Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
CEDARBARK1 SparkPoints: (2,485)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 996
8/14/13 6:10 P

PUFFERGRRL, understood, but aren't you better off doing it slowly and correctly than by a surgical procedure? When it comes down to it, she's still not going to be eating healthy, and there are a lot of other problems besides weight that she will likely continue to set herself up for.

MCASKEY6 SparkPoints: (12,297)
Fitness Minutes: (27,218)
Posts: 73
8/14/13 4:51 P

PUFFERGRRL-Ladycroft7 is totally right. If you havenít read it yet, go check out the awesome success story from Beth Donovan, Indygirl.


ELSELTZ SparkPoints: (1,169)
Fitness Minutes: (1,267)
Posts: 48
8/14/13 4:40 P

I think you need to examine your relationship with your mom and figure out as best you can WHY she is pushing, because that will guide you in the best response.

Is she one of the Food=Love pushers as described by others? She probably wants to comfort and nurture you because you are going through a tough time. In this situation, you might skip over the food she is offering and give her a big hug instead, and tell her you love her - that way you are still making that connection and giving/receiving that nurturing. You could also use the suggestion above of telling her what would help you - "Mom, you know what would make me feel better than a bagel? If you would play Rummy with me like when I was a kid" or watch old movies, or go for a walk together, or whatever.

It's also possible she takes your cooking and suggestions as criticism, which moms (and grandmas) are always sensitive to. Maybe you could salt around some validation for how her way is so great "oh, it's so yummy the way you make it," and then acknowledge your new reality "doctors' orders, I just have to make these changes for my health". If she never had a weight problem when you were growing up, you could also lean on how you want your kids to have a fit, healthy, active mom - just like YOU had, and you are going to do whatever it takes to be that great mom for them.

If she is a manipulative-pusher, like some folks on here have dealt with, and there is a history of control issues, her actively tearing down your self-esteem or minmizing your needs, then you need to just set really strong boundaries and remain civil while refusing to engage on the topic. Just pursue your own best interest, stop trying to get her to change, and don't talk about it any more. You may even need to separate your food budget completely, or have separate shelves in the fridge. Ultimately, the solution to that is moving out as fast as possible (which I'm sure you're working on anyway)

I just want to encourage you in acknowleding how hard it is to stick to a plan when you are not in control of your environment. I think some other posters are being overly harsh talking about "be strong" and "don't use mom as an excuse". One of the top strategies for healthy living, is to plan your eating, control your environment, and not put yourself in "trigger" situations, i.e., don't keep junk in the house, don't take an alcoholic to a bar, etc. When you can't keep temptation out of your space, then you have to spend brain power fighting it all the time, and it is tiring. The best suggestion I have for that is to make imaginary lines around "Mom's Food" and "Your Food," like when you have a roommate. If you can't physically separate it, try to mentally separate it and tell yourself it is off-limits, not because it is tempting, but because it is Not Yours.

Hope this helps.

LADYCROFT7 SparkPoints: (15,841)
Fitness Minutes: (22,232)
Posts: 86
8/14/13 3:12 P

To PUFFERGRRL-
I know exactly what you mean, but let me let you in on the secret I learned by living with a roommate who also had the lapband surgery. Yes, by getting the lapband she manged to lose a ton of weight in a short amount of time. Yes, suddenly she looked great and seemingly had to do little to get that way BUT flash forward a year after the surgery. She has learned how to "get around" the lapband and has begun putting that weight back on again. By having the surgery she took the "easy" way out and didn't learn how to eat properly or control her cravings. We laugh about how for dinner I'll have a salad with chicken and she has a massive bowl of pasta. I would LOVE to eat that pasta but I also know that I am 1, not at a point that I can have pasta because 2, I haven't learned how to control myself enough to eat the proper size portion. And the flip side is while yes I'm eating "rabbit food" and she's eating pasta and donuts she is getting MY hand me downs that are to big for me instead of the other way around (not to mention she occasionally runs into issues with the band from eating junk in large amounts. use your imagination all I will say is the issues are not pretty). My point is that as tough as it is for you, try to look at the long run. Someone who eats the way your coworker sounds like she eats is not going to ultimatley buy themselves anything by having that surgery because that surgery will not teach her what to eat and what to enjoy in small amounts. So while you may not lose the weight as fast as her, you ultimatley will be in the better position because you didn't take the "easy way out."

CHIBI_TOTORO SparkPoints: (147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/14/13 3:05 P

I love what Kristina said. I am fattening up my hubby (bad me) by forcing my deserts on him and eating only one or two bites. bad bad bad for him. I do that with french fries, too. I'll count out 3 or 4 and love them, be satisfied, and eat my salad!

One thing I used to do that worked well, was buy or make cookie dough i could freeze in small sizes. If i was using the ovan, i would take out one for a quarter sized cookie treet, home made, fresh!

chips are my weakness, though. I can't just eat one, cause then there's this open bag... I had to stop buying them.

KRISTINA2525 SparkPoints: (50)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 18
8/14/13 2:48 P

'I believe in eating treats in moderation but you have to learn self control so you don't turn one serving into a binge.'

I like what you said there. It reminded me of what an old friend told me was her way of managing sweets, etc. She always said that it was the first bite that was really the most satisfying and each bite was less so than the one before. So, she would allow herself one bite of the enticing high-calorie, low-nutrition food, and that's it.

Of course, that doesn't work in every situation. Who wants to make a recipe for one bite? But at a restaurant, a friend may allow you one bite of their dessert and you don't have to order you own. Or, in a family situation, you can take one bite and leave the rest for others.

KRISTINA2525 SparkPoints: (50)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 18
8/14/13 2:43 P

Don't resent her. She has her own problems just as much as you do. She obviously can't help herself. If she could, she wouldn't need the lapband. Have you ever tried to talk with her about her bringing in foods that all of you would be better off not eating?

KRISTINA2525 SparkPoints: (50)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 18
8/14/13 2:41 P

Hi,
I totally understand what you mean. You are right to make these small changes now rather than face big problems later. It is wrong of your husband's friend to belittle your choices. I wonder if it would help if you phrased your choices as simply what you would prefer rather than it being healthier. I don't know. But, maybe he has an issue with healthier choices, but not choices because you simply like something better. That would take it out of the realm of "that diet thing".

No, you shouldn't have to do that, but it is a technique that might be helpful.



PUFFERGRRL Posts: 1
8/14/13 2:25 P

So, my office food pusher is so heavy that she just notified a few of us she's having bariatric surgery this fall. She is also one of the main consumers of the goodies brought in. I, on the other hand, sit by, pissed off that I'm not the one stuffing my face with sweets, but in one year of hard work and trying to make postitive lifestyle changes, I will not lose nearly as much weight as she will after totally letting herself go and getting a Lapband.

MCASKEY6 SparkPoints: (12,297)
Fitness Minutes: (27,218)
Posts: 73
8/14/13 12:17 P

For a lot of people food is a way of offering comfort. Setting down to a meal is the universal sign of friendship, love, and celebration. Think of all the big events in our lives (birthdays, weddings, etc) and how many of those revolve around food.

I donít know your situation, but I think your mother is trying to show her love and support through food. Itís most likely the way she was taught to offer support. Moms are people too, itís easy to forget that they have their shortcomings, they have fears and doubts, and their feelings are just as easy to hurt. It could be that when you reject her treats, she feels like you are rejecting her in some way. She may not even be consciously aware of how her offer of food is tied to her feelings.

Maybe she just needs a little reassurance. Deep down, she may feel like giving these treats is a way of ensuring your love for her. Maybe you should try doing things just the two of you, a couple of times a month. Maybe ask her to take a walk with you, get a mani/pedi together, or take the kids to the park together, something that takes food out of the bonding equation.

You could also try offering to do the grocery shopping and/or offer to do the cooking when
she reaches for the take out menus. Maybe, on occasion, bring home treats of your own, like fruit platters and other healthy stuff; so she gets an idea of what your New favorites are.

Remember you will have to be patient. You canít change your own lifestyle overnight, and you canít expect her to change hers overnight either.

In the mean-time come up with a few strategies for those moments. Like taking an after dinner walk, before she has a chance to hand out the candy. When youíre out to eat, order coffee, tea, or lemonade when sheís ordering dessert. And ďNo, but thanks for thinking of me.Ē Should become your new catch-phrase.
Good luck!


CEDARBARK1 SparkPoints: (2,485)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 996
8/14/13 9:48 A

I've met food pushers, although I've never had to go through the stress of living with one. Especially on their own turf, and one you love and care about. This is a tough dynamic.

With the bagels and the desserts and the candies, you'll just have to say NO. Say it often enough, and walk past them. Bring home your own healthy treats.

It is harder when it is an actual meal, especially if your Mom is not willing to let you invade her kitchen domain. However, if she calls out for take out three times a week, do suggest you cook two of those times a week. She's not cooking those nights anyway. You can describe how starch and sugar laden those take out foods are -- the Americanized Chinese food, the Americanized Italian take outs, and this is exactly what the doctor didn't order. It should be easier to critique the take out food than your mom's actual cooking. Bring her with you to the doctor the next time you visit him (or her). Tell her you really really miss vegetables.... Tell her you would REALLY like to pull your share in the kitchen... ("Mom, you are putting us up during a bad time, thank you, and I really need to help out by cooking a couple nights a week, and it will be cheaper than take out.")

Of course, part of the problem is the emotional bonds of a mother-daughter relationship -- and here is a mother who has been engrained with the notion that providing food is a basic essential and right. And this food has served her all her life, and sweets are desirable treats. And a daughter who understandably does not wish to hurt or distress her mother.

Edited by: CEDARBARK1 at: 8/14/2013 (09:58)
LRNG2SWET SparkPoints: (5,051)
Fitness Minutes: (5,029)
Posts: 162
8/14/13 9:03 A

I married into a traditional Mexican family 3 yrs ago. I was managing my weight pretty well up until that time. I had no idea my husband was a food pusher. He relates love to food and food to love. Being a romantic at heart, he is constantly putting food in my face. I feel bad that I hurt his feelings often for pushing it away. He will buy me candy, sodas, and snacks just as a memento of his love, but no matter how many times I tell him please stop, his heart pushes him to continue. Also, what ever he is cooking (and omg he cooks good) he will make me taste it. The problem is that who wants just one bite??? He has had 47 yrs of this type of thinking and so far I have not been able to change that. Not sure what the solution is other than to encourage him to express his affections in other ways.

SUSANK16 Posts: 494
8/14/13 5:58 A

Once again a topic that I can relate to. I do not have a food pusher. I do have a new family setting that I am getting used to. However as I am a stress eater I have been eating junk food like crazy and adding weight - like crazy. I finally said to my new partner - I have to stop eating the junk and then ate junk. I think I have to remember what works for me. The first is logging all my food and eating on Spark; the second is eating a lot of fruit to stop my cravings for sweets; drinking my water. One aspect is that my partner works late nights three days a week so today I will incorporate a good between 4 and 5 pm snack to tide me over. I am also learning how to cook for a family so as I try a new recipe I am logging it into the recipe calculator and then planning my daily menu around it. I know this really will not be of specific help but I think if someone ordered me a dessert after I specifically said I did not want it, I would ask the waitress to take it away the moment it arrived. I would let her put it down and then say - thank you I am finished with it please take it away. I would then thank the individual for ordering it.

NICKYCRANE SparkPoints: (69,612)
Fitness Minutes: (36,348)
Posts: 1,175
8/14/13 2:18 A

My mum used to try to sabotage my efforts to eat scientifically. Sometimes she would say she couldnt understand my diet. I never used the word diet. I think she wanted me to stay overweight because she used to be able to make digs about my weight, though I wasnt obese... As a child I used to love pork pie. And sausages. I told her over andmover again that I chose not to eat them now. She would say she got them specially for me because I had always liked them. As long as I can remember she has pooh poohed my strong points and when I was a child sheused to make sure that I had no proper party dress so had to go to parties in a skirt and blouse when all the other girls were in frilly party dresses. I am sure the food thing was also manipulation, probably unconscious.
Anyway, other friends and family respect my attempts to eat what will do me good, and are happy for me to buy what I want to eat to supplement their stocks, e.g. Low fat yogurt etc.

CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
8/13/13 6:41 P

SLFITZGE, that's fascinating. You bring in the cookies and donuts, but you eat your carrot sticks and celery? In a strange way, I can relate. I love to feed people. I love to bring in cookies at work; once in a great while I bring in whole hot, homemade lunches. It's weird, it makes me really happy. However, I'm the first one bellying up to the crockpot, so it doesn't quite work that way for me.... I've had to give it up for awhile.

RABIDKNITTER Posts: 33
8/13/13 5:36 P

I am trying to go more paleo diet, so I am giving up for 30 days all sugars, grains, dairy, as a detox process. The suggestion I was given was to eat sweet potatoes daily in order to curb sugar cravings. I am on day 9 and so far so good. But I would not turn down a glass of sweet tea if offered. :)


JUDY1260 SparkPoints: (2,712)
Fitness Minutes: (1,689)
Posts: 203
8/13/13 4:03 P

I live with three other people who don't want to give up their cookies and other snacks. I don't want to give up cookies forever either, but I also know that if I eat them every single day I gain weight. I'm the one who needs to learn self control. Over the past month I've been teaching myself restraint and self control. Some days are difficult but most aren't. On the tougher days I might treat myself to one or two cookies, add them to my tracker and move on. Usually that's enough to satisfy the craving. Last weekend my daughter made lemon squares for an event we attended. She brought some leftovers home. On Sunday night those babies were calling me from the kitchen. I tried reading to distract myself, taking a walk, having some fruit. I resisted the craving for hours because I'd already had two out of the batch since she'd baked them. When I found myself genuinely hungry before bed (I can't go to bed hungry) I said the heck with it and I ate one. I savored every bite and it was delicious. I tracked it and went to bed feeling quite satisfied. I haven't had a craving for a lemon square since. emoticon

I believe in eating treats in moderation but you have to learn self control so you don't turn one serving into a binge. As far as food pushers, you have to set your priorities and stick to your guns. Mothers won't change so you're going to have to change how you react to her.

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
8/13/13 2:06 P

I've been there with family members bringing in the almond joy bars...I never buy them because I do not have enough self control to stay out of the bag. Once I shared this with my family, they seemed to bring them in with every visit to the store. It helped me to develop self-control because I knew my elevated cholesterol would not permit me to keep eating them. Once I left the bag alone, they stopped bringing them into the house. I now brag on them for helping me through that love.

TRIXIETEXAS SparkPoints: (27,565)
Fitness Minutes: (54,981)
Posts: 478
8/13/13 1:54 P

I have heard that Chromium Picolinate helps some people lose their craving for sweets.

SURVIVOR61 SparkPoints: (61,837)
Fitness Minutes: (27,817)
Posts: 5,242
8/13/13 1:51 P

I can relate to what you are saying, but usually I can still have a little control over this. My biggest problem is sweets. I am on a couple of meications that make me crave sweets, I can deal with this buy not having it in the house. But the last year and a half my husband and his sister have made it their goal of sabotaging my diet so much so that I have regained 40 Lbs. No matter how many times I have voice my opions, my objections about pies, cakes, candy bars, cookies to this day they still bombard the house with this junk food. My husband's answer is he doesn't care about my weight, but I care..I just can't seem to stop myselt from eating junk no matter how much fruit and nuts I have in the house. And I can't get them to stop. I try feeding a lot to the dogs, throwing some out. But it still is a problem for me...I just don't understand why some people don't get it when you explain how important their support is to you.

LOTUS737 Posts: 2,033
8/13/13 1:49 P

I do bring in treats sometimes, but if I do I try to bring in healthier ones- one of my coworkers is pregnant and the food has increased- doughnuts once a week or so, etc. My boss will treat us sometimes- she'll take us to lunch (which I've been declining recently) and bring in cupcakes, etc. Sometimes it's really hard to avoid!

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
8/13/13 1:19 P

I am not a food pusher but when food is brought by others, I will partake and then will feel guilty.

SLFITZGE SparkPoints: (7,406)
Fitness Minutes: (24,674)
Posts: 6
8/13/13 12:52 P

I am a food pusher. I admit it. I'm the one who brings boxes of donuts, trays of cupcakes, and bagels to the office. I do it because I was taught that food bridges the gaps and soothes the soul but then I go run into my office and eat my well portioned veggie trays. I know its terrible. I hate seeing my office mates pack on 10 - 20 lbs when I am losing but I am addicted to feeding the masses.

TRIXIETEXAS SparkPoints: (27,565)
Fitness Minutes: (54,981)
Posts: 478
8/13/13 10:15 A

I agree with Knuckles that food is probably her love language. I have had the food pusher thing with my mom, too (we're Greek so of course food is a big deal), but she takes it well when I say no. My mom used to ask why I couldn't just have willpower when all the unhealthy stuff was around. I said "Look at me! If I had willpower, I wouldn't be in this situation!"

I wanted to ask about your doc advising you to cut back on carbs AND fat. Is there a medical reason (besides weight loss) that he/she has told you to cut back on both? If you take a look at most low fat foods, they have lots of added sugar to help them taste better so even though you've cut fat, you've added carbs. Cutting back on both is very difficult, also because you will have a hard time feeling full and satisfied. I am a low carb eater, and my diet is about 60% fat. I've lost 67 pounds so far. Feel free to message me if you have questions about that.

Good luck with the stuff with your mother, I know it is super hard.

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 306
8/13/13 9:35 A

You're not going to change her so reasoning with her is a waste of time. This is what I would do. I would use shock therapy. I would buy myself a toaster over and hot plate for my room. Let her cook and order out for her and the kids if you are O.K. with the kids eating that food. I would cook for myself in my room as you said she does not want you messing in the kitchen. Eat in your room. I think eventually she will miss your company at the table and start to cook meals you will eat.

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (17,454)
Fitness Minutes: (17,689)
Posts: 366
8/13/13 1:52 A

BLUEPHENIX--

I'm sorry, I turned your thread into my rant soapbox...

I am sorry to hear all that you're going through. My sister is going through the same thing. Although my mother is more health conscious and really tries to make healthy meals for the family, she still brings in a lot of junk foods, and takes my sisters kids out to fast food often, and they're all overweight as well. I've never seen these kids so inactive since my sister has been going through the divorce. It is hard. I think what might be best is that maybe you can get on some type of state aid for food or money? You have to own your own refrigerator for storage, but it is so convenient if you have kids and qualify. Then you will be able to purchase and prepare your own healthy meals. Your mom will be sad at first, she feels she is spreading her care and love of her family by comforting with food. She'll get use to the idea though, and while you are seeing results in your health, hopefully she'll be proud of you for putting your foot down.

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (17,454)
Fitness Minutes: (17,689)
Posts: 366
8/13/13 1:44 A

"Don't - for one second! - believe how you react has ANYTHING to do with other people...it's all about you...!"

I totally believe in that. But it is having to repeat myself to the same person everytime the subject comes up that makes it frustrating. Most times when it comes from someone that is not aware of my dietery restrictions, it isn't hard to say no. But when it comes to friends or family? It just isn't that simple, hon.

Here's why: Of course our cravings, upbringing, tendencies, and moods all fight against us most times when we are trying to keep it all under control. Sometimes, someone saying something, AGAIN, AND just at the wrong time can definitely cause an issue. I do believe what we say and how we treat people affects them, it is unavoidable. Yet, at the same time, it is our decision that proves wether or not we are going to let what someone else says control our next aciton. In this case, if you were talking to me, I'm not sure, I did not allow it to control my decisive action. I still ordered what I wanted and felt quite good about it. Although I kinda snapped at him, I point blank let him know exactly why I am eating healthier. I also resonded to him respectfully, although I was fuming inside and could have been rude.

What is more... I think anyone who says that what others say doesn't affect them in any way whatsoever emotionally is just lying. On the other hand, I am more pursuaded to believe that It is pretty easy to push the initial reaction aside and move on if we're prepared to and have the goal in mind to persist, that is just what this subject is about----How do we persist despite negative feedback?

Edited by: JESSAELINN at: 8/13/2013 (01:45)
AUGUSTREADY SparkPoints: (1,560)
Fitness Minutes: (2,878)
Posts: 86
8/13/13 12:47 A

There is an old saying... "No one can make you feel a certain way unless you let them".

How we feel makes us react.

Don't - for one second! - believe how you react has ANYTHING to do with other people...it's all about you...!

Hopefully you can find it in yourself to understand what I mean by this...

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (17,454)
Fitness Minutes: (17,689)
Posts: 366
8/12/13 11:10 P

My husband's friend sabotages me. He rationalizes, "It's not that bad...", but DUH, does he realize he's a man who is active, and can keep his weight down easily, but I am a woman, so I only need 3,000 just to maintain my weight??? I snapped at him yesterday. I told him the hot pastrami melt sandwich at Subway looked good, but that salami would be a better alternative, since they put less meat in the sandwich, so he looked at me sideways, and said "oh it's you're diet thing". "My diet thing", it isn't a diet thing, it's my new way of life choices, and it is a change in thinking, not temporary, not punishment, it really isn't that bad!! I ate salame for goodness sakes, which is usually a no-no for me on most days, but I give myself leeway sometimes. He makes it sound like I'm making it SO difficult, when it really isn't. All I want is to make sure I don't get diabetes, heart problems, and end up miserable like my mom is right now. She can't have the AC in the car on her feet now due to poor circulation because of diabetes, she use to love the AC on her feet!! She trips on things, she has to wear an insulin injector, which keeps a line into her body to continuously test her sugars and give her insulin and beeps at her all day long. So, why not make small not-so-hard changes now, rather than having to be forced into making very difficult changes to my daily habits??

Sorry, rant over.

Edited by: JESSAELINN at: 8/12/2013 (23:16)
MELISCAE Posts: 7
8/12/13 7:25 P

This may be harsh, but it's warfare. You need to protect you. She doesn't understand, she can't understand, and there's really no way for her to understand what you are going through and that's exactly the way you need to tell her. Be honest, be blunt, get emotional with her. Retaliate.

I'm not saying be ungrateful, but when she wants to act hurt, ask her point blank why she is upset at you, when you're just trying to be like her and eat healthy? Ask her why she's the one who's hurt, when it's your body that she's trying to hurt and you're trying to defend it? Why is she hurt when she's failing to be supportive of you and you're the one who should be hurt?

There's something going on with your mom that she's not talking to you about and her way of coping is to "take care of you," which to her, probably means feeding you. You need to have her face whatever it is or she will never be able to do what she needs to, which is support her daughter's efforts to better her life. You need to flip this on her.

I'm not going to lie, it's gonna suck, but if you're able to work together on the issue, you'll both be better off.

CHUBBEGONE28 Posts: 511
8/12/13 6:34 P

Perhaps take her to the doctor with you and have the doctor say aloud the "worst case scenarios" from carrying extra weight. Hearing from a professional the importance of you getting healthy may sound like a different tune to her.

Other than that, I would recommend a counseling session and/or writing her a letter explaining how important the changes are for you and your children. That way, she can't be defensive and you will put everything out on the table to have your voice heard.

Have you tried cooking some of the meals and helping with grocery shopping or menu planning?

AUGUSTREADY SparkPoints: (1,560)
Fitness Minutes: (2,878)
Posts: 86
8/12/13 6:18 P

Interesting terminology...so if your mother is a "food pusher", does this mean you are a food addict?

If so, this is what you need to be focussed on dealing with.

At the moment, all you're doing is focussing on how it's not your fault; you can't help yourself etc...

Focus on what you want, not what you're afraid of....

JADOMB SparkPoints: (106,132)
Fitness Minutes: (33,748)
Posts: 1,678
8/12/13 5:10 P

I'm just honest with folks and it's up to them on how they take it. I'm not rude or judgmental on the way they eat, but if they question my choices, I just tell them I eat to live, not life to eat. And that I do my best to eat right as much as I can. If they persist on going against MY beliefs, they I just ignore them. If one is dumb enough to plop something on my plate without my permission or after I tell them NO, then it goes in the trash. I DON'T eat for them, I eat for myself. Keep the Faith.

NIRERIN Posts: 12,035
8/12/13 3:24 P

you've already stated the biggest part of the problem - she thinks that what she is doing is healthy. it's not just a her problem, most people think how they eat is pretty well where they should be, whether it is or not. people tend to overestimate what they eat that's good for them and minimize the less great stuff. unless you're tracking and reviewing everything, most people fall into this trap.
but then you come home from the doc saying you need to eat better. which to your mother means eating more like she eats because she eats well and is closer to where she wants to be. but then you say that this isn't good enough for you. now, imagine if you were going over to a friends house and made a special dish you thought they would like. and they tell you "no thanks, it's not good enough." how would you feel? because that's how your mom likely feels right now. she's trying to help you and she can't measure up.
couple that with what sounds like your mom needing to lose weight or pay a little more attention to what she eats but not being far enough along to do anything about it and you have an even bigger bit of denial. because everyone takes time to get to that place and if she isn't there yet then that means that everything you are focusing on is highlighting what she likely needs to do but can bring herself to acknowledge yet. so you focusing on you is making her think about stuff she just isn't ready to tackle yet.
in this sort of emotionally charged situation, i would do one of two things. the first thing i would do is take mental inventory of what my mom makes and create a shortlist of the best options. then i would try and get her to bring those into rotation. so instead of saying that i don't want the tot casserole, i would mention that i love her marinara and we hadn't had it in a while so would it be possible for her to make that this week. this way i'm not focusing on what i dislike, i'm complimenting what she does that is close[r] to where i want to be eating. this way i'm not making it a me or her thing and i am inserting something positive in the situation. because this sort of situation is the kind that my mom and i lock horns with and start trench warfare. choosing to go with positive reinforcement instead of digging in means that we can have a civil conversation as part of the same side. the second thing i would do is to ask my doctor for some really specific guidelines [no more than 40 g fat a day, 30 g carb at each meal, 30 g fiber minimum, whatever it happens to be]. then i would go to my mom, admit i was floundering, and ask her for help in working in those guidelines. this puts your doc as the bad guy and you and mom on the same team working towards a goal. which can help diffuse some of the emotional stuff if you are picking on your [not there] doctor rather than each other. and it's a lot easier to concede and compromise if you both don't feel wronged by the other.

SAMANTHALENORE SparkPoints: (2,901)
Fitness Minutes: (998)
Posts: 15
8/12/13 2:39 P

I think there's been some really good advice here, but the only other piece I'll add is that it might be really helpful to be very, very specific with your mom about what she can do to help you.

I live with my boyfriend, and when he cooks I know that it's very hard to know what is going into the food. He's a GREAT cook, I just lose momentum when I eat what he cooks, because I have a very hard time tracking it, and he'll serve me completely unspecified portions. We split cooking responsibilities pretty evenly, and I realized I was really getting derailed when I'd eat what he cooked. So I told him that, even though I really loved the food that he cooked, I needed to take charge of the food I was eating. I told him that I would happily cook for myself and make plenty for him. He was disappointed, because he enjoys cooking and likes to cook for me, too, so I told him that I'd need him to cook from a recipe or record what he was putting in the food. If he made changes to the recipe, he'd need to record those adjustments for me. I told him that spices, most veggies, lemon juice, vinegars, etc., weren't that big of a deal, so he could adjust seasonings or guesstimate things like that no problem. But if he used extra oil, nuts, beans, grains, flour, etc., it might mean that I wouldn't be able to eat very much of what he was cooking.

Being really specific with him has helped a lot. Now, whenever he makes experimental (i.e. unmeasured) food or buys stuff like candy, he knows not to offer me any because I've asked him to please not do so. Because the idea of a trigger food is not something he's ever had to deal with, he explained to me that it makes very little sense to him to NOT have foods around me. "Just don't eat it, right?" And of course that is right, but when I told him it would be really helpful for me to avoid that stuff entirely, he's doing what he can to help me succeed.

I think the people around us usually want to help--no one intentionally wants to sabotage our efforts to be healthier. But I think it's very hard sometimes for people to know what to do instinctively to be supportive. For most friends that you see periodically, I don't think that a big conversation like this would be worth it--and it's unrealistic/crazy to expect that every social and professional situation is going to adapt to your needs, so building those coping skills outside the home is important (e.g. just saying no).

But for your mom--who you live with day in and day out--it might be helpful to really think through what you would really, ideally like her to do, and to communicate that to her. Of course you can NEVER expect that someone will drop everything and give up things they enjoy or routines in their own household just to make you happy, but it is reasonable to expect that people who love you and care for you will probably want to help you out and do their best--just as you would do for them. And at the very foundation of all of this you start by saying, "OK, I am going to take responsibility for all the food that I eat." And then work with your mom from there--she might really be willing to support you on your plan--but you need a plan for yourself first and foremost before she can help you with it.

FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
8/12/13 2:38 P

I have learned that if you say "no thank you" people are much more likely to leave it at that. If you say, "I'm dieting." They say things like one bite won't hurt. Then you have to say, "actually, it does."

Tell your mom that you love her and that your love is not measured by how much dessert or bagels you eat. If she orders you dessert, tell her that it's no longer a treat for you, but more like poison.

As a last resort, say, "doctor's orders." Most people will let that end it.

ANARIE Posts: 12,487
8/12/13 1:23 P

Does she tie you to a chair with electrical cords, shove a bagel into your mouth, and hold your nose until you're forced to swallow or suffocate?

If she does, grab the kids, run to a shelter, and call the police. If she doesn't, then she's just your excuse.

It's HARD to look at food you really like and decide not to eat it. It's hard for any human being. It's unnatural, in fact. Is she making it harder? Yes, undeniably. But it's not as if it would suddenly be easy-peasy if she weren't there. If your mom weren't doing the shopping, you'd have to go through a grocery store once or twice a week and say "no" to every package of cookies and box of cake mix and treat from the in-store bakery. Your mom might actually be making that easier by making so you only have to say no to the bagels, not the bagels AND the Oreos AND the donuts AND the Doritos.

You can't control what she eats, but she can't control what you eat, either. When she brings home bagels, treat those bagels as if they were still in the store. Say to yourself, "Those look good. Maybe next week I'll get one. Now I'm going to eat my yogurt."

You probably will have to cook for yourself. Since you already offered to help with/take over the cooking and she said no, don't offer again right now. Just TELL her, "Mom, since the doctor has me on a special diet, I'm cooking for myself and the kids. Do you want me to make enough for you, or will you be making your own?"

And the trickiest part of living with someone else is that YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT. If you tell her, "Please don't bring home bagels," then you can NEVER EVER EVER eat one if she does. Actions speak much louder than words, and if you eat the treats, you're telling her that you really DO want her to bring you these things so you'll have an excuse to eat them without blaming yourself. She'll think she's making a huge, loving sacrifice by being the bad guy so you can have what you really want.

If you stick to your guns, on the other hand, it will only take about four incidents before she "gets" it. But to be on the safe side, let's imagine that she's going to be a slow learner or extra stubborn. Plan for it to take TEN times. Sit down right now and plan what you're going to do the next ten times that she cooks or brings home something you are not going to eat. Plan what you will cook for yourself instead, and check the pantry to make sure the ingredients are there. Decide whether you're going to do this for just yourself or for the kids too. Decide (and maybe even write down) what you're going to say. Imagine what she's going to say, and how you can answer her.

My personal suggestion is actually not to say anything. If you walk into the kitchen and there's a bag of bagels, just walk past it and get your healthy breakfast and eat it while she eats her bagel. If she says, "I brought bagels. Aren't you going to have one?", you say, "No, thanks" and leave it at that. If she says, "What, you're just gonna let them go to waste? Money doesn't grow on trees!", you say, "If you wrap them up tight, I'm sure they'll still be fine for your breakfast tomorrow."

In other words, treat her like you would treat a roommate who isn't related to you. And that might be key to the whole situation. Treat her like you would treat any other adult woman who shared your living space. If you had a roommate, you wouldn't feel obligated to eat what she did. You wouldn't feel it was your right to tell her that she didn't eat right, either. You would just eat what you eat and let her eat what she eats. And that's the only way to really achieve peace with Mom, too-- don't imply that you're not eating her cooking/treats because they're bad (because frankly, there's nothing wrong with a bagel now and then for a healthy person.) You're not eating her cooking and treats because you have a medical condition that's not compatible with that kind of diet. It's no more her fault than if you were allergic to those foods-- but if you were allergic, you'd just stop eating that food yourself without making a big deal of it or getting mad at other people for continuing to eat it.

CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
8/12/13 1:18 P

You have my sympathy too. I have had to deal with this somewhat, but on a much less intense scale. The only thing that worked for me is to ask myself before I ate anything, "Do I really want to eat this? Really?" If the answer is no, it's no. This sounds like a tough situation, and you might have to just muddle through and do the best you can until you're out from under your Mom's roof. But just remember, she can't force you to eat something you really don't want to eat.

CHARLOTTE1947 SparkPoints: (40,718)
Fitness Minutes: (49,619)
Posts: 1,751
8/12/13 12:34 P

I had a cigarette pusher when I was quitting that habit. She offered me a smoke at every opportunity - almost as if she was jealous. I had a standard answer: No thank you! No debate; no drama.

I sense your situation is more difficult because you're on her turf. She owns the kitchen. Since you have doctor's orders, move ahead with your own shopping and food prep. Maybe you can also eat on a different schedule.

You have my sympathy.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
8/12/13 11:44 A

The worst thing about moving home again is that the mother/daughter dynamic kicks in, and she doesn't see the child as a grown person capable of making their own choices, but as a child who needs guidance and nurturing again.

I hope you can come to some sort of workable relationship.

77PINKLADY Posts: 606
8/12/13 11:19 A

I agree with Cheetara. You are the one in control of what you eat. I know it's tough to not eat what's shoved in your face but you have to be strong-willled enough to say no. You can do it for your health and for your kids. emoticon

KNUCKLES145 Posts: 13,401
8/12/13 11:15 A

I sometimes wonder if food is the "love language" with food pushers. luckily I don't have to deal with anything like that

CHEETARA79 SparkPoints: (78,209)
Fitness Minutes: (60,139)
Posts: 3,509
8/12/13 10:57 A

One thing to remember above all when dealing with food pushers: You are the only one in control of what goes into your mouth and gets chewed and swallowed. People can push and prod and plead but unless they put a gun to your head, you are ultimately responsible for the food that you consume.

JSMITH68 Posts: 46
8/12/13 10:46 A

That is a tough one. My mom still clings to the "square meal" that she was taught, and the only vegetables are corn, peas and potatoes. I don't know what I would do if I moved back in with my mom - her visits are tough in and of themselves (a different cake or cookie every day).


BLUEPHENIX Posts: 22
8/12/13 10:43 A

Thanks, SE2832! I will try those suggestions. It's good to know that I am not alone. I love my mom & I know she means well. emoticon

WVDEB717 SparkPoints: (34,784)
Fitness Minutes: (20,922)
Posts: 452
8/12/13 10:42 A

I live with a food pusher! My hubby, seems like when he can see that I'm losing he will stop at the store for sweets!

BLUEPHENIX Posts: 22
8/12/13 10:38 A

Yes, I have. She gets very defensive. It's almost like the kitchen is her domain and I am intruding. Every time I cook she finds a way to scrutinize my food because it's not the way she cooks it. This is very frustrating!

I don't think my mother realizes it either. She was always very thin whereas I have always struggled with my weight. Now that she's older she has no idea why she can't lose the weight because she hasn't had to deal with this as long as I have. I keep trying to show her how to cook better but she just gets upset and informs me that she knows what she is doing. I even introduced her to Sparkpeople's calorie tracker. She used it twice and gave up.

Thanks for the suggestion!

SE2832 Posts: 31
8/12/13 10:31 A

My mom was a pusher too. My family used food to celebrate, to comfort--you name it we have a desert for the occasion. It was fine when I was in high school doing every sport, and later in karate, but when I hit my thrities and I wasn't as active the weight just piled on because I never had to learn to eat correctly.

The only thing to do is to plan your food ahead, and measure it into conatiners. Then you know exactly what you are eating when and there are no surprises. If questioned, fall back on your doctors excuse. If pestered remove yourself for a few minutes (take a walk, get a load of laundry started, take a shower).

Give her a hug and tell her you love her, and let her know that just being a safe haven for you and you family is what you really needed and not the food. If she wants to plan a special meal one day a week, plan you calories so you can participate.

Best wishes.

JSMITH68 Posts: 46
8/12/13 10:18 A

My mother is the same way. I don[t think she realizes how difficult it is to lose weight when you have so many triggers around. She also thinks that when someone says "no" they don't really mean it. Have you tried to offer to take the responsibility for planning and making meals?

BLUEPHENIX Posts: 22
8/12/13 9:21 A

My mom is a food pusher (like a drug pusher, trying to get people to try some or do more). After my divorce my kids and I were forced (financially speaking) to move in with her. Due to my own devices helped along by having kids and going through a terrible divorce I am heavier than I have ever been. I was able to lose some weight but ever since I moved within the same vicinity (and house) as the food pusher I have gained it all back and cannot managed to lose it for good.

Here is an example of what I'm going through: My doctor told me that I need to cut back on carbs & fat. So I let the food pusher know what the doc said and that I am going to give it a try. The very next day she brings home Einstein's bagels (one of my weaknesses) and full fat cream cheese. She passes out candies after dinner and when we are out she will order dessert and insist that "one bite won't hurt". She insists that she eat healthy but she orders out (for everyone) at least 3x a week. When I try to talk to her about this she gets very emotional and hurt.

I know I should be able to stay strong but I am struggling with this. Until I can get moved out I have to deal with the food pusher in the best way possible without allowing her to sabotage all my efforts. Can anyone offer any suggestions? Has anyone else had to deal with an aggressive food pusher?

Page: 2 of (2)   « First Page ‹ Previous Page 1 2




Other Diet and Nutrition Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
If I Exercise today can I eat more calories? 9/14/2013 12:19:34 PM
48 Hollywood Miracle Diet 11/2/2013 3:03:36 PM
Starting a new workoout and nutritional routine 10/14/2013 10:46:20 AM
Finger food? 9/12/2013 8:46:13 AM
I love my food co-op 11/4/2013 11:19:15 AM

Diet Resources: celebrity diet and workout | celebrity workout clothes | celebrity workout plan