Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why I Do Not Compromise

Of all the things I have changed in my life in the last 2+ years, nothing causes more controversy than my "no restaurants" pledge.

It really bothers people.  I don't know why.  Perhaps because I am so inflexible.  Perhaps because eating out in restaurants is such a fabric of our lives, such a part of the American way of life in the 21st century.  Eating in restaurants is a way to socialize, a way to celebrate.  We do it all the time without thinking and can't imagine not doing it.

But I'm not going to do it and here's why.

I've said over and over that I am a food addict.  It's my problem.  For the first 37 years of my life, I abused food.  I still do sometimes and have to be careful.

If food was my drug then the restaurant was my crack house.

What is the purpose of a restaurant?  Why is it there? Like any other business, its sole purpose is to make money.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  We live in a capitalistic society and the restaurant owner has every right to operate their business as they see fit.

But the restaurant owner does not care about:

-Serving you anything remotely healthy
-The quality of the food (only the taste)
-Limiting your intake.  On the contrary, they want you to eat as much as possible

The restaurant owner also has to keep an eye on food costs.  Since the goal is to get you to spend as much as possible, that means serving you as much food, as cheaply as possible that tastes as good as possible.  And for most people, tasting good means as much sugar, salt and fat as possible.

None of those are good for me.  It's a bad environment for a food addict.  Something happens to me when the consumption of food is turned into an entertainment occasion.  When everyone is laughing and having a good time and the server is bringing me anything I want, as much as I want...self-control melts away.  Who keeps track in a restaurant?  Hardly anyone.

So like an alcoholic does not belong in a bar, I do not belong in a restaurant.  I do not begrudge anyone their restaurant experience.  I'm the one with the problem. 

They're just not for me.

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