My Social Eating Challenge: There's a Reason People Call It a Journey!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This has been my #1 struggle-really!!!
In elementary school teacher culture, I hear this every single day: "Oh, the kids are crazy today. I deserve this brownie." That took some REAL work to say, "Actually, the stress is significant, I'm going to have my bite of dark chocolate and really enjoy it, and I'll relive my stress by going to the gym today after school/talk to a friend/get a hug from my husband, etc."
Over my weight loss, I realized that I'm actually a bit nervous when I go to parties and tend to hang out by the food table to start conversations around the delicious choices. After I figured out that I was actually worthwhile talking to about other things, I started empowering myself. On Superbowl Sunday, I brought a HUGE tray of veggies that I liked (not the lame stuff at the grocery store) with salsa, and I ate all day. I had something like 5 cups of raw vegetables with a cup of salsa, so I could keep eating with very little damage. Another trick I use is to eat my protein and veggie at home so I can budget for one beer/wine at the party. I always offer to bring veggies and/or fruit.
My friends are now all used to me ordering dry chicken breast and steamed veggies/salad at restaurants, and they were all supportive and encouraging. I always scout the restaurant nutrition info ahead of time so I can make choices that don't require modification, if possible. That helped!
With that all said, I have identified my trigger social food as cheese. If someone has some nice, room-temperature brie out with bread, it will set off an entire binge evening. I'm not to a place where I can even have a bite of cheese, but I have managed to be satisfied with a bite of one or two special things at a party.
I have also learned that I am very much a "one off meal a week" kind of girl. I don't have intense food cravings anymore, but having that one meal (and yes, it can only be one) to just turn off the number chatter, go over my calorie budget, practice fullness vs. stuffed cues, is just enough to turn off my defiant inner child. I frequently plan it to match up with a social event. Sometimes, I still eat to "stuffed," but I'm getting much better about it. Some weeks I don't even want an off meal, or the meal is what I would consider what a person not focused on weight loss would eat, more like 600-700 calories instead of 300-400.
I'm so glad this thread came up!! My weight loss has not been private because I'm such a social person! Every person in my life knows about my ups and down, including certain coworkers, and they help me keep choices in check when I'm feeling like indulging. Sparkpeople help so much!!