Last week, the meeting topic was "dining out". The leader stated emphatically that "this is something you have to do. Otherwise you'll get frustrated and quit (weight watchers)."
Don't get me wrong; I don't have anything against eating at restaurants, but I don't think it is something that is necessary for me to do on any kind of a regular basis.
We rarely dine out. The biggest reason is simple. We have 2 small children and not a lot of evening babysitters around. When our first child was young, we still went to restaurants occasionally. Once he reached toddler stage though, we learned why it isn't fun to take a toddler to restaurants. Now, both of our children are toddlers, so the idea of going to a restaurant with them is only slightly more appealing then getting a root canal without anesthetic.
Despite that, in the last few years, I've become less excited about restaurant food. When I was in my early twenties, I ate a lot of it, and I used to think it was pretty good. Now that I have a bit of experience in the kitchen, I've realized that I can make most things from the menu in my own kitchen. Not only that, but I can usually make it better, plus then I know exactly what goes into it.
I've learned some tricks to meal preparation and almost always have at least a few meals in the freezer, so the temptation to order take out fizzles when I realize I have food that can be prepared faster, cheaper, healthier and with just as little effort.
On the rare occasions when I do go out now, I consider it a treat, but we're talking about a couple times a year. Maybe the time will come when my husband and I get more date nights, but then the question is whether it has to always involve food?
Ultimately, I think restaurants have their place. For me, that place is very occasional. I just can't get that excited about a regular restaurant meal. I'll probably be left wishing I had just made it myself.