IHOP is evil…well not really

Think about this. When IHOP (International House of Pancakes) has a simple and fit menu and all the meals on that are “under 600 calories” does it put it into perspective how much you’re actually eating when you don’t order off the simple and fit choices? I mean, when you ask for a Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity, could you consume more than 1000 calories in one sitting? Could you actually eat your entire calorie requirements for the day in only 20-30 minutes?
It’s very likely. To add to that, would you get any nutritional value out of the food you ate other than filling your carb, fat, and salt requirements (hey, I’ve heard these are food groups)?
Sadly, yes and I truly hate to admit I fell victim of not only hyper-calorie food, but making bad choices when doing so. This morning, we went to the pancake house and I had every intention of ordering off the simple and fit menu, but when we got there, the kids couldn’t make up their mind, the waitress had other tables that were demanding her attention, people were getting impatient, and we were all hungry (again, don’t go somewhere when you’re in a hurry, haven’t drunk your morning coffee,  AND everyone is hungry). So I made a hasty decision to get the pancake combo and when she asked me what kind of pancakes I wanted, without thinking I said chocolate chip.
Once she left and we got the kids settled and I had my first taste of coffee, I started counting the items I’d get–two eggs overeasy, sausage links, hash browns, and two chocolate chip pancakes. Ugh! I think I gained three pounds just for ordering it. 
After that, I noticed the harvest grain ‘n nut choice, the turkey sausage, and the egg substitute, but it was too late. The food had been ordered and I already felt annoyed at myself, but it seemed easier to blame IHOP for it. I mean, who offers great tasting, not-good-for you food anyway? People are only so strong.
Yeah, I know, it’s not their fault that I made a bad choice. In fact, when I look at their online menu, they offer multiple healthier selections that would have filled me up just fine and been amazingly good. Some of them were a respectable 350 calories for the entire meal. 
This journey to wellness not only is going to require me to make good decisions, but good decisions without thinking.
For so long, I’ve made quick decisions at work (which was good because I was a nurse) and with my social life (sometimes not so good, but that’s a different entry), and with eating (good and bad). I find that when I’m not starving, not hurried and I’m focused, I’ll make far better choices than if I had a moment to think, just a moment.
That’s not entirely true because I’ve had plenty of time to look over a menu and find the more time I have, the harder it is to make a good decision. Buffalo wings on this page, fajitas on that, here’s some fat, there’s some salt, everywhere a heart attack.
I always allow myself to be distracted, to be less involved in my health citing reasons of hunger, stress, or simply life in general makes it too difficult to juggle it all. On the flip side, when I go out, I want to endulge, treat myself to something I wouldn’t normally have–maybe a healthy meal (ouch rationale me, that was mean).
What’s the answer? For me, I simply have to be mindful (not to quote Oprah or anything, but she’s right). Be mindful of what I’m doing, what I’m ordering, and am I going to be pissed or proud of myself afterwards? I’d rather be proud beacuse I’ve spent too long being pissed.
So is IHOP and the thousands of other places who serve food evil? No, not really, but for too long, I’ve blamed all of them for my weight.
Now, in 2011, I’ve finally figured out who I’m supposed to point the finger at—me.
Wow, that was a deep conversation and it’s only January 2. Should be an interesting year.

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