August 7, 2001
Screw The Diet Eating Plan!


I waited three days to climb onto the bathroom scale after we got home from the honeymoon.

My post-wedding mood was toxic enough without deliberately compounding the misery. I knew that the numbers on the scale -- while not devastating or life-threatening or enough to send me shrieking to the nearest Jenny Craig -- probably weren't likely to be good news, either. I decided I needed a couple of days to decompress emotionally before I surveyed the damage.

(I'm waiting to open the credit card bills for pretty much the same reason.)

I went into our wedding/honeymoon vacation, last month, in the best physical condition of my adult life. There have been periods in my life when I've weighed less than I do now. (After a few weeks on The Popcorn-and-Cheap-Chablis Diet, for instance ... just before I lost consciousness.) There have been periods when I've been sober. There have been periods when I've exercised semi-regularly. But this is the first time in my life that all three have been going on at once ... and the first time that ANY of them have lasted longer than about four days. I went into vacation feeling good and strong and healthy and convinced that all of the lifestyle changes we've made are positive ... and permanent.

Of course I also went into vacation thinking Screw the diet: I'm on my honeymoon.

I ate breakfasts while I was on vacation  ...  lots and lots of breakfasts. I loverestaurant breakfasts. I think I love eating breakfast out more than any other meal. Maybe it's the limitless black coffee, or the luxury of having someone fuss over me first thing in the morning ... or the fact that it's the first meal of the day so I'm always ravenously hungry ... but whatever it is, I love eating breakfast out more than lunch and dinner combined. I ate scrambled eggs with herbs and cream cheese, and strawberry pancakes, and bacon, and Eggs Benedict, and biscuits with lingonberry jam, and Belgian Waffles, and (as I mentioned yesterday) Shipwreck Hash at the Otter Crossing Cafe. In fact, we went to the OC Cafe twice: that's how much I enjoyed it. They build their hash with red-skinned potatoes, mushrooms, bacon, onions, scrambled eggs and herbs, plus a ton of grated Cheddar cheese melted on top of the whole mess. It's served in bowls the size of bathtubs. If you eat the whole thing, they erect a dock piling in your honor.

A couple of mornings, when we wanted to save a few bucks -- if not calories -- we picked up sweet rolls and juice at Safeway and ate breakfast in the rental car.

We didn't always eat lunch ... especially on the days when we'd indulged in an enormous breakfast (or if we were planning to indulge in an enormous dinner later). I headed for Taco Time the minute we got off the plane in TicTac, of course, so I could satisfy my raging Soft Taco Jones. (Why oh WHY don't they open a Taco Time franchise in the Bay Area??? *My* patronage alone would keep them in business, I swear to god.)  I had a fairly remarkable Chicken and Avocado Club Sandwich and home fries in Port Townsend, the first day we were in town ... an OK cheeseburger at The Salal Cafe, the day we took the Melancholy Secra photo ... and a fairly UNremarkable pepperoni pizza in Sequim, of all godforsaken places, later in the week.

Twice we stopped at the faux-50's soda fountain, in the middle of town, and ordered ice cream sodas.

Dinner was all over the place, cuisine-wise. I'm not a seafood eater -- a fact which seems to baffle anyone who has ever shared a dinner table with me ("You're from Seattle and you don't eat seafood??") -- but David loves it. He ordered lots of salmon and crab and oysters and little squiggly things with tentacles, but I stuck to my If it used to swim, forget it policy, ordering mostly chicken, beef and cheese. A couple of nights before the wedding we had dinner at Azteca with Jaymi and Joel, and I ordered the Pollo Fundido (with a little extra Fundido on the side). For our honeymoon -- as a surprise wedding present -- Jaymi gave us a gift certificate for dinner at Port Townsend's toniest restaurant, The Belmont Hotel, where we feasted on Filet Mignon in Herb Steak Butter and Garlic Mashed Potatoes (me) and Someoranother Disgusting Phlegmlike Seafood Dish (David). Another night, we did Italian at a place called Lonny's. I had Mushroom-and-Cheese Stuffed Ravioli absolutely swimming in something called browned butter. ("I can actually hear my arteries clogging!" I told David happily ... dribbling another spoonful of melted butter down the front of my *Port Townsend Does Not Completely Suck!* T-shirt.)

A couple of nights, when we wanted to save a few bucks -- if not calories -- we picked up deli corned beef sandwiches and bags of Tim's Cascade Potato Chips, at the convenience store next to our hotel, and we had a honeymoon bed picnic.

All of our restaurant dinners were prefaced by appetizers: antipasto, bruschetta, marinated Portabello mushrooms, figs wrapped in prosciutto. I steadfastly avoided icky low-cal sodas and diet salad dressings, defiantly ordering their higher-calorie counterparts. We allowed the waiter to refill the bread basket .. sometimes more than twice. And we never said *no thank you* to the dessert menu.

The entire vacation was like a little slice of gastronomic heaven. Sigh.

But like all little slices of heaven, eventually this one had to end. I came home from the honeymoon, after all of the celebration and caloric indulgence, and for the first three days I was too nervous to step onto the scale. (Maybe I shouldn't have given all my fat clothes to the thrift store! I thought, ever-so-slightly panicked.) But eventually curiousity won out over denial. I tiptoed into the bathroom, one morning while David was still asleep, and quietly shut the door. There I shucked off my nightgown, clambered onto the scale ... and immediately let out a hideous, blood-curdling scream.

(And then I opened my eyes and looked down at the numbers.)

Five pounds.

I only gained five pounds on my honeymoon.

Talk about your major *Whew Moment.* I don't think I've been this surprised and relieved since the little Clear Blue Easy stick turned pink. I was so relieved, in fact, that I told David I was getting right back onto The Eating Plan. (We don't call it a "diet" in our household. It's an Eating Plan.) "I'm there with you," David agreed. Just because we're married now doesn't mean we can allow ourselves to get porky and complacent again. We ran right out to the grocery store and immediately loaded up on fruit, raw vegetables, cereal, non-fat milk, yogurt and pasta.

We're right back on the bikes, too. Last Saturday I completed my most ambitious -- and most grueling -- bike ride to date: 25 miles, all the way from Moraga to Concord. We followed this up with a "smaller" 15 mile ride around Bay Farm Island on Sunday morning. These two rides, combined with a couple of warm-up rides last week, have already put me over 50 miles total for the month so far. My goal for August is 200 miles total.

Plus I'm right back to toting a little bag of baby carrots around with me, everywhere I go ... hoping to drop another ten pounds before the end of the year. And I'm not lying when I say I'm totally fine with the idea. Honest. I am. Baby carrots rock. I love baby carrots.

Although it's possible I might love them even more if they were swimming in browned butter.

one year ago: oh poop

throw a rock