Thursday, September 25, 2008

Go Ahead, Embarrass the Waiter!

Recently I've been made aware of a roadblock that many dieters share. I never knew this situation existed, but apparently people do not order their food the way they'd like when dining out because it embarrasses their waiter.

"No," my overweight client says, "I could never ask for the butter and sour cream on the side--the waiter looks at me so strangely". "But," says the woman who has not been able to shed her 30 extra pounds for 15 years, "I could never ask them to bring just two rolls instead of a basket! It would be so inconvenient for them!"

Over and over I hear reasons why it would not be acceptable to ask for your food the way you want it when you eat out in a restaurant. "That's the way it comes, so that's the way you should order it," they tell me. How about, "since you are paying for it and they are making it for you, you should be able to ask them to make it the way you want it!" Why would it be inconvenient for the waiter to put two rolls in a basket instead of six? Why would it be any trouble for the chef to leave off the gravy? How would it be more work to put the butter and sour cream on the plate next to the potato instead of on it, or the dressing in a cup on the side instead of poured onto the salad?

Furthermore, people tell me they are embarrassing themselves by asking for a take-out container as soon as the food arrives. "Everyone will look at me strangely," fretted Donna. And Cindy told me, "If I split an entree with my husband, or order an appetizer for dinner instead of an entree, the waiter will think I'm cheap". Really? You care that much about the opinion of a 23 year old college student who you will never, ever see again? Frank told me he doesn't want to make a big deal of ordering his food in special ways because it will call attention to the fact that he's trying to lose weight.

I have a newsflash for all of you, although it's not politically correct. People know you are overweight. They see it. Twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Is this not embarrassing? Is there some reason you are too proud to split a meal or take half of yours home, yet okay with walking around carrying 30, 40, maybe even 80 extra pounds?
How does it embarrass you more to ask for the sauce on the side than it does to worry about fitting into a chair in the restaurant dining area?

Take account of what really matters in your life. Get yourself healthy and stop worrying about how other people will take it! Start showing yourself, as well as others, that taking care of yourself is the priority and start doing it today.

I can't sign off without giving kudos to Liz, of course. Last night at a dinner function there were about eight of us at the table in a restaurant. When our meals started arriving Liz asked the waiter for a take-out container as soon as she got her plate. No one noticed (Can you believe it? No one took notice of Liz asking the waiter for something because they were all excited to have just received their own dinner!). I noticed, and I said to Liz, "I'm so impressed that you asked to have a take-home container as soon as you got your food--I hear some people feel funny about doing that". "Well," Liz told me, "I just lost 20 pounds and I'm planning to keep going for another 20. I'm going to keep making smart choices even when I'm eating out and feeling funny about it isn't going to sabotage my progress". Yay Liz!!


Spider63 said...

You have to take into consideration that at many restaurants the waiters will get it all mixed up without any special orders. The odds are good that you will get the food much worse if you ask for anything out of the ordinary.


Oh, spidey, I'm disappointed you would help people come up with another 'excuse' like this to keep people from ordering healthy versions of their food :(