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To Waste and Not To Waist: That is the Question!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


CMRAND54 has a wonderful blog -- link above -- about learning how to waste food. Not eating everything on your plate. Discarding part of the cheese. Setting aside the top half of the bun. Selecting only the most perfect fries, the ones that are "just right": neither too limp or too dark. Then dumping the rest because they're just not good enough to be worth the calories.

This blog reminds me of my mother, who had the same super-efficient metabolism I "enjoy" and that my daughter "enjoys" as well.

Mum was a fitness instructor in the early 50s at the local YWCA, long before fitness classes were the norm. When we went dress shopping together (mother in her girdle and bra and garter belt and nylon stockings and slip and heels and day dress and short white gloves and small hat with a veil: my sister and I in matching Mary Janes and ankle socks and slips and crisp starched hand-smocked cotton dresses), she prided herself on fitting into a size 16. The very same size, she'd tell us, as Marilyn Monroe.

Back home for supper? She did not require us to "eat everything on our plates, or no dessert". She did not entertain us with harrowing tales about the starving children in India.

She'd shake her head when my father offered her a second helping of roast beef and potatoes. Take just a sliver of her own superb home-baked apple pie. Then push aside part of that portion, and sip a cup of black coffee instead.

"Better it should go to waste than to my waist," she'd say.

Self-regulation. That is the question. And the necessity, if that's the reality of your biological legacy.

Unfair? Maybe so. But on the other hand, both my daughter and I also inherited my mother's double cheek dimples!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This questions can be rhetorical, but I'd be curious to know whether your mother (or her family) were comfortable during the depression.

    Now I'm dreaming up a whole blog on weight and class.
    2497 days ago
    I always feel so virtuous when I leave something on my plate. Although I don't throw it away, it goes into the fridge for another meal. Even an uneaten baked potato from a restaurant meal comes home and gets scrambled into eggs for dinner in a night or two.

    I don't want to waste, but I don't want to waist either!
    2498 days ago
    One of my favorite experiments a couple of weeks ago was to go to an all you can eat soup, salad and bakery bar. I allowed myself a taste of the breads I wanted, the top of a blueberry muffin, a bite of brownie, and let the rest go to waste. A taste was enough. Not all calories are equal in nutritional value, as you know.

    2498 days ago
    Eating food I didn't need is just another kind of waste: a "waisting" waste, in fact, because that's where I'll wear it!!
    2498 days ago
    You're lucky you learned from your mother not to clean your plate. My parents hated to waste food. It took me 60 years to realize that the food is just as gone whether I eat it or toss it.
    2499 days ago
  • INSHAPE2011
    I tried the Beck suggestion of overloading my plate and eating only what I planned recently and it was amazingly difficult but I did do it and feel proud of it. I was brought up to finish my plate and struggle badly with that. I aim to practice again and as prescribed by Beck before every major outing to strengthen my will. "rather to waste, than to my waist!"... I love this, I'll remember it next time!
    2499 days ago
    Oh, your mom was wise. Glad you learned the lesson. I had great family that was caring and nuturing, intelligent, responsible and hard working, but no one was wise about food. Sometimes even today I eat more than I truly want because I don't want it to go to "waste". Foolish. Thanks for making me stop and think again.
    2499 days ago
  • REJ7777
    Thank you for recommending that blog. I'm going to go take a peek at it. You had a good model in your mother, as far as controlling food intake goes!
    2499 days ago
    I must say, I do struggle with not wasting - especially in restaurants. The other day, at Red Lobster, I asked them to pack up half my meal before they brought it to me. I had heard of that tip, but never had the guts to actually ask for it. I'm glad I did, but, they didn't pack up half the dessert and I couldn't stop eating that little devil!!! emoticon

    I like the idea of thinking of food as "not good enough to be worth the calories". I'll have to use that one!
    2499 days ago
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