Friday, January 9, 2009

A Little Less of Me: Retraining Pavlov's Dog

I'm a terrible dieter. The first and foremost reason being that I really, really love food. And I'm not that particular. I love all of it. Except yams. And cornbread casserole. I have to be pretty desperate to eat those two things. Or under a lot of pressure to keep up appearances. That's very important here in the south. You don't get your heart blessed if you don't shovel in the cornbread casserole.


Last summer my sister got married and I managed to lose a staggering 10-15 lbs. before I poured myself into the spearmint green bridesmaid dress that, incidentally, I picked out. Surprisingly, it wasn't really that difficult. I simply stopped getting pregnant and breastfeeding (See you later male readers...I flatter myself to think you made it this far.) and slowly realized I wasn't ravenous anymore. That whole bit about breastfeeding causing the pounds to just melt away? If it was true, I'd be a size 2. Instead, I'm more like a 2 with a 1 in front of it. Not really. But I am closer to that second number than I am the first.

Needless to say, because of my unparalleled weight loss success last year, I decided I was uniquely qualified to bring the blog world all of my weight loss tips this year. Because I'm a giver, that's why.

Without further ado, here is A Little Less of Me Tip #1:

Find something highly caloric that you really, really like, and swap it out for something that you LOVE.

Jeff and I both adore ice cream. What you see above are the unopened containers currently stored in our gargantuan freezer in our garage. We have two additional opened containers of product in our smaller inside freezer bringing our total ice cream inventory to 8 (or 4 if you are only counting the Cookies 'n Cream). For several years a while we were eating hefty bowls of it at least 3-4 nights a week after we put the kids to bed. This because we felt like we needed a BIG reward for just making it through the day. Mine was frequently smothered in hot fudge with a massive scoop of dry roasted peanuts on top. I needed more than a reward, I needed Publishers Clearing House knocking on my front door. But I would settle for smooth, creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty, cold, warm, sticky, delectable yum.

Indulge often enough and you eventually develop a Pavlovian response when the clock strikes eight each night. I never bothered to calculate the caloric load - possibly because I was concerned that my calculator wouldn't go that high. Or that then I might actually have to ADMIT how much I was inhaling and I can't honestly think of a bigger buzz kill. But I did know deep, way down deep, that I probably needed to find something that I could savor at night that would effectively suffocate my highly conditioned craving for the ambrosial ice cream triptych...assuming I didn't want to spend the rest of my life wearing maternity garb disguised as real clothes.

I tried drinking coffee, I tried drinking tea.

And then I tried drinking this. Bingo. All it takes is a sip (of the red, always the red) and I can watch Jeff wolf down the Cookies 'n Cream without even a hint of a hankerin'. And that, my friends, is proof that you really can eat the foods you love and still lose weight. Not only that, I'm sleeping better! Though that could possibly be attributed to the fact that the kids are all sleeping through the night now.

Unfortunately, the forsaken ice cream inventory does not live alone. As far as bacon and butter are concerned, the dog is still drooling.


  1. Now I know you have wine and ice-cream, i'm really hoping to come for a visit!

    Absolutely AWESOME family picture by the way.
    You sure Misty would approve of the lovely view?

  2. Remember when we would go to Marie Callendar's and get Potato Cheese soup? Then we would load it down with bacon bits and extra cheese...and a slice of pie? Those were the days.

  3. Kristan Grennell SimonJanuary 13, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    Melanie,I have officially added your blog to my list of favorites and will be checking in regularly when I need to smile... :)

  4. Your studio-like array of fattening foods outdoes my own special array of Hellman's mayo which is always on display at my house. (I'm not kidding.) Oh, and btw, just what is wrong with a size 12? You make it sound like it's something you'd find on the back of the rack in the plus-size department! P.S. If you're not going to eat that cornbread stuff, pass it this way please. (Still not kidding.)

  5. Ok I have a friend who works with me in Viagra Onlinelabs and she's always is eating chocolats, sweet stuff and just seeing her makes me sick ;D but if that it's your fridge I don't want to live with you ;D seriously I rarely like to eat sweet stuff, usually chocolate ice cream which is delicious but if we talk about food I like vegetables, meat, rice and red beans, and some times wine but usually natural juices.