I watched as she got nervous around food. She scanned the restaurant for the plates that could be hers. She pondered the menu like a person who had not been in a restaurant for years and didn't want to make the wrong choice. Or maybe it was more of wanting everything all at once or the fear of ingredients making her feel badly. Her nervous, anxious energy, seeped over the table and I found myself uncomfortable. I found myself eating too quickly once the food arrived, and not enjoying my meal. I tried breathing, slowing down. It didn't help. I went with her to the bakery section and partook in choosing a dessert to take home for later. She again, got agitated making her selections and interacting with the staff. It broke my heart to watch her. I hoped my example of taking home a single dessert and being happy with that, might let her know that desserts were okay in moderation. I watched her take more than one and plunge in as soon as possible. I know I could help her but I didn't want to say anything and upset her. I didn't want her to feel badly. I just know that food isn't what is going to make her feel good.
This is a huge would wide epidemic of not just using food as an addictive substance but a substitute for feelings, or taking responsibility for ones actions. There seems to also be many who think since it is coming from a health shop or restaurant that eating more is okay. That might be true to a point because without the dairy and cane sugar and all the whole vegetables and grains, etc., a person might feel a tad better or lose some weight eating more. I've seen clients who lose enormous amounts eating simple foods even when they over eat, but the quantities were not recommended.
If only I could help my friend find more joy in her life, help her to get excited about each day and let food just be one small pleasure in a sea of many. I wish I could help her to know that there will be so many opportunities to be in this restaurant or some other, and that just enjoying what ever selection she makes today, slowly and thoughtfully will leave others for another day and nothing is lost. It might just leave more to look forward to. If it was fun for all then she would get many more invitations or start enjoying going by herself.
I used to feel badly eating in a restaurant by myself. I thought it meant I was a loser or pathetic and I wanted to hide. I'm glad I don't feel that way at all anymore. I usually don't like to read or do anything either. I am happy to be with my own company and think my thoughts. Occasionally writing down an idea for something to work on later. I enjoy each bite of food and am very in tune with where my full point is. I take home what I can not finish and I have a great experience. Food can be a great experience from start to finish. In restaurants and at home. It's all up to you and what you are willing to allow for yourself. Make it fun. Take your time and clear anything in the way.
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