Friday, April 10, 2009


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!


  1. Great post ! I am also a " foodie " One thing we did was get rid of the big dinner plates and only use the smaller sz. Kelly

  2. Oh, how I know how you feel. I enjoyed too many strawberries in Florida and shrimp at Gulf Shores, AL. I have doctor's appointment next week and she will not be happy with me...I'm not either. Sampling regional food is one of the big joys of fulltiming and one of the down falls. Miss you. Bobbie

  3. We are friends of Ellie & Jim's, Mark & Dortha's and have started reading your blog. I tried the spread the blog across the page and it worked wonderfully--thanks! We are also battling the "jeans are too tight syndrome." Good luck in your struggle!

  4. What was the name of that grocery store?

  5. Kelly, I'm trying that out, too. In theory, staying at my desired weight is a matter of quantity, eh? I've read a lot about the research on how larger plates, bowls and serving spoons lead to larger portions - maybe I should use shot glasses and saucers as my bowls and plates for a few weeks!

    JC: it's The Nugget, a local chain in Sacramento, West Sacramento, El Dorado Hills (the fanciest of the stores and the one I featured), and Davis. More than a grocery store - a destination!

    Safe travels,

  6. We have discussed it and we don't feel that Odel should have allowed his breakfast photo to be included in the blog. You are going to have to watch out for that camera for awhile, Odel.

    Sydney and Frank

  7. We discovered the Nugget Market last summer when we stayed for a few days in Sacramento (we actually went to the one in Davis, as we were on that side of Sacramento). Loved it and totally sympathize with the issues created by all that good food. It's also hard to find storage in an RV for all the good things one can buy!

  8. I think the answer, for me at least, is quantity, not quality. I try to take half a sandwich for lunch, and sometimes Jo and I share one meal when we go out. I also find that the smaller plate helps, along with trying to chew each mouthful more times before swallowing.

    I refuse to change to low cal foods, I'd rather live 10 years shorter with my butter and cream. We only go through once and I want to enjoy it as much as possible.

    Absolutely love your writing and look forward to each new post, thanks.


  9. its a battle that I am convinced as a fulltimer cannot be won!!!! I kept fooling myself into thinking that the dryer was shrinking my clothes, until I started looking at pics more closely YIKES- I also have joined WW you just have to keep trying and trying.... I know I can do it, I just came off of a 2 week cruise and never gained and ounce. Whats up with that....

  10. Oh I am so glad we didn't know about the Nugget when we passed through Sacramento just a few weeks ago. We love full-timing and for us, food sampling throughout this great nation has been a goal, as well as an enjoyable experience as we travel. Unfortunately, a toll to our waistlines has made us too wonder, how can we continue to enjoy the good life (aka foods of all kinds) and remain healthy. Okay, so we don't have the answer but our eyes are on you...and can't wait to hear the "rest of the story"!

  11. Hi Laurie,

    I think Odell should have face the same dietary restrictions that you've put in place for yourself. Heck it might even help his golf game.


  12. Mmmmmm..... I think The Nugget will be one of our DESTINATIONS as we head north!!!!!! JoAnn

  13. Well I can see from your comments that we all relate so well to this predicament --- enjoying all aspects of the places we travel. This same conversation has been going on over the past few days in our rig. "As soon as we empty the goodies in the cabinets and fridge, the good ole' South Beach diet book is coming out." We are supporting you from afar!! (Oh yeah, great writing once again.)
    Nancy and Jerry