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End of Year Countdown - Day 6

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

End of Year Countdown Ė Day 6
My Eating Out Challenge, to myself.

I eat out a lot. Too much, really, for anyone trying to stay healthy and be thinner. And even though I know better, I always seem to see eating out as some sort of special celebration which excuses me from sticking with my program.

One of my regular eating out events is with my Girlfriend Group, which I organized about 7 years ago, knowing I was going to retire and that it would be important to stay in touch with the women who had been my friends during my working life.

So I invited some friends to meet me for dinner and bring one of their friends with them. We planned to meet every second Tuesday for dinner, to laugh and talk and, oh yes, EAT, lol.

Weíre still doing that, about 6-8 of us regular members now, it fluctuates, and having a really good time. But during the years Iíve noticed one of my friends who is very petite and has been the same size all these years, while I feel Iím a regular up and down roller coaster.

So I began to watch her eat. I observe what she orders and I find that our monthly meal is never a ďfood celebrationĒ for her. She consistently chooses the healthiest dish she can find on the menu of whatever restaurant we visit.

Hmmmm. I think Iíll do that. And yesterday I met a friend at the Olive Garden, aka the Pasta Palace, lol. Pasta is not my friend because itís rather like an addictive drug to me and once I start I donít want to stop.

So I focused on the healthiest dish I could find on the menu and was determined not to be distracted by the dessert menu, the pasta dishes, the breadsticks. I canít remember the name of the dish I ordered but it consisted of the tiniest chicken breast Iíve ever seen, some barely steamed broccoli, asparagus and tomatoes. After lunch I had a cup of black coffee, nothing added.

My friend and I yakked for an hour and a half, laughing out loud a lot of the time, and I never missed the food I didnít order. At the end of the meal, I felt wonderful, not stuffed, and pretty virtuous, lol.

It carried over to dinner when I grilled another pretty small chicken breast with some hot sauce on it and opened a can of green beans.

So, hereís my one small victory over the Pasta Palace, and my continuing win on Day 6 of my countdown to make it through the two most tempting months of the year with no terrible stuffed feelings and no gains.

Focus. Awareness. Attention. Have to concentrate and take nothing for granted.



Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CEILIE2 11/14/2012 2:04PM

We went to the Olive Garden on Monday with is a real treat for us as we drive from Ontario over to Watertown NY for lunch! The border guards get a chuckle out of it when we tell them the reason for our visit to NY state is to go to the Olive Garden for lunch!(retired people have way too much time on their hands sometimes!)
emoticon on your choices.

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JUSTJO66 11/7/2012 2:03PM

    Inspirational read Karen. I, too, have observed the naturally thin people and how they eat. My husand is one of those "people." :o) It has always amazed me how "picky" he can be with his eating. Everything has to be just perfect temp., texture, etc. or he won't eat it. Also, he has been known to want a banana split...we drove over 30 mins. to get it and he ate a few bites and was full. NEVER me...I would eat the thing regardless of being full or not. I even ate a pc. of candy at work once and commented that it tasted like soap. A thin nurse friend asked me, "why did you eat it if it tasted like soap." I was surprised at my own answer..."well, it was candy." Amazing how different really naturally thin people think. I think we food addicts like myself have a lot to learn from observing them.
Keep up the blog...

Comment edited on: 11/7/2012 2:05:17 PM

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JOANNS4 11/7/2012 7:05AM


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PJSTIME 11/6/2012 7:30PM

    I'm meeting girlfriends at Olive Garden on Friday also. And I have already decided on salad and ministrone soup.

Thanks Karen we need to keep each other in line.

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KAYYVAUGHN 11/6/2012 3:30PM

    You are an inspiration. I'm meeting some teacher friends at Olive Garden Friday for lunch. Now I know what to order.

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    eating out is one of my main problems. I always know what the most healthy choice on the menu is but often don't order it. I have finally gotten to where I try to order a steak and a salad.

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JEANNE229 11/6/2012 9:55AM

    Karen, I identify with that so much. When I retired, I did the same thing (we call our group the "lunch bunch" and gather once a month for lunch. I have noticed over the months we've been meeting I seldom even notice what I am eating. So if, like you, I make the good choice at the beginning of the meal, I won't miss a thing. Too busy gabbing and laughing. Thanks for the reminder. Any "meal out" can turn into a food celebration or a celebration of friends. The latter is much healthier and much more fun!

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MAMABUGAZ 11/6/2012 8:59AM

    Karen --

I eat out a lot too. But, it's on my diet. Eating out is not a celebratory meal, or an excuse to splurge, except occasionally (no more than once a month, and, even then, NEVER a binge).

My strategy is like your friend's strategy. I choose something healthy from the menu. Also, I control portion sizes. I eat a half-portion, usually. When the serving is exceptionally large, I sometimes eat less than that.

Learn to eye-ball sizes at restaurants, even when they serve food on large plates. Imagine that you have a lunch-size plate in front of you.
- I choose a deck-of-card size portion of meat (2-3 oz),
- only 1/2 cup of something starchy; that's tennis-ball size (If anything -- I might just increase my vegetables instead)
- and a cup of vegetables (that's baseball-size).

The vegetables take of half of your imaginary lunch-size plate, the meat takes up a quarter of your plate, and your startch takes up the other quarter.

I'm real careful, though, about starches. I avoid or limit white flour products especially, and other "whites" (white rice, white sugar). I choose less starchy vegetables, rather than potatoes or corn.

I lost my 60 pounds, even while eating out in restaurants 3-4 times per week. And, I've mostly maintained that weight over the last year, while continuing to eat out frequently.

I also tried to track all of my food, even restaurant food, while losing weight. Many restaurant foods are in SP's food tracker, because others have entered them. Or, you can search for them online on the restaurant's own websites.

~ Faith

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CHRISTINASP 11/6/2012 8:51AM

    Lovely post.
I'm reminded of weight coach Marna Thall who at some point decided to study the habits of naturally thin people and learned so much that she wrote a(n e-)book about it!
If you want to be thin, she says, do as the thin people do!

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WOUBBIE 11/6/2012 8:13AM

    It's funny how we come to equate celebrations with excess. While it's a joy to eat together with friends and family, why do we sometimes think it gives us an excuse to eat the foods that we know are toxic to us?

My dear old Aunt Mary had a million food sensitivities and allergies and she knew them very well, and it would drive my mom nuts when they would go out to eat and she would have something that usually gave her problems. "Mary, why are you eating that if you know it gives you spasms?!" "Well, you know, sometimes I can get away with it!"

LOL! I think that's part of our mentality: we gamble that maybe this time the offending food won't make us feel bloated, pack on a few pounds, cause us gastric distress, etc. If it ALWAYS made us feel crappy we'd probably finally learn to just avoied it, but, "Well, you know, sometimes I can get away with it!"


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FISHINGLADY66 11/6/2012 8:04AM

    I'm so proud of you Karen. You have just taken a giant step to healthy eating while eating out. That is a hard habit to establish. emoticon emoticon Always keep this forward in your mind. emoticon job friend. ((Hugs))

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GABY1948 11/6/2012 7:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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