I can't see myself losing friends over quitting grain the way and alcoholic will lose his party buddies. Maybe if I started preaching grain abstinence to my friends, but it's pretty easy for me to just quietly order a salad without stomping on anyone's good time. Being a tea-totaler amongst hard drinkers stands out more. They're very conscious of you not drinking and it may make them defensive even if you're silent on the subject. Plus, they likely don't seem quite as witty as they used to if you don't have a few drinks in you.
My friends and family know about my dietary restrictions and they're cool with it. Most of my coworkers don't. It's pretty easy for me to just do what I do without anyone noticing. I didn't eat the pizza during the lunch meeting. They likely figure I'm just watching my weight or I'd already eaten. I don't take the beer someone brought in on a Friday? I have a long drive home. Besides, I'm not the only one. Some of the folks not drinking are Muslim so no one's going to push on that front. In general, most of my workplaces have been fairly "Don't ask, don't tell" about all sorts of personal matters. Diet is just one. I'd never comment on someone's plate just like I wouldn't ask them about their politics, religion, or personal relationships. Sure, sometimes these things come up as you get more friendly with some of them, but as most of us have learned in those sensitivity trainings, personal comments and questions are a minefield. Step away.
I have zero interest in using beer or foods with grains to fit in with work people, family gatherings or maintaining beer buddies.
I don't mind telling people that do those things politely that I wont touch them, no matter how much they think I should. If they wonder why, I show them before and after pics and then they start wondering if they should give them up too.
If people ask for input on what they are eating I tell them what I think, but I don't comment unless someone asks (which is pretty often).
People at work also know I went through thyroid hell and when that comes up, I get those questions. I helped one of my work buddies avoid a terrible mistake when an endo wanted to zap his thyroid with radioactive iodine and it turned out to be a false diagnosis.
Understood, but a lot of people do have an interest in that, and for them it is harder. Work is different, but when a person of, say, 40, finds that of his four best friends, three are steady drinkers and one likes to have four beers every Friday night, it can be very, very hard to change. I used to have a Friday night get-together with two friends of mine (both very light drinkers). This went on for a year until one of them moved out of the state. Now, if they had been heavy drinkers and we still did that, I am not sure how amenable to this change I would have been (esp. since after going Paleo, I found that even two beers gave me a hangover). So, the beer-based social life does not describe my situation, but I know it is very difficult for others.
I have two other friends who really like to drink, and I know for a fact that when I am with either one, I tend to consume a lot more alcohol. Much more. Now, both of them tend to tone it down radically if I just say something like, "I'd rather not drink tonight," which I do; but that's not true of everyone. Lots of friends will react, "I'd rather drink heavily tonight." It's important to acknowledge these difficulties so that people trying to change their lives are at least prepared for what they might go through.
Last edited by bookstorecowboy; 05-28-2011 at 12:20 PM.