Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Must...Eat...Last...Piece...

I think I'm finally getting this whole, "I'm eating too much" thing and I've decided to focus my blame, not on me of course, but on America! Yes, although 100% of what I do to my own body is my own fault, I like to shift the blame from time to time and this time America gets the brunt of my anger.

The portions are OUT OF CONTROL. And, because I'm not one to back down out of a challenge, if a 10 pound plate of food is placed in front of me, my lord I will do anything to cross that finish line. I must finish what I eat, no matter what. This, sadly, often leaves me feeling ill...but sort of in that good, "I just gorged myself with deliciousness and love" kind of way.

I bet if I only ate half of what was presented on my plate, I'd lose at least some weight. Wasn't there a commercial that stated this? What is it about me that makes me think I must finish what's on my plate. Why am I a member of the clean plate-ers club? I know I'm not breaking any new ground, but I wish I could get my focus on and restrict myself. But, if I could restrict myself, I wouldn't be such a fat ass in the first place...ah, such is life.

52 comments:

Kate said...

Did your parents make you clean your plate when you were a kid? My father's parents actually paid him to eat.

Another possibility is the view that a friend of mine takes: "I paid for it, dammit, I'm going to eat it all!" (She's one of those annoying people who can eat her own weight in food daily and never gain an ounce. If I didn't love her so much, I'd really hate her.)

I eat all of what I buy, too, but it almost always includes a doggie bag.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty fat.

John said...

I agree, every so often we have to not so much shift the blame, but acknowledge the power of outside forces upon our behaviour. We're only human, after all. It's not only portion size, but also the contents of those portions--fats, calories, etc. If Kraft can make Real Mayo with less fat, why offer full fat at all? But choice, abundance and overconsumption are the American Way.

Regina said...

When I start thinking that if I don't finish it, it's going to waste, I stop myself by saying, "Better it be wasted outside my body than inside my body."

When I start thinking that if I don't finish it, I'll be wasting my money, I remind myself, "I can be out twenty bucks AND weigh more, or I can just be out twenty bucks."

Kate said...

A woman who was "encouraging" me to lose weight once told me that her weight loss began when she realized that she's not a garbage disposal and wasn't require to eat leftover food, but could toss it. She said that it was a revelation. Her assumption that my problem was that I was overeating was uninformed, but I thought that her insight was interesting, nonetheless.

CommiePinkoScum said...

Like John, I've also often wondered why companies who can make lower-fat or lower-calorie (or lower-sodium, lower-cholesterol, etc.) options don't make those the regular choices. I suspect they get a lot of profit out of the regular/low-fat/fat-free choices and changing it would be bad for their pocketbooks.

The food industry is to a point responsible for what people eat. Last year I noticed KFC and Long John Silver's heavily advertising "snacker" sandwiches -- don't just eat there for lunch and dinner, eat there for snacks, too! Taco Bell has a sign up advertising "Fourthmeal: The Meal Between Dinner and Breakfast". These places are trying to create more meals during the day so they can increase profits. I can't see that and think that all the responsibility is on humans for not resisting temptation like they "should". Of course they "should". But they don't, and that's why there's advertising, which is being used irresponsibly IMHO.

Kate said...

Good Point, commie. I stood in the salad dressing aisle at my local grocery store for almost 45 minutes one evening last week. I was unable to find a single salad dresing that didn't have sugar or corn syrup (many had both). I don't need or want sugar in my salad dressing, or in my pasta sauce, or in any one of dozens of other products that they insist on putting it in. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

That is what America's entire economy and political system is based upon! Freedom of choice when it comes to what we consume...if you chose to eat crappy food, you pay the price. But it is a choice.

Kate said...

If you choose to eat crappy food, you pay the price.

True, but "healthy" food tends to be a great deal more expensive than "crappy" food, so you're paying a price, either way. It's which price you pay that's the issue.

Anonymous said...

John,

Have you tried fat free mayo? It tastes NOTHING like real mayo. NOTHING!!! It's horrible!

Anonymous said...

Back when I was living in Boston (as opposed to suburbia, where I am now) I sometimes got around this by giving my restaurant leftovers to a homeless person. (I always felt kind of skeezy doing this, like they'd say "yuck, what are you thinking?" But no one ever did.) That way, while I was sitting in a restaurant, I could tell myself "Well, I *could* finish this, but if I do, then somebody else will be going hungry tonight." It helped me push the plate away more than once.

OutintheBurbsToo said...

Great idea Bostonian Anon! This way you can have your fab meal and be able to leave some over and ACTUALLY do something with it to help real hungry folks. Unlike the completely nonsensical "eat this all, because there are starving children in africa" mumbojumbo.

Anonymous said...

America, Fuck Yeah!

Now that that's out of the way... yes, the fast food companies have a hand in it. And I don't mean that in a "Blame Canada" sort of way. I am the type of person who tries to take responsibility for my choices. HOWEVER! A friend of mine used to be the most senior PR person for Burger King in Canada. She told me there is a certain type of person who eats there, and the BK execs know exactly who they're marketing to. In the industry this type of customer is called a "heavy user" - someone who eats high calorie meals several times a week at BK. That's how they can get away with ginormo portions of grease and salt and breakfast sandwiches that are like 2500 calories. On the other hand, they can get away with it cuz people are buying it.

My friend eventually left BK - she just didn't like the image of what she was doing after a while (constantly having to defend BK). Now she's a top person at the biggest alcohol importer / liquor brand manager in the country. Ah well, perhaps there are fewer alcoholics than obese BK "heavy users". The lesser of two evils? Whatever.

Anonymous said...

So I lived in England last year and somehow living off of a diet of frozen pizza and booze dropped like 25 lbs. Eventually I figured it out, I told people I had a natural gastric bypass surgery, b/c the portions they give you in the UK are literally half the size as in the US. And at first I was hungry, but if I waited 15 mins after I finished eating, I'd be full instead of eating till I felt full. Screw the surgery, take a long vacation abroad instead and lose weight in a healthy and natural manner.

Christine said...

I know what you mean about finishing what's on your plate. It probably stems from child hood when you were told to finish everything.

I read a suggestion somewhere though, to just eat off of smaller plates. Makes sense to me. You feel like you're eating alot, but it's less than you would be if you were eating off of the bigger plates. And you can finish the whole plate with less guilt. Assuming it's more than half an ince smaller and you don't pile the food on.

Anonymous said...

how did you get fat, kate? just curious

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kate. You can make your own. It's still your responsibility what you put in your body. Making your own is much cheaper by the way.

Amy said...

My pet peeve is all of the foods that appear like they are a single serving container but when you look they are actully 2 or more servings.

Serving at resurants are so huge because the cost to increase the portion is marginal. They can give you 25% more with out it costing 25% more so they make more profit and the cusotmer is more satisfied.

buffpuff said...

I'll agree with you, Anonymous, on the size of UK versus US portions. I once ordered a starter which was literally about 6 times the size of the UK equivalent. There were two of us sharing it and we barely made a dent in it. However...um - how is living off a diet of booze and frozen pizza "a healthy and natural manner" to lose weigh?

Christine - I'm honestly not meaning to be disagreeable but that eating-off-a-small-plate suggestion is just plain dumb if you ask me. If it's my plate and I put the food on it, I know exactly how much food I'm eating, (or not).

Kate said...

how did you get rude, anonymous? just curious

Kate said...

You can make your own. It's still your responsibility what you put in your body

I have always make salad dressing (and usually my pasta sauces) from scratch because I have lots of food allergies and it's just so much easier to do it myself. The salad dressing thing was an experiment. I had been talking to a friend about the over use of sugar in American processed foods and wanted to see if it is even possible to buy a salad dressing that doesn't have sugar. At my local supermarket (the gigantic one with over a 100 varieties of salad dressing), it isn't.

Amy said...

I think it was the Meridia ads that talked about being able to leave some food on your plate. 5 or 6 years ago they ran an ad campaign with lots of leftovers (about 1/5 the meal) on the plate.

Last night I thought briefly about taking half my meal home, but reheated hardshell tacos? Man, that sucks, they're all soggy. WHen I'm not having a huge craving, and we go out to eat? Yeah, sometimes I do pick menu items just because they reheat well. I'm lazy, and if I can pay once and eat twice it's a winner. 12 oz outback steak, baked potato, bread & butter, caesar salad? Yeah, I can save half the steak and probably all of the potato for the next day. But I have to think about it in advance becuase if I eat more than half on accident... then I have to eat it all in one sitting. It's a fucked up mental thing, thinking less than half "isn't tnough for lunch tomorrow anyways."

Fajitas are another meal that reheats well.

Laura said...

I am one of those who grew up with - "You finish what's on your plate, or you don't get dessert." What kid can resist dessert I might ask? But by the time you had crammed all that extra food into your body, you had to force that delicious dessert down, which makes you not enjoy it nearly as much, and then you feel sick after. Parents are so cruel.

I read something in a magazine article somewhere that just because you bought it, does not mean you have to keep it. I think it was more to do with clothes and makeup and such, but it works for food too. Of course, easier said than done. Especially if you are broke like me.

Anonymous said...

You could try just eating out only at really expensive, fancy non-chain places (that probably means less often, but that's not so bad, right?). I find that they always serve me the exact right amount of food, one small course at a time.

snackiepoo said...

I've started this new thing that restaraunters probably hate but...once I am satisfied, I poor pepper or salt all over my food. It is the only way for me cause I feel like cleaning the plate is my duty. I mean, who wants the poor dishwashers to do extra work cause of little ole me? ;)

Anonymous said...

All I know is: The terms "fat free" and "mayo" should NEVER be on the same label.

Anonymous said...

buffpuff, you're totally right. Booze and frozen pizza is not a healthy way to lose weight, I just meant it as a smaller portions as opposed to life-altering, unsuccessful, highly dangerous tummy surgery. I was not advocating a lifestyle of pizza and booze (and i did eat other stuff when I wasn't living in the library).

Midknyt said...

Although you feel a little weird about it when you first do it, I have found that putting half of your food in a to-go box BEFORE you start eating works out really well.

When I do it, I think that if I'm still hungry, I can just take more food out of the to-go box, so then I don't feel deprived when I'm doing it. Most of the time, by the time I finish cleaning my plate, I forget I have the other food. (I even had a waiter have to chase me down with my box). It doesn't always work, and you have to get over asking for the box when you first get your meal, but when you get used to it it works really, really well.

Regina said...

I'm a waitress and I'm always SO happy to give someone a to-go box at the same time that I serve their entree. Any customer who asks for that has my respect! (Laura, parents ARE cruel. It's horrible)

littlem said...

I think Regina is a gracious hostess and I like Boston Anon's suggestion about feeding two folks from one plate.

I shudder that BK (and the other fast food places, I would imagine) has/have actually co-opted the term "heavy user" from the language I've heard to fight addiction (one of my brilliant roommates in grad school was a recovering alcoholic). It's GOT to make you wonder what's in the food.

Kate, did you know that Newman's Own has "lite" versions now? I have to admit that I wept a little when I read even that brand's label on my beloved Italian Vinaigrette and found corn syrup (the American food thing really is a conspiracy, you guys; where the he** do I sign up for the revolution?), but I've just seen new ads for the "lite" ones and am going to give them a try.

Otherwise, virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pressed garlic, cracked pepper, and a touch of kosher salt is good too. And you can take it with you in a small jar for shaking if you carry your lunch to work.

(Whew, long comment. *Waves at author! Buff and wonders when her book is coming out so we can read it* :D)

CommiePinkoScum said...

The only salad dressing I ever made had sugar in the recipe, but I omitted it and it was very good. It was water, olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, a bunch of dried herbs (oregano, crushed red pepper, thyme, and rosemary at least, more to taste) and gelatin to thicken it. I suspect you have to make salad dressing to get any that's sugar free.

Have you checked packaged/dried dressings? Maybe they are sugar free.

As for sharing an entree, the only local place that was ever okay with that is the local wine bar. Excellent but expensive food, not the kind of place we can go to weekly. The chain restaurants like Applebee's don't cotton to sharing.

Technicolour Nightmare said...

I never really thought about why I ate all that was in front of me until I read these comments. I think it is the age old "starving kids in Africa" line.

I've started following the portion suggesions on the box/container and have found that I have lost a considerable amount of weight since Feb. I also use a small plate when making something from scrath, and I honestly think it works.

I decided early on that I had to be careful not to instil poor eating habits in my daughter and one of the things I decided was never to make her finish a meal. I usually put a small to regular portion on her plate and instantly put the rest in a container. If she is still hungry then she can get more. If there is still food on her plate then that is fine. She's had her fill. I think kids should be taught young to listen to their bodies.
Portion control is the way to go.

Kate said...

When I'm by myself, my "salad dressing" usually consists of a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and herbs/spices. If I'm making it for guests, it gets the full treatment. I found a wonderful lemon vinegar that makes a wonderful light vinaigrette.

Nice thought on the "dried" salad dressings, but sugar is the first ingredient on their labels. As for "lite" dressings, they tend to make up for removing fat by increasing sugar. Manufacturers have come to the conclusion that they can't reduce both fat and sugar and have it sell. Whether that's a function of taste or emulsification, I don't know. I do know that when baking from scratch, chefs say that one can reduce/remove either fat or sugar, but not both, or the chemistry doesn't work right.

EatingAin'tBad said...

Re salad dressings:
Check out the diabetic foods section of your grocery store (in my grocery store it's in the health food section). I use a great sugar free rasberry vinagrette that I love. I honestly can't tell the difference b/t it and a similar regular dressing. I also eat sugar free syrup (there are several good brands) and reduced sugar jelly (it's a little thin, though). There are a wide variety of foods out there for diabetics and they're good for you even if you aren't diabetic (watch for high sodium counts, though).

As for the portion thing, I've been trying to control my portions and it's especially hard at restaurants. I ask for the to go box up front and put any excess (usually about half the food) into the to go box b/f I start eating. I get to eat it for lunch the next day so it feel all economical. It took me a while to get used to eating smaller portions but after a while I didn't feel deprived.

As for asking how someone got fat-that's just messed up. I found that I packed on the pounds by beating the ever living crap out of asshats who asked rude questions. Or was that how I lost weight? Maybe it's just how I worked through some of my aggression issues. Either way - ooh, it felt great!

Buffpuff said...

Hi, Littlem! Know it's off topic but I couldn't think where else to post. Alas, at present I'm only a published non-fiction writer – dull stuff related to my day-job. I just finished the novel at Christmas and am bouncing it off a maverick, hotshot agent as I write. Wish me luck!

Glad to hear you weren't serious about the hooch 'n' pizza diet, Anonymous!

Greg said...

You fatgirls have no willpower :) it's kinda cute and kinda sad :(

WifeMomChocoholic said...

OMG, restaurant portions are positively ridiculous. I too grew up with the "finish everything on your plate or you won't get dessert" mom -- the same mom who served huge portions for you to finish. No food was EVER thrown away at our house and to this day I find it nearly impossible to throw food away without horrible guilt.

I take at least half my restaurant meals home -- unless it's something that doesn't reheat well. Then I have a terrible time not eating most of it. How to get over the compulsion to clean your plate? If I knew that, I wouldn't be a size 12.

Laura said...

Greg...we fat girls have will power. We just choose to ignore it when it suits our fancy.

And we are cute.

leticia said...

Here, here, Laura!

Greg said...

If you ignore it then don't bitch about being fat!! i'm so confused ;)

randomfatgirl said...

What fat girls don't have, Greg, is patience for men who really haven't a clue about any of this but enjoy putting their 2 cents worth in anyway by stating the obvious. Yes, if we all had a ton of will-power we would either not be fat, or would be fat and not bitch about it because it's our choice...that's not news to us.

P.S. The sky is blue. :)

Kate said...

Random, I'm sorry but I can't let that stand. It buys into the myth that a majority of us are fat because we eat too much when there are any number of studies that conclude that, with the exceptions on the extreme ends of the spectrum, Americans tend to eat approximately the same amount and exercise the same amount regardless of their weights. Now if you mean the "will power" to live in a constant state of semi-starvation, I'll grant the point, but what kind of life would that be?

Anonymous said...

If I ate half the food on my plate, would I weigh half of what I do weigh?

randomfatgirl said...

Kate, I don't mean will power in regard to the amount of food necessarily...it can mean the type of food you eat too. For me personally (and most folks I know in life outside the blogosphere), it's a combination of all three...will power for amount, type, and getting your butt up to exercise. Sure, there are folks out there with medical issues that keep them fat, or folks that are just plain happy with being fat...but from what I've heard and read that's really not the majority of us trying to lose weight.

Shelly said...

You know, this makes me think of Dolly Parton.

At one point, she had said she was overweight. I don't know when that was - and honestly..it must have all been in her boobs. but I digress. She said the most interesting thing about her weight loss.

She was raised in a poor household where she needed to clean her plate. So she always had this mentaliaty of "finish what's in front of you" and not to waste it. She said what you did - if it was put in front of her, it was a challenge to try and eat it all. She finally realized it was a mental thing that really didn't *have* to be followed, so she gave herself a new challenge: eat half of what was there.

She would eat half her plate, and toss the rest in the garbage. She said at first, it made her feel bad, wasting all of that food - but she had to do it to get past that mentality that she *had* to eat it. Eventually she did. Eventually she couldn't handle the huge portions, but could get past it enough to take the rest home in a doggie bag for lunch the next day.

I always thought that was interesting. hers was more an experiment in the *mentality* of it - once she got past that "I have to eat every bite" mentality, she could trust herself enough to save the leftovers for later. Pretty cool. I still can't do it. ;)

Tim said...

I just wanted to say that I love fatgirls and I think they're the sexiest girls on the planet. Niff' said :)

Anonymous said...

all you people are so fat just get off the couch.... if its that hard use a stick i mean fuck you guys i can asume that all you do is eat fried chicken and sit at your computer whining about how fat you are. You guys seriously have problems just lose the fat. Its not that hard . LOSE IT FATTYS

Kate said...

Its not that hard

Spoken like a true ectomorph.

Anonymous said...

It either ends up wasted in the trash, or stored in your body as wasted space that makes you hate yourself. Pick one.

Anonymous said...

I have actually been doing the smaller plate thing, and cutting my portions quite a bit. I have gotten used to it now, and I am full on less food.
I have dropped 3 dress sizes so far.
If there is food left, Ill just put it in the fridge for lunch the next day.
The biggest thing (for me) is not to let myself get so starving hungry that I end up pigging out.
I will eat something before I get that hungry.
I know it's different for everyone, but a lot of these little tricks do actually work...it's psychological.

Anonymous said...

the smaller plates and bowls thing always works. Also using darker bowls and plates makes you eat less too (for some weird reason).
what also works really well is if you're making dinner for yourself, only make yourself a really small portion so that if you want some more you'll have to go through the whole cooking process again, which is annoying
anon at 5:56 who do you think you are?? does it make you feel big, commenting on a blog about being fat that all fat people eat crap and just sit at their computers moaning about being fat?
losing weight is hard, consult a dietician and see a therapist if needed, and when you go out order just an entree and eat slowly, say 30 chews per bite, and put your fork/spoon down after each bite. that works really well because it makes you feel so much fuller.

internationalstudent said...

i used to weigh 160lbs, give or take. in asia that was considered monstrous and obese by most people, since girls weighed AT MOST 120lbs most of the time (but generally 100lbs). i came to america and actually felt normal.

and then i started eating american food. i've put on 50lbs in the 2 years i've been here. so yes, weight is in fact due to the lifestyle. i can't blame america, because after all i was the one that decided to follow their way of life (without realizing the maddening effects it would have). but really .. a little amount of money for such a large amount of food? how could the college student in me resist, at that time? now i'm trying very hard to revert to my old lifestyle.