Meg Ryan became famous as Sally Albright in the now classic 1989 film “When Harry Met Sally”. Most people remember the line, “I’ll have whatever she’s having,” when Sally faked having an orgasm in the restaurant. That was hysterical! Another funny moment, albeit not as memorable, was how Sally compulsively ordered her food.
Sally: I’d like the chef salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side. And the apple pie a la mode….But I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side. And I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla, if you have it. If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real. If it’s out of a can, then nothing.
Sally knew how to think like a thin person– do you?
For starters, she had it all planned out before they left Chicago. Knowing where they’d stop along the way is, well…neurotic, but it does allow Sally to be in total control of her choices. She begins by ordering her salad dressing on the side. She knows what she wants, very specifically ((strawberry ice cream) and isn’t afraid to ask to have it her way (or no way).
Do you ask for what you want and need?
Do you find that when you make spontaneous food choices in a restaurant based on how something sounds on the menu or smells on the grill that you wind up consuming many more calories than if you had planned ahead? Today you can look at a website menu before choosing a restaurant and plan to order something delicious that’s within your calorie count for the day. Sure, it’s ok to make on the spot decisions if you’re choosing between the grilled chicken and the seared ahi tuna. But for many chronic dieters, spontaneous choices are between the lamb and the lasagne. Some say it takes the fun out of eating out, but why can’t healthy be fun? Get creative – if you want a cocktail, consider a diet margharita…tequila on the rocks with fresh squeezed lime juice and a Splenda.
Are you too focused on the food and/or alcohol and not enjoying your time out with your partner, friends, or colleagues? Even if you’re feeling stressed out, you have tools for that too, i.e. diaphragmatic breathing; reading your list of reasons for losing weight (it’s in your wallet- take a bathroom break if you need to), reminding yourself of how you want to look back on this experience tomorrow.
How you handle eating out in restaurants may be a big factor in whether you keep the weight off once you lose it. You may choose a strategy where you say no to hors d’oeuvres or dessert so that you can have a piece of the great bread they serve at your favorite restaurant. You might allow yourself 300 extra calories for this meal and eat a tad less the rest of the day. You could increase your exercise that day to allow for the extra calories. Whatever you decide, your choices come from having strong intentions and not from mindlessness or not paying attention. You’re prepared to succeed because you have a plan. Do you wish you didn’t need to? Sure, but if you’re still reading, my guess is that being healthy and fit is more important to you. Get over the idea that it’s not fair. Get your joy from other areas of your life so it’s not all about the next great meal.
Are you prepared to say, “I’m not having what she’s having,” if what she’s having sabotages your plan?
Learn all the skills you’ll need to be successful at resisting temptations and enjoying your life fully.
Email Ellen at email@example.com and learn what to do about What’s Eating You.
Ellen is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco and Redwood City, California. She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and incorporates the use of mindfulness into the treatment of depression, anxiety, and emotional overeating. She runs a holistic weight loss program called Center for Thoughtful Weight Loss, www.thoughtfulweightloss.com.
Also, don’t forget to check out HealthyWage, the website that pays you to be healthy!