Saturday, December 11, 2010

Public Opinion Survey

Hi howdy all!  Ok this post has three parts: 1) Why I picked calorie counting and not some other diet method.  2) The foods I've avoided so far that I really FREAKIN MISS!  3) How to harmoniously marry my beliefs about dieting with my food cravings.

Part One:  I picked calorie counting for several reasons.  The first being that it doesn't require deprivation in order to succeed.  This was proved by the guy who did the Twinkie Experiment (I call it an experiment instead of a diet because he didn't ever intend for anyone to replicate it, he did it to test a theory.  See my Articles of Faith for more info on this.)  I've tried a LOT of different diets throughout my life, from Atkins to diet shakes and from killing myself at the gym every day to prescription grade diet pills.  The problems I've had with all of them has been sustainability.  Deprivation, for me, leads to failure.  Some people have the self-control to swear off fast food or chocolate for the rest of their lives.  I am not one of those people.  Quitting soda was a shocking feat and I still don't understand how I did but I did it to save my teeth, not to lose weight.  With calorie counting I can have chocolate and cheese and bread as long as I count them in my calories and eat them in moderation.  "All things in moderation" is the mantra of my new lifestyle.  Reason number two is "Temptation".  He presents a problem that prevents a major change in diet.  He won't swear off eating out, he won't give up fast food, he won't agree to more veggies and less pasta's, and we can't afford to buy completely different foods for both of us at every meal.  He won't let me buy whole wheat bread and I can't afford to buy two loafs, nor can I eat a whole loaf of wheat by myself before it goes bad.  I probably could afford it if I could increase the grocery budget and decrease the "eating out" budget but he won't go for that either because he LOVES to eat out.  So what can I do?  I can't always control what I eat but I can always control how much.  Calorie counting is ideal for this.  If "Temptation" wants lasagna we'll buy lasagna and I'll just make sure I control my portions and count the calories.  Finally, calorie counting appeals to my obsession with counting and math.  I need processes to succeed at anything and treating my diet like a mathematical equation makes me feel like I am doing something to solve the problem every day.  It gives me a sense of "take it day-by-day, follow the equation and success will happen".  All other diets, to me, have felt like "guess work" but with calorie counting it's a mathematical process, a formula, a sustainable daily plan of action free of doubts, guilt, regret, or questions.  I may not see daily weight loss but if I see that I am consistently following the formula my logical mind knows that progress is happening.

Part Two:  With all of that said, there are foods I've been avoiding because I am afraid of them.  Ice cream tops the list, and not just any ice cream.  Tin roof concrete's from Neilson's or Blizzards from Dairy Queen, or even those little pints of chocolate and coffee ice cream from the gas station on the corner.  Another food I miss is cheese, not that crappy white American crap I've been eating to make myself feel better but real cheese ... gooey mozzarella on pizza, pecorino and smoked gouda on crackers, and feta on salad.  I'm not a big drinker but the other things I miss are wine and margarita's on occasion with dinner.  I had a harder time saying no to a margarita last night at Chili's than I had rejecting the dessert menu.  I firmly believe that food is like a drug, except that it's legal and it's everywhere.  I believe that depriving myself of these items now while I lose weight will lead to a major food binge and yo-yo when the weight is gone.  It's like giving an addict who's been clean for two years a prescription for pain killers.  So I find myself in a conundrum.

Part Three:  I believe in all things in moderation but you can't buy 100 calories worth of cheese or concrete so how do I permit myself some ice cream without losing all self-control and destroying the last month of success?  I could probably get a pint of ice cream and only eat half a serving, but the rest of it will sit in the freezer and tempt me to the point of insanity.  I could buy a block of cheese and eat 100 calories worth but the rest of it will scream at me from the fridge "EAT ME!  EAT ME!"  Do I give in to the diet and deprive myself indefinitely and hope I can develop moderation once I'm thin?  Do I get a safe and make "Temptation" lock up the leftovers?  Do I eat a blizzard and then kill myself on the stationary bike to burn every last calorie that I consumed in the same day?  Do I eat the blizzard on Monday and then burn 1/7th of the calories in addition to my usual 300 every day for a week?  Most importantly of all ... what will you, my readers, say if I list 3 glasses of champagne on Christmas morning with my food intake?  This is your opportunity to sound-off on your opinions about this dilemma.  I would rather hear your thoughts now, before the cheese is eaten, than suffer a barrage of criticism after the fact.

3 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee with creamer
1 everything bagel w/cream cheese
3 cups dry popcorn
1/2 cup seaweed salad
1 tuna sushi roll (6 pcs)
1 cucumber sushi roll (6 pcs)
1/2 california roll (3 pcs)
1 banana
6 oz nonfat cherry yogurt
1 Hostess snack pack
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,305

1 hour grocery shopping
2 hours shopping at the mall
1 hour shopping at target

Daily Caloric Burn: 611

"I will not try to satisfy haters.  I am not a jackass whisperer." (~Thanks for the quote Ki)


  1. Although my first advice would be to just get frozen yogurt occasionally or a lightened version of ice cream at a place that sells really yummy ones, like Whole Foods or Trader Joes but if you really want to treat yourself to a blizzard, I would say get a small, have a few bites out of it, then chuck the rest down the garbage disposal.

    BTW, I had posted the other day asking you about what you meant when you said your stomach rebelled so you couldn't get any nutrients out of your food. For a second, I thought you meant that you threw up, in which case, no you wouldn't have gotten nutrients. However, if you just pooed it out (sorry to be TMI), you would still get all the nutrients and calories from it. If your food travels from your stomach and then does the long journey through your itnestines, it breaks down enough to gain all nutrients from the food. This is why it doesn't make sense that some people with eating disorders take copious amounts of laxatives because once your food travels through your body, it will have absorbed all the nutrients and calories from the food; it doesn't matter how fast you poo it out. :) I say this so you won't worry if it happens again that you are not getting nutrients from it.

  2. Thanks for the info Joy. I had some fat free frozen yogurt last week (or was it the week before) and it kind of hit the spot but not really. "Temptation" said he will eat whatever I don't eat so that I don't have to feel guilty about chucking it down the drain (and I would feel guilty about wasting food, even evil food) so that will help with the ice cream. With the cheese I picked up some laughing cow 100 calorie wedges. They're not top of my list, obviously, but they're a far cry of improvement from those individually sliced white cheddar sheets of plastic and oil I've been eating.

    Thanks for the info on tummy trouble. I think it was the avocado, actually, that didn't agree with me.

  3. First, it bothers me that you said "Quitting soda was a shocking feat and I still don't understand how I did but I did it to save my teeth, not to lose weight". Why not make the same sacrifice for a healthier future that could save your life and prevent major health issues? If your teeth are that important to you, I would hope that your entire YOU is even more important.

    If you *have to* have ice cream, get one of the individual servings (such as Haagen daz and Blue Bunny) so you can have just the one serving in the house. They are still high in sugar, fat and calories; you'd be better off with getting some Klondike 100 calorie bars or Weight Watchers individual ice creams. BTW, if you stay away from all things sugar for at least 3 weeks, your taste buds will change and you will be able to get rid of your sugar addiction and not crave it at all.

    You can eat cheese (I still do) and Kraft has 100-calorie cheese bites. For cheese flavors that only come in blocks, if you don't want the whole thing at home, do what I've done many times. I go half and half with my mom - both in cost and in quantity. That way, I'm not paying a lot for the item and I don't have to keep the whole thing at home. Find someone to do joint shopping with -- share the cost and groceries -- so you can afford healthy foods at home like wheat bread and still get the things Temptation wants.

    Finally, if you want to drink on New Year's day, have your champagne. If you want to have a drink at Chili's, do it. But do you have to have 3 glasses of champagne? Do you have to have a margarita every time you eat out? Once in a while wouldn't hurt, as long as you increase your water for the day since alcohol can dehydrate your body and you make sure to include it in your calorie count.

    It's best if you make changes to your eating habits now which you have to see as "forever changes", while you're still young, than have to do it when you're older. Trust me, I wish I had learned back then all that I've learned in the past couple of months. It would have saved me from an immense amount of stress, harassment, and weight-related health issues.

  4. They sell little individual 100/150 calorie ice cream. Try the skinny cow ones they are good.
    Maybe you can get cheese and make hundred calorie packs with baggies and freeze the rest? You can get wheat bread and freeze it and just pull out what you need. I get the sandwich thins, they are 100 calories and good.


  5. Laryssa: Well I mainly quit soda for my teeth and not to lose weight because, at the time, I wasn't making any effort at all to lose weight. I had tried to quit soda many times in my life for a variety of reasons (weight, cost, you name it) and had never even made it 24 hours without a Coke. Then one day this summer my gums started receding and I just woke up one morning with this "I don't need it anymore" attitude. At first I would rather drink nothing at all and go thirsty than drink water but somehow it seemed like I just woke up wanting to drink water one day for no real reason. I tried a sip of a Coke last week (literally one little sip) and it was DISGUSTING!

    Lori: I have the snickers 90 calorie ice creams, I've been enjoying those but there are two or three specific ice creams I'm missing that I don't think I can really replace. 1) A tin roof frozen custard from Nielson's. 2) A chocolate and walnut blizzard from DQ. 3) The coffee ice cream with chocolate shavings that Dryer's sells.

    I think I'm going to heed a combination of comments on this thread. Small portions, let "Temptation" eat whatever I don't, count the calories (of course), add the extra calories consumed (if any) to my daily burn goal so that they cancel each other out, and promise myself never more than two "splurge" items of this nature per month. Of course that doesn't mean that I need 2 per month, just never more than 2 per month.

  6. I allow myself an adult drink or two ... and compensate by eating lower calorie density items. This is only occasionally of course.

    Cheese I no longer buy and keep in the house. Caloric density is too high and I love it. I have learned to love veggies, fruits.

    Keep your problem foods at distance. If it's not there you CAN NOT eat it.