For the past two nights I've had to go out to a restaurant for dinner, the first with girlfriends, and last night with my husband. I have been trying to avoid restaurants because it doesn't really matter which restaurant you pick, my favorite item on the menu will most likely be the worst one for you. Cheese, bread, pasta, beef, I love it all.
I surprised myself on night one at Olive Garden. I ordered water to drink. I did enjoy a bread stick, but normally I would have indulged in two or three, so I considered that a small victory. I ate salad, of course, and then had a bowl of soup as my entree. All the while I was eyeing my girlfriends' dishes of chicken alfredo, Italian pizza and fried ravioli. (Note: They're all pencil-thin and fabulous, and of course they can eat whatever the hell they want with no consequences. Sometimes I hate them.) I was proud of myself though, and then even felt a little smug as I thought about how later my girlfriends would feel bloated and overly full while I would be satisfied and comfortable.
I didn't intend to return to a restaurant so soon, not wanting to test my sudden willpower. My husband called from work during the day, though, insisting that we hadn't been out to eat in a long time, and he wanted us to have a fun dinner with the kids and my mother. I caved, because he's so charming and persuasive, and we ended up at Texas Roadhouse. Hereinafter known as my arch nemesis. We'll call it Tex.
Tex - for those of you who have never had the misfortune of eating there - is this southern-styled, cozy and welcoming chain that serves big, hearty meals that are guaranteed to stick to your ribs and clog your arteries. Portion sizes are ridiculous, and the food is DELICIOUS. They serve this baby blossom, which is exactly the same thing as a bloomin' onion from Outback Steakhouse. It's battered and fried onions that you dip in sauce. I don't even want to know how much fat/calories are packed into that little appetizer, but I can tell you with certainty that it's good. Husband, of course, ordered one. I ordered my water with lemon and talked to myself in my head for about five minutes, assuring myself that I could, indeed, have a baby blossom sitting right in front of me and not eat it. I could. Waitress returned, set the blossom down, and I caved in less than a minute. I just wanted a bite. Which turned into about four. Although I gave in and had some, I didn't use any sauce, and I only ate four pieces, so I didn't torture myself too hard.
I had only had a yogurt and a small salad throughout the day, and my mom encouraged me to quit thinking about "diet" for one meal and just order whatever I wanted. The fat chick jumped on that bandwagon and started an inner monologue about how I've done so well the past couple of weeks and I should reward myself by having roadkill (it sounds disgusting, but it's so good) or one of those giant mesquite BBQ burgers that no normal adult should ever be able to eat in one sitting.
After a moment of temptation, I shut the fat girl up with more water and then ordered a grilled chicken breast and vegetables.
I know it doesn't sound like much, but for me, the chick who really loves to eat almost like it's a hobby, this was a massive victory.
On the way home I was contemplating this continual fight I have with myself - and I don't want to call it a diet, because that implies temporary instead of permanent - I came to the conclusion that this quest I'm on to lose weight and make myself healthier feels a lot like a series of small battles. (Queue the Full House serious moment music) I might lose a battle here or there, and I will have days where I feel like it would be so much easier to just give in and eat what I want when I want, and sit on my couch instead of exercising. If I give up, though, I have lost the war. If I win one small battle at a time - one meal at a time, one day at a time - eventually I will win this war. I will kill this eternally hungry fat girl, and she will never come back.
Happy New Year, everybody.