A recent piece on MSNBC.com highlighted an issue that often comes up between BFBs and the ones that love them this time of year: What do you do when the person you care about most is eating lots of high-calorie, not-good-for-them foods over the holidays, especially if they have a health issue like heart disease or diabetes or are already tipping the scales toward an unhealthy weight? Do you say anything? Do you give them “the look” when they reach for a third serving of mashed potatoes or a fourth cookie or slice of pie?
No, no you do not. Bethany Thayer, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, made a few great points in the article and I agree with them all, especially this one:
“It’s really hard to watch the people you love do things you know may cause them discomfort, hurt them or even shorten their lives. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot control other people’s behavior, only our own.”
In chapter 9, Health-ify That Boy, I talk all about this issue and the very, very fine line that exists between nudging because you care and very destructive nagging. Whether it comes in the form of eye rolling, words, or the before-mentioned look, the only thing it’s going to do is cause fights and resentment between you both.
Especially during the holidays, if the man you love loves holiday goodies enough to pile on holiday pounds, plan a few active dates (ice skating, skiing, power shop the biggest mall in your area, cut down your own Christmas tree!), and then forget about it and focus on yourself. Try bringing a healthier option to the table (for instance, I always make mashed cauliflower at Thanksgiving so I can have mostly that and just enough mashed potatoes to feel satisfied), up your own activity to give yourself a burst of mood-upping endorphins, and remember that the best thing you can do is be a good example and take care of yourself. Then, focus on all the reasons why you love him and enjoy the holiday!