Went out to dinner with my daughter, tonight. I was worried when I went into the restaurant because I was extremely hungry (which can lead to making bad choices), but overall I think I did well. I was very proud of myself for eating only half the fries on my plate. This is a pretty big deal for me, because I subscribe to the clean plate club, which means if it is on my plate, I eat it…
- Even if I’m not hungry anymore.
- Even if I don’t like it.
- Even if I know it is bad for me.
I also scraped the garlic butter off the steak. That is worth fewer pats on the back because seriously, who puts butter on steak. But I get some credit because I didn’t slather it all over my broccoli.
My meal came with dessert, and I was going to pass, but my daughter wanted the Peanut Butter Pie. I looked up the calories and it was 780 calories; more than her steak and shrimp entrée. She looked at me in surprise and said, “For that little piece of cake?” I suggested that if she didn’t want that many calories she could eat part and leave part. Then I gave her advice that I never heard until I was an adult: It is okay to leave a few bites of whatever you are eating. I give her an awful lot of credit because she left about 3 bites of that pie on the plate, and I’m not sure I could have. I actually find it easier not to have any at all. This whole experience prompted a discussion of why it is so hard to leave food or throw food away.
I would love to blame my parents for this one. My dad especially was big on finishing what you were served, and kids who cleaned their plate were rewarded and picky eaters were punished. Much as I like this scenario, there were 8 children who lived through my dad’s food fascism and most of my siblings don’t have the same eating issues I do.
I know some people don’t like leaving food because it is wasteful. That sounds like a pretty good excuse, but I can’t claim this one either. I throw a ton of food away all the time. I have this thing about food that might possibly maybe almost be starting to go bad. When I get my weekly groceries the first thing I do is throw away anything that I didn’t eat from the previous week. This often means a half loaf of bread, a quarter gallon of milk, and anything from the produce or meat aisle gets tossed. So leaving a few french fries on a plate shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Which leaves me with what? I often feel that the food in front of me is the last good food I will ever see. It is an irrational feeling, I know. In my head I can tell myself that there are always more fries tomorrow, or another piece of cake, or whatever, but my stomach (which definitely has a mind of its own) doesn’t always believe it. I feel this even more strongly on holidays and at parties, but it can hit at any point, and so that would explain why I can’t leave my favorite foods. But…
…it still doesn’t explain why I finish off foods I don’t like, or, worse yet, when I keep eating when I am full past bursting. I’ve done this so many times and it is embarrassing to me.
I guess I don’t have a real ending to this post. It is more questions and few answers. The one thing I’m enjoying about this diet this time is that, at least right now, I’m making sure that I really enjoy the foods I’m eating. When you limit how many calories you can have in a day, you really want to appreciate the ones you do choose.