Every day I have someone share their challenges (or excuses) when it comes to clean eating. And it’s usually associated with a family member injecting their negative views/biases against the merits of clean eating. This can be a husband complaining about cost, children complaining about flavor, or friends complaining about time. The person trying to navigate these negative nellies often are not equipped with the knowledge in how to circumvent these situations. I want to give you some tips on how to respond to these comments by first understanding what it will take for these types of people to ‘get it’. I often refer to this as the tap, punch, or knockout.
Tap, Punch or Knockout: the Differences
A tap is a gentle cue that your body gives you throughout the day based on slight aches/pains, indigestion, bloating, headaches etc. A ‘tapper’ listens to the cues and starts to look at what they’re consuming, their schedule/patterns and they start to implement changes to help solve the problem. The goal is to stop the symptoms before they lead into something more serious.
A punch is when it takes a major diagnosis such as an autoimmune or cancer condition before a person gets serious about making changes to their lifestyle and diet choices. You hear all the time how someone ‘changed their diet’ AFTER their diagnosis. I can guarantee you that the person received a lot of taps along the way before they got that ‘punch in the face’. There’s always hope but the journey tends to be longer and with more twists & turns.
A knockout is when you get a devastating diagnosis, and you know you should make changes but still refuse. Recently, I had someone that is getting tested for colon cancer (such news is beyond a tap and more like a punch) but they will still not make the necessary changes to help their body through their possible cancer journey. It’s sad and maddening but you can’t want ‘this’ more than them. They must want it more than anything else and if that’s not the case, there’s nothing you can do but continue to lead by example and do “you”!
Tips for Responding
So here are my tips on how to respond to the negative nellies when you’re starting your clean eating journey and have been tapped, punched or knocked out.
- Figure out which one of the 3 options I listed above apply to you before you continue to engage. If you’ve been knocked out, move on. They don’t understand the severity of your problem and they are not worth your effort.
- For a tap or punch, no matter the excuse or complaint they offer, respond with “in comparison to what?” For example, if they say it’s too expensive, then you respond back with “expensive in comparison to what?” They usually don’t have a response because clean eating isn’t more expensive. Especially after you factor in all the junk supplements/medications often consumed to counter the symptoms of poor diet choices (fiber options, sleep-aids, indigestion pills, etc.). They may need a bit more time before they buy-in to your lifestyle choices. But that doesn’t mean you give up, you keep going.
- Lead by example. That’s the best way for anyone to see the value of clean eating. Your vibrant energy, clear skin, and overall lean and sculpted look will tell the tale.
If you’re like me and want to save everyone…STOP! I had to learn the hard way that it’s not possible. Save yourself first, lead by example and change will happen for those that desire it.
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