Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My Space-Time Continuum

The theme for this month's Scientiae Carnival is Added Weight. The following post was inspired by that theme and the further elaboration upon it in Zuska's call for posts.

I have always been tall. By the time I was in fifth grade, I was taller than my teacher. I outgrew my mother and my older sister by the age of 12. My adult height, 5'11", puts me in the 99th percentile for American women.

I was never thin, either. I was big enough that my classmates thought I was a lot tougher than I actually was. A girl who bullied many of the other girls in elementary school didn't pick on me thanks to my size.

My physical appearance was the object-of-ridicule of choice for my classmates in junior high school. It didn't help that in my family, caring about your physical appearance was discouraged and I wore hand-me-downs and clothing from Goodwill. It also didn't help that I bathed too infrequently for this culture. I felt extremely self-conscious and I wanted to just disappear.

Things were better in high school. I was still somewhat eccentric in my appearance, but I managed to fly under the radar. Nobody but my friends really noticed me and that's the way I liked it. I remained mostly anonymous through college, except for friends and my professors (who noticed my hard work more than my physical presence).

In grad school, I began packing on weight. After a while, I decided to lose that extra weight. I joined Weight Watchers in 2003 and became a lifetime member in 2005 after losing a total of 68 lbs. I also took up karate and became much more comfortable with the location of my body in three dimensions.

As you can see, I've always taken up a lot of x-y-z space. I can't really do much about the amount of space I take up in those first three dimensions, but -- as if in recompense -- I often find myself trying to take up as little space as I can in the fourth dimension (time).

My goal is for people's experience with me across the fourth dimension to be positive. I know that I tend to be long-winded (think about the length of most of my blog posts!) so I try to keep real-time interactions to a minimum. I want people to remember me as interesting and friendly but not a time-sink.

If I can avoid taking up people's time, I do so. I prefer to look on the internet first if I want to know a store's hours or inventory, for example.

If I can minimize the amount of time I take up, I do that too. I try to learn everything I can on my own before asking someone else about it, for example. This is a good trait in many ways, in that I'm usually much better prepared to ask the optimal questions that will help me find out what I need to know.

But, I realize, sometimes I don't take up enough of people's time. I have not asked for help when I needed it, because I didn't want to waste someone else's time, or interrupt the important things they were doing. Instead I wasted a lot of my own time, but since it's my own rather than someone else's it somehow seems all right to squander it.

I've failed to make others take the time to notice me and have missed opportunities because of it. I have been invited to participate in things, but convinced myself that the other person was just being polite and I would waste others' valuable time.

But I am slowly coming into my own. It helps that I have a very avid, 28-pound fan who can't get enough time with his Mama; a husband who has spent nearly ten years of his life with me; and a boss who makes time for me and some colleagues who take the time to listen when I speak. Maybe, I'm beginning to realize, I am worth even more than the time of day.

And that is a good feeling. Losing size in three-space is hard, but paring down in the fourth dimension is a hopeless business.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Exercise and Moving More

My sister Rachel has a post up about exercise. She says that exercise doesn't actually make you feel better; what it does is keep you from feeling bad.

You can tell that Rachel and I are sisters. We both hate exercise, but we enjoy certain activities despite the fact that they involve exercise. Rachel enjoys dancing. I loved karate because it was so much fun (and incidentally, I got exercise). I hate to sweat, but I would do it for karate because I enjoyed it so much.

I haven't found a suitable form of exercise since I moved to Tennessee. Part of that is the fact that I have much less free time. And part of it is my $%&*# elbow. But most of it is just plain inertia.

I was thinking of taking up belly dancing, or tai chi, or kung fu, but that would involve taking the initiative and finding a class, and then signing up for it, and then going to it. And I feel bad enough about all the time I spend away from my family because of my job, and I would hate to take even more time away from them just to do something like that. So I have plenty of good excuses not to exercise.

Our Weight Watchers leader encourages us to just move more. I do the small things, like parking farther from the store entrance and taking the stairs. Every day I climb a huge hill to get into my car for the drive home. Also, there's a circuit I take whenever I get up to use the restroom or to talk to my boss or the secretary, so anytime I get up I walk a tenth of a mile. It's not much, but it's better than nothing.

I realize that this low level of exercise is not helping with my weight loss. Last time I was in Weight Watchers, I was getting an average of six hours of exercise a week, because twice a week, I taught children's karate and took the adult class, and then I also walked to school at least once a week. I really need to figure out a way to move more.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Quality vs. Quantity

I've always been more of a quantity eater. I enjoy the sensation of putting food in my mouth, chewing it up, and swallowing it. The more, the merrier, as far as I'm concerned (although there are certain flavors that I don't care for, such as green peppers, cream cheese, or coconut, which I mostly avoid).

Because of my enjoyment of quantity eating, I learned that the best way for me to lose weight is to eat large but low-calorie meals all day, and then enjoy a large, higher-calorie meal in the evening. For example, I eat a bowl of Dannon Light & Fit strawberry yogurt with rice krispies sprinkled on top for breakfast, along with a glass of water. For lunch I have a can of Campbell's healthy request soup. Then for dinner, I can basically eat whatever I want, within reason, of course. For dinner, we usually have lower-calorie versions of our high-calorie favorites. For example, I love ice cream so we eat ice cream a lot, but we eat Edy's slow-churned or Breyer's fat-free double churned, which have about 1/2-2/3 the calories of regular ice cream per serving.

I used to think that eating was all about shoveling food in your mouth, but becoming more food-aware through Weight Watchers has disabused me of that notion. Now, although I'm still a bit of a novice at it, I try to appreciate the quality of the food I'm eating too.

After I'd been on Weight Watchers for about a year or so, Jeff remarked to me that I was becoming a picky eater. No, I replied. I'm a selective eater, and there's a difference. Before I put something into my mouth, I weigh the options. Is it worth it to eat this piece of food? I have only a certain number of points* to spend today, so this food had better be worth the number of points. I need to enjoy it enough that I don't feel "eater's remorse." I need to have enough quantity of food so as to fill my stomach and stop the hunger pain. Does this food fit into my plan for the day?

Some foods, such as most vegetables, contain no points, so I can shovel them into my mouth mindlessly. Even fruit has one point per cup at most, so I can still enjoy almost as much fruit as I want without thinking. Other foods I know I don't like enough to spend points on them. For example, I never drink fruit juice, because while I do like it, it's just not worth the high number of points to me. Water isn't quite as tasty, but it's points-free. Likewise, I really don't like sandwiches very much, so I almost never eat sandwiches. It has to be a really high-quality, gourmet sandwich before I will be tempted.

It's the really delicious but really calorie-intensive stuff that I have to make decisions about. I know that for some reason, I cannot stop eating peanut M&M's once I start, so I have banned them from the house. I'll eat just about anything that's sweet, but as long as it's not peanut M&M's, I'm able to control myself.

They say that three bites of a food is enough to satisfy any craving. I think that's true, but sometimes it's hard to synchronize. Sometimes you're in the middle of eating something when you realize, you know what, I've had enough. It's hard to stop eating at that point, especially if you feel a compulsion to clean your plate, as I do. But I have had more success at stopping myself as I've become more food-aware.

I'm a professional cheapskate, so I balk at buying expensive foods. I'm a loyal purchaser of the store brands, because it's cheaper and I was taught that you're getting the same thing for a cheaper price because they don't have to pay for advertising, fancy labels, sweepstakes, etc. The thing is, I apply that logic only to foods, because I always buy brand-name laundry detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, toothpaste, etc. And in the case of those products, there really is a difference. Is my assumption that you're getting the same food product true?

So I decided, as an experiment, to see if there was a difference between cheaper and more expensive foods of the same type, and if so, whether it was worth it. For example, if you get the Campbells' Cream of Mushroom soup, it is creamier than the store brand, but we decided that it wasn't creamier enough for the price. Next I think I'd like to try brand name frozen vegetables vs. store brand frozen vegetables, and see if there is a difference.

Another related question is whether using supposedly higher-quality (and therefore more expensive) ingredients makes something taste significantly better. I made a cake using cake flour and butter rather than all-purpose flour and margarine. The cake was much fluffier and lighter, and a lot better. Since I don't bake cakes very often, and when I do, it's for a special occasion and I'd like it to be the best cake possible, I think that the extra cost of using cake flour and butter is worth it.

*Weight Watchers shorthand for mapping calories, fiber, and fat content of food to a single number.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

In Which My Ire Is Ignited by an Anti-Obesity Activist

I recently saw a blog entry at The Zero Boss with a video that got me really angry. It was a Fox News clip discussing the alleged obesity of American Idol star Jordin Sparks. Rail-thin MeMe Roth, a representative of the National Action Against Obesity organization, described Sparks as a picture of poor health, and decried her fame as a bad example for children.

I am totally out of the loop and I had never heard of Jordin Sparks. So I looked her up on the internet, and saw that she is an attractive young lady of large stature. She looks like she is at least six feet tall, and she is curvaceous. But Ms. Roth can't appreciate the aesthetics of Jordin Sparks, instead prognosticating that she's a walking case of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer just waiting to happen. When asked if Sparks was obese, Roth demurred that was a question that should be settled between Sparks and her doctor, which meant "yes, but I'm too much of a coward to say it."

MeMe Roth came off as an aptly-named, self-centered, condescending prig in the interview segment, and I really think that's too bad. The goals of her organization, as outlined in her (otherwise ridiculous) letter reproduced in this blog entry, seem like noble, lofty goals. I'm all for eliminating junk food from schools, getting rid of unhealthy food additives, and stopping obesity from being handed down from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, her smug attitude undermines her organization's effectiveness.

If she had any iota of compassion in her body, Ms. Roth would realize that obesity is not something that can be shamed out of people. Obesity is a result of genetics, food choices, and exercise habits! If she truly cared about stopping obesity instead of feeding her own superiority complex, then she would exercise compassion for obese people and find constructive ways to help them make different choices when it comes to food and exercise.

I think that she must have no experience with excessive weight. She's never had to rethink all her assumptions about food, or change her eating habits. She's never been "good" for a week, only to get on the scale and find that she's gained five pounds. She's never been snubbed, discriminated against, or ridiculed for her size. She's never been told that the ugliness of her body is due to a flaw in her own character. She's never had trouble finding clothes that couldn't be used as tents for thin people. She's never experienced the humiliation of spilling over into somebody else's seat on an airplane. She's never stayed home out of self-consciousness and fear that people will stare. She's never struggled to exercise because the weight she's accumulated makes her knees creak, or makes it difficult to walk from one end of the room to another. Until she's had at least one of these experiences, I suggest that she kindly shut the f*ck up!

I think Jordin Sparks is a positive role model for children, because she shows that you don't have to be anorexic and toothpick-thin in order to succeed in life. I wish her all the success in the world.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Weight Loss Secret #5492

For the past couple of years, I have chewed gum nearly every weekday (except when I was pregnant).

Upon reflection, I figured out a few years ago that sometimes, when I think I'm hungry, I'm actually just in the mood to chew. After I figured that out, I began to chew gum regularly.

Gum is an awesome help in my battle against the extra pounds. I pop a piece in my mouth every afternoon at work, and it helps me in the following ways:
  • It gives me something to chew on, so that I don't go looking for food that I don't actually need because I'm not feeling hungry.
  • It puts a pleasant flavor in my mouth and freshens my breath (my favorite flavor: wintergreen).
  • If someone offers me some food, it is easy to decline because I am enjoying my gum.
  • It cleans my teeth a little (I always chew sugarless gum).
It was really hard on me to quit chewing gum when I was pregnant. (I quit because of concerns about acesulfame potassium, an artificial sweetener that is in almost every type of gum, including sugared gums.) I would guess that not engaging in afternoon gum-chewing contributed to the extra weight gain I experienced while pregnant.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fat Acceptance and Weight Loss

I came across the following video about fat acceptance on Greta Christina's blog. I agree wholeheartedly: fat is a three-letter descriptor, not a dirty word.

I thought that the woman in the video is quite beautiful, really. Some people, like her, just have a certain radiance about them that makes them beautiful, independent of weight. There are plenty of attractive people of either sex across the spectrum of weight.

My longtime readers know that I lost 68 lbs over the course of twenty months from 2003-2005, with the help of Weight Watchers. I think Weight Watchers is a great program, because it teaches you more than just healthy eating. They incorporate behavioral changes into the program, making it a lifestyle change more than a diet. And these behavioral changes affect more than just your eating habits: they end up permeating your life and help you to make wiser choices in everything, more than just what you put in your mouth.

I'm back in Weight Watchers again, because thanks to pregnancy, I gained everything I had previously lost and more. Since mid-December, I've lost nearly 15 lbs (and since the day before Vinny's birth, roughly 35 lbs total). It has been much slower going this time. But I know that I have a proven track record of weight loss, and I can do it.

In both cases, I didn't decide to lose weight so that others would like me better. I lost weight for my own sake. I had a number of personal reasons, including for the sake of my poor, very weak knees. They were positively creaking in the days leading up to Vinny's birth. They thank me profusely for getting some of the load off them, and as I continue to get lighter they will be even more grateful.

I'll never be skinny. My goal weight is at the very top of the healthy range. Even when I was at that weight before, I was still quite curvaceous and I had a few rolls. I am sure that I could become a stick on legs but I have no desire to do so.

I'm never going to be fashion model material but I am actually glad of that. Fashion ideals distract women from healthier pursuits that would build upon their actual assets. Instead women end up chasing after the elusive ideal look, a look that for most women is unhealthy and untenable. If I were a fashion model, I would need to be one hundred pounds lighter. That's nearly half my weight I would need to lose!

The fashion industry can bite my big behind. Real women have curves and I certainly have no desire to support purveyors of the myth that they don't (such as the trendy stores that the woman in the above video visits).

I put on my excess weight in my twenties, while in graduate school. Growing up, I was never skinny, but I didn't get overweight until then. So I've lived on both sides of the fence. When I was younger, I was probably more judgmental of overweight people than I am now. My outlook has always been the same, but experience as an overweight person has deepened my understanding. I've gone from an academic appreciation to a personal recognition of the truth about fat. I talked more extensively about it in an earlier blog entry.

Being fat is not a character flaw! A person's weight is influenced by many variables, including genetics, personal habits, and priorities. The best way to make sure that you're thin is to have two thin parents, and preferably, four thin grandparents. (I had two thin parents but only three thin grandparents. My sisters don't have the same tendencies to gain weight that I do, nor do most of my cousins, although I am not the only heavy one.)

The reason that I have lost weight in the past and maintained it (except for pregnancy) and am losing weight currently is because I have made it a priority in my life. I have decided that it is important to me to lose weight and keep it off. If at some point my priorities change, then I might gain the weight back. In the meantime, I plan to go back down to my pre-pregnancy weight and stay there.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Adventures with Migraines

Until today, I hadn't had a migraine in a long time. I can tell you that I wasn't missing them at all. I don't get the really bad kind that debilitate you for days. What happens is that the migraine is triggered by a flash of light, such as sunlight glinting off a car mirror. I have an aura for 30 minutes, and then I get killer head pain. The aura basically makes it seem like I'm tuned to the wrong channel. The pain lasts until I sleep for a couple of hours.

I can't remember the last time I got a migraine. At one point in my life, I got a migraine every other Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Then I lost a bunch of weight and it seems like that helped reduce the frequency of migraines. (Of course I can't be sure because there aren't two parallel universes, one in which I lost weight and one in which I didn't.)

Today I had a migraine. It was strange because it wasn't triggered by the sunlight; it was dark when I had the migraine. I walked into a store and felt really dizzy, and then I got the aura. Unfortunately, I was all alone, so I had to wait in the store until the aura lifted. Then I got to drive twenty miles home. I made it home without getting into any accidents.

I'm trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, slowly but surely. I've started back at Weight Watchers. Hopefully I'll be able to lose the weight again and get rid of the migraines.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My Take on Obesity

I used to be fat. I weighed over 240 lbs. I really liked eating, and it was one of the few pleasures I had in my life at the time. I was going through a painful time; my parents were divorcing, my own mother wouldn't speak to me, and my husband was mentally ill. I contemplated suicide, and I was too upset to do any work. Life was not good, although chocolate sure was!

I took anti-depressants, I got psychological help, and I took up karate. My husband started getting better, and I started being able to do my work. The pain caused by my fragmented family lessened, although it was still there (and is still there to this day). I was able to go off the anti-depressants and think more positively about life.

As I began feeling better about myself, I became less dependent on food to make me happy. It was at this point that I got up the courage to join Weight Watchers. I think I told Jeff, but I didn't tell anybody else, just in case it didn't work for me. I decided that I was a worthwhile person who deserved to be healthy, so I resolved to lose weight for my own sake.

I really like Weight Watchers for several reasons. First, by going to a weekly meeting, you get to know other people who are also in your shoes. Some of them are ahead of you in their weight loss goals, others are behind you, but you're all in the same boat. Weight Watchers stresses lifestyle changes: eating healthier foods and a balanced diet, engaging in positive self-talk and assertiveness, recognizing your needs and finding positive ways to meet them, and encouraging increased physical activity. You do have a weekly weigh-in, and your weight is recorded, but the numbers on the scale are not stressed as much as the lifestyle changes. I made a lot of friends at the meetings and it was a really positive experience for me.

Thanks to hard work and perseverence, and with the support of my Weight Watchers leader, my karate instructor, and my friends and family (whom I did tell after I began to see some progress!), I lost 68 lbs over the course of 19 months. I also worked hard in karate, culminating with my brown belt at about the same time. I am prouder of those two accomplishments than I am of my Ph.D. They were two things that I thought were impossible.

This is my personal story about fatness. I used to be unhappy, which led to being fat. Once I resolved the unhappiness, I decided to lose weight by changing my lifestyle, and I was successful. But I don't pretend to think that everyone else works the same way.

I had a few friends who felt intimidated by my weight-loss success, and they became self-conscious in front of me. I told them that my weight loss didn't change my opinion of them. I like people because of their personality on the inside, not their appearance on the outside.

Weight is a very complicated subject. There are many reasons why people are fat, and not all of them are because the person is unhappy or lazy. As I said before, I was unhappy and became fat. In that order. This does not mean that all fat people are unhappy. And there are plenty of non-lazy fat people. Laziness is just a negative stereotype that people associate with fat people. There are three primary factors that influence weight: priorities, behavior, and biology.

Often, a person's priorities are a big factor in their weight. To some people, enjoying good food takes a higher priority than being thin. This could be because they are unhappy and food makes them feel better, but it could just be that they really like food. Sometimes, they just have so much going on in their life that being thin takes a back seat. Whatever the reason for not being thin, it's their body. I think that's their choice and should be respected as such.

Sometimes people have behavioral habits that cause them to be fat. They may be unaware of how to eat healthily, or of physical activity that could assist them in losing weight. Sometimes there are behaviors that seem minor but make a huge difference. Also, sometimes people engage in negative behaviors like negative self-talk and feelings of helplessness that complicate the situation and make it harder to lose the weight they might want to lose.

Genetics also play a major role in determining a person's weight. Some people have a genetic predisposition to store more excess calories as fat than others. This genetic predisposition was useful in earlier days, when food sources were inconsistant and unreliable, but in our society, with food always available, it is not necessary. People with the propensity to store excess calories efficiently will easily gain weight and have a lot of trouble losing it. And some medications have a similar effect. Also, I know that some people have trouble knowing when their stomach is full. Due to some sort of genetic problem, or the interference of medication, they never feel full.

Another problem in our society is the fact that food with high nutritional value is so much more expensive than food with low nutritional value. For example, you can buy five pounds of white flour for less than a dollar. How much lettuce can you get for a buck? Not nearly as much. So, if you don't have much money, you're going to buy the flour instead of the lettuce, because you can get a lot more meals out of it than you can out of the same money's worth of lettuce.

I once read an article about the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the migrant workers who harvest our fruits and vegetables. They subsist on low-cost foods such as white flour. They are paid so little that they can't even afford to eat the very food they harvest! If I ruled the world, I would subsidize fruits and vegetables so that the poor could better afford them.

Ultimately, it is possible for everyone to be at a healthy weight. Genetics, medication, and behavior can make it hard, but if maintaining a healthy weight is high enough priority, it can be done. I know, for some people it's a lot harder than for others. But ultimately, the laws of Physics make it impossible to stay heavy if you take in fewer calories than you expend. If there's somebody who can beat the laws of Physics by storing more calories than they consume, then we need to figure out how to harness their biochemistry to make a perpetual motion machine!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Santa Fe Beans and Rice

I am not a huge fan of beans and rice. I'm not a huge fan of microwave meals, either. But I am a huge fan of the Weight Watchers Smart Ones Santa Fe Beans and Rice microwave meal.

So naturally, I decided that I needed to figure out how to make it myself, instead of buying this meal in a one-time use, "disposable" plastic dish. I believe that I have figured it out. It's not exactly identical, but it has the same sort of delicious flavor. The recipe follows:

Becca's Santa Fe Beans and Rice

2.5-3 cups water (depending on the type of rice you're using)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 packet taco spices* (enough for one pound of meat)
1-2 dashes cayenne pepper

2 cups uncooked rice
1 16 oz can red beans, drained**
1 small zucchini, diced into small pieces
8 oz frozen corn kernels

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream***
1 tablespoon skim milk

grated Monterrey jack cheese

Combine water, tomato sauce, taco spices, and cayenne pepper in large saucepan. Heat to boiling. Add rice, beans, zucchini, and corn. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature and simmer until rice is cooked and liquid is gone.

When rice is almost done, combine sour cream and milk in microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave until warm and mixture is runny.

To serve: Scoop some beans and rice onto a plate or into a bowl. Top generously with sour cream sauce. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Microwave until cheese is melted, if desired.

Other serving suggestions: This would be really good on a bed of lettuce, like a taco salad. Also, I think it would be fun to eat with tortilla chips.

* I used a commercial packet of taco spices, but you can get the same flavor for a lot less money by combining 2 teaspoons instant minced onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin ("Taco Seasoning Mix" recipe from More House Specialties by Deanna House).

** You can prepare your own red beans ahead of time -- you want to have about 3 cups of beans for this recipe.

*** You can use real sour cream or even fat-free sour cream, except for the fact that fat-free sour cream is completely disgusting.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Best Cranberry Bread Ever

I make The Best Cranberry Bread Ever. That is an indesputable fact. For years, I have guarded my secret, because this cranberry bread makes a really good gift. But, I have decided that you are all worth exposing my secret recipe to, so I will now grant you the knowledge of my secret recipe. All I ask is that if you try this recipe, leave me a comment so that I know!

It was inspired by the recipe on page 43 of Betty Crocker's New Cookbook (1996), but I have made some improvements to it. In particular, I have made adaptions so that it's nearly fat free and a lot better for you. So, without further ado, I present to you

Becca's Nearly Fat-Free Cranberry Bread

1 package fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar*
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 large eggs**
3 cups flour ***
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Move oven rack to the lowest position so that the tops of your loaf pans will be at the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease bottoms only of two loaf pans, with shortening. Rinse cranberries and pick through them, removing any spoiled ones. Chop the cranberries up a little bit, but not too much.

2. Mix cranberries, sugar, applesauce, skim milk, vanilla, lemon peel, and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans.

3. Bake the loaves 55-65 minutes. The actual amount of time depends, naturally, on your oven. Basically you need to make sure that it's done, make sure that a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Remove from the oven and cool in pans for ten minutes. Loosen the sides of the loaves and remove them from the pans and place the bread on a rack to cool. Let them cool completely before slicing. Assuming that there's any bread left over, you can wrap it tightly and store it at room temperature for a couple of days, or in the fridge for a little longer.

* You could theoretically reduce the calorie content even further by using Splenda for some or all of the sugar. I have not tried this.

** You could use egg substitute instead of the eggs. That would make this truly fat-free instead of just kinda sorta low fat. The original recipe calls for four eggs, and two seems to work, but I wouldn't go any lower than that.

*** Use some combination of white and whole wheat flour. I have used as much as 2 cups of whole wheat, and it tastes just fine. It's a good way to get in some fiber without hardly noticing.