Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Please Respect My Diet

Hello Polite Readers!

I just love discussing sticky topics here. Today I'd like to talk about dietary choices, and respecting them. Whether you're on a diet for weight loss, religious/moral reasons (ie, keeping kosher or being vegan), or because of allergies and food sensitivities, you're probably going to run across people who just don't understand and refuse to be supportive.

You see it a lot this time of year. People will say "Oh, one little cookie won't hurt!" not realizing that maybe it will hurt (if it sets you off on a binge), or that the problem is that at every single party you go to, someone wants you to have "just a little..." something or other, and soon enough you've gained five pounds. Or, as was covered in a previous PW column, they'll expect you to give up your dietary choices to try the sacred family recipe that everyone must indulge in or face RUINING CHRISTMAS FOREVER!

And now, of course, we're coming into New Years Resolution territory. Many of you will probably resolve to lose weight, or get in better shape, or eat healthier, and that will often require a diet. People who are not used to you dieting or who just do not support your goals will continue to expect you to go to the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet for lunch and try to sabotage you when you refuse.

Anyway, let's look at a few common diet-related situations and how to handle them in your best Politely Worded fashion:

Situation: "One little cookie won't hurt!" said while offering you a tempting plate of holiday treats.

Answer: "I really have to pick my battles and I'm saving my indulgence for Mom's homemade pumpkin pie at Christmas dinner. I'm sure you understand!"

Situation: "Oh, but you're so skinny! You can probably eat whatever you want" from the person who doesn't realize that you're so skinny because you dance 12 hours a week and maintain a balanced diet.

Answer: "I've got to work hard to maintain this! Thank you but I've got to pass on those cookies."

Situation: "You don't eat enough to support a bird! Have a second helping!" I can't tell you how many times I got as a teenager.

Answer: "Actually, I'm stuffed right now! Maybe later."

Situation: "Should you really be eating that?" said to the overweight person by the judgemental busy-body.

Answer: "That's between me and my dietician/doctor/trainer/conscience." -or- "I've been good all week so I could indulge at this party, if you must know. Please trust me to make my own diet decisions."

Situation: You receive a huge plate/box/basket of treats that are not on your diet.

Answer: Say "Thank you." If allowed on your diet, sample a small amount in front of the gift-giver. In private, feel free to give them to others, freeze them for later entertaining, or even throw them out if you simply have too much and can't keep it in the house without giving in.

Situation: Any snide comment about how much, or what you are eating.

Answer: Ignore, ignore, ignore! If you are asked a direct question that you can't ignore, say something vague and change the subject. Do not allow yourself to be bullied!

Best of luck with your diets and fitness plans, dear readers! If you're making New Years Resolutions, I wish you all of the success in the world. And if someone says something rude to you that I didn't cover, please send it to me at and I'll help you come up with the best answer.

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