Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Your Power as a Woman: Diet, diet, diet!

Photobucket

Good morning! I'm back into Alma Archer's 1956 book Your Power as a Woman and thought we would focus this week on D-I-E-T. If you ask me, no four letters of the alphabet can be put together to form a more miserable word. Having been a rotund, bookish grade schooler, I've been on some kind of self-imposed reduction plan pretty much since middle school, with varied results. That's almost 15 years of being hungry! I'm interested to know, in the pre-South Beach, pre-Atkins, pre-Duquesne, pre-health-smoothies days, how a woman with a couple extra pounds would best be rid of them. Without a mile-long list of health gurus (plus the internet) to choose from, how do you know what to eat and what to avoid?

Photobucket Photobucket
Avoid becoming five or six times the size of your refrigerator, if possible. Why is this woman's head so big... How big must her body be?!

Archer starts out by reminding us that "Excess weight is probably the one most common obstacle to achievement of womanly attractiveness and power...and overeating is certainly the major cause of excess weight." Think of classic comfort food like meatloaf, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, buttered rolls... in the age of casserole cooking, where every dish was swimming in hidden calories and overconsumption was the rule of thumb by which you could gauge prosperity, you can imagine how difficult it would be for the overeater to keep themselves FROM themselves and exercise portion control. I'm getting near teary-eyed thinking about how delicious all that food sounds NOW. So imagine if little old me didn't have a good grasp of what a saturated fat is, for example...Archer is here to help with a 14 day plan for weight loss.

Ya messed up, and ya ate seven too many pieces of that delicious Boston Cream pie. That's ok, because:

Photobucket Photobucket

Hey! The cocktail clique! So me! I'm not a pastry die-hard but I do find it difficult to lay off the starches, so I guess that part applies to me as well. Before the plan, we're treated to a list of calorie content in everyday food items. Look at how there's no double cheeseburger or pepperoni pizza here...the list presupposes that you're eating the majority of your meals at home, just too much at them!

Photobucket

Again, no Wyngz, no Big Macs, just everyday food you could make in your house. Isn't that kind of interesting to think about, how much food fifty-plus years ago was made and eaten at home?

Photobucket

There's another page of calorie counts, but the highlights are a Chocolate malted (460 calories...why....why....) and a Tom Collins high ball (300 calories), and that's probably all you need to know.

Some caveats on calories:

Photobucket

So. How do we use this knowledge to create well balanced menus? I chose a few from the 14 day plan to give you a taste (ha ha):

Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

Considering fad diets of later years (the diet plan laid out in Victoria Principal's The Body Principal, however much I love Pammy from Dallas, is pretty much an endorsement for anorexia), I feel like this is a relatively realistic plan for weight loss. Were you surprised at how much butter is included in the diet menus? The key thing in Archer's diet seems to be to cut out super-sizing your portions and to watch your sweets. Good advice for any of us!

And on the subject of comfort-eating:

Photobucket

Way to be melodramatic! But I believe what she says is true, in that I've spent way more time in my life eating because I was bored or bummed out that I have because I was actually hungry.

On the subject of alcohol:

Photobucket

And some tips for dieters to make the program a little less difficult to adhere to:

Photobucket

And if you mess up, don't skip the next meal to make up for it! How many times have I eaten way too much pizza and gone "Well, I just won't eat anything else today." Archer puts her dainty heeled foot down on you no good meal skippers:

Photobucket

And how about you, readers? If you do diet, how do you choose a reduction plan that doesn't leave you in hungry tears at the end of the meal? Do you think the plan she laid out is reasonable for a two week diet, or do you think measuring out the four ounces of salmon you get to have for dinner is just cruel and unusual punishment? Most of all, what do you think of her harsh-yet-encouraging tone? I'm oddly inspired!

Til next time!

6 comments:

  1. "Why is this woman's head so big... " LOL!

    I stopped dieting and started focusing just on exercise (but it doesn't work) so I look forward to reading other comments with info on what diets do work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been really crazy in to portion control and cutting back on "bad" ingredients by following the "Cook This, Not That!" series David Zinczenko does. The "350 calorie meals" one is my favorite. You can eat something that seems *so decadent* and it turns out, it's a million less calories than even the stuff you thought was ok for you! And also cheaper. It's like voodoo. :)

      Delete
  2. If you take this information and fast forward to the land of Dr. Oz today, you would most likely get a green light from him. The information seems sensible and straight. No outlandish ideas such as eat only a banana or grapefruit or pineapple. Simply do not over indulge but if you do all is not lost. Just be mindful of what you consume. Yes, when this was written, the term "fast food" was not even coined. If there was a McDonald's, Jack in the Box. Red Barn or any other place at the time, they surely did not have a drive thru. You had to a least walk or ride a bike and if you drove had to get out of the car and expended some calories. Plus, the portion size was much smaller and not full of GMOs, antibiotic and pesticide infused substances nor shelf life preservatives! No pink slime in their food. Heck, chicken nuggets were not even invented for the masses back then. Don't get me started on pizza chains. The only pizza I remembered as a kid was when my mom made it from scratch! My diet secret is to make most of the food myself and eat only food that looks most like its original form: Vegetarian. And drink a lot of water. NO POP, diet or otherwise. Above all, no Red Bull or others in that fake category. Nastiness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmm...pizza from scratch...

      I agree with you that a lot of the advice above is sound! It's weird how a lot of "diets" have plans like "eat only foods that contain this letter, and can fit on this saucer, and you do that Thursday through Sunday, but then you eat this macrobiotic pancake on every other Wednesday, and liquids only on these days" junk...how are you supposed to stick with that!? I wouldn't be able to remember it all, for sure. And you're right about what they do to the fast food to the point that you can't even trust what's in it! Le sigh. How's a girl supposed to keep her figure in this modern age...

      Delete
  3. Okay, I'm going to WEIGH IN on this one. Last year I was diagnosed with a specific and temporary (thankfully) illness which forced me to eliminate fat (yes, ALL fat) from my diet for nearly eight months. Consequently, my caloric intake was drastically reduced and in turn, I lost weight. While I am still FAT, I am at a much healthier weight and have tried to maintain a similar eating style while trying to incorporate "good fats" back in. I hope to keep reducing and I have found that changing the way I ate really worked for me. I HATE, repeat HATE intentional exercise. You will never catch me "Sweatin' to the Oldies." You would be very likely, however, to find me sweating profusely as I dance for hours while old music is playing. I always love your book reviews! I'm not sure if you were looking for a guy's perspective on weight loss, but sometimes I just can't keep my thoughts to myself!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No fat for eight months! That's amazing! I know what you mean about trying to use a drastic situation (such as your illness) as a learning experience to inform your eating habits. It's so weird when you're looking at your plate like "Hmm...I wonder if this has enough protein in it..." instead of "Let's eat! Let's eat! Let's eat!" I did a strict Atkins diet for about three years and while I'm trying to do more "good carb" stuff now with my food choices, it's so crazy to "think" about everything while you're cooking/ordering/eating.

      I'm trying to get more into exercise if only to fulfill my lifetime goal of having a body like Cher in the 80s (ha ha, good luck, huh?). But you're right, intentional exercise is NO. FUN. Whereas actual dance parties, even in your living room after work, are SO. FUN.

      Thanks for enjoying my book reviews! Your perspective is always welcome, Mr. Tiny!! :)

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...