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  #1   ^
Old Tue, Nov-07-17, 11:00
IGonaBSlim's Avatar
IGonaBSlim IGonaBSlim is offline
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Plan: Atkins 1972
Stats: 246/246/150 Female 70"
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Location: USA
Default Your favorite defense strategies against well meaning relatives

OK, so the story is that, this past Saturday, just 4 days into my Atkins journey, I screwed up. Like, royally. My downfall was a homemade French style pear tart with pecan cream filling given by a well meaning relative. Yes it was awesome. Never had pear tart before so I thought I'd just have one little spoonful to taste and it escalated into a whole piece. With vanilla ice cream. Then after that I went into my customary post-diet-fail tailspin and said, well, all is lost, had a second piece, and started in on the leftover mini candy bars from Halloween still lying around the house. Got back on the wagon Monday--fasted all day and had a satisfying low carb salmon dinner.

Given that the holidays are not far off, I know this kind of thing is probably going to happen more than once. What strategies have you found helpful in warding off well meaning people who press food on you?
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  #2   ^
Old Tue, Nov-07-17, 11:50
Grav Grav is offline
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Plan: Banting
Stats: 302/180/180 Male 175cm
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Default

There are different strategies I've taken with different groups of people.

When I first got started, I only let in my closest friends and colleagues on what I was doing, so they would understand in advance why I wouldn't be able to have certain meals with them anymore, like a pizza or curry. These were people I was in regular contact with already, so this was a major potential avenue of pressure that I was able to ward off from the start.

For people I don't see as regularly, I would still let them make the offer before explaining why I couldn't take it. I often didn't have to go into any more detail than simply "I'm trying something with my diet at the moment". For people in this group who have known me for some time - extended family, for example - they will know my history with weight and most will realise that the best thing they can do to enable the changes I was seeking, was to not jeopardise my efforts in any way. Sure there are some know-it-alls in this group, but at all times my food choices remain mine to make, and if they are offended by that, well that's their choice too.

Then there are the one-offs, like restaurant staff for example. Generally these sorts are quite accommodating of my particular requests for certain things. For anyone who tries to push anything in particular, "oh, wouldn't you rather have this or that," I can simply say "sorry, I can't eat that, I have an intolerance." And technically that is true. I think when most people hear the word "intolerance" they assume something specific like lactose or gluten as opposed to an entire macronutrient. In any case, they typically won't ask for specifics though for fear of offending their customer, which is fine by me, as long as I get what's appropriate for me in the end.
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  #3   ^
Old Tue, Nov-07-17, 13:20
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
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Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta
Default

The best advice is to avoid the previously "customary" post-diet-fail tailspin and saying, well, all is lost and having a second piece (that used to be my custom too). I tried the "Carbohydrate Addict's Diet" with one freer meal per day in a 1-hr window, which didn't work for me (it was like letting a smoker have 1 cigarette per day - it just kept cravings go), but it did make me appreciate that if I only eat one higher-carb meal but get immediately back to Atkins Induction eating, it has no lasting effect. If you let your trigger foods trigger you to eating more, and more again, all can become lost. Yes the scale goes up the next day, but it is mostly water that comes back off quickly if you keep to under 20g carbs/day.
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Nov-07-17, 13:21
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/160/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
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I think you're too nice! Don't worry about the carb pusher's feelings.

When I was first diagnosed with t2 diabetes, I wasn't very strict - I thought meds would take care of everything. So I would cave as soon as something wonderful smelling/looking/tasting was put in front of me. Learning to say no to others was a piece of cake (sorry!) compared to learning to say no to myself.

Once I was truly converted to taking care of myself first, I never again worried about saying "no" to anyone else. I'm not exactly sure why, but no one argues with me about food.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Nov-07-17, 14:06
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Kristine Kristine is online now
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Plan: Primal
Stats: 165/149/145 Female 5'7"
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Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Default

Hi. How do you define the "pressing"? Was s/he literally right in front of you, begging you to try it? Or did s/he just leave it with you?

If it was the latter, you owe him/her no explanation for passing it on to someone else. Bless others with your excess. If there's no one to give it to, toss it. Bonnie hit the nail on the head here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BonnieOFS
Learning to say no to others was a piece of cake (sorry!) compared to learning to say no to myself.


You now know that there's no such thing as one taste or one spoonful, so don't let others try to convince you otherwise. Maybe it's "just one day" or "just one meal" for them, but they aren't living in your body and mind.

If s/he was pushing you to eat it right then and there, you need to be tough. You don't necessarily need to be honest. I have no guilt fibbing to people if it's none of their business why I'm choosing not to eat a certain food. No one has the right to force you to eat something that you've chosen not to eat, just like they don't have the right to choose your clothing, your hair style or your home decor. The dessert was a gift. It was thoughtful. You're not obligated to genuinely love every gift you're given. You can thank the giver and move on.

Convenient excuses when someone wants to watch you eat the food that they lovingly prepared for you that could end up making you sick or dead:
- "I'll save it for later, thanks" with one of a myriad of excuses, if necessary: I had a big meal, I have heartburn, I feel under the weather, blah blah blah.
- "Doctor's orders - and I'm taking it seriously." Feel free in invoke any health problem they already know about.
- Add a "(spouse/child/etc) will be so excited to have this! Thank you!"

If it's escalating, add a "well, I've made a decision and it's not up for discussion. Let's talk about something else."

As for gatherings when friends/family offer you something off-plan, my favourite is a simple "No, thanks" and change the subject.

Bring something - maybe lots of things - that are on-plan. Jam-pack your plate with them. You'd be amazed at how little anyone cares about your latest diet and/or what foods you're avoiding if you just walk around with a plate full of chicken wings, LC jalapeno poppers, etc. Bring LC appetizers, LC pumpkin pie, a fabulous dip (dip veggies or pork rinds). Eat lots of turkey and vegetables. Complain loudly about how full you are.

If someone offers you something you'd rather avoid, remember that "No, thanks" is a complete sentence.

It can go deeper than that, I know. Your mom/aunts/grandma can take it personally when you decide that the food you were raised on is suddenly not good enough for you. It's like you're implying that you weren't raised right. Do your best to just change the subject, emphasize your health (tell white lies if you need to), and just plan ahead for nice ways to say it.

I was about to close this with, "good luck." But luck has nothing to do with it. I'll wish you strength instead. Stand up for yourself and for your health. No one else will.

Last edited by Kristine : Tue, Nov-07-17 at 14:12.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Nov-07-17, 15:43
violetgrey violetgrey is offline
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Plan: Atkins
Stats: 188/179/130 Female 5'8"
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I learned to just tell people I'm allergic to grains and sugar. Everyone understands allergy. They all have allergy to something. People know that they sometimes eat what they are allergic to, just because they want it. So they might ask me politely if I am allowing myself grains or sugar today. So it's all up to me. No one ever presses me anymore. They know or imagine the results of indulging in foods I am sensitive to: foot cramps, face rashes, indigestion. It's nothing about my weight or shape - no one cares about that. You see, in the past if I said I was watching my weight, then they would say just this once won't hurt. However, if you have an allergy, they realize even one bite will hurt. So that is my story. And as far as I am concerned, my body's inability to process grains and sugar is an allergy or even an illness. PS: I do get cramps, indigestion and rashes from these carbs too. Also joint inflammation. So carbs are an all around poison for me.
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Nov-09-17, 11:35
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IGonaBSlim IGonaBSlim is offline
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Plan: Atkins 1972
Stats: 246/246/150 Female 70"
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Location: USA
Default

Good suggestions here! It was not so much that my aunt herself was insisting that I try it. She had brought it to our house during a visit, and while we were all talking, other family members suggested we all have coffee, ice cream and a piece of the tart. Is my family food-oriented or what? I said I was still full from lunch and would try some later, thank you, then sat with everyone while they ate, while drinking coffee. Everyone raved about the tart and pressed me to just have a taste--and I was a goner from then on.

It's so much easier with strangers or acquaintances, because I can claim an allergy or illness, but if I try that with family they will get worried and inquisitive, which is the last thing I want. I haven't told anyone I'm low carbing since it's so different from what they would understand as a diet. They'd probably get all negative about it (especially if they know I'm combining it with fasting, LOL)! Maybe I'll tell them about it later when the results start to show.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Nov-09-17, 14:48
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madeyna madeyna is offline
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Default

I have mixed feelings about this one, I love to bake for friends and family it makes me feel good to give them a real moment of joy and know it was my labor and love that provided that. On the other hand this year I have 4 family members that are diabetic coming for thanksgiving dinner. Last year one of them was offended because of the nondiabetic dishes I had prepared. It was one of my brothers and he has already said he will not be here this year because of the food provided last year in the presense of that many diabetics was wrong. I did provide plenty of meat and a huge pan of roasted veggies as well as a large garden salad . There was a sf cheesecake and a sf pumkin pie as well. It bothered me for awile that he feels that way, esp. since I went way out of my way to make sure there were plenty of tasy lc choises available but I have come to the point that I feel its his responsiblilty and his alone what he says yes or no too. There are more people present that don,t have his food restrictions and because we all live hundreds of miles apart we only share one or two meals together as a extended family per year.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Nov-12-17, 06:31
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Robin120 Robin120 is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by madeyna
I have mixed feelings about this one, I love to bake for friends and family it makes me feel good to give them a real moment of joy and know it was my labor and love that provided that. On the other hand this year I have 4 family members that are diabetic coming for thanksgiving dinner. Last year one of them was offended because of the nondiabetic dishes I had prepared. It was one of my brothers and he has already said he will not be here this year because of the food provided last year in the presense of that many diabetics was wrong. I did provide plenty of meat and a huge pan of roasted veggies as well as a large garden salad . There was a sf cheesecake and a sf pumkin pie as well. It bothered me for awile that he feels that way, esp. since I went way out of my way to make sure there were plenty of tasy lc choises available but I have come to the point that I feel its his responsiblilty and his alone what he says yes or no too. There are more people present that don,t have his food restrictions and because we all live hundreds of miles apart we only share one or two meals together as a extended family per year.


He needs to grow up! I'm a type 1, and when people go out of their way for me, I'm so grateful. Even if the person makes something not so good for me (like a misleading sugar free cool whip that uses hfcs, I just take a bit, move it around plate a bit, claim to be stuffed, then subtly mention how disingenuous that label is at a later date.....so I never directly say it wasn't the right thing. It's the thought that counts!). And he really needs to learn self responsibility if he is going to be successful with his glucose control.
Sorry he upset you.
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  #10   ^
Old Sun, Nov-12-17, 09:48
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/160/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
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Location: NE WA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by madeyna
IOn the other hand this year I have 4 family members that are diabetic coming for thanksgiving dinner. Last year one of them was offended because of the nondiabetic dishes I had prepared. It was one of my brothers and he has already said he will not be here this year because of the food provided last year in the presense of that many diabetics was wrong.


I feel sorry for your brother - becoming a hermit is hard. And that's the only way he's going to be able to avoid foods that aren't suitable for diabetics! I'm t2, and his attitude is ridiculous.

When I changed my diet to lc (& joined OA to help with my food issues), the grocery store had a weeks long sale on potato chips - my main trigger food. Every time I walked into the store, there was a huge display of potato chips! It was like being tossed into the deep end of the pool. I had to learn fast to ignore what I couldn't eat.

I hope your brother figures out that the world isn't going to change just to suit him. Enjoy your time with the rest of your family.
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  #11   ^
Old Sun, Nov-12-17, 13:32
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teaser teaser is offline
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Plan: ketosis/IF
Stats: 190/158/154 Male 67inches
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Location: Ontario
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I'm fortunate in that my relatives aren't that well-meaning.

Seriously though, those that don't agree with me about diet, humour me. Friends can be more difficult. This summer when a friend told me to lighten up and have a marshmallow, I told him that around the time I started eating more ketogenically, I stopped hearing voices. For all I know, it could have been a coincidence, but he stopped pushing the marshmallows.

I think sharing food is downright instinctive. Our ancestors didn't have to worry much about what they were doing to each other's blood sugar.
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  #12   ^
Old Sun, Nov-12-17, 14:00
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Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Plan: Atkins DANDR
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I think our ancestors wherever they were from had to sustain themselves on what they had available in their region. Mine sustained themselves in France on hunting deer, pheasant, doves and wild rabbit; domestic duck, goose and rabbit, eggs, mushrooms they had lots of farmed onions hanging up in an attic for the winter, wine. IDK what else... There probably was no cane sugar to be had back then in that area except for small amounts imported at high prices.
There is a very good reason why we shouldn't be eating marshmallows and why it would make us sick.
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  #13   ^
Old Sun, Nov-12-17, 14:24
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Plan: Dr. Bernstein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meme#1
I think our ancestors wherever they were from had to sustain themselves on what they had available in their region.


I wonder how much of our ancestry tells us what we like. I hadn't known until a few years ago that I liked fish - I didn't know how to cook it. But now I love it. My ancestry is mostly Norwegian & I understand they depended a lot on fish. My dad said Grandma made lutefisk when he was a kid, but he wouldn't touch the stuff. He didn't like her homemade sauerkraut, either.
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  #14   ^
Old Mon, Nov-13-17, 11:13
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Plan: atkins
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Staying on track can be a trial---especially in the early stages of living the low carb way of life.

I too would never have passed up " just one spoonful" despite knowing , with best intentions, that I would be driven back for more. You are not alone.

Only my immediate family understand. ANd I can eat out with friends and stay on track as all have a say in the restaurant, including me, so I can be sure of clean meats and a good salad.

Otherwise..... I have skipped attending family THanksgiving one year, and then had my immediate family live thru a Christmas meal with low carb desserts that MY KIDS LOVED. I did have alternatives...but I stayed LC enough u the holidays to stay on track.

When I go to others for THanksgiving I completely cave as there is almost NOTHING for a low carber......

I cant get my extended familoy to understand....but they will change the offerings for ONE no-meat for a major holiday.... I sure didnt feel special in that family anymore....so I do what I need to do for me. I dont worry about hurting the feelings of those that have no respect for me or my dietary needs.....I have been working at LC for 17 years..... the no-meat grandchild was a recdent convert with no health issues, unlike me....

I do remember a complete crash when visiting my brother. We had a long discussion about my LC nosugar diet, then he asked if I would like some ice tea. Agggggg.....by the time I realized hehad loaded it up with sugar my lLC limits were overshot......grrrr......totally wrecked my efforts til that point as the pounds jumped back on.

I skip events if need be, and yes, have needed to become a hermit of sorts to stay healthy. And yes, have had to be rude, to refuse a food gift that will rock my boat....I cannot ignore a yummy food if I am not well into ketotis and the cravings have stopped.....

It is ok to be selfish when it comes to your health.

PS. As a former baker, I love to try foods, I would have had a spoon out asap, even now i WANT TO TRY THAT DESSERT.
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  #15   ^
Old Mon, Dec-04-17, 18:52
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Nic 41 Nic 41 is offline
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Plan: Atkins
Stats: 224/214.6/125 Female 5í2
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I take different approaches with different people when it comes to this sort of situation. I was on holidays last week and was at a nice restaurant. The server had spoken to my friend I was travelling with and she mentioned it was our last night. Minutes later he brought over a small piece of cake with Bon Voyage written in chocolate icing on the plate. He put it up n the table where I was seated and stood there like he expected me to take a bite. At this point Iím on vacation and 2 weeks into low carbing and one bite would have been the kiss of death. Iím a sugar addict just like someone else addicted to another type of drug. Once itís out of my system, I feel great so I wasnít going down that road. I told him ďI appreciate your thoughtfulness but I canít eat sugar for health reasons.Ē Instead my friend ate it as it was a very small piece.

With friends or family, Iíve told all of them Iím gone sugar free and they havenít pushed anything in front of me. If they did, I would tell them my doctor said my sugar levels were too high ( which they were) and that I have to monitor it closely. If they still persist then my theory is they want to sabotage you.

I was once on a medically supervised diet years ago and as I kept losing weight, my mother in law came to visit. She tried to push everything in front of me and I was paying $150 a week to this clinic. There was no way in hell I was cheating. Told her no no no. For the full 2 weeks she was visiting. For some reason it really bothered here and she made jabs at me saying I wouldnít get into a certain size 4 dress I bought for an upcoming wedding in the summer. I was a size 10 at that point and it was March and the wedding was in August. Well not only did I get into that dress but I have to have it taken in by a seamstress because I was a size 2. When she saw me months later, she couldnít believe it. She never tried to push food in front of me again or talk about my weight.

If you need an excuse that will stop people expecting you to eat what they do, use the high sugar level excuse. Doctors orders and you value your health. I know itís hard when inappropriate foods that arenít part of your plan are out in front of you but I had to ask myself one question and that was do I want to be healthy? It sort of sucked going on vacation because my other vacation earlier this year was filled with unlimited buffets, a la carte restaurants and sugary pina coloads served to me on the beach all day long. I was proud of myself for low carbing and glad I didnít stray. Once I made the full commitment, nothing was going to stop me. I survived and found some replacements by going to the grocery store and stocking a few things in the refrigerator in my hotel room. I found my favorite sugar free cookies and sugar free ice cream and I didnít feel I was missing out. Restaurants were easy to work around and ate a lot of steak and chicken with Cesar salad with no croutons. Every morning was bacon and eggs.

Last edited by Nic 41 : Mon, Dec-04-17 at 19:10.
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