Sunday, December 03, 2006

Saturday Night Shanghai

I got Shanghaied Saturday night. My husband, brother, sister-in-law and another couple we're friends with all wanted to go out for dinner. And they wanted wings. And cheese fries with Old Bay Seasoning. And buffalo chicken bleu cheese pizza. And deep fried cauliflower. And then they wanted ice cream for dessert.

Let's face it. Any diet guru (Dr. Ph1l spells it out pretty clearly in his manifesto) would tell me that my family and friends are foodies, and if I really want to lose weight I should be avoiding them and their sabotaging, carb-loving ways. But in the real world, am I going to divorce my husband and break off the majority of my friendships because they like deep fried food and peanut butter sundaes?

This is the hardest part of weight loss. When I started knocking off the poundage I pretty much had no social life. I stayed at home, raised my daughter, and worked on recovering from the job from hell. I had lots of time to spend 90 minutes a day at the gym, plan my meals and avoid dangerous food situations. If I did ever go out, it was a special occasion and rare. It's no wonder I was able to knock off 80 pounds within 6 months -- I was the girl in the plastic bubble!

Then I met the man who became my husband, my best friend since 3rd grade moved back to town and married my hubby's brother, and we developed a close-knit group of friends who love spending time together. I wound up in my job at the church, and as anyone knows, we Lutherans love to eat. And suddenly my social and work calendar was full -- and full of food. Dinner parties, nights on the town, holiday meals, church luncheons and banquets. Every birthday and anniversary has to be celebrated with a big decadent meal. I even have the weekly telephone call from the church quilting ladies inviting me down to their lunches!

It's no damn wonder I proceeded to gain back 50 of the pounds I had lost. I was like one of those Amish teens who get thrust out into the world of the "English" before deciding whether to become an official adult member of the Community. Everywhere I turned there was "sin" and "excess": all-you-can-eat buffets, pot luck dinners, picnics and reunions, bridal shower hors d'oeuvres and wedding receptions. It was pretty hard to resist.

But so far I've managed to get that 50 pounds back off, plus another 10-15 (depending on the day). It's been difficult, but somehow I've managed to maneuver around these constant hazards and prevent another major weight gain.

That doesn't mean I still don't get frustrated after a situation like last night. The most frustrating thing was, I actually managed to not become the pig in the trough while I was out with the group. I ordered 6 wings and only ate 3 of them; picked very lightly at the appetizers, and to the horror of my friends and husband through half of my ice cream away. Sounds great, right?

Then I got home. I ate 1.5 slices of the pizza and finished off a small bag of trail mix. Not a full-on binge, but bad enough. What compels us, those of us with eating issues, to come home after successfully getting through a difficult food event and then blowing it by compulsively eating? Is it some form of rebellion from being so "good" earlier? Is it some kind of rebound effect? Is there some pill I can take, some rubber band I can put around my wrist, some hypnosis tape I can listen to, so I can stop doing this? Someday I hope to learn the secret.

Need to wrap this up and head to church. Back on track so far today, although instead of the usual exercise this morning I packed, lifted and carried boxes to our storage shed for about an hour. There's more of that to come this afternoon as I try to get ready for our move in three weeks! Eeek!


Vickie said...

If I were you -

I'd buy a big purse -

lots of good (tight lids - round)tupperwared and

TAKE MY OWN stuff EVERYWHERE and just order water.

Leave a very big tip.

Tell any pesky waiter or managers or busybodies that you have possibly FATAL allergies and can't eat food from anywhere but your kitchen.

I am VERY serious - this is exactly what I would do EVERYWHERE I went - church, restaurants, friends, family. You WANT to go - but you don't have to go on THEIR terms.

Lori said...

Andrea, my favorite place to go is Outback. And the two most dangerous things are their french fries with chili/cheese on it and the little loaf of bread that comes as an appetizer.

So Cindy and I rarely order the appetizer we love so much. On a special occasion, we get it but we set a side order size of it.

I haven't figure out how to deal with the bread. It's a killer.

When I go out with friends and we seem to go to wing places, I ask for a lot of celery. I love celery so this might not work for some people.

I understand about the bubble. I feel like I have my own pantry, my own food, time to go to the gym whenever I wanna. (On the flip side, like tonight, I'm a bit lonely too.) I wonder what it would be like to meet someone and have the option of going out 2-3x a week. So your accomplishment of losing that 50 pounds regained DURING your first year of marriage and everything else you've described is FANTASTIC.

I think you need to stick up for yourself and talk about what you can and can't eat with some of these people. I understand that you don't want to punish them but...on the other hand, you do have a medical condition. Maybe you can do more things that do not revolve around eating (yeah, ha ha, I know).

And they should get over you throwing stuff away. I worry that they're seeing this as a value judgment on THEM rather than you're only trying to save yourself.

You're really doing great. I'm so impressed with you.