Fending Off Food Pushers
How to say no so you can stay on track with your weight management.
September 2012 — Growing up in the 1970's, I (along with the youth of my generation), was bombarded with messages warning me of the "drug pusher." This unscrupulous rascal was one that persuaded you to try drugs, got you hooked, and then sold you the drugs to support your habit — a habit that could ruin your health and even kill you. Nancy Reagan later told us to just "say no." I stayed away from drugs, but I did sniff glue once, which might explain my peculiar quirks and personality.
After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I came to view the fast food industry in the same light as the drug pushers. They entice you through advertising to get you to try their delicious, grease-laden and high-caloric fair (which for me seems to make me gain weight as soon as I drive into the parking lot). Even as you gain weight, they will continue to serve you and try to persuade you to enlarge your order as you enlarge your waist line, clog your arteries, and raise your blood sugar.
This year I have had the opportunity to observe a coworker who I would call a "food pusher." I am not sure of their motive, but they show up at work with delicious dessert creations from their kitchen. They normally announce that there are treats in the kitchen. Then they watch to see who partakes in their generous offering. Non-participants have learned that if they don't go to the kitchen, the food pusher, with a smile on their face, will bring a piece of the delicious concoction to their desk. They seem to have no concern that the receiver may be trying to resist a temptation.
In my building we have several overweight people. Within that group, three people have type 2 diabetes, one has type 1, and there are numerous cases of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other associated conditions. The food pusher seems to be oblivious to these well-known conditions, even after one of our over weight co-workers suffered a stroke at the ripe old age of forty-eight! They still continue shuffling down the hall smiling, plate in hand, tempting someone else to eat their treats. Their sweet demeanor dares you to reject them.
I see their act of kindness or generosity as a real threat to the health of my co-workers. I sympathize with those that can't say no. It is hard to reject a gift of food from someone, especially when it tastes so good and you don't have much will power. However, since I am blessed (and cursed) with the gift of being judgmental, I see the food pusher as being very inconsiderate, if not down-right mean.
Too harsh? Managing your weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure is tough enough without having others tempt you to indulge in food. Those of us who struggle with our weight are usually blamed for being fat and having diabetes. Too harsh or not, I know we don't need to be tempted to indulge in over-eating.
Are you facing a food pusher? Respond with a polite "No thank you." If possible, explain why. But if that doesn't work, tell them to get out of your face. Don't give in, even if you have to make them mad. You are worth the fight! You may not think so — I used to think the same about myself — but you are.
Let me know how you are doing. I can be reached at email@example.com.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...