Diets and Social Gatherings

I used to dread social gatherings because it meant I didn’t have control over the food that would be there. I turned down so many invitations because of this and looking back on it now I really regret that.

I have finally come to realize that food and drinks are a part of social events. Whoever is throwing the party wants their guests to have a good time and often treat them with yummy food. Your fellow party goers also want to have a good time so they are enjoying the offerings.

There is nothing wrong with that. How I handle the situation is up to me. I can either avoid the party and draw a line between me and my friends or I can just relax and enjoy life (and sometimes life includes cake!).

Now, I love getting together with my friends and family. I don’t stress about the food. I go and enjoy the food I like – sometimes I indulge heavily other times I try to be a little more conservative. But either way – my food choices don’t dictate if I have a good time or not.

I bring this up now because when I am visiting family they often want to take me out to eat. (As much as I hate that things have to revolve around food I don’t think these people would rather take a walk with me.)

So, I just go out and enjoy the company and the food. Life is short, and I don’t want to miss out on being in the moment with my loved ones because I was obsessing about the menu.

Question: Does anyone else worry that there won’t be food they can eat at a party or restaurant?

This morning my mom and I took a walk before she had to leave for work. Then, I got Matt ready for school and they were off.

But, the cable guy came shortly after (he was coming between 8 and noon) and I wasn’t able to do my March Challenge exercises. I decided to eat breakfast and do them after he was set up.

I found this hot cereal on Clearance and thought I’d give it a try. I haven’t been into oatmeal lately and was hoping I would at least like this stuff.IMG_5870

I mixed a packet of the Simple Harvest with 1/4c plain oats and water. Cooked in the microwave and then added a pineapple flavored yogurt. Yum!IMG_5868

The dogs got to enjoy some treats while the cable guy was in the house too :) IMG_5865

See ya later :)


  1. says

    I used to bail on social gatherings all the time when I put on some extra weight (*cough70lbs.cough*); I was SO embarrassed with how I looked and didn’t want to be around people. That always led to bingeing and regret, which was cutting off my nose to spite my face!

    I would sometimes avoid get-togethers when I knew there would be lots of “bad” food there, especially because I’ve never been good at modifying my eats for the rest of the day to compensate for a big dinner. Now I do my best to enjoy the company first and think about food second, and it really helps! I completely agree that life is WAY too short to miss out on time with family and friends because of food concerns.

  2. says

    I always worry about this!
    I usually eat way too much of the bad stuff!
    I don’t mind restaurants so much as I just order something healthy and skip the dessert but when there is a party with buffet like food, it’s hard. :/

    I also worry about trips abroad where I won’t even have the option of just staying home. I have one trip coming up in a few weeks to Poland which I’m dreading because of the food which is silly as it will be fun for sure!
    I am now coming up with ideas how to transform the hotel’s breakfast buffet into a balanced well nutritioned meal, I’m not worried about eating junk but about not being able to eat anything healthy!

  3. says

    I remember having a panic attack when I was about 20 years old because I had to go out to dinner (strike 1) and had to miss a run at the gym (strike 2). It was a double whammy. I was literally sobbing. I ended up ditching the dinner party for a run, which is something I’ll always regret. It was one of those times when my friends had a GREAT time, and I ran my 5 miles and then moped in my dorm room afterward.

    So glad I don’t do things like that anymore.

  4. says

    I used to freak the f out about going out to eat, or eating at social gatherings. Then I realized something: if I eat beforehand, then end up munching at the gathering, I’m eating more in all than if I just ate at the gathering. So i do my best to make good choices while there…

  5. says

    I definitely used to get really nervous about eating at social gatherings. I’ve gotten a lot better at maneuvering these parties. I try to fill up on whatever vegetables, fruit, and proteins are available. I still let myself have dessert so I don’t feel deprived. One dessert won’t kill me. I also try to bring my own healthy dish in case other options aren’t available.

    What really helped my attitude, though, was learning not to demand perfection from myself all the time. I would often go to a party, overeat, and then feel defeated for ruining an entire week’s worth of hard work. I’d end up not having a good time because I was feeling so guilty for what I ate. Slowly but surely, I’ve grown to not get down on myself if I indulge every now and then. Life’s too short not too! Plus, parties and family events aren’t about the food or the booze, they’re about spending time with people you love. It’s hard to enjoy those fleeting moments when you’re trying to count calories.

  6. says

    i definitely do worry about it too. but i agree 100% with you: life is too short!! and awesome looking oats

  7. says

    I struggle with “eating events” a lot. When we have a potluck at work (which we do a lot it seems, it’s always someone’s birthday or baby shower or going away party) I stress out about it all morning, which is silly. I try to bring something healthy most of the time but still.

    I’m trying to get better at this by 1) realizing that there are more important things in life to worry about and 2) going with the “worth it” rule and trying to fill up on things I know are good for me. For example at a catered lunch I took 3 mini turkey sandwiches because I knew one wouldn’t have enough protein so I threw out the bread from the other 2. Wasteful? Maybe. But it kept me away from the potato chips (which I don’t even really like, I’m a tortilla chip girl like you!)

  8. says

    I can totally relate to that – I used to miss tons of parties and celebrations because I thought:
    1) I´d starve
    2) I´d spend the whole time worrying about the food beeing served, instead of relaxing and having a good time.
    And this was so frustrating!
    I´m happy you realized you don´t have to miss any social interaction because of food. Food´s only fuel! Right?
    You´re tough, girl!
    I´m proud 😉
    Have a great day!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  9. says

    I ALWAYS worry that I Won’t be able to have foods I can eat…it sometimes makes me consider whether I ought to go out with friends to this restaurant or this party. I hate that it comes to that.

  10. says

    I can definitely relate to what you said. I’ve turned down way too many social invitations, or said yes and spent the whole time freaking out about the food.

    In the past I would be unable to enjoy myself in the presence of a simple candy dish – I’d either be dipping my hand into it constantly, or focusing all of my attention on avoiding it like the plague.

    What has helped me the most is training my mind to stop thinking about food and start focusing on the company. When I’m eating, I pay attention to my food and savor it. When I’m finished, I move on and focus entirely on enjoying my friends and family.

  11. says

    i have and still have that problem with social gatherings. it’s a process of overcoming that anxiety about food. i’ve been there, still doing that, and regret all the events i missed out on because of the food.

  12. says

    I often have anxiety about food in social gatherings. i’m trying to concentrate on the people rather than the food at these events from now on. I’ve noticed that when I host something and I make food I’m less likely to obsess over it and try to deprive myself. I guess since I made it it’s not that special?
    Point being it’s silly to put your life on hold because of food! I don’t want to miss out on things because I’m obsessed!

  13. says

    There usually aren’t foods I can eat when I spend time with my mom’s side of the family, unfortunately. Either everything has meat in it that I wouldn’t touch or it’s a pasta dish or dessert with gluten which would give me an awful stomach :-/ At this point, I know to pack something hefty

  14. says

    I really don’t worry about it too much. I do my best to be good but I also know that eating healthy on a daily basis gives me some wiggle room for family functions and nights out with friends. We can’t be perfect all the time, and who wants to be anyway??? :)

  15. says

    It depends on where I am. I work in a really small town, so if I have to do a lunch meeting, I worry a bit. The restaurants don’t even have menus online!!!

    At home in Charlotte, most restaurants have somewhat of a healthy option, so I’m a lot more relaxed when I have dinner plans here.

  16. Becky says

    I’m a vegetarian and I also don’t drink milk or eat eggs. I’m not picky at all but sometimes it’s challenging at restaurants or friends houses. I always feel like I’m making them do extra work by having a vegetarian dish. My sister in law made breakfast the other morning and cooked eggs in with the hash browns so I couldn’t eat it. She got really upset and said I should have told her. I had no clue what was being cooked in the kitchen until it was served. So, sometimes it’s irritating being different than everyone else. I just do my best with what’s available and I’ve learned to live of a lot of side dishes!!

  17. says

    I love/relate to everything you said here. I tend to freak our if I know there will be a lot of food available or mostly unhealthy foods because then I won’t feel in control. But I’ve come to realize that food is a fun and important aspect of social interaction and there are ways we can approach these situations healthfully; for me, I just try to pick out a few healthy things, a few treats, and most importantly, not overeat.

  18. Alyssa says

    I have this problem and it’s great to know I am not the only one! I definitely need to focus on the company and not the food. I also get very stressed about traveling, thinking I am going to put on tons of weight if I go out of town for a week, instead of looking forward to the trip. Hopefully eventually we can all get to the point where we can relax and enjoy our experiences instead of stressing about what to eat!

  19. says

    I like my philosophy on this whole subject – I run because I eat. Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever met a meal that I didn’t like. It’s all about moderation. And long runs the following weekend…..

  20. says

    Those oats look delicious! I always add yogurt to a breakfast cookie, but never hot oats – maybe I should try!

    I agree with you on social gatherings – it’s as good as you make it to be. I never used to decline offers, but I would always end up going with good intentions that would then fall. I am trying to be better now, not eating all the bad stuff just because it’s there.

    One thing I’ve found is that if we’re going to a house party or something, I’ll bring a platter of delicious food like fruits or veggies. People LOVE that stuff because it’s usually just junk at parties.

    But we also only live once and if you really want to have something, have it and get right back to your plan at the next meal!