How to handle food-related social gatherings when you’re recovering

food related social gatherings

When I talk to my clients who want to lose weight, we soon come to talk about how to handle food-related social gatherings when you’re recovery from food addiction.

Food has several unique roles, and it all becomes apparent when you want to lose weight that these roles become more noticeable. It often results in worry when they see a social gathering coming because they do not know how to handle the food thing.

Worry about social gatherings

I’ve gone through A LOT of food changes in my life. Every time I went on a diet, I started to worry about eating somewhere else than home. This stems from my eating disorder days, where I tried to control everything around food. If things weren’t going the way I thought was right, I’d have a bulimic episode for a while afterward. While I loved eating out and meet with friends, it was also an obsession before and after.

Not everybody obsesses about food as I have done, but I’ve noticed that a lot of people worry about eating somewhere else than home. It often has to do with the many roles food plays in our lives.

Special friends

For instance: have you noticed that you have special food friends? Friends with whom you often eat? They are there just as gossip friends, athletic friends, and DIY friends. You have friends for everything.

But not just friends, even within families food can play a lot of roles. That is because, in some cultures or religious backgrounds, food just is essential. Think about the Italian lifestyle: big tables filled with family members. Another example is the sacred moments in our lives: Christmas dinner, christenings, and Sunday lunch.

Food even plays a role at the beginning and the end of our lives: at births and funerals.

Changing relationships

Relationships can change when you change the way you eat or drink, especially when people start to understand that you have adjusted your habits for good. That is when some people get annoyed with your new habits because you’re not the “friend” anymore they used to know, and you often confront them with their desire to change their practices.

I’m not talking about the “oh, she’s on a diet again” moment, but when your diet seems to grow into a habit is where some people can even start to sabotage you by bringing food and saying they baked those cookies just for you. Sometimes you’re changing eating habits can be the last drop before the bomb falls in a relationship that was already only built on food.

How to handle food-related social gatherings

Sometimes people find it pretty difficult to “cater” to your needs. That is why I often bring my own food or a dish of my own so that I *know* that I won’t have to worry about having the right food to eat nor putting more stress on a host(ess) who has a to-do list as long as her arm already.

Deciding up-front about how you’re going to handle the food moment is a self-care exercise: you get better at it when you practice it over and over.

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