I think we’ve found your problem, America.

PG&E shut off our power today from 8am to 5pm. I misread the letter they sent us, thought they were doing it Tuesday, so my husband and I had arranged to be out all day Tuesday, but no, it’s today. So we walked over to the IHOP for breakfast, which is practically 2 blocks from our house, which we have never yet eaten at since we moved here. In fact, I think I have been to an IHOP maybe twice in the last 10 years. I just don’t eat at restaurants very often, and that style of restaurant really at all.

HOLY CRAP. The menu is overwhelming. They now print calorie totals on each item. HOLY CRAP. The item with the lowest calorie total on the entire menu is twice what I normally eat for breakfast. And I assure you, nobody goes to IHOP to order the smallest, healthiest option on the menu. I am appalled, agog, aghast at the menu options I saw this morning. People eat like this? Every day? Regularly? More than once a month? As we settled into our booth a couple left and said to the waitress, “See you tomorrow!” WHAT??

A couple at the next booth over ordered “New York Style cheesecake pancakes”. Cheesecake in pancake form – for breakfast! There was something called “carrot cake pancakes”. “Cinnastick pancakes”. Cream cheese-stuffed french toast! These all come with hash browns, eggs, and bacon, and caloric totals that approach more than I need for an entire day.

Good god I’ve been leading a sheltered life, with my eating-at-home proclivities! I was actually somewhat nauseated by this display. Am I being judgy? Good. I can’t even imagine shoveling this kind of apocalyptic gorge-fest of gluttony into my body on a regular basis. People eat this stuff and think it’s normal?

In sum I think I can answer the question that appears to be flummoxing all the health writers and media hand-wringers. I know why America is fat.

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A Completely New Way For Me – Down 6 Pounds

Well hello there. I figured I’d give you a life and weight management update. I’ve been home from work for the last few weeks on a medical leave due to complications stemming from anxiety and migraines brought on by the stress of my job. I’ll be returning to work next Monday. While I’ve been home, I’ve been severely neglecting my exercise regimen: I’ve gone on a couple of bicycle rides and a couple of walks but that’s about it. Five days out of seven I’ve eaten whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. So you can imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale Saturday morning, after not having done so for more than a month, to find that I’m down 6 pounds. So I’d say that the 5/2 program I’m following, which I posted about in my last article round-up, really agrees with me.

Here’s a picture my husband took yesterday before we headed out to a nautically-themed garden party. This is the first time in my entire life that I’ve lost weight without monitoring every molecule of food entering my body and exercising to exhaustion. I’m going to stick with this a while longer and see where it leads. I find the “fast” days continue to be refreshing and easy for me to sustain. As I explained to my darling husband (who is also sticking to the 5:2 protocol with me): if there one thing I know how to do in this life, it’s stick strictly to a diet program! And when I know it’s only for a day? It really is the easiest thing in the world.

Couple of interesting articles

I just don’t have anything new to add lately. I’ve written up all my methods and thoughts previously and I stick by them, but when I find something new and thought-provoking, I link it here. Here are two such articles:

Overweight Teens Typically Eat Less Than Normal-Weight Peers. I could have told you that when I was an overweight teen. I could have told you that any goddamned day of my teen years. If anybody had asked. Anyway, my takeaway quote from the article for people try to help a struggling teen is, “Be sympathetic. Overweight children reported eating fewer calories, and to lose weight, these kids have to eat even less. It’s probably even harder for them to lose weight than we give them credit for.” It is.

The 5:2 Diet: can it help you lose weight and live longer? I ran across this article last month and I’ve been giving it a try. Yes, that’s right, I’ve been trying two fast days per week, not because I think it will help me lose weight but because I was curious how it would work out for me. It turns out, I like how it makes me feel, I like the mindfulness of it, and I like that it helps me to maintain my weight and it works to balance out any excesses on my normal eating days. So far, I’m really digging it. I eat normally, I even indulge a little 5 days a week, and Tuesdays and Thursday (they shift around as needed, if something comes up, but usually Tuesdays and Thursdays) I fast. So far, I like it.