I read a blog this morning that pushed me into writing a version of my own. For years, I've been struggling with food focus! This has improved a great deal as I come to terms with understanding what I need to do in my personal life to maintain a sort of mindset equilibrium that does not focus on food.
Face it! Society is food-focused! Every event, every get-together, every meeting has food, and generally, it is not on my menu!!! It is salt-laden, sugar or sugar substitute added. GMOs, altered, not natural ingredients, MSG, artificially colored and "like" the real thing! And sometimes the hour just does not fit with the eating plan.
I try; I really do try not to go overboard and not to get preachy about my choices. I do not want to make enemies; I do not want to be ostracized and talked about behind my back.
But, golly gee! When the food is served or others pressure you to have just a little and you know you should not or cannot, there really is no place to hide! Usually, if I am unprepared, I find nothing that I can eat or drink! I have, on occasion, taken my own food and drink to restaurants, but then I feel uncomfortable pulling it out and eating my homemade things alongside others. I hate drawing attention to myself.
If I don't take food and don't order anything, what can I do while everyone else is enjoying their food? Um, stare at them, stare at the ceiling, the floor, out the window? I could excuse myself to the bathroom which takes only a few minutes and if I extend my visit, I arrive just in time for dessert! Dessert I graciously decline. My last blog mentions the idea of going for a walk, but that will only work when the entire get-together does not revolve around eating, like when there is a presentation of some sort.
Converse, that's a good suggestion and that's what I try to do. But then, between bites and swallows, the others are talking about the food. And I say: "Oh, yes, it is lovely." "No thank you." "Waiter, please take my place setting away; I will not be eating." "It does look appealing." "No, I am fine." Though I tell no one, I am not fine.
I also recognize that usually others are uncomfortable with my presence when they really do want me to have a good time - eating like everyone else. They let me know by their questioning and pressuring me to eat. I have excused myself from participating in many social events because it has become terribly uncomfortable to sit through. Rarely, I've found a couple of people (perhaps 2%) that do not partake, like me. If we manage to get close, we compare notes on how we handle situations that involve food and where we get our food supplies. It is nice to know I am not the only one!
Why do I do this to myself? Well, because I have read too much, gone after scientific info, want better health, and want to live longer and more energetically. As I see it, the pay off is greater than the losses. It's not like I have no friends! I do have friends. And my genuine friends understand, don't pressure me or gluttonize in my face, and are careful to find ways to be WITH me to enjoy our relationship rather than to focus on the food!
If you truly desire to be my friend, accept that I cannot enjoy going where the activity and the pleasure is in watching everyone eating and drinking what I will not eat or drink. Rather than being fun for me, it is torturous! Although I want to be with the group, if I have a choice between being alone or watching others indulge, I choose alone.
I realize that not everyone who eats healthier chooses to go to the extreme that I have. I was on this path years ago, but it was too difficult for me to maintain. At this point in my life, I know it was my food choices and lack of exercise that took me to such deteriorating health that I became more and more immobile. I know because with SparkPeople and the changes I gradually made, I improved so much that I was able to do 2 marathon walks. I plan to continue learning healthier ways so that if at all possible, I will maintain what I have gained health wise.
I choose to be as physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy, active, and productive as possible for the next 30 years of my earthly life!
This is the blog I read that provoked my writing this morning: