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Hold Your Ground

They’ll be with you at a restaurant, a bar, or perhaps a home party. Everyone has arrived in good spirits. There are no problems to speak of at the moment. You’re asked what you want to drink or eat, and you request something quite modest. Maybe it's a glass of water or a salad. The next thing you know, they’re stunned and taken aback that you have no intention of getting drunk or eating yourself into oblivion.

You reassure them that everything’s o.k. It’s just that you’re being more careful about how you eat, and you’ve started working out.

They look at you like you’re from another planet. Why in the world would you be trying to level yourself up? They implore you to lighten up and stop worrying about indulging a little, even though you’re not worried about anything. They act as if you’re stealing their fun, even though you never suggested they shouldn’t indulge.

There’s nothing wrong with you. Understand that most people struggle with discipline, so when you exercise discipline in their presence, they feel second-rate. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. They think destroying their health is more fun than preserving it. They can’t hold back and don’t know how to pace themselves. For them, enough is not sufficient, and a little feels like utter deprivation.

Hold your ground. Mediocrity has a gravitational pull that will suck you down if your mind is not fortified against it. Don’t drink or eat something you’ve intentionally and smartly cut back on just because they feel insecure. If your limit is one glass of wine, enjoy one glass and then switch to something non-alcoholic. If you’re cutting back on deep-fried food, ask to have whatever isn’t deep-fried. It’s your prerogative, not theirs.

Sayonara until next time.

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