Health or Friends? (Pick one)

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.

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 🙂


About I just love that man

Love and Health, my two favorite things. As a Plant-based Certified Nutrition Counselor and soon-to-be wife to 'that man' of mine, I bring my two loves together for one happy life!
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2 Responses to Health or Friends? (Pick one)

  1. Ani Danelz says:

    This post struck home to me. As a college student that lives a healthy lifestyle, my friends cannot get past the fact that I do not want to order pizza (especially not at 2am) or endulge in a king-size candy bar when I am stressed. The hardest part is finding people to deal with the fact that I do not drink. I know. It’s a big one. Sorority girl that does not drink? She must not want to have fun. WRONG. I love going out and being the DD, but some people just assume that I do not enjoy myself.

    • Ani,

      YES! I don’t drink either, but friends couldn’t understand how I’d be on the dance floor having the time of my life WITHOUT A DRINK!

      Stay true to you and your values. People, friends, family, soror sisters will ALWAYS have a opinion of you and your eating/drinking practices, ALWAYS! But, how you choose to respond is key: give into peer pressure or give into YOURSELF–strong in character and clear in beliefs.

      So let them indulge in pizza, candy bars, and drinks. That’s their choice. You are simply choosing not to, and trust me here (being many years out of college) your lasting good looks and high energy will thank you for it down the line :)….jus’ sayin! Health starts NOW, not when you’re “older”.

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