One of the common problems that people who have difficult relationships with food tend to have is restaurant anxiety. They don't tend to enjoy going out to eat, and that is something that has definitely drastically changed for me ever since finding food freedom! Many members of The SociEATy, in fact, identify one of the whys of their food freedom journey as being the desire to eat out at restaurants without guilt or anxiety.
Obsessing over food has so many components that make going out to eat hard to enjoy. For me, for example, I either didn't order what I actually wanted or I did but then would eat way past fullness and not too feel good. I would therefore find it hard to enjoy the time that I was spending with whomever else I was eating with, and I wasn't fully present. A lot of this is probably sounding familiar, right? Like I said, this is pretty common for people who suffer from disordered eating and/or are trying to stick to a diet.
You probably don't have to imagine that this is no fun, so why do we have to do it? Why do we have to deal with so much anxiety around going out to eat at a restaurant when that should really be a fun experience? Well, let me let you in on a little secret – we don't! It isn't necessary, you guys, and I am here in this episode to share some tips with you on how to conquer that anxiety, which, by the way, isn't going to magically disappear overnight after making the decision to find food freedom. (Remember, this journey does not have a set schedule attached to it, and there is no bumper sticker to earn at the end!)
I break the tips up into three categories: what to do before going out to eat (such as implementing mantras and affirmations and having people who will help hold you accountable), what to do during (like picking what you want without necessarily worrying about gentle nutrition, staying mindful, and relieving FOMO – or the fear of missing out), and what to do after (such as having a support system and journaling). It's really important to think about how you can implement these tools but to do so in a way that improves your relationship with food and your body!
I really hope that all of these tips were helpful to you, and remember that I love hearing from you, so screenshot this episode and let me know that you are listening! Feel free to also share the podcast with anyone whom you know might benefit from it, and I would love it if you would share with me what you took away from this episode and what was especially helpful! Be sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode!
[1:46] – We discover that conquering restaurant anxiety is the topic of this episode.
[3:33] – Colleen reveals why she used to hate going out to eat before she found food freedom.
[5:28] – Colleen talks about what we can do before we go out to eat to help relieve some of the restaurant anxiety, starting with not cutting back on food beforehand!
[7:49] – Before going out to eat, Colleen advises, don't obsess over the restaurant's menu.
[9:54] – Colleen encourages us that we don't need to try to earn our food!
[11:27] – Colleen walks us through a visualization procedure.
[14:03] – Colleen shifts the focus toward what to do while we are at the restaurant, telling us that we should order what we want to eat!
[19:11] – We are encouraged to be mindful while we eat at the restaurant.
[22:35] – Colleen's final tip to act upon when you're at the restaurant is to focus on the experience and the memories that you're creating.
[24:10] – We are advised to have a support system that can help us after an experience at a restaurant.
[25:19] – Colleen instructs us to, after eating out at a restaurant, reflect on the good memories that we made.
[25:53] – We don't need to burn off the food that we ate, Colleen asserts.
[28:04] – Colleen offers advice on what to do if we do eat past fullness.