I've shared before that eating out w/friends and family has pretty much been my norm for a long long time. In college I probably ate out at least 14 of the 21 meals you eat per week and visited Starbucks at least 4x's a week. In another post I explained how I've recently figured out that being able to eat out provided me with a sense of control over my life and "normalcy;" and as we all know eating out w/out being seriously cautious can lead to consuming almost a days worth of calories in one meal!
Clearly, a sense of control wasn't the only reason I enjoyed eating out- it's fun! I'm a very social person and my line of work requires me to go to a lot of meetings and events that usually encompass some sort of meal. The more and more I examine my life the more I realize that almost everything I do revolves around food; if a friend and I get together it's usually at a restaurant or at least over coffee, it's just what we do. One plan of action is to begin centering what I do with friends around other things than just eating out, we can take walks, etc. but being realistic w/ my lifestyle and what I enjoy, I'm just having to learn how to do it in a healthy way.(March 09)
Now, onto what Diane had written about: Do you have or perhaps are you a "food friend?" I define a "food friend" as someone with whom you primarily socialize with through food. And I have been on both sides of this coin! As I reflected on Diane's post I realized how many friends I have that have probably gained a few pounds just from hanging around me! I can think back to mulitple different instances where I've had friends say that they actually were going broke because of the amount of times I would "cause" them to go out to eat with me. How sad is that? And from another aspect, I've also been the person that people know that they can call if they want to go out to eat b/c unless I was busy I would usually always go and they wouldn't have to feel bad about spending the money or eating unhealthily. Wow- that's crazy. Isn't it funny how easy it is to overlook things like this when you're in the middle of them? Ay yay yay.
I really have turned a corner in regards to this- I eat out maybe 2-3 times a week now (which may sound like a lot but when it used to be more like 12-14 times, you've gotta give me props!) and I've found other ways to bond and have fun w/friends. But old habits die hard and just the other day I had a free evening and was wanting to go out to eat (nothing bad, I promise!) and I texted a friend to see if she was up to it and she said no because she had to go the gym! Well pin a rose on my nose! At first I got kind of offended b/c I was thinking that the gym is kind of optional- it wasn't like she had to work or had a meeting or something, but then I was like HELLOOOOOO- I should be doing the same thing! She wasn't willing to compromise her health and what she needed to do to reach her goals just for fun or b/c of the pressure of not wanting to say no- what resolve!
All of that to say- I want my relationships to be based on things other than just eating out and I certainly don't want to be the friend that causes others to gain weight! Eating out is a part of life (at least mine) and learning to do it in moderation and in a healthy way is key for me!
How about you guys? Anyone ever feel like you are responsible for causing others to gain weight or that people have used your love of food for their own advantage? Haha- wow, that sounds so positive! lol Sorry! :)
Peace out girl ... and boy (sorry Kyle!) scout!