Confessions of a Closeted Dieter

I’m on a diet. OK, maybe not a diet since everybody says diets are a remarkably unsuccessful way to lose weight. I’m on a quest to be able zip my jeans, sit down and still breath.

This is not my first attempt at breathing while sitting and it’s not my first attempt at dieting changing my eating habits. There are a few obstacles. I’m menopausal and if you aren’t or haven’t been, never mind. I’m remarkably sedentary. It’s one of the perks curses of the job.

I fall back on the excuse explanation that I work late afternoons when it’s really, really hot and nights when it’s really, really dark.

For me, dieting changing the way I eat, isn’t something I talk about because:

1. I might decide not to, in a day or a month and well, then, that’s embarrassing…

2. It invites tons (pun) of advice about diet eating differently and exercise

3. It’s just an a bad topic. If you need to lose weight and aren’t in the mood, nothing is more annoying than hearing someone ramble on about it. If you don’t think you need to lose weight (no matter what you weigh) then you’re either blessed with an incredible metabolism, you’re an overachiever in the area of self-control, you’re into things like being healthy or you’re not a female living in America – any of which makes the topic moot for you.

So, I’ve kept my quest to myself with the exception of telling Heidi and Henry, in the off-chance they should happen to encounter large or small flying objects (you know how dieting changing eating habits can make some people so moody).

I already had (which is free) set up on my laptop. It’s a simple program: enter your activity level and weight goals and you get a suggested calorie count. Eat something. Type it in and it breaks it down into carbs and proteins and fats etc…

We began working with this rig on March 5th. My regular exercise regiment consisted of going up and down the 4 steps of the RV dozens of times each day. When that made me tired, I decided on April 1st – no fooling – that I had to make some changes.

Of course I haven’t said anything to the guys here on the rig. Seriously, only slender women talk to men about their need to lose weight. Mostly, only women who are a size 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 talk to anyone about their weight! The rest of us pretend like it’s invisible and we’re the only ones who see it.

Once our Company Men decided that we were “family”, they decided to feed us. Sometimes they cook for the whole rig. Sometimes just for themselves and us.

It’s been 2 months to the day since I’ve been faithfully typing my food into LIVESTRONG. These are just some of the meals we’ve been graced with (I haven’t always remembered to take a picture) in the past two months. I’m including partial descriptions since the specific content is sort of unclear in some of these shots.


Chicken Fried Steak, Black Eyed Peas, Fried Okra, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy


Breakfast Tacos


Steak, Potato salad, Scalloped Corn, Green Beans, Peach Cobbler


Breakfast Burrito – almost forgot to take a picture as you can see!


Pigs in a Blanket


Steak and Sausage cookout


Flintstone Ribs, Sausage, Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans (both w/bacon) 😀


Steak and Ribs (buried under the huge steaks) and Sausage Cookout


Chicken Fajitas from the FRAC wagon (even though it wasn’t our site)


Catfish, Shrimp, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans and Cobbler


Steak, Shrimp, Mashed Potatoes, Corn (no meat added to corn) 😉


Fried Chicken, French Fries, Fried Potatoes, Fried Okra from the FRAC Wagon


Louisiana Crawfish Boil


Amazing Steak! I’m from Iowa. I know my pork and beef.  The steaks here are so tender, you don’t even need a knife, Scalloped Potatoes, Cobbler etc…


Shrimp, Steak & Chicken Kabobs, Bacon in the Green Beans, Wild Rice and Banana Split Cake


Our Directional Driller’s Homemade Jambalaya


Ribeye Steak, Gigantic Baked Potatoes, Texas Toast & Beans, of course


Homemade Hot Tamales – and yes, I knew not to eat the husks this time! 😀


Cajun Meat Pies


Homemade Crawfish Etouffee (left), homemade Guacamole which Heidi claims was the best in the world, & what was left of the Chorizo and Eggs (on top of the guacamole) when I got up! 😉


Grilled Pork Steaks, Cajun beans, Potato Salad and Squash (that even I liked)


Our CM’s batch of his special Cajun Creamy Taco


Yep. Now you can see why I’m a closeted dieter trying to fit into the clothes in my closet!

No complaints. Not only can we make 3 meals out of every meal, we never buy meat, except for an occasional package of chicken!

And I always say:

If you gain five pounds….it’s water.

If you lose five pounds….it’s weight.

If you gain 15 pounds….it’s Cajun cookin’ y’all!


Yesterday was Easter. It was a surprisingly quiet gate day.

This is what the eggs would have looked like if I hadn’t eaten them all (almost) before we could dye them. This is from Easter 2010, when I didn’t eat all the eggs, and I picked up agates and shells and egg-shaped rocks on the beach.

Easter 2012. We still have Dudley’s $2 Coloring Cups from the $1 Store. Maybe, when Heidi gets a haircut on Wednesday, she’ll buy more eggs and we’ll have a post-Easter egg coloring session (she just does this to humor me).

I’m on a stay under 1200 calories a day diet. There are tons of great low-cal recipes (see link at the end) but I’m an unmotivated cook so I’m pretty much on The Hospital Diet. You know the one: diet jello, diet pudding, eggs, dry toast, black coffee and lots of water. It’s sad when a Special K protein bar is a treat!

But it was Easter so we did buy candy for the guys. I morphed from my imitation Johnny Cash black into something resembling a giant Easter egg. Dressed in my Life is Good purple t under my bright orange vest, I trotted out with my Easter basket.

Everyone who came and went took handfuls of candy and seemed more than Good and Plenty happy to get it.

Eric, our safety guy, told us they were cooking out and to come up and pick up our dinners around 5. I forgot to take a picture of the potato salad (which I didn’t eat) but Heidi loved, but I did get a shot of the meat. I think we’ve already established that Texans like their meat.

Those are ribs poking out from under the ribeyes. In a year and a half in Texas, we’ve been graced with many a fine meal and not once, ever, has there been only one kind of meat. It’s a carnivore’s heaven! It was delicious and we have enough leftovers for days.

It was so quiet during the evening, Heidi decided to get up on the roof and spray the awning, which was starting to make loud sounds of protest whenever we tried to retract it.

Everything stayed fairly quiet until just before 11. At first I thought it was thunder – a long ways off. I heard a distant rumbling in the dark and felt the earth tremble. I double-checked the Weather Wunderground link to make sure there hadn’t been an earthquake. As it turned out, the earthquake was headed straight for the gate.

The tremors began at 10:48 p.m. It’s 2 a.m. now and they’re just beginning to die down. I don’t expect the dust will settle until morning, if ever…

Fracing (not at our well, we’re still drilling) has begun with a flourish! I lost track of the number of trucks (we don’t have to write them in since they aren’t going to our site) somewhere after 50.

I expect I’ll be hearing bells in my sleep all day today. And they’ll all be real.

Oh, and about the diet. If you want to cut out a few calories and aren’t drawn to my hospital low cal plan, check out the blog of my good friend Mike @ Bacon Grease. He’s one creative fellow with recipes for things like popcorn potato salad and ‘naked’ chicken fried in citrus soda!

The tremors are starting again. And speaking of Bacon, where’s Kevin when you really need him?

30 days, 3 hours, 12 minutes

That’s how long I’ve been on a diet: 30 days, 3 hours and 12 minutes. Don’t you just hate it when skinny people talk about needing to drop a few pounds? No worries about that here. I’ve lost 17 pounds  and I look just the same, which gives you all the visual you need. 10 of those 17, I gained in 6 months of gate guarding. I knew everything was bigger in Texas, I just didn’t know that would include me!

It’s one of the yet unmentioned hazards of the job. Heidi and I are both dieting (although she doesn’t need to). Even Henry is on a diet. Gate Guarding, especially in this heat, involves a whole lot of sitting, and on the night shift, it’s exceptionally inert. I’ll explain my trend setting exercise program another time.

Dieting is wishful shrinking.  ~Author Unknown

Most of the time, it seems like only thin people talk about their weight issues (unless it’s Reality TV). Listening to someone who weighs what I weighed in 5th grade, complain about their weight is akin to what I imagine it would feel like to to  listen to Warren Buffet say he needs to diversify his portfolio; or Meryl Streep say she needs to work on her accents; or Oprah Winfrey say she just wishes she could find a good book to read; or Suze Orman say she really needs to be more disciplined in how she handles money.

Not only do slender folks seem to love to talk about how overweight they are, they never stop with just a sentence about needing to lose at least 4 pounds – gasp! The size 0 – 10 set are always the first to point out their flaws. Just look at the way my stomach pouches out! And I’m thinking: Are you referring to that concave section in the middle of your body?

Or, Everything I eat goes straight to my thighs. And I’m thinking: You mean those tiny little things that attach your knees to your torso? Really people, show some sensitivity. Save these topics for the Perrier and salad (with no croutons, meat, cheese or salad dressing) group. You can commiserate together about the trauma of tipping the scales at 110 while you take tiny bites of romaine.

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

By the way, a slender person should never offer helpful hints on what foods have hidden calories to a not slender person on a diet, who could be possibly be experiencing a slightly strained sense of humor and tolerance. Case in point.

This is a picture of the current contents of my freezer:

Ralph generously gives us a ice, every time he makes a delivery.

This is a look inside the frig (you can see the diet root beer and jar of garlic on the side door).

Other door contents: a partial  jar of Miracle Whip Light, a bottle of lemon juice, a pitcher of water and yes – you spotted it, a container of White Chocolate Mocha Coffee Creamer which, at 35 calories per tablespoon, adds 105 calories a day to my diet – and it’s worth every one of them.

I’ve been on a diet for 30 days, 4 hours and 11 minutes now.

All this food typing has, of course, made me hungry. So it’s time for coffee (with creamer) and carrots and 7 Quaker Rice Snacks – Caramel Corn, Light, Crispy Crunch!

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