“But I Made This For You”

The other day I had to make cookies to bring to our small group. There are about 10 of us, so I took enough cookies for everyone to have 3 if they so chose. Here’s a picture of the cookies. (I just had to put this up because most of my food isn’t worthy of a photograph, but these were pretty!) So forgive the cookie picture.

cookie close up

Anyway, we had a nice meal together and shared some good laughs and fellowship. We then watched an awesome documentary called The Heart of Texas. After the movie was over, everyone prepared to leave. I went into the kitchen and noticed there were several cookies left. I didn’t want to take them home, because there were already some at home! So I started offering them to the ladies that were still there. I offered to leave them with our hostess, Molly, but she refused. Then I tried to give them to our friend Kristy. She refused too. So, I took them home.

As we were riding home, I thought about how hard it used to be for me to refuse food that someone made. Store bought cookies were easy to say no to, but if I’m at Aunt Ida’s house, and she is standing there with a homemade cake or pie telling me, “But I made it just for you,” then that’s a different story. Before I started losing weight, I’d never turn down any food, store bought or not. But when I started dieting in earnest, I found myself unsure of what to do. Did I take the food just because she made it knowing I’d like it, or did I refuse the food and risk hurting her feelings?

I honestly don’t have the “right” answer for this. You may react differently than I did, but here’s what I finally decided to do. When confronted with this scenario, I had to make a decision. There were three alternatives as I saw it:

1.  Take the food but don’t eat it

2.  Take the food and eat it

3.  Refuse the food completely

I usually chose the third option, unless I knew I could take the food and not eat it without anybody noticing. For me, although it was uncomfortable to refuse outright, I really didn’t want to eat the sweet treat that was being offered. That treat didn’t fit it with my plan, and staying on plan was important to me. You may feel differently, and I totally respect that, but that’s how I felt.

What I always found interesting was how many times the hostess would repeatedly ask me, “Are you sure?” “Here, let me wrap some up for you.” “But you like chocolate cake.” “Why don’t you want any?” “You’re not trying to diet again are you?”

Sometimes it was almost comical how hard they would try and give me dessert. But after a few polite, “No, thank you’s,” they eventually gave up, and turned their attentions to someone else.

Uncomfortable? Yes, sometimes. But I never regretted not eating the treat. The times where I gave in when I didn’t want to were the times I regretted it.

What’s your feeling on this topic? It’s a sensitive one to be sure. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to handle it though. Just as a side note – even all these years into maintenance, I still choose option number 3 more often than not. Not because I want to hurt someone’s feelings, but because often times the food they are offering really isn’t something I want right then.  Diane

By the way, Steve is doing a 100 day challenge with a homemade prize!


41 thoughts on ““But I Made This For You”

  1. MizFit says:

    oooh thats a tough one. and one Ive not come up with a great answer to yet either.
    FOR ME if it is something I LOVE and some ONE I love (and a situation Im not often in. think visiting elderly aunts in a different state and theyve made my childhood fave) I ALWAYS EAT AND ENJOY!

    the problem is when I really dont care for something (do you know me, People?! :)) and someone presses it on me.

    when I know that there’s not an iota of “dang I love this!” waiting if I pop it in my mouth 🙂

    I always nicely and firmly say no thank you.
    .-= MizFit´s last blog ..Stress relief: A sniff away? =-.

  2. 266 says:

    Oddly enough, since I have started this journey I have one close friend who has on a couple of occasions fed me. No, I’m not kidding. Not really sure how to say no to someone who decides to put food up to your face! Also, just so you know, I have awarded you the Honest Scrap award on my blog!
    .-= 266´s last blog ..Honesty Is The Best Policy =-.

  3. Diane, Incredible Shrinking Family says:

    I always refuse, saying “I am honored that you thought so much of me to take the time and effort, but I honestly cannot eat another thing and my fridge is overstuffed because we just went grocery shopping.” Other times I have refused because it is a food that sparks and autistic response in my son or an allergy of mine . To date I have never had a friend or relative cut me out of their life for refusing food.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Now how many calories are there in katsup ??? =-.

  4. Monica says:

    This is hard for me because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I have to say I usually eat it, but I see from looking at the other people’s comments, that other people say no. And of course you do too. I’m going to have to practice this one!

  5. vickie says:

    I will not eat very many foods that I have not made with my own two hands. You just never know what is IN there.

    What other people call ‘healthy’ is NOT what I would call healthy.

    And so many of the S’s (salt, sugar, baking soda, baking powder) set off the WANTS. I don’t want to eat something (that takes seconds) and then have the impact on my taste buds last for hours (days, weeks).
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..5K (and no I wasn’t running it) =-.

  6. Joanna Sutter says:

    If I have food in my house that I love I will eat it. I do love fruits, veggies, whole grains, and dairy so I keep my kitchen stocked with these items.

    I reserve “cheats” for social engagements and I try to just eat a few bites and call it good. And, like Yum Yucky, if I’m forced to take something home, it goes right in the garbage bin.
    .-= Joanna Sutter´s last blog ..Happy Hour =-.

  7. Amy H. says:

    I realize the selfishness of this statement, but I don’t care if it makes somebody feel bad that I won’t take the leftovers. Perhaps this makes me an insensitive clod. However, if I politely refuse and somebody keeps insisting I take something (happens a lot – I have a big family), I kinda think that’s rude. If I say no, I mean no, don’t push me.
    .-= Amy H.´s last blog ..Bow Ties with Sausage and Sweet Peppers =-.

  8. Jody-Fit at 51 says:

    This really is a dilemma for many! Luckily for me at this point in my life, everyone knows “me” so…. BUT, if it a family member that I really know it means a lot to, I just take it & don’t eat it or the hubby likes it, he will eat it.

    There are always considerations… if it a treat I REALLY LIKE & will offer up to myself for a treat, I take it home & freeze it till treat time. If it is something the hubby likes, it comes home & many times it is nothing that really tempts me anyway. The things that tempt me are sweets & treats so I try not to bring those home… only if it is one that is worth the calories to me & then I keep the number to a very minimum!

  9. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I used to be really bad at not being able to refuse food. But I have gotten better at it. I think in the end, you have to realize that you truly have to do what’s right for YOU. I think it’s part of learning that taking care of yourself has to come first (because if you don’t take care of yourself, you really can’t take care that well of others). But there are definitely still times when I take the food to not hurt any feelings; it all depends on the situation and the people involved… Great “food” for thought!
    .-= Andrea@WellnessNotes´s last blog ..More Burgers =-.

  10. karen says:

    First ,Thanks for visiting my blog and leaveing comment. While I was working I lost 40lbs. And it was easy to keep off . I was to busy to eat and I had my mind set not to over eat. I would say no to food and sweets offered me if it was in between meals. But now I am home 24/7 caring for mom and I get bored so I want to eat all the time. And sometimes people bring me in food or dessert and I dig in because it is such a treat to get to eat something differant. So far I have not gained any lbs. but the inchs are creeping up on me.
    .-= karen´s last blog ..Frank!!! What In The World? =-.

  11. Sunny says:

    I’m trying to block out all those decades I made the wrong decision(s). I do know if it wasn’t food I liked, I didn’t take it just to please the hostess. If it was food I liked, though, even if I didn’t need it (weight-wise), I used to take it and eat it later. Now, never. Even if I like it. In fact, had I been you, I would’ve told the hostess to just toss it out when she cleaned up, or simply left the leftover cookies there, period. They would not have come home with me.

    I just had a birthday. We celebrated with the family at my younger daughter’s home. She baked a cake for me. I had a small piece, and my husbear took home a piece, but I didn’t take any home for me. I was done. I made sure she knew how appreciative I was, and how delicious it was, but she knows I’m deep into my journey, and knew why I wasn’t taking more home. It’s all good; if people really care about you, and what you are trying to accomplish and why, they won’t fight you on it. If they do…even in the name of being nice…they are still sabotaging you, even if they don’t recognize it themselves.

    Great topic!
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..It’s Tuuuuuuuuuuesday! =-.

  12. Janet says:

    Depending on what it is, I might take it home and give it to my family… funny thing though, this happened to me on Saturday night. I was over at a friend’s house to celebrate his birthday, and his wife had bought one of those huge chocolate slab cakes at the grocery store which was way too big for the 6 adults that were there… and man was she pushing it on everyone. I politely declined (several times)… she actually seemed offended, which I thought was interesting, because it’s not like she made it! Then she started trying to get me to take some home “for the kids”… I still said no, really they don’t need that crap either, and they’ll never miss it…
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..Day 128 – My Other Blog =-.

  13. Chris says:

    If it’s something that I truly enjoy, like my favourite holiday dish or a piece of excellent cheesecake, I’ll take it home and have it the next day.

    Otherwise, I refuse. From my experience, polite yet firm “No thank you” and giving absolutely NO EXCUSE works the best. By offering excuses, you risk courting their unwanted opinions on your diet. Which is no business of theirs, really.

    If they keep pushing food on me even after I firmly said NO, then that’s their problem. Badgering people is rude, and I’m not going to put unwanted calories into my body just to appease rude people’s precious feelings. Honestly I cannot care less if it makes me a heartless person.

    Of course, sometimes you just can’t say No to the food pusher, your boss for example. If so, I try stalling, saying I’m too full right now and will have second helping some time later, hoping they will go away and forget about it. Or like Yum Yucky, take it home and dump it into the trash.

  14. Marcelle says:

    I so know this situation…
    I throw away all left overs after a function if they are the bad foods, it breaks my heart to do this but I know if left lying around I will eat it and then be upset with myself…thin is tasting far better than bad foods at this moment in time – I’m still strong when it comes to resisting.
    When someone has baked a cake or tart, I have the smallest portion size and make sure I count them into my points allowed daily – I never take food home..Most know the journey I’ve been on and are helping me to maintain. Thankfully…
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..Grandparents Day =-.

  15. Leah says:

    That is a hard decision. I know I’ve accepted things, like the cupcake a student gave me yesterday when he passed them out in class, and then given them to my kids. But if I know we won’t eat it and it will just sit at home, then I politely decline.

    I haven’t had to do this yet and have it be uncomfortable. I’m going to tuck your experience away to use if that comes up.

    Lucky for me, my MIL keeps cooking for me or serving me like I’m on a diet while she’s staying with us now, so it’s helpful – even though sometimes I want more than she offers.
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..I’m Accepting the Hot 100 Challenge =-.

  16. Shannon Fab Fattie says:

    This is the hardest thing! What baffles me is that people who KNOW I am trying to lose weight still bring me baked goodies. Out of every food out there if you bring me homemade baked treats I have not found the strength to resist them yet. I hurry and give them to my family and hope I they are gone before I walk by them again.
    Right now I am avoiding the fridge because our friend brought us homeade apricot jam. YUM! Problem I am not eating sugar right now bummer!
    I guess it is always going to be a fight for us no matter what and hopefully we get to the point of being strong enough to resist every time.
    .-= Shannon Fab Fattie´s last blog ..100 day challenge…YES! =-.

  17. Lara (Thinspired) says:

    I wish I had a dime for evertime someone has said that to me! Such a good post topic. It is especially hard when it is an older family member, like my grandmother. It’s hard to say no in two ways: 1) Most of the time I actually want what they are offering, 2) Most of the time they won’t take no for an answer, no matter how persistent I am! Sometimes, if I know I don’t want it, I will put it on my plate and make sure to comment on how good it was but I just can’t finish the rest (but never actually eating it).
    .-= Lara (Thinspired)´s last blog ..Loving Leftovers =-.

  18. christieo says:

    Great topic!! My mother is usually the one who tries to send me home with food. It drives me crazy. It’s tough enough to go over there in the first place because I know she’s making something terrible (terribly delicious and bad for you), but when it comes time to leave, she wants me to take home leftovers AND DESSERT.

    So I’ve resorted to eating at her house, but keeping the portions little. And I have now refused enough leftovers that she has stopped asking me to take them now. Progress. It used to hurt her feelings but as she’s seen my progress, she’s begun to understand.

    And though she still continues to make my family “bad” treats, like the candy apples that were 300 calories a piece, I let the kids split one, and was discreet about not eating the rest of them so that feelings don’t get hurt in the process. My dad actually made them and he was so proud of them.

    I love that people make me things and have thought about me while doing it, but usually the husband or his co-workers end up eating them.
    .-= christieo´s last blog ..What Six Pounds Looks Like =-.

  19. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    For me, it depends on the occasion and the person who made a dish “just for me”. Or more specifically, the AGE of that person. 🙂 My birthday or *major* holidays (as opposed to National Cotton Ball Day) are definitely worth the splurge. And if my 89-year old grandmother (or her sisters) makes me something special, I’m not passing it up.

    One thing I tried recently was to take only a very small portion (2-3 bites) of my grandmother’s potato salad and warn her that that’s all I was having. Then I went back for another equally small portion. She was delighted that I “couldn’t resist” (as she told everyone who would listen), and all together I only had a regular-sized serving of the salad. My reward was seeing her pleased and proud smile. 🙂
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Fun and Frugality (A Giveaway Post) =-.

  20. Lance says:

    I don’t really have a hard and fast answer. Sometimes I take it, sometimes I don’t. And sometimes I eat it and sometimes I don’t. I always feel if I’m sincere in why I’m not taking it (that I’m really not hungry, or that I just “don’t” need it) then I’m okay with that answer. That said, when my grandmothers were still alive – I don’t think I ever refused anything they offered…
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Laughter Revisited =-.

  21. Carla says:

    Depending on this situation, I usually take the gift, thank them for it and give it to someone else. If I’m asked to eat it now, Ill tell them what the situation is. Usually I cant eat it due to a food allergy (soy, gluten, etc) so its easy for me to turn it down without feeling strange.
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..A Small Vent about SIGG =-.

  22. Staci says:

    I have always just refused the food. It is the easiest thing for me to do. Most of the time people understand, but it is always a work in progress 🙂
    .-= Staci´s last blog ..Update =-.

  23. Babbalou says:

    My will power seems to have a time limit – I can usually say “no thank you” when offered a wedge of cake or a few cookies. But if you put it in front of me eventually I’ll give in – maybe not for an hour or two but at some point. This means I can’t keep treat foods in my house so I always decline to take food home. I just say something like “I love cake but I’m not eating it right now.” If they push I keep saying no. Otherwise I may end up eating it on the way home, and I can’t really toss it in the bushes on my way out the door, can I??

  24. Lori says:

    There are times where I know that I will be seeing foods that are there because the person knows I like them – and that is easy to plan for and have some.

    I will take foods home with me and then either eat them or not, depending on how I feel. It’s a touchy subject, but I am not afraid to say that I don’t want any because it doesn’t work for me now. Someone else’s feelings are not my responsibility when it comes to my health.
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..NROLW, drive by post =-.

  25. Hadley says:

    I think you’re leaving “eat a very small portion” of the list. I think just eating the food you’re given is very different from agreeing to a bite or two.

    It’s always a judgment call, and not something with one answer. If I ran into the situation where people were trying to feed me home made stuff every day, I’d be more inclined to start refusing more, but as is, I’m not at a point where occasional bites of special foods at occasional events is causing an undue burden on my weight loss efforts.

    At the end of the day, you have to judge “is X amount of calories worth making this person happy/not causing social awkwardness/sharing in the occasion?” Most of the time, because you can eat a small enough portion that it’s not many calories and because you can make room in the rest of your limit for the day, I come up with the answer that it is.
    .-= Hadley´s last blog ..Scraps, Buggs, and the last 100 days of 2009 =-.

  26. Susan says:

    Interesting thoughts! Something I’ve been dealing with more lately ever since I started working in an office. For me, it depends on the serving size of what I’m being offered. For example, I was offered a full-size donut the other day and said no because it was way too big to be considered as a “treat” for me. However, someone offered me apple crumble and I accepted because I was able to cut out my own (small) piece.

    Learning to freeze things has actually helped me so much when it comes to baked goods! If I’m stuck with leftovers, I can just pop them in the freezer and snack on them over a loooong period of time rather than feel the pressure to eat them all before they go stale.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..To my mom… =-.

  27. Tammy says:

    I try to graciously and politely refuse once or twice, depending on how sensitive the person giving me the item is…if it’s a friend, I try to refuse completely…if it’s Grandma…forget about it. I take it with me, and then try to pass it on to my mom or sisters. If they don’t want it. Then I give it to my roommate Shane. If he doesn’t eat it within a day or two and it’s tempting me, I have been known to throw it in the trash. I was raised not to waste food….so this is a hard one, and the last ditch approach…but when it comes right down to it, I tell myself my weight loss is more important than a little wasted, fattening, diet-sabotaging food.
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Skinny Tammy Is Back!!! =-.

  28. MackAttack says:

    Oh I hate when people insist “just this once” Sometimes I say that I’ll save this for later and toss it, or pass it to the husbands plate. It’s hard enough to diet to have to have to deal with this…
    .-= MackAttack´s last blog ..Meet my niece =-.

  29. Menden @ Skinny Menny says:

    You always have such thought-provoking posts. I have definite guilt issues when it comes to food made for me by someone else. I think it was all the years of meals cooked by my southern Grandma…she knew how to lay the guilt on, thick! To this day, I hate refusing food. But you know what? You’re right…if you just politely say “no thank you,” eventually the person will move on.
    .-= Menden @ Skinny Menny´s last blog ..Perfection is unrealistic; It’s all about balance =-.

  30. Ida says:

    Take it from Aunt Ida, I don’t mean to try to break your diet, I just love you very much and know that this is something you love. Yes, it will hurt my feelings, and I will sit and eat the whole thing in one setting. So, if you want THAT on your conscience, go ahead and refuse it. I don’t mind *sob*; really.

    Seriously, most of us have ‘guilt’ issues when it is something we really like fro someone we really love. It’s hard. Like you, I have no answers. Believe me, if I were to make you something, 1) you’d faint from shock, 2) It probably wouldn’t be worth eating anyway.
    .-= Ida´s last blog ..Here’s to Tuesday =-.

  31. Hanlie says:

    When pushed, I’d medicalize my refusal, saying something like, “Oh that looks delicious, but I am so sensitive to gluten these days – just look how much better the rash on my hands is getting now that I don’t indulge anymore”, or “I’d love to, but I’ve found that sugar really messes with my hormones, and as you know I’m trying to conceive, so I’d better not.” It really works!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..Book Review: Slow Fat Triathlete =-.

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