I was so off the mark yesterday, that now I have to do penance and learn from my mistakes. Dang it.

I think I just discovered why it is that I have never been very good at fitting into my tutu. Yeah, I mean, I’ve done the old Sally Fields – only eat when you feel faint –  thing.  It’s the battle cry of short girls because we are just so…..potentially anyway…..tiny. Unless we exercise, we need hardly any calories each day. When Sally Fields was asked years ago how she managed to remain so slim, she said that she only ate when she felt faint. I appreciate her honesty. I really hate it when people say that they lost weight when they finally realized that they weren’t eating enough. That’s my favorite line to hate, but Sally said it like it was and I’m sure still is.

I’ve been decently full on The South Beach Diet meals. I get hungry but it’s then usually time for my next cellophane wrapped entree, so it’s doable. When I add up the calories, even with my Creamora cheat, I’m coming in at about 1000/day, giving or take.

It’s hard to imagine that I could eat three meals and two snacks and stay within that range but here is the thing that I learned, and it is brutal….

I learned that they consider a meal as coming in at around 200 calories.

Come again, because I thought that was a snack.

It’s either accept very low calorie meals, become an endurance athlete, or  you can only eat once a day. I once maintained a very light silhouette by only having dinner. I got used to it and it worked….until I believed all those folks who said I needed to eat breakfast…you know, the ones who are now doing intermittent fasting.

So, back of my head, one meal a day has been an option. But I do like a little hunny around lunchtime. Said Pooh.

I’ve been eating more like 500 or 600 calories per meal for years….and that, plus wine, is why I’ve been a curvy girl. Not because I ate frozen pizzas by the dozen or went through the drive through multiple times a day. I did that when I was pregnant though. I’d have a real meal, throw that one up (morning sickness) then go to the drive-through. Then I quit heaving the real meal (morning sickness went away) but I kept up with the Burger King habit sporting two under-weight-in-utero twins. Eighty pounds of chunky goodness later, I had morphed into Jabba the Hut.

Doesn’t matter. I slimmed back down.

But never quite enough unless I starved myself. Eventually I gave up starving and hung out in the low 150’s and learned how to live with myself – j/k -150 is fine on me and easy to live with, really.

One-fifty was fine until someone gifted me a barrel of M and M’s and caused me to gain ten pounds and develop an eating disorder. Then came the ballet renaissance and here I am, trying to learn how to run a little leaner but also giving in to the temptation to not cook for a few months while I do this. Meal delivery, something I once scoffed at, is now my life-line.

I am eating specially engineered food that keeps calories low and nutrition relatively high. I can have a spinach omelette in the morning and only be out 130 calories.

But how will I do this when I no longer eat out of tiny packages?

The answer is going to have to be, very intentionally.

I am probably going to have to practice cooking meals that clock out at never any more than 300 or 350 cals . I might want to find truly worth-it 100 cal snacks. That’s the bottom line truth. Our food supply is too abundant to just wing it.

Getting used to portion sizes needs to be accomplished and  that is a thing, but not as impossible as it seems the first time you serve yourself 3/4 cup of soup.

Bloody WTH???

I’ve called my food” cute” or “adorable” at least ten times this week. The package of cheese crisps was absolutely darling. That’s how small it was.

The only thing you can go AWOL on and really get down with is greens. Arugula you can eat by the hefty bagful – and you’ll have zero issues.

So that’s what I learned. I learned that we need to take little bites of small amounts of food, very small, if we want to weigh some girly number like 116, which is my ballet weight. I love saying that. It just cracks me up but what it does more importantly is remind me that weight only matters when we talk about pragmatics.

Like…….lower weight can mean less high blood pressure.

Or, it’s easier on our joints when we weigh less.

Or, fug I hate heartburn.

There is nothing glamorous about skinny, it’s purely a functional issue.

I actually prefer thickness and heft.

But, my body hates it. It aches and refluxes and says oh no you don’t.

That’s why I keep putting forth the effort.

To find out how to nourish my body without the extras that just weigh me down.

So if you want to know whether the South Beach Diet is “worth it” I’ll tell you this. A few months of these meals and one might understand portions better, and I think that alone is worth it.

The craziest thing that ever happened to us is when portions began to grow. The Cheesecake Factory Menu, as G-d as my witness……we are being served quantities of food that do not fit our current sedentary lifestyle.

I keep thinking of that Wall-E movie. Our appetites got super-sized and we gotta knock it off.

One thing I really love is looking at how small furniture used to be. Better nutrition at first caused us to become taller and stronger. But enough…excess nutrition is making us sick. It causes inflammation and metabolic syndrome.

So it’s looking like you can either eat less often or eat tinier amounts more often or exercise really hard often – but what you can’t do is eat American portions at your sedentary day job and be lean.

And that is what I learned.

P.S. – yesterday, one slice of French bread, one avocado wedge, one deep fried asparagus spear and two or three bites of ahi poke without the wantons – that would have amounted to about 1 or 1-1/2 cups of food, and it would have been enough. Add in 15 fries, a few too many bites of the Ahi, the second slice of bread and the wine and…Nope….rock star indigestion land.

Next up – No More Wolfing your Food:  How to Chew Throughly and Be Glad You Did.images-8