Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dietribe 2, The Sequel

Ok, I'm not done with the Dietribe.

Now, we all know that the food and restaurant industries are dead set against anyone on a diet. And when you dissect their methods, they're just plain insidious. I don't know how anyone who likes to eat isn't immense. (the term "obese" is used and overused and connotes slothfulness, and really, we're not all that way, just a little weak willed sometimes) If I think about it, the people I know who maintain a decent weight must either exercise their buns off (yes, literally) or not like to eat. You can't have it any other way it turns out.

So, I'm meeting my friend Jill for lunch at a Mexican food restaurant in Century City. It's so festive, with pretty pink lights all over, comfy booths, kitchy decor. While I'm waiting, my perky, pretty, sweet waitress asks in her bubbly and extremely friendly voice if I want a Pretty Pink Margarita while I wait. No, thanks I'll have just water. Oh, maybe just a Corona? No, I'll have just water. Now at this point, I already feel bad. Not only am I apparently dull as dishwater, but I'm almost being mean to her. I keep saying no, and she's just trying to make me feel good, and to bring me nice, festive things.

Then, a bucket of crispy tortilla chips comes out, all warm and fresh, with a beckoning bowl of fresh salsa. I eat one chip. Delicious. My mind nearly tricks me into thinking that the chips are just a vessel for the virtuous salsa with it's tomatoes, cilantro, so light, so healthy. Yeah, uh huh. The smart thing to do would be to send the entire bucket back, but I think I have faith in my willpower. After all, I'm conscious of all of this trickery, it should be easy to resist. No mindless munching here. (yeah, right)

Jill arrives. I tell her these thoughts I"m having. She agrees with my assessments. The waitress arrives back to greet the fresh meat, oh, I mean the additional guest. She's still perky, still pushing the Margaritas. But Jill is wise, and not so guilt prone. She says her no thank you's with a sweet firmness. She sends the no's with a slight admonishment in that it's sort of early in the day for cocktails or beer. So little Miss Perkster, not to be outdone offers the wondrous cocktails as virgin versions - refreshing and delightful. Still no. How about some guacamole while you look over your menu. There is probably nothing I'd like more, but once again, even though our nice waitress is only there to serve and please us, once again, I am rejecting her kind offers.

Looking over the menu, I'm thinking, there has to be something fairly virtuous here. But I'm at a Mexican restaurant, and I really like Mexican food, so I don't want to have something like salmon. I've also seen the websites, (buzzkillers really), that delineate the freaking calorie count of some, or most of my favorite Mexican dishes. Enchiladas, nearly 1000. Burritos with chicken, cheese, guac and sour cream, nearly 1000. Tacos, what can I say, I like them crispy, nearly 1000. And all the plates probably come with beans & rice, another, well, you get the idea. Then I'm wondering if they have a children's menu, so I could at least count on the portions to be more moderate. But I suddenly remember, it's a federal crime to order off the children's menu if you are over 12. Or at least against the restaurant rule book. I wonder, what if I offered to pay an adult price. I hear my husband's voice saying, don't pay full price for less food, just bring half home with you. Well, that's reasonable, but we all pretty much know how that scenario goes. Get the take out container, put 1/2 to 1/3, or maybe just 1/4 in the container, and you've still overeaten.

Jill and I manage to split a Tostada. It's amazing in that it's actually two Tostadas in one order, more than enough for us. (Even I, an overeater, wonder how one person could polish off both at one sitting) And I slip a few more mouthfuls of the virtuous salsa down with the chip vehicle it came with. But I don't really make a dent in the bucket the chips came in. Thank God.

At the end of the meal, I'm content. After all, I've contained myself, been truthful and vigilant about what I'm up against, and with my new, larger waisted pants, I'm still comfortable after eating what I want to eat. Not bad. I might even go out for Thai food tomorrow. See what I'm up against there.


  1. I'm pretty sure skinny people don't brace themselves for the challange of every meal. So unfair! And then feeling intitled to clebrate with a little snacky, when you've been good all-the-way-through-lunch. sigh

  2. This is so true. Digging into a bucket of crispy tortilla chips is a diet-demolition-derby disaster! I'm completely under the tortilla spell the minute the basket hits the table. I dig right in, only to look down and see I've devoured them all, every last chip. These few moments of utter delight are only to be destroyed 30 minutes later when I stand up from the table with less dough in my pocket, a bulging belly and bad breath. Ugh...