The holiday season brings with it a lot of emotions. Some Good. Some Bad. And some are just Bothersome and Stressful.

During the holidays, I find myself spending hours of mental energy building my reserve of comebacks specifically targeted towards FOOD PUSHERS.

FOOD PUSHER: A person who insists on you having “a little of this” or “a piece of that” or “a spoon of this” or “a taste of that.” Food pushers are bothersome and trying to navigate my way around them are a headache.

Once at a dinner party an elderly woman wasn’t happy with the amount of potato salad l had.

After putting my desired amount on my plate, she asked, “Is that all you’re gonna have?”

“Yes, I am diabetic.” I was comfortable exposing my diagnosis in that moment (but that is not always the case) and I honestly thought that would suffice. WRONG.

She grabbed my plate, “Well, I made the potato salad,” plopped TWO more spoonfuls on the plate and motioned me to keep on moving down line.  It didn’t matter to her that I am living with diabetes. For her, it only mattered that SHE made the potato salad and my small helping of her dish was an insult.

After eating my desired amount of potato salad (which was roughly 1/4 of my plate), I proceeded to trash the remaining two spoonfuls without remorse.

It’s hard to get across to some food pushers and their inability to understand can be aggravating and stressful. Sometimes it’s like talking to a brick wall. Rarely do they understand.

There are times when it gets to me and with each “No, I can’t” it reminds me of my disability. And frankly, I don’t want to spend every hour of the holiday being reminded of my chronic illness.  As a person living with diabetes, I simple can’t. I just physically can’t. If I want to be around for many more holidays, then I can’t over indulge. As a Type 2 diabetic managing with diet/exercise and pills rather than insulin injections, I have no way to balance the extra carbs. I must avoid them.

When food pushers say “have just a little more” all I hear is “just subtract a few days off your life” or “just move a little quicker to blindness or dialysis.”

It’s hard. It’s hard because many food pushers take my “No” to their food and beverages as a personal attack or a rejection of their love. I don’t love you any less, I just love me a little more.

If you have similar experiences, here are some tips that may help you.