Food Diary

Dolly Schwartz grabbed the purple notebook from the stack on the table full of  Back to School supplies at Target.  It was just what she needed for her food diary. She had never tried keeping any type of diary, but the counselors at Super Diet Systems promised that keeping her own record of what she ate every day was the key to successful weight loss. At 259 pounds, it was time for her to get her weight under control. She knew she could do it; all she had to do is to find the right way to diet.


At 7:15 am,  the traffic on Washington Street was heavier than usual. Dolly hadn’t managed to have breakfast before leaving for work this morning, so she slid her Honda into the drive-through lane at Hardee’s.  She looked over the choices on the menu board for the best choice for her new diet. She was supposed to choose something with protein for breakfast.  The sausage, egg biscuit  had two kinds of protein. That ought to work just fine.  She ordered a diet Coke and felt very virtuous because she passed on the fried potato chunks.  While she waited for her order, she carefully wrote down her breakfast choice in her new food diary.  She didn’t know what the calorie count was, but she could look that up when she got to work.  This diet thing wasn’t so hard to handle after all. She smiled as she took a large bite of biscuit.


Lunch time was hectic, with a general meeting of all the project managers called for 11:30, so Dolly had her admin assistant run out and get her a salad.  Salads were not her favorite food, but she knew they were on her food choice list, so she ordered the takeout special with added cheese, bacon bits, hard boiled eggs, and the blue cheese dressing.  . She asked her assistant to check for the calorie count on the salad when she picked it up at the restaurant.  She carefully put salad down in her food diary. Then during  the meeting, she told everyone about her new approach to weight control. Since she wasn’t the only one overweight in the meeting,  the others were interested and asked about costs and meeting times.  Even Harrison, the CEO,  looked interested and wrote down the phone number of Super Diet Systems.  His wife had been after him to lose weight for months.


When Dolly rushed through her front door at dusk, she knew she was late for the weekly dinner with her best friends at the Mexican restaurant they all loved.  She pulled on a fresh sweatshirt and clean jeans and sneakers and headed out the door, almost laughing as she got back in her car.  They would be so envious of her new diet.  She would be down to a size 16 in no time. Then she could get new clothes for her vacation to Cancun in July. Life was just too good to be true.  She found her buddies gathered around a table for four at the Cantina staring at the six page menu and discussing what choices sounded best.  Dolly looked carefully through the menu and chose the pork fajitas and the guacamole and chips for a starter.  While they were waiting for the food to arrive, she explained the wonderful new diet to Alice, Jeanette and Raina.  Alice was the only one who never had to worry about her weight.  She had been born with a metabolism that burned up anything she ate.  Normally, this would be a case for extreme jealousy but since Alice ate everything she could get her hands on, the others forgave her for being a size 10.  Jeanette and Raina both weighed more than Dolly, and were very happy to listen to the details of this great new attempt at healthy living.  They also ordered the pork fajitas and shared a platter of nachos.  Alice went wild with enchiladas, tacos, and a burrito along with the guacamole and chips.  She was planning ahead for the flan for dessert, or maybe the sopapillas and ice cream, she wasn’t sure which sounded better. Maybe she would order both and offer to share with the others.


It was close to ten when Dolly got home again, put on her p.j.s, caught the ten o’clock news and popped a bag of popcorn in the microwave for her late night snack. She remembered seeing popcorn on the approved list for snacks.  After finishing off the bag, Dolly crawled into bed and remembered she hadn’t put her dinner or the popcorn in her food diary. “No problem she thought.  I will record them in the morning before I head to work.”  Then a frown appeared between her browns. She hadn’t put in the calorie count for breakfast or lunch, either.  It had been busy at work, and she kept putting it off until she had more time. Unfortunately, she had never found a minute of extra time for record keeping.  “Oh well, tomorrow is another day!,” she thought, as she closed her tired eyes and fell into sleep.


On her second visit to Super Diet Systems, the following Tuesday, Dolly was practically bouncing as she came in the door. Her diet counselor signed her in and asked how her week had gone.  Dolly handed over her food diary with a happy smile and eagerly got onto the scale for her weigh-in.  She was so pleased with how easy the diet had been working.  She couldn’t understand why her counselor was frowning. Then she stared at the scale in astonishment.  This week the scale registered at 264. Something was wrong!

Maybe this diet didn’t work as well as she had thought.  Then her counselor started to look through the food diary. 


“Um, Dolly, about the calories you have listed for the meals you ate? Are you sure you checked portion sizes?  I think we need to go over menu choices again.”



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