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Toxic people - how do you cope with them

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Old 12-10-2006, 10:21 PM   #1
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Default Toxic people - how do you cope with them

I've had my parents staying this weekend. I get on well with them, but I really feel like they're subconsciously sabotaging me.

My mother told me that they'd get some groceries in as "payment" for them staying. I said that I didn't want anything - they're family, and my fridge, deep freeze and cupboards are full with food. My Xmas club order as delivered during the week and I've given away all of the unhealthy food - or wrapped it up for Chrismas presents. They bought food. Including cheese, which is one of my major trigger foods. I won't buy cheese now because I know how easy it is for me to go through a large block of cheese over a couple of days.

My mother made the comment that she was pleased to see I was doing something about my weight, then went out and bought me cheese. We also went out for dinner on Saturday night and went to a place where everything was deep fried - I'd suggested going to a completely different restaurant where I knew I could get something healthy.

They didn't even open the cheese. It's still sitting in my fridge - my mother's comment was "you love cheese, so we'll leave it here". I need to get rid of it, but rubbish day's not till Friday and since it's summer I don't really want to throw it in the bin now as my flat will smell absolutely foul if the cheese is in the bin that long.

I'm staying with my parents for a week over Christmas so I need to figure out a way to deal with this, and fast. Does anyone have any suggestions that they can offer...

Thanks in advance
Nicole
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Old 12-10-2006, 10:34 PM   #2
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Regarding the cheese, can you throw it out at a dumpster on your way to work or in a garbage can on the street if you really want to get rid of it?

I wish you good luck with the family; this can be tough. Maybe the best thing to do is to clearly tell them how they can be helpful to you and also tell them what kinds of things are unhelpful. Maybe your mom thinks the cheese might be a good healthy snack, and she doesn't realize it might push you over the edge!
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Old 12-10-2006, 11:36 PM   #3
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I agree with Tara!
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:14 AM   #4
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Could you pass it on to a neighbour who could use it?
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:18 AM   #5
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Like Jasmine suggested do you have neighbor/ friend/ cowork that you could give it too. I would just try and get rid or it ASAP because if you are anything like me (and it sounds like you have the same type problem) the longer you keep it the more likely you will be to eat it. I can’t keep any junk food in my apartment because I know I will eat it and every time I go to my sister or brothers they have a ton of junk food and I always eat some and end up feeling bad (physically not just mentally). I’ve always been that way if it is around I’ll eat.

As for dealing with staying with them I don’t know I am trying to cope with the same thing right now. I’m going to my parents in a week and a half for a week and I gave up sugar and am on a low fat diet because I had my gallbladder removed. My mom has already asked me if (1) I wanted her to make fried chicken, something I love and can’t eat and (2) what type of cookies I want her to make. Needless to say this is going to be a tough trip with my mom baking cookies. This is what I’ve done so far maybe something like it will work for you. I have very bluntly told her that I cannot eat that stuff I will get sick. As for the regular meals she is kindof getting it after two weeks of me telling her that she said alright you can go to the store and buy what you want to eat (and even offered to give me money for food shopping while I’m there because she knows I’m on a college student budget). As for the cookies she isn’t getting it so I think I’m going to try and find something sugar free/ low fat and send her the recipe and ask her to make me that (and specific I want it with spleda not sugar).

Good luck and stay strong.
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:21 AM   #6
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Give it to your neighbor or someone with kids or salvation army. As for your mother I feel for you. Maybe you can pack some healthy snacks with you in your suite case like granola bars or low fat non-perishable items. If they offer stuff to you just say thank you and pretend to eat it or have one bite and throw it away without them noticing. I've done that a number of times. Or you could sit them down and have a heart to heart talk if they will listen. Good luck!! Will you have access to a computer? I hope so...
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:32 PM   #7
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Hi Nicole!

I think that when we are first starting out with a weight loos plan we are VERY vunerable! Having even one small piece of cheese, for example, can cause a major binge! When we are on a plateau and can't seem to make that scale budge is another time that things get really tough and resolve of steel often isn't enough to prevent the eating of too much or all the wrong stuff.

I have found that the best way to deal with EVERYONE is to simply tell them that I absolutely LOVE all the foods that they are asking me to eat, making especially for me, bringing to my house, etc. BUT that BECAUSE I love the foods SOOOOOOOOOO much, I can't seem to keep with my weight loss plan when they are around. I honestly think some people are without cravings or food issues. They really don't get that many of us here are food ADDICTS. Cheese is one of my trigger foods, too! I had never heard of a "trigger" until a couple years ago when I read a bunch of books that mentioned the term.

I also shared my goals and my food plan with my family so they know how serious I am about this. That has helped A LOT!

We live with our thoughts and feelings 24/7, but I think our families are often at a loss to really understand where we are coming from on it all. Try laying it all out for the family. Ask for their support. I'll bet ya they will be right there for ya!

Oh, and WHATEVER you do, don't send the cheese to ME!

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Old 12-11-2006, 03:56 PM   #8
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If there is a program that feeds homeless/low income people, I'm betting they would be delighted with your gift of food.

Sounds like your mother may be unconsciously sabotaging you. Often family members can't deal with change, no matter how much they say they want it. Cheryl has a great idea when she mentions talking to your family and enlisting their support, being sure to tell them what support looks like to you.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:08 PM   #9
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Is it at all possible that with your mom not living close she just doesn't realize what your food plan is? Could you write her a letter before Christmas listing what you are planning to eat? Plan on going with some of your own food as well so if they don't have friendly food for you you can still have some of your own meals.
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Old 12-11-2006, 07:39 PM   #10
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As it's been stated before (but I like to hear myself type!)...get rid of the cheese - there is always someone who will take it and if not, drop it off in the closest trash can.

I feel for you on the family front! I actually bring all my own groceries when I go visit family or friends (have a cute little cooler that rides with me) and unless it's healthy I won't eat anything they may tempt me with. And if they insist on going to a restuarant that doesn't serve anything that falls within my guidelines I just order ice tea and enjoy their company. Yes, they sometimes try to encourage me to eat the "favorite foods" they they made just for me - but I just remind them that I got as big as I am because I don't have a lot of self-control and I know myself well enough to know that I can't allow myself even a bite! And then I point out that <insert name of relative or friend here> is enjoying that "favorite food" as much as I ever did and that it won't go to waste!.

Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:31 PM   #11
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My parents live close enough that when I see them it's generally just for dinner, and my trick is to offer to shop and cook for them. That way I'm in control! Sometimes I'll say I want to try out a new recipe I found, or I have a craving for "X", or want them to relax, etc.
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:56 PM   #12
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My parents came for 17 days over Thanksgiving. I gained 4 or 5 pounds. My Mom refuses to throw anything edible away--even if it's just a spoonful left. Honestly, after they left, I cleaned out the fridge and threw away so much leftover crap! I'm still trying to lose the weight I gained, but only part of it was due to them being here. We did eat out a bit more than usual but only one meal that I prepared was off plan. I made them eat my way the rest of the time!
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:45 PM   #13
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People are toxic.... even when they don't mean to be toxic. I love my Mother-in-law, but she is TOXIC!! I remember when we told her that I was pregnant with my son (and her first grandchild). Instead of congratulations, the first thing out of her mouth was "I guess you're not gonna lose any weight before having a baby". Nice. She is also the woman that lives only a couple of miles away and likes to drop of kentucky fried chicken, coney island and chinese food for us for dinner. Hmmmm.... tell us to lose weight one day, and then give us junk food the next. That's just Bi-polar and toxic.

Anyhow, my personal opinion is that you have to separate the puposely toxic people from the unconsciously toxic people. The purposely toxic people do not want you to succeed. They try to bait you with food and give you excuses to eat. They usually do it because it somehow makes them feel better to know that you have this battle in your life. You need to just cut these people out of your life.

The unconsciously toxic people are a little trickier. They want you to be happy and they want you to succeed. They also want you to know that they love you unconditionally..... and a lot of times they do that through food. They will acknowlede that you need to lose weight, but at the same time they don't want to deny you because they feel it may be a reflection of their feelings. With these people you just have to be really honest. For instance, "Mom, thank you so much for picking up some groceries. I really can't keep cheese in the house though, it's too big of a temptation and I'm too committed to getting healthy. I just want you to know that if you leave it here it will probably just end up in the garbage. I hate wasting your money, so in the future please don't buy that kind of stuff". Now, if she still buys stuff like that in the future, just throw it away or give it away... and there is no guilt.

Unconsciously toxic people want you to get thin without having to see you struggle (that's why they offer food). Purposely Toxic people like to witness the struggle, and that's why they offer food. Either way, you just have to stay strong for yourself.... and decide which kind of toxic they are. Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:12 AM   #14
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Thank you, everyone for your advice. I don't know why I didn't think of giving the cheese away, but I guess it shows just how worked up I was last night. I've managed to give the cheese to a friend of mine so it's no longer in my house for me to worry about .

As far as spending time in my mother's house - I guess it's only for a week, and all I can do is my best to stick to the programme and just keep in mind that once I'm back in my own place and being in total control of what's in the cupboards. Yep, definitely much calmer tonight than last night.

Thank you so much, everyone. This place really does have some of the most fantastic, supportive people around.

Nicole
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:47 AM   #15
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Parents, especially moms, like to show their love with food. In one breath she'll be talking about how much weight you need to lose, in the next offering you food that is high in fat and calories. Been there, done that with my own mom. I'm sure they aren't doing it on purpose but if they are going to help you lose weight then they need to wake up and the only way that is going to heppen is by you telling them that you don't need a gift of cheese or if they are going to go out to a restaurant that it needs to be one that has healthier foods on the menu. You have some time before you go to your mom's house before Christmas, tell her now that you need to have some control over your eating and you can't do it if they are continue this way. Give her a diet sheet of what you are eating to let her know you don't want a lot of treats over the holidays.
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