Dieting


Yesterday I had visitors. Dealing with some life issues that really required the intervention of Dear and Funky Friends. And of course, they intervened in the traditional way: card games and food.

Actually, I provided the food, they provided the games, and we worked together on the conversation and fun. All in all, we had a good day. But (if I do say so myself), one of the better aspects was the menu for the day.

They arrived at 7:30 yesterday morning with their appetites firmly in hand, and thankfully I was prepared. Sausage was cooking on the stove when they pulled into the driveway waiting to be added to what became perfectly formed omelets full of cheese, tomatoes, onions, and of course the sausage. Yeah that sentence got away from me and I’m exhausted so it’s not getting edited. The girls drank copious amounts of coffee and I had some organic orange juice… spectacular.

Anyway. I can cook some omelets (Miss Feisty, I refuse to compete on this one at work. If we can find another venue, it’s on). Added to the plate was a fruit medley (strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple and grapes). This was a terrific breakfast.

Lunch came around much more quickly than I was anticipating considering that we’d each eaten a two-egg omelet about four hours before, but all of a sudden, after two vigorous games of Phase 10, we were all mutually hungry again. I’d prepared chicken salad the previous evening (using organic rotisserie chicken! yum!) and needed one final ingredient to add to the mix (bacon!) so we had to run over to the Piggly Wiggly to get some of that. I will admit to having stolen the idea for Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad from a restaurant in Auburn (The Chicken Salad Chick, where they call this variety of salad the “Sassy Scotty” in case you’re interested) but the recipe was just my tastes buds guiding me (as usual). Topping the sandwiches with some leftover chopped tomatoes and onions, I was beginning to feel pretty proud of my mad kitchen skills. Also, the salt and vinegar chips were a perfect pairing for the meal.

It wasn’t two or three hours later before we were all once again thinking of food (this time after more Phase 10 and some serious RummiKub action), and dessert was in order. Organic vanilla ice cream topped freshly baked and still ooey gooey warm (Tollhouse) chocolate chip cookies. It was delicious. Word.

The girls left right around when normal people would probably be eating dinner if they hadn’t stuffed themselves silly with lots of yummy foods, and I popped the cap off of a Peach Beer (yes friends, you heard that right – it’s surprisingly refreshing in the summertime) and sat back to wash some dishes.

What surprised me most was that after the dishes were done and I’d tossed back the last sip of beer, I was actually hungry again. Like, ravenously. I will admit, in the past few weeks my daily food intake has equaled probably ONE of the meals I’d already eaten that day, but I knew I could eat again.

Mistake? Probably. I ate some of what I grew up calling “pasta salad” (noodles with ranch dressing and shredded cheddar) with a side of Club crackers. Soooo good. Not the best thing I’d eaten all day, but it definitely did the trick at the time. And then starting about three hours later, I felt sicker than I’ve felt in a while. Heartburn. Nausea. Indigestion. Can somebody say Pepto?

I settled for Tums around midnight, which did enough to let me sleep, but I was still feeling the burn when my alarm woke me at six this morning. Needless to say, I have not eaten very much today. Maybe I’ll even skip dinner. But I’m pretty sure all of that food was worth it. It was indeed a good food day. And I’ve had relatively few of those lately.

Also, you may ask what’s up with the organic. Coupons to Earth Fare (organic grocery store) baby! Still insanely expensive even with coupons, and will only be special occasion purchases going forward. Just givin’ the Earth Fare a shot to make its case.

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Why yes, I have lost some weight! And totally without trying! In the past two weeks, I’ve dropped five pounds entirely without intention. Here are some possible explanations for this miracle:

  • Giving blood totally threw off my regular eating schedule for a few days – I felt ravenously hungry at every point of every day and therefore only ate a very little bit because I wasn’t sure if it was real hunger or not.
  • I only purchased the most basic of food items the past few times I’ve been shopping and haven’t been particularly interested in eating them afterward.
  • Yoga! 2.5 times in the past two weeks! I’m sure it’s done something!
  • The stresses involved with meeting new people and impressing folks surely caused a dip in my appetite.
  • In approximately three seconds of googling I found some conflicting research that proves that laughing may or may not burn a ton of calories. If it does, then I’m burning about a gajillion calories a day.
  • I don’t walk a ton during the day but surely more than I walked during my unemployment.
  • I’m less content these days since Hubby is in Birmingham, another decrease in appetite.
  • The refrigerator at work is a hike and a half away, and contains mostly other people’s food. Two birds, one stone.
  • I’m not yet cool enough to get invited out to lunch every day (for real, fellas, I’m totally kidding. You are helping my figure and I don’t feel excluded in any way!) so I can bring my lunch and eat healthier things.
  • I’ve done yardwork things lately. Out of necessity.
  • I’m hungry. And I just ate dinner. Because I don’t feel like fixing anything else, the most I may eat before bed is something liquid. Tea, milk…etc.

So I’m pleased with this miraculous turn of events, obviously. I would like to continue the trend and so will probably try to give blood again next week.

Just kidding 🙂

I have always passionately loved food. Taste and smell are my two favorite senses (unless what I’m smelling and/or tasting is disgusting, then they suck) and I revel in the experiences of preparing and consuming a meal. Cooking is almost as enjoyable as eating in many cases, and I should probably just limit myself to cooking and trade the eating part for celery sticks.

Not that celery sticks aren’t delicious in the proper context, but I can’t think of anything that more completely takes the joy out of life than dieting. Dieting gives me a food complex that I don’t normally have. I think about food all the time. Deprivation doesn’t help me lose weight, it just makes me imagine all the different cheese-based dishes I am capable of preparing. I think of food so often that it becomes unhealthy.

Dieting, however, isn’t the only thing that makes my relationship with edibles less than ideal. Sometimes I fantasize about food when bored or upset, will spend an inappropriate amount of time planning my meals when I’m working a job below my mental capacities or with people I’d like very much to spend two hours at lunch to get away from. I don’t think this is exactly what a nutritionist or psychologist would refer to as an eating disorder – I suspect it’s fairly normal, all things considered. Especially the dieting thing. I mean, when a person is hungry, who doesn’t obsess about food? That’s sort of the point of a diet – to think it out to the point of absolute control over what you ingest. I suspect I’m also not the only person out there who is totally miserable while dieting too.

So I guess I’d say I really lack the qualities associated with a person with a true eating disorder. I do consider my eating habits to be semi-disordered, but that’s an entirely different thing. That just means I need to organize more than my closets if I ever want to enjoyably drop a few pounds. Enjoyable diets…someone’s gotta tell me how that’s not an oxymoron.

That is the question;
Whether ’tis healthier in the end to suffer
The icks and ewwwws of disgusting aspartame,
Or to drink happily that sugary soda,
And by drinking, get fatter. To drink, to gain;
No more; and by a gain to say we bloat
On bubbles and the thousand delicious calories
That Coke is filled with — ’tis a consumption
Always to be preferr’d. To diet, to lose;
To lose, perchance to gloat. Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that loss of pounds what gloating may come,
When we have reached that perfect weight,
Must give us pause. There’s the drawback
That makes the lazy feel justified,
For who would bear the walks and aching muscles,
Th’ trainer’s goals, the skinny girl’s judgement,
The pangs of unfulfilled hunger, the scale’s mockery,
The hours on the treadmill, and the commercials
That advertise th’ cheesy goodness of pizza,
When she herself might become the enemy –
A skinny critic? Who would willingly diet,
Grunt and sweat under a torturous regimen,
But that we all desire that advanced adoration
That comes with malnutrition and muscled abs?
And is someone, once fat, not more free,
Now thin, to say as they please about others
Than those skinny chicks who didn’t work to get there?
Thus justification does make couch potatoes of us all,
And thus the need to be thin
Is bowled o’er by the nicest part of me,
And allows me to drink the “real thing”
Without regret or secret guilt;
I remain pudgy, friendly
and self-loathing,
so as not to be tempted into judging 
Those more lazy than myself.

Let’s hear it for Shakespeare, bloating, and lack of sleep, the interesting combination of which produced a lovely (if slightly confusing) soliloquy on dieting.

Cheers!

:::::::::Liz takes big gulp of her Diet Coke, then cringes::::::::::