Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Eureka: By George I think I've got it!

I woke up this morning thinking that this is not doable. I was hungry for foods I could not have and not at all interested in what is on my list of Core foods. I talked myself out of "cheating". It was a tough talk.
Sharon: Only three days into the diet and already you're losing your reserve?
Sharon: But everyone says I look fine and I am healthy so why should I suffer like this?
Sharon: Because you're fat and you know that you don't look fine and you may be healthy now but tomorrow might be different.
Sharon: Ugh!
So I had Trader Joe's organic oatmeal made with water. I sweetened it by adding a mashed up ripe banana. Man, that was good! Almost too good.
Then off to the restaurant. A wonderful Mexican restaurant-not TexMex. Met three friends with whom I eat for reviews. This time I was not the reviewer but we were there for a review nonetheless. Wow. The food was amazing. I mean, what I had was amazing and the rest of it looked great.
I ordered a fish Veracruz. Fish cooked with onions, peppers, and tomatoes. It was tasty. And I stopped eating when I had enough. I actually stopped! I think I'm getting it. I sniffed at everyone else's food and took one bite of the chicken mole-and I do mean one little bite. It was out of this world.
We loved our meal. Everyone else finished theirs. Not I. I'm a good girl!
The restaurant was empty when we arrived so the owner stopped by our table a few times (actually, a few times too many!) to schmooze. He didn't know who we were-at least I don't think he did. Anyway, he sent over the most glorious dessert afterwards. He makes a two layer Mexican flan: chocolate on the bottom, regular flan on top. I don't know how he does it and I don't care. I did take a sliver-so tiny that I almost couldn't taste it. The other ladies oohed and ahhed and they tried to get me to eat more but honestly, I was okay. It will be there next month or in six months or whenever I choose to have it.
By George, I think I've got it! And to think that I almost threw in the towel this morning.
I stopped by the fitness center after lunch and weighed myself. I know. I'm not supposed to do that but I had to. I just had to see if the diet is working. It is! Even though it was right after lunch, I weighed less than I weighed on Saturday. Not a lot less, mind you. But less. And it's only three days.
Thank you! Thank me!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Disaster Averted

Yesterday's potentially disastrous restaurant experience taught this dietitian a lesson. I always tell people that they can surely find something on a menu without high maintenance ordering that requires the kitchen staff to prepare something special for them. Well, I now know that isn't always true. The restaurant had an excitingly modern menu with lots of very tempting offerings. But nothing that fit into my WW core plan. Nothing. Not about to announce to everyone that I was on a "die-t", I just ordered what came closest to being safe-Chicken salad but made with creme fraiche. Not exactly low calorie. In fact, probably not even close. But my other choices were far more caloric and off the mark. Thankfully, this restaurant serves normal size portions so what I got was about one cup of chicken salad (nice big hunks of chicken, a few pine nuts, a couple of plump raisins mixed with a modest amount of creme fraiche, vinegar and seasonings) served over a spring lettuce mix. The plates were small-making the salad look ample. I did not eat the two very tempting grilled bread slices that accompanied the dish. I ate slowly. I put my fork down between bites. I talked a lot (not unusual for me!). In fact, my friends finished their lunches long before I did. They ordered dessert presuming their eating buddy, Sharon, would join them. I abstained. A spoon was presented to me for sharing. I opted out. Not a bite. Not a morsel. Not a lick. Good for you, Sharon!

The chicken salad was the best I have EVER eaten. Truly. Had there been twice the amount on my plate, I would have eaten it all. Well, maybe not now that I'm working on eating sensibly but certainly last week before I made this promise to myself to return to my earlier heavy weight that is less than my present heavy weight.

One of the restaurant owners told us that there have been complaints that the portions are too SMALL. Can you believe it? Every newspaper headline screams at us that we are an obese nation. And people are complaining that the portions are too small! Yes, the portions were smaller than what people may expect but not too small. Just right, in fact. Perfect. And that coming from someone who is a glutton.

Another review tomorrow. Ugh. This one at a Mexican restaurant. Why am I being tortured? Why am I being tested this way?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 2

Day 2 and counting. Big test today on only the second day. Not fair. I'll be going with a group of friends to review a restaurant. A very upscale trendy new place in Scottsdale. It's already gotten lots of advance press and normally I'd be beside myself with anticipation. But all I feel right now is dread. Flavors, textures, aromas. The pressure to taste. Will I prevail or will the food overpower me?
I'll pay more attention to the surroundings, service and presentation than I normally do. At least, that's my plan. I'll depend on my eating buddies for their assessment of the flavors and textures of the food. I might have a lick here and there. Don't want to make any promises to myself. I'll do my best.
First impulse was to skip breakfast to save up calories but that's not the spirit of WW. So I ate two eggs cooked in a dry pan with a side of spicy salsa and a glass of (yuck) skim milk. That should get me to lunch without too much pain and stomach growling.
Oh, BTW...I'm following the Core Plan on WW. Counting points is just not my thing. I'm "in touch" with my fullness and I'm mindful and intuitive enough to stop when I'm satisfied (even though I don't normally do that!). The WW leader suggested the Core Plan for me because my points allotment would have been too low. 21 for the day. Because I'm so OLD! Since when did they add in age?? Points used to be calculated on weight. Now it's gender, age, weight and activity. Life just isn't fair!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 1

We've just finished dinner. Day 1 of death by dieting is almost over. That's not really a fair statement. I've had plenty to eat today. All of it good healthy food. Crunchy. Fresh. Delicious. But a side of french fries would have made the halibut taste so much better. And a scoop of ice cream would have really ended my dinner properly. Ah, I have the memories of past meals to think about when the going gets right now.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day of reckoning

I went to Weight Watchers today. I know. It's a diet. I help other people plan diets for themselves. I study mindful eating. I know all about intuitive eating. Why am I on a diet? Because I need one. I'm going to follow the "core" program which just means I'll be on a healthy eating plan and I control the amount of food I eat. So, let's not think of it as a diet. We'll see how it goes. Of course I had to overdose on the crap I won't be eating after today. That was a mistake. I didn't enjoy it. I don't feel so great now. And I probably added at least one pound to my already corpulent frame. Worst of all, though, is that there's plenty more I'll be missing so it really wasn't worth it. Whatever. Moving right along.
I'm feeling good about having made a decision to do something positive for myself. Filling my belly and satisfying my mouth just hasn't been working that well for me lately. Tucking in my shirt, wearing a belt. That just might be a bit more satisfying! We'll see.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blog Illiterate

I read blogs. I read lots of them but I'm not sure how to do this for myself so please, if you should happen to be reading this, be patient. I don't know how to format it. I have no intention, by the way, of notifying friends and family that this blog exists so perhaps the apology is not necessary since I might be the only one who will be reading it.
My nickname in elementary school was Fatty Matty (Matty being my maiden name; Fatty being the adjective used to describe my figure!). In truth, I wasn't really all that fat so I'm not sure why I was lucky enough to have been dubbed Fatty but so it was. I suppose it could have been worse. Batty Matty? In those days, we wore lots of crinolins (big poufy slips under our skirts and dresses to make them stand out). I always blamed my corpulent appearance on the crinolins but the truth is, the other girls didn't look as pudgy as I did so maybe there was some truth to the nickname.
From childhood to old age (where I am now), I've lost and gained probably thousands of pounds. Any of you who have a weight issue, will commiserate I'm sure. But I've never been able to sustain the loss. I get hungry. That's the only way I can describe what happens.
And I should know better.
I'm a registered dietitian who happens to be fat. Yea, that doesn't make much sense, does it? It's like a financial advisor who is penniless or a fashion designer with no personal style. But these things happen. Really they do. A financial advisor might be really good at making money for you but not so good at doing it for herself. And that fashion designer might have dynamite ideas for your dress but no idea how to dress herself. And so it goes. I could help you lose weight-I know all the tricks. But I've got ways around the tricks so I don't let them work for me!
Here's the thing, though. I want to lose weight. Well, let me amend that statement. I don't care if I lose weight or not-I don't care what I weigh. I just want to look better. And let me qualify that-for someone my age looking better doesn't mean being able to wear low slung jeans or a bikini. Maybe a little less muffin top. Perhaps a bit less double chin. That's all I want.
See, I feel fine. I'm not experiencing any health problems related to being fat. And I'm sure old enough to be failing if my excess poundage was hurting me in some way. The only way it hurts right now is the damage the fat does to my self esteem-which has always been on shaky ground anyway. If you grew up with the moniker Fatty Matty, you'd have self esteem problems, too.
Please don't tell me about the latest greatest weight loss scheme. Of course, I've tried lots of them, silly. Even the ones I know are spurious. Even the ones I know won't work. I'm not really different from any other fat person that way. I'm looking for the easy way out. I want to be svelte by the weekend. I'm tired of that snap at the waist of my jeans popping open every time I take a deep breath. Oh, and while we're on the subject of jeans-even the new belly slimming ones that are actually quite comfy just push the fat up to my middle so that I look like a distorted sausage oozing meat in the middle.
Don't get me started on clothes! Whose figure are they using as the model? Do they know that there are "real" women out there who don't want to expose their navels-and believe me you don't want to see mine! And does every shirt have to plunge to expose heaving breasts? Look, no one wants to see my naked flesh. No one. Least of all guys. I'm too old. I'm too fat. But mostly I'm too old for that sort of thing. So could someone please make clothes that are both trendy and subtle?
Dieting. Ugh. It's been a while since I even considered it. I mean, restricting my intake? Not eating my favorite foods? Avoiding fat and sugar? Are you kidding???? Oh, by the way, I eat out for a living. I'm a food writer. I'm a dietitian by training but I wouldn't be so bold as to counsel someone else with eating habits probably a bit more sane than mine. So I write about food instead. That way I can spend endless hours obsessing over my last meal and get paid for it. A bit pathological, I guess.
One more thing (or one more before the many others): I exercise regularly with intensity. I work out six days a week, usually two hours a day. I would happily match my physical strength and aerobic capacity against a woman half my age. So for all you people who think exercise is the key, it is if you don't work out now but it isn't if you do.
See, I eat too much. I even eat too much of the good stuff. I make a morning smoothie with 8 ounces of 1% milk, 6 ounces of chocolate flavored yogurt, 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup, two frozen bananas and 1 cup of frozen berries. Do you not think I know it's too much for one person?? Of course, I know that. But it tastes so good. If something tastes good, I eat it. I keep eating it until it's gone. I don't make myself sick over it, though. I can stop if it gets to be painful. It isn't a binge. There's never been purging. Why would I want to rid myself of something enjoyable? I don't eat until I'm sick or unable to move. But I do eat way too much of stuff that tastes really good.
Fried food. I love breaded and fried chicken. Fried vegetables (as in tempura). Chicken fried steak-not so much. Fried fish. Yes. French fried potatoes. Yum. Pasta. Love it. Bread? No problem. Could give that up easily. Cake, candy, cookies? Take them or leave them-mostly leave them. Pepsi? Oh, my. The beverage of my dreams. Real Pepsi (not Coke) with sugar (oh, yes, even high fructose corn syrup). Pizza. No pepperoni. I'm a purist. No toppings but mozzarella. Chinese food? My absolute favorite. And I'm not talking about steamed veggies, either. Sure, those are good but that's not what I choose at a Chinese restaurant. I want some noodle dish swimming in grease. Please don't tell me that the Chinese don't eat that way in China. Duh. I'm talking about what I like-not what the Chinese like.
Gnocchi. In pink sauce which means cream mixed in with tomato sauce. Maybe a few walnuts thrown in for good measure. And a pea or two just for color.
Sushi? Love it-especially the choices topped with calorie laden eel sauce or dynamite sauce (mayonnaise). And the aforementioned tempura.
I don't eat after dinner or between meals. Not hungry really. After all, I've eaten my fill and more at meals so there's no temptation between meals so I'm not a snacker.
Ice cream. Premium creamy cold ice cream. Oh my. Love it. Three or four flavors in a bowl. A big bowl. A very big bowl.
Mindless eating? No. I'm quite well aware of what I'm eating. I know how much is in my portion compared to how much should be in a portion. I don't eat while watching TV nor do I eat at the movie theater. Eating is its own activity. Well, that's not entirely true. I do read while I eat because I read all the time. I even read while I watch TV. But the eating I do while reading is not mindless because I've served myself a portion that I intend to finish. Seconds? Rarely. I usually put plenty on my plate so there's no need to go back for more.
I'm getting tired. So, you've read my excuses. Are they like yours? I know they're all excuses. I'm so smart just not smart enough!