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But that was news to Gus!

June 27, 2008

As I mentioned earlier, one of the battles I have been losing lately is the fight against chocolate. And waffles. And “koffiekoken” (pastries). And beer. And pancakes. And pasta. And cheese (which I didn’t even like before I came here!). And frittes.

Up until now it’s been sort of okay since my work pants have quite a bit of stretch to them and were able to expand as I expanded. Sadly, this is not the case with my summer work wear. My shirts & skirts are either a little on the rigid side or they flatly refuse to camouflage the extra weight in the same way my sweaters did. If it’s ever warm enough to wear shorts here I am going to be in serious trouble.

Which is why, on Monday, I decided to try the diet thing in earnest. With Boyfriend in the US until July 6th (I hate him), I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go since I wouldn’t have him around to tempt me with dinners out or walks for ice cream or bottles of Belgian beer. Have I mentioned what a terrible boyfriend Boyfriend is lately?

Now, by ‘diet’ I mean a real one. Not the “Brittany Diet” – i.e. 3-7 servings of pasta, bread and chocolate per day. Or the no-veggies diet. Or the ‘see-food’ diet.

Or fad diets. No Atkins/South beach (the longest I’ve EVER gone without carbs was about 30 hours. It gave me a migraine). No ‘cabbage soup’ diet. (actually, I’d do this one if I could actually cook cabbage soup.)  No ‘Alphabet’ diet (check out that article from the witty satire site ‘’ I’m not sure what’s funnier – the article itself or the fact that there are people that followed the inane eating plan.)

No, I was thinking that a good old fashioned eating plan heavy on the fruit & veggies, light on the fats and carbs would be just fine. Right? Right.

I’m now halfway through my fifth day of this intense healthy eating plan. How have I fared thus far? Let’s take a look at Monday…


Plan: 1 egg over easy. Piece of wheat bread. Cup of yogurt.

Actual: Remembered that I don’t have yogurt or bread. Tried to make an egg but it was two weeks old, rotten and inedible. Replacement breakfast: two sugar free espresso candies. Mug of work coffee (aka battery acid.)

Result: Lower in calories than planned (yay!). Lower in nutrients than planned (boo).

Mid-Morning Snack:

Plan: 5-6 wheat bites.

Actual: The jet fuel that tries to pass as coffee started burning a whole in my stomache. Put out the flames with one of the chocolate eclairs put on EVERYONE’s desk by a coworker who had just earned her driving license (yeah, in addition to birthdays people also bring in treats to celebrate every positive event in their life – passing exams, engagement, waking up on time, breathing, etc.).

Result: More calories than intended (boo). No stomache pain (yay!).


Plan: Steamed vegetables and chicken.

Actual: Steamed vegetables and chicken.

Result: I am the best dieter in the whole, wide world. Perhaps I should start my own Weight Watchers company? Bring Jenny Craig to Belgium?

Mid-afternoon Snack:

Plan: Nothing.

Actual: Piece of Pierre Marcolini birthday cake that my coworkers forced me to eat saying that it was “The BEST cake in Belgium.” Imagine a non-ice cream version of a Cold Stone cake. But better.

Result: More calories than intended (boo). Ate heaven with a fork (yay!).


Plan: Order a salad at work or have chicken and vegetables at home.

Actual: Left early (around 7:30pm) so no food ordering. Went home and discovered that someone left the freezer door open the entire day.  My frozen vegetables and lean chicken are a mushy mess lying in an inch of water. Forced to eat the last of my secret stash of Velveeta Shells & Cheese.

Result: More calories than intended (boo!). Will no longer be tempted by the creamiest, the cheesiest, Velveeta Shells & Cheese (yay!). Perhaps I should rethink my ‘domination of Belgium via weight loss seminars’ plan?

Tuesday – Thursday were similar to Monday (minus the freezer snafu). Which brings me to today. As I type I am staring at the tray of freshly baked patisseries which are delivered (for free) every Friday. The chocolate in the chocolate croissants is still gooey. I know this because I have one every week. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.

It’s now calling to me. It says things like “Elasticized waist bands are coming back into style. Worried about your shirts? Boyfriend is in the US right now. You could have him buy you one of those body shapers from the Infomercials. You want me. I know you do.” Then it starts singing the Mika song, “Big girl, you are beautiful.”

In response, I think, “Come on, have some SELF Control.” Which makes me think of the Watchkins.

[Does anyone remember The Watchkins? It was this video/series from the 80s that featured two little bear-like characters named Winnie and Wally. They lived in books and would pop out from time to time to teach you “life lessons” like Self Control, Politeness, Loyalty, etc. Basically, it was the coolest thing ever and I’m pretty sure Kelsey and I can still sing the all of the songs by heart. In fact, we are known to sing the song below at all sorts of inappropriate times just to annoy my mom.]

So yes, I start singing Kels & mine’s favorite Watchkins song:

Self control is saying “No”,
Self control is saying, “That’s enough!,”
Self control is saying, “Woah woah woah!,”
But that was news to Gus.

See the video below (thank you YouTube for preserving 80’s kitsch!). Perhaps you can learn from Gus too:

With the help of Gus, I may be able to avoid the eating the chocolate croissant. But will he help me say ‘No No No’ to chocolate cake? Or warm waffles in Brussels this weekend? Probably not. Which means I probably need to complement my “diet” with physical exertion. ugggggggh.

Does this mean I have to join a gym?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Meg permalink
    June 27, 2008 3:13 pm

    OH. MY. GOD. I totally remember that song too!!

  2. Vicci permalink
    December 18, 2008 7:08 am

    ME TOO!!! I liked that one & the P.O.L.I.T.E. polite like a frog should be! lol! OMG, I miss that video tape so bad! My mom lent it to our school when we were little & they neveer returned it. my younger sis & I were completely bummed (i think kinda goes against what the video was teaching huh? & you wouldn’t think a catholic school would do that to 2 little kids.

  3. Lois permalink
    April 28, 2011 8:24 pm

    I love that you posted this song! My mom and I were trying to remember the name of the Watchins videos so it was a huge help. I can still sing the chorus of the song word for word, rhythm and all!

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