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Friday, June 19, 2009

Saved! How a recent hunt for junk food energized my diet

I know this blog is about eating out, but I hope for a minute you'll allow me to describe a recent trip to Giant Eagle. I need a platform.

So my boyfriend and I started counting calories at the end of May, and I've really learned a lot about myself in the process. For one thing I naturally operate on the Too Much Too Fast diet - I want big portions and eat them in the blink of an eye, which leads to more eating. To become painfully aware of how we're all Pavlov's dogs - yours truly included - grab "The End of Overeating" by David A. Kessler, M.D. from your local library. It's awful news.

Don't panic, though; I wouldn't blog here if I didn't have something positive to say about food. After all eating keeps us ticking, it's enjoyable, it's social (unless it's on my couch) and if Nietzsche believes art is a wonderful distraction than food can't be far behind, right?

What I'm getting at is, there are foods I know I should eat, but there are also foods I want. So going into this diet I knew I needed to find a way to eat them, or at least some of them. I needed to find a way to blend Health and Too Much Too Fast.

A couple of my mind-blowing personal revelations seem nutty to anyone not currently obsessing over calories, so I'll merely say they involve cheese and El Patron in Chardon (yes, this is a diet-breaking plug) and granola and yogurt for breakfast.

But my greatest moment by far, and the one I think you'll most likely understand, befell me somewhat unexpectedly as Jamie and I recently explored our hot dog options:

Do we buy standard buns (110-120 cal/each) and Ball Park beef franks (180+ cal/each) - or Ball Park Fat-Free franks (50 cal/each) and Schwebel's Lite Hot Dog Buns (80 cal/each)?

That's 290+ calories vs. 130 calories. It's a free hot dog, friends. And they taste the same.

Hands down the most lasting thing I'll take from this diet, long after bathing suit season has ended, is that little things add up. I can eat a big breakfast if I eat a light lunch. Exercise is essential. Putting a little thought into my meal makes a big difference. And the hardest part is over once I get myself to utter the words "without cheese."

I am eating two hot dogs, after all.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,


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