I’ve found during all my various attempts at losing weight (or this time, just simply becoming healthier, and knowing the weight will take care of itself), that the hardest time to stick to my plan is when it comes to friends wanting to go eat somewhere or order in.
In speaking with fellow health journeyers, I’ve come to realize that I’m not alone in this!
Any time that friends or coworkers go out to a restaurant to eat, we want to go with them. When they order in from somewhere, we want to order too!
Shortly after I returned from being overseas, a few of my friends at work decided to put in an order at the local Chinese joint. This particular restaurant didn’t have any healthier alternatives on the menu, so I went with my old favorite (chicken fried rice). A manager in the department remarked to me, “Now Natalie, you came home all skinny so don’t let Headquarters lunches ruin all your hard work!”
First off, unmm can we say RUDE?? Because it’s not really anyone’s place to say that to me – I’m an adult and I know very well how much work it took to drop 55 lbs, and I know exactly how to eat in moderation. Also, it’s nobody’s business what I’m eating because even if I DO go buck wild and gain all the weight back, that’s my lesson to learn! Besides, none of those folks know when my cheat meals are anyway 😉
Secondly, it stuck with me because, I had perfectly good DELICIOUSSSSSS food in the refrigerator waiting for me.
For some reason though, I chose to eat with my friends.
Because food, and eating, is social. There’s something about it that feels like inclusion. It feels like you’re a part of something. Sure, it seems silly to type that (even sillier to say it out loud), but it is about the emotional connections we have with people in sharing experiences!!
In a way, when people order food or go out somewhere for a meal, and invite me along, it’s sort of like an accidental form of peer pressure. Nobody means it to be that way, because nobody is pushing me of course – but being a compulsive eater and having the emotional connection I have with food, that’s what it boils down to.
Fast-forward to now. I am in a different department, and my coworkers love to go upstairs to the little restaurant we have on the 6th floor. That place has some healthy options so that’s awesome!!
But, even better, I have gotten into the habit of going with them and bringing my OWN lunch that I brought with me! This way, I partake in the social event and spend good chatty time with people I like, over food I enjoy (and is healthy for me, and for my wallet), without straying from my plan!
Now, I realize most restaurants won’t let you take outside food in, so maybe if you do this elsewhere, you’d have to at least order a drink or something?
Regardless, this has been a major step for me. It means I don’t have to eat terribly to feel like I’m “in the club” (haha) and to feel included and part of the team.
What are some of your ways of combatting these kinds of situations?? Share with me in the comments!!