Eat This Junk Food So I Can Feel Better About Myself

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Last week a client was rehashing the highlights of his weekly food intake. “I ate a cookie,” he told me. “I knew it wasn’t a great choice, but someone at work asked me to have one, and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I did.”

How many times does this happen to all of us? Someone makes a treat, and he or she will be so hurt if we don’t eat it.

Does a correct response exist? It's complicated.

Food is a substantial part of our culture, and carries weight in interpersonal workings. Sharing a meal can foster friendships, business relationships, and family bonds. Rejecting food that someone shares can be seen as an insult. But you’re trying to reduce your sweets intake, eat more veggies, improve your fitness, today isn’t a cheat day, and does Helen from accounting even know that you’re trying to make improvements! Gaaa!

The best response that you can give someone offering you a sweet is, “No, thanks. I’m improving my eating.” THEN CHANGE THE SUBJECT. Don’t let them try to entice you. Why? Because Helen from accounting has zero plans to improve her eating, and her ego hates that you have the willpower to say “No.” She wants to see you eat that cookie so she can feel better about herself by bringing you down, though she’ll never admit it, because she isn’t even conscious of it.

How do we wrap this all up into a neat bow?

You are in charge of you.

If you want that cookie, have it and feel good about it, and continue to improve your eating. Someone else’s ego is not your responsibility.


Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

Joseph MetalloComment