The question of all questions…Is having a social life possible while being on a “diet”
What is a social life?
As an introvert who only knows Netflix and Chill, going out with friends is very few and far between. BUT, when it does happen, I am more often than not on prep. Well, at least for the last year that has been the story of my life!
Now, let me preface this by saying I do not coach this lifestyle. I don’t think that you should be restrictive to where you aren’t LIVING. I don’t think that if you are trying to make healthier choices you need to lock yourself in your house 24/7. I am telling you how I have handled being social with having to be on a “diet”. Don’t get it twisted! : )
My friends and family have gotten use to the “No thank you” I have on repeat when offered food or drinks. Actually, rewind, they have gotten use to asking, “Are you on prep? Can you eat?” And yes, I know how that sounds. “But Caitie, you said you don’t agree with a restrictive diet!?” Yes, but with the hobby that I love, aka bodybuilding, I have gotten use to that lifestyle. And even though it sounds like those around me have been “trained” to not bug me about my choices, it has not always been that way. And I know for many of you, it is still a struggle.
Rewind to 5-6 years ago when I began competing. Strict dieting became a part of my life. I wasn’t phased by the tubberware lifestyle. I wasn’t phased by saying “No” or always being the DD. I was taught early on about black coffee, ordering plain chicken, sauce on the side, blah blah blah. Everything that made food bland or easy by bringing my own I did because if competing was my goal, then sacrifice I did.
The only thing that seemed to be an issue was getting those around me on board that I was ok with not eating out or drinking. I can’t tell you how many dinners I went to and was questioned and criticized for not part taking in the “breaking of the pizookie”. How many holidays I brought my own food and the amount of sideways glances I would get. Or the best, when others were LITERALLY upset with ME because I wasn’t eating their food or getting wasted!
Um, wait what? YOU’RE upset with ME because I can’t eat the catered BBQ and the homemade chocolate chip cookies? Yeah, forget the drool that I have dripping down my chin on to my plain ass chicken breast. Forget the gallon jug I am drinking from instead of clinking glasses of champagne to celebrate, let me comfort you!
As the years went on, people began to realize that usually me going out and NOT being on prep was a once in a life time ordeal. The questioning got less, the pressuring to eat got less, the looks changed to support and the “Poor me” (as in the host) turned into “Let me know when you can eat and we are going all out!”
Dieting and being a social lite is HARD, I get it more than you know, BUT it can be done. Your purpose, your goals, wants and needs need to be stronger than the cookie sitting on the dessert table at Cindy’s wedding right now! Because guess what? In 3-6-12 months, that cookie can be made again, ordered again and will tasted even better because you know you completed your goals by saying no in the moment.
What are my top 5 tips for getting through social gatherings while on a diet of any sort?
- STAND YOUR GROUND. Whether you are on this diet for a bodybuilding show, if you are dieting because you HAVE to lose weight for health reasons, if you have certain allergies, etc. Don’t let the pressures of family and friends make you feel bad and give in to the temptations. No means no and they need to understand that!
- KNOW YOUR GOALS. Know why you are saying no to some tasty treats. Are you just saying no because you are restricting certain things in your diet? Are you saying no because you don’t want to over indulge in front of people? If you said yes to those questions, first we need to reevaluate your choices and the “diet” someone has you on! BUT if you are saying no because it is a need, a must, a health risk, make those goals prominent in your life and don’t faulter over a missed shot at the bar with the girls.
- EAT BEFORE OR AFTER. I chose this option a lot, especially if it was a party with hors d’oeuvre and not a sit down meal. I was able to fill up on a meal at home with foods I know were ok for me and I could just sip my water and be pleasant and full while socializing. I always made sure I saved something for after the party as well because whether there is dancing or a lot of standing, ya girl was hungry after a couple of hours out being social!
- BRING YOUR OWN MEAL. I did/do this a lot when going to a restaurant or a family function where I know there will be nothing for me to eat that fits because due to A LOT of hidden calories. How to hide it? Show up with meal, hide in the fridge, when everyone is getting their buffet style meal, plop your food on a matching plate, microwave and BAM!
- ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WATER CUP FULL! So cousin Billy can’t refill it will alcohol you don’t want to drink. 2. So you can fill up on water and have no room to snack. 3. It’s good to drink water, pee clear and keep your body flowing!
At the end of the day, you need to make your stand against those who won’t agree with your lifestyle. They won’t agree with your choices. They will tell you to lighten up and just have a bite. If your goals and journey are worth it to you, if your health risks are that high, you will stand your ground. If not, THEN ENJOY THE DAM COOKIE!