3

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Easter Anxiety about confrontation.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 08, 2012 at 2:40 AM

Hey all,

I'm sensing at tomorrows Easter meals someone one of my family members are going to call me out on no grains or f@$king cake. I cannot tell you all how happy I am with my change to paleo. I look, feel and perform better than I ever have. I have got rid of my anxiety medication and I sleep like a baby. I feel like I could out perform anyone in any room, and yet feel backed into a corner when someone wants to criticize me over my "high fat, high cholesterol, fiber free diet".

I try to completely avoid conversations about food and yet there is always someone who wants to bring up my food choices.

I'm sure this has been covered, but how do you all handle these large social situations? I really have given it some thought. My approach is normally "I really don't like discussing food choices because I feel like there is a system that works for everyone, I found mine". That seems like an easy, cut and dry end of conversation right? However, there is always someone who wants to spew some stupid shit they read in some health mag. I'm sorry, but if you open your mouth in my direction and quote some doctor Oz facts while eating your second piece of cake at me, your going to be getting an answer and my opinion back.

Should I keep my mouth shut? Why is it so hard?

Happy Easter everyone. Thanks for everything you do, say , eat and live. I really appreciate the support and open, honest conversation on PH.

Have fun eating all those eggs tomorrow!

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on April 08, 2012
at 07:47 AM

Bingo.it's really not about you, it's about the person asking. If they are acting in a judgmental way chances are good they are feeling sensitive about their own behaviors and feeling that perhaps they are being judged.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 08, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I love your responses. You defend your points by sticking to your choices, but don't try to preach or shame them in any way!

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11 Answers

10
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on April 08, 2012
at 03:34 AM

I find that agreeing with a smile often helps. For instance they say "how could you live without bread? and I just nod and say "I know, it sounds weird, right?" and then they say "it can't be healthy to eat this way" and I smile and say "sounds crazy, right?"

When I agree that it sounds weird, it sort of takes the wind out of their sails. I'm not particularly saying that there's anything wrong with my choices, just acknowledging that it might sound weird to them.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 08, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I love your responses. You defend your points by sticking to your choices, but don't try to preach or shame them in any way!

8
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 08, 2012
at 02:42 AM

Yup, just keep your mouth shut. If anyone starts prying, just say you eat lean protein and healthy fat. No one will complain about that, don't worry about details. Just enjoy the day, eating what you can and ignoring the bad stuff.

6
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 08, 2012
at 03:03 AM

Mouth shut is always the best policy. If someone really pushes, say that you found out you were truly sensitive to such-and-such a food and it will give you a rash/stomach ache/some sort of believable ailment. That way you don't have to a re-hash a "this is what I eat and don't eat" conversation. Smile, play nice, and don't take the bait!

4
80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on April 08, 2012
at 05:06 AM

I'm very fond of "Oh you thin people who can eat anything you want - but I'm really trying to cut down on sugar right now."

4
B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on April 08, 2012
at 04:41 AM

If somebody complains about my eating choices, I might say "We all eat according to our preferences, right? Well, that's what I'm doing. I prefer to eat this way. It makes me feel good. It works for me."

If somebody tells me I should be eating this or that, I'm happy to say "I'm sure some people think so! Could you pass the butter, please?"

If the pushing continues, I'll even say, "Look, I'd like to just eat my dinner without discussing personal food choices. Can we do that? Because this is a fine meal, and it seems we should enjoy it."

I hate to hush people who have genuine questions about paleo. When I come across people like that, I suggest that they send me email about it later, and I'll send back some links. That way we can eat dinner without having the conversation revolve around what I eat and what I don't eat.

Asking lots of questions about other people's lives helps, too. :-)

1
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 08, 2012
at 02:40 PM

Do not engage. Do not offer any philosophy about the way you are eating. Do not give any indication that your food choices are anything but random. Do not respond to Dr. Oz information, because then you are legitimizing the critique of individual food choices as the subject of dinner conversation. If you want to be left alone, leave them alone too. Change the subject--have some prepared conversation changers: "What was that noise in the kitchen?"

1
0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

on April 08, 2012
at 07:39 AM

Just throw marshmallow peeps at them until they stop talking. The soft pillowy sugar is annoying yet mostly harmless on contact. If you're lucky they may pick one up and eat it, which will make a wonderful segue into your counterpoint.

1
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on April 08, 2012
at 04:36 AM

My husband is the master of saying something that on the surface seems acceptable, but then when you think about it, it totally gets people. He's honed it to a high art, which is infuriating when aimed at me, but a delight when others are the target.

So something like: "Yes, eating lots of fiber seems to be popular these days." "I can see why you would say that." "That seems to be the accepted way to do things."

I'm actually okay with having some prepared things to say to people. I understand why some folks are anti-confrontational, and that's great if it works for you, but I like to have some things at the ready to say. In general, I think it's best to be as generous as possible, otherwise risk their defensiveness. Nobody is confident about their food choices these days, and many folks just hear Paleo as a threat to them and their insecurities. If you can say something that opens a door to them to ask more questions, you never know what seeds you'll plant and who you'll convert without even trying.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on April 08, 2012
at 07:47 AM

Bingo.it's really not about you, it's about the person asking. If they are acting in a judgmental way chances are good they are feeling sensitive about their own behaviors and feeling that perhaps they are being judged.

1
E7e57f3e3a156df4072ca85d463f8ed3

(358)

on April 08, 2012
at 03:44 AM

I find that if I'm engaged in conversation or serving or helping out the host(ess), most people don't notice what I'm eating or not eating. If anyone starts pushing bread & cake, just say "no thanks, I'm full" (of Easter eggs?).

1
A124f3fe721369a69020d7702dc36ab9

(110)

on April 08, 2012
at 03:22 AM

This is what I say to meddling family, "It's what the doctors recommend for my metabolism."

1
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on April 08, 2012
at 03:21 AM

Personally, I'm fond of "I'm allergic to it." But, then again, I actually AM allergic to malt (in everything with wheat flour) and cow's milk. I also live in California, where everyone knows someone with weird food habits. But that doesn't help you.

Maybe if you think of them with compassion, perhaps as 'children' who don't know any better. Because they're adults, they don't necessarily want to know better. But I'm a big fan of examples, and eventually, they will notice how good you look, how much better you feel, and so on. If you talk about how fabulous your life is, maybe they'll shut up about the food.

Also, a great defensive strategy is to ask them about their lives. People love to talk about themselves, and if you go prepared to ask, and hear, every detail of their lives, they will likely forget to pry into yours.

Also, you can pat your (skinny) belly and say 'no cake for me, I'm watching my weight.' No more need be said than that.

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