Monday, September 27, 2010

Epiphany at the Chocolate Lounge

Saturday night I celebrated a friend's 40th birthday at Coco Chocolate Lounge in San Antonio.  It was a lovely little bistro with a chocolate-themed menu.

Because there were several of us in the party, we had a predetermined menu.  We shared appetizers and desserts, had a salad and a choice of entree.
(Our Menu)

I had one piece of toast with goat cheese for an appetizer and passed on the other two options (fried calamari and some kind of salmon and cream cheese number). 

Salads were next.  They had a very light drizzle of raspberry dressing and were topped with a shaving of white chocolate.

Next was the entree.  They all looked fabulous, but I decided the shrimp might be the lightest option, and I just had a couple of small bites of the risotto.
Then came dessert.  The party planners were so smart to offer shared desserts.  It really was nice to sample them all and also not feel like a complete glutton.  I didn't get a photo of the Nutella Tart, but did get pics of the signature dessert called "The Kiss" and the fondue.  I had a little taste of each and was happy and satisfied.  Enjoyed it completely and left with no feelings of guilt or deprivation.

When I first realized the party would be at the Chocolate Lounge, I figured my whole post would be about how I either resisted chocolate temptations or how I gave into them.  And the truth is, I did a little of both.  I had a copy of the menu in advance, so I planned for what I would eat, had small portions, and arranged for a little indulgence.  But I did not lose control.

Now for the epiphany.   Here I was in this group of 20 or so women, and once again I was the biggest girl there.  As we were all chatting, I started to notice a theme in several conversations around me.  At one point, several women started talking about various races they were planning to run.  At another point, someone mentioned a vacation where they would hike and try surfing.  Several mentioned their exercise classes.  I started to realize that these women looked thin and healthy because they worked at it. Their bodies look like they do because they're responding to the very simple principles of calories-in-calories-out.  They make activity part of their daily lives, and they've found activities they enjoy.

And here's the second part of the epiphany.  I was seated between two thin and fit ladies.  One mentioned that she had been on the South Beach Diet for a few weeks.  This shocked me, because she is one of the tiniest friends I have.  I'm not sure what size she is, but I would guess maybe a 2.  I had to find out more about why she would feel the need to diet.  She said, "I noticed my clothes were getting too tight and I didn't feel good."  I had just assumed she was naturally thin, which she might be, but she also has to work to keep it that way.

What it all comes down to is this:  It does not matter if you have 5 pounds or 305 pounds to lose.  I've often looked at someone and said, "It's easy for her, because she doesn't have much weight to lose."  By the same token, someone might have had 200 pounds to lose and said the same thing about me.  And how many times have women said that about how easy it is for men to lose weight?  But here's the thing:  If you have any weight to lose, it all boils down to the same thing.  Why?  Because you don't get to lose the weight and then go back to your old habits.  You have to keep on eating smaller portions of healthy food and you have to keep on moving your ass.  If you don't, you'll wind up right back where you were before.  So eventually anyone can lose the weight, given the right efforts and time.  And then it continues.  Forever.  Unless you want to gain the weight back.  And you don't.  Neither do I.

All in all, I'd say my Saturday night was fun, delicious, and had an indefinable quality that left me feeling I'd been let in on a secret that could change my future.  Simple but true.


  1. I love your blog-the name and your posts! Thanks for stopping by mine. I really like your insight here on why skinny women are skinny. We like to think it's just easier for them and they're naturally thin but they do work hard. They work hard, we work hard, we all have to work to get where we want to be. Thanks for reminding me--maybe I won't glare at the next thin blonde that walks by me. ;) ~Veronica

  2. Great entry, and good job at the party!!!

  3. Charlotte, this is a great post, and very true. I'm 5 years in maintenance mode now and there is no doubt that it is hard work, but if you can find exercise activities you enjoy, it is fun too. Chocolate on top of salad is an interesting concept! Good luck on the Hot100.

  4. So true on the skinny women - you never know where they are coming from...but it's nice to know that they have to work at staying that way, too.

    BTW, that restaurant? Good thing it didn't exist back when I lived in SA!

  5. That is such a great observation!

    I've thought the same kinds of thoughts about skinnny people. Like we have this friend who's super skinny, and he runs all the time, and I would think to myself, "why would anybody want to do that?"

    Great post!

  6. I agree 100% except for the men thing. Dude they can think of eating less and lose weight-then go have a beer. Bastards.

    Polar's Mom