This is a true story. I was eating at a restaurant with some friends not too long ago. At the table next to us were two men. They looked like typical business men – khaki pants, button down shirt. Both were slightly to moderately overweight. There was a lull in the conversation at our table and I heard one of the men say to the server, “I’ll have the cheddar burger, but hold anything healthy.” The server looked at him with a curious expression on his face. The man said, “I’m serious. I don’t want any tomatoes, lettuce or salad. Keep the healthy food in the back – but don’t tell my wife.” He then laughed loudly, as did his dining companion.
This exchange made me think of how differently I view food now. Back in my morbidly obese days – that man was me. I would have told the server that exact thing and laughed about it. “Just hold anything healthy.” Give me the fries, the nachos smothered with fake cheese, ground beef and some salsa. Throw a plate of fried mozzarella cheese sticks on the table and watch me inhale them. I’d order the biggest entree on the menu and ask if I could “substitute more fries for vegetables.” Yes, my friends, I actually asked the server to keep the vegetables to herself and just bring my 300-pound self more fried food.
Was I ever embarrassed? Sometimes, but usually I wanted that food so badly that I was willing to expose my love of salty, fattening food to the world. I’m sure other diners looked on with fascination and/or horror as I ate a huge fried appetizer, followed by an equally enormous entree and finished off with my own personal Death by Chocolate dessert.
Intellectually I “knew” I should be eating healthy foods, but honestly, I didn’t want them. Who cared that salad was healthier than chocolate? I liked the taste of chocolate better so I ate it.
This hurdle was one of the hardest things I had to conquer when I was losing weight. I had to learn to appreciate, and then finally enjoy healthier foods. Although I stopped ordering fries in restaurants, I still liked fries better. I quit having gigantic desserts, but I still craved them. Over time though, those super unhealthy foods lost their appeal. Now, if I eat fried food, it makes me ill. And I can’t stomach huge amounts of rich desserts any longer.
I no longer say, “Hold anything healthy.” Instead I say, “Bring on the healthy choices.”
How are you doing with realigning your thinking from “Hold the healthy to bring on the healthy?” Were there foods that were hard for you to adjust to having in smaller quantities or not at all? Diane