Today I am going to teach you a valuable lesson: how to avoid becoming estranged from your grandmother when you turn down her homemade Christmas cookies. You may be asking, “Why do I need to know this?” Well, let me explain.
I have quite a bit of experience with turning down sweets because this will be the second holiday season that finds me abstaining from desserts. The first time was when I went an entire year without desserts (and subsequently lost 60 pounds), and this time is because I decided that I wanted to go for a stretch of time without dessert again as a means of tuning up my self-control. I have learned a lot about saying “no” to food that I want to eat, especially during that first year, so I wanted to impart some of that wisdom to you, my readers.
The question that I get time and time again when I am going without dessert is, “How can you say “no” to someone who is offering you dessert?” This is a valid concern and is incredibly relevant during the holiday season. You know, the time when desserts flow faster than oil after that BP “leak” a few years ago. So after some thought, I have broken it down into three tips:
- You are not obligated to eat dessert. I know that it can seem almost to border on cruel to turn down a dessert that someone is offering you, but keep in mind that it is not. You don’t need to be rude when you do it, but remember that it is okay to decline a dessert when someone asks you to indulge. I remember how I used to feel like I owed it to the grinning person holding out a plate of cookies to eat the dessert. But somewhere along the way, I came to terms with the fact that I can graciously say “no” without wrecking the self-esteem of the person offering it.
- Be confident with your decision to say “no.” It is harder to argue with someone who is certain about their reasons for saying “no,” so try your hardest to say it in a way that is self-assured. You certainly don’t want to sound arrogant, but you do want to convey that you are happy with your decision to refrain from having dessert. By giving off this air of confidence, you will find that people will be less apt to continue pestering you to “just try one bite of the fruitcake.” Trust me, eating the fruitcake will not be worth wrecking your personal challenge.
- Remember your reason for going without. It can be easy to fall into the martyrdom mindset where you start pitying yourself or feeling jealous towards the people who are happily shoving their fifth cookie into their mouths (I see you, nephews). But if you are like me, you made this decision to go without because you know that it is helping you live a healthier life, and that is something that the best chocolate pie in the world couldn’t compare to, so don’t forget that.
I can’t promise that going without dessert will be easy. In fact, it probably won’t be. But I can assure you that it will be rewarding. Knowing that you had the self-control to say “no” to dessert during the holidays, a time when even the most Scrooge-like people seem to take joy in peddling baked goodies to everyone in a 10-mile radius, will make you feel like you’ve just accomplished something incredible. Because you have.