Be Mindful of Eating Habits to Avoid Unnecessary Calories

  • Earlier this week, I took my three cats to the veterinarian.  Two of these cats, Pippin and Musette, are brother/sister and have been with me since they were 8 weeks old.  The third cat, Oscar, was a scrawny stray who was baring surviving on the streets of my neighborhood.


    Pippin and Musette are 2.5 years old.  I even know their birthdate as they were born to one of my piano students who lives right down the street. March 18, 2008.  Oscar is estimated to be also over two years old.  He looked like an older kitten when we first met but his teeth told a different story.  The poor guy was severely malnourished and had lots of growing to do, something which he certainly has done!

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    At first Oscar was so conditioned to eat when food was available that he would gorge himself and we had to take the food away.  But doing so meant that we were taking the food away from Pippin and Musette who were used to free-feeding and always having dry food available.  We have never had “mealtimes,” a concept which just seems strange to me with cats.  But I have given them canned cat food as a treat on occasion.


    Of course Oscar grew tremendously in those first few months at home, both in length and girth.  But over the course of time, he was able to walk away from food and I was able to go back to free-feeding the trio.  Oscar’s weight even stabilized nicely.


    On Monday, the vet informed me that each of my cats were overweight.  I would agree that Pippin and Oscar, the two boys, have a fat little paunch like many males get, but they are very active and able to get around well.  Pippin is even a muscle-y dynamo who is tremendously strong and dense.  Musette I thought had finally gotten to the point where she didn’t feel like skin and bones.


    Here was the result of their weigh-in:

    • Musette - 11.0 lbs
    • Oscar - 12.55 lbs
    • Pippin - 13.36 lbs

    The veterinarian suggests that they each lose about one pound and that I go to feeding them “meals” only twice a day.  I have chosen to divide one can of food between the three of them, once in the morning and once in the evening.  Today is only the second day of this endeavor and yesterday was challenging.  (remember that I work at home)


    Meal #1:

    • Oscar ate all his food
    • Pippin ate some of his food and walked away
    • Musette never came downstairs, oblivious that free-food would soon be gone

    Later in the day Musette got hungry and I gave her her plate of food which she still didn’t quite finish.  Pippin seemed hungry, but was more interested in the hairband we uncovered when I closed the door to the kitchen (to keep Oscar out).  Plates with food still on them went back into the fridge.


    In the afternoon, I took pity on the two guys who were kindly asking for food.  They each got a spoonful of dry food in their old bowls.  Pippin snacked a bit and walked away.  He seems to be the nibbler in the group.


    In the evening, Oscar and Musette finished their portions, but yet again, Pippin walked away early.  He really wants his dry food back I can tell.  Pippin is also the one who likes  only one type of cat treat and it’s not the expensive kind.  LOL.  It’s interesting that he weighs the most but is the more finicky eater.


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    Honestly, I’m not sure how this story relates to my own weight loss journey.  Perhaps it is simply contemplating how portion control is an effective way to manage weight loss and adjust hunger.


    I had a difficult week last week as I was home alone and made some poor choices.  First bad decision was to bake a batch of chocolate-chocolate chip muffins and to eat them all over a few days.  Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies and proceeded to eat most of them myself.


    The cookies triggered a flare-up of my rheumatoid arthritis and I still feel not so great.  My body was so achy, my joints swelled, my face swelled, and I retained water.  Do you think that my body’s message was loud and clear enough?  You cannot eat this crap!!


    So here I am trying to make a mental note to not forget we the consequences I paid for poor choices.  If I do forget, I’m sure that my body will remind me.  In the meantime, I need to plan ahead and know when and what my next meal will be.  Just like with my cats, I need to put more controls on what is available.


    Do you have any animal or diet stories to tell?  My ears are all open.


    July 4, 2010
    Weight: 241.1 lbs
    Blood Pressure: 117/79
    Pulse: 67


    July 11, 2010
    Weight: 242.1 lbs
    Blood Pressure:


    Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

Published On: July 14, 2010