Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dining and Running

No this blog isn't about the old eat and then run out before the bill gets there.  This is about two of my favorite activities, eating out and running long distances.

Our family enjoys going out to dinner just like the rest of the world.  This was for our grand daughter's birthday last year!!  But dining out requires planning, and planning requires some thought before you order.  This week we are going to talk about enjoying dining out while being in Weight Watchers.

How often do you think "I don't really want to go out because I am nervous about what I am going to eat? "

For many of us eating out is a way of life.  Whether it is grabbing a bagel with our morning coffee, going out to lunch with co-workers, taking in dinner after working late, or even stopping at the mall kiosk for a snack, we all appreciate how convenient it has become to get food prepared for us.  while the experience of eating out has become routine, many people view it as a "treat" and select foods with that in mind.  I guess the question you need to ask yourself is this a treat situation or are you just satisfying your hunger?

What are some of the challenges you face when going out to dinner?  Can you relate to any of these?

  • Not knowing how to calculate the PointsPlus values of foods served at restaurants
  • Feeling tempted by unhealthy choices
  • Feeling limited by only a few healthy choices on the menue
  • Confusion about which menu items are healthier choices
  • Feeling embarrassed or awkward when it comes to ordering healthy foods

One of the secrets I have learned is to look up the menu for a given restaurant on the Internet or use the Dining Out Companion to find out what the PointsPlus values are before I go out to eat.  If you have a monthly pass, you can use the internet, your smartphone or any of the apps available to find out what those values are.

Most of you have heard the Mr. Pickles story but I will share it once again to get my point across.  Last year I had lunch with my daughter Erin and her husband Greg at Mr. Pickles.  I looked for the healthiest item I could find and decided on a turkey wrap.  When I got home I looked up the nutritional values for my lunch and realized I had eaten 31 PointsPlus.  That was all of my daily PointsPlus, and most of my weekly PointsPlus values!  From then on I always carry the Dining Out Companion in my purse.  It may not have all of the restaurants I eat at but at least I can get a pretty close number so I will never be surprised!!

Also, keep in your arsenal of good planning the knowledge of those restaurants that include PointsPlus values right on their menus. Whenever we are traveling on business or pleasure, we usually stop at least once at Applebee's because we know they always have PointsPlus values listed on their menu. This especially makes it easy if you have to make an emergency meal stop.

What are some of your best tips for making healthy choices at a restaurant.  Share your ideas in the comments  section so we can all benefit from your wisdom.

Picture this: You're going on a date to a nice restaurant.  What do you do to prepare?  Make reservations?  Get a babysitter?  Buy a new outfit?  How do you prepare to stay on plan.  Spend some time preparing so you can enjoy yourself!

Now on to Running --

As most of you know, yesterday Steve and I ran the American River 1/2 Marathon.  We were so happy to be running together and were enjoying the beauty of day, it was windy but the sun was out and we were just cruising.  After a three month recovery on my tendon, I felt like a kid.  Running has become my passion and I truly do enjoy the freedom I get when I am running on the trail.

At about 9 miles in, my ankle started bothering me and I felt some twinges but I thought, it's just sore.  Another quarter of a mile it became clear that I had injured it again and Steve began asking me if I wanted to stop and get a ride to the finish line.  I told him "no" and we continued to walk the three-plus miles we had left to the finish line.  He kept asking me if I wanted to stop and finally after the cranky "NO! I'm not stopping!" He quit asking.  He held onto my hand as the pain worsened and helped me up and down the hills. Nothing like the hills in Pollock Pines I guarantee you!!  But they felt like that as I walked in.

Steve and I are part of SacFit (Sacramento Fun in Training) and we are the head coaches for the Rowdy Reds, an awesome group of people who are just learning to run and some who have been running for quite some time! It is a wonderful group of people who care about one another and who support each other as we all try to be healthy.  Steve and I have a wonderful group of coaches who volunteer with us and we support these runners every week.  Well, this week it was my turn to be supported.  As Steve and I walked across the finish line here were all of our runners and our coaches, cheering us on!!!  It was very emotional and it truly made me cry.  I realized how connected we all are.  We are there for each other in times of happiness and in times of need.

So dear reader, understand that as you go through your weight loss journey, you will always have a coach, you will always have a friend and when you need to lean on someone you will always have me.  It is my most fervent desire to see you become successful as you go through this journey.

See you Thursday....



  1. Love Your Blogs... Hope your ankle is feeling a bit better today! You are a rockstar!!

    RoWdY ReDs

  2. I was so tired after finishing...I wish I had the thought to stay. I would have LOVED to cheer YOU on for a change! You have been so supportive of me and my journey, I can't even begin to express my gratitude. Thank you for everything. I look forward to the next season...thank you for letting me fill in! Rowdy Reds Rule!