Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No wonder!

So I worked out for two hours this morning. And longer yesterday. And every day except for Fridays every week of every month of every year. And still I am fat. Here's one of the reasons: Exercise doesn't really use up that many calories. I know better than to believe what the elliptical read out tells me and even that is meager compared to what I feel like I've expended!
But, here's the issue: I worked out for two hours this morning but I've been sitting at the computer since then (approximately six hours) working. Six hours of just moving my fingers and an occasional pit stop. I haven't attempted to calculate the caloric expenditure for typing, fidgeting a bit and answering an occasional phone call but I suspect it's not many calories.
I'm doomed. I probably should be eating about 500 calories a day to actually lose weight. I'm old. I'm fat. I'm sedentary even though I like to think of myself as active....sitting for six hours is sedentary! No wonder I don't lose weight easily or quickly.
But I am happy to report (to myself and to whomever) that I am working on eating intuitively and today I definitely recognized when I'd had enough. I'm not saying I stopped but I recognized the precise moment when I moved from had enough into excess. The stopping....that will come later. Certainly not when I'm eating something I like. At least not yet.
That's what I cannot figure out. How to stop when the food I'm eating is particularly tasty. I believe it's time for me to reread Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gluttony Revisited

Another marvelous trip to Los Angeles made extra special by sharing it with friends who appreciate the culinary specialties of the area. I weighed myself at the gym the day before we left and was amazed at how much I weighed. Of course, having resorted to wearing only elastic waisted pants in the last few weeks and having to stretch out my t-shirts in order to fit into them should have been a clue to me that I have gained yet more fat. Still, I was practicing the usual game of "the dryer shrank my shirt". Used to be that the dry cleaners shrank my clothes but now that I wash everything, it has to be the dryer. Has to be.
After the weighing incident, I spent some very valuable time obsessing about how to handle a trip planned specifically for eating. Try to order only vegetables and fish? Eat mindfully and intuitively? Throw caution to the wind. I'm fat anyway. What's another couple of pounds?
The latter won out. What a surprise. From the airport we drove downtown to enjoy pastrami sandwiches at Langer's Deli. We paced ourselves, sharing sandwiches. Not much of an indulgence. Back to pick up my husband at the airport and on to Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica for a multicourse meal that was superb but calorific. Salads (good for us), vegetable soup (good for us), french fries (a meal is not complete without french fries), scallops (good for me), chocolate pudding (antioxidant rich, right?), gelato (you gotta have dairy!). We knew we ordered too much when the first course arrived--a bowl of soup in a container that looked like a rowboat. Oh, well. We ate on and on and on, enjoying each mouthful until we held up the white flag.
Day 2 included a trip to a few new specialty shops just to see them (no eating occurred except for a tasting of baked goods which we tossed after one bite)with two dinners. Yes, two dinners. Comme Ca for appetizers....heavy appetizers. Animal for a meat and fat centric meal. Opposite ends of the spectrum for ambiance, style of food and service but both quality restaurants serving quality ingredients. And lots of calories. Salad with bacon and poached egg. Pork belly, ribs, lamb, duck...the list could go on and on. Oh, and chocolate covered bacon.
Day 3 started with my friend's husband declaring that he was going to fast all day long! We chuckled knowing that he would no doubt succumb eventually. Off to the Hollywood Farmer's Market. Wow. Strawberries. Every place. Gorgeous red sweet berries perfumed the air. Huge market. Dizzying array of produce. But it was the cooked foods that seduced us. We sampled. A lot. Friend's husband stayed true to his decision to fast. We offered. He declined.
Then on to the beach for a walk. Or a waddle.
We decided to eat before our flight home lest we suffer hunger pangs on a flight without food. That's when friend's husband decided his fast was over. Burgers for all of us. French fries. The desserts looked tempting but we resisted.
Home to contemplate the gluttony of the weekend. Not sorry. Sorry I missed the taco trucks. They were on my list but traffic took up so much of our time! Sorry I missed a lot of foods.
Sorry I am so fat. Sorry I don't seem to be able to resist the temptation and not being able to resist, sorry I do not eat the foods in an intuitive way. Oh, well, Scarlet, tomorrow is another day.

Editorial comments

I've been rereading some of my posts because I don't want to repeat topics and since I've forgotten what I did yesterday, I thought perhaps I might not remember all my posts. In the rereading, I found lots of little grammatical errors. Not the kind that make my writing colloquial but the kind that make me squirm because I should know better and I criticize others for similar errors. Me, criticize others? Hell, yes! So, to those of you who read my entries with a keen editor's eye, I apologize if I have offended with my poor editing. I'll try to do better in the future.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Biggest Loser Binge--a lesson for everyone

I'm a an avid Biggest Loser viewer. I can't really explain why but I watch in amazement as these very big people perform physical feats beyond what I would think they could. And I marvel at how comfortable they all seem to be exposing themselves both physically (skimpy outfits for very large people) and emotionally. I admit to tearing up when someone has an amazing week, whether it be a bad one or a good one. And ofcourse I know all the reasons why I shouldn't "like" this show: It's scripted (I hope you realized that) like all reality shows are and it's edited for drama so that stuff shown on screen is often out of sequence. In other words, it's all manipulated. And I do hate they way they drag things out. And repeat things as if the hours and hours of footage wasn't enough to fill the time. And it's not reality because these people are living in a time warp. Who has the time in real life to devote to hours and hours of exercise every day? Hours and hours. And, sadly, many of the former contestants have gained all their weight back. But I watch it anyway.
I don't learn much from watching the show. It really is some perverse sort of entertainment for me. I don't learn much because I already exercise every day. And I have never eaten fast food or smoked or sat around eating potato chips and dip. So I don't really identify with the contestants.
But I did learn something this past week and I hope lots of viewers learned something.
Because the contestants go on pretty strict diets, they give up everything they really like to eat. Yeah, I know. Broccoli is delicious. Sure. Just as good as fried zucchini sticks dipped in Ranch dressing? And, yes, cute Rocco cooks up some tasty low calorie Italian fare for the contestants but nothing as delish as they could get in a good Italian restaurant. Let's get real, folks.
So what have they really learned? Well, apparently nothing. See, last week, one team went on this 24 hour relaxation experience. Massages and manicures and pedicures and....a restaurant experience. Instead of using what they supposedly have learned during their ten days of deprivation, they binged. They drank, smoked and over ate. And the implication is that you can't have mashed potatoes or fried chicken or tequila if you are trying to lose weight. BS!
Yes, you can. Because the contestants have been deprived for ten weeks, they lost control. They weren't paying attention to their tummies. They were eating with their eyes and their palates. The lesson the producers should have been teaching--and make no mistake, there is a lesson here---is that the contestants could have had steak and mashed potatoes and fried chicken and tequila as long as it wasn't a binge. But because these people felt so deprived by the diet they are following, they lost control and not only didn't order mindfully but also didn't eat mindfully and intuitively.
The result was weight gain and guilt. A lesson for them but also for the audience. The lesson most people think they learned is that you cannot "cheat" on a diet. But that's not the lesson!
The lesson is, follow your feelings. Of course, we can't just eat what we want. Health has to be part of the reason we choose foods. But on days when your choices are perhaps a little skewed towards the hedonistic, just stay in contact with your body. Know when you've had enough. And then, move on. Don't make guilt part of the experience. If you choose foods you really like, then enjoy them and move on. The contestants not only ate and drank themselves into a stupor, they then suffered remorse. So they negated the entire experience. So sad for them.
The result was that they gained weight or didn't lose. Truth is, they might have gained weight or not lost on any given week regardless of what they ate or how much they exercised because that's how the body is. This group of contestants seems to have done a good job of losing consistently which also is not "reality".
If they go home from the show thinking they can never again have fried chicken, then they will not have learned much. Fried chicken is out there. It's part of the real world....not the biggest loser world. But they're all returning to the real world soon and if they don't learn how to live in it, they're not going to be successful.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The previous links

Sorry about the condition of the links to other dietitian's blogs but they were sent to me that way so I copied and pasted.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Other dietitian blogs

Here are links to blogs by other dietitians....

Beyond Prenatals - href="">Foodvs. Supplements and Real Advice vs. Fake AdviceAnnette Colby -href="">No More Diets! A Registered Dietitian Shares 9 Secrets to Real andLasting Weight LossAshley Colpaart - href="">Dietitiansworking in food policy, a new frontierDiana Dyer - href="">Thereand Back Again: Celebration of National Dietitian Day 2009Marjorie Geiser - href="">RDShowcase for National Registered Dietitian Day - What we doCheryl Harris - href="">Me, a Gluten FreeRD!Marilyn Jess - href="">NationalRegistered Dietitian Day--RD BlogfestJulie Lanford - href="">Antioxidantsfor Cancer PreventionRenata Mangrum - href="">WhatI'm doing as I grow up...Liz Marr - Fruitsand Veggies for Registered Dietian Day: Two PoemsMeal Makeover Moms' Kitchen - href="">FamilyNutrition ... It's our "Beat"Jill Nussinow - href="">TheRegistered Dietitian Lens I Look ThroughDiane Preves - href="">RegisteredDietitians and the White House Forum on Health ReformAndy Sarjahani - href="">Dr.Seuss Tribute continued: Green Eggs and Ham and a Sustainable FoodSystemRebecca Scritchfield - href="">BigTips from a "Big Loser"Anthony Sepe - href=""target="_blank">RD Showcase: Registered Dietitian Day, March 11,2009Kathy Shattler - href=""target="_blank">RD Showcase for Nutri-Care ConsultationUNL-Extension, Douglas/Sarpy County - href="">Nutrition Know How- Making Your Life EasierMonika Woolsey - href=""target="_blank">Dietitians--Can't Do PCOS Without Them!Monika Woolsey - href=""target="_blank">In Honor of National Registered Dietitian DayJen Zingaro - href="">Mylife as a Registered Dietitian

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Registered Dietitian Day

Wednesday, March 11 is National Registered Dietitian's Day. A holiday to celebrate my profession and to highlight the value of our expertise.

Long ago, in olden days , there was a pretty standard job description for dietitians. Those among us who did not work in a clinical setting were considered "alternative". Nowadays, however, the profession all sorts of ways of delivering nutrition services from hospitals to schools, from private practice to coaching, from the gym to culinary schools, from college classrooms to television cooking shows--dietitians deliver nutrition messages in person, over skype, on television, on the radio and through their writing.

I am one of the writers. I do my part to influence people to live a healthy lifestyle with words. And there are many among us who have helped to make the message of how to eat right for health easier to understand through our writing.

The truth is I like to shake things up once in a while. Eating for health is not an all or nothing event. Some days are good, some not so good and some are downright outrageous. Some meals could win awards for healthiest meal in the world, others might win for most strange combination of foods that offer nothing but good taste and comfort. In other words, we all get out of whack sometimes. The secret is to realize when your eating is out of balance and to know how to bring it back. Knowledge is power. Use your nutrition knowledge for good. If your knowledge is a little shaky, then you might want to check out the American Dietetic Association Good Reading list at where you'll find books on just about every nutrition topic from family nutrition to sports nutrition.

But the best way to make sure you make the best decisions for your health is to consult a Registered Dietitian.

Celebrating National Registered Dietitian

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The blame game

Flip Wilson, a comedian from the 60s (I think it was that long ago), had a favorite phrase that made audiences roar with laughter, "The devil made me do it". I sometimes think that is how we Americans are trying to take the onus off ourselves for our abundant weight--Blaming our eating habits on uncontrollable external forces instead of owning up to the responsibility.
Here are just a few of the excuses I've read about recently:
1. Restaurant portions are too large. (So. What's your point? If we ate intuitively, we'd still stop when we were satisfied and save the rest for later.)
2. Stress. (Are our lives more stressful than the bushmen's lives? Or the lives of Neanderthal man?)
3. Weight has gone up steadily since high fructose corn syrup has become ubiquitous in our food supply. (I've read the literature. I'm not sure how much influence HFC has had on our health but we shouldn't be eating those foods in great quantities anyway.)
4. We aren't an agrarian society anymore. (Hello? I do notice that farmers are pretty fat nowadays also so I don't think that excuse works.)
Those are just a few of the excuses. I haven't used any of them but the media uses them to explain our ever expanding waist lines.
What do you think? Individual responsibility. Eat until you feel satisfied and it won't matter how big the portion is. Breathe deeply and perhaps exercise because not only does it reduce stress but it also burns calories. It's okay to have HFC foods once in a while but they're not "whole" foods and those are the kinds of foods that should comprise the majority of our diet anyway. Yeah, we sit in front of the TV and we drive every place. But I notice that people who take the bus and walk and work long hours so they can't be sitting in front of the TV vegging out seem to be pretty hefty also.
Eat until you've had enough. Choose whole foods whenever possible. Exercise more. And stop blaming.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Comforting comfort food

It's comforting to know that my husband loves me. I am comforted by the attention paid to me by my faithful dog. Knowing that a damn smart man is in the White House now makes me feel comfortable even though everything still seems to be crumbling around us!
So what's all this talk about comfort food? Mashed potatoes, meat loaf, mac and cheese. Who decided these foods were comforting? And isn't that sort of pathological in some way to perpetuate the idea that food comforts us? The media loves the concept of comfort foods--that we Americans are turning to what appears to be pretty unhealthy foods in our time of stress over the economy. Creamy mashed potatoes (they're always mentioned in just about any article about comfort food) made with butter and cream. Meat loaf made with ground beef and topped by bacon. And Mac and cheese, all ooey gooey (and stinky) and calorific. So we're comforting ourselves with food that will add physical stress to our mental stress? Hmmmm.
And who decided that it was mashed potatoes that are comforting. Nope. I prefer the crunch of a french fry. And meat loaf? Not me. A juicy burger, the kind where the fat runs out when you bite into it. Mac and cheese? I don't think so. Not for me. I don't like cheese--icky poo. Cheese smells. On the other hand, a steaming bowl of gnocchi covered a pink sauce, studded with pine nuts. That might comfort me. Just a little. Hot fudge. There's got to be hot fudge in there some place or I will remain stressed.
Bottom line...People, food is not comforting. Having a savings account during this economic upheaval (DOWNheaval) is comforting. Having a job and health insurance and no outstanding bills. That's comforting. Food? It's something to eat. It tastes good (or it should). But don't drown your sorrows in calories. Go to the gym and sweat it out!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Laugh out loud food

A friend sent this blog to me today ( For some reason, the Krispy Kreme with Sloppy Joe made me laugh out loud. A lot of it actually looks pretty good to me. And some of it isn't that far out. Lots of avant garde restaurants are offering bacon flavored desserts. Chocolate covered bacon isn't far out any more. I kinda liked the chicken fried bacon with gravy. That has a certain appeal to me. I love bacon. I love breaded and fried food. I'm pretty sure it would taste good. I might stop breathing as soon as I finished the plate but I think I would die with a smile on my face! Oh, and the brownie covered with cookie dough and then fried, that has promise. I think I was supposed to be grossed out by the blog entries but I'm not!

Thanks to a friend

Just a quick thank you to Jenny Rough for mentioning my blog in her farewell post on one of her blogs. If you found me thru Jenny, hello to you. I hope you keep coming back. I don't post as often as I did when I was actively trying to lose weight. I guess I figured I was using up some calories smashing the keys on the computer so I posted often. Now that I'm back to trying to figure out what to do about my flab, I don't write as often. I did lose weight when I was posting often, though, so perhaps there's something to the calories I used up typing.....
Be sure to continue to read Jenny's personal blog (there's a link on my page to her web can find her blog on her site).
Jenny and I met about four years ago at a writer's workshop. She has followed her dream much more ambitiously than I have. She's a great success because she's a great writer. And, no, she's not fat. In fact, she's quite slender! Maybe it's all that typing.......
I appreciate all of you who read my blog. I check my statistics on google about once a week. I'm elated when about five people read in a day and oh so sad when only one does. I know the one person who reads regularly is my close friend who is my booster (hi, there!).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not just another diet book

How many times have you seen an ad for a new book that stated, "Not just another diet book". As though what was written on the pages was new and different. Earth shattering, secret information that might change your life. All diets and all diet books are the same: Cut out, cut down, move more. The cut out and cut down might be couched in language that makes you think you are going to be allowed to eat as much as you want of whatever you want. But read the small print. Read between the lines. You are going to be avoiding lots of foods and eating way less--or none at all--of the stuff you really love.
Losing the belly fat seems to be the mantra of the moment among the diet gurus. Even if it were possible to spot reduce (which we dietitians are taught in school, it is not possible), the diets are nothing more than healthy food plans recommending lots of high fiber foods like whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean meats and dairy. Duh. Oh, and don't forget to exercise.
Some of the books talk about cortisol and it's effect on abdominal fat deposition. Perhaps there's something to it. So let's just cut stress out of our lives so we can all have flat bellies. Why, even thinking about dieting causes my cortisol levels to rise. Yes, let's all cut out stress. It's as simple as that. So perhaps as the economy improves, all Americans will awaken one morning with flat stomachs?
A recent study reveals that it doesn't matter what "diet" you go on, if you cut back on calories, you'll lose weight. Really? Gosh, I thought I had to mix and match certain foods, swing a dead rat over my head four times and jump in place while rubbing my belly.
Dieting makes me hungry. Dieting makes me want to eat. Dieting makes me forget how much I would like to be slimmer because my mind becomes fixated on my next meal. When I am not dieting, I actually have a very active mind. I think about lots of things that have nothing to do with finding food, cooking food, eating food. When I diet, I can only think about FOOD. My next meal. While I am eating, I am thinking of how long it will be until my next meal and what I will have.
If only I had not gotten fat! But I did. I am. I am thankful that I am getting old. Too old to ever again have a flat belly. Too old to wear a bikini. Too old to be worried about some flab. Because I notice that my old friends, slender though they may be, have got some flab and a tiny bulge in the abdomen. There is justice!