What will you do when everyone else is eating, and you’re not?
When you’re at that party, and the food just doesn’t fit with what you like to put in your body?
When you’re at that restaurant, and there just aren’t that many good choices for you?
When you’re at the concert, and it’s only greasy fast food available?
First, go prepared. I will often eat an entire meal before going out to a place where a meal will be served. And I don’t travel anywhere without a bag of nuts, a couple of homemade protein bars, and a can of sardines.
Second, know that you won’t starve if you don’t eat. In fact, it’s good not to eat once in awhile.
But thirdly, I’d like to address that ‘outcast’ feeling of being ‘the one weirdo who’s not eating’ while everyone else is.
I’ve felt it and been called out on it many times.
Here’s what works for me:
I try never preach to others about what I eat. I’ll simply respond to questions about why I’m not eating by saying that ‘those foods don’t make me feel very good’.
If pressed further, then, that’s a signal that the other person is actually interested, and I will proceed to answer as deeply as they are ready to hear.
But when I’m not being asked about it, I do something else.
I pay close attention to the people at the table with me. To what makes them smile, to what makes them laugh, to growing our relationship in this moment, and to why I love them.
It’s nice not to think about food sometimes too.
In fact, not eating doesn’t have to widen the gap of feeling lonely. It can be an opportunity to deepen your connection instead.