20-Somethings - When around your friends and family, have you been scared to eat healthy?

05-22-2009, 09:34 AM
I am an emotional and social eater. Since my journey, I have been able to stop eating my emotions, but there is one thing I just can't kick: eating around my friends and family.

We'll go out to eat and I'll completely throw away my efforts and eat things I normally don't eat. I won't even try to make smart decisions and I know I can! Sometimes we'll go to a place that doesn't have a nutritional menu, but that doesn't mean I can't skim out the healthiest thing on the menu and just eat half. Nope. I have to get the worst possible thing plus dessert. When we're over their house, I'll eat any junk food they have, any kind of candy, or chocolate. I'm not even a huge fan of chocolate. Am I the only one that does this?

I feel like it's because eating healthy when they don't makes me feel abnormal and giving in makes me "normal". This is what really stops me from making progress. Because a day or two eating junk turns into many useless binges.

05-22-2009, 09:43 AM
I get that way, sometimes, because I feel pressured to do so. I feel pressure to just be "normal" and eat the way they do. That little bad angel on one shoulder just whispers..."It's ok...just this once!" It's like I feel that my family EXPECTS me to eat the way I used to, even though they've never voiced that to me or even given me a look to say they don't agree with anything I'm doing.

The only person who has commented has been my sister, who's at the start of her own weight loss journey. I can always count on her for a comment regarding "Is that ALL you're eating?" or something derogatory. I just ignore her...

For me, for the most part, it's all in my head. And once I can get my head wrapped around the fact that they aren't against my change, it's all ok and I can eat how I need to eat...

05-22-2009, 09:50 AM
I soooo know what you mean. I also have trouble just staying home when asked to go, but since I'd already had all my calories for the day, I have no choice. My dh is notorious for not planning his day, except work. And will choose to go to a restaurant at 9pm without having told me earlier. I get so frustrated. I know it's good to have some time at home alone, I love that actually because I get it so rarely but I get tired of feeling 'different.'

It is true that doing this makes you feel alone. It's sad it has to be that way. I think making friends who are seeking a healthier lifestyle may be key. That doesn't help with family though, I know. Most of mine try to not choose things I miss eating, etc. But I feel like because I'm losing, everything has to stop being normal for me which makes me feel 'abnormal' as you said. :(

I really don't know what the solution is. Basically we all have to reject the American way and have a salad or grilled chicken with mustard everywhere we go out to eat, drink water or tea while everyone drinks cokes of all different types, and forgo dessert while others indulge. I get to where staying home is a pleasure. :cheer:

However, I do tell myself that if I hadn't chosen to eat too much dessert so many times I could have a little that day I eat with them. So it's sort of punishment, like watching others slowly eat their ice cream when you finished yours really fast? They still have some because they didn't wolf theirs down. If I could eat a few bites of dessert each time I went, I could probably get it. I need to learn that. (Or pray hard I get a great metabolism one day soon!) :angel:

Good luck with your journey, I know it can be very upsetting sometimes, with all we have to do to stay on plan. But I promise, when we get near our goal, it'll all have been worth it. :hug:


05-22-2009, 10:33 AM
My family is the opposite. My mom looks at my weight as an affliction. Like Im sick. She judges what I eat and makes me feel bad about it (even if its a fine decision). She just doesnt understand. She has been 110 and 5'6" her whole life. To her, if its not a salad, then its bad for you. It makes you feel bad whenever you eat, no matter what youre eating.

05-22-2009, 11:23 AM
I haven't exactly been "scared" to eat healthy in front of my family, just uncomfortable because they make me feel like I'm some kind of freak if I don't take the cake they offer or take half of what someone takes a full plate of! I've had an aunt say "Well, you know you have to eat something" ---implying that I'm starving myself to lose weight and this really got to me because I would never do that! but they just don't get it. I guess they have to be in my shoes to understand exactly what I'm doing to get healthy. I just hate that they think I eat nothing. When really, I just eat half of what I used to.

05-22-2009, 12:51 PM
I also am uncomfortable eating "healthy" around friends & family. They look @ me like a freak when I go out & order a turkey burger, no bun, with 1 slice of cheese... Seriously, who does eat like that? It's not "normal" for most people, most people just eat what they want and would never even think to order food like that from a restaraunt. However, when trying to accomplish what we are, we have to eat like that & make the decisions we do in order to get to our goals. I think some people just don't understand how hard it is, or how much you really have to adjust your eating habits for your body to lose weight... I can see how that would make you uncomfortable & therefore give into to eating"normal" like your friends & family when they are around. Are these people aware of your weight lose & the fact that your trying to lose weight?

05-22-2009, 02:07 PM
I am a social eater too and it can be pretty destructive. Tonight we are going out to dinner for my brother's graduation from high school fortunately we have been to this restaurant before and I know which salad I am getting so I am not even going to look at the menu and if I do get dessert I am splitting it with a friend. I think the key is planning ahead, which can be hard but it sets you up for success.

05-22-2009, 02:21 PM
See, my extended family is like this - they'll tell me "oh, you're gaining weight" (yes, thanks, noticed my pants don't fit) and then they'll try to force food down my throat. Like they get some sort of pleasure out of me being one of the "fat" ones.

My mom was 4'11 and a size 0 for the majority of her life and I to-this-day swear she's the reason I developed some sort of odd eating disorder in highschool. I lost 20 lbs in a month, and she didn't say one word. Just gave me a gym membership. I think she kind of got over it for a while, she probably "accepted" that I would never be as tiny as her, but thanks for the permanent damage.

Also, did I mention my little sister is about 50 lbs heavier than me, and no one says a WORD to her about her weight.

05-22-2009, 02:29 PM
I'm kind of opposite, I've kind of turned into the food N*zi. Okay not that bad but you know what I mean. When I go out with friends or family I plan in advance if I can if not I just try to make the best healthy decision I can make. This is your new life not theirs you have to do what is best for you! They will get used to the "new" you and no one will even notice anymore. The last time I went to BW's (a chicken wing bar joint) I ordered the naked tenders (grilled chicken strips) and 2 of my guy friends got the same thing, I think I made them think twice about what they were going to eat and that's cool.

You are in control of your own progress don't let others take that away from you!

I like your new profile pic, super cute!

05-22-2009, 03:03 PM
I'm more like Daniela. My mom actually asked me yesterday why I was doing this (losing weight) and why it was different this time. So, I told her my thoughts on the whole thing and then bullied her into going for a walk or bike ride.

I know it's hard but look at it this way, you eating healthy is a good example to the rest of them. It may make a friend or family member stop and think about what they're eating and encourage them to make better choices, especially when they see the good results you're getting. So, don't think of it as normal or not. Think of it as setting a good example for your friends and family to follow and live longer healthier lives.

Good luck!

05-22-2009, 03:35 PM
I also have found that when i'm around friends and family I actually tend to eat healthier! If i'm by myself its like ok no one is watching I can totally eat a bowl of ice cream or something.

But I think my healthier choices have done me good and I have lost 45 lbs so far and look soo much better. Everyone knows that I wont go out to eat so they all try to make better choices so that I can join them.

Just gotta be strong and stick with it and soon you wont be abnormal but they all will all start to join on your bandwagon:)

miss shelly84
05-22-2009, 05:49 PM
It's kind of complicated with my family... my mom is pretty supportive of my weight loss journey, though she was less than enthused when I decided to go vegan for awhile. I don't know if it was because she felt put out by it, like it would be more of a hassle or what.

My mom used to be different though... constantly hassling me about my weight and saying hurtful things. Now, however, she is obese, had a failed lap-band surgery and has my dad saying some of the same things she said to me. It's karmic, in a way, but I hate it nonetheless.

As for my extended family, we're a BIG family (both in weight and in number) and generally if one is eating healthy it goes unnoticed. However, if I went into a family get-together and formally announced I was no longer eating meat, it would not go over well. We're good Southern country folk, not eating meat is just wroooong. :)

But yeah, when someone puts something in front of me that they've obviously made themselves or paid for so I can eat, I do kinda feel like a jerk for refusing or not eating as much. Especially when I don't have the financial means to replicate said efforts! :(


Iconised Ghost
05-22-2009, 06:45 PM
Yes! I always am. Its because im still just not comfortable talking to some people about the fact I am trying to lose weight. But it gets to a point where you care more about that kilo you want gone, or making the most out of your gym workouts, than you do about people giving you a bit of a funny look when you ask for a salad with a vegetable side. I still feel bad when people make me things or give me things that arent on my plan. I compromise- it doesnt happen often, and i dont have to eat it all to be polite, just a little to show I appreciate the thought. If it does happen often, I can always say "hey you know, I've been trying this new diet....full of whoel grians, complex carbs etc., maybe we should go get some club sandwiches from this place i know next time?" Usually people who are trying to give you stuff to be nice to you will be open to that :)

05-22-2009, 06:45 PM
I can be bad like this too. I do *try* to eat lighter on days when I know I am going out to eat.

05-22-2009, 08:50 PM
My mom was 4'11 and a size 0 for the majority of her life and I to-this-day swear she's the reason I developed some sort of odd eating disorder in highschool. I lost 20 lbs in a month, and she didn't say one word. Just gave me a gym membership. I think she kind of got over it for a while, she probably "accepted" that I would never be as tiny as her, but thanks for the permanent damage.

Also, did I mention my little sister is about 50 lbs heavier than me, and no one says a WORD to her about her weight.

!! My mom was exactly the same. She is 4'10 and she got down to 90lbs. She had an eating disorder and always portioned my food and told me I couldn't have seconds, or I couldn't have fast food, or candy like normal kids. She told me I'd get fat and boys wouldn't like me when I was older.

So I became a binge eater and would binge when she wasn't around on anything I could find. Now my younger sister is 11 and weighs 130lbs+ (I was around 90lbs at this age) and my mom doesn't say a word to her or try and stop her from gaining more weight!

05-22-2009, 08:54 PM
Yes! I always am. Its because im still just not comfortable talking to some people about the fact I am trying to lose weight.

I hate bringing it up. My DF's parents noticed progress but don't say anything about it. But when DF is like "Corinne doesn't want to eat Burger King, she is watching what she eats", his dad will rant and rave about it. Or if I don't want to go to a restaurant that I know has a bad menu. Majority of the time we go out to eat is with them, and I'm afraid of them saying things so I suck it up and avoid it. But at this rate, I'm fed up with it putting my progress to a halt!

05-22-2009, 10:15 PM
I'm not comfortable with letting people know that I'm trying to lose weight. So instead of telling them 'no I'm watching what I eat,' I just tell them 'no thanks' or that I'm not in the mood for it. No one has caught on to the fact that I'm eating healthier yet. I'm still bad about some desserts, but I'm trying to be cautious of portions. I'll just ask for a small piece. I don't want to completely give them up because I'm afraid I'll binge later.

05-23-2009, 03:07 PM
Ughh, yes, but for me the only thing that makes me not want to eat healthy around my family is because they ALWAYS FREAKING COMMENT ON IT. I feel like there's constant scrutiny of every bite I eat--I never get any peace around them! My entire family has had weight problems, and only my older sister and I have changed our ways (though she was never morbidly obese like I was, just a little chubby, heh)... So I don't know, maybe it just makes them uncomfortable when I make a healthy choice, because they feel like I'm throwing it in their faces that I'm making positive changes in my life?! Um, that's not my problem! But I can't STAND all the comments. I order a salad or something, and everyone's all "Ohh, you're so *good* aren't you? We're so impressed." It just makes me feel like a circus freak--I'm like, you would never comment so excessively on the food choices of someone who hadn't lost weight like this (and *I* would never turn to them and say "Ohh, wow, you're really making a bad decision, aren't you?"), so why is it suddenly acceptable to evaluate every freakin' thing I put in my mouth? SO frustrating. :mad:

Then of course, the flip side is that if I do decide to have an indulgence around my family, they have to comment on that, too!! A couple months ago I went to dinner with my brother and I ordered french fries with my meal--not a big deal, right? UM, well apparently it was to him! He acted like it was the most utterly shocking thing he had ever seen--like he's never seen me eat french fries before or something? How does he think I got to be fat in the first place?! He even had the gall to say, "Well, it's nice to see you're not just living off of Special K and water..." Grrrrrrrr. :headache: Something like that just frustrates me to no end, because it implies that he doesn't think I could actually be capable of just eating like a normal, healthy person--it's like, I must either be a fat binger or else a thinner anorexic? Not cool at ALL.

How does one politely alert people to the fact that all comments about their eating habits are 100% inappropriate and unwelcome? This is something I'd really like to know! :?:

05-23-2009, 03:38 PM
Ugh. It gets old. I don't like to eat if i'm not hungry. If snacks are offered i'll politely accept one or two of whatever they are, chew a lot and space out my eating the ones i'm holding so it appears i've eaten more than I let on. Otherwise, bring on the frickin' anorexic comments. Ugh. I am on my feet constantly running around, exercising, going on a walk or a hike, riding my bike to the store, *something* Trust me, I eat. I just eat when i'm freakin' hungry and only until i'm not hungry anymore.

My whole family is very tall and slim, so they were shocked when they saw me after my surgery and I packed on the pounds. Me being thin doesn't phase them. My mom is a staunch organic and whole foods eater (she's a cancer survivor and attributes it to her nutritional diet and fitness) so they have never been the problem.

The friends... acquaintances rather, are a whole other story. Last one that said something rude to me was last night actually. We were all in swimsuits, and I was drinking a TON, and had just eaten grilled chicken and some potato salad. I was not hungry. She's fairly plump and made a fuss about me refusing to drink soda or eat these chocolate peanut butter cookies she made. She made some comment about me being 10 pounds away from looking like a refugee, stick-thin girls aren't 'real women' (wtf does that even mean?) and being a size 0???? Uhm... I might be on the slimmer side of normal, but these boobs don't lie. Natural D's mean I am not starving. Trust me. All of this is being said as she's stuffing probably her tenth cookie in her mouth. This is also one of those women who complains constantly about her weight, eats nothing but crap, won't exercise, and thinks she can comment on everyone else. I just shrugged and gave her a Pillsbury Dough Boy poke to her pot belly and left it at that.

Apparently she got it because she put the rest of her cookies down and didn't say a word to me the rest of the night. Stupid twit.

05-23-2009, 09:52 PM
My family isn't a huge problem for me, about 15 years ago my mom lost over 100lbs. She's been maintaining her weight loss ever since and always cooks/orders healthy meals anyway. My friends are a whole different story.

I have a friend who has been trying to lose weight with me, since we started I've lost 35 lbs and she's gained 5lbs. She is constantly commenting on my food choices. Today we were at a flea market and she ate chips, two hotdogs and a Pepsi. I ate trail mix and strawberries. She mocked me saying I was starving myself, and tomorrow we are going to a bonfire and I won't be eating s'mores or doing Jello shots and she will mock me again...but you know what? In a month I will be about 10lbs lighter, so she can eat her hotdogs and mock away :-)

05-24-2009, 03:30 PM
NishKitten, I just want to say that I love your attitude... I bet you get crap from some people about it, but I hope you never change. ;) You always just seem so kicka**, like you don't give a crap what anyone thinks about you, and I so wish that I could be more like that! Even when I don't agree with you, I still find it so admirable that you're not afraid to speak your mind. Keep on tellin' it like it is, girl!! :hat:

05-25-2009, 11:53 PM
NishKitten,that is priceless! I absolutely love your response!

06-16-2009, 12:46 AM
Ugh. I know this thread is old but I found it and today it really struck a nerve with me... my grandmother was driving me crazy! (I love her to death, but still!) We went out to eat for dinner at this fried chicken restaurant and I swear there was nothing that wasn't fried on the menu but like 2 kinds of fish, and I'm not that into fish, overall. So I eventually compromised and got breaded shrimp (pretty ridiculous situation, if you ask me). But I don't eat as much as I used to, and I ate a cup of chicken noodle soup, about half a cup of corn, half a cup of mashed potatoes with gravy, and 5 pieces of breaded shrimp (the littler kind). To me that seems like a good amount of food. But my grandmother wouldn't leave me alone! She kept asking what was wrong with me, what had happened to me, why wasn't I eating, what happened to my appetite, that I was hardly eating at all, and kept bringing it up AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. I kept trying to brush it off and change the subject but she JUST WOULDN'T LET IT GO. It made me want to cry. Why should I get patronized for not eating enough when I'm actually eating the right amount of food? It's not fair! It's none of her business what I do and do not eat.

06-16-2009, 01:00 AM
I have a reputation among my friends for eating a lot. And I'm one of the smaller ones! I am trying to lose my freshman 15, but I am still within my healthy bmi range (at the high end, but still). This get's really frustrating. They act like I'm some kind of pig. "Oh my God, Allison, how can you eat all that?" Or make comments about how I'm always hungry. Despite the fact that I eat a greater volume, I generally eat HEALTHIER. My roommate chugs energy drinks, while I drink diet soda and water. My friends have chips and things for snacks, while I have fruit. Even my MOTHER made some comment about how much I eat. I'm like: I'm NOT FAT! I'm just FATTER than I WANT to be. Sheesh. Drives me crazy.

06-16-2009, 02:41 AM
If I am somewhere special (where I do not go very often) I will eat whatever takes my fancy, regardless of whether it is healthy or not. If I cannot decide between two things, I will go for the healthier one.

06-16-2009, 05:41 AM
Well I wouldn't say I am scared to eat healthy around them, it's just almost impossible.

I attribute my struggles with the way I was raised; my dad is impatient and needy. My parents have always worked 9-5(+), so no one wanted to cook after working all day so we'd go out to eat. Served them better almost to do so, back then we were kids and kids ate free...cha ching! So after MANY years of eating out almost every night, that's the food I LOVE. I can't stand any veggies other than potatoes, green beans, almost any bean, corn and broccoli (but there must be a lil bit of cheese on the broccoli).

I'd love to eat healthier and did eat considerably healthier when I was away at college. However, being in a house of 4 overweight people with little money. Most of the cheaper choices aren't the healthiest choices around. While at college I replaced all the ground beef with ground turkey...worked great for me. I removed all meat out of spaghetti so it was just the yummy sauce and noodles.

BUT no one wants to make things healthier but me! When the $$ is coming out of my dad's pocket what he says goes. I don't drink sodas and haven't for more than 2 years..so I have that going for me :) I don't like candies, but my vices...YIKES! (KETCHUP!!,hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, chips, sweets)

The hardest thing for me is that, I was taught how to cook the unhealthy food and somehow when is $140 a month on groceries feed a family of 4?? That budget doesn't lend to the healthiest food choices either.
Plus my dad never thinks about having to eat breakfast or lunch..since he goes out for lunch during the week...while the 3 of us are at home..so he thinks $140 for "dinners" is overkill..yeah right...300 meals for a month (for 3 of us)..not just dinner!

Anyone else have those kind of constraints?

06-16-2009, 02:25 PM
I TOTALLY relate to alot of these posts! I feel like, no matter what, my family is always talking about my weight! My whole life I have been surrounded by people who are talking about what you should or should not eat, 'tips on how to lose', etc.(none of them are overweight) I know it all comes from a good place, and they do it b/c they care, but honestly...I DONT WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY WEIGHT ALL THE TIME. I've done it for 28yrs, I'm sick and tired of it! Especially when it's in public, in a restaurant, etc. I'm sick of 'oh, let's do this together! Call me and we'll go to the gym!' and 'I've noticed youve gained weight, why don't we be phone buddies and talk about how we did on our diets that day?" I know there are people out there that would love this type of support, but I am a very private person and I dont want to constantly be talking about my weight with people in public, and I dont want a gym buddy or a phone buddy, etc!! I know that sounds really negative, but I just hate being constantly bombarded by the subject of my weight! If I go out to dinner with relatives, I just want to enjoy their company, not talk about my weight AGAIN! My fiance's family is the WORST about it! And they are all REALLY OVERWEIGHT! His brother just got gastric bypass surgery and now thinks he is the KING of nutrition and is constantly lecturing me on what I should and should not eat. whew-thats the end of my rant!

06-16-2009, 03:00 PM
I've had a similar experience to some of you guys as well...I weighed about 120/125lbs as a 12-13yr old and starved myself down to about 100...my teachers told my parents they thought I had an eating disorder but my parents never acknowledged it...to this day my mother refuses to believe I had a problem, even though she must have noticed she stopped buying me maxi pads for about 6 months.

06-16-2009, 04:58 PM
How does one politely alert people to the fact that all comments about their eating habits are 100% inappropriate and unwelcome? This is something I'd really like to know! :?:

You could always try the Miss Manners approach: Put on a shocked expression (:o) and gasp "I can't believe you would comment on something so personal!" or put down your fork, look the person dead in the eye and firmly say, "Thank you for your concern, but my eating habits/food choices are no longer a topic for discussion." Then, quickly change the topic. Repeat as necessary. ;)

06-16-2009, 05:05 PM
Wow, I'd LOVE someone to try either of those and report back how it goes! People usually only keep saying stuff because they don't realize it's rude or they've never been told not too. That should shut some people up!

06-16-2009, 09:59 PM
I understand what you mean. Whenever I go out to dinner, no matter with whom, I feel like I have to get something "different". Like if I get a salad, it's a total waste of a meal out. So, I try to not go out to eat for dinner. When I have to go out, I really take my time trying to find something that looks both appetizing and is something I wouldn't have at home. It's helps me feel like I'm getting something different while still eating healthily.