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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tip: Become Your Own Weight-Loss Company; Don’t Pay Those High Prices!

I find myself more interested in ever in reports on various diet plans and weight-loss companies. I read an article that quotes a study whose results say the Jenny Craig diet helped women who weighed 200 pounds or more lose twenty pounds a year. The study was funded, of course, by Jenny Craig. Once I read the entire article, I learned that the cost of the diet is usually about $350 for the intake and counseling and $100 a week for the food; however, all those things were provided free to the study participants. Finally, if you read to the very end, the article makes the most ludicrous of all statements: “If provided for free, structured programs like Jenny Craig may be a cost-effective way of encouraging weight loss and fighting obesity.” Of course it’s cost-effective when it’s free, but it’s NOT free. It’s expensive and unnecessary, if we simply learn to eat correctly on our own. For the whole article, see

Twenty pounds a year, when you weight 200 pounds, means that reaching a weight of 150 would take two and a half years. Although slow weight loss is smart, something that slow would probably discourage most dieters before they reached their goal weight. In addition, how many people can afford to pay for Jenny Craig food, counseling, and monitoring for two and a half years?

An advertisement came in the mail recently for Nutrisystem, another expensive weight-loss plan that makes participants buy their food, rather than teaching you how to eat normal, healthful food from supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and restaurants.

Logic dictates that if we don’t learn how to eat correctly on our own, without prepared meals being delivered to us, as soon as we stop eating those prepared foods, we’ll go right back to old habits that made us gain weight in the first place.

Now Nutrisystem also offers a program to help lower blood sugar and control type 2 diabetes. Nutrisystem D, like the regular program, requires that you buy Nutrisystem-prepared meals. Do they expect people with type 2 diabetes to eat Nutrisystem D meals for life? What an impossible and expensive task! It means participants can never go to a friend’s house for dinner, take a cruise, or eat at a restaurant.

Let’s back up a moment and look at some facts. What causes type 2 diabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control, while not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity are the two most common causes of this form of diabetes (insulin intolerance) and obesity and lack of exercise are responsible for nearly 95% of type 2 diabetes cases in the United States. If we can avoid getting type 2 diabetes 95% of the time by eating correctly and adding a little exercise to our week, it would cost less, save us from having to monitor our blood sugar, give us personal freedom to travel, eat out, and enjoy life, and also let us avoid the horrific effects of diabetes, including but not limited to skin problems, foot problems, heart problems, blindness, and death.

My food plan calls for self-motivation, rather than motivation from a counselor, plus I get motivation from those who send me e-mails to encourage me, since I went public with my intention to lose weight.

My food plan doesn’t cost any more than regular groceries cost, because it calls for regular groceries. My groceries cost about $35 a week. My food plan involves buying and eating real food, not food manufactured, dried, frozen, or otherwise prepared. I eat regular, normal, healthful food. Cereal, oatmeal, fruit, and/or yogurt in the morning and vegetables and fruits for lunch, dinner, and snacks, plus three to four ounces of protein of some sort, be it eggs, fish, chicken, beef, or beans, at lunch and dinner.

I worry about people who diet on pre-packaged foods. What do they learn about how to eat normal, everyday food? How can they know what to cook for themselves? What can they know of how to order healthy food at a restaurant? I have learned how to eat normal, healthful, delicious food. I can follow my food plan for life, and it’s simple. I eat lots of veggies and fruits and I control the protein. Around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon I might have a snack of an apple, fresh pineapple, kiwi fruit, or whatever is in season. I avoid snacking on starch-laden snacks such as chips or popcorn. I avoid dessert entirely or allow myself one forkful, which is amazingly satisfying. My plan automatically results in low-fat, healthy eating, and the weight falls off at a satisfying rate.

It took me about three weeks for this healthy type of eating to become a habit, but that’s it. It’s a habit with me now, and I no longer have hunger pains or cravings that feel uncontrollable.

I have become a zealot, I know. I want to tell the world how easy it is to lose weight and eat right, all without paying someone to monitor you, counsel you, or make food for you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tip: Turn off the TV for more reasons than you think!

I knew that plopping down in front of the TV in the evening wasn’t burning many calories, especially when I added what I thought was my requisite bowl of popcorn, but it never occurred to me that when I leave the TV on in my bedroom it could lead to obesity. A new study says that leaving even a dim light on when you sleep at night messes up your circadian rhythm and leads to obesity. Read the full article from the LA Times at,0,5456627.story.

Since reading that article, I’ve been turning off all the lights and even wearing a sleep mask at times, especially a few nights ago, when the moon was full and the sky was clear, and the glow through the blinds was as strong as early-morning light. Every time I woke up to pee, I couldn’t resist peeking out of my window at the magic moonscape below, but then I put on my sleep mask and slept again.

As an aside, when I was married the first time, so many years ago I can’t even count, our only television set was in the bedroom. Our routine soon became this: Eat dinner in the dining room or in bed and watch television until we fell asleep. Is it any wonder, then, that both of us gained weight? My husband at the time had dropped about forty pounds or more before we met, and I was young and uninformed. I had no idea how easy it is for people who have lost weight to gain it back, much faster than those who haven’t lost weight. It has something to do with hungry fat cells begging to be replenished; I won’t go into it. I will only say that by the time my marriage broke up, my husband was quite the blimp. His weight wasn’t an issue in the breakup, although his health was beginning to suffer, and we both were still in our twenties. He did lose that weight later, I’m happy to report, and his health improved, I’m sure.

In my second marriage, I insisted on no television in the bedroom, and now I can see what a wise decision that was. That marriage ended in divorce, too, and again, the television didn't play into it.

Somehow, however, I ended up with an extra television set in my house when I moved to Woodstock, Georgia, and the only logical place to put the extra set was in my bedroom. I almost never turn it on, but there it sits, willing to lull me to sleep when need be. I know now, though, to turn it off before I fall asleep, if I watch it at all. I don’t want to mess up my circadian rhythm and undo all the good I’ve done with my body and my health.

Speaking of health, I mentioned recently that the severe cramps I used to experience in my legs and hands had stopped, and I wanted to credit the weight loss. Since then I’ve been thinking of all the healthy foods I’m eating, and I’ve changed my mind about why the cramps have stopped. I eat a good deal more vegetables than I used to eat, especially as a salad, almost every day, and in almost every salad, I put a large portion of spinach. I looked up spinach and found the following information: This food is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of niacin and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. Potassium rang a bell with me. Didn’t someone tell me I needed to correct my electrolyte balance, if I was experiencing muscle cramps and that potassium was a big help in that direction? I looked up potassium next and learned that it helps your muscles and nerves function properly, helps you maintain the proper electrolyte and acid-base balance in your body, and helps lower your risk of high blood pressure, and spinach is a potassium-rich food. Voila! My healthier diet is naturally taking care of some of my health issues.

I weigh myself on Mondays, so here’s today’s report, and I’m still on track. This food plan of mine really works.

Starting weight: 245
Weight last week: 208
Goal weight for this week: 207
Actual weight this week: 207
Goal weight for next week: 206
Total pounds lost: 37
Goal weight: 150

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tip: Almost Every Menu Has Good Choices

Yesterday after bowling my sister and I went out to lunch. Both of us immediately scanned the salad portion of the menu and found a salad made with avocado slices, shrimp, and Romaine (a good form of lettuce with fiber, food value, and taste, unlike the popular iceberg lettuce). It also promised pico de gallo, and feta cheese, all with an olive-oil-based dressing. Great!

My sister asked our server, Sarah, if it was okay to split a salad, explaining that she and I are both on diets, whether I admit it or not.

I laughed, because as my sister knows, I refuse to call my food plan a diet, because the D word sounds repulsive. It is, after all, a four-letter word. Diets require restrictions, restraints, limitations, and hunger, and most call for unusual or bland foods. Diets are difficult to maintain, and they are short-lived, because of that fact. My food plan is not a diet, because it doesn’t have immutable rules; it’s just a healthy way to eat, and it’s a plan for life. It calls for real food, with unlimited choices, and no matter where I am, I can eat healthy, good food. I get frustrated when people say, “Oh, you’re on a diet; does that mean we can’t go out to eat together?” Of course not! A food plan isn’t a diet, and besides, we have to eat something, every day, to stay alive. I eat real food; restaurants serve real food. It’s up to me to make healthy choices.

My sister and I made our healthy choice. We told the server that we would split the salad, but put the pico de gallo, feta, and dressing on the side. The server said the restaurant also had a balsamic vinaigrette dressing we might like, and she offered to bring both dressings, on the side, of course.

I wanted the pico de gallo on the side because it contains raw onions, which sometimes give me a bad aftertaste that continues in my mouth for hours. We ordered the other items on the side, though, so we had complete control over them. I don’t care for feta cheese, for instance, but my sister loves it, so she could have all she wanted on her half of the salad, while my half remained cheese free. Often when a restaurant applies salad dressing it adds too much; besides, with two dressings, we could choose the dressing we preferred and apply it in the quantity we wanted.

When the salads arrived (the restaurant split it and put it on separate plates for us. How nice!), I had one more shrimp than my sister, which we agreed worked out fine, since she was eating the cheese, both of us mindful that both shrimp and cheese should be eaten in limited quantities. I picked out some of the tomatoes from among the onions in the pico de gallo (which, by the way, means rooster’s beak in Spanish. What’s up with that?) and added them to my salad. It turned out my sister and I both liked the olive oil dressing best, and olive oil is one of the good oils included in cholesterol-lowering Mediterranean diets. Half a salad turned out to be exactly the right amount of food for each of us for lunch. Isn’t eating is restaurants a treat?

Although I give many tips in my blog and will give many more as I go along, there's obviously no trick to my food plan; it’s just a healthy way to eat, and regardless of where I eat, I can almost always find healthy choices. As a conscientious eater, my only job is to make the right choices, every time I eat. See? It’s not a diet at all, and yet I’m losing weight every week and having a great time doing it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tip: Think Like a Thin Person

The food plan I follow isn’t new to me; I followed it about fifteen years ago and lost sixty pounds, when I wanted to stay off blood-pressure medication. At that time, my doctor beamed with pride over my accomplishment and said, “Now all you have to do is think like a thin person.”

Duh? I’d never been thin in my life, and even after losing sixty pounds, I still weighed more than most women my height. Think like a thin person? What did he mean? When I asked, he said, “If you gain a few pounds, take if off right away, so you can stay at this weight.”’

His sage advice fell on deaf ears, because I considered myself fat, and I thought like a fat person. As my weight gradually crept up again, these are the thoughts that were running through my mind: “I lost weight; I deserve to eat a big meal now and then.” “Now and then” soon became every meal.

Sometimes I thought, “I’m rewarding myself,” when I ate more food than I should. I also thought, “That was so good that another helping will be even better.” After a while, I got into the habit of eating dinner, having ice cream for dessert, and then eating a big bowl of popcorn while I watched TV at night. My thinking? “I won’t eat popcorn tomorrow night, just tonight.” Ha. I soon was eating it every night I was home. When my clothes no longer fit, instead of thinking like a thin person and losing the weight, I thought like a fat person and bought bigger clothes. Over the years the clothes that grew too tight were donated to charity and I bought even larger sizes. Fifteen years later, I had not only regained all the weight I’d lost but had put on an additional twenty-five pounds. Why was it so easy? Because I always thought of myself as fat, so even when photos of me shocked me, I shrugged and said, “So what? I’ve always been fat.”

The frustrating thing is that when I look at pictures taken when I was in my late thirties, when I thought myself fat, I looked fine. No, I was not thin; I’ve never been thin, but I was at a healthy weight. Why did I think I was fat? Well, I won’t go to a head shrink over it; the fact remains that because I have always weighed more than the medical charts say I should, it’s been easy for me to gain weight, thinking I’m fat already, so what’s another pound or two? I thought like a fat person. I didn’t know how to think otherwise.

This time, though, and I swear it’s true, I’m determined to use every trick in the book to lose weight, get healthy, and stay healthy. I must change my thinking and think like a thin person, so I did some research. I asked several thin people how they think. Here are some of their responses:

“I think of my body as holy, which it is, and so I take care of it. I won’t eat anything that isn’t good for me.”

“I have a trap door that shuts off when I’ve eaten enough food.”

“I refuse to eat desserts, except for fruit. Cakes, puddings, and pies have almost no food value and don’t last long enough in my mouth to be worth how long they stay on my hips.”

“Desserts don’t exist for me. Period.”

“I’ve always liked vegetables more than starches, such as potatoes and rice.”

“When my clothes stop fitting, I deny myself the urge to go shopping for larger clothes. I refuse to wear clothes any larger than the size I am now.”

“I don’t own a scale. I gauge my weight by how my clothes fit. If they start feeling tight, I eat less at each meal until my clothes feel comfortable again.”

Fitting into the same clothes year after year became a theme among the thin people I asked. One of my friends had a favorite pair of slacks that fit her perfectly. When she could no longer wear them, she set out to lose the seven pounds that stood between her and those pants. Once she fit back into her favorite pants, she donated two pair of larger-size jeans she had bought, so she wouldn’t be tempted to go back to her higher weight.

We women of size get ticked at thin women who bemoan the fact that they have five or seven pounds to lose. We scoff at their comments and say they don’t have to lose weight, but they think like thin people, so they actually do have to lose that weight. If we thought like them, we would never grow to the large size that we are.

Think like a thin person. I’ve got to learn to think like a thin person.

A few weeks ago I dreamed someone gave me a whole cake. I pulled off the icing (the best part) and was about to put it in my mouth, when in the dream I said to myself, "Whoa! I forgot I'm on a food plan!" In my dream, I stopped myself and did not eat the icing. A week or so later, I dreamed I went to an event that included dinner, but when I went to the buffet table, it held nothing but ooey gooey desserts, just the things I used to love. In the dream, though, I felt insulted and asked someone, “Where’s the real food?” Both mornings after those dreams I awoke feeling proud that even in my dreams I refused to eat things that did not contribute to my health.

Last night when I finished dinner, I took my plate to the kitchen sink and heard an ancient, familiar internal voice that said, “Dinner was good. What do you want to eat now?” I haven’t heard that voice in a few months, because I’ve been consciously working on my food plan, portion control, and healthy eating. I’ve been trying hard to think like a thin person, so when I heard that voice, I mentally answered, “Yes, dinner was good, and now you’ve eaten plenty.”

Maybe I’m learning to think like a thin person after all.

Starting weight: 245
Weight last week: 210
Goal weight for this week: 209
Actual weight this week: 209
Goal weight for next week: 208
Total pounds lost: 36
Goal weight: 150

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weight-loss Drug Banned; My Food Plan Still Works!

First I want to thank everyone who has posted comments on my blog or sent me e-mails supporting me or regarding your own successes. Although not all these comments show up on the actual blog, I get them, read them, and love them. Keep staying in touch, and keep up the good work yourself, if you’re on a food plan.

Next I want to mention Dr. Scott Isaacs, an endocrinologist in Atlanta who specializes in weight loss for his patients. He’s not only handsome, he’s also kind, friendly, concerned, and sweet. I know, because he’s my cousin. As a doctor, though, he’s also knowledgeable and stays up to date on everything in his field. He’s written several books about hormones and weight loss and is working on another. He recently posted links on Facebook, a few days apart. One link is to his article that appears on about the leptin diet (see After reading about leptin, how it works, and how to counter it, I understand weight loss and weight gain much better. I knew that eating lots and lots of vegetables, some fruits, and a little protein each day has changed my weight and improved my wellness, but because of Dr. Isaacs’s article, I now know why.

The other link is to a Business Week article at that announces that the FDA has banned the ingredient in Meridia, an alleged weight-loss drug, because it caused heart attacks and strokes in 16% of the people taking it. It said that further studies on the drug proved it was not more effective than diet and exercise alone.

The ban on Meridian, he said, didn’t surprise him, and it didn’t have any impact on me, because I refuse to pay anyone to “make” me lose weight. Here are the facts: I gained weight by overeating, eating the wrong foods, and being sedentary. To lose weight, I have to eat less, eat correctly, and get more exercise. No fad diet, pills, or magic will replace the fact that my actions are the key factors in my losing weight. I can’t blame anyone for my weight gain, and I can’t rely on anyone but myself to make the weight go away.

I measured my boobs, waist, and hips today and see that I’ve lost more inches in my hips, mostly, which means I’ve lost more weight in my abdomen, which definitely needed to decrease. Good for me! I’ve known I was losing in my chest, because I’ve been able to hook my bras on the tightest hook, instead of the loosest one, and I even bought a new, sexy bra in the same cup size as before, but with a circumference four inches smaller.

Besides the things I can measure, I love noticing the subtle ways that weight loss is improving my health and appearance. Some things we women never want to discuss, but since I am already so boldly posting my original weight, horrible figure that it was, I may as well be totally honest about all that is going on. Here are a few other delightful changes I’ve noticed since losing thirty-five pounds:

1. I walk better and without pain. Not only are my dog walks more enjoyable, but I also walk down stairs without fear of my knees going out. I walk up stairs at a much faster pace than before and actually enjoy bounding up the stairs on occasion.

2. I breathe better. I used to lie in bed and hear breathing in the room and realize it was my own wheezing caused by fat constricting my windpipe.

3. I sleep better. When I breathe better, I sleep better.

4. My blood pressure is better. My pressure used to be in the high to high normal range. Now it’s almost always at or below 120/80, the recommended range. Granted I’m still on blood-pressure medication, but I was on it before, when my pressure was registering as high as 160/95 at times.

5. My body is more flexible, which means I’m finding it easier to put on socks, cut my toenails, tie my shoes, cross my legs, and even give myself a good foot rub.

6. I swallow easier. I could actually feel the fat in my neck constricting my swallowing at times. I’ve read that overweight people choke on food more often than slender people, but I didn’t want to apply that news to myself. Nevertheless, I had several instances where I choked on food when I was alone, and I’m not talking about food or liquid going down the wrong pipe and causing coughing. I’m talking about seriously choking, unable to breathe, cough, or speak, with food completely blocking my airway. Each time, I was finally able to dislodge the food myself, thank heavens, but it left me weak and freaked out.

7. My bladder control is better. Women who have given birth to children are inclined toward bladder leakage in latter years. Weight, however, is another factor. I had several strikes against me, but that’s history, now.

8. My muscles don’t cramp as much or as often. Cramps are painful and inconvenient, but mine went a step further. I was driving out of a parking lot one time, and both my legs cramped so severely that I had to pull the car to an awkward stop, jump out, and walk around to stretch my muscles until the cramps subsided. It took almost a half hour, and all the while I was in severe pain. When the pain finally stopped, I was afraid to get back in the car and drive, lest it happen again while I was amid traffic. Thankfully I got home safely. As a bit of a disclaimer, this event took place after I had walked around a large store for an hour and then walked across a large parking lot to reach my car when the temperature was one hundred degrees outside. The cramps may have been exacerbated by heat exhaustion and/or dehydration, but I’m sure my weight made me more vulnerable to both.

9. Sex is better, with less fat in the way. Enough said!

All these benefits definitely add a great deal to my quality of life, which is why I feel younger than I did a year ago. Yes, life is grand, even when you’re old enough to be a grandparent.

Yesterday was weigh-in day, and the news is good. I hit another milestone: thirty-five pounds gone!

Starting weight: 245
Goal weight for this week: 210
Actual weight this week: 210
Goal weight for next week: 209
Total weight lost: 35
Overall goal weight: 150

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tip: Walk; Just Walk!

As you can imagine, I’ve become embroiled in health tips and information related to the food we eat. The other day I read the following information on weight loss:

Along with diet and exercise, healthcare professionals recommend that you:

Reduce saturated and trans fats
Limit refined carbohydrates (Bobbie's note: these are the starches I avoid)
Keep fat intake under 35% of total calories

Three brisk walks a week may be the most health-conscious thing you can do for your body.
In fact, a study presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association reported that women who walked for at least three hours a week had a 40% lower risk of heart attack and stroke than women who didn’t walk. The study, part of an eight-year research project of 84,000 female nurses ages 40–65, also suggested that the brisker the walk, the greater the health benefit.

(end of article)

All that information is great, but my walks aren’t that brisk. I walk with my dog, and my miniature poodle, like most male dogs, spends a great deal of time sniffing things and marking his territory. Our walks, therefore, include many stops and starts and only a few brisk strides here and there when something new draws his attention. Still, we walk, every day, two or three times a day, for ten to twenty minutes, and every time, I have to walk down a long, steep driveway and then climb back up it to get into the house. I figure that driveway adds enough strain at the end to count for a few more brisk steps than I actually took. At least it all adds up to some form of exercise.

Fact is, and I’ve said it before: I don’t like to exercise, and almost nothing motivates me to do so, except obligation. I don’t have a fenced yard, so I’m obligated to walk the dog and scoop up his poop, so I stay on good terms with the neighbors. I also joined a gym and pay a monthly fee, hoping that fee would form an obligation to go, but I still go only on average of once a week or less. Instead, I point to the fact that at least I walk every single day, several times a day.

Here’s another confirming article I found on the Internet:

Walking benefits you

Results from the Nurses’ Health Study demonstrate the following benefits:

It’s inexpensive, requiring little equipment other than a pair of sturdy shoes. There are no fees to pay, no courses to drive to, and it’s as easy to do as strolling around the block.

It’s probably the safest form of exercise. Walkers stand little chance of developing shin splints, tennis elbow, or torn muscles, cartilage, or ligaments.

Walking is one of the most efficient, low-impact workouts available. Walking and running burn about the same amount of calories per mile. The benefit to running comes from the fact that you can cover more miles running than walking in the same amount of time.

Walking offers a host of long-term benefits. The study found: women who walked briskly (3–4 miles per hour, or one mile every 15–20 minutes) had a 54% lower risk of heart attacks and strokes. Walking lowers blood pressure, improves the cholesterol profile, lowers the risk of osteoporosis and may lower the risk of certain kinds of cancer. There is evidence that walking helps reduce stress, too.

Walking may reduce the discomfort of the most common forms of arthritis, and it can help with weight loss, which can help improve overall long-term health.

(end of article)

I guess I’m doing okay, then, to walk; at least it’s something, and I do know this: walking and losing weight have definitely reduced my arthritis pain, and I love the fact that I feel younger and more vibrant at 66 than I did at 65. I’m definitely going in the right direction, however and whichever way I’m walking!

Oh, and although I claim with all my heart that my weight-loss plain is strictly about health and not about looks, I have a confession. I saw several friends over the weekend that I had not seen in months, and all of them commented on how much weight I had lost and how good I looked. Such comments and compliments make me feel even better about my decision to lose weight. Yes, flattery is not required, but it sure feels good and is the fringe benefit to eating consciously, losing weight, and regaining my health.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Don't You Dare Call It a Diet!: Tip: Eat four ounces of protein with lunch and din...

Don't You Dare Call It a Diet!: Tip: Eat four ounces of protein with lunch and din...: "Monday again? How did it roll around so quickly? As I lay in bed last night, knowing I had to weigh in this morning, I mulled over my past w..."

Tip: Eat four ounces of protein with lunch and dinner, and only four ounces.

Monday again? How did it roll around so quickly? As I lay in bed last night, knowing I had to weigh in this morning, I mulled over my past week. I had returned to keeping a food diary, to assist me in being conscious of everything I ate. I made sure I made one meal a day a salad with protein in it. I worked out at least once this past week and walked every day, several times a day. I bowled twice, three games each time. I avoided eating out as often, so I could more clearly know the contents of what I ate. It was all a good week…until Saturday night.

Saturday night as I chopped my greens for a salad, I thought about the protein I planned to put into the salad. I had several options: a hard boiled egg (about 32 calories), some fake crab meat (about 115 calories), or an aging bratwurst (about 250 calories) that had been cooked about five or more days before. Each of these proteins was about four ounces. Isn’t it amazing how they compare, though?

My thinking went this way: “I’ve been good almost all week, and this bratwurst is getting old, and it tastes terrific on a salad. Even though it is the highest in calories, I’ll eat it, so it won’t go bad.”

Okay, that wasn’t the worst decision I could make. I decided to warm it a little, because bratwurst has a lot of fat in it, and the fat tastes better warm than cold. I opened the Ziploc bag with the two leftover bratwurst and dropped one onto the plate. I looked at the remaining bratwurst and wondered how much longer it would last before it went bad, and that’s where my mind disconnected. Darn it, I put both on the plate, warmed both up, cut both up, and put both in my salad, for a whopping 500 or more calories on the meat alone.

I say I don’t count calories, but they are a good indicator of what’s the best thing to eat, and obviously I failed to be conscious of my actions for long enough for me to warm, cut up, and eat two bratwursts in my salad, when one still had a boatload of calories. I figured I’d blown the whole week of eating consciously. Well, I could have.

That night I bemoaned the fact that I had eaten so much. I didn’t feel comfortable. I’d forgotten that I used to feel that way after almost every meal, uncomfortable, slightly stuffed, and regretful. I’m imperfect, but at least I haven’t had that bloated feeling in a long, long time. Maybe I needed to go through it to remind me that I must eat more consciously.

This morning I stepped on the scale with trepidation, as I usually do, but I discovered I had lost weight anyway. The rest of the week had redeemed me from my one-meal fiasco. Whew!

Here’s today’s tip, then: Eat four ounces of protein with lunch and dinner, and only four ounces, and be conscious of the fat content in those four ounces.

Here's today's weigh-in information:

Starting weight: 245
Goal weight for this week: 213
Actual weight this week: 211
Goal weight for next week: 210
Total weight lost: 34
Overall goal weight: 150