I was at dinner with a friend recently who is interested in losing weight. As she looked at the menu she asked my opinion on what food was ok. Was the grilled chicken a good idea, should she have the skinny margarita?
While I watched her agonize over her every decision, it brought back memories of myself over the years; watching everything I ate and sometimes making myself, and many times the people around me, crazy.
I’m still conscious of what I eat when I go out, I order dressings on the side and try to keep it healthy. But now I just try to pick a meal that I want, and then enjoy it. If I’m regularly eating healthy, one meal out will be ok. If I enjoy my meal, enjoy the company I’m with and stay present in the moment I’m less likely to feel deprived. Which means I’m less likely to go home afterward and binge on something else because I don’t feel satisfied.
When we restrict food, we’re not satisfied and then it can lead to eating a bag of chocolate or a plowing through a half gallon of ice cream. My binges were always alone, hidden, late at night. They led to incredible shame and guilt. I would vow to go the gym the next morning and be “perfect” with my food.
This kind of thinking just keeps us stuck in a vicious cycle. So, now when I go out to eat, I try to not be overly concerned with what I order. I do the best I can, but I try to focus more on enjoying the meal and the company. That doesn’t mean I have to go nuts and order a huge dessert and fried food, it just means I can be like a normal person.
Do you enjoy your meals when you’re out?