I went out to dinner this week with some women friends whom I haven’t seen in awhile. I was looking forward to the social time, but also looking forward to a nice big, fresh salad with lots of great stuff in it. My day had been hurried, and my food choices not the most “wholesome”, so I was really craving that salad.
When we arrived at the restaurant and I announced my choice for dinner- a wave of disappointment swept over the faces of my friends. “A salad?” they questioned, “Come on, you’ re out to dinner, live a little!” Well, I actually thought I was living a little! Salads always taste so much better when someone else does the work, and how could I pass up candied pecans, chicken and pears with gorgonzola cheese? Despite their disappointment, I still had the salad and it was fabulous. But, it got me to thinking, why do women try and “sabotage” each other’s efforts to eat healthy?
I have come across this phenomenon many times- of lesser and greater degrees- the most damaging being the nachos, french fries and chocolate cake extravaganza. That’s not to say that I expect myself and others to be martyrs or neurotic food nazis- but why can’t a big salad bring as much pleasure as nachos? I think it’s because somehow people get used to thinking that dinners out are a time to splurge- to gorge- to overeat. However, we all go out enough nowadays that this shouldn’t be the case. I certainly can understand if someone only goes out once every few months, but… every week? There’s a subconscious thought when we go out to dinner that “I deserve this” (but, we ignore the fact that overeating is not a”reward” but a punishment). And, lastly we want others to overeat with us because seeing others eat healthy while we are gorging on cheese fries makes us feel guilty, and with good reason. Many of the foods served in massive quantities at restaurants these days are just plain bad for you! Let’s join together and stop trying to convince each other to overeat- or overdrink for that matter- because it’s really a self-destructive behavior, and God knows we women need to support each other in this quest to love ourselves and eat healthy. So, make a pact with your friends today- healthy eating is achievable even when out to dinner! And, eating a salad for dinner leaves room to share a piece of chocolate cake!