This is getting serious. Four weeks into our family weight-loss contest, three out of four teams are tied for first place with each reporting a 13.5 pound loss – and even the last-place team has now cracked double digits with an 11.7 pound loss.
In an amusing side note, I was so concerned that my smallish raspberry cheesecake wouldn’t be enough for Sunday dinner – with 14 family members in attendance, including eight dieters on their lone day “off” – that I resurrected an old weight-loss tool so I wouldn’t be tempted, only to wind up with close to HALF the pie left over.
The “cut and paste” tool is a way of finding something that satisfies you in a similar way to an off-base food, only without all the fat and calories. These can seem odd to other people, but as long as they work for you, who cares? When I was busy losing 90 pounds back in 2010, I found that stir-fried green pepper strips drenched in ketchup pushed the same buttons for me as diner-style French fries. (I visualized a big, greasy plate of fries, mentally clicked on the ketchup to highlight it, then “pasted” that same ketchup shape onto a similar-sized heap of green-pepper strips.)
Now I tend to eat my green-pepper strips in more traditional ways, but that’s a dish I can always go back to if I need it. (Unlikely, since I no longer eat French fries, ever. My life is simpler without them.)
For my faux raspberry cheesecake I started with a half-cup of Greek yogurt, added a handful of Fiber One cereal and one smashed-up pretzel to simulate the taste and texture of the crust, then scooped a tablespoon of raspberry preserves over the top. I’m not saying that would work for everybody, but it removed that temptation for me.
Obviously, other dieters had their own methods for building up enough will power to skip dessert. My brother Brent, who’s lost 9 pounds since we started, said he was eating bread instead of dessert, since he doesn’t allow himself to have any during the week. Grandpa, who’s irritated that Traci has so far done most of the work on their team, managed to resist not only the cheesecake but a container of ice cream that emerged from the freezer.
Meanwhile, my niece Madison, who’s lost 4 ½ pounds, decided to get the maximum effect of a smallish serving of ice cream by eating it straight out of the carton, using the scoop as her spoon. (There were only a couple of servings left in the carton to begin with, and by the time she got to it there was just a small amount left.)
The official standings after 4 weeks:
1st place (3-way tie):
Brent and Madison, Grandpa and Traci, and Colleen and I – 13.5 pounds lost
2nd place (or last, depending on how you look at it):
Ben and Mason, 11.7 pounds lost