I really like going out for lunch. I REALLY like going out for lunch. So four days into my new low-carb life, I walked into my favourite greasy-greasy-greasy greasy spoon. They smile when they see me coming. They wonder whether I'll have the fat-dripping fish'n'chips or the crispy chicken sandwich (with fries of course) or perhaps a big juicy burger. Not today.
I walked up to the counter with a bit more energy than I usually have. "I'm going to be getting a lot thinner, really, really quickly. And you're gonna help me."
I thought the girl behind the counter (the skinny, skinny Greek girl behind the counter) was going to jump over her cash register and accost me! Her eyes lit up like Christmas trees and when I said, "I'd like a nice piece of halibut, but instead of dipping it in batter and frying it, could you just grill it without the batter?" I heard her mother behind the counter, who does all the cooking, say, "How'm I gonna do that?" while her daughter asked me excitedly, "And a big salad?"
"Yeah, a big salad."
"I know, I know just the thing," and she hijacked the conversation then and there, transposing it instantly into a monologue. "I'll put balsamic vinegar on it - ooo it's sooo goooood - tastes like candy - I swear - balsamic vinegar - I've got my own private stash - I'll give you some o' that - I get it at Costco - $20 a bottle - you're gonna love - tastes soooo goooood - we'll take care of you - Mom, put a halibut on for this lady but don't fry it - sprinkle some lemon juice and oregano on it, wrap it in foil and just let it steam on the grill - ooh, that's gonna be so good - I lost 15 pounds that way - no kidding - I lost 15 pounds in three weeks - THREE weeks - I just had a chicken breast everyday like that - next time you come in have a chicken breast, it's a lot cheaper and it's good too - with a big garden salad and my balsamic vinegar and I lost 15 pounds just like that. Three weeks! Do you want it here or to go?"
Finally, a break in her enthusiasm, giving me a chance to speak. But before I could get a word in edgewise she started in again. "What do you want to drink? You should have water. Diet coke? You can have all the diet coke you want - it's almost as good as water." She was fairly rubbing her hands together with glee. I loved it.
It's funny how you think everyone is going to judge you as soon as you "admit" that you need help. At least I did. Hah! As though people can't see it all over me! But if I told someone I was on a diet or I was trying to eat better, I thought I would be drawing attention to myself and inviting judgmental thoughts from people if not outright comments.
It was so much fun having that Greek girl in the restaurant prove me wrong. She made me the biggest most beautiful garden salad you've ever seen, drenched in the most delectable balsamic vinegar and then she hovered over me while I started to eat. She was as nervous as a rabbit and shifting her weight (what little weight she had!) from one foot to another. She showered me with more un-asked-for tips, and you'd have thought I had told her I'd won a million bucks and was giving her half, for the smile that was on her face.
She told me she weight 115 pouds. "I was up to 130," she said, as though I would think that a tub of lard. I wasn't going to tell her I would need to lose as much as she weighs now if I were to reach my "ideal" (textbook) weight.
I smiled too. I didn't expect ANY encouragement from The Grease Pit (I call it.) and here I was as drenched in it as my garden salad was in that balsamic vinegar. Do you think I'll go back there to eat lunch?
You bet I will! Just for the halibut! (or the chicken)