Food Pushers

It wasn’t until I started managing my weight that I discovered the phenomenon of Food Pushers. People who simply will not rest until you have eaten whatever they are pushing. It is frequently family, it could be your grandma, or even a co-worker, their motivations are sometimes innocent and other times pernicious, but this person seems to have a strongly vested interested in making you eat. They will pull out all the stops to see that your plan is undone.

The first step in dealing with Food Pushers is to recognize them. I didn’t even know of the existence of them until I had a food plan for each day – before I started managing my weight they weren’t Food Pushers they were just people urging me to do what I wanted to do anyway – eat too much tasty food. But once I started managing my weight and resisting their pleas the goals of Food Pushers became obvious.

I think everybody who manages their weight has to come up with their own tactics for handling Food Pushers. Here are some I’ve used:

  • Tell the Food Pusher I’m not hungry, but thank you
  • Just have a bite of whatever they’re pushing
  • Ignore them
  • Claim to not like that type of ice cream (or cake, cookies, lasagna, whatever they’re pushing)

I’ve heard tales of Food Pusher guilt trips you wouldn’t believe, but I don’t have too many of them myself. Guilt trips don’t work on me, and neither does peer pressure. I grew up The Fat Kid, I knew I was never going to be liked or accepted as a kid, so striving to be liked or accepted was a pointless endeavor. This has served me well as an adult.

I don’t know how you will handle Food Pushers, but I know that you, as a person who is working hard to manage your weight, need to be aware of them and have a few strategies for dealing with them.

So – what’s your best strategy for handling Food Pushers?


6 Responses to “Food Pushers”

  1. snapshotstacy Says:

    Usually, I just say no thank you. Or, I’ll take the item, saying I’ll eat it later… then chuck it in the bin when they leave.
    It’s gotten much better around my office. People understand that I’m working on my weight for my health & well being, and I now have most of them trained. It’s pretty funny to see someone going around the office offering up their goodies… and when they get to me, they start their spiel and then bring themselves up short. State “oh, you won’t eat it… but it’s in the kitchen if you change your mind.” LOL

  2. Tim Converse Says:

    As I know you are aware, I deal on occasion with Food Pushers in my office. As I am sure everyone does. What has played to my advantage is the fact that I am diabetic, the result I’m afraid, of letting myself develop to high of an insulin resistance because of my bad eating habits and overweight.

    Initially people brought food into our office without thought. And when offered to me I usually responded with the phrase “What? Are you trying to kill me?” Admittedly I said it with a certain amount of humor to take the sting out of the phrase, but this had two effects.

    First, and most importantly for me, it was an out loud reminder that “yes, this stuff could kill me and had already made a pretty significant attempt!” (A week in the ICU is a pretty strong motivator.)

    Second, it reminded the people in my office that I was actively removing temptations from my path. I reassured them that they could bring stuff in for themselves, but to please keep it to themselves as much as possible in order to help me not return to that ICU.

    Another tactic I found also involved the office. On my neighbors desk were a couple of “snack jars”. These usually contained candy of some kind and were far to easily within reach most of the time. I took them over. Once they hit empty I struck by filling one with something much more healthy. Usually nuts of some kind. The other still had candy but having one filled with something healthier slowed down the flow and eventually I was able to lay claim to the second jar as well.

    I found that the various kinds of flavored nuts and dried fruits that I could get easily at Trader Joes worked well as substitutes for the contents of those jars and eventually others in my office started bringing the same kinds of snacks into the office, forgoing the usual cookies and candies.

    I still, on occasion, utter the words “What? Are you trying to kill me?” but with even more significant humor then I did before and gradually the snack flow in the office has trickled to virtually nonexistent.

  3. Mrs. D Says:

    I’ve been straight up lectured by my mother about eating something, she’s a crazy bat 🙂

    If the normal “no thanks” doesn’t get them to back off, I simply tell them the truth.. I’m trying to get healthier and that’s more important than sampling their world famous cookies.

  4. Princess Dieter Says:

    I have to high five Tim for that amazingly cool nuts/fruit in the jar strategy. THAT is proactive!

    I just say no. I feel no guilt whatsover. None. If someone wants me to ruin my health, that’s their problem, not mine. If someone is clueless, it’s forgivable. If someone is malicious. they can go take a hike off a cliff as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

    No works for me. Persistent nos. Eventually, I find, people get the clue and stop offering stuff. Like at my nephew’s wake and prayer novena meetings…my cousins and friends passing around cake/cookies/patries would come up to me, go, ‘Oh, that’s right. Not for you” and move on…. people learn. If we’re serious.

  5. Cathy Says:

    I am an introvert, and pretty much seek to please myself, so if there are people pushing food on me, I really don’t notice! Once in a while I might get some snarky comments from people, but I can live with those.

  6. Betsy Says:

    My entire office knows I’ve been biking because my workout has been my commute increasingly often this past summer. I have come to look at it this way: I carry my lunch to work, and it carries me home.

    When someone comes along with something I “really should try,” I reply, “I’m trying not to undo all that biking.” They most often get the point. I had one person observe, “That’s unusual. Most people figure that they deserve a treat after a big workout.”

    I guess I am not Most People.

    Here’s an article I wrote. It’s about turning down alcoholic drinks, but many of the same tactics could apply to dealing with food pushers, too.

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