The dilemma

12 Feb

I’m not perfect, by any means. I may strive for perfection and drive myself crazy because of it, but in the end, it’s just not attainable. That remains true when it comes to my eating habits. I do my best to educate myself of what I’m putting in my body. I read ingredients; I stay away from artificial sugar; I try to go the “all natural” or organic route when possible. But every once in awhile, I will slip up. Actually, not so much a “slip up” but a, “I’m on a long road trip and will starve if I don’t eat this McDonald’s grilled chicken sandwich” kind of situation.  I know, I know, maybe I wouldn’t starve, but that’s my justification for eating the bleached, yet “all white” chicken meat (do your research). I only eat fast food when I absolutely have to; the last time I ate it was during a six hour car ride to Michigan on Thanksgiving, and even then, I wasn’t thrilled about it. But it was Thanksgiving Day, and the only thing open was Mickey D’s .



Food can cause a lot of controversy, which brings me to my next point, eating with friends (or family). Eating with friends at a restaurant, or eating with friends at their home. Eating with them, and not offending them. Know what I’m talking about? Let me explain.

Not everyone reads labels and watches what they put into their body. With that being said, you are most likely to have dinner plans with someone who chooses a restaurant or cooks a meal that does not meet your dietary standards, at least once several times in your lifetime. This can become an awkward situation.

When I went on vacation with Jordan’s family last summer, I brought my own fruit, cereal, and snacks. One reason being, I did not want his family to be responsible for my grocery bill or dietary needs. Another reason being,  Jordan isn’t a big breakfast eater, or a morning person.  Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I wake up early to eat it ;)! I had to make sure that I was stocked up on staple items that would get me through my mornings, so I brought a bag filled with food. His family didn’t mind this; it wasn’t a big deal. But, can I just bring my own food over to a friend’s house when they have already planned out the meal? I’m fairly certain that would be considered rude. Let me get more specific; I’m not talking about home cooked meals, like fried chicken or mashed potatoes. I feel that a carefully planned Paula Deen meal of sorts is perfectly acceptable for a special treat, every once in awhile.

Waiting for our table at Lady & Sons, Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, Georgia

Yes, I’ll leave Paula alone. I’m talking about processed foods with ingredients that aren’t identifiable. Foods you might associate with an “on-a-budget” young adult, or a workaholic who relies on the frozen variety more often than fresh (not saying that I haven’t been in both situations, I just try to find ways around it…like moving back home 😉 )


Here’s the dilemma. If I’m in this situation, do I eat before I go so that I’m not hungry? Do I bring my own entree? Do I complain about the choice of food and not go at all (yeah, because that wouldn’t be weird rude…)? Do I eat the food, knowing that my stomach might disagree with it later? Ah, the questions that run through my over-analytical mind.

I realize that I may sound like a picky, stuck-up eater, but I’m thinking that possibly, many of you have the same dilemma (please, maybe, hopefully?).


Let’s figure this out. No therapy sessions necessary.

5 Responses to “The dilemma”

  1. Stacie@sugarandsneakers February 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Hmm this is certainly a topic that has weighed heavy on my mind before. In the end, it’s a personal decision and no one can fault you or make you feel guilty for doing what is best for you and your body.

    I try to eat as naturally as possible. I like ingredients that are identifiable. I don’t like to eat junk and when I get a sugar craving I try my best to make sure it is organic and not overly processed.

    That being said, I have come to the conclusion that for me, life is too short. Therefore, I can only control so much. Majority of the time, when I am in control of my meals then I stick to my guns about what I will/won’t eat. But when I am out with friends and family celebrating or on vacation, splitting a blondie is not going to kill me in the grand scheme of things you know?

    Food is meant to be fuel for our bodies, but it’s also meant to be enjoyed. It’s hard not to stress about it sometimes, but again life is too short to stress about eating Burger King once or twice a year ya know?

    Wow- sorry for my mini-novel post!

  2. perfectionisnthappy February 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Yes, that totally makes sense, thank you for your response!

  3. Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries February 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Oh my gosh! This is a situation that I come across constantly. I work really hard to make conscious decisions about what I put in my body – and I hate when someone else throws it off track! I’m not rude, and the last two things I’ve ever want to do are 1. offend anyone and 2. go hungry! That often puts me in a sticky situation.
    I also have Crohn’s Disease, so many foods really don’t agree with me to begin with. If I go to someone’s home and they’ve cooked a cheesy, fried, (insert unhealthy cooking method/food here) I get anxious! How weird is that?!
    And going out to eat is another story. Do your friends or family ever make remarks about what you order? If I order “dressing on the side” or “grilled veggies” instead of fries (sometimes, not always!) my friends will tease me and say “of courrrsee you’d order that.” I don’t know. It’s hurt my feelings before, I won’t lie! I don’t judge their meals at all – ever.
    Does that make any sense?! Even if it doesn’t, yours made perfect sense to me! Thanks for writing about it!

  4. perfectionisnthappy February 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    Yes! I can definitely relate! I’m a salad person…so when I’m with friends who are hamburger and pizza people, I get the eye rolls and remarks. (Remember, I don’t roll my eyes at them for their choices!). I’m also the person who asks for whole wheat pasta, dressing on the side, sweet potato instead of mashed, etc. The waiter never makes a big deal about it, so I don’t think my friends should either. Right? 🙂

  5. movesnmunchies February 14, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    I CAN TOTALLY relate to this!!! what i usually try to do is let the perosn know my dietary needs (vegan) and try to be kind about it. its also good to try and bring a dish to something… but when its a settled meal.. its so hard ! i understand your frustration completely!

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