Monday, September 8, 2014

How Others Eat

I'm watching you.  Yes, you.  And you...and you, too.  I'm not judging.  But I am observing how you eat.

Back in 2008, when I was dieting and sometimes feeling sorry for myself, I would see you in a restaurant, eating something fabulous, and I would think "how can she eat that and be so thin when I can't" - and yes, there might have been some internal whining included with that thought.

When I finished my diet and was starting to figure out how to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss, I would see you in a restaurant, eating something fabulous, and I would think "it must be a special occasion, because there's no way a thin person like her can eat like that all the time and not gain weight" - and I felt better about the fact that I still had to limit what I ate in order to maintain my weight.

As the years passed, and the agony of how hard I'd worked to lose weight began to fade, I would see you in a restaurant, eating something fabulous, and I would think "yes, I can eat like her because obviously she can eat well and remain thin" - and I would order something that wasn't always the best choice for this formerly overweight person.

It's a process, this whole losing weight and keeping it off deal.  I've had occasional blips, but I'm on autopilot most of the time, routinely turning down treats and pretty much eating my regular, standard meals.  I like that food doesn't take such a strong, front-and-center role in my thoughts on a daily basis like it once did.  Sure, special places or occasions will warrant more emphasis on food, but that's the exception rather than the norm for me now.

Jeff and I usually split our meals when we go out.  While it works for us, I had the impression that this was not what most couples do.  So I was a little jarred recently when we went out to dinner with some friends.  Naturally, we were all talking so much that we could barely get our orders placed before rejoining the conversation.  We had a great time, and it wasn't until our meals were delivered and we all paused to take a few bites that I realized, with the exception of one person, everyone else had either split their entree with their partner, or had ordered a salad.  Huh.  People eat like us.  We eat like them.  This is more normal than I realized. 

Maybe I wasn't watching the right people all along?

32 comments:

  1. What a great post! I like splitting meals with people when I go out cus the portions you get at restaurants are out of control. But the people in my party ( usually husband or sister) don't always like to share! Perhaps I am going out to eat with the wrong people!

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    1. Nah, it sounds like you're eating with the right people...they just really like to eat! ;)

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  2. INTERESTING!!! we are fo' sho' not splitters :0) the husband loves him some spicy foods.

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  3. You and I have had this conversation - Mr. Helen will often split appetizer or dessert but rarely ever a main course. That man loves his leftovers. He will order a giant meal knowing he's not going to eat the whole thing lol! What I've learned to do a lot of the time, is order an appetizer as my main dish. Much more reasonable portion IMHO.

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    1. I'm right with you on getting an appetizer as a main course. Too often in Texas all app offerings are deep fried, though, which doesn't work great for trying to eat somewhat healthily.

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  4. I never split my meal with anyone but that's because most dishes in the US are way way bigger than what they serve here. Usually a dish here is enough for 1.

    My best friend is thin and when we go out to dinner, she eats what she wants and that is sometimes more than I do. But her secret is that she makes choices. If she knows she's going out to dinner that night, she limits her food intake through the day. If someone has treats that day, she just says no because she knows she's going out later. I've read before that's how skinny people do it: they make choices.

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    1. Interesting that your country hasn't adopted the 'more, more, MORE' attitude toward portion sizes as we have here. Hope that never jumps over.

      I'm laughing at your last sentence, but yes, I hear that's exactly what skinny people do.

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    2. It did jump over at some things. Like when I grew up a bag of chips was 100 grams (Dutch measures). Today you can't hardly find a bag of chips smaller than 300 grams. A Coca Cola bottle was 1 litres (Dutch measures), now it's 1.5 or even 2 litres. Luckily they also do it the other way at fresh stuff, you used to have to buy a bag of veggies for 4 persons, now there are so many people living alone that you can buy it for 1 or 2 persons and don't have to throw away stuff.

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  5. Great post! I don't split my meal with my husband because he doesn't like to share, but I usually only eat half and between him and my daughter they cover the rest or I just take it home. I have also got to where I don't feel so guilty if I just eat half and leave it because the portions are much larger than they should be. I feel as if I got my money's worth.

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    1. Sounds like you've got some good options to keep yourself on the healthy eating track! :)

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  6. The BF and I don't share meals, but my girlfriends and I do. This is a win-win in most cases because we can usually hit the fancier eateries in town and not feel in the pocketbook. I am working on things that worked in the past for me and one was having 1/2 my plate boxed to go before it hits the table, so next date nite with the BF, I'll have plenty of yummy leftovers.

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    1. Oh yeah, getting away with spending less is also quite nice!

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  7. We haven't been out to eat in ages, but I think now the way Tony eats, he wouldn't mind splitting a dish with me - of course, it can't be spicy! :D

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    1. I can't imagine you enjoying a non-spicy meal!

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  8. If my husband and I ever share meals, we have each ordered an entree and share half with the other. Never have we only ordered one meal. I look forward to the day where food is not on my brain all day.

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  9. We split entrees a lot or we go to places that don't have huge portions to begin with and can each get our own. Or better yet - we love the places that offer half portions. More restaurants need to do this (then we don't have to compromise like you sometimes have to do when sharing).

    I see people eat sometimes and wish I could eat all that food. Then I realize I *could* eat all that food, but my consequences will be different.

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    1. Heh, yeah...we definitely COULD eat all the food. But we don't do that anymore, right?

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  10. Oh yeah! Do I ever get this! One thing you said really struck me--"As the years passed, and the agony of how hard I'd worked to lose weight began to fade…" Yep, I think that is really true for me too. And the whole idea that it is a process, even now. Great post!

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    1. Thanks! I started this blog so I could remember the agony, and yet I still forget sometimes.

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  11. What a wonderful post!!! You are a wise woman with much to share!!!! Thank you Shelley!!!!

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  12. Good post Shelley! Especially loved that last line. :)

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  13. Wow, this really hits home. A change in perspective can be mind blowing. I often pick something where I know I can take half home and enjoy the next day. Sometimes sis and I will split something, but we can't agree most of the time. Interesting and helpful observations Shelley. Though I might be a bit creeped out next time I eat out and have to check to see who might be watching. lol

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    1. Lol...now you'll be the one watching to see who's watching!

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  14. Maintaining has become your new normal. You have now settled into the skinny world culture. For some reason, I haven't been able to settle in that place on previous journeys to a healthy weight. Thank you for teaching me! Excellent post!

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    1. Thanks, but I still have my days where I don't feel like I'm doing a great job with settling into the skinny culture. I have a feeling I'll always feel like I'm on a temporary visa status.

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  15. Good on you! I hope to get there one day. I'll share bites, but at this point that's about it. Something to definitely do!

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  16. I share my meals with my friends. We all go out and order a bunch of things are all share it with one another. However when I go out with family, we all order differently. I guess it's who you dine with that would make the difference.

    SlimIntoONEderland.blogspot.com

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    1. Definitely who you dine with. I have some friends who don't want to share meals, and that's fine. I just have to work harder at trying to not match them bite for bite.

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  17. I think my perceptions of what other people are doing or eating has changed. Or maybe I'm just not paying attention at the same level. :)

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