Change always faces resistance and it is to no surprise that once you change how you’re eating you will face resistance.
There are some things we have to accept before we can lovingly deal with food bullies:
- They don’t understand why anyone would want to stop eating the way they are accustomed to. Generally, it’s easier to mock something you don’t understand than it is to face it.
- “We’ve always done it like this in the past”. Chipping off set customs does not come with a bunch of flowers and a card. You are going against norms and this knowingly or unknowingly to the bully offends them and they don’t know how to react politely other than push back.
- You are making them feel uneasy and question their habits, something that they generally do not want to feel or think about.
You don’t want
- An argument to build up in regards to food at the dining table
- People to feel uneasy in regards to what they are feeding you.
- The host to feel unhappy because you decline to eat their food that they have put time, energy and love into.
- People to respect your choices
- Accept you for what you stand for even if it’s not their best of choices
- To enjoy the company of the people you love while eating out in-spite of the food put on the table.
- To the non-aggressive and misinformed – Tell them what seems to be working for you. Tell them you feel that your current diet of no eggs, cow milk, chicken etc makes you feel better. Inform them on how you feel, and with that they can easily let you off the hook, better yet, they may be interested to even further know how such a lifestyle is helping you. They realize it’s about you and your health and not them.
- Just try some – There are some food bullies who are unaware of their bullying. They are the kind that can literally shove a donut or piece of chocolate into your mouth thinking they are doing you a favour. The feel the need for you not to miss out on their “yummy”. For such people, gently give them a firm “NO” and tell them to kindly respect your choices. This may take them a back but usually they need firmness to stay clear from their pestering and they will not try that again.
- The aggressive mockers – You have to be very tactful with such kind of people. They like and want a fight. They are itching to make you feel uncomfortable with your choices. They are irritated that you’re not eating like them and may be feeling a bit judged by your “superior” choice of less indulgent food. To deal with them you can first deflect the attention by attributing something positive about them that shoves off the attention from you. If this doesn’t work, you have your plan B strategy. Sprinkle on yourself some humility and tell them how you have worked hard to achieve your current results and indulging on those foods may side-track you. “Oh so you have some weaknesses..” they may muse within themselves and finally let you out of the bait because you’re “weak” . To your delight, you have successfully made them feel good about themselves and deflected the attention from yourself.
Now, can we go dine out lovingly with others?