I'm on a relatively recent diet (Weightwatchers), and I am getting SO FED UP and SO STRESSED about the ways my friends try to pressure me into drinking and eating whatever they are eating and drinking. I imagine this isn't unique to people on diets - while medical food restrictions seem to be a safe 'out' that cuts the conversation off fast, I've seen vegetarians and vegans face this, along with people who are trying to eat organic or processed-sugar-free, and voluntarily gluten free people like my mom.

I've been on this diet/food program for six weeks. The way it works, I can eat whatever I want, but not in whatever amounts I want, and if I have a treat today, that means I probably won't be having one tomorrow. So yes, friend, I can have a beer - if I want to. But if I have it now, I won't have it later, or I won't have the movie popcorn I was planning, so I'd rather not. I am trying to make choices about what food and drink I put in my body based entirely on what *I* want and what my goals are, and my friends are making it so much harder than it needs to be. And the social pressure is really stressing me out.

I thought this was because they didn't know, so now all of my close friends know I'm on Weightwatchers. They heard me, but didn't seem to apply it to the way they still try to pressure me to eat/drink whatever. Scenarios that have happened just in the past three days:

Friend 1: "Hey, have a chocolate ice cream bar!" "No, thanks, I'm good!" "Aw come on, don't make me eat this alone." "Naw, sorry!" "No, you've got to have one." *puts a chocolate ice cream bar in my hand*. In this scenario, I put it back in the cooler when he turned around and he never even noticed I 'made' him eat alone.

Next day, Friend 1, during lunch at our grad pub: "You drinking?" "Nah, I'm good. Just getting curry!" [Which I'd been looking forward to all week.] "Awww seriously?" "Yes? You can have a beer, I'm good." "Ugh. Fine. You're no fun."

Friend 2 walks up with a pitcher and sits down: "Hey Zokajo, you want a beer?" "No, I'm good thanks!" "Oh come on, you know you want one." "No, I really don't, I don't like beer." *Friend 2 pours a glass of beer and sets it in front of me*. I just let it sit there.

Today, hanging out with Friend 3 after a Zumba class: "Hey, do you want to go grab something to eat at McDonald's?" "Nah, I'm good, I had supper before Zumba!" (We did not have dinner plans.) "*deep sigh* Oh, okay. That sucks. Well, I guess I'll just have a peanut butter sandwich."

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Later that night, Friend 3's boyfriend comes over with cheesecake: "Oh Zokajo, we are going to have so much cheesecake!!" "Actually I'm okay! I'm still full from supper." "No way, you are splitting this with me!" "No, I'm really not. :)" "Yes you definitely are." *puts cheesecake in fridge*. In this scenario, I actually left my own friend's house early because I didn't want to keep up with this tiring yes/no/yes/no crap when she pulls out the cheesecake again, and eventually feel pressured to eat something that I honestly do not want just because she says so.

Sigh. This was a gripe. I am sure I used to be like this, and might be like this for other things, but it has blown my mind how incredibly pushy my otherwise nice friends are when junk food or alcohol is in the picture. I actively avoid social events around food because of this - there are only so many times you can say 'No, thank you!' before things get awkward. Thank you for reading.

If anyone has any advice, or wants to share peer pressure gripes (or any gripes, it's almost Turdsday!), please feel free! I am expecting this is just one of those things you have to keep saying no to, or alienate your friends by saying "Uh hey, you pressuring me to eat/drink is not cool, stop please?", so I will probably just survive it, and potentially end up alooooone.