Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

My Co-Worker is Making Me Fat!

posted by Linda Mintle

No one but you puts food in your mouth, so the idea that someone else can make you fat is a bit far fetched. But  co-workers can tempt you and influence your eating.

When treats abound at the workplace and tempting goodies are placed by coffee pots and shared spaces, the resolve to say NO becomes more difficult, especially when the decline signals a lack of participation or appreciation for the co-worker. The push back can produce hurt feelings or annoy the treat suppliers.

A recent survey of dieters by Survey Sampling International for Medi-Weightloss Clinics (Tampa-based franchise of physician-supervised weight loss clinics) found that 29% of dieters felt pressured by colleagues to eat food not on their plan. They reported being made fun of for dieting, having colleagues order food at restaurants they preferred not to eat, and were  pressured to eat more than they wanted to eat.

So should we simply shrug off the unkind comment of a co-worker who belittles us for our mini portions? Perhaps, but a study published in Obesity found that the attributes and behaviors of our peers are tied to weight loss success. Bottom line is that our co-workers have influence. They can encourage  or discourage a weight loss plan. The constant asking why you won’t eat something, telling you that it is no big deal to sample the cake or eat a few cookies, does not bode well for the determined dieter. And what if the food pusher is a client? Then it is even more difficult to politely refuse.

So what do you do? Here are 5 suggestions:

1. Keep your resolve. While it would be nice to have the support of co-workers, you may not. You can try taking them aside and asking them to help you. If that doesn’t work, be polite on your decline of food and tell them you appreciate the offer and that the treats are surely delicious. But you have health concerns that are important to you and your family right now.

2. If someone becomes annoyed. Say, “I was hoping you would understand how hard it is to lose weight. I am really trying to stick with a healthy eating plan.” If the co-worker stays annoyed, ignore. But first try to elicit his or her support.

3. Drink water and eat a healthy snack. If the coffee area has tempting foods. Hunger can lead to a downfall. Prevent hunger and you can resist better.

4. Don’t succumb to the pressure to be like everyone else. At the end of the day, you live with your choices and your body.

5. Pick at the food on your plate. Move it around and pretend you are eating if someone orders you something you don’t want to eat. This is an old eating disorder trick to make it appear as if the food on the plate has been eaten.

All in all, you decide if the food is going in to your mouth. And while the pressure of co-workers influences you, it doesn’t have to determine your behavior!

Self-Esteem On-Line: A Dangerous Trend

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s a dangerous trend. Young girls post videos of themselves on You Tube or other social media and then ask people to rate them on this question– Am I pretty or not?

I went to one You Tube and almost 5,000,000 people viewed the video. The responses range from nice and nasty.

Parents, be concerned.The impact of negative responses on-line can damage a girl’s self-esteem. The focus on outward beauty is already out of control in our culture. These videos and social media sites take the pressure to measure up to some ideal of beauty to a new level. Asking other people to determine your beauty is asking for trouble. As an eating disorders therapist, I only see this as one more way to crush self-esteem.

Girls at this age are still developing a sense of self. When identity is based on anything other than who we are in Christ, it can be shattered. Self-image is based on your own ideas of acceptance and accomplishment. Giving strangers the power to speak into that acceptance is dangerous. A God image is built on the inherent dignity and worth you have because you are God’s child. You reflect His image which makes you beautiful. People look at the outward appearance and judge us by our looks. Scripture reminds us that this is not God’s way.

So why would anyone give the power to others to determine her worth? To all these young girls looking for acceptance from others, you are already worth so much, beautiful to God and valued. Don’t give others the power to define you.

 

For more help, Breaking Free from Negative Self-Image.

 

 

Teens and Stress: Don’t Eat it Away

posted by Linda Mintle

A group of high school teens sat down with me and discussed stress and our tendency to eat when we feel it.

Watch the video to see what stresses them and how they can cope in healthy ways.

YouTube Preview Image

Huge Benefits to Having Family Meals

posted by Linda Mintle

This week I did an interview for Telemundo Miami on the importance of family meals. The benefits from sitting down to meals as a family are so compelling that I hope  you think about making this a reality. Family meals have become a lost tradition in our culture. It is too easy to allow busy schedules to dictate our day, but making time for meals is definitely worth the effort. And even if you are a working mom, you can make this happen with my tips.

Family meals….

—Decrease teen risk of psychosocial problems– drug use, alcohol use, risky sexual behavior, suicidal intention and early sexual behavior.

—Allow kids to eat healthier and have better nutrition.

—Bring a sense of emotional connection among family members.

—That are no stress zones create a relaxed atmosphere for great conversation and catch up on daily activities.

—Provide a routine that help kids thrive.

—Increase the chance of kids getting their fruits and vegetable servings needed for healthy development.

—Are the single strongest predictor of better academic achievement (University of Michigan study).

So with all these incredible benefits, how can you make this happen?

1.Pre-plan for meals. This is the key. On the weekend, make up a menu and buy needed ingredients. Plan your daily meals.

2. Pull out that Crock-Pot that is located somewhere in a cupboard. The night before or early a.m., fill it with tasty ingredients, plug it in and simmer all day and come home to a home cooked meal.

3. Get on the net and find a number of 30 minute meal preparations. Rachel Ray and others have on-line recipes that are easy to make.

4. Cook meals on weekends and freeze them. Then you simply thaw the day you need the meal.

5. Accommodate schedules. When my kids were in ballet, soccer and other activities, I adjusted mealtime each night to fit the schedule. It can be done!

This one change in your family life can make a huge difference!

 

For more tips on how to raise healthy weight kids, click on the link to my book,  Raising Healthy Kids, winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards.

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