Dieting Internationally

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Denial ain't just a river in Egypt

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The word diet falls upon the ear like a punishment.

We know something’s going to be taken from us. This word carries with it so many negative connotations, yet still does not warn us adequately for the changes that must lie in store for us, if we are to be a success. If I'm fat, I've' got to assume I'm doing something wrong in the eating category, specifically, I must be taking in more calories than I am burning off, during any given day.

Now, I don't walk through the day saying to myself, ”I’m going to find some really fatty snacks that will be as packed as possible with calories and fat, and hopefully they'll be mostly empty calories so I will feel like eating again A.S.A.P.".  I am actually in a pleasant state of denial, because I don't know the amount of calories and fat in a homemade peanut butter brownies, and I lose count after shoveling two or three in my mouth, so I couldn't really be eating more that four.

And one portion is equal to how much I can stuff in my mouth at a time, with the added bonus that if no other living soul saw me scarf it down, then did I really scarf it down? This is analogous, for all you philosophy nuts out there, to the ol' "Does a tree falling in the forest make and noise if there is no one around to hear it?." I have always thought this was not much of a conundrum unless the person being questioned was God.

Of course the tree makes noise, and those six huge mouthfuls of walnut fudge just used up enough calories for two healthy meals, even if God himself had his back turned. My point is, the first killer of thinness, svelte-hood, and litheness, is ignorance about food.

This ignorance comes in two colorful wrappings. The first lump of information free living comes from our own heads, the little demon in each of us who is only satisfied by a food which is at least 50% fat. Denial fits into this first batch of misinformation, because it grows so organically in us, like the mantras "only two more bites won't make a difference” and "three snickers bars for dinner is a very close simulation of the Zone diet".

Let's face it, we overeaters, (or above and beyond the call of duty eaters), are very good at smudging the lines between foods that are beneficial to our bodies and the foods which are just plain Benedict Arnolds. Just because it exhausts you to walk up a flight of stairs to use the color printer does not mean you "worked out to the best of your ability."

This method of thinking can only lead us down slippery slopes; take salads, for instance. There’s a whole team of diet destroyers who try to get between your lips using this innocuous appellation. Fruit chopped up with coconut swirls and whip- creamy marshmallow sauce does not a salad make!

Likewise, if it's made from pasta and tastes better with same sauce and parmesan cheese it's not really pasta salad. Same goes for macaroni, potato, and crispy Asian anything. After we have finished deluding ourselves, we can count on the American food industry to further confuse and befuddle us with inaccurate labeling and what we have come to think of as snack foods: If it has more than one polysyllabic ingredient the "cooks" have taken out most of the nutrition and stuffed it full of chemically born carbohydrates. But on the label it might say, "1/2 the fat of regular" (just how much fat is in regular chemicals?).

This is the part that forces us dieters to really put on our thinking caps....

 Next up:  What if my thinking cap doesn't fit me any more? Dieting Internationally 2