Would You Like Fries With That?

One of the first things I banned when I joined Weight Watchers in 2004 was, naturally, fried food.

After all, fried food has zero nutritional value and is a helluva lot of Points for pretty much nada.

And since I’ve always been more of a sweets-craver than a savory-craver, it has never been a big deal for me to ban this type of food.

Well, tonight, my husband and I went to dinner at Red Robin. (I should note here that I loathe chains, but he reallllly wanted a burger and he asks for so little that I said what the hell).

In case you’re not familiar with Red Robin, they are known for their burgers and fries, two things I have not ordered out in well over six years.

It was early when we went and I wasn’t too too hungry, so I ordered a salad, knowing that we were going out for coffee/dessert later (and I’d want something there). I also knew from my husband (who had been with male amigos before) that they serve unlimited steak fries at Red Robin — and that if I wanted to, I could snag a few of my husband’s fries.

Wait, what did I just say?! Yes, I have to state here that even that thought (“I’ll snag one of his”) has been a foreign concept for so many years now that the mere comfort in the thought honestly came as a shock to me — how easy it felt to think, “Hey, if I want one, I’ll have one.”

That, ladies and gentleman, is progress.

So we enjoyed our meal and chatted, catching up (since our recent trips over-lapped) and as we talked, I found myself snagging not one but SEVEN steak fries! They were quite delish!

Now, I recognize whole-heartedly that this is no big feat for the average girl out to dinner with her husband … but for me — this was quasi-monumental.

Monumental enough for me to blog about it.

You see, I’m not telling you the number from the food journaling perspective — that would be annoying and this is not my food journal — but rather I’m sharing it from the “loosening-up/being flexible/enjoying-life-in-the-moment” perspective.

Between my trip to Salt Lake City where I enjoyed lots of vino and rich food, to a girls’ night dinner this week where I shared small plates with my girlfriends and had wine, to tonight’s fries … I really feel like I’m beginning to understand what “normalcy” is.

It’s about balance. Shame-free/guilt-free coexistence with food. Experiencing life. Savoring it.

No one has to be perfect all the time. Eating a few French fries once in a blue moon will not make me fat. And enjoying life a little more is going to make me a more pleasant wife/friend/daughter/colleague to be around.

And since I had this “treat” tonight, I have no desire to go home and nosh. (I’m blogging from Water Street Coffee Joint, my favorite local place, and what makes tonight awesome is that we went out to dinner and then came here so we could spend time together — hubby is studying while I blog — but we’re TOGETHER).

So while my little ditty tonight might sound silly to some of my readers, I’m blogging about this because it’s little moments like this when I realize that hey, I’m OK. I’m going to be OK.

What a liberating sensation.

And now — with Korea coming upon us in 21 days — I’m really looking forward to the challenge of being in a totally unfamiliar place with totally unfamiliar food/culture.

Ultimately, we need to step outside our comfort zones to really experience life. And I’m ready.

How about you?  Is there a food you had banned or restricted that you have recently given yourself permission to enjoy? How did it make you feel afterwards?

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9 thoughts on “Would You Like Fries With That?

  1. This IS progress! And this is awesome. I have been experiencing the same thing a lot this past year. I’m able to have bites of this or that, and then not worry about it.

    Last night, I made pizza with some friends, and enjoyed not one, but TWO slices. That’s huge for me. I didn’t worry if the slices were equal, or what size they were. They were delicious, and two slices of pizza is a perfect adequate dinner.

  2. Wow – that IS great news! I do like to steal other people’s fries. I’m a definite fry stealer. 🙂

    The funny thing is, I gave up peanut butter for probably 3 or 4 years because to me it was “bad.” Now? I eat it every morning with my oats, and often in the evening. I wish I could change my way of thinking with other “trigger” foods, but I am pretty proud I can eat PB without any guilt at all now!

  3. I banned fried foods in my restrictive days, but I enjoy them occasionally now. I used to LOVE french fries, pre-anorexia. My sister and I would go to Red Robin and just order refill upon refill of steak fries. Those things are delicious! It’s really important for me to let go a bit, not have so many absolute rules. It really does all balance out.

  4. it is SO funny you posted this, because i just did the same thing the other night with my son’s french fries and felt so liberated just like you did! knowing i cannot eat just one, i typically try not to look at them and don’t have any. but i too, over the past month or so, have FINALLY realized that some eating of foods that we typically consider ‘off limits’ is really ok. hence, i had six fries and enjoyed each and every one of them. and guess what? i did not wake up the next day with 10 lbs on my tush.

  5. I always restricted eating cake unless it was my birthday. Since starting my job, birthdays and special occasions are celebrated with cake. I have given myself permission to eat cake and I feel great about it!

  6. that is most certainly progress, and great to hear! i have definitely restricted things like fried foods and sadly, bagels for many many years. i’m still working on letting those in, but i’ve made progress in that a lot of of other things were restricted and now aren’t!

    keep it up!

  7. That is awesome progress!! Getting rid of those restrictive thoughts is a huge step in and of itself. Being your own worst enemy is half the battle so “allowing” yourself to do something as “normal” as stealing a few fries off of your dining partner’s plate? Some people would think that’s nothing but for someone who has struggled with finding food balance, that is nothing short of amazing! I’d agree with Balance Broad – peanut butter used to be on my “list” too…and weird things like bananas because I was really into Atkins/South Beach and bananas were “bad” – I mean really, a piece of fruit, bad?? No way man!

  8. Thanks so much everyone, for the support!!! I really appreciate it. And I’m glad to hear so many of you have also been able to loosen up a little bit. Life’s too short to live it only half-assed.

  9. Yes! That’s great! It’s about creating a foundation of nutritional support by eating really healthily most of the time…then when you feel like having something not so healthy, it’s not a huge deal to have a few bites of it.

    BODA lose weight

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