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Old 04-15-2008, 09:48 PM   #1  
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Default Dinner/evenings out--HELP

I weighed in again this morning, after a pretty good weekend, and was delighted to find the scale needle down another notch. I had a good healthy breakfast and lunch, and then got caught in the same trap I've been facing lately--dinner out.


There are at least 1-2 evenings a week when I have to be out, usually due to kids' school, scouts, or sports events. Driving home for dinner isn't usually an option, because it's an hour's round trip home and back. I always have to feed the kids dinner and usually DH as well. They prefer to go to a restaurant, and being 3 slim, muscular, wiry, athletic people, they can do this without any problem. I'm the problem, and eating out in restaurants frequently is part of what made me so overweight.

Once or twice I've tried bringing something from home to eat while they eat restaurant food, but this doesn't work well. I can't bring my food into a restaurant. If I bring stuff from home there's usually no place to heat anything, and I don't want to eat early sitting at my desk (while they wait on me) then have me sit and watch them eat later.

In the next two weeks there are will be two events--pizza and game night, and taco dinner before a music program. Both are PTA fundraisers where we all eat in a group, socialize, then participate in the activities. Events like these ruin my daily plans!

What would you do? As I see it, my options are:
--bring other food to eat while they eat tacos and pizza, and look like I'm not being supportive, but be on-plan
--eat something healthy beforehand, and look like I'm not being supportive, but be on-plan
--eat the pizza and tacos anyway and kick myself later for it, feeling hungry, greasy, and over calorie limit
--try to budget for the calories by starving earlier in the day
--just let it go and say--hey, it's okay to be way over my plan once or twice a week
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:04 PM   #2  
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Why would the fact that you choose to not eat pizza or tacos indicate that you aren't being supportive? It's your presence there that is supportive - not what you are eating. For functions like that - I don't see any point in eating unhealthy foods just because they are there. Bring your own, and maybe you can inspire them to have a healthy food night!

Maybe you could ask your family to be a bit more supportive of *you* in letting you choose a restaurant that has healthy choices you want to eat on those nights you eat out with them.
Unfortunately, when trying to lose weight - that means big changes in how you eat out. Doesn't mean you can't, but to be successful you have to be almost militant in where, what and how much you eat.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:41 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by fiberlover View Post
Why would the fact that you choose to not eat pizza or tacos indicate that you aren't being supportive?

Most of these dinner events--like the pizza or tacos nights--are fundraisers. Buy a taco in support of the soccer team.!!!

I suppose I could just make a monetary donation instead of buying a ticket, but you still get the rabid soccer parents who come around and pointedly ask why you're not eating. I should be strong enough to not let this bother me, as it's a peer-pressure thing, but I'm good at feeling guilty.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:49 PM   #4  
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...and when those parents say "why aren't you eating", you respond "Oh, I already ate, but I wouldn't miss a chance to support the team, so I donated my taco money directly".

I don't think they'll argue at that point, and you'll get out of the peer pressure and guilt.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:53 PM   #5  
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I need ideas as to what to do about the actual eating part. It's very hard to sit while you're starving and watch them chow down on wonderfully-smelling food, even if you've made a donation.

Would you all eat something healthy by yourself earlier while your hungry family waits around on you? Try to last until you get home? Bringing something else to eat while they eat fun-food isn't really an option here.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:03 PM   #6  
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I would totally bite the bullet and bring something with me. You ARE supporting the team by your presence and you could even "pay it forward" (buy someone else's tacos or pizza) to show your support.

YOU need the support as well, by your family supporting you being on plan. Believe me, we are all faced with these kinds of situations, some of us even every day, but in the long run, who is looking out for YOU whilst you are supporting everyone else???

I KNOW it's hard to watch everyone chow down, but YOU are important too. And I believe there are other ways to support the team than you starving the entire day just for a taco (and isn't it when we are starving that we give in and eat too much?).

What if you were vegetarian and there were no options? What if you had to eat a certain way for medical reasons? Surely people will understand and not pressure you then?

take care of YOU because no one else is going to do it. Bring something to eat and eat with them. Even if it's a couple of sandwiches carefully prepared to be on YOUR plan. Some veggies are also transportable - carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes - and there's always apples and bananas.

You can do this. and it WILL be worth it!!
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:47 PM   #7  
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Ok, see, I'm in the camp that you should eat what you want. We eat out a lot, too, and it's impossible to find a place with food I can eat (I'm limiting carbs -- and I'm the only one with an eating problem, too). So when I go out, I use that Paul McKenna thing, which is to eat veryyyyyyyyy slowly. Put your fork down between bites. Take a sip of what you're drinking. Talk. La la la. You can still be social and enjoy your food while you're out. The trick is that you'll feel full wayyyyyyyyyyyyy before you normally would. And instead of eating like 1400 cal platter, you'll have eaten like 1/4 of it over the span of an hour. One taco's not going to make you fat. Ten tacos will.

And so whenever we go out, I usually end up eating 1/3 of whatever it is I ordered and I don't feel guilty because I can enjoy eating out. If you feel deprived or denied, you'll never want to stick with your plan. You need to enjoy yourself fully.

Relax around your food. Can you store some snacks in your car so you're not absolutely ravenous? Like some good nuts. Or cheese sticks.

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Old 04-16-2008, 12:02 AM   #8  
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There's lots of advice that we can all give, but only some of it will help you. What will help you will depend on what kind of eater you are. Using a similar method to bigtxmomma, I can restrain myself and eat a moderate amount. Can you do that? Or are you the all in type? One bite = an empty plate? If you are, telling you to eat a little won't help.

Can you compromise? Could you bring a salad with you and buy "a taco" and then take some of the meat and maybe guacamole (or whatever you like and keeps you on plan) and eat a taco salad. I think taco salads are fun. Is this something that could work for the type of eater you are and the type of diet you are on?

What about having half a slice of pizza and a nice (dare I say it) salad? Could you talk to the people who run the fundraiser and ask about healthier options? Would you be willing to pay out for and make a reasonable donation to the team in exchange for one of the soccer/swimming/gymnastics/whatever moms picking up a _insert diet healthy option here_ from the pizza place? Most restaurants carry at least a few healthy items and most people are super supportive if you let them know that you're doing something for your health.

Try thinking outside the box and maybe even asking for a little help from the people in your life. They might think of a good solution that you would never have come up with on your own.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:27 AM   #9  
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there is a lot of good advice here. i dont think there is anything i can say that hasnt been said yet... but i just know there is a solution where you can be supportive AND be healthy! you just got to find the balance between the two where you feel most comfortable.

when ever people try to get me to feel bad for dieting or not indulging myself in food or not "accepting myself as i am" i just tell them i have a heart problem and i have to lose weight. that always shuts them up real fast. now my heart condition isnt really somthing that is effected by my weight but its really the most direct way of explaing that being morbidly obese is a medical conditon that can bring on health complications. people who judge you for trying to be healthy, thats crazy! i dont know where they get off! (im refering to the rabid soccer parents who come around and pointedly ask why you're not eating) if they cant understand that you cant eat thier food then you should worry about thier opinions, they obviously dont have your best intrest in mind. but of course showing your support by making a direct donation would always be welcome!

do you think you could eat just one? or would that blow you out of the water? i like autumharvest suggestion about getting a healty option on the table.
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:16 AM   #10  
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I always think that where you have no choice as to what to eat - ie the pizza or taco party -- i eat healthy before i go, and if it's offered i just say "oh tacos arent' my favourite, i'll pass thanks" but give my donation money etc. People DON"T CARE what you eat LOL

When i DO have the choice, ie out at a restaurant, i usually get a small grilled steak and steamed veg, and if i'm feeling completely decadent, a clear soup to start! whooohoo! i have all the FUN of being out and eating, but it's on plan and again, no one cares what I eat! If anything, half way thru their grease-pit of a plate, they'll look at mine and say 'i should have gotten that' LOL

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Old 04-16-2008, 01:02 PM   #11  
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You have to find what is going to work for you. If I'm going to an event and I know it's going to be too calorie heavy, I bring my own food. I just went on a field trip with the kiddos to a museum yesterday. The school provides lunch for everyone. I brought my own sandwich and chips because I knew how many calories I would be eating and didn't have to worry about being tempted by other foods.
Usually if there are fundraisers and such where they offer this type of food, I will plan to eat it, but I plan for it in advance. I know what I'm going to have the week before and will try and eat a little less each day. Then I may have my snack just before going so I'm not so hungry. If I say I'm going to only have two slices of pizza, then I pick out my two on the first round and eat them slowly and enjoy the rest of the evening. Same thing if it were tacos.
For instance this week I have not one but two BBQ dinners to attend—one for the school and one at MILs. I plan on eating there. I know to avoid the baked beans and potato salad but still be able to enjoy myself. It is one day (well two this time) and I eat, have fun, and move on to the next day right afterward. We were even supposed to have a possible pizza party at work if we did what we needed to on Friday. I point blank told them I wouldn't eat any because I knew I would be heavier on the calories because of the BBQs. After I went home, I looked my plan back over and figured I could have a large salad and one small slice of pizza. Turns out we aren't getting the party and I still have my original plans in place.

As for eating out, can you check out the menus before you go and know what you are going to order beforehand? I can't say this enough but the key to this is plan, plan, plan. If you go to the restaurant without a plan then you will eat whatever. Another idea would be to cook something in advance and bring a cooler or something with you to work. Why not have a picnic in the park before the games or whatever. If you are really wanting this to work, you will find a way to get it to work, NO MATTER WHAT (Like Sandi says )

I'm sorry I've written such a novel but I've been in your shoes. I have four children, work full-time, hubby works full-time and can't help out as much so I know how hard it is to balance everything. I could kick myself in the butt for the number of times I used there's nothing healthy to eat, or I don't have time to get anything healthy because of this activity or that but it will get me nowhere. Now I know that as long as I plan, plan, plan I can do well.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:23 PM   #12  
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I vote for eating before you go. You say you don't want to eat beforehand while your hungry family waits for you--I'm going to go out on a limb and say that may be a bit dramatic Have something prepared ahead of time (heck, put your dinner together in the morning before work) so all you have to do is heat it in the microwave and eat. Or even just make a healthy sandwich to eat in the car on the way to the event. Or bring a cup of broth-based soup with you in a travel mug. Eating dinner doesn't have to take a lot of time or effort.

Once you're there, I can think of a few things. If you really want to have the food in your hand so people won't bug you about why you're not eating, then I suggest ordering food you don't like. I've done this before. At an office lunch out at a restaurant last year, I ordered a meal full of mushrooms and peppers, both of which I can't stand. I took maybe 3 bites of the minimal areas of the plate that didn't have those ickies in it and spent the rest of the time socializing so much that no one really noticed I only pushed the food around on my plate and never really put any of it in my mouth. I had it wrapped in a doggy bag and brought it home for my boyfriend. So maybe you can order pizza with toppings you hate? For me, I HATE onions on my pizza, so I always make Jeff order pizza with onions so I'm not tempted by it (it works extra well because onions are very hard to see and just pick off).

Option 2: get clumsy Get your pizza or taco or whatever and accidentally trip, tossing it on the ground. Opps! Darn, it looked so good, too

Honestly, I think you're making it harder than it has to be--kind of overthinking the situation. You've gotten lots of good suggestions here. You can make it work
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