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The Dreaded D Word

If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model.  Kate Moss?  Well, she would have been the paintbrush. ~Dawn French

I’m on a Diet. According to LIVESTRONG.COM (which is the free on-line program I’m using) 45 million Americans diet each year, spending $33 billion on weight-loss products. That’s a whole lot of people and a whole lot of money.

If you’ve never been a Top Secret Agent, you might think that there’s tons of exercise and tons of money involved in our action packed work. As it turns out, not so much of either, really. I get very little exercise other than going up and down the 4 steps at my TSL multiple times a night.

Indoor exercise like say, jumping jacks, would be out of the question because all the up-ing and down-ing would shake the RV and wake up the sleeping person. (Of course, that’s just a pretend excuse because I wouldn’t do it anyway.)

Walking back and forth and back and forth (TSA’s have to stay on a short leash) is possible, but my car-wrecked knee objects. It’s also moderately creepy for those of us TSA’s who work nights.  There are a surprising number of things at many TSL that aren’t people friendly and can sneak up on you, or at you or under you, in the dark.

Henry VIII has decided that he needs to do his business at 4 a.m. So far we’ve encountered tarantulas, scorpions, mad bulls and happy cows, donkeys, raccoons, armadillos, wasps, hornets, bees, giant beetles, brown spiders that may or may not be reclusive, black spiders, translucent spiders – really spiders of about every color –  brown snakes, green snakes, bats, mean dogs and inebriated strangers and the list goes on… Nothing major, but just enough to be jarring.

So I’m on a no exercise diet. This isn’t my first rodeo or my first dance with the D word. I gave it a try last year. I give it a try every year.  Mostly, my diets have been about 10% effort and 90% wishful thinking.

Having finally given up on a magic pill that lets me eat whatever I want while the pounds melt away, I decided on New’s Years Day – which is the fashionable time for that sort of thing – to try again. I messed around a bit with it during Jan and Feb and March and lost 10 pounds. I made small changes in my eating. I acknowledged that coffee wasn’t meant to be a condiment for my Chocolate Raspberry Creamer.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. ~ Unknown

I wasn’t so closely bonded to those 10 pounds. We’d just become acquainted during my first year as a TSA. But the other extra 56 pounds and I had been together for 5 or 6 years. This is the year of 5 and 6’s for me. I’m 5’6″, I was born in 1956, I’m 56 years old and as of April 1st, I still had 56 pounds to lose to reach my goal weight.

I’ve been at this place before. The year is coming to an end (and maybe the world, too, on Dec 21st, right?) and I would always wonder how much weight I could have lost by now if I’d just applied myself back in January? This time I shopped around for a plan that made sense with my sedentary life style and very limited budget.  Of course, as soon as I started, all I could think about was food!

You know how it is when you’re in the market for a new car and all of a sudden you see that type of car everywhere, especially if it’s a Honda Accord? I’ve found that same phenomenon is true when I’m on a diet. There’s food everywhere! In my life as a TSA, someone brings us food almost every day – pastries, enchiladas (yesterday), catered dinners with man size portions of steak and shrimp and sausage and potatoes! It’s so generous.


I find I think about food so much more often when I’m dieting. I do a lot less eating of it and lot more thinking about what I can eat.  It’s a little bit harder during the holidays because there are traditions associated with food. But to be honest, you could say Thanksgiving or Memorial Day or Friday(s) and I would think of food. 😀

My Mother, who was lovely and kind and a fabulous cook, loved people with food. I can hardly remember a time when the bed in the spare bedroom wasn’t covered with homemade noodles (they have to dry, you know) or a lunch or dinner that didn’t include desert. I grew up knowing how to enjoy eating!

I like to eat. I’m not an emotional eater unless you consider every emotion a trigger. I like to eat when I’m happy and sad and mad and scared and tired and energized. I like to eat with people and I like to eat when I’m alone. I just like to eat. I’m an emotionally/socially indiscriminate eater.

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people. ~ Orson Welles

Motivated by my fear of developing serious heath issues, my inability to comfortably bend over to find Henry’s Kong under the cabinets and being tired of cropping myself out of all the vacation pictures, I re-committed myself on the first day of April (no fooling).

I’m writing about the D word just in case one of you happens to be among the 45 million who are trying to lose a little or a lot of weight. I like the LIVESTRONG program because you decide what you eat. You type in your food and it’s instantly broken down into carbs and proteins and fiber etc… You enter your age and weight and activity level and goal. I had no idea how much too much protein I was eating or how fast I could rip through 1000 calories when my favorite food is pizza.



I’m not overweight. I’m just nine inches too short. ~ Shelley Winters

I know what they say about how hard those last 5 pounds are to lose. They may be but believe me, the first 60 were no walk in the park either. 😉 I’d like to be done by the end of the year. I may not quite make it, we’ll see. I’ve learned a lot this time around. I can look at almost anything and instantly calculate the calories and nutrition. And I’ve learned (we’ll see, I think I’ve learned) that just like with money, sometimes just enough is better than too much.

The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books – how not to eat what you’ve just learned how to cook. ~ Andy Rooney

24 thoughts on “The Dreaded D Word

  1. Well, I’m still here. Still reading, still loving, still anticipate every post you make! I love your sense of humor and appreciate your candor. Couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the dieting/exercising dilemma whilst TSA-ing. All the excuses in the world, too hot, too cold, too scary, too much dirt, too many wild critters, too many meals delivered, too rainy/windy, too dark! I’ve used ’em all and understand completely, I found most every TSA in the same boat. Hope it doesn’t sink with all of us DIEters in it! LOL! Good luck and march on!
    BTW-we DO have amazing calf and thigh muscles from hopping in and out so much from the rig! As long as our knees hold up. 😀

    • Darla – You’re so fun!
      The upside to all this eating is that if the boat does sink, we should float to the top! 😉
      I have really short legs and a long trunk.
      (I don’t know why it’s called a trunk, do you? It should just be called a middle, I think.)
      Anyway, although my legs are short, you’re quite right, my calves are mighty! 😀
      Thanks so much for reading and for playing along with me here!
      My internet – particularly at night – floats away with the fog so I’m not on-line much but it’s great fun to see you when I am! Thank you!

  2. Lord, I love to eat too. In my situation it’s important not to calculate and count, etc. I do with other things though. But with food, I have gotten guidance and i have found there is a way to eat without being completely obssessed with every calorie, but i found i did have to change proportions. Well, Duh!Q

    Carry on my Dieting Soldier. xo Mel

    • Hello sweet Mel –
      Oh yes, my friend, we’re at opposite ends of the food spectrum here!
      But we do have the same goal – just getting healthy, right? 😀

      I really wrote this post as a reference point for my last Two Minutes of Grace post on Legalism.
      Maybe only you would get how wildly legalistic I’ve been on this diet (almost there, I think, just over 3 pounds to go, then I’ll re-evaluate).
      Always good to hear from you and to know you’re doing so well! 😀
      Being so legalistic in my eating has highlighted the need for me not to be in the rest of life – particularly spiritually.

  3. Well……..it is funny that I have been away compiling my mother’s two cook books and the first post of yours I read upon my return is this one……irony, oh irony. So, I wish you all the best with your diet and promise to send you my mom’s fat free chocolate cake recipe….lol

    • Hello Sherrie!
      It’s always fun to see you but I’m sorry you’ve rejoined me just when I’m writing about such a heavy topic! 😉
      I’d love the fat free chocolate cake recipe. I’ll bet she’s taken out all the calories, too! 😀

  4. Yeah, I’m WAY Too Short, also…But congrats on doing such a great job, Debbie–Good Health! Salud! God bless you. love, sis Caddo

    • Caddo –
      Well, I tried to get taller first by stretching a lot (just to redistribute the weight) but after continually failing I was left with no other alternative. 😉

  5. Great job Debbie!! It is so hard to work nights and not eat. Then we get catered meals also about 2x a week. I truly admire your will power. I told Mr. A the other day to just slap me on the butt and put me out to pasture with the rest of the cows. lol Seriously, you and Heidi set your goals and success was reached. That is no small feat. Keep on writing lady, we all have missed you!!

    • Oh Jill – you always make me laugh!
      Heidi’s been so great trying to cook interesting low cal things. Left on my own, I would have just lived on Fiber One and sugar-free jello and pudding.
      I don’t much like to cook anymore anyway and everything I typically make/made is pretty terrible for me. I’m really good at sugar and grease and oh – things with dough… 😀
      Thanks for the kind words about the blog. So little internet I’ve pretty much given up on it. I’ll probably pop back up from time to time, though! 😀

  6. Great work – especially considering all that is put in front of you with TSA. May that last five not delay in leaving!!!

    I’ve always been a bit tall and carried extra. One job had a nutritionist who measured my wrist and said I was small boned. Ummmm…..do you see the giant in front of you lady?? Their creative work contest did help to readjust things.

    • Judi –
      3 1/2 to go now. 😀
      You may be small boned but you’re certainly big hearted!
      I’m not sure about my bones – average I suppose – but I’m very dense and not just in my thinking, it’s spread throughout my entire body!
      It took me forever to learn to float on my back with my toes out of the water. 😉

  7. 60lbs That is terrific. All I do is talk about it the D word and keep on eating. I say everyday I am going to walk up the road and back but always find a excuse like the dust is so bad you wouldn’t see me on the road. Those boxes of steaks , fish and the pecan pie delivered to the gate are so yummy. John and I both put on weight doing this job.We are now closer to Karnes City and the internet and phone service is good. I think you are great love the blog.

    • Well hello, Linley!
      We’ve been with this group since the beginning of March. We’ve been feted before, but not like with this bunch.
      They gave us an entire turkey (deep fat fried in peanut oil) the day before Thanksgiving and then on Thanksgiving a complete traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
      Today we had catered dinners of beef brisket (oh, how little brisket one can have on a 1100 calorie diet! ;D ) some kind of potatoes(?), baked beans etc…
      Yesterday morning one of the guys dropped off fresh apple fritters and later in the day, a rep gave us a huge sirloin steak (must be a couple of pounds – I could hardly smush it in the freezer) and a whole lot of fresh sausage.
      No complaints, just have to use restraints! 😀

      We’re about 70 miles west of you (spent several months near Karnes City).
      If you want some good food, head north on 181 toward Floresville and stop in at Shorty’s.
      The decor is very Texas-interesting.
      The son of the owner goes deep sea fishing and hunts so the walls are covered with huge fish and a cow’s head (weird) and rattlesnake skins!
      Thanks for reading. I have very little internet here so I don’t post much but it’s kind of you to stick around anyway! 😀

  8. Hi Debbie,

    I love this blog. I especially liked the Orson Welles & Andy Rooney quotes, too funny. I had not heard them before. I gave up on the “D” word, its a curse.

    I, too, have well let’s say 60 pounds I could stand to lose. That would be realistic. The newest 12 pounds I’ve come to know in just the last year and a half. The previous 8-10 pounds before that I have been acquainted with them for 15-16 years and the 34 pounds before that I’ve known for about 15 years as well. So I’ve had many a years trying to be friends with them and we just have never gotten along well. Sometimes we fight, sometimes we cry and then we shake and call a truce.

    I have no special connections to the 6 and 0 like you did with the 5 and 6. I was born in 59, I’m 5’3 and for a short while I am 53 years old. I was a born on the 11th, been overweight for 33 years and gosh there is no magic in the numbers for me this year. Guess I’ll have to weight it out til things all line up. This is fun. See….you’ve inspired me to be funny Debbie.

    Hey, miss seeing you and talking to you friend,

    Love, Chris

    • Chris – you having me laughing out loud and waking up Henry!
      Being much older than you 😉 and without medical insurance proved to be good incentives this time around!

      I really wrote about this so that I could reference it on Two Minutes of Grace.
      Clearly there are places where legalism can help – but there are certainly places where it can be a killer.
      As a diet aid it’s OK – as a spiritual guide, it’s an enemy, right?

  9. I’m soooooo proud of you!!!! I will remember the Livestrong site . . .in case I decide to get serious and try to separate by body from it’s fat!!! love you and God bless you!

  10. Congratulations on the loss!

    We need to work up an exercise routine. We’re going to our gate assignment tomorrow, so we’ll be back to the GG lifestyle and no more running and playing in the yard at Grandma’s and friend’s houses. Hannah got pretty fat last year when we were Gate Guarding.

    • Phoebe and Hannah –
      Welcome back! 😀
      Henry is a light eater.
      Sadly he’s never had a cheeseburger.
      He’s never had any “people food” in order to maintain his Pet Therapy status – and his boyish good looks! 😉
      He would love to have a cheeseburger with you some day, though…

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