Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year decision

No resolutions. At least none I will write down or say out loud....even to myself. But firm decisions. I am tired of eating out of control. I really am tired of it. I have decided to try to follow advice that I would give: Tomorrow morning (not more feast of ice cream before it's over), I'm cleaning out the frig. Tossing out the delicious Fox's UBet chocolate syrup. Getting rid of anything that can lead me down the road of ruin. I'll go thru the cabinets and the freezer. It's time to be serious. I'm going to be 65 soon and I have to stop abusing my body with food. No baking. Not for a long time. In fact, I would like to swear off reading cookbooks but I'm on a cookbook judging committee so I'll be reading 35 cookbooks over the next two weeks. They're all "healthy" cookbooks, though, so there will be no temptation from the recipes. I guess I'm just tired of fooling myself. I can lose weight. There's no "glandular" condition going on here. It's all me. Quantity and choices. And when I'm out of control as I've been for a while, I don't eat the fruits and veggies that I normally do. And I actually miss them. Cold turkey tomorrow. Could probably go for it now but it's New Year's Eve....don't want to be sorry in the morning that I missed out on an ice cream eating opportunity tonight.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nasty ad for nasty fat

The ad says it all: "Would you like to banish up to 21 pounds of nasty fat from your body in the next 28 days?" For goodness sakes, who wouldn't want to banish nastiness from their body! It's a secret, of course. I mean, you wouldn't want just anybody accessing that earth shaking information. Goodness, no. And the results are amazing. Of course. Nothing less. The many pages of hype continue with the pronouncement that the two who are promoting this snake oil have "contributed to several mainstream books". What are mainstream books? It goes describe how it can "strip fat off real people really fast". The best part is that you can "start putting it into action in less than 60 seconds" because all you have to do is purchase the E book for $97. What!!!! $97 for an E book. Hello? The book offers secrets like 2 exercises that will turn your entire body into a fat burning machine. Scary stuff. I can just see myself at the movies, fat melting from my body, running down the aisle. The authors also promise lots of "shocking truths". The best part...."full 60 day 100% money back guarantee for every penny you have paid. EXCEPT, I read the fine print. And guess what it says.....
"Our company's entire liability, and the purchaser's exclusive remedy, shall be a refund of the price paid or replacement of our products, at our option. " Does that sound like 100% money back guarantee? AND they make "no warranties regarding the use or the results of the use of the web sites, products, services or written materials....". I rest my case.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Resolution Time

Ugh. It's that time of year when we all promise ourselves stuff we won't actually fulfill. I don't know the history of new year's resolutions but it's sort of like starting a diet on a Monday instead of another day. Something magical about the beginning of the week or the beginning of the year. Wipe the slate clean. Start over. Do better. Be thinner. Not going to happen. If it didn't happen last year, what makes me think it could happen this year.
I'm really beginning to contemplate getting old as 65 looms and I realize all the consequences associated with being old. I shouldn't lose weight. Sagging skin. Drooping chin. I mean, really. At my age, I'll be all saggy and wrinkled if I lose too much weight. On the other hand, if I don't lose some weight, my body will look fat in the sack I'm planning to wear in my pine box! A little morbid thinking never hurt anyone.
Eat better. Reduce indulgences.
I'll make my resolutions as vague as I can so it will be easier to succeed.
Instead of resolving to eat more fiber, I'll resolve to eat better. Better than I'm eating now.
Instead of resolving to cut down on ice cream (no, no, not that!), I'll resolve to reduce indulgences in general whatever they may be. Does exercise count as an indulgence?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Restaurant Conundrum

Just got back from dinner. Went to a neighborhood place that is always full of neighborhood people. The food is good. Not lots of "healthy" choices although they're pretty good about making modifications if you ask. Looked around the room and noticed that most of the people were fat. These are locals who eat out during the week which means they probably eat out often during the week after work. The problem is that the menu offers very limited healthier choices and the portions are larger than people would probably eat if they were eating at home.
This is no great revelation. The story will not be featured on the evening news: Sharon discovers the reason for the obesity epidemic.
And it's not like I didn't already know this. I believe that if people cooked their own meals instead of eating out, ordering out, taking out, they would be a lot better off. That includes me.
But we all eat out. Too much. And we expect the restaurant to do for us what we should be doing at home. I think that's expecting too much.
Why didn't I make dinner tonight? Because I didn't feel like it. That's why. I didn't want to dice and chop, saute and boil and then do the dishes. I wanted to be served. So I was served thousands of calories. Lazy me.
Did I order smartly? No. Did I ask for some healthy modifications? No. Am I sorry now? Maybe. If I could behave in a more rational way, then eating out wouldn't be such a negative issue. I do not exercise control when I am at a restaurant. I've written about it. I've thought about it. I mean to do it. I don't do it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eating to excess studied

I don't know anyone, fat or thin, who doesn't indulge on holidays. I suppose there are some obsessed people who follow their ritually perfect diets every day of the year but most people relax their dietary restrictions during "the holidays" (funny, isn't it that we all know what "the holidays" means...the time between Thanksgiving and January 1). A researcher at University of AZ, Dr. Bradley Appelhans, has studied why people indulge in excess eating in general. According to Dr. Appelhans, we are hunter-gatherers by biology so we are storing up fat to endure the lean times to come (and I don't think he means the economy).
I kinda don't agree with him. I think our species (and I'm referring more to those who reside in big cities) is pretty far removed from the hunter-gatherer biological construct. I'm not going to fight with him over our ancestry but we've had enough centuries for genetic mutations to have perhaps made some change to that issue. I think that's an "excuse". How does that explain the burgeoning issue of obesity around the world if eating excess calories is part of our genetics? Researchers are always showing statistics that reveal how we have steadily gotten heavier through the years. If eating excess calories has always been part of our genetics, why are we getting fatter now?
I don't buy his reasoning at all. I think that's why we "hold onto" the calories but that doesn't explain why we eat excess calories in the face of abundance.
The conundrum is not solved by Appelhans's research--at least not to my satisfaction. I shall keep searching.
Is it because there are more calories available to us now? More calories to store up?
Pardon me while I store up fat for the winter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Biggest Loser

I admit it. I'm a fan of the show The Biggest Loser. And I always cry during the finale. Because I'm blown away by the physical changes the contestants have made. Last night's winner was the person I wanted to be the winner. I just liked her. I wanted her to succeed. I mean, they all succeeded but there was something about this young woman that touched me.
Where are the people who were on the show previous seasons? Why don't they parade them out for us to see how well they've maintained their lifestyles? If they were able to continue to exercise and eat healthfully, then we would expect that they had also maintained their weight. The camera focused on a few in the audience but scanned them too quickly for me to notice how they looked. We who live in AZ know that last season's winner is doing just fine because she's sort of dedicated her life to prosleytizing about healthy eating and exercise. She's made it her life's work to work at it. But what about the others? Are they like Oprah? Did they slowly abandon their ideal lifestyle and did the fat come creeping back?
Here's the eating plan the contestants follow:
"The 4-3-2-1 Biggest Loser Pyramid sets the stage for number of servings from each of the food groups: 4 servings of fruits and vegetables 3 servings of protein -- lean, vegetarian, or low-fat dairy 2 servings of whole grains 1 extra of fats, oils, sweets, alcohol, or your choice, equivalent to 200 calories".
It's a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet. Interesting. So little grain compared to what is recommended. Don't know what supplements they're given. And servings of fruits and veggies don't come close to what would be optimal. Interesting. This is the first time I've seen the plan so I have to think about it a little bit before I make a judgment.
I eagerly await the next group of contestants.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oprah, weight gain and me

Oprah has done it again. By that I mean she's brought attention to one of the saddest tales of our time: lose it and gain it back. Over and over again. Hundreds of pounds. The old joke, "I've lost and gained a whole person over my life". As if all her viewers hadn't noticed the slow upward climb towards her old weight, Oprah has come out to announce that she is indeed fat again. Oprah, we know. We can see it. You didn't hide it well. All those iron undergarments you wear make you look like you are in a full body caste. Give it up. Jiggle out.
If only I'd known that once becoming fat, getting and staying less fat would become an impossibility, I might have worked harder in my youth to keep from blossoming into my chubby self. But, alas, I started life out as a chubby so doubtless I would have ended up that way anyway.
I'm back to wearing billowy loose clothing. Not so much because my clothes don't fit but probably as a punishment to myself. I don't deserve to look good because I've been a bad girl. Food food food. Lots of delicious food. Hot food. Cold food. Sweet food. Savory food. Platters and bowls and cups of food. Here and there. At home and away. At restaurants and friends houses. None of it mindless. With each bite I asked myself, "Should you be eating this?" Bite. Chew. Swallow. I guess the answer was "yes".
What will Oprah teach me (us) about health and diet and weight when her new season begins? I eagerly await her insights. I shall watch the show with a box of Mallomars and a Pepsi.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Physical hunger vs My mouth

Ever since I abandoned WW, I've noticed that I no longer have the "taste" for things like whole wheat bread and whole grain cereals. In fact, I was unable to finish the sandwich I made for myself yesterday because I just couldn't eat the whole grain bread. It almost made me gag!
It took me a while to retrain my taste buds when I started WW many many months ago. Before each meal, my mouth would ask for pizza but I restrained myself and ate what was "allowed". Oh, sure, WW allows you to eat pizza but you know I didn't just want one slice so it was better to avoid it rather than create an issue of quantity desire. Slowly I learned to answer my true physical hunger with "appropriate" foods. Although my mouth would sometimes rebel, mostly I was able to retrain my taste buds and control the response if not the desire.
So since WW and I have parted ways, I've lost the taste for some of the foods that I should be eating regardless of the regimen I follow. Whole grain foods are a must. But I like white bread. I know. White bread. Not really the fluffy kind that you can roll into a spit ball. Rather I prefer the heartier kind usually from an artisan type bakery. I like white rolls. I like white rice although I have to admit that brown rice and whole grain pastas are acceptable to my demanding mouth. I haven't tried whole grain pizza yet, though.
My mother always said that hungry people will eat anything (meaning, I should eat what she put in front of me regardless of how yucky it was). That just doesn't work for me. I learned finally after weeks of dieting to recognize true physical hunger but my response to it was often determined by my mouth. What would taste good or feel good on my tongue. Filling my belly is almost secondary to how the food will taste. Certainly that will always stand in the way of following a healthier diet.
I have to figure out how to overcome that obstacle. How to override my mouth and respond only to the hunger in my belly and not the desire of my palate.
The truth is, I don't really like "healthy" food. I don't want an apple. I want apple pie. I don't want whole grain bread. I want white bread. I don't want roasted skinless white meat chicken. I want breaded and fried chicken wings. I don't want grilled fish. I want fried fish. The list goes on. Strangely, I'll eat naked (meaning no butter or sauce) steamed broccoli. Why?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is this something I want?

I just found out about a web site that offers information on finding "healthy" restaurants ( Is this really necessary? Is this something I want?
Don't we dietitians teach people that they can find something healthy to eat at just about any restaurant? Do I want to eat some place where all the food is healthy....meaning low in fat and sugar, high in fiber. Or do I want to eat where the food is well prepared with an emphasis on freshness and flavor? Guess which one I choose.
Maybe it's just me but I eat out because there's something I want to eat that I cannot make at home or I'm too tired to make at home. Rarely do I eat out just for convenience. I guess if I had to eat all my meals out or at least many of them, I might opt for a healthy dining restaurant. If such restaurant offered tasty food, that would be great. But I would never choose a restaurant just because the menu offered healthy choices. Tasty food would have to be a big part of the concept for me to become a diner.
Aren't there plenty of books (like the one by Hope Warshaw or the one by Joanne Lichten) that offer advice on how to make healthy choices when eating out?
I just recently ate at a new local (Phoenix) restaurant that touts its menu as being healthy. I thought the food was bland and pretty uninteresting. I've heard the same from others although some friends have told me that there are some pretty good dishes. I guess I ordered the wrong stuff because what I had was mundane, tasteless, overcooked and not very appealing to the eye. It looked like (and tasted like) something I would make if I had lots of food left over in the frig that was going bad and I combined it all without much thought about flavor and color. I won't be going back any time soon.
I guess I feel virtuous when I make a healthy choice from a menu filled with breaded and fried food, huge portions of fatty meat and few vegetable offerings. Choice. I like choice.
So I won't be using that new healthy dining web site any time soon. And I hope my favorite restaurants stick to their offerings allowing me to make up my own mind. But that's just me.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gluttony, step to one side please

I like turkey. I don't like turkey. I like turkey when it is cooked whole and eaten with all the usual trimmings of fluffy buttery mashed potatoes, silky gravy, sweet cranberry sauce, stuffing and candied sweet potatoes. Turkey breast? Then I don't like turkey. Because turkey breast is served with baked potatoes, dry and boring. It's served with steamed broccoli. There's no crispy skin or wing bones to gnaw on. So I really only like turkey during the holidays when I would never consider restricting my intake or cooking just a low fat healthy turkey breast.
This year was wonderful. We brined the turkey in a new way that resulted in moist but firm white meat. We (the "we" is my daughter and I) rubbed the turkey with Kosher salt and left it in a plastic bag in the frig overnight. I'm sure a longer brining would be better but we only had about 36 hours.
We laughed as we cooked: Each dish used at least one stick of butter, sometimes two. Butter here. Butter there. And lots of brown sugar.
The meal was amazing. Every dish was perfectly cooked. And I ate very little. Why???? I wish I could have a redo right now. But I wasn't hungry. Or at least not hungry enough to stuff myself. I may have a history of eating past "fullness" but I have to be hungry at the start or I cannot do it. I just wasn't hungry. Perhaps it was the bag of potato chips I ate while cooking? Or the real sugar Pepsi I drank to wash down the chips. Or the delicious breakfast my husband and I had at a wonderful place in Venice, CA. I don't know. I just know that I only ate one small piece of turkey and a tiny spoonful of all the accompaniments. Now I lament that I didn't have more. Another lamentation to add to my tally for my life. Usually it's that I ate too much and I'm sorry. This time I'm sorry I didn't eat more!
So back home, Thanksgiving over. A decision by my husband and me that we have to stop. Eating isn't as much fun as it used to be when we were younger. It's getting harder to stuff ourselves. It doesn't feel as good. It's down right painful. It used to be a joke to come home with the top button my pants opened. Now I wear pants with elastic waists but still, the expansion is not funny.
So, dear gluttony, please step to one side. We're not proposing diets but we are proposing reduction. We're going to continue to enjoy the gastronomic wonders of the restaurants we love but we're going to do so in smaller portions. Sharing perhaps. In fact, last night we shared dinner and it was lovely. Also, it cost way less! We shared an appetizer and we shared an entree. It was enough food. And it was good.
Getting older sucks. We can't eat as much as we used to. Forget the aches and pains upon awakening, the loss of hearing, the failing eyesight, the sagging skin. We can't eat as much as we did when we were young. That's the lament for the day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Day Feasting

Joy Bauer, a tiny dietitian who appears regularly on The Today Show, informed us this morning that the typical Thanksgiving dinner is worth (and I say "worth" because it is a valuable commodity) 4,000 calories. I love it. 4,000 calories. One meal. Not even one day. Just one. And I'm presuming that its not even a gluttonous meal but one offering the typical turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie (with maybe a little whipped cream).
Here's my plan: I'm going to eat it. All. I'm going to love it. I'm going to savor every delicious bite. I'm going to memorize the flavors and textures. I'm going to eat until I have to open the top button on my pants. I'm going to linger at the table with my family, watching them enjoy the meal.
I'm not going to worry about the calories or the fat or my waistline or the effect on my cholesterol. That one day isn't going to kill me (the ones leading up to it and the ones following might!).
Then Friday, I'll do my best to return to my normal gluttony while we ponder the leftovers and move on to a more normal eating regimen.
How many feast days do we have? Birthdays. Anniversaries. Thanksgiving. New Year's Eve. Not that many. I'm not going to worry. No doubt I will weigh more next week than I weigh today but it won't be because of one meal. That's for sure.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My body has a mind of its own???

I found this on the Internet:

"The Calorie Shifting diet confuses your metabolism by eating in a way that you've never eaten before. You are going to eat in a way that is opposite of what your body expects you to do. On this calorie shifting program, you are not going to eat the same types of calories for more than a couple of days at a time and you are going to lose a lot of weight by using this method."

Puleeze. Okay. Puleeze. Isn't any diet eating in a way that you don't normally eat? And I didn't know that my "body" had expectations about how I was going to eat.
"I wonder what she will eat today", muses my body.
"Carbs? Protein? Fat? A combination? And will she exercise?", ponders my body to itself.

The only way I'm going to lose a lot of weight is to eat sensibly, once and for all! To cut out the large portions. To smile and say, "No, thank you. I've had enough."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Potato chips and other snack foods

Potato chips. Crunchy. Salty. Tasty. I like them when they're rippled. I like them when they're thick. I like them when they're thin. I like them anyway except flavored. I like my potato chips to be potatoes, salt and oil. No flavorings. If I want flavorings, I'll dip them.
Today I had potato chips. Not a lot. Just a handful. Maybe not even a handful because I ate them one at a time out of the bowl and I know I didn't eat that many. They were particularly light and crunchy. I don't know the brand. I was at a friend's house and we stood at the kitchen counter eating out of the bowl discussing our upcoming road trip to LA. It was a girlfriend moment made even better by the lovely chips.
Corn chips are good but not as good as potato chips. Cheetos (ooops, no idea how to spell that!), not so much. Pretzels....yes, if they're the rod kind. I mean, I'll eat the other ones but I prefer the rods. Oh, but best of all are the big NY style pretzels. Excellent. They sell them in movie theaters now but they're never that good. Still, I do eat them. Love the salt against the bland bland thick starchy pretzel.
Lately I've been enjoying bagel chips and pita chips. But nothing can compare to potato chips. Sounds like an "ode to potato chips".

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Apples and Candy Bars

I just read a post on a list serve about a gimmick to determine if you are "hungry" or just craving a candy bar when you seek a candy bar. Just ask yourself if you'd eat an apple if there were no candy bar available. Duh. No. I wouldn't. Apples do not take the place of candy bars. Does anyone really think they're "hungry" when they think about eating a candy bar?
Well, sometimes they may indeed be "hungry" and choose to eat a candy bar because they want the taste or texture of that food to satisfy the emptiness in their gut rather than a bowl of bright green broccoli.
You know, my mother believed "if you're really hungry, you'll eat anything." Uh, no. I won't. In fact, I won't even eat something I like when I'm hungry if I don't "feel" like eating it.
There are times when hunger and craving are very distinct with no overlap. If you've just eaten a lovely meal and you're feeling satisfied in your tummy but not in your head, then I think you realize it's a "craving". But if it's 4 p.m. and I haven't eaten since noon and I'm thinking "bowl of pasta" and nothing else will do, that's a combo craving/hunger need. Don't you agree?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dear Public Diary

Yes, I know. Blogs are public. And I've done a little to get the blog "out there". Still, I kinda thought just a few of my friends were reading it. Then the other day I received some comments...from strangers (or at least people who did not identify themselves as acquaintances). Thinking that no one but a few people with time on their hands is reading my rantings and ravings about being fat, losing weight, and finding clothes that fit made it easy to be open and honest. Now that I know that other people are reading this, I don't know. That's weird...but welcome.
Here's the thing (or better said, one of the things): I know all the angles. I just get trapped in the corners of the angles sometimes. Like now. Like this month. Like today. Like yesterday when I had M&Ms at the movies (BTW...great movie...Rachel Getting Married). Now, I didn't have M&Ms mixed with popcorn (which is one of my favorites....salty crunch popcorn with sweet chocolatey M&Ms). I didn't wash the candy down with a Pepsi. I just had a handful of M&Ms. But, why? I was fine. Not hungry. Not actually "craving" anything. And I'm not so much a fan of M&Ms. I mean, they're okay. But they're not exactly a favorite food. So, why? Why? Just because. I felt like it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Feast Day Gluttony

Just found this quote from an article I wrote last year. It's from the book, "Beyond the Shadow of a diet" by Matz and Frankel.
"...a healthy relationship with food means eating in response to physical hunger most of the time. However, normal eating can also include experiences such as eating occasionally because something looks good, eating past fullness at a special meal, eating in response to an emotion once in a while or choosing foods based on nutritional content because this feels care-taking. Attuned eating means that eating for satisfaction is predominant, and experiencing deprivation is virtually non-existent. Attuned eating is a natural skill. It can be relearned by people who have lost touch with their hunger and can be reinforced and nurtured in children so that they maintain this healthy relationship with food throughout their lives."

So, how does Thanksgiving fit into this model? It's okay to eat a lot when something looks good or to eat past fullness at a special meal. So it's okay to look forward to stuffing myself on Thanksgiving? It's not perverted to plan for a gluttonous day? I can feel safe eating thousands of calories at one meal just this one day? Candied yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce...oh, and let's not forget the turkey. Lots of butter and cream in the mashed potatoes and maybe even in the gravy. Dessert? No decision yet but whatever it is, it will be calorific!

Should we include a veggie to be "care-taking"? Something of good nutritional content?

I'll think about it. But not obsessively.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scarlet O'Hara and Me

To paraphrase Scarlet, "As God is my witness, I won't be hungry anymore". The truth is, I haven't been hungry....really hungry...for a long time. I head hunger off at the pass way before the feeling is strong enough to remind me to eat. Even when I'm dieting, hunger is not that much of an issue. It's the fear of hunger that is a problem. Fear that there won't be any food around when I am hungry. Or food that is "suitable" to eat. No food around? In this city? In this house? Perhaps there's no food on a flight from here to anywhere now that the airlines no longer serve meals but there's food every place else. Plenty of it. So what's my problem!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Never say never

I give up. I give in. I am throwing in the towel. I've had enough. I'm exhausted thinking about dieting. Does thinking about it use up calories??? I know what I want. I just cannot seem to accomplish it. I am going to blame this all on my parents. It seems to me that kids who grew up in households where food was not an integral part of every moment of the day....those people seem to be weight stable most of their lives. This is just a casual observation. Nothing scientific. My parents were not like that. My mother was an excellent cook. And we ate something different every night. Always cooked from scratch. Always very tasty. My mother baked-coffee cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, pies, mile high chocolate cakes. My father had been a cook in the army (WW II) so he took over in the kitchen once in a while. He made the best spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread. I almost forgot about the garlic bread. Fabulous. My mother's specialty was fried chicken served with homemade potato salad and homemade cole slaw. That chicken was sooooo good when it was cold. At midnight. A little snack. And then there was the ice cream. Always ice cream in the freezer. Big containers. And the candy. Lots of candy around the house. And nuts. We all loved nuts. Bread. Butter. Real butter. Whole milk. All the fat! We ate the skin on chicken and my mother didn't trim her rib steaks to remove the fat. Lovely food. All the time. Frig always full.
How can I overcome that??? How can my taste buds forget the deliciousness of my childhood food memories? Now if my parents really loved me (!), they would have served broiled fish and steamed veggies. Then I wouldn't have cravings for crunchy crusty fried foods. Or creamy cold sweet ice cream. I wouldn't dream about french fries and chocolate covered strawberries.
So I give up. For today. For this minute. But not forever.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sharon, tell us how you feel about restaurant labeling

I'm a person with lots of opinions. And here's one of them. I'm opposed to restaurant labeling...that is, labeling the menu items with nutrient content. Here's why:
First, it's almost impossible for a cook to adhere to an exact recipe when cooking on the line. Line cooks do not have time to weigh and measure each ounce of liquid or pinch of salt as an order comes in from the floor. The public is being deluded if they think that the dish they eat today is identical to what they will eat tomorrow. Most of the time, the cook who prepares it today is not even the one who will prepare it the following day. Sure, the food always tastes the same to us but if two or three of the same dishes were prepared individually and served side by side, you might actually be able to discern the differences in taste. Unless you weigh and measure all your ingredients at home, each time you prepare a dish the flavor and the nutrient content will be different. We don't notice the sometimes subtle differences because the food tastes about the same. It isn't.
Now if people use the menu information just as a guide, then maybe it isn't so bad. But that's where having only a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I don't think that's how it is going to work. I think someone will look at the menu, scan the calories and make a decision based solely on calories. I think people will ignore all the other calculations and look at calories and maybe fat as the criteria for making a choice. But there's more to making healthy choices than just calories and fat. Remember, an avocado, a very healthy food, is very high in calories and very high in fat. Yet it is a food we should all be eating.
Maybe even more important is that food will, I think, become less about pleasure and more about whether it is fattening or not. Pleasure. Maybe I put too much emphasis on pleasure for myself but by making the menu read like a nutrition textbook, the emphasis will shift to numbers and what the food provides rather than the pleasure the food gives us. I see that as a dangerous trend that could possibly backfire.
Go out and order a grilled chicken breast served with quinoa pilaf and roasted cauliflower, for instance. Now, that actually sounds pretty good to me. But if you order it because it's the lowest calorie option on the menu rather than because it sounds like a tasty offering, then you might....just might...consider that you have the right to indulge in a "sinful" dessert afterwards because look at how virtuous you were in choosing your meal.
Sure, there's really nothing wrong with that except that it sets up the notion that if we eat good food, we can have dessert. Remember when your mommy promised you a dessert if you ate your vegetables?
So you chose the lowest calorie option and then you indulge in dessert. Voila. Calories are now much higher...maybe even double. But you really didn't want the grilled chicken breast. You wanted (I wanted!) the fried chicken breast. Perhaps you would have been satisfied with the fried chicken breast, mashed potatoes and gravy and you wouldn't then order the sinful dessert to reward yourself for your virtuous entree choice.
I'm just sayin'.....It's okay to know what's in your food as long as you understand that it isn't exactly what's on your's an estimate and it's variable depending on who is in the kitchen, how well she is trained, and how much time and effort the cook puts into being exact. I'm just sayin'....It's okay to want to know what's in your food as long as the calories and/or fat content isn't the only criteria you use to make a choice.
I'm just sayin'....So far none of this has worked. Labels on food and labels in restaurants and all the carb free food and "value" added foods haven't kept us from getting fat and fatter.
I don't have the answer. I only have a criticism.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What size do I wear?

All labs came back normal from last week's visit to the doctor. Soooo, that means that fat can be fit. And it also means that I have even less of an incentive to lose weight! Except that I so badly want some new "winter" (winter doesn't mean much here since we only have a few "cold" days and a few "cold" nights and then we go back to wearing lighter clothes rather quickly) clothes.
You know how this season's clothes go on major sale at the end of the season? That's when it's a good time to buy the less trendy fashions, the staples like a white shirt or a good pair of jeans...something that will be "in style" for years to come. I can't do that. Because I know I'll probably be BIGGER next season and the shirt with the tag still hanging from the sleeve with be too small. Or better yet, perhaps I might buy a pair of pants that are just a teeny bit to tight believing that this will be the year that I will actually lose and keep off weight so that when the new season rolls around, the pants will miraculously fit. Of course, I'm still waiting for the miracle that makes those pants fit! Not gonna happen.
The resale store near my house loves me. They know my name. They love my clothes. They're in the sizes that most women wear. The sizes that I have never worn. The sizes I keep buying. I mean, I want to be like everyone else. You know?
So I put off buying clothes. I don't buy at the beginning of the season because they're too expensive. I don't buy at the end because I just know they won't fit next season.
It's emotionally draining. All of this. When to shop. What to buy. Should I look in that three way mirror or not? Should I buy something that really fits...fits in the waist, I mean....and then have the dressmaker alter the rest of it? But then the dressmaker will know just how fat I am!
And so we come to the real issue: Does anyone really know how fat I am? No one has seen me (pardon the expression) "nekid" in a long time. So, no, no one knows. In fact, even I don't know because I'm among the group of "no one has seem me" in a long time.
Goodness. I don't look. I won't look. You can't make me look. But maybe I should look. A long hard look.
After I eat something. I can't look on an empty stomach.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Not PC diet

If you're easily offended, skip this post. That was a warning and a disclaimer!

If you're still reading: Here's a link to a pretty hysterical faux diet plan. As long as you can look past the incorrectness of making light of a particularly devastating mental illness, you should be able to see the humor.

Please don't inundate my mailbox with angry e-mails about OCD. I warned you!

Actually, to my tastebuds, lots of the combinations of foods I have eaten in the name of "healthy" eating, sort of look and taste like the ones in the photos!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back in bowl

"Back in bowl" is a line from a Lily Tomlin/Steve Martin movie "All of Me". It's a line my husband and I say to each other with perhaps slightly different meaning than the writer had intended when he wrote those lines. To us it means it is time to get back to doing what we should have been doing but stopped doing. So, "back in bowl" for me...tomorrow.
I've been totally ignoring the tenets of healthy eating. Interestingly, though, I haven't been eating what I want. No fried chicken. Should I have some tonight? No pizza. Maybe I should wait to get back in bowl until Tuesday so I can have pizza tomorrow.
I've just been eating whatever, wherever, whenever. None of my craved foods. None of my favorites. That's really odd. In fact, I haven't really enjoyed anything in a while. It's just been eating. Not mindless eating, just eating. I taste it. I know what I'm eating. I know when I've had enough. I just haven't really enjoyed any of it.
I'm almost craving a salad...almost. Thought about oatmeal this morning for the first time in a while. Fish. Wouldn't mind a piece of broiled fish. So maybe it is time to get back in bowl.
But back in bowl in a different way, I think. WW didn't exactly work out well because once I left the fold, I left it completely. Eating whatever, whenever isn't working either. So how about, eating the way I was eating on WW (lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein, lowfat dairy) but eating what I want when I want occasionally. Before I wasn't allowing myself the occasional fried chicken wing or scoop of ice cream.
Yes, yes. There were the LA transgressions. And the eating out issues. But if I consider them to be "transgressions" (even though I insisted I had no guilt!), then that's not emotionally healthy! So, here we go again. Eating as healthfully as possible, sticking to the concepts of healthy eating but allowing for satisfying cravings.
Another issue has been that I have only transgressed when I've eaten out while making eating home the place to stay on track. It might be better to switch that tactic a little or at least allow myself to prepare something gorgeously delicious at home once in a while. And so I will.
Should it be fried chicken?

Friday, October 31, 2008

She said it

Apparently although I'm fat, I'm not as fat as I thought I was because according to the scale at the doc's office, I'm ten pounds lighter (thinner!) than last time I was there. Ten pounds. Of course, I had been down more than that but I'm still down.
Did she say it? "You could lose some weight." Why, yes, she did!
Why she even asked if I'd read South Beach Diet book. She offered that she eats that way. Of course she does. She weighs ounces. Not tons. And she's probably eaten that way her whole life....because she likes to. I don't like to. I don't want to. And that's final.
Awaiting the results of routine blood tests. If, if, if, something is wrong (like pre-diabetes or something), then I'll consider getting back on the roller coaster. But if not, then shut up!

Friday, October 24, 2008

You've done this before if you're fat: Cannot make a doctor's appointment until I have lost weight. If you're not fat, you won't understand. You know the doctor is going to say something to you about your weight even if you're perfectly healthy. She's going to say, "It would be great if you could lose some weight."
Uh, yeah, it would be great. Like doesn't she think you want to! Does she think you want to walk around with your thighs rubbing together or the button on your pants popping open when you sit down? Does she think you like to get undressed at night and see deep indentations from waistbands because your pants are too tight??? I mean, let's be realistic. It would be nice. It would be lovely, in fact. It would make my life complete.
The reason I bring this up is that I have an appointment for a physical examination next week. I'd call it a "yearly" physical except it's been more than one year or even maybe two since I've gone. Why? Because I was "waiting" to lose weight. Waiting because I didn't want to hear the speech. Finally I decided to bite the bullet and allow her to humiliate, shame and otherwise insult me so I'm going.
We all know that the exam starts with the public weighing. The scale is not hidden away in the doc's office. Nope. It's out in the hallway so that when the nurse swings over that extra little marker, the whole world hears it. You know, the one that tells everyone that you're over 150 pounds or 200 pounds. Of course I close my eyes and insist that she not say the weight out loud. But the humiliation begins as soon as I get on the scale. Too bad holding your breath doesn't make the number any less. Wearing light clothing, taking off my shoes, getting a haircut. None of that is going to make a bit of difference.
So, in the next few days: Can I lose five pounds? Should I even try? Will the doctor be thrilled if I weigh five pounds less? Will she know what a valiant effort I have put in during the last week? Month? Year? Life? Or will she tsk tsk and ask me if I've been trying?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In your face training

Was just watching Today Show. The woman who was eliminated last week from Biggest Loser was on. Shellay. One of the mothers. She looks great, of course. Really great. New hairdo. New glasses. New clothes. New body. I'm impressed. I don't know why but I never expect them to look as good as they do. I always think their skin will be hanging off their bodies. Their faces will appear gaunt. But they don't look that way. Now maybe she was wearing some iron girdle, although it didn't look like she was. And her arms were covered so maybe her triceps are flapping in the wind like bird wings. I don't know. And it is TV. And she was wearing lots of make up no doubt. But I gotta say, she looked pretty good. Way to go, Shellay!
So she was on with Jillian, her trainer from the show. Jillian, the in your face trainer. The screamer. The intimidator. Apparently that worked well for Shellay. It surely wouldn't work well for me. I grew up with a master intimidator--my father. I learned to sneer back. To smile when his blood started to boil. To turn and walk away when he was at his most frightening. So when someone gets that way with me, I laugh and walk away. I mean, if I didn't cower when my 6'3'' father who weighed 250 pounds and had hands so big that he had to have his gloves for his policeman's uniform custom made...if I didn't cower when he lost it with me, I'm surely not going to respond favorably to anyone else's rantings and ravings.
Shout in my face, if you wish. I'll laugh in yours. Call me names. I'll use the "f" word and walk away. The scary angry stuff people might say actually makes me feel almost calm. It brings me back to childhood and to my father. I remember that I lived through it...a bit scathed perhaps...but I lived through it.
I guess Shellay has never been treated that way so Jillian's rants and put downs had a positive effect on her. I just hope that trainers around the country aren't watching that thinking it will work with their clients. Because it sure wouldn't work with me and if anyone were to try it, they'd probably end up in tears in short order.
So what does work with me? Apparently nothing. I have to be motivated by my own desires or nothing will work. I often think about what I would do about my weight if the doctor told me that I was in danger of imminent death if I didn't lose weight immediately. I'd probably quote her a bunch of studies to refute her warning.
I'm an excuse person. I have an excuse for everything. And my excuse for having excuses is....

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's all about my weight

I know that WW's commercials declare that "it's not a diet" but it is a least to me. Any time I have to restrict my intake, whether it's quantity or quality, I'd call it a diet. I kinda knew I was no good at dieting. I mean, look at me now and look at me thirty years ago or even five years ago. But I thought I'd give it one more try. The new WW Core Plan seemed to be doable for me. No measuring. Lots of foods that were "allowed". I cannot fault the Plan. I lost weight when I stuck to it. But just knowing that I'm on a diet (whether WW calls it a diet or a plan or whatever) makes me obsessed, positively obsessed, with food. With food I cannot or should not have; with quantities of food I cannot or should not have. I don't even like bread that much but in the final weeks of WW, I was thinking about bread!
What good has come out of the experience? Well, I'm definitely eating less. And I'm not going off on the ice cream gorgings of the past. At least not yet. Except for that one night when I had a large Carvel hot fudge sundae. But that was weeks ago and I haven't had ice cream since. And no fried foods yet. In fact, that's the first thought I had of fried food! So I think that the best thing that happened is that I did gain some control. Now when I am out of control, I know I am. I know I'm out of control even before I jump in. So I do it consciously. It's actually a choice. So I'm not so pissed afterwards.
I haven't weighed myself but I have certainly gained back some of that hard fought for lost weight. And now people are telling me that I look like I've lost weight. Go figure. Huh? When I was down 15 pounds...which certainly makes a difference...pretty much no one noticed. Now that I've gained some back, I'm getting compliments. Last night it was a compliment on my hair. Of course, I know what that means. It means, "You look like you lost weight." Let's see, a remark about my hair or one telling me that I look rested or someone admiring my's all about my weight!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm still here

I haven't posted for a few days or maybe more than a "few" days which is unusual for me since I had been posting daily since all this dieting began. There's been mostly weight gain over the last weeks. And no control or interest in controlling intake. I was missing cooking. Sure, I cooked meals but nothing that was any fun. And I was missing just grabbing something to eat without having to think about it, ponder its effect on my hips.
It turns out that I haven't learned anything at all since I started WW months ago. Or at least nothing that stuck. Because once I crossed the line, I went all the way.
So now I'm thinking. What to do. What to do. Go back the ascetic way of eating. Interestingly, I have not been obsessed by food thoughts since I threw in the towel. I sleep and dream of things other than food! I daydream about issues that are not related to food. My stops at Trader Joe's have decreased and shopping is a lot easier now that I am not consumed with dieting.
But today I sort of went back to WW. Sort of. Maybe more than sort of.
So far today, I've been back eating with a lot of pre-thought. I've not been particularly hungry today so it hasn't been a problem. Fish. Vegetables. Sweet potato. Salad. Asparagus. Boring. I mean, if the fish had been breaded and fried, ok. If the sweet potato had been mashed with some butter. That would have been great. But I ate. I'm not hungry. I'm not obsessed yet. We'll see.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Baby weight

I just read that Jessica Alba shed her "baby" weight in just a few weeks. Well, bully for her. I suppose being young, rich and slender before she got pregnant may have given her a slight edge. My kids are in their 30s and I still have "baby" weight to shed! Seriously. Alba ate 1700 calories a day. I'm so sure she shopped and prepared the meals. And she had a trainer come to her house six days a week. Just like the rest of us. And the promise of a multi million dollar movie contract might actually motivate me to lose the baby weight!
Why do we compare ourselves--our lives and our bodies---to those who are genetically, economically and socially privileged? Why?

Monday, September 29, 2008

How Margaret Cho lost weight

I've always been a voyeur of sorts. Not the sexually perverse kind. I'm interested in how other people live their lives. I like to peek into their lives, know their back story, see how they interact with the world. So when someone famous famously loses weight, I'm curious about how she did it. I'm a fan of Margaret Cho. She's fantastically outrageous but also very honest in her comedy. I've seen performances where being fat and losing weight were part of her routine. She's been up and she's been down. She's down now and looking very good. I read an online account of how she lost weight. Sounds like intuitive eating to me. I wonder if she visited Elise Resch or Evelyn Tribole for counseling. They're my heroines. I've taken several workshops with them. Learned a lot which I apparently have been unable to put into practice in my own life.
So Margaret says she eats everything and it is great to be able to lose weight eating junk food. Um, that's not exactly what I want since junk food doesn't really appeal to me very much. I would rather starve than eat a McD's. I've never even tasted a Toaster Strudel nor do I long to do so. But I sure would love to continue to eat what I like and want to eat but learn to do it in an intuitive and mindful way. So far I have been unsuccessful at mastering that skill.
I once read that some people with eating issues (I hesitate to say "disorders" but I surely have eating issues) should stay away from their "trigger" foods--foods that they will overeat. For me, trigger foods are almost all the foods I like to eat. Anything that tastes great is a potential trigger food. How can I continue to eat well and be mindful about it?
I shall now go off to the gym to sweat while I ponder that question.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Woulda Coulda Shoulda

My uncle used to warn against saying "woulda, coulda, shoulda". He believed that a person should take responsibility for her actions and not second guess what woulda, coulda, or shoulda happened.
So I take full responsibility for the deliciously juicy burger I ate last night with two...not one...baskets of sweet potato fries. I know I shoulda ordered a salad. I know I coulda ordered a salad. I know I woulda ordered a salad if I had stopped and thought about it.....No. I wanted a burger so there's no shoulda, woulda or coulda about it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Diets work for me

Diets don't work. That's what *they* say. But here's what I say....diets work for me when I stay on them.
I've been "off" WW for a while now. I lost slowly but steadily when I followed the diet. Now I'm not following the diet although I'm eating well. I'm eating chicken and fish. Eating brown rice and whole wheat bread. Oatmeal. Fruits and veggies. 1% milk. And I'm slowly gaining weight.
The "cheating" that I do on the weekends when we eat out is really not that different from what I was doing when I was on WW. And I haven't had to review a restaurant in a few weeks so I cannot blame the weight gain on that.
There's something about a set regimen that keeps me focused. And more than anything, it's the competition! I like a good game and I have to win any game I play. So when I am on a diet, I expect to lose weight and I make it happen. I may only be competing against myself but that's good enough to get me to work hard.
I'm going to have to go back on WW if I expect to lose more fat. Being a dietitian, knowing what to eat and how much to eat just isn't enough.
So, let the games begin. But they don't begin until Monday. Sorry about that. Don't want to enter the competition with a disadvantage....too much going on this weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Biggest Loser

Of course I watch The Biggest Loser. I watch it while I'm eating dinner. Oh, according to healthy eating principles I shouldn't be watching TV while eating but that's what I do when my husband isn't home eating with me. I know I should be concentrating on my food, on the flavors but especially on recognizing when I'm satisfied but I love to eat while reading and/or watching TV. It's a pleasure I refuse to give up.
I have a love/hate relationship with The Biggest Loser. I love how hard the contestants work. How much they learn. And I love to see the physical and sometimes emotional changes (like improved self esteem).
I hate that they make them take off their shirts. Why do they have to be weighed shirtless in front of the world? We know they're fat. And most of us know what being fat looks like. A peek in the mirror as you exit the shower should be just about enough to enlighten you about how fat looks on the human body. So why? It might be instructive to show them at the beginning of the show and then when they've transformed themselves but not every week. There's little to be gained. But that's just me.
I love that we watch them go from couch potatoes to strong willing exercisers.
I hate that we never see them with the dietitian. We see the contestants with their trainers and with the docs but never the dietitian. Why?
Sure the exercise is part of the weight loss. They work out all day. It becomes their job. With that many hours of exercise, lots of calories are burned and lots of muscle is built. But truly it is the reduction in intake that in the end is the reason for their loss of fat so why concentrate so much on the trainers and exercise and not at all on the dietitian.
Oh, and Rocco. Give me a break. He's giving us shopping and diet advice? Rocco? There are so many dietitian chefs who could do a better job. I know. They're not celebrities although there are a few. Would be great to see someone like Ellie Krieger on there doing the cooking/shopping segment. That would add some credibility at least. Let's see, Rocco is the former star of a very revealing reality show and the former chef at a failed restaurant and celebrity whose star has fallen a few times too many. He's got no nutrition background but he's teaching the contestants how to shop and how to cook healthier fare. Credibility?
But you know what I hate the most? How they waste time. They've dragged the show out to two hours but they don't show two hours of footage. Repeating stuff after the commercial break is annoying and makes me leave at the commercial and not return until the repeated segment is over. I wonder if the advertisers know that.
I want to say, "Move it" to them. Move the show along a little. The pace is too slow. At least for me.
But I keep watching it. I wouldn't call it entertainment. Watching people sweat, deny themselves and complain. No, that's not entertainment.
I don't identify with the contestants. But I do root for them. I feel their pain.
I would like to see previous successful (meaning, they maintained their weight loss) contestants return to work with the new ones. Last season's winner was particularly motivating to me. She beat out a guy who was a killer with exercise. She has an amazing will.
Excuse me while I go make some oatmeal with water, sweetened with a little banana. Yum. Yuck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I've been thinking. Because I have been trying so hard to follow a healthier diet, I've avoided all the foods that most people consider indulgences. Pizza. Ice Cream. Fried foods. Chips. So my diet has been pretty boring (yes, I'm a great cook and I am trying to make tasty meals but it's still pretty boring to eat this way). Also, I still do consider those foods to be indulgences so that when I do eat them, I overdo because I indulge.
If I'm ever to win this battle, I have to learn to eat all foods even the ones that are triggers for overeating for me. How to eat one slice of pizza? How to eat only one scoop of ice cream? I don't know. I think my main issue with food is that if it tastes really good, I just want to keep eating it until it's gone.
With ordinarily tasty food, I can stop when I am satisfied. But with really good food, no way. Even if I know I can eat the rest later or the next day, I still want it all at one sitting.
I'm not sure how to overcome this indulgence issue.
I'm still thinking of pizza. Would love to eat a whole 8 slice cheese pizza. I mean, that's my pattern. Buy one pizza, open the box and start eating. And that's exactly what I want. When I say I want pizza, I don't mean a taste or one slice...I mean one whole entire pizza.
Not actually sure I could still eat that much without getting sick but that's how my mind works.
I'll have to do some reality testing soon. One slice with a salad and a diet coke. That's on the menu for later in the week.
I can't wait.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Pizza. That's all. Just pizza. Yesterday while driving, notions of pizza began creeping into my thoughts. Maybe it's because I'm still lamenting not having had my NY pizza a few weeks ago. Or just because longings for foods that I haven't eaten in a while are beginning to nag at me. I've indulged. I've eaten out. I've gone astray. I had one huge delicious Carvel sundae. I've had french fries. Chinese food. Pasta. The forbidden list too long to go into here. But I haven't had pizza. Oh, there are other foods I've avoided. Like fried chicken. Or rather, the crust on fried chicken. Oh, my heart flutters at the thought. Swoon. Sigh.
But right now pizza is on my mind. Not fancy pizza. Not upscale pizza. Just good ole NY style pizza. Not extra cheese. No pepperoni (yuck). Certainly no ham and pineapple. Give me a break.
I'll work on extinguishing the pizza obsession but if I cannot transfer the images from pizza to broccoli some time soon, I'll give in to temptation. It actually worked well with the Carvel. I had my fill. Delicious though it was, I'm okay for now. One week without visions of pints of ice cream.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fallacies about gaining weight

I was just watching The View. I should be working but I'm finding lots of ways to seduce myself away from work. One of the pitfalls of working at home. There's laundry to do--something I have no desire to do but pit laundry against working and I'll choose laundry. Anyway....I was watching The View. Barbara Walters said it had taken her one year to lose fifteen pounds and that she gained back three this past weekend by eating one box of popcorn. (Cue laughs from the audience.) So a wisp of a woman is lamenting the gain of three pounds. And lamenting how "easy" it is to gain weight when it's so hard to lose.
I've lamented the same issue over and over but then it occurred to me while I was unloading the dishwasher (yes, another ploy to keep me from working) that it isn't easy to gain weight. We have to work at it and work hard. You don't gain three pounds from one box of popcorn unless it's the huge box and you've poured on lots of fake butter and lots of salt. Then maybe...just maybe...if you also spend the weekend in bed or plopped on the couch not expending any calories, you might...might...see some weight gain (more probably from water retention from salt!).
No, it isn't any easier to gain than it is to lose. It's just that when we go off our "diets" we tend to go way off, eat lots of calories, exercise less. Then after one week of indulgence when we notice a weight gain, we're convinced that it was just one itty bitty box of popcorn that did it.
I spent two days in LA eating large quantities of food. Then I went to NYC where I ate not large quantities but lots of foods that are high in calories. Thankfully, I walked a lot and went to the gym to offset the calories somewhat. But still I gained two pounds. I'm not shocked. I ate for those two pounds. I ate dessert. I drank some Pepsi. I ate bread. French fries. Burgers. Pastrami. Bagels. Bialys. Cream cheese. Chinese food. Etc.
In other words, I earned those pounds. I worked hard for them. As hard as I work to lose weight.
No, Barbara, it isn't easier to gain than it is to lose. It's just oh so much more fun and mindless to gain.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Response to comment

Now if I were just a teeny bit computer literate, I would know how to write a comment back to a comment but whatever.
Someone suggested that Carvel has good fat free sundaes. Okay. Here's the thing. Fat is not the issue here. It's calories. One small Carvel hot fudge sundae is 500 calories (read it and weep!); one small fat free is 380 calories. A savings of 120 calories and that's lovely but it isn't going to make anyone thin. Unless she is in the habit of eating one a day(and I want to meet that person!), then it will be a savings over the week. But for someone like me who just wanted to splurge, there's no reason to "save" 120 calories. Of course, I ate a large which is probably 1,000 calories!!!
This is one of the issues that confuses people: Just because something is fat free doesn't mean it's a better choice or that it's a healthier choice. In the case of hot fudge sundaes, I'm not sure we would call the fat free one a "healthier" choice. An apple would be a healthier choice!
The majority of calories probably comes from carbohydrates, namely sugar, since the dessert is still quite caloric (BTW...a small serving of Carvel is a's one bite) so saving the fat calories is not such a big deal. I bet a sugar free hot fudge sundae would be way less calories but all way less tasty.
At least, that's the way I look at it. I splurge for pleasure. So I want the real thing. My overall diet is exemplary--fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean poultry and fish, low fat dairy. It couldn't be any better. I eat about 8 fruits and veggies a day. I meet my calcium needs from dairy alone.
The hot fudge sundae is something extra (although we cannot discount the calicum the ice cream provides!). It's purpose is pure hedonism. Nothing to do with nutrients or health. Unless you count mental health.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

10 reasons why I should be leaner (but I am not)

10. I work out every day (except for Friday....everyone deserves a day of rest).
9. I eat fruits and vegetables naked and raw. I don't need sugar or cream or butter or cheese to enjoy a plant food.
8. I don't really like butter and bread is certainly not one of my vices.
7. Chocolate? Take it or leave it. Unfortunately, I take it more than I leave it even though I'm (gasp!) not really a fan of chocolate.
6. I can forgo spaghetti, rice and potatoes...supposedly the bugaboos of most dieters.
5. I eat oatmeal.
4. I eat chicken without the skin. I eat fish.
3. I don't like fast food. Never ever eat Micky D's or Wendy's or Burger King or Taco Bell. In fact, (gasp again!), I've never tasted Wendy's or Burger King or Taco Bell.'s a secret...I have eaten KFC. But never tasted Church's. But have tasted Popeye. Once. When we were in Huntsville, Ala. I mean, what are you going to eat in Huntsville?
2. I like steak but don't long for it. I'm not into big huge juicy rare steaks plopped on a plate with a piece of parsley for garnish. I surely don't care about baked potatoes slathered with sour cream (yuck) and butter. Onion rings. Well, that's a horse of a different color.
1. I'm a good girl. I'm a virtuous girl. I deserve to be leaner, thinner, slimmer, more svelte. I deserve it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Me and Dara Torres

It's going to be a virtuous and successful day. I can feel it already. And it's not even 8 a.m.
Yesterday I hung a photo of Dara Torres on my frig. It's the one that appeared on the cover of Time. The ripples of her abs, the strength of her toned arms, the look of determination on her face are motivating to me. I know that a woman of my "age" cannot transform her body into the body of an athlete. But I can dream. And I can make believe. When I look at that photo, it's like looking in the mirror. I know that's not true. It just "feels" like that. I'm pretty good at that kind of make believe. In aerobics classes, I position myself right behind the instructor. That way, when I look in the mirror, all I see is the aerobics instructor. I make believe it's me. It works really well. I marvel at "my" tight butt (standing right behind her makes that easy). It does wonders for my ego.
Why is today going to be virtuous? Because I am feeling "cleansed" of all the crap I was eating when on vacation. Not cleansed in a literal sense. I have just been eating well for the last few days and I'm feeling good. Strong. Like I've licked least for today.
But the weekend is upon us. The weekend is when we eat out. Enough said.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I am apparently the master of my fate. The fate to be fat again. I almost believe that the sly weight watcher's leader did not secretly plan to derail my weight loss attempts. What I do know is that since I stopped going to WW, I have gained weight. Weight I had lost through hard work and determination. Weight so easily gained back by just plain eating. Great delicious food. Again, no regrets. In fact, since I have indeed gained some weight back, I wish I had eaten pizza and dim sum. At least pizza. And dim sum.
I think I understand why not going to the meetings was a mistake. I'm competitive. Offer me a chance to win something--to come out on top---and I'm in. So each weigh in was a competition for me. I had to win. And I did. Every time until that one time. And that's when I left. I gave up. Big L on Sharon's forehead and not for weight LOSS!
You learn something about yourself every day. Some days what you learn ain't so pretty. Today is one of those days.
I'm not going back to WW. I really cannot afford it right now. Is that an excuse? I really don't want to. Money notwithstanding. I don't want to go to listen to those mundane pep talks meant to get me fired up about NOT eating. I can't submit to the scale monitored by someone whose only accomplishment is having lost and maintained her loss. Of course, I so much want to be a member of that club!
Until I am inducted into that club, I'll stay home. Nursing my wounds--in this case, my ever expanding waistline--planning my next attack on my weight.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The confessional again

Here I sit....butt planted firmly in front of the computer on a chair covered with an old towel that protects me from cat hair imbeded in the fabric from a cat long dead. That about sums up my mood for today. Back on track? Hah! Not even close. I probably should go back to the early posts on this blog to remind myself about how I should be eating, would be eating if I had any self control at all.
Macaroons. French macaroons. Baked by someone who knows how to bake French macaroons. Chocolate ones. Vanilla ones. Pumpkin macaroons. Big ones. Little ones. Filled with heavenly buttercream. That's all I'm going to say about them. Two. I ate two of them. One small. One large. I wasn't going to have any. But they were there. My hand reached for one. No one slapped it. I was hooked.
I'm a bad bad girl.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Excuses and other bad habits

I'm the master of excuses. Like the one about the weight watcher's leader who I believed falsified my weight! That was the excuse to stop going to the meetings even though I could have...should have...just chosen a different meeting to attend. Now it's that we were away, eating a lot of food (aka calories!) so I just continued when we got home last week. I mean, if I were counseling someone about losing weight, I'd warn her about these pitfalls. But I fall into them with my eyes wide open.
So last night, to cap off weeks of excessive eating, I had a LARGE Carvel hot fudge sundae. Not a small. A large. I ate it all. Down to scraping out every last bit of hot fudge. I gotta was delicious and worth every single last calorie. I've been thinking...obsessing...about a hot fudge sundae for weeks. So I decided to give in. And to give in big. It was delicious. Creamy. Warm. Thick. So utterly satisfying.
Today is a new day. The past is past. It's been a good day so far but I have a dinner meeting to attend tonight. I may have some problems with the meal. There won't be many choices so I'll just have to do the best I can.
And another dinner meeting tomorrow night. Also no choices and most probably some gorgeous French macaroons for dessert. I know I can skip the dessert. They are wonderful but I've had them before-in large quantities. I'm okay with forgoing the macaroons.
Excuses put to rest. Bad habits being tamed. On board again.

Friday, September 5, 2008

fat clothes

I read an e-mail today from a writer who is researching an article about people who save their fat clothes. It got me thinking about my wardrobe. I still dress like I'm trying to hide something. Now we all know that no matter how baggy the clothes, we're not actually hiding anything. If you normally wear a size 2 and you go up to a 4, then maybe a loose fitting top might fool someone but for those of us who are a bit larger than that, baggy clothes don't fool anyone.
I wear loose fitting tops not so much to try to fool people as to protect myself from the embarrassment of showing off how fat I am. It's not that I think people don't notice that I'm fat but that they just don't have to see the rolls around my middle or my protruding belly so I choose to wear a flowing top to "protect" them. But I surely don't think I'm fooling anyone.
So why do I dress like I'm hiding behind my clothes? Because I am comfortable that way. Belts, tucked in shirts, clingy tops....not for me. At this point in my life, a firm body will not be the end result of weight loss and exercise. So there's nothing to "show" hence the more comfortable loose clothing.
But should I save my fat clothes? The stuff that is too big...too flowing. Does saving that wardrobe imply that I expect to get fat again?
Well, it's happened before. I've been down and I've been up. And I've been way down and I've been way up. I've surpassed my fat clothes a few times but refused to buy bigger sizes. I still own a few pieces of my skinny clothes. I would wear them today...they're timeless in their style...if I could ever fit into them again. Alas, that is not going to happen. My body has changed (it's gone south) so that no amount of weight loss will help me get into those lovely pieces of fashion history.
Bottom line: I save my fat clothes. History has a way of repeating itself. I want to be ready.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back on track

It's been both hard and easy to get back on track. Stopped by Trader Joe's yesterday and was oh so tempted by the huge container of Cherry Garcia in the freezer. And those frozen cakes. They looked pretty good. Oh, and the pizzas. Yes, the freezer case should be off limits to anyone trying to eat a healthier diet. Of course, the freezer section is also home to fish fillets, fruits and veggies but those don't tempt!
The last aisle, the one with the corn and potato chips and my favorite....the bagel chips...that's one I should avoid as well. I could taste those crispy salty bagel chips as I perused the display. I used to use them in place of croutons in my salads. That is, until I read the label. Damn those nutrition labels.
Since I'm not a chocoholic, standing on line at checkout next to the chocolate bars doesn't tempt me. Whose idea is it to put candy bars at the checkout? Why not cantaloupes? Or whole grain cereal? What's with the candy bars?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I came. I saw. I ate

Back from my trip. Heavier. Happier. Relaxed. Unfazed.
Pastrami. Egg creams. Pickles and pizza. Chinese food. Turkish food. Greek food. Fries and knishes. Bagels and bialys. What can I say. It was there. I came. I saw. I ate.
No regrets. Could have eaten more but didn't. Never ate past satisfied. Avoided three course meals. Ate only when hungry.
But most foods were calorie dense. Lots of fat. Quantity was not the issue. Calories were.
So many choices, so little time.
Wedding we attended was catered by Abigail Kirsh. Supposed to be "big" caterer. Food was so-so for the most part. Lovely cocktail hour with lots of pretty good food: lamb tenderloins, pasta station, Israeli couscous salad, breaded and fried cauliflower (my favorite!), veggie salads, passed hors d'oeuvres like duck spring rolls (didn't like and actually...pardon me..spit it out) and mini hamburgers (adorable) and baby BLT sandwiches (so cute).
Dinner was less successful: Green salad with goat cheese (ho hum); truffled sea bass (okay) with mashed potatoes and cooked spinach; "s'mores" dessert which was a concoction including homemade marshmallows (those were worth eating) atop a graham cracker crust layered with a chocolate mousse. It was okay. Not great. But I ate it. All.
So we are 'back in bowl' as we like to say. That means, we are back on track. On my way to Trader Joe's to stock up on veggies. Actually happy to be eating simply!!!
But that will change. Once Friday comes around. I'll be back at the restaurants. Trolling for new and exciting food.
The struggle continues.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pastrami and knishes, here I come

I'm leaving for NYC in the morning. For one week. Of sightseeing and eating. Hopefully the sightseeing will burn some major calories. I haven't been to Manhattan in twenty years. My homeland! I promise to climb steps whenever I can. I promise to go to the gym as often as possible. I promise to have just a bite or a lick or a taste of pizza and pastrami and a knish. Dim sum...that's going to be a tough one. I promise that I will not drink regular soda. Absolutely positively. I will avoid all desserts. And that includes Carvel hot fudge favorite. I'll do my best and it will be better than I've done in the past. No sense undoing all the pain and suffering of the last few months. Will my friends notice? Do they care???
What will I say when my friends coax me to join them in overindulgence of fattening foods? Because it will happen.
Will it all be undone in seven short days?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The power of chocolate

"Flavanol-rich chocolate may boost blood flow in the brain and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke, Boston-based researchers have reported."

Oh my goodness! Am I hurting myself by not eating chocolate?? Should I be having at least one chocolate bar a day? Or at least some chocolate ice cream? If the research is correct I could be heading for disaster.

I may have to re-evaluate my eating plan. Losing weight is supposed to be good for my health hence I have embarked on a die*t (and believe me, it's killing me!). On the other hand (because there always is another hand), this research is pretty convincing or at least I want to be convinced by it!

Funny thing is that I don't really like chocolate all that much. I don't usually crave chocolate like other women say they do. But two nights ago I had an urge, a desire, a craving for some chocolate. In truth, it wasn't for chocolate but rather for candy. See, there's a difference. I wanted some nuts and caramel coated in milk chocolate. I believe that's called a "turtle". Yum.

But I wasn't craving dark chocolate. And that's the kind that has been used in most of the research that shows a clear benefit to health. I was craving just something crunchy and sweet. So I can't really say that my body knew it needed some flavonols.

So no candy for me. I'll take my chances. I'll try to ward off a mental decline with substances other than candy. Like fresh vegetables and colorful fruits. Sigh.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Research I like

"Children carrying the first gene that has been clearly linked to obesity find it harder than others to tell when they are full, London-based researchers say. "

Ahha! There it is. The explanation. Or is it the excuse? Doesn't matter. I
m certain that I have that genetic abnormality. I'm sure of it. No need for DNA testing. I'm the unhappy bearer of that gene. For sure. Absolutely.

But, then again, I do know when I am full. When I've had enough. I just choose to keep going. Not indefinitely. But certainly past the point of "full" especially if the food tastes food. That's what it always comes back to. Good tasting food. If it weren't for taste, then I would be slim and trim.

But switching to foods that don't taste so great doesn't work for me. I won't eat them. Not a bite. Hunger notwithstanding. Instead, I'll go seeking. I'll shop, cook, bake, do whatever it takes to find something that tastes good. Something that pleases my palate.

Olympic Dreams

I want Dara Torres' body. The ripped abs. The muscular arms. The tight butt. I want it all. What does Dara eat? Did she have Chinese food for dinner last night? I mean, the kind of Chinese food I had for dinner. Did she have a smoothie for breakfast this morning? Like the one I had....with chocolate syrup in it. Is she already dreaming about tonight's dinner? Fried chicken, perhaps? Hmmm. Probably not.
Achieving the body that Dara Torres has is probably out of my reach. But I can dream. In my dream, Chinese food and smoothies made with chocolate syrup are part of the Olympic diet that creates a taut butt.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Watching TV commercials

Two pizzas, bread sticks, chocolate dunkers and one liter of Pepsi for a bargain price. That's the Pizza Hut commercial that's been running for a few weeks now. If you've got kids, it is indeed a bargain. But at what "price"? It's a simple carbohydrate lover's dream, bread, cake and soda. And we wonder why Americans are fat?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Slowly I've lost interest in dieting (aka losing weight) just as I lose interest in all things eventually. I'm bored with focusing on meal choices based on their "legality" instead of on taste. I'm not hungry but I have a strong appetite for foods that just won't work for me now. And mostly I'm so over trying to decide where to eat when I have to eat out and what to cook when I eat at home. I cannot choose a restaurant because a particular dish calls to me. I have to choose a restaurant because they offer some sort of plain Jane dish that is prepared without extra fat and offers up either a potato (legal) or lots of veggies....since brown rice and whole grain pastas are not common in restaurants.
Cooking dinner has become laborious now that I do not have free reign to create whatever I want but must stay within the confines of what is okay on a diet. I could try to get interested in creating healthier fare but cooking that way just doesn't give the same glorious results so it's not as satisfying to me.
One of my gym buddies mentioned that she baked a chocolate cake this past week. As soon as she said that, I realized that it's been months since I baked. I love to bake. I miss baking. Sure, I could whip up some sticky mess of brownies made with prunes to substitute for fat. Oh, yum. That sounds....disgusting.
I think it's time to take out some cookbooks....healthy motivate myself to prepare some tasty lower calorie fare. Not treats. My body doesn't respond well to going outside the strict guidelines of just plain foods. Or maybe it's just that I eat too many calories of "food" and there's no wiggle room left for treats. That may, indeed, be the case.
So I'm stuck here in "just plain foods hell" for eternity. Maybe it's what I deserve for my evil thoughts of creamy ice cream paired with thick hot chocolate fudge topped with hundreds of maraschino cherries. Oooooh. I just thought of something. I used to love to eat ice cream along with a bag of potato chips. To quote the annoying Rachel Ray, "Yummo". Sweet, creamy, cold paired with crunchy and salty. Heavenly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Baby fat

My youngest child just turned 32 years old. Can I blame her for my weight? Well, not blame her exactly but can I say that I'm still carrying around the weight I gained with my last pregnancy? That would be a great excuse. I like that. People accept that women gain fat during pregnancy and it's well accepted that it is a struggle to get back to the pre-baby body after giving birth. So, that's what I'm going to do. Put the onus on my last pregnancy as the cause of my fatness. Of course, at my age I'll never return to the pre-baby body I had 32 years ago.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Truth in Dieting

Honesty is not a problem for me unless I am expected to be honest with myself. Ask me how you look and I'll tell you--right down to the details about how there's a thread hanging from your butt or your bra strap is showing or that pimple on your face is distracting. So I can be honest with you but I cannot be honest with myself about what I eat and how much I weigh--even in private.
If I'm keeping a diet journal, I lie. I write down what I should be eating instead of what I am eating. Even if I know that no one else will be reading the journal. The fiction of my intake is only for my eyes but I still cannot be honest.
Measuring my waist with a tape measure usually means holding the tape so tightly that I stretch it a bit. That's the way I make sure I've arrived at a measurement that appeals to me.
I am honest if I share the info. I'm only dishonest if I am keeping it to myself.
And it's not like I'm psychotic. I know I'm lying to myself. I don't care. I do it anyway.
If I showed you my diet journal (which, by the way, doesn't exist!), I would probably cross out the bogus entries and correct them for your viewing.
In my little Sharon world, I have to be perfect. As perfect as I can be even if it is a fantasy perfection. I know YOU know I'm not perfect. You've got eyes. You can see for yourself. You don't need me to corroborate what you see. But I see what I want to see and I want to see a perfect Sharon and that's what I do see.
Imagine my shock when I see a photo of myself or somebody points out my imperfections!
If I don't adopt "truth in dieting" pretty soon, I'm going to fail at this attempt to reduce my fatness.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Food commercials

Fried chicken overflowing the bucket. Piping hot pizza with cheese oozing out of the crust. Double burgers adorned with cheese and bacon. Just three of the images assaulting me daily on TV. So I started to wonder why it seems that all the food commercials are for high calorie foods. Is it that we wouldn't choose the high calorie foods if we didn't see them in all their delicious glory on the small screen? Do the fast food restaurants really need to advertise in order to get us to eat their food? Why aren't there commercials for broccoli? Carrots? Tomatoes? Broiled fish?

Friday, August 8, 2008

The sad truth about the human body

Calories in vs calories out. That's what energy balance is. And that's supposed to explain in very simple terms why "we" ("I") are fat. Burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight. Burn less calories than you consume (e.g., eat too many calories) and you will gain weight. Sure seems simple enough. But that's simplistic. Not simple.
There are also other factors involved-hormones for one. And I'm not just referring to the hormones most people think about-estrogen and testosterone. There are many others, like ghrelin for instance, that impact how we eat and what happens to the food after we eat it.
So glancing at a fat person's cart in the supermarket and presuming that she is fat because she seems to have emptied out the chips aisle isn't a fair assessment.
Okay. Chances are if you (I, we, whoever) eat chips and drink soda and eat McDs and gorge on ice cream and never get off the couch...chances are you are going to get fat and stay that way until you make some major changes--hormones notwithstanding.
But even if you eat moderately, with occasional interludes of immoderation, your hormones, your heredity, your age, your gender, your state of mind, may be working against you. That's why your neighbor might be chowing down on ribs while you eat fish and only one of you gets fat!
And that's why I'm angry at my husband today. Not his fault. Well, not his fault because he was born a man and therefore loses weight more easily than a woman. But, still, I'm allowed to be mad at him. We eat together. We cheat on our diets together. We are both bad and good influences on each other. He eats bread, he uses butter, he adds sugar to his coffee. These things he does every day. He only exercises once a week or so because of time constraints. I, on the other hand, virtuous woman that I am, do not eat bread, do not use butter, do not use sugar and work out two hours a day. I lose nothing. He loses one pound.
Justice? Where is the justice!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My distorted thinking

Here's the thing. I can't lose any more weight until after Labor Day. Here's why. I'm sure this will make sense to everyone. It makes sense to me. I've been to the dressmaker. She's finishing up the outfit I'll be wearing to a wedding in NYC over Labor Day. If I lose any weight, it won't fit properly. So I can't lose any more weight.
Of course, if I gain weight it won't fit either. That's a dilemma. Weight stable. How to maintain this weight for another three weeks. Is it possible?
And even if I lose weight, I will probably only lose a pound or two. That's been the pattern. So why am I worrying?
I'm not worrying, of course. I making excuses for eating out lunch tomorrow, dinner on Friday and Saturday night and lovely Chinese food on Sunday night with friends to celebrate the Olympics!
So I have a distorted way of arriving at conclusions that are only slightly rational. This one, admittedly, is a bit less than slightly rational.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I've roasted it, stewed it, sauteed it, grilled it, poached it, and fried it. I'm bored with it. Chicken. Low fat. Low cholesterol. Low interest. It tastes like chicken. Every time. Chicken with flavors added to it. It's not bad but it's boring. Years and years of chicken breast. White meat, sometimes dry, sometimes moist. Skin off. Dread. That's what I feel when I start to think about what to cook for dinner. It's not what to cook for dinner but how to make chicken breast.
Oh, sure, there's fish to consider and lean cuts of other meats but let's face it, most of us on a weight loss program will be preparing chicken for dinner tonight. Sauced up or marinated or spread with some rub but it's still chicken.
The problem (as if there were only one!) with dieting is that you feel like the number of foods available to your for eating are limited. Of course, that's not completely true. The preparation methods are limited but the actual number of foods are limitless.
Still dieting feels confining. It makes me want foods that I normally don't even think about. Well, I think about them but not as much as I think about them when I know I shouldn't be having them!
So, chicken tonight. Would love to pound it, bread it, fry it, top it with mozzarella and tomato sauce, bake it to melt the cheese and serve it with pasta, garlic bread and broccoli sauteed with garlic. An old favorite from NY style Italian restaurants. Yum.
Forget it. Roasted or grilled. No skin. Served with steamed veggies. A salad.
There's more to life than fried chicken. Right?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Secrets of Successful Weight Loss

The following "secrets" appeared in an article in Today's Dietitian, a magazine for Registered Dietitians. The very well researched article was written by an RD, LuAnn Soliah.
The "secrets" are based on research gathered from people who had been successful at losing weight, whether with a program or on their own. BTW...if you are interested in this information, you might like to read a book by Anne Fletcher called Thin for Life. She interviewed dieters who had maintained their weight loss for several years. The information she gathered is not that different from what is presented below.

Here's the 7 "Secrets" from the Today's Dietitian article:

The Seven Secrets of Successful Weight Loss
1. The dieters consume a low-kilocalorie, low-fat diet. The participants consume 1,300 to 1,680 kilocalories per day, 25% of which are from fat.
2. The dieters have a consistent food intake from day to day, and they eat about four to five times per day.
3. The dieters consistently eat breakfast.
4. The dieters are very physically active. The average person in the database exercises for about 60 to 90 minutes per day at moderate intensity. If they choose to walk, they take about 11,000 to 12,000 steps per day, which is the equivalent of almost 6 miles.
5. The dieters frequently weigh themselves—weekly or even daily.
6. The dieters limit their television viewing to less than 10 hours per week.
7. The dieters do not allow even a small amount of weight gain to occur without corrective action. They deliberately respond to small weight gains by reducing their food intake and/or increasing their exercise level.

The results of the study seem intuitive to anyone who has ever dieted. Exericse? Duh! Of course. You cannot maintain the loss without exercise. Limit TV? Duh! Couch potatoes don't usually do really well at maintaining weight loss. Eat breakfast? Your mother was right. Consistent food intake? Oh, so important. We all know we shouldn't skip meals. We should eat when we're hungry. Low calories? Well, double duh!
The one issue that may seem strange to anyone who has studied weight management programs is that the dieters weighed themselves sometimes as often as daily. Many programs, like WW, frown on this. Body weight fluctuates daily, sometimes throughout the day, depending on how much you've eaten but mostly depending on fluid balance. We wake up in the morning depleted of food and fluid and we weigh less. We eat, store fluid in our cells and add the weight of the food we've just eaten and our body weight rises.
Women who are pre-menstrual might see a body weight increase of up to 5# without any actual changes in fat mass.
I'm not a fan of weighing because of that. I'm much more in favor of measurements-waist, thigh, hips. The problem with that is you would probably not see an increase in those with small increases in body weight.
But, truthfully, I think we who diet know when we've gained weight because we know when we have strayed enough from the regimen to make a difference. I can truly gain 5# in one weekend of eating. Some french fries, a little fried chicken (well, maybe not a little), a few Pepsis, three or four slices of pizza and one pint of ice cream and voila, I've gained weight. But anyone would expect to gain weight on that diet! No surprises there.
On the other hand, someone could gain a pound or two just eating a little bit more than usual and exercising a little bit less. To keep that kind of weight gain in check, I guess that periodic weighing is in order.
The Seven Secrets seem so obvious and so easy. So why are we fat??? Because it's not that easy. And those aren't secrets. And if they were indeed easy to follow, we wouldn't be fat.
No one has yet found the one secret and that's what I'm waiting for. The secret that will help me stick to the other seven!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Curmudgeon Day

It's one of those days. I'm feeling curmudgeonly. I'm pissed about the "healthy halo" (I'm going to trademark that expression...I really like it) effect of adding pomegranate or acai juice or any of the other so-called miracle ingredients to foods. Just because a breakfast cereal is high in fiber doesn't make it the best choice. And water that has vitamins dissolved in it is really no different than swallowing your morning vitamin with a glass of water. It's just more expensive. "Smart Water"? Does anyone really feel smarter after drinking it? I'm so over all of this manufactured hype.
People will spend money on promises not backed up by science but they'll continue to smoke or damage their bodies in ways that are backed up by science.
And meal replacement bars. Ugh. Gross. I've never tasted one that was worth eating unless it was full of nuts, held together by caramel and dipped in chocolate. Oh, wait, that's a candy bar not a meal replacement bar.
If what I need is some calories to hold me over until the next meal and I'm willing to eat 250 or more calories from a "bar" then I'm picking a Snickers bar. Not a sandy, smelly, manufactured mess of ingredients molded to look like a candy bar but tasting like sawdust.
Just because something contains soy doesn't make it good for you. I love watching people chowing down on edamame in restaurants. Sure, they are actually a good snack. But they are high in fat...hello...where do we get soybean oil from? Soybeans! What are edamame? Soybeans. And people eat them as though they were green beans. Not. That's like dipping your bread in olive oil instead of spreading it with butter. Sure, olive oil is less saturated and has the "healthy halo" but it's still fat, it's got the same calories as butter.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
Perhaps the dieting is getting to me. Except that I am not dieting. Have not been for weeks. Trying to stay true to the spirit of eating healthier but I've given up the lists and the dos and don'ts. No more weigh ins. I'll save the $13 a week that I was spending going to the meeting to be weighed.
I have the scale at the gym figured out. I know that it registers two pounds heavier than the WW scale. I'll be my own WW leader. Applause for me when I lose. Scornful look when I gain. Sigh when I maintain.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More on airport eating

I've just returned from vacation full of thoughts about dieting, weight loss, eating and lots more. First there was the issue of what to eat at the airport. That was never settled to my satisfaction. I ended up eating a small bag of pretzels, washing the salty crunchy morsels down with some lukewarm water. Not exactly my idea of a gourmet meal or a nutritious one but the pickings were slim to none.
Sometimes you just have to eat even if there isn't a good choice. I should have done that. I could have had a personal pizza from Pizza Hut. I could have wiped off some of the oil and taken the cheese from half and put it on the other half so I would have eaten only half the crust. A bit messy, perhaps, but doable. I didn't do that. Instead, I ate the pretzels and thought about how hungry I was all the way to LA. Feeling hungry and deprived is not good for sticking to a diet.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Eating on the fly

I have tried to follow the recommendations we dietitians give to our clients about packing food if we know we might not be able to eat on time or to eat appropriately. It's impossible. Tomorrow I'm taking a flight at 1:40 pm. I know I probably will not be hungry for lunch before I board the plane. Truthfully, I wouldn't want to eat lunch before I take a flight-queasy stomach. What to pack to take on board? Well, cannot take yogurt. Won't allow through security. No blue ice to keep the food cold. That's forbidden as well. So I can't pack sandwiches or salads or anything that has to be kept cold. What's at the airport for me to purchase? Burger King. Mexican. Japanese rice bowls. Nathan's. Cinnabons. Nothing I would eat even if I were not trying to eat healthy food. That sort of leaves meal bars. And I don't eat those. They all taste like sand to me. Gross. So I'm left with salty pretzels and water to keep my hunger at bay until we land. Maybe I'm making too much of this but it seems like a real dilemma for picky eaters-I'm admitting that I'm a picky eater.
I suppose the solution is to choose a flight that does not interfere with mealtimes.