Sometimes I Blow It

By Debbie Koenig

Last night my son and I went out with friends, another mom-son duo. Normally when we dine out together, we hit a pizza place near their house, a below-average spot my son inexplicably insists makes the best pizza in the world. But Mama just couldn’t bear wasting SmartPoints® values on cheese-covered cardboard, so I suggested an alternative, a place that serves hot dogs and French fries (for him) and also makes a fine salad (for me).

So… we get there, meet up with our friends, and place our orders. I go for the Cobb salad, which I’ve had there and enjoyed many times — it’s got just enough bacon and avocado to make it feel indulgent, but not so much that I have regrets. Dressing on the side, of course.

When the salad arrives, it’s not at all what I was expecting. First off, instead of chunks of grilled chicken breast, it has chopped-up chicken tenders. My son orders them occasionally, so I know how this restaurant makes them: thickly breaded, deep-fried, delicious. Underneath lurks what appears to be an avocado-and-a-half, and a good four ounces of crispy bacon crumbles. At least the dressing is on the side, I think. Meanwhile, my Fat Debbie brain is doing backflips for joy. I’m starving, and there’s a giant bowl of temptation right in front of me.

I grab my fork.

At this point, Healthy Debbie’s brain is trying desperately to win the battle, to tell the server, “No, this isn’t right. Please make the salad I was expecting.” But I don’t. I spear a piece of that perfectly crunchy, unbearably tasty chicken. And then I have more, and some bacon, too. Avocado doesn’t thrill me so at least I manage to resist that. I’m so busy enjoying the seductive red light foods, I barely dip my fork into the dressing.

By my estimation, in 15 minutes last night, I downed about 12 SmartPoints’ worth of fried chicken and bacon. I really couldn’t afford that. It was not my shining moment.

But this morning, instead of beating myself up (other than in this post), I started fresh. I spent 5 SmartPoints value on a nice big bowl of blueberries and chopped peaches, with bran cereal and Cheerios mixed in. That was almost three hours ago, and I’m still full — I won’t need a morning snack at all. I’ve got prewashed salad and vegetables in the fridge, so I’ll have a bacon-and-fried-chicken-free salad for lunch. And dinner will be vegetable-focused, too.

Last night was just one meal. I can handle the occasional slip-up.

Read more Picky Kid, Busy Mom