Yesterday I had lunch with the aforementioned person that I don’t plan to discuss much here. He grew up in a different place, in which many people didn’t have a lot, and sometimes he’s bothered when I don’t finish my meal or take the rest home.
We’ve enjoyed some delicious meals together, and over the last several years I’ve allowed myself to eat without finishing my meal. We typically eat healthy meals together, but yesterday we ate pizza. I ate 2.5 slices. He finished his and ate some of mine as well, and you can see what was left in the photo.
When the waiter asked if I needed box, I said no. I wasn’t going straight home, and I knew I wouldn’t eat it anyway because I had plans to meet a client for dinner as well.
He said, “Do you know how many people in my country don’t have enough food to eat?” This time he said it with a soft smile because he already knows how i feel about it.
The first time he ever said that to me I responded by saying, “Yes, I know, but they will never benefit from my overeating.” He’s incredibly supportive, and he immediately understood my point.
I hear that statement a lot from people when I’m out at lunch or dinner, and my response is always the same. For years I overate at every meal. I indulged in too much at once and too often, which led me to an unhealthy size.
I try not to take advantage of everything I have, but sometimes I do. I do my best to conserve water at home, and I limit my consumption of bottled water by using a 5-gallon water cooler in my kitchen. I do a lot of little things to offset my consumption, but eating the rest of my meal will never be a part of that.
I grew up being forced to “clean my plate.” My parents did what they thought was best, but I’ve spent years letting go of the guilt and habits associated with leaving food uneaten. Now I’m okay with it, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay to do what is best for myself.
Do you feel guilty when you don’t finish your meal? Do you eat leftovers regardless of what they’re made of?