"I couldn't do what you're doing."
About a month ago, I didn't think I would have made it this long without dairy, sugar, grains, or starches (and of course preservatives/artificial additives). I was worried that I wouldn't be able to show enough discipline.
I'm glad I've proved myself wrong.
My response - You can do it if you want to and if you put your mind to it. All it takes is a bit of discipline, organization, and dedication. That's it.
This is one of the comments that annoys me most. Why am I crazy? What is crazy about making a decision and sticking to it? I've found it a bit hard not to get annoyed or snap at those who have reacted this way. Would you tell someone who has given up smoking or doing drugs or some other addictive, not-good-for-them behavior (such as eating unhealthily!) that they were crazy for making a lifestyle change? Why are bad eating habits viewed so differently?
My response - I'm not crazy. I'm just taking one more step and cleaning up my eating and working towards my goal of wanting to be healthy, which is a goal that I think is worth 'sacrificing' a bag of chips or a chunk of chocolate for.
"One bite won't kill you."
It's never about just one bite. When I politely declined to taste a piece of cake, the response was one that looked at me as if I was paranoid that 1 bite would make me put on weight. It wasn't that at all; it's not even that having cake would have cost me a point in the challenge; it's not even that I feared one bite would lead to several more bites. I just didn't want any. Full-stop!
My response - No, it won't kill me, but I don't want any. I have no desire to taste something just for the sake of tasting it.
"It sounds like punishment to me."
In the beginning, I was very apprehensive. I didn't view it as punishment, but I did think that I was making a big switch over night. I think it boils down to what is important to you. Changes won't happen without some hard work. I was going to also write 'and with some sacrifices,' but it really hasn't been a sacrifice. It's just been a change. Plus the rewards for sticking to the program are unbeatable. It may be difficult in the beginning, but it's worth it in the end!
My response - It's not punishment. It's a conscious change that I've made to better my life. Anything that will help me improve my health can't be/isn't seen as punishment.
"You must have a lot of time on your hands."
I do have some time on my hands, but more importantly, I make the time. It's worth it to wake up a bit earlier and make sure that I have a healthy and filling breakfast. It's worth buying fresh vegetables each week to make sure that my meals taste good (that also helps it not feel like a punishment).
My response - You've got to make time for what's important to you. Usually preparing healthy foods takes a lot less time than you realize. It's about having healthy ingredients on hand and pushing past the urge to open a bag of chips (which shouldn't be in the house anyway!!) and grab some fresh ingredients and start chopping. Preparing a salad at home will take less time than driving to a drive-thru, ordering, and collecting your meal. Plus, think of all the time saved at the gym for not having to work off thousands of empty, unhealthy calories!
I didn't wean myself into these changes. I just did them, and I've survived so far. If you want to do it, you can. I'm doing this challenge on my own, for myself. I have several people around me who support my decisions and are rooting for me. I have some others who are shaking their heads thinking that I'm doing this as part of a fad diet or as a way to really cut calories. It's unfortunate that they don't see the real reason behind what I'm doing ... I'm sure they'll be able to see the reasons once they decide to actually take care of their weight and view these questions from a different perspective.
There is no quick-fix; there is no magic pill. You've got to make the changes and believe that they will work and that it's worth the effort. I think shifting the perspective from looking at these changes as a 'sacrifice' to that of an 'investment' in health is a good first step. The bottom line is - you've got to be dedicated and disciplined.