We had our 4.1 Anniversary this weekend (anniversary of our court wedding). And thanks to the 2 $25 Olive Garden gift cards we got from our parents for Christmas, we only shelled out $15 for a full lunch at Yardhouse. You should have seen the happy dance we did when we saw Yardhouse on the list of restaurants those cards work for. It was pretty epic. Nothing against Olive Garden, which is a fine place to get reliable Italian food. It’s just some places are expensive enough that gift cards are much appreciated.
Anyway, here is my honest review of Yardhouse. I do not like eating there. It is noisy and dark and they seem to be understaffed because the service is always slow. The staff is incredibly friendly, though. They always get gold stars for enthusiasm and flirty attitudes. And it is pricey. We gave a generous tip, but even so it was a $50 meal for two people and Buddy didn’t even get a beer, which is kind of a big deal there because it is a microbrewery named after their signature “Yard of Beer.” So why were we so excited to eat here? This is why:
That’s crab, lobster, artichoke dip, three different kinds of tacos, and a lamb burger. The food is AMAZING. I forgive many things for good food. This is why I have a love/hate relationship with this restaurant. Hate eating there, love the eating. But, if you have a group of people who love trying good beer and don’t really want to yell at each other over the TVs and the raucous sports fans, it’s the place to be. Also, if you just love food and don’t like talking to people.
Now normally if we get an appetizer we split an entrée. This is common sense for a couple of reasons. Portion sizes for normal meals are huge in this country, far bigger than healthy portions. While I love eating until I throw up as much as the next American, it’s just not a good idea. It’s also a good way to feel like we’re getting a full meal without breaking the bank. Appetizer to snack on and then managing to eat the entire dinner instead of leaving half of it on the plate. That was not our strategy Saturday because we had gift cards and we went on a walk that morning, which was great for building an appetite. We managed to clean our plates quite well.
After lunch, we walked around a mall to aid in digestion before making the drive home. There was a brief stop for Anniversary cupcakes:
We didn’t eat those until dinner time, when we were finally hungry again. For the rest of our special day, we watched TV and I made a purse. Then before we went to bed Buddy did his usual tally of receipts to make sure they matched up with what the online accounts said. Which is when the evening turned.
Someone had withdrawn $483 from our checking account from an ATM just over a block from where we got cupcakes. So we called the bank. We thought maybe someone had swiped Buddy’s number when we got cupcakes, but it turned out someone had a copy of my card and had walked right up to the machine and used my PIN (first try) to access our accounts. I’m hoping that someone just used a skimmer to get my info because the only other explanation is that someone I know has the tech to copy my card and found out my PIN somehow. The bank actually asked if we shared that info with anyone. Um. No. Not ever. That’s my Personal Identification Number. As in mine, no one else’s and an actual secret to everyone else, including my husband.
That really soured the evening. I slept badly, too, because I was incensed. Sunday, Buddy went to a beer tasting and I stayed home because I was cut off from my funds (unless I wanted to use the checkbook, yuck). I (mostly) finished the purse I was working on. And I broke my chocolate ration. By a lot. I ate 6 squares of a Ghirardelli salted caramel dark chocolate bar. Which is 6 times my limit. That’s the Oops. That and the fact that I didn’t do a workout today. My excuse is that I didn’t want to wake up this morning and I didn’t feel like it when I got home from work (feet sore and laziness).
The other day, my mom posted an Oops as well. Previously, she had had a revelation about fitness. It isn’t about numbers at all. It’s about improving how you feel. I was incredibly pleased about this. Losing weight for her has been a long struggle and that kind of mindset can really help. Then she posted an Oops where she gained 4 lbs and felt awful physically and it sounded like she was giving up on her revelation. This is a bummer, but mostly because she’s still associating numbers with failure again. The numbers don’t matter. There are so many other factors to take into account. The numbers are just another factor. The goal should never be numbers because they aren’t enough. If they were, then bulimia and anorexia would be medically sound ways to lose weight. The goal is being able to keep up with the grandkids and feeling energized and living a long life. And to get there, you have to change. Not just your activity level but your diet and your mind. You have to make these changes, not because you hate your reflection but because you love yourself. Because you are a temple for God.
You also have to accept that mistakes happen. Every day, every hour, all the time. We are incredibly flawed and making big changes is incredibly difficult, especially if we are changing habits that have been in place for decades. Those are habits of thinking as well as acting. If you spent your whole life telling yourself that you’re fat and useless, you’re not just going to turn around and be all “positive affirmations” all the time. So instead of focusing on the mistakes and the guilt, find a way to drop them completely.
Here’s my Army analogy. When we were learning to shoot at the range, we were taught the “Sh*t, F*ck, D*mn” strategy. You have two minutes to shoot 20 pop-up targets and the ONLY way you’re going to get a good score is if you remain calm and focus on the fundamentals they taught you. When you miss a target, you go “oh, darn” and move to the next one. Otherwise, you’ll get frustrated and miss more targets. And you treat every target the same way, whether it is an easy 50m or the dreaded 300m. It pops up, breath in, breath out, squeeze (the trigger). Doesn’t matter if you hit it because there’s the next one. Breath in, breath out, squeeze. Did you miss the “Fast Freddie” (50m target that pops up for a second)? Oh, well. Don’t miss the next target because you’re too busy beating yourself up.
Yes, I binged a bit on chocolate and I missed a workout. Oh, darn. That was yesterday. Tomorrow is a new day. Breath in, breath out, squeeze.