When Your Family Pushes Unhealthy Food On You: A Real Life Q&A
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There are so many fantastic questions and discussions that come up on a daily basis in my Healthy Habits Coaching Club, that I have decided to start sharing some of them with you on a more regular basis - even if you’re not yet a member of the club!
Consider this post the first in what will be an on-going series of:
Real Life Q&A From The HHCC.
QUESTION (asked by a club member in our private Facebook group):
“I am freaking out, because I am about to go spend a weekend with family and they are totally NOT into healthy eating. I’ve been doing really well and losing weight and feeling fantastic since I joined this club - and I don’t want to ruin it all! How can I say NO to all the unhealthy food that is about to be pushed on me, without offending anyone??”
And here’s how I answered:
Well, first of all, it would be impossible to ‘ruin’ everything in just one weekend of over-indulging so - worst case scenario - if you DO eat everything that comes your way, the damage would not be irrevocable!
But, I hear you. It’s always challenging to be out of your routine and to spend time with people who don’t eat the way you like to eat. It’s worse still when they don’t even ‘get’ how you like to eat - and worse, worse STILL when….they’re your family.
You don’t want to ignore your own needs or sabotage your success just to get along.
And yet, if you politely decline, you are often labeled a party-pooper or a ‘health nut’ or, gulp, you’re rude.
I think this is really unfair. You do not have to sabotage your own health and weight loss goals just to make someone else feel appreciated. There are other ways to show your gratitude for their culinary efforts (like, ‘Thank-you so much!’) without undoing your own hard work or making yourself feel overly-stuffed.
If you had a deadly nut allergy, no one would be offended if you declined to taste their peanut brittle. Yet, somehow, if you are striving to be a healthier, slimmer person, some folks think nothing of pressuring you into eating something that you honestly didn’t want to eat.
Be grateful, be respectful, and honor your own needs.
Have a taste, if you like - or eat the whole thing if it’s really good and you truly want the indulgence - but, do so because it’s what YOU want to do, not to appease someone else. The less of a big deal you make about it, the sooner your choices will be off the table for discussion!
In my Perfect World, we would take the emotion out of food and not give each other grief for what we choose to eat or not eat. The point is to all be together at the table and connect - not necessarily to all eat exactly the same thing.
Other practical strategies for your trip include offering to cook, making a quick grocery-run so that there are things in the house that are a part of your plan, or packing some healthy snack bars or noshes so that you never let yourself get too hungry. Or all of the above!