A Little Less Of Me

My quest to become thinner and healthier

That Last Conversation 4 December 2009

Filed under: Musings — lennonzgal @ 13:35

So, like I said earlier today, Bobby and I spoke on Wednesday night.  I had said to Will earlier that I was not particularly looking forward to the conversation and that I was thinking of asking Bobby if he thought it would be a good time to end this whole thing, because the holidays were coming and I was hoping to not have to deal with the stress of having to answer to a nutritional counselor after Christmas.

Prior to Thanksgiving, I had been stressing out immensely about what I was going to eat and how I was going to talk to Bobby about it.  I was really quite annoyed that I even had to think about t hat sort of thing; Thanksgiving should be one of those days where I can eat whatever the hell I want and deal with the consequences later.  After all, the whole damn day is about food!  Still, after a nearly sleepless night the Tuesday before the holiday, I realized that it didn’t matter – I needed to do what I needed to do, and what I needed to do was enjoy myself, counselor be damned.  I felt good about that decision, and I still do.

We had two meetings left after Wednesday night.  One would have been scheduled the week before Christmas and one was likely to have been scheduled either the week after Christmas (when I would have been away), or the week after New Years (when I would have had a mere 3-4 days of being home and eating right after having been away).  I knew that wasn’t going to work, but I was also nervous about asking Bobby to end it.  You see, Bobby is a friend of a family member, and I didn’t want to offend him, because I wouldn’t want to offend a family member.  You know how it is.

In any case, our conversation on Wednesday changed my mind.  During our last meeting, Bobby had asked me to create a priority list of my life.  I was a little annoyed at the homework and didn’t see how it was relevant to my weight loss (and I still don’t, I’d like to add), but I did it – about 30 minutes before our phone call.  When we started to discuss said priorities, there wasn’t really any meat to the conversation in my opinion – it was basically, “Well, where do you fit in there?” “Why do you place yourself after Liam and Will?” “Do you ever put yourself first?”  These are frankly questions that you’ll see in any women’s magazine over and over again, so I knew how to answer them: “I fit in probably after Liam and Will, but maybe before the rest of my family.” “Liam and Will are my life, I chose to have both of them in my life, and it only makes sense that I do whatever I can to ensure their happiness.  I love them too much to not do that.” “I do put myself first when I need to.  If I’m sick, I rest.  If I need a mental health day, I take one.”  Thank you, O! for constantly repeating that fodder in your articles.

Beyond that, there was a conversation about what was in the fridge, freezer, and pantry.  I found myself skipping items, partly because they weren’t there for me to eat, and partly because I didn’t feel like hearing, “I know you’re saying you don’t eat them, but you shouldn’t have them there becuase they might be tempting to you.”  The goldfish are for Liam – yep, I have a couple every once in a blue.  I’m not depriving my kid of fun stuff because I’m trying to get healthy.

Then came the recommendation which started quite a debate.  Not an argument, mind you.  I like Bobby too much to start the yelling and ranting, but a debate nonetheless.  Remove all cheese from my diet.

WHAT?!

You’re joking, right?  No?  Ok.  Yeah … not happening.  Ever.  Then came my reasoning – I eat cheese on everything – sandwiches, pasta, rice, quinoa, potatoes, you name it.  I like cheese.  I like a slice of cheese when I’m feeling a little hungry.  I love cheddar and apples.  Its not like I’m kicking  back Velveeta and American; we try very hard to eat fresh mozzarella, muenster, cheddar, romano, asiago, REAL cheese.  If I were slurping down cheese product, sure – tell me to drop it and I would.  I did promise that I’d try to eat less of it, and I will do that, but I’m not cutting it out.

This sparked a whole debate about how I’m not cutting out becuase I enjoy it, and why cut out something that brings so much pleasure?  Bobby’s response was essentially that we need to stop linking food to pleasure.  Sorry, not happening.  I enjoy food like Bobby enjoyed watching the Yankees beat the Phillies (something which I’m not over, by the way).  Not everyone likes baseball, but those who do really love it.  Same with food.

The debate continued to trying to separate gatherings from food – that family events shouldn’t be centered around dinners and cakes and pies.  I tried to explain to him that that’s only part of it, that we love spending time together, but that yes, we do enjoy breaking bread together.  He told me that when he heads to his mom’s house, his mom has become accostomed to making him a separate meal; something he’ll eat versus what she’s making for the rest of the family.  He insisted on it early on in his journey, and now she’s just “used” to it.  Personally (and I said so), I find this to be the epitome of rude.  I would never, in a million years head over to anyone’s house with my own pre-made meal in hand, nor would I expect a special meal.  The whole point is to enjoy something in common.  If someone without allergies or REAL food restrictions showed up at my house toting their own homemade meal, I’d be annoyed, and I would expect someone to be annoyed with me for the same thing.

This led further into the whole debate about how Bobby feels that food should not be an emotional thing.  That pleasure should not be derived from eating.  I apparently am at the other side of that mentality, and Bobby stated that it was because of my “wiring” and that I just needed to break that down and re-wire myself.  Yep, don’t want to.  I can’t imagine how much it must suck to not sit down and think to oneself, “Mmmmm.  This is the best <insert food here> that I’ve ever eaten,” followed by that happy eyes-in-back-of-head look.  To not derive pleasure from eating would mean that there is so much time in each day that is essentially emotionless.  I enjoy cooking (though I’m admittedly not great at it), and I enjoy savoring the fruits of my labor.  Bobby, apparently, not so much.  And that’s fine – he needed that rewiring to help him lose and maintain a low weight.  I contend that I do not.  I did, in fact, lose 80 pounds and keep it off for a year.  It wasn’t until my life changed that I started putting it back on.  Now that I know that’s the case, I think I have a better chance of doing it again and keeping it off.

After our conversation, I started thinking about things … Bobby’s mantra throughout this whole ordeal has been to “keep control” of what’s in my food.  He inspired me to make my own oatmeal, which I love far more than I could ever love the envelopes of sugary crap.  He asked me to start bringing my own lunch to work, which I do at least twice a week and will continue doing, because I do know that its good for me.  But the more I started thinking about it, I realized that any time I mentioned going out to eat, Bobby would repeat the mantra.  I realized that his essential goal is to make everything myself and to not “risk” not knowing  what’s in my food.  Sorry, can’t do that.  Again, it all comes down to enjoyment.  I get pleasure out of not only a good restaurant meal, but also the fact that I didn’t have to cook or clean up after it, and I’m not giving that up.  Nor am I willing to stress out about having to answer to someone after doing it.

So, I emailed Bobby yesterday morning and respectfully requested that we end our relationship as of Wednesday’s meeting.  He kindly agreed and thanked me for my honesty with him.  So, that’s it.  No more counseling.  I feel really good about the decision, and I feel like I can manage this on my own.  Its also nice to know that I have friends like Joy to commiserate with when I need inspiration. 

Would I recommend Bobby to someone?  You bet.  I think he was a good counselor, I just think that counselors are not for everyone, myself included.  He’s a great guy, and he loves his job, and he sincerely wants to help his customers.  I was just looking for something else in a nutritionist – I was looking for someone to say “Hey, you like green beans?  Have you also tried <insert vegetable here>?  If you cook it this way, I think you’ll enjoy it.”  Bobby’s method to me is really about going the health-nut direction, and I’m not into that.  To me, that’s just as extreme in some ways at Atkins and South Beach.  In every way, I’m more of an in-between kind of person, and this is no exception.

Thanks, Bobby for all of the help you did offer me.  You most certainly gave me the kick-start I needed to continue down my path, and I do hope that you’ll be checking in from time to time to  say hello. 

Now that its all over, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my experience with Bobby!

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5 Responses to “That Last Conversation”

  1. Erin Says:

    Wow I could not agree with your stance more. I thought you were doing very good with some of the goals he had in mind for you but absolutely agree with you 100% about ending that relationship. I honestly think that many people are looking for more of a nutritionist rather than a counselor. I myself am interested in more of the nutrional substitues that can be made in food and how I have more satisfying meals. I like that some people can just switch off wanting the other stuff but it isn’t practical at least not for myself. Who cooks their own meals, expects others to accomodate them, and doesn’t emotionally enjoy food? You watch any food show on the face of the planet, any authority on food, any and every society on the planet and they are emotionally linked to and enjoying their food! He is the MINORITY for sure, I mean good Lord!
    I have lost 65lbs and have been able to keep it off for several years. I am now am pregnant with my first and where I was able to exhibit alot of control with my food in the past my hormones have made that impossible. I went through a period where OMG I AM GOING TO HAVE TO GAIN WEIGHT WHAT DOES IT MEAN WILL I BE ABLE TO GO BACK etc. Now I have gained some back because I am happy and really am craving some junk and you know what I am not going to limit myself nor go absolutely crazy either. I am still trying to work out and eat correctly but sometimes it isn’t within my control and I have had to really adjust to that to. It is such a mental game!
    And on the cheese…..Girl I am with you on the cheese….give up cheese….yea how about not just no but hell to the NO!

  2. Joy Manning Says:

    I think that a nutritionist is like a therapist or a personal trainer or even a boss–it has to be the right match to really work. I know a lot of people who would probably lose weight with Bobby’s style of counseling, though I’m skeptical they’d keep if off forever. Most people can’t stick to having their mom make them a separate restricted calorie meal for life or, you know, give up cheese. (I see the weight loss wisdom in that recommendation, but I couldn’t give up cheese. I do try to keep cheese to a once a day thing, and that can be hard.)

    I think you have a reached a point in your life where you want to be fittest, healthiest version of you, and also to become and accept the size you’ll be not just for the year you can stick to a program but for life. I see it in your thinking and recognize it, because that’s where I am too. I think you want to be a role model for Liam who prioritizes health and fitness without having a lot of wacky food hangups.

    If you like the idea of working with a nutritionist, there are others out there who might have a point of view that’s more harmonious with yours. Not that I think you must have one. I’m biased, but I think self-education about food and cooking is just as if not more important to having a healthy diet.

    I know I have probably recommended this book before, but Mark Bittman’s Food Matters is full of information and easy recipes. You should check it out.

  3. lennonzgal Says:

    Erin, thanks for stopping in! I also had a major issue with the whole weight gain thing with my son, who was born in 2008. I started my weight around 170-something (we’re thinking it was between 176 and 179), and at my last prenatal visit, I was a whopping 230! I almost sobbed right there in the doctor’s office. So a few words of wisdom – yep, you have to gain weight, but trust me, it does come off (my son is not quite 2 yet, and here I am back down to pre-baby weight), and do yourself a favor if you can and breastfeed. I’m not a breastfeeding lunatic, but I will say that it definitely helped me quickly shed quite a bit of that weight early on in my postpartum days. Plus, its good for the baby. And yeah … hell to the NO is DAMN STRAIGHT 🙂 Hope to see you stop by again!

  4. lennonzgal Says:

    Joy – I’ve read on your blog about Mark Bittman and I definitely want to try reading that book. I’ll add it to my must-have list. And you’re right … I want to be the fittest, healthiest me that I can be. And as it happens, I’m coming to conclude that being a fit, healthy, 170-something pound girl wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I want Liam to grow up knowing healthy from unhealthy but like you said, wacky hangups be damned. I’m definitely going to try the self-education route again. I particularly liked the YOU! On a Diet book by (gulp …) Dr. Oz. It was actually really informative, and it was a good start for my own personal journey. Maybe Mr. Bittman is the next stop on that journey!

  5. lisa d Says:

    you and joy both continue to inspire and awe me thank you both very much.love ya


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