Because Dr Oz Says So

January 13, 2010

I’m not really sure what Dr. Oz’s credentials are or anything, but he’s a doctor so I decided to listen to him.  Dr. Oz was on the Joy Behar Show recently talking about, what else! – how to lose weight!  It’s January and all the commercials on TV are about dieting and losing weight and joining the gym.  Ugh, so repulsive.  Especially the nutri-sytem and Jenny Craig commercials with all that nasty prepared food! No thank you!  But Valerie Bertinelli does look good.

Anyway, Dr Oz said that before dinner you should eat a piece of toast with olive oil on it.  This way you’re not starving when dinner is served and you’ll actually end up eating less calories in the long run.  So, I decided to give it a shot.  Today makes 3 days in a row of my toast and EVOO and I have to say, I’m definitely eating less for dinner and feeling satisfied.  I’m having 2 slices of toasted Weight Watchers multi-grain bread (which you can buy at the grocery store) and 1 teaspoon of EVOO when I get home from work.  It’s great, because they I don’t feel like I have to start making dinner immediately because I’m not starving.  Tonight for dinner I had some pasta with ground beef and vegetables and a serving of a green bean casserole we made last night.  The total was 9 points and I am surprisingly satisfied.  I’m going to keep this up all week and see if it makes a difference at the scale on Monday.

My goal for the week is to journal everyday. “Only journal on the days of the week you want to lose weight.”  So true.

Second goal, save some of my weekly points allowance for the weekend instead of just giving up on the weekend.

Third, lose some friggin’ weight!

Wish me luck! 🙂

Lowest Place on Earth

January 10, 2010

I’m afraid of losing my hair, drowning, being seen in public without foundation on and bathing suits.  It’s a shame really, because I happen to love the beach and taking the sun but the bathing suit always gets in the way!  Today Ran and I took a ride to the Dead Sea where there is a spa where I was told you don’t need an appointment to get a massage.  Well today must have been the busiest day at En Gedi spa because there were no massage appointments to be had!  We were a bit disappointed but then the girl at reception said that we could have access to the mud and sulfur baths if we wanted.  I didn’t even pack a bathing suit and now we’re talking about jumping in a sulfur bath!  Oy vei.

Last June when I was preparing to go on my honeymoon in Aruba I set out to buy a couple of bathing suits that were a) flattering, b) not too expensive and c) didn’t make me look “matronly” (Ran’s favorite word for the clothes I pick out).  I searched high and low and tried on dozens of suits in order to find 2 that I could live with.  One was from Kohl’s, $50 and labeled a “miracle suit” or something like that, that is supposed to make you look less fat.  It seemed like a good one so I bought it.  The second one I found was Ralph Lauren from Lord and Taylor and I don’t remember how much it was, but I think it was less than $100.  This one was (thankfully) not black and had blue and white polka dots on it.  Cute, check.  Plus I had one suit from the summer previous that cost me $150 at Macy’s but was super cute and reminded me of the red suit Miranda wears in Mexico in the Sex and the City Movie.  In the end, I had 3 suits to choose from and I was able to get ready for beach every morning without wanting to kill myself.  I spent weeks finding those bathing suits and it took hours of mental preparation.

Today, I had to buy a bathing suit of the rack in the spa gift shop with no time for all the conversations I need to have with myself in order to even PUT ON a bathing suit.  “Everyone is self conscious about themselves in a bathing suit.”  “Only models and people on TV look perfect in bathing suits.”  “You are not as fat as you think” “You have to walk tall and confident in order to pull this suit off.”

I went to the rack and it was a scary mish mosh of “mom suits”, bikinis (no way in hell) and your basic little black bathing suit.  I found one in aqua blue that was kinda cute and sexy for a one piece and tried it on.  There was no time to mess around, no time to obsess over it, no time to cry in the fitting room.  There was just time to find a suit that suited me and get on with it.  This was possibly the easiest trial I have ever endured with bathing suits in my adult life.  I tried on the blue one and 1 other in less than 5 minutes.  The blue was better but had a little hole in it.  I could live with the hole if they would discount the price more – hell it’s basically a disposable bathing suit to begin with – why not milk a discount??  It was labelled 600 shekels with 35% off (gee, thanks) which would make it about $100 – still too much for a disposable bathing suit, right?  They gave me 40% off at the register and I decided to go for it.  I could have bought the same bathing suit in black, but I just couldn’t bear to buy ANOTHER black bathing suit.  I wanted to be exotic for once and buy something fun and youthful and not so damn practical.  I was at the lowest place on earth but I didn’t want to feel like to the lowest person on earth.

I bought it, I wore it, and now it stinks of sulfur.  I just had to suck it up.  This might possibly be the only way to buy/wear bathing suits.  In the end, I think that most of the scariness around buying/wearing a bathing suit is something in my head.  Of course everyone is self-conscious, of course I can’t compare myself to Jennifer Aniston, of course I have to walk tall and be confident in the weight I’ve already lost.

Maybe this summer, if I have to buy new bathing suits I won’t need a week of mental preparation.  Maybe this time I can just dive in and not be so damn hard on myself.

We had a great day at the dead sea, and I wasn’t going to let any stupid (disposable) bathing suit get in my way.

My hand-me-down skirt

November 3, 2009

In the winter of 2008 my boss brought in 3 enormous bags of clothes to the office.  She said I could have any or all of it if I wanted, because it no longer fit her.  She had lost weight.  Whoopie.

I had just started on my weight loss journey in February 2008 and wasn’t really ready to start buying new skinny clothes.  I took the bags home, went thru them and decided that all of it was never going to fit me.  There were mostly size 10s and 12s and at that point, there was only 1 skirt that I could even get on my chubby little body.  It was a black cotton skirt and it fit, no doubt, because it was the skirt equivalent of “sweat pants”.  A soft gray Anthropologie skirt sized 12 almost fit, so I decided to keep that too.

I went back into the office and told her the outcome.  She insisted I keep more, she said, “You’ll get there”.  I thought to myself, “My days of wearing 10s and 12s are over.”

So, I kept more of the clothes.  Some pants from Banana Republic, a zig-zag pattern skirt from Michael Kors, many black button down shirts, and more black skirts than anyone should own.  As my weight loss continued, I started showing up to work wearing these pieces and each time my boss would congratulate me.

The Michael Kors skirt became a favorite of mine and I loved getting compliments when I wore it.  It was one of those pieces of clothing I would have never bought for myself.  It had to be over $100, easily, and for me, that’s just too much to spend on 1 skirt.  That was the great thing about these hand-me-downs too, most of it was great quality stuff that had hardly been worn.   None of it was crap from Target, if you know what I mean.

Today, after not losing or gaining at WW last night, I am wearing that size 12 Anthropologie skirt.  I was afraid to try and put it on this morning, afraid that it would buckle at the seams.  It didn’t.  It glided on without a problem and has been quite comfortable all day.  It’s even a little big!  Such a good feeling to be in clothes that fit you right.  A better feeling than what any food could provide.  It was a good reminder to wear that skirt today. Reminded me that I have come a long way, that I will go farther and most of all, that not all successes are measured by tenths on the scale.

I’m gonna kick this week in the pants and lose some weight.  My WW leader Ellen always ends her meeting with, “who’s coming back next week? who’s losing weight next week?”

Me and Me.

I need to eat cheese

September 7, 2009

This may sound shocking, especially since my blog is called “My Love Affair With Cheese”, but I haven’t been eating cheese for quite some time. Well, not “eating” cheese means not buying it from the grocery store. Of course I eat cheese, but only when I’m out. Then it seems like an indulgence, and maybe like something I can control.

I went to Fairway recently and decided it was time for my once annual purchase of Cambozola cheese. I picked up a wedge and gladly dropped it in my cart. I proceeded to enjoy it over the next several days and remembered why I love it so damn much. It’s smooth and tangy. The bite of the gorgonzola excites my tastebuds in amazing ways. After the cheese was devoured and gone, I got to thinking… (how very Carrie Bradshaw of me!).

I don’t buy cheese (or Oreos for that matter) because I truly don’t think I can control myself around it. I know if I buy it, I will eat it. Probably with lots of bread. And not in portions that are human. So normally, I buy my once annual wedge of cheese, devoure it, and then move on. This time, I decided that giving up one of my favortie foods is not only foolish, it’s not in the spirit of Weight Watchers!

The whole idea behind WW is that you still eat what you want (in moderation) and you DON’T ELIMINATE FOODS FROM YOUR DIET. So basically, I’m “allowed” to eat cheese. So, I’m going to!

I bought another chunk of Cambozola and this time, I cut a chunk off and slapped it on my trusty WW food scale. I weighed it, 1 ounce equals 3 points. I toasted one 3 point pita. And I went to town! I enjoyed that ounce of cheese and pita and really felt in control of my cheese addiction.

I realize this sounds a bit simple. Like, “duh, Marie, just friggin buy the cheese, count the points and eat it.” Seemingly, this is not a hard concept. But in reality, it is. I had developed a habit way back in 2001 for eating cheese by the brick. To let go of that behavior, to give up the supreme indulgence of eating cheese this way, was to admit that I had a problem to begin with. To admit the problem, is to admit that I am not the type of person who can eat cheese by the brick, who can eat without worrying about it, who can eat it PERIOD. That’s why I bought it so infrequently. I didn’t think I deserved it.

Maybe I could have been enjoying many chunks of cheese since I started my journey in February 2008 if I had figured this out earlier. Perhaps, I wasn’t ready to admit that I CAN eat cheese — in 1 ounce portions.

I do love cheese, and I intend to continue eating it. Because my weight loss journey isn’t about being on a diet. It’s about uncovering the person inside of me who is longing to get out. It’s about letting go of the previous bad behavior that made me so unhappy (but was so comfortable). It’s about changing what I am, so I can become who I am. It’s about eating cheese, in sensible portions, and enjoying every minute of it.

Another week, another “gotta lose this week on Weight Watchers”.  I gained 1.2lbs last week.  I was devastated, as usual, but pulled it together to have a sensible week in preparations for 2 birthday dinners over the weekend.  Another year older, too.

I broke the first rule of Weight Watchers by weighing myself on my bathroom scale last week.  You’re not supposed to weigh yourself “nekked and freshly peed” (as my leader, Ellen, says) because it’s not a true picture of your weight.  We know that weight fluctuates every day and every week, and yet we are determined to step on that scale and see if there are any results to celebrate about.  I even went to WW a second time last week to “unofficially” get weighed-in again, to see if my gain was phantom or not.  The good news, I was down 1.6 and very pleased!  The hard work was paying off.  However, the woman who weighed me in “unofficially” told me not to tell anyone, including Ellen!

I went out to dinner after that at Barbounia for a special meal with my friend Krista.  I had a beet salad with Gorgonzola to start and lobster risotto for my meal.  I devoured the salad and ate most of the risotto.  I found it to be a little bland and I decided I didn’t need to finish it just because it was costing me $18.50.  We also indulged in dessert and to be honest, I know I had something chocolate, but can’t remember what.  It also went unfinished.

The big success of the weekend (before we get to all the birthday dinners) was my Friday night.  I worked a fundraiser at the Heights Players and knew that eventually people would be ordering pizza.  I packed a Lean Cuisine that was 7 points, which I felt, was a good portion for dinner, and a Coke zero.  Once the show began, I went into the dressing room and heated up my dinner and enjoyed it thoroughly.  The show ended, and of course, the dreaded question…”Marie, do you want to order pizza?”

The only thing I love more than cheese, is cheese on bread with tomato sauce.  Pizza is definitely a favorite in my life.  It’s cheap, it’s tasty, it’s satisfying, you can have it a million different ways with a million different toppings.  You can have entire conversations dedicated to “who has the best pizza in Brooklyn”  — my vote, L&B Spumoni Gardens.  But, I digress.

“Marie, do you want to order pizza?”

“Nah, I’m OK, you guys enjoy it.”

I didn’t go in on the pizza.  First test of my will power over.  The next was when the pizza actually arrived.  I was sitting amongst some friends.  Everyone was chowing down on one slice, then a second, and even some on a third…I just sat there.  It smelled so good.  I thought, well hell, I could go have a slice.  But, for what?  I knew the pizza was from my least favorite pizza place, My Little Pizzeria, so it was easier to resist.  And I did resist.  Second test of my will power, a success!

This experience along with the meal at Barbounia taught me something.  If you don’t like the way the food tastes, you don’t have to eat it.  This is not 1933, we are not starving, there’s no need to eat crappy pizza just because it’s in front of you.  This is why I vow to never tell my kid to “finish what’s on your plate.”  It’s unnatural.  You should stop when you are satisfied, not when you’re plate is empty.

I went to a wedding recently and was telling Ellen, “Well I have a wedding this weekend, so I don’t know how I’m going to lose.”  Her response, “Marie, how many friggin’ mini-quiches do you need to eat?”

Exactly.

That week, I lost.

It Don’t Come Easy

August 10, 2009

When I started (again) on Weight Watchers in February of 2008, I was kind of obsessed with listening to Ringo Starr.  C’mon, don’t judge, he’s a BEATLE!  I had his song “It Don’t Come Easy” on my iPod and listened to it pretty much everyday on my way to work.  Along with “Photograph”, which has nothing to do with weight loss, but is, nonetheless, a great song.

IDCE became my theme song for losing weight.  Whenever I would get down on myself about having to count points, measure portions, etc.  I would try to just remember, “Hey, it’s not easy, BUT you CAN do it.”  And, “Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues!” So I paid my dues and I DID lose weight.  I lost my first 15lbs rather easily.

Then, came the summer…

“I don’t want to cook, it’s too hot.”

“I’m on vacation, I don’t want to watch what I eat.”

“It’s summer, I go out a lot.”

“It’s summer, I want ice cream.”

I definitely used some of these excuses to sabotage myself, not knowing it of course.  Despite this, I had a great summer buying new clothes to fit my new body, even fitting into some old clothes that hadn’t fit in a long time!  I bought a new bathing suit, and didn’t have a fit of tears in the dressing room about it!  The real success of the summer was coming back from a two week stay in Israel and only gaining .4lbs.  I was devastated at the time (“I wish I had lost!”) and then my WW leader brought me back down to reality.

Leader: “Most people gain 5lbs on vacation, so I consider your ‘gain’ a 4.5lbs loss!”

The secret to my success… I never finished what was on my plate.  I ordered wisely when out to eat, but never finished the food.  I always left at least a bite, sometimes more.  This sounds really simple to do, but it’s VERY hard.  Especially when you’re out to eat.  You want to get ALL the value out of the meal (hell, I’m paying for this!) and usually the food is so good that you want to eat it all.  I still try to follow this rule, because it works and it’s a helluva lot better than cutting carbs outta my diet!  (cutting carbs out = torture to this little Italian girl).

So it’s Monday, and I went to weigh-in today.  Little bit of success today, down .6 of a pound.  At first, I felt bad (ugh, only .6!) but then I said, “Marie, it don’t come easy!”  The trend is downward and that’s ALL that matters!

I’m having some friends over tonight and we are going to order Papa John’s pizza – there I admit it!  It’s okay though, we ordered one loaded with “the meats” (I admit that is a bit scary) for the boys and one with veggies for me.  The greatest lesson I’ve learned doing WW is that you HAVE to speak up for what kinds of food you need.  My husband would prefer “the meats” (God help him!) but it’s absolutely no good for me.  So now, we order 2 pizzas so I can have what I need in order to continue the downward trend.

I also made a wonderful Sun-Dried Tomato dip from Barefoot Contessa‘s book and substituted all the full fat mayo, cream cheese, etc. for the lower fat counterparts.  I’m serving it with chips (again, for the boys) and with endive spears for me.

And finally dessert, YES you can still have dessert!  A recipe that I learned from my good friend Cara…

1. Take any store bought cake mix – doesn’t matter what flavor or texture

2. add one can of diet soda (try to match the soda color to the cake, so chocolate cake goes well with diet dr pepper or coke zero and lemon cake goes better with diet sprite)

3. mix

4. make into muffins, bake and eat!

I usually put some fat free Cool Whip on top with sliced strawberries.  Each muffin is only 1 point, and the toppings are hardly anything at all.

Enjoy!

So this meal will be slightly indulgent (the pizza) and mostly healthy.  You gotta treat each day as an opportunity to lose weight, because if you follow the “Tomorrow is another day” approach you will never lose weight.  You’ll always be starting your diet (though, I hate that word) tomorrow!  No good.  Follow the words of the wise Ringo Starr, “The future won’t last, it will soon be your tomorrow.”

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