Monday, March 20, 2006

King, Prince, Pauper

Usually I can eat whatever the hell I want and don’t really gain weight. Or so I thought. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the doctor and was a little shocked at the number I saw on the scale—130 lb. Of course, I was wearing boots that weighed about, oh maybe, 5 lb and a belt with a buckle that had to weigh at least another 3 lb. So clearly that was why I weighed more than I thought I did. Today, I went to another doctor, and, knowing I’d be asked to step on the scale fully clothed and shod, I made sure to wear featherweight shoes and no belt: 129.5 lb read the number on the scale. I do realize that at this weight and with my height (5 feet 4 inches), I am not overweight according to BMI indices and all that. But. I am a small-boned person who is not blessed with long legs, and for me 129.5 lb is about 9.5 lb more than I should weigh in order to feel OK about the way I look and to have the requisite degree of chipperness. I also know this—those extra 9.5 lb are entirely the result of careless eating habits and a dramatic decline in the amount of exercise I get.

How did this happen? Oh, there are lots of reasons/excuses, but probably the biggest one is poor time management and lack of organization. If there is healthful food in the house, I’ll eat it. If there isn’t, I’ll eat toast. There is always bread and butter in the house, even when there is little else. I could absolutely live on generously buttered toast (until I die of a heart attack, that is). I never ever get sick of it. If I’m feeling particularly under-the-gun regarding the pile of work on my desk, maybe I’ll work-work-work until 1 or 2 PM, realize I'm ravenous, and then decide to "reward" myself with a Colossal Burger from Burgerville, and, heck, an order of fries, too. Warped.

So step number one is to make sure there are whole foods in the house and plenty of them. This will mean that I will have to force myself to sit down and plan in advance (no!) what I am going to eat for the week, which is for some reason exceedingly difficult for me. I don’t know why. Step number two is to implement the King, Prince, Pauper eating scheme, which is something that I read about in the Ladies Home Journal (or similar) when I was a kid waiting for my mom to get her weekly wash, rinse, and set at the beauty parlor.

It goes something like this: At breakfast you should eat like a king; at lunch you should eat like a prince; and at dinner you should eat like a pauper. In other words, eat your largest meal at breakfast; second largest at lunch; and smallest at dinner. Sounds simple, right? I mean, it doesn’t make sense to eat a big honking meal at the end of the day, when most likely you won’t be doing much that requires a lot of physical effort. (And even if you do have a rip-roaring sex romp planned, bear in mind that sex burns only a disappointing 100 calories--or less.)

The chief difficulty with King-Prince-Pauper is that evening is really the only time anyone has the time to actually prepare, sit down, relax, and enjoy a kingly meal. Nevertheless, as of today I am King-Prince-Paupering it. Actually, I do more of a Prince-King-Pauper thing, because I can’t face eating my largest meal of the day first thing in the morning (who can?), but I can vouch that it will work as long as I can stick to the Pauper dinner until those 10 pounds of blubber are gone. If anyone’s interested in losing some weight I do recommend this method over painful calorie counting or any other doomed-from-the-beginning diet of deprivation. I’ve used the King-Prince-Pauper method before, and it really is a pretty dang quick way to drop some weight.

In case you’re wondering what constitutes a Pauper meal, I don’t now recall what the Ladies Home Journal recommended (probably something ghastly like a Figurine Diet Bar), but I just eat a ruby red grapefruit or a vegetable or fruit juice concoction that I make in my pain-in-the-arse-to-clean Juiceman Juicer. One final tip (I can’t believe I’m giving diet tips on my blog)--say you’re going out to dinner and you don’t want to order a grapefruit or some other pauperish equivalent. Go ahead and order something you’d enjoy but eat only a half or a third of it. Take the rest home and have it for your next king meal. Oh and it goes without saying, right, that your king and prince meals should be reasonably healthy and varied and shouldn’t include a shitload of cheese or sugar. And get more exercise—do something cardiovascular every day, if possible.

All this King-Prince-Pauper stuff sounds pretty hokey, I’m realizing (although I did enjoy being able to use the word pauper numerous times). I’m somewhat appalled, too, that I’m sitting here writing the kind of blog entry that could well be found in, well, Ladies Home Journal, but, if I will admit it to myself, I’ve known for months now that I was descending into lard-assed sloth and I think it’s actually affecting my mental and emotional health—I’ve been feeling like I’m too easily overwhelmed and stymied by all sorts of things lately—so maybe it’s good to process my thoughts in a blog entry and publicly resolve to slim down this ass of mine.


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