Sharon had some interesting information on this topic in her blog a few days ago.
Take a moment to think about friends and family. Are a significant number of them obese or overweight? Do we hang around with people with whom we have something in common? Is it more comfortable to overeat with other overeaters?
In my closest group of friends that I spend the most time with I am the only one who is obese. Could this be part of my motivation to lose weight? There is a lot of obesity in my family - is it easier to overeat when I am in their presence? I have another good friend, Annie, who battles weight like I do but we don't get to spend as much time together as we used to and both of us are always working on it. Another good friend, Janie, has been a natural slim all her life but is very, very supportive. She has always been my cheerleader. Annie and I commiserate. Jean Ann, another good friend, is a natural slim as well and when we go out to eat with her and her husband, I can always tell when she is full. She takes a deep breath and leans back a little and leaves food on her plate. Doesn't she realize she is paying for that food and should eat it? She often takes some home with her. Carol stays a normal weight but she keeps an eye on it and stays active. Jo is pretty well in tune with her appetite. Jo loves vegetables too. She would take a bowl of broccoli over a piece of pie.
This is probably something we should all think about. Do we avoid the gym because we assume everybody there is in shape? That's not true, by the way. Do we eat little in the presence of others and then binge at home or eat in private? The social aspect of this is very important and we really don't discuss it very much. We have something in common with our blogging buddies - losing weight. We also have something in common with our circle of friends and our families at times - eating.
Overcoming the social pressures to eat is a formidable task. It happens when we no longer feel like we "should". It happens when we realize they will get over it if we choose not to have birthday cake because we know the consequences from past experience. It happens when our desire to lose our weight trumps any social reasons to overeat. If someone asked you to participate in a bank robbery or pressured you to shoplift, why would you refuse (I am assuming you would refuse :-)? A friend wants you to help him/her cheat someone. Someone wants you to lie for them. We refuse because it does not fit our self-image. I don't lie because I am not a liar. I don't steal because I am not a thief. We won't overeat anymore when it doesn't fit our self-image.
Be careful out there today.