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That’s Not Big Enough

Why is it that I go to restaurants and once my food is served I think, “That is never going to be enough?” Suddenly I start calculating what the rest of my day looks like wondering if the food in front of me will provide enough sustenance to get me through to my next meal. Will my dining companions call me a pig if I order a second entrée? What will the waitress think? Will I stroke out before I get the chance to eat again?

I calm the demons by telling them I can always go home via a drive-thru if I need more to eat, and no one will be the wiser. I was a sneaky drive-thru girl for a lot of years. I could travel from place to place and order a little snack here and there to tide me over. I never ordered super-sizes because the pimply-faced teenagers taking my order might think I ate too much fast food.

Back in the restaurant, I finish the argument with myself and enjoy the meal, and magically, the portion satisfies me. Sometimes it amazes me that the “regular” portion is adequate. I can even split an entrée, order an appetizer or get something off the ala carte menu and be quite happy by the end of the experience.

When I was a kid, most weekends I spent with my Gram and Pappy. They would take me to eat at Laughers’. It was a cafeteria-style restaurant that had the best sugar cream pie in the whole wide world. I learned to love it because it was my Gram’s favorite. I think it must have been a regional thing because I rarely see it on the menus today. I suppose it could have been removed from the market by the FDA due to its detrimental health effects. It was a thick gooey custard-type of pie. All the sugar turned it golden brown on the top.

Gram and Pappy were pretty thrifty, but they always let me pick whatever I wanted to eat during our outings. I always got a roll with real butter, fruit salad, fried chicken, mash potatoes, green beans and of course the pie. Gram placed similar items on her tray with the addition of a three-bean salad, which I thought was a big waste! They’d give me a little reminder about eating everything I chose, but the meal always ended with, “Missy, your eyes are bigger than your belly.”

What happened? I have photographic evidence that my belly surpassed my eyes on many different levels! It was bigger than I could even imagine, let alone see in plain sight. A hundred pounds ago, I could polish off anything I ordered from a menu. While it is more difficult to accomplish now, I still try to do it if I fail to plan.

Today, I try to practice more realistic portion control. Some days I’m better at it than others. It helps if I go to restaurants in which I have familiarity. It also helps if I have a snack before I go out to eat. I know it may seem weird to eat before you eat, but a little snack goes a long way to curb the crazies since cannot depend on my eyes to be bigger than my belly.

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