Hey we’re in week 5. Only two weeks left. I was thinking today that the real test will be if I keep up my Beck habits once the book is done. I have made some things a habit now and others I am still practicing and I often ask myself the question, “What would Dr. Beck say?” (Are you laughing at me yet?)
Seriously, I do find myself framing situations now in terms of how this book would address them. One of the other big questions I ask myself on almost a daily basis is, “Is eating this (whatever it is) more important to me than losing weight and getting healthy?” Guess what? I have never answered yes. That one question completely puts a chocolate bar or that extra slice of pizza into perspective. If I take nothing else away from this book except that – I think I’ve made a huge stride in meeting my goals.
On to day 29. Beck talks about “Food Pushers”. You know who they are. Maybe you even are one.
This is my own rant here, I’ll get to Beck in a second. It’s no longer acceptable to push alcohol or cigarettes on someone yet food pushers are OK.
Why is that? Because we equate food with love and caring. People who love us and care about us feed us. Mom did, Dad did…all our caregivers, friends and lovers – feed us. All our holidays and celebrations centre around food, Christmas, Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Weddings, Anniversaries…since the day we were born, people who love us feed us. And if they spend a lot of time and effort in providing us with food, that means they must love us more, right?
But what happens when the food is too much or the wrong kind? What happens when parents give their children fast food because it tastes good (to the child) and contributes to the child’s obesity? What happens when people we love sabotage our weight loss efforts, either intentionally or not?
We have to learn to say no. We have to learn to accept no. We have to learn that we have the right to control what goes into our bodies and not feel guilty for putting our health and wellness before someone’s feelings.
Beck says that we have to decide if saying no and maybe hurting someone’s feelings for a short time is worth derailing our weight loss efforts. She has an exercise that is kind of like a pro/con list. In one column you write what the consequences of giving in to a Food Pusher are to yourself, your weight loss efforts and your resilience. The other column is what the consequences are to the Food Pusher when you turn them down. And of course, she advocates practice, practice, practice and it will get easier to put yourself first before the food.
Me before the food. What a concept. I am more important than food.
I am more important than any food.
That’s a response card, my friends.
Writing it out makes it seem pretty clear. The consequences in my column are much more important than those in the other column.
I struggle with Food Pushers. Not in my own home as I’m the chief cook :) Relatives and friends and people who love me…want to feed me. I know I’m cute and cuddly and lovable…but I’m also 75lbs overweight and they are not doing me a service by contributing to that by instilling guilt in me if I don’t take their food. They would be surprised to learn that they are Food Pushers, they most likely wouldn’t understand what they are doing wrong.
Food Pushers are not evil; that’s the problem.
We can recognize that drug pushers, alcohol pushers and cigarette pushers are bad people; trying to destroy our lives. But Food Pushers love us. Saying no to the people we love is hard.
How do you do it?