I was hungry one evening not too long ago, but I knew I was going to a favorite restaurant with my husband later so I waited to eat.
Because I get physically uncomfortable (tummy and headache) and very irritable.
In order to protect my kids from my symptoms, I decided to hide out in my office. I distracted myself with work—not the rich creative work that requires calm centeredness—but I got some mundane things done.
I kept checking my watch.
As soon as my husband got home, I was in a rush to get to the restaurant and order.
Everything on the menu looked especially good (even things I don’t normally eat)—blue cheese dressing, fries of all sorts, large portions of it all . . .
It’s just not a good idea to go to a restaurant really hungry. Sigh.
What could I have done instead?
Had a snack.
“Ruin my appetite”.
It’s a trap to wait too long to eat. When you get over-hungry your defenses are lowered and long-term goals don’t sound nearly as important as the waffle fries.
By the time we leave our home, travel to the restaurant, get menus and water, put in our orders, get served, it can be anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. If you were hungry at the start, then 90 minutes later you are over-hungry.
Knowing this is half the battle because we can take steps to prevent over-hunger.
A small snack before dinner will do the trick.
It should be just enough to take the edge off but not so much that you end up with two dinners (two dinners is not better than one).
For example, a one hundred calorie greek yogurt with around 10-15 grams of protein would’ve solved ALL of my problems that night!
· I would not have been physically uncomfortable.
· I would not have been irritable.
· I could have done other more important work or connected with my kids.
· I would not have been in a rush to get to the restaurant and order.
· And I could have ordered more responsibly.
Those hundred calories of yogurt would have saved me 400-500 calories of dinner.
I would have been relaxed and enjoyed all of my date night, not just the eating part.
Connection is what we need, not BBQ.
Then the whole time together is fulfilling, not just the ribs. I can appreciate his opening the car door for me, enjoy our conversation about our day, notice the scenery outside on the way, acknowledge the restaurant owner’s warm welcome. I can exhale as I sit across from my husband and really see him.
These are the parts of the evening that are nourishing.
Try a snack the next time your dinner is scheduled a little later than your hunger would like. Minimally satisfy the need so you can bring your best self to the table (literally).