Thursday, May 29, 2008

Too much time on my hands or how I avoid working

I've been my clothes take up more space in my luggage than the clothes of a waif thin woman? I mean, now that the airlines are charging to check bags, is this going to be a problem for fat people? Does my bag weigh more because there's more fabric on my clothes? Just thinking.
Been paying very close attention to TV commercials this week. Why am I watching television when I have deadlines looming? Just for that reason. It calms me down. Anyway, commercials. All about food. And not just food but big portions of very calorie dense foods. Lots of whipped cream, shiny sauces, pizza slices laden with toppings and burgers that look like they weigh two pounds. None of the commercials appeal to my appetite. In fact, the food styling just doesn't do anything for me at all. A commercial for french toast topped with whipped cream and what looks like gooey gloppy sugary syrup (it even "looks" artificially flavored) really doesn't appeal. In fact, it works well as an avoidance activity. Watch the commercial, gag, don't eat anything for a few hours. I should watch more TV!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I think I understand

0.6 pounds. Jeez. Not even one whole pound. I am beginning to understand why I'm fat, though. If eating just the few non-program foods that I ate over the weekend could reduce my loss to a measly 0.6 pounds then what would happen if I ate all the foods I wanted to eat-used to eat-in the amounts I wanted to eat-used to eat? Hardly one crumb of bread or one slice of pizza or one scoop of ice cream or one fried chicken wing or one cookie or one anything (!) has passed my lips in weeks. Sure, there have been the purposeful slip ups-a burger or two, a few M&Ms-but nothing extreme. There's been no Pepsi, no french fries, no large quantities of anything. And yet weight loss has been reduced. I'd love to blame it on my age, on metabolism or on some other outside force. But I lost well the first and second weeks so I cannot blame the universe. It's me. Little old fat me. And my little old fat appetite for foods that add girth. I shoulda known!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another milestone

It's the little things in life that matter. Like being able to button a pair of pants that haven't fit since I bought them! Every once in a while I buy something that almost fits thinking I will fit into it when I lose weight. Of course, I don't lose the weight and the item languishes in the closet until I decide it's time to take it to the resale store to recoup some of my money. Sometimes I am so confident that I will fit into the pants or shirt or whatever that I actually discard the tags as soon as I get home. Other times, good sense prevails and I leave the price tags dangling from the garment just in case I am honest with myself at some time and return it.
Today I am wearing a pair of green slacks bought many years ago with the strong belief that someday I would fit into them. It was a sale. Such a good sale. The slacks were not my size. I knew that. I was able to pull them up but there was about three or four inches less fabric around the waist than I needed. I sucked it up. That helped but still was unable to hook them. Lying down on the bed didn't move enough of the fat to the rear. No matter. These were a bargain and I firmly believed that I would fit into them. And I do! The waistband is going to leave a deep indentation in my still pudgy waist but the button is closed, the pants are zipped and I am breathing! I was even able to eat my breakfast without opening the button. I admit that the threads holding the button in place are straining but the button is closed!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Less indulgence=just as much fun

Another LA weekend has come to an end. Lots of opportunities to overeat. None taken. Perhaps it was the zipping of the jeans that motivated me or just good sense that kept me on track. Not sure but what does it matter-I was a a good girl. To a point. It was more about what I didn't eat than what I did eat. I didn't drink Pepsi. I didn't eat candy at the airport. I didn't order any fried foods. No focaccia was eaten and certainly none was dipped in mouth-wateringly scented olive oil. The tiramisu that passed by our table held my attention for but a moment. I overheard the waiter tell the recipient of the most preciously beautiful slice of dessert that the mascarpone and lady fingers were imported from Italy. Oh, creamy sweetness!
The movie theater was a challenge. Bought a bag of M&Ms. Ate about ten of them. Realized that they don't really taste like chocolate so why bother. Tossed the remaining ones. Tasteless M&Ms were better than the movie, though. Whew. Terrible.
Burger with no bun. Did you know that you can actually "taste" the meat when you eat a burger naked? Maybe that's why the bun can be so important? Lousy meat needs a bun to disguise the flavor.
At lunch yesterday, had the opportunity to eat whatever I wanted at Century City Mall food court. Orange chicken at the Chinese; tacos; pasta; pizza.....instead went back to hotel because there is a KooKooRoo chicken place nearby. Had skinless roasted chicken, potatoes and broccoli for lunch. And I was happy!
Thoughts of missed opportunities dancing in my head as usual. Ice cream. Cupcakes. LA is the birthplace of west coast cupcakes, for goodness sakes. Fried calamari. Tiramisu. Lost opportunities. Will still be available to me next time I go. That's what I'm holding on to. All that food will still be there, waiting for me, calling to out to me, "Sharon, this way. Open wide."

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood

Woke up feeling confident this morning. And I was right. I'm wearing jeans that formerly would not zip. They're zipped! Only a small muffin top oozing out. Legs of jeans are loose-almost baggy! Eureka! What a thrill. What a motivator. Off to LA. Tip from me: Menus for most restaurants-even small independent restaurants-are online. It's a good way to prepare before going for meal. I've checked the restaurant web site for tonight's meal. I already have two ideas-one is a splurge of sorts, the other is on target. I won't decide until the moment I order. But the jeans are zipped. There's a smile on my face. It's a good day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Obsession or Mindfulness?

So what if my obsession with food-the thoughts of burgers dancing in my head-is really a form of mindful eating? What if spending hours thinking about future meals really helps me make better decisions? What if I just sat down in a restaurant and ordered without having gone over the possibilities in my mind beforehand? Is it worth the anxiety caused by my food clogged mind? I am thinking, "yes". I am thinking that I've stopped myself from making some pretty horrendous food choices because I've been so preoccupied with thinking about what I wanted to eat. By donating a portion of my brain to food decisions 24/7, I've avoided thousands of calories. I will try not to lament the constant dreams of pizza. Instead, I vow to continue to spend countless hours contemplating food choices as a means of controlling my otherwise uncontrollable urges for pizza and fried chicken.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weigh-in details

At least I lost if that makes me feel any better. 1.2 pounds. Sure. That's better than gaining 1.2 pounds. But that little bit represents one week of deprivation. Okay. Maybe not deprivation. I've been eating. Plenty of food. Good food. But boring food. Nothing creamy. Nothing crunchy. Nothing salty. Nothing sweet. Just wholesome food. There must be a halo over my head!
LA again this weekend so a potential food orgy if I allow myself to indulge. On the way to the meeting, my head was full of thoughts of LA food. Maybe the thoughts are making me lose weight more slowly. Maybe it's all in my head!
"Order a hamburger and fries", Wicked Sharon whispered. "You can eat half", she said. As if....
"Order the chicken. You like the way Rustic Canyon cooks chicken", Sensible Sharon chimed in. "Then you don't have to eat half your dinner. You can eat as much as you want." As if....
So, here it is three days before the meal with seven meals to eat before Friday night and I'm already wrestling with what to order on Friday night. Is this normal? Normal for me but it cannot be normal for everyone. I think other people are thinking about their lives. I'm only thinking about food!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tense about tomorrow

Today is a big day. It's my third weigh in. Really should be the fourth but I had to skip one week because we were out of town hence the glorious 6 pound loss. Last weigh in was a weak showing for me-0.6 pounds. Jeez. That's what a sneeze weighs!

I am starting to feel that I am losing my way. I've studied mindfulness and intuitive eating-both non-diet approaches. So why am I on a diet? A regimen? A plan? Because I need the structure. I need to be accountable. And I rarely follow through when I am on my own.

The Today Show did some celebrity diet story yesterday morning. I missed the beginning so I don't really know for sure but I surmised that they were looking at how celebrities-whose airbrushed bodies appeared on magazine covers-lost weight. The two dietitians discussing the dieting tricks of the celebrities (not once mentioning that their bodies were probably air brushed!), displayed plates of food supposedly representative of each diet. Problem was that the food was unappetizing. White bland-looking sliced chicken, steamed broccoli all on a teeny white plate. Not very appetizing. No sauces. No gravies. No dressings. Bland. Blah. Blech.

That's the way people lose weight. Little variety in flavors, textures and colors. So they eat less. And less. And less. Until the pounds come pouring off.

Works for me EXCEPT that one day I will lose my resolve completely. I'll just have to eat something flavorful. I will be overtaken with desire for a crispy chip or a sweet treat. Once I cross over into the land of delicious food, it will be almost impossible for me to find my way back to the world of bland.

So I'm bored with the diet. I'm bored with saying no to myself over and over.

I haven't had any bread in four weeks. I haven't had any white rice, white pasta, or anything else white and starchy. I've eaten smaller portions. I've had almost no sugar. I've been eating fish and chicken and chicken and chicken. I've done my best to stick to the oil restrictions. I should be a rail. I should have lost twenty pounds by now. Well, okay, realistically ten pounds. But it hasn't happened.

I'm certainly eating half as much in quantity and much better quality of food. More fruits and veggies for sure. I hate this. I hate it so much. If only my belly were gone or there were some outward manifestation that my asceticism was working. If only I weren't such a wimp. If only I had never gotten fat. If only chicken wings had no calories. If only pizza and pepsi had magical powers that could cause me to lose weight. If only....

Monday, May 19, 2008

Obsession, the food network and pleasure

Four weeks. What have I learned? That I'm obsessed. That I may be hopeless and helpless when it comes to food. That I'm fat because I'm weak. Should I be saying these things about myself? Harsh descriptors. And true.
I'm not angry at myself. Just as I haven't felt guilty for my transgressions over the last four weeks, I'm not pissed because I'm weak, obsessed and hopeless. Of course not. I'm thrilled with myself. Proud. Sure. And the moon is made of green cheese. Oh, a food analogy. How fitting.
By George, I don't have it yet! Every minute of every day my mind is preoccupied with food. What will I eat next? Should I just have one bite, one little bite of something forbidden? Should I put less on my plate? More? Should I finish that one tiny last morsel or leave it over? Will it make a difference? Is this what drug addicts feel when they're in detox? Because I'm close to out of control today. And I've got work due soon. I have to clear my mind-get the thoughts of food out so that the creative ideas I depend on will have space to move in. It's like I have a remote control in my hand. As I'm flipping through the channels the food network keeps popping up even though I'm trying hard to stop the button on CNN! I'm using both hands but the food network is stronger than CNN-stronger than my good sense!
I just don't know how to rid myself of these thoughts. Food. It has nothing to do with hunger. I'm not hungry right now. I just finished my oatmeal. Tasty. Enjoyed it. But I want something else now. Something crunchy, maybe. Salty. I want to just eat mindlessly. That's what I really want. I want to sit down with a big bowl of something, a good book and the TV turned to some cooking show. I want to sit at the table reading, watching TV and eating without thinking of the consequences. That's it, you see. It's the consequences that are driving me crazy-driving me to want to go where I shouldn't go and do what I shouldn't do. I don't want to gain back the little weight I've lost so far. I don't want to suffer the consequences of being overweight. More than anything, though, I want to be able to lose weight. I want to conquer this. How can controlling what I eat be so damned hard? It's just food. It's just food. But it isn't just food to me. It's pleasure.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How fat am I???

A colleague and friend once chastised me for using what was to her a pejorative, e.g., calling someone "fat". I told her that my experience being fat (she is not) and knowing other fat people is that they don't mind. I mean, don't shout out, "Hey, fatty, come here!". No, that's harsh and different from describing someone as "fat".
You see, I am fat. I believe we should stop referring to "obesity" as a weight issue. It's not about weight. It's about fat. My body weight is reflective of tissues other than just fat. I weigh a lot and I am fat but not as fat as my body weight would indicate. Bone and muscle. I've got lots of that under all the fat hence the number on the scale is not an accurate indicator of body fat for me or for anyone for that matter.
Back to fat and me. Now that I've lost some "weight", I realize just how fat I am. I've probably lost about 8 pounds by now. Honestly, there's no difference. I don't see it. I don't really "feel" it. Oh, maybe a little. The elastic on my pants isn't leaving the same gross mark around my waist that it used to leave. No one has noticed the eight pounds. My life has not been made any easier by it.
I am happy with my accomplishment so far, though. Not with the pounds necessarily but with some of the insights I've had over the last few weeks. And I'm impressed that I've been able to stick to it. Without wanting to kill anyone, I should add. Why, I even have kind thoughts for Jean Neiditch, the originator of Weight Watchers. I wonder, is she still alive? Did she gain the weight back?
So, how fat am I? I don't know because I haven't had a fat measurement. BMI? I wish researchers would dump that one. BMI would only be a good indicator of fatness IF a person had the % of other tissues that would be expected. Since I have particularly dense bones and lots of muscle, I do not. Thanks to Haagen Dasz (my favorite source of Calcium) and resistance training, my muscle and bone weigh more than would be expected for a person of my age and size.
I like waist measurement as an indicator of risk, though. Waist measurement over 35 inches for a woman is considered a risk factor. Hello. My waist measured 36 inches a few weeks ago-and that was with cheating! Don't know about today because I think I stretched out the tape last time. Will buy a new one to start checking measurements. Just not yet.
For a long time I've not allowed people to hug me. I think I hide my fatness because I don't ever wear revealing clothes. Baggy shirts are my friends. But if you hug me, you'll feel the rolls around my waist. You'll know just how far your arms can go around me. That's not cool. So no hugging. But last night I got caught. A kumbaya moment when people put their arms around each other in song. Ugh. The woman next to me put her arm around my waist. My waist, for goodness sakes. I felt her hand around the roll at the back of my waist. I'm surprised I didn't vomit. Mercifully, it was a short song and I broke free as soon as it was over. A nightmarish few minutes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Momisms and Hunger

"We're leaving soon. Do you have to go to the bathroom?", my mother to me and my sister when we were young.
"No, Mom".
"Go anyway. Just in case. Try. Because you won't have a chance to go again for a while."
Sound familiar? That's just one of the typical admonitions from my mother to us every time we got ready to leave the house.
Here are two other typical remarks from my mother's litany of warnings:
"I'm cold. Wear a jacket."
"Eat something now or you might get hungry later."
So now as an adult they all sound kind of ridiculous to me. It's not necessary to eek out a drop of urine just because you're leaving the house. If someone else is cold, it doesn't mean that I'm going to be cold. And filling up on food when you're not hungry to stave off hunger at a later time really doesn't work.
I rarely wait until I'm "hungry" to eat. I know what hunger feels like. Funny thing is that when I'm hungry, I always say "I'm starving". Obviously that's a gross exaggeration! But hunger does feel that way to me. Like I'm going to die if I don't scarf down some major calories immediately. I usually eat after a few hours-hunger signs or not. Habit. Time to eat. Thoughts of food. See food, want food. Those are eating motivators for me. And I just don't like feeling hungry so I try to head it off at the pass!
I am not an emotional eater. Unless you count celebratory eating as emotional eating. Good grade on a test? Time for ice cream. Check arrives in the mail? Time for fried chicken. Birthday? You name it, I'll eat it. Mother's Day? Permission to indulge.
Sadness? Really no effect on my eating. I don't lose my appetite nor do I sit in the dark corners of the closet downing candy bars. I'm not a gorger. I just like to eat really good food. Too much of it. And sometimes when I'm not hungry.
Dieting has taught me to pay attention to my hunger. Since grabbing whatever at the first signs of an empty belly is no longer allowed, I've come to sense the stages of hunger. I've also noticed that sometimes I'm really thirsty and not hungry! That means that calorie free water (what a concept!) can satisfy the feelings I used to satisfy with food. Revelations. That's part of what dieting is doing for me-creating personal revelations.
I will admit that I attempt to pee before I leave the house-even if it's going to be a short trip to some place with adequate bathroom facilities. I do take a jacket with me even if there's only a very slight chance that I might need it. And I always pack food. You never know when you might get hungry!
So I guess my mother rubbed off on me. Even if I don't like to admit it much. And my kids? Are they following in my footsteps???

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's all about the pounds

Boo hoo. I should be content. I didn't gain. But I lost so little. Only 0.6 pounds this week. Mothers Day weekend indulgences, I suppose. So sad. It's all about the "lbs". I can't lie to myself. I want that scale to plummet and I want my jeans to button. Plain and simple. Oh, sure, lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, blah blah blah. I want results people can see. I want results I can feel when I pat my ever shrinking belly. The healthy benefits will follow. I can't "see" those benefits anyway.
A few bites here and there and one lovely bowl of lobster bisque. That's all it took to slow down the loss. That's not fair! I was a good girl the rest of the time. Question is, would I have gained weight this week had I not dieted? Did the few weekend indulgences add up to enough calories to make a difference? Damn! That sucks.
I even scoured the closet for my "lightest" clothes. Ugh. Dieting life is just not fair!
And tonight, another restaurant review. I'm doomed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I used to think I was obsessed with food. I read cookbooks the way other people read novels. I subscribe to just about every cooking magazine available. I watch the food channel and Discovery Channel food shows and public TV cooking shows and Anthony Bourdain (but maybe more for Tony Bourdain than for the food angle!). I shop for food with enthusiasm. I chop and slice and dice. I sautee and grill. I read restaurant reviews with glee. I mean, I'm obsessed. But the last two weeks have shown me an even greater obsession-the one I am feeling now that I am a dieter. Food, glorious food. That's all I think about. I'm mindful enough to pay attention to the meal I'm eating but I'm also thinking ahead and even back. What will I eat next? When will I be able to eat again? How much will I eat? Ugh. I wish I could clear my head of all these thoughts. But I can't.
I cannot say that I've been hungry. With this plan, I just eat if I'm hungry. If lunch hunger arrives at 11 am then I eat. I don't look at the clock or tell myself it's not yet time for lunch. So why am I so obsessed?
Do I miss anything? Maybe oil...olive oil and canola. Only allowing 2 tsp per day means making a choice of how to use the oil. I love salad dressing. But that's not really an option for me because 2 tsp of oil doesn't go very far in a dressing. Saute? 2 tsp doesn't exactly work for a pan full of veggies. Drizzled over the meal for flavor? Haven't tried that yet. Sure, I could use my 35 extra points per week to add more oil but I eat out too much and really should save those points for restaurant meals where I don't have as much control over the ingredients.
Tonight is a dinner event that I must attend. Spoke with the organizer about the menu: chicken breast, salads. Sounds good to me. Olive oil cake with creme fraiche for dessert. Sounds yummy but I'll probably pass.
I lost 30 pounds about 20 years ago (gained back the 30 plus another 20 of course). I remember telling a neighbor that nothing tastes as good as thin feels. I still believe that but some things taste almost as good!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day weekend in LA was a blast. My daughters did their jobs well. Gifts galore. No arguments. Hugs and kisses. Oh, and of course there was food. Not as much food as I dreamed about or wanted but enough to keep me satisfied. Good Sharon kept me in line while Wicked Sharon whispered in my ear about ice cream, fried food and tacos. All those whispers were silenced by Good Sharon. All but one...the one about lobster bisque. The craving was too overwhelming. I had to have it and I did. Superb. Delicious. Creamy. Perfection. Satisfying. Exactly what I had hoped it would be.

The rest of the weekend was all about oatmeal, chicken, veggies and walking around. No other indulgences except perhaps in quantity although I worked hard to pay attention to what my belly was telling my brain about when to stop. Occasionally, I may have missed the cue! Time will tell.

At the airport while waiting for our flight, I watched a fit slender man eat a fruit cup. I whispered to my husband that had we bought a snack while waiting for the plane it probably would have been a candy bar! It's not that I don't see slender people eating crap. I do. But they're usually thousands of years younger than we are. You can't abuse yourself at this age and not expect to pay the consequences. But remember, fast food is not my vice. I would happily walk past a table laden with fast food. Give me ice cream, fried delectables and a super size Pepsi with lots of ice. Maybe a few potato chips to round out the meal. French fries for sure. A nice juicy burger. But none of it from fast food joints. Only the best will do. Oh, I could rhapsodize for hours about the foods I love. But to no avail.

We didn't have any snacks at the airport because we were still satisfied from lunch. And in fact, we went to bed satisfied from lunch. BTW...lunch was at 3 pm. Don't cry for us. We had plenty to eat yesterday.

Back on the wagon for me. The bisque is but a memory. A creamy delicious memory. One that will hopefully sustain me thru the next few days at least. I sampled. I indulged. I loved it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

On a soapbox

Still wearing pants with elastic around the waist. I mean, 6 pounds doesn't make that much difference! But they feel better than they did two weeks ago. A bit roomier or so my imagination is telling me. Don't really care if it's imagination or reality-I like the feeling.
Answering a dietitian list serv query earlier today and I thought of something: We cannot change American's eating habits. We can only refine them.
Here's what I mean (and I think I can plug in "my" for "Americans"). People tout the Mediterranean Diet as a healthy one that we Americans should emulate. Problem is, we don't eat that way. That's not our cultural diet. We eat meat and potatoes, pizza and Chinese food. Sure we can switch to olive oil but that's about as far as most Americans want to go into the Mediterranean style. And even then, they misuse the oil by dipping their bread into it with abandon thinking it's good for them.
Sure, I know. What's an American? We're a melting pot and we've all brought our foods with us. Different parts of the country have different food traditions. But as a nation, judging by the proliferation of fast food outlets and chain restaurants, we like certain foods prepared in very specific ways. We aren't a nation of Mediterraneans; we're Americans. Some of us are Mediterranean whose traditional diets have mutated into Mediterranean American diet patterns. And that's what we can expect from Americans in general. I believe we can emulate some of the healthy attributes of many of the diets around the world-we now eat yogurt, use olive oil and eat more fruits and veggies and whole grains-but we should not be expected to switch our traditional diets to "foreign" ones just because the one from abroad is "healthy" according to some study.
And that brings me to the French Paradox. Of course eating small portions of calorie dense foods like cheese and pastries would result in less weight gain. Duh! But in America we like everything BIG. And although wine has gained in popularity over the last decade and become almost a cult food tradition, we don't imbibe the way the French do.
We have to find a way to eat what is true to our tradition while incorporating the healthier attributes of other diets. If we dietitians and other health professionals presented the information that way, instead of telling us to eat like Mediterraneans or Chinese or whatever then maybe we could follow the advice. Don't give it a name. Don't call it Mediterranean. And, please, don't call it
"healthy". That puts me off!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I had a thought....perhaps not profound but important for helping me understand why I am fat.
"The obesity epidemic" (hate that phrase, by the way) is always referred to in the literature as "multifactorial" but really most people-professionals included-think of it as the result of overeating. I recently had an "argument" on a list serv with another dietitian about this topic. I don't see how we are going to "cure" the "epidemic" until we better understand the causes. Why are we eating the way we eat and how many different ways of eating contribute?
For me, it isn't WHAT I eat but HOW I eat it. I eat too fast, too much, too often. One might call that mindless eating. It certainly breaks the intuitive eating rules! When something tastes good or looks like it will taste good, I eat it even if it isn't "time" (meaning, hunger) to eat. The better it tastes, the more I eat. The only way I can eat slowly is to eat with someone who is eating very slowly. If I eat alone, it's way too fast unless I can read while eating. Reading helps me to pace the meal but eating while reading breaks one of the mindful eating codes.
I'm much better at controlling my portions when given more to eat. That's what I've discovered in the last week. When I'm being mindful, as I'm trying to be now, a large portion both slows me down and reminds me to stop when satisfied. Being served a too big portion of food alerts me to what a serving size really is so that I can better control how much I'm going to eat. I seem to recognize "satisfaction" when there's still food left on my plate. Is that counter-intuitive? A small portion only makes me want to take seconds even if I'm satisfied.
Too fast, too much, too often.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Lovely Truth

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post but I'm too excited. I, Sharon, lost 6.2 pounds in nine days even with eating a burger and fries, the skin from the chicken and a few other tasty tidbits. I'm amazed. Astounded. Incredulous. I have managed to control my portions without weighing or measuring (which I never thought I could) and eat without much added fat and almost no simple carbs except for my fruits. And cheat! Thank you to the diet angels who have been watching over me!
As for my review today...was on my way to a Jamaican restaurant but alas when we got there, it was closed because of a plumbing problem. Dining companion and I scrambled and found a nearby Greek place. And we walked there! Score one for exercise. Actually, the walking was her idea. I would have driven there but the weather is unusually gorgeous so we walked.
We ordered six dishes and one piece of baklava. I nibbled for taste, drank a diet soda, ate all the veggies and took one bite of the baklava-which, btw, was delicious. The food was very good and the tastes were enough to satisfy me. I have enough info to be able to write the article and I'm not feeling guilty (or bloated!) about the meal.

Face the music

Today is my first weigh in at WW. Should have been on Saturday but we were in LA and I couldn't find a convenient meeting. I have no idea what to expect. I had lost a few pounds when I weighed myself (bad girl!) last week but that was before the debauchery over the LA weekend. I'm going for the weigh in BEFORE I eat lunch at the restaurant I have to review later today. I'm not stupid!
And now I'm planning my Mother's Day weekend. We're going back to LA to spend it with the girls (our daughters, 32 years old and 35 years old). I've made reservations for Friday night (at the restaurant where I ate the chicken skin!). Nothing yet for Saturday or Sunday. Still deciding. Saturday daytime will be spent with nephew who will be in LA for a wedding. We haven't seen him since last October. There will be a lunch together on Saturday as well. He's a picky eater so not sure what we will do for lunch. Does everyone plan their meals this far in advance? Do skinny people think about what they will eat before they sit down to meal at a restaurant?
I've already promised myself some very tasty morsels as a "reward" for reaching my goal weight! Is that too sick? And wouldn't losing the weight be reward enough! Apparently not for me.
What's interesting about the Core program is that I have had very few carbs. No bread since I started the diet. Potatoes a few times. Brown rice twice. Whole wheat pasta once. I've had oatmeal a few times.
I once attempted the Atkins Diet. I lasted two days before I broke down and had bread. Was it because I was not allowed that I longed for bread? Because I'm not longing for it now. Or potatoes or rice or pasta. All of which I'm allowed to have once a day. Yesterday I had oatmeal. That was the only grain I ate. Lots of veggies, fruits, shrimp, chicken but no other "starches".
Wish me luck at the weigh in.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Looking inward

I think yesterday ended up as a pretty good day. I was a bit off my game at first because I had plans to take a friend to lunch for her birthday. I was determined to get back on track after the weekend of indulgences. I was going to make the mistake of skipping breakfast-gasp!-to save up some calories for lunch. Silly me. But by 9 am I was just too hungry so I ate two scrambled eggs cooked in a dry pan accompanied by 6 ounces of skim (yuck) milk.
Friend called. She had to go to work unexpectedly so no lunch out. I have to say that I was not disappointed. I needed the day to get myself back on track. To do that, I had to eat all my meals at home.
I left the house at 11 am to run a few errands, intending to be back here by noonish to make lunch. Of course, that didn't happen. By the time I arrived home at 1 pm, I was very hungry. That's always a mistake. I wanted to stop by Trader Joe's to do some food shopping before I went home but I was just too hungry. I knew it would be a mistake to stay out any longer because I could tell that I was about to make a dieting mistake. My mouth was calling out for Pepsi. Real sugary Pepsi. I was thirsty and hungry. One slice of pizza to accompany that Pepsi would have been lovely but the Pepsi was what I really wanted. So I gathered up all my strength and went home.
Alas, the cupboard was bare-which was why I was on my way to Trader Joe's. But good sense prevailed and I made myself a bowl of oatmeal. It satisfied enough for me to go to the store and get some "real" food.
I'm still not comfortable. Thoughts of forbidden foods are swimming in my mind like garbage being washed up on shore at the beach. Yes, I know, on WW there are no forbidden foods but let's be honest, there are! I mean, if I use up all my 35 points for the week in one day, the rest of the week will be pretty darn boring.
And why is that I think only "fattening" foods are not boring? Why is that a bowl of ice cream is exciting but a bowl of broccoli is boring? Is it taste? Is it experience? Is it emotional? Is it that I assign happiness and excitement to ice cream but assign boredom to broccoli?
Interestingly, there's an article in today's newspaper about "naturally" slim people. They are forever mindful of what they eat and how much they move. An occasional indulgence doesn't have any effect on their weight. One woman reports eating a donut once in a while....but it takes her one whole day to finish the donut because she allows herself only small bites every once in a while. Good grief! How do you get that way??? And do I want to be that way? And why wouldn't I want to be "that way"????
I'm an "expansive" kind of person. I "love" and I "hate" things (and people!). I talk too loud (sometimes), wave my hands about wildly, laugh and shout. I make pronouncements about what I believe-life is in black and white, yes and no, good and bad. Nothing in between. Can I become the kind of person who eats one donut (!) by taking small bites all day long?
Unless I figure this all out, I'm going to be in a constant struggle with my weight. I don't want to live that way. I want to get back to eating what I want when I want but to do that I have to change what I want! Instead of one quart of ice cream, I have to be satisfied with one scoop. Can I become that person?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Succumbing to temptation

Three days in LA. Sunshine. Ocean breezes. Surf and sand. And calories. The best laid plans....Arrived late afternoon. Hungry. No opportunity to eat anything before meeting our daughter at Border's. By the time we got to restaurant, we were starving. I was determined to remain true to WW. I ordered monkfish. Asked how it was cooked. Roasted was the reply from waiter. I asked for no sauce and asparagus. Fish arrived looking like it had been floured and sauteed not baked. Waiter said, "baked". Ate fish. It was delicious but definitely not baked. No dessert. Virtuous me.
AM breakfast was oatmeal and banana. Good job, Sharon. Lunch. Another story all together. Daughter and her boyfriend took me to lunch. Small Japanese restaurant. Had soup with buckwheat noodles. Within the realm of WW, I hope.
Dinner. That's when I lost it although I started out with good intentions. Pea soup. Glorious. Cream. Ate a few spoonfuls. Smooth. So rich in pea flavor. Gorgeous. Ordered chicken and roasted potatoes with a side of grilled asparagus. Amazing meal-so simple but each ingredient was perfect. Avoided eating the skin on the chicken as best as I could. Then one little piece entered my mouth. OMG. The best. Crisp. No visible fat. Marvelous. Ate one more piece without any guilt. Left feeling full. Not supposed to feel full! Satisfied is the goal.
AM was Special K and skim milk with some fresh strawberries. Halo over my head until lunch. Houston's. Hamburger and fries. Why? Because. That's why. Just because. Absolutely delicious. Superb. Memorable.
What did I do right? Well, two perfect breakfasts. Never ate any sugar-no candy, no desserts, no pastries, no soda. I did eat food I should not have eaten and too much of it. I'm not sorry, though. Looking forward to my first weigh in on Wednesday. That should be the test. I'll do my best to get back on track tomorrow. Taking friend to lunch for her birthday but I can do what I have to do for myself. Then another restaurant review. That's going to be a problem. Big problem. Jamaican restaurant. We shall see.
Chicken skin. Cream in soup. Sauteed fish. Burger and fries. No control. So sad. So delicious.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Another day passes without an incident but also without deliciousness

I'm still okay. My belly is full but my mouth is crying out for something. I don't know what. But something. Creamy? Crunchy? Salty? Sweet? I just know it doesn't want an apple or a carrot. Nope. My mouth wants ice cream. That's it. And maybe a cookie or two or three or four or maybe more. I just miss eating whatever I want when I want. It's true that food is always on my mind but this is different. Normally I'm thinking of food that gives me pleasure and then satisfying that thought and getting pleasure in return. Now I'm thinking of the same food but it isn't giving me pleasure. It's making me sad.
I've eaten good healthy food today. I prepared it well. It was tasty. But nothing I would long for, dream about, wish to have again. Just food.
Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be. Just food. To nourish my body. But not to nourish my soul. Hmmm. Something to think about.
The Points program is not a good one for me. The last time I tried that, I ate three WW eclairs because they fit into my points. Of course, I didn't have any of the foods I was supposed to have but at least I didn't go over my points. With Core, I really can't have all that crap or I'd reach my 35 extra points the first day! Today I didn't even use any of the 35 points. I'm not consciously saving them but we are going to LA this weekend and it's going to be difficult at best to stay the course. What will I eat for breakfast? Where will I eat breakfast?
Am I supposed to worry about what I will eat on Saturday today? Or should that wait until Saturday?
Gosh. This is hard. I keep thinking about throwing in the towel but then I look in the mirror. Who is that fat old lady? Stay the course.