What Do People Do For Fun That Doesn’t Involve Food?

I wish I didn’t have to ask the question in the title of this post, but it’s an honest question that needs some answers.

When I think about the time I spend with friends we don’t always eat, but i almost always consume calories. If we’re not meeting for lunch or dinner or happy hour, then we usually meet for coffee.

Everyone I know seems to agree that society places emphasis on eating together. I was at the a restaurant over the weekend where the menu stated “Food is Love,” which too often has been true in my mind.

Michael is super supportive, and he loves to go for walks around the neighborhood with me. He only lives a couple miles away, so it’s easy for him to come over and stroll to the Riverwalk with me. He walks my pace even though his is much faster, and lately we’ve enjoyed playing Pokemon Go together as well. There’s really no point to the game, but it’s fun. It’s also a great motivator to walk more. I’m not kidding. On our last walk I even hatched a Pikachu, which was really exciting. Ha

At home I can knit. It’s a hobby that requires both of my hands, so I can’t eat when I’m doing that.

I’m not sure what else to do. I know I can still go to Starbucks, read my Bible or color and enjoy my favorite hot tea, but what else is there to do?

As long as I can remember food has played an integral role in what I do with family, friends and even alone, and I’m ready for that to change. I’m just not sure where to begin.

I am excited about all of the money I’m going to save by not eating out or buying groceries in excess at home. That’s exciting, but I know that I need to replace my old eating habits with healthy new ones. Exercise works a little, but I can’t do that all day. And I definitely can’t expect my friends and family to stop eating and exercise instead every time I feel like going out.

I’m a social lady. I love to be around people. I enjoy cooking for them, baking for the them and just spending time with them. I know that there are people in my life who will not understand that, and I’ll keep them at a safe distance while I adjust.

I’d just love some ideas if you have any. What are some activities I do to replace going out to eat or having coffee with people I love?

27 thoughts on “What Do People Do For Fun That Doesn’t Involve Food?

    1. Kenlie Post author

      I’m not a fan of diet beverages, but you know I love to sing all the songs. 🙂 I seriously sang karaoke on my way home from work tonight..lol

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  1. Cindy

    My first thought was “everything!”. My outdoor activities include walking, volleyball leagues, fishing and crafts. Food is pretty much something to keep us going…

    Winter is more difficult.

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  2. Mike

    Hi Kenlie. Sorry I haven’t been around much. I had a very rough summer and I had to step back from the “blogging world” for a while (there are some VERY nasty people out there, as I found out the hard way). But I digress.

    Anyway, I’m not much of a social person as I prefer to stay home as opposed to going out. But I do like to go out occasionally, and I sort of made a nice ritual in going out at least once a week, every Friday to meet a friend at our local coffee shop.
    And while we do order coffee (they kind of like you to order something and not just hang out of course), that’s usually all I will get and my friend and I will either read or we make art. I find that it’s a great way to enjoy being out without involving eating, while at the same time, I’m making some kind of art and helping to improve my painting skills. I usually do it in the form of a postcard so that I can send it to one of my pen pal friends. It’s really great because doing this gets me out of my apartment, while at the same time, it’s controlled enough to where I don’t have to feel too anxious about being in a public place (which stops me from going out most of the time due to my social anxiety).

    So maybe consider taking up some form of art perhaps? It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or complicated. But even just doing a little bit each week is a good way to start.
    Hope this helps! Good to see you again by the way! 🙂

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    1. AliyahBrody

      Hi, Kenlie. I’m pretty new to following your blog but really enjoy your content & wish you health, success & happiness along your journey.

      I so agree with Mike in that art is a great way to engage yourself, with others & on your own. What I’ve found, with my tendency to binge eat when I’m stressed, is that keeping my head, heart & hands engaged at the same time helps me channel nervous energy into something creative, fun & lasting. Painting, building Lego models, clay sculpture, rug hooking, etc. – there are SO many ways to express yourself &, as Mike said, you can do so with others (check local meetups, take a course, start a group that meets weekly at a cafe or library) & you can also have an interesting activity to engage in at home, too.

      If you enjoy movies or reading, center social get-togethers around viewing a film, a meet-up at your favorite bookstore or library, then go out for a smoothie, a fruited mineral water, a salad.

      Through the Running Room, for example, you can join a walking or running group that meets weekly. Here, you’ll meet a lot of like-minded people, striving to improve their health & well-being. Take up a new sport: meet friends & new people at the local pool, take up bowling & join a league. While at home, you can join Facebook groups, Twitter chats, etc. with others pursuing similar goals & develop new, supportive, online friendships that’ll see you through the challenges.

      Volunteering, alone or with friends, is also a great way to socialize without centering the activity around food. Check with your local volunteer bureau, hospital, shelter, school, etc.

      Can’t wait to read your post(s) about what you discover helps you the most! God bless & keep going. You’re doing great!

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    2. Kenlie Post author

      I definitely love art already, and I think you’re right. I hope that Fall brings much more happiness for you, Mike.

      The nasty people are hurting, so they live to hurt others. It’s hard to deal with that, but it’s definitely true. Hold your head high, my friend.

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      1. Mike

        Thank you Kenlie. I appreciate your kind words here. Yes, it’s so true. Sometimes I think some people exist just to be mean and nasty and I’ve definitely had my fair share of them lately. But I must remember who I am always. If I can keep that in mind, then no matter what someone says to me, I can tell myself “that’s not true”. And I think I’ll be a happier person when I’m not worrying about what others think of me.

        And by the way, it is a happier time for me now. I’m loving my job right now; my co-workers are all so wonderful. I’ve been doing a lot of what I love (or at least more of it now that I’m feeling better). And my birthday will be here in about a week and a half from now. Life is definitely looking up. 🙂

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  3. Cindy

    I forgot about golf! Par 3s are nice because normally people don’t mind how good, or bad, you are. And I still suck at it! We found one that’s $10 per person, play as many round as you want.

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    1. Kenlie Post author

      It’s too hot here, at least right now, for me to enjoy golf. I loved playing when I lived in New York, and if I really feel cooler (as others have expressed) after I drop some weight I may take it up again. I used to love it.

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  4. T Smith

    Minigolf, game night!, hiking/walking. And when the gathering is food, make good choices and change it up a bit (i.e. when you go for coffee with friends get the herbal tea and then walk and window shop while you chat. It can be awkward to ask, but real friends will not be uncomfortable meeting you in the middle.).

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  5. Maryfran

    I have been dating a guy that food is not an important focus…it’s been eye opening for me. I used to plan trips around where the best food place was located. I would dream about the food the whole time I was doing whatever activities we had decided upon. It has been a weird adjustment…but one that I’m grateful for!!!

    Walks…our dates consist of lots of walks. And taking that a step further…we go hiking a lot! Gorgeous views and experiences! I have been working on a dollhouse…spending time building furniture and making items has kept me busy.. (And said boyfriend has commented how it’s a cool activities to do together in the evening during cold weather! Stroll through antique stores…movies..plays…concerts. Museums….anything to keep you busy!!

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  6. jennifer johns

    I consider myself somewhat social as well with 99% of those social activities involving food and/or drink. To be honest I had to become sort of anti-social for the first month or two after surgery just to take away any temptation or possible uncomfortable feelings. I was clear to eat solids at 4 weeks so I started to ease back in with a lunch date here or there and to be honest you can find something to eat at almost any restaurant whether it be soup, fish or other soft foods. Looks like you are also getting some great alternative ideas from others also!

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    1. Kenlie Post author

      Luckily, everyone I eat with knows what’s happening, and they’re in my corner. Once I can ease back into going out I will, but I’m definitely going to stay away while I need to.

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  7. Heidi

    I’ll be honest. After my VSG, I had a rough time with the thought of giving up food. For the first month I was grieving like I had lost my best friend. My best friend being food. EVERYTHING is focused around food. But, i adapted and eventually learned that I can still eat everything, just in small amounts. When I go to starbucks, I get the green iced tea unsweetened (0 calories). Pokemon has been great because it gets me out walking and doesnt involve food. I also enjoy movies and crafts. Pre Op is hard because you don’t have the tool of feeling full fast. After surgery, you will fall into certain patterns. My husband and I share most meals, as I can only eat about 1/3 of a meal. It saves on $$ too!!

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    1. Kenlie Post author

      My boyfriend and I already share meals most of the time because he had surgery over a year ago. He still eats very little, but he doesn’t have any restrictions.

      Pokemon Go and Starbucks? Can we please be best friends forever?

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  8. Stephanie

    We live in the best and worst city. Lots of fun stuff to do but lots of good food everywhere. For me I like to go to City Park to play putt putt or you can canoe or paddle boat around the lake near the museum of art. Also in the park you can rent these neat bikes for like 4 – 6 people. Plantation tours are fun or walking historical tours around the city is fun too. Exercise made fun. lol Also think about becoming a member of the zoo. You can go to all three places: zoo, aquarium and bug for a year. We’ve even done all 3 in one day. Good luck with everything.

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    1. Kenlie Post author

      I had the same issue (good food everywhere) when I lived in New York too. I love your City park ideas, and I seriously can’t wait to be small enough to go paddle boating. I LOVED that as a kid.

      I also think it’s awesome that you live in New Orleans. Just saying.

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  9. LJB

    I agree with Mike. Art. I have looked at your Instagram and it is obvious that your artistic and photographic gifts approach professional quality. Take some classes – drawing, watercolor, acrylics, photography. The other thing is your singing. I think you could probably write original music, especially songs that express your faith. Sing these over a collection of your art on uTube. You are wildly talented and a lovely, lovely person.

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  10. Michele Friedman

    I love to go for pedicures, take time to read, go to the movies (skip the concessions), do jigsaw puzzles, write.

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  11. Tiffany

    There are a lot of things to do that do not involve food. We are a very active family – we go hiking, biking, skiing, walk the dog, read, watch a movie at home, find a new hobby, try a class at your local arts center, go camping (I know this involves food but just the food you have to eat!), go shopping, walk around a farmer’s market and buy some good veggies – or browse the arts section, go to a bookstore or a library, you live in a city so check out all of the museums you have not. Once you start thinking you will come up with a TON of ideas!

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  12. Emily

    You might be surprised at how EASY it is to go out and be around food. I know every person is different, but I was really impressed with how seemless it seemed to go out with friends (even at a food-related event/place) and just enjoy being with them and talking.

    But, some things where it’s easier to stay away from food: movies, festivals, retail therapy (my friends LOVE going thrifting together), those wine and painting classes, etc!

    When I’m at home and bored (aka thinking about how I used to just eat food during that time), I journal, clean, sing, play guitar, and all those little to-dos that I never get done in my “free time.” lol 🙂

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  13. Ladys Rivera

    As someone who has been diagnosed with several auto immune diseases, I’ve learned to start living my life completing as a new person, I have discovered my love my reading again and started to discovered the little things that gave me pleasure. Hope that helps.

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