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Is Your Dieting Friend Going Too Far?


Having once been a dieter and uber picky (years ago thankfully!) I can sympathize with anyone trying to eat healthier or stick to a diet. However, it becomes harder for me to me to be empathetic when:

1. The dieter is constantly quoting calories/nutrtitional info about the whole menu or what I am eating. (I usually eat things that are relatively healthy but this irritates me because I believe in moderation and do not want to fall back into the trap of counting calories...for myself at least I find that it can become an unhealthy habit)

2. The dieter is very vocal about not eating from the bread basket. Very understandable when you are trying to lose weight, but does this statement need to be repeated numerous times? (Or while I am chewing my bread?) My mom in particular drives me crazy with this- she bores holes into me and my dad when we're eating bread- quite passive aggressive! To be fair I can understand why it would be hard to have bread on the table when you're avoiding it-which is why I discreetly eat it and have the waiter take the rest.

3. "I'm not getting dessert" leads to the dieter trying to take more than one bite of mine...many bites in fact. 'Why not get your own?" "You know I'm on a diet- I just took a taste!"

4. The after meal run-down of what the dieter ate: "Aren't you proud of me? I only had 1/2 of the soup, no rolls, only ate 3/4 of the steak, no dessert...." And then proceeds to count the # of calories that she ate (usually a gross understatement) I'm always up for giving support bu

Again, I mean no ill will to anyone who is trying to make themselves healthier or lose a few pounds. However, I do not understand why discretion seems to go out the window a lot of the time in social situations when someone is on a diet. If you want friendly advice or even just a word of support I'm always happy to provide it- especially to a friend. But I think for some reason people on a diet often go way overboard in social situations.

How do you feel about this? What have you done in similar situations?

  1. I completely agree with you! I grew up with a halth-obsessed mother who was always trying to lose weight/get me to lose weight and for a long time, it drove me to stuffing my face with really bad foods as a way of rebelling against it. Thankfully, as an adult, I developed such an appreciation for food that the mere thought of being on a diet makes me shiver.

    I love eating healthily now as much as I love indulging my cravings when necessary and I believe that when you eat good foods, there is no need to count calories or 'cut out' anything. I have a friend who is always on a diet (even though she is very skinny) and I decided long ago not to eat with her as it depresses me to see someone with such contempt for food that her intake is limited to 2-3 items that are considered 'safe'.

    I can respect people ho are trying to lose weight or be healthier as long as they do not lecture me or go on and on about it, especially when I'm enjoying my food! I have asked my mother to keep these comments to herself as it's very off-putting for everyone else and although she tries her best, she sometimes cannot help being self-righteous so I just laugh it off and thank my lucky stars that I managed not to inherit that particular trait.

    1. I think these self righteous people fall into the same category as faux vegetarians and pescetarians and semi kosher (when it suits) people who go on and on and on at the table and MUST tell you what they do or don't eat.

      If you offer a taste of your food 'try my steak/pate/pepperoni pizza/pork chop/lobster they look at you like you are totally crazy and in a condescending tone tell you they don't eat that.

      I don't care for an inventory of what people eat or don't eat. Just shut up please.

      1 Reply
      1. re: smartie

        I have a male coworker who is always giving an inventory of what he does and doesn't eat. It is usually as a result of seeing what someone else eats. "I used to eat that but not anymore now I eat..." It's like he is addicted to self-deprivation. One day he said it while I was eating a small barbeque all white meat chicken sandwich. I wanted to introduce him to the knuckle sandwich! I have learned not to eat around him. Even my marathon and triathalete friends are not as rigid in their diets.

      2. Social situations are no place for diet discussions, IMO. I no more want to hear about somebody's diet while I'm eating than I want to hear about their last operation or illness.

        And if you are not a diet-driven person, have a few more (or even maybe more than a few) pounds on than your dieting companion, thoughts of passive-aggressive behavior being directed at you definitely spring to mind.

        My bottom line: Dieting? Keep it your yourself, your food diary and your doctor. You want to run down all the details or get approval for how well you're doing? Join WW or OA.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mcsheridan

          Yes. It is rather like someone sharing the images of their colon, while I am dining.

          Now, I married a nurse. We did not see each other that often, due to schedules. I learned early on to not ask how her night had gone, usless I wanted to hear about patient A's health issues. This was in the days before HICKFA, and I soon learned that health issues were part of her job. If we were dining, I did not ask.

          Same for diets, in my book,


        2. I can so relate to this! I love bread baskets, LOVE them, and will often polish off the entire thing before the salad hits the table. I have only once dined with someone as you described (note I said ONCE) She made every damn bite feel like I should be ashamed of myself. She ordered a DRY salad, a poached chicken breast with steamed white rice, talk about flavorless!

          I think it is great that people on a diet feel good when they avoid temptation, but I don't need to feel a guilt trip for eating a second piece of bread, or ordering something with .... I don't know.. flavor!.

          1. As someone who has lost a lot of weight in recent years and has many friends and family members on perpetual diets, I speak from experience on both sides. Like many aspects of our personal lives, there is a time and place for certain subjects. It's unfair to drag others into your personal saga while they are trying to enjoy (and paying good money for) their own meals. We like to go on cruises, where eating is one of the recreational highlights, and we have a standing rule that all talk of diets/weight/calories, etc. stops the second we set foot on the ship.

            You hit the nail on the head: discretion is what's lacking in these situations. It's easier to address with close friends and family but it might be more difficult in other situations without avoiding these people at mealtimes, lol.

            1. I've been on WW for just over 2 years now and I work VERY hard to not be one of those annoying dieters. The only time I discuss diet issues is if someone asks, or if I'm with a friend who is also on the plan.
              My mother has similar p/a tendencies to those described here - to the point of brow-beating my stepfather into ordering what *she* thinks he should eat. It's very disturbing. She's gotten quieter with me tho, especially since I'm now wearing a smaller size than she does! :)
              As to what to do about it - I guess it depends on how good a friend they are. Really good friends you can usually say something to... otherwise I'd put up with it for that meal then not eat with them again!
              You know tho, this goes both ways for me... I know people that I cannot have meals with because their eating habits are so bad (unhealty). The people I'm thinking of have VERY limited diets - fried foods prevail - and won't consider going to places that may have a menu with options I enjoy as well.

              1. I've been there Nicole. These people seem really self-absorbed. I really liked your comments smartie. Especially the bit about the condescending "I don't eat that." I'm grateful that one phrase is out of favor: A few years ago I offered a family member (lives three hours away thank god) some of my cranberry sauce and she informed me proudly "I'm just not a cranberry person." Cringe. How pretentious is that? I had this one friend who was pretty overweight and felt badly about it. When we shared meals she would stare at me enviously as I was enjoying my food. It made me really uncomfortable. I'm no mind reader but the vibe I was getting was how can you chow down like that and still be thinner than me? It's so unfair! Sometimes the silent disapproval is even worse than the words, the boring holes into you routine as you mentioned, Nicole. I think eating should be a joyful experience, but sometimes it has to be refueling. I suck it up when I have to, and try to avoid these situations like the plague.

                8 Replies
                1. re: givemecarbs

                  I agree- it can be extremely uncomfortable. But trying to put my foot in the other person's shoes- it can seem very unfair to an overweight person who has tried dieting over and over again to see someone thinner than they are being able to eat and enjoy it. I do not believe that justifies trying to make the thinner person feel guilty for what they are eating however.

                  1. re: givemecarbs

                    "A few years ago I offered a family member (lives three hours away thank god) some of my cranberry sauce and she informed me proudly "I'm just not a cranberry person." Cringe. How pretentious is that?"
                    Pretentious? Perhaps she just doesn't care for the taste of cranberry. That's the way I read her response to you. Not as pretentious. If she doesn't like the taste of cranberry, how should she have responded?

                      1. re: alliebear

                        True, but "I'm just not a cranberry person" is also acceptable - it's most certainly not pretentious.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          It may not be pretentious, but it is rude. "No, thank you" is sufficient.

                          1. re: Fromageball

                            I don't disagree with you - nor did I disagree with alliebear. However, the word used was "pretentious." And that it is not.

                            1. re: Fromageball

                              I find it hard to even conceive of a situation in which saying that one is "not a cranberry person" would be rude.

                              1. re: Cinnamon

                                I can't stand cilantro so when offered any dish containing cilantro I usually say say "no thank you, I don't like the taste of cilantro" rather than just "no thank you." I don't want the person offering me the food to have the impression that I think there is something bad about the dish.

                                If a dish containing cilantro is already plated for me I politely eat a few bites while taking discreet sips of water in between.

                    1. I agree completely, and I think some of this pertains to non-dieters as well. It is NEVER polite to make comments on what people at a table are or aren't eating, whether it's "do you know how many calories are in that bread?!" or "eww, you're eating raw fish?!" or whatever that person's food issue is. If you have a comment that may decrease my enjoyment of the food, please keep it to yourself!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Nicole

                        Yes, this is the actual overall point. No one is supposed to notice what other people are eating or not eating, other than to observe generally the pace of eating so that people begin and end within reasonable proximity to each other.

                        That said, another thing feeding this dynamic, at least in my experience, is a kind of defensiveness: our culture stigmatizes the obese with such fervor that eating out can be experienced as a kind of trial. For example, think of the studies that show that, when women eat among women only, there tends to be a competitive race towards who can eat the least (with men, the opposite competition is more the tendency).

                        I think the best thing to do is to make an aside at a non-meal encounter with the person in question and mention how uncomfortable you feel when people make remarks about [X] at the table and that you wish more people had the confidence to avoid doing so.

                      2. "And then proceeds to count the # of calories that she ate (usually a gross understatement)"

                        lol, ya know this really rang a bell, because i've been in a "losing weight" debate on another board. most dieters underestimate calories consumed by 30-50%, which is why they find it impossible to lose weight or to keep it off.

                        most of my friends are in the hospitality business. we always talk about food, but none of my friends seem to have the neurosis offered by the friend (or composite friend) of the op.

                        honestly? they sound like a complete bore, and i'd not be wasting my dining dollars with them again. if it's somebody whose company you generally enjoy, perhaps a gentle comment, not at a meal, about avoiding the topic would help?

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          I'm actually writing about my mom- who thankfully is far from boring- but when she does this (and does this a lot) it can be VERY annoying:}

                          If this was a "friend" however I would take your advice, None of my friends though actually exhibit this behavior thankfully!

                          1. re: NicoleFriedman

                            lol, after i posted i thought to add that if it's a family member, you're probably just stuck!

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              Mr. Chef and I have a SIL who lost a lot of weight on a very low-carb diet a few years ago, and became a raging carbophobe at every meal we were forced to share together during holidays. This was a full blow obsession -- all during Thanksgiving dinner we were lectured on how many carbs were on our plate, how low-carb her meal was, etc. We made light of most of it -- "pass the carbs, please... would you like some gravy for your carbs?" And listening to her order a meal in a reastaurant was agony -- she wanted her entree without the potato or fries, etc. so could they charge her less? She ate butter with a fork (no carbs to put it on) and her grown son refused to dine out with her because he was so embarrassed by this. She was an insufferable, carb-deprived so-and-so. And today (10 years later) -- she has gained ALL that weight back.

                              1. re: Cheflambo

                                Butter on a fork? That is a very good example of how uneducated most people are who go on fad diets. So sad. I always hated that low carb diet. Our brains actually can not function properly on less that 100 grams of complex carbs a day. I learned this while studying nutrition back in college. I am not surprised she gained it all back, most people do, or they have a heart attack.

                                1. re: DishDelish

                                  Can we please keep this on topic to the dinner-table behavior issues, and not start bashing anybody's way of eating as less holy or purportedly informed than thou?

                                    1. re: Cinnamon

                                      I am not bashing anyone, and I am not bashing you. I am a very easy to get along with person so please do not single me out. I am not the only one in this discussion who is talking about the health issues present here. You have greatly misunderstood me. Please let us get along. =~) *smile*

                                      1. re: DishDelish

                                        Did you really have to call someone uneducated for having a different point of view on food than you do? And not just one person but "most people" in the group you mentioned.

                                        And clearly most people do not "gain it all back or have a heart attack."

                                        How hard would it have been to just empathize with the person whose post you were responding to about the table manners?

                                        You may be generally a nice person in other realms, but not by any stretch was that a less than rude post.

                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                          I was talking about the obviousness of how unhealthy butter is. And hey ... I love my butter, my mayo and lots of other things of this sort, but I am not going to pretend that my choice of eating this is better than eating carbs. I am not more educated than most people, I certainly don't presume that I am more intelligent than all of you fabulous chowhounds. I do understand the obvious ways that we try to deceive ourselves into thinking that we could actually lose weight for long term by eating a diet based on fatty foods though.
                                          I am not unsympathetic with people's efforts to lose weight, I have many in my family who struggle and have struggled myself in the past. I have known people who died from going on the lawcarb diet, because they had a diet of bacon, sausage, eggs, butter etc .... without the balance of healthy carbs and veggies. I thought it was awful. I just want people to stop lying to themselves that if they lose weight this way they will be okay. Perhaps they look better on the outside, but the inside of their body may not look so great, particularly the heart. More people die from heart failure than from cancer so I am serious that many will die from a heart attack when they go on this diet long term. I would like more people to be informed because I care. However, I am not going to share these facts at the dinner table with a friend who is on this sort of diet because that would be rude.

                          2. Anybody who makes uncalled-for remarks about the food, how little he eats, or what other people are eating is just a boor.

                            1. I had a co-worker who used to do that. Recite the calories of everything SHE put in her mouth as well as MINE. She finally shut up when she would make a comment like "this lo-fat slice of cheese is only 45 calories" and I would reply "fully aged full fat cheddar tastes better". After several renditions of this, she kept her comments to herself.

                              Diets can be a chore but it's the PEOPLE that make them a pain.

                              1. I completely agree and understand! Both my parents were OBSESSED with being skinny (still are), and since I am not skinny, they were constantly on me about losing weight and dieting. I am healthy, and try to exercise regularly, and eat healthy. I just am not a skinny person, but they refuse to accept that. I ended up having it out with them, and just chewed them out for how they acted. I explained that their life choices were not mine. They finally backed off, and have been far better since that time (several years ago). But it has always affected me (I was sent to WW at 12), and HATE hearing people talk about calorie counting and weight issues while dining. I feel that's a personal thing, and if I ask, feel free to talk, but if I don't please don't share.

                                53 Replies
                                1. re: milkyway4679

                                  That must have been hard for you. My dad is, and always has been, preoccupied with being thin. My mom is plump and he has been bugging her about it for as long as I can remember. I know that she hides food from him.

                                  My situation is a bit different. For a few years after I had my son, I was overweight, but my dad never said a word about it to me. He simply never took my picture. If you were to look at a photo album from that period, you'd think I'd gone on an extended vacation. When he finally did photograph me again after l'd lost the weight I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or punch him in the nose.

                                  So, while talking about dieting certainly can be awful, sometmes not talking can hurt, as well.

                                  1. re: Glencora

                                    my office drives me nuts, we get lunch brought in most days by reps and I have never heard such a bunch of fuss pots. This one doesn't eat meatloaf, this one doesnt eat nuts in her salad or other bits and pieces in a salad, another one hates chicken, another won't eat meat and cheese together, one doesn't like sandwiches.

                                    And they are so vociferous. How can you eat that? I don't eat such and such how can you? I wish I could take my plate and leave the kitchen but I can't.

                                    My mother often commented on the way I drink my coffee (strong and milky). She takes hers black with sweetener. I finally had enough and had a long conversation with her saying that when she attacks me about my choices of foods I find it hurtful because it smacks of one-upmanship. If my food choices do not affect her then would she please stop with the comments. Never had a problem again.

                                    1. re: smartie

                                      I'm with you all the way but the no nuts could be a serious allergy, and the meat and cheese... that doesn't sound picky, that sounds KOSHER. Maybe Kosher "Lite". But either way, you just don't.go.there. when the food restriction is religiously prescribed. I know there are people who are selective about when they bust out the religion/food card... but still, a non-believer cannot criticize a believer's food limits.

                                      It's easy for people who don't follow such a religion to be unknowingly insensitive... I'm sure you have the best of intentions, but when people don't mix dairy & meat; don't eat pork or shellfish, they might be Jews. No pork, could be Muslim. No meat on Fridays, might be Catholic. And so on. It's nice just to know a handful of these major religious food restrictions because not knowing when you should can be a major faux pas and deeply offensive. And not knowing can be *dangerous* in the case of food allergies.

                                      But your point certainly stands about the snark: "How can you eat that?" is rude beyond belief.

                                      1. re: Mawrter

                                        I've always found it fascinating that for some reason, dietary restrictions based on religious beliefs, are somehow beyond criticism, and that 'thou shalt not comment on them', for they are superior reasons than, say, a life-threatening allergy, or a simple dislike of a certain ingredient.

                                        Then again -- non-believer here. As in so many aspects of life, I do like to make my own decisions, including what I 'may' or may not eat.

                                        More pork & booze for the rest of us '-D

                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          Actually, religious obligation and life-threatening allergies pretty much rank the same in etiquette: mere likes and dislikes are considered in a different category. The difference (which you can quibble with to your heart's content but it won't matter in the arbitrary world of long-standing custom, which is social before logical) is that the former category includes obligations (supernatural or natural) while the latter does not. Ayn Rand might have a fit over the distinction, but we don't care what she thinks. Anyway, in general American culture, hospitality places certain obligations on hosts AND on guests. Guests may discreetly make the host aware of their obligatory needs, but are not supposed to mention preferences unbidden, as it were. And other guests are not supposed to even notice, let alone comment, on what other people eat or don't eat. These social rules are actually very practical, as threads like these demonstrate repeatedly.

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            You're right, of course. Socially and culturally, the supernatural is -- in this case -- considered qualitatively "equal" to life-threatening allergies, whether I find that ridiculous or not.

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              The alternative would be simply to not acknowledge any obligatory needs and place the burden on each guest to partake or abstain at their own risk - the other extreme would be so anti-social as to make hospitality practically impossible. The social burden would shift entirely to the guest, as it were. Trying to shift the burden entirely onto hosts - which is something we have seen attempted by the less sociable among us - is a self-defeating proposition.

                                            2. re: Karl S

                                              Very well put... and I certainly feel I'm on firm ground if I'm giving Ayn Rand fits! :)

                                          2. re: Mawrter

                                            religious beliefs are a lifestyle choice, and hence are completely in bounds for questioning. Whatever hoccus-poccus you believe in, is not equal to a life threatening allergy.

                                            1. re: nkeane

                                              ... thus demonstrating the rudeness inherent in problemetizing someone's religious beliefs or practices. Thanks, NKeane, that was almost like performance art!

                                              And exactly who said religion & food allergies were "equal"? (Whatever "equal" even MEANS in this context... )

                                              1. re: nkeane

                                                Well, not when it comes to table etiquette. You go there at table, you trangress major social boundary.

                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                  Exactly. We're talking about *table*talk*, not whether you're going to wind up in the E.R. or hell.

                                          3. re: Glencora

                                            Glencora ... ths picture-taking thing is a really interesting aspect that I've never encountered before. If only certain people in MY family would refrain this way! I have an aunt who will NOT stop taking our pictures, even when we ask (politely and then angrily) for her to cease. Restaurants are her favorite place for this, and she waits until the food is served, then makes the waiter take the picture. She then goes back home, has the pictures developed, and sends them to us (only the ones we are featured in). Thanks to her, I have complete photographic documentation of how much weight I have gained over the years, complete with the plates of food in front of me to illustrate how I got this way. Gee, thanks.

                                            1. re: Glencora

                                              Should've punched the twit in the snoot! I've seen this obsession with the weight of their daughters'/wives' myself, and it strikes me as kind of creepy. Unless a loved one is so overweight that you're afraid for their health, you should just button up. Do you really think that they are unaware?

                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                **Do you really think that they are unaware?**

                                                Even though I've always been significantly overweight, I've somehow never gotten the "helpful" comments from strangers that other people I know have. I remember one friend who was in the checkout line at the supermarket when the guy behind her pointed to her ice cream and said "you shouldn't be buying that, you're too fat." Really? Did he think she didn't know that (1) she was fat, and (2) ice cream is fattening? (Her actual response was something along the lines of "if you want to choose my groceries, you can pay for them.")

                                                Like a lot of teenaged girls, I was a Daddy's girl who had a sometimes contentious relationship with her mother. It wasn't until many years later, looking back, that I realized that even though I blamed "everything" on my mother, it was actually my father who would pick on me about my weight and other appearance issues -- sometimes overtly, sometimes in ways that I only picked up subconsciously.

                                                On the subject of dieting around other people, when I am on a diet (and I've taken off almost 50 pounds in stages over the last few years), I rarely mention it to anyone unless they ask. I make my own food arrangements, or I find something that I can reasonably eat, or I declare it a diet holiday and eat what's offered.

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                  People increasingly feel another person's obesity is sufficient grounds to provide advice. I've received it from time to time. A witheringly long soul-piercing glare (all of the children of my parents possess a gift for this, a synthesis of our parents' own individually formidable glares) is usually sufficient - it's funny what silence and protracted time will do, though some people then act like they were somehow victimized unbidden. I don't waste wit on dimwits.

                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                    Isn't it amazing how sensitive rude people are to what they perceive as rudeness on the part of others?

                                                2. re: pikawicca

                                                  Do you really think that they are unaware?

                                                  Recent studies show that as more and more people become obese, people's idea of what constitutes a "healthy" weight is changing. A lot of people don't actually realise that they are overweight, because they are "normal" in their circle of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintancese. So yes, it's totally possible someone is unaware. Science has proven it happens again and again.

                                                  1. re: Jetgirly

                                                    Yes, I actually mentioned that in another thread. However, in a place where being fat is the norm, people aren't likely to be making unwanted personal comments about other people's weight.

                                                    It's just plain rudeness, and in fact a reflection of the commenter's own hangups about weight hiding behind a fake concern for someone else.

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      Although it seems to be the case that people are getting bigger without noticing, it is sad that the focus should be on size rather than health. I have known so many skinny people who eat incredibly badly but, somehow, because they are slim, they are deemed as healthy. On the other hand and in my own family, my grandfather was obese his whole life and one of the healthiest people I've known with no cholesterol, high blood pressure or any other health problems and he lived into his late eighties.

                                                      Nobody has a right to point out to someone that they are fat. If the conversation arises and they ask for advice, then you might say something in a very sensitive way and always from the perspective of getting healthier, not thinner as making somebody feel bad about themselves is a sure way to push them towards the biscuit tin and not towards a better lifestyle.

                                                      1. re: Paula76

                                                        There's a very strong correlation between being a "healthy" weight and being healthy. Of course, there are exceptions -- genetics! -- to every rule.

                                                        Also, it is a lot easier for individuals to see if they are a healthy weight than internally healthy. I'm going to generalize, but many people are more concerned with how they look (and feel) than how well their heart is pumping blood. It is hard for people to see long-term until damage is done or close (to either themselves or someone they know).

                                                        1. re: Reignking

                                                          Correlation is not causation. Often, as I believe is for the most part true in obesity, the two things are correlated because they are both results of the same root cause. When it comes to weight and health, both being obese and being unhealthy are primarily caused by poor diet and exercise habits. Study after study has shown that people who eat poorly and aren't physically active but who manage to be thin are also unhealthy, while people who eat a healthy diet (fresh foods, fewer processed foods, even if it's too many calories) and are physically active can be healthy.

                                                        2. re: Paula76

                                                          Precisely! Have you heard of Covert Bailey? He wrote the Fit or Fat books. He talks about those fit larger people and fat skinny people in the books and common misconceptions about what is and is not healthy.

                                                      2. re: Jetgirly

                                                        Recent studies show that as more and more people become obese, people's idea of what constitutes a "healthy" weight is changing.

                                                        but. . .the idea of what a healthy weight is tends to change with time. for example, marilyn monroe wore size 12-16, and she was considered a female ideal in her own time. then the perhaps unreasonable/unhealthy standards of beauty of twiggy, kate moss. . .

                                                        maybe we're currently in the beyonce era of beauty standards. who the heck knows? i agree with Ruth that being overweight and being unhealthy do not necessarily correlate, especially as folks age. skinny old people are much more likely to die than overweight ones.


                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                          you'd have to keep in mind that what was a size 12-16 (that's a pretty wide range, btw) then may well now be more like 8-12.

                                                          surely, i'm not the only one who's noticed that clothing sizes have been "adjusted", i.e. down-sized. i can often wear the S size t-shirts, and i am definitely not small.

                                                          but MM will always look better comparted to what is considered 'slim' nowadays...

                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            Can I just say it among friends? Let's hear it for the curvy girls, dammit. I will NEVER be a size zero (not even at Chico's--the only place that might be remotely feasible because of their bizarre sizing) and that is just fine. When I lost weight (first from my own effort, then the final 10 pounds due to illness), I was a "skinny bitch"...my size 14 clothes hung off of me and I have to say I looked gaunt, though there were people who said how good I looked. I kind of felt like a skeleton. My size then was an 8. Yes, at "big ol" size 8, I was considered UNDERweight. Now I am healthy as a horse with my old appetite back...right along with 15-20 pounds. So it's back to reality--10 seems to fit and I'm trying to stay happy with that, though sometimes 10 is snug. I was not built to be skinny. I am a curvy woman...one who is thankful there are those out there who are thankful there's a little more of me to love! Here's to ya, Norma Jean!

                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                              curvy girl here, too. i am blessed with a body that can gain a few lbs., because it's all nicely distributed '-)

                                                              size "zero" -- that's ridiculous, and as an idea should be a joke to any feminist. hey y'all, let's starve ourselves until we 're barely there anymore...

                                                              granted, i'm generally unhappy when my clothes get too snug, or i feel my voluptuousness could use a bit more 'definition'. (i'm more of a 12 at the moment...)

                                                              but ask ANY woman, and she'll tell you she needs to lose AT LEAST 10 lbs. and that's fucked up.

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                Amen, sister, from A to Z of your post above! Let's get real about our bodies and celebrate the curves...AND THE FOOD! :)

                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  Ahem. Not all size 0s are starving themselves. I'm a size 0, not because I'm super-thin, but because I'm small. Clothing sizes have been adjusted downward over the years: I was a 6 twenty years ago, and my weight hasn't changed much since then. So where the hell do I go from here? Negative 2?

                                                                  1. re: small h

                                                                    I am a size 0 too, and I hate and I mean hate when people assume I am starving myself (or worse) The fact I love to eat good food, and drink good wine, and love to hike, bike, read, and enjoy life to its fullest seems to fall on deaf eyes.

                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                      Never implied they did, just that clothing sizes have gone down. I thought for the 0s there was now the XXXXS sizes, no? Doesn't a double-0 already exist anyway?

                                                                      Size "zero". Something very, very wrong about that -- and no, I am not referring to your particular small body, but the fact that a size zero exists.

                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                        I know you meant no harm, but how else should I have interpreted this?

                                                                        <size "zero" -- that's ridiculous, and as an idea should be a joke to any feminist. hey y'all, let's starve ourselves until we 're barely there anymore.>

                                                                        Yeah, 00 exists. I'm definitely headed that way, or rather, 00 is definitely headed MY way, because I am static & the sizes are moving.

                                                                        1. re: small h

                                                                          Whether you took this personally or not (which I suppose you have no reason to, since you are naturally tiny), I find the mere existence of a size zero a slap in the face of feminism. That's just me. Maybe there's a size zero for men, too, and I just have never been aware of that.

                                                                          Fact is, enough women DO starve themselves b/c of some misguided, mysoginistic idea of how a woman is "supposed" to look -- which, according to the fashion industry which is overwhelmingly run by gay men, appears to be like 12yr. old boys.

                                                                          I have a friend who thinks size 4 is 'normal', or an average size. Average of what? She forbids herself to eat cheese or bread, so she can be a size 6 or 4 or 2 or 0 someday. Great aspirations!!! So important, too!

                                                                          Change how you see, not how you look.

                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                            Hmmm. I don't think we can blame size 0 on women starving themselves. Women are getting bigger, not smaller (average weight has increased 20ish pounds over the past 40 years). I subscribe to the theory that clothing manufacturers keep re-numbering the sizes so that today's "average" woman can still wear a size 12, although in 1960 a woman of her size would have worn a 16 or an 18.

                                                                            1. re: small h

                                                                              I'm with you there. Sizes are a lot bigger than they used to be. An average woman in the 1950s was probably closer to a size 4-6 in today's sizes.

                                                                              There are so many factors that go into eating disorders as well. Women with eating disorders don't typically see themselves as others see them, and it can take years of therapy to be able to move past that. I think it's a little callus just to say "change how you see," without really knowing most women's situations.

                                                                              1. re: queencru

                                                                                Sorry to sound callous, but not every woman on a diet has an eating disorder. What most women do have, however, is a completely ridiculous idea of how a woman's body is 'supposed to' look.

                                                                                Not sure I understand why you and small h are getting so defensive. I've long made the point about downgrading sizes having to do with the industry playing into a woman's desire to fit into single digit clothing. Which is fucked up. Period.

                                                                                1. re: queencru

                                                                                  It's true that sizes have gotten bigger, and it's true that the average women has gotten bigger, but it's also true that the "ideal" woman has gotten a lot smaller. While women have gotten bigger, models are a modern size 2, despite being around 5'10". In the 1950's, they were considerably larger (I'm guessing a modern 6-8ish?). In the 1950's the weight of an average woman and the weight of miss america winners and playboy centerfolds were pretty similar...since that time, the average woman has increased in size while miss america and playboy centerfolds (representing the "ideal" shape) have dramatically decreased in size. So we are left with a huge gap between what is average and what is ideal. (This isn't just my opinion, it i based on several studies.) This part IS my opinion: We should strive to bring average women's weight down, but we should also strive to bring the "ideal" weight up, so that people are healthy both physically and psychologically.

                                                                                  1. re: Nicole

                                                                                    Right on! And you can say that over dinner at my table ANY time! :-)

                                                                                    1. re: Nicole

                                                                                      Exactly -- I remember when SI had its 25th anniversary swimsuit edition and they showed the cover from the first edition (which was 1966-ish, which meant this was the early '90s), and the cover model would be considered a plus-size model now. She actually had thighs!

                                                                                      I wonder if one influence is the infamous "camera adds 10 pounds." In order for women on the screen to look "normal" they have to be thin, so they become thinner. Then that becomes the new "normal" and they need to become even thinner. One interesting comment I read was that people today see many more media images (advertising, tv, movies, etc.) than people did even a generation ago. People in media images are more attractive than average, but we see so many of them that we start to think of that as the norm. In other words, if most of the people you see are a seven or above (on a scale from one to ten), then seven becomes the "new five" (norm or average).

                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                        To my mind, this issue is best exemplified by the famous "hot lunch" scene in the movie "Fame."


                                                                                        Those extras were real-looking young people (for the late 1970s), no one was extraordinarily beautiful (OK, the dancers are skinny - which was/is real for dancers - but not beautifully so, in fact, their skinniness is depicted in an unattractive way), and they were eating real food. The only non-real thing was the quality and universality of the jamming (though jamming itself was real for performance-oriented kids).

                                                                                        Were that movie made today, those extras would all be scrubbed clean to range in looks from above-average to extraordinary.

                                                                                        This shift occurred during the 80s and accelerated with tremendous force in the 90s. Look at extras in old movies (like "San Francisco") and you will notice faces and bodies with character but not attractive as such. Now, everyone's screened for beauty in a very shallow, ugly way. It's one reason the so many movies and shows today are unappealing (at least to me).

                                                                                        1. re: Karl S

                                                                                          And people in movies from Europe or the rest of the world aka NOT the U.S. still look like regular folks.

                                                                                          I have noticed an increase in overall attractiveness re: news cast on German TV, especially cable. The public stations still have people who perhaps don't have model looks, but actual qualities important for the job. You know, like journalistic experience, not just a bright, gleaming-white smile.

                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                            I think the teeth really is one of the most glaring changes. I go on TV boards too and anytime there is a show where someone has regular teeth, there are comments upon comments about how they need braces or whitening or veneers. I don't think people are worried as much about celebrities' figures. Many times when celebrities really slim down, it's more about how gaunt and unhealthy they look.

                                                                                            1. re: queencru

                                                                                              "I don't think people are worried as much about celebrities' figures. Many times when celebrities really slim down, it's more about how gaunt and unhealthy they look."

                                                                                              I think the opposite is the case, and am reminded of this very fact each time I return to the U.S. after my summers in Europe: ALL magazines at the register deal almost exclusively with 'who has gotten fat & who is "too skinny"', with the healthy range regardless of height apparently being between 110 and 115 lbs. Below that, you're starving yourself, above that, you're a blimp.

                                                                                              Not that there is *anything* more important than how starlet x looks on any given day '-)

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                Well I think for a while they were all about Jon and Kate and most people really weren't THAT interested. You can't really assume based on register tabloids what the general thought process in a country is. When I lived in Japan, every female magazine had pages of ads for diet supplements that would make women go from 55kg to around 40kg and this was considered desirable. There were only about 2-3 stores where you could find clothing above a size 6 or 8, and I saw similar things in China. My experience in the US is that women have a more realistic view of how much they should weigh compared to their Japanese counterparts. All my female coworkers were on a diet and some of them were probably a size 0.

                                                                                                1. re: queencru

                                                                                                  Well.... I still think the U.S. is generally more obsessive with regards to looks, but it's spreading like every other great export '-)

                                                                                                  As for Japanese women -- wouldn't you say that they, like Chinese and Thai or most Asian women (and men), tend to be smaller-boned or petite than their Western counterparts?

                                                                                                  I know that I felt *pretty* uncomfortable visiting a market in Northern Thailand (back in 98 when I was at a whopping 190 lbs. -- I am 5'7 & I had just quit smoking), and I had a throng of kids not only running towards me and grabbing my juicy arms, but announcing the arrival of a big, white farang to all the vendors....

                                                                                                  Most Asians I have met in my life tend to be on the smaller side, compared to Europeans or North Americans. Perhaps just anecdotal, but your Japan experience reinforces my impression.

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    While it's true that many Asian women are smaller, they aren't so small that it's reasonable to completely size out of the clothing market at size 6 or 8 (and even then you only had 2-3 choices). I worked in a high school (everyone wears uniforms pretty much until bedtime) where students looked very health and athletic at size 8-10, but when they graduated and no clothing is available in their size, what do you think happens? Women go onto very extreme diets when they reach size 6 because they know they won't fit into anything anymore. It's still not considered "feminine" to be athletic either, so women there typically don't exercise/workout unless they have more experience in western cultures.

                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                  I hear you, linguafood, particularly your last paragraph. And I wholeheartedly support that point of view!

                                                                                  I am 5'10". When I was fitting into anything with a 6 on it (tops only, hips don't go away), I was underweight--not by choice, but due to illness. Yet, I frequently see magazines, TV shows, touting what celebrities' small sizes (women's, mind you, not men's!) are...and some of those sizes would be highly unrealistic--and unhealthy--on a 5'10" frame. Seems any of the double-digit size numbers are "less sexy" in the minds of pop culture and the media. Yet, guess what...when one is underweight, one loses everywhere (read: bra size). And though it was kind of a kick to look more modelesque when I lost all that weight, I didn't feel healthy and I wasn't. I didn't even have a menstrual cycle anymore.

                                                                                  Do you remember the movie "Footloose" and the preacher's daughter who was so very slender (actress Lori Singer)? That movie came out when I was 15 and I didn't look like her whatsoever. I really wished I did, though. I used to bring Yoplait yogurt for lunch in hopes I would magically melt into something that looked so skinny and sexy in tight jeans. It just isn't in the cards for someone built like me, and not because I'm a glutton. Even at my most underweight point, I didn't have Lori Singer's figure. Some folks are just built that way, and more power to them--but more power to me (and other women) for recognizing that and not trying to squeeze (or starve) ourselves into some unrealistic mold. I want to aspire to something loftier than a small size--who I am as a soul is more important than what size this soul fits into. ;) And I share this because I have weighed both more and less than I do today and what trumps that is that I can tell you I am now healthy and happy and sassy and strong.

                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                    Yes, I remember Lori Singer, and to describe her as slender is an understatement. As a teenager, I too wanted to be thin(ner) than I was. Of course, when I look at pics from my teens and 20s, I think I must have been insane because I looked glorious. Ah, youth!

                                                                                    But you don't even have to go back that far -- I'm a fan of Desperate Housewives, and I am regularly shocked at how underweight ALL of the actresses are. It's sick.

                                                                                    And you are so right about aspirations just a 'tad' bit more important than superficial looks -- being a better person has not an ounce to do with how much or little one weighs.

                                                                    2. re: soupkitten

                                                                      I'm going to show that article to my dad. He's starving himself because he thinks he'll live longer. He says studies have proved it. I dunno. I do know he's weird about it. My mom recently had hip surgery and is stuck in bed. Their neighbors brought over a homemade quiche, Caesar salad, and a homemade chocolate cake. My dad served himself and my mom small portions and then called me to come and take the food away! And even though I'd love to make something for them, I've been firmly told not to. Oh -- and the doctors all told my somewhat overweight mom that she is in excellent health.

                                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                                        It depends a lot on where you carry the weight. People who are apple shaped tend to have many more problems than people who are pear shaped because extra weight around the midsection tends to cause a lot of problems.

                                                                        Linguafood is right about Marilyn. I think in today's sizes she'd be anywhere from a size 6-10 and was definitely not a large woman. I have noticed in just the past few years that a few brands have definitely adjusted to almost a ridiculous level.

                                                                        1. re: queencru

                                                                          The phenomenon is known as "vanity sizing." Make customers feel better (and buy more, the thinking goes) by having them fit a size 8, where at the same measurements they'd have worn a size 12 a few years ago.

                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                            yes... and it's very irritating. i've been bumped back into the children's section in the past few years -- and trust me, i haven't gotten smaller!

                                                                        2. re: soupkitten

                                                                          I see what you are saying, but lets face it ... a size 12 in the 50's and 60's was completely different from a 12 now. I don't think being overweight will help one's goal reaching old age, perhaps being at the upper end of a healthy weight though. Most women can be a size 12-14 and still be within healthy weight standards though.

                                                                2. If you are describing your friend accurately -- without any exaggeration -- then it sounds like your friend might be on the road to an eating disorder. An obsession with "numbers," like counting calories or cataloging how much was eaten of each food item, is a tell tale sign. So is "eating vicariously" through others by fixating on how much of a forbidden item someone else "gets" to eat. As frustrating as the experience is for you, and I don't doubt that it is, it is a thousand times worse for the eating disordered person that is torturing herself mentally with every bite. Keep in mind how lucky you are not to struggle with such a debilitating issue; that might make it easier to let the comments roll off.

                                                                  If you are exaggerating for this post, then the person just sounds annoyingly self-centered. If you ask her to cut it out and she doesn't, then just don't eat with her anymore. She'll get the picture pretty quick.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                    If you read my later posts in the thread, I was describing my mom. I can understand why you feel it is describing an eating disorder but fact is it's not. Due to health reasons, my mom is at least 50 pounds overweight. To her credit she has stuck to her doc approved diet- though it doesn't seem to be helping. (That is a whole other issue which I would rather not get into). I can understand why she's obessessed with what others are eating because she can't eat these things herself. I guess I just needed to vent because as much as I love her and despite understanding why she exhibits these behaviors, they still are insanely annoying:}

                                                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                      I agree that it's a good idea to put yourself in the other person's shoes and feel empathy for her position...that's a great point that was missing from this discussion. But I have to disagree with the assessment that these behaviors indicate that she is on the road to an eating disorder. While people with eating disorders do tend to engage in these behaviors, the majority of people who engage in these behaviors never go on to develop an eating disorder. For instance, many people who go on weight watchers or similar diet plans start obsessing over numbers because the whole plan revolves around counting "points"...I don't think this is a healthy thing, but it's quite common and not necessary boding of worse to come.

                                                                      1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                        To both Nicoles, I agree not everyone who exhibits these characteristics actually develops an eating disorder. That's why I said "might" be on the way. :-) But some people do. It's good you are certain your mother is not one of them. You asked others to chime in with their own experiences. If one of them sees a friend in what your are describing, then it is something for that person to keep in mind.

                                                                      2. I'm in the camp that believes other diners should be gracious about dieters' food restrictions and not comment on them or try to push food at them (nor play doctor to intervene supposing some eating disorder). But by the same token, the behavior you described of dieters is unacceptable! Fine if they don't want to partake of this or that, and fine to once give the reason, but after that they just need to stop talking about it.

                                                                        1. I'm a regular detoxer (I follow Dr. Joshi's Holistic Detox) and I know I'm totally wacky. I know it seems totally ridiculous to cut out wheat, dairy, fruit, red meat, caffeine, nightshades, fermented foods and alcohol for three weeks and I laugh about it. I don't try to convert other people or judge their food choices... Realistically, nobody is going to convert to my insane detox just because I sang its praises. If someone asks me why I'm not eating something I might say something like, "Oh, well Dr. Joshi says this about nightshades..." but I would say it with a giggle and only in response to a question. On the flipside, it seems like the whole world has to chime in at the first mention of the word "detox". I've kept my mouth shut as a colleague has eaten a Lean Cuisine (microwaved in plastic... aaaaah...) every single day this school year. I really, truly don't judge my colleague who says she can't eat gluten but still eats pizza for lunch. I DEFINITELY get lectured a whole lot more than I lecture!

                                                                          1. A slightly different take on it which I find more amusing than annoying. An extremely carbophobic friend, who rarely eats seems to get a vociferous pleasure out of forcing others to eat. (Maybe if we eat and gain weight it will make her weight loss even more profound?)

                                                                            When we go out to eat, if she eats at all its usually something like a very very well done steak eaten with ketchup. And during the course of an afternoon lunch she will constantly be forcing food on the rest of us, from putting things on our plates, to ordering dishes for us to 'share'. It can get quite funny, especially as we have some friends who truly know their food and wouldn't touch a well done steak with a yard pole.

                                                                            And yes, I have to constantly hear a breakdown of every single item she's eaten that day (to make it sound as though she's eaten alot) and how much weight she's lost

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: waytob

                                                                              i think "vociferous pleasure" is a new catchphrase in the soupkitten lexicon :)

                                                                              maybe the title of my first album. . .

                                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                It really is quite amusing to watch her though, everytime we bite into a decadently rich cheesecake, her comments and sounds are such that anybody sitting close by but not looking, would think it was her getting all the pleasure from the bite. Makes for some interesting lunches

                                                                                1. re: waytob

                                                                                  Did you ever see the 30 Rock where Jack makes Liz eat the steak in front of him because he can't eat red meat because of his heart? Classic.

                                                                                  1. re: LPhila

                                                                                    Yup. Have seen a couple of humerous dieting scenes in the movies (and yes I know its been done to death on the media board), but my real life incidences have been far more entertaining. These include:

                                                                                    1) Hosting a lunch for the 'girls' - eating a coleslaw made with low fat mayo, while serving everyone else the high fat version
                                                                                    2) Never ordering dessert but forcing everyone else to and then drooling
                                                                                    3) Insisting on dancing all night after a curry lunch to 'burn' off the calories - even when the music was just not danceable (is that a word?)
                                                                                    4) Ordering a salad when i had the most perfect lamb tagine in front of me, and trying to calculate how much of her salad she'd have to leave in order to have a bite of my tagine

                                                                                    On the flip side, i have a couple of friends who truly love food....one of their best theories - if we order 3 desserts and share them then we'll take in no calories

                                                                            2. I would want to throttle mom and friend. I might even be tempted to say something bordering on nasty-vicious!

                                                                              1. I have a friend who takes great joy in saying things like "45 calories per tablespoon" as I shove said 45 calories into my piehole. mmm... pie!

                                                                                For some reason it makes me wolf down all but one nice bite grinning and groaning the whole way thru. I also wash it down with coffee laden with sweet and low.

                                                                                1. I'm going to be the lone poster to admit it... I'm sure I've done the dieter-bore routine. Usually it's because as an old-school Atkin's low-carber, I've become so ridiculously defensive that at times I just want to scream "Look at this g-damned salad - LOOK AT IT - then look at your potatoes and tell me mine is an unhealthy diet one more freaking time."
                                                                                  Sometimes, it just strikes me funny that a particular thing is "diet food." Say what you will about low-carb, but it's made for food lovers, imo.

                                                                                  But at any rate, don't think I can't tell when I order a steak, salad,& asparagus and get the almost-eye-roll (yes, I'm talking to you, MIL) over my lack of potato.

                                                                                  Um. So. Now you know that about me.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                                      I know. Being "off the wagon" and honestly, ready to be HAULED in a wagon wherever I go.. Mmmmmmmmmm, potatoes.

                                                                                      It could also be that I get, uh, maybe a teensy little bit defensive over my IL's in general.

                                                                                      Whatever. I still think the taters are worse than salad. ;)

                                                                                  1. I would venture to guess that the 'dieter behaviours' listed by the OP and others are from mostly people who only diet to lose weight and never exercise. I could diet until the cows come home [to be eaten on my low-carb diet ;-) ] but never lose a pound... the minute I start exercising, the weight flies off. This may not be the case for everyone, but most research points to both diet and exercise being the best, healthiest, and longest lasting way to lose weight. When dieters have all their weight-loss eggs in one basket, so to speak, the obsessive-compulsiveness is bound to come out. I dislike both dieting and exercise, but carbs and dessert will always win in my world, so I walk an hour every day and lift weights; it's my compromise position so I can eat the clafouti I just made [or the ribs, or the margarita...]

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Smorgasbord

                                                                                      It's definitely not the case for everyone, and the people for whom this is not true do not necessarily have thyroid or other endocrine issues. The data by which people calculate calories ingested and expended are based on averages and the effect in each body varies more than most people realize (yes, I've spoken with experts on this one, to help explain why working out with three different types of exercise for 1.5-3 hours a day and carefully monitoring food does not result in much weight loss, let alone the 2+ lbs a week it nominally should.) The sad truth is that, contrary to the American gospel that one can always achieve one's goals with sufficient application of willpower and resources, it's not necessarily so.

                                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                                        Very true, and not widely understood.

                                                                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                          It's not widely understood because widespread reporting of this would undermine reliable cash cows for many things....

                                                                                          1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                            That's an excellent point, Karl. What's also not widely understood is that the vast majority (something like 85%?) of people who diet and lose weight gain back all the weight, plus more, within 2 years. Indeed, studies have shown that the single best predictor of future weight gain is whether you are currently on a diet! So my approach is to exercise daily for health rather than weight loss, eat what I like, and stop worrying so much.

                                                                                      2. Wow... I must be *really* lucky. I've never, in my entire life, had to dine with someone like that, neither friends nor colleagues nor relatives. If anything, they're yelling at me to eat *more*, telling me I'm a wuss for not finishing everything on my plate, and licking their own plates clean. My really good friends might laugh about how everything they're eating is going straight to their a*s, but we eat it anyway. And then we walk home while groaning cheerfully about our fat a*ses. :)

                                                                                        I guess if I ever did have to dine with anyone who quotes calorie info at me or pesters me about whatever I'm eating, I'd stick my fingers in my ears and sing "lalalalalalalalalalalalalalala!!!" until they stopped. That should get the point across.

                                                                                        1. Ahh!!! This is my life! I feel like I should have short stories about my dining debacles.

                                                                                          On a semi-related note, dining with people (MIL!) who have had gastic bypass seem to have an ongoing monologue during the pre/during/post meal about food. Sometimes, the post monologue (epilogue?) includes how something didn't sit right or now the person is sick, and running to the washroom to..do whatever gastric ppl do after they overeat.
                                                                                          I am surrounded with these dining shenanigans including once when my own mother threw a sugar packet at my dad because he ordered pizza - she was way Low Carb/Atkins at the time and has since reformed but still wacky for example.....

                                                                                          "Well, that lunch was HUGE and nobody will want dinner tonight!" Reality: Come 6:00, we're starving and ready to eat and she's putting on the holier (hungrier?) than thou routine.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: stellamystar

                                                                                            Stellar, you have my sympathies..that would be too hard for me to deal with.

                                                                                          2. Yes! Dieters: stay home or quit your whining. Sister--in-law consistently loses weight when we have a large family occasion and in the process drives us crazy about it, then just balloons back up when it's all over. What a wackadoo.

                                                                                            1. Nicole, I've had similar situations with my family. Not specifically regarding food, but with them being obnoxious because they're my family and they can push my buttons. Since it's your mother and you can be frank with her, I'd probably say something like, "Mom, I HATE talking about your diet. I care about you, want you to lose weight, and am so proud of you for how hard you're working on it. But there are so many more interesting things to talk about and I don't want to talk about diets anymore when we're eating dinner." Then, when she brings it up, either ignore comments (in the case of the bread basket) or change the subject. With my brother I even just look at him and do the broken record technique: keep repeating "Don't wanna talk about it" until he changes the subject. Good luck - it's not easy with family.

                                                                                              1. If the dieter keeps the info (before and after the meal) to themselves, I salute them. If they wish to bring all of it to MY attention, I shun them.

                                                                                                My wife has been on many diets, as have a lot of friends. I do not insist that they eat what I eat, but would highly resent if they tried to bring their diet-du-jour to bear on me and my choices.

                                                                                                It's rather the same as one buying some tiny little "green car," and then lambasting me for my luxury touring sedan. Their choices should be their choices, regardless of however noble. My choices are my choices and I must live with them.

                                                                                                I do find that many folk impose their "latest" on all around, in hopes of convincing themselves of how very good it is. I saw much of this with the EST movement in the '70s. It can border on being almost a "cult."

                                                                                                We have great friends, with whom we dine, whenever we can get together. They are both often on various diets. I respect their choices. Over 20+ years, neither has ever commented on anything that I have ordered. Now, when my wife asks, they share what they are "on," at that time, but that's part of the conversation. Some folk just feel the need to "convert" the rest of the population. That, I resent.

                                                                                                Not sure where you and your "fellow diners" might fit into this, but I'd be put out if they were trying to convert me. It'd be like having an Amway salesman for a next door neighbor. If I wanted it, I'd have subscribed to it a long time ago.


                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                  EST is still around, just in different guises. Not just Landmark Forum, but also, in gauzier babbling form, "The Secret" and "The Law of Attraction".

                                                                                                  You are right to note the cultic passion of dieting impulses - as others have said elsewhere, many people have drained their spirituality of fundamentalisms, only to put those fundamentalisms in other areas of their life, very commonly food.

                                                                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                    Karl S, thank you for that. I had erroneously assumed that EST had died in the early 80's. Maybe it was my parocial background, or the fact that I do not get out much. Still, thanks for informing me on this.


                                                                                                2. No, none of my friends are on diets. Eating dinner is the most common activity for me, I will like to enjoy it.

                                                                                                  1. I work out regularly and make sure I eat healthy, real food. It gets very tiring when people who are constantly dieting(usually unsuccessfully) make comments on how "skinny" I am, and how they wish they could just lose weight, talking about their 100calorie packs and how "bad" they are because they skipped the gym and ate ice cream. What am I supposed to say to that? That type of person will find something to complain about even if he/she is able to lose the weight.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Fromageball

                                                                                                      Ohhhh I hate that. I could stand to lose 20 (and have lost 8 of that recently) and when my wife mentioned it to her mom, she just snapped and said "Oh you don't need to lose weight". Oh no? 20 extra puts me at overweight, technically. Heck, my goal of hitting my target weight -- with a combination of better eating and exercise -- is so that I can enjoy those "bad" foods even more.

                                                                                                      My view is that no one should impose their food hangups on anyone. It doesn't even have to be diet related. On the contrary, if someone is trying to eat better, they shouldn't be ostracized or teased about it (such as someone posted earlier, on their friend avoiding carbs). You would hope that they would have support.

                                                                                                    2. I have the next most annoying person who goes too far. The person who wants to tell you how unhealthy something is while you are cooking or eating. We made pastrami the other night and invited friends. One being the new girlfriend to our friend. As it was on the smoker she would NOT shut up about the fat and heart attack value of it. When we sliced it up, she grabbed our friend's plate and proceeded to take off all the visible fat off of each slice of his meat. EVERY dish she had a comment. "You should not predress salad", "That really should be made with lofat mayo" She was RELENTLESS.

                                                                                                      My husband got so pissed he told her that if she did not shut her yap he would stuff a healthy apple into her mouth and dress her for the spit. I have never been so happy to be married to him.

                                                                                                      Keep your comments to yourself. Nobody will like you if you persist.

                                                                                                      OK I feel better. Thanks.

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                        Wow. I trust her rudeness put an end to the budding relationship.

                                                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                          Your husband's line was totally priceless. I don't know him, but I love him! :D

                                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                            I almost lost my wine onto the monitor on that one... LMFAO

                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                              "You should not predress salad",

                                                                                                              'hound smackdown in 3,...2,...

                                                                                                              Cuz she MUST be one of us!

                                                                                                            2. Folks, this thread is getting pretty personal and testy, so we're going to lock it now.