Truffle French Fries

It is a beautiful day in sunny south Florida. It is about 80 degrees, very low humidity and not a cloud in the sky. I put my bathing suit on and walked out the back porch and down a short path to arrive at the beach to relax. The only problem is I cannot relax into what would normally be the best part of a Saturday morning for me. You might be wondering, what could possibly be the problem? Well, I have been on a pretty strict diet for two weeks now and I have hit the wall. I actually know better than to put myself in this situation, but I did it anyway. In my striving for perfectionism problem, I decided I needed to lose 5 pounds. The funny thing is that I have been the same weight for nearly 27 years. I have been the same for that long because I found a lifestyle approach that works really well for me, but in a moment of weakness, I thought I could override it all with my shear determination and willpower. Guess what, I did it.  I lost the 5 pounds, but like I said: “I hit the wall.”  All I want to do is eat a really good meal right now. So here is the dilemma. Do my husband, my son, and I go out to dinner or lunch? My first decision was to go out to dinner, and then I changed my mind and decide going out to lunch would be better. As soon as I decided to go to lunch I thought let’s not go out at all. It will be way too temping. Now, normally I wouldn’t go through this nonsense, but I am hungry for food and to do something different. Ok, now the restaurant I want to go has the best truffle French fries in the universe and French fries are definitely my number one downfall. I absolutely love French fries. Truth be known one of my first kind of sentences I strung together as a little kid was: I want Donald’s French fries (short for McDonald’s). What is even more funny, or more bizarre depending on how you look at it, is that I actually almost never order French fries. Instead I always encourage someone else to order French fries and then I proceed to steal them off their plate. My son is all too wise to my ways and now at 14 years old has learned to strategically guard his plate from me. So, back to the dilemma. Do I go to the restaurant with the amazing truffle fries and use my willpower to not have any? Do I try to just have a couple fries (which is often what I do)? Do I decide just to cancel going out to lunch period and stay home and keep it safe?

That is a million dollar question. An even better question is why is this happening right now?

I think the reason this happened is that I broke my own rules. The rules I know work for me. I tried to be too drastic with limiting my food the last two weeks. I never skipped a meal because that is the number one kiss of death for me, but I did not eat quite enough each day. Now, I did accomplish my goal but if I am not careful, it could back fire. I learned a long time ago that really the only thing that truly works for me and I would venture to say most people, is being consistent. I definitely have rules I live by, but these are healthy rules that make me feel good, give me energy, and help me maintain my weight. Some of my rules are to never skip a meal, eat some protein, and good fat in each meal, eat lots of vegetables, and salads, drinks lots of water, stay away from processed foods, avoid sugar, avoid white starchy products, and do some exercise that I enjoy everyday.

According to an article written on May 8, 2012 by the ABC news staff, the annual revenue of the United States weigh loss industry including books, drugs, and surgeries totals a whopping $20 billion. They also reported that most dieters make 4 to 5 attempts per year to lose weight. They also reported that there are approximately 108 million dieters in the United States and 85% of these dieters are women. Those statistics are down right scary. Considering the dieting industry makes so much money and yet we still have the same problem with obesity leaves one wondering why? I think a lot of people are looking for that quick fix, that magic bullet, that one diet that is going to solve their problem. There is no magic bullet and there isn’t a quick fix. According to Dr. Gregory L. Jantz only about 2% of all dieters actually lose the extra weight and keep it off long term. The common theme for those who were successful with the weight loss battle was a lifestyle change. If diet pills and diet programs worked no one would be overweight. Let’s face it, the first three letters of the word diet is “die”. People feel like dying when they are on a diet because they are suffering and have a feeling of deprivation. Enough about the dying part of dieting, what is way more important is how to make a lifestyle shift or change. There are a number of key underlying fundamentals that need to be addressed to make weight loss and weigh management lasting. These fundamentals are just as important but more esoteric than someone telling you what you can eat, what you can’t eat, how many calories to consume, and how many calories to burn.

One key underlying principle that is so important is the subject of nourishment. The Oxford dictionary definition of nourishment says: “The food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.” In the free dictionary nourish is defined as: “to support or encourage, to cherish and keep alive.” Nourishment is a vital and a necessary part of life. We need to feel nourished not only with the food we eat but with every aspect of our lives for ultimate fulfillment. When I think about nourishment, I think about healthy and natural foods. Foods that support helping you feel good; foods that give you energy, foods that don’t weigh you down and make you feel lethargic. You know that feeling you have after you just finished a Thanksgiving meal? I don’t think that feeling would be synonymous with the definition of nourishment. We are meant to eat food to live, not live to eat. If we could be more in touch with the purpose of eating and nourishment, I think we could consistently make better choices, choices that support us and help us to live our best lives. Now don’t get me wrong, it is not always going to be about nourishment because the fact of the matter is that we derive great pleasure from eating.

We are all seekers of pleasure. According to Anthony Robbins, a motivational speaker: “there are two controlling forces in our lives and those are avoiding pain and gaining pleasure.” Eating needs to be a pleasurable experience. If you find yourself going on the latest greatest diet of the week that has you only eating vegetables, how long do you think you will be able to endure? Not very long because not only is there very little pleasure, there is probably a lot of pain involved too. The pain is the pain associated with starving. In thinking about nourishment and pleasure, it would seem it would be absolutely imperative that we put together nourishing and pleasurable meals that support our health and well being on a consistent basis. Of course there will be those special occasions and some exceptions, it’s about what you do on a consistent basis that matters. In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. “It’s not what we once a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”  Quote from Anthony Robbins.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you how my dilemma turned out. I did decide to go out to lunch. I had a burger without the bun, tomato slices, and yes 10 French fries. Why did I do that? It is all because I knew if I didn’t have those French fries I was craving, I would keep eating extra food I didn’t really need or want until I finally broke down and had the fries anyway. This is another key concept I have learned sometimes the hard way throughout the years. It is the idea when you really truly are craving something, you should have it. The reasoning behind this is that ultimately you are going to have the very thing you are craving at some point. So get it over with. Rome wasn’t built or destroyed in a day. Give yourself a break sometimes.