Sunday, October 04, 2009

Food, Glorious Food!

I started a new eating plan last week, one I've been planning for several months. Julia Cameron, of THE ARTIST'S WAY fame, also wrote a book about weight loss, called THE WRITING DIET. The book uses a combination of devices from several sources (THE ARTIST'S WAY, Alcoholics Anonymous, Clean Eating) to make participants understand why they overeat and/or make poor food choices. THE WRITING DIET can be used in conjunction with any of the popular weight loss programs, like Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins or whatever. There are seven 'tools', 4 questions, and a lot of introspection and time invested. One is supposed to write Morning Pages (from THE ARTIST'S WAY) every morning. Three pages. Long hand. One is supposed to walk for 20 minutes every day. One is supposed to go on a 'Culinary Artist Date' once a week (another TAW concept). I've been writing down a list of possible desintaitons for the dates.

One of the most important 'tools' is keeping a food journal: writing down every thing you eat and drink, all day, every day. This is very similar to the Weight Watchers program I used with great success several years ago.  But not only are you supposed to write down what you eat, but also what triggers your need to eat. Why do you want to eat that, now?

So far, my answers have been pretty much, "Because I really want a cigarette, but I've quit smoking."

A month or so ago, someone in my local RWA chapter brought in leftover promotional samples  to give away (her husband sells promotional items). Among the pens, chip bag clips, etc. was a lone notebook. Chipboard covers. Information about how the notebook can be personalized for your business is printed on the cover. There's an elastic loop and a very nice pen attached. I grabbed it, thinking I could find some cool stickers to cover the promotional spiel. But yesterday, during another meeting of my local RWA chapter, I was given a sheet of way cool stickers as my BIAW prize. The first thing I did when I got home from the meeting was fix up my notebook. Isn't it pretty? All the stickers are positive reinforcement: WOW! GREAT! YOU DID IT! They couldn't be more perfect.

My initial complaint about the eating plan, which has become secondary, but only to the time-involved element, is the author's constant and continual suggestion to use Splenda. "Slice some strawberries and sprinkle them with Splenda," or  "Diet Jell-O with Splenda," or "whipped riccotta and Splenda". My first reaction was, she must be getting product placement money. I guess Splenda doesn't 'disagree' with everyone, but it's absolute poison to my system. Nasty, nasty stuff. And one of the keys to this eating plan is "Clean eating": lots of water; fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grains. Then you add an artificial sweetner? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Besides, why would you ruin perfectly perfect strawberries with anything?