Monday, March 3, 2008

What I Eat

Weight: 328.0
Total loss: 22 pounds
Total money saved: $82

I am high on public blogging and happy that I am making a connection with some people out there who are actually reading this. It does make a difference -- YOU make a difference to me and make this effort a much easier task. Thank you.

Look! I had a "big" loss today. Looks like all that pussyfooting in the low 330s was worth it. I'm hopefully well-ensconced in the 320s. Hooray. (But man, I still keep making typos putting me in the 200s or 100s... what's up with that?) I'm happy to have reached my monthly goal a few days ahead once again. I can only imagine how well I will do once I start adding some serious exercise into the mix.


A lot of times I read people's post on blogs or in on-line communities where they are still really hung up on certain foods, i.e. "I cheated today and had x, y, and z." It's a REALLY big pet peeve of mine. I feel very strongly that you should not have any foods verboten. I think it is very important to completely normalize all foods which is why I incorporate things like pizza, chocolate, steak, and mashed potatoes in my diet. The main difference between now and then is, of course, planning and accounting for what I eat and how much of it I eat.

To be honest, I can actually be pretty loosey-goosey with my calorie intake. I base my limit on the figure that The Daily Plate spit out for me based on my weight and height (which is 5' 8" in case you missed it the first time around). However, I am dubious of that number, which is just over 2,000 calories for a three pound weekly loss, especially since I tried a similar calculation over at that kind of annoying website SparkPeople. They figure I should have a range of 1600 to 1900 calories per day! They're probably closer to correct, truth be told, since I have been pretty steadily losing closer to two pounds per week, not three. And that's fine. I guess for me, following TDP's guidelines make me feel a little renegade, like I am having my cake and eating it it, too. And as long as I continue to lose weight, I don't think that's a problem at all.

So, I love food. I would qualify myself as a foodie, but not really a food snob. After all, I grew up in the region famous for things like chicken wings and roast beef on weck and its own unique style of pizza. We're full of fatties over here in Western New York, and you can understand why for the sheer number of pizzerias in any given square mile. I'm fairly well-traveled and can testify that I have seen no other area quite like this one when it comes to pizzerias. I would probably die of pizza starvation if I lived in Kentucky. . But at least they have BBQ!

I also like to cook and try new recipes. I've been on a big salmon kick since I started eating more healthfully. It It's fairly inexpensive (I can get a half pound filet for three or four dollars), it's incredibly delicious, and it's good for you. Plus, it's a simple, fast prep. I like to marinate it for a few minutes in a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Then, a simple pan fry in a nonstick pan sprayed with Pam does the trick. Once the first side is browned, I flip it and add some minced garlic to the pan. I do like to get it a little crispy in the skin, so I just go by eye... oh, and I open it up a little bit with the spatula to let the insides get some steam. It's ready to go in less than ten minutes. I usually serve it up with roasted brussels sprouts and yams. Truly, that meal makes me feel completely decadent, but it's totally good for you.

For breakfast, I eat pretty much the same thing every day. I have two favorites: either McDonald's Fruit and Yogurt Parfait, or a plain old PB&J sandwich. In case you were wondering, I make my sandwich with whole wheat bread, one tablespoon of creamy peanut butter, and a tablespoon of one of those totally fruit spreads. Both these meals are fast and easy (I usually eat brekkie at my desk at work), and they totally keep me energized through lunchtime -- that was the biggest surprise I had!

Lunchtime doesn't vary a whole lot for me during the week, either. For ease, convenience, and budget-consciousness, I usually stick with one of any number of lean frozen meals that are available. I like to wait for them to go on sale, and pick up a bunch for sometimes as little as $1.00 each, but usually between two and three dollars, still not too shabby. (For a great forum on LiveJournal that reviews microwavable meals, check out the brilliant Micro_Eats community, brought to you by my pals Molly and Rich. I supplement those meals with some fresh veggies or fruit, and usually bring along a pudding cup for dessert. Mama's got a sweet tooth to feed, after all! ;)

Dinner varies, and I try to cook as often as possible. Lots of chicken and fish, roasted vegetables, rice, chili, stir-frys... and yes, sometimes takeout. We often have microwave popcorn for a snack while we're watching movies in the evening. Jolly Ranchers are a good, low-cal choice when the dreaded sweet tooth hits, intensely flavored hard candies at 20 calories a piece.

All About Treat Days

When I first started on this little journey, I used to have a "treat day" once a week, usually on Saturday. On that day, I would pretty much eat whatever I wished and however much I wished. It worked out OK in my head (and seemed to work OK on the scale) until I started weighing every day with the PhysicsDiet method. I soon realized that I would "gain" five or six pounds in the days following the free-for-all, and then it would take all week to get back to where I started again, and hopefully drop an additional pound or two. When I saw that hard data on the chart, I felt like such an idiot. I mean, sure it makes sense, but I had myself fooled because I thought that I needed this weekly reprieve from healthy eating. But all it did was set me back unnecessarily, week after week. Looking back, I wonder how much farther along I'd have been without all those "treat days"? Now I see them more as punishment, and see the value of never depriving myself of a particular food -- just that I make sure to fit it in, in a reasonable manner and plan for it when I can!

I spent the past couple weeks making up for that last "treat day" and it feels great to finally get past it. If I want to indulge, I think about why, and how I might be able to make it work within a normal day. This feels much less stressful and way more productive overall. After all, who really enjoys the aftermath of a binge?

Am I perfect at this? No. But these are the skills I am trying to develop so that all this becomes second nature, not to mention divided from emotion or self-value...

'Til tomorrow,


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