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Critical Dinner Friends


What can you say to buddies in this situation to get them off your back: You go to a restaurant.  They order burgers and fries. You order a salad. They mock you and proceed with comments like “That’s not real food. Why do you always get a salad? Are you trying to lose weight? Ugh, you’re so annoying.” Some of my healthier friends and I have talked about how self-conscious this makes us feel when people are constantly on our back and making us feel guilty just for trying to get some nutritional value in our lives.

If it only happens once, ignore it. These are your friends and they’re probably teasing you because they’re feeling guilty about indulging. There’s no need to feel self-conscious; you are doing what you feel is good for you.

If it happens multiple times or is being done in a nasty way, you need to come up with a plan of action. Perhaps you could explain how their comments make you feel, either at lunch or afterwards, and do so firmly. They’ll probably be able to tell from the tone of your voice that you mean, “Cut it out.”

If they don’t respond, you can try to ask your BFF to serve as your ally and tell the rest of the group to lighten up because it’s beginning to annoy you. If the problem still persists, your buddies may be the same kind of friends who were the “mean girls” at your lunch table at middle school. You can either chalk it up to their immaturity or look for a new table with friends who don’t judge their friends’ eating habits.

One caveat: If you tend toward an eating disorder, either severely restricting your diet or binging and purging, they may be trying to get you to eat a more balanced diet. 

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