I didn’t achieve my Weight Watchers goal for the week. But I gained a valuable lesson that helped me on my journey towards greater health. I realized I didn’t need food to have a good time. I gained this from two experiences.
The first was a department lunch we had last week at the Yard House. This was the first time I had seen my coworkers face-to-face in a year. I planned for the meal in advance. I looked up the menu and picked out an entrée that was delicious and fit into my Personal Points for the day. I even fit in an appetizer into my daily plan in case the team ordered one. As soon as we got seated, we got right into the conversations. We had a lot of catching up to do. There were so many personal discussions we missed out on because we had all our meetings on Microsoft Teams. When it was time to order, no one was interested in an appetizer. We just ordered our lunch.
Before I started on my health journey, my primary focus at company lunches was the food—especially if the company was paying for it. I had to have my share, and then some. I couldn’t leave anything out, and I always had seconds. (And if anything was left in the lunchroom afterwards, I’d go back for that.) I shied away from conversation. Part of this was because I was focused on the food, and part of it was my embarrassment of being seen eating so much. I’d eat by myself or go back to my desk until it was time for more.
But at this recent department lunch, my focus was on the people. The food was a distant second. I don’t recall when I finished, but I think some at the table finished before me. And when some ordered dessert, I just focused on continuing the conversation. It was a pleasant day, and I was happy to see my coworkers in person again. I can’t even remember what I ordered.
The second was at a Dodgers game this week. My son and I were going because it was Clayton Kershaw bobblehead night. It was also Taco Tuesday. So, I set a goal at the Weight Watchers meeting that I would enjoy Dodger tacos and still fit them into my program.
Except, I didn’t achieve my goal.
By the time we arrived at the ballpark and did some sightseeing around the Centerfield Pavilion and bullpen area, it was close to game time. All the concessions for tacos had very long lines. We didn’t come all the way from Orange County to Chavez Ravine to stand in line. We wanted to watch the game! My son and I went to our seats. And we stayed for the whole game without ordering a single taco.
There was a time when I couldn’t think of going to a ballpark without getting something to eat. That’s part of the baseball experience, right? Peanuts and Cracker Jack are part of that song! But I didn’t eat anything from the time we left, through the long drive to Dodger Stadium, the entire ballgame (and we stayed until the last pitch), and the long drive home. I was so tired after we got home that I went right to bed instead of staying up and eating something. That was the right choice, because I had a good night’s sleep.
I had a great time at the game. OK, the Dodgers lost. Still, it was fun to spend the evening at the ballpark with my son and hang out with other Dodger fans.
I used to think food was the way to have fun. But when food no longer became my priority, I discovered what truly offers me happiness. It’s spending time with family and friends and enjoying a shared experience. Food gets digested and passed, but the memories we build with others last a lifetime. I don’t need food to have fun. The fun comes from the things we do and the people we do it with.