Last week was my husband’s birthday. He chose to go to dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant. I chose to eat well:)
Usually, Mexican food means lots of chips and a very fattening, overstuffed, cheese topped entree. Yumalicious. But not this time. No chips for me. Not one. For my entree I chose fajitas and ate them with only one specially requested low-carb wheat tortilla. Hubby got my old favorite: a chubby burrito. It lives up to its name, as would I if I kept eating them like I had in the past.
After dinner we stopped at the Cheesecake Factory to pick up some decadent dessert. (Hubby chose that over me baking something that would be around to tempt us for days.) He chose some amazing looking layered chocolate cake with mousse. I chose to get nothing. He told me, “You know I’m not sharing with you, right?” I replied, “Yes.” And was glad that he was being unusually selfish as the birthday boy. (Typically he is an awesome dessert sharer.) Our teen, who has no food issues and only eats when he is hungry, was full from a double order of fajitas and got no dessert either. Oh the things we can learn from our kids!
A few days later I went out to lunch with some friends. I chose the same thing I choose every time I go to this particular little “ladies that lunch” spot: curry mango walnut raisin chicken salad. It’s served on a bed of greens and I got the vinaigrette on the side but ended up not using any. And I literally did not even touch the freshly baked breadstick that came with it. Ah, social eating success!
And a few days after that we went out to dinner with friends. This is a couple who we have been going out with about once a month for many years. We love to try new restaurants. We love to indulge from start to finish. And I’m the only one in the group who is sometimes watching what I eat while I am watching what THEY eat! So I decided that I was going to enjoy the meal but do it with moderation. (Yes, the dreaded “M” word. I was facing it with unusual optimism.) I had a small portion of both appetizers that we ordered for the table. I chose a sensible entree, a stuffed chicken dish with lentils and carrots. And I had my husband’s asparagus since he is not a fan. Instead of ordering my own dessert, which everyone else did, I had a couple of small tastes of two of the others. I did it all feeling relatively no guilt. And then there are the things I did NOT eat. Or drink. No martini for me (but I did taste the berry-tini that someone else ordered) and not one nibble of fresh, hot, crusty bread. And, on the way out the door at the end of the meal I did not slip my hand into the bowl of Andes Mints sitting on the hostess stand.
So I’m going to summarize like this…
In one week I had three social eating engagements at three different restaurants. I handled each differently, depending on the situation. At the end of it all. the best thing, and this is a biggie for me, is that I feel like I ate normally. Not normal for me, necessarily, but like a normal person. A person who can go out to eat now and then and enjoy herself without overdoing things or feeling particularly deprived. A person who can handle moderation. A person who doesn’t pre-cheat or post-cheat or let social eating start a week-long binge of off plan overeating. I can’t think of the words to describe how I feel about this as I sit here typing, the morning after, filled with no regret but instead, a sense of calm. Normal? Well, I’m not sure I’d go that far yet. I mean, really, does a normal eater find something to write about in the fact that she handled social eating? Me thinks not. But I’m inching my way closer:) One mouthful at a time.