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I simply can't handle pot lucks/large food events

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Old 04-13-2014, 04:20 PM   #1
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Default I simply can't handle pot lucks/large food events

And it doesn't help me to bring what I want to eat because it's way more fun to eat what other people bring, and to try everything.

This is my downfall: pot lucks & parties.

Some of it has to do with control. I can't control what's going to be there so I can't think ahead of what I'll have and avoid. I get there and want to try nearly everything & when I'm having fun I like to eat (and drink).

The only parties I can abstain is ones with lots of chips/salty foods (I prefer sweet) and poor-quality, store bought sweets/processed foods. But when people make home-made dishes I indulge.

Also, I have carb/sugar addiction so after a certain point that cycle kicks in and I just jump on that treadmill and keep going.

Anyone have a good grip on parties with lots of food where you can't control what's being served? It doesn't help me to focus on the people, I just end up back at the food.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:26 PM   #2
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How often are these parties? Can you eat on the lower end of your calorie range during the week to account for the food at parties? Can you stop going them for a while until you feel stronger? If you were addicted to alcohol, you'd stop going to parties for a while (maybe longer) while you got sober. Being addicted to food is similar.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:37 PM   #3
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And it doesn't help me to bring what I want to eat because it's way more fun to eat what other people bring, and to try everything.

This is my downfall: pot lucks & parties.

Some of it has to do with control. I can't control what's going to be there so I can't think ahead of what I'll have and avoid. I get there and want to try nearly everything & when I'm having fun I like to eat (and drink).

The only parties I can abstain is ones with lots of chips/salty foods (I prefer sweet) and poor-quality, store bought sweets/processed foods. But when people make home-made dishes I indulge.

Also, I have carb/sugar addiction so after a certain point that cycle kicks in and I just jump on that treadmill and keep going.

Anyone have a good grip on parties with lots of food where you can't control what's being served? It doesn't help me to focus on the people, I just end up back at the food.
This is me to a T. It can create so much stress around events that should be enjoyable. While I was losing weight, I had to withdraw myself from social occasions. Phasing off my diet right as the winter holiday season rolled in taught me that I am still capable of losing restraint. The cravings are sometimes stronger since dieting.

Here's a suggestion that works for me, with the caution that I don't usually have parties and potlucks every week, thank goodness: I stick to the straight & narrow most of the time and use the parties & potlucks as the eating fun days. I tend to do a little better when others are around, than when left to my own devices with trigger-type foods. The result is less stress and frustration and a nice, relaxed party. Surprisingly, it's easier to get back on track soon this way.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:59 PM   #4
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Not my problem. At all. I like my food prepared properly, and quite frankly, I've seen some pretty disgusting home kitchens and cooking practices in my day.

True story: Once upon a time, I invited "the girls" over to prepare holiday cookies for work, and I saw when one of the highly refined ladies droooooled into a batch of fancy cookies she was making. Neeever said a thing about it--and I sure as heck didn't eat any cookies. blech blech blech
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:04 PM   #5
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Not my problem. At all. I like my food prepared properly, and quite frankly, I've seen some pretty disgusting home kitchens and cooking practices in my day.

True story: Once upon a time, I invited "the girls" over to prepare holiday cookies for work, and I saw when one of the highly refined ladies droooooled into a batch of fancy cookies she was making. Neeever said a thing about it--and I sure as heck didn't eat any cookies. blech blech blech
Thank-you for that! Just thinking about that will help me deal with potlucks. And restaurants, for that matter.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:12 PM   #6
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Not my problem. At all. I like my food prepared properly, and quite frankly, I've seen some pretty disgusting home kitchens and cooking practices in my day.

True story: Once upon a time, I invited "the girls" over to prepare holiday cookies for work, and I saw when one of the highly refined ladies droooooled into a batch of fancy cookies she was making. Neeever said a thing about it--and I sure as heck didn't eat any cookies. blech blech blech

You know, that just might be the key here to getting a grip on at least events where it's pot luck (catered events would be a whole other issue. LOL).

If I can envision people drooling, spitting, sneezing, coughing, licking the spoon, their children's dirty hands as part of their recipe I am sure I will not want anything that does not seem to be properly prepared.

I will give that a try.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:12 PM   #7
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For me, after awhile, it became a mind set. Since I have no idea what went into this food, or how it was prepared, or the sanitation of the preparer, I'm much more wary of the pot luck/party foods.

This does not mean that all of those foods are bad, I've just gotten more picky/particular about the food presented.

I tend to lean towards dishes that have only 2 to 4 ingredients that I can identify. Casseroles, things like cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, taco salad, anything, that I cannot disect or identify a few simple ingredients, I try so stay away from.

This does not mean that I do not now and then, eat some of these foods, because I do, but, I'm mindful to pick only one or two, in small portions, and otherwise stick to things I can actually identify!
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #8
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Not my problem. At all. I like my food prepared properly, and quite frankly, I've seen some pretty disgusting home kitchens and cooking practices in my day.

True story: Once upon a time, I invited "the girls" over to prepare holiday cookies for work, and I saw when one of the highly refined ladies droooooled into a batch of fancy cookies she was making. Neeever said a thing about it--and I sure as heck didn't eat any cookies. blech blech blech
EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

See, this is my issue too! I've seen people halfheartedly wash their dishes with filthy looking sponges, I've seen mothers pick boogers out of their kids noses and then wipe their hand on their pants and go back to cooking etc. I have a great deal of trouble eating anything that was prepared out of my sight. I like to eat my own food because I KNOW I am a clean cook.

ETA: Oh, I've seen lots of people while cooking/stirring pull the spoon or mixer out, take a lick to see how it is, then stick it right back in the food. Ewww!
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:53 AM   #9
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Just to add - in highschool, I had to do a "global potluck" so I ordered local Chinese takeout from down the street, plopped it in a plate and it looked super homemade - and kept silent about it lol. I wouldn't be surprised if others do something of that varation - like a "Sandra Lee from food network method of rolling cake frosting into 'truffles'"
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:24 PM   #10
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I have one friend who I can imagine drooling into food. I, too, have watched people prepare food and then chosen not to eat it because of their lack of sanitation. My one friend says, "Oh, the baking process kills all the germs anyway."

Yuck.

Actually, this is an argument my husband and I have all the time. He licks spoons and then puts them back in the pot. I constantly tell him it's disgusting, but he does it anyway. So don't eat anything my husband brings to a party. lol

Anyway, good tip about imagining the kitchen in which it's being prepared. I do the same thing with processed food, actually. How many companies recall foods because they found mold or rats or cockroaches at the factory? And I've seen food factories on TV where the people aren't wearing long gloves or whatever. I mean... it's like an invitation to find an arm hair in your toaster pastry, KWIM?
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:31 PM   #11
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Here's what I'm slowly learning to do. I'm not perfect, and I'm still figuring out what works.

I try to always start with a nice big salad (assuming the dressing isn't already added and doesn't have tons of extras). While I'm getting the salad, I look around to see what's up there. I think, what do I REALLY want? Sure, I like potato salad, but if I'm also getting two other sides that I really like, do I still need potato salad, too? I remind myself that it's OK not to eat everything!

When I go back after my salad, I try to take a very small amount of everything that I truly want. I also try to keep my plate colorful.

If I do go back for seconds, I grab a smaller (dessert-sized) plate. I still obviously end up over-indulging, but considering how much food I used to eat at this things, it's certainly an improvement! I'm not big on sweets though so since you love sweets, this may not work in the same way.

I also try not to sit where the food is, if possible.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:27 PM   #12
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I have the same problem!!

A friend recommended I eat a bowl of cabbage/salad something low cal but filling and eat before the party. That way I can eat only so much when I get to the party. It's not the best method, but since I'm always sucking in my stomach at parties maybe it will keep me from devouring everything while I'm there! and maybe I'll be more picky with what I want to try?

Sweets/carbs are my nemesis!!
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:30 PM   #13
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I have the same problem!!

A friend recommended I eat a bowl of cabbage/salad something low cal but filling and eat before the party. That way I can eat only so much when I get to the party. It's not the best method, but since I'm always sucking in my stomach at parties maybe it will keep me from devouring everything while I'm there! and maybe I'll be more picky with what I want to try?

Sweets/carbs are my nemesis!!
If I ate a bowl of cabbage before the party, nobody there would want to sit by me.
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:42 PM   #14
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I was thinking the same thing, I'm pretty weary of potluck parties!! I imagine people cooking with their cats running around on their kitchen counters, wiping their face and putting their hands all over the food. I've seen some outrageous things too, like digging through every piece of chicken to find the right one, picking food up and putting it down. One thing I hate is when people put sauce or potato salad on their plate they bang the serving spoon on their plate. Yuck. My idea of punishment is being forced to eat dip after a double dipper.

Oh, recently I went to a dinner party and the first course was soup. After we were all finished the hostess took our plates and dumped whatever was left in our bowls back into the pot of soup. Uhm, yea I suddenly have no room for anything else.

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If I ate a bowl of cabbage before the party, nobody there would want to sit by me.
If I ate a bowl of cabbage before a party I wouldn't want to sit by me either.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:12 PM   #15
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Oh, recently I went to a dinner party and the first course was soup. After we were all finished the hostess took our plates and dumped whatever was left in our bowls back into the pot of soup. Uhm, yea I suddenly have no room for anything else.
EWW, was she going to EAT THAT later??? People spit soup? Gag!
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