I was trying to arrange a day in London, meeting up with a friend, this was the conversation – what I say goes first in the transcript.
“I’m going to come in on the train so shall we meet at Kings Cross or do you want to meet somewhere else? I’ll get there for about 9am”
“Will you have breakfast on the train?”
“Probably not, I’ll have something before I leave”
“Oh, why not have a late breakfast I’ll come to Kings Cross and we can go to that lovely little cafe where we went last time and have a good hearty breakfast to set us up for the day”
“OK we’ll see what happens, I will probably eat before I leave home because I’m being careful of what I eat and trying to stick to a routine as I told you the other day.”
“OK then, we’ll go there or there’s a lovely place in Covent Garden, if we jumped on a train up to there we could have breakfast, they do the best eggs benedict”
“Well, we’ll see what happens.”
So do you fancy a stroll up Oxford Street or along the embankment?
“Yeah, anything I wouldn’t mind having a good stroll along the embankment to be honest, see the old sights, river watch…”
“Oh I know we’ll go for lunch on a river boat, there’s a really good mini cruise and lunch offer at the moment on one of them I spotted it today I’ll have a look and book us a place”
“OK that will be great, I do love lunch on the river”
“Oh me too.”
“I wanted to go and have a look at one of the new exhibitions in the British museum.”
“Oh great, which one, we’ll go in the afternoon and then we can definitely pop to Covent Garden and have coffee, or why don’t we go to the Haagen Dazs restaurant, they do delicious deserts, or we could go for afternoon tea somewhere posh I’ll see where I can get us in at short notice.”
“Oh ice cream and afternoon tea are not really on my radar at the minute, I couldn’t resist and so I’d rather not.”
“Oh go on, a little treat won’t hurt we can always make amends by having sushi for dinner before you head back. We are having dinner before you catch your train home aren’t we?”
I gave in at that point. It was clear that my day out was going to consist of stuffing my face, stuffing my face and stuffing my face some more.
It made me realise how so much of what we do, our socialising revolves around food. I really didn’t want it to, I wanted to walk, be active and mobile, put some good stuff into my brain, learn something, appreciate something, add a little culture to my life, exercise, soak in the city atmosphere not visit as many eateries as possible in 10 hours.
She’s thin, it’s OK for her to spend a day eating.
But then I thought, is it her or is it me? Did I plan all of my ‘fun’ to include food, are my friends used to it, do they see me coming and think “Cake”?
I thought more and realised that when my friends come over to visit they expect food, because I give them food, I have a reputation as the one who gives you a good feed no matter when you drop by. I always have/had something to feed anyone who came by and it was part of my nature, the way I do hospitality to offer food and drinks to anyone who drops in.
Food just is part of my social life, it’s how I have fun… at least one of the ways I have fun. I’ve even incorporated food into sex and it’s never been a nice salad I can tell you.
I’m glad I’m changing, I’m glad that my friend irritated me because it shows that I’m changing the way I think and it shows that I am addressing my relationship issues with food and I’m getting things right. I’m not there yet, I’m on the way and have a way to go but I’m making some inroads and that’s a good thing.
I’ve postponed my visit, I don’t think I’m ready for that level of temptation yet but I will be soon and I’ll make the visit and I’ll either feel stronger to tell my friend “No, I’m really NOT eating anything unhealthy and I’m not breaking my routine, this matters to me” or at least have confidence in my own abilities to chose healthy options wherever I go and to stand my ground when it comes to places I know there will be no healthy options.
I don’t want my visit to be about food, I want it to be about friendship and fun and if food is involved I don’t want my visit to focus on it or revolve around it, I’ll eat because I’m hungry not because food is there.
Small steps… that’s what it’s all about.