Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bean Diet

I hate the word 'diet.'  Maybe I connote diet with failure, instead of weight loss achievement and fitting into the gloried size 6 jeans.  I've been on many diets; weight watchers, cabbage soup, banana-a-day, the Kellogg cereal diet and few of them brought me to my desired goal.  Bean is quickly approaching her first year and sadly my waistline is still huddling around 5 months of pregnancy.  Sigh.

Let me be clear, I gained sixty pounds during my pregnancy.  About 85% of that weight can be attributed to gingersnaps, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, macaroons, buttercream, cake scraps, meringue, brioche with nutella, ice cream, cupcakes, hot chocolate, pineapple upside cakes, crackers, german chocolate cake, tarts, bacon cheddar biscuits and chocolate truffles (any flavor).  Miraculously, I did not develop gestational diabetes, although I did have the misfortune of getting tested twice for it.  Working in a pastry kitchen truly was both a blessing and  curse.

Looking back, I don't resent one morsel of deliciousness that crossed my lips.  How liberating was it to have cookies for breakfast?  Can you think of a better way to start your day than cookies fresh out of the oven?  Imagine going to your office.  Picture your cubicle.  Boring.  Square.  Maybe grayish.  A few sparse personal belongings decorating your desk.  Maybe a calendar on the wall with red circles on it warning deadlines and meetings.  Now, picture a large kitchen, populated by the nicest, most caring individuals in the world.  The smell of baked butter and caramelized sugar wafts out of the oven.  The warm smell of cinnamon fills your nostrils as a tray snickerdoodles are taken of the oven.  Tray after tray of baked deliciousness cool on the rack.  How in the world can you not treat yourself to a pile of cookies for breakfast when a plethora of baked goods greet you each and every morning?

A gym membership and  cautious eye are my current plan to lose weight.  I know what I have to do, now I just have to do it.  Watching Bean eat her breakfast today gave me a brilliant idea that might get me bathing suit ready faster than the countless hours on the treadmill.  Why don't I eat like Bean eats?

I'm not about to start eating baby food purees from a bright pink plastic spoon.  When Bean eats her finger foods, she sits in her high chair and concentrates all of her focus and attention on the little pea-sized bit of food.  She then reaches for it, and grabs it between her pointer finger and her thumb and carefully brings it to her mouth.  At this point the food has either been mashed in her pincer grasp from over-excitement or its fallen into her palm, necessitating a full hand mouth feed.  The food at this point might escape her grasp all together, landing on her bib, shoulder, chin, lap or floor.  I would estimate that only about 50% of her food actually gets to her targeted mouth.

Imagine a diet, where I mimic Bean's feeds.  First I'll cut my food into pea-sized morsels.  Then I'll steam them until soft, dressing them delicately with a touch of olive oil and salt.  I'll spread my bounty before me and because I've mastered using my hands years ago, I'll use my non-dominant hand to challenge myself.  I'll form my fingers into a loose fist and I'll laboriously scoop my feast into my mouth.  With any luck, half my food will fall to the floor and I'll probably burn some calories cleaning up after myself.

And if diet and exercise fail me yet again, I will copy Bean once again and start using a pacifier.  They make binkys for 31-year-olds, right?

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