Do you ever feel that as you begin, or maintain healthier habits you simultaneously become the alien of the group? “Oh, she doesn’t eat, and if she does, it’s just some twigs and grass.”
Nothing could be further from the truth!
But why spend precious time, and energy, trying to convince others of your dietary choices, right?! If it’s working for you, it’s working for you!! (Please note the double exclamation marks; there’s no “….” here).
But deep down inside, you may feel the “….”, translated as “Yeah, I love eating this way because I feel grrrrreat! BUT, I also feel lonely. Friends don’t ask me to dine out as often, and my ENTIRE family is looking at my plate with their looks of worry and concern because I haven’t dug into Aunt So-and-so’s heavily salted, fried and greased “traditional” dish. Furthermore, my mate is looking at his watch, across the table, as I negotiate with the waiter on making some menu adjustments for a healthier meal option.
I’ve experienced ALL OF THE ABOVE, and the decision I’ve come to, regarding my having to pick one or the other (health or friends/mate) is NOT choosing sides. “I’ll have the health and the friends please, no sides thank you.”
Yes, the moment I leave my house, I am very clear that the food selections may not be as “healthy” as items stocked in my own fridge, freezer, and pantry. Although it’s not everyday that I’m eating out, and I am taking care of my health needs on a regular basis, with “twigs and grass” (yeah…yeah….whatever!), it also doesn’t allow me to blow my health out the window in dining out.
So, I have some chips (or not) at the party, but I also make the choice to not sit at the chip table. Or, should I have a date night with the ladies, or that man of mine, “Yes, I’ll be happy to join you for a night out and guess what??! I’ll ACTUALLY eat….Whoooooa!!!” In this case, I’ll review the menu online, ahead of time, to see “what can I eat here?” I assure you, you can always find something! Whispering in the waiter’s ear all my dietary restrictions and practically asking him for his counsel as to which dish I can eat takes precious time away from my friends and/or that man of mine who would also like to eat sometime….anytime….”TODAAAAAAY!” For the times I know that Aunt So-and-so is bringing her dish, my deciding to not indulge in her passed-down-from-generation-to-generation recipe bears no reflection on the love I have for my immediate family, my ancestors, and specifically, Aunt So-and-so. I.just.choose.to.not.have.it.period.
Ultimately, we have choices, and I choose to maintain my health AND live outside my home. Thus in my stepping out into the world, I can still make a better choice that does not compromise my health entirely. After all, optimal health refers to a complete state of health, and that does include a social life with friends, family, and most certainly, ‘that man’ of mine 🙂