Saturday, June 21, 2008

Do these pants make me look fat?

I’ve been dieting off and on for a number of years. When I’m not dieting, I’m thinking about it.  Reading about it.  And I must admit that I'm fascinated by the readily accessible celebrity 'Before and After' photos in magazines. I even like to watch the infomercials on home gyms.  From my couch, of course, but at least I watch.

My undoing isn’t how much I eat, but what  I eat.  I am a carbohydrate addict, with an underlying sweet tooth.  My feeble attempts to eat a balanced diet isn’t really to keep healthy, it’s to keep me alive so I can eat more cake. 

In my own defense, I don’t wear my eye glasses while I’m eating.  I’ve been doing it for so long now, even though I can’t see the food clearly, I can still manage to get it into my mouth.  But without my glasses I can’t see the calorie, carbohydrate and sodium amounts listed on the package.  Perhaps I wouldn’t be so eager to devour what’s in the package if I knew that information.  Doubtful, but possible.  We’ll probably never know for sure.

Another problem is convenience.  I’m just so darned busy that I don’t have time to eat properly.  I eat on the run.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  If I really did run at the same time, I may not have to diet at all. When I’m hungry, and I usually wait until I’m ravenous, it’s just a lot easier and faster to grab something that doesn’t need to be thawed out, cooked, or even microwaved.  It’s even better if it doesn’t require the use of utensils.  Unfortunately for me, and many, many, many others, did I say “many”, whatever comes in that convenient little package is usually high in calories.

I've often wondered how in the world can they pack 550 calories into a Chunky Bar?  It’s so tiny!  How do they fit them in there?  It does contain raisins however.  Which is a fruit.  And fruit is good for you.

When I eat cake, I drink milk.  Milk is also good for you.  And, I must brag a little here, lest you think me gluttonous and unhealthy, I only drink skim milk. I slowly weaned myself down from whole milk, to mixing equal portions of it with 2%, then full 2%, then equal portions of 2% and 1%, then full 1% then finally… full skim.  It took me four years. That, my friends, is a prime example of steadfastly working towards a goal.  The switch did entail eating more cake than usual, to prompt me to drink the milk, but in the long run, I think it was worth it.  My doctor was pleased.  Once in a while I do gaze longingly at a glass of whole milk in front of someone in a restaurant.  It’s so white... and beautiful.  Much more appetizing than the watered down look of skim, but I know that one glass, might send me spiraling back to an addiction that once was mine. 

Which would interfere with the time I’ve allotted to some of my newer addictions. Like… drinking Arbor Mist Wine.  Chilled White Zinfandel Melon to be more specific.  One bottle can give me an entire weekend of much needed relaxation.  For only $4.95.  It’s a whole lot cheaper than psychotherapy, and it can be done in your own home (while watching infomercials on the couch).  Did I mention that it can be enjoyed equally well alone or with friends?  As long as they bring their own bottles, of course. 

I was never much of a drinker when I was younger. Before I had kids. Who, I thought couldn’t get any worse than when they were as teenagers (boy, was I wrong).  Now that they are adults, and have children of their own (who apparently you are also responsible for worrying about), the wine seems to make this process much more bearable.

Oh! I digress! Must be that last glass of wine. Sorry. We were in the middle of discussing diets.

My healthier and thinner pain-in-the-ass friends frequently ask me why I don’t just grab a small apple or perhaps 20 raisins instead of a pre-packaged portion of cake.  One good reason is that if it wasn’t pre-portioned, I’d probably eat the whole damned thing.  So, in a way… I’m making a healthy choice. Actually, it’s because I never seem to have any fresh fruit lying around when I’m hungry.  If I do, it’s rotted. If they can find a way to give bananas the shelf life of a Twinkie, I’ll be happy to give that suggestion a try.

And, c’mon… let’s be reasonable here.  20 raisins? Have you ever seen the tiny pile that 20 raisins makes in the palm of your hand?  Which looks even smaller when you’re ravenous.  Those same 20 raisins are a lot more satisfying when they’re covered in chocolate, which by the way, is also made from milk.

As far as motivation goes, I find many more reasons to eat, then not to eat.  For example, if I were to lose, say, 30 pounds, when I reached my goal, I’d just be a 53 year old skinny woman, with a lot more wrinkles. You can’t shrink skin, and at my age, I certainly don’t want any more of it lying around.  If I exercised regularly, my kids would expect me to play with my grandchildren even more than I already do.  And they wouldn’t feel as guilty watching me shovel the snow. Recent studies indicate that most Americans are overweight.  Getting thin and fit could be construed as… unpatriotic.  My friends would worry that I was dying.  I don’t want that on my conscious.  And to be honest… I’m nothing if not honest… healthy food just isn’t fun. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Gee… what I wouldn’t do for a Granola Bar right about now!” Or, “Honey, I made your favorite dessert tonight… tofu pudding!”  No... you haven’t.

Those of you who may scoff at my ideas don’t realize the tremendous amount of thought that goes into non-dieting.  And effort.  My rationalization skills are far more advanced than those of my very few, skinny friends.  The simple task of weighing one’s self is planned, timed and calculated.  I’ve found that the best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning.  After you‘ve peed, of course.  No sense weighing something that won’t be there permanently. It must be done on an empty stomach.  Why weigh your breakfast before you’ve had the chance to digest it and turn it into fat?

The number on the scale sets the mood for the entire day.  If my weight is lower than I expected, I’m surprised and delighted.  I usually reward myself with a big plate of blueberry pancakes with a mountain of whipped cream on top.  Oh!  And syrup.  Some days… I’m shocked and horrified.  I’m instantly depressed and ashamed of myself.  And NOTHING will make me feel better than a plate of blueberry pancakes with a mountain of whipped cream on top.  And syrup!

Why not?  There is nothing worse on the face of this earth than being hungry AND fat at the same time.

I hope that our little talk has lightened you up a little! Pun intended. Ummm… can you pass the syrup, please?


mysterynurse2 said...

Glad your back to cheer us up!            Linda

frankandmary said...

Since going back to being a veggie recently, I've been snacking on roasted edamame a lot (although today I had a carbful muffin!).
The edamame is a great snack or meal & loaded with protein. I actually weighed more when I was a vegetarian for over 10 years because of my pasta & cheese consumption....
I read your comment on my journal & was glad to see you are back journaling. ~Mary

lifes2odd said...

I'm one of those "grab an apple" people, but I'm also one of those grab a beer people -- unfortunately, it doesn't even out and I always contract shrinking pants syndrome as a result. Oh well, a few more brews and it doesn't seem to bother me anymore ;-)
Glad to see you're back to journaling!

grofsand said...

Nothing is as reassurning than knowing you are in good company.

Last year I changed my diet for all "healthy foods" ..I gained 10 lbs!!!..My Dr. was terribly dissapointed...I told him not to worry...the weight gain was all anti-oxidants!

This year, I vowed to jog everyday, this worked till my knee gave out!

Just purchesed one of those fat burning exercise DVDs.....strapped on my heart rate monitor....on the screen is some fabulous babe in spandex,(can women really spread their legs that far apart????) seemingly staring right at me and smiling.."give me one can do it"...."push it"

My heart rate soared and I didn't even get out of the chair!

Loved your entry resonates  clearly!!  To sum it up..

I never lost a pound that couldn't find its way back to me!

Are you going to finsih that pancake on your plate? It would be politically incorrect to toss a perfectly good pancake in the garbage!

Marc :)

brianonly52 said...

What this 'dieting' thing anyway? Speed up your metabolism instead! Oh my...

ksquester said...

LOVE your sense of humor.  I made a pineapple upsidedown cake this weekend. My granddaughter helped me. Shoot, she can almost make it by herself now.  I was mortified when I got up the next morning and the 2 grandkids had finished it off.  I guess they want to keep me healthy? ;-)   Anne