Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders are commonly a part of the picture when you are dealing with a history of complex trauma. While food can sometimes bring pleasure and an escape to us when we are trapped in emotionally, physically, spiritually and/or sexually abusive situations, it can also become the one thing that is controllable in climates of danger and chaos. Disordered eating is sure to follow. Cue family time with the holidays, and you may be struggling even more. “What are you going to do, eat nothing but salads for the rest of your life?”
“You’ve got to eat more than that!”
“One slice isn’t going to kill you.”
People mean well, but many just don’t understand how unhelpful it is to try and get you to eat unhealthy foods when you are trying to eat well. These people are called “feeders” or “food pushers.” They can be your mom, your aunt, coworker, or best friend.
The problem with feeders is, even if they aren’t intentionally trying to sabotage your health journey, the pressure they put on you can cause you to cave and make poor food choices. After all, you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and, well… maybe they’re right. Maybe one slice of cake isn’t that big of a deal.
See how easily that happens?
So how do you say NO to feeders?
Tell your loved ones about your weight-loss goals and that you are 100% committed. Assure them that if and when you say NO to them, it is not to offend them. But you must be the one who is in control of what you eat, and they must respect that.
Even though you have asked everyone to leave you be, there will still be those stubborn people (we’re talking to you mothers) that think they know best. No matter what you say, they will not leave you alone. So how do you deal with them?
Well, you use some strategic stall tactics. As an example, when dessert starts coming out of the kitchen, you simply say you are stuffed right now, maybe later. If they still won’t let up, say you’ll take your dessert home, then give it to someone else.
Practice Being Assertive
Sadly, there may be those people in your circle of friends or family that really ARE trying to sabotage your weight-loss efforts. It may be they are threatened by you losing weight because of their own weight issues.
You are going to have to practice being assertive, which is not the same thing as being aggressive. Get into the habit of saying no and MEANING it. The good news is, the more you say it, the easier it gets!
Losing weight is often challenging. But sometimes we don’t recognize where the biggest challenges will come from. If you find yourself surrounded by feeders, use these tips to manage as best you can.