Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Whole New Month

What an incredibly busy week this has turned out to be.  Mr. B and I had several things we needed to accomplish prior to his beginning the summer school class he teaches.  Some of those things we could have done last week, but as you know, he ended up spending a full day with his parents and we were without air conditioning one day (when it was 96 degrees).  That eliminated any possibility of "house" things.  But with some planning and teamwork, which we are pretty good at, we spent Monday celebrating my mother's 82nd birthday, Tuesday was all about domestic type things and yesterday, was OUR day.  And we PLAYED!!  We drove up to the Clingman's Dome area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where it was a blissfully cool 63 degrees.  We did some walking, a whole lot of talking and indulged in a nice picnic lunch.  It was a wonderful day.  This morning, he began his summer school session with a full class of 40. 

I am somewhat disappointed with a loss of only 3 1/2 pounds during the month of June.  I knew that the rate of loss would be slower this time around because my eating plan was different, but I had still hoped for a 5-6 pound loss each month.  Around mid-June, I decided that, just for July, I'd return to the very regimented eating plan I used in 2006-2007 when I lost 60+ pounds.  I averaged an 8-9 pound loss per month.  But now that July is here, I can't find the motivation to do that.  I've begun to truly enjoy being creative with meal planning and with the gorgeous produce coming in, I just plain don't want to miss out.  I'm finding great ideas and recipes in other blogs and online - bottom line is, this time around, I want to choose to be happy with a slower rate of loss instead of being impatient and seeking a quick fix.  After all, I'm only 20 1/2 pounds from goal.  Even at this slow rate of loss, I'd still be at or near goal before 2011.  And the way I am eating now, transitioning into maintenance should be easier.  That transition phase has always seemed to be my downfall, so maybe all my questioning now is just a way of thinking ahead..............Wow, got on a bit of a ramble, didn't I????    

This past Monday, we celebrated my mother's 82nd birthday by taking her and my dad to Cades Cove for some scenic driving then to lunch at Miss Lily's Cafe in Townsend, TN.   I know that what I am about to say is pretty radical, but I am not a huge fan of restaurant eating.  It just seems to me that the quality of food served in restaurants continues to deteriorate while the prices (and portion sizes) continue to rise. I also learned very early on that I could not lose or maintain an acceptable weight eating in restaurants with any degree of regularity. I simply did not have the desire or willpower to choose items I didn't want just because they were on whatever eating plan I happened to be following. If I couldn't have the bread, dessert, sauce, casseroles, etc., I preferred not to go at all.  The sacrifice was just not worth the money spent or socialization gained.  

So Mr. B and I made the decision when deciding whether or not I could retire, that dining in restaurants was an area we could easily eliminate except on special occasions or in circumstances beyond our control.  We aren't obnoxious about it. When friends invite us to go out for a meal, we go.  When we receive gift cards, we gratefully use them. When someone wants to take us out as a gift, we go and enjoy it.  When my mother's birthday rolls around, we take her out because that is HER favorite thing to do and something my dad will not take the initiative and plan. 

Miss Lily's is a lovely cafe where we've eaten several times.  I carefully scanned the menu online prior to our visit and made the choice of what I would order with the high and mighty proclamation to Mr. B that I would not even open a menu once we were seated.  Well, of course, that didn't happen.  Not only did I open the menu, but promptly ordered an entire lunch that included NOTHING of what I had planned.  When our food arrived, I ate every bite and only after I was back home did I have the "what was that all about??" moment.  It is a scenario that happens time and time again with me and restaurants.  Is it possible for a restaurant, ANY restaurant to be a "trigger" food?  It works better for me to avoid them altogether and when faced with a situation beyond my control, just do the best I can, eat what I want and compensate for it later. 

Now is one of those times I wish my blog was older and I had more readers because I would love to have a lot of feedback on this issue.   How often do you eat in restaurants?  Why do you eat in restaurants?   Do you plan ahead by looking up the menu and choosing what you will order?  Do you generally follow through?  Is it worth it to choose something "on plan" when you see things you'd much rather have?  Do you relate amount of money you are spending with ordering something that might not be exactly what you want?  Share with me any thoughts you have.  I'm interested.

I have two holiday challenges coming up this weekend.  Both are cookouts and both will be difficult.  I'm sure I'm not alone and there will be lots of blogging over the next few days providing suggestions and encouragement.  We've got to help each other.  


  1. The answer for me is: it depends. If possible, I ask for a lunch portion (vs. a huge dinner portion). I often plan what I want to eat, but I am not too strict with it. I am not shy about asking for what I want ("can I substitute vegetables with no butter for the fries?"). I do eat what I will enjoy though, because if I don't I find I will make up for it or feel jipped in other areas. My philosophy is similar to yours in that this is not a race. I am trying to make decisions I feel are sustainable forever (i.e., a lifestyle not a diet), and that does not include salads only. I will occasionally have a burger -- but I am with you that it shouldn't be every meal from a restaurant.

  2. When I am in diet mode, I don't go out at all. Perhaps I'm too cynical, but I don't trust any place to prepare my food the way I want/need it to be. The server may readily agree to have something prepared with out added fat, for instance, but how do you know? J-boy and I don't eat out much anyway, so it isn't a huge sacrifice.

    I think that plays in to my inability to be strict with my dieting while I'm eating out. It is such a special treat, I want to enjoy it and not feel deprived.

    I don't know how helpful this really is, but I think we're kindred spirits in this respect.

  3. YOU SAID:
    "I simply did not have the desire or willpower to choose items I didn't want just because they were on whatever eating plan I happened to be following. If I couldn't have the bread, dessert, sauce, casseroles, etc., I preferred not to go at all."

    I really enjoy dining out, but it only works if my dinner companion is an enforcer, and not an enabler. I usually ask my companion to keep me away from the bread and the dessert. An enforcer does that job well, but an enabler doesn't say anything.

  4. I totally agree with you about restaurants. Our budget can't fit in a bunch of high-priced restaurant meals anyway. I know that if we begin eating at a full-service restaurant even once a week I'll gain a lot of weight. We choose to eat at home most of the time. I can fix us a great salmon dinner that costs a total of around $4.00 for both of us. One salmon dinner at a restaurant here would be around $20.00.

    We do go to fast food restaurants more often than full service. We just order something that is healthier (now that I'm off of hamburgers, finally). We prefer McDonald's grilled chicken salads and I always take my own low-fat dressing with us.

    I will fall into the trap of ordering fattening stuff most of the time if I go to a full service restaurant. They lure me in with those menu pics and food descriptions.

    I'm also trying to learn NOT to celebrate every occasion with food.

    Margie M. writes at:

  5. When I am eating on plan, as I have tried to do for the last six months now, I rarely go to restaurants. Hubby and I do go out with friends about every six weeks or so. And we ate out for Father's Day and on vacations. Most times now I try to pick a place that will not overly tempt me and, yes, I look up the menu online in advance and commit to a few healthier options. I would rather save the money if I can't splurge on the food. Hubby sometimes goes out with his brother to get a fix while I happily much and apple and peanut butter on my own at home.