I need a new hobby.
It has to replace my current hobby: the world of food. Touching, sniffing, admiring, preparing, and discussing food. Sampling regional specialities. Visiting farmer's markets and coming home with the artisan cheese, the grass-fed beef. And then eating it.
Or maybe I just need to grow some willpower. But I have to do SOMETHING because I will NOT buy larger pants!
I've fought the battle of the bulging waistline (and hips, thighs and arms) with success - way too many times. For the past several days, sucking in my stomach to zip up my jeans, I have been pondering that problem: I know how to take it off, but I don't know how to keep it off. But I think a recent experience has provided me with a good clue.
Last week, we visited a grocery store in an upscale shopping area near Sacramento. It is jaw-droppingly beautiful - sort of a food gallery, with displays and lighting much like an art gallery. Stand back, contemplate, admire - then, fill your basket.
More than your average market, this store caters to the workers in the nearby offices and the harried parents on their way home with a huge and compelling selection of prepared foods - to be taken home, or to be heated and eaten IN the store, at bistro-style tables on a mezzanine overlooking the action. Knowing this, we went at noon, hungry, intending to buy something for lunch before doing our small shopping.
We followed our noses to the deli counter and ordered two sandwiches to be heated, toasted, melted in the wood-fired oven. I don't remember all the goodies stuffed into my sliced baguette - sort of a Mediterranean mixture with peppers, cheese, ham, totally delish - but I do remember Odel's: sliced pork tenderloin, sliced apples, and slices of Havarti cheese, all heated and melted together on a roll. And this was a GROCERY STORE!
Sandwich orders placed, we took a little wander through the area, ooohhhing and aaahhhing over all the offerings. When Odel saw Brandy Fried Chicken, his face fell - he couldn't believe he had ordered a sandwich when fried chicken was available! So he bought a piece of that, too...
You get the picture. We ordered too much, ate too much - and enjoyed ourselves, our food, and the experience immensely.
And that's the problem. As we left the store (at least the theory of eating first worked - we bought only the wine we came for and a pound of asparagus), I realized that food shopping was just like going with my quilting friends into a fabric store, or with a beader to a bead shop, or with an avid reader to a bookstore: food as hobby.
Well, I either need a new hobby, or I need to be less avid!
As soon as we settled in at Cal Expo, I dug out my dieting library (Donna, I'm going to try the WW Core plan) and renewed my determination to fit comfortably into my current wardrobe once again. I alerted Odel and, this time, did something very different: instead of talking him into dieting - oops, I mean changing his eating lifestyle - I told him he was on his own.
It is SO MUCH easier to moderate my menus if I only have to please my own palate, so this time, Odel gets a pass. If he wants some of my vegies to accompany his Marie Callendar's Chicken Pot Pie, or some of my tossed salad alongside his KFC, I'll make enough for two. :)
I kicked it off with an energy-packed breakfast yesterday morning: an Eggbeaters omelet with red pepper, spinach, a little parmesan cheese, and Gimme Lean (soy) sausage (see photos above).
And here is Odel's breakfast: a diet cola and a bratwurst sandwich!