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by Abigail Van Buren

Dedicated Dieter Is Criticized for Refusing Offers of Food

DEAR ABBY: How would you suggest I deal with people who continually want to sabotage my diet? I worked very hard to drop more than 30 pounds. I also have digestive health issues that are no one's business.

An example: During the coffee break at a meeting at work, someone offered me lovely homemade baked goods. I said, "No, thank you." I then got a snide remark about being ungrateful for all the "effort that went into them" and was urged to "just try a little bit to be sociable."

Another time someone plunked a huge chunk of frosting-laden something in front of me. Or, a friend brings me a large quantity of candy or wine or strange "gourmet" stuff I can't eat, all of which wind up in the trash even after I have asked them to please don't.

When I visit my mother, she continues to pile stuff on my plate even after I repeatedly say, "No more, thank you." Then I get a lecture about wasting food. What do I need to be doing or saying differently? -- SABOTAGED IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR SABOTAGED: Take your easily offended co-workers aside and tell them, individually, that you cannot eat their tempting pastries because your doctor has told you you mustn't. I am sure it is the truth, and you should not feel guilty.

As to your mother, who really should know better, the next time she accuses you of wasting food, I don't think you would be out of line to tell her in plain English that she, not you, is the one wasting food by piling more than you can comfortably eat on your plate.

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