The Faux Diet Queen (or as we affectionately call her, FDQ) has agreed to share her latest (and last) weight loss journey with us as a regular Friday feature at Girlfriendology. We hope you’ll join us to cheer her on, nudge her back on track when she strays, and generally giggle along.
The holiday season brings stress in all sorts of forms. For many of us, dealing with family at this time of year is a special king of stress.
For some of us, dealing with food and family at the same time can be mind boggling. Our own FDQ shares her perspective of food and family.
This time of year, most of us spend time with family members we don’t see the other fifty weeks of the year. We love them, we’re delighted to see the holiday schedule approaching, and then we can’t wait for them to butt out of our lives. There is something sinister about the annual amnesia some of us indulge in. “It will be different this year.” Probably not if you want to know the truth. “Aunt Ridla isn’t really that bad.” Um, yes, she probably is.
So each year we head to the family gathering with great hopes and are disappointed to find out that reality has not cleaned itself up over the previous year and family encounters are the same as they ever were.
Here are some of the types of people I encounter at family mixers. The amazing thing is that they have absolutely opposite approaches, yet they all exist to make me miserable.
The Food Pushers
The food pushers are the ones endlessly encouraging you to eat “just a little more” or taste “just a little bit.” If that doesn’t work, they’ll head straight for the guilt, “What do you MEAN you don’t want any of Aunt Tillie’s famous egg salad? She made it just for you!” “Of COURSE you have to have some of Uncle Walter’s birthday cake! It would be rude not to eat just a little!”
Food pushers have been around forever. (Eve and the apple, anyone?) When the world ends, it won’t be because of pollution or a nuclear accident. It will be because Atlas’ mother has gotten tired of waiting and finally made him put the world down, wash his hands, and come in for dinner.
The Food Police
The Food Police is the force of people who have made it their personal mission to help you lose weight whether you want help or not. (The self-appointed Chief of the Food Police is the man I’m married to, but that’s a story for another day.)
The food police move the plate of cake away from you even if you were about to start eating it. They say helpful [by “helpful” I mean “insanely annoying”] things like, “Are you SURE you want that, dearie?” so that your eyes cross and it takes an act of willpower to remember you aren’t supposed to punch 86 year old ladies. They will also “help” by pointing out which food choices are “healthiest” for you, and how much weight Cousin Sally lost of the whatever- whatever diet.
A specialized unit of the food police is the observers. These self-righteous folks exist to point out things that I would never (snort!) have known without them. Things like, “hmmm … you’ve put on some weight since the last time we saw you.” Or (in a dubious voice) “I thought I heard your mother say you’d gone on a diet, dear.” Just once, instead of gritting my teeth, offering a maladjusted smile, and sidling away, just once I’d like to say something like, “Really? You mean those numbers on that scale in my bathroom don’t mean my IQ is going up?” or “Uncle Bob, Thank you for pointing that out. Without you, I never would have known that moving to a larger size meant I was gaining weight.” or “No, I’m not fat. I’m pregnant.”
Dealing with Family
But I don’t say any of those things. I generally head straight to the dessert buffet. Or the bar. Or both. Family, no matter how misguided, misinformed, and misbehaved is still family.
If you find yourself about to utter one of the “helpful” phrases above, take it from me—don’t. Bite back the words and opt for a silent hug instead.
If you find yourself in the presence of the Pushers, Police, or Observers, don’t take it personally. They simply can’t help themselves—they have nothing better to talk about. So grab a fork, gently feed them a bite of molten lava brownie, and sneak away to the fun table while they are chewing.
The Faux Diet Queen is a Girlfriend and a Half, trying to find her Skinny Self. She promises to be absolutely truthful in this blog (although she may stretch a point now and then) and to share the good, the bad, and the frustrations of weight-loss.
How do you deal with family during the holiday? What do you do when they offer “helpful” suggestions?
Girlfriendology / Debba here: We love our girlfriends no matter what size jeans they wear or what the scales tell them if they’re brave enough to get on them. (Something I personally avoid like the plague.) But, we also want our girlfriends to be around and healthy for a long time. We’re sharing this journey that our girlfriend, FDQ (the FAB Faux Diet Queen) because it’s what girlfriends do – we go through life and diets together (and shoe shopping, and highs and lows …). Join us on her journey to fitness and good health. We’re excited for her to motivate and inspire us all!
Here’s some more Faux Diet Queen ‘adventures’. Stop back next Friday for the next installment!
- Water, water everywhere – Pass the Chardonnay
- The Faux Diet Queen Talks Turkey / Thanksgiving
- Beliefs I need to Ditch – Food Baggage
- Meet the Faux Diet Queen
- I Hate the Scale and the Scale Hates Me
- The FDQ Faces the Great Cookie Onslaught–Advice Needed!
p.s. If your food stories fall into a more serious topic, like emotional eating, we’ve got a great girlfriend for you to meet too – ELLEN SHUMAN. She’s shared great advice on emotional eating on various guest blogs and podcasts. (Her podcast on emotional eating is our #1 listened to interview so lots of us have some emotional eating issues or friends/family who do.)