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Old 07-01-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
 
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Default Semi-Unsupportive Roommate?

I am really unsure of what to make of this situation. I have a male roommate who is my good friend, and a very good cook. Since I've gotten very strict about changing my diet he's become ... well, not as supportive as I'd like.

I understand that he's Italian like me and gets offended when people don't eat his food, but I've told him, I am sure it tastes amazing, I'm just trying to make different choices right now. Last night, he offered me brown sugar and molasses pancakes four different times even though I repeatedly told him: "No thank you, I am trying to be very diligent with my diet for the month of July."

This isn't the first thing that he's done this with, it's pretty much a daily occurrence. He encourages me to eat junk food instead of making healthier choices [and he knows better, he's very into nutrition and being healthy] on a regular basis, knowing very well that I binge and it's something I've struggled with for a long time. He also constantly talks about junk food, cake, pies, Taco Bell, cookies, Chipotle ...

In the beginning, it was fine, but this is getting old fast. I don't understand how he can be supportive of my exercising but not of the dietary changes. I'm not asking him to make them with me, but to be respectful of the choices that I do make and I've explicitly told him that I could really use his support in these changes that I am making.

I can't help but feel as though he's sabotaging me on some level. Have any of you dealt with this in the past?
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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I deal with this all the time at my job.. I call my boss the "sweets pusher". We have vendors that constantly come in trying to earn our business and bring all types of sweets from local bakeries. Luckily sweets was never my big problem. I am more portion control and junk like chips. However, I have stopped eating sugar and anything "white", flour, pasta unless it is whole wheat or multigrain.. Yesterday we had someone bring in a huge box of sweets and he kept trying to get me to eat something!! I DID NOT< yea me!!
Since I am at work I keep my diet stuff to myself, it is personal to me here. So it makes it difficult.

I think you should express yourself to your roommate. Tell him that it is making it hard for you. I hope that if your honest with him he will respect your wishes. Good job by the way not giving in!!

My husband is very supportive of my healthy choices but he and my kids still enjoy thing I wont have and I deal with it because only I am responsible for my choices and my success..
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:10 PM   #3
 
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I do have to say, it feels GREAT to say no and stick to it, but his pushing and pushing makes it hard. I am sure it felt great to say no to the sweet at work and stick to that as well. I've been lucky enough that my tastes have been changing over the last year and I don't have the appetite for sweets that I used to, but still ...

I think when he does it again, you're right, I will have to have a conversation with him about it, and ask him again to be supportive of my diet changes. As I said, I don't expect him to make the same changes but him being more respectful of mine would make all the difference in the world. I don't ask him to not buy junk food, I don't mind if it's in the house, just that he not try to push it on me.

Hopefully he can do that, everyone else in my life is pretty supportive of me making these changes and I appreciate and draw strength from their support, it would be nice if the person I lived with could be the same way.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
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For some of us, and I'm definitely guilty of this, we show our love through our cooking and baking for the people we love. On one level, I'm sure he understands what you're trying to do, and another level he's not sure how to go about caring for you without cooking for you.

In the end, even though it's hard, and frustrating, it is up to you to be responsible for your choices and it sounds like you're doing a great job of it. Keep up the good work!
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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I have to say, in the recent past, it was hard for me to understand that people actually are very strict on diets. I seriously didn't understand how someone could feel guilty about eating a piece of cake or whatever. I understand now, of course, but I never denied myself anything I wanted in the past. I LOVE baking and sharing my baking, so I've been guilty of this, bringing over cheesecakes, homemade cinnamon rolls etc to friends and family I know are dieting. It wasn't out of wanting to sabotage them, I simply didn't understand the implications and just wanted to share something yummy.

I also agree that you should talk to him, but take it from the approach that you understand he just wants to share his amazing cooking with you rather than sabotage you. Maybe you could even find a specific recipe you'd enjoy together that is healthier he could make you?
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:28 PM   #6
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Do you do any cooking for yourself? Does he mind you cooking?

PinkFlower hit on something. "Maybe you could even find a specific recipe you'd enjoy together that is healthier he could make you?" I think that's a great idea!

I would think he would enjoy cooking in a healthier way. You say. "[and he knows better, he's very into nutrition and being healthy]"

It almost sounds like this could be a cooking healthy journey that both of you can do. Perhaps he just needs some encouragement too.

Just some thoughts. Good Luck!
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audrina View Post
I think when he does it again, you're right, I will have to have a conversation with him about it, and ask him again to be supportive of my diet changes. .
I think you need to talk to him before he does it again: you need to talk about the theory, and if you wait until he offers you food, the conversation becomes about why you won't eat THAT dish, or why he shouldn't offer you food THIS time. Furthermore, your emotions are more engaged when you are turning down something real and tempting that is right in front of you: your own frustration and temptation will come out, and it can send a mixed signal--your mouth is saying "I don't want that" but your body language is saying "My! That looks good!".

So sit down with him tonight and talk about theory. Talk about how you DO want to eat those things--they looks and smell delicious--but you can't, because you have to get your health under control. Explain that you won't be offended if he cooks and doesn't offer you any--in fact, you'll be pleased. Reassure him that if you DO want something, you'll ask. Listen when he explains his own thoughts (which are probably about thinking that you really DO want him to talk you into it, or that it feels weird to just eat and not offer) and really talk this out when it is about food in general, not about this dish, right now.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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How about giving his some recipes that fit in with your plan and asking him to make those?
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:43 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthrgoos68 View Post
For some of us, and I'm definitely guilty of this, we show our love through our cooking and baking for the people we love. On one level, I'm sure he understands what you're trying to do, and another level he's not sure how to go about caring for you without cooking for you.

In the end, even though it's hard, and frustrating, it is up to you to be responsible for your choices and it sounds like you're doing a great job of it. Keep up the good work!
I'm guilty of the same thing. I LOVE to cook and bake, and it's something that I just can't give up. I actually bake cookies all the time and mail them off to my friends leaving one or two for me. It's a great way to make me feel good about myself and I can still stay true to my diet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkflower View Post
I have to say, in the recent past, it was hard for me to understand that people actually are very strict on diets. I seriously didn't understand how someone could feel guilty about eating a piece of cake or whatever. I understand now, of course, but I never denied myself anything I wanted in the past. I LOVE baking and sharing my baking, so I've been guilty of this, bringing over cheesecakes, homemade cinnamon rolls etc to friends and family I know are dieting. It wasn't out of wanting to sabotage them, I simply didn't understand the implications and just wanted to share something yummy.

I also agree that you should talk to him, but take it from the approach that you understand he just wants to share his amazing cooking with you rather than sabotage you. Maybe you could even find a specific recipe you'd enjoy together that is healthier he could make you?
I don't know if he thinks about it as sabotaging me, or if as you say, it's him wanting to share something good with me. He does make an effort to cook things that he knows I love, and it's not that I don't appreciate the kindness, it's just that ... well I'm eating differently now.

I think that maybe asking him to cook something specifically is a great idea that he'll be receptive too, I know that his feelings are hurt that I barely eat his cooking anymore, and I would love to, if he made something I felt not guilty about eating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyMustard View Post
Do you do any cooking for yourself? Does he mind you cooking?

PinkFlower hit on something. "Maybe you could even find a specific recipe you'd enjoy together that is healthier he could make you?" I think that's a great idea!

I would think he would enjoy cooking in a healthier way. You say. "[and he knows better, he's very into nutrition and being healthy]"

It almost sounds like this could be a cooking healthy journey that both of you can do. Perhaps he just needs some encouragement too.

Just some thoughts. Good Luck!
I try not to eat out and to buy food that isn't prepared, so I do almost all the cooking myself. Before I made these major changes to what I ate we usually took turns cooking dinner -- I would cook one night and he would cook the next. He doesn't mind me cooking at all and thinks that I'm a great cook too [yay ego stroking! I just started cooking everything for myself about a year ago and I do have some kitchen skills ]

Part of the issue with the food that I eat versus the food that he's eating is that we're pretty much polar body opposites. He's enjoyed the changes of a ton of fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc, but he's also very under weight and been losing weight since I made these changes and he's introduced these things more into his diet. So when he eats to GAIN weight, I'm eating to LOSE weight.

Hopefully we can find some things to cook together [or he can cook for me lol], or maybe I can ask him to make some simple changes to what or how he cooks so I can enjoy his food again.



Thank you so much everyone for the feedback, it is much appreciated.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:49 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Shmead View Post
I think you need to talk to him before he does it again: you need to talk about the theory, and if you wait until he offers you food, the conversation becomes about why you won't eat THAT dish, or why he shouldn't offer you food THIS time. Furthermore, your emotions are more engaged when you are turning down something real and tempting that is right in front of you: your own frustration and temptation will come out, and it can send a mixed signal--your mouth is saying "I don't want that" but your body language is saying "My! That looks good!".

So sit down with him tonight and talk about theory. Talk about how you DO want to eat those things--they looks and smell delicious--but you can't, because you have to get your health under control. Explain that you won't be offended if he cooks and doesn't offer you any--in fact, you'll be pleased. Reassure him that if you DO want something, you'll ask. Listen when he explains his own thoughts (which are probably about thinking that you really DO want him to talk you into it, or that it feels weird to just eat and not offer) and really talk this out when it is about food in general, not about this dish, right now.
This is an excellent idea that I'll do tonight.

I think maybe if I'm able to explain to him how his actions of offering me food affect me he may be more receptive to stop offering, and further if I explain that it's not that I don't like his cooking at all - it's that I love it a little too much, he can help me a little bit more in this journey.

He did ask me if I was still going to go to Chipotle with him [this has pretty much been a ritual of us since he moved in last year] and I told him that I would of course go, but I probably wouldn't be getting anything -- we eat it at home anyway and I can enjoy a lower calorie meal while he enjoys his burrito. He seemed to be hurt by this, but I explained to him that 1,000 calories is simply too much for one meal and while I COULD exercise moderation or make other choices there, it'll be very hard for me to do so for awhile.

I think maybe if I explain how I use food to calm my anxiety or to ease my depression he may further understand how right now, it's not just a choice to eat this way, but a battle. I need to get myself used to making extremely healthy choices because this is how I'm going to be for the rest of my life.

Thank you for your kind words
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:12 PM   #11
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If he's like most men, at the very least you can teach him that offering you food will lead to a long thoughtful conversation about your feelings. I find that alone is enough to change my husband's behavior!
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:21 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Shmead View Post
If he's like most men, at the very least you can teach him that offering you food will lead to a long thoughtful conversation about your feelings. I find that alone is enough to change my husband's behavior!
LOL

Now there's something that might get through to him!
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:39 PM   #13
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Good luck with you talk. All the suggestions given were great.

Having dealt with the unsupportive roommate situation before, try to adjust your "traditions" to better suit your new lifestyle.

My roommate is all about ice cream and we'd go every week on Wednesday. This girl eats ice cream 3-4 times a week!!! How she stays at a size 10 I will never understand. Much like your Chipotle run, we'd drive there and then come home to eat it. We ended up finding a new ice cream place that is located off a popular trail in town and its about a 1 mile walk from our house to the ice cream joint. So now we go for an evening stroll, get our ice cream (or froyo/sherbert for me) and walk home. We actually get to spend more time together now hanging out and a treat. Both of us are happy!

Check out for how you can construct a Chipotle burrito thats more in line with your diet. If you google, Chipotle Nutritional Information there is a cool "burrito creator app". Sorry I'd post the link but I can't yet. You can still go and continue the tradition.
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:41 PM   #14
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Oh that is a cool app online.

If you do a salad with romaine, chicken or steak, fajita veggies, black beans, tomato salsa and hot salsa (instead of dressing), and romaine, that's less than 400 calories. It's still kind of high sodium though. If you take out the hot sauce the sodium does go down quite a bit.

The dressing alone adds 300 calories.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:39 AM   #15
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Sometimes men need to see evidence that you really are trying to eat less -
what if you posted a sort of excel sheet with your daily calorie intake in the kitchen.... then next time he pushes food on you, you could walk over to your chart and say:

"Nope, I don't have enough calories left to eat that IF I want to lose a pound this week. Thanks for offering."

I don't know... maybe that makes it less personal, emotional, and awkward.
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