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Back to Beck Day Twenty-Nine: Weigh-in, and Pushing Back at Food Pushers

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Weight today down a bit, and I'm still maintaining within my range -- no big drama actually. None at all.

Beck launches into a week or so of dealing with "extraordinary events" in the life of a dieter/maintainer -- beginning with "food pushers". Those people who insist you eat. Stuff you don't want to eat (although yeah, it's tempting). People who insist, as the price of friendship. Or being a good "family member", joining in family celebrations. Or being a good member of x, y or z organization, including (for those so inclined) religious organizations.

And wow, I really liked my 2011 blog on this food-pusher topic when I re-read it this morning.

But what's amazing to me, I'm still dealing with this issue three years later. Within the past six months, I side-stepped/evaded two pressing invites to "come for dinner at our house": i.e. relaunch of that exchange of "little dinner parties" which are so problematic for me.

I like both of the inviters very much. I suggested alternative activities/venues. But: each of these inviters likes to entertain in their homes. And prepare multi-course elaborate feasts. And then (quite reasonably) expects a reciprocal invite to my home. For my multi-course elaborate feast. Been there, done that -- in a previous 230 pound existence.

Nope. Not happening now. I'm friendly. I'm sociable. But I like to DO stuff with people. Gym, golf, XC skiing. Even window shopping!! Maybe even coffee. But I don't like to sit around eating and drinking. I don't like the (not very subtle) escalation of dinner-party competition. I don't like to spend my weekend planning a menu, shopping for food, preparing food, serving food, eating food, cleaning up afterwards and recovering from a food hangover. And then battling for the next week or 10 days or month to get back on my program, having been reminded of the siren-lure of . . . all of that.


Refusing is actually getting harder, not easier. Because I'm not overweight. Because I don't "look" like food is a problem for me. And it's "just one meal". So how can it matter?

But: would you insist that an alcoholic have "just one drink"? Would you compel a vegan to have "just one steak"?

I'm NOT offering a long explanation about trigger foods or detailed info about how tough it actually is for me to engage in these foodie activities, and why it's important that I don't go there from a potential cancer recurrence perspective.

This is me. Not addicted to the approval of others. Take it or leave it. I'm fine, either way.

And actually, I am.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    wow - this one is an eye opener for me. in the social time of year, we do the dinner party thing. or more so, we have people staying with us for a few days at a time, and then i'm providing all three meals. and then we sometimes stay with people - and the meals. and it is difficult to resist the siren call of the full plate. i'm going to need to rethink this! i'm impressed by the way you have reinvented your life here!
    2032 days ago
    Wow! Love your blog today! "fabulous!" I totally agree with everything you said! Congratulations on being on day 29! I am so proud of you! I hope you have a terrific Tuesday1
    Hugs and love,
    2033 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14291083
    You'd fit right in in Japan. Entertaining is not done in homes. It's done outside, if eating, in restaurants. Much less work, less competition.

    I admire the way you stand your ground, even at the cost of losing friends. I'm not so much an approval seeker as a disapproval avoider. Being on Spark is teaching me to toughen up on that score.
    2033 days ago
    I admire the way you have handled this issue. Good for you!! I understand it is still hard, but I know you can stick to your guns. You have every right to do so! Love the suggesting of alternative activities. Yeah!!!
    2033 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I got out of a round of potluck lunches with bridge players for the same reason.They were incredible cooks/bakers and spared no fat lol. I would have just been happy with the bridge alone, but it always had to include food, even those games after lunch.
    I wish I was your neighbour/friend, because I would love doing active things with you! In the age group of the people I know, none of their activities are physical. Going to a movie , coffee afterwards, symphony, theatre all sedentary stuff. At least the Probus club has a dedicated walking club, but most of their walking areas are too far for me to get out to with no transportation. None of them would set foot in a gym unless it was a specialized heart attack recovery program! To be honest, I rarely find people my age in my fitness classes (where are they all, and what are they doing to keep themselves fit?) I suspect lots are runners, like you something I could never do..
    I love walking with Mom, but she goes too slow for me to get fitness out of it, unless we go on some tough trail hikes.
    Being a social misfit may keep me away from temptations, but sometimes a fitness buddy would be a special treat and motivation to have.
    2033 days ago
    Hmmmmmm, remind me not to invite you to dinner! emoticon

    I understand completely. So much of our socializing revolves around food, we should consider other options for socializing.

    2033 days ago
    Nice blog! I like it...I like it A LOT! I'm experimenting with accepting the invitation and then saying no to foods I won't eat while I'm there. We'll see how it goes...

    I love going out to eat. Love to cook, however, I'm getting tired of cooking for large groups of ppl b/c usually I'm cooking stuff I wouldn't choose to eat, were they not there. Hence, I often cook 2 suppers...(like almost every night!!!) One for DH and one that I will LOVE.

    The most fascinating thing for me is that we are so individual. What will work for one, will not work for another. So, I'm not saying no to any technique at this point...too new in maintenance to know what will and will not work.

    Oh my goodness, and I LOVE your alcohol/steak analogy!! Yep, and I threw cigarettes into my thought process for the day! Hope you have a great one!
    2033 days ago
    Yeah, I totally get this discomfort... I have it. Now that I've become slim and have my "training table" for a diet, I feel somewhat awkward around those who are "still working on it..." and yet celebrating with food. They will often make guilty comments about what they "should" do, and watch my choices like hawks.

    Example: yesterday I had an appointment with my broker. She hadn't seen me in several years and the first fifteen minutes of the conversation were all about the weight loss. I'm so past the weight LOSS part... while she was expressing admiration, there was that touch of envy, and wistfulness over whether she'd ever be able to do the same. "After retirement". Yeah.

    I can understand the whole: "I have clients" "I have co-workers"... and eating is such a huge part of the social landscape. But my problems with food don't get any better without those pushers! NO CHOICE is vital. So is planning for the pushers.

    emoticon emoticon
    2033 days ago
    Hopefully by following the Beck Solution I will be able to get my head in the same place that yours is at ! A place where I won't be tempted and won't worry about hurting someone's feelings or wanting to feel accepted by others.

    I have done the dinner party scene so I know exactly what you are talking about. I love to cook and I love to entertain, but for various reasons I have pulled away from those activities for now. I seem to have enough other social things going on and many of them revolving around food to keep my calendar full. Tonight, for example, I'm going to a cooking class. The first time I went the recipe was for a yummy Corn Chowder. I asked about using low fat products in the recipe and you would have thought that I was committing the biggest sin on earth! So tonight I will sit quietly, listen to the lesson, try a little bite, and then be on my way to tweak the recipe for me.

    Thanks for the blog, Ellen. Now when I'm at a party and tired of sitting around where everyone is doing "nothing", but grazing and drinking I will think of you and know that it is o.k. to get up and leave to do something that will be better for me. I will have the courage to remember that I will not be missing anything fun if I leave for my own well being.


    2033 days ago
    I was also in that round of dinner parties when I was younger and heavier. You can easily spend the entire weekend getting ready for an elaborate dinner party. I do the same and avoid those situations. Sometimes I meet people at a restaurant where I can control my choices. At work I often ignore the celebration potlucks. When traveling I do not eat the provided meals at meetings and go off on my own.

    You are doing a great job of standing up to the food pushers and choosing a healthy lifestyle.

    2033 days ago
    Thank goodness dinner parties have usually been rare occasions for us. (I say that, knowing we are going to one this Saturday, LOL.)

    Eating as the primary way of socializing has always been common, though. Very often, I will get together for lunch with a friend or group of friends.

    More recently, I have invited friends to join me for a walk. That works out, and we usually have fun. It's easier to do though, when we are retired, and don't have to schedule outside of work hours.

    With the holidays coming, food and socializing are definitely a problem. (Let's face it, Halloween was a problem!)

    Eating out together at a restaurant is my favorite solution. Everyone gets to choose exactly what they want to eat (or don't want to eat) from a menu.
    We have on occasion invited friends to join us - as our guests - for dinner at a restaurant. There is no day of preparation - shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. - ahead of time, and there is no recovery afterwards. I like it.

    I wish all of us SPers well for this coming holiday season. It seems to be a test every year for me. This year I really do NOT want to lose any ground.

    Perhaps instead of saying Happy Holidays, we should wish each other HEALTHY HOLIDAYS!

    emoticon emoticon
    2033 days ago
    food pushers-------usually thin people who don't understand --LOL-----
    2033 days ago
  • GABY1948
    This is an emoticon blog for me, as usual. And I know that I will be answering this same thing 10 days from now so will reread it again THEN.

    I don't have the exact same issues as you. I don't have a lot of invitations out for dinner parties, and THANKFULLY so. I did not have a "nurturing" mother in my like, my mother was more about "her" and how "beautiful" she could be...she had her own mother issues to deal with. But because of this, my mother didn't teach me "motherly" things...like how to cook and how to be a gracious hostess...she worked all day long for her worth so the parties and reciprocation of such would SURELY send me into a binge! I don't think that will ever change for me. But I certainly do not think I will have a problem refusing food pushers....I used to be very "mushy" and had trouble saying "no" to others but that is yet another thing my DH, John, has helped me to do graciously.

    In your profession I can't imagine all the invitations you get! So a BIG

    emoticon to you! emoticon
    2033 days ago
    You've got this problem solved. Good for you!
    2033 days ago
  • NANCY-
    A girl who knows her own mind and acts in her own best interest. You are amazing!
    2033 days ago
    If a really good looking man started insisting you sleep with him, would you feel pressured to give in? No, you don't care what he'll think of you, you learned long ago how to be firm in a situation where you are absolutely assured of what you do and don't want to do. As soon as you have that same assuredness over food pushers, you'll have the same firm reaction.
    2033 days ago
    "But: would you insist that an alcoholic have "just one drink"? Would you compel a vegan to have "just one steak"? " . . . that's the crux of it for me. NO you wouldn't . . . at least I hope not!

    I am with you . . . I'll DO something but won't sit and eat my evening away. I like the companionship, but the rest . . . well, can leave it by the wayside.

    2034 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14895051
    I will say that I agree with the idea that it is hard to get people to engage in activities that do not involve food AND also that it is hard to contain myself around dinner parties and festivities of every kind. It CAN be done, but it so often isn't. Thus, I restrict myself to just one or two events per month and I plan food strategies like crazy around them. I will be interested to see if my new plan (which focuses so much on disciplined eating) helps me this weekend when I give a dinner party on Saturday.
    2034 days ago
    I hear you on the dinner parties. You tell someone "okay, just a tiny bit" and they pile course 8 on your plate. Ugh. I finally just ate a bite or two, said it was delicious but there had been so many courses I was stuffed, and left it at that.

    Although my Seattle friends are with me on keeping the calories low - we all enjoy low-cal appetizers (shrimp or scallops on the grill, multiple salads, veggies with artichoke dip) and then one splurge for a chocolate dessert. Seriously, we all ignore the grilled meat, and leave that for the husbands. We'd rather have chocolate than steak, LOL.
    2034 days ago
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