photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eating My Words...Just Because I'm Hungry

The following started out well, with a point...sort of, and then meandered off-course a bit here and there. It's OK, though. It's basically all about food and eating and stuff like that so there's a random common thread throughout. Trust me.

It occurs to me every time we go out to eat, which is often.

The sheer volume of the portions is astounding, and none of us, even Alec, can finish the average restaurant meal...not even "super-sized".

And yet all around us people are cleaning their plates, after appetizers, before dessert. How can they even fit that much into their stomachs?

This isn't a condemnation of people who are overweight (she said, looking in the mirror), or even those lucky few who can eat like horses and look like Twiggy, this is just me wondering why the hell we think we NEED to be presented with a whopping pile o victuals for dinner. For one person.

We ate out at Applebee's for Father's Day. Ward had steak and potatoes, with a side Caesar salad. The salad alone would've been dinner for me. He managed most of the salad and about half of the steak and half of the giant mound of garlic smashed potatoes.

I had a half-sized chicken oriental salad and it was all I could do to finish it.

Alec was hungry and ordered the chicken fettuccine. It came in what would be considered a serving bowl in any household and would've fed our family of 3 handily- not just the poundage of pasta, but the 2 huge slabs of breaded poultry...and garlic bread. Over half of it came home.

I guess if you go into the restaurant with the idea that you are not only eating for that meal but at least another one at home, it's not so bad (and not so wildly, heartstoppingly expensive). And that's what we do.

But a lot of people don't.

And apparently, the noshing doesn't stop with three squares (three, big, giant, industrial-sized squares).

According to the food industry, we're not eating ENOUGH.

We need to be eating more.

Snacks? They're great, too. But we need to be eating FOUR times a day.



Don't you have a WTF moment when there's a surgical weight reduction commercial bracketed between Taco Bell Burrito Muerte Grande and IHOP's maple bacon milkshake?

We try to eat as naturally as possible. It's better for the body, and easier to prepare. It's not difficult or expensive. We eat food that looks as close to how Mother Nature made it as possible- fresh fruits and vegetables, potatoes, rice, pastas, meat that's...meat. Not processed, soaked in "solution", pre-gravied or painted with shit that looks like grill-marks.

I've banned "normal" sodas from our house- I'd love to ban ALL sodas, but baby steps are better than no steps. I want to get away from high fructose corn syrup as much as humanly possible, and sodas are the number one source (at least in our house).

Yes, that means more expensive "natural" sodas that use agave or sugar, but they taste better and we don't drink more than one a day apiece anyway.

But that damn HFCS is in EVERYTHING and I trust it as much as sunblock (that's zero percent).

How can a country be simultaneously weight and fitness obsessed while making a best seller out of Wendy's TRIPLE burger (that comes with mega fries and a large Coke)?

Like I said at the beginning- this is in no way an indictment of anyone who needs to and is trying to lose weight- just an observation of how damn hard our society makes it- "Here- eat all this crap! Why are you overweight???"

I'm eating healthy and I STILL can't lose weight. I'm juicing in the morning (thank you, Joey and his Magic Juicer), having a salad at lunchtime (light on the cheese, oil and vinegar dressing), and a half a portion of what I would normally have for dinner. No snacks. No chips or fries. No desserts.

I've lost Five. Freaking. Pounds.

Ten to go.

And that's not even to my "pre-baby" weight of 125, just a resigned realistic goal of 135.

Here's what matters, though. Even though we eat pretty healthy normally, I had HUGE "snack withdrawal" and was ravenous (and crabby) (yea, verily more crabby than normal) most of the first two weeks. Then...I was fine.

I don't miss chips or fries- don't even miss cookies.

And I FEEL better- less bloated, less "yech", more OK with being hungry between meals and stopping eating when I'm not hungry anymore- instead of when the plate is empty.

How anti-American is THAT?


  1. Whenever anyone drones on about how fat and obesity are the result of stupid, lazy people making bad choices, I want to drop a vat of lard over their heads.

    Sure, each of us is ultimately responsible for our choices--and yes, we choose what we eat. But as Michael Pollan (I think it was) said, we live in a toxic food environment. Not only is it inconvenient and more expensive to eat well, it's also lonelier--who wants to be the ass at the 4th of July picnic who won't eat anything because it not organic/vegan/whole?--and there's an equal amount of pressure against dieting ("Oh go ahead! You deserve it.") as there is against fat.

    The point is, it is ridiculous that one meal at Applebees (or wherever) can have upwards of 5,000 calories. NOBODY expects that, or can "use common sense" to avoid it--I would NEVER have imagined that some of the only-marginally-tasty meals at such places are so unbelievably fattening. It defies logic. It should be, as far as I'm concerned, illegal.

    Anyway, the point is, living in the US today is, to people who want to eat healthy and sustainably, like an alcoholic living at the Guiness Brewery.

    In other words, an insanely difficult task.

    Bravo to you for making progress!

  2. I want to offer what is meant to be encouragement. You are doing the right thing by eating right, regardless of how much weight you lose or don't lose.

    Also, you are a hard-working woman, and you had better be careful to make sure you are consuming *enough* calories. Too few and your body can go into "starvation mode" and actually hang on to every last little bit of nourishment it can get, storing fats it would otherwise flush. I have been using to track my calorie intake, exercise and exact foods I am consuming. The site has told me (and they were correct) that in order for me to lose weight I should not be consuming more than about 1550 calories a day, and a minimum of 1000. When you are working hard like you do the calorie needs go up.