Socializing and Food

26 Jan

So instead of having dinner out with my friends right now, I’m at home writing this blog.  Following the Clean program is forcing me to confront how much of my socializing time is spent over meals; from lunch with business associates to dinner with the gang, from girls-night-out with the dinner and the bar to heart-to-heart girl talk over tea and muffins at the coffee shop – my social life is filled with food consuming events!

I’m single, live alone and mostly work from home, either alone or with one (often silent) client at a time; yet I am a very social person.  I have a gazillion friends and truly enjoy keeping up with them either alone or at parties and gatherings. I love socializing; yet, it seems, far too much of my socializing revolves around food, eating or consumption.

I’ve not yet developed all the skills with this eating program to be able to go to a restaurant when I’m hungry and just order a bowl of soup when everyone else is eating a hearty dinner.  Perhaps that day will come; but just being out at restaurants with others generally derails my best intentions for eating healthy.

So here I sit, blogging instead of chatting with my friends over a lovely Indian dinner.  And I don’t have the answers to these questions floating around in my head:

*How do I continue socializing as much with my friends as I ever have while on the program?

*How do I continue socializing as much with my friends as I ever have while following a sane, long-term eating program?

*How can I make more of my socializing include activities other than food?

*How can I decline to eat or drink when it is available and what everyone else is doing?

*Is the fact that my socializing often revolves around  food is covering up something else?

*Is it better to make the best choice among bad options or to avoid the options all together?

I like to hang out with my friends, I like to take day trips and travel where there is often just restaurant fare available.  So I don’t know how this will unfold; but I know my eating has to change for the long-term; and that means different choices and a different lifestyle.  If I call you up and ask if we can take a walk instead of going to lunch, please say ‘yes’!

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher and Anxious Devotee of The Clean Program.  Visit her websites at: www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com or www.Structural-Healing.com

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6 Responses to “Socializing and Food”

  1. Melissa Wagner January 26, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    Great subject for a blog. Searching for those answers myself. My diet is transforming from vegetarian, to raw vegan. Food is such a social and emotional issue. One thing I will say about most food available at restaurants is that it is lacking in nutrients and filled with toxins. Congratulations on adopting a healthier lifestyle and may your will be stronger for it.

    • Suzanne January 26, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      Good feedback, Melissa. So true your point about restaurant food generally being void of nutrition; every time I see one of those Sysco food trucks unloading at a restaurant, I think to myself ‘there’s no actual food on that truck’….

  2. behealthyhappy January 26, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Good ‘food for thought’ as I found myself faced with that this evening. I belong to a book club that meets at a different restaurant each month…YES food is a social issue! Tonight’s restaurant choice is one of my favs for the wine, bread and cheese appetizers! I am celebrating success with avoiding 2 of the 3…I did eat bread, but with a great lima bean spread, instead of butter or the wonderful calorie laden appetizer spreads they offer! I made a safe choice for my meal….had a great bowl of french onion soup and a mixed greens salad. I focused on the conversations and book discussion and leisured my way through my soup and salad. Even passed as many ordered dessert…but yes, your blog mentions many of the same issues we face in adopting a healthier way of life. Planning and being prepared for those ‘food social issues’ can make it still possible to enjoy time with friends and clients, but a walk has many more benefits!! Keep focused…the balance will come.

    • Suzanne January 26, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      Congrats on doing so well at your dinner out last night; it sounds like you made great choices. Kudos and thanks for sharing!

  3. LivinLife January 26, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    What a great subject! I struggle with food & wine socializing and it carries over at home in the same way. I’m learning to control the situation instead of the situation controlling me and there are some things to consider.

    First, you should try to avoid eating unless you are truly hungry. If you are going out and you are hungry, eat something healthy before you leave home or keep something in the car for emergencies. Once you arrive, don’t deny yourself or it will come back to haunt you. Try to choose the healthiest item on the menu and make it a fun game. When you are served, remember that your stomach is small, maybe 2 fists, and that is all you need to eat to feel full. Moderation is the secret so would it really hurt to have a glass of wine? Probably not. If you slip and overdo at any time, remember that you can only be perfect about 85% of the time and don’t dwell on the slip, embrace it and let it go. As you know, negative self talk is not the answer. Be positive and develop some real strong and believable affirmations to get you where you want to go. You can do anything you want to do Suzanne!

    • Suzanne January 26, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Great ideas Gail. I love the idea of making it a game to find the healthiest option on a restaurant menu. Thanks for the encouragement!

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