This month I’ve been traveling across the country on the tour for my new book. That means a lot of airplanes and hotels. And while I truly enjoy traveling boy does it require a lot of eating awareness. The other day I was upgraded to first class on a flight. I was psyched about the extra leg room, but I felt like I was in a food minefield! Eat, Pray, Love was the film (if you’ve seen it you can recall the scenes of Julia Roberts character enjoying lots of pasta, wine, pizza…) and of course a major perk of first class is free food and booze.
I had had eaten a super healthy, yummy lunch before getting on board and I was excited about enjoying PF Chang’s for dinner after touch down (we don’t have those in NYC so I love going there when I travel). Also the flight was less than 4 hours long, so physically there was no need to indulge, yet I felt like I was committing a major social faux pas.
As I stuck with my sparkling water with lime and plain hot tea everyone around me chowed down on nuts, cheese and crackers, antipasta salad, fruit, brownies, and copious amounts of wine or liquor. I didn’t feel deprived in the least (I was full, satisfied and energized the whole flight) but I was certainly breaking the norm, and the flight attendant kept asking me, “Are you sure you don’t need anything?” (she actually looked sad).
Awkward or not I knew I was honoring my body’s needs, which felt great, but then I started to feel sad that there is such a strong expectation to eat when food is offered (especially if it’s free). I’m sure this isn’t bound to change any time in the near future, it’s just part of our culture, so if you find yourself in a free food minefield embrace the opportunity to ‘just say no’ if your body isn’t telling you it needs food. It’s actually pretty empowering!
Do you find yourself pressured to take part in meals or snacks you don’t really need? How does it make you feel and how do you handle it? Please share your thoughts!