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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Have a Rant - We're Programmed

When did we lose control?

When did we become sheep being led throughout our lives with other people telling us how things are supposed to be?  We're programmed.

I typed "ideal breakfast" into the image search on Google and this is the first image that popped up:

This is what we're told is a "good" breakfast.  Look at it. Really look at it.  Is that the best we can really do for ourselves?   Of course not.  But we've been programmed to think that this is what we need.  I'm not saying it's devoid of nutrition by any means!  Although I'm pretty sure the croissant falls more in the "butter" group than the "whole grain" group  ;)

We're so programmed that some people will adamantly argue the appropriateness of your food choices if they see you deviating from what has become the norm. My husband for example, has a huge problem with just the idea of breakfast for dinner.  It's just not right even if many of us are beginning to truly embrace brinner.  A dear friend of mine began eating salads for breakfast.  They are a compact, nutritionally dense meal that can easily be modified to hit the protein, fat levels, etc that a person might want or need.  Oatmeal for breakfast is great.  It just doesn't hit as many points that are beneficial as something like the salads do.  When my friend mentioned her morning salad diet,  some people commented that they couldn't do it themselves.  Why?  For a minute my brain said "that's weird".  Why are we so afraid to step outside the norm?  Americans on the whole are suffering from obesity and a wide range of ailments that can be diet and fitness controlled.  Obviously the norm is NOT WORKING people.  I yell to remind myself to get the message as well.

Doing the same thing on Google, here is the ideal lunch:

That looks... less than thrilling. Nutritious?  SURE!  But positively boring.  Because good-for-you food is all bland, uninspired, and just something you have to consume.  Eat to live, don't live to eat right? I say WRONG.  I want to enjoy every bite that goes into my mouth.

I challenge you. Yeah, you.  I'll do it too.  I challenge you to make a list of all the food you like that's pretty much totally good for you.  Then next to the food, write why it's a poor food choice for each meal.  A lean grilled steak for lunch?  Yeah, it's pretty hard to make one fresh when you're at work all day.  But if you had steak for dinner last night, there isn't any reason leftovers couldn't become sliced steak in a corn tortilla with a bit of cheese and veggies.  Steak tacos!  Heck, it almost sounds better than the original meal.  I had steamed broccoli for part of my breakfast. I eat constantly throughout the day when I'm home so no formal breakfast.  So far today here's my food:
  •   7:30am  - 2 light Babybel Cheeses
  •   9:00am  - 1 cup of steam broccoli with salt and my healthy "butter" with lots of omegas
  • 10:00am  - 4 or 5 fried egg whites (I used egg beaters whites)
  • 11:15am  - mixed melon pieces (still eating but I suspect 3-4 cups will be eaten)
Just all foods I like.  Sure, I could make it look "normal".  It's all just a deconstructed broccoli and cheese egg white omelet with a side of fruit.  But I didn't want an omelet and I refuse to eat one just because it's what I should do according to the programming i have received.  I like to think for myself.  That's freedom.

So take the challenge.  Make your lists and share them with me.  if you don't eat a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast just because it's weird, tell me so.  I'd like to know.  I'll post my list tomorrow.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Before and Current

So.   I've been trying really hard lately to be brave.  To love myself.  To see myself as others see me and not as that image of grotesqueness that is burned into my brain.

I've worked hard.  I am not a success yet, but I'm on my way as long as I "just keep swimming" as Dori advises in Finding Nemo. (What a wise, little, forgetful, fish)

I will not give up.  I will embrace change. I will get there.

Failure is a sad, sad place to be and I will not live there again.

I'm not calling this a before and after pic because dangit.  I'm not done yet.

Thank you SO much to all of you that have supported me thus far.  You're my angels.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How'd You Lose All That Weight?

So, online people have lately been asking me exactly how I lost the 50+ lbs so far.  I realized that I haven't really laid it out in single posts but have spread it all across my blog posts.  So here is my answer to how I lost the weight:

How I did it is actually quite simple (in principle) but it took breaking a lot of bad habits and forming new ones to get here.  Here are the basics .

*Get the crap out of the house.  If you have chips in your cupboard 24/7, someone is going to eat them.  If you have frozen processed lunches, it's too easy to grab that.  Remove the ease of access to things.  Example:  i love cake and ice cream.  i never have it in the house any more.  If i want it, I have to debate whether it is worth it to go spend the money, get dressed, take the time to drive to a restaurant type place to get it.  50% of the time it's not so I can avoid it.  The other 50% of the time, I go and enjoy myself.

*Don't lose your favorite foods.  Find healthier alternatives.  For ice cream, there is a frozen yogurt place that has some fat-free and sugar-free choices plus toppings.  I'm going there tonight because their new flavor is "cheesecake".  I'll top it with fresh fruit or even cocoa roasted almonds.  Not only is it not bad for me.. it's actually good for me.  Pizza is a greasy yet flavorful diet killer if you overdo it regularly.  But there are DIY pizza recipes that are delicious and nutritious.  (FYI: turkey pepperoni is just as tasty as regular and WAY better for you)

*Track your food.  All of it.  Everything you put into your mouth has a potential to impact your health.  Hop on a site like (it's free and has apps) and you will soon be able to see exactly where your food problems are.  Previous to doing that i was actually an under-eater.  Years of dieting had me slowly reducing my intake until I barely topped 900 calories most days.  I think my first week i tracked a 650 cal day.  Because of that, my body was in starvation mode and holding onto every darn bit of fat it could as a self-preservation technique.

*Start an exercise routine.  It doesn't need to be something huge like taking on the p90x dvd program or running a marathon.  Just get moving.  Even a daily walk with a H/FI can start improving your health.  One of my favorite exercises is playing "chase the kittens"  it's like hide-and-seek but at high speeds all over the house.  20 minutes of that and you feel like you've worked out.

*Set realistic healthy goals but set some superficial ones too.  My goal is to not be the fat mom some day.  When we have kids, I don't want to be too tired to play, I don't want to be an embarrassment to them as teenagers, and I want to teach them how to have a healthy lifestyle so they never have to struggle with this like i have since I was young.  I want to go to the doctor for a yearly physical and just once to be not reminded that I really should lose weight. Side goals: i want to look hot.  I want to walk into stores and not have clerks look at me with that "we only carry normal sizes" pity.  I want to like who I see in the mirror.  i want to wear a bikini in public without feeling like I should wear shorts and a t-shirt over it to not offend people with my blubber.  I want to wear cute flowy dresses and shirts without worrying that it could make me look pregnant.

*Eat your veggies.  Your body needs vitamins.  Veggies and fruits are SO good for you.  If you don't like the taste (like my H didn't) there are tons of ways to prepare them and sneak them in that are delicious.

*Eat breakfast.  I feel like my body doesn't get revved up until I eat something.  Even if it's just a single cheese because I'm not hungry when I first wake up, that wakes up my system.  I feel like it's led to a more efficient body for me.

*Meal planning:  It's not only good for your wallet (helps avoid impulse buys) but it also allows you to make sure you always have healthy food on hand.  I have no "convenience" food in my house.  But i could whip up a dinner right now with only 10 minutes warning because after i shop I come home and do the whole week's meal prep (what I can anyway) and packages everything in little containers.  I have single servings of cheese and meat cubes, cottage cheese, sugar free jello, sugar free pudding, beef jerky, cut veggies and dip.  All of those are free snacks.  If I'm hungry, I eat.  I also portion out things that I'll need for various dinners and cook things like boiled eggs, mini egg bakes for breakfasts, and chicken breasts that all make for easy and quick snacks and salad additions.

*Eat:  getting yourself a healthy diet should not involve suffering needlessly.  If you are hungry, eat.  just stay away from crap foods.  I had heard it before and didn't quite believe it, but crappy food makes you want more crappy food.  A little handful of chips can quickly become half a bag (pop chips are a delicious and healthier alternative)  whereas healthy things seem to satiate me better.  plus, there is no guilt.  If i want more watermelon, cheese, or whatever... I eat it.

*Don't be lazy:  it's SO easy to just say I'll do it later, I'll start tomorrow, or just to keep doing what you've always done.  But we're on a weight loss and fitness board... obviously it hasn't worked.  Sure, maybe someone once lost 40lbs on WW or "dieted" their way to 15 lbs last year.  But if you're here and overweight, regardless of past losses, you're doing it wrong.  The real goal is to get to a weight that's healthy and to maintain it.  Without having to obsess over it.  You want a healthy lifestyle.  Everyone does.  I know I'd like to never count calories or debate over whether I really need a second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy.  It should be intuitive.  I think once I know what all foods are worth to my body completely and totally without thinking, can eat pizza without worrying about the scale, then I think I'll have truly made it.  Because then my lifestyle will be healthy and complete.