Guest Post : Loving Food and Dieting

While I travel to the Type A Conference, my friend Becky of Casa Caudill was kind enough to fill in for me. I was struck by her honesty in this post. She laid out the uncomfortable way we can relate to food and our weight. I have the same pitfall she does, a love of (too much) good food and alcohol. As for me, I lost four pounds on the first week of the Cinch diet but  I think all of that was gained back after two days of normal eating and drinking. However, I do feel it jump started me and I am determined to keep at it. Read on for Becky’s thoughts on Weight Watchers.  

When I heard Kate was looking for guest bloggers I was a bit hesitant to throw my hat into the ring since Iʼm not a mom, but I am a woman and, like Kate wrote about with Cinch, Iʼm embarking on my own weight loss adventure – Weight Watchers.

Iʼve never been a small girl by any stretch of the imagination, and looking at my family it was quite obvious I never would be (damn genetics). Even in high school when I was at my smallest (by way of anorexia), I was still bigger than the skinny girls. Simply put, I carry a whole lotta junk in this trunk.

While my foundation is already large, these past five years Iʼve been getting bigger and bigger – five pounds one year, six pounds another – and I can no longer abide by what I see staring back at me in pictures. (Itʼs always pictures. When I look at myself in the mirror I see a slightly overweight, but generally attractive woman with clear skin and gorgeous eyes staring back at me. When I look at pictures I see Jabba the Hut crossed with Ursula and itʼs terrifying.)

If Iʼm being completely honest, since my wedding in February 2002 Iʼve gained 50 pounds. FIFTY POUNDS Thatʼs the equivalent to what – an 8 year old? – Iʼm carrying around. When you factor in my broke down knees, wonky hip, and various other medical maladies I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that something had to give and I didnʼt want it to be me.

The thing is, Iʼm not what you picture when you think of a grossly overweight individual. I rarely eat fast food. High fructose corn syrup? A bad word in this house. Sugary snacks? Not so much. Chips? Sometimes. I love good food. I really, really, really love great food. We eat organic grass fed beef, cage free pasture raised chicken, dark leafy greens – everything youʼre supposed to eat. So why the fat? Because I also eat a ton of butter, cream, cheese, olive oil, carbs … and my beloved alcohol. At casacaudill, wine is king, whiskey is worshipped, and beer is celebrated. I canʼt even begin to guess how many extra calories a week I was drinking on top of my fat-laden organic meals but I know it was astronomical.

And so Iʼve decided to do something about it.

Two weeks ago I signed up for Weight Watchers. Iʼd been on the program years before to limited success – Iʼd find one or two recipes that tasted good but everything else was so damn bland that Iʼd get frustrated after a month and quit. But Iʼd heard very good things about the new Points Plus program from people who loved food as much as I do. They were losing weight. And so after a particularly bad night, I signed up for a 3-month membership.

At first I was totally agro about counting points, and again, if Iʼm being completely honest, I was kind of starving myself and I was always hungry and grumpy. After a couple of days I got used to counting points and learned what I could and couldnʼt eat – fruits & veggies (with a few exceptions – corn on the cob, avocado) are completely free. Grapes, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches … zero points. This was an amazing revelation to me. It meant that if I was starving I could have some fruit, satisfying both my hunger and my sweet tooth. This seems like a completely obvious thing in hindsight, regardless of diet, but Iʼve never been one to randomly eat fruit. I donʼt know why – I love it. I just never went out of my way to eat it.

Thereʼs also been a couple of surprises. My favorite cereal – mini wheats – is incredibly high on points. To eat enough cereal to constitute a legitimate morning meal, Iʼm over a 1/4 through my points. Not worth it. So instead Iʼve been drinking coffee (free!) and eating some fruit. I really miss those damn mini wheats, but when I weigh their value against a really good dinner, itʼs just not worth it to me.

And thatʼs the great thing about this diet – I can make choices, decide whatʼs best for me. I donʼt always have to deny myself one of lifeʼs great pleasures: food. (I have, however, been denying my unbridled love of alcohol and that makes me kind of sad because in the heat of summer, I love a good rose.)

Now, donʼt get me wrong. Not everything Iʼve eaten has been sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. Not every meal is going to taste great. I made a chicken & mushroom dish that on paper had everything going for it – onions, garlic, thyme – and it should have been delicious. Unfortunately it was incredibly bland and boring. The chicken was a bit rubbery and the mushrooms, despite tasting good on their own, just couldnʼt bring
enough flavor to impact the overall dish. I sat there eating my dinner, looking like a four year old whoʼs just been given brussel sprouts for the first time. It wasnʼt my finest moment.

But Iʼve persevered and Iʼm happy to report that in two weeks Iʼm down 7.5 pounds. My goal is to drop 35 pounds total by Thanksgiving and then see where Iʼm at. Iʼd love to get back to my wedding weight, but I have a feeling those days are long gone. Still, looking at me in photos where I was my goal weight? I like that person. Sheʼs even kind of pretty.

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