I may have been a little overconfident with that St. Patrick’s Day post. Last night I realized that it’s easy to stop eating foods I don’t particularly like. But what if it’s food that I really, really like? That’s a different story.
Last night I had to go find dinner out because my daughter was at a school play and it was just wasting gas to drive allllllll the way home and back. Plus, the theater was about two blocks from the famed Gourmet Ghetto. It took me a while to decide where to eat but settled on Saul’s Deli, which I love but haven’t gone to in years.
I ordered the falafel platter, which was a yummy combo of baba ganouj, hummus, tabouleh, three crispy falafels and fresh, hot pita bread. Mmmmm!! My PLAN was to eat slowly, mindfully, in very small amounts. But I was hungry. Probably way too hungry. That didn’t help.
Then: everything was SO GOOD. There was nothing on that plate that wasn’t absolutely wonderful.
I tried to eat slowly. But I did pretty much have a death-grip on that fork. I tried to close my eyes and breathe and think of olive groves and sunshine. But you know, it all came down to, that food was so good. And I did not want the experience of having that yummy goodness to stop.
I tried mentally dividing up my plate. I tried many tricks. But it was really like trying to hold back the tide. I think I finally stopped when the plate had about 1/3 left.
That’s when I sorta noticed that I was full. REALLY full. I remembered one of the comments from an earlier post, and grabbed the sugar dispenser. I poured sugar over the last remaining falafel, the lovely puddle of hummus and tabouleh (the baba ganouj was GONE) and the nice warm pita. I pushed the plate away. The waitress came by, gave me a quizzical look and asked if I wanted a box to take it home. I shook my head. I was weirdly sad.
I was sad because I’d not been able to stop myself, slow down earlier, and I was sad because that lovely food was going away.
And I’m just beginning to see that this is no simple thing (ha).
March 19, 2009 at 1:25 pm
Well. You have to enjoy life at least once in awhile, right? And you still left 1/3 of the plate uneaten–don’t discount that.
March 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm
1/3 of the plate left? OK, a treat for sure was had but that seems pretty close to how I want to live my life once I’ve been at my ideal weight for a number of months (like in, August of 2010).
The experience of stopping…
March 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm
I definitely give myself credit for leaving that 1/3. But I think the thing that I struggled with was how SAD I felt to pour on that sugar and see that 1/3 plate go away… that was interesting. It felt so wrong.
March 19, 2009 at 4:00 pm
you did great! not as well as you may have wanted, but great nonetheless.
you stopped. you STOPPED. Victory in and of itself.
maybe not the way you would have wanted, but there is timeto adjust and refine tactics, right?
we are too often critical of ourselves for things we don’t do, and dismiss too quickly the things we do. so, here’s to stopping!
March 19, 2009 at 6:18 pm
You did real well in leaving some of the food behind and that’s one creative method for not consuming the rest of it. I would have never thought about using that tool to stop me from eating everything on the plate. for me I was raised to eat everything on my plate and I couldn’t leave the table till I did. That’s been a real hard habit for me to break. So I think you did a great job in showing some self control. By the way I have never heard of falafel platter or any of the food that went with it.
Thanks for paying my blog a visit again. By the way did you vote yet?
Hope you have a great afternoon ahead of you as well.
March 19, 2009 at 6:23 pm
I got the sugar idea from a commenter here, who said they sprinkle Sweet’N’ Low on their plate when they are full, to get themselves to stop – I never would have thought of it either but for that comments. And I have to say it PAINED me to do so – part of me was thinking, “ARE YOU CRAZY?” but then I had to also remember JadePark’s memorable quote, “Your body is not a trash can.” All of these thoughts zinging around in my head. Yes Rob, I voted – I like the Yes! title.
March 19, 2009 at 9:31 pm
I don’t think that yesterday takes away from your St. Patrick’s Day post at all. You have had a great two months, and a difficult meal doesn’t change that. (After all, there must have been a few bumps during the two months, right?)
It’s really isn’t exactly the food, is it? It’s really more the behavior; at least that’s the way these challenges feel to me.
Even though you ended up feeling sad, you did pay attention, and you did stop. Some experimentation is probably crucial to success; you need to try out different techniques to discover what works.
March 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm
Chou-Fleur, you are right. It wasn’t about the food, it was about the behavior and the feelings. (well, maybe SOME about the food because if I had been counting WW points, it would have been over my “allowance,” I was just sort of ignoring that)
And yes. Live and learn. I have had SO many great and amazing meals in these past two months, it is truly miraculous that I’ve lost 16 lbs while living so well.
Tonight, another meal, another opportunity. 🙂
March 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm
I agree with Chou-Fleur that “it isn’t exactly the food, is it?”
Anyone who struggles with food needs to understand that. I mean REALLY understand that. It’s not about the food.
See how your emotions, feeling, and thoughts are involved?
I also agree with Knk. We all need to look at the positive, and stop criticizing everything we do ‘wrong’. This self-criticism is not good. So look at the positive!