Don't invite me to your dinner party.
Seriously. Don’t do it.
If you do, you may feel like I am judging you. Like I am watching your every move, critiquing and grading you.
I am not, of course. I wouldn’t think of doing that. But that is how many people feel. Whether it's the third course of the meal when you're already full, or any talk of dessert after you just ate the delicious third course, I can sense the glance in my direction to see how I respond.
And don’t get me started on your third beer or third glass of wine or the amazing homemade Challah bread. You feel like I am watching and judging.
At first, I was a little disturbed by the perception. Can’t I just be another friend at your dinner party? Can’t you just see me as Bret, and not as Dr. Scher?
But now I realize it's a sign of success. Success that you are starting to get the message. Success that you are starting to realize all the unconscious decisions that go into preparing a meal and hosting a party, and you are starting to make them more conscious.
Recognizing the automatic lifestyle decisions and giving them serious thought is a tremendous improvement for our lifestyle and our health.
That doesn’t mean we cannot indulge on occasion. You can still serve dessert, even if I am at your dinner party. You can still prepare more food than anybody needs to eat, including the homemade Challah.
But now you can do it consciously. Not because it is what you always do, or what you think your guests expect. You can do it knowing that it is a special occasion, a rare splurge that you intend to enjoy with your friends (and me, if I am invited).
Remember it's not about being perfect. It's about being better every day, every week, every month, every year. So, go ahead and enjoy your life. Indulge on occasion. Just understand that your path to health is an everyday path. Be present, and be aware of your decisions. Strive to be better.
And please keep inviting me to your dinner parties. I promise to behave.
Thanks for reading.
Bret Scher, MD FACC
Cardiologist, author, founder of Boundless Health