Dealing with Holiday Food Pushers and Food Cops

santa-taking-cookies

From Hanukkah gelt to peppermint bark to reindeer cookies; you can’t toss a Santa hat three feet without it landing in a mountain of sweet, sugary treats this time of year.

The holidays also bring out two characters extremely challenging to dieters attempting to stay the course through the most difficult time of year. So, in the interest of peaceful family get-togethers and company parties, I provide advice on how to deal with the ever-present “Food Police” and “Food Pushers.”

One can tell when the former is within earshot because you’ll hear: “Is that on your diet?” or “Should you be eating that?” Unfortunately, no matter how carefully worded and lovingly delivered, it always comes across as (delivered in the tone of a schoolyard taunt), “Neener-neener-neener! I caught you cheating!”

First tip: Override the initial reaction to share what you are eating rather forcefully by shoving it in his face.

The sad truth is that will not make the situation better; worse yet, your next meal might be served through bars.

On the other extreme is the “Food Pusher,” who sings a different carol, attempting to stuff you with all manner of delights. One recognizes her by the guilt-inducing expressions, “I made it just for you” or “One bite won’t hurt.”

Although these personality types appear opposites —one at-tempts to keep you from what you want and the other is forcing on you what you don’t — they are actually related. Each person’s is really trying to help you be happier. The “cop” does this by attempting to keep you on the straight and narrow, while the other provides “permission” to relax and cut loose.

Once we understand that motivation, we can handle them — without violence — by utilizing the “3 Rs.”

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State Your Intention Clearly

What is your intention?

yelling-guy-with-megaphone

The spoken word is the least important part of communication.

Studies have shown that over 90% of communication is non-verbal, such as tone of voice and body language. So, since attitude obviously communicates, make sure you attitude is “clean” before talking to others.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to come from this communication?”

For example, some intentions might be:

  • I want someone to know how I feel
  • I need more information
  • I want to “teach a lesson”
  • I am looking for a deeper relationship
  • I want to resolve a conflict

Notice how each intention will change the outcome of the communication.

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Are you Sure You’re Really Angry?

The anger you feel might not be real.

4-primary-colors-of-feelings

The four “primary colors” of emotions are:

  • Sad
  • Mad
  • Glad
  • Afraid

Virtually all other feelings come from some combination of those.

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Good Relationships Can Be Painful

Even the best relationships cause some pain.

rowing-in-different-directions-conflict

To expect your relationships to function “glitch free” is unrealistic.

No two people, whether co-workers, friends, or life partners; will always agree. Therefore, there will be times when you will be at loggerheads.
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Believe in Yourself as Much as you Believe in Others

hands-reaching-outWe are incredibly supportive of our friends and our family.

When they doubt themselves, we are easily able to inspire, encourage, and invigorate them up with all sorts of compliments. As importantly, we truly believe what we’re telling them too.

Yet, when we are talking about ourselves we are not as good of a friend.

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