When the Calorie Rules Your Life

October 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Success Story Women

“We all like to blame someone or something for our weight problem and I point my finger straight at “THE CALORIE”.  For many years ‘the calorie’ ruled my life and I knew exactly how many there were in every food known to man!  I had a library of calorie counters that I studied from cover to cover, comparing the different counts for everything, from apples to zucchini.  American, Australian, English – it didn’t matter, I studied it as if my life depended on it.  Then appeared the first edition of the South African Calorie Counter and I thought my life was now complete.  I stuck rigidly to 1000 calories per day, dropping to 750 if I was feeling really pious!

Calorie counting also introduced me to the yo-yo cycle, because I could only suffer and starve for so long and then I would eat everything in sight, including the calorie counter!  I would pick up weight at lightning speed, not caring about the consequences, but hating myself at the same time.  The next step would be some or other crazy idea I had heard about or seen advertised, which would cost the earth and do me no good.  Then to complete the cycle, I would go back to the good old calorie counter – the only thing that never let me down.  Believe me when I tell you that this pattern carried on for nearly 20 years and included 2 years with a diet club, which turned out to be a glorified form of calorie counting!

By this stage of my life, my metabolism was so sluggish, I actually put on weight if I took in more than 1000 of the dreaded calories a day because  the calories I lived on where the wrong ones.  I used margarine, eggs, cheese, etc, because the calorie counter said it was OK, as long as the total was not exceeded.  In desperation, I was searching for a new calorie counter in the health section of our local book store in 1998 when a very colourful book caught my eye – it had a packet of Jelly Tots attached to the cover and I must admit, that did it for me.  I bought the book without a second thought because somewhere on the cover I had seen the word “diet” and that justified the purchase.  Before the ink on the cashiers slip was quite dry I had eaten the sweeties – and then began the first day of the rest of my life – following the X Diet.

I read the book from cover to cover at least 3 times and I just knew it was all true.  Every word written between those covers made sense to me.  I must admit that I added up the calories for each day and I nearly fainted – how could you eat that amount of food and still lose weight, but I was totally committed to giving this new “miracle cure” a fair trial because it was written with such honesty and conviction that it had to be true and the plan had to work for me too.  I was no different to some of the case studies, even though I felt as if I had been singled out and cursed with a bad metabolism.

From day one the X Diet worked for me.  I felt so much more in control of my eating because I did not have to worry about inaccurate calorie counters or faulty food scales when preparing my meals and the biggest joy of all, I did not run out of calories before I ran out appetite at the end of the day.  I vowed there and then that I would never, ever go to bed hungry again and I haven’t!

As time passed and I learned more about the diet, I started planning my own menus according to what I fancied and I have to admit to never once missing fat.  There was just so much I could do with the available ingredients and I realised that one would only be limited by your own lack of imagination.  I experimented with every imaginable fat free fruit, vegetable and grain I could lay my hands on and soon I was running a totally fat free kitchen without anyone noticing the difference.  Friends and family however did notice the difference in me – I was getting smaller and happier and more energetic by the day.

Breakfasts are usually a cereal, yoghurt and fruit or small pasta shells simmered in fat free milk with cinnamon and fructose to taste.  I also make up my own cereal, a dried fruit and bran mix, bake it in the oven, then keep it in a sealed container marked “My Muesli”.  Mid morning is muffin time.  If I have leftover pasta, that will be turned into a  snack.  Lunch is great because I can have a hamburger – something that I thought would always be for “binge days” – and not feel guilty.  When I say a hamburger, it is a wonderful creation, made up of a fat free burger patty, loads of lettuce, tomatoes, gherkins and piccalilli in a split pita bread.  Pizza runs a close second to hamburgers and I make them by topping a pita bread with all the wonderful toppings I missed for so long – tomato and onion sauce, chopped peppers and mushrooms, capers, garlic and a real cheesy topping, made of chunky fat free cottage cheese, herbs and garlic, then baked for about 10 minutes till crunchy.  It is to be tasted to be believed.

Mid afternoon is when I love a big mug of soup – lentil or bean soup with loads of veg and spices.  Fruit is also a big thing in my life and I always have a basket full of whatever is in season and I take great delight in eating bananas for the first time in many years.

Evening meals are great and curries are a huge favourite.  Sugar bean, butternut, Thai and even my own version of a very traditional tasting breyani with pea dhall.  Fish features once or twice a week, usually in the form of sole with lemon and garlic or Thai green fish curry with basmati rice.  Peri peri prawns taste wonderful without all the fat and pickled fish is to die for.  Having a very sweet tooth, I also create wonderful mousses and cheesecakes for after dinner, yet the weight still dropped off and stays off – over 20kg in fact, leaving me slim, happy and healthy for the first time since my teens!

I eat a lot of fat free dairy products in the form of yoghurt, skimmed milk and cottage cheese and I do drink my water.  Fruit and veg are an important part of my life and they enhance all the carbohydrates I eat.  Pasta, Pearl Barley, Rice and Couscous are wonderful salad bases and fruit and veg just add so much taste and texture to salads.  Dressings can be tarted up with aromatic herbs and spices, the variations are endless.

Finally, believe in the plan because it works.  It does demand a total commitment from you, but then, so does everything else in life that is worthwhile!

Felicity Von Moos, Gourmet Options, Shop 240, Kloof Village Mall, Village Road, Kloof, Natal.

I love to hear your feedback and hear how well you are doing. Some of the feedback is just a simply thank you. Others are like this one below where the calorie counters was causing more damage good and how the X Diet has changed a person’s life and how it made their life happy.

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