I am a self-proclaimed foodie. I love eating, I love cooking, and I love restaurants. I love it all. When my friends and I are planning a get-together, it typically involves a restaurant. And same goes for many people. Forbes published a recent article on women and the competitiveness surrounding dieting, body-image, and food choices, particularly in restaurants. My first thought: I don’t do this.
After a little self-reflection, I admit…I sometimes do fall into this trap, as well.Very much so unbeknown to me until now, by the way.
The first thing that popped into my head: cart surfing. Admittedly, I cart surf. When I'm standing in line at the grocery store, I do look to see what consumers are buying. Sometimes, their carts reflect their weight status...other times not. However, I like to call this "market research"...not cart judgment.
I have a friend or two whose metabolisms I envy. Health aside, I do wish cheeseburgers, french fries, Hamburger Helper, and homemade chocolate chip cookies were staples in my diet…without the addition of unwanted pounds, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension, however. There are definitely those out there who are just blessed. And while we like to dwell on the unfair luck of those individuals, we must recognize that they are far and few between. And we must recognize, that we cannot "keep up with them," as my mother used to explain as the ice cream truck slowly passed by my off-the-charts physique since the age of...birth.
On the flip side, there are those individuals who make you feel at ease and judgment-free when consuming something that may be.... “recommended in moderation.” As a kid growing up, my best friend and I would egg-on one another's poor food selections and converse about our diet short-comings at length. A lot. Surprise: we were both "chubby" kids, to put it nicely. We'd seek each other out to induldge in our local favorites: wings at Shanahans, falafel at Grape Leaves, et cetera. When we surround ourselves with or are surrounded by individuals consuming a diet we know to be not ideal, we do feel comfort when indulging in the same fashion, and we become desensitized to the implications and results of our actions. This is one huge reason obesity tends to appear in entire family and friend units, and not just scattered throughout.
That friend I just mentioned...she's visiting Mark and I this weekend. I'd better not let her drag me down, right? :)
While I follow a fairly steady diet of “80-20” (80% spot-on healthy eating, 20% more lenient intake), I readily admit that my dining out falls into my 20% allotment. I am a dietitian and a regular exerciser...but when I enter a restaurant don't expect me to be ordering grilled chicken and/or a salad! Sorry to disappoint, but I can make that at home a heck of a lot better for way less money. Limit the damage, have a plan, and eat moderately - that's my restaurant "Plan of Attack".
For so long, my now husband and I were in a long-distance relationship -- Italy-to-Chicago and Chicago-to-Michigan. When we were together, it was typically a whole to-do and we celebrated. Dinner, drinks, and maybe even the occasional dessert. He could surely reason as to why I didn’t boast the 115 lb figure suggested for my height…according to BMI standards, right? Yet, after living together for several months now, and with a steady diet of my cooking, I think he’s come to find out that my 80-20 really is 80-20…and I wasn’t just kidding myself. (Duh).
Read the Forbes article. Laugh a little. Eat, drink, and be merry…consciously. Darn us mean, conniving women!