Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Conquering the fast food nation

Like many of you, I read a lot of blogs.  One common issue I come across is the problem with eating out.  My job requires that I spend a lot time in restaurants.  Some of them are fast food, and some are sit down establishments.  I also frequent buffets.  I work with troubled youth and the key to their trust is through food.  It's nurturing to feed someone, and sharing a meal helps build relationships.  I can't help youth that don't want to spend time with me.

That being said, I have managed to lose 66 pounds so far and I eat out an average of four times per week.  Many people ask me how I do it.  How do I frequent restaurants with so much tempting food and still manage to lose weight?  The answer to that is simple, I really want to get healthy and I make the right choices.  I was honest and upfront with my clients, co-workers, family and friends when I began this journey.  I told them I was on a special medical diet and could only eat certain foods.  They have been nothing but supportive.  No one has tried to sabotage me.

Do I get cravings?  Of course.  Do I act on them?  No.  Not only do I have to be accountable to myself, but now I have to be accountable to my clients too.  What kind of a role model would I be if I broke a promise I made to myself?  I'm trying to encourage self-love and worth.  If I can't model love and respect for myself, I'm not doing my job right.

I haven't been to a restaurant yet where I haven't been accommodated.  If my meal comes with a starch, I tell them to leave it off my plate.  If my meal shows up at the table with the starch on it, I send it back.  I tell the wait staff to leave all garnishes, gravies, dressings off my plate, and only bring what I specifically order.  I've been doing this since September 2011, and it's worked like a charm.

I've even inspired clients to make healthier choices.  They see me eating healthy and some will follow my lead.  Some not so much, but even if it's just a couple of youth making better choices, like getting salad with a burger instead of fries, it's worth it.  I still go to fast food restaurants with clients.  I frequent Wendy's and McDonald's regularly, but I usually opt not to eat, and order coffee instead.  There are healthier choices everywhere so I never have an excuse for not ordering something that isn't conducive to my eating plan.

I recently tried the new Juicy Fruit Desserts gum.  Yummmmmm.  For 10 minutes I get the flavour of my favorite dessert, apple pie.  The flavour's gone after about ten minutes, but that would be longer than it would have taken me to eat a piece of pie.  I'm not gonna lie, the former me would inhale a couple of pieces of pie in under ten minutes. So I get all the flavour and none of the calories.  What a great trade off!

Eating out is only as difficult as we make it for ourselves.  Maybe some of us will never be strong enough to visit restaurants while "dieting".  Others will go to restaurants with good intentions, and give into temptation.  When you are faced with this situation you should ask yourself how much you really want it.  Is it worth it to sabotage your health for something you will only enjoy in the moment and then feel horrible about in the aftermath?  I would hope not because you are worth more than that.  I will have to make healthier choices for the rest of my life.  I've finally begun to look at food for what it really is, fuel for my body.  It is no longer a source of entertainment for me.

16 comments:

  1. Great post. I work in an Irish Pub as a waitress so I'm constantly bombarded with fried foods, desserts and of course alcohol. We are entitled to a shift meal everytime we work. We can choose from a wide variety of chicken fingers, quesadillas, mozz sticks etc. So I bring my own food with me. When I'm waiting on a table, I always go above and beyond to try and accomodate any special needs. Most people who have special requests about their food are really nice about it so I have no problem trying to help them. And I was like that before I started my own health journey. Most waitresses (the good ones anyway, like me :) are working because of one reason: CASH MONEY. So I will do whatever a customer wants -within reason. hehe.

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    1. You are the waitress of my heart:) So strong of you to bring you own meals. That is hard to do when faced with such delicious temptation!

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  2. Great post is right. I loves that you are setting such a great example to the next generation; you Rock!

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    1. As will you at Maren's challenge. Good luck:)

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  3. I am finally finding food is NOT ENTERTAINING at all.
    And I think I can make some good changes this year.

    I am impressed with your great attitude.

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  4. I usually take the time to check on what a restaurant has to offer in the way of healthy or semi-healthy choices. We like to eat out at least once a week. I like your attitude and how you negotiate the minefields that restaurants can be. :)

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  5. Did you steal that picture, or take it yourself ? I need to know....

    All the best slim

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    1. I've become a bit of a kleptomaniac...

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  6. It's about taking control when you go out for food and preparing if you can - ie looking at the menu online if you can beforehand and pick the best choices. I try and steer people to go to restaurants where I can work out the Weight Watchers PPs and generally people don't mind.

    I make allowances for when I go out. I tend to plan around it. In other words I will have a good day before, eat good althrough the day and eat good the day after. I will try and fit some exercise in on the day I am going out and then the day after to combat it.

    Besides the fact that I can't eat as much as I used to. At one point I'd have demolished a garlic bread, then a pizza to myself and then had dessert, and probably had three glasses of wine during. Now I try and limit myself to one glass of wine (if I have any at all), I order water for the table to tempt me away from alcohol. I very rarely have a starter, if I do I usually share with someone. I stop when I am full. I don't always have dessert. I don't always finish my main course. I listen to what my body says.

    I love going out for food but try and make the best choices I can. It's a learning curve. xx

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    1. You're absolutely right. Planning is key!

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  7. I think it's so important to learn how to eat healthily in any situation...You can't avoid eating at restaurants all the time...I too travel alot for work and have to eat out - client dinners or on my own.

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  8. I always think to myself "the food I need is in the kitchen" then I figure out how to get it on my plate! Great tips about taking care of yourself. That truly is the key. If you're putting your health first, they will respect it.

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  9. Good job!!! Once you make the choice that you are not having any of that stuff and just don't even let yourself try it, it's not so bad eating out. And that's awesome that it encourages others to eat healthier too!

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  10. You're so strong! Holding on to what's right for you even when faced with temptations .. that's massive!

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  11. I had no idea about this gum!!!! I'm not a candy person so I rarely travel down that aisle in any store but now I am on the hunt for this. I truly hope the sell it in my local market!!!

    FABULOUS BLOG .... JUST FABULOUS!!!

    BG!

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    this web page dailly and take good data from here everyday.
    My web site :: weight loss center

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