Plate Juggling

Those of you who read my blog regularly are already aware that I am a self-proclaimed handbag ho – even to the point where I turned the biggest pair of jeans I’ve ever owned into a Big Ass Tote Bag.  Handbags aren’t the only pretty things that catch my eye, however.  I also love pretty dishes.  In fact, it’s just not safe for me to be anywhere near a Pier 1 Imports on payday.

I blame 20 years of magazine articles about dieting.  I’ve lost count of the number of articles I’ve read about tricking yourself into eating less…and they almost always suggest choosing a smaller plate.  You know the articles I’m talking about, right? Why do they tell us these things?  Honestly, back in my heyday of overeating and yo-yo dieting a smaller plate wouldn’t have made any difference.  Back in those days, when I called Domino’s I didn’t get the standard “thank you for calling” greeting…no, no, no…they picked up the phone and said “Hi Dianne!”  A large pizza was my average lunch back then.  My priorities were completely screwed up.  Using smaller plates would only have meant more trips to the kitchen…and who wants that, right?  Shame, shame, shame on me.

Using smaller plates doesn’t make any difference to me in terms of whether I feel satisfied with my meal.  Using pretty plates does.  Our normal dishes are those Corelle things that are made up of titanium and whatever the hell fuses a corn flake to the side of a bowl (that shit’s indestructible).  That’s what we have to have in the Hot Mess household, as hubby’s nickname is Captain Chaos.  Luckily, I found a basic white indestructible plate that I can live with…but I still love the pretty ones.

With over 200 pounds to lose, I’m trying to make the process of changing to a healthy lifestyle as fun as possible.  That’s why I made my Motivation Marbles.  That’s why I have a jar above my treadmill where I deposit $2 for every pound I lose so that I can buy myself something shiny when I hit my goal weight.  There has to be some level of fun in this for me or I’ll drive myself crazy.

My search for fun in the face of such monumental change also provides me with an excuse to add to my ever growing collection of plates.  It involves shopping, first of all.  And I get to reap the benefits every time I make myself a meal at home.  I like things to be pretty…even if it’s just lunch.

Now I would never go through this much trouble for the Hot Mess Hubby – not because he’s not worth it, but because he’s a very low maintenance guy (at least as far as table settings are concerned) and he just doesn’t care about this stuff.  He’s more of a cave man, really.  It’s nothing for me to look up from the laptop and see him scuffling through the living room with no shirt on, a big hunk of cheese in his hand, happy as can be.  (I know what you’re thinking, but you can’t have him…he’s all mine!)

I don’t add to my plate collection every payday and, sadly, I can’t be trusted to walk into a Pier 1 Imports or World Market store alone.  I usually have to talk a girlfriend into going along – and even then, I surrender my debit card and all but $40 in cash.  I also provide her with a tranquilizer blow dart in case I need to be taken down and dragged to the car.  In fact, I have a trip to California coming up and I’m going plate shopping with my mom.  She’s getting up there in years, but she’s got a pinch on her that’d stop a grizzly bear on crack dead in its tracks.

The plates in my collection are all salad sized plates, which is supposed to fool my subconscious into thinking I’m eating more than I really am.  I don’t buy it.  My overeating never had anything to do with appetite and everything to do with emotional crap.  Until my Imaginary Lap Band experiment, I regarded eating healthy as a real drag – a chore that I had to do in order to lose weight.  I think I’ve been successful in losing 34 pounds in 4 months because I’ve fought to change that rather negative outlook.  Eating healthy should be a very positive experience if you’re going to make a change that sticks…and my pretty plate collection does a lot to make that happen.  It has become fun to make meals now.  I have always enjoyed cooking, but it’s also fun to go through my stack of beautiful plates and choose which one I want to use.

Sometimes I catch the Hot Mess Hubby smiling at me out of the corner of his eye.  I’m sure he thinks this is ridiculous, but if he does he keeps it to himself  – because he’s proud of me and he knows that it’s all about what works for me.  I try not to over-analyze these things myself because it really is about what works for me…so if it makes me happy to spend a few bucks here and there for a plate, what’s the big deal?  I may need to have a yard sale by the time I’m done – but I’ll have worked my way down to one ass instead of four.  I think I can cut myself a little slack on the dish hoarding, right?

Are there any little tricks that work for you?  Is there anything you really enjoy about the healthy changes you’re making in your own life?  I would love to hear what you’re doing…you just might give me a new addiction, but I’m willing to take that chance.  Tell me!

Southern Lady: Gracious Tables: The Perfect Setting for Any Occasion

6 thoughts on “Plate Juggling

  1. Where did you get the red and white bird dish?  It is darling!  In Dianne-ese, I am a bit of a “dish ho,” if you will, and I would agree it is much more fun to eat from pretty dishes.  My new addiction, and I can NOT believe it, is running.  Last week, for the first time in my life, I ran a MILE!  It made me feel like Queen of the Universe.  I would like to tell my junior high school gym teacher to put that in her pipe and smoke it!  (She forced the poor fat girls to run three times a week while the skinny girls started the regular class activities.  Evil sadist.)  Anyway, thank you for the constant motivation!!

    1. Tierney, I got it…you guessed it….Pier 1 Imports.  LOL.  I’m so proud of you and happy for you that you have a new RUNNING addiction!  I can’t wait till I have a new rollerblading addiction.  🙂

  2. Cutest little plates!  For me, I have to read something motivational or informational about health, wellness, weight loss EVERY DAY.  Trying to get past eating when anyone “moves my cheese.”  I’m definitely an emotional eater.  I treat myself with new mp3 songs, a new top, flowers, anything with dragonflies, spray tanning…things that make me happy.  It’s a long journey so I’m enjoying the 5lb losses (every loss, actually) and working on HAVING a diet and not being ON a diet.  🙂 

    1. I’m with you Monica…I get super busy when someone moves my cheese.  🙂  Isn’t rewarding yourself FUN?  I love it!

  3. Smaller plates do work for me. I loved eating in Japan because you usually get lots of different things in lots of small dishes. I think the Japanese might say something about eating with your eyes. Well, whoever said that is right, I think. A meal that is attractive or has been carefully arranged/prepared is a little more satisfying than one that has been slopped on a plain old plate.

    What really works for me is just taking less on my plate to begin with. When I’m hungry my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I load up my plate. And I tend to finish my plate if there is a reasonable amount of food on it. If there is more food to be had I won’t stress about how much I need to eat and I have an easier time paying attention to my hunger cues. By the time I’ve finished the portion I’ve taken I’ve had a little time to sort of process how much I’ve eaten and sometimes I want a little more, but often I find I’m actually sated. And I always carry some nuts around in my purse to keep me from getting too hungry, and so that I know that there is always a snack for later so I don’t eat more than I need right now.

    Don’t get discouraged. Just remember it takes a few weeks to make something a habit and after that it just becomes normal. Life long habits are hard to break, but not as hard as you think if you really want to.

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