Against Her Will


    "I just HAD to do it… I really had NO choice in the matter!  I was there and they made me do it… what else was I to have done?!?  There was no way out!"

If you were to have just come in during that particular part of the conversation I was having with my client Beth (all names have been changed to protect not only the innocent, but the guilty) you probably would have thought that she was recounting her involvement in a drive-by shooting, a high-level game of espionage where the security of the nation was at stake, or at the very least her tacit submission of allowing Miley Cyrus to twerk while wearing next-to-nothing on a televised award show.  If you thought it was ANY of those things… I am sorry to tell you that you're wrong.  Beth was being forced… to eat a cupcake.    

    "That must have been a crazy experience for you…. Were they brandishing firearms while this happened?

    "Well… no…." Beth answered

    "Were they threatening to go all Tonya Harding on your kneecaps??"    

    "Errr… not really"

    "WHAT kind of torture were they perpetrating on you to make you cave?!?"

    Beth paused for a second… looked down at her feet and mumbled, "It was John's birthday."

    Now before you get all offended thinking that the next thing I'm about to say is that if you want to lose weight and get in shape you are never ever ever permitted to have a cupcake, joy, or a celebration ever again in this lifetime… let me just say… calm down.  I am absolutely pro-cupcakes, pro-joy and I love a good celebration.  But I think that all too often we get confused and feel that just because there are cupcakes (or doughnuts or cakeballs, or pie, or {fill in the blank}) around, we MUST partake.  We must EAT whatever it is to show our alliance with whatever it is everyone is celebrating.  And to that, I suggest we take a step back and examine our actions and our intent.

    "Oh, so you had a cupcake because it was John's birthday… that's fantastic! You absolutely should have a cupcake every now and then to celebrate a dear friends birthday! I bet you and John have had some fun times over the years huh?"    

    "Ummm, not really.  John works in accounting. I don't even know his last name.  In FACT… he wasn't even around when I had the cupcake.  Oh, and by cupcake, I mean I had 2."

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    Although Beth just told me that she had 2 cupcakes, at work, on a Monday afternoon to celebrate the birthday of someone she doesn't really even know… what she REALLY confessed is that she felt like it was easier to just have a cupcake or two at the expense of sacrificing her own goals that she was working hard to reach (she REALLY wanted to feel good about herself when she goes on her cruise in a couple of months) than it was to run the risk of offending someone.  I see it happen all too often, we sacrifice our own well-being so we don't potentially hurt someone's feelings.  But here's the thing, chances are, you're actually NOT going to hurt someone's feeling by not having a cupcake, or a piece of pizza or whatever it is that you don't really want.  Be honest with the situation at hand. You can say, "Happy Birthday John… I hope you have the most amazing year ever! Although I really can't have a cupcake right now, I very much appreciate the offer!"  Chances are… the only people who are going to be upset, are the people around you who choked down the dried out, day-old cupcakes and didn't have the courage to say, "No thank you".    

    I always tell my clients, "Your choices (whether it's food, exercise, sleep whatever) are either taking you TOWARDS your goals or FARTHER away… there is no neutral."    The thing is, if you let it, there will ALWAYS be a reason to have a cupcake (and I am using the word "cupcake" to mean whatever is being offered at the time that you don't really want and know you shouldn't REALLY have.)  It's up to YOU to take ownership over yourself and decide if having it is the right decision. Begin to think about the times you should just say, "Congratulations!" instead of, "Oh I know I shouldn't…but... give me just a small piece".  

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*As a general rule though... when and if you are ever presented with Ryan Gosling cupcakes... you should go ahead and have one.

 

 

 

 

Posted on February 16, 2014 .