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The woman looked me right in the eye, and said “so basically, you’re a hypocrite”…

getting the ‘pointy finger of judgement’

It is always nice to be invited to dinner parties by my personal training clients because I usually get to meet the co-workers and friends.

One of the topics that popped up at this particular party was my weight loss strategy of having either dessert OR wine – but not both. Although not necessarily a calorie saving strategy, I like to have my clients exclude one or the other, especially if they happen to be a ‘foodie’ (if your idea of a light snack is a small plate of italian prosciutto with a raw goats milk formaggio – you might be a foodie).

To explain my reasoning for this it would be important to go to a flashback of the last time we tried to change something in our lives. If you came to me and told me you wanted to be as fit as possible and I placed you on a diet of water and organic raw foods and told you not to eat anything else ever again – what would be my chance of success?

I would likely have two chances of you following my directions… Slim and None

If I tell you to stop eating everything, you will nod your head and then go out and keep doing exactly what you were doing before. But what if I were to ask you to take just ONE thing out of your cornucopia of forbidden fruits?

If you had the choice of removing one bad thing from your diet, what would it be?

Which would you take out?

Would you feel empowered by making the decision of what you do or don’t take out of your food plan?

Would it show you that you have willpower. Would it show you that you CAN do this?

What food would you take out next, and how would you feel about that?

See where I am going with this? Soon you have a slew of bad foods taken out and you feel completely in control (isn’t the human mind amazing?!)

Although delish, this popular music group is not the kind of temptations I am referring to Although popular, this musical group is not the kind of temptations I am referring to

Unfortunately, sometimes I fall under scrutiny and am accused of breaking my own rules.

And so it came shortly after the dessert course that a young woman sitting across from me put down her spoon and let loose:

“that is it. You have been telling my friend that she can drink or eat dessert – that she can have or the other, but not both – yet I see you eating both at once. What gives, Mister personal trainer?”

And that was when I was accused of being a hypocrite (I love fancy words like that – what is that, a triple word score in scrabble or something?).

I always smile at challenges like this. I certainly appreciate that if I am chowing down on a piece of cheesecake then it only natural that questions spring forth.

The challenge of weight loss can be complex, frustrating and exhausting all at the same time.

I knew that I needed to defend my position and explain how my glass of wine and consumption of dessert could possibly make sense. So after another bite of the chocolate mousse, and humbly laid out one of my nutritional philosophies…

I don’t eat dessert every day. I don’t drink wine every day.


An artfully dedacent yet moderately sized dessert

Mmmmmm Mmmmmm!

I probably have a dessert or a couple of glasses of wine once every couple of weeks. When I have wine, or I have dessert, I try to make sure it is the best damn dessert or the best damn wine (notice I didn’t say ‘biggest’ – there is a distinct difference between taste and proportion).

I like this strategy because it allows me to every now and then eat food that I would never recommend to my clients and feel okay about it. I dont ask my clients to be made of stone. I know that we all have events we have to go to – I only ask that they choose wisely where they go off their healthy list of foods, and that they do it sparingly.

I dont eat muffins, I avoid all sorts of mediocre junk food and I do my very best to make sure that when I eat something that is not great for me, it is either:

  1. Homemade (Granny don’t use no preservative or artificial colorings)
  2. “Ohmygodthatissogood” Amazingly delicious
  3. Bite size in proportion (consider a trio of handcrafted truffles and the massive proportions found at the cheesecake factory then ask which has the best taste to calorie ratio).
  4. Infrequent in consumption

So, dear reader, if you are looking to trim poundage and have failed before – embrace your choices. Take charge of what goes in your mouth.

When you eat healthily, make it as healthy as possibly and eat without conscience.

When you eat unhealthily, make it the most delectable, delicate handcrafted morsel your tongue ever experienced. And enjoy it.

Do YOU have a recommendation for the best taste to calorie ratio? Sharing is caring, I always say 😉

  • austinwriter Jun 15, 2008 Reply

    I enjoyed this post. I am the same way — I rarely eat anything fried or rich, but when I do, I make sure it is REALLY worth it. I am in shape and exercise regularly, but I have friends who complain about their weight, and then eat rich, creamy, and fried food constantly. For some reason they’re just not willing to give up the junk. For me, the compromise is worth it — I get to indulge from time to time in exchange for keeping a decent figure. I did cut out sugar recently, though, but it’s because of a digestive condition, though it has been very good for my overall health.

  • fatintothefire Jun 19, 2008 Reply

    Great! What is better than an ice cold beer on a hot summer day? Or Beer and Pizza? A glass of red wine with some fine dark chocolate? Alcoholic drinks pair so well with some of the greatest foods in the world. Of course, sometimes these foods may not be all that healthy, but yet we love them.

    I like to say anything within moderation.

    I am a big advocate of saying ‘NO’ to nothing. Meaning, there is always room in your healthy eathing lifestyle (or ‘diet’) for the foods or drink that you love the most. Now, that may or may not be on a daily basis. That is up to you and what your goals are.

    But the moment you say ‘NO more chocolate pudding’ – then all you are going to do is want chocolate pudding.

    It is all about balancing the scales. Life is too short to not enjoy what you like. There is certainly nothing wrong with the occassional festive combination of wine and dessert.

  • JoanVoight May 19, 2009 Reply

    Fitness and wine can indeed go hand in hand.
    This is what I’ve learned for 2009. Champagne goes very well with barbecued gourmet sausages and mustard no matter how cold you are.
    For instance: Our tradition is to celebrate “New York New Year” at the hangar where we keep our little airplane. What this means is that a small group of us get bundled up enough to be outside for hours and hope it stays above freezing. We use our summer BBQ to cook some snacks, which we munch on with sips of deep red wine. Cabernet is best for me. Then we break out the bubbly at 9 p.m. when our pals in NY are celebrating and hug and kiss with frozen lips and numb hands.
    On the fitness front, I’m now using a bike instead of a car for errands. Turns out, the bum-around-town bikes are called beach cruisers and they’ve become a cottage industry far beyond beach towns. You can get baskets and bells for them and even cup holders for your latte. And it’s impossible to take yourself too seriously on a cruiser.

    • jamieatlas May 19, 2009 Reply

      Well thanks Joan! Your new york new year tradition sounds great! I like the bike vs car usage! Maybe you could start cooking your new years food in a ‘dutch oven’ and declare yourself an honorary Netherlandian?! No? Well, it is still a great idea. Congrats to you for mixing the best things in life 🙂

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