Saturday, October 10, 2009

Balancing Act

Mike is a traveling man this week so I don't have his weight loss to report yet. I've deducted only my melted sticks of butter and will update his meltage when he returns soon. Total loss for me is about 11.5 lbs. as we speak. It's been about 7 weeks since our kick off, and hey, I kinda like this pace. It's a pace I can live with. And I think it sets the pace for long term healthy (or health-IER) eating.

Okay, that's a lie. Sort of. Because I continue to fret a bit about how I will manage my ravenous appetite in the future. I refuse to say that I will never eat my favorite yummies again; apple pie, tacos, buttermilk pancakes ... I'm hardly scratching the surface. My long-time buddy and wonderful writer, Mary-Jo Murphy, recently wrote an interesting article* about the evolution of the human desire for more and more fattening foods, from caveman to current man. Mary-Jo includes an adorable story which so illustrates my ideal future. Here 'tis:

I once heard a story about a woman who was trying desperately to lose weight.
At the same restaurant where she would sometimes eat, was another woman.
While one would order salads the other always indulged in a hamburger, fries
and a shake. She was annoyingly skinny, clearly a mutation of the evolutionary
process. One day the weight-conscious woman confronted the gorger, "I'm starving
myself to lose weight. Every time I see you in here, you're eating like this! How
do you stay so slim?"
"Well," she dipped her fry in ketchup, "I only do this once a week. It's my reward
for eating healthfully the other six days."

Please, oh please, let this be me. If I could just indulge in a burger and fries once a week I would be eternally grateful.

I'm also reading a delightful book right now, A Homemade Life, by a young and fetching Molly Wizenberg. It's a collection of the most deee-vine! recipes ever, and the hilarious and moving stories which inspired them. I mean, I am nearly swooning as I read about Blueberry-Raspberry Pound Cake, Dutch Baby Pancakes With Lemon & Sugar, and Custard Filled Corn Bread. (There are also plenty of healthy entrees & side dishes with far fewer calories, but I, with my dessert-driven palate, have dog-eared the above.) So why am I reading a book about this irresistible food while I am in the throes of a weight loss effort, you may ask? I sort of think this book landed in my hands at this time for a reason, because as I read through it, I realize that Molly approaches her passion for food with such respect and balance. It seems that her veggie-happy Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille makes her just as weak in the knees as her Fresh Ginger Cake With Caramelized Pears. But chances are her pantry isn't lined with ginger cakes. As would be my preference. And I notice that Molly tends to be perfectly content with a scrumptious but light meal of small portions. Hmmm. Odd. Perhaps there is something to this frightening concept.

Is there hope for me? Can I be the slim lady who eats the hamburger and fries once a week? Can I adopt Molly Wizenberg's approach to delicious food, both sinfully divine and healthfully divine? Because, despite her penchant for some gosh-darn creamy, buttery, sweet desserts, the photo on her book jacket depicts her as a mere waif of a girl. Is moderation achievable?

Molly? Are you out there? Care to weigh in on this?

* Mary-Jo Murphy's article, You Go To My Head, was published in the August 2009 issue of the Ojai & Ventura (CA) THE VIEW.

P.S. Molly Wizenberg is also the creator of the award winning blog, Orangette, which I highly recommend to all you foodies out there.


Crazy Charm said...

After eating vegan for just a month, that burger has me salivating!

Jody said...

How nice that the burger was willing to pose for you with the pickles and fries!

Life is wacky, but you two are maintaining a level of control, and I'm so proud of you. Eleven pounds is fantastic, especially when the rate is so sensible.

I like the idea of eating crazy once a week. Indulgence in food is now part of my life, but I spread it out over the week! Don't know whether it's a lack of other indulgences (no sex, booze, smoking, drugs, or overspending... sigh), or what, but I need to be excessive about something. OK, the overspending is starting to happen, but that's another story.

Anyway, congrats to you! I'm looking into 24-hour fitness at the moment. There's one not too far away from me, and they have classes I might enjoy.

Tired of tight clothes,


Max's mom said...

By all means, splurging once a week is ok! I still have my ration of Whopper Jrs. on Saturday after Terry flies his airplanes!

Michelle Wells Grant said...

Max's Mom: Yay for burgers, uh ... sometimes! It's a funny thing; I've noticed that I actually lose a little weight immediately after a splurge ... burger, Mexican food, whatever. My theory is that my body is so bored with the same ol' diet food (salads, chicken, etc.) that when I feed it something off the diet radar it goes, "Weeeeeee! Thanks! That was really good! I think I just might release some fat now." Sorta like ....gratitude? I'll shut up now.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

11.5 pounds. So proud of you. And, yes, I think you can have that hamburger once a week. And the fries.

Great post, Michelle. You have gone after this and done well. Now, I want to know even more details.

Jocelyn said...

Your weight of weight loss seems both healthy and maintainable. I've vowed simply to lose and regain the same 10 lbs for the rest of my life...I go all spartan and careful for 8 weeks, and then I go back to "myself" for 4 months, and then I lose again.

Which sounds really healthy when I type it out like that.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Congrats - you're famous. I've granted you an award. You can pick it up at my place.


Michelle Wells Grant said...

Thank you for my Honest Scrap Award, Ms. Midlife Jobhunter! I'm honestly honored!

Bernie said...

I often think that there was a time not rwo years ago when I had beem sick and in the hospital. When I got home I was still losing a pound a day. I was down to 130 and everyone was so worried and the doc gave me a pill to help me GAIN weight. Well, it worked=====all too well.I had bought all size 12 clothes and gave my large sizes to the Salvation Army. I wish I had them back now. I don't recommend getting sick to lose weight but it worked for me for a while. Congratulations on the 11 pounds. Keep going. It feels so good to be agile when you are thin.