Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday: Half Is Nice


A little late; nevertheless I had a thought today that I thought might be of help to others so I'm passing it along.

It all started last fall when I read Mary Hunt's (of Cheapskate Monthly fame) new book entitled Live your Life for Half the Price. I was left with one major impression: the merit of reducing our requirements for living by half. That may sound radical, but as I started implementing it in financial areas, it made more and more sense to me. For example, I tend to buy in bulk when certain items are on sale. Broccoli - 4 bunches for $2 - you gotta be kidding me - can't pass up that great deal. Oops, what's this growing fuzz in my fridge? Yep, that broccoli I never used. (Now I don't have a houseful of kids like some of you, so I'm not talking about stocking up on pantry essentials). I've learned that I can get to the grocery store again, so buying just what I can use in a week or so has helped me save money and eliminate waste.

Waste. Nope - make that "waist"! Fast forward a few months. I joined Weightwatchers - the actual meetings - this past March. I did it in the past online, but I don't think I truly revamped my eating habits then.

Something clicked this time. See, I come from a long line of Italian women who know how to eat and like to eat good. We like our food! We like our Greek hummus and Italian stuffed peppers and German latkes. I wasn't cutting it on rice cakes and fat free half & half. Then it occurred to me - eat what you like, just eat half. I think this has made all the difference. A sandwich tastes much better when shared with a co-worker. Applebee's offers most of their salads in a half size, and Panera has a great "You Pick Two" option with your choice of soup, salad or half a sandwich. I'm also trying to remember that usually the small size latte or coffee will more than satisfy me.

Another area where thinking in halves has helped me is with my to-do list. I'm finally realizing I don't have to get it all done tonight! Especially not after a long work day. The laundry can sit if it has to. I don't have to make a gourmet meal every night; I can save that new recipe for another night. And it's perfectly okay to buy and serve premade hamburger patties when I'm having a picnic.

So there you have it - Half is Nice. It works for me!

11 comments:

Mom2fur said...

One place where I cut calories is by mixing half 'real' food with half 'reduced fat' food. Example: cream cheese. I'm actually doing mayo 3/4 low fat with 1/4 real and I can't taste the difference. Still another place: I order a Happy Meal if I go to McDonald's. Hey, they don't have to know there's no kid involved! That small amount of fries and small drink is just the right size for me. I used to be able to polish off a Big Mac Meal, but no more--and I sure don't need those calories!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

When I attended Weigh Down Workshop their deal was to eat half. It worked. I didnt realize how big portions were til I tried it. Your idea about the to do list - even better. Jesus didn't do everything - he didn't heal everyone, and we don't have to do everything either. Half is plenty. I sent your mom home today with two HALF gallons of green paint, seriously!

Katrina said...

Wonderful tip, Dianne! The only thing that I'm not sure I could cut in half is my need for books. :) But the food (especially buying too much produce that I end up throwing away), to-do list, etc. - definitely.

Susanne said...

I met a couple from Holland and when asked what differences there were in food between here and in Hollad the first thing said was the portion size. They could not believe the portions served here, especially in resteraunts. We've become the supersize me culture where we feel we need to get our money's worth and then to consume it too! Good for you. Like Bev, I attended weigh down, and it worked and I felt so much healthier and energetic not bogged down by food. Gotta get back to that! Thanks for lighting a fire under my, well you know.

Cindy said...

Great food suggestion, Dianne! BTW, my daughter and I are going to join WW. We've done it before and faded out, but plan to give it our best shot this time. I truly believe it's the best eating plan out there.

Susanne said...

BTW, tagged you!

Jennifer said...

This is really a great idea! I know that we went to a cash food allowance, I also reduced the urge to "stock up" because it was a good deal. I know that reduced my grocery budget, because even if it wasn't perishable and getting tossed, I was still spending more than I needed to, and of course the next week there was another good deal worth "stocking up" on.

The food is a great point, too. I did manage to lose some weight by just eating less, so I am going to remember that again.

Heather Sanders said...

Hey, you just saved me a membership to Weight Watchers! I'm trying your suggestion first! Hmmm ... half a gallon of ice cream! Half a 1 lb. bag of M&Ms. YES! This might work!

:)

Islandsparrow said...

Great idea - My Mom used to say the same thing. When I would talk about cutting out certain foods in order to lose weight she'd say "Just eat half of what you would normally eat". But the problem is my idea of normal...oh well.

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Considering how SUPER sized the North American portions are I bet this is probably the best advice out there for long term weight loss and maintenance! TFS!

Mom said...

Hi Di,
Well, you got me charged up about WW and Daddy said I can go....probably because you look so good. It's amazing how weight just sneaks up the back...and sides.
Thanks for a nice day Saturday!