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Cheesecake Factory: Evil Temptress or Golden Opportunity?

The food may be delicious, but I’m pretty sure that the Cheesecake Factory is one of the worst places to go out to eat (in terms of healthy dining). That being said, it’s where I ended up last night after a night of furniture shopping. I went in hungry, which is never a good thing. And in the interest of full disclosure, I should admit now that I don’t usually make very good choices when eating out. When I eat out, I feel like if I’m paying x-amount for a meal, I want it to be really good, and that’s not usually the “healthy” stuff. But I went in determined to eat healthy and still feel satisfied.


My husband wanted an appetizer, but everything he suggested was fried so we ended up with the spinach and cheese dip–loaded with fat and calories, I’m sure. Determined to make a smart choice for dinner, I read the ingredients of each and every item on the way-too-long menu, and who knew that they have “Weight Managment” salads? OK, now we’re talking. I ordered the Weight Managment Spicy Chicken Salad. Sounds good, right? Blah; I was less than satisfied. A pile of lettuce with two pepper strips, a sprinkle of black beans and corn, white rice and (an admittedly good portion of) supposedly grilled chicken, and low-cal dressing on the side. The only thing that made this salad good was when my husband dumped the whole thing of dressing on it. (Have I mentioned that my husband weighs a buck thirty soaking wet? Grrr.)

So there I was, I  blew it on the apps, but made a good choice on dinner only to be left still hungry. What’s a girl to do? Order a piece of cheesecake, of course! I got the peanut butter cup cheesecake, which Hungry Girl tells me has 1,326 calories, 40g saturated fat, and a ridiculous 700mg sodium!

I tried to make smart choices, but in the end the opportunity passed me by. No, it didn’t just pass me by; I kicked it to the curb!

Cheesecake Factory 1: Me 0

But today’s a new day . . .

Free Food=Must Eat?

What is it about getting free food that sends us (or at least me) on a feeding frenzy? I can’t tell you how many times I have eaten a full meal of my own, only to eat more because someone offers free food. A few weeks ago at work I had a complete breakfast of something I can’t remember, but I know I ate and that I was full. Maybe a few minutes later, I went to the office kitchen for coffee and some devil had put out four boxes of donuts. I wasn’t hungry, but it was free so I had to eat it, right? I started with just half a donut, but we know  how that little game ends up. I went back for the other half, and then another and another. Yep, after eating a full breakfast, I ate three whole donuts. All for no other reason than they were free.

So today I tried really hard to start eating better, and was doing well . . . until I got home from work. I picked my son up from daycare and found an entire bag of cookies in his cubby. You see, my kid is a human garbage machine and when they have extra food at his school (especially cookies and crackers), they send it home with him. (For the record, I also give to the school food that we are not going to eat.) While I appreciated the gesture, it presented quite the problem. A free bag of cookies that could not have come at a worse time. And so I ate. One cookie. Two cookies. Three cookies.

The drive home is about seven minutes, and I easily could have eaten 10 cookies in that time. But something strange happened; I stopped eating. So, OK, I had to consciously tell myself to stop eating and practically had to hit the fourth cookie out of my hand. I had to say out loud (and during Sesame ABCs CD, much to my son’s chagrin), “just because it is free does not mean you have to eat it.” And guess what? I didn’t.

So the next time the donuts come around, I might have one (or three), but I might not.

Let’s Roll! (no pun intended. well, maybe a little)

You know this has happened to you. You think you are looking all cute and then you see a picture of yourself, which says otherwise. This just happened to me over the weekend, and it might be the final straw in this ridiculous battle with myself to lose weight.

For some reason, I’ve had it in my head that I was one of those people who “hid” her weight. Ha ha, joke is on me. Took my son to a playdate on Saturday, thinking I looked pretty cute. To clarify, I did not think that I was magically skinny or smaller than I really am, but I did think that I looked OK. Flash forward to Sunday when I see pictures from the playdate. Holy moly, I’m huge. Looking at the pictures online and actually had to close the screen. I’m proud to say that I didn’t cry or anything, but mamma mia, I am most definitely not cute!

This is it. I have to do something. Hmm, how many times have I said that before? Well, I said it the last time I started working out. I said it the time before that when I rejoined Weight Watchers. I said it the time before that when I tried dieting on my own. I said it the time before that when I bought new workout DVDs. I think you get the picture.

So, what is going to be different this time? Honestly, I have no idea. I’d like to say that it will be the motivation to be healthy, but that hasn’t gotten me anywhere before. I’d like to say that it is the desire to be a good example for my kid, but he’s been around for 2 1/2 years and that hasn’t kicked me into gear yet. I’d like to say it is the desire to look good for my husband, but he’s been around for five years and hasn’t left me yet, so I don’t know about that one. Maybe the desire to not look in the mirror and cringe? Mirrors aren’t exactly a new invention, and that hasn’t worked either. Wanting clothes that fit? Check my closet. That hasn’t worked.

OK, now you have your tears. I guess it’s all of those things. I don’t want to be the fat mom or the fat friend anymore. I do want my husband to find me attractive. No, strike that. I want my husband to find me sexy! I do want to set a good example for my son. I do want to look in the mirror and maybe actually smile. I do want to walk down the street and not assume people are making fun of me.

So here it goes. I WILL get over the complete humiliation of being a fatty and actually do something about it.
I WILL lose 50 pounds. I WILL be healthy. I WILL be happy.

Here we are. July 10, 2010 Mommy and my angel. Spare tires and cankles are out in full force!