I felt, until recently, that being with friends meant that I could relax on my diet. I thought I should enjoy myself on the occasions that I was with people I loved.
I realized that I wasn’t in any kind of safe zone with nutrition just because I was with friends. I saw myself suffering the consequences of eating recklessly on these occasions, and even though I was having a good time, the aftermath just wasn’t worth it.
The hardest part was saying no when everyone else was eating something. I didn’t want to go against the grain, literally and figuratively. But this was me being externally oriented.
I should do as I please, and follow an inner orientation with all things. Especially food, which nourishes me and makes me who I am in large part. Meals can be social, but they shouldn’t be detrimental to personal wellness. But it’s hard. I’m human.
Recently I’ve returned to a near total abstinence from wheat. I say near total because so many different foods contain wheat, especially when eating out. Even sauces that are thicker tend to contain some sort of flour. But I’m doing my best.
It’s been about a month. The longest time I went strictly without wheat was a six month stretch, and the benefits were amazing. Though I’ve been minimizing wheat in my diet during the interim, the effect is not the same as completely avoiding the grain.
So once more, I am dodging wheat in every situation. The hardest part, again, is that everyone else is eating it.
So here’s the thing: it’s moment by moment. Setting a goal of never is daunting. It certainly hasn’t worked for me in a lot of areas. But seeing never as just a collection of individual moments helps. A lot. It’s easy to say no this one time. I don’t think about all the other times I need to say no for this to be never.
I could be miserable as the only one not eating cronuts, but I actually find peace in not eating. It’s a quiet appreciation of knowing my place. I understanding that I don’t need everything that is good. And I just have to make the decision for the one moment, as it comes. With no burden of forever.
It allows me to enjoy more of the moment with friends. Not indulging in a specific thing is a way of turning on mindfulness and focusing on the stuff that really matters to me. Rather than assume I should enjoy everything, I’m choosy with my attention.
So whatever it is that doesn’t work for us, whether it be a food, substance, or thought, we can make a decision about it just once when the moment comes. And we don’t have to worry about all the other times in the future we’ll say no. Because it’s not happening right now. Now, you only have one decision to make.