i live in a basement suite in my parents’ house. my mom brings down sweets almost every day that the rest of the family upstairs doesn’t eat, usually in large quantities. i just can’t say no to these treats and end up eating them all at once when i see them. i want to ask my mom to stop giving them to me, but to her, lots of sweets is normal and as soon as i try to limit my intake, she accuses me of becoming anorexic. is it ok to ask her to stop giving me baking or should i be learning to eat them in moderation when she brings them (hard!)? in essence, should i avoid temptation or fight through it and use it to learn not to give in and overeat when i’m not even hungry? – J.
I’m glad you asked your question. Yes, ultimately we want to be able to enjoy most foods in moderation. But, as you said, at times, it may just be too hard to have certain food offered to us. “Trigger foods” are those foods that we don’t think we can eat in moderation at a given time. It can help to avoid those foods – if possible – when we are feeling more vulnerable.
Of course, it can be unhealthy if we totally avoid lots of different kinds of food. The voice of disordered eating can convince us that many foods aren’t “safe.”
I can’t help but wonder how your Mom feels about your eating behavior. Better communication could help you and your Mom to understand each other better.
Do you think you could ask her what her concerns are about your eating? When she “accuses” you of being anorexic, what worries her the most? The challenge for you is to just listen when she answers you. It is normal for us to want to defend ourselves, but good communication involves listening and making sure we understand FIRST, then explain our feelings.
Sometimes Moms feel really helpless if they are worried about our eating. Sometimes their answer is to “feed us more.” Good communication can help her to see that offering you sweets is not helping you. Perhaps you could tell her that you don’t feel comfortable with sweets right now and you feel scared and overwhelmed when she offers them to you. Help her to understand what she can do to help you – especially ways that don’t have anything to do with food. Maybe you two could spend time together that doesn’t involve food. Maybe some counseling could help you two communicate better as well.
Lastly, if you are finding yourself eating sweets compulsively, please look at your eating patterns. Are you trying to diet or deprive yourself of other foods, too? This generally leads us to compulsive eating. Please refer to our website for more information on how to “find balance” and consider taking our self-tests. You are in our thoughts! Let us know how we can continue to help and support you.