Friday, June 25, 2010

Social Eating: how to manage your eating at buffet-style dinner party

Despite my outgoing nature, I actually have a bit if social anxiety at events where I don’t know nearly everyone. And because I have a bit of that anxiety, I usually make sure I eat myself into comfort. Tonight I had a huge accomplishment and didn’t fully realize it until after it was over.

Tonight I was invited to a dinner party where I didn’t expect to know many people. Turns out I did know a handful of folks, which was nice, but the point is, I didn’t want go to the party and overeat, as I'm apt to do. I’ve been eating pretty lightly and trying to eat only when I am hungry and I wanted to stick to that. I tend to grossly over indulge at buffets and community eating situations.

So today I had a snack about an hour or so before leaving for the party. My contribution to the party was a caprese salad which is super yummy and healthy. And off I went.

I started by not drinking. Mainly because I drank too much last weekend and it’s still too soon for me to have another after that bender. But it helped because oftentimes, with the social lubricant of alcohol, it’s easy to not be mindful of what goes in one’s mouth. ANYway, I stuck with water and ended up visiting with people away from the dining area where the food was laid out. I made note of when I saw people starting to spoon up appetizers, but I was enjoying my conversation and saw no reason to interrupt that in order to spoon up just yet. At one point someone passed around some bruschetta, of which I had a slice, and I noticed, just then, that I was watching him, wondering if he would make it to where I was sitting. Which he did, but I made a note to only be present with my conversation and not worry about anyone else or what was going in their mouths.

When I decided I was ready, I helped myself to one piece of my Caprese, a piece of another Caprese and a small hunk of cheese. I savored each bite and was perfectly happy. I had small spoonfuls of what they served for dinner and enjoyed each of those bites as well and didn’t go back for seconds as I was no longer hungry. When I finished, I threw away my plate so I would not be tempted to go back for more food for the simply sake of going back for more.

And as I left, I thought “wow, I did really well at that!” I practiced what all the experts say to do at things like this… don’t go to the event hungry, start with small servings, stay away from the food table when socializing and be mindful and enjoy your food. I feel VERY happy! And now, an hour later, I’m going to indulge in a single serving skinny cow ice cream cup. GO ME!!

What do YOU do to get through parties/ social events to enjoy the food and the people without stuffing yourself full?

1 comment:

  1. Turns out those experts know what they are talking about huh? Great job on following through and resisting the temptation yet again. You know, I think you're getting pretty good at this stuff.