I am an avid Biggest Loser fan www.nbc.com/biggestloser, so I really enjoyed the Biggest Loser Thanksgiving Eve special, Where Are They Now?
Sam's proposal to Stephanie made me teary, Sione's trip to his family's native country of Tonga was inspiring, and I am pulling for O'Neal to succeed with his new Fitness North (www.fitnessnorth.com) business.
I loved everything about the show, in fact, except the advice about food.
Now, before I start in on that let me say that since September 20, 2009 I have lost 70 lbs and have about 70 more to go. A lot of my success and inspiration has come from the Biggest Loser tv program, and following the Biggest Loser "diet" (can we delete that word from the English language, please? because it's meaningless, at least in our modern context of food deprivation).
So several months ago, I realized that I love food and I want to eat healthy, natural food that I enjoy and not focus so much on calories. So I did that and still lost weight, although at a slower pace.
That's why Danny's (Season 8 winner) tip about eating cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving, and Curtis Stone's roasted turkey breast instead of dark meat, didn't digest too well with me.
I realize that mashed potatoes, traditionally made, probably have a lot more calories than making "fauxtatoes" with cauliflower. And that Curtis' turkey breast is probably delicious and has fewer calories than eating dark meat, but dammit...I love dark meat, and I love mashed potatoes.
What is so wrong about eating a normal portion of dark meat and a normal portion of mashed potatoes--if that is what you love?
I have been on a perpetual diet since I was 12, except for about seven years where I decided to hell with it, that I was going to eat what I wanted, and gained a lot of weight. Mainly because I just couldn't stop eating things I'd deprived myself of for years, and also because I was not dealing with emotional issues, and low self-esteem.
When I was on my perpetual diet, I did a lot of silly things like using lemon juice on baked potatoes instead of butter, not eating bread--and I am not talking about a slice of Wonder bread, I'm talking about good French bread or good homemade wholegrain bread, eating fake, weird margarine instead of real butter, and going years without eating really good mashed potatoes.
I did a lot of things to avoid eating food I love, to avoid gaining weight, because what I was really avoiding was loving myself. All I was really doing was masking the real problem, which was that I did not know how to love and nurture myself.
"Diet gurus" will tell you not to equate food with love, but what is food if not a healthy, loving way to nurture yourself? Not Twinkies, not Big Macs or jarred, oversalted Alfredo sauce, or fish sticks and chicken nuggets, but real, wholesome, unprocessed healthy food.
That's love. That's loving myself.
And now I'll tell you a secret: I have no idea how to make really good mashed potatoes with real milk or cream, and butter. But I'm gonna learn. Because I want to love myself even more than I already do.