Monday, June 30, 2008

Hunger, fullness and quantity

Another breakthrough-I shared a hamburger yesterday. A hamburger! Who doesn't eat an entire hamburger by herself? I decided if I was still hungry, I'd order another one. Half a burger and a shared green salad and I was satisfied. Until this morning! How could that be? And it wasn't a huge burger. More the size you would make at home-not a puny McD's burger. I'm shocked. Of course, I wanted more. Very flavorful meat. Cooked perfectly. Juicy. But again it was my mouth that wanted more. Not my tummy. So I resisted the tempation to overindulge. I exited quickly before the waiter came by to offer me more food. "Did you save room for dessert?". My least favorite question in the world. Save room. Is the waiter an idiot?
This morning I was thinking about being hungry. I was hungry at the time. It occurred to me that it probably doesn't matter how hungry you are when you sit down to eat, if you are mindful and intuitive you should be satisfied with about the same amount of food whether you are "starving" or just hungry. The fullness feeling would first be in the stomach. Since that would most probably be close to empty if you were truly hungry then the same amount of food should signal a fullness feeling regardless of how many hours it's been since the last meal. I don't know if this is scientifically valid but it makes sense to me.
So if I should be satisfied with about the same quantity of food regardless of the degree of hunger, then why do I eat so much when I'm very hungry? Because I'm not paying attention to how I feel. I'm focused on how hungry I WAS and not how hungry I still AM.
Even other metabolic changes that signal hunger/satiety like blood sugar should signal satiety after eating a mixed meal whether the meal is huge or normal. I think. I'm going to have to do some research to be sure but this is making sense to me.
Now if only I can use this to my advantage.....

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I have an issue with myself. I'm still eating too much. Maybe not too many calories although that would account for the slower than anticipated or hoped for loss of chubbiness. But I'm definitely eating too much food sometimes. Like this morning, for instance. Had a good workout. Came home. Made a smoothie. Like a good little die*ter I made it with frozen fruit, skim milk, Splenda for sweetener and cocoa powder (instead of the delicious Fox's UBet syrup that I long for). The smoothie comes out very thick from the frozen fruit. Sort of like a soft serve frozen custard. It can be very filling especially because there is a lot of fruit in it. So I drank half of it. I was feeling "full" but I finished it. Because I love the way it feels in my mouth-all cold and creamy. I love sucking on the straw. Don't try to picture it. Just accept it.
I did stop halfway and thought about not finishing it but I finished it anyway. Right down to the last slurp. Now I'm bloated. Not uncomfortably so but bloated nonetheless. Fruit and skim milk. Not that many calories but it's the principle. Why did I continue after I knew I had enough? Just because it felt good in my mouth???? That's a problem I have to work on. Obviously. It doesn't matter if it's celery-when I've had enough, I have to stop. Otherwise I'm going to have to eat only foods that don't feel good in my mouth or taste good to me. That's purgatory to an eater like I am. Not that I'm into punishing myself....although eating to the point of being bloated is indeed a punishment of sorts. Something for me to think about.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I have a favorite dessert-profiteroles. Crispy, light as air pastries filled with creamy ice cream and topped with lots of warm thick gooey sweet chocolate sauce. Profiteroles. The perfect dessert. I tasted profiteroles for the first time about forty years ago in London. A day that changed my life. There was something about that dessert-including the visual beauty of those sweet little ice cream filled balls floating in a sea of chocolate sauce-that appealed to all my senses. Very few restaurants know how to make good profiteroles and very few have them on the menu. They're sort of a 60s throwback-they're a retro dessert.
Tarbell's, a local Phoenix restaurant, has always had them on the menu. They're among the best I've ever had. We ate at Tarbell's last night. I did my chicken and veggie thing. Very good. Felt satisfied. The profiteroles never even entered my conscious thought process until the waiter brought the dessert menu. And there they were. Staring at me in black and white. Profiteroles. OMG. Should I? Just a taste? A bite? I could leave the rest over. Or the other three people at the table could finish them. Even just to look at those scrumptious orbs.
I did not succumb. I did not order them. I did not allow myself to be tempted. Well, I was tempted but I didn't give in.
I don't feel deprived this morning. I'm okay. I know they're still on the menu. Another day. I know that I have to stay true to eating this way until the weight "melts" away. Then I can moderate a bit. The longer I do this, the less I feel like straying.
Of course, I just spent three days of gorging myself in LA so it's easy to say that I can wait! But I didn't gorge. I ate a lot but not everything I might have in the past. I exercised some sensible control.
No weighing, though. I'll wait until next week. I'm never good at facing the truth. No matter what the truth is. Some people "just want to know". I'd rather be in the dark.
Still, I am curious. I'm leaving for the gym now. Perhaps I will weigh myself when I get there. But if it's bad, I'll be so disappointed. Or maybe not.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Missing nuts

I'm in a groove with this die*ting thing now. No need to check the list of allowable foods. Don't have to write down what I've eaten for the day to make certain I've met my quota of dairy, fruits and veggies. But I've started to notice what I miss from my regular diet. And, no, it isn't ice cream. It's stuff that I can have but choose not to in order to save up "points" (aka, calories) for the weekend when I eat out. I'm talking about nuts, dried fruits and bread. I used to eat a few handfuls ('s the "few" that was the problem-should have eaten just one small handful) of almonds every day. Always added dried cranberries to salads or dried blueberries to my oatmeal. Bread? Never been much of a bread eater but might take a pita bread and wrap it around some chicken for a real quickie lunch. I've had none of those since this started. I miss nuts a lot. I miss dried fruits. And I even miss bread. There isn't any bread in the house right now so there's no visual temptation-just the temptation in my head. I've had the opportunity to eat bread at restaurants and even then have chosen not to indulge.

And maybe it's not the almonds, dried fruit and bread that I miss. Maybe it's just being able to grab something to eat whenever I feel like it. And "feel" like it means when my mouth calls out for food and not when my tummy growls at me. I find that I have to "censor" my food thoughts all the time. If I'm not hungry, I do not "allow" myself to eat.

The eating orgy that I engaged in with my friends over the weekend made me realize how far I've come. I was only hungry once during those three days. Yet I ate most of the time when we stopped for food. That was the purpose of the trip, after all. To eat. I realized that I can eat whether I'm hungry or not. And that was probably my biggest problem (next to bad choices and quantity) before-eating even though I wasn't hungry. I can eat as much when I am not hungry as when I am. So filling my stomach had little to do with meeting my nutrient needs! But I always knew that my mouth and the desire for tasty food ruled my eating.

Now my brain is in charge. It's not as much fun. I liked it better when my mouth was in charge.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Clean wholesome food

It wasn't that difficult to get back to eating the "right way" yesterday. In fact, it was easy. I so much enjoyed the few days of gluttony-I mean, who wouldn't love a white bread sandwich filled with sweetened whipped cream and fruit??? But all the sauces and flavors exhausted my palate after a while and I really did long for something plain. Some food that tasted like the food it was. I wanted one stalk of broccoli that was just broccoli with nothing on it-except maybe for a few grains of sea salt (I'm a "gourmet" after all...has to be sea salt). Plain and simple. Clean and fresh. Flavor coming from being fresh.
A trip to the farmer's market yesterday yielded two bags full of fresh summer fruits and veggies. Then a quick trip to Trader Joe's where I found something new-black apricots. Black apricots. They're juicy and delicious. They sort of look like plums with their dark skin but the skin is not smooth-it's fuzzy like an apricot's. The flesh is yellow orange and delicious. I never heard of black apricots before but they're damned good! Who needs white bread sandwiches filled with creamy sweet whipped cream when you can have fresh summer fruit?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aftermath of Indulgence

Five days in LA. Probably five pounds added to my frame. Not planning on a weigh in today. I don't have the strength of character to face the WW leader. I know I gained weight. That's why I am "die*ting"-because when I eat what I want, I gain weight. And I didn't eat all that I wanted this past week. But I sure did eat a lot. The purpose of the trip was to eat. I had to fulfill the purpose, after all. This is the second trip I've taken with my friends for the sole purpose of eating. Decadent. I know. But lots of laughs and worth every calorie.
It was my intention to stick to my regimen. I was going to be on the outside looking in-watching them stuff their faces with huge quantities of delectable foods. As soon as we walked into the dim sum restaurant, I knew all was lost. The little dim sum plates were piled high on the table by the time we were finished. I was a little disappointed in myself. Not a lot. But a little.
And so it went. Indulgence after indulgence. Some delicious beyond description (like the involtini at Jar) and others not worth a second bite (like the fish at Lucques). The pastrami at Langer's was worth every calorie. The burger at Akasha-not. There were moments of clarity-like when I turned down the Pinkberry. But mostly I was in a food haze the entire time. Right down to the last crazy moment: a sandwich on white bread. But not an ordinary sandwich. Each of the three layers was spread with perfectly sweetened whipped cream and cut up fresh fruit. A layer cake made with white bread! Now if it had been whole wheat, perhaps I might have thought of it as a health food! It was worth every calorie. Whipped cream. Sweet summer fruits. What could be bad! A little weird. On white bread. Loved it. How simple.
I passed on the tacos, enchiladas, nachos, guacamole and laksa (Mexican and Indonesian food at one meal....yes). I was stuffed from my whipped cream sandwich.
Back on track today. Oatmeal. Salads. Veggies. Fish. Actually relieved to be eating simply again. It was fun but my old body cannot take the assault of calories with the same grace that it once did.

Friday, June 20, 2008

LaLa Land Temptation again!

Off to LA again. Sun. Sea breezes. Svelte gorgeous bodies. Lots of farm fresh fruits and veggies. What more could anyone ask for?
Lots of eating to be done. Restaurant reservations made. People to see. Places to go. Things to do. Almost all involve FOOD. Another test. I'm feeling up to the test right now. Until I get to the airport. The Starbuck's counter sells this marble pound cake (pound many pounds does an all butter pound cake add?) that I really like. I only eat it at the airport when I am leaving in the early morning (and a 7:20 flight, I believe, qualifies as EARLY). I shall not eat it today. I shall not eat it today. I shall not eat it today. I can taste it in my mouth right now. But I will be strong. Because I want to "save" the calories for the big meals. For the good meals. I will be strong.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Skinny Clothes

My advice: Don't give away your skinny clothes. We've all got a wardrobe of various increasing sizes. Every year, I go through the closet performing the emotionally destabilizing activity of trying on clothes in last year's size. Ugh. I'm not even sure they fit when I bought them but one year later, they don't. That's for sure.
Save or recycle? Depends. I usually take them to the resale store. I figure there's no reason to save them. I'm never going to fit into them. Well, never arrived today. Even though I haven't lost that much weight, some old stuff fits. And fits well. Fits well enough that they might end up too big in a few weeks. Wouldn't that be a kick???
Most of the old stuff is gone. Long ago. Bags of clothes dragged off to the resale store near my house. My clothes sell well. I must have good taste or maybe it's just that they're practically brand new when I take them in. Nothing ever fits me for more than one season!
I'm thinking I might go buy back my old clothes. Silly. I could buy them back at a discount and get some money back for buying them. But, no, that makes no sense at all.
So hold on to the skinny clothes. I mean, we all hold on to the fat ones because we're fatalistic. We just know that one day we will fit into those again! Well, when this is over (when will it be over?) and I've gotten to my goal weight, I'm tossing the fat clothes. Giving them away. Hasta la vista huge sizes. Bye bye baggy tops. Ciao elastic waist pants. No. Not the pants. They're comfortable. Perfect for dining out. Not the pants.

Book recommendation and my theory of evolution

I'm reading three books right now, Nasty Bits by Tony Bourdain, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Fat Politics by J. Eric Oliver. It's Fat Politics that's captured me the most. That's not really true-Pausch's book is amazing. He's amazing. But I cry while I read it so I have to read only a few pages at a time. Tony Bourdain is starting to be a boar. Love the guy. Love that he's out there and seemingly honest all the time. Love the sly smile. Oh, and the tall lanky body even though he could benefit from a little resistance training. But that's another story. It's just getting old to read about what a wild and crazy guy he was in his youth. Okay. We get it. You used drugs. You drank. You had indiscriminate sex on the stove with everyone and anyone. You cursed. You punched people. Move on. Do you have to gloat about it in every essay? Every book? What did you cook? Did you cook?
Fat Politics is a look at the "obesity epidemic" from another angle. According to the author, the obesity epidemic doesn't exist. Wait a minute. I'm fat. You're probably fat. The person sitting across from you is probably fat. Take a look around you-in the airport, at the supermarket, at work. Lots of blubber. Was it always like this? No. We are indeed getting fatter by the day.
His thesis is not that we as a nation-as a world-are not getting fat. Of course we are. But is it the health crisis that the media tells us it is?
I'm only into the first 20 or so pages so not ready to discuss his ideas fully but he presents some very strong evidence against a health epidemic stemming from the ever widening of out butts.
So if it's not as much a health issue as we hear and read and tell each other-then why do we spend so much time (and money!) on trying to lose weight? That's the "politics" part of the title.
More after I finish reading the book.
But first, my own theory of why we are all getting fat.
The Obesity Issue According to Sharon:
Natural selection. Think about it. If being fat were indeed such a health issue, then why are we living longer? Is it just because medical science is so advanced that docs can keep even us fatties alive longer? Are kids fat just because they don't exercise and eat McD's? I think not. I think kids are fat because of natural selection. I think the world is fat because of natural selection. I think our genes are being preferentially selected. Because we are hardier, perhaps? I don't know. I'm not finished formulating my hypothesis. But that's what I think and I'm sticking to it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where's the other pound?

We dietitians tell people that a safe moderate weight loss is 2 pounds per week. That makes me think that we are advising people not to lose more than 2 pounds per week and that they can expect to lose 2 pounds per week if they follow the die*t. So why haven't I lost 2 pounds per week? Why did I lose 0.6, 0.4 and now 1.0 pounds for the last three weeks! #*#**!!! Where's the extra 1 pound I should have lost this week? Who has it? Where is it? On my butt???
Sure there's been the occasional stray french fry (on my birthday).....and a few restaurant meals eaten with caution. Not enough to make a major impact on weight loss especially since I continue to exercise with intensity every day which should offset or at least balance the extra calories.
I know-I'm still losing. At least I haven't gained or stopped losing. I'm happy about that. And at this point, it's no longer that much of an effort. It's just the way it is. And I'll accept that it's just the way it is. But the way it is isn't fair. That's all I'm saying.
And still no one has noticed. Ten pounds. No one has noticed. Is it that I'm so gorgeous every day that a day when I look just a little bit better because I'm not as fat-does that go unnoticed because I always look so good. LOL. Nope. That can't be it.
Is that no one really looks at me....because I'm old? Because I'm fat?
Is it because people are just used to me and the changes just don't compute for them?
I'll never know. But I sure do hope someone notices soon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Back in the saddle

The weekend of celebration is over. Birthday. Father's Day. Excuses for indulgence are used up. Made my morning smoothie with just fat free Greek style yogurt instead of skim milk. Wanted to try something different. Tangy and delicious. A new taste sensation for me. I'm in love with that smoothie!
Mentioned something last week to a friend about why I was postponing the several lunches that people wanted to take me out for to celebrate my birthday. The lunches were scheduled for this week-after the debauchery of the weekend. I canceled them because I wanted to get back into the rhythm of eating with more restraint. At first it was almost difficult to go overboard but as the weekend progressed, I could feel myself letting go. I didn't want that to happen. So I'm back in the saddle, hoping to regain the rhythm-the momentum-of restraint. To keep the horsey analogy going-hoping to reign in my potentially out of control eating. To do that, I have to eat at home where I can exercise the most control over what goes into my food and into my mouth. So far so good. I mean, I didn't go outside the realm of normality over the weekend but I could feel the tug. I'm trying to avoid that tug toward indulgence so that I can avoid that feeling of not being able to breathe in my clothes!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Birthday aftermath

Boohoo. My birthday is over. I'm just another 64 year old woman. Not the birthday girl! It went by way too quickly. What to eat....whether to eat...that's what I was thinking about for days.
First I went to the gym for a step aerobics class. Had a great time. Lots of loud pounding music and jumping around. Totally fun.
Then I had my usual smoothie for breakfast. Not much into breakfast foods so no desire to go outside the realm of acceptable foods.
Off to the movies. Late lunch at a nearby burger place. They have the best burgers served on brioche rolls. Ate about 1/2 the burger with a few french fries and that was enough. Chose to drink diet soda although I considered a real sugar Pepsi. But thought the burger and fries were enough.
Another movie. Then home for a while. Poor doggie needed our company. Then to downtown Asian restaurant that I like. Ordered two dishes-neither one particularly starchy or oily or fattening. The portions at this place are small and mostly veggies. We actually didn't finish the two dishes.
No desire at all for dessert. Tried to think what I would want. Nothing came to mind or to mouth! There just wasn't anything I wanted-didn't want ice cream or pudding or mousse or cake or cookies or brownies or anything sweet.
Half a burger, a few fries and some relatively healthy Asian food. Hmmm. Have I changed???? Heavens. Scary. Could have had fried chicken but even now that's not sending me into ecstasy. I mean, a plate of ribs with some fries would be delish but I don't really want that.
Sharon, you're a weird one!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Tim Russert's death has hit me hard! It's like he was a friend. I am a faithful Meet the Press viewer. I time my Sunday gym run to coincide with the show so I can watch while I pedal away on the bike. I will miss him. I'm bummed.
That being is a grand day. My birthday. My 64th birthday. And I don't look a day over 50. Or so people tell me. Like it's a compliment to look 50! LOL. That kills me. I mean, can you imagine when you are in your 30s that some day you will consider it a compliment to be told you look like you're in your 50s!
First, we're off to see Sex in the City. My husband's birthday gift to me-not to complain, grin and bear it. Then for a hamburger (at Deluxe for those of you who know this town) and maybe some fries. Haven't decided just how far I'm going to go. No need to decide in advance although I've already decided to forgo popcorn at the movies.
Then to see a second movie. Because I love seeing two movies in one day. Not sure which will be the second one. Something amusing. Then we'll see. More food? Depends. If I'm hungry and if I can think of something I want. Right now a nice juicy burger is calling me.
The longer I die*t the less it seems like a die*t and the more it becomes an every day lifestyle. I'm not having cravings at all. Which I find interesting. Usually my mouth calls out for foods, for textures, for flavors. Right now, not happening. But we'll see what happens as the day progresses. Perhaps the movie will have a restaurant scene and what they're eating will be a temptation.
Happy birthday to me. Thank you, God, for giving me this life.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What is fat?

I missed writing yesterday because I made a presentation to the state dietetic association. Didn't get home until late. I had a great time seeing friends from around the state-people I only see at this meeting once a year. No one noticed my weight. No one ever notices my weight. "You're not fat"-that's what they say. I met one dietitian, another writer (who is definitely NOT fat) who was speaking at the meeting, whom I had never met in person before. She doesn't live here but we know each other from list serve posts. Her first comment to me, "Why do you think of yourself as fat?", left me wondering. Have we all re-evaluated what we think of as fat because so many of us are fat? By all standards-body weight, BMI, % body fat, waist measurement, clothing size-I am fat. I have too much fat on my body especially around my middle. Have we gotten so used to seeing moderately fat people that we now only think of hugely fat people as fat?? No one could possibly describe me as thin.
I wonder how people do describe me. What do they see when they look at me? Does no one see my neck and chin? My belly. The rolls around my waist? When I stand next to someone who is lean, I feel like a blob. When I shake the hand of a thin person, I feel their thinness in my hand. I wonder if they feel my fatness. When I hug a thin person, I feel the difference in our bodies. If it's so obvious to me, isn't it obvious to them?
For those of you who don't know me, I bet you're wondering if I just don't have a distorted view of body. I can assure you I do not. I am 62 inches tall (or short....) and I weigh (after having lost 10 pounds!) 160 pounds. Hello, America! That's way too much. Oh, sure. I have dense bones and lots of muscle for my age because I work out. But there's that fat around my middle. It's unmistakable. 36 inch waist. That's many inches of fat deposited around my middle. Making belt wearing an impossibility.
Maybe having re-evaluated what we think of as fat is one of the reasons so many of us Americans are now fat. We've accepted moderate fatness as the norm. We had to re-adjust our thinking as the nation gained weight. The clothing manufacturers certainly re-adjusted their sizing-making clothes wider. Tricking us into thinking we aren't gaining weight. But that's another story for another day.
Today I'll take my 10 pounds slimmer body (not so sure you can even think of 10 pounds less as "slimmer") to Nordstrom for the St. Johns knit sale.....Hey, 70% off! It's my birthday tomorrow! And I lost 10 pounds. Doesn't that qualify as reason enough to celebrate???? With a purchase. Of something in a smaller size-even if it's only one size smaller?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

weigh in again

My spirits are down. 0.4 lb. I mean, that's not even 1/2 pound for goodness sakes. That's ounces. That's what my hamburger weighed! Well, maybe that's the problem right there. That's what my burger weighed last night. Maybe a bit too much. I'm in a slump. I'm disheartened. I'm sad. Sigh.
Oh, well. Back to thoughts of indulging on my birthday on Saturday. Which do I want more? Fried chicken or a smaller waist? Ribs or a flatter tummy? French fries or fewer rolls around my bra? It's one or the other. Apparently I cannot have it both ways. Every little indulgence seems to stick to my ribs, my ass, my waist and my belly.
At this rate I will reach my goal weight in 2009! Why, 0.4 lb could just be the difference between peeing before the weigh in and not peeing. Give me a break!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thoughts on Oprah

Oprah and I have something in common-we diet, we lose weight, we gain weight back. She's made a public spectacle of her weight loss attempts. At the same time, she's made lots of people rich and famous. There was Rosie, her chef. There's Bob, her present diet guru. Oh, and Dr. Oz, of course. It all started with the liquid protein craze. Each time, she thinks she's found the truth but the truth eludes her. She gains the weight back. She always sounds convinced that this time will be the last time but, alas, it never is. She's looking kind of chunky again. Mostly she looks like she's encased in an iron girdle-keeping her upright and contained.
I expect she'll be looking for some new regimen some time soon. And when she finds it, another person will become rich and famous. The good that comes out of this is that we realize she's like us-all the money and fame in the world cannot make her slim for life. Only she can do that. And she hasn't been successful yet. Anyone can lose weight. Only a handful of people can keep it off. Oprah as yet is not a member of the maintenance club.
If she can't do it with all the help at her disposal-cooks, trainers, doctors-what hope do we have???? Perhaps we have to show Oprah the way. It isn't with gurus or plans or deprivation.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I used to be an elementary school teacher. A long time ago. In those days, we talked a lot about "readiness". Kids couldn't be expected to learn to read until they were ready. There are many aspects to readiness-skills like being able to recognize the different letters-but attitude is also one of the readiness factors. Most kids, thankfully, do want to learn to read so attitude doesn't usually hold them back. For those of us trying to lose weight, though, attitude may indeed be a confounding factor.

If you hate yourself for being fat, then your attitude may be a hindrance.

If you think that eating healthier means giving up every flavorful food in the world, then your attitude may be a hindrance.

If you think that eating healthier to lose weight is a closed end proposition-that you're going to do it for a few weeks or months but then go back to old habits, then your attitude may be a hindrance.

I think I was finally ready this time. I've been on every diet ever written or discussed on Oprah or advertised in magazines. Been there done that. I can lose weight. Who can't? Big deal. Eat less, exercise a bit more. Voila. Pounds lost. It's the maintenance that's a problem for me. Make the commitment for the long haul. Sticking with it after the belly is gone. That's when I lose focus. This time I think I'm ready. Even when presented with opportunities to indulge, I'm treading lightly. And honestly my brain is no longer full of dancing cupcakes!
As my birthday approaches, I will admit that I've been pondering my indulgences. Fried chicken wings. French fries. Ice cream. Ribs. Burgers. Pizza. And more. Even now as I list them, I'm feeling a bit conflicted. Do I want to undo what I've worked hard for these last few weeks? Will chicken wings soon be obsolete so this is my very last chance to have them? Is it worth gaining weight or slowing down the loss to eat something that will taste utterly divine????
Not sure. I don't have to make that decision today. Or tomorrow.
That's why I think I'm ready this time.

Friday, June 6, 2008

No one has noticed

Not one person has noticed that I've lost weight. I guess I'm not yet a shadow of my former self. Yet, that's good that no one has noticed. I'm slightly embarrassed that I'm on a "diet" since so much of my professional time has been spent speaking out against the regimentation of diets. "Diets don't work". Yeah. We know. Well, they do if you follow them! For life.
So no one notices but me. Maybe because I'm still wearing the baggy shirts that cover my business really well. Maybe because I tend to wear pretty ratty clothes to the gym. No sense getting "dressed up" to sweat. Just as with my regular wardrobe, my workout wardrobe comes in a variety of sizes from large to extra large. The large t-shirts were just too tight for me to feel comfortable in. I won't wear any article of clothing that shows rolls and bulges. If I haven't done the wash in a while (!) and I'm left with only the large size shirts, I follow a ritual of stretching and tugging until the shirt hangs far away from my body. I must shield myself. Keep what I have and don't have hidden under baggy clothes. As if that fools anyone! So last night, one of the large formerly snug t-shirts fit. Without stretching. Hallelujah!
I guess I'm okay with the rest of the world not noticing my trimmer body. I'm noticing it! And I'm happy about it. I don't love myself any more. I kinda liked myself before. I'm just happy to be breathing in my pants and feeling freer in my clothing. I'm shrinking!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Managing my food life

Because I'm constantly reading about food, writing about food, shopping for food, eating's tough to clear my mind and think of something else. A trip to LA again this weekend for a writing workshop at UCLA. Looking forward to it. An opportunity to connect with other writers. Learn something. Maybe come home energized and ready to tackle some new opportunities. But also dreading it. Eating out. Not on schedule. Temptation. Next week-restaurant review, dinner out with friend for my birthday, two days of professional meetings-one day I am presenter. When will I eat? What will I eat? What will be available? Carry food with me? Well, not really a good option. First, don't want to call attention to myself-the dieting dietitian. The meeting is the state dietetic association. Nope. Not necessary that every dietitian in AZ knows that I am on a diet. Me. The mindful eating/intuitive eating/non diet approach crusader. On a diet.
So, am I on a diet? Probably not. I haven't looked at the allowable foods list since Day 1. I don't count points. That's too much trouble. Trying to stick to simple foods, unadorned, as much as possible. The eating out is definitely derailing me, though. The trips. The meals at restaurants. No way to avoid them. Just have to muddle through and do the best I can.
I think I'm in a stupor about this dieting thing at this point. Right now I don't care if I never eat another slice of bread again. Dessert? Not on my radar. Candy, cookies, cake, cupcakes? Not dreaming about them. In fact, worried that next week people at the gym will be baking for my birthday. I will graciously accept their offerings. But I don't have to eat the treats. I can take them home and freeze them for later consumption. To be devoured when my newly svelte body demands something caloric.
Would love a big hamburger, though. A bowl of pasta. A few slices of pizza. Maybe a fried chicken wing or two. Guacamole with chips. Potato chips! Some Chinese food. A lot of Chinese food. Tempura? Sure. All at the same meal. Oh, and a Pepsi. Not diet. With lots of ice. From a fountain. Not a bottle or can. Fountain Pepsi, if it has the right amount of syrup...heavenly. More. There's more. Always more foods that I want. For now, though, KISS. Makes it easier. And easy is good.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Slow but steady

Another weigh in. Another 0.6 pounds. What the....! Where are the other .4 of one pound! Could it have been those amazing french fries I had at Bink's the other night? Or the delicious meal I cooked for company on Saturday night? The baklava I made and devoured, topped with clotted cream mixed with heavy cream. Duh! Could that account for the other .4 of one pound? I think so! In fact, those luscious foods probably account for more than .4 of one pound. And I don't care. They were worth it. Yum.
Aerobics instructor at the gym shares birthday with me. Each year we trade off bringing in a cake for our birthday. This year it's her turn. She said I should work out extra hard so I won't feel guilty about having cake. Guilty? What's this with guilt over indulging? I'd be pissed if the cake sucked but if it's good, then I'm not going to feel guilty about enjoying something (in moderation, of course) that is an acceptable part of a birthday celebration.
This is one of the issues I have against dieting-the guilt thing. No one can follow a regimen, no matter how liberal, without straying once in a while unless she is a compulsive person. Then the big problem is not being fat but being compulsive! I'm just fat, thank goodness. I can stray. I can dip my spoon into chocolate creme brulee. In fact, I did that today. Out to lunch with two friends with whom I celebrate every year-for the past 20 years. We're all three Geminis. I dipped my spoon. I licked it several times. Creamy. Chocolaty. Delicious. But I was okay with just one dip. The other two are weight stable, slender, gorgeous (one a former model) and younger than I. Standing next to them, both of whom are much taller than I am, makes me feel squat and dumpy. So, let them enjoy the dessert. One day soon, I won't be dumpy...I'll always be short, though.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's not fair

My daughter says it's not fair that her friend can "eat whatever she wants" without gaining weight.
I have my theories on that. Nothing based in fact. They're just theories.
For one thing, once you get fat it seems like it's way easier to get fatter. One cookie here, one slice of pizza there and voila, you've gained five pounds. Or so it seems.
Maybe the person who seems to be a bottomless pit is really not eating all that much. Perhaps she is only eating large quantities-or what seem like large quantities-occasionally but eats sparingly the rest of the time. That would mean that her overall intake is moderate.
I think most people forget that it's not each meal but intake for the day, week, month, over a lifetime that determines your weight. So just because some one chows down on pizza, coke and chicken wings (yum) once in a while doesn't mean she'll end up roly poly. You've got to secretly spy on her during the rest of the day. She's probably eating fat free sugar free yogurt and drinking water.
Lastly, the chances are if she's really eating the same way you are-that is, with abandon-she's probably going to get fat. It just hasn't caught up with her yet!
There is justice in the world, I hope. Otherwise, it's not fair!

Monday, June 2, 2008

White pants

Yesterday I zipped up a pair of white pants that I had never worn before. Bought them on a whim last summer-on sale, of course. Such a bargain. They never fit. I've finally worn them. They were even comfortable. Another milestone. Baby steps. Ounces not pounds. It's okay, though. My commitment is firm.
Friend ordered the most delicious dessert last night-my favorite. Profiteroles. Filled with roasted banana ice cream. Topped with chocolate sauce. They were like four little precious jewels on the plate. I tasted but a sliver of the ice cream. It was heavenly. I wanted all four of those beauties. But I resisted. I watched her devour them. Enjoyment by proxy.