In late summer, the management of the building where I work held an ice cream social. I had just returned from a work conference during which I had eaten way too much and was trying to get my eating back under control. I planned to skip the event.
Not one, not two, not three, but four people came by my office at different times to make sure I knew about the event and invite me to go downstairs with them. I was able to put off the first two by saying I was doing some work then but would try to go down later. The next two offered to wait for me and pushed hard to get me to commit to a time that I would go to the event with them.
Now, of course, I wanted to go eat the ice cream. I pretty much want to eat fun food whenever I have the opportunity, but I know I can’t do that and reach or maintain a healthy weight. I was really struggling with my weight loss in August 2009 and wanted to show I had what it takes to make this a success. I wish I could say this is a triumphant anecdote and I figured out a way to avoid going to the social. I went with the fourth person and had a big sundae. It was pretty tasty, and I gained more than three pounds that week.
It’s hard to resist food pushers - particularly when you combine their influence with your own desire to eat whatever they are currently shoving at you. This only increases during the holidays. Food pushers run amuck from Halloween through New Year’s Day. Thinking of strategies to resist their efforts can be very necessary.
First, you should plan how much you are willing to eat going into any given situation. You are ultimately in control of what you eat. You may want to figure out what treats you’ll allow and which ones you’ll avoid to try to balance out your calorie intake. This will make it easy to refuse the initial offers. You may get lucky and there is only one offer.
If the food pusher offers again or insists, you may want to expand on your simple no, thank you. You may say you had a big lunch and aren’t hungry. You could say you aren’t feeling well. You could offer many reasons why you can’t eat that big piece of cake.
Another helpful suggestion I heard was to say no and then change the subject. No, thank you. By the way, how is your kid, your favorite pet, or some other topic the pusher can’t resist talking about endlessly.
Another element that can make it harder to resist food pushers is if you are in a family situation where food is more than just food. I made this for my beloved daughter, niece, granddaughter, daughter-in-law because I know you love it. The implication of how can you refuse my culinary effort and my love for you can be a powerful force that convinces you to eat something you’d rather not. Or, you have a father like mine who just loves to order people to eat more for some reason. Understanding how the appeal to other emotions besides the desire for food can encourage you to overeat is helpful. You have to resist two powerful appeals at one time. Realizing this by being conscious of all that is working against you is very clarifying. Knowing that can help you find ways to resist eating more especially when you really are full, don’t want the food in question, or are motivated to keep up with your healthy journey.
I am getting much better at avoiding and resisting food pushers. Being aware of all the forces working against me and having strategies to resist them is extremely helpful.
Do you have any tips for resisting Food Pushers? What has worked for you?