The worst part isn’t the hunger. Nor the cravings. Nor even missing out on social functions. No, all of that is mere distraction. As anybody who has stuck with a rigorous and restrictive diet for any stretch of time can attest, the absolute worst part of dieting, is the ball-busting.
Whether from family, friends, or perhaps even your own kids, being taunted, questioned, and coaxed while trying to adhere to a strict diet—well, it just sucks.
And even though we were all taught that peer pressure is closely associated with adolescence—you know, that impressionable period of your life when it was easy to talk your friends into doing stupid shit—turns out, peer pressure never really goes away no matter how old or how awesome you become. Nope, the peer pressure just takes different forms: religious guilt-tripping, neurotic whining about one’s mental health and “needing balance” in their life, blah blah blah.
So, IF you are on a strict diet plan, there’s a good chance that somebody in your life is giving you a hard time and trying to get you to cave, fail, give in, and cheat on said plan. And to that end, I have devised this helpful guide to give appropriate responses to friends, family, and coworkers, when they target your food intake as the topic of peer pressure:
CHALLENGE: You’re simply wasting away, and it doesn’t look healthy. You’re all skin and bones at this point—you need to eat!
RESPONSE: No, I’m not wasting away, I’m just stripping away unnecessary body fat so that I can look like a sculpture. And I only appear to be “skin and bones” to you because you are viewing me through your fat goggles. See, it’s all relative—because you’re in such hideous shape, me being ripped looks like “skin and bones” to you.
When, in reality, I’m not skin and bones—you’re just excessively fat. That’s all.
CHALLENGE: Oh, you can cheat on your diet on Friday night, your trainer will never know!
RESPONSE: While that’s true, *I* will know, and will have to live with knowing that I caved in to appease your whining. And furthermore, I’ll know that I’m spending thousands of dollars on working with that trainer, in order to achieve my goals, and I just blew all of that money for a slice of pizza. But most importantly, while it’s true that my trainer will never know, the mirror doesn’t lie. So convince everybody in your world that you stuck to your diet plan, but just hope you never have to get naked in front of your spouse with the lights on again—THEY will know that you’re full of shit, even if nobody else does.
CHALLENGE: C’mon, it’s just one bite, it’s not going to kill you!
RESPONSE: That’s right, one bite, or even one slip up, isn’t a big deal per se. I’ll still be able to achieve my goal, and do so on time. BUT, I prefer doing things in a principled fashion. If I allow myself one bite, then why not allow myself two bites? Or three bites? Where would you suggest I draw the line? Perhaps when I decide I want to start murdering people, I’ll only murder the one, on the rationalization that, c’mon, it’s only one person out of seven billion—the planet will never miss that one person! I don’t know, sounds like it’s more efficient to just be consistent, so I don’t need to worry about all of that murkiness. But you, go right ahead, kill your one person, um, I mean, have your one cheat. No big deal.
CHALLENGE: You sure you don’t want a bite? It’s reeeeaaaallly good!
RESPONSE: Oh, I have no doubt that it’s good. It looks and smells amazing. I also have no doubt that your soul deflates a little bit every single time you look at yourself naked in the mirror. So, you know, priorities.
CHALLENGE: What, is there something wrong with my cooking?
RESPONSE: While social etiquette dictates that I say, “No, your cooking is amazing”, the reality is, yes, there is something wrong with your cooking. Although the food tastes great, it’s a sloppy greasy heart attack in a pan, and you have likely stripped a good twenty years off of your life by eating it incessantly. And if you really love your children as much as you claim you do, you’ll let me do my health thing, and stop trying to poison me with your delicious-but-deadly dishes.
CHALLENGE: Man, ever since you started dieting, you’re no fun anymore.
RESPONSE: This is true. I have a very serious goal that I am focused on right now. It will pass in a few months, and then I can be “fun” again, in the mindless fashion that you are implying—we’ll go out and eat, drink, and be merry until the cows come home. But right now, I have this thing that is important to me—like, really important. So important, that I’m willing to forego some short-term fun in order to achieve it. You should try doing that some time, it might lead you out of your frat-boy existence, and permit you to actually accomplish something meaningful before you die.
CHALLENGE: Gee, that chicken and broccoli looks delicious… said nobody ever.
RESPONSE: And your fupa brings all the boys to the yard… said the same class of people.
CHALLENGE: When will you be normal again?
RESPONSE: By “normal”, you mean “average”—frumpy, out of shape, eating purely by instinct for carnal pleasure rather than for a specific purpose? I dunno, I haven’t really given it any thought, but I’m sure I’ll get back to mediocre someday. Will you still be there waiting for me? Survey says, YES!
So there you have it people, a brief survey of responses to give your ball-busting peers while in diet mode. Though not exhaustive, this will hopefully at least point you in the right direction of what to say when everybody in your life is out to sabotage you. Happy dieting, peeps!
-David A. Johnston
David Johnston is the founder and lead trainer of TEAM Warrior Within. You can also listen to him weekely on the GEARD Up podcast. ( GEARDUp.com ) David works with clients ranging from the everyday person just trying to lose weight and get healthy, local and national bodybuilding and physique competitors, to IFBB professional athletes.
David lives and breathes all things related to physique transformation, and has devoted nearly half of his life to passionately studying and educating himself to be the absolute best at what he does. His intensity in the gym is matched only by the passion he gives to his clients.