Monday, August 08, 2011

Just eat

We were walking downtown with the kids on Sunday, enjoying the rare appearance of the sun and we decided to have lunch on the waterfront. It was one of the trendier spots and it had an outside terrace with a sandbox that the kids could play in. We were seated at an area overlooking a dock where boats were moored that likely cost more than my house.

As we got settled and the kids dove into the sandbox, I noticed two young women seated at a table adjacent to ours. I couldn't help be overhear snippets of their conversation since our table was so close. They were talking about a friend who was on a diet and going on about shrinking stomachs and sensible choices. The conversation continued when their lunches arrived (sandwiches as far as I could tell). They continued to talk back and forth about how hard it was to eat sensibly when you were at a restaurant and how you had to make sensible choices, like grilled versus fried and chicken versus beef.

I wanted to scream, "Just eat your freaking sandwiches. You are at a restaurant for Christ's sake."

The server came and asked if they were finished. Half the food was still on their plates. They said they were done and declined the server's offer to box the leftovers. They also declined dessert.

Okay, I have no problem with people watching what they eat. I've struggled with weight issues off and on my entire life. And I believe in eating healthy. But when I'm in a restaurant I try to just enjoy it. That is why you are in a restaurant. You want to enjoy the pleasure of not having to prepare food (though I really enjoy cooking) or wash dishes. You want to enjoy the experience. Don't ruin it by obsessing about fat and calories and diets. 

I believe the biggest barrier to overcoming any excessive behavior is the feeling that you are being deprived of something. It is why people who go cold turkey on anything fail miserably in the long run. The trick is enjoying things in moderation. 

One of my favorite stories involves a guru who is approached by a follower after a speaking engagement and gushes to him about how they have used his meditation technique to stop smoking. The guru lights up a cigarette, hands it to the disciple and says, "Here, anyone can not smoke."

The point being, you need to get to a place where you can smoke or not smoke, not "need to smoke" or "need to eat" or "need to drink." And you can't get to those places if you obsess about your addiction. 

1 comment:

Nachtigall said...