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Old 02-26-2013, 04:46 AM   #1
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Feeling like a freak

Does anyone else struggle with this?

Last week I was at a two day work meeting where the lunches were catered for both days. The first day they had to order me a special meal. It was a salad, with no protein, but it at least had a fatty dressing. It wasn't enough food because there was only about 1 cup of lettuce, so I ate the middle out of a couple of sandwiches. I was happy that they at least tried. I'm pretty carb sensitive so cheating usually equals disaster.

Then the next day was pizza and 3 types of salad. yay! Except that they brought no dressing for the salads, and the salads were all veggies and croutons with a dusting of parmesan cheese. So I ended up scraping the cheese off about 6 slices of pizza (after everyone had their fill) and throwing the cheese on top of a bed of lettuce. I survived.

Then yesterday I was supposed to meet my girlfriends in town for lunch. I told them I could only eat at a place where I could order off of a menu. Just in case I had to modify my order. They decided they wanted to go to a cafeteria where all the food was pre-packaged and no hope of modification. I ended up just going home for lunch.

Although in the work situation, they at least tried to accommodate my needs but I was really frustrated by my friends, because I didn't think it was much to ask to go to a place that at least had a menu.

I don't really have a lot of support from family and friends to begin with, as they all think I have an eating disorder anyways, but sometimes I think it would be better to just eat at home. I never wanted my WOE to turn me antisocial but I am afraid that it starting to.

Does anyone else wrestle with this? Do I just accept the fact that to be healthy (for myself) I have to basically isolate myself from the world, or are there any strategies for this.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:35 AM   #2
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For the catered work events, keep a can of chicken or a pouch of tuna or a non-refrigerated pack of pepperoni in your desk to add to the salads.
You can buy individual dressing packs, too. My walmart sells them near the deli.
In a pinch, those little individual packages of almonds can keep hunger away.

For the cafeteria meal, I would have taken a salad from there, plus whatever else I could get, such as a sandwich or burger to take the meat out of. And if that didn't do it, I'd get another salad, or I'd excuse myself to run out to the car to snarf down some jerky or string cheese or pepperoni or a meal replacement bar. Better yet, plan on having limited choices when dining out, and eat your protein before you go. Enjoy salad and conversation with your friends at the restaurant.

It takes planning, but it isn't impossible.
And one last thought, you might want to browse the online menus of some local restaurants. Then the next time you go out with those friends, you can give them a list of places that work for your plan.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:36 AM   #3
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Your friends were jerks.

I have friends who eat all across the spectrum, and one of my closest friends is vegan; we eat together all the time. It's not hard to find a place that easily accommodates both of our needs. If you simply asked for a place with a menu, and they deliberately chose this place, my first thought is that they did it on purpose, and my second is that you could have spoken up and said that won't work for you.

No, I don't feel like a freak. It may be because I have several deadly food allergies, mostly to some very common foods (including raw vegetables, which means no salads), so I've been dealing with the fact that I can't always eat like everyone else for a very long time. Guess what? It's not a big deal. Yes, sometimes that means I don't get enough to eat, especially at work or catered functions,, or I have to jerry-rig something out of random-seeming meal components, but even then, it's not a big deal. If I didn't get enough to eat, I'll snack on a couple of Slim Jims or chug an emergency shake and go on with life.

It's nice to have support, though. It's really too bad the people in your life aren't in a place to give it. Have you given them reason to think you have an eating disorder, beyond the low carb thing? Because eating low carb is not remotely out of the mainstream. Not everyone understands the science behind it, but people mostly know that it's an effective weight loss choice.

I hope things get better for you.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:38 AM   #4
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:21 AM   #5
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I'm sorry you feel upset about your WOE! Don't worry you are not alone! I'm impressed with the food choices you made and that you didn't cheat, that's a big win! One of the things I struggle with is dating while eating low carb... I feel bad about having to explain how I eat and people accommodating my needs. That was pretty inconsiderate of yours friends to not pick somewhere where you could eat, our diet really isn't that difficult! I always feel like when I'm with friends ordering my food and special alcohol orders that they think I'm such a Heath nut, but I really don't care because it's working for me and I look and feel good. I always keep a thing if beef jerky in my car and a low carb protein bar in my purse in case of emergencies!
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:35 AM   #6
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I have to suspect your friends are 'testing' you or just being 'jerks'. They certainly were not acting as friends. Perhaps they think you are 'just on a diet'... Clearly they don't respect your needs. At your convenience, check out the cafeteria & see if there is anything there that is appropriate. You could even speak to mangament & see if they have anything to offer... but do so at an off hour. If there is No Option, I would pass on eating there in the future.

That said, a work environment is very difficult. One must bring your own food or make alternate arrangements. I carried a igloo lunch box for years. Office workers have another problem when lunches you bring in are exposed to others (theft).

Number one, don't let yourself get so hungry that you can't just eat the letuce & finish your meal elsewhere. I mean seriously... I can eat a bun-less burger at fast food or a bunless-bacon-cheese-burger or a grilled chicken salad.

The others have given some good suggestions that I would not have thought of.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:48 AM   #7
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I have never felt like a 'freak' at work--or had to order a special meal for myself. I've attended many 'catered' events, and there's always been something I could eat, even if it was just the filling from sandwiches.

I don't understand your 'friends' because all my friends always respond if I suggest an alternative restaurant. However, I rarely have to do that because while I may prefer certain places, I can always find something to eat at almost any restaurant.

I definitely prefer eating at home, but being low carb has never negatively affected my social life.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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I'm with Leo41. I have eaten out so much on this WOE that I can find something to eat almost anywhere. The only things that are almost impossible are breakfast bars at conventions... it's just pastries. Sometimes fruit. Occasionally bagels and cream cheese. I've been known to drink coffee w/cream and eat 3-4 little packages of cream cheese for my breakfast when at a convention.

Oh, and Pho noodle soup shops. My husband LOVES pho, and I'll get it with extra meat and then eat the broth and meat, and add bean sprouts, but avoid the noodles. (He also gets my extra noodles... hmm.. maybe that's why he likes to go there?!)
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:21 AM   #9
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I always bring my own food to work. Most "events"--speakers, noon-time meetings, meetings with visitors, etc.--offer food, mostly carbs. I just ignore it, and nobody hassles me about not eating it; I just sip a water or tea through the event. Before or after the event, when I'm hungry, I eat my own food at my desk. The only meals that were offered at work that fit my plan were ones where I got to pick a buffet menu that met all conceivable eating plans (vegetarian, vegan, lowcarb, gluten free, kosher, etc) and that doesn't happen often.

When I go out to eat with friends, I ask that we decide the restaurant in advance and check the menu to see if there's something I can eat (if it's somewhere new). There almost always is something I can eat--at least a chef salad or a bunless burger. If friends can't accomodate that, they aren't acting like friends. I try to focus on the social interaction rather than the food, so I don't particularly care if I get something unexciting like a burger with no bun. Sometimes I meet friends at a coffee shop and they order pastries and I get coffee with cream. That's okay with me.

Eating lowcarb has made my hunger less urgent, and JUDDD has convinced me that some hunger is "not an emergency," so if I just forestall eating for a while in a setting where the food doesn't fit my plan, it's not a big problem. And I do keep prepared food and snacks (such as almonds) at work, in my purse, and at home all the time, so I never end up going really hungry for long.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
I never wanted my WOE to turn me antisocial but I am afraid that it starting to.
*You* weren't the one being antisocial.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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I'm with Leo41. I have eaten out so much on this WOE that I can find something to eat almost anywhere. The only things that are almost impossible are breakfast bars at conventions... it's just pastries. Sometimes fruit. Occasionally bagels and cream cheese. I've been known to drink coffee w/cream and eat 3-4 little packages of cream cheese for my breakfast when at a convention.

Oh, and Pho noodle soup shops. My husband LOVES pho, and I'll get it with extra meat and then eat the broth and meat, and add bean sprouts, but avoid the noodles. (He also gets my extra noodles... hmm.. maybe that's why he likes to go there?!)
Also at the breakfast bar included in hotel stays.
Cream cheese, coffee, and a small shot of tomato juice is all I can use from them.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:46 AM   #12
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IT'S SO HARD!!!

for people with health related body weight issues, and by that I include everyone who is obese, I think it's worth WORKING to organize your life to avoid these situations. Look for a job without those meal obligations, to the extent possible. Talk to co-workers who bring a lot of carbs to work. Seek out friends who are sensitive to your way of eating and make it easy, not a chore.

I know it's hard to do these things, and I don't mean you should try to do it overnight. Just that as the years go by, make these things a high priority in how you structure your life. it's worth it!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:15 AM   #13
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IT'S SO HARD!!!

for people with health related body weight issues, and by that I include everyone who is obese, I think it's worth WORKING to organize your life to avoid these situations. Look for a job without those meal obligations, to the extent possible. Talk to co-workers who bring a lot of carbs to work. Seek out friends who are sensitive to your way of eating and make it easy, not a chore.

I know it's hard to do these things, and I don't mean you should try to do it overnight. Just that as the years go by, make these things a high priority in how you structure your life. it's worth it!
Good post, Raven. Yes, it is hard. Punkin, I suspect your friends are a bit jealous that you are trying to do something for your weight/health. And speaking of health, if you were diabetic or severely allergic to something, I'll bet your friends would have been more accommodating, no? Just carry on and make them more jealous as you become slimmer and healthier eating your "weird" WOE! By the way, it does get easier, but it's key that you learn to become confident and nicely assertive with your requests and queries at eating establishments (and with your friends/family!). This was hard for me at first, as I am a shy person and don't like to make waves.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:45 AM   #14
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I totally understand how you are feeling like a freak. Once a month my office has a staff meeting with a catered lunch. The lunch is ALWAYS pizza. ALWAYS! They do usually order a few small salads, but it's hardly enough to go around, much less allow me to have a full size salad to avoid the pizza. So every month I'm pulling the cheese and pepperoni off my two allotted slices of pizza, and eating my 2 or 3 fork fulls of lettuce - and the whole time I'm doing it, I'm getting the side eye from my co-workers.

I work in an office full of women - almost everyone of them is 'dieting' but most of them are doing low fat/low cal and so they can "cheat" on staff meeting days and indulge without any real side effects. I've been asked, more than once, why I can't just eat like a 'normal person' on staff meeting days. I've been told flat out that the way I pick apart my food makes people 'uncomfortable' and it's been suggested to me, about a bazillion times, that my woe is 'unhealthy' and that I should just join weight watchers if I want to lose weight. If I had a wheat allergy - no one would say a word - but because it's a DIET everyone feels free to put their $.02 in or give me advice about better ways to handle my weight.

So yes, I totally get what you mean by feeling like a freak. I do not personally feel as though I or anything I eat is 'freaky.' I can usually always find something to eat, and I always have food at my desk that will hold me over if need be - however - when people are staring and commenting about your food choices - it can make you feel self conscious about those choices. I just try to shrug it off and move on.

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Old 02-26-2013, 11:01 AM   #15
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The only time I have turned down a social occasion because of food is when it is to be at a Chinese restaurant. I feel fairly certain that I could find something to eat there if I really wanted to but this style of food was one of my favorites and I don't want to have to deal with not being able to fully partake. That is my choice and I don't feel bad.

I have never been anywhere that I couldn't find something to eat and even if I thought it was going to be a problem, I eat ahead of time. It is more about being with friends and family than the food in my opinion.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:02 AM   #16
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We have many catered events at work but I never call attention to myself by ordering a special meal. If it is sandwiches, I eat the centers out of a couple or do like you did, eat the top off pizza. If it is a breakfast bar with bagels and cream cheese, tear all the center out of half a bagel and fill it with cream cheese. Ordering a special meal, unless you have food allergies, will make others think you are high maintenance. Show them this WOE is easy no matter the situation by making do with whatever is there. I think to some, ordering a special meal for something as simple as LC makes it look like your WOE is difficult to maintain .
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:08 AM   #17
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Good points^! I have eaten a pat of butter as the others at my table eat the bread while waiting for the main. The first time I did that, I felt a bit self conscious but we all made a joke of it and it is an 'inside' joke ever since. People pass me their butter. I love it!!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:17 AM   #18
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Wow, thanks everybody, some great advice. I feel a lot better now. Part of the problems is that no one I know, knows eating thing about the LC WOE way of eating. My sister is doing atkins right now, and people wonder why she is spreading butter/sour cream over her meat, instead of eating her potatos. She says she tries to explain it and they all look at her like she is from another planet. Low carb where I am from is definitely not mainstream. Even my husband asks me if I want potatos sometimes when he is cooking dinner
He forgets. LC doesn't seem to be the same as other WOEs. Things such as allergies, gluten intolerance, and low fat seem to be more acceptable. I think part of the problem is that carbs for most people aren't an evil food, where as for me, eating a high carb meal means extreme, unpleasant hypoglycemia.

At least now I feel like I have some strategies and won't be caught so off guard next time.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #19
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OK, to the folks who said, "I can always find something to eat at catered meals", you've obviously not been to the same cater meals I have!

~raises hand to shade eyes~ Pasta! As far as the eye can see! Some with MEAT! And look over there! Salads, pre-tossed with low-fat honey mustard and raspberry dressings! Look how generous they are with the croutons!


My "cure", of course, is to plan ahead. You know when these things are coming up, so be prepared. Eat something high-fat before you go, so you can take token-bites of whatever's served. (ie; Take some pasta, and pick out the 3 pieces of chicken... Get some of the salad without much dressing... Have a cup of coffee.... Whatever.)

As for your "friends"... They sound more like people you "hang out with". A FRIEND would have taken your needs into consideration.

And as for eating socially without feeling weird... "You know, I'm really craving WINGS (or "SEAFOOD", or "STEAK")! Where can we get them?" works, without drawing any attention to anything "unusual". (You'll have to forgive me -- I'm on a major wings-kick right now. lol)

Working from "I want" is a lot more effective than working from "I can't eat..."
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:39 AM   #20
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I think part of the problem is that carbs for most people aren't an evil food, where as for me, eating a high carb meal means extreme, unpleasant hypoglycemia.

At least now I feel like I have some strategies and won't be caught so off guard next time.
And this is why so often you shouldn't even bring low carb in to the equation. Simply tell people that you have hypoglycemia and it makes you sick when you eat certain foods.

There just is no need to explain exactly why you eat the way you do, and often the best thing to say when questioned is that it makes you sick to do otherwise. There are many different versions of the makes you sick response, just pick the best one under the circumstances. If you stay away from the diet topic and stick with the health reasons people seem to accept it better - even though they have no reason to judge or accept you reasons to begin with.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:39 AM   #21
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I reckon I have a bit of a different perspective on expecting group meals to accommodate my woe. Partly from serving in the Army and partly from being a lifelong mustard eater and mayo hater.

If it isn't something I can work around, by bringing my own or eating a big breakfast and skipping lunch or whatever, then I expect my needs to be addressed just like anyone else would that has out of the norm nutritional needs.

The last time I was in that position the guys went out of their way to make sure I was taken care of and I appreciated it a lot. But in those situations I always knew ahead of time and I could bring my own stuff and put it in the fridge. And if they were on the fence about what to get I'd tell them to get what they liked that I'd be fine. But if I couldn't do that I'd tell them to get bent and buy me what I need lol.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:51 AM   #22
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I wouldn't tolerate ANYONE commenting that they feel UNCOMFORTABLE because I pick apart my food.

I work in an office and we generally have 7-8 students a week for training and we provide a catered lunch. We often have people who have certainly dietary requirements due to RELIGION. Obviously, there are NO COMMENTS made and we honour any request.

I'd tell them to take a long walk off a short pier (not really, I'd use variations on a word that sounds like "truck") and eat any damn way I pleased.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:52 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by svenskamae View Post
Eating lowcarb has made my hunger less urgent, and JUDDD has convinced me that some hunger is "not an emergency," so if I just forestall eating for a while in a setting where the food doesn't fit my plan, it's not a big problem. And I do keep prepared food and snacks (such as almonds) at work, in my purse, and at home all the time, so I never end up going really hungry for long.
So far I haven't had to deal with this. I know it's hard bc I have run to it on previous rounds of LC. This time my plan is even more severe, though I do think that I'll bend a tiny bit if it comes to this sort of situation. Like have some veg/salad that I might not normally. But I am also w svenskamae in that, if possible, I would just try to float through it w/o eating bc I am usually disappointed if I bend for other people.

My FIL is coming to visit in a couple of weeks and we are already planning to go a fancy steak house for one meal and not make the rest of the visit about food. We normally eat out every meal when he comes and I do think I'll miss sitting around a table talking like that.

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The only time I have turned down a social occasion because of food is when it is to be at a Chinese restaurant. I feel fairly certain that I could find something to eat there if I really wanted to but this style of food was one of my favorites and I don't want to have to deal with not being able to fully partake. That is my choice and I don't feel bad.
.
I think that would be my position, too. I think I'd lose my mind if I had to watch my friends eat a yummy Chinese meal. I could see getting an order of sautéed Chinese broccoli to go, though.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:58 AM   #24
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Negotiating “land mines” is hard on anyone who is trying to get healthy. Much of it is your environment. If you are surrounded by folks who live on junk and overeat as a form of entertainment you will be seen as the odd man out.

There are plenty of people who try and eat whole, healthy foods on a regular basis. That old saying “If you want a happy marriage, hang out with happily married people” is true.

If having a paid for home is your status symbol hang out with people who have read “The Millionaire Next Door” and take pride in their cheapness and ability to pay cash for everything.

Offices serve pizza and doughnuts because it is cheap and filling. I know many folks who don’t do low carb but won’t eat that crap. Even the Weight Watcher’s folks know that 2 slices of pizza will add up to your daily allotment of “points.” Watch how thin people behave. They don’t down a lot of pizza and pasta. It doesn’t bother me if I can’t participate in that “one free meal.”

For years we have been encouraged to shop the perimeters of the grocery store. White sugar and flour have been touted as health destroyers since I was a teen in the 70’s.

I have honestly not had anyone comment on the way that I eat. Not in a negative way. If I don’t want to eat something, I just say “No Thanks.” Just like I would do if I was offered Liver.

Take a good look around next time you are in the grocery store. Sure, there are isles of crap that you can just ignore. But there are also many organic foods and vegetables, milk substitutes, pastured anti-biotic free meats and gluten free products. Many items that were hard to find a few years ago. And that’s just at my neighborhood Kroger or Publix. They don’t put all those products there for just me, so there must be a demand.

A lot of Americans are really getting smarter about their food choices. Nothing freaky about that.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Erin57 View Post
Negotiating “land mines” is hard on anyone who is trying to get healthy. Much of it is your environment. If you are surrounded by folks who live on junk and overeat as a form of entertainment you will be seen as the odd man out.

There are plenty of people who try and eat whole, healthy foods on a regular basis. That old saying “If you want a happy marriage, hang out with happily married people” is true.

If having a paid for home is your status symbol hang out with people who have read “The Millionaire Next Door” and take pride in their cheapness and ability to pay cash for everything.

Offices serve pizza and doughnuts because it is cheap and filling. I know many folks who don’t do low carb but won’t eat that crap. Even the Weight Watcher’s folks know that 2 slices of pizza will add up to your daily allotment of “points.” Watch how thin people behave. They don’t down a lot of pizza and pasta. It doesn’t bother me if I can’t participate in that “one free meal.”

For years we have been encouraged to shop the perimeters of the grocery store. White sugar and flour have been touted as health destroyers since I was a teen in the 70’s.

I have honestly not had anyone comment on the way that I eat. Not in a negative way. If I don’t want to eat something, I just say “No Thanks.” Just like I would do if I was offered Liver.

Take a good look around next time you are in the grocery store. Sure, there are isles of crap that you can just ignore. But there are also many organic foods and vegetables, milk substitutes, pastured anti-biotic free meats and gluten free products. Many items that were hard to find a few years ago. And that’s just at my neighborhood Kroger or Publix. They don’t put all those products there for just me, so there must be a demand.

A lot of Americans are really getting smarter about their food choices. Nothing freaky about that.
"Watch how thin people behave"

This is good advice. Both my husband and my best friend are naturally thin and fit and I've observed them closely over the years. They just don't eat food they don't like and they don't care what people say. My husband, for instance, has never eaten a pizza crust. He just says "I don't like it." I don't recall much blowback, although there have been quite a few times where someone offered to take it off his hands. My best friend never eats much during the day and just tells people .... "I don't really like to eat during the day." She's a fussy eater when she does eat but she doesn't care what people say. She just says outright, "no thanks, I don't eat that," whatever it is.

The DH has taken a fair share of grief for being a vegetarian as people are constantly lecturing him about it. (I'd guess some people on this board would be among them!) But he doesn't give in --- he shrugs his shoulders and refuses.

I've noticed that those of us who have weight issues are often pleasers by nature and are unwilling to buck the crowd, especially when it comes to food. But some people do it all the time and we just don't notice. There's nothing that says you have to eat what other people tell you to eat and there's no reason it has to be an unpleasant interaction. Just say no thanks. Thin people do it all the time.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:11 PM   #26
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I hate to make waves... but it I was confronted with a monthly pizza party, I'd ask to order something for myself, at my own expense. I'd probably order a chef's salad or something. It's a matter of self preservation.

A whole office full of dieters and only token salads? Who does the ordering?

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I totally understand how you are feeling like a freak. Once a month my office has a staff meeting with a catered lunch. The lunch is ALWAYS pizza. ALWAYS! They do usually order a few small salads, but it's hardly enough to go around, much less allow me to have a full size salad to avoid the pizza. So every month I'm pulling the cheese and pepperoni off my two allotted slices of pizza, and eating my 2 or 3 fork fulls of lettuce - and the whole time I'm doing it, I'm getting the side eye from my co-workers.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by flagman1776 View Post
I hate to make waves... but it I was confronted with a monthly pizza party, I'd ask to order something for myself, at my own expense. I'd probably order a chef's salad or something. It's a matter of self preservation.

A whole office full of dieters and only token salads? Who does the ordering?
Right? Makes no sense to me.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Britt1975 View Post
I totally understand how you are feeling like a freak. Once a month my office has a staff meeting with a catered lunch. The lunch is ALWAYS pizza. ALWAYS! They do usually order a few small salads, but it's hardly enough to go around, much less allow me to have a full size salad to avoid the pizza. So every month I'm pulling the cheese and pepperoni off my two allotted slices of pizza, and eating my 2 or 3 fork fulls of lettuce - and the whole time I'm doing it, I'm getting the side eye from my co-workers.

I work in an office full of women - almost everyone of them is 'dieting' but most of them are doing low fat/low cal and so they can "cheat" on staff meeting days and indulge without any real side effects. I've been asked, more than once, why I can't just eat like a 'normal person' on staff meeting days. I've been told flat out that the way I pick apart my food makes people 'uncomfortable' and it's been suggested to me, about a bazillion times, that my woe is 'unhealthy' and that I should just join weight watchers if I want to lose weight. If I had a wheat allergy - no one would say a word - but because it's a DIET everyone feels free to put their $.02 in or give me advice about better ways to handle my weight.

So yes, I totally get what you mean by feeling like a freak. I do not personally feel as though I or anything I eat is 'freaky.' I can usually always find something to eat, and I always have food at my desk that will hold me over if need be - however - when people are staring and commenting about your food choices - it can make you feel self conscious about those choices. I just try to shrug it off and move on.

You have my sympathy. It's appalling that people can't just leave you alone about a tiny thing like not eating pizza crust or what you chose to eat--for whatever reason. Can you play the "health" card, by saying that your doctor encourages your not eating carbohydrates due to health issues (say insulin resistence if pressed) or say that you find you don't feel well after eating wheat and other grains? I've been known to say that "I feel better if I don't eat gluten," which is broadly true, even though I won't have an immediate reaction like nausea or stomach pains. I feel lots better eating lowcarb, in all sorts of ways, and not eating gluten/grains is part of that.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:11 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Britt1975 View Post
I've been asked, more than once, why I can't just eat like a 'normal person' on staff meeting days. I've been told flat out that the way I pick apart my food makes people 'uncomfortable' and it's been suggested to me, about a bazillion times, that my woe is 'unhealthy' and that I should just join weight watchers if I want to lose weight. If I had a wheat allergy - no one would say a word - but because it's a DIET everyone feels free to put their $.02 in or give me advice about better ways to handle my weight.
If I were in this position, I'd cut the conversation short by saying "It's been great talking to you, but I have to get back to work." My feeling is that just because I work with someone doesn't mean I signed up for them to critique my life outside work - so I try not to give them an opening, and if they bring up the subject, I don't let it go anywhere.

(I always smile and do my best to say things like that in a friendly way; I'm not trying to be hostile to people, but IMHO you can be friendly and still have boundaries.)

As for the wheat allergy - you might be surprised what busybodies say to people with allergies! I knew a guy who was so allergic to wheat that he probably called in sick to work at least once a month, because something presented as "wheat-free" was made with soy sauce (that contained wheat) or the like. And people would always tell him "That means you can just eat a little, right?" or "My cousin thought he had a wheat allergy, but it turned out he just needed to take more vitamins," or whatever. Lots of people thought they knew more about it than the guy who'd been living with it for forty years.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #30
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DH and I just celebrated our 24th anniversary, and at DH's request we went to a very nice upscale vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco we've always wanted to go to. Saturday nights they have a prix fixe menu, so I knew it was going to be a bit of a gamble. I was going to allow carbs, but not grains as last time I allowed myself to eat grains I was sick as a dog afterward. I let them know when I made the reservation.

It probably would have been OK, but out of 3 entrees offered, two had chiles as a prominent part of the dish and I HATE chiles. The third entree was ravioli--no way to avoid the wheat. I should have ordered just another appetizers (essentially three salad courses for $49--ugh!) but after consulting with the waiter I decided to try the one grain free entree and pick out the chiles. I couldn't eat a bite of it--so full of chiles.

They were very kind and brought me another appetizer instead, but I felt bad for them and guilty that my husband was feeling sorry for me while he was immensely enjoying his own dinner. I was OK with it, though, and made up for it with the dessert which was my planned indulgence--one of only 3 or 4 per YEAR that I allow myself. I did feel like a total freak, though. If it hadn't been for the chiles, I probably would have been OK. They even brought me roasted almonds when my husband was served bread and butter.
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