It’s really been quite a year, hasn’t it? I’m SO aware that whilst I’ve spent much of the last year not working due to Covid lockdowns, I’ve been lucky in many ways in that it’s given me the space and time to focus on me. Gosh, that sounds very indulgent doesn’t it but, pre-Covid, I was just ticking along in life and focusing on everything else other than my mind and my body. Needed to go into a shop for some milk? Chocolate would quickly be in my basket! Needed to grab lunch at a drive-thru motorway service station? Couldn’t beat a chocolate milkshake and something with cheese in it. Needed to chill after a long day where all I wanted to do was to slouch on the sofa to watch TV? I could sit there for hours without thinking about how I could combine watching TV with some indoor walking or working out. But Covid has genuinely made me take stock of myself.
When we’ve come out of each lockdown, work has been busy even though I’m working only from home and I was worried whether my good intentions to keep up the fitness would abruptly stop… but I’ve carved out the time to get my body moving and, in fact, I’m loving my evening walks in particular.
But what happens post-Covid when friends ask to meet up for lunch and dinner again? What happens when there’re family events involving food? In many ways, I’ve been cocooned for the past 12 months and I haven’t faced these pressures. So, whilst I want to keep coming back to this topic over my next few posts, my thoughts today are about how I’ll cope with going to restaurants:
- I can look online to check out the menu. By looking in advance, I can make healthy choices rather than suddenly decide when I’m there and hopefully work out calories too.
- I can ask for substitutions to the meal. It’s okay for ask for a smaller portion of fries or swap entirely for a salad. I can ask that the sauce is on the side so that I can choose how much to add.
- I can try to be the first to order. How many times do you think you know what you want and then, hearing a friend order something different, you think “Ooh, that sounds even better. I think I’ll change my mind“! If I go first, I won’t be influenced by others’ choices.
- I can say “no” to a dessert! Just because others are eating dessert, I don’t have to.
- It’s okay to rehearse my responses. If I know I’m meeting someone who’ll be quick to question why I’m not having a dessert, I can decide in advance how I’ll respond. “Mmm, that main course was lovely and I’m actually quite full“.
- But I can choose to have a dessert because treats are okay. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance so I can always cut back on calories the next day. And there’s the option of sharing a dessert too (although I personally think that something like New York cheesecake is way too nice to share!)
- I can leave food on my plate. Yes, although we’re sometimes conditioned as kids to make sure we’ve eaten everything, it’s okay not to – even if everyone else finishes their food.
Can you think of anything else that’d help you if you were going to a restaurant? As I’ve said before, planning ahead is key to controlling what I’m eating…. but, that said, it’s okay to still have times when I’m completely spontaneous!! Dans Le Noir (in London) and Blackout (in Las Vegas) are just two of the restaurants around the world where you actually eat in the dark, finding out only afterwards what you’ve eaten. Sounds kinda fun and perhaps I’ll give that a go one day!
I’ll be back either Friday or Saturday but, until then, take care
Love Erika xx