That Four-Letter Word: D. I. E. T.

Yeah. That word. I’ve played with it all my life. I used to be good at it, and I was slim — and young. Those two go together. Because, let’s face it, we older folks are at a disadvantage when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.

After being very slim, (okay, skinny) for most of my life, this post-menopausal weight gain has devastated my self-esteem (all right, ego.) I always felt a bit superior for being, and staying, so slim. I think part of my weight gain was God shaking a finger at me. I now have far more empathy for others in this war on weight, and a much healthier idea of what constitutes the right body weight.

I always thought I was fat, even when my ribs were showing. No, I wasn’t anorexic, but every time I gained a little weight, I’d get sick, and I’d lose ten pounds in one week. Yeah, I kinda miss the ability to lose like that, but I don’t miss feeling ill most of the time. Obviously being slim does not mean being healthy. 
When I gained a little weight, wow, I wasn’t ever sick. However, with a little more weight (okay, overweight) came the other health issues: high blood pressure and high cholesterol, not to mention other things. I need a healthy balance.

So, I am on Diet Z, finally taking my doctor’s advice and trying the Dash Diet.

The DASH Diet is simple, but I need something easy enough I’ll put out some effort to stay on track. The tracking part is some of the difficulty.

My husband doesn’t believe in many technical devices. This man did not even have an answering machine, let alone anything else when I met him. He now has a laptop and cell phone, all basic. The laptop doesn’t even have Word. He uses his cell phone only for voice calls.

Thus, my technical connections are a bit limited. Although my laptop has all the bells and whistles I can afford, my husband refuses to join the text/internet culture with smart phones and won’t buy one of those plans.

Keeping track of calories is a bit more work without one of those fancy phone apps and I hate running to the laptop to log in that I just ate five crackers. Neither do I want to dig up a journal, or notebook. Not gonna happen.

I love computer graphics, and decided that I should be able to come up with a better, easier way to keep track of my diet. With the help of Microsoft Word Art, I designed Dash Money.

Here’s a sample:.

I printed these and cut them apart. 

I won’t go into details of the diet, you can find those here (Dash Diet). As I have a good basic knowledge of portion sizes, I didn’t need a chart for that. And of course, most packaging has portions listed. WebMD has a great chart for basic portion sizes that is small enough to carry in a wallet, or pocket, the one using baseballs, light bulbs, etc. (Printable Wallet Portion Guide).

Now, I have divided my daily allotment of each food group into my diet money. I simply move one slip from the green envelope (Go) to the hot pink (Stop) when I consume something. When the green envelope is empty, so is my plate, bowl, napkin, hand, whatever.

I am not positive this will work as it will still take some effort and self-control, but at least I don’t have to push through a calorie app, keep a food diary, chart, or spend money on fancy diet aides.

I’ll let you know how I do. 

How about you? Any tips or advice you've discovered to help with dieting?


  1. That is a fantastic idea! I am going to try it using calories as money. I will allot myself so many and make some money in various denominations. I will carry the envelopes around in my pocket and pay from one to the other every time I eat. Of course I will carefully mark the envelopes so I don't accidentally move the money back into the not-yet-spent fund. Of course I will! Seriously - I am going to give it a try and also check out the Dash diet. Thanks!

    1. Wonderful. We can compare notes and see how we are doing.

  2. I can definitely relate...still battling that post-meno weight gain. You have motivated me to stay on track and do something great for my health!

    1. We need all the encouragement we can get, Judith. It's hard to stay on track with all of the temptations slapping us in the face from media, social pressure, and s many other influences. Funny isn't it, it's easier to succumb to the temptations than be inspired and motivated by the good things. Who wants to celebrate a wonderful occasion with carrot sticks instead of cake?


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