I was out to dinner last week and I encountered something I think happens way to often.
One of my co-diners revealed herself as a food pusher!
Complimentary bread was brought to our table and as she started eating it, she pressured us, a little too aggressively, to eat as she was.
I had already decided I wasn’t going to eat any bread, and I had great reasons for this decision, so saying no to her was effortless for me.
I’m not sure how my other two co-diners felt though. I know they both want to lose weight and I don’t think either have done the mental work to not struggle when faced with such a situation.
Luckily, because of the nature of our relationship, I was able to call out the FP as being a food pusher. This seemed to ease the other women, and the FP in question recognized what she was doing and stopped.
But what if you don’t feel comfortable calling someone out for pressuring you to eat when you don’t want to?
First, figure out why you feel uncomfortable.
Most likely it’s because you’re putting their feelings ahead of yours and that’s not fair to you.
You’re thinking about how you don’t want them to feel bad, so you eat, and you feel bad instead.
But here’s the thing. You can say no to them, and allow them to feel however they’re going to feel, and how they feel has nothing to do with you.
You have no control over how someone else feels.
They may say you’re making them feel guilty or whatever, but that is in no way true. Just as you cause yourself to feel guilty or not by how you think about what you do, they do the same.
How they feel is on them and how you feel is on you. You don’t have the ability to make them feel a certain way so focus on your own feelings, not their’s.
Second, decide if you really want to eat the food or not, and why.
A lot of the time, it’s so hard to say no not just because you’re feeling pressured, but also because you genuinely, strongly desire to eat that food.
If you want to eat it really really badly and someone comes around and starts encouraging you to eat it, it’s going to be really easy to give in.
Do you even know why you want to eat it though?
What are you associating that food with? Fun? Pleasure? Excitement? Companionship? A break? Relief?
Be honest with yourself here. What is it that you really want and will the food give it to you long term or just for a minute or two?
You get to decide when, what, and how much you eat every time you eat something.
Eat because you want to, for good reasons. Whether a reason is good or not is up to you and I recommend you take some time right now to decide what your reasons are. Yes, right now, when you’re not faced with food, because when you’re in front of food you will think any reason is a good reason. Ever eaten because “it’s there?” Not a real good reason.
Take the time to think about why you want to eat, and I’m talking about non-fuel foods. Fuel foods you should eat when you feel hungry. Other foods should be eaten for reasons you decide on. On what terms do you want to be eating non-fuel foods? How will you make your decision about what to eat and when?
It’s up to you and no one else.
Eat on your own terms.