One of my favorite quotes paraphrased: You’d stop worrying about what other people think of you if you would only realize how seldom they do.”
I go into most social occasions with a full stomach. In most formal sit-down eating situations it would be a little presumptuous to bring your own anything and eat, especially when eating beforehand is an easy option. I would say the same thing for a wedding reception, or dinner party at someone’s home. Although I would probably not accept an invitation to somebody’s home without forewarning them that “I can be a little tricky to feed” and making sure there would be something there I could eat or decline the invitation. I’ve used the phrase “that’s not going to work for me” more than once when trying to hammer out plans. It seems to be a simple, neutral, non-judgmental, simple way to put it that will usually work.
In my social circle we mostly do potlucks or going out to restaurants together, so this particular awkwardness doesn’t come up often for me. I don’t think I’ve been to a sit-down, full-meal-provided dinner at the home of someone I didn’t know well since I began lowcarbing.
By the way and for what it’s worth, I did not eat anything from the dinner buffet offerings except a few celery and carrot sticks at my own son’s wedding reception almost three years ago. I did bring ground turkey patties and raw almonds in a cooler and kept them in the car. I ended up not needing the turkey, I stole away to the ladies room to eat the almonds in private. I probably had some turkey when we got back to the motel, I honestly don’t remember now.
Because of the way I have decided to eat for the rest of my life, no I don’t always LIKE doing the eating part of social customs like this. Yes it’s (just a little) annoying to have to eat beforehand, and yes, sometimes someone will notice that I’m not eating anything on my plate (usually they don’t). And yes, a very few times I have taken a small plate of food I had no intention of eating and move it around on the plate while socializing. If I get questioned I tell the truth… “I don’t eat …. (bread, sugar, grains, etc.) ” I don’t say I “can’t” or “I’m allergic” and rarely will I even say that I eat lowcarb, because those statements will usually elicit more discussion (or they could come back to bite you in a year if you’ve fallen off the wagon).
I don’t generally chit-chat much about my eating in a light, social way. This is a very personal and mostly private part of my life. Maybe I don’t discuss it because I have decided; and because if I want/need to discuss it, I have a place to do that right here.
If I get asked “but aren’t you hungr?”, which I have been asked, again I will tell the truth. “No, I always eat a little before I come to things like this, so no, I’m not hungry, but thanks for worrying about me.”