Health or Friends? (Pick one)


From Nutrition Coach, Bethany N. Kondavaty:

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.”

Yet, 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).

While that may be true and you love eating this way because you feel great! You may also be feeling a bit lonely. In my case, friends don’t ask me to dine out as often, and my ENTIRE family is looking at my plate with looks of worry because I haven’t dug into Aunt Margaret’s heavily salted and fried “family traditional” dish. Even date night can be a little tense as my mate glances at his watch, across the table, as I negotiate with the waiter on making some menu adjustments for a healthier meal option.

After living like this for a while, I’ve decided, regarding having to pick health or friends/mate, in 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 every day that I am eating out, as 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 there?” I assure you, you can always find something!

Besides, it’s better than wasting time informing the waiter of all my dietary restrictions, asking him for his counsel and deliberating endlessly on my choice.  As for Aunt Maggie bringing her signature dish, I defer. I just have to figure out how to explain my deciding to not indulge in her passed-down-from-generation-to-generation recipe bares no reflection on the love I have for my family, my heritage, and specifically, my dear Auntie. I just choose to not have it, period.

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 (wink, wink).

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.