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Dealing With Food Pushers

Posted Nov 12 2012 4:44am

I was recently asked to make a dessert for a ladies event I attended, so I made an angel food cake and brought strawberries for people to put on top. Although there is no truly “healthy” angel food cake that I’ve ever found, at least it is lower in calories and fat than a dessert like chocolate cookies!

At the event, the ladies had a nice (although not tasty) meal together and shared some good laughs and fellowship. We all helped the hostess clear the table and we all got ready to leave. When I went to the kitchen to get my cake plate, I noticed there was some cake left. I offered to leave the rest of the cake and strawberries with the hostess, but she refused. I took the cake home and tossed it in the trash without really thinking about it.

Later that night, I began remembering how almost impossible it used to be for me to refuse to food that someone had made and was trying to make me eat.

I didn’t find it hard when I was losing weight to refuse dry Kroger cookies or a frozen pie, but if I was at a relative or a friend’s house and they were offering me the a piece of homemade dessert to take home, or a serving of a special, homemade, fat-filled side dish to eat, I had a hard time saying no.

Oftentimes that friend or relative would say as I was trying to refuse the food, “But I made this cake special for you because I knew you liked it.” I’d often find myself not really knowing what to do.

Did I take the food just because she made it knowing I’d like it, or did I refuse the food and risk hurting her feelings?

I honestly don’t have the “right” answer for this. You may react differently than I did, but here’s what I finally decided to do during my successful weight loss journey. When faced with a dessert or food pushed, I had to make an instant decision. There were four alternatives as I saw it:

1.  Take the food home or put it on my plate but not eat it.

2.  Take the food and eat it all.

3. Take the food and taste it.

4.  Refuse to take the food at all.

I usually chose the fourth option, which was often the most uncomfortable choice at the moment. However, that moment of uncomfortableness passed relatively quickly, and then I didn’t have to think about it anymore that evening or later when I got home.

I came to the point that if I knew that particular food did not fit in with my eating plan, then I did not have to eat it just to make someone else feel comfortable.

What I always fine interesting is how often food pushers will invite you to indulge in whatever food or drink they think you should have. How many times have you heard these phrases?

“Are you sure?” “Here, let me wrap some up for you.” “But you like brownies with frosting“ “Why don’t you want any?” “You’re not trying to diet again are you?”

Sometimes it was almost comical how hard they would try and give me the food I so obviously did not want. Usually, after I repeatedly, but politely said, “No, thank you” they eventually gave up, and turned their food pushing onto someone else.

Uncomfortable? Yes, sometimes. But I never regretted not eating the food I didn’t want in the first place, rather it was a cookie or a green bean casserole. The times where I gave in when I didn’t want to were the times I regretted it.

What’s your feeling on this topic of food pushers? It’s a sensitive one but very timely with Thanksgiving next week and Christmas right around the corner. Diane

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