T Nation

I suck

Before I get a lot of unsolicited PM’s, let me explain the title of this post. Every time I start a nutrition program I get thrown off track by my wife and her family. They always want us to come for dinner and the menu is always crap with a side of shit. Don’t get me wrong, my mother-in-law’s food is excellent but that’s the problem. Does anyone have any tips for getting around these kind of diet obstacles? By the way, I know it’s up to me to stand firm and work towards my goals but it’s easier said than done. This is why I suck.

Everyone does it on this site. YOu just have to suck it up and do it. After a while they won’t ask no more.

Just stop having 3 large portions of everything.

Give her a cooter punch

you have to get your wife on your side. get her to understand what you are doing and what you need to eat. ive had to deal with this on many occassions. or you can be like me and pretend to be very picky and say that you only like meat and nothing else. hahahaha.

You might want to try the opposite…invite them for dinner instead. That way they’ll keep seeing what you eat, and if they like you will start mimicing the menu to please you. (It’s worked in other situations, like cross culture marriages, so why not give it a try here?)

Does one dinner throw you off track that much? Call it a cheat meal and get back on your plan. I don’t know what your goals or situation is, but it’s important to have a life at the same time. Have dinner, enjoy your family, and get your shit together the rest of the time.

Tell your wife to fuck off…you are a man aren’t you?

Hope this helps!!

Goldberg and ND both had good advice. I’d like to add that you could always just kill her family and eat them, instead.

How often are we talking? If these dinners are 1x a week call it your cheat meal. If it is more frequent your going to have to put your foot down. I know it sucks and your gonna feel weird, but try to explain.

Tell them you are allergic to this an that and fiend an acute attack sometime. That should get them off your back. I have this problem with my own immediate family. If you want to take the path I did be prepared to argue about their diet at least once a week for a while. You will have to prove to them why it works and don’t be afraid to invite them to activites that will showcase your accomplishments. Swimming is a great family activity that tends to bruise the egos of those who eat incorrectly. Show the real obvious accomplishments of a healthy diet with your physique and vitality. When they decide to make a comment on your health ask them what “we” are eating for dinner. You might want to bring some text books with you and have a laptop on hand so you can direct them to this site. You can also point out the 50+ benefits/preventative behaviors associated with healthy eating and proper physical activity. It will be a long up hill battle, but once they begin to listen your wife should be very proud of you. Also, at least half the weight of this endeavor should be put on her back. It’s her family not yours. She should be ready to defend you or I would tell her she ain’t getting any of “this” (the body you produced through this behavior). I’m sure she appreciates that. And most wives in healthy relationships, though they may not admit to it, will value not getting any just as much or more so than husbands.

Thanks for the replies. THe problem is these dinners are 2 sometime 3 times pre week. I guess I’ll have to start declining.

Just eat the meat and salad and leave the rest. No need to be picky. Red meat is good, so are vegetables. They DO serve meat and vegetables…right?

Maybe you could compromise…

Maybe go with your wife to her moms once a week. If they understand how serious you are about your goals they should be ok with it.

I suggest a radical step. You could actually talk to your mother-in-law directly.

I konw, I know. But hear me out. This “direct communication” has been shown to work in several scientific experiments to date. Cooter, et al. (In-Laws and the Psyche, January 1988) demonstrated that, under normal circumstances, directly approaching an in-law (of either gender) with a topic not directly related to one’s spouse was statistically correlated with improved cooperation and communication. B.F. Skinter, N. Chommsy and C.P.R. Bach (Journal of Applied Interfamily Relations, Autumn 2001) conclusively showed that talking with one’s in-laws gained their respect and trust.

Heady, cutting-edge stuff, I know. But the evidence is pretty compelling.


I think if you let them know that you are serious and that educate them as to what you are doing they would not be offended. And you don’t suck, you just need to stay motivated!

One meal a week can be fit in to almost any diet…maybe not a bber who needs 5% to compete, but a guy who wants 8% or so to look good in teh summer, yeah. THe key is just making good choices and portion control (aka self control) when your at the table.

As far as 3 times a week, your just gonna have to tell them you can’t do it…I have an italian family so I feel for ya. They stuff food down my throat. But ya just gotta find a way, if your goals are that important.

When I first started training and eating “differently” to everyone else i got alot of antagonistic responses from family. After being persistant and showing them that i was eating well they backed off. My other relatives now too acept this fact. Although it’s not always easy to eat well at family occassions, believe me, if you ask nicely you might be able to get away with eating something else. My Aunts now make me a seperate meal if i visit them. If i visit others and it’s not cheat day, i’ll eat a very small amount and if they ask why im not eating much i just tell them “I’m watching my weight cos im fighting soon” hehe

Had the same problem with my in-laws, who just refused to adapt to my preferences, and just want to shovel tons of stuff on my plate. Took a two-prong approach:

  1. My wife had to ALSO say “we’re trying to eat healthier.” (Please, don’t sic the grammar cops on me.)

  2. I take a SMALL portion of everything (so they feel good) and a LARGE portion of the foods I want to balance the diet. I take small enough portions that I can even help myself to seconds (but wait until they ask if I want more, so they NOTICE I’m eating their food). I ultimately wind up feeling less stuffed, having eaten a decent meal that I didn’t have to pay for.

Lean back and say “I’m too full for dessert.” and you’re all set. Now just sit and talk to dad-in-law while the women wash up.