Don't Push Me

By Shani Petroff

At work or at a party, there’s always that one food pusher, that person who tells you: “Have one, it won’t hurt you.” “You’re doing so well, you can have it.” “Just eat it.” And, yes, one probably won’t hurt me. I can have it, if I want it, but that’s the key—if I want it. I’m working hard to stay within my SmartPoints® Budget. I make choices about what kind of splurges I will indulge in, and I still struggle with temptation. When I decide I’m not going to take the cupcake at work or order the dessert at the restaurant, having to defend that decision over and over can be tough. It can cause me to cave and eat something I really didn’t want to eat. So, now I’m trying to use a few tactics to deal with “food pushers”:

Walk away. If I see someone coming around passing out food, I just take myself out of the situation. It’s a good time to get some steps in, go to the bathroom, or go chat with someone else. By the time I return, often the food that is being passed around is gone or the dessert menus have been taken away!

Excuses. A lot of people know I’m on Weight Watchers, but not everyone does. I don’t always broadcast it, and sometimes I don’t feel like sharing. So, instead of saying I don’t want to waste my SmartPoints values, I make an excuse such as “I’m so full, I can’t eat anything else,” which usually does the trick.

Firm talk. When dealing with someone who constantly pushes food, I’m learning being firm may be the trick to keeping them at bay. Someone was trying to get a guy at my office to take a cookie. He just said, “I don’t want one.” His voice was no-nonsense, he didn’t give a reason or excuses or apologize, and the person left him alone.

Straight talk. Many food pushers mean well. So sometimes, I just flat out explain the circumstances. I tell them I’m on Weight Watchers, and that when they push the food, it makes it harder for me to follow the plan. That, just like I don’t want someone saying “should you eat that?” I don’t want the opposite—someone trying to convince me to eat something I don’t want, because that doesn’t help me reach my goal.

Full hands. If I’m at a party, I find that if I have something in my hands (even if it’s just a cup of water or a plate of veggies), people don’t push as much. For example, if I don’t have a drink (and I know they’re just trying to be nice), people will often offer me one. So if I’m not in the mood for it, or struggling with temptation, I get a glass of water or something else and hold it. That action seems to keep people from trying to get me to eat a dish worth a lot of SmartPoints that I don’t really want!

How do you deal with food pushers? I would love to hear from you. You can find me on Connect @shani!

Read more Shani Weighs In.