You may think it’s a stretch to equate pride with healthy eating and nutrition but pride can really undermine someone’s best intentions. I mean look at what Kanye was wearing during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade- if that wasn’t a fashion disaster of epic proportions stemming from pride, I don’t know what was.
The holiday party season is upon us which for many people trying to maintain healthy eating habits, is a difficult task. And I have been coaching people through this season for 15 years now and the excuse is always the same: “I have to blend in” or “How can I not have….” ” I may insult the host if…” That is pure unmitigated pride speaking. Pride is not being honest. Pride is an over inflated sense of self that allows for making not necessarily the right decision to achieve your goal.
Let’s look at Mike, “The Situation” from Jersey Shore. Now, I must admit I got this example from my trainer this morning at 5AM- yes, training twice in less than 24 hours is because of my pride; but let me stick to pointing out others. Mike often goes home alone from the club because he sabotages his chances at success with the girls he picks/hooks up with out of sheer prideful ignorance. How can someone with abs that everyone wants, be so self-unaware- too much time at the gym maybe?
However, those excuses are what gets us time after time. And really, that’s all it is- excuses coming from pride. You will not insult your host or look differently because of positive choices you make. They are your choices to make and those who make you feel any differently are caught up in their own pride- sort of like the kids in the playground who used to try to get you to do something you didn’t want to do; but you went along with it anyway. How did that behavior work out for you – Nelson.
Pride is prevalent at this time of the year, especially this week because it is the time of giving. Many are out shopping for their family, friends and loved ones and take great joy out of the purchases they make. Yet, are they really necessary? Is that purchase to make you feel better about yourself when really, you have to max out another credit card to do it. Or is that purchase about the other person- is that what they want/need or is it an unrealistic desire?
And what about charitable giving? Why is that this is always the last thing anyone thinks about? There are certain celebrities that give away millions of dollars without saying a word about it until it is found out by the press. Madonna is one of those; whereas, the minute Oprah gives away a dime, it is shouted from every rooftop- again prideful behavior. And don’t even let me go into the whole Gayle/ Oprah situation- allegedly.
But perhaps we need to “swallow” our pride- there is a reason for that expression. That is what allows us to make the right decision for just about anything. On Boardwalk Empire this week, Mr. Rothstein from Chicago who was in danger of getting expedited for rigging the World Series, needed to ask Nucky Thompson, the treasurer of Atlantic City and someone very politically connected for a favor. Then, after the terms were agreed, he also asked for an end to the animosity between the groups so that they could work together to achieve greater evil. Since it was the season finale, we’ll see how long that lasts…. And whether that was even a good thing- good television for sure.
But in terms of putting our pride aside and maintaining our healthy living during this holiday season- we need to be less like Mr. Rothstein and more like Buffy the Vampire Slayer who threw herself into a chasm between alternative universes in order to save the world. She didn’t survive but managed to come back to life- but that is another story. Netflix the series- it’s so worth it. She sacrificed everything to stay true to herself and her calling.
That is what we need to do. We need to make sacrifices that lead us to our goal; not interfere. I have pride in myself when I pass up that Christmas cookie or don’t overindulge at a party and maintain the integrity of the nutritional lifestyle that I know is healthy and what works. That is something to take pride in. Doing the right thing should make you feel pride- like Dr. Who (yes, I am a big fan of BBC America). He is another character who sacrifices everything to save humanity- all I am asking you to do is not eat sugar and donate to charity (perhaps vitamin angels- one of my favorites). Be more like him and less like his arch-nemeses the Darlicks who are so filled with pride that all other life forms, “will be terminated.”
So, to paraphrase one of my favorite daytime talk show moments, when Ellen asked Jennifer Aniston whether she used her power for good or evil, I ask that you use pride for good this holiday season. Take control over what you do, try not to gain weight, eat the healthy food choices; and yes, you can sit on a plane for two hours without eating, do only what you can afford to do and please remember to give those less fortunate than ourselves.
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Until Next Time………