enter This week, the topic has been dealing with peer pressure. Usually when we think of peer pressure we picture a young teen being offered a drink, or a cigarette. But as I have said, I thought the new name for the ATF should be the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Food! Many of you deal with peer pressure or “food pushers” on a daily basis and need something called refusal skills to assist you in staying on your plan. Again, if you search “refusal skills” online, you will find dozens of websites that help teens refuse drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. By applying these skills to your social interactions with food, you will have one more tool to help you so that you “Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now!”
follow Think about this topic and you will come up with your own list of refusal skills. Here are some to get you started: First of all, you really can just say no. No is a complete sentence. No, thank you is even better. You can say you are full. “I’m all set.” “I don’t care for any.” Going with your own natural personality will probably be most effective. Are you generally funny? Make a joke. One time a co-worker offered me a piece of chocolate from a box (not at IMWL…it was in my early recovery). I said something like, “oh boy, you don’t want to see me get started on that, it isn’t pretty!” Another one people use that stops others in their tracks is, “Thank you but there’s not enough for me!” Sometimes it might be helpful to give a reason, though you are not obliged to do so. “I don’t eat sugar because I get headaches.” “I don’t eat wheat because it bothers my stomach.” You can tell them you don’t eat it because your doctor told you not to. If you are comfortable telling a lie to take care of yourself you might say you’re full even if you aren’t, or make up another reason. Whether the setting is social or work-related, there is probably an activity other than eating that you can suggest instead. “I’ve got work to get done.” “Would you like to come with me over to the gifts to see what the (bride or expectant mom) received?” You can also ignore the offer, pretending you didn’t hear it and just continue to the conversation or walk away. But do not be afraid to repeat yourself if the offer is repeated. The answer is still the same. Also, learn to hang around the people who are not food pushers and keep as much distance as you can from people that are, at least while a lot of food is around.
click I once heard a story of a man who is a recovering sugar addict. He was at a picnic and the same person offered him a piece of cake multiple times despite him saying no. The final time, he took the cake and promptly dropped it straight into the nearest trash. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. But what are you willing to do to take care of yourself when other people are threatening your wellbeing? Now you have another tool in your toolbox to help you reach your goals for health and happiness. Start using them right away and you will get better at it, and they will help you to stay on track. And remember in social settings instead of overeating, “make the people the banquet!”