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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One day at a time

I know I have probably gained weight this week. My wild and crazy eating over the last week has no doubt put a stop to the weight loss. I missed four work outs because I was out of town. I spent no time thinking about what to eat and just dove right in whenever food was around. I did not overeat quantity but I certainly made the worst choices. I had donuts-and I don't even like donuts. I had fried food. I had lots of bread. Yesterday I ate French macaroons.
Why? Because the food was there, I was hungry and there weren't many other options. Before each eating opportunity I thought of the consequences and ate anyway. In spite of having my daughter proclaim, "You look so tiny!"-I ate.
I think I'm exhausted from being on guard all the time. From monitoring everything that goes into my mouth. From planning and thinking about food but not in ways that I enjoy thinking about food. I've spent the last two months thinking about how fattening food is and not how wonderful it will be to eat it. Yet there have been lots of pleasurable eating experiences-and all from eating the "right" foods.
Getting back on track-which means making better choices-is going to be difficult. Especially because we are leaving in a few days for our summer vacation. And all I have been thinking about is where we will eat. I've spent hours perusing menus online preparing myself. Not for choosing healthy options. No. For choosing what I want with little or no attention paid to whether the meals fit into the plan or not.
The days when I felt that I had licked this-that I was going to be successful because I was finally in control-are gone. Losing weight and maintaining it is one of those "one day at a time" deals. Fall off the diet, get up and try again. It's just that each time I've fallen off it's been harder to get up and start again.
I would be devastated if I gained back the weight-gained it back before I really got to enjoy the flatter belly and thinner waist. I haven't worn all my old clothes yet. The ones I've been saving for years. Stroking the fabric, dreaming of the time when I could button, zip and breathe in them.
Today's a new day. Other people have done this. I can do this. I will do it.
I will not dream of dancing bowls of ice cream covered in hot fudge tonight. I will instead dream of dueling broccoli spears and chicken breasts lounging on a bed of brown rice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

nagging dreams of ice cream

It's been all about ice cream since Friday. Hot fudge, to be exact. Lots of it. Dripping over the sides of the container. With several scoops of ice cream-notably cherry vanilla studded with huge juicy red cherries. And maybe a scoop of coffee to add a little acidic bite to the mix. If the dreams don't go away soon I guess I'll have to succumb. It's the only way. So for a while today I will allow myself to obsess about how much ice cream will fill the bowl when I do give in. Because I will give in. Soon. There's no doubt about it. But the relinquishing of inner control has to come at just the right moment. Because if it is too soon or too late, I might enjoy the moment of indulgence so much that I won't be able to go back to this lifestyle of denial that I have styled for myself over the past two months.
So now to thoughts of soft, creamy sweet ice cream melting under warm gooey fudge. Quantity and time of indulgence as yet undetermined.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thoughts of cookies and ice cream and other delicious foods

I want a cookie. Or a piece of candy. Or perhaps some ice cream. Of course, I don't want one cookie or one piece of a candy or one scoop of ice cream. I want lots. Quantity. And quality ingredients, of course. But I must not. I should not. I shall not. I will not. Because according to the lying cheating WW leader, I gained weight.
I've decided to go for my weigh in at a different time next week. Different day. Different leader. I'll show him! Or myself.
I'm not hungry. No rumbling stomach. No emptiness. No light-headed feeling. Just a "want". Not a need. So I'll hold fast.
I'll no doubt dream of hot fudge sundaes tonight. With lots of thick gooey hot fudge-the kind they have at Carvel. Hold the nuts and whipped cream. It's the hot fudge that's important. In fact, hold the ice cream!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


He's lying. He's cheating. He's trying to get back at me because I don't stay for the meetings. He's the WW leader at the meeting where I weigh in. I know he did something. First, he turns the scale so that the person being weighed cannot see the number. That didn't bother me until today-when HE says the scale said I gained 0.6 pounds. I didn't. I couldn't have. It's impossible. I can see and feel and measure that I've lost weight. And I was wearing my usual featherweight clothing, took off my shoes (even removed my sunglasses, for goodness sakes!) and I had a haircut yesterday. So give me a break. He's cheating.
Speaking of cheating:
One scoop of ice cream
Fried calamari
Tuna salad sandwich with mayo
Huge hamburger
Sweet potato fries
Do those count as cheating? Because I had all of that since last week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kudos to me

I'm impressed with myself! So what if no one notices that I've lost weight. Today I wore a pair of jeans that were in the bag I was about to take to the resale store. I had already given up all hope of ever again fitting into those beauties. They're soft and well worn. They're the denim color that it takes years of washing to produce. They're not so low on my waist that they make a muffin top nor so high that they are uncomfortable. They're perfect. Except that they didn't fit and hadn't fit for years. Today, they zipped! I'm so happy I could cry. Who knew something so simple as jeans zipping up could make my day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More faux food

My daughter called to tell me that WW sells candy bars! She was so excited. Thought I would want to know. I don't want to know. First, I decided that I'm not really on WW, I'm just using them to weigh me and keep me honest. More importantly, if I want a candy bar, I'm eating a candy bar! A real candy bar. Not something concocted to taste like a candy bar. And I surely don't eat candy bars for anything other than pleasure. I don't care of they offer protein or fiber or are fat free or sugar free. I want flavor. So WW candy doesn't appeal to me. I don't want faux food.
I'm lucky. I don't "love" or even crave chocolate. I'm quite happy to eat a ripe peach if I want something sweet after a meal. If I crave anything, it's fried chicken, hamburgers and pizza and even those are momentary craves. I've found that the cravings disappear quickly. The few cravings I've had that have persisted-like for a juicy rare burger-I've satisfied. End of craving.
In the past, having a burger or a scoop of ice cream or a slice of pizza has led me down the path of no return. That's not happening this time. If I absolutely positively must have something, I eat it and forget about it. Move on. This way of eating has to last forever so I have to learn to deal with wants. When a want is so strong that it becomes a need, I'm going to satisfy it.
So no WW faux candy for me. No baked fried chicken! No turkey burgers! Real food only.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Light snacks and other confusions

What are light snacks? Snacks that don't weigh much? Snacks with few calories? Snacks that are fluffy? The workshop leader e-mailed us that she would be offering light snacks. I don't snack BUT I knew I would be sitting around with a group of other writers listening and writing. They would be eating the light snacks so I would no doubt be tempted. I just didn't know what light snacks might be. Now I know that "light" means different things to different people. It seems that slender people think that Oreos are light snacks. That chocolate covered wafer cookies are constitute a light snack. There were also blueberries and carrots. I think we would all agree that those are indeed "light".
The cookies were not tempting. They were "ersatz", faux. Bought at Trader Joe's, they weren't the trans fat laden treats that might call to me.
A "light" lunch followed the light snacks. Pasta salad, hummus, chips. Hmm. A carbohydrate lover's lunch but not light by my standards.
What to do when I'm at someone else's home and confronted with foods that do not "fit" my eating profile? The solution: nibble. Drink water. Wait until I can get what I need and want.
And now I know that "light" doesn't mean very much when you're not fat.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Hallelujah, applause, hugs and kisses all around. I lost 2# this past week. So maybe I should have Chinese food more often? Whatever the reason, I'm feeling light as a feather. Not. Still waiting for my waist to shrink a few more inches. The rest of me is slimming at a good rate but that waist (aka, belly) is taking its time.
Will I ever wear a belt again? Tuck in my shirt? Questions yet to be answered.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jenny Craig, Kirstie Alley and more

I'm not a proponent of diets like Jenny Craig because I believe they infantalize people. Mommy Jenny makes your food for you (probably even cuts it up as well) and all you have to do is heat it up. No thinking. No planning. At least that's the way I see it. But people are successful-at least in the short run. I did know someone who had used Jenny Craig to lose weight and she was able to keep it off at least for as long as I knew her. There's really no secret to losing weight-eat less calories than you use. So pretty much any regimen will work. It's just a matter of being able to stick to it long enough for it to work.
The real issue is keeping the weight off-maintenance. I don't know any fat person who has not been able to lose weight. I know plenty-myself included-who have been unable to keep the weight off. That's where we all fall down-keeping the pounds from slowly creeping back. Don't know if it is will power or leptin or what but it happens to most of us. Or so the statistics tell us.
The chatter on the web is that Kirstie is fat again-maybe even fatter than she was when she so famously started the diet. I don't know if it is true but it wouldn't be surprising if it were. Losing weight and maintaining the loss is a lot like trying to get sober. You gotta keep trying until you're successful. And it may take lots of tries. If Kirstie has indeed gained her weight back, she's in a club with lots of other good people. If she has gotten fat again, I wish she wouldn't hide. I wish she would come out and show herself. We need people like Kirstie and Oprah to tell their fans that it's a struggle that goes on for life and you have to keep working at it if you want to stay healthy.
Fat and healthy? Is that possible? Yes, I believe it is. I want to lose weight because I feel better when I am lighter than I am now. But I'm pretty healthy. Cannot imagine being healthier. Some people are not as lucky as I am. But is it the weight, the fat surrounding the organs and cushioning the body or is the way fat people eat that makes them unhealthy? Because I got fat eating some pretty good food (along with some not so healthy stuff like fried chicken) unlike some overweight people whose weight is a product of fast food and lack of activity.
So, Kirstie, come out come out wherever you are. We're on your side.

Food Diaries

I just read a study that reports great success for people who use a food diary while on a diet. In fact, the results indicate that those who kept food records lost two times more weight than those who did not.
I'm totally incapable of keeping a food diary. Of writing down what I really eat. Of being honest about it. With myself and with others.
I had to keep a diary in a college class on nutrition assessment. I lied. Every day. For every meal. I never once wrote down what I actually ate. Because I couldn't face the truth of my diet. How many sodas? Don't ask. And ice cream? One quart? So I made it all up. On paper, I was perfect. In real life, not so much!
Grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, brown rice. Doesn't that sound tasty? Not. But it sure is "healthy". That's the kind of meal I would record in my diary. Did my instructor really think I, chubby Sharon, was eating that way?
Food diaries are great for people who are eating mindlessly. Those who are not aware of the handful of this and the bite of that. I am mindful of what I eat. Aware of every mouthful of food. I may not know the total calorie count for the day but I know when I've had something that would have better been left in the box or on the shelf or in the frig. I know when I've eaten more than my share. And I care. I care after it's over but not when I'm eating it. The pleasure of delicious food overrides my good sense.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weight Watchers?

Am I really on WW? I don't ever look at the program book. I don't keep a food journal. I don't weigh and measure or count points. I just eat-what I know I should be eating. Fruits, vegetables, lean poultry, fish, low fat dairy, whole grains. OMG. If I were on WW, I would be paying more attention to the points I eat on the weekends when I allow myself to eat out and choose ingredients that "cost" points. But I don't.
I go for a weigh in. I pay my $13. I don't read the literature the leader hands me after I am weighed. I don't stay for the meetings. I can't. I'm an RD. I know more than the leader and the leader says stuff that he has been told to say. Some of it he misstates. I heard him tell a woman some long discredited info about drinking water. The latest scientific info says that we don't need the 8-10 glasses of water that's been touted in the media. But he can't know that because he's just parroting what some old WW's leader told him.
I'm really not like most of the other people there. I don't eat when I'm depressed (I'm rarely depressed) or sneak food or eat at McDonald's (Yuck!) or any other fast food restaurant. I don't use butter on my bread or eat chips and dip or drink beer. I haven't had a three egg omelet in my life. Cheese? I'd rather die than eat cheese. I rarely snack. I've been exercising my whole life-more vigorously than most people will ever attempt. I'm fat because I eat too much. Of very good food. Well prepared food. And because I'm older and it just gets harder and harder to keep the weight off as you age. Oh, and let's not forget the Pepsi. That definitely contributed. But I haven't had a deliciously fizzy sweet Pepsi in a while.
The less I eat out, the more I lose. Whether it's because of poor choices (too any calories in the dish I order) or because I eat too much (most usually the case), eating out is the problem. At home, I'm fine. I control every aspect of the meal-the ingredients, the cooking technique and the quantity I serve myself.
So I guess I'm not on WW. I guess I'm doing what I should be doing which is eating healthfully in a mindful manner. Just not sure I can sustain this for the rest of my life. One day at a time.
So I guess I'm not on a die*t and certainly not WW. I just use WW to keep me honest.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Succumbing to Chinese Food

I have done my best-except for the LA food orgy-to stay away from foods that cause me to lose control so I've not had any ice cream or Chinese food. Until last night. My husband convinced our friends that THEY wanted to go for Chinese food. I did not order well-had no intention of ordering well. Once I was inside the restaurant confronted with the extensive menu of deliciously dangerous foods, I gave in, gave up and let loose. Fried food. Sauced food. Had them all. Noodles. Oh, halo for me. I passed on the white rice! I indulged but did not overindulge. Could have shoved a bit more food down the gullet but stopped way short of my limit. No guilt. It was delicious. But I know it will come back to haunt me at weigh in later in the week. We're talking about a lot of calories. A lot. Worth every one of them, though. That was good food!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dieting is boring

Here it is. The reason I lose interest in die*ting. And by die*ting, I mean following a regimen-any regimen-whether to lose weight or reduce cholesterol or whatever. Because I cannot eat whatever I want. I'm getting bored. This is a great time of year-so many fresh fruits and veggies (even though some of them are tainted!). I should be in heaven. And I am. For a while. Then boredom sets in. And I am overcome by desire for novelty. A new ice cream store just opened a few miles away. They serve "Hawaiian" style ice cream. I don't know what that is. I am a curious person. I should be running out the door to try the cool creamy Hawaiian concoctions. Just as an intellectual exercise, of course. And if I "run" out the door, will that count towards exercise?
I'm not, however, running or walking or crawling out the door to try the ice cream. I'm on a blasted die*t for goodness sakes! I know. It's a holiday weekend. Should I lighten up (and I don't mean my weight!) and go for it? Thoughts of ice cream have been pushing out all thoughts of broccoli all day. Should I just go to taste a few flavors? The little spoon kind of tastes, I mean. But that would be rude. To taste for free and not buy. So I should buy at least one scoop. But then I would only know how one flavor tastes. That's not a good assessment of the product. What if someone asked me about the Hawaiian ice cream flavors? I couldn't speak authoritatively unless I had sampled several flavors.
See, this is the kind of stuff that clogs my brain. Should I? Shouldn't I? Since I usually tell myself I shouldn't, the next logical question would be, "Why not?"
Because your belly is too big. That's why not. Because your chin has its own chin rest. That's why not.
So back to the mundane. Back to skinless chicken and fish. Back to grilled veggies and brown rice. Back to oatmeal and skim milk. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ounces away

It's a sad sad day. Weigh in day. Only 0.2 ounces. I mean. That should even be plural. It's 2/10ths of one ounce. The weight of a few hairs from my head. And to think that I wore my lightest clothes, peed before I got weighed, ate nothing, and prayed. Ugh. What the #*+*! That's in two weeks. Yes, some of it is the fall out from that lovely LA eating binge. I accept that. I probably gained weight that week. Which is why I chose not to go to weigh in last week. But I've been a good girl since. A very good girl. An excellent girl. Someone worthy of having lost a few pounds. I'm bummed. But determined. It's okay.
I decided, in a paranoid moment, that WW purposely rigs the scale so that you are dependent on them-you're afraid that if you stop going, you'll balloon out (up?). Not true. I don't believe it. I was just trying to come up with an "excuse". But I'm the excuse. I'll take the hit. It's all me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Someone noticed

It finally happened. What I have been waiting for since I started to lose weight. Someone noticed. Just one person. Sure the WW leader's encouragement has been great. And my husband has been telling me how "thin" I look. But I wanted the rest of the world to respond to my appearance. Are fat people really invisible? Are people so accustomed to not looking at me that they haven't noticed? Because it is noticeable. Even with my baggy shirt, it's noticeable.
Marion, who's known me at the gym for 25 years, told me ....and I quote..."You look like you've lost a lot of weight".
"A LOT OF WEIGHT". Did you read that? I look like I've lost a lot of weight! Thank you, Marion. If I never told you before, I'm telling you now. You're an observant, perspicacious, darling woman and I love you. You're my best and only friend. You looked at me and you weren't ashamed to tell me I had lost weight. You are a brave and wonderful woman.
Brave because when you tell someone she has lost weight, you are also silently telling her that she was fatter before and now she is less fat. So it's what my father used to call a backhanded compliment. Still, I'll take it. I look like I've lost a lot of weight.
Lots more weight to lose, though. I'm still "pinching" about six inches! But at my age, some of those inches are just skin and that isn't going away. I doubt I'll ever be able to "pinch an inch". Never say never.
Pardon me while I go stare at my less fat body. I want to see what Marion sees.