Krissie: Bad Wolf Lunch

Photo on 8-23-13 at 9.56 AM Goddammit! That’s what I’m gonna look like if I don’t stop eating. Mind you, I was relatively good yesterday. I had one breakfast bar in the morning, when we went to Applebee’s I had a 4 oz. sirloin and a salad, when we came back I napped, had a couple of pretzel sticks, some watermelon, and then a frozen dinner with meatloaf, gravy and mashed potatoes! Damn damn damn. A couple of breakfast bars before I went to sleep because I had a craving for something sweet.
The bad wolf loooooves to eat. You know, if he really ate my liver like in Prometheus Bound at least I’d lose a few ounces. Not that I’ve been on a scale. I’ve just been eating.
Oh, it could be worse. I chose Applebees instead of Kathy’s because I knew I could get a good salad there. I didn’t buy the box of Madeleines that kept winking at me during the long wait in the checkout line at Walmart. (We had to buy a new remote control). But damn, Bad Wolf shoves food in front of me and nods approvingly while I show down, his jaws slavering, knowing I’m going to be a nice, plump morsel when he finally devours me whole.
Okay, now the Good Wolf is trying to be heard, but she’s got a smaller voice. She’s telling me I did NOT buy those Madeleines, when in the past I would have, and eaten them all. I didn’t buy chips, or take any that Jenny offered. I’d say I’m too hard on myself, but when you’ve been slipping and sliding you need to be hard.
Why do we love food so much? Why is it such a comfort? Is it because it’s the first comfort we know in life after being summarily yanked from the safety of the womb? Is it worse for those of us who didn’t have much mothering, or had a lot of chaos in our childhoods?
I don’t think so — so many people are struggling with eating and I’m assuming (wrongly, perhaps) that more people come from stable homes than don’t.
I think I need to learn to sit down at the table with the Bad Wolf and the Good Wolf and make my own choices. Good choices.
Or maybe I need my mouth wired shut.
You know, everything in my life is going well, so I find something small to fuss over. Yes, my health is important, it’s not small, but I’m also not out of control. Let me introduce Good Wolf:
“Okay, Krissie, you brat, remember yesterday? When a weird looking photo suddenly appeared on your iPhone and it looked like a hurricane photo. And then you saw it came from Erin and you looked closer and it was a sonogram of your grandchild?
Remember Eulalie the Glorious, who greets you with a happy ‘hello’ when you turn her on and gets 36 miles a gallon plus? Remember Richie, who misses you, the yarn, Alex, the book, … remember everything? Stop listening to the Bad Wolf — he’s full of shit. You’re aware and trying with the food, and life is glorious. Now shut up.”
Which I will.

34 thoughts on “Krissie: Bad Wolf Lunch

  1. What Kate said! The BW sucks large hairy donkey balls–don’t listen to him. Enjoy your time with Jenny and stop beating yourself up–you’re gorgeous and wonderful and an inspiration. And yes, life is glorious! Happy Friday, ReFabbers! I’m heading to the lake after two weekends away…can’t wait!

  2. I don’t like to blame others for my choices, but some of the food thing is definitely on the shoulders of the food industry, much as cigarette addiction is on the shoulders of the tobacco industry. You’ve probably seen the news reports on how food scientists are hired to intentionally mix up the sugar, fat and salt content of processed foods so as to make it more addictive and to trigger people to over-eat.

    Plus, there’s the change in how available food is now, compared to even fifty or a hundred years ago. (I’m always amused by Michael Pollan’s advice to only eat foods that your grandmother would have recognized as foods, which means very little in the way of processed foods.)

    I mean, think of the goldfish you eat — how many of them would you be eating if you had to cook them from scratch, and there were no preservatives, so you had to eat the entire batch within a few days? (Okay, if it were me, I’d eat the entire batch the first day, so on that day I’d eat way more than you do, but I probably wouldn’t make another batch for quite a while after that.)

    Food is just ubiquitous and easy and unlimited in our country right now. It’s in books, on tv, on the radio, in movies, on billboards, and in non-food stores as well as food stores. We can’t get away from it, and we don’t even appreciate it all that much, but just eat it out of habit and compulsion instead of enjoyment. And the companies selling it know how to trigger our senses, with the food itself and with the packaging and store placement.

    I’ve been trying really hard to avoid highly processed foods. Once you get away from it, it becomes a little easier to resist the temptation.

    Anyway, that’s the long way of saying, “Don’t be so hard on yourself,” and also: “baby steps.” Find some small change you can make and stick to, and get that solidly in place before making the next small change. Looking at the big picture — total weight loss, total calories per day/week/year, etc. — just feeds the Bad Wolf. The Good Wolf likes baby steps.

  3. Your Good Wolf is quite brilliant. Which isn’t really a surprise to anyone, I’m sure. That Bad Wolf needs a muzzle.

    I need to lose weight, but I do not diet. I just don’t. I don’t eat vegetables, barely touch fruits. I’m not a talented cook and know little about creating healthy things that would actually taste good.

    BUT, I don’t drink soda or alcohol. I don’t smoke. I don’t eat chips hardly ever, or keep them in my house. I don’t eat cheeseburgers or Big Macs or chili dogs or anything Mexican. So what I eat isn’t perfect, but I’m not scarfing down a heart attack in every meal either.

    Bottom line is, I have to move. And I’m finally finding the motivation to make that happen. Joining the rec center is the first step. Then, I have to actually step through the door. But as someone else said, baby steps.

  4. I agree. I think it’s habit, mostly. I made it out to be something bigger, but I really think it comes down to that. And the food industry, and larger portion sizes is a big part of that. (Ginormous portion sizes in the States, actually! My poor mother, who can’t eat much at a time but grew up during the War with rationing, has a horrible time in America, because it’s such a taboo for her to leave anything on her plate.)

    And, like Terri, I’ve found making the time to take some exercise is vital. I’m doing about an hour a day, just walking. Every so often I feel bad for walking instead of working, but really it has to come first.

  5. Yes, muzzle the BW and encourage the GW!

    My own BW is gorging on all the bad that is going on in me right now (job stuff, grief/anniversary stuff, and eating way too much ice cream and other sweets). I need to find a way to tempt the GW out into the light and smack the BW to get back into his cave.

    Good luck on moving forward with your GW.

  6. Relax and enjoy yourself. You’ll probably lose weight that way because your cortisol level will be low. ; )

    I went for an early morning walk and a bug flew up my nose. Yuck!!!! I hate that. I cut the walk short and for hours after I swore I could still feel that bug. Bad Wolf kept sneering and saying, see you can’t even get a simple walk in without drama. I think he was trying to turn me away from exercise. Me and Good Wolf put on our bathing suits and went swimming. That’ll show him!

  7. Kieran says:

    It’s like fighting a war, resisting the culture and eating in a healthy way! You literally have to sweep out your pantry and put blinders on at the grocery store! It shouldn’t be that way, but it is, and if you want to lose weight, be suspicious of the food industry and whatever you put in your mouth. What everyone else said was so smart–avoid processed foods, and you’ll lose weight without trying. Eat that apple. Eat that banana. Eat tons of roasted veggies at dinner with a piece of protein. Sweep the pantry clean of Goldfish and breakfast bars. Anything pre-packaged and processed, anything with added sugar, dump. If you do that, a year from now, you’ll be svelte and have loads of energy.

  8. Redwood Kim says:

    Goldfish also have MSG in them (autolyzed yeast in the ingredient list.) No nutritive value, but it makes it taste yummier.

  9. JenniferNennifer says:

    Food is such an easy thing for BW to use. One of my favorites is “food is the only thing you can count on” whispered subliminally in my ear. Who even knows where that came from, I have had supportive family all my life.

    It’s so lovely to hear all the great things in your life. Perhaps your good wolf needs a microphone or loud speaker.

  10. MJ says:

    Agree–the way food works in our society makes it hard work to eat well.

    (Warning: Assvice ahead.)

    I do notice a huge difference when I have carbs for breakfast versus protein; it sets up the whole day. A breakfast bar has me starving and craving cookies and muffins (really specific, vivid cravings) by mid-morning. A scrambled egg holds me a little longer and leaves me rational enough to choose better at lunch.

    Maybe peanut butter at breakfast? Single-serving packs of nuts instead of pretzels?

    But, yeah, your Good Wolf knows–baby steps are delightful. As are incoming grandbabies!

    Plus, you looked so peaceful in the picture Jenny posted of you near the fireplace. Let yourself enjoy the peace!

  11. Lynda says:

    Excellent point. A little protein at breakfast works way better than just carbs. One thing I’ve begun using since the fast is the cartons of egg, either reduced-yolk such as Eggbeaters or liquid egg whites. Half a cup has less than 50 calories, takes about two seconds to scramble–I use Pam or something similar and throw in diced green chiles for flavor–there’s no waste, and it gives a huge protein boost that really makes a difference in hunger levels later in the day.

  12. Tricia Halliday says:

    Good wolf’s are great aren’t they? Too bad they can’t eat bad wolf for breakfast and that would be the end of that!

  13. Linda says:

    A nutritionist once told me that if you don’t eat enough at breakfast, you risk falling off the wagon at the end of the day because you haven’t eaten enough. I am suspicious of that bar you ate for breakfast! She suggested a serving of peanut butter on wheat toast, for example, to make sure I get enough fat along with protein, etc. (Fat gets a bad rap; the body needs it, especially monounsaturated fatty acids such as those found in nuts, chocolate and avacado. I don’t do bread any more (just a trigger for a bread orgy at Texas Roadhouse) but I try to eat 1/4 of my daily calories for breakfast and my heaviest meal at lunch. Save the salad and steak light meal for dinner/supper and build in a snack mid-day, where your protein bar would come in. I know today I missed lunch and by 4:30 I was ready to EAT the Bad Wold and the Good Wolf.

    When I live like that, the weight comes down and my body feels better.

  14. Food is my drug of choice. I can eat it in a healthy matter or totally O.D. on it if I fall into the compulsive, addictive way of eating. Even though that eating is now in far smaller portions due to the surgery, when the behavior gets me, it still makes me feel bad emotionally.

    I don’t always have a reason why I eat wrong. Sometimes the Bad Wolf is absolutely silent and I still do it simply because it’s food, it’s available, and I’m a compulsive eater. It’s all about the behavior. At least when I’m in control and successful, the Good Wolf doesn’t hesitate to speak up and reinforce the good stuff.

    I echo the suggestion to start the day with more protein than carbs. A good protein shake, eggs, or peanut butter with apple slices or banana really sets me up right and started my morning off strong.

    I’ve also discovered that I absolutely have to measure out whatever I’m going to eat for a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack. (I eat something six times a day.) If I measure the stuff into a plastic container or plastic bag, I don’t overeat. It’s a simple tool that is highly effective for me. I honestly can’t trust myself to keep returning to a bag for more if I don’t take the measuring step.

  15. Deborah Blake says:

    And even a regular egg only has 70 calories, and if you get free-range ones, they have more balanced nutrition.

    I like melted cheese on multigrain bread with sliced almonds. That will hold me until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, when just plain cereal and berries (even the healthy cereal I eat with lots of fiber) wears off after a couple of hours.

  16. Deborah Blake says:

    Also most of those bars have HUGE amounts of sugar, and often fat too. It is really hard to find one that is truly healthy.

  17. Deborah Blake says:

    Personally, I just love food. Good food, anyway, which is mostly what I eat. I like to make it look beautiful on my plate, smell good, taste good…which then, sadly, means I want to keep eating it long after I am full.

    I’m working on putting smaller amounts on smaller plates, but it is tough, because I usually wait to eat until I am really hungry, then it *feels* like I need more food on the plate than I really do.

  18. jen wyatt says:

    The Bad Wolf drove my car to Popeye’s Chicken tonight but I’m the one who ordered the fried food and chased it down with sweet tea an ice cream Drumstick.

    If we behaved all the time we’d probably get so arrogant that no one would want to be around us. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  19. Micki says:

    These are very good points and I love, love, love Michael Pollan as a writer, but as I think he romanticizes the past as a archeo-nutritionist.

    Frex, if you look at the Little House on the Prairie books (esp. the one about Almanzo growing up), Great-great-grandmother would have had pie on hand several days a week. There would have been cheese — possibly daily — and maple syrup. Meat may have been whatever Pa shot down, but there would have been carbs galore in the form of semi-processed wheat flour and corn flour.

    Goldfish, in the form of cheese-straws at least, would have definitely been in G-g-ma’s repertoire because they are extremely easy to make (15 minutes with a food processor, and then baking time), and they keep for at least two weeks in a tin without preservatives. Traditional Christmas snack.

    The difference being, G-g-g-ma worked her butt off hauling laundry, beating the shit out of bread dough, sweeping, dusting, taking care of her garden, so she could afford the carbs. She needed the carbs. And also, G-g-g-ma was extremely lucky if she made it to 80. Hell, she was very lucky to survive 40. (Oh, and she probably didn’t eat that many raw veggies — extremely full of microbes, your raw veggies are.)

    We do need to eat differently today, but looking back at some imagined past isn’t going to provide the role model we need. There were very good reasons people stopped eating like that.

    Stepping off the soapbox now. Michael Pollan makes me a little crazy because I love his writing and feel fooled by it at the same time.

  20. Micki says:

    Food is such a vicious circle. We really wind up chasing our tails about it if we let it. Nutritional science is in its infancy, so we can find advice that lets us eat anything we want — and if we mix and match, we wind up eating far too much.

    I was desparate a few months ago and did that weird army diet that lets you have hot dogs and ice cream (ice cream! every day!), and I did lose weight. It wasn’t that awful, either, except I felt guilty for not having enough veggies. But it came right back on when I started eating normally. Three days on the diet, two days for it to come back. So, I have nothing helpful to say about diet and nutrition. Lots of nice theories. But only what works for you will work for you.

    That said, I read something absolutely enchanting in one of those “we immigrated from China” memoirs/fictions (I think it might have been Shanghai Girls, but I may be wrong). The Chinese family sat around one summer night and had watermelon for supper. Nothing but watermelon! They weren’t hungry, so they feasted on this luscious fruit.

    Another family I read about had green beans (there may have been a little bacon thrown in) for supper.

    One old saying has it that you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and supper like a pauper. But in season, one of those one-ingredient meals can feel like a banquet . . . .

  21. Jane F says:

    Micki, THANK YOU for articulating how I feel about Michael Pollan

    I always feel lured and frustrated by this sort of discourse but have trouble articulating it

  22. That’s interesting. I didn’t really think about the literal correctness of his “don’t eat what grandma wouldn’t recognize” rule. I just thought of it as a catchy way to say “beware of processed foods.”

  23. Kieran says:

    Who doesn’t love food? I hope everyone here sees a doctor. That’s a reality check for you. Heart disease kills so many women. If you want to optimize your chance to live a long life, exercise and eat healthy foods. See a doctor once a year. I’m literally on a bed about to get a EKG to rule out a heart problem. I have occasional burning in my chest. Some pressure. I’m not too worried but the point is we can’t hide our heads in the sand and think we can get away with ignoring our health. Bad habits will catch up with you–probably sooner rather than later. So make a commitment to yourself. Love yourself enough to say I got this! I can get healthier! All of us can.

  24. H says:

    I have a confession. I didn’t know what your “morning glory” muffins were until yesterday, when I saw them on Cook’s Country TV on PBS. Yum! I now understand the appeal (I’m not normally a fan of muffins).

    I think weight is a number. I like the healthy at every size movement because it helps people focus on all the things they can do to be healthy and feel good, not just what they’re doing to lose weight. And by healthy, I mean all sorts of health – like spending time with a friend being good for your heart. Keep being good to yourself, *including* eating well, not *just* eating well.

  25. August is doctor month for me. Primary, specialist, mammogram and blood work. I don’t know whether lumping ’em all together in one month to get it over with is better than spreading it out, but, yeah, see a doc regularly. If nothing else, it helps to have established a connection with a doc you trust (from dealing with the routine stuff) and who knows you (at least superficially) and who LISTENS, in case something bigger comes along.

    In the course of participating in a health support network, I see so many stories of patients whose doctors just don’t listen, which isn’t a huge problem if you’re just going for routine things, but can be life-threatening when something larger comes along.

  26. Kieran says:

    If you’re avoiding seeing a doctor on purpose because you’re afraid what he or she will say, you probably really need to go to the doctor.

    I hope everyone here has health insurance. We have a church in town that runs a free health clinic.

  27. Liz H. says:

    That weight is just a number is such an important thing to remember! I was on the edge of normal BMI for my height and just not feeling great. I’ve been doing a lot of things people have mentioned above- always eating breakfast; changing eating habits one thing at a time and not worrying about anything else until the one change is ingrained; more vegetables (trying…); a bit of exercise every day; NOT thinking of it as a diet, because just the word makes me want a gallon of ice cream; etc. I’ve only lost 4lbs in 6 months, and sorta gone down 1 size. If I were using numbers a definite failure. But I look different (thinner, in better shape), and I feel amazingly better.

    And I’ve found that for me, most important to all of the health/weight stuff is mental health. When I’m depressed or feel like crap because of other things I feel horrible physically and none of the rest seems worth it. The good wolf is a filter- when she’s well fed, less goes into me. When she’s not eating well it all goes to my thighs instead 😉

  28. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Yeah, and let’s not forget that G-g-ma also believed stuff like a nip of arsenic made her eyes sparkle. They didn’t necessarily make informed decisions either…and died of stuff like scurvy (no oranges)…and believed drawing blood made you well instead of sickening you.

    Smile. Yesteryear, including the paleolithic era, is always seen through rose-colored glasses. Points above all well taken.

    Rational thinking rules!

  29. I think your BW is full of hyperbole this week because your life sure does look glorious!:) Sometimes I think it’s the simple things — like if I’m getting enough vitamins, I’m less susceptible to cravings.

  30. I’m in no position to give advice on eating since I’m a good twenty pounds overweight and losing thirty to thirty-five would be even better. That said, I have lost ten pounds since early Spring by cutting out my afternoon snack and evening gelato. This is some way slow weight loss, of course, but then its not particularly thought filled or painful either. I have no idea how this will continue to work though.

  31. I just thought I’d put this out there – I recently read a book called “Done with Being Fat” that had some interesting theories on what is really making us fat and why it is that one diet will work for one type of person but not another. The author points out that we are all individuals with individual body chemistry and why would any one diet work? You have to figure out what it is that works for YOU and part of that is figuring out where your own imbalances lie. For instance, some people simply don’t digest properly, others have insulin resistance issues, etc. He also talks about why people have cravings. I haven’t tried all the testing methods he suggests in the course of the book but his premise seems reasonable to me. (The beginning of the book reads a bit like an informercial but is easy going and you get to the better stuff after chapter 5.)

    He has a whole series of these types of books and a website so it would be easy to look at before you got the book. Last time I checked it was free for Kindle.

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