Sunday, August 2, 2015

Food Pushers and Food Police

Like 67% of Americans, I am trying to lose weight.  Along the way I have encountered friends, co-workers, and family members who fall into one of two categories: Food Pushers and Food Police. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Let's start with the Food Police.  They employ several techniques to control the calorie intake of those around them.

Food Police always have something to say about what other people are eating. Here is a random sampling of some common Food Cop phrases:

  • You can't have any donuts!
  • Is that on your diet?
  • We could go out for lunch but then, what would you eat?
  • You can't have any cake!
  • Ranch dressing on a salad is bad for you, even light ranch dressing.
  • Artificial sweetener turns to sugar in your body so it's just as bad as sugar.
  • Even though it's fat-free, it still has calories.
  • You can't have any kale - you fatty!

There are thousands more.  And, as annoying as the food cops are, they are only trying to help.  It's tough love.

Food cops also have lots of helpful advice about foods to avoid.  I have been advised by various officers of the official Food Police Force to give up the following:  sugar, carbs, meat, caffeine, sweetener, gluten, salt and dairy. What does that even leave, star fruit?

Food Pushers are much more prevalent. There are a lot more food pushers out there and they have the advantage, because we really want what they're offering, namely carbs, sugar, meat, caffeine etc. Food pushers are always trying to tempt us dieters into cheating on our weight-loss plan. They bring cakes to work, they sell cookies door-to-door and they suggest getting hamburgers for dinner as an easy alternative to cooking. Food pushers have their own list of common phrases:

  • One piece of cake won't hurt.
  • It's Christmas, calories don't count.
  • C'mon, it's my birthday.
  • We have extra bacon and don't want it to go to waste.
  • You can have donuts.
  • I brought breakfast tacos!
  • There are cookies in the breakroom!
  • What are you going to do, eat kale?

Food pushers are persistent too, keeping you updated on how much food is left over and urging you to get seconds.  They do not take no for an answer.  I've had pushers bring me cake or a plate of cookies right to my desk at work, without me even asking. On the one hand it's thoughtful but I wonder if they might be trying to sabotage my weight loss efforts.

Undercover Cops are the pushers who, when they finally get you to cave in and take whatever food they're offering, then point an accusatory finger and yell, "I thought you were on a diet!"

What to do?  It's hard to resist but resist we must. I got a piece of advice from a doctor recently which I intend to try at the next office party. If someone brings me a plate of scrumptious goodies I will accept it graciously, wait until they have walked away, and deliver it with a smile to someone I don't particularly care for. How deviously passive aggressive is that?  I love it.

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