February 21, 2011

The war is on!

I love potato chips, bologna and girl scout cookies, and that’s just this month’s choices. Last month I loved banana bread, cheese doodles and fritos. I love salt, chocolate and caffeine all the time.

Alex shares my love of these awesome dietary supplements, however, I understand portion control, and Alex does not. I am of average weight and Alex is at least 30 pound overweight. It affects her stamina, mood and clothing choices. Alex will overeat whenever she is alone in our house, or thinks I am not paying attention. We have had many a screaming match and I have not been able to alter her behavior. I no longer buy any of my favorite foods, which also penalizes my very skinny 15 year old son.

I am disappointed and disgusted with myself over this. I obviously have approached this incorrectly and have a new plan in place. General Mom has entered the war zone and is ready to take over. Good thing I am a Gemini!

Like all good generals I tried a couple of different plans before I settled on the one that will bring me an honorable victory.

Plan 1 - Enlist a talented and successful Lieutenant who specializes in this type of warfare, Jenny Craig. My recruitment strategy was to help Jenny understand this war was an opportunity for exposure to a population she had not worked with before. I explained that many young adults with special needs are overweight. I suggested that the structure, counseling and prepared food tactics of her fighting style would be an easy win for a person (Alex) with disabilities.

I asked Jenny if it made sense to work with a person with disabilities as a test case - win one war and other generals would hire her. I asked if a Valerie Bertinelli of down syndrome could help grow her business. Jenny graciously agreed, said she would think about it, but in the mean time I needed to pay her $800 for the set-up costs and two weeks of food. I realized right away I could not afford this lieutenant.

So, like all good generals I moved on.

Plan 2 - Work with the enemy, convince them you are on the same side. So, I asked Alex to prepare a chart of her ideal meals. Although her choices are not completely healthy, they do document portion control. Plus, she does not realize it, but this small victory on my part set me up to draft a complete battle plan.

I did not allow Alex to use any weapons, such as the dictionary, the computer or spell-check. Just like all enemy prisoners she was only given the basics to complete her tasks.

The rest of this plan also involved charting. Alex is a visual learner, like many of her peers, when things are written down and posted on the refrigerator Alex pays attention. As an example, we keep our weekly calendar on the fridge, it details every appointment, pet feeding and activity we have that week. If I miss something Alex will correct it. It is a great tool for all of us.

To fortify my position I created a table. Since I am the general I used the computer and spell-check. It is good to appear superior early on in the war.

Each week we will post a new table and Alex will be responsible for keeping it up to date. We will start with the beginning weight, goal weight and list the food Alex ate each day. Alex is responsible for her Monday morning weigh in, and documenting her meals. Already a small victory!

If Alex reaches her goal weight she will get a prize, nothing more than $5.00, but is celebrates that week’s victory. If not, no prize, and Justin Bieber’s income will decrease by $5.00 that week. I figure if I have to pay Alex $5.00/week it will only take 160 weeks to cover the cost of what Lieutenant Jenny wanted, another stripe on my sleeve.

The war has started, the battle lines are drawn and we will march on towards victory. Watch out Alex, I am a General and you are a soldier (although you act like a general). I am older and wiser than you (and least in my mind), and despite your sneakiness and conniving, you will lose weight and I will win this war.

Raise the flag and sound the bugles.

Please do not forget about my book giveaway!


  1. I love this!! Beth is exactly the same way with portion control. I have to monitor her all the time. Just last night I watched her take some mashed potatos. She moved on to the veggies and put a large spoonful on her plate. I turned my back... and she piled on more potatos! Grrr!

    I'm now trying to get her to eat more fruit and vegetables. Grapes, cherry tomatos, etc. She likes to snack but she'll absolutely fill a plate with crackers or marshmellows (her favorite - Ugh).

    I like your approach to the situation. Fight on, fellow General!

  2. That is so funny Beth sounds exactly like Alex.....the battle continues - nice to know other generals too!


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