Losing It: ‘Fancy Nancy,’ the Unlikely Expert

Robin wonders why people think she's the weight-loss expert all of a sudden. Plus—she joins a gym!

So I was reading Fancy Nancy, Explorer Extraordinaire to my daughter “O” the other day …

(What? Don’t tell me that fine piece of literature isn’t dog-eared on your bookshelf.)

This particular volume was not just about a precocious little girl in way-too-sparkly dresses randomly speaking French, but also had an educational component: Nancy was talking about lepidopterists, or butterfly experts. In typical O fashion, my daughter then asked what makes someone an expert. I started saying things about school and degrees and publishing articles, and may have started foaming at the mouth explaining that she, too, could be a lepidopterist if she just put her mind to it. I grabbed her by her shoulders and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and if by starting her in swim class at six months I had given her a leg-up in this life. In her mind, was I succeeding as a mother, giving her the right tools to succeed in the world? Did she feel loved? Supported?

Woah … one minute I was talking about “tres chic” gardening gloves and the next I had come completely unglued. Damn you, Fancy Nancy!

After pulling myself together, I really started thinking about her question. What does make someone an expert in a particular field? I think that the parameters have changed in recent years, and that academic credentials alone (if at all) do not an expert make. Write a best-selling novel and everyone will wonder what books are on your nightstand (or your Kindle, iPad, Nook, or e-reader of choice). Win the coveted “Who Wore It Best?” fashion-off in Us Weekly and people will comb the internet to see where you purchased that just-jaunty-enough fedora. Put together a killer playlist for your kid’s first birthday party and Spielberg might ask you to score his next film. (Ahem, Mr. Spielberg, if you’re reading this, I do put together some really great eclectic playlists so maybe we should talk. Call me, k?)

In my case, reveal your weight to the world and suddenly everyone wants to know what you’re eating and how you’re losing the weight. Really? The girl who needed to write a weight loss blog to shed the pounds is suddenly the expert? Since people seem to want to know what I’m eating, here’s an example of what I might ingest in one day:

One cup of decaf straight outta the Keurig, with two Splenda and enough milk to make everything tolerable. While I could use the caffeine, caffeinated coffee gives me the shakes and the sweats. It’s me at my least attractive, so I stick with the decaf. I also have the same breakfast every morning: one container of Breakstone’s Cottage Cheese—the kind with probiotics because my faulty immune system needs all the help it can get—with lots of fruit thrown in.

If I’m home, I microwave three turkey meatballs and usually have a side of broccoli and hummus. I’ve been having a Weight Watchers Bliss Bar (Peanut Butter or Chocolate Caramel) for dessert every day. They’re only available at the WW meetings and are insanely good for 2 points. My husband even likes them but I’ve told him to keep his mitts off, as they are $9/box and his skinny ass can go grab a Snickers.

As those of you who are a part of my recipe swap group know (join us at our Facebook group) I am a huge fan of the recipes on Skinnytaste.com. I am all Julie and Julia about this site and seem to be trying them all out. I’ve found that I dig her Asian fare the most, but that’s just me and my constant hankering for cuisine from the Far East. I went from hating to plan and cook to loving both, all because of this site. Gina, you are my cooking Yoda.

This is where I seem to fail miserably. Thing is, I’ve never really been a snacker; I would rather push through the hunger and then eat my face off at lunch or dinner. Hence, my current predicament. I have been getting better, though, and always have a clementine with me. But I have no idea what I’m going to do when clementine season is over, so I’m looking into building a hothouse in my basement and planting some trees. That should be inexpensive enough.

So that’s it. That’s about as exciting as it gets in my kitchen. I’d love to know what you’re all eating to help you lose or maintain your weight. Particularly in the snacking department. So comment below and shoot me some ideas!

Robin’s Weight Tracker
Starting: 130.4 pounds
Current: 123.7 pounds
Last week: 124.4 pounds
Goal: 113 pounds

What I Did This Week
I jinxed myself. At a party on Sunday, after discussing the stomach virus that is currently tearing through homes in the greater-Philadelphia area, I said, “I wouldn’t mind having the stomach virus. I could really kill a few pounds that way.” And, voila … I’ve been on the BRAT diet since Tuesday morning. You might want to sanitize your eyes after reading this because you don’t want what I have.

Anyhoo …

I was super-bummed that my Zumba class at the Newtown Athletic Club was cancelled on Saturday due to the weather. Stupid snow. So instead I went to the fitness center, hopped on the treadmill for an hour, and then did some ab work. And by “ab work,” I mean the same routine I’ve been doing since middle school that I can’t seem to give up. Since it’s really been working for me (obviously). I used to be a member at the NAC, but gave it up because my son was not into the kids club, and being on the treadmill for 18 minutes until they had to come and get me was not a wise investment, in my opinion. Since it’s been a year, I decided to do a test run with the kids club to see if going back to the gym was in the cards for me. Sure enough, both kids LOVED the kids club and you are looking at the newest (old) member of the NAC! No more traveling to classes for me, as they’ve got everything I need, along with an amazing kids program, pool, cafe, salon, etc… Yesssssssssssssss!

Up next: Trying for Zumba again as long as the weather holds!

Tell us: What are your go-to snacks during the day?


Robin Raskin blogs about her weight loss journey every Thursday on Be Well Philly. Catch up on the series here, and follow her on Twitter at @RobinRaskin.