We all have at least one person in our lives that is always trying to feed us. They offer us food ALL the time. It’s like they can’t stand to see us not eat something. Even if you show no desire at all to have it, they still feel like the need to push the food upon you.
These people are out there. And they are waiting to tempt and feed you.
In Weight Watchers we called them “food pushers” because that’s exactly what they do. But they don’t always have the same tactics.
Some bring food into work even though they know you can’t have it. They are the “tempters”. I’ve had people accuse me of “not being any fun” because I didn’t want to each what they brought in. Basically being belittled for not eating.. Sad but true.
Then there are the people who can’t stand to see you not eating or drinking when you are at their home for a visit. I’m from the south so I think this may be more of a “thing” down here. But I’m sure these people are spread throughout the county too. These food pushers are unrelenting in their attempts to feed you something… Bless their hearts, they just want you not to leave without a satisfied tummy – especially if you have a sweet tooth.
I had a great aunt we used to visit when I was in grade school. We would often go to her house on weekday afternoons, after school. But no matter when we went, she always gave us a snack. Once, we showed up and she realized that she didn’t have any cookies or treats to feed us. I could tell that it bothered her, so she gave us saltine crackers with cream cheese and a spicy jelly (made locally). It was SO good – as you can tell, I still remember it today. I can even remember where my sister and I sat in her kitchen to enjoy our snack while our mom visited with her.
Food (and our thoughts about it) can evoke such powerful feelings and memories for us.
I think that’s why there are food pushers out there. Some people think really positive thoughts when they feed others. It makes them feel good. It’s not about you, it’s about how you accepting their invitation to eat makes them feel.
Realizing this can help us turn down their invitations. It’s not easy of course. If you are like me, sometimes it can seem like you will hurt their feelings if you say no.
My strategy lately has been to sort of change the conversation. If you are open to sharing what you are doing to change your lifestyle in regard to food it could be helpful for the other person as well. I typically say that “I’m trying to stay away from flour and sugar, since I’ve stopped eating them I feel crummy when I do have some.”
Another strategy is just to insist that you aren’t hungry. This can end the conversation if the first statement I listed above turns into offers for “healthier” food. So many people really don’t understand what’s in food and don’t understand a low carbohydrate way of eating. So sometimes “I’m not hungry right now” may just be the way to go.
The most important thing here is that you realize that not eating the off plan food is not about the person. It’s about you having a healthy body. It’s okay to say no. You won’t hurt their feelings (most of the time) if you don’t eat. Just change the subject and you’ll find that the problem isn’t a problem anymore. There are ways around a food pusher, you just have to find the right thoughts for you.
Good luck this holiday season! It seems like the food pushers are out in abundance this time of year.