When I began this program, I encountered an awkward social situation that caused me considerable consternation. I was asked to go to a dinner meeting to work on an important project. I had just started using meal replacements, and I wasn’t yet able to eat fruits and vegetables. Did I eat with the colleagues? Did I play the odd man out by declining the food? Did I skip the meeting entirely because of the anxiety the situation was causing?
I discussed the situation with one of the program’s dietitians, who reminded me that what I put into my mouth was my business and no one else’s. I got a pep talk, some advice about what I should eat if I simply must, and off to the meeting I went. It turns out that nobody even noticed that I didn’t order any food. We were so focused on the work at hand that it was a lot of stress over nothing.
Since then, I’ve gotten much more comfortable with my program and with my meal replacements. When we had a holiday gathering in December at work, my initial reaction was, “I can’t go to that — there will be so many foods I can’t eat!” After thinking it over, I microwaved a couple of chocolate muffins, cut them into tiny bites, put them into a bag, and brought them with me. At another function where they served BBQ, I brought a peanut butter bar. It really is more about the people and the conversations than the food.