10/10/14 – Accountability

One of the issues that I’ve long had with trying to get a handle on my weight is my love of going out to eat. Whether it be with my wife, the whole family, my in-laws, with friends, or even by myself, like many people, I greatly enjoy the experience of being at a restaurant. I’ve worked in so many that I think I feel at home there. However, I’m not always great at choosing things to eat off the menu, since I typically choose with my taste buds and not my head.

Yesterday was the first time in this period of change that I put myself to the test in this regard. My wife and I had decided to take in a concert by our favorite a cappella group, Face1, down at the Soiled Dove2 in Denver. Before the show, though, we decided to go out for dinner and chose Maggiano’s Little Italy, one of our favorite restaurants.

I had eaten fairly light throughout the day, and still had about 1000 calories left in my budget for the day. Unfortunately, 1000 calories doesn’t get you very far at Maggiano’s. My typical order when we go there consists of the following:

  • A glass of red wine3
  • Garlic cheese bread with a side of marinara4
  • Mom’s Lasagna
  • Warm Apple Crostada

That meal would be approximately 3000 calories…and remember, my daily calorie budget is 1780. Obviously, some modification would be in order. First, I didn’t really need a glass of wine, so I eschewed it for a glass of iced tea. Second, my wife wasn’t really in the mood for an appetizer, so we didn’t get the garlic cheese bread either. That’s great. I’ve already eliminated 700 calories from my typical meal. That leaves the meal at approximately…2300?! Cutting out the warm apple crostada would leave me with the lasagna, which is about 1100 calories, and would take me just over my budget for the day.

However, for a very long time, I’ve believed that diets don’t work. You have to make changes not just in the way you eat, but in the way you think about food. Therefore, I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to “spend” all of my remaining calories on one piece of lasagna. I decided that I didn’t, so I had the dinner-sized Italian salad with a sliced chicken breast, which still clocks in at about 800 calories, but in addition to the leafy vegetables, it gave me some room in case I wanted to get a drink at the Dove.5 It was delicious, and I’ll probably make the same trade in the future.

Overall, it was a pretty successful first restaurant outing. I made some mature decisions, still had a delicious meal with wonderful company, and then went and saw a fantastic concert. I did end up going over my calorie budget for the day by 47 whopping calories, but I’m not too worried about that, since I stayed under on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

Footnotes

1. The six guys in Face have become friends over the past several years, and you should definitely check them out. They’re awesome.
2. The Soiled Dove is one of my favorite venues for seeing shows. I’d love to play there, but their stage might be a bit small for a 20 piece big band like William and the Romantics
3. Typically a pinot noir.
4. For the record, my wife and I do split the garlic cheese bread.
5. I did. I had a pint of Shock Top Belgian White.

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