Food Pushers

October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

Source: via Holly on Pinterest


It happens

You show up to a dinner party

And you’re met with a buffet right between the eyes

What—-are you going to be rude to your host?

Who probably spent hard earned money and plenty of hours planning, cooking and putting that fondue fountain on display?

It’s a special occasion, right?

Just one bite won’t hurt

What if it’s a family member who you know will take offense?

You’re not going to eat a slice of someone’s birthday cake?

Is it really worth it to cause a scene?

Now reverse the situation

Suppose you’re an alcoholic

You show up to a dinner party

And you’re met with an open bar right between the eyes

What—-are you going to be rude to your host?

Who probably spent hard earned money and plenty of hours planning, mixing drinks, and putting that champagne fountain on display?

It’s a special occasion, right?

Just one drink won’t hurt

What if it’s a family member who you know will take offense?

You’re not going to raise your glass for a toast?

Is it really worth it to cause a scene?


Maybe you didn’t have a food addiction

Maybe your weight wasn’t life threatening

But mine was

And to me that buffet bar with the cookies and cake

Might as well be cocaine

Because once I walk out of that party

It’s only the beginning

Because now it’s running through my veins

Just like a drug addict who says

“Just one last hit”

Now it’s inside me

Driving me

Creating the cravings that will come

So whether I like it or not

This is what sugar is to me

My desire to not offend someone

My desire to fit into the crowd

My desire to not be rude

Not insult my host

My friends

My family

Has probably just set me back 2 months

Maybe even a year

Maybe even forever

There is no way to know how an alcoholic

Who backslides

Will be affected

Can they turn it around fast?

Or will this be the start of a binge that never ends?

The same can be true of someone who has a problem with food

People around us

People in our lives



They don’t often understand that a food issue

Can be as deadly as a cocaine habit

They may even argue with us when we say “No Thanks!”

Making it even harder to resist

Source: via Holly on Pinterest


Maybe they’ll never get it

But we do

So what are we going to do about it?

The food pushers in our lives may mean well

They may do it out of ignorance

But it’s our life

It’s our responsibility

How will we respond?

You may remember my brother

From Over 400 pounds to Triathlete?

He thought his life was over

And it was

But then he took back the control

And now just a few years later

He is running Triathlons


And he’s getting married

That’s right

My brother who a few years ago was on his deathbed

Who was on oxygen

Who had NO future

Is now getting married to the love of his life

That’s another story for another time

But know this

He had no future and no hope

And now he has an endless supply of both

But he knows even now

That it all could come crashing down around him

If he let himself forget how dangerous a slip up can be

He helps others now in the same situation

And this weekend he wrote an email to me and a few others on this path

Other fighters like you and me

Out there on the daily battlefield

Fighting this deadly addiction

He said I could share it with you

So here it is


Letter from Lee

Hi you guys,

I wanted to share with you something that happened to me this week

As it will happen to you – many times, likely.

Tuesday night some very close friends had a going away “party”/dinner

For me and my fiancé Beth

Now keep in mind these are close friends

Some of them I have been working out with at 6:00 am for two years

They are healthy and know my “story”

The host always is very diligent to prepare a reasonably healthy dinner

However on this evening the wife of a friend prepared a homemade very special cake –

Triple Chocolate fudge… Really Something!

It was the final act for dinner brought into the dinner table with great “fanfare” for everyone

Now, knowing this was going to be the case, I snuck away into the kitchen

As she was preparing to slice the cake for everyone –

So I could tell/remind her none for me

In an effort to not have to “dis” her in front of the group

By refusing it as its placed in front of me

Much to my Surprise she was VERY INSISTENT that I have at least a LITTLE

At least a bite

Some small amount

I politely and repeatedly said “no thank you, but it looks wonderful”

“No thank you but I will enjoy watching everyone else dig in”

“No thanks but Beth will tell me all about it”

“No thanks even a little is bad for me –and you know that ?!”


So I said “Here look at this (before pic)and see why I can’t have any”


Once I showed her the picture she left me alone : )

It’s very hard when this occurs

And it’s been a long time since I’ve been in this situation

But we all face it sometimes


I would have remembered what I USED to say

BEFORE I could show a “before” pic.

“No thank you – I have Diabetes.”

That’s all you have to say most of the time.

I share this with you because YOU WILL FACE THIS –

And you are in a Life or Death battle

MORE importantly you are in the process of changing your life forever !

Halloween – Thanksgiving – Christmas

All of this will present you with challenges

“Opportunities” for Victory

Each time you resist a challenge like this

You gain in power

You have a “Small Win”

And as we know

Small Wins lead to more and more Wins

Just as small misses lead to more and more “misses”

Ok – so the question is this…

How to do it ?

1- Predecide what you will and WON’T EAT – a “little” WILL HURT YOU
2- Have your “out” ready … I am diabetic … I am allergic to that.  Do you want to spend the night with me at the emergency room? LOL”

But usually a Simple No Thank You will suffice : )

Hope in Your Future is Power in Your Present!



You can follow Lee on Twitter at:


400 pounder to Triathlete – Exercise is Life Transformation


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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

sandie October 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Great story of hope!!!!!!!!!!!
sandie recently posted..Monday, Monday . . . so good to me and you!My Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thank you Sandie!!


Sarah October 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm

So true. People mean well but just don’t often understand the impact they can have. xx
Sarah recently posted..The dating and dieting debacles of a bandsterMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I agree Sarah!!


Lady Amanda October 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm

It is sooo hard when people are forcing stuff on you. Or forcing you to eat wayyy more than you want to just so they feel like you liked it. Very good post! Am soo excited about their wedding!!! yay!!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thanks Manda!!


Beth M. October 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Oh Holly, thanks for this today!! I see so many people that lose the weight and get to the point where they can eat anything in moderation (or think they can), and I’m learning (over, and over and over again!) that I’m simply NOT one of those people. I might be able to have just a little and stop there, but it’s far more likely that a little will send me spinning off out of control, eating all sorts of crap for days on end. Sometimes it feels like you’re the only one that has to just say no. But I’m not alone in this, and as hard as it can be to never have “just a little”, it’s much harder to be binging and queasy and miserable and feel like a failure!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm

You are definitely not alone!! I did not get to 300 pounds overweight b/c I am capable of eating in moderation. Everyone has some thorn in the flesh. This is mine. But I can keep it under control if I follow certain rules and don’t waiver. I do mess up at times and I have to get back on track fast or the train can derail like crazy. I think there are a lot of people in the world who are probably fooling themselves into thinking they will be able to control it. I lived that way almost all of my life. I didn’t want to admit that I was like an alcoholic with certain foods. But finally doing it was freeing to me. And the reality is there are a zillion people out there in the same boat!!


Nikki Mohamed October 1, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I run into this all the time here in Egypt. It’s a cultural thing and your host will actually be offended if you don’t eat or drink at least a little of what is offered you. I will drink tea and insist they don’t put any sugar in it. I’m not diabetic. I just like it this way. But most times, I will flat out refuse the food. If I’m not hungry, I’m not hungry. That isn’t going to change just because feelings will be hurt. Be strong. YOUR health is more important than someone else’s hurt feelings. Be polite but firm and stick to your guns. And remember something else that we all tend to forget sometimes:

How others react to our ‘no, thank you’ is ultimately THEIR responsibility. They can either whine and cry and feel insulted if they choose OR, put their big girl panties on and think, “Cool. More for me later.”
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Love this Nikki! I love how strong you are in defense of what is important to you. I can only imagine how tough this must be in a different cultural environment. It really is amazing to me the more I read about it how tied societies are to food. Food is such a cultural, societal, familial experience. It is so interconnected to so many things. You would think it would be as simple as…eat when you’re hungry and don’t when you’re not. It should be and like you said it CAN be. We all have to grow a big backbone and do what you said. Own our own hunger and not let anyone else control what we put in our mouth. If they react badly then we need to release ourselves from that. I think this goes back to being a people pleaser of which I am very guilty. I hate confrontation and I would rather just go with the flow. But when the flow leads me to self destruction then I have to learn a new way to deal!! I just admire you so much!


Marc October 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Great Advice!
Marc recently posted..Dyfunctional homes and emotional over eatingMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Thanks Marc!


Linda Kuil October 2, 2012 at 11:20 am

WOW! After being told he didn’t want any she still acted like a dealer?!? How insensitive. I think I’ll use “I’ll become diabetic” or “It’s a slippery slope for me…”
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I’ve also heard the phrase “I’m allergic” and that is what I have used in the past.An allergy is a bad reaction right? And I really do react to things with a lot of sugar by experienced increased cravings. Maybe it’s not the kind of allergy where my head blows up but give it awhile and other parts of my body will after I eat them every day for the next year!!
Holly from 300 Pounds Down recently posted..Food Pushers My Profile


Yazmin @ A Pretty Rock October 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Actual, I notice a reaction when I eat sugar. I’m not that “head blow up” kinda of allergic you mentioned, but when I eat sugar (not to be gross) my sinus mucus gets thick and my head throbs after the high is gone.

I’d be surprised if most of us don’t have this kind of reaction… we just don’t know how to recognize it!

So, it would be perfectly legit to say “I’m allergic”! 🙂
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Totally agree Yazmin! I don’t eat anything with more than 4 grams of sugar in it. I know when I have eaten something with more sugar than that! I can tell b/c the cravings come back with a vengeance. It’s good to know that it’s not just a moral failing on my part. That my body really reacts to sugar with craving more sugar! So I count that as an allergy just like you!!
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Amanda October 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

He’s so so right. My issue has never been one of being afraid to offend or that I’ll stand out. My issues is that I WANT THE CAKE! I’ve still gotta work through THAT. 🙂
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Hahaaa!! Amanda this made me laugh!! I have to admit…the fact that I want the cake probably plays in to it for me too!!


Pam October 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Your brother is amazing. Not only in what he has accomplished, but in how he dealt with the chocolate cake situation. I too carry around a before and after picture, one that appeared in the local newspaper about a year ago. I have never “whipped it out” for any reason, but I leave it in my billfold, JUST IN CASE.
I read in my new Self magazine that we are more likely to give into temptation the second or third time. It’s hard to keep saying ‘NO’ over and over. We have monthly birthday coffees here at work, with donuts or cake or cookies. Every month the leftovers get taken down to our coffee room, where I go to get ice, and milk for my cereal and where I eat my lunch. I am in that room several times every day. And thus, I not only have to say NO to those donuts when they are served at the birthday coffee, but I have to continue to say NO every time I walk into that coffee room. It’s always a relief when the leftover sweets are finally gone. But….at least no one is insisting that I have “just a bite.” That is tough. I am easily swayed and influenced. However, as for myself, when someone gives me an answer, I accept that answer. I give them the benefit of respecting their decision, I realize THEY alone know what is BEST for them. But so many people think they know what is BEST for you. I like the diabetes excuse, but I hate to lie. I think the picture idea is a great one–and I will use that if necessary. I have not eaten cake at my grandchildren’s birthday parties for several years. In fact, I have never had cake at my 3-year old granddaughter’s birthday parties. I don’t think either of those grandkids will ever remember a fat grandma, since grandson was only 3 when I began my journey to lose weight. And I want to keep it that way!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I am glad I work from home. I can only imagine how difficult it is having to walk into get coffee and being faced with treats everywhere!! I remember when I would walk into the teacher’s lounge to make copies there were always goodies in there and often no one was in the room but me! I would think to myself…if no one saw me take it then it doesn’t count!! LOL It is a battlefield to walk into that every day. I am so impressed not only with your progress but your continued progress!! You are really amazing and I love reading your blog over on spark people. You are the reason I went to check out that site in the first place. I love how you are committed and the great insights you share. I am so happy you are here!!


Enz October 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

This an awesome reminder. I am going to send this link to my “food pusher friends” as a gentle reminder. Thank you.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Thanks for being here Enz!


Melissa D October 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

What an amazing family you have thanks for sharing this. I face the same issue when visiting the my inlaws(family of beautiful people inside and out) and during work potlucks. Great post today!!!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Oh my goodness! Potlucks are the worst!! The good thing is you can bring your own food to that one!! Then no one can say you didn’t eat!


M October 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I think another thing that “food pushers” ( a great name for them) don’t understand is that those of us with long-time food/weight issues too often suffer with guilt over every questionable morsel that goes into our mouths. We have a very long history of beating ourselves up over repeated failures, and a lifetime of low self esteem over the issues that are caused by the very thing they are pushing us to do.
That’s not to say that there may be a deeper issue in our lives that brought us to being morbidly obese, but we don’t need to have our drug of choice that we’ve relied on so long for to be “offered” to us so insistently.
Your brother’s pre-loss picture idea is a grand one. I’m certain that would shut up even the pushiest of pushers.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

What a great point. I definitely identify with “guilt over every questionable morsel” that we put in our mouths! In the beginning I would even feel guilty eating the things that were on my food plan. I think a lot of us feel guilty over all food good or bad because we’ve been trained to associate eating with guilt. And like you said we have a “long history of beating ourselves up over repeated failures, and a lifetime of low self esteem over the issues that are caused by the very thing they are pushing us to do.” Wow what great insights!! Thank you so much for sharing them.


Cathy in Missouri October 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

How – and why – is it that people feel free to be so aggressive?

Because when someone pushes you that hard, that aggressively, to have a piece of cake that you politely said “no” to

something funny is going on.

NOT funny.


You know?

I think that whether they want to admit it – to themselves, to others – there are people who really, really, really, really need to see other people fall down in order to feel better about themselves. And they will do anything, including undermining and clearly overstepping boundaries (by miles and miles) to see someone fall.


He made it out. He guarded his boundaries. He kept his switches on the inside, where they belong. He said no and he meant no.

Rock on, Brother Of Yours. And Rock on (You!) Holly.

Cathy in Missouri


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

It does make you wonder why people feel inclined to push the food on you? I think that would make a great research topic!! I have been thinking a lot more lately about how interwined we all are with food. I know another blogger Nikki made a point that that where she lives not eating someone’s food is very rude and it’s part of cultural expectations. Maybe it’s because people find cooking for someone to be a way they show love to them. And if you reject that they take it personally. I think it also stems from the fact that society accepts an alcoholic refusing a drink b/c they view it as a legitimate ‘disease’ but they don’t feel the same way with food. Maybe they really think it’s not a legitimate addiction or problem and that people should be able to control it. Whatever they feel about it though it is up to us to protect ourselves. Like you said we need to have our boundaries safely set up so we can avoid these pitfalls!


Cathy in Missouri October 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Now, see, you’re much more generous in your assessment of why they “need” to push than I am. I’m not addressing cultural issues & obviously that’s a complicated topic.

However, it seems a little weird, if someone is truly aiming to show love – with the OTHER person as the focus, not with their OWN needs atop the list – that they would be unable to cope with hearing, “No, thank you, I need to pass on eating that.”

If they *can’t/won’t* hear that, if their identity and “need to feel needed” is so entangled that they can’t handle “no, thank you” without getting upset,

I start to suspect they aren’t being loving at all, really.

Sounds a whole lot more like co-dependent. And even so far as – sometimes – outright manipulative.

A loving person does not cross-examine another person about why they don’t want a piece of cake.

Friends, yes, I’ll keep them. Badgering lawyers, no thank you.

You go, Girl – as you always do.

xo CiM


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Cathy, I have to say I agree with you. I’d like to believe that everyone has good intentions but sometimes people are unwilling to see outside themselves. Like you said, it shouldn’t be a big deal for someone to refuse food. In fact, what we eat should not really be anyone’s business but our own. To me it is just as strange for someone to walk up and insist you use their brand of laundry detergent or drive their model of car. It wouldn’t make sense for them to insist that and yet they want to micromanage what we put in our mouth. Ironically it goes both ways. People who want to keep you from eating or criticizing what you eat b/c you are overweight. And then people who encourage you to eat more because you have lost weight. Can’t win! I have to agree with you that regardless of their reason, it is a tactic of manipulation that many employ. I don’t know why they do it. But like you said…no one should be cross examined about a piece of cake!!!! LOL Couldn’t have said it better myself!


annamarie October 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I just love love your posts. If it is alright with you I would love to share your posts with my TOPS group. Maybe now they may understand where I get most of my motivation and inspiration from.

And much kudos to your brother.

With many hugs
annamarie recently posted..Day 213 Afraid to moveMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm

How sweet Annamarie!!! What an honor that would be!


Caron October 3, 2012 at 10:56 am

Best.Post.Ever! My oldest daughter and I were discussing this very topic two days ago and I immediately sent her the link to this post. I am not one who will ever be able to eat all things moderately. Most of us overweight and formerly overweight people can not do that but I see bloggers who’ve lost a fair amount of weight and who keep eating things that are trigger foods for them and they stall out or start gaining. They talk about eating intuitively as if that’s what you do when you reach your goal. Sadly, for most of us, that is a pipe dream.

My Weight Watcher leader jokes that she tells people that she’s allergic and breaks out in fat. 🙂


Daphne October 19, 2012 at 3:46 am

This post just got me all riled up! The story at the end really did it. People have no idea what they’re doing when they offer food like that. NO idea!!

Thanks for the post, you just gained another reader 🙂


Natalie January 19, 2013 at 3:09 am

I am pre-diabetic and once I nearly used the “I’m a diabetic” card but then I didn’t because it would be a lie and I’m very uncomfortable with that, particularly about a life-threatening disease.

From the other side of the fence I admit I have to control my own food-pushing habits. It is a way I show love, spending endless hours planning and cooking for people, so it can feel like a rejection if they casually say “no thanks” about something I spent three hours making. It feeds my ego to feel I am a great cook and no one can resist. I do totally understand though, of course, and I have schooled myself not to insist or be insulted. I still get frustrated with my dad who drinks a bottle of wine with dinner and scoffs half a box of chocolates after but won’t eat anything with cream or butter in it! Because butter is like poison, you know?
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