Me Ol' China
April 25, 2014
I’ve mentioned before that I have a friend who is a wonderful baker. Her scones are things of beauty and I can confirm that she makes a mean hot cross bun. She also collects vintage china. It is something she has done for many years and as well as loaning it out for weddings, fayres and events, she also uses it every day.
Recently she invited me over for afternoon tea to try her hot-cross creations which were displayed on a beautiful china cake stand and which she served to me on a small brightly painted china plate. I was struck by how big they looked on the cake stand and equally so on the plate. Then, as I sipped a refreshing cup of Earl Grey from a delicate china cup, I realised that all the tableware was considerably smaller than my own “daily use” crockery. I wondered if this would help to explain the (quite literally) growing number of people who struggle with their weight.
I mentioned in a recent post that being “spoilt for choice” is challenging on a weight loss journey… but perhaps another part of the problem is that as well as our choices increasing; our crockery is also expanding … and our waistlines are being similarly affected.
I have long been aware that portion control can make a big difference on the weight loss journey which is why I downsized my dinner plate. I read on the www that “dark blue” is the least appetising colour and so I bought a navy stone-wear side plate which I eat most of my meals off. It does serve its purpose because my eyes see a “full plate” of food and my brain is fooled into thinking it really is a “dinner plate sized meal” and the colour theory seems correct – most food does look rather dull against it… but I’ve decided to ‘ditch the dark blue’.
I’ve discovered that, for me, the size of the plate is what matters. By virtue of using a side plate I am instantly reducing the quantity of food which it possible to put onto it. My side plate is half the size of a dinner plate and so I am drastically reducing the portion.
However, I don’t see why I shouldn’t really enjoy eating my meal – and so I spent part of the Easter break at a local “car boot” and picked up selection of very small, very pretty china crockery. My eye was drawn to white china with bright colourful designs on them and in the few days that I have been using them, they have managed to hold enough food to satisfy my appetite whilst keeping me well within my WLR allowance. However, more importantly for me, they make me smile and lift my mood when I use them.
The bold colours are instantly cheerful and the small china bowl which now holds my morning cereal does go some way to making me slightly less grumpy in the morning… (as I’ve mentioned before, I’m really not a “morning” person, no matter what time I get out of bed, the first hour is never pretty). I can’t claim to be ‘chipper’ and ‘full of beans’ after eating my breakfast, but I know that the bowl has made me smile, and also that there is a very satisfying, almost musical “note” when my spoon bangs against it. (The same goes for the sound of a knife or fork against my china side plate). It is a bright and breezy “ting” rather than the dull tone of my cutlery against my functional “value” stoneware. It sounds like madness, but even the smallest things can make a huge difference and the “psychological” benefits of bone china are just as important to me as their portion-reducing” potential.
I realise that china crockery won’t work for everyone. But as I’ve said before the weight loss journey is utterly unique and personal. We might all have the same aim and all be heading in the same direction but the route we take and the tools we use are personal to each of us.
We all have different approaches and strategies. We have different goals. Some of us might be restricted by time; others by physical challenges. My weight loss journey is definitely on a restricted budget. Gym membership is too costly; organic fruit and vegetables are a luxury. The meat I buy is generally “on offer” the supermarket, but I now have a lot of luxury for very little cost. My china cereal bowl cost me the princely sum of 20p (it was actually priced at 10p but I didn’t have a smaller coin so was happy to pay 100% over the asking price). My “diminutive dinner plate” set me back a whole 50p and the three china teacups were a combined cost of £1.20. It didn’t break the bank but somehow my pork loin and baby new potatoes seem much more decadent on china. My chicken penne feels like “fine dining” and I am convinced that I sip my tea in a far more elegant (and slower) manner than when I was taking a “glug from a mug”.
So whatever your approach to your weight loss journey, it’s always useful to bear in mind that small changes can make a big difference... and whether that difference is an inch off your thighs or positive shift in focus, it all really can help in a big way. I know that my modest car boot bargains have made a massive difference to my mind-set and motivation.
Here’s to a great WLR day on your unique and amazing journey.
With a Hug
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