Food Pushing Family and Friends

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Have you ever experienced "food pushers". There are drug pushers who persuade others to take illegal drugs, and then there are "food pushers" who push people to stuff fattening and often (unhealthy) food in their mouths, and help to encourage them to become overweight until they become obese, and then continue to press until they become morbidly obese, and then out of the blue one day when they are so overweight that it brings tears to their eyes, and the eyes of those closest to them, they will blurt out at you in the most hurtful way, "When are you planning to start a diet?" I could just bash them in the face! The answer is, "I would have but you insisted that I had a piece of chocolate cake. I told you I was on a diet, but you would not accept no for an answer. Oh, and then you said, "As you eat that piece of cake, tell me all about the gym you joined!" These are the types of family members that I have had experience with all of my life. My mother bugs me on a daily basis, "When are you coming to visit me and your father?" I try to push her off, oh maybe in the Spring, Oh, maybe in the summer, Oh, maybe when the weather gets cooler. The truth? Oh, maybe when you stop pushing food! What does my mother love to do when I visit? Does she bring out home videos, or old family albums and reminisce like you are supposed to on a visit? Maybe make me something healthy and diet-conscious to eat since I am on a diet, or if that is too hard, maybe buy me a Lean Cusine meal or a Weight Watchers Smart Ones meal and dessert. Or a cup of fruit salad and a cup of tea for dessert. That might sound like a nice visit. Time to remember fond memories, a healthy meal, and a healthy dessert, cup of tea, nice company, good food, good conversation, a few laughs. That is what a visit is supposed to be like. But, my mother is a certified food pusher, so she will never offer me a "normal family visit". My father says, that my mother does not feel like cooking. She wants to go to the local diner. The local diner that cooks like the "best diner in town". And everyone knows that all diners serve up extra large portions that can literally stuff a cow! And, of course the bread that they put on the table before the meal! I can never resist the bread. And I love the chick peas. I cannot pass up the bread, or the chick peas. Then the meal comes, and I stuff my face. Oh, and them my mama wants dessert. She orders ice cream for everyone, and the waiter says he will bring us something special, and he brings a big, beautiful ice cream tray for us all to share. Very nice. But the only one who is benefiting from all of this is the diner owner, and the waiter, since he gets a big, fat tip from my dad at the end of the meal. And what do the rest of us (including me) get? A five pound weight gain every time we visit. And do you know that everyone is so busy stuffing their faces, that not one bit of conversation takes place during the entire visit! So, tell me other than looking at my face in person, and forcing (or coercing) me to eat, and eat, and eat, and not talk and not do anything else but engage with food, why did you actually need me to spend money on gas, spend money on tolls, to come all the way to visit you, including putting mileage on my car! What did we accomplish by this visit? My mother will say, when I call, "Oh, we had a nice time!" A nice time doing what? Stuffing your face, because that was all that you did! Then she'll say, "We'll have to get together soon, and do it again" Do what? I'm still looking at her! What did we do that we had such a nice time? Did we reminisce about old times? No. Did we converse about recent things? No. Did we say anything at all? Nothing much other than, hello, good bye, and see you soon, No we did not. What did we do other that eat, eat and eat? As the Italians say, manja! All we did was manja! And I am fed up with it! You know what I did? I called my mother and I told her that I felt that these "visits" were not beneficial to me, my weight loss, or my quest for a healthier self or a longer life. I told her that I purchased from QVC a food storage container that I can carry food in that I will prepare at home, that I will bring with me when I visit for the holidays. And I will bring a healthy dessert, whether it is fruit and tea, if I even have to bring that, and if it comes down to it, I will! I told her if she does not feel like cooking she does not have to, and there is no reason why we have to go to a diner and spend money that we don't really have anyway, just to get more and more obese and unhealthy. I told her that this has to stop, and I am putting my foot down, and finding a way to stop it. I told her, I never said I can't visit you because you want to go to the diner. I said I found an alternative way of having a meal together." You would think I made perfect sense. She knows I am on a diet. She knows I got diverticulitis in the middle of the night and had to call an ambulance at 1:30 am. She knows that the doctor told me that he cured me of diverticulitis, but that this was a wake up call. I had to stop overeating. I needed to go on a diet. I could have died from diverticulitis, if it had gotten worse, or if I did not go to the emergency room in time. If I had waited until the morning, my fever would have been so high, I might have died all because of food. She says she loves me. But, I wonder, does she know what love is? Love is putting the welfare of the person you say you love before all else. Their health comes first, their well being comes first, their life comes first - not the fact that my mama wants to eat, eat, eat and no stopping going to the diner! No, a person who does not put the person who they say they love before all else, does not really love them. She loves food. She loves herself, and what what they want which is food. Which is exactly what she proved with her response to me. "So, what do you say, mama? Can I bring over my home cooked diet food?" She said, "Oh, you can order something diet from the menu, can't you?" And I want to take her and rip her face right off of her head! No, mama, you never loved me. And I don't take offense at that, because mama, you don't love anyone or anything but food. Mama, you are a glutton. And that is why you have a myriad of health problems. You are 83 years old, and it is too late for you to change. You will always be this way. I have to accept you as you are, and not force you to change. Because if you would not change for yourself when you where young, and had young children growing up, why would you change now? Mama, good luck with your life. I wish you the best. I only wish that you would wish and (truly want) the same for me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh god I so know what you mean! They are probably just jealous of your progress just kindly say 'no thanks' and hopefully they will get the hint. Well done on staying strong
    1918 days ago
  • KRYS210
    From an article I read:
    "Peer pressure can be a difficult influence to overcome, even as an adult. But remember, overeating and neglecting your health hurts your body just as much as using recreational drugs. So-called “friends” who are offended by or tease you for your new healthy lifestyle aren’t really your friends at all. And those who support and encourage your new endeavor are the ones you should hold onto for a lifetime."

    A Diet Isn’t the End of Your Social Life
    By Jorge Cruise

    1925 days ago
    You are very strong and will continue to be strong. You are on a journey to be healthy and stay healthy.

    1925 days ago
    My mother is the same way. Constantly telling me how fat I am and then pushing reese cups in my hand the next.
    I've learned to just avoid going over there and when I do go I usually take my own food to eat
    Good luck and stay strong! I know you can do it
    1926 days ago
    I know how food pushers can be too. In fact, my mom was one too until I rubbed off on her and she's lost 4 pant sizes. We now eat a lot of healthier food options together including fruit and tea for dessert. Good luck to you with your mom. I hope that things get worked out and she understands now.
    1926 days ago
    I feel your pain in this as it has happened to me also. I don't really have many answers except to just avoid these people when you can. It is hard though when it is your Mother.

    Stay strong!
    1926 days ago
    I too have a toxic relationship with my mother. You're right when you say they won't change... they won't. The usually don't see that they are doing anything wrong. Just stick to your guns and do what's right for you. She'll just have to deal with it.

    Good for you!!!!

    1926 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    It took courage and soul searching to write this blog---Awesome. Howver, you need to take ownership for eating all the food put in front of you at the cafe, and believe you are now doing so which is a great step. If you do go to see your parents, bring your own food, refuse to go with them or go and only eat what you need for substance and no more. Show your mother you are changing your ways, that she will not break you. When you go ask to see the family pictures and talk about your growing up ----make comments like yes we ate alogt of food back then and now I have changed my ways; I need to get healthy for myself. Your right your mother most likely will change---she's not ready and may never feel that need. You can she her by example--just never know what the out come for her will be. Continued success on your journey.
    1926 days ago
    Yep. My mother's a complete feeder. she doesn't eat much herself, she gets a kick out of watching other people eat.
    1926 days ago
    What a powerful post! You stick to it--she will never understand. My kids come to visit (all three out of state) and if we go out there are no diners involved. It has to be someplace where I can look up calorie counts online ahead of time. What I get a kick out of doing is making over traditional family food into healthy food. I figure I am 62, obese and a cancer survivor. I want to make sure I am around driving my family crazy for a good long time!
    Good luck on your next visit home!
    1926 days ago
    Wow! Thank you for your openness and honesty. I have dealt with food pushers and I generally make them uncomfortable when I go out with them and order a cup of fruit with a glass of water while they are eating appetizers and drinking alcoholic beverages. I am no longer in contact with my stepmother because she treated me much like your mother treats you. Just know it's not about you, its her illness. It took me a long time to stop blaming myself for her emotional sickness. My goal is to take care of myself and that includes limiting or removing toxic relationships, eating healthy and working out. And both of my daughters are working at getting healthy and I honor their needs even if what they are doing is very different than what I do. Meals pass very quickly. Family memories last forever. Good luck and keep staying strong!
    1926 days ago
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