Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Judge Not (Or Do the Math)

I am trying so hard not to be "that dieting girl." You know the one. The one who orders a salad when you go out to eat together and then spends the whole time casting nasty looks at your cheeseburger and milk shake. Like it's going to get off the plate, dance across the table, and shove itself down my throat. Or, worse yet, give it looks of covetousness. I try not to be the girl who says "My god, are you really going to eat that?" . o O (Wish I could...)

Which is not to say that I don't notice.

That's the weirdest thing. I never used to care what other people ate - not even when it looked particularly good, or there was something wrong with it. These days... oh, yes. I can tell you what my friend Leslie has eaten, every. single. time. we've gone out. I know. I know how fast Toby ate his chicken two weeks ago. I know how much of the pasta got stowed into the take-home box when Carol and I went to the beach. Hell, I know what the people ordered at Thomas's business lunch in Richmond a month ago and I didn't even GO to that lunch, I just remember because Thomas told me about it later.

This lifestyle change is like having an unrequited crush on that really cute guy that hangs out with the group, but has a girlfriend back home. I'm hyper aware. I know who he talked to and did he actually put a hand on her shoulder and what color shirt he was wearing the day he smiled at me between classes. I'd recognize him from two inches of his elbow visible from outside the door.

Being in love is wonderful, and yet, at the same time, it's agonizing. Especially when the object of your affection is completely unaware. And worse, if he was aware... well, then you have to deal with the social weirdness of being ignored by - but pretending you're not being ignored by, or that you don't care that you're being ignored by - someone in your social circle.

I'm aware of food smells. Everywhere I go. I can smell the Buffalo Hot Wings when we shop at the Target. The bookstore is filled with the sweet, warm aroma of coffee and various sticky rolls. Driving to the mall the other day took us right past the Red Robin.

I am fervently grateful that we TiVo everything that I actually want to watch, because food commercials are like watching porn... that slow, delicate swirl of fatty ground beef and slick, melting cheese and... or money shots of ice cream, chocolate syrup dripping over delectable mounds of whipped cream with a bright red cherry peeking out...

I am more aware of people who are eating while driving their cars than I am conscious of people who are yapping on the cell phone. It's a quick flicker of the eye, but I saw that boy in the mall, licking melted ice cream off his arm. The woman in front of me at the grocery store? I tallied up how many packages of junk food she had and wondered vaguely if she ever ate a vegetable in her life.

I don't really like that I'm this hyper-aware of things. It's crazy-making.

Last night, in our Weight Watcher's meeting, we talked about 0 + 0 = 2.

Admittedly, it's a topic better left to Flex people, because it doesn't quite apply to Core.

Zero Point Foods.

If you've ever done Weight Watchers, or even known someone who's done it, you're at least passing familiar with the Zero Point foods. Baby Carrots. Sugar free jello. High fiber cereals. Fat free whipped cream. That butter spray stuff. Salad Spritzer Dressing. Salsa.

Zero point foods is where the difference between Intelligence and Wisdom becomes apparent.

The Intelligent thing to do is to take advantage of the Zero Point foods. Mix sugar free jello mix together with fat free whipped cream and eat the whole tub as a snack. Have a piece of broccoli, but saturate it with 20 butter sprays. This maximizes the food you eat, without costing you any points. And then, you can go ahead and eat the rest of your 27 points.

And be completely floored when you gain five pounds.

Two tablespoons of fat free whipped cream is Zero Points. The whole tub? About 8 points. (0 + 0)25 = 8.

Beth was twice disappointed with Thomas and I last night. Because we are Wise (In addition to being intelligent, which is, honestly, quite a lot of fun when you can fuddle someone.)

"So who uses that spray on butter?" I raise my hand.

Triumph! "And how often do you replace it?"

"About once every 3 or 4 months."

"Oh." She moves on to the girl behind me. "And you?"

"Every two weeks."

"Aha! There's 48 points in that container!"

Later in the meeting. "Let's see... a serving size of sugar free jello is 1/2 a cup. Who actually eats just half a cup of jello?"

Thomas raises his hand. "Um, we do."

Beth whirls on him. "You do?"

Thomas points to me, then to Darcy, then to himself. "One. Two. Three."

"And who gets the other serving?"

"Thomas does -" I say, watching her eyes light up again. "- for lunch. The next day."

"Wow, you guys are no fun."

Thomas smirks. "Sixty pounds lost." He points to me. "Fifty pounds lost."

Of course, I later confessed that I do have to limit myself. Even on Core, where all Core foods are free.

I can only eat 1/4 of an avocado per day. I love avocados. They're filling and creamy and tasty. I could sit down with a spoon and the salt shaker and eat an entire one in a sitting. On flex points, that's 8 points right there, in one tiny green fruit. On Core? Free! But if I eat a whole avocado in one day, I'll just eat another one tomorrow. And one the day after that. And one on Friday.

And I won't lose weight. This week, I was down another 1.4 pounds.

Of course, if I was eating 4 avocados in a week, I probably wouldn't be eying your cheeseburger, either.


Anonymous said...

That is so crazy true! I am so aware and sometimes annoyed by what OTHER people eat. Like when hubby orders french fies as a side...I think about those damn fries through out my entire meal! Lusting for them! LOL

That was such a great analogy... the crush, and of course food commercials are like porn! ROFLMAO!!!

Good stuff! Congrats on the loss!

Anonymous said...

Ha! I know EXACTLY what you're talking about.

And there's being on the other side of the table, knowing that the dieting person is watching your food, and even though what they're really thinking is, "God, I want some of that," you're certain that they're thinking, "God, no wonder she's so fat."

So as apparently the last remaining fat chick that I know... thanks for not being that dieting girl. (Yeah, I noticed you noticing my pasta. But it's cool. You were subtle.) ;-)


kikimonster said...

You smarty pants :) I have to say that I hate becoming one of those people that say "Oh, I *really* shouldn't have a brownie." And then everyone says, "oh, c'mon!" so I have one. Then I feel guilty. I just don't want to be that person who doesn't eat with the group.

Wonder how I haven't lost anything in weeks :)

Thinking Thin said...

That is so funny. I am not really aware of what other people eat but am very aware of what other people buy in the grocery store, especially if they are overweight or I see very overweight kids. It saddens me because I see only crap in the cart..no veggies, no fruits, nothing even remotely healthy.

Anonymous said...

I admit to giving junk-food orders at the checkout line a bit of the hairy eyeball, but I tend not to care what the other ppl are eating unless a) I know *they* are also dieting ("Hey! How can she have one of those? Could I have one of those? Darn, I could've had one of those! Is it too late to change my order?") b) I'm eating it too, in which case I bloody well hope I know what's going in my mouth or c) they're eating in a generally non-socially-accepted way, in which case, given my friends, they're *trying* to be noticed. :D

Since I'm Flex, I'm going to be (hopefully) planning out my Points, if I'm eating out with people who are NOT dieting. Their choices are one of the things I try to take into consideration when I'm planning... I mean, I want to enjoy my time out, and I'm not going to do that as much if I have major food-envy.

Actually, I suspect the opposite is true... my palate's changed since I've started this, and I feel like I appreciate richer foods (even in smaller quantities) a LOT more than I used to. So my companion is perfectly welcome to her greasy Bloomin' Onion (and no, I won't help you finish it, thanks), if she'll pardon my little steak-gasm on the other side of the table.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I definitely have issues with this and I am very obnoxious about it, though I do try to keep it internal. My worst spot is the grocery store - I can't help noticing all the junk in the next cart over and feeling all superior because my cart is full of veggies and healthy crap. But then, you know,I notice that Junk Food Woman pushing the cart looks like she weighs 17 pounds soaking wet and the next strong wind is going to hie her skinny a$$ to Texas...and I don't feel superior, just cranky. There's no justice in life. :-( I do comfort myself with the idea that someday, she, too, will be jealously eyeing someone else's pizza rolls and Lucky Charms...I know it's not nice but I hope I'm right because I really don't like her. Whomever she is.

And a big AMEN to the Zero Point pitfalls. I had a "friend" - I use the term loosely, I have to say - who sort of dieted with me for a while. Her favorite thing was to do EXACTLY the Jello/Cool Whip trick you mentioned. And yeah, she was considering gastric bypass because she'd "tried everything and it just didn't work."

Sometimes I just want to smack people. I really do. Wait. That's actually, like, every day.

BUT - you are intelligent, AND wise. And it's so paying off! So maybe there IS some justice in the world after all. :-)


Lost Half of Me said...

I have noticed, like you, since losing weight I am much more aware of what people are eating and buying around me. Restaurants. Grocery stores. No place is above my nosy eyes. When I go grocery shopping I still laugh at the checkout at the many, many bags full of fruits and veggies and then there is the light yogurts and fat free cottage cheese, oatmeal, low calorie breads. Two years ago my cart NEVER looked like that. I rarely ever bought fresh fruit and didn't often buy any veggies. We were big on pastas and rice dishes and chips and sodas and snack cakes. Now my cart has nearly all healthy stuff with the few treats for the kids. Back then I never noticed the other carts. Now I can't help it. I see those other overweight people with their carts stuffed with the same things I bought and I feel so sad. Do they understand what they are doing to themselves? Do they understand what a better quality of life they could have with some changes to their diet? I didn't. I wish I had. Now I am trying to make sure that I instill healthy eating habits in my children. I certainly do not deny them sweets and chips and things, but I stress "healthy servings".

Felicia said...

I never noticed what people ate till after I had surgery. Now its like OMG how did we ever eat this much and YIKES look at all that food! Of course I am kind of on the other end of the extreme now but its still amazing to remember how much food I thought I had to have in order to be full.

As for the Zero Points Foods. Ahhhhh I remember those well. They helped me tremendously on my journey to 427lbs lol.

I love avocados too. *sigh* heavenly little yummies aren't they. I like them the same way you do but instead of salt just a squirt of lemon. YUMO!!

Hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend!!


Slenderella said...

Amazing how well we learn little tricks to eat more and think we can still lose weight.

Good for you and Thomas, you guys are inspiring!!!

And avocados, love 'em! It's hard for me to not eat all of one in one sitting.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Great post!

At least you're aware of the rounding thing, whether it's points or grams or whatever. I know people who can convince themselves that a spray bottle of Olive Oil Pam or whatever has 0 calories, since the manufacturers are allowed to pick an infintesimal serving size and round down to zero. So they spray and spray and spray, since it's "free."

Gosh, olive oil has zero calories? It's a miracle!

nolafwug said...

That was me last night giving my boyfriend the stink eye as he ate one of my light ice cream sandwiches in like, 3 bites. It just seemed unfair on so many levels and then I was like Oh No I've turned into that person!

At the grocery store I feel more guilty and less smug. Some people just don't have the resources - time and money - to research and keep up with the latest on nutrition never mind buy a cart full of veggies and lean meat every week.

I also don't want to be identified as a Dieter and I hate being seen buying (or eating) anything that has the word Diet or Free or 100-Calorie Pack printed on it. I buy the stuff anyway but Ugh.

This is my first time reading your blog and I just wanted to say Congratulations on your weight loss - awesome job!

Cammy@TippyToeDiet said...

You had me scared for a second or three! I'm thinking, No, Lynn, you can't have a whole tub of Cool Whip, no matter what the points are!

I'm sorry, I should've given you credit for the good sense you've got. :)

Congrats on the loss. It's your good sense at work!