I recently wrote that Younger Son was on the Ark Royal. Well he survived it - and more importantly the Ark Royal survived him!
He was a bit peeved that as they left the ship at Liverpool the crew were putting tables and chairs out for a party. Younger Son felt he was missing out on a feast and after five days at sea he finally felt he could eat again. I pointed out to him that the event was probably a reception for the bigwigs of Liverpool and was never intended for a bunch of by-now-quite-whiffy sea cadets.
I did sympathise, though. How disappointing to see a potential feast in preparation and know it is not intended for you.
Which is how many of us feel when we go out with friends or are eating in public. Overweight people often feel guilty when they have to eat in public.
Particularly if you are the largest person there (or feel you are) you may feel that everybody is looking at your plate of food. They also feel obliged to comment - 'Oh you're not eating that, are you?' or 'Can you have that on your diet?' or, as you look at the calorific puddings, 'Go on, one won't hurt you.'
The people who do this fall into one of these categories:
a) They are naturally slim and are secretly pleased that they can eat what they like.
b) They are self-conscious about their own body shape and secretly pleased you are bigger than them.
c) They are self-conscious about their own body shape and secretly annoyed that you are starting to take care of your food intake when they are not.
d) They are sociopaths who will do anything to undermine you.
Moral of the story? This talk is all about them, not about you, so don't take any notice of them. When you choose to eat, you eat to feed your body not theirs. When you choose to eat healthy foods you are choosing for your greatest good, not theirs. When you choose to eat less-than-healthy foods make that a conscious choice for you (unconscious eating has a habit of being unhealthy) at that time.
If you make conscious food choices and enjoy the food you eat, that's a better strategy than not inviting yourself to the feast. Eating nothing in front of other people or toying with a plate of lettuce in an effort to look 'healthy' will only make you go home feeling deprived. And then it's easy to justify lots of late night 'snacks' or a whole tub of frozen comfort food!
Don't leave the ship feeling you are missing out - eat consciously, eat up and enjoy.
(c) 2009 Liz Copeland
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