[weigh-in wednesday] 5/19 diets

This week, .4 pounds, total 42.8 pounds.

So frustrating to watch the scale hover around the same point. I know I should weight myself every day. I can't help it. At least it isn't going up.

Should I even mention the word diet? It's a four letter word with a bad reputation.

diet 1 |di-it|

the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats : a vegetarian diet | a specialist in diet.
• a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons : I'm going on a diet.
• [as adj. ] (of food or drink) with reduced fat or sugar content : diet soft drinks.
• figurative a regular occupation or series of activities in which one participates : a healthy diet of classical music.

verb ( dieted , dieting ) [ intrans. ]
restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight : it's difficult to diet.

I think I should focus on the first definition:

the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats

OK. That seems pretty safe. Really, a diet is just what you eat. So, what kind of diet are you on? And I don't mean a specialized diet to help you lose weight. What kind of food to eat day to day?

Most of us born probably grew up eating the same things. Cold cereals for breakfast. Sandwiches on white bread for lunch. Meat, potatoes and canned vegetables to dinner. A few fresh fruits were thrown in but weren't encouraged because they disappeared too quickly. Store bought cookies and salty snacks were around but not like they are today. We jad milk in our cereal for breakfast, at lunch in school and were required to drink at least one glass during dinner. We were allowed one soda per day, usually a 10 ounce bottle. We had to split a 16 ounce bottle. Most meals were at home. With a family of 7, eating out became very expensive. TV dinners were rare and considered a treat. (Really, eating poor quality food in an aluminum tray was a treat?) I call this the American diet of the 1970s.

In the 1980s, more of our food came from packages. Packaged potatoes, sauces in jars and frozen, microwaveable meals became the norm. We still had milk in our cereal but in high school, we had the option of soda. Milk was no longer required at dinner. And that is partially because we started to eat out more frequently. My brothers were grown and gone and now we were a family of 4. There were more fast food restaurant and more affordable family restaurant to visit. There we were allowed one soda as free refills did not exist. Family meals at home were few and far between. When we were home, the TV was usually on and mom was probably on the phone. We were still limited to one soda per day at home. But we had our own money and local quickie marts to buy soda and snacks. This was our American diet of the 1980s.

I was never one for the cooking. Find something, make it and eat it. I don't enjoy the process, it feels like a chore. Convenience food were my friends and enemies. I learned to make casseroles since I would have to juggle to many things at once and try to coordinate all the cooking times and temps. I was cooking for convenience rather than health. And there are so many options in the frozen foods section. I love Stouffer's Mac & Cheese and couldn't happily eat it several days a week. I once made lasagna from scratch. It took hours and it didn't taste all that better than Stouffer's.

But convenience foods are not a healthy choice. They are full of added fat and sodium and preservatives. And they are not cheap either. You are paying for their time to make it and package it and deliver it to your store.

So what now?