When I was a big girl, wearing upwards of a size 26/28, I was always concerned about where my next meal would come from. Would we go out to eat? Would I secretly swing through a drive thru window? Would I cook? If it were the latter, then I began planning my meals early in the day, so I could have something fun to look foward to later. I would think about what I would serve with the meal, what kind of bread I was going have, and most importantly what dessert would be.
Early afternoon would find me at the stove, cooking a meal for our family. I liked to experiment with recipes, and once I had a few children, discovered I really did like to cook. Turned out to be a good thing, as we now have a family of nine! Before we had all the other children, I often made recipes that were high in fat and calories, like chicken cordon bleu. I’d serve it with a salad, doused in dressing of course, veggies swimming in butter and salt, and possibly some fruit. One thing I always did was make sure I had the biggest portions.
When the dinner was finished cooking, I’d be the one serving the meals. I’d lay out the plates, dole out everyone’s food, saving my plate for last. I’d load up my plate with the biggest piece of chicken I could get away with, making sure to spoon plenty of sauce on top of it. As we ate, I’d find myself surepeticiously watching everyone else eat, wondering if they would want more, or could I have the rest? If they wanted more, I’d give it to them, but then I’d remind myself that there was plenty of chocolate cake sitting on the counter for me!
Dessert time came, and once again, the largest piece was mine. Besides having the largest piece, I’d also pick at the cake while I was serving the others. After all, that’s the cook’s privilege isn’t it? Looking back, I not only ate the largest amount, I probably ate double what anyone else did by the time I added in the extra nibbles here and there. I was so obsessed with food that I ate and served myself way more than was appropriate.
These days, I still like to cook, but no longer serve myself the biggest portion. Now, I serve myself appropriate portion sizes, and don’t worry where my next meal will come from. I’m no longer embarrassed when the family asks, “Is there anymore chicken left?” I know how to control my portion sizes, and understand that if I eat more food than I should, I will gain weight.
Portion sizes at restaurants are hard to control, but when you cook at home, it’s so important to control how much you are serving yourself and how much you are eating. Learning to be satisfied with just one portion of food, be it a main dish entree or a piece of fruit has made living with maintenance all these years so much easier.
How are you at portion control? Do you find it harder at home, or harder away from home? Diane