To Splurge Or Not To Splurge

That is the question. With Valentine’s Day here, a nice meal out is long overdue. I’ve been struggling with my thoughts about going out to eat, and how to achieve success (a good time out with my partner). Here’s the full text of an email I sent to my dietician this morning:

Turns out we’ll be going to The Keg this weekend (the brewery will need to wait for our friends to come back to town next week), but I’ve been going back and forth in my head with an idea, and I’d love to get your professional input on it.
On one hand, there’s part of me that is afraid of stepping outside the guidelines and eating rich “no no” foods. On the other hand, as part of a lifestyle change, I’m worried about creating “no no” foods altogether. One part of me wants to order the filet, cooked as plainly as possible, with only extra steamed veggies and learn to be OK with that; but another part of me is thinking: “Look, you only go out once in a blue moon. Have a half order of mashed potatoes. Have a little cheesecake. It won’t kill you”…
I’ve been digging into it a lot online. Looking at pros and cons of “cheat meals” (as many refer to it). I really don’t know what to think. Some people think it’s vital to combatting cravings. Some even say there are physiological reasons why it’s good for weight loss (something to do with shocking the body into maintaining an active metabolism). I’d love to think this is all true, and to be okay with having a meal that’s purely enjoyable and that’s not a result of a binge, or eating to the feeling of stuffed-ness. Like, just having a rich meal on a nice occasion and it being okay. Is that realistic?
The other part of me is afraid of derailing my progress. Of getting a bite of cheesecake and then having to eat the whole thing. I think I’m being a little irrational in that fear. Like, part of me wants to believe that if I approach it the right way, in a setting that I control in a reasonable way, that I can 100% handle it. How do I know if I don’t test it? Ack, it’s a dilemma!
I think this is my long story which can basically be summed up as: for a special occasion meal, I want to me able to taste things that I feel are a “treat”. Is this disordered thinking?
Your thoughts?
Stay tuned for her response. Ultimately it’s MY decision, and I’m pretty sure I know what I WANT to do, but I guess I’m looking for permission. It’s a weird thing. Is giving myself permission the right answer? Am I worrying about this too much? Yes to both, is what I think is the correct response. Just trying to honestly represent my struggle here. Feel free to chime in if you’ve had any experience with this struggle yourself!

UPDATE IN COMMENTS!

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3 thoughts on “To Splurge Or Not To Splurge

  1. I’m faced with the same dilemma tonight. Although I can’t splurge much because most places can’t accommodate my numerous dietary needs. I know personally I need to let myself have what I’m craving or I go and binge. But I don’t consider going out and having a nice mean one of those times. Most of the time I try and order the healthiest thing I can and just enjoy it because I didn’t have to cook it! If there’s something I really want but it crosses of my dietary comfort line, I ask the hubbs to split it with me. It might be a side dish but most of the time it’s a dessert. Tonight it will prob be the GF Chocolate Dome Cake at PF Changs, cause we’re predictable like that. I can’t wait to hear what she tells you, but either way, have a lovely Valentines Day!

  2. When it comes to occasions like this where you’re going out and it’s not going to be a daily, or even weekly event, I am all for splurging. Because the more I want something and I tell myself no, the more I’ll become obsessed over it and then it’ll just end up really bad.

    So I really hope you enjoyed yourself tonight!!

  3. Thanks Molly and Kelly! Tonight’s the night (we dined in last night)! My dietician agreed that, as the goal is long-term success and lifestyle change, I need to be able to accommodate occasional splurge meals. Tracking is still important at this stage, and mindfulness should also be included, but avoidance is not a recipe for success. She suggested I order the filet cooked without butter, add some extra veggies if I can, and to go ahead and order the mashed potatoes and even have as much of the cheesecake as I felt like having. I’ll be ordering a half serving of the potatoes, and unless the cheesecake is really screaming at me (“EAT ME! EAT ME!”) I think I’ll abstain and go for froyo instead. 🙂 I’ll check in with my dietician on Tuesday to talk about how it went, how I felt afterwards, and if I had any issues pop up that were unexpected or alarming.

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