You know he is going to ask, “Dude, what are you eating over there?” These are the anxious thoughts than now run through your head as you get ready to go to the movies.
A few weeks ago you were doing the same exact thing! You start to feel more uncomfortable and embarrassed. You never realized how much food dominated your social life. Things were much easier when you ate what everyone else did.
I get it. It’s tough eating healthy foods all the time. When you don’t deviate from your protocol for weeks at a time you start to feel isolated from the rest of the world.
“You can’t achieve the dream if you’re pleasing the team” ― Bandile M Matsenjwa
You know you can’t have the popcorn because of that artificial crap butter they put in it. Let’s be honest, corn is something that you stay away from anyway. The harmful things done to corn like spraying Roundup on it is terrible.
Candy and soda are out of course. Red dye 40 is a monster that seems to rule the world. You start having a real disdain for packaged food.
Almost every item you pick up and read has so many unnecessary chemicals in it. You shake your head like a disapproving grandmother. You then know you have to pack a healthy snack like that disapproving grandmother.
Trust me, I’ve been there. Going out to restaurants were worse than the movies. I had to modify the dishes I chose in front of everyone.
You feel as though you are one of those neurotic plastic surgery ladies. The ladies that do spin and pilates class all day.
I remember one time I was ordering at a restaurant and I had to modify almost every single thing I got. My friends sat around the table looking at me with judgemental annoyed eyes. I felt so freaky and small.
My world seemed so limited like I could not ever have fun again. My life consisted of me worrying about food. I would get embarrassed in social situations. I had to answer all kinds of questions that made me feel like I was doing something wrong.
Part of me was proud that I was stepping up and bettering my health. The other part of me felt absolutely ridiculous. I took great swaths of food out of my diet. At times I felt that I could not eat anything. It was a awful feeling.
Let me share 2 things that I did to make social situations bearable. These two things made my life so pleasant. You may be thinking, “Only two?” Two is plenty. I don’t want to overwhelm you with a list of 30 tactics. This serves no one.
With having 2 recommendations it is easier to take action and implement change.
When you first start eating healthy you become super excited. You anticipate how good you will look and feel. You are sure all those nasty eating habits will fly out the window.
The first few days are total elation. You feel on top of the world and nothing can stop you. Whichever protocol you are following you read about it with complete obsession. You implement every recommendation straight away.
After a few weeks strain starts to appear. You can’t seem to integrate your new way of eating in your social life. You start to feel blocked, frustrated and isolated.
People around you seem oblivious of eating well. You are finding it difficult to relate. You then start to withdraw from your social life. You fear the obstacles that may pop up when you are out eating and drinking with friends.
At first these feelings will be strong. Acknowledge them then seek to be more open about your food choices. The chance for failure is less because you are not hiding anything.
Take ownership of your life completely.
Friends may put you down. You may be able to explain why you changed the way you eat. If they still respond with negative comments, distance may be a solution for the short term.
When your friends have questions answer them with excitement and positivity. Keep nothing back. This may mean telling them about your amazing bowel movements or that your sex drive is crazy!
Being open may influence them to make some changes as well. Plus, the more open you are the less awkward you will feel. You are setting yourself up for success. Your true friends will accept the changes you have made.
As you transform, everything else around you will as well. Like attracts like this is universal law.
2. Educate yourself. No one will do it for you.
Educate yourself completely. No one is going to hold your hand and tell you what you can and cannot eat. I found reading and talking to others about healthy eating helpful. Experimenting with different foods has guaranteed me continued success.
Total immersion with healthy eating is a great tool. You get to see a the conflicting theories and decide what works best for you. Remember, there is no set diet for anyone. If we are all different our diets have to be different as well.
Try not to get sucked into following one prescribed diet. You may miss nutrients that you need. Joshua Rosenthal the founder of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition coined the term bio-individuality.
This is your best weapon for lifelong success. Tuning into your body and recognizing what you need is a process and will change over time. Educating yourself also gives you freedom from our Standard American Diet completely.
You will become sensitive to unhealthy foods and start to even disdain them. For years I was addicted to Reese’s and Snickers. When I first changed my diet, I feared temptation would consume me. With education I gave myself what my body needed.
I have not eaten candy in almost 3 years. I don’t crave it and I don’t miss it. On occasion I eat organic dark chocolate which has many health benefits (choose 70% or higher in cocoa content).
With education you have power. You have the knowledge to decide how you will eat and live. Look the conflicting theories, laugh at them and then make the best decision for you.
This is not a temporary social situation for you.
When eating well for the rest of your life, of course you are going to experience some bumps and crashes. Try not to get too upset. You have to rest of your days to refine and perfect.
Your life is not perfect and neither will your eating and drinking habits be.
I remember a time a few months ago I got caught up in a social situation and made some bad decisions.
I went to a club in Hell’s Kitchen to have a few drinks and let loose. Yes, I still drink on occasion. If you are not having fun why bother? Anyway, the music was awesome and let’s say I had one too many tequila and sodas.
When the night was over, foolish me decided to take the train instead of a cab (I live in Brooklyn). I passed out on the train. I am thankful that I wasn’t robbed or vomited all over myself.
When I woke I was almost at Coney Island which is the end of the line. I was drunk and so confused. Stumbling off the train wasted was not a pretty look. This was the first time I missed my stop… ever. When I got back on the correct train I passed out again almost missing my stop. I was a complete disaster that night.
I have lived in New York City for years and have never missed my stop no matter how drunk I was. This was a wakeup call. I learned I can still go out and have fun but I must be careful.
When you eat well most of the time, having some fun can be eye opening. I realized that my body cannot tolerate alcohol like my friends. I value my body and life much more than I used to. My sensitivity to unhealthy food and alcohol is a testament to that.
As you grow and learn more about yourself you may find yourself making mistakes you have never made. You may shy away from activities that you used to take part in all the time.
It’s amazing how much your life will change when you change the way you eat.
The longer you continue on a path of healthy eating, you will not have to worry or be anxious about what you are going to eat.
You merge into a new way of life. Flow will enter and you will not have confused thoughts or feel uncomfortable. Instead, you will stand in the mirror thinking, “damn, I look good!”
You will stand for nothing less than healthy food and interaction. By taking ownership of your life and educating yourself you become unstoppable. People will take notice and compliment you.
This is validation that you are on the correct path. I hope your friends support you and begin to model after you.
You have risen to the next level in your life. Much opportunity awaits, reach for it, the possibilities are endless.
Socializing and eating healthy does not have to be a challenge. Take the first step and receive my free guide Eat One Healthy Meal a Day . This guide has important recommendations that you can implement with ease.
Only you can take action to improve your life. Support from others guides you.
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Originally published at medium.com