Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Goodbye Six More!

Monday's weigh-in was a bit of a surprise.  I was down six pounds!

I don't really think I lost six pounds over the course of one week, actually.  So many things go into a weigh-in: food in your stomach, water retention, how recently you've been to the bathroom . . .  and I think my weigh-in last week was a little high to be honest.  I knew I had lost but the scale wasn't cooperating and showed a loss of 1/5 of a pound.  So this week the numbers caught up to me - happy day!

My Weight Watchers leader, Karen, has created a challenge for us.  She has paired us up with partners and challenged us to keep each other honest and motivated.  I promised my partner I would work out this week - a hefty promise to keep since I really dislike exercise in general. 

But we have a local gym, Planet Fitness, that stays open 24 hours during the week and that works with my schedule.  They have every machine you can imagine, a super friendly staff, and a price that I can live with.  (The cheap membership is just $10 a month!)  They also have a half-hour circuit (my favorite!) with weight machines of all different types and aerobic stations.

So I donned my grey sweatpants last night and headed out to keep my promise to work out.  Wow!  It was good but today I'm feeling muscles that I didn't even know I had.

Now the trick is to stay motivated enough to do it again. 

Onward and downward!

Next time you'll see less of me!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Eating Out Fabulous - Steakhouse

It's Father's Day and, of course, he wants to go to the Steakhouse.  This is problematic for me in two ways - because of my desire to reduce my weight and because I am a vegetarian.  But that is okay, there are ways to deal with this.

If I were a super strict vegetarian, I'd be stuck with a salad and a baked potato for dinner.  There are plenty of times I've done just that, but the temptation is to load down the potato with butter and cheese.  And let's not forget those amazing yeast rolls that Lone Star Steakhouse serves!  And they serve them with this amazing cinnamon honey butter  . . .  excuse me while I drool.

But, as I've mentioned in the past, I do occasionally eat fish when my back is up against the wall.  Father's Day at the steakhouse is one of those times!  But Lone Star has a number of choices on the fishy side of things that are points friendly.
  • Sweet Bourbon Salmon  8P+
  • Mesquite Grilled Shrimp Dinner 6P+
  • 5 Grilled Shrimp 1P+

Not bad at all!  So now, what do I have on the side?  They have some good choices, of course.
  • Dinner Caesar Salad 4P+
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes (1/2 cup) 3P+
  • Sauteed Mushrooms 4P+

And I'm going to eat 1/3 of an appetizer too . . . Interestingly, this is where the big calories and fat hide at most restaurants.  I found that surprising because I figured the entrees were were the biggest part of the meal and therefore, the most high in calories.  But appetizers are big these days - and they tend to be fried and covered in sauces, cheese, and the like.

My hubby will choose the appetizer but there are two we tend to choose more often.  The Points Plus values are for the whole dish as served.  I plan to eat 1/3 of it.
  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip 13P+
  • Texas Rose 34P+

And that leaves me with those delicious, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth yeast rolls.  They are 4P+ each and I will want a spoon (or two) of honey butter, of course.  So let's call them 6P+ each.  Two of them will be 12P+.

I have 49P+ weekly for splurges, so let's see how I'm doing on the totals.

Dinner Caesar Salad 4P+
Sweet Bourbon Salmon 8+P
1/3 of Spinach and Artichoke Dip 4P+
(or 1/3 of Texas Rose 12P+)
2 Yeast Rolls with Butter  12P+

The Points Plus total is 28 - 36.  I'm easily within my 49 allotted splurge points.


Nutrition information for Lone Star Steakhouse is available at   (Yeast rolls are now 1/3 the size they were when the information was last updated at their website.)

Next time you will see less of me!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chocolate Mousse

I am a chocolate lover and that is one of the things that makes dieting so hard for me.  Another thing I love is fluffy whipped stuff like mousse, whipped cream, and soft-serve ice cream - also big on the Thou Shalt Not List for dieters.

But today I came up with an idea that is really very good and it satisfies both my chocolate and my whipped cream gremlins.  The recipe is vegan and fat-free.  Don't scoff until you try it, because you will probably be pleasantly surprised by how good it is!

Ingredients List
  • 1 regular box of fat-free chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk  - cold
  • 1 tub fat-free Cool Whip topping - thawed but cold

Put the fat-free chocolate pudding mix intp a mixing bow and add 1 cup of chocolate almond milk.  (I chose Jell-O's Chocolate Fudge flavor.)

With a hand mixer on low speed, mix the pudding and the almond milk until it thickens (about one minute).

Gently fold in the Cool Whip topping until the pudding is all incorporated and the mousse is an even color.

This will make about 5 servings at 1/2 cup each. 

Weight Watchers Points Plus value: 3

Try it with vanilla pudding and vanilla almond milk if you like.  I'm sure that would also be good.

I hope you enjoy!

Next time you will see less of me!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Eating Out Fabulous

Eating out and staying on program is a problem for me.  It's not a numbers problem; I know how to calculate the points.  It's a head game with me and that is where the problem lies.

One of the joys of going out to eat is indulging in all the delightful goodies that are available - creamy alfredo sauces with parmesan cheese, spicy coconut curries, fried wontons and egg rolls, tempura fried vegetables, appetizers dripping with melted cheeses, lusciously creamy desserts . . . you get the picture.  And I'm not happy going out, paying a fortune for good food, and then leaving it on my plate.  That's a no go.  So what do I do?

First things first, though my strict Weight Watcher's friends would disagree with me, I do take one evening off of the plan every week.  It's on Tuesday night out with the family and on that one night a week I eat whatever I want.  Usually I have 20-something points left over from the day for dinner and another 49 weekly points plus whatever minimal activity I might have earned during the week.  Technically I am probably fine with those 70-something points.  But I don't count them anyway because, for some mental reason, I just need a break on those days.  It makes me feel less like a dieter and more like a "normal" person.  And as long as that is working and the scale keeps going in the right direction, I see no need to change.

But what about those other times?  What about the unexpected farewell luncheon for a retiring colleague or the office picnic?  These are times when I do have to be on plan and I do have to figure out a way to make it work.

Speaking of farewell luncheons, I had one scheduled yesterday.  We were going to a deli and I had determined to get a big lunch salad with blue cheese dressing on the side.  Add a slice of artisan bread and I knew I would be plenty satisfied.  But the unexpected happened and my colleague called off the lunch at the last minute.  There I was without a plan and with an empty lunchbox.  (Okay, technically I had some cucumber slices and some blackberries, but that wasn't going to be enough for lunch.)

I decided to take a book and head to a local Thai restaurant.  I love Thai food.  I mean I love it!  I had some fresh spring rolls there with veggies, basil leaves, and noodles inside that were to die for.  They had a little spicy dipping sauce too - wonderful!  According to the WW's website, fresh (unfried) spring rolls are 2P+ each.  Win!

I am also a 95% vegetarian, but I occasionally eat fish when I am in a bind.  Yesterday I was in a bind as I tried to explain to a Thai-speaking waitress that I wanted the tom yum salad with tofu - not shrimp.  She smiled sweetly, agreed to everything, and served me shrimp anyway.  One of the great thing about shrimp (when I can get my vegetarian head around eating what is essentially a bug) is that they are pure protein - no carbs, negligible fat - just protein.  This makes them exceptionally low in points.  Add a whole lot of lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, red pepper, lemon juice, and whatever other wonderful things are in tom yum, and something magical occurs.  It was fresh, tangy, spicy, and utterly delightful.  I estimate the points at 4-5P+.  Win again!

The one downside was the bill.  I paid $15 for lunch but it was so delicious and I was so thrilled that I have to say that it was $15 well spent.

The trick to eating out and staying on plan is to find something within your points budget that you LOVE.  Not something you like a little bit or something that you might be okay with - you have to love it.  That makes all the difference.

So I am going to try to come up with some eating out ideas and share them here as I do.  Here's to health!

Next time you'll see less of me!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Real Women and Rio

I came across a great blog today by a woman who is not afraid to be herself, Trystan L. Bass at CorpGoth.  Her blog features a lot of amazingly fun clothes and commentary that is at times insightful and always entertaining.  I'll be checking in there again and admiring her sense of style soon.

One thing I love is that I happened across Trystan's blog by accident when I was searching for something else.  (Now I don't even remember what it was.)  But I saw a picture of her in her swimsuit with the title, "Size is just a number."  Indeed!  Size is just a number and still we all seem to get so uptight about it, don't we?  How many times have I purchased something that didn't feel good because of the number on it?  Oh no, I do NOT wear a 26.  I'll buy this 22 instead . . . It's time to stop engaging in that sort of nonsense.  Besides, even if 26 is a scary number, it's not as if anyone but me knows what it is anyway.  Really, when was the last time you took the collar of a friend's shirt and turned it inside out to see the size?  Never, right? 

I feel so inspired by Trystan's courage to post her real photos of herself with no apologies for not looking like a model.  She is beautiful and I hope everyone who sees her is open-minded enough to know that.  In fact, she goes on to encourage others to do the same.
Women shouldn't shun swimsuits if they don't look like fashion models or celebrities. There's a whole industry designed to make women freak out about "swimsuit season" & force us to go on crazy "bikini body" diets to lose some unrealistic number of pounds in an equally unrealistic number of days before hitting the beach. Fie on that nonsense, I say, fie!
And she's even been to Rio . . . which, as you know if you read here regularly, is close to my heart.  I have been nervous about how a heavy person would be received in Rio, where all the pictures are of perfect people like the following:

All the dieting and exercise in the world won't make me look like that, but it's okay.  That is not who I am and it's not who I aspire to be.  My goal is all about being healthy enough to enjoy life, to trek all over Brazil without getting out of breath constantly, and to add years to my life so I can spend them with the people I love - doing the things I love!  I would be absolutely delighted to look as good (and as confident) as Trystan does in her swimsuit.  But I am encouraged because she had this to say about Rio:
In fact, when I went to Rio, I was amazed & felt liberated to see large, voluptuous women, easily twice my size wearing thong bikinis & high heels, strutting down the Copacabana. These sassy women of substance had, I kid you not, scads of young, bronzed men following them like puppy dogs.

It's all about attitude, ladies. If you feel comfortable in your own body, you will exude confidence & sex appeal, & everyone else will feel it too.
Awesome!  Just awesome.

Next time you will see less of me!


Monday, June 4, 2012

And the number is . . . three!

Last week on scale day I felt bloated and sluggish.  Even though I had stuck to my plan all week and had even gotten in some exercise, the numbers were not in my favor.  I was up a pound.

Now, anyone who has done any serious dieting knows that this sort of thing happens.  The scale is not always a perfect reflection of where you are.  Things like how much water you've drunk, how recently you've been to the bathroom, where you are in your monthly cycle, and how much sodium you've consumed over the last few days . . . they all contribute to higher and lower numbers on the scale.

I know this intellectually, but it still feels like a defeat at the scale when the receptionist whispers to me politely that I'm up "just a bit."

Then what usually happens is that I come back a week later and the numbers are in my favor again.  And indeed they were.  As the title indicates, the number was three.  I was down three pounds today for a total of ten!  (Well, 9.8 but that is ten in my book.)

I get to update my little plane graphic at the bottom, very very bottom, of the page.  *happy clappy*

Tomorrow I have a challenge.  I am going to a Thai restaurant and I am going to figure out a way to 1) Stay within my daily points limits, and 2) Fully enjoy my meal.  For a lifelong big eater like myself who loves coconut milk curries and fried foods, this is going to be a bit of a challenge.

Here is what I think I'm going to have:

1 bowl of Tom Yum soup with tofu  3P+
1 order of Green Papaya Salad with Peanut Dressing  8P+
1 Fried Spring Roll  -or- 1 cup of Jasmine Rice 5P+
1-3 bites of whatever my hubby is eating.  :-)  2P+

The Points Plus values are purely speculation on my part, but they are good faith estimates.  I'm not trying to lie to myself because that is the path to madness.   18P+ is about what I usually have for dinner.  I like a big dinner so I save my points for the evening whenever possible.

I think I'll have an awesome dinner and still have good numbers to show when I hit the scale this time next week.  That is the plan anyway.

Next time you'll see less of me!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Fight Against Obesity in Brazil

I have lived in some skinny places in my time.  Argentina for one, Japan for another - if there are fat people in those countries, they certainly don't come out of their homes, because I never saw one.  At times I caused people to stop and gawk at me in Japan because, as an overweight person, I was such an oddity.  And on more than one occasion I saw a mother completely mortified when her kid pointed me out and said the obvious.  "Look at how fat she is!" 


Somehow, I figured Brazil was the same way.  Rio is the world capitol for plastic surgery and, heaven knows I've never seen anything less than a perfect ten in any of the beach pictures I've seen from there.  I figured it was one of those places that God waved a magic wand over and blessed the people with great genetics which made the population naturally beautiful.

But I might be wrong about that.  I was reading about fitness over at BBC Brazil today and it seems that the country is dealing with an increase in obesity in recent years.  Despite stereotypes of fat rich people, the ironic reality in Brazil, much as in the United States, is that the poor people are the ones most prone to obesity. 

It is not that hard to figure out, really.  Populations that are poor, but no so poor as to be starving, are more likely to each cheaper foods and make unhealthy choices.  Processed foods are mass produced and can be purchased relatively cheaply and, no matter where in the world you might be, they universally tend toward high sodium and fat.  Also, as women begin to enter the workforce, their reliance on convenience foods goes up.  And the pounds for them and their families pack on.   Likewise, in families where there is enough money for a television, the children are less likely to go outside and play for entertainment.  (The adults too, for that matter.)

The following is a quote from BBC Brazil:
Más condições de moradia e mobilidade, poucas áreas de lazer, escolaridade baixa e menos dinheiro para comprar alimentos que compõem uma dieta saudável, como frutas e verduras, são alguns dos fatores que levam ao aparente paradoxo da obesidade associada à pobreza.
Bad living conditions and mobility, few recreational areas, low education, and less money to buy foods that make up a healthy diet, like fruits and vegetables, are some of the factors that contribute to the apparent paradox of obesity associated with poverty. 
The whole article (in Portuguese) can be read here: Luta contra excesso de peso é desafio para mulheres na Rocinha .

The video on the same page features women who are dealing with their own personal weight problems by going to a gym and working out. 

Next time you will see less of me!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

It All Started with Breakfast

Breakfast was a marvel, my friends.  Let me tell you!  I had a waffle topped with banana medallions drizzled with a teaspoon of caramel sauce and a teaspoon of honey.  (5P+)  And next to that I had a quarter cup of delicious roast almonds for my morning protein.  (5P+).  You would have drooled if you saw it, swayed back and forth on your feet even.

And then it wound up on the floorboard of my car.

Oh yes, it's true.  I won't go into the ridiculous details of just how that happened but I was literally in tears on my way to work.  All the careful planning of my points, the protein to keep me full, the sweet taste to make me happy to start the day - all ruined in one instant.

I was so disappointed but there was not a thing I could do with it.  As a teacher, the bell rings and I have to be there.  I have zero flexibility in my schedule.  And besides, my exams got ruined in the caramel and honey mishap, so I had to rush to school and reprint them.  I cursed my existence.

During exam week, we only meet with one class per day and they have four or five hours to take their final exam during that time.  Afterwards they are free to go home for the rest of the day and prepare for tomorrow's plan.  But did mine go?  No . . . they had planned a surprise party - complete with doughnuts, home-baked brownies with cream cheese, an array of chips, and Oreo cookies.

Do you know how many points are in Oreo Double-stuff cookies?  Neither did I.  Go ahead and look it up, but you better sit down first.

I reasoned that I could afford a couple of cookies because, after all, I had ten points of wonderful sitting uneaten on the floor of my car.  I will say this - God was looking out for me because there were only three cookies in the bag by the time I got to it.  I also had 6 Starburst candies, but overall I guess that isn't the worst thing that could happen to me.  I didn't throw my face in the brownie pan or anything like that.  :-P

On a good note, a few of my students brought a guitar and a pair of bongo drums and they sang some great songs for us all.  And anyway, tomorrow is a new day.  Southwestern Tofu Breakfast Scramble is on the menu, and if that winds up on the floor of my car by some misadventure, my response will be worthy of national news.  LOL

Next time you'll see less of me!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Learning from My Mistakes

Yesterday I talked about all the mistakes I had made when my life started to overwhelm me.  In retrospect I know that I was just in survival mode, but I am hoping this awareness and my reflection will help keep me from repeating the same mistakes when life throws me another curve ball.

Mistake #1 - Not picking myself back up. 

I need to put a support network into place now that I'm not dealing with personal tragedy and hardship.  Those people will help me remember what is important to me and will encourage me to pick myself up after I have suffered setbacks.

Mistake #2 - Isolating myself

Same as above.  I need to establish a support network of people who will not leave me alone if I fall out of touch for too long.  (Any volunteers?)

Mistake #3 - Lying to myself about how bad things were.

Not repeating this mistake will be difficult since this is a case of me working against myself.  Solving this problem is going to be an exercise in mental discipline and I hope that committing this to writing now and taking the time for honest reflection will strengthen my resolve in the future.

These are the big mistakes I have to avoid in the future because I know I will go through hard times, and there is a good chance that I will turn to food in my hour of need.  But I cannot allow that to derail everything I have done to improve my life.  I need to learn to pick myself up and get back on plan when that happens.  At the same time I need to learn to turn to my friends and to listen to what they have to say to me so that I don't spiral downward and toward self-destructive patterns of behavior.

Lesson learned.

Next time you will see less of me!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Facing the Hard Facts

I was over at my old Weight Watcher's blog today and reading all the things I had written over there.  I was so positive as the pounds were coming off and I was absolutely dedicated to the program and to improving my life.  I was moving in the right direction and everything was going my way.

Then I quit and gained back 70 pounds of the 80-something I had lost.

So what happened?

Answering that question honestly and facing the answers without fear are going to be key in my future success.  So what can make a person stop caring to the point where they gain back seventy lost pounds?  The answer is actually quite simple: there were other things in my life that took priority and I did not feel that I could keep up the effort of dieting during those times.  But when I say it like that, it sounds like it was nothing at all.  That could not be farther from the truth.

My husband was out of work and money was beyond tight.  In fact, some things were not getting paid at all and were falling into collections.  Tensions ran high around the house and the daily strain on our marriage was getting harder and harder to deal with.  And it is hard to deny yourself that extra helping of jambalaya or that decadent dessert when you already have to deny yourself that pedicure, that haircut, that new pair of shoes, that weekend at the beach, etc.  It felt like everything good was drying up all around me.

Then I got pregnant and had to stop dieting for several months.  I saw a light on the horizon and life began to look up a bit.  My husband even found a job and though he was only making about 1/3 of his prior salary, at least things were looking up a little bit.  And then I suffered the crushing heartbreak of a miscarriage at three months gestation.  There are no words to describe my grief, really.  I could not find the strength to start a diet again, knowing that it was not because I had given birth to a baby and was ready to get back in shape, but rather because I had lost one and that place in my heart would never really heal.

I had no money for Weight Watcher's meetings, for gym memberships, for grief counseling, for healthy food choices . . . for anything really.  I was emotionally adrift and in survival mode.  I took a part-time job in addition to my full-time work as a teacher, and I buried myself in my work.  I didn't look up.  I didn't talk to my friends.  I didn't diet and I didn't exercise - I just worked and survived.

To make myself feel better, I immersed myself in online gaming and I ate foods that I had previously denied myself - lots of them.  And before you ask me if that worked or not, let me tell you that it did.  It worked wonderfully and I felt much better.  Online I was able to play a character that was not myself - she was a heroine and a great success.  My character didn't struggle to pay her bills, she had gold to spare.  She didn't struggle with her weight, she was a master chef and stayed constantly active.  And as for the foods I allowed myself to eat, even though I knew they were bad for me, they made me feel full and satisfied in a way that I cannot explain unless you've been there.

And the weight came back on.

It came back a little bit at a time so that it was hardly noticeable.   And my old health problems started to reemerge.  I had to adjust the seat in the car so that I could fit.  I had to take a pill again every night to keep from having heartburn and acid reflux.  I was out of breath.  My yellow skirt no longer fit.  Going up the stairs became a monumental task that I had to plan for in advance . . . and so on.

I started having some serious internal dialog with myself around Christmas time.  I knew that somehow, some way I had to find my way back to dieting again.  But I didn't know how to face the fear and the defeat of having gained back so much.  I didn't want to have to admit what had happened to me and to face the hard facts.  And I didn't want to have to start all over again.

But here I am anyway - facing the difficult truth, not lying or sugar-coating anything, not making excuses, just dealing with reality.

Tomorrow I will tell you what I have learned and what I have decided to do about it.

Next time you will see less of me!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Dreams of Brazil: Açaí Berry Sorbet

It seems as though, either now or at some time in the recent past, Hägen Dazs made an açaí berry sorbet.  I have got to get my hands on some of this!  Most sorbets work out to about 3-4 Weight Watchers points plus per half cup, and I can plan my menu in such a way as to accommodate a serving once in awhile.  That is one of the things I love about Weight Watchers - it gives me that flexibility and I can stay on my program while I indulge once in a while. 

Açaí berries are native to Brazil and other neighboring countries in South America and, until recently were unheard of in North America.  However, I have read a lot about açaí berries in the news lately.  They have been classified as "dark fruit" which is supposed to be especially healthy for you due to its antioxidant properties and a high concentration of certain vitamins.  Dark fruits are also supposed to help ward off certain illnesses such as Alzheimer's.  I don't know that I put much stock in these kinds of health claims, but I do hear açaí berries are delicious with chocolate undertones, and that is enough to convince me.  Besides, this sorbet will allow me a tiny little bit of cultural micro immersion - I'll imagine I'm in Brazil while I eat it.

For anyone who might be interested, other dark fruits include: blueberries, plums, eggplant, apples, raisins, red bell peppers and spinach.  (Spinach?  Yes, supposedly.)

Now I have to see where it is sold locally.  I'll start with Whole Foods and work my way from there.

Next time you will see less of me!


Image Source:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Poetry about Weight

I came across this today and it made me sit back and think, and think, and then think some more.  What is weight really?  Physicists will tell you it has to do with mass and gravity, but poets see it differently.
Minha alma tem o peso da luz. Tem o peso da música. Tem o peso da palavra nunca dita, prestes quem sabe a ser dita. Tem o peso de uma lembrança. Tem o peso de uma saudade. Tem o peso de um olhar. Pesa como pesa uma ausência. E a lágrima que não se chorou. Tem o imaterial peso da solidão no meio de outros.
My soul has the weight of light.  It has the weight of music.  It has the weight of a word never spoken, perhaps almost spoken.  It has the weight of memory.  The weight of longing.  The weight of a look.  It weighs like the weight of absence.  A tear never cried.  It has the intangible weight of loneliness in the midst of others. 
Interesting, isn't it?

Next time you'll see less of me!


Fruit . . . and my problem with culturally irrelevant vocabulary lists

It occurs to me that I need to improve my vocabulary in Portuguese.  With the Pimsleur audio program, I am working on my listening comprehension, pronunciation, and grammar very well.  But in an audio program the vocabulary is necessarily limited.  So, a supplemental vocabulary list every week or two would be just the thing for me.  And, like any good person of my generation, I decided to go to Google to find it.

A number of websites came up and I found several potential resources for vocabulary lists - all of them thematic, but none of them had any cultural relevance whatsoever.  Very disappointing.

For those of you who are not language teachers, let me explain.  I found a vocabulary list at that listed some basic fruit and the translations from English to Portuguese.  So what is the problem?  Think for a moment about where Portuguese is spoken in the world (200 million speakers in Brazil) and what sorts of fruits you might find there.  If you ponder that for a few minutes you will probably start to get to root the problem.  When I go to Brazil, I don't need to talk about pears and cranberries so much.  The fruit down there is tropical and, at least to my experience, often exotic.

Now, contrast that first vocabulary list with this pictorial list of Brazilian fruits I found I found at the Programa de Promoção das Exportações das Frutas Brasileiras e Derivados website, and you will start to get an idea of what a culturally relevant vocabulary list should look like.  The people who write vocabulary lists should know to create lists that will accurately reflect cultural norms, but mostly I find boring little vanilla lists with no thought how or where the vocabulary will be used.  What a shame!

The good news for dieters like myself is that all these fruits (with the exception of the avocado) have zero Points Plus on the new Weight Watcher's system.  And I cannot wait to tuck into some of those nummy looking ones on the pictorial list.  Açaí, acerola, ameixa, castanha de cajú, cupuaçú, goiaba, graviola . . . bring them on!

Next time you will see less of me!


Image Credit:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Are you trying to tell me something, Mr. Pimsleur?

On yesterday's audio lesson, I was prompted to say, "You don't eat well."  I dutifully responded, "Você não come bem."  Secretly to myself I was thinking about how I've taken the time to prepare meal plans for the last few weeks and that I do indeed eat well, thank you very much.  Sure, maybe a bit too much from time to time, but healthy food regardless.

Then today I hear, "You eat a lot."  I got a frown on my face and responded, "Você come muito."  And then, as if that weren't quite enough of an insult, the prompt goes, "You eat too much."  I grumbled and glared at the CD player.  Really?  Why do I need to know how to say that in Portuguese?  I would never say that to anyone in any language!  And seriously, Mr. Pimsleur, are you trying to send me a not-so-subtle message?

How about we add a negator in there to make it a little less insulting?  "Você não come demais."  That sounds better.

And as for you, Mr. Pimsleur, "Você critica demais."

Next time you will see less of me!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is My Weight an Excuse?

I read some wise words today from a fellow dieter who lost a total of 140 lbs.  I like to read stories by the people who have succeeded because it reminds me that it is possible and because their stories are filled with good advice and wisdom.

Jaefuma over at Calorie Count said the following about relapsing:
I don't start the cycle of food guilt. I go out with friends from time to time, I eat pizza, and I eat chocolate. By doing this doesn't mean I've failed. I just start again at the next meal. 
This is important - very important.  I know that when I mess up there is a part of me that is just looking for an excuse to give up and throw in the towel.  Oh well, that's it.  My diet is ruined.  It's all over now.  I may as well eat the whole carton of ice cream with whipped cream.

In my case I don't think it's guilt because I don't feel guilty about eating delicious food.  I just want the diet to be over so that I can stop counting, measuring, and lusting for large portions of fatty foods which I cannot allow myself to have.  Once I've given in, it feels like it's okay to just stop trying.  I have got to stop doing this.  Like Jaefuma said, I just need to start again at the next meal.

In response to the question about how her life has changed since she has lost the weight, you might think Jaefuma would talk about how healthy she feels and how easy it is to buy attractive clothes in her size, but no.  She had something very surprising and insightful to share:
Well, I can't hide anymore. Not being able to do something or being "unpopular" can't be linked to my weight (as much anyway). I've taken responsibility for myself and I'm more accountable for my actions.
This one really threw me for a loop.  I sat back and asked myself if I was blaming my weight for my lack of success in certain areas of my life.  This one is hard . . . I don't have as many friends as I used to, but do I blame my weight for that?  I think I do, in part, but I don't believe that is all in my head.  I am going to do some reflecting on this idea and determine if I am blaming my weight for anything that is happening (or not happening) in my life. 

Next time you will see less of me!