Eating Out

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So, I made a commitment to be more open about my struggles. It takes everything I have to eat out. I know this sounds like a weird problem, but socially and professionally it really is. Business lunches, social gatherings, and networking events tend to take place around food.

I fought so hard to break the habit of eating out that it now makes me sick to my stomach to think about it… Being away for the weekend and spending time with my running group is tough. It’s socially awkward to be the only person at the table that isn’t eating. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be on the other end.

Why don’t I eat out?

One- When I first started, portion control was my #1 problem. When I eat out, portions are usually very big or its all you can eat. My thought was to take the temptation out of the equation and it would be a lot easier to control.

Two- Eating out was like a reward. I have struggled for a long time to break this habit. Food is not a reward. Find something else to reward yourself with, don’t use food! This will make you exercise a lot more efficient!

Three- 3 years ago (and still today) there are many different opinions on what healthy eating is. I think it is safe to say that most restaurant food is highly processed and may be questionable for our health. For some reason this bothers me a lot. I like to know how my food is prepared and what ingredients are in it. This has made it very difficult for me to allow myself to eat out.

Four- The cost of eating out turns my stomach too. Now food is a commodity to me. I buy the best food I can for the least amount of money. I don’t like spending money on food. I guess as odd as it sounds, it is what I have had to train my mind to think to break some life longs habits.

Every now and then there is no avoiding walking into a restaurant. So if I have to eat, I know I can always go to a salad. Always add a protein and go as light as possible on dressing. I like to trade my dressing for salsa. It has good taste and cuts the calories by more than 75%!

I know this subject may seem like it came from no where but the social aspect of eating is something I struggle with a lot. Passing up on invitations to socialize or going hungry because I’m too embarrassed to say I can’t go to a specific restaurant a friend wants to have lunch at. I try really hard to keep my thoughts and beliefs to myself (my blog is my outlet for a reason) and try not to make others self conscious about fitness/health/eating when they have different daily habits from myself.

P.S. I do attribute a good portion of my success to not eating out. If you are struggling with weight-loss, try removing this from your habits. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results! Remember: making change is slow and difficult but it is worth it in the end. Start with eliminating 1 time per week and then move to two and so on. This really is the ultimate key to last success.

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2 thoughts on “Eating Out

  1. Gary, Thanks for sharing your story about your struggles with eating out. I know it takes a lot of courage to share this personal information, because it reveals your vulnerabilities. You are a very social guy with a fun personality, so it must be doubly hard. I have to say, I cannot imagine being in your shoes and having the demon of the restaurant food in front of you. Because I have never had a weight problem, it is not something I can relate to. But, I know many people, including in my own family, who are just like you, but they have not yet made the choice to value their health and get to a healthy weight. You have to have a lot of willpower and motivation to do what you do! Hence, your success!
    I do know, however, that nowadays, the better restaurants (not any corporate chains though) are accustomed to providing higher levels of service and can prepare items based on your needs, by just simply requesting them. My sister-in-law who is a super-fit cyclist and ultra-runner special orders all the time, because she is vegetarian and gluten-free. Sometimes her ordering and questioning of the server can take several minutes! Grilled chicken or any meat can be prepared plainly and with any sauce on the side, any salad can have dressing on the side and then the fork dips in the dressing for a bit of flavor, butter or oils can be skipped, breads can be replaced with lettuce, entree portions can be halved to appetizer size, etc. I am just sharing this because it’s just another option that might be worth trying, so you are not kept away from the social part. Keep up your hard work!! I am so impressed with how far you have come!

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    1. Thanks Gaby! 🙂 I am trying really hard to get more used to it (this weekend we ate out a couple times as a team and I wanted nothing more than to share a pizza. I just couldn’t do it when it came time to order…) The biggest problem I have is a golfing buddy who loves McDonalds. I haven’t eaten at McD’s for over 2 years now and I just get a coffee there no matter how hungry I am. I have learned to put some snacks in my golf bag so I don’t over eat when I finally get home. Business After Hours is another big issue I have. The food is prepped for a large group and I usually have a beer or two which lowers my ability to control myself. I end up sick to my stomach if I eat because I over do it. I have learned to run home real quick and have a protein shake before I go. This also keeps me from drinking beer which is more helpful! 🙂

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