Saboteurs - what's your plan of action - they really mean well

Balaru
Balaru Posts: 211 Member
I love my Dad with all my heart but he definitely is a saboteur. He keeps kit kats in his fridge for us and a fridge stocked with sodas. He buys cookies for everyone when we go to Subway. And he makes comments if you don't eat it. It hurts his feelings. I have been successful in getting him to stock diet Dr. Pepper for me but I'm trying to get away from that stuff too. He's 83 so I don't want to hurt his feelings. The last couple of times I've just been taking the kit kats, not eating them and hiding them in my fridge. My kids will eat them.

The day of the garage sale he showed up exactly when we were picking up the very last item. We were hungry,hot, sweaty and totally spent. At least we had a half way healthy option with Subway but most of the time he likes to go to buffets and we're talking pizza buffets or buffets with buffets within them. We just don't eat that much food anymore.
We tried to get him to go somewhere different last time and he agreed to Applebees but he didn't like it and fussed and teased the rest of the evening. "There wasn't enough entertainment" (He likes to people watch).

I've tried talking to him but that's not working.

What strategy do you use to offset the effects of saboteurs?

I used to bring my own food when we ate at Momma and Daddy's but since she passed away he always takes us out and I don't think they allow bringing your own food in most restaurants. Lol

This is a weekly sometimes more than once a week occurrence. We have two sets of friends who are the same way.

And since my husband is 30 pounds underweight (6 foot 135 pounds in perpetual motion) everyone is always trying fatten him up.

It will probably be better once I get back to work full time but in the meantime what are your suggestions?
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Replies

  • philippakate197
    philippakate197 Posts: 125 Member
    If he's going to pout because he doesn't get to feed you, he'll have to find a way of coping with it. His feelings are not your responsibility and you cannot 'make' someone feel bad. I would offer a brief explanation that you don't want it, but thank you, and that if he really wants to buy you something a non food related gift would be very kind and thoughtful. After that, just keep on eating what you want to eat, and ignore any emotional blackmail!
  • zyxst
    zyxst Posts: 9,131 Member
    rankinsect wrote: »
    Figure the calories in there and eat less in the other meals to have room for them, or eat less on the other days of the week so your weekly calories are where you want them.

    These aren't super high in calories. A cookie at Subway is 200 calories. A package of normal Kit Kats is 210 calories. If you get him to stock Kit Kat minis, you're looking at 40 calories each. Plan on having them and fit them into the rest of your day.

    Sounds like you'd rather please your dad than stand up to him. Since he wants to "sabotage" you, ask him to get different treats like the mini KitKats suggested and diet pop. Split the Subway cookie with your husband. If your dad gets upset about it, just say your watching your health. Idk about your dad, but my parents would be easier on the food gifting if they knew I was watching my food for my health.
  • 100df
    100df Posts: 668 Member
    I just say no thank you or take the food and don't eat it. Cookies are easy to wrap in a napkin. Toss later or give to someone else. I wouldn't like how I would white knuckle through it though.

    Buffets are tough for me. However I believe it's possible to eat and stay with your goal. I try to pick the tastiest option available in my calorie range. All pizza would be hard to make happen without being hungry for me.

    For friends what about hosting at home? That could work with Dad too. I have a standing lunch date with a friend every week. We used to go to Five Guys or something equally calorie ridden. Now we go out once a month and take turns hosting at home. Saves money too.

    I wouldn't call this sabotage. He loves you, likes buffets and enjoys people watching. He probably feels there isn't much he can do for you and his grandkids. What he can do is provide easily is treats. Makes him feel good.
  • ogtmama
    ogtmama Posts: 1,403 Member
    gramarye wrote: »
    I'd agree with the people who say that you should try to plan around your dad, rather than trying to plan with him. He's 83 -- enjoy the time you have to go out with him, and let him enjoy feeling like he's treating you. Make the best choices you can without throwing the gift back in his face. Eat less of what you get, like half a cookie or half of your sandwich, and promise to take home the rest to eat as lunch later. Eat slower at buffets, so that it's hopefully not as apparent that you're not eating much. Also, just be honest with your dad: you're not as hungry these days, and you often eat less than you used to.

    I'd also be careful that you're not treating him like a "saboteur," because that's not what he's doing. Food is a social thing in our food-abundant culture, and for lots of families, it's a way of showing love. Your dad doesn't want to sabotage your weight loss (unless he specifically says exactly that to you). He just wants to show you that he cares in a way that matters to him.

    Also, to veer slightly off-topic:
    First I would fast on days that you're going out with your dad. Save up your daily calories and then do your best to make the best decisions possible at the buffet, second I would throw those kit Kats from your fridge away. You're setting you're setting your kids up the same way.

    I'd disagree with the bolded statement (bolding mine) -- because most of the people I know who grew up with access to treats didn't end up binging them unless their parents specifically model that form of eating. We keep snacks in the house (chocolate, etc) and my son knows that when he can have a treat, he can pick one. The rest will still be there the next time he wants one, if it's an appropriate time to do so.

    I've always felt like, as parents, it's important not to try to hide the world of high-calorie (and super tasty) foods from children, but to teach them moderative and conscious eating habits in the world we live in.

    I agree that that is true for many people...but we are discussing a woman who feels pressured to eat treats that are stocked in her father's fridge for her...her response is to stock them in her fridge for her kids. Perhaps that dynamic deserves a quick glance.
  • cariduttry
    cariduttry Posts: 210 Member
    my family is the same...and if i'm not careful, i'm guilty of it too! gosh, my whole life is filled with wonderful memories that all seem to involve food...GOOD food! when family has acted that way to me, my experience is that they have no idea that they're doing it because of course, they want me to be healthy! heck, i caught myself doing it when my dad specifically told me he was following a strict diet...i went and offered him something to eat like twice! it's just (a bad) habit but most likely harmless. my grandfather at 81 was pretty stubborn and unlikely to change, so i would've done what so many other posters have suggested: pre-plan calories, be enthusiastic, take food home for later (or the trash), and most importantly, enjoy the time you have with your father! good luck!
  • sunnybeaches105
    sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,831 Member
    Just eat less and don't give into your own temptation when something that doesn't fit your goals is offered. We have a constant stream of sweets in my office, currently 4 containers of ice cream in our refrigerator at home, and I also have a fridge full of beer, and stocked bar at home. No matter what is available and who is offering it you can always say "no thank you." Do not focus your energy on creative replies to others or trying to control what they do. Instead focus that energy on improving your own self control and the words "no thank you."
  • chocolate_owl
    chocolate_owl Posts: 1,695 Member
    gramarye wrote: »
    I'd agree with the people who say that you should try to plan around your dad, rather than trying to plan with him. He's 83 -- enjoy the time you have to go out with him, and let him enjoy feeling like he's treating you. Make the best choices you can without throwing the gift back in his face. Eat less of what you get, like half a cookie or half of your sandwich, and promise to take home the rest to eat as lunch later. Eat slower at buffets, so that it's hopefully not as apparent that you're not eating much. Also, just be honest with your dad: you're not as hungry these days, and you often eat less than you used to.

    I'd also be careful that you're not treating him like a "saboteur," because that's not what he's doing. Food is a social thing in our food-abundant culture, and for lots of families, it's a way of showing love. Your dad doesn't want to sabotage your weight loss (unless he specifically says exactly that to you). He just wants to show you that he cares in a way that matters to him.

    Also, to veer slightly off-topic:
    First I would fast on days that you're going out with your dad. Save up your daily calories and then do your best to make the best decisions possible at the buffet, second I would throw those kit Kats from your fridge away. You're setting you're setting your kids up the same way.

    I'd disagree with the bolded statement (bolding mine) -- because most of the people I know who grew up with access to treats didn't end up binging them unless their parents specifically model that form of eating. We keep snacks in the house (chocolate, etc) and my son knows that when he can have a treat, he can pick one. The rest will still be there the next time he wants one, if it's an appropriate time to do so.

    I've always felt like, as parents, it's important not to try to hide the world of high-calorie (and super tasty) foods from children, but to teach them moderative and conscious eating habits in the world we live in.

    I agree that that is true for many people...but we are discussing a woman who feels pressured to eat treats that are stocked in her father's fridge for her...her response is to stock them in her fridge for her kids. Perhaps that dynamic deserves a quick glance.

    Except, as far as we know, she's not making a big deal out of it if her kids don't eat the Kit Kats. She's letting them make their own choices. Her father is making comments if she doesn't eat what he's stocking for her.
  • gramarye
    gramarye Posts: 586 Member
    gramarye wrote: »
    I'd agree with the people who say that you should try to plan around your dad, rather than trying to plan with him. He's 83 -- enjoy the time you have to go out with him, and let him enjoy feeling like he's treating you. Make the best choices you can without throwing the gift back in his face. Eat less of what you get, like half a cookie or half of your sandwich, and promise to take home the rest to eat as lunch later. Eat slower at buffets, so that it's hopefully not as apparent that you're not eating much. Also, just be honest with your dad: you're not as hungry these days, and you often eat less than you used to.

    I'd also be careful that you're not treating him like a "saboteur," because that's not what he's doing. Food is a social thing in our food-abundant culture, and for lots of families, it's a way of showing love. Your dad doesn't want to sabotage your weight loss (unless he specifically says exactly that to you). He just wants to show you that he cares in a way that matters to him.

    Also, to veer slightly off-topic:
    First I would fast on days that you're going out with your dad. Save up your daily calories and then do your best to make the best decisions possible at the buffet, second I would throw those kit Kats from your fridge away. You're setting you're setting your kids up the same way.

    I'd disagree with the bolded statement (bolding mine) -- because most of the people I know who grew up with access to treats didn't end up binging them unless their parents specifically model that form of eating. We keep snacks in the house (chocolate, etc) and my son knows that when he can have a treat, he can pick one. The rest will still be there the next time he wants one, if it's an appropriate time to do so.

    I've always felt like, as parents, it's important not to try to hide the world of high-calorie (and super tasty) foods from children, but to teach them moderative and conscious eating habits in the world we live in.

    I agree that that is true for many people...but we are discussing a woman who feels pressured to eat treats that are stocked in her father's fridge for her...her response is to stock them in her fridge for her kids. Perhaps that dynamic deserves a quick glance.

    Except, as far as we know, she's not making a big deal out of it if her kids don't eat the Kit Kats. She's letting them make their own choices. Her father is making comments if she doesn't eat what he's stocking for her.

    This is how I read the situation. It's not that the OP is having trouble resisting snacks and food when she's out, but rather than he's buying extra food unbidden and then pressuring her for not taking/eating them, leaving her feeling obligated. If I'm reading it wrong, then sure. I'd agree that perhaps it's could become a cyclical thing with her kids.

    If she's constantly telling the kids, "Please eat all of the Kit Kats in the fridge so I don't have to!" that's perpetuating an unhealthy food dynamic of eating because it's there. (This is a problem I deal with a lot, so I grok it.) If she's just saying, "Hey, candy in the fridge if you want it as a treat later," then nah. I wouldn't worry about it.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,697 Member
    100df wrote: »
    I just say no thank you or take the food and don't eat it. Cookies are easy to wrap in a napkin. Toss later or give to someone else. I wouldn't like how I would white knuckle through it though.

    Buffets are tough for me. However I believe it's possible to eat and stay with your goal. I try to pick the tastiest option available in my calorie range. All pizza would be hard to make happen without being hungry for me.

    For friends what about hosting at home? That could work with Dad too. I have a standing lunch date with a friend every week. We used to go to Five Guys or something equally calorie ridden. Now we go out once a month and take turns hosting at home. Saves money too.

    I wouldn't call this sabotage. He loves you, likes buffets and enjoys people watching. He probably feels there isn't much he can do for you and his grandkids. What he can do is provide easily is treats. Makes him feel good.

    I love the idea of hosting at home.

    We have some foodie friends that eating out with is...challenging...for me and we are hosting them next weekend for the first time.
  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
    My inlaws are in their late 70's and take us to dinner every Thursday. They have their "spots" that they always go to and most of them are chain restaurants. They have the calorie counts listed online. Since we go to the same places over and over again, I have my go to meals that I already know the counts for. On the odd chance we go somewhere that isn't a chain, I just use common sense when ordering. Vegetable side instead of pasta, salad instead of fries, etc.
  • ilex70
    ilex70 Posts: 727 Member
    Another vote for just deal with it. This is only a big problem if you let it be.

    Yes, there are some places where it is really hard to choose lower calories items, but that doesn't seem to be a big issue here. Even Chinese and pizza buffets usually have a salad/fruit bar.

    At the buffets just drag your feet. Let everyone else get food first, then get small amounts of most things. If anyone asks you can say you like to try a little first so you don't waste a lot of food. If you get a good amount of high fiber fruit and veggies you can likely say honestly "no, I'm good" when the question of repeat trips comes up.
  • skinnyforhi
    skinnyforhi Posts: 340 Member
    Do the best you can on the days with your dad. Perhaps fit in an extra walk or work out harder than usual if you must compensate for those dinners. Your Kit Kat strategy is perfect- keep doing things like that with the snacks. Is it possible to offer to cook for your father on some of those weekly occasions, and you can try to make something everyone will like, or prepare healthier versions of his favorites? Even make your own pizza can be simple and healthy-ish, because everyone can control their toppings and you can bring a salad.

    As for your two sets of friends, I'd just be honest with them and not worry about hurting their feelings. They aren't you're elderly father, they can deal.
  • srecupid
    srecupid Posts: 660 Member
    You need to learn willpower. I work at a grocery store where I can walk over to the bakery and have a free cookie anytime I want. But I don't.