Monday, January 10, 2011

My eating out rules.


True story: I love sharing with friends over food.
Recently my friend’s birthday celebrations got me thinking about what eating out means to me.

I know I love being able to celebrate over a plate with friends.
I know I love trying new restaurants or revisiting old favorites.

The thing is…I also know that being around lots of food makes me feel really uncomfortable. I don't feel safe. Can anyone relate? I feel pressured and guilty because of the temptation and the question of whether or not I should indulge, how much, etc.


I remember a woman in my first OA meeting last week was sharing that because she's been sick lately her disease (she's a recovering anorexic and bulimic) is excited. And I remember thinking, "WOW" because the word "excited" really nails how I feel about food when I leave the safety of my own home, my own kitchen.

But it's a scary kind of "excited" for those of us who realize how destructive food can be for us. It's really why I gave up Chinese food this year.

So that's why I have rules for eating out-- it's my first time actually writing them out:
  • Knowing in advance that I'll be eating out gives me time to mentally prepare myself.
  • And if possible knowing where I'll be eating also helps me mentally, especially if I can look at the menu online beforehand to make decisions (entree and appetizer, or just an entree, etc.) so I don't order too much food to overeat. 
  • When my food does come, it helps me to consider what's in front of me before I eat. I can decide if it's too much food and if yes, I should save half to take home with me.
  • Just drink water. Sweet drinks makes me crave more sugar (a.k.a refills or dessert)
  • Leave eating out for special occasions or just not an everyday/every weekend sort of thing. It's a great way to save money and I'm much more comfortable and I feel safe when I prepare my meals at home because I know exactly what's in it. If I want to get together with a friend, instead of meeting at a restaurant for a meal, a coffee shop or a frozen yogurt shop are great alternatives.  Or just cooking together, which is always fun.


    Rosa said...

    I use eating out as a treat-bender. I want to have anything and everything because who knows when we will go out again. I mean money doesn't grow on trees and eating out with 3 kids and their acting up and out requires that I get a sugary sweet; I deserve it. I truly need that chocolate-molten-lava-mt.vesuvius-delight.

    So we rarely go out and I experiment at home without going crazy with the treats. But I still overeat even in the safety of my own home. I have to get myself together in general.

    Trisha said...

    I adore your honesty. I truly do! The list is perfect! I try my hardest to know where I am going in advance so I can view the online menus, and have a few items picked out before I go. I also make sure to see what would be the worst option, so I know to stay far away from that one.

    Anne H said...

    Cool give it up and walk on by and you'll wonder what you ever liked about it. Except maybe on occasional treat!

    :Deliciously Healthy said...

    Great tips! Looking up the menu and nutrition facts before I go, definitely helps me to make healthy decisions while eating out.

    MizFit said...

    for me I do what you have above and just really remind myself it is about the company and the NOT HAVING TO CLEAR THE FREAKIN TABLE---no matter what I eating :)

    it could be the same stuff Id have at home and that alone is a gift.

    Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher said...

    - Me too, Rosa. A large part of me overeating at restaurants is that it's 'rich' stuff that I don't have often.
    - Trisha, HA! I love that you seek out the worst option. Great idea :)))
    - Yes, Anne :)) An occasional treat is exactly what I'm thinking.
    - Thanks, :DH.
    - Hahahahahah, Miz Fit!! Yes, EXACTLY. I don't have to clear the table. Ha!

    paulawannacracker said...

    alexia, I've recently made it a habit to look up the menu whenI go out to eat. I love it and I don't know but FOOD IS ALWAYS BETTER WHEN SOMEONE ELSE COOKS IT. But I've found that if I'm more deligent with looking at the menu and taking the initiative to ask my waiter not to cook my veggies in oil or butter--I mena we really have to be CLEAR about how we want our food.

    It's something I learned in Vegas where we spent 3 days eating out. I was careful and I learned that going to a restaurant doesn't mean I get fried mozzarella sticks. So tell me how was your OA meeting?

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