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FLUFFYBUNNY81 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 77
10/7/13 5:05 P

Still working on this issue. I come back from visiting my family out of state at LEAST five pounds heavier. This year will be different.

ELSELTZ SparkPoints: (2,831)
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Posts: 49
10/7/13 4:04 P

I also had a very difficult FOO (family of origin) around food/eating.

I would suggest preplanning to the Nth degree. When you are around your family, you are playing out a 'script" of your upbringing and old habits. The more you can create a positive "script" to replace it, the easier it will be.

Make a list - on paper - of options you can do when offered or surrounded by tempting foods or too-large portions. Think of the different situations - dessert time, candy bowls laying around, a buffet? and give yourself 2-3 options you would be comfortable with doing. Not necessarily words to say (though maybe), but actions to take - go for a walk, read a book, work on a craft, start a board game, clean something, change the subject, give someone a compliment, take a portion and throw it away secretly ... whatever is going to work for you in that specific situation.

You can also roleplay conversations with your husband - he can be your family member, and you can use different ways to decline politely without feeling defensive.

You're fighting years of programming, so reprogram yourself!

RUBENB2003 Posts: 14,837
10/7/13 1:36 P

It's tough with social gatherings but I have more success with my family. Although everybody wants you to overindulge so you can show that their food is so great, over time I've gotten some family members to support me and start doing portion control. With my friends it's a lot harder.

ANIFLO Posts: 63
10/7/13 1:30 P

I don't get together often with extended family, so for me I just make sure my diet is exemplary in the days before and after the gathering and then eat what I want in moderation when I am there. I enjoy partaking in family favorites and a calculated amount of this or that usually doesn't take me too far off my plan. It's controlling the second and third helpings that is the challenge for me.

JESY187 SparkPoints: (5,589)
Fitness Minutes: (8,070)
Posts: 66
10/7/13 9:12 A

Saying I had a big lunch- what a great tip! I will definitely keep this in mind come the holidays! Thanks!

COCOLI27 Posts: 27
10/6/13 10:51 A

I have the same exact frustrations! It gets so tiring constantly defending yourself. I get it all the work and at home.

COCOLI27 Posts: 27
10/6/13 10:49 A

This is hard for me too! My husband doesn't watch what he eats and he eats huge portions. He makes comments like "is that all you're going to eat?" I try to choose healthier options and he doesn't like them and then later complains that he's hungry. Chips are my weakness and I try not to keep them around but he constantly buys them and brings them in the house. He always wants to eat high fat processed food. It's frustrating and discouraging.

CHERRAL433 SparkPoints: (288)
Fitness Minutes: (237)
Posts: 18
10/6/13 10:48 A

I go through the same thing they are always commenting on my lack of eating sometimes or what I'm eating.. I just simply say I can eat what I want and this how I choose to eat.....but defending myself all the time gets tired..... emoticon

ONELITTLEPILL SparkPoints: (68,346)
Fitness Minutes: (40,585)
Posts: 1,056
10/6/13 10:43 A

This is definitely my biggest challenge/obstacle...

10/6/13 10:22 A

Family can be tough!. My elderly mother makes comments once in a while about my food choices. I have found I feel so much stronger if I just ignore the comment and stick with what I want for my body and health. YOU CAN DO THIS!

SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (496,440)
Fitness Minutes: (153,472)
Posts: 125,310
10/6/13 2:17 A

Family is the true test of our commitment. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

2BFREE2LIVE SparkPoints: (415,760)
Fitness Minutes: (438,145)
Posts: 17,517
10/5/13 3:12 P

Yes it is true we all need to eat to live however we have the power to choose what to eat.
We are in control of what goes into our bodies. Stand strong and stay on course and you will land safely at your goal weight.

10/5/13 9:59 A

Great perspective LADYCJM! I'm so relieved to know I won't blow away. :) It's funny how people think they're complimenting you with such comments, but subconsciously they're trying to sabotage your efforts. We all want to justify our own choices.

SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (496,440)
Fitness Minutes: (153,472)
Posts: 125,310
10/5/13 6:48 A

Oh, emoticon especially holidays and I have a friend who entertains in a BIG way! I continue to stick to my habits as they are not intentionally done. We have to be strong in our journey and you can set the example. Also we are tempted when we are doing so well!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: SUNSET09 at: 10/5/2013 (06:48)
ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (77,993)
Fitness Minutes: (26,215)
Posts: 3,367
10/4/13 9:57 P

Oh the memories come flooding back. I felt I was always being judged. If I didn't eat how they expected me too, my "diet" made me sick. If I did eat something, they knew I couldn't keep it up and I'll be fat again in no time. UGH! Ignore them.

MISSJANE55 SparkPoints: (42,272)
Fitness Minutes: (32,050)
Posts: 1,252
10/4/13 6:57 P

If I know Im going to be around folks who aren't going to serve a lot of options, I bring my own to contribute, and as many have shared, they get devoured. Although lately, it seems that more and more are into the healthy options, they go to Safeway and get a veggie platter or's not all mac and cheese these days.

Edited by: MISSJANE55 at: 10/4/2013 (18:57)
RHYMESWITHBABY SparkPoints: (42,419)
Fitness Minutes: (64,616)
Posts: 263
10/4/13 3:07 P

My approach has been similar to what other people are saying, but I encountered a different problem: in my family, no one is very aware of providing healthy options, even if that's what they prefer themselves. So one time when I took a veggie tray to a gathering of extended family (in which the hosts had provided plenty of chips, chocolates, cookies, and salty snacks as the "nibbles" before the meal) -- wouldn't you know, EVERYONE flocked to the veggie tray and completely demolished it. Same at dinner with the one green salad someone else thought to bring (there was pasta salad and potato salad, but they did not disappear like the green salad).

Even though there was only a little bit of "healthy" food available, everyone wanted it and I found that hard because it was all gone by the time I went to fill my plate. So, my advice would be, if you take a healthy offering to share, take PLENTY, and still keep something aside for yourself as well, because the healthy food might turn out to be more popular than you think.

Edited by: RHYMESWITHBABY at: 10/4/2013 (15:12)
PFARRAR65 SparkPoints: (37,141)
Fitness Minutes: (14,483)
Posts: 1,156
10/4/13 11:53 A

I have to ignore them and do my own thing.

FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
10/4/13 11:30 A

Been there, done that.

They are probably not the best ones to share your goals with yet. You can still influence them by being truly satisfied with a tiny portion. I have not ordered anything at McDonalds when that was where my in laws stopped. Saying, "nothing looks good" is less judgmental than other phrases. Or, I can't eat that, my body cannot take it.

I know I am rude when my jaw drops at the size of some portions, but I'm trying to get a more neutral face.

DEBBIE0419 Posts: 43
10/4/13 11:26 A

Yes, it is sometimes hard. I just started making healthy dishes and never told anyone. Most of the time no one ever even notices.

GRACE1054 Posts: 605
10/3/13 10:22 A

It can be annoying to people who aren't ready to start a healthy eating and workout program to hear someone talking about getting in shape. They tend to take it as a criticism of their own lifestyle. But, you don't have to talk about it or give them a reason for not eating as much as they push at you. Your weight loss will be all the "words" you need and you may even serve as an example to others.
If you are able to do so, bring healthier options to family get-togethers. If someone is insulted by this, then that is their problem. Unfortunately, there may be people you can't be around or events you can't attend until you are strong enough to stand firm against those who are pushing food on you.

HACK_HACKER SparkPoints: (16,150)
Fitness Minutes: (29,163)
Posts: 54
10/1/13 12:10 P

There are lots of great suggestions here! I really like the idea of making a healthy salad and a healthy dessert to bring, then only choosing one "favorite" unhealthy food to enjoy a small portion of while loading up on vegetables and lean proteins. If your family's the type to always have rolls or bread with a big meal, offer to make/bring a whole-grain muffin or bread option so you won't be tempted by the inevitable buttered rolls or tube croissants.

When I'm visiting with family, I offer to cook a lot so I know we're periodically getting healthy meals that fit my plans. As a vegetarian, that's doubly convenient for me and my family because I know nothing's made with chicken base and they don't have to worry about accidentally serving me meat. I also do my own grocery shopping the day I arrive (a few cans of beans, some yogurt, oatmeal packets, brown rice, whatever vegetables and fruits are fresh and cheap) so I know I have snack options and can offer to make healthy sides that don't come from a package.

10/1/13 10:41 A

This is a problem for me, too, because food = entertainment = love in my family. The way I handle it is to suggest activities that don't involve food. Schedule visits in between meal times. Finally the family is finding that there are other ways to spend time together that don't involve eating. Some of them are starting to convert to my way of thinking too!

Also regarding talking about getting in shape, don't talk about it. Just show up in your new body and let them ask you about how you got there.

SCOTTYP65 Posts: 891
9/30/13 1:09 P


This is a big issue for me with my SO. She can eat just about anything at any time, and STOP 10 bites into it. I'm not so fortunate, it's all in or all out for me. She can bake up a batch of cookies in 20 min and just nibble on one throughout the day, for me it's 5 before I know it. Then on top of that there is the companion to taking calories in, and that is expending them. We both have different times and routines, but mine is dictated by work. So when I want to hit the gym it is on "Family" time. Now she is in no way bad about it, but it's something I sense from both of us, so I do nothing. Kinda stinks now that I have ballooned up. BUT on the bright side I have lots of time now outside of work, and am finding creative ways to sneak in a some 1000 step excursions in at work. Great topic!

KRMFREEONE Posts: 1,005
9/30/13 12:17 P

I have to say when I am home with my husband 5 years old I eat seperately, but at the same time. We all 3 have different diets going on, so I can't eat with them everyday. When ieat with the rest of the family its usually a special occaison or at a restaurant, so i am able to either order differently or be bad on a special occaison. The number one thing to remember is to keep you eating habits with you whether it at work or with friends. Always keep fruit and water, or a protein bar, eat smaller portions, and dont let them influence you!

9/30/13 10:02 A

Something I try to do at the familial gatherings is bring an item (Or a few) that I know I can stay well under "budget" with. Then, when everyone else brings foods that will nuke that budget, I can politely have a smaller serving of those items, and still balance it out.

The place I find this works best is dessert. There's always 3-4 pies made with real "love" (Read: so much butter, Paula Deen might cring) that I know I can have a sliver of, and then grab my own item.

Another thing that -might- help with the "That's all you're eating?" style comments is to be the first one in line. That way, you show that you're eager to partake, and perhaps fend off some of those comments.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (522,606)
Fitness Minutes: (330,887)
Posts: 14,409
9/29/13 11:24 P

I'm very strict with my diet when I'm around my family.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
9/29/13 12:45 P

TONLIZ05 raises an interesting point. Had being overweight become so accepted in our society that eating healthy is considered abnormal?

I try to not talk about weight loss or diet because I get a lot of semi-negative comments like she mentioned. "It's okay to eat X because you eat so good all the time" or Your going to blow away" (Side note: We had a wind storm last week with gusts to 65 mph and I was blown back 3 or 4 steps when a gust caught me as I crossed between buildings, but I did NOT Take flight! emoticon

Funny, no one expressed concern like "You gain anymore weight and you might create your own black hole and didappear" when I weighed 245#s!

TURTLELADY56 SparkPoints: (29,028)
Fitness Minutes: (26,834)
Posts: 146
9/29/13 12:24 P

i am learning not to react....i smile a
lot and nod a
lot....and not take other people stuff so personally....

TONLIZ05 Posts: 512
9/29/13 8:13 A


SUSANK16 Posts: 2,614
9/29/13 2:01 A

I have the same issue but not with family with everyone more or less. I decided not to have the diet conversation with anyone. Those that I love I was direct with and said I am not having that conversation. Eventually, I learned how to handle those types of comments. For instance the one guy who looked at me and said "Hey have you lost a ton of weight?" and I realized for him it was a genuine thought and I said "I guess I did." As I have moved along the process, I have found that I am know focusing on cooking good meals that are nutritionally sound and fit into my calories. As an example yesterday, I shared a ice cream with my husband and felt guilty and then came home and logged it into spark to find that the calories actually fit in with my goal. Frankly a total surprise, but also make me realize that half an ice cream cone is okay as long as it is not followed by a dozen liquorice sweets! Log everything and let the comments go by you.

STARMONICA SparkPoints: (206,399)
Fitness Minutes: (55,195)
Posts: 11,231
9/29/13 12:24 A

I try my best and sometimes my mom gets angry. I try to persuade her and told her the healthy idea of diet. Usually it do work.

EGRAMMY Posts: 13,491
9/28/13 10:41 P

really hard as DH is doing VHC eating....

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
9/28/13 3:01 P

It's hard to deal with all of the emotions surrounding food and family.
What I have found that helps me is to remember that they really do love me and want what's best for me.
What they think is best for me is not necessarily what is best for me.

Remembering that, I do the following:
I do not eat it unless I absolutely love it.
I bring a healthy dish to share. I don't share that it's healthy, just that it's delicious!
I do not talk about my weight or diet. When it's commented on, I just smile and ask about them.
I look at what is available and load up on the healthy stuff and a small portion of my favorite dish.
When something is offered that I don't want to eat, I say "thanks, that looks great. I'll get some in a minute, or when I finish this".
Compliment everything! " Auntie, your cakes are always so pretty and always taste so good!"

Move away from the food. Stay busy in non food related ways. Hold a baby so mom can eat. Play with the two year old.

Role play in your head or in front of the mirror how you are going to respond to the usual remarks. It really does help.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
9/28/13 2:41 P

My family is totally on board w/ healthy eating and in some ways are more restrictive than I am, but I live really far away from them. I see them really rarely. I see my in laws ALL the time and they are much more laid back about food but there is one really great thing about them -- if I tell them I don't want something, I don't have to say it twice. I really lucked out... my MIL loves to have us over for Sunday lunch as we live so close - and she always makes something super light, never puts dressing on salad, never has fried food, and dessert is always fruit and always totally optional. They know I just drink water and they don't think it's weird if I don't eat all my food. I love eating with them because they are so easy going about it. I feel really lucky with the whole situation. Out of everyone on both sides, I'm probably the biggest foodie of them all!

SUBMOM2 SparkPoints: (45,340)
Fitness Minutes: (65,938)
Posts: 2,764
9/28/13 1:41 P

This is a tough one. For some of my family members, food is love. And we should return that love by eating the food. Of course, this makes no sense, especially when there are several members of the family struggling with their weight and related health issues. It can be frustrating to deal with and we see our extended families often.

I now go into these situations more prepared. I try to eat a healthy snack before I go so I'm not so hungry when I get there. If there's something I genuinely love, I will eat a small portion and the rest, I skip. (Creamed corn? No thanks!) I offer to bring a lightly dressed green salad when possible. If someone insists on sending dessert home, I toss my portion when I get home. Yes, that's wasting food, but so is eating something I don't want or need. When the gathering is at our house, I try to serve healthier options, and try my best to tolerate the comments about not having the "traditional" offerings.

I don't talk about my weight loss journey with them. I'm 5-11 so there hasn't been a dramatic change in my appearance yet. (It's been sooo slow.) I know that my "advice" would not be well-received and I'm not in a position to turn the tide with all of them.

It's ok to put your feelings first. In this case, it's essential. Good luck!

MERALEXPIERCE SparkPoints: (88)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 2
9/27/13 1:34 P

I just can't do it. All of our family time is centered around food. It is just too tempting for me. I just have to know that family stuff is coming up and really cut back on the cheating three days in advance. I also try to eat one thing on my plate, visit a bit, then move to the next thing, visit a bit so I give myself a chance to feel full.

9/27/13 1:11 P

I liked SkyValley's point - don't make it about 'forbidden' foods and 'safe' foods. You're just setting yourself up for deprivation and binging that way. Controlling portion sizes on less-healthy foods and learning to only take those ones you most desire, balancing your higher-calorie choices with other choices throughout the day ... this is the way you build it into a lifestyle, not a diet.

SHAKESALOT Posts: 1,334
9/27/13 8:44 A

have healthy choices

9/26/13 4:17 P

07SOJO It concerned me when I read you comment about building up strength to resist the good food. Please don't think of good and bad foods. If you don't allow yourself some leeway and eat the things you crave "the good stuff" at least in small portions, occassionally, sooner or later your cravings will win. Have that piece of pizza or slice of cake just stick with a smaller serving and make up for it elsewhere. Good luck, emoticon

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 306
9/26/13 3:32 P


I can so relate. When my mother and her sisters were alive they would always make a comment to me. My weight throughout my life fluctuated from normal to overweight. I knew when with them they would say, that's all you're eating? They were not into watching their weight. I chose instead of saying, I'm watching my weight, or trying to maintain my weight where if I said that, a discussion I didn't want to hear would take place how they like to enjoy life and eat. Insinuating that I am not enjoying life because I do not stuff my face. I chose to say, I had a real big lunch and I don't want to get sick. Luckily no one wanted me sick so they just said, ya, we don't want you feeling sick.

I saw how their weight caused health problems so I went the opposite way to live a healthy life. Always choose the healthy path for yourself. Your body will thank you.

BLINGQUEEN:O) Posts: 249
9/26/13 3:14 P

Oh yes, hard to stay on track around family of origin. I learned my crazy eating around them. They are the best at "pushing buttons." So of course my impulse is to go back to what I did when I was around them... eat. Social events with my family of origin are still a challenge for me. I try to eat a bit more healthy foods before I go so I am not hungry. I sometimes bring foods I would rather eat to stay on track. Sometimes I just avoid them all together. They are great at doing that 'once over glance' and then comment on my weight at the moment ~ either direction up or down the scale. Frankly, what they think of me is none of my business! If I don't like what they say, I reply, "Thank you for sharing!" although I am not grateful..... emoticon

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,064
9/26/13 1:29 P

I know it is so hard I really like Sunflowergrammy's post.

PATTIEMCD Posts: 1,107
9/26/13 1:19 P

When it comes to family gatherings & food, I totally luck out in this dept.
No one pushes food at me and everyone knows I rarely eat dessert.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,623)
Fitness Minutes: (86,171)
Posts: 2,489
9/26/13 12:35 P

I am at my goal weight and *still* have difficulty staying on track at my in laws and any time birthday cake is involved. I went through a spell when I reach my goal weight where I couldn't stop eating! Like my body was trying to gain back what was lost and I was going for 2nds and 3rds even of desserts. My family was looking at me with genuine concern. It was awful. Luckily, eating more eventually helped me to balance out and I stopped being so food obsessed.

I confess I still have a weakness for desserts when I get together with family but I've gotten much better and have been limiting myself to one serving.

I think one thing that may help you is to have an after dinner treat so you don't feel so deprived when you are exposed to those rich desserts. Or bring your own dessert. It could be a low calorie dessert or a healthy dessert. There are actually plenty of amazing recipes out there for healthy desserts that are low in sugar or other healthy modifications.

This is one of my favourite healthy dessert blogs, love this gal... she's my superhero.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/26/2013 (12:43)
SUNFLOWERGAMMY SparkPoints: (27,692)
Fitness Minutes: (1,362)
Posts: 1,654
9/26/13 11:27 A

Mantra: I choose to eat healthy, I choose to be happy, I choose, I am not a victim of circumstance I am a victor!

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,168
9/26/13 11:06 A

Cheryl_Anne put it perfectly : "** choose ** not to as opposed to not being able to ..."
If you must have, just take 1/3 of a serving...better still, maybe bring something you can enjoy guilt free. Focus on the future you are creating...for your loved ones as well as yourself.

I had food pushers in my family...big time sabotagers.
But some people equate love with pushing food at you.
Discern the difference and give hugs instead

CHERYLA2012 Posts: 3,923
9/26/13 10:44 A

I hear ya about being around family and the conflicted feelings that we associate with food and love.

It is hard to turn down second helpings of treats - and what works for me is telling myself that I ** choose ** not to as opposed to not being able to ...

That said, I filter out any comments or talking that is not helpful to my current situation. Believe me, I can paste a smile on my face and uh-huh with the best of them as "elevator-type music" plays in my head. Basically, in one ear and out the other.

I chose not to discuss my weight loss with extended family. I just focused on what it was I needed to do and made the choices I needed to make regardless of comments or food offerings.

Fast forward a little over a year and almost 60 pounds gone since joining SP. The extended family knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have lost weight, and I still say very little about it because I am not interested in "helpful" comments like "Soon you'll disappear!" and "I can't believe you think you still need to lose weight." (I am halfway through my second goal of an additional 20 pounds lost after I reached my first goal of 50 pounds lost this past July!)

I am keeping the promise I made to myself and no way do I plan on letting my extended family, no matter how much they love me, derail me from my goals.

I wish you much success!

07SOJO Posts: 1,652
9/26/13 10:27 A

My family influences my eating too. For me, it will take a while to build up my strength so I can resist all the good food!

9/26/13 10:23 A

I come from a family of overeaters and while I do really well on my own with just my husband, when I'm around my family, I let myself slip back into my old ways. It's hard to not have a second helping or a rich dessert (I'm a dessert girl) when everyone else is. I feel like i just annoy everyone if I talk about getting in shape. Anyone else in a similar situation?

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