I Said No, I Don’t Want the Cake or How to Handle a Food Pusher

chocolatecakeWe all know food pushers, the person who wants you to eat whatever she made whether you want it or not. My grandma used to get upset if I didn’t want whipped topping on my ice cream. Now, I loved grandma but I didn’t really like whipped cream and I despised whipped topping. She’d kind of glare a bit, tighten her mouth and shake her head. I’d feel guilty but I still wouldn’t eat it.

As an adult my one of my biggest food pushers has been my father-in-law. He knows my likes and dislikes so that can be a bit tricky. It’s also a bit maddening and can feel like deliberate sabotage of my eating plan. Which leads to defensiveness, annoyance and some snotty comments from both parties. (I don’t claim to be perfect).

What I figured out later on is that neither of these reactions were about me at all. My grandmother was worried that I would follow in my anorexic mother’s footsteps and start dieting constantly. How she got that when I was eating ice-cream, I’m not really sure but there you have it.

As for my father-in-law, I am guessing he took it as a poke at the foods we would enjoy together, rather than something I was doing for my own health. We enjoy many of the same dishes and I am an adventurous eater, something the rest of the family really aren’t. I had been an ally and now I seem like I’m not.

So what do you do when someone is pushing that food that you don’t want? Smile, say no thank you. You have enough on your plate at the moment or you’re full from the meal, whatever feels appropriate. Knowing that their issue isn’t really about you at all makes it a little easier to take.When all else fails, go sit near someone else who has other things to think about than what you’re eating.

Having a hard time deciding which foods work best for you? Do you want to make better choices but aren’t sure what they should be? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a 30 minute power session where we explore your top three concerns and come up with a solution that works for you.