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    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Super Size Me?

    Eating out (I'm not talking about sex here. Get your mind out of the gutter, Wendy!) has become an interesting adventure since weight loss surgery.

    The first thing we have to think about is the kind of food a place serves. It's strange to me to think about healthy eating since I spent the last 15 years eating whatever crap sounded good.

    I have to admit to becoming a slave to fast food. Out of sheer laziness, we ate fast food almost every day. I attribute much of my weight gain and carbohydrate addiction to "plastic food". It's so readily available, cheap and fills that "I need it now" (again, with the dirty minds) mentality of instant gratification. These are the places I now avoid like the plague.

    Once I finally find a place that serves something decent, I have to figure out what I think is not only healthy, but will agree with my new stomach. Not always an easy endeavor.

    Mr. Sign and I went to lunch at a steak house chain. We decided to order one meal and split it. The waitress looked at us like we had genitalia growing out of our foreheads. You see, we are still good sized people even though we have each lost over one hundred pounds.

    Imagine the waitress's surprise when we asked for boxes to take the remaining half home with us. The two of us ate less than half of a meal that was meant to serve one. Of course she thought something was wrong with the food. (Why would I want to take it home if something was wrong with it? To have it tested, lol?)

    Mr. Sign has a need to explain to everyone he meets that he's had weight loss surgery. I, personally, don't think it's anyone's business why I can only eat 1/4 of a regular portion of food. I'm training him to keep things to himself. I'm sure that once we are normal weights, people won't give us the freak look when we share a meal.

    This leads me to portion size. Americans expect to be served enough food to feed a small family with one portion. When I was a kid, the average meal from McDonald's was what is now the Happy Meal consisting of a regular hamburger, small fry and small Coke. No wonder we are a fat nation. If offered a smaller portion, the average American feels cheated. As a weight loss surgery patient, I'm amazed at how much food people can eat. I'm even more horrified knowing that I used to eat like that.

    T.G.I. Fridays is now offering smaller portions. I hope this is the beginning of the a swing back to appropriate sized meals. After all, our children have no idea of what an acceptable food portion looks like. They've always know the Double Big Mac, super sized fry and 64 oz. Coke as a normal meal.


    DZER said...

    LMAO @ genitalia growing from foreheads!

    Monkey said...

    Oh man! I so hear you on portions in most U.S. restaurants! We can never finish anything and it goes to waste.

    For how long will your tummy be finicky? I only ask because here in Portland, we have some of the best restaurants in the entire U.S. of A. I've found that if I eat food that is REALLY good, fresh ingredients and a few appropriate spices, I'm not as hungry. It's like my mind gets fed too.

    They say that is why people in Europe are thinner. Because, ironically, the food tastes better, so they eat less.

    Silly Americans. When will we learn?

    Congrats again to you and your hubby. Yeeehaw!

    g-man said...

    I think that you should just hem and haw and say that your dinner was so so...maybe you could get it for free...Ha!

    Morning Sweetie I Hope you are feeling better...Galen xoxox

    Donna said...

    Hey, did you see the movie SuperSize me? My surgeon is in it. He also performs the prodecure done to the 1812 Overture at the end.

    SignGurl said...

    DZER~ That gives new meaning to foreHEAD.

    Monkey~ My little love muffin! I have many bananas for you. I love the idea about feeding your mind as well as your stomach. That statement is so true. The food here in Michigan is mediocore to say the least. I'll have to make an aside to Maine.

    Our stomachs sometimes stay finicky for life. One day I can eat chicken and the next it's poison. We have to keep trying with the offending foods.

    SignGurl said...

    G-Man~ I'm cheap, but not that cheap. Thanks!

    Donna~ I did see SuperSize Me. I saw it soon after surgery and it made me puke (sorry G-Man). I'll have to look for your surgeon next time I see it. How cool!

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with you about the portion sizes served in Restaurants.
    I like to go to Olive Garden and get the Eggplant Pamesian. Well they put four eggplant slices on the plate along with a nice portion of pasta. I can never finish them, 3 is pushing it.
    We went there for lunch and I thought the portion would be smaller but nooooooo, 3 slices for LUNCH!! then you feel obliged to eat it all because fried eggplant doesn't heat up well in my opinion.
    Good post jenn.:)

    SignGurl said...

    TC~ Food never tastes the same reheated. Unfortunately, I can't eat any reheated meats now. They are too dry and get "stuck". Our kids get the leftovers since we don't have a dog.

    barman said...

    I still look for the bargin. I mean look, spend x number of dollars but for 30 cents more get a lot more. I am so in the wrong frame of mind.

    I saw the TGI Friday adds and thought that was a wonderful idea. I have to give it a try. That way I will be less tempted.

    Big Pissy said...

    The portion sizes in the US have been far too large for far too long.

    Sadly, I think everyone expects those portion sizes now.... :(

    jillie said...

    And here I thought that maybe you had a pimple in the middle of your forehead...lol!

    You know it's funny you wrote your blog about this. Robert and I went for dinner on Friday night to a Chinese place. They gave us WAY too much food. We took it home and got two more meals out of it. It's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. People complain that they get too much and then complain if they don't get enough.

    They should (restaurants) should offer full size and half sizes. I know Applebee's does on some of their salads. I know I can eat all of the big salad but do I really need to?

    Great blog Jenn ;o)

    And you are right...it IS none of their business!

    *S* said...

    I hear you on the portions, Jenn. We were out at some mammoth portion place for my mother's b-day on Sat. and I finally took the waitress aside and explained what was going on. Resulted in my 11 year-old nephew and I being "exempted" from the requirement to order a meal, as things are served family style. I still feel weird explaining the WLS to people who don't have a need to know.

    I'm still having a problem with chicken. Reheated meat as long as it's moist goes down ok.

    Was never a huge fastfood fan myself after childhood. I'm really, really into McDonald's iced tea though...


    cadbury_vw said...


    let's not even start talking about all you can eat buffets...

    the "meat portion the size of a deck of cards" thing is a real drag when i used to scarf down a couple of thick 10-12 oz (or bigger) steaks

    ...when i actually eat meat these days

    i love meat

    and lots of it

    it's my weakness. once i start, i can't stop. that's a big reason i don't eat it much.

    Tad Wilson said...

    I've made a very informative documentary of Crabcake. It's posted on my blog.

    wmy said...

    Ok, hold on...(getting mind up and out of the gutter, )...now, I would like to thank you for the mental image of you walking around with a gigantic schlong planted in the middle of your forhead...yep, thanks for that one!! lol

    I do have a serious question for you though. How are your girls handling everything since the surgery? You had mentioned how often you guys were eating fast food, and I am wondering if they are feeling deprived at all. I am so guilty of shoving fast food at my kids, and they would probably freak...at first..if they did not get that junk all of a sudden. Has it been hard on your girls?

    buddha_girl said...

    Unless I have a craving for chicken, beef, or seafood, I now usually order soup. I crave that and salad.

    And gimme a slice of bread now and then...good bread.

    My husband laughed at me last week because rather than try to make a meal, I steamed crab legs...and at them with nothing else.

    BTExpress said...

    I like the smaller portion idea at TGI Friday's. I never get an appetizer or finish a meal in a restaurant. I rarely take the leftovers home, so waste a lot of food. This is a great idea.

    SignGurl said...

    Barman~ I had that same mentality. Fast food places know people think that way.

    Pissy~ They are ridiculous, aren't they?

    Jillie~ You should be the pitch woman for smaller portion options. That is brilliant!

    *S*~ I sort of feel bad for restaurant owners when it comes to giving discounts. Is it really their responsiblity to give me a discount because I chose to have my stomach made smaller? On the other hand, they do need to offer a smaller alternative for those that choose a healthier sized portion.

    Cadbury~ You lost me after meat. mmmmmmmmmmmm...........meat!!!!!!! I'm a meat person myself. I see fields of cows and think of dinner.

    Tad~ It's hilarious! Thanks for the heads up.

    Wendy~ Serious answer: About a month after Mr. Sign's surgery, I took daughter #1 to the grocery store. I gave her the option to choose a treat. She told me that she realized after eating tons of crap at my mom's (my parents were feeling that my kids were neglected by not having junk, so they fed them ridiculous amount of it) that she really likes good food. She said that she feels much better eating healthy. I was shocked when she didn't want a treat.

    The girls still get some stuff at school and that's ok with me.

    I feel like this surgery has offered me redemtion when it comes to being a model for my children. They are still young enough (I hope) that they will realize what good choices are after watching us be irresponsible for so many years.

    Buddha Girl~ I find myself only eating protein at meals. That was normal for me before surgery. Weird, I crave soup and salad too.

    BTE~ I think people don't want to waste food so they eat it all at restaurants. You feel like you paid for it so you want to get your money's worth. I'm proud of you for leaving that food.

    Superstar said...

    WOW!!! 100 pounds that is fantastic!

    When I eat at the "fast food" places I will only order 1 burger/chicken portion and a Iced Tea. I am always getting the non English speaker, "OH is that it?" Are you sure you don't want something else? Oh it would be cheapa if you order da meal...
    LOL ;o)
    Totally throws them off the game.

    OH back to my point, I was told only eat the amount of food that is the size of your fist. If you do, you will be fine.

    The other thing I learned when going to the Bariatric center w/ my roomie who wanted to have the surgery, is to STOP eating out as a "social" occation. For example, let's meet for lunch, the "lunch bunch" at the office. Or my fav, drinking, then needing to eat after drinking too much.

    I did not get that until after I went to the meetings with her.

    Kristen said...

    I swear I was just at Dz's and he was talking sammiches and now I come here and you mention steak and Friday's........

    Starving people.....I'm starving and y'all are food posting...

    Cazzie!!! said...

    We have TGI Friday's here too now, we must partake in the eating I reckon :)

    MilkMaid said...

    So share the leftovers sistah! LOL

    kimmyk said...

    I have a card I give that lets me order off the childrens menu-otherwise, I split with my daughter too. I useta explain like your husband, now I just look at 'em like they're the stupid ones and go about my day.

    I'll check out TGI Friday's. Haven't been there in years!!

    The Savage said...

    taco salad... only an American could come up with a 4000 calorie salad....

    terry said...

    i was just gonna say what savage did -- look at what MANY restaurant salads are like...! they're worse than the burgers!

    you're doing so well, signgurl. nice work!

    barman said...

    One of the things they taught us at weight watchers when I used to go was that you do not need to clean your plate. As a matter of fact, they encouraged us to leave something behind always. Why wasn't I listening when that was said?

    Dirk_Star said...

    By the way, is this a Pay Per Post?

    What the Chuck said...

    Hi Sugar,

    I SO agree.

    Here's something else-- we don't eat NEARLY enough fruit.

    When I was in Brazil, fruit was served with every meal. The thing that was interesting was that it WASN'T particularly sweet/sour/etc. Sometimes kind of bland, actually. But they would often eat it at the beginning of the meal (lots at breakfast) and those Brazilian women are skinny.

    Also, everything was stewed. The meat-- grass-fed beef-- had to be, to be tender. It was VERY interesting. Not much fried food to be found anywhere.



    Susan said...

    Just for clarification, Jenn, I didn't ask for a discount - just not to have to order the family-style that everyone else had to in order to have a table order (if that makes any sense). I would have been happy ordering just meat and leaving it go at that. It was their decision to exclude me and the Lakester. Generally, DH and I split something or I just order soup if I can. Like you guys, I really like soup and some salads.