I recently met some friends at The Nine's hotel in Portland for dinner and drinks.
First of all, if you haven't been to this hotel, you should really go. It's incredible! I felt like I was in some swanky LA joint and yet it still had a cool, down-to-earth Portland feel.
Anyway, it was a great test for me because the food there was supposedly exceptional.
Being as diet-die-hard as I am right now, I really didn't want to use this as an opportunity to go off-plan. I needed to keep my goal front and center as I approached this dinner.
But would I be successful?
I mean, what if others noticed that I wasn't eating and made a big deal about it? Would the peer pressure be so overwhelming that I'd give in? Would they think I was weird if I didn't order an alcoholic drink? Would they laugh if I ordered a salad? Would I have to offer up all sorts of explanations all through the evening?
I really thought the evening might end up being torturous.
But the truth was that once we were there and I ordered my seltzer water with lemon in a wine glass (trying to trick the brain into thinking it was something other than it was), no one said one single word.
When they ordered the appetizers (calamari, buffalo wings, lotus chips, tuna pops) and I ordered grilled chicken ... no one said a peep.
I shared my grilled chicken and several of them actually commented that they wished they'd ordered it.
It was such a relief to be in a social environment and be able to make healthy choices. I found that the others were so preoccupied with their own goodies and drinks, they didn't notice what I had and didn't have.
This social situation was more about the friendship we shared than the food we ate.
Realizing that and putting it into action in my life represented a huge shift in my thinking. I had the best evening, truly enjoyed the laughter and friendship, and didn't come home with any guilt for going off plan.
Phew! I love progress!