4

votes

Eating is lonely...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 25, 2011 at 3:46 AM

I just got back from a primal potluck, and I noticed some things. I am relatively new to this way of eating and I usually eat alone and quietly. This has supported my shifting diet and being able to listen to my body. At the potluck it sort of felt like a cheat. My plate was loaded up with lots of different foods, (typically I max out at three, meat and two veg) and I noticed that old feeling of being overstimulated with conversation, tons of people around and complicated food combos. I Desire to connect to others, but feeling a bit orthorexic and isolated now. I think this change will just take time to integrate into my life, but I would love some shares about starting out and normalizing the whole process. Thanks ya'll.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:47 PM

That's awesome! I talk nutrition with my mother all the time too, but it's way too hard to change her diet. Her doctor said years ago she couldn't eat meat, and now she's vegetarian. She believes meat is great, she's just afraid that it'll harm her, and it's understandable that she won't believe her 20-yo son if he says "meat is awesome for your health". I can't wait to go to the doctor to show him meat is indeed awesome for your health.

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on June 25, 2011
at 10:33 PM

VandyGear, thanks and an upvote for your comments and recognition concerning introverts and introversion. For so many years I wondered why I was "the way I was," and then I discovered it was because I am an introvert. For others (you already know) this doesn't mean we hate people - it just means that it requires us to put forth a great deal of effort to socialize. And that leaves us exhausted. Your suggestions are right on target: people DO love to talk about themselves. Good listeners are often thought of as GREAT conversationalists - a new goal of mine!

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Thanks Vandy! All great suggestions and insight. I think in the back of my mind the potluck was this opportunity to splurge and get 'crazy' with my food, and so in the midst of new people, stimulus, Mark Sisson was there too, cameras, I am having this experience wherein I realize my relationship with food has forever changed. I no longer eat for emotional reasons. Holy crap, ya'll. There is grief in growing out of things, even if they are toxic, and I just got hit with it. Vandy, totally agree, potlucks are about people! not food. Former sugar addict/emotional eater making adjustments here...

949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

(1021)

on June 25, 2011
at 01:19 PM

I like this answer about "perfect" changing over time. Also, as I mentioned in my response, the joy of potlucks is that you get to bring something that YOU think is "perfect"!

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:58 AM

I think this is where paleo may fail, eating should be a joyful social gathering, not a stop at the gas station. I am sure paleo times people eat near the fire, told stories and had good time, before going to sleep. I think we should try to learn how not to think like you are eating paleo. You are just eating with others,just not eating a baguette. I have hard time with this.

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 06:36 AM

Harry, I think you hit on something. this isn't about changing my eating. this shift just highlights some of my anti-social hang ups that were already there, just more easily gotten through when I ate like everyone else.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:57 AM

Tribal celebrations are important.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:56 AM

I hear you. I went to an office picnic today. After a year of Paleo/Primal/Archevore, I did fairly well. Socializing is very hard for me. (Self-diagnosed borderline Asperger's.) In the past, I would have eaten and eaten and eaten. Today, I worked very hard on connecting with people. Not perfect, but much progress.

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:02 AM

Much obliged Michael! :)

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:01 AM

i know, right? learning here...

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Thanks BAMBAM. I don't think that's my style, but I so appreciate your sharing. I think I just need to take a step back from it all, get off PaleoHacks for a bit and relax. :)

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5 Answers

best answer

7
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on June 25, 2011
at 05:00 AM

Seeing what others do is cool, but if it doesn't feel right to you, don't bother. There are so many ways to do paleo, so just do what you feel is right. You'll have plenty of time in the future to tinker.

Regarding orthorexia, try not to take paleo too seriously. In the few years I've been following this, I've seen nuts, fruit and dairy become less acceptable and sweet potatoes and even (heaven forbid) regular potatoes move up the okay list. Even if you want to be perfect now, you can't, because today's perfect is tomorrow's mistake anyway. Just do your best, but also remember that whatever imperfections you make will be nothing much compared to the gain by eliminating sugar, wheat and seed oils. Just tinker and enjoy the process.

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:02 AM

Much obliged Michael! :)

949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

(1021)

on June 25, 2011
at 01:19 PM

I like this answer about "perfect" changing over time. Also, as I mentioned in my response, the joy of potlucks is that you get to bring something that YOU think is "perfect"!

best answer

3
949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

on June 25, 2011
at 01:18 PM

As you mentioned, I think this potluck brought to the forefront some existing issues you might have with crowds and stimulus that have nothing specific to do with Paleo. Like you, I'm a very introspective, introverted person, and I prefer to eat my meals alone or with one other person. It's often a struggle for me to join in on group luncheons, although not so much from the food perspective.

Is it possible that you're disappointed because you thought a Primal potluck would be easier to handle than a conventional one, and yet it was still difficult? Just because you have common food choices, doesn't mean that an event is socially easy. We've got a Paleo meetup here in town, and I'm scared to go and meet new people, even though I wouldn't have to worry about the food choices.

Here are a couple of suggestions: If you're only comfortable eating 2-3 foods at a meal, that's all you need to eat! Fortunately for potlucks, you get to bring something you like, so bring a very simple dish that you can enjoy and others can taste. Then, if something looks great, just take a small portion and try it. If nothing else looks good, someone may ask you why you have less on your plate - just tell them you have some food sensitivities, and it's better safe than sorry!

As for the social aspect, it's an important part of life for us introverts to try to get out there and challenge our comfort zones, but you don't want to be miserable. So set limits. Say you'll be there for two hours at most, and then try to make an effort to communicate with just a few others during that time. Ask them questions about themselves, and then they'll start talking and you will hardly have to say anything! People like talking about themselves if the person they're talking to acts interested, so be sure to make eye contact. Practice really does make perfect, but social encounters are exhausting for people like me, so I feel better when I know I have an exit strategy and a timeline. Give it a try!

Good luck!

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on June 25, 2011
at 10:33 PM

VandyGear, thanks and an upvote for your comments and recognition concerning introverts and introversion. For so many years I wondered why I was "the way I was," and then I discovered it was because I am an introvert. For others (you already know) this doesn't mean we hate people - it just means that it requires us to put forth a great deal of effort to socialize. And that leaves us exhausted. Your suggestions are right on target: people DO love to talk about themselves. Good listeners are often thought of as GREAT conversationalists - a new goal of mine!

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Thanks Vandy! All great suggestions and insight. I think in the back of my mind the potluck was this opportunity to splurge and get 'crazy' with my food, and so in the midst of new people, stimulus, Mark Sisson was there too, cameras, I am having this experience wherein I realize my relationship with food has forever changed. I no longer eat for emotional reasons. Holy crap, ya'll. There is grief in growing out of things, even if they are toxic, and I just got hit with it. Vandy, totally agree, potlucks are about people! not food. Former sugar addict/emotional eater making adjustments here...

2
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:39 AM

I also prefer only 2-3 foods at any single meal... makes cooking for others a bit tricky :)

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:01 AM

i know, right? learning here...

1
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:06 PM

I too eat a substantial majority of my meals alone and used to get anxious when meals with others were on the agenda. I then discovered that meat and veggies are generally available at any gathering. You might be surprised that most people don't think twice if you eat your burger without the bun. In this day and age, there are so many "diets" out there, that people aren't as questioning as they may have been a few years ago. Don't be self-conscious. Be self-confident. The more confidence you exude, the less people will question you about your eating preferences.

If you are in a situation where the food choices don't include something you prefer to eat, then don't. Again, self-confidence is key. Keep a snack in your car/purse/wherever that you can rely on until you get a chance to eat something more suitable to your tastes.

1
226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:02 AM

I know the feeling. I have tried to convert all my family and friends to Paleo with limited success. My mom is the only person who has gone full bore Paleo. She lost 20 lbs at age 62 and she looks vibrant and ageless! We talk nutrition together all the time in our phone conversations. I'm in college now studying nutrition and have only met one student who shares my views on Paleo. I actually just went for a run with another who is warming up to it. Y

You need to find your first convert - maybe someone in your family. You will feel so much better about this journey if you have someone to share it with!

After you change one person's mind you will have proven you can do it so keep recruiting!!!

I'm at the point where a girl loses points with me if she isn't health conscious enough. I actually seek out dating partners who practice good nutrition. If I meet a celiac then BONUS!!!

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Thanks BAMBAM. I don't think that's my style, but I so appreciate your sharing. I think I just need to take a step back from it all, get off PaleoHacks for a bit and relax. :)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:47 PM

That's awesome! I talk nutrition with my mother all the time too, but it's way too hard to change her diet. Her doctor said years ago she couldn't eat meat, and now she's vegetarian. She believes meat is great, she's just afraid that it'll harm her, and it's understandable that she won't believe her 20-yo son if he says "meat is awesome for your health". I can't wait to go to the doctor to show him meat is indeed awesome for your health.

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