What? Food Bully?
Yep. I’m going there.
While the news media may be raging a war against bullying (as we all should be), the first thing we usually think about is bullying that happens at school or online. But what I dare say we haven’t thought about is food bullying.
Think about it. How many times have you yourself been a victim and you may have not even realized it.
Let’s first actually look at the definition of the word “bully”.
Bully (in the sense of a verb) is defined as “to use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants”.
Have you ever gone on a diet or attempted to eat healthy then to have someone tease you or make fun of your efforts , healthier choices or “new lifestyle”?
“Oh, I should have known you’d be the one to eat a salad.”
“Why can’t you eat just one piece of cake?”
“Don’t you want a bite of this donut? You know you do.”
I could go on and on with more examples, but if you’ve ever heard them, you’ve been the victim of food bullying. IF you’ve ever said them, you have been a food bully.
I often wondered what drives the food bully to try to thwart our efforts of self-improvement. That’s what it is after all is an attempt to better ourselves. Whether it be to look better, to feel better or to improve our health, it’s still an effort to make a change for the better.
So why are we bullied? Why is anyone bullied for that matter?
If you look back at the definition, bullying is an intimidation tactic used to persuade the other person (the victim) to not just change their ways, but to do what the bully wants them to do.
Misery Loves Company
When we look at this with food or healthy living, I wonder if the bully bullies because it’s simply a means to make them feel better about themselves? Or do they wish they had the courage to do what their victim is doing which is making a change for the betterment of themselves.
Maybe they wish they had the guts to eat better, exercise or live healthier and by intimidating the person who does is their attempt to have someone on their side…so when they grab the junk food, it makes them feel better about their own
So how do we protect ourself from food bullying?
First, it goes back to your own why and knowing why you’ve made the change for the better to begin with. As difficult as it may be sometimes, your why must be bigger than your desire to stay the same.
Keep your why and your goals in front of you at all times. Repeat them over and over and say them aloud until they become stronger than the meaningless attacks you may face.
Secondly, as your why becomes stronger, YOU become stronger. As you gain more confidence in your why, YOU start to gain more confidence in YOURSELF.
This confidence helps you stand stronger against the bullying and it doesn’t affect you like it once did.
Lastly, know your source of bullying. Understand that it’s not about you, but it’s about them. They want to be like you so trying to persuade you to become more like them is their only defense against the guilt and jealousy they’re actually battling. It’s their battle, not yours.
And my advice to any of you who may be guilty of food bullying? I won’t judge you about the food choices you’re making and you don’t judge me about mine.
Peace, Love and Food
My husband is a food and alcoholic bully. He will sit and convince me to have some drinks and eat pizza every weekend. I can say no for 2 weeks in a row, then I am too weak and give in. Then all my progress is gone and I gain 2 pounds and feel worse than the last week. This cycle has been going on for 2 years as I try to get back on track. Not sure what to do.
I’m sorry that you have to go through that Julia. Hang in there and the biggest advice I can offer you is to have a strong support system to help you get through that and stand strong against those weekends. We have a great community of women over on FB so make sure you join Women Over 40 Lose Weight Feel Great!