Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Obligation Eating

During the last 2 1/2 years (almost 3 years!) of dieting I just recently started eating out. In fact in the first 2 years I could count on my one hand how may times I didn't prepare my own food. And, although (when I was overweight) I used to purchase most of my daily meals (fast food/bagels/pizza/restaurant/sandwiches/even coffee!), once I started doing it myself...getting in the habit...practicing....I couldn't believe how easy and satisfying it was, and why more people didn't do it (cook and prepare most of their meals).

It still amazes me that, I would bet, most people eat at least one meal everyday not prepared by them, and some people eat every meal out, more days of the week than not! Sandwiches are probably my biggest "food pet peeve"...why can't anyone think ahead for just one lunch meat/bread/etc., and take the 2 seconds to make a sandwich for lunch everyday? Sandwiches can even be prepared the night before!

Anyway, so much of our socializing takes place in eateries or around food. What else do we do with eachother? Coffee shops, restaurants, or POTLUCKS! And we all feel obligated when it's someones birthday, or "special" occasion to eat food we normally wouldn't eat. I mean really, what else do we do with eachother?

I never let feeling obligated dictate what I ate. I never "went out" to eat food I didn't want or my body didn't need, just to spend time with someone. Well, I finally gave into "obligation eating". And I knew when I did it that it didn't feel good, in fact I started to get resentful, but still didn't change it. ARGG!

Weighing more at the start of this week than I have in quite a while, I still met with a friend for wine and cooking. I really didn't want to because of my weight....but it had been planned weeks in advance...after all, it wasn't her fault I didn't plan (diet wise) for it.

I will never do that again. I'll either plan for it, or I will cancel. No friend or event is worth feeling crappy, and a true friend will understand and be supportive...I would!

Maybe I just needed to ask, it's no ones fault but my own. Lesson learned!

The good news....I feel great! I feel great because the lesson led me to the reflection and thought that I needed to decide what was important to me. I'm back on track, yesterday was filled with good, healthy, food choices, and today is the same. I don't feel emotional hunger, I feel strong focused and in control. YAY!

Life is good.


Jim Ryan said...

Fascinating topic, Tracy.

I think the social eating thing goes WAY back to stone age days and everyone was grateful to be alive and eating whatever was available. They gorged on what was at hand because tomorrows or next week's meal was not a sure thing.

In modern times we have so much super excessive over abundance (and a lot of it) that it takes special discipline to avoid gorging from both a social as well as personal indulgence standpoint.

As you know it is far more the rule than the exception to have balance and optimal health uppermost in one's mind around food choices.

The intellect is rarely a match for the unconscious emotional drive or primal instinct. It takes courage and effort to master it.

You are a shining example. Thanks!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Wow....that's WAY back for sure, lol.