Family comments on eating

During the holidays, it’s especially challenging to manage comments about your eating – especially when you’re trying to change how and what you eat permanently.

There’s a little something I put together from reading about language and understanding how our brains work so you can handle your family comments with grace.

Your family may refer to it as “dieting” but you know that you’re really trying to get your eating to work for you and your body. Not the other way around. Keep this in mind as you hear comments like:

“You deserve a break!” (especially during the holidays)

“Come on, you can let loose, just this once.”

Do a 180o on it? Don’t focus on how irritating it is (just yet). Why do you think that your family member is saying this to you? Why do they want you to eat more or why do they want you to eat or drink something you don’t want to?

Really think about that. Because when I did, I realised that if they could “control” how I ate then they would feel in control of how they ate. Because why couldn’t it be ok for them to eat what they wanted and for me to eat what I wanted?

Other reasons why people want others to “join in” is often if everyone is doing it they don’t feel bad themselves for doing it. It’s the whole misery loves company. I know that I often felt better when I drank a glass of wine and others did too. I wouldn’t have to look at why I was drinking.

Because the truth is, if I was liked the reason of why I was drinking then it wouldn’t matter if others joined in or not.

Knowing that their comments are coming from their own feelings around their own eating or drinking enables you to figure out how you would like to respond to comments with grace.

You can begin to understand that maybe they’re also struggling.

So then how do you respond? Well, responding from irritation (which you probably will feel) usually leads us to justify or explain ourselves to our family members. Eating for our body and becoming healthier are not something that necessarily need explanation.

Here’s another way to approach it. What’s the truth in what they say? “You deserve a break!” Well, isn’t that the truth?! Everyone deserves a break. And well, you could agree with them by stating “Absolutely!” or “Totally agree!”.

“Come on, you can let loose, just this once!”. Of course you can. Ask yourself how is letting loose tied to eating or drinking? For me, I realised it was about having fun and there are so many other ways to let loose. My response is “Of course, let’s do that, I’m so looking forward to the games we have planned (or singing or movie, etc.), let’s get that going?

Turning the comments 180o let’s you come for a place of understanding for your family and for yourself. From here, we can find acceptance and begin to see their comments in a more open and loving way. This always us to respond with grace and continue on our journey they way we want to.

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