When I go out to a restaurant, I am always trying to determine one of two paths to take: do I exercise restraint with the choices I make or do I let loose and enjoy this treat. Here lies the proplem...one indulgent meal won't bury me. In theory this is true, but in practicality it could bury me. Ask any teacher "does one missing homework assignment put me in danger of failing, or is it the culmination of missing homework assignments?" I think the answer is yes to both.
Restaurant food is a special food that is different from the food that I make at home. That is why I want to eat as much as I can while I am out because it tastes so good. Will I never be able to stuff my face until my body falls into a food coma again? Restaurants can be a very dangerous place for people like me who have struggle with portion control. People like my wife don't seem to struggle with going out to eat. She doesn't seem to have this dilemma that I do. I know that I can't flip a switch and be like her, but I have found that the following works best for me.
My solution to this issue is that I have to make the decision about how I am going to eat prior to arriving at the restaurant. Like my pastor said at church on Sunday: "Plan your work and work your plan." If I am going out to a Mexican restaurant...yes, I will allow myself to eat chips and salsa or no I will not. If I'm heading out to a steakhouse...yes, I will chose to eat one roll or no I won't eat any. Prior to heading into Chick-fil-a....do I get the grilled or the fried, do I compensate by not getting the fries? These are the decisions I must make prior to stepping into the doors of a restaurant if I want to have a better chance of success. If I don't own up to a decision, then the food will own up to it for me.