5

votes

How do you get the "Food Pushers" to back off?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 13, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Hey everyone,

I just wondered how you deal with the social pressure to eat crap in situations where offending people is not a good idea (i.e., work). Yesterday we celebrated "Bosses Day" with mandatory cake...tomorrow we continue the celebration with pizza and chicken wings (ugh).

My boss loves to eat junk and made a big deal of asking me in front of everyone why I wasn't eating cake...I said it was because I have a problem with gluten (which is true, btw). Anyway, I am also doing intermittent fasting during the day, so this further complicates the issue...

Anyway, just wondered if anyone has figured out the best way to handle these food pushers that want everyone else to be fat and miserable like they are?

Nikki

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I think they would stage an "intervention" if I said that...lol!

68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on July 29, 2013
at 12:19 PM

Surely if you're gluten intolerant saying "I have cealiac disease and will get very sick" is reason enough? If they really push then you can say "if I eat it then I will have to take the afternoon off work from the pain and digestive issues". I have a similar problem with alcohol - more than 1 drink and I get a huge outbreak of facial eczema - and people are always trying to force booze down my neck

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on July 29, 2013
at 10:41 AM

+1 Well said! They simply wish for everyone around them to fall in line so *they* can feel good about themselves and their poor choices, and feel threatened when you don't play along - it's a power/control game nobody should play.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on July 29, 2013
at 10:39 AM

I did that a few times in my life and have always regretted it. Even just sticking to the frosting, at some point a little tiny bit of the breading gets in and I feel very sick afterwards. So yes, one bite does hurt, quite "much." Like you, I've felt social pressure to have same cake at my own son's birthday party - no more. You know what? He understands and that's what counts, the other people who don't won't be the ones in pain.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on July 29, 2013
at 10:35 AM

+1000! love it.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on November 12, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Or in my case I'd have to say, "You get a body like this for eating crap like that. I'm trying to change that."

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 13, 2011
at 07:12 AM

Alfredo, you sly dog: nice work on getting that Necromancer badge!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:55 PM

upvote! thanks for sending me off to work after laughing for almost 3 minutes straight. I'm sure to have a great day now!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Is that supposed to be a funny vampire reference?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:19 PM

Yep. "Never apologize. Never explain." I think you're dead right that people really don't care, and explaining the health benefits to people who aren't genuinely asking is a fool's errand. When I was obese and sick, I certainly didn't appreciate lectures, although I'm sure some of them were both correct and well-intentioned. Stubborn primates, we are.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:59 PM

That is hilarious!!!!!!!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:57 PM

I threw the rest of the cake, too.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on June 12, 2011
at 10:23 AM

In many offices, between the birthday cakes, the lunch meetings, and the co-workers selling everything from cookies to frozen pizzas on behalf of their kids, "food pressure" isn't a rare thing. It might be acceptable to eat a small slice of the boss's birthday cake once a year, but if you bring a salad to the weekly lunch meeting when everyone else is eating pizza, you're going to be considered a "foodloon." Might as well embrace it with a sense of humor and humility.

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 12, 2011
at 04:02 AM

OMG. Thank you for that laugh! I actually have tears, I laughed so hard!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 12, 2011
at 03:57 AM

I'm very open about the fact that my gluten intolerance means "I don't have to be polite and eat a gawd-awful cake, like the rest of you." I always say it with a smile, as if the cake looks so good that I must make a joke of my situation, but the truth in my comment never fails to make a few smile.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 04, 2011
at 02:09 AM

Many people who go paleo even if they don't have a diagnosed sensitivity react to gluten and sugar. Why suffer just to make others happy? If sanity means I will become alienated then so be it!

D738a5b2a67f3c36518a2ac9f32d27af

(821)

on November 01, 2010
at 01:28 AM

Dana Carpender just posted about this topic: http://holdthetoast.com/content/low-carbing-and-holidays-turning-down-food-pusher

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 16, 2010
at 10:56 AM

Hehe true but, em, well this rabbit hole goes DEEP. Underlying motivation of your life purpsose etc etc. A short on would be what do you think would happen if confronting ? How you feel ? How would people treat you differently then they do now ? etc etc

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 16, 2010
at 05:24 AM

Oh, come on, people! This is funny but it's not a legitimate answer to the question! LOL!

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 15, 2010
at 02:18 PM

Because if I say that then I get the "Oh, just have a bite" comment. Saying "I'm not hungry" never works because they don't understand a person would refuse food offered to them simply because they aren't hungry...this is why they are all the size of water buffalo, and I am not. :)

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 15, 2010
at 02:08 PM

Thanks Shebeeste, this is very helpful!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 12:10 PM

Hah! Love it, gonna use it to push my fats!

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:14 AM

Not at all, Pieter. Thanks.

D738a5b2a67f3c36518a2ac9f32d27af

(821)

on October 15, 2010
at 01:56 AM

BTW, I was thinking about this question just yesterday. I wanted to frame the question in terms of general rudeness, boundaries, etc. "No" no longer means "no" in many situations. People don't mean to be rude, but it's becoming the cultural norm. Miss Manners would recommend a firm "No, thank you", and a freezing glare if necessary (maybe not at work). Here's a quick Google search I did: http://tinyurl.com/282djq3 and a Washington Post column with some good advice on this topic http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53597-2004Nov16.html

D738a5b2a67f3c36518a2ac9f32d27af

(821)

on October 15, 2010
at 01:49 AM

I started a thread about this over at the Primal Blueprint forums: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/showthread.php?9479-Just-need-to-rant-about-ill-coworkers-skeptical-of-my-lifestyle-please! Two things I've learned from this and similar discussions here on Paleo Hacks--People just want to talk and be listened to, and "distract them"! Compliment the cake and maybe they won't notice you're not eating it. Get someone talking about their hellish trip to Costco, you get the idea. I've also taken cupcakes or whatever and thrown them away when no one is looking.

79331a19fcab06d7183c1e564f571c8b

(223)

on October 14, 2010
at 11:58 PM

Your comment brings to mind one of KH's posts: http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2010/1/13/smoking-candy-cigarettes.html

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 14, 2010
at 10:32 PM

I'm going to post that on my office wall!

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 14, 2010
at 10:31 PM

Thanks, but I AM gluten intolerant. And, I simply loathe the blood sugar roller coaster refined food, particularly sweets, it put me on. The larger issue is that it DOES add up...all you have to do is look at my co-workers and you have the evidence. I'm not saying I would say "no" to something my 90 year old grandma had slaved away on to make especially for me or something, but if it is crappy Costco cake or greasy pizza, I feel the need to stand my ground.

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 14, 2010
at 10:22 PM

Hahah! I love it! I'm going to try this next time!

Da397846a2cfad231a1122126bb6eda7

(227)

on October 14, 2010
at 05:17 PM

Well of course you are! But not everyone is a "grown ass man goddamit :D", and not everyone wants to be confrontational with one's boss at the office holiday party. For those who would rather talk about something other than who-eats/avoids-eating-what, there are other options.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 14, 2010
at 08:23 AM

That's true for people without gluten issues or difficulties managing blood sugar, but saying yes in the corporate environment makes it harder to have your 'no' accepted next time. It's taken two years, but most people at my workplace know that I don't do sugar and grain.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 14, 2010
at 06:27 AM

I really like this one! Hope you don't mind that I added the cartoon?

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 14, 2010
at 06:23 AM

Strange that people accept that you would eat healthy for a sport event, but not for general health. I like to say that I'm training for life, if they ask.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 14, 2010
at 06:00 AM

Fuck cake, give me a stake ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 14, 2010
at 05:58 AM

I have to disagree. Paleo is part of me and I don't feel obligated to hide myself to suit others. I'm grown ass man goddamit :D

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 14, 2010
at 05:57 AM

Good advice indeed.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on October 14, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Something like this is becoming my standard response too. Plus once I've explained it to casual acquaintances once, if they offer me something non-Paleo, I'll just say something like, "Nah, remember, that crazy Paleo thing?". Usually just ends in a chuckle, no biggie.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:44 AM

I don't think that will work, because it's common knowledge that EVERYONE LOVES CAKE. :P

  • 462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

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26 Answers

11
Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:47 AM

My answer is usually honest, but sarcastic: "Because I'm a health freak and that stuff will kill you." And then I make some kind of ultra-serious face. They usually laugh and say something about me being crazy and that is that.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on October 14, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Something like this is becoming my standard response too. Plus once I've explained it to casual acquaintances once, if they offer me something non-Paleo, I'll just say something like, "Nah, remember, that crazy Paleo thing?". Usually just ends in a chuckle, no biggie.

9
Ec6016bfcb7e3cb8a9b05991b3b33966

(158)

on October 14, 2010
at 03:38 PM

Luckily, I work in an office and not at home, so I only really see this kind of crap when I travel for my job and have to go to meals with the people that I am visiting.

Whenever I am offered something I don't want, I usually just say, "no thanks, I'm good" or something to that affect. What I tend to notice is that if I say "well no, I don't eat grains, legumes, or dairy", people get REALLY defensive and will say shit like "well what exactly is wrong with grains?!?!" as if I just told them their mother was a whore or something.

People get REALLY defensive when you imply that something that they are doing isn't good/correct/positive/etc. When you say "well I don't..." that implies "I am somehow better than you because I can refuse this garbage", which in a sense is true, but again... people get defensive.

Most of the time a simple refusal works, but when people really are adamant about pushing, you need to know your shit to explain to them why. I find that once I start breaking out the science, people usually back the hell off. It's really sort of absurd that people give other people a hard time about what they eat/don't eat. Ultimately, we should only be concerned about ourselves.

9
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 14, 2010
at 06:11 AM

Dilbert has an answer...

how-do-you-get-the-

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 14, 2010
at 06:27 AM

I really like this one! Hope you don't mind that I added the cartoon?

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 16, 2010
at 05:24 AM

Oh, come on, people! This is funny but it's not a legitimate answer to the question! LOL!

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 14, 2010
at 10:32 PM

I'm going to post that on my office wall!

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:14 AM

Not at all, Pieter. Thanks.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on July 29, 2013
at 10:35 AM

+1000! love it.

7
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on October 15, 2010
at 10:02 AM

I just tell em "you can't get a body like this eating crap like that".

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on November 12, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Or in my case I'd have to say, "You get a body like this for eating crap like that. I'm trying to change that."

6
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on October 14, 2010
at 03:53 AM

Something that we tend to forget around here is that barring major health issues, a bit of grain and sugar now and again won't kill you. Sharing meals is an important act for human beings. And acting like stereotypical vegans ordering a tofurkey sandwich at the local steakhouse is just plain wrong.

So in the situation you describe, I'd have a small slice of the boss's cake and not get fussed. I'm not gluten intolerant, and my diabetes (mild type II) has been so brutally whipped by nine months of Paleo that I can eat a pint of Haagen-Daz and barely break into the double digits mmol/L (I tested this, and it wasn't as much fun as expected and I haven't been tempted since). So I don't worry about eating the odd bit of crap now and again if there's a good social reason (such as not offending valued friends who've prepared a meal for me, not giving my boss the impression that I'm some sort of foodloon, etc) for doing so.

Why sweat the occasional small thing?

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 14, 2010
at 10:31 PM

Thanks, but I AM gluten intolerant. And, I simply loathe the blood sugar roller coaster refined food, particularly sweets, it put me on. The larger issue is that it DOES add up...all you have to do is look at my co-workers and you have the evidence. I'm not saying I would say "no" to something my 90 year old grandma had slaved away on to make especially for me or something, but if it is crappy Costco cake or greasy pizza, I feel the need to stand my ground.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 14, 2010
at 08:23 AM

That's true for people without gluten issues or difficulties managing blood sugar, but saying yes in the corporate environment makes it harder to have your 'no' accepted next time. It's taken two years, but most people at my workplace know that I don't do sugar and grain.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 04, 2011
at 02:09 AM

Many people who go paleo even if they don't have a diagnosed sensitivity react to gluten and sugar. Why suffer just to make others happy? If sanity means I will become alienated then so be it!

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on June 12, 2011
at 10:23 AM

In many offices, between the birthday cakes, the lunch meetings, and the co-workers selling everything from cookies to frozen pizzas on behalf of their kids, "food pressure" isn't a rare thing. It might be acceptable to eat a small slice of the boss's birthday cake once a year, but if you bring a salad to the weekly lunch meeting when everyone else is eating pizza, you're going to be considered a "foodloon." Might as well embrace it with a sense of humor and humility.

6
5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on October 14, 2010
at 03:51 AM

This happened to me the other day..

My response: "I f@#king HATE cake! Gimme a godamn tequila shot and if we gona CELEBRATE!!!"

Personally I am a very open-minded person, but just a year ago before I found paleo if I had heard someone say something like "no thanks its junk food" or "I don't eat processed food" or "articifical blah" to avoid eating a communal food item, I would have almost certainly thought "what a weirdo health freak!" ... I think we need to remember just how benign most people think a slice of cake is, no different to eating a little extra at dinner or not exercising one day. I really try avoid looking like a health freak in all circumstances, it just isn't worth it in the long run when people bring it up or target you because of it (like ridiculing you infront of the whole office!).

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 14, 2010
at 06:00 AM

Fuck cake, give me a stake ?

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 14, 2010
at 10:22 PM

Hahah! I love it! I'm going to try this next time!

79331a19fcab06d7183c1e564f571c8b

(223)

on October 14, 2010
at 11:58 PM

Your comment brings to mind one of KH's posts: http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2010/1/13/smoking-candy-cigarettes.html

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Is that supposed to be a funny vampire reference?

6
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on October 13, 2010
at 11:57 PM

"Gluten and sugar make me sick." Sometimes simple is the way to go.

(Heh, if they demand elaboration, give'em TMI. IBS, toxic neverending farting, the runs...whatever's relevant that you can describe to make them wish they hadn't asked.)

Also, you have the tiny risk that if you DON'T actually get super sick short-term and occasionally indulge only for the highest quality treats, they'll happen to run into you at a fancy restaurant doing, say, your once-quarterly "actually worthwhile" cheat (say, gourmet flourless chocolate cake in honor of a birthday...instead of your boss' store-bought trans fat hot mess) - say goodbye to your cred.

Thus my advice is to use this line only if you mean it.

5
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 03:24 AM

Whenever I was offered non-paleo food, I took it and threw it on the ground!

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/e4e2187156/andy-samberg-i-threw-it-on-the-ground

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GROUND

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:55 PM

upvote! thanks for sending me off to work after laughing for almost 3 minutes straight. I'm sure to have a great day now!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:57 PM

I threw the rest of the cake, too.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:59 PM

That is hilarious!!!!!!!!

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 12, 2011
at 04:02 AM

OMG. Thank you for that laugh! I actually have tears, I laughed so hard!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 13, 2011
at 07:12 AM

Alfredo, you sly dog: nice work on getting that Necromancer badge!

5
3820f255356016cfccbcea5e2afcc1c1

on October 14, 2010
at 02:46 AM

In social situations like you stated it is part of social thing to partake in the food. By not doing so you are not a team player. LOL! ACK! I would not point out or begin to do a sermon on paleo eating. Typically you do not come across too well. :) People are there to enjoy their food and if you point out why is bad, regardless if they agree you can come across as trying to be superior or making better choices. It makes the situation awkward and uncomfortable. You are sure a party downer. <<---- Ask me how I know. LOL! hehhehhee

A few options - I like your gluten intolerance OR just allergy - don't be specific so you don't end up with some gluten free - sugar laden food later. :)

See if you can save a piece for later - state you are not hungry and you are taking a piece to eat later?? depending on circumstances and just toss out when you can??

Or do the pretend to eat some and push around your plate as stated. Really depends on your environment and situation.

Or really sneaky and walk over to help clean up and grab a plate with crumbs?? ROFL!

4
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on October 14, 2010
at 03:25 AM

Ask for permission and and a promise That you will tell them how to eat for a day,

Most people will back off after being frightened by the idea of YOU being in control of their food, not them!

Turnaound is fair play, right?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 12:10 PM

Hah! Love it, gonna use it to push my fats!

3
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on October 15, 2010
at 03:03 PM

Sorry,

I can't have any cake,

I'm saving room for steak!

3
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 14, 2010
at 03:47 PM

"No thanks, I'm diabetic." (that actually works pretty well. but you need to really be one)

"I'm on a gluten-free diet."

"Do you have anything with a little less Spam in it?"

"Do you know how those doughnuts are made?"

"I'm fasting for Lent/Ramadan/Kwanzaa/Festivus."

"I'm kinda doing a cave-man thingy and those aren't allowed."

"I haven't evolved to eat that."

"OOH! Look at that!!" (and walk away)

3
149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

on October 14, 2010
at 03:48 AM

Act as if...meanwhile use your Paleo Superpowers to hunt down the boss. You are to become Tribe leader. Start your own Tribe, set your own dietary rules. You are a fat burner, not a sugar burner. You can outlast them all. Do the things that will make you become the boss. Then...invite us all to the party. I will bring some ancestral fermented fruits and grains. Ugh.

3
9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on October 14, 2010
at 02:04 AM

I try to avoid getting into the whole Paleo thing, unless I am with good friends. People get defensive about their food. Try saying you are in training. That's worked for me. Of course, you have to be ready to come up with something you are training for if they press -- a 10K, a marathon... whatever. But they usually seem to understand that. Since I am already in good shape, that seems to be the only excuse for not eating crap that gets a pass from the crowd.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 14, 2010
at 06:23 AM

Strange that people accept that you would eat healthy for a sport event, but not for general health. I like to say that I'm training for life, if they ask.

3
Cacc89096bbbec20ff6904cbbd58e92d

(273)

on October 13, 2010
at 11:13 PM

I would recommend educating yourself on paleo principles enough so that you feel comfortable explaining to others what and why your doing what your doing. This may be difficult or incomfortable in many situations, especially with old friends or superiors who are used to or expect you to act in a certain way, but when you learn how to adapt your intellect to explain to them why your eating the way you are to them, they will respect you much more for it, and possibly take their health into their own hands. Rejoining others in dietary ignorance is always a fun temptation, which I occasionally fall for, but eating paleo on your on time whenever you can so that mentally and physically adapt to this natural way of eating, is possibly the best preparation. So, keep learning about paleo and doing paleo lifestyle things, and you eventually won't even have to confront naysayers, they'll be genuinely interested in what your doing and respectful of who you are, because they'll see the results firsthand in you. Hope thats helpful, and doesn't sound like an excerpt from a bad self-help book.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 14, 2010
at 05:57 AM

Good advice indeed.

2
187657ec9b2b8b32730f68c5602698af

(129)

on October 14, 2010
at 09:54 PM

"I have an eating disorder, can't eat that."

Seriously. People catch the sarcasm but don't want to follow up on it in case I'm not kidding. Works nicely!

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I think they would stage an "intervention" if I said that...lol!

2
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on October 14, 2010
at 12:47 AM

People at work have noticed I lost weight, so a simple "No thanks" from me should do and I'll know they will understand.

2
B28d069e6a3b5b6ef68776db4ed8ef64

on October 13, 2010
at 11:24 PM

I have similar issues all the time. I travel for work and everywhere I go people want me to eat with them. I usually get away with, "Thanks, but I brought my lunch." My answer was insufficient yesterday as the food being pushed was dessert. My follow-up excuse that, "I can't have sugar, grains, or dairy" only prompted more questions. I suppose I should have used that as an "in" to educate them, but in most of these situations all you really want to do is get rid of the pusher. I thought my final response that "I nearly died due to a metabolic disorder from eating that kind of food" would have made them feel awkward enough to let it go, but do you know that same person was pushing it on me again today?! My answer today was a little more sarcastic: "I might as well swallow arsenic."

I thought your answer was perfectly appropriate, but by leaving it at "a problem with gluten" your boss might make one of those atrocious "gluten-free" cakes next time!

1
1f2c69b50cde46bac29fd4d7f15aecb2

on July 29, 2013
at 06:26 AM

The psyche of a person who can't accept a polite and peaceful "no thank you" has a dark underbelly and a controlling aspect that causes me to shudder upon reflection of it.

My mother in law offered me a "protein shake" (11 grams of whey protein, 8 grams of added sugar (in the shake mix) and a banana (30 grams of sugar) which I politely declined four times. She then said, "well you have a lot of 'IFs' 'ANDs' or 'BUTs' about what you will eat" and proceeded to mix the shake, sneak into our bedroom, and leave the shake on the night table next to my head where I was sleeping so I'd see it first thing upon opening my eyes. (Fact: stranger than fiction).

At this point, I thought it was fair game to pour it down the drain while she wasn't watching, and later say, "thank you, that was very kind of you to fix it for me," as my soul died a little bit inside from blatant lying.

Bottom line: you and only you should control what goes in your body. And if someone is using an unfair power differential (boss, mother in law) to manipulate you and not take a polite, gracious no for an answer, then cheating and acting like you are going to eat the cake when you have no intention of doing so is freaking fair game.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on July 29, 2013
at 10:41 AM

+1 Well said! They simply wish for everyone around them to fall in line so *they* can feel good about themselves and their poor choices, and feel threatened when you don't play along - it's a power/control game nobody should play.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:28 PM

I guess I'm less suseceptable to social pressures and feeling awkward so I just say "no" and then "no" again to every follow up. I quit explaining it because people don't care. Kurt Harris has a great post on this called "smoking candy cigarettes" on why just giving on to appease is a bad idea.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:19 PM

Yep. "Never apologize. Never explain." I think you're dead right that people really don't care, and explaining the health benefits to people who aren't genuinely asking is a fool's errand. When I was obese and sick, I certainly didn't appreciate lectures, although I'm sure some of them were both correct and well-intentioned. Stubborn primates, we are.

1
0961069ca7c5921f2b0b3f509eeedef7

on October 15, 2010
at 08:58 PM

It's been said several times so I'm just joining the chorus, I'll usually just say something along the lines of 'Too much wheat and sugar make me really sick," it makes it seem more like a condition of your physiology instead of your personal choice. If someone pushes the issue I'll tell them about being treated for ulcers and horribel stomach problems at 19 and 20 years old.... turns out my body doesn't like grains (gluten esp!). Funny how the doctors treating me for stomach stuff never thought to suggest I avoid one of the most common alergies out there....

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 14, 2010
at 03:20 AM

I keep a list of excuses and use them depending on the situation. Often, you can start with one and if that doesn't work, then go to another one by saying 'Well actually..'

-No thanx, I'm already full/already ate. (a quickie way out that works on most polite Americans) WOrks well with statements like "Oh Man, I am SOOOOOOOO stuffed. COuldnt' eat another bite!"

-No thanx, I don't eat processed food anymore due to health problems.

-No thanx, I don't digest that kind of food well. It's not worth the repercussions.

-Sorry, my doctor/wife/girlfriend/trainer/nutritionist has me on a special diet and I better be good cuz she/he has psychic powers/might find out/going to see me tomorrow, etc. With this one, you can always roll your eyes and make out like you are suffering a bit.

1
Da397846a2cfad231a1122126bb6eda7

(227)

on October 14, 2010
at 01:36 AM

If you don't want to have a sudden discussion of why you've decided to eat in ways perceived as strange, just accept a small serving and leave it in front of you as you chat away about whatever else. Keep your eyes on your companions, don't keep stealing looks at your plate. Occasionally use your fork to absentmindedly separate a small mouthful and then just play with it a little on the plate as you continue to chat. If you feel particularly cornered, pretend to take a bite, and wipe your mouth with your napkin to jettison the unwanted morsel. By the time the dishes are collected, no one will have noticed you didn't actually eat any of it, unless you made a big deal about it in the first place.

Yes, this is subterfuge, but sometimes that's the better part of valor in social situations.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 14, 2010
at 05:58 AM

I have to disagree. Paleo is part of me and I don't feel obligated to hide myself to suit others. I'm grown ass man goddamit :D

Da397846a2cfad231a1122126bb6eda7

(227)

on October 14, 2010
at 05:17 PM

Well of course you are! But not everyone is a "grown ass man goddamit :D", and not everyone wants to be confrontational with one's boss at the office holiday party. For those who would rather talk about something other than who-eats/avoids-eating-what, there are other options.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 16, 2010
at 10:56 AM

Hehe true but, em, well this rabbit hole goes DEEP. Underlying motivation of your life purpsose etc etc. A short on would be what do you think would happen if confronting ? How you feel ? How would people treat you differently then they do now ? etc etc

1
E41dc220589a5d6a1fc6e606019e9391

on October 14, 2010
at 12:10 AM

Unless I feel like explaining more, a good excuse is just "Oh, I don't really like x." Or "I'm not hungry, maybe I'll get some later." And most people don't push the issue. Or they say, "More for me." And I just smile. Of course, if I feel like the situation is right, I'll just explain why and about eating Paleo.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:44 AM

I don't think that will work, because it's common knowledge that EVERYONE LOVES CAKE. :P

0
154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a

(1215)

on October 15, 2010
at 11:36 AM

What's wrong with: 'I'm not hungry'

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 15, 2010
at 02:18 PM

Because if I say that then I get the "Oh, just have a bite" comment. Saying "I'm not hungry" never works because they don't understand a person would refuse food offered to them simply because they aren't hungry...this is why they are all the size of water buffalo, and I am not. :)

-1
3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:52 AM

I'd say take a bite and put the rest away. One bite doesn't hurt much, and you can actually say "it tasted good". If you become very tempted to continue, smell it until you can't feel the smell anymore. Oddly enough it makes me feel like I kind of ate it, and when I can't smell it anymore, it's not there. The smell is ALWAYS better than the taste for those cheap manufactured things. It might smell chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon etc, but it always tastes of sugar only.

Cakes and the like have the strange effect on me that I somehow don't feel like I'm eating them and don't get satiated no matter how much I eat. So eating it and not eating it somehow makes no difference in terms of satiation.

If it's not too much social pressure and somebody just offers something on a regular day, I usually say that I ate too much sweets before and my body can't handle it now.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on July 29, 2013
at 10:39 AM

I did that a few times in my life and have always regretted it. Even just sticking to the frosting, at some point a little tiny bit of the breading gets in and I feel very sick afterwards. So yes, one bite does hurt, quite "much." Like you, I've felt social pressure to have same cake at my own son's birthday party - no more. You know what? He understands and that's what counts, the other people who don't won't be the ones in pain.

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