Daily, I am confronted with the challenge of how to maintain my newfound health in a city that is known for its amazing eats. There are so many temptations that it is hard to leave my apartment without worrying that I might be drawn to visit some of my Pre-Biggest Loser hangouts. Restaurants where I regularly visited and tended to over-indulge in foods that helped me land a spot on America’s favorite weight loss show. Recently I’ve caught myself not only avoiding my favorite restaurants, but more sadly, the entire city block on which they are located (which by the way makes for an awkward morning run!).
The realization that I’m starting to develop somewhat of a restaurant phobia concerns me, and leads me to ask the question “What am I so afraid of?” Do I not trust myself enough to know that I am completely capable of walking passed these incredible establishments without being mysteriously sucked in and devouring everything in site?
I am quickly realizing that there is more to this recent restaurant phobia than meets the eye; it’s not fear that’s been keeping me away its guilt. For far too long I have had a guilt-ridden relationship with food, I ate it then felt guilty afterwards. Its almost as if I felt the need to repent after enjoying a meal at my favorite restaurant. I would go home feeling as though I had done something wrong, and usually comfort myself by seeking that in which I found comfort- “FOOD.” It was truly a vicious cycle!
Well, I think its time that I take a stand and declare enough is enough. I refuse to continue this guilt-ridden relationship with food. If I feel the desire to go into one of my old culinary haunts I’m going to do it! If I feel that I have a taste for something that I haven’t eaten in a while, I’m going to eat it! Now don’t misunderstand what I’m writing, I have no intentions of entering these establishments and over doing it, rather I plan on taking the knowledge I gained while at the Biggest Loser and applying it to my visit. Simple tips such as not ordering appetizers, staying away from the complimentary chips and salsa, and asking the server to pack up half of my order to go before it even reaches my table are all ways that I can enjoy a meal without feeling guilty. Most importantly I plan on communicating with my server how I want things prepared in an effort to seek out the healthier version of foods I once enjoyed.
My plan moving forward is to truly make Chicago “My Kind of Town” by eliminating the guilt I once associated with its food and replacing it with the peace of mind that I now posses the knowledge to enjoy the great food Chicago has to offer instead of fearing it.
June 12th, 2008