Using Peer Pressure to my Advantage
Sunday, August 05, 2012
Because I travel for my job, I eat lots and lots of meals in restaurants with my co-workers. I recently went on a week and half long trip where three meals a day were eaten in the company of my co-workers. I continue to be amazed by the number of comments I get from others about the way I eat. My theory is that people are happier when things stay the same. So when I first made the change to “eating healthy” just over two years ago, the people around me had a lot to say about it. Now that they are used to seeing me eat that way, their comments serve to keep me focused on my goals.
For instance, everyone knows by now that I don’t eat the bread that’s served in the restaurant, and if the bread basked is placed in front of me, I will move it. Now, I don’t even have to bother anymore. When the breadbasket comes, my coworkers keep it away from me with a comment along the lines of “everyone knows Kellee doesn’t eat the bread”. It strikes me that if I ever DID want to have a piece of bread, I would have to face peer pressure to get it. The same comments that made it difficult for me to make this change in the first place would now make it harder for me to take up unhealthy habits. I love it!
My co-workers expect me to order the healthiest thing on the menu, and they are always curious what I will choose. Last week at a large group dinner, we had only two choices, steak or fish. Everyone assumed I would order the fish. They were shocked when I ordered the filet mignon. I explained that the fish was coated in macadamia nuts, which sounded like it would be a high calorie choice When the meal came, I only ate about 3 ounces of the beef. I ate the veggies that came with the meal, no potato or bread. Everyone relaxed.
When we sat down to a group dinner at 7:45, a coworker reminded me that I had a rule that I don’t eat after 8pm. When I was faced with a buffet that had fried chicken as the only protein source, people watched to make sure I removed the skin before eating it. No matter how good that dessert tray looks, I’d better not get one or I will have to explain myself!!
One thing my peer-pressuring coworkers continue to point out is that my daily Diet Coke habit is not consistent with my healthy lifestyle. And they’re right. So with any luck, this peer pressure from my coworkers will ultimately help me to give up this bad habit.
Honestly, the level of scrutiny and interest and comments about what I eat sometimes gets on my nerves. But usually I don’t mind, and I do think it works in my favor now that people are used to seeing me make good choices and expect me to continue to do so.
My plan is to let this peer pressure work in my favor!