If you struggle with peer pressure around food and can’t figure out how to say no when someone pressures you to eat seconds, then this note is for you!
Picture your last big gathering. Maybe it was a big holiday like Thanksgiving where everyone brought their favorite dishes to share. Each dish looked so delicious that you tried to eat a little bit of everything. You got so full you simply couldn’t manage another bite!
But then Grandma asked if you wanted dessert. “I’m not ready for dessert yet,” you said, and maybe she gives you thirty minutes or even an hour before she asks you again.
“Ready for dessert?” Still full, you shake your head. “The kitchen is being cleaned up and everything put away,” she presses.
“But if you don’t eat it now, it’ll be gone!” she protests.
You cave, because she’s THE family baker and she just wants to see you enjoying one of her treats. Fifteen minutes later, you’re regretting giving in and wondering how you can ask if anyone has any Tums without them giving you one of those annoying knowing smirks.
People may have the best of intentions. Sharing a meal or treats is so often a way that people like to share or show their love. That said, it isn't a loving gesture to you if you do not want it.
With that in mind, learning to say “No” to offers of food is an important part of the journey to Food Freedom. Allowing anyone to cross your boundaries is a form people-pleasing.
People pleasing is an easy way to end up in the midst of out-of-control eating. If you feel a “No” in your heart (and stomach) but you don’t say it, then I bet you end up eating about it later. People so often eat as a way to cope with their boundaries being crossed.
Boundaries are so essential in this journey to Food Freedom! Even a small exertion of boundaries allows us to practice, so that we can set the bigger boundaries that we need to protect ourselves.
We have to get good at noticing our boundaries and then naming and claiming them.
So how would you go about getting your “No” across to Grandma?
“Everything was so delicious and I just can’t eat another bite!” is a great response to her first push.
The second may require a less enthusiastic, “No, really, I’m not hungry.”
The third push is the key. Keep in mind the saying, “the third time’s the charm!” Most people will ask three times because they know that the third time is when most people cave.
A firm response without a smile is usually best in this case. “I am done eating. Please stop suggesting that I eat more.” You can always add “thank you” to take the sting out of your words. You can also ask for a plate to-go, as a way to stop Grandma’s insistence on your continued eating.
Stand firm with your boundaries and release yourself from the peer-pressure to eat past a comfortable level of fullness.
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