A Good Home, Food

Witless Wednesday

Did I tell you about….

… that time I went on a diet, and got a nasty surprise?

It happened around this time last year – Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day period of Lent, a time of sacrifice and reflection.

I reflected, decided, and said to myself: “Self, let us agree that, this Lent, we will give up any food that is not healthful.”

Self wholeheartedly agreed.

Self is always up for a good-sounding plan. And this one sounded positively virtuous.


Over the next several weeks, my grocery list consisted primarily of healthful stuff like the following:

  • Oats, Bananas, Pears and Berries
  • Pecans and Walnuts
  • Coconut everything and Quinoa everything
  • Cabbage, Zucchini, Green Beans, Spinach
  • Fish – especially Salmon or Trout
  • Beets, Avocado and Sweet Potato.


I felt great. In fact, I felt quite saintly about it, since almost every item was a ‘super-food’. 


Then came an ominous sign.

Things started shrinking.

The waist of my jeans shrank. Then my skirt. Then my other jeans too.

I was flabbergasted. 

Just to be sure, I weighed myself.

I’d gained 6 pounds.

“I don’t understand!” I wailed to my daughter. “I’ve been on a health-food diet!”

“Mom”, she said, in that deliberately patient voice one uses to a 5 year old who stamps her feet and refuses to understand. “It’s not enough to eat super-foods. It’s also a matter of portion control.”

“Portion control?” I sputtered.

“Yes, Mom.”

Portion control… I wrinkled my nose and screwed up my face and stared at her, willing her to retract those words. No luck.

“Are you saying I didn’t ….”

“I’m saying you ate too much avocado, Mom. And sweet potato. And quinoa. And other stuff too.”



Photo Credit: John Garside

103 thoughts on “Witless Wednesday”

  1. Oh, too funny! I know from long experience what an ordeal it is to lose weight, especially if you are someone like me who LOVES food.

  2. I have got fat (relatively speaking ie a stick insect putting on weight) twice in my life. The first was when I got a car, so instead of walking to interview people at work, I drove. The second was after breaking my ankle and enjoying life as a sofa queen. Happy to say, the stick insect returned in both cases (slightly less in my 50s) because being fat doesn’t suit me.

    I have been 50–55 kilos all my life and 65 did not do it for me. At all.

    Bananas. Nuts. Avocados. Sweet potatoes. Lol.

    I use nuts very sparingly. Full of protein and well rich.

    Last night we had cauliflower cheese (note, cheese included) but made with soya milk and yeast extract. Tonight we are having peas, broad beans, and carrots. Probably with mint.

    To be serious, we eat far less in our old age. By we, I mean him and me, not a generic we.

  3. You had me laughing there, Cynthia. I’ve had a similar problem, given up all sorts thinking it will help my weight. But, we tend to make up for the things we give up by eating more of others. Your daughter is very knowledgeable and wise… Portion is everything! Delightful read.😀

      1. Yes, like grapefruit… I detest the stuff but forced myself to eat it for weeks all to no avail… Never again!

  4. I know the feeling. I have a very healthy diet but I can’ t lose weight. Portion control and cut back on the nuts, who’ d have thought? What a clever daughter.

  5. Oh no! I liked the sound of that diet until I read what happened to you! I am trying to lose weight at the moment and everywhere I look I see recipes for food I shouldn’t eat.

  6. I lost a lot of weight without trying when I took care of Rick’s mother, and that continued through last year when I had to give up certain foods I learned I had a sensitivity to, mainly dairy and eggs. I avoid sweeteners. I eat all the nuts I want, and keep plenty of good fats in the diet. I do know we are all “wired” differently in term of our individual genetics. Much work has also been done on the human microbiome recently in relation to health and disease. The microbiome alone is worth a Google search for information. Very good information there! 🙂

  7. Thats funny Cynthia, the same happens here! We cut out most sugars and all meat and already feel a lot healthier but definitely not slimmer.

    1. I think I’m heading to cutting out all meat myself, but will be having fish, methinks. As for sugars — it’s a gradual thing. We never used much, but it’s the hidden sugars that I have to watch.

  8. The thing to remember is that food can be very deceitful. The “not good” foods are more honest. Chocolate coating, sugary sprinkles, frosting, all shamelessly flaunting their calories. The “good foods” however depend on the healthy hype and their benign appearance to conceal the calories lurking within them waiting to attack your innocent waist line.

    1. Yes, Georgeina. I must give you the prize for reply of the day. Because I knew all along it wasn’t my fault — it was those wicked superfoods that did it!! (haha….) Thanks for your reply.

  9. I can see how this would happen. I have high cholesterol and some of the possible pills for it give me an allergic reaction. Now, I can lower my cholesterol. I’m not a big fan of meat and I love fish. It’s fat intake. Yes, healthy fats, like olive oil, I need to take down. When I do, I am HUNGRY ALL THE TIME. Tonight, after a lovely chicken, green bean and couscous dinner, I thought about seconds, portion control and just said no. I’m gonna be real hungry come morning!

  10. This was certainly a good story, it was so funny and hilarious.
    I suppose I’m lucky not to crave any sweets, and I don’t like chocolate and ice cream. Due to all conditions I cannot eat out.
    Well, Cynthia, your plan was very good. However, we need everything, everything in balance. I personally love fats and because of hypos I have to eat pure glucose or sugar at times. I don’t think any nutrient in normal balanced way causes any metabolism problems as long as it is natural, meaning in its most natural state.
    I am also in the group of people that cannot tolerate even a little overweight, it chokes me, even 1-2 kg more is already feeling not good. I’m trying to be as I always was since 21, around 55 kg, I’m 169 cm, so it’s great. It’s tough when one is underweight, too. I was really skinny for a while, and it was very difficult to gain weight.
    Well, good luck with healthy choices, and I hope you don’t overdo, but enjoy every food and meal. Thanks from https://inesepogalifeschool.com/ As always I appreciate you stopping by at my secondary blog. Thanks!

  11. Thanks for the laugh. They tell us that we should now eat 10 portions of fruit and veg a day, unfortunately that’s more portions than I eat altogether (and I do like the odd bit of fish or meat), so I would struggle with a wholly healthy diet.

  12. Dear Cynthia, as always, I love your lovely sense of humour and your honesty. ❤ The older I get, the younger I seem to behave in my daughter's eyes; nice to know I'm not the only one. She recently called me a two-year-old. But isn't it wonderful to laugh with a daughter? 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  13. I love this post, Cynthia – at first I laughed but then had to nod solemnly, because it’s happened to me too. And frankly, it’s just not fair. We should be able to enjoy twice the amount considering how good-for-you it all is.

  14. Shrinking clothes…one can but wish! I had to laugh at your daughter’s wise words…I guess the size of the portions do matter but I’m with you, it’s all healthy food!!😀😀

  15. Ah, yes. The cruel joke the Universe plays on us. Even healthy foods can make us fat! Thought of that tonight as I cut myself off from one too many starchy carrots:). You’re not alone!

    1. Oh, no, Cathleen. I’d forgotten about the Easter candy — yikes. Actually Jamaicans have an Easter treat that’s even worse — the Easter bun, a kind of loaf cake with stuff that’s fattening, I’m sure. Eaten with cheese.

  16. I certainly know this story from a personal angle! During the current Lenten season, I have been avoiding carbs and increasing vegetable and salad dishes. So far, so good. However, I am not so good at avoiding a few glasses of dry white wine each week. :/

  17. Cynthia, I loved this post! It’s very funny and witty! I have missed reading your posts. I have been so busy with my businesses that I have not had time to read them and others like I used to. Thank you so much for taking time to read mine and like and comment on them! 🙂 ❤

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