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"I don't understand why you can't go off your diet just this once!"

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Old 10-10-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default "I don't understand why you can't go off your diet just this once!"

One of my dearest friends is having a party today. She is one of those people, you know - 5'7, 110 lbs soaking wet. Eats like a horse...literally.

She has been cooking for a week. When she invited me a month ago, she asked me what all I can have. I told her, chicken or salmon, plain; asparagus or lettuce, plain. Club soda. I'm happy to bring myself a salad if you don't want to worry about it. I just want to enjoy the company.

She was all, no no, I'll make something you can eat. Happy to.

Well, she just called to tell me her husband is doing a pizza buffet, with pasta sides, and she's made 5 desserts, and her feelings will be hurt if I don't eat with them. I don't think she's deliberately trying to sabotage me, she's just not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.

So I explained, no, can't do that. I'll bring a salad.

Then she told me she thinks I have an eating disorder, because no one is perfect 100% of the time, and there's no reason why I can't go off my diet just for today, like a 'normal' person. It didn't bother me at the time, but the more I think about it, the angrier I get. It's not nice to tell someone they're not 'normal.'

I'm still going. I'm bringing a grilled chicken salad. I'm sure I'll be over it when I get there, and there's no possible way she or her husband can get me to eat anything with carbs or fat.

Am I overreacting? I do realize that most people can go 'off their diet' for a meal, or a day, but I'm not one of them, and I get frustrated trying to explain this to others. I can't have carbs. Period. One bite of carb will derail my weightloss for at least 5-7 days, it's not worth it to me. But when I try to explain this to people, they act like I'm insane.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
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Maybe explain that one day isn't just one day, because it always turns into one week, and the danger in that is that it would turn into one month, one, year, and then you're back where you started from.

And if they don't get it, they don't get it! There's nothing you can do. You're not doing it for them anyway, you're doing it for you.
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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Ok, I'll try to be fair here and give her one good point for letting you know ahead of time that her menu has changed. But she loses points big time for saying her feelings will be hurt if you don't eat. That's simply emotional blackmail, her feelings will not be impacted whatsoever unless she gets pleasure from manipulating people.

I would respond cheerfully that I do have an eating disorder and it's serving me very well thank you so I don't want to mess with that "disorder".
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:57 PM   #4
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She will never understand. She has never walked in your shoes. And, she's being rather self involved, isn't she? Her "feelings will be hurt" if you don't eat her food? She should be thrilled that her friend is coming to celebrate her birthday.

No. You are not overreacting. It's not a problem to plan an off-plan meal every once in a while. But, those times should be times of your choosing.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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I think it's that there is this pervasive notion in our society that a "diet" doesn't mean "the foods that I eat", but it means "a painful, temporary restriction of food". People who don't struggle with their weight probably will never understand that, for you, stepping off plan to eat something carby and fat will derail your progress and affect your health in a negative way.

I'm guessing that she's not doing it consciously to derail you or to make you feel bad about your "eating disorder" (we should all be so disordered!), but because from her perspective it really DOES look like you are doing a tortuous, restrictive thing to yourself. You don't see it that way (nor should you), but from her perspective I'm guessing she really is thinking that this change is so drastic and you are being so committed that it MUST be an eating disorder.

Just keep sticking to your plan, bring your lovely salad to her party and enjoy the friends who will be there and try not to worry about it. I can understand your frustration; I still weigh 30 pounds more than I did when I got pregnant with my first child and someone told me I was getting "too thin". It's frustrating but understandable because she didn't know me pre-baby; she has only known me in various stages of being overweight.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Am I overreacting? I do realize that most people can go 'off their diet' for a meal, or a day, but I'm not one of them, and I get frustrated trying to explain this to others. I can't have carbs.
No, you are not overreacting. It is like telling an alcoholic that a few drinks at the free bar "won't hurt". She is a food pusher who is completely unaware at the complexity of our problem. She eats whatever she wants. I would state that your doctor wants you on a specific plan for your health. Truly, it is about your health. Bringing food for you is doing the responsible thing for your well being and life. It is your choice and you are doing what it takes to take care of you. I am beaming proud of you for hanging in there and doing the right thing for you.

If she will act all hurt and everything that is on her. Is it truly the end of the world? No. Doesn't she want you to live longer? The damage that can be done if you allow yourself to indulge is NOT worth it.

Keep it up. Again, I am very proud of you.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:20 PM   #7
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Well, she did ask you what you can have, but she is not taking any of your suggestions of which you gave a good selection. What would she do if you had a severe food allergy which would cause a trip to the hospital if she served those foods ? When I am faced with a pizza and there is no other choice, I just eat the top and don't eat the crust. If they think I am picky, so what ? Go ahead, take your salad and a drink that you can drink. Don't let them "guilt" you into eating what you know will cause you problems.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:21 PM   #8
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At any point in your wt loss journey have you consulted a doctor? Does she/he give your plan a thumbs up? I'm sure your doctor must be thrilled at your wt. loss!

You need to take your friend aside. Take her hand, look her in the eye and say the following: "I know you don't get why I do what I do in regards to food. That's okay. I'm not asking you to undertstand why this works for me BUT I am asking for your support. My doctor agrees with what I am doing. Should I start to do something wrong, he will be there to monitor me. I just need you to be my friend. This entails letting me be responsible for my food choices, not you. I know this is hard for you to understand but I need you to let me do what I know works for me. Trust me and trust my doctor." Then tell her you love her and hug.

Or something along those lines....
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:27 PM   #9
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Food and celebration are all wrapped up in emotion (often unconsciously) for most people. In almost every culture, there are at least some situations, in which it's a terrible insult for a guest to refuse the food served by a host.

The problem with social norms, and societal traditions, is that even when you know it's not "logical" feelings can still get hurt (Doesn't make it right, it just is).

For me, I don't mind lying or exagerating. People seem to be less offended
by "I can't eat wheat or sugar, without getting ill" than "I can't, I'm dieting."

Oddly, I think the "fib" I've been using for years, has been more truth than lie. The more I avoid wheat and sugar, the worse I feel when I DO eat it (I'm even tempted to ask my doctor for the genetic test for the celiac disease gene).

The "normal person" remark was a low blow, and if a friend used it on me, I personally would confront them. I'd tell them (trying to be calm and kind) "I was very hurt when you told me that a 'normal' person would be able to take a day off from dieting. A normal person doesn't get to be 200 lbs overweight, so you were right, but drawing attention to the fact that I'm not normal, hurt me alot.

And if I weren't in the most magnanimous mood, I probably would also rub it in a bit further by adding how I don't feel well after eating sugar and wheat, and suspect that I may even have a wheat/gluten allergy - but I really didn't want to go into all of that before, because I didn't want to put her to extra work, especially when avoiding wheat/gluten is so difficult and expensive and I didn't want to put her to all that bother...

It's not entirely a wholesome attitude, but when people try to manipulate me, I have to fight the urge to manipulate back. I know it's the higher ground to explain rather than manipulate, but sometimes I can't help but feel "fair is fair."
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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Hmmm. I wonder if you were lactose & gluten intolerant and you couldn't eat cheese or wheat, would she suggest you try this pizza and pasta - just this one time.

If you were a vegetarian and all that was being offered were chicken, ribs and hamburger, would she suggest you go off your chosen diet- just this one time

If you kept kosher and nothing that was being offered was, would she suggest that you give in - just this once.

If you were an alcoholic and she was serving up a martini bar, would she suggest you try a sip - just this one time.

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Old 10-10-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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I agree it seems like a terribly rude thing to say and incredibly invasive, but I would like to give her the benefit of a doubt and say that she's misreading the situation and is concerned for you. Like another poster mentioned, it is because of the negative connotations with the word "diet". Just bring your salad, converse happily with the others, and enjoy yourself! Then she will see that you are "normal".

And I might just add, it seems at parties it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't situation". If you eat, you are a pig. If you don't eat, you're a killjoy(in my experience).
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:54 PM   #12
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She's one of those friends who had you in a category in her head. Now that you've lost over 100#, she figures you can "relax". She will never understand. You figured out carbs are a trigger for you--that's a good thing & in no way disordered!

What I would do? Honestly? Eat before you go! If it's a casual do where no one is going to ask why you aren't eating, you can show up on time, but if the eating is regimented (like a sit down, or you get there at 2 & the food isn't served until 3), I would show up at 330 or 4 when most of the food is gone or put away & not eat. If that makes me a jerk, then I am a jerk.

I would also pack my own LaCroix just in case.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:06 PM   #13
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I'm doing a slow burn on your behalf ... this makes me so mad. I know they just don't know, and I know why they don't know, but I just wish they wouldn't insert themselves so firmly into what you/we eat. None of her business.

I know, as I know you know ... all you can do is act relatively nonplussed because if you make a big deal, it becomes a bigger deal. Kind of like, 'This is what I'm, I'm enjoying the party, I don't know why would anyone care?' type of attitude.

But. Arg. Why. You'll handle this gracefully, as you are doing, but she has no right to tell you that you have an eating disorder because you want a lunch-y salad or whatever instead of desserts. Also, the ignorance/irony just gets to me, because maybe you do or did have an eating disorder. People didn't get to be over 100 lbs overweight by being able to being 110 soaking wet and indulging in occasional desserts.

Apparently I served too-small chicken breasts to my grandparents when I had them over for dinner. They were around 4 oz, and I prepared several each for them, but ever since (March) I've been getting passive-aggressive comments about how they prefer or a recipe calls for "regular-sized" chicken breasts. ie, the 7.5 oz ones they are apparently used to. That's great, but no, I don't eat "regular-sized" chicken breasts, myself. I don't want to be the size of several people. It's all I can do to disregard those pointed comments. I have started preparing larger breasts for company, but I still resent when I have to move calories around to have several servings of meet or pasta all at once, to look normal. I've recently vowed not to do that if it's too much hardship on a particular day.

Sorry to go off. Good luck. Hope you have fun with your friends at the party.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:12 PM   #14
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It makes people uncomfortable. It reminds them that they're not doing what they're "supposed to be doing". And it makes them squirm. They take what we're doing to be a reflection on them.

AND

It all boils down to, that we have to care about our health MORE then we care what other people think of us.

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Old 10-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #15
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NO, you are not overreacting. YOu are just setting priorities and are taking those seriously. If there was something there which you really, really fancied on the night and would feel so deprived if you did not have it, I would say, go on, have a little bit. But not hurting someone`s feelings is definitely not a reason to eat things which don`t agree with you!!
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