Family and Food

How to find a balance that is right for you.



1/7/20222 min read

Food is always meant to bring families together, especially around the holidays. However, sometimes holidays bring people stress and anxiety around food and their eating.

As kids, everyone had that relative that would pick on the food, pick on how you ate it, made you eat it all, guilted you into eating something you didn't like, or something.

If that was you that had to listen to that, or worse, be the person on the other end of that, then this post is for you.

Hearing that stuff, especially as a young child really teaches us fast, different relationships with food.

I'll use myself as an example. Being told to clean up my plate taught me that I need to be okay with trying new foods (and now I'll eat just about anything), but it also told me that I wasn't allowed to have leftovers. Not good. So I overate a lot as a kid.

Ripple effects. Jeesh, right?

So out of respect for our elders, quietly beware of that behavior in the next few weeks. Observe what people are saying about foods, meals and especially if it's being directed at you. Think about the effect it could have on your thinking, good or bad.

Of course, if it's your norm to react, and that'll curttail it, then by all means... lol.

Here's a big one: what if you know you're going to approach holiday meals in a modest way, to not overeat this year? What if someone notices and will say something?

One of the best ways to dodge that one is to not actually talk about it. Don't bring attention to it, don't apologize for it, don't announce it, don't make excuses for yourself and your decisions. It's quite possible no one will notice.

If you know someone is going to notice and say something, then take a little bit of everyrhing you would normally eat, but take less. This one is easier to explain away by saying:

"I don't have a huge appetite right now,"

"I don't feel like getting super stuffed this year,"

or "I wanted a smaller meal, but I didn't want to miss this delicious ___".

People will like that last one more, because of the compliment. But what's important is that you wouldn't be making a big deal about what you chose to put on your plate.

Your plate, your choices, not their business.

A nonchalant shrug with a half smile could go a long way. The shrug gives off the vibe that it's not a big deal and that it shouldn't be for the meddler.

Everyone's situation is unique with this, but it is a thing that can happen. No reason to get paranoid, just prepared with a couple of reactions that can diffuse the situation.

If you worry that you might have an issue with someone picking on the way you're choosing to eat, think it through ahead of time. Revisit in your memories the ways it's happened in the past, and think about how you could diffuse it better this time.

No one needs the stress. No one needs the altercation that could ensue. People love to make a big deal out of stuff, but that doesn't have to be the way of it. It's been a stressful year and people just want to get together and celebrate something happy. THAT should be the focus.

It's worth it to revisit the painful past and plan ahead in order to prevent an issue.

If you'd like a little support with this, just send me a message. I'd be happy to help you work through this.