Thursday, August 17, 2006

Restaurants, Diets, and a Healthy Marriage

My wife and I have a regular lunch date each Friday. Although we would prefer warm, fresh, doughy, rich, chocolate chip muffins, reason usually overrides and we (begrudgingly) agree to follow our diet. Ah, the sacrifices we make to fight Father Time's clutches.

Weaving between segments of light conversation, I oh-so-casually inquire, "So, what are you going to order?"

Advanced observers of "dietorial" behavior will note that this query is not as innocent as it appears at first blush. If she replies - for example - "fish and chips," I act surprised and reply as such: "What a great idea! I was going to have salad but I'll have that instead." This alleviates me of the guilt of not eating healthy. Follow me please. As a supportive life-partner - in her best interest - I don't want my loving wife feeling self-conscious because she indulged in a fried food fest while I gently nibbled on lettuce leaves. Therefore I must consume an equal number of calories. For domestic tranquility, I sacrifice.

"I was thinking nachos..." she begins.

I can barely restrain my excitement; nachos are the mother lode! Three entire menus and two ice cream trucks have fewer combined calories than one order of nachos. I could inhale a deluxe burrito, beans, cheese and extra chips while still appearing to be on a crash diet compared to a serving of nachos. My wife is wonderful!

"... But I've been trying to lose five pounds," she continues.

My heart drops. Over the table, thoughts of guacamole and frosty Margaritas vanish in a puff.

An internal battle is joined. Inner Chubby Child wants her to order something gooey or greasy so I can have my "play foods" sans guilt. Adult Husband understands how difficult healthy choices can be and wants to be supportive.

"You're beautiful; you don't need to lose anything," slithers from my lips. Score one for child, husband bats zero.

She smiles, her deep brown eyes dancing. "Thank you. I'll still have the salad."

I sigh. Two salads: no sour cream, hold the taco shell, non-fat dressing - on the side. Green leafy rabbit food yet again. Happy happy joy joy.

While dejectedly picking at the greenery I try one last tactic. "Honey, with the calories we saved, what do you say we order dessert?"

About the author: Scott "Q" Marcus, THINspirational speaker, lives in Eureka. Since losing 70 pounds ten years ago he conducts presentations on goal setting, attitude, and health throughout the country. He can be reached at 707.442.6243 or

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