When was your last encounter with the food police?
Maybe you can relate to my friend Tilly, who was at a wedding reception last weekend, surrounded by waiters passing around trays of appetizers.
As she reached for a mini quiche, her husband leaned in. Tilly thought he was about to give an affectionate kiss.
Instead, he whispered, "Do you really need that?"
Needless to say, Tilly was mortified. Humiliated. Upset.
She told me later, "He just doesn't get it. He's just making it worse?"
I bet you know how Tilly felt because you've been there. When the food police strike, you want to throw your hands up and scream LEAVE ME ALONE!
Here are some strategies to deal with this situation:
Say, (with some sarcasm ) “Wow, I never thought of that. I don’t actually need this. Thank you for enlightening me. I’ll alert the media.”
Say, “When you talk about what I’m eating, I feel embarrassed and angry, because it means... (here’s the tough part – what does it mean to you?):
- You only care about how I look
- You don’t get what I’m going through
- You completely misunderstand me
- You are treating me like a child
Say, “I know you’re trying to help, but mini quiches are not the problem. The real problem is, I’m using food to cope. Sometimes I don’t even know why but I'm doing my best to understand. The best thing you can do is ask what’s going on with me.”
You can also mix-and-match all three of these responses.
Your goal? To get these well-meaning folks to BACK OFF and stop policing what you eat.
When friends and family are more supportive, you’re increasingly likely to turn to them for comfort, reassurance, understanding and/or escape, instead of to food!
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