Weight Off My Mind

Friday nights are “date nights” and “splurge nights” and, in the immortal words sung by Edith Piaf:


And splurge, I did. The Lamb Churrasco with two Sazerac cocktails, fried calamari and other assorted appetizers and tidbits, and half the Tres Leches dessert turned out to be about two days’ worth of calories. Then there were the Valentine’s Day truffles. Did my husband listen to me, when I said, “Just two”? No, of course not. He brought a box of sixteen hand-picked truffles, all demonstrating how well he knows me: Lava, Rum, and Salted Almond.

This, by contrast, is 400 calories:

lunchMixed nuts, sardines in extra virgin olive oil (well drained), romaine, celery, carrots, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and non-fat feta cheese. Mmm.

Drink a bottle of water, then eat it very slowly, and it’s a feast. Savoring every bite is key to feeling fully satisfied. I’ve reached the point, now, where romaine lettuce has…flavor. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, or a sign of diet-induced synesthesia. Next thing you know, I’ll be able to smell water and hear orange.

Honestly, how many people out there eat this mythical ideal “2000 calorie-a-day diet”? It’s all most of us need, absent a pretty strenuous workout. With my fairly aggressive weight loss goals, I aim for about 1300-1600 a day. (Some days, the best exercise I get all day is if I remember to drink my 64 ozs. of water, so my caloric needs are low…)

Has food just become this thing we do – a mindless activity that is endlessly entertaining to our taste buds? Do our taste buds become desensitized to the point where they simply demand more, more, more?

I might actually have had a few regrets, over the past few days – my scale nearly got itself kicked across the bathroom, this morning – if I hadn’t downloaded data from SparkPeople that shows I’m still right on track, if not slightly ahead, with my weight loss efforts. Aren’t predictive trendlines a wonderful thing? I also learned something new in my quest to become more skilled at visual communications – that a trendline could be extended out to show a predicted value (0.289/day also works out to just slightly over 2 lbs./week, which is exactly on target). For me, weighing daily is a useful thing. It’s not, for some people. But let’s say I had to pick a day of the week – and be totally geeky about it, using a Pivot Table – I should weigh in on Monday or Wednesday for encouragement, or on Sunday, Thursday, or Saturday to scare myself into doing better. I wouldn’t know that, if I didn’t weigh in daily. I might pick Thursday, at random, and hurl a brick at my scale.


Just when I think I have this whole thing down to a fine science, of course, I read on Facebook this morning that I’ve been doing it all wrong. Forget the endless debates about whether ’tis better to weigh daily or weekly or never – this would be so much easier than trying to levitate over the scales before the first cup of coffee…


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.
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4 thoughts on “Weight Off My Mind”

  1. I have not had date nights and / or splurge nights in a long long time. I don’t miss the dinners at all and everyone around me has given up on me for simply not being available for dinners and late evening outings.

    My weakness is Breakfast. I can splurge and your post has just given me an idea to go for a Sunday forenoon brunch which I will do as a reward for having stayed the course for two months.
    Rummuser recently posted…Whiplash.My Profile

    1. Good! A small splurge is healthy now and then. Still make good and deliberate choices – notice I split one dessert, and splurged on the lamb. Don’t hurt your health (e.g., eat foods that would be bad for your condition) but eat a few treats you don’t normally get, and maybe a bit more of them. ENJOY them thoroughly.

      When losing weight, particularly, a weekly splurge (a small one – god knows, we can easily end up eating a week’s worth of calories at a single meal, if it’s really good and we’re not careful!) keeps your metabolism running a bit faster than constant deprivation and gives you something nice to look forward to as a TREAT. (The point that a lot of us have forgotten the meaning of “treat” is not lost on me – I’m guilty as charged in this profanity-laced, but truthful post: http://strengthcoachtaylor.ca/uncategorized/the-brutally-honest-6-reasons-you-are-still-overfat/ )

      Breakfast is an excellent splurge point, too, because unlike dinner, you’re going to be up and active afterwards. You’ll burn it off faster as your body uses it for fuel, rather than storing up for the winter and deprivation that never really come.

  2. My biggest downfall is buffets. I try to not go to them often. And I always swear I’ll eat less. Alas, when I exit, I feel I’ve overdone it again!

    I bake in spurts. Recipes tend to make enough for 24 portions or so. I try to time them for events rather than make half portions for sharing the calories and yumminess. Sometimes I get impatient and make the full recipe for “a small group”. 🙂
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    1. I used to have a thyroid disorder – I was hyperthyroid (a side effect of pregnancy, in my case, so with treatment it went away and hasn’t come back). On the one hand, I could eat five full plates of food at the buffet – we’d leave only because people got tired and bored watching me eat – and not gain a pound. Unfortunately, that would’ve been an awesome time to lose weight, and I failed to take advantage of it. Instead, I got into the habit of thinking I could eat like that, normally. By the time a connection was made, my thyroid problem was under control and I had to learn to eat like a normal person again. (Seriously, though, I’d rather be fat and happy, if that were the choice. It’s not – but I KNOW which I’d choose. Thyroid problems are a special type of hell.)

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