When I was a kid in the ‘50s there were two overweight kids in my high school. That’s right, two. And they were mere stick figures compared to 50% of the kids in any school you happen to pick today. When I was a kid, fat people lived in Russia and wore huge fur hats; they weren’t waddling down the aisles of our local supermarkets. Oh how things have changed. Now of course we’re up to our chubby cheeks in . . . well, chubby.

A week ago I started on my doctor-directed “slimming program” to shed twenty-five pounds so as to get my cholesterol and blood pressure under control. You’ll notice I did not use those dreaded words: loss, lost, losing, or diet – all of which are horrible negative words triggering depression, discouragement, and feelings of defeat. I quarrel with the use of “Biggest Loser” to indicate a person who has succeeded in becoming svelte. No one wants to be a loser. People want to be winners!

The British have it right. Over there if you’re a bit chunky you go on a slimming program. You don’t lose fat, you shed unnecessary weight. It is a much more positive attitude – and attitude is everything when you are improving yourself.

In pursuit of my plan I at first checked into the various programs available: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem. Couldn’t find one that had a gluten free option, which of course made them useless to me. A few offered vegetarian or diabetic options but there was nothing for vegans, gluten free or nut-free, Kosher or Halal. Still, it’s no great loss (I can use the word in this case) since I thought the food they did offer resembled chocolate covered ceiling tiles and tiny piles of yard waste. In addition, why should I have to pay twice as much money to eat half as much food?? Doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense to me so I decided I could do better on my own.

This morning I see I’ve shed the first five pounds – the next twenty should depart at the more leisurely pace of a few pounds a month. The Seattle Slim Plan: oatmeal each day for breakfast to clear the cholesterol (I’ve found a source of gluten-free oatmeal! Yeah!), locked up the salt shaker, banished butter and other animal fats, swore off red meat except as a flavoring, cut all portions in half, doubled up on fresh fruit and vegetables.
I am also fooling my silly brain into thinking we’re eating more than we are by using salad plates instead of dinner plates. And to reward myself for this fine behavior I have sent for a cute, computerized rice cooker! It’s my birthday present to me. Besides cooking all sorts of rice it can also be programed to have my fragrant gluten-free oatmeal ready for me when I get up in the morning. So far, so good!

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