A Lesson Learned

I went for a visit to Evanston, Illinois for a short visit with my sister and brother in law.   I had a fabulous time.  Before arriving I was a bit nervous.  I always gain weight when I go off of my Weight Watcher’s program.  And I knew I would not be sticking to it 100%.  I wanted to try a week living like a normal thin person.  I wanted to just put Weight Watchers on the side and not think about it.   So I did not record my points.  But I was careful with what I ate.  My goal for the week was just not to gain any weight.

I packed some healthy choices for the very long train ride there.  I had my bottle of water, a thermos of coffee, yogurt with frozen strawberries and fruit.  I survived my first trek of the trip.  I was hungry getting off of the train but not ravenous.  I knew my sister was preparing a lunch upon my arrival and I looked forward to whatever she was preparing.

Let me preface this with a history of what I eat for my lunch.  I fill a large bowl with mixed salad greens, chop up an apple (a very large one), add 3 ounces of tuna and top it off with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and vinegar.  It is a huge bowl of food.  And I eat the whole thing.  It is a 4 point lunch.  And it fills me up and I am satisfied until dinner.

For lunch, my sister made a bowl full of fresh spinach, added some feta cheese and walnuts.  She also cooked fresh beets which were delicious.  And that was lunch.  The bowl of salad was smaller than what I eat for my lunch and it had to be divided among all three of us. (My brother-in-law was also there).   I really got nervous.  I was very hungry at this time and I knew this small plate of greens would not fill me up.  I really do not like to be hungry.  It does not settle well with my mood.  But keep in mind that my sister (Rose) is very tiny (actually a normal size) and my brother-in-law  (David) definitely does not have a weight problem.

And we started to eat.  Again, my goal this week was not to gain any weight.  And I wanted to eat like a normal thin person.  I usually scarf my food down.  I am a very fast eater and I am trying to slow down.  So this lunch was going to be my first challenge.  I attempted to eat the small salad (now in a normal person’s world the salad was a substantial portion) very slowly.  I watched Rose and David eat.  They ate very slowly.  They put their fork down in between bites.  They sipped wine.  Yes, we had wine at lunch.  And they conversed.  I kept looking at my plate and the food was disappearing very quickly.  I was soon done with my meal and still not satisfied.  I was not hungry.  Just not satisfied.

Rose and David still had plenty of food on their plates.  They were enjoying their lunch.  They were savoring every bite.  And that was my first lesson of the week.  This is how thin (or normal) people eat. They ENJOY EVERY MORSEL,  they SLOW DOWN, and they BREATH between bites.

The five days that I was there, went exactly the same way.  Don’t get me wrong.  There was plenty of food.  More than enough.  But I am so used to weighing and measuring my food and making small amounts of food look and feel VERY LARGE.  I was determined to eat like a thin person.

And then there were nuts before dinner.  I always have pistachios (in shell) before my dinner.  I diligently count out my nuts.  Sometimes I have 20, 30 or 40 pistachios depending how many extra points I am allowed for the day.  Rose put out two (very small) bowls of nuts (almonds and walnuts).  I could not stop eating them.  I knew I was eating too many.  But I was VERY HUNGRY. Or I thought I was hungry.  I looked over at Rose and David picking at the nuts before them.  SON OF A GUN!!!!  They were diligently selecting one at a time AND CHEWING, CHEWING AND CHEWING!!!   I was amazed.  My (very small bowl) was completely empty and their bowl (the same size bowl of nuts) had plenty of nuts in them.  My oh my.  Another lesson learned from normal, thin people.  SAVOR THE NUTS.

The bottom line here is I learned a lot with my visit to normal, thin people.  They savor their food.  They enjoy their food.  They sip wine.  They do not gulp wine.   They do not swallow their food whole.  They chew their food.  They chew, chew and chew some more.  They converse during a meal.  And I will say, they enjoy their food.  BECAUSE THEY TASTE THEIR FOOD!  THEY DO NOT SWALLOW THEIR FOOD WHOLE.

I learned this week from two wonderful people that I love dearly.  They had no idea they were inspiring me.  And the best thing is that I am a quick learner.  I learned through example how to eat a bit slower and savor my food.  I learned how to chew my food and not swallow my food whole.  I learned how to SLOW DOWN while eating.

And the best gift of this week is that I lost 1.4 pounds for a total weight loss of 40 pounds.

I love learning new lessons.

sisters blog

A photo of my sister and me.