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The Full Mind Weigh® to Lifelong Weight Management, a program of the Institute for Lifelong Weight Management – teaching you the skills you need to keep the weight off forever!

Recently, I’ve heard people say that it can feel embarrassing to make special requests when ordering in a restaurant – the kind of requests we make when we’re really trying to eat healthy and either lose weight or maintain our healthy goal weight. These requests might include things like: “dressing on the side, light on the oil, hold the croutons, hold the cheese, grilled not fried, no butter on the vegetables, hold the bread…and so on”.

Our embarrassment may come from feeling that in doing so we’re drawing attention to ourselves as someone who is trying to lose weight (or not gain weight) – believing that the way we order our food magnifies our struggle with weight management for the rest of the world (or at least for our server) to witness. Or, we may struggle with being assertive and speaking up for what we need and want. Or perhaps both. When we’re carrying extra weight we can’t hide it behind a plate of Fettucine Alfredo and a slice of chocolate mousse cheesecake. And if we worry about what other people think of our menu selections and special meal preparation requests, are we really going to order something unhealthy to avoid feeling embarrassed about ordering something healthy?

A recent news article talked about a new trend amongst women – shaming each other not for having unhealthy eating habits, but for making healthy food choices. Why on earth would anyone do that? As the article said, it could be about any number of issues: if we can’t control ourselves, we may try to control others; if we refuse to look at our own habits, we may distract ourselves by focusing on other people’s choices; or we may believe we have the right to judge others. If people do this to you, they are not your friends!

We need to feel entitled to take care of ourselves and nourish our bodies in the way they need to be nourished! Remember that when we’re the customer the restaurant is there to serve us and to meet our needs! We don’t say, “The customer is always right” for nothing. We’re paying our hard-earned money for the food, and we have every right to have it prepared the way we need and want.

A reluctance to be assertive can easily contribute to our weight management struggles – it’s so common to use food to stuff down our unexpressed needs and feelings.

So feel proud of yourself for speaking up for yourself!  And love yourself with healthy food!

“To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” – Raymond Hull

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Share your thoughts about this issue with me and with other readers by commenting on this post.

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With your continued health in mind,

Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Lifelong Weight Management

Creator, The Full Mind Weigh® to Lifelong Weight Management

The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management provides education and training. The Full Mind Weigh® is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.