Archive for the ‘Eating Out’ Category

Dealing with the “Forbidden Fruit”

How can I better frame/label a dessert buffet, whether it is at a gathering at someone’s house or at a function, so that it is not such a big anxiety-ridden deal, that I don’t look at dessert as “forbidden fruit”?

What if at future occasions where there is going to be dessert buffets, before I even get there, gave myself permission to go over my calorie count that day by a few hundred calories?  (Logically, I know that if I go over my calorie count once in a while it will not be the end of the world.  I have proved that to myself in the past when I have had little slips.  Twenty pounds does not magically jump onto my body from eating 200 calories over my count once in a while.)  What if I allowed myself to have bits of desserts that I thought looked good and stopped making it seem like “forbidden fruit.”  Would it take away the yearning and compulsion to eat something  I know I shouldn’t?  If I were kinder to myself that way, would that be liberating and freeing for me? 

What if I stopped working so hard at being so disciplined with my eating at these ‘events’ and allowed myself to be free and human, and not make the desserts into such a taboo thing.  And while I prefer to eat my calories instead of drinking them, what if I had one entire drink with my dinner so I can relax a little bit and let my hair down, instead of having to cut out dessert or part of my meal to make up for the calories.

The million dollar question:  If I did these things, made the dinner drink and desserts acceptable, would it be the greatest, most freeing thing in the world, or would it lead me back to binging?

Is my strict, discipline (read: control) the reason for my success of almost two years  of abstinence and keeping my weight loss for over a year, or perhaps would trying to let go of my strictness going somehow free me and my mind from the angst?

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Dealing with the "Forbidden Fruit"

How can I better frame/label a dessert buffet, whether it is at a gathering at someone’s house or at a function, so that it is not such a big anxiety-ridden deal, that I don’t look at dessert as “forbidden fruit”?

What if at future occasions where there is going to be dessert buffets, before I even get there, gave myself permission to go over my calorie count that day by a few hundred calories?  (Logically, I know that if I go over my calorie count once in a while it will not be the end of the world.  I have proved that to myself in the past when I have had little slips.  Twenty pounds does not magically jump onto my body from eating 200 calories over my count once in a while.)  What if I allowed myself to have bits of desserts that I thought looked good and stopped making it seem like “forbidden fruit.”  Would it take away the yearning and compulsion to eat something  I know I shouldn’t?  If I were kinder to myself that way, would that be liberating and freeing for me? 

What if I stopped working so hard at being so disciplined with my eating at these ‘events’ and allowed myself to be free and human, and not make the desserts into such a taboo thing.  And while I prefer to eat my calories instead of drinking them, what if I had one entire drink with my dinner so I can relax a little bit and let my hair down, instead of having to cut out dessert or part of my meal to make up for the calories.

The million dollar question:  If I did these things, made the dinner drink and desserts acceptable, would it be the greatest, most freeing thing in the world, or would it lead me back to binging?

Is my strict, discipline (read: control) the reason for my success of almost two years  of abstinence and keeping my weight loss for over a year, or perhaps would trying to let go of my strictness going somehow free me and my mind from the angst?

Dream Dinner Out as Non-Compulsive Overeater

Man, what I would give to be able to have a normal relationship with food, instead of being a compulsive overeater, even just for one night out to eat. 

 Here is how this dream dinner at a restaurant would look…  (cue the dream sequence music…)  I would read over the entire menu and see what I was in the mood for, regardless of whether or not the food had a cream sauce, if it was breaded and/or fried, if it was healthy, or what the starch being served along with it was.  Of course I would be perusing this menu as I enjoyed an exotic alcoholic beverage.

I would order whatever I felt like, maybe even opt for a creamy soup instead of a salad, or oh my goodness, maybe I would even order an appetizer that was fried.  I would have a piece or two of the bread and spread some butter on it.  I would be served all of these foods and be able to stop eating them when I felt like I’d had enough.  I would leave the remainder sitting in front of me, no problem, feeling completely happy and satiated with whatever portion I just ate.

To finish the meal, I would choose any dessert that looked good to me.  I would eat some of it until I was satisfied, then simply be able to just move the plate away or sit with it right in front of me  and not give it another thought, have no longing for it whatsoever.

In this dream, if I perhaps felt I ate too much on this night out, I would quite simply eat a bit less the next day and it wouldn’t phase me a bit.  No hunger pains or obsession for the same decadent foods.  Ho-hum, just another day.

How I wish that this wasn’t a dream.  How I wish I could eat in a restaurant just as I described,  just like anyone who has a normal relationship with food, and that the above situation would just be a regular night of eating out for me.

What would your dream dinner out as a person who has a normal relationship with food  look like?

Why I Eat Salad When we go out for Dinner

My husband asked me the other day why I always eat salad as my entrée whenever we go out to dinner.  The answer was a no-brainer for me – I get to stuff my mouth repeatedly with food, which fulfills my desire to feed my face, yet I get the most bang for the buck – I eat tons of food which doesn’t equate to a lot of calories.   Volumetrics I think it’s called.  Seriously!

I usually just get a whole plate of lettuce with either grilled chicken or shrimp on top, with a light dressing on the side for dipping.  I get to eat what appears to be an awful lot of food, I can totally eat every morsel of the food, I will feel full and wallah, I have calories to spare for some dessert!  What could be better than that?!!?!?

On top  of all that, I have been, and still am, a very picky eater (something sadly that my 10-yr old daughter has gotten through the gene pool from me).  Anyway, I really only like a handful of vegetables (and that is pushing it) and a handful of fruit.  So to me, eating a dark leaf /spinach salad is filling the void of the lack of other vegetables which I tend to skip otherwise.  Once again, in my mind, a win-win situation.

So that is the reason, honey, why I always order salad as my entrée when we go out to dinner.  It’s working for me, so why fix it if it ain’t broken?

Eating Popcorn at a Comedy Club Follow-Up

So to follow-up on my blog from a couple of weeks ago about my concern over how I was going to deal with eating the popcorn at the comedy club, here is what happened… 

I brought along my little plastic cup and was armed with the knowledge of the amount of calories per plastic cup.  I knew I could have up to five cups if I so desired.  So, giddy with anticipation of both the popcorn I would get to eat, and the fact that I had an acceptable plan in place, off we went.

Turns out that they no longer had baskets for the replenishing on the table, the new system was you had to pay a dollar a bag.  No problem!  Our table of six ordered two bags, being not quite sure what to expect.  So the waitress brought our drinks and the two bags.  Well, surely the calorie gods were smiling on me because there was actually a nutrition label on the bag.  This was my lucky night!  I did not have to bear any funny looks for using my little plastic cup and I knew exactly how many calories were in the bag.   I could not believe my luck!!

As I was sharing the bag with a girlfriend who was just nibbling, I knew that I could order another bag when this one was finished.  I relished being able to get a second bag, eat most of it, and still be within my allotted calorie limit.  So when our bag was almost empty and the waitress came by to see if we needed any more drinks, I asked if she would please bring us another bag of popcorn.  Her response was – we are out of popcorn. What?!?!?  How can that be? 

Needless to say, after all of the build up (from myself) I was very disappointed to not get the treat that I had totally planned for.  On the bright side, well, not at that moment but in hindsight, there was nothing else available to eat so I came in at a lower calorie count for the day.  That worked out well because the following night was Halloween and I went a little bit over my calorie allotment that night.  See, things always happen for a reason.  The man upstairs wanted me to have chocolate, not popcorn. : )

Eating Popcorn at a Comedy Club

Such as this sickness does to me, I’m already thinking about how I’m going to handle eating out at a comedy club a couple of weeks away. 

The last time we went there, they had baskets of  popcorn on each of the tables with endless refills from the waitress.  So for me, it was either have none or go to town.  There is no in between.  I went to town.  Was popcorn the worst thing to have a little too much of?  No.  It wasn’t like I was gorging on chocolate, put it was still eating food compulsively simply because it was there.  It’s the behavior, the principle of it.  When I got home, I had to do by best to guesstimate how many cups of it I scarfed down to get an idea of how many calories I consumed.  Lord forbid if I couldn’t count the calories so I knew what I consumed.

Ok, so now I know the popcorn will be there so I can plan accordingly.  I will skip dessert after dinner. I can research how many calories are in a cup of popcorn and then the question is, how do I measure it in front of our friends without looking like a complete kook.  After giving it way too much thought, I have decided to bring along a plastic solo cup, scoop the popcorn into the cup and keep track of how many cups I consume.  If they think I’m a kook, so be it.  I have to think of what is best for me first, right?  Maintaining my abstinence is paramount to my recovery.

I find it sadly ridiculous that I use even one brain cell to think about this.  I feel pathetic.  I feel like no-one else worries about this type of stuff, though I know through OA I’m not alone.  Still, I wish I just had a normal relationship with food and could just enjoy some popcorn (that didn’t come out of a microwave bag so I know exactly how many calories are in it) and be able to push it away after having a moderate amount just like most people do.  I am hopeful that maybe one day that will be the case.  Until then, I am just taking it day by day.