Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Would You Like Alpo or Kibbles N' Bits?

Before I was banded, my freezer looked somewhat like this:

During one of my last attempts at Weight Watchers, a leader one day told the group something that I have never forgotten.

She said: "Your food has to look good and appetizing, otherwise you won't really enjoy it.  That's why I stay away from those dog dishes."  Yep, she was referring to her employers' (WW) frozen food choices that come in those convenient little boxes with the black dishes inside.

She was right, they totally look like dog dishes.  Right?

She was also right that food has to look good and taste good, or it's just not worth it.

When I used to eat from those dog dishes, they were very convenient and cheap.  It was an easy decision to grab one out of the freezer on my way out the door in the morning.  Easy cheesy. 

Then lunch time would roll around and I would nuke that dish up in the office microwave, peel back the plastic film, and take a look. It wasn't always very attractive or appetizing. Now that I think about it, it never always smelled the best either.

But I would eat it anyway, and do you know what?  It was just "ok."  Not very appetizing.  However, I knew that I was being "good" and eating what I was supposed to.  I was on plan.  Gold stars for me.

But what I now realize is that I wasn't creating a lifestyle that I could stick to.  There's no way that I could eat those dog dishes forever.  Bleh.  Just not my style.  That's why after about losing the usual 30 lbs on Weight Watchers, I would start eating regular foods (not those dog dishes) and all the weight would come back, plus a few more pounds for good measure.

Therefore, I made a very conscious decision before my surgery that I would never EVER eat anything out of a dog dish again.  This decision wasn't based on the nutritional value of the dog dishes (which in reality are pretty questionable), but rather the appearance of the food and whether it satisfied me.

I haven't eaten from a dog dish in about two and half years.

Are your food choices satisfying?  Are you enjoying them? Or are they just "OK"?


  1. People say that us banded folk are lazy, but eating only meals that come in packages to meet the prescriptive needs of the diet always seemed a little that way to me. Why eat something you don't like ... because it is a means to an end, because you know the exact calorie content and can measure exactly how on track you are, even if you don't like how it tastes.
    Now, thank heaven, I can be sated with a little of something delicious.

  2. Actually sometimes those dog boxes look way better than my attempts at cooking! No, just joking. Seriously? This was kind of a lightbulb moment for me! WHy am I eating that shit?

  3. I agree totally!! My freezer looked just like yours before the band. I can't say that I haven't eaten any frozen dinners but I can certainly count on one hand how many I have had since my banding. They are def a last resort and I only get the LC Chicken Carbonara which I actually like.

  4. Food in a box.. I miss food in a box... And look who is back... Hide the kids..

  5. I haven't had a frozen dinner since surgery and I'm pretty sure it's because my docs office warned us against them at some point. Maybe the sodium? Not enough protein? I'm not sure exactly, but I remember them saying to stay away, and I try to follow the rules!
    Great post.

  6. I still have a Stouffers baked chicken and mashed potatos for lunch every now and then. It's an easy meal that personally I think is delicious and it absolutely could be part of my maintenance routine occasionally as well. Lunches are the hardest meal for me and always have been so if I can make it easy, I will. This particular baked chicken meal as 24 g of Protein, and only like 240 calories or something and relatively low carbs. I like it, it's filling and it's a good portion size (like 3 oz of chicken). Now any of the Smart Ones, Lean Cuisines, healthy choice entrees etc...that's all garbage in my opinion. It's all carb filled and you're lucky if you get 9 or 12 g of protein in them. They are all rice and pasta. Low veggie, low protein and low taste. Blech!
    Great post hon! As usual!

  7. I still eat one of the Smart Ones about once a month just because of the convenience. My WW leader also warns us about the high sodium in these. :)

  8. If something doesn't taste good, it goes right in the trash. No more frozen dinners for me. If I cook something that's gross, I just throw it away. It just isn't worth it.

  9. Ha....dog dishes. Never thought about that before, but now I will think about it every time I see them. I have never eaten a lot of those frozen meals, mainly because I am such a picky eater and I don't like most of them. But, like Cat, I do like the Stouffers Baked Chicken and eat it for lunch every once in a while.

  10. I use to eat a lot of the Lean Cuisine or Michelina meals when I first had surgery because they were easy to bring to work. They were satisfying to me and pretty tasty. Although the more I got to be a nutrition label reading whore HA HA I started really seeing what else was in those and they are loaded with carbs and sodium even though they were low in calories. So I stopped buying them for over 6 months now I think it's been, once in a blue moon I will buy one if I am in the mood or I need something quick to eat but I agree with you on the dog dish analogy, never thought about it like that.

  11. I eat them all the time. Some of them are actually pretty awesome (Lean Cuisine garlic chicken spring rolls are my favorite - and I love their chicken parmesan too.) If I don't like it, I don't get that particular one again, but I do eat them 2-3 times per week. Better than driving through McDonalds and the reality is that I simply don't have time to cook all the time. If my choice is to spend 30 minutes cooking or 30 minutes at the gym - the gym wins sometimes and I'll have a Lean Cuisine for lunch. I try to cook with leftovers in mind, but that doesn't always work for me. I don't like a cup of soup or chili or tuna salad every day. It's a nice way to vary my diet.

  12. Very interesting article! I think that they serve a purpose for many people. But I agree with your premise. I have a few in my freezer, but I very rarely eat them. But I think it is mostly because I don't like them. I don't have any issue eating canned soup which is probably the same type of thing.

    One of my 2012 goals is to eat cleaner. I don't think I will ever completely get away from processed foods, but I could make some good strides!

  13. Can definitely relate to your post.

  14. I can relate, but there are a few I actually enjoy. But I don't eat them 5 days a week like I did before the band. Now I have the ones I like about 2 times a month, if that. My own little freezer portions of food I make is what I enjoy for lunch on most days. Their lasagna was ok...mine is WAYYYY better!

  15. I needed to read this!! idk if you read my post a couple weeks ago about the Lean Cuisine incident, but this SOOO reminded me of it!! LOL

  16. I made a really long reply to this last week and somehow (with my incredible computer prowess) I lost the post before I posted it.

    This makes me very angry. :)

    So this time I am makeing a post replying to your comment although I did ramble...http://nerdyredneck.blogspot.com/2012/01/chefs-suck.html