One little thing leads to another, and before long, the world has changed!
Last week I was talking with the woman who works next to me. Yes, she really exists – I don’t make these little chats of our’s up!
Anyway, Jenny – not her real name – tells me her husband has started to eat healthier food. Now, I had met him and he’s not overweight. In fact, he’s slim. So, why is he changing his diet? So, taking the direct approach, I asked her.
She was stumped into silence and admitted, “I don’t know.” Okay. He’s changed his diet, and there wasn’t much discussion around it. It wouldn’t be hard for him to do something about it since in their marriage he does most of the grocery shopping.
Jenny came into work Monday morning and told me, “I know why my husband changed his diet.” Now, I’m all ears expecting to hear about his commitment to health, or something. “He saw me make a few adjustments in my diet and decided he should begin to eat healthier, too.”
He wasn’t nagged or cajoled into it? (Not Jenny’s style.) He saw the example Jenny set and decided it was a good idea. So, what does Jenny eat? Whole grains. Vegetables. Fresh fruit. Sound familiar? You know – the basic lower carb diet – she just doesn’t know it as that. It’s just what she eats; and, now what her husband eats. It’s the basic Diabetes Diet. Wow – and they aren’t even Diabetics.
Why am I even mentioning this little conversation? It shows the power of setting an example and initiating change through influence. By doing something smart for her body, Jenny is influencing the people closest to her. That’s great stuff.
But, you know what? You can do it, too.
I hear from folks every week who want to get their families eating in a healthier manner. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to be alone in their diet. Or, maybe they want their family to be healthier. The reason isn’t important. The fact they want better lives for those around them is important.
So, how do you influence folks closest to you? By modeling behavior. Do what you want them to do, and sooner or later most folks will take the hint.
How do I get my husband to eat smarter? Show him the benefits by doing it yourself, first.
How do I get my wife to eat smarter? By doing it first and let her comment on your weight loss.
How do I get my kids to eat a little smarter? Hey, they’re kids…a little smarter is not a bad start. Include them in menu planning. Give them the information. Educate them on how to read nutrition labels. They will adapt pretty fast when they are part of the process; in fact, they will help you remain consistent and consistency will lead to control. Trust me, there is nothing quite like a child asking, “Should you be eating THAT?” (Suddenly, I’m not so sure about including the kids…kidding.)
The power of influence really works. A little real world example. My wife was ill today and spent it in bed trying to feel better for work tomorrow. I came home after work and made dinner and served here. Then, I had my dinner in the kitchen using a paper plate. Do you think I would ever have sued a paper plate if she were present? No way. She influences me to use civilized eating utensils. Yeah, it really happened and the plate is in the trash, now.
My wife used to ask me why I didn’t serve her the same food I ate; or, why was it okay for her to have potato chips, and not me. Well, she does not have Diabetes, for one thing. But, she saw my weight loss and decided she should be eating the same way I ate. Now, we eat the same way.
It is amazing how effective positive influence can be!
Influence your loved ones by showing them the benefits – you are their living example. Don’t nag. Or, cajole (don’t you love that word?). Just show them and know you might be preventing them from ever having Diabetes. Or, helping them fight Prediabetes. And, wouldn’t that be great.
Before long, they will be helping you to fight your War On Diabetes. You will have enlisted them into your army, and with their help, how can you lose? Control is just around the corner!
As always, thank you for reading.