Gum in My Hair

An embarrassingly honest blog

On Moderation: Zeppelins and Wolves August 12, 2010

Filed under: Blush Face,Shut Your Mouth! — dulcedementia @ 11:22 am
Tags: , ,

This may as well be a four-letter word for me. My whole life, I have never been a woman who likes things I like in moderation. If something brings me joy, I can’t get enough of it. This goes for things from food to shoes to, um, well, you get the idea.

I’m an emotional person, to be certain, even though I try to live my life in a rational, logical manner, sometimes the adventure gets the best of me. It’s why, at 30, I have no savings, own no home and have no car. And yes, my credit is in the shitter.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m off spending bill money on cheeseburgers and cute dresses. I still struggle to pay all my bills first, it’s just that, instead of tucking money away when there is some left over, I spend it on items that bring me joy. And this doesn’t mean fancy jewelry or designer jeans. I spend it on dinner with friends or a round of drinks with my ladies.

There’s one moderation that does somehow need to happen and I have yet to be able to figure out how to make it happen. How to lift my finger off the “immediate joy” button and delay gratification.

That is food. Glorious food. If it’s over 200 calories per serving, it’s probably delicious and I want it in my belly. But some group of doctors got together and “discovered” that high fat, high calorie diets will kill you in the end. Also, they will make you the size of a zeppelin. Party poopers.

But, fucking hell, they’re right and it makes me infinitely grouchy to admit it, because that means I have to apply some moderation to what I eat if I don’t want to end up “B-Word” fat. So far, moderation seems to lead to a binge after about 4-5 days. Mind you, this is while I’m suffering through the Wolf (the term my dear beau coined to describe my PMS), so it may be a little extreme.


I started the South Beach Diet last Monday. I ended the South Beach Diet last Thursday. Why? Because I actually started weeping on my way home from work when I started thinking about the horrible, horrible food that awaited me at my apartment. I decided a sandwich was a good alternative to lethargy and depression. I ate my Philly cheesesteak (from Denver Ted’s, highly recommend them!) with a gusto reserved for people that have been stranded on a deserted island with no access to Dharma Initiative rations.

The lesson learned last week: The Wolf is a motherfucking bear and perhaps I should not feel guilty about including whole grains and good sugar into my daily menu.

The problem is, how do I do this while maintaining moderation? I’m trying to work on the moderation thing this week. It helps that I have $2 to my name until Monday, so I’m stuck with eating what I’ve got, but that doesn’t change the fact that I worry quite a bit about metaphorically shoving the whole moderation thing in a high school gym locker where it has to await the merciless bullying of jocks named Steve and Asher. Yeah, my moderation is really small and wussified.

Tell me, oh sage readers, what tips or tricks do you have to help me stay on my path of moderation (with little rewards tucked in here or there, of course)? I love food and I love eating, I don’t ever want to give that up, I just need to learn how to do it in moderation.


9 Responses to “On Moderation: Zeppelins and Wolves”

  1. Vern Says:

    1-2 bites. Often times I find that i don’t fall off my “wagon” if I’m able to convince myself that 1-2 bites of something that’s AWFUL for me is reasonable.

    How do you manage just 1-2 bites when even though Dove chocolates do come in small wrapped squares you still have to buy THE WHOLE BAG?

    Trusting yourself. I’ll buy a bag of chocolates and divide them up into smaller ziptop bags. Write a date on the bag (space each bag out 4-5 days). Only open that bag when that date has passed. So you can choose to eat them all in one day — or space them out so you have one each day.

    Then, just try buying slightly healthier versions of snacks you already enjoy. Like Doritos? Try getting the baked ones. Enjoy Ice cream? Try sorbet or just get a single serving Ben&Jerrys cup next time instead of the pint.

    My favorite trick in moderating cravings is to write it down. I reserve my “Wish list” and write down something I’m craving. If when the weekend comes (or whatever designated day you pick) rolls around, and I’m still craving something on the list… I’ll pick one, and indulge.

    I think the worst thing we can do for ourselves is to feel guilty about our food choices. We aren’t just feeding our bodies, but our senses, our emotions and taking time to enjoy it! Food is entertainment. It is sustaining, it is nourishing and it is healing.

    Negotiate an alternative outcome to the hostage situation with your brain. Instead of agreeing immediately to “I will release feel good hormones if you eat that chocolate!” tell yourself, that after you’ve eaten a healthy lunch, had a nice bike ride, or stroll in the park and done something ELSE you enjoy (reading, writing, hitting a bitch out) if you still want that chocolate — have it. You deserve it.

  2. timd Says:


    that’s what i do.

  3. enyabiznass Says:

    I effectively stopped eating a couple weeks ago in my attempt to eat to lose weight and fuel good workouts because apparently I am a strong motherf*cker and need to eat better to be stronger and kick the asses of little yoga girls (my trainer’s words).

    Yes, stopping eating was wrong. But I was suddenly thinking about what I had to eat five times a day and making sure it was balanced and staying at 1500 calories, and I went a little crazy and went down to probably around 800 calories a day. Stupid. So, I stopped writing down what I was eating because it was stressing me out to the point of tears, and I discovered that my stomach shrank, which is awesome.

    My new strategy? Make sure I eat breakfast (not going so well), and just plan on eating half or less of whatever I eat out. That’s all. Probably not that healthy but better than me trying to eat only 150-200 calories, 5 times a day…

    • Charli Says:

      For me the biggest thing is to not let myself feel guilty over indulgences. I’m a sucker for a subway sandwich and my favorite is over 1200 calories (I know right?). Well I still let myself have this sandwich but only around once a month or so. If I want a footlong, I get chicken breast. If I want fatty pepperoni, I get a six inch. I’ve never been much a carbs person but I love fats and salts and bacons… Mmmmh tasty.

      Anyway, I agree with Vern’s reasoning (there’s a reason she’s my girlfriend). You can’t focus on denying yourself the whole time. You have to enjoy what you’re eating.

      Something my mom did to loose weight was to eat only a cup of something at a time and then wait an hour to eat more. It allowed her to eat what she wanted in control portions. There was no denying anything. Pasta, ice cream, potatoes. Of course she had to start eating her dinner super early to be done in time for bed.

  4. ladysmith Says:

    Vern is spot on. Also it’s called moderation not deprivation (when you are in starvation mode, your body fights to keep every bit of fat reserves and pushes you to EAT MORE RIGHT NOW). Go out to eat, but put half in a to-go container before you even start (then you get to have it twice..mmmm).
    Drink a full glass of water before you eat (I cheat and drink it while I’m eating, but it still fills me up).
    Get as many fruits and veggies into your diet as possible. Forget what others say about “eating them raw”, get them in however you can. It’s better than not eating them or eating their equivalent of processed sugar/grains/meat.
    Also key is to learn what you can tolerating subbing out. For me I don’t need soft drinks at meals, so I only have one when I WANT ONE DAMNIT; and I really like baked tosidos better than most store tortilla chips; low fat cheese ain’t half bad to me, so that shaves a few calories here and there; but I cannot abide no-fat ANYTHING, so I just get most things lightER/low-fat things as much as seems realistic. My great temptation is potatoes of every sort. You give them to me as a side and by-by moderation. So, I sub out that side for something else unless I MUST HAVE IT.
    Another thing you could try is only giving the wolf a pass, and “being good” the other three weeks.
    Weight watchers is great for learning substitutions. I also recently read that a study showed the reason it works so well is that we can process smaller numbers easier than larger ones (DUH), so the points system works better than traditional counting calories. It works for me.
    Also, from what I have heard about “Eat This, Not That” I think it is really on to something (even though I have not personally read it yet).
    Another option is to get back in the rink. If you move enough, you can accommodate more caloric intake.
    And last but not least, go easy on yourself. You did not develop these desires/cravings/habits in one day/week/month and you will not alter them nearly as fast.
    Baby steps.
    Good luck with your goals. I love you!

  5. ladysmith Says:

    oh and if you want to feel better about your eating habits, catch an episode of “You are What you Eat” (BBC America). damnnnnn.

  6. Tiffany Says:

    If you can stand to cook (I just saw you shudder in front of your computer by the way) I love the recipes in the books from this show: I have made almost all of them at some point over the past year and most are really delicious. Best of all they give you the healthy substitutions for foods that I adore eating (blueberry muffins for breakfast, spicy cheeseburgers or mac and cheese for dinner to name a couple.) It also helps save money if you cook. 🙂

    But, other than that I think Vern has awesome suggestions. I do the set number of bites thing all the time. Like if I want cookies and cream ice cream I’ll buy a scoop and tell myself I have to take two bites and wait to see how I feel. Then think about how you really feel – do you want to eat the rest of the cup because it’s there? If so, toss it. If I really feel like I’ll go crazy without another bite I’ll take one. But, I always set myself a maximum number – like maybe 5 bites, or half a serving or something like that.

    And I try to never eat a full restaurant’s serving. It’s usually 2 or 3 normal servings anyway. So when I get whatever it is – a sub from a sandwich shop, a bowl of pasta, even something that seems healthy like a salad I divide it into half or thirds and eat a portion. Then I wait 20 minutes or so and see how I feel. If I’m still hungry I may eat more, but I rarely am.

    Also, I switched to drinking champagne instead of beer. Oh wait. I always drank champagne…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s