I know you mean well, but saying I’m skinny, or a twig is not a compliment. Not to me anyway.
Similar response here. Just start with a simple thank you and maybe take it a step further by trying to encourage them. Tell them that they can get healthier too, and you’d love to talk to them more about it.
#3- “You’d be so proud of me, I had (insert”healthy” food) with my pizza/burger/lunch today!” First off, I’m happy that I am making you want to be healthier…but simply adding “healthy” foods, like almonds, to a bad diet won’t fix anything. You can’t add to the pile of calories without taking something away and expect to see a good change!
Maybe say something positive with this one too. Again, some people just don’t understand the concept of balance and how just adding more “good stuff” won’t fix the bad. Be patient with them. Encourage them to learn. Tell them to talk to a professional, like me.
#4- “I wish I had time to workout like you!” News flash. We all have 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely. Do you think it’s an accident that my alarm goes off an hour an a half before you even hit snooze the first time? Excuses don’t burn calories. It sucks sometimes, but if it is important to you, you WILL find the time for it. Embrace the suck!
So, for this comment, I usually just tell them (in a nice way) that it’s tough but I make it a priority to get my workout in. If they still try and say that they never have time, remind them that SOME exercise is better than none. Most people don’t need, or want, to workout 2 hours a day like me. 30 minutes a few times a week, or even a brisk walk during lunch, is waaaaay better than making excuses. If I know them fairly well, or am feeling…saucy…I might make a comment like, “oh, you don’t have time? How was the new season of black mirror?” They’ll get the point.
#5- “I made this for you cuz it’s “healthy” and I know you’ll love it.” So many times I’ve had people make me special dessert or treats (mostly because of my severe peanut allergy) under the guise of “Joey friendly” or “healthy” and most of the time all they did was substitute white flour for almond flour or something. Guess what? Sometimes the healthy ingredients, like almond flour or coconut oil, have MORE calories than the “less healthy” alternatives. Plus, my diet is usually a bit lower in fat, and most desserts are higher in fat, especially with the “keto-kraze” going on, and so they think their “no carb” cookie is healthy, when it has 40 grams of fat in it…that’s 360 calories just from the fat.
I know they mean well, and I usually end up eating a little bit and taking the rest home where I can dispose of it in peace. They are really trying to do a good thing and show you that they love and appreciate you. Don’t be a jerk. Enjoy the dish, in moderation, and if you feel really bad about it, take it home and give it to another friend.
At the end of the day, people will make assumptions because of your healthy lifestyle. Understand that it is part of life and always try and respond with kindness. They won’t always understand why we do what we do, but hey, at least someone is noticing that you are different! So don’t get frustrated, after all, they are probably just jealous of your dedication! Use that as motivation and DFQ!