Last weekend, I spent a few days with some old friends. I was the organizer and I asked folks to bring their own breakfast and lunch foods and then planned some communal dinners with one person in charge. The breakfasts worked great. People ate when they wanted what they wanted, each of us fixing our own. And lunch worked out well too, each of us eating when we felt like it. But the dinner was more problematic. Folks came back from afternoon activities and had snacks about 5 pm. The dinner crew then wasn't eager to get cooking. This posed a problem for me. I wanted to eat with the others; we hadn't all been together at a meal yet.I eat on a schedule and I don't snack so I needed my dinner to be earlier than I could imagine was going to happen.
So I screwed up my courage and asked the dinner crew what their plans were and said that if they planned to eat late, I'd fix food for myself. I didn't want them to feel pressured to accommodate me and said so, but the grill chef made it clear she didn't want to hustle. I could have the first meat off the grill, she said, and eat my veggies later with everyone else. I took a deep breath and said that's not going to work for me. I eat one plate of food and I eat it all at one time. And I said again, I could go ahead and eat on my own (I'd brought plenty of food). In the end, we compromised. We ate an hour later than I wanted and an hour earlier than they wanted and it was okay.
I have struggled in the past in
asking for what I need but my commitment to this food plan is giving me great opportunities to speak up and to set boundaries around what works and what doesn't work for me.