Social Eating

The two things that are most difficult to manage (for me) in the weight-loss process are the internal voice that says, “hey, you’ve had a hard day, reward yourself with a third or fourth helping,” and interaction with other people.  Which is why actually LOSING weight is so hard to do.  Because not only do I LIKE to interact with other people, it’s kind of necessary professionally.

I should be clear that when I say “other people” I don’t mean my lovely wife, who is completely supportive and “gets” the process.  What I mean is, for instance, when I sit down to eat lunch with colleagues and it’s somebody’s birthday, there will inevitably be cake.  Moist, tasty cake with delicious buttercream icing.  I politely decline, but people don’t like to take no for an answer when they offer you a slice of birthday cake.  I have to nearly argue to avoid eating a slice of cake.

It’s darn-near impossible to explain to well-meaning friends who say things like, “oh, it’s just one slice, and you’re doing so well, you deserve it,” that I have no problem meaning it when I say no to the first slice, but that after that first slice all I’ll be able to think about is MORE SLICES OF CAKE for the next several hours.  And then my stomach will hurt and I’ll be annoyed with myself and all the “no’s” I’ve said will have been for nothing.

That’s just not a fun conversation to have.  And it makes the person with whom I have it feel guilty and awkward for having brought it up.  I’ve been on both sides of this one over the years.

Maybe we could all learn that it’s not an implied insult when someone says, “no thanks,” when you offer them food.  We’ll avoid some uncomfortable conversations if we do.


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