Friday, December 14, 2012
OK, I am not one to be very in touch with my feelings. In fact, this has causes a lot of trouble in my life and I have been working hard for the last two years to get a handle on this. I have have also always said that I am not an emotional eater....
Well, one of the things that has happened while getting a better understanding of my feelings and the feelings of those around me is that I am becoming an emotional eater. My first response to this revelation was to scream, "Eeek!" My non-emotional self sits back and amusingly tried to analyze this new issue. But, I am hoping that this is just a new phase of this fabulous journey and that it is just another interesting problem to solve (Welcome back to planet Vulcan, BearClaw). Then that newly awakened set of emotions kicks in and I go back to, "Eeek!'
I feel like I am in just the very early baby steps of this process, but this is what I am thinking. I was obese. I was morbidly obese. Taking the relatively simple step of cutting out breads and potatoes and sugars allowed me to lose 130 lbs without ever having to face a single psychological reason for why I eat too much. Meanwhile, in the last two years my marriage has been getting a serious makeover, both my parents have died and I have changed jobs. It has left me 25 lbs overweight...which is a vast improvement over being 150 lbs overweight! But there is where I am. I am 25 lbs overweight and starting to slip in what I eat. As I start digging deeper into my troubled marriage, my emotionless childhood and my natural introvertedness, I have discovered that there is more to losing those last 25 lbs than just avoiding rice. I have noticed that foods that the nutrition books say should leaving me full and satisfied (meat, veggies, fat) just aren't doing it for me lately. And before you low-carb skeptics out there start screaming that I need my whole grains....experimenting with some higher-carb healthy foods has actually resulted in me being even more hungry and packing on about 10 lbs over my low point. The weight finally stopped going back on when I started being more strict in avoiding carbs. But, I still eat way more that I should, even if it is 'healthy' meats, veggies and nuts. The cool thing about low-carb eating is that I really can overeat and not gain weight as long as those foods are devoid of carbohydrates. But....that means I am stuck overeating and not losing those added lbs.
Here is where the emotional eating comes in. I have noticed that my ability to pack down the meats and nuts happens on days when my wife and I are really doing some serious processing. It also sometimes occurs on days when I am dealing with my parents' messy estate. And, those things are starting to be every day....if I want to save my marriage (which I do) and if I want to do right by my parents (which I also do). Anyway, I don't have an answer to this, but clearly it is time to start digging into the emotional eating literature (the Vulcan part of me thinks) and really get in touch with what is driving all those nuts down my throat when I shouldn't be hungry, but am.
Friday, May 25, 2012
That's right. I am no longer a low-carb eater.
I am a healthy eater.
It just happens that the way to eat healthy (especially for me) doesn't involve eating loads of grains dipped in potatoes slathered in beans and coated with sugar. No, it is not healthy (for me) to eat rice on the side of my veggies and meat. No, it is not healthy (for me) to eat a massive pile of pasta with bread sticks on the side. No, it is not healthy (for me) to put that really nice food between two slices of whole wheat bread. Natural sugar like honey or maple syrup isn't better for me than highly-processed factory-farmed beet sugar. I won't fool myself into thinking that the sugar in milk is somehow magically better than rock candy. It is the protein and vitamins in milk, beans, fruit and starchy vegetables that are good for me. It is the carbohydrates in those foods that must force me to ask a question....Is it worth it? I sometimes answer that question with, 'Yes!' especially when it is something that tastes really good, but I am fully aware that they are doing the same things to me as cake, ice cream or toast. This morning, I had sausage and eggs for breakfast. I plan on having a big dressing-drenched chicken salad for lunch. Dinner will be meat and vegetables. Why? Because they are tasty, I like them and they are health foods!
So, I will work hard to stop calling myself a 'low-carb eater' from now on because I am not just that. I eat healthy foods in satisfying quantities. I am rarely hungry and strive to always be happy with my food choices.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This is exactly, exactly what I was looking forward to when I started improving my health last fall. It was getting close to lunch time and I had about two hours to kill while something in the laboratory incubated, so I just decided to ignore the hot temperatures outside and go for a little bike ride. I rode east about six miles from my work until I found the sea shore in South Boston. I had no idea this little gem was even there (Castle Island). I found a quick (low carb) lunch and rode back to work. Thirteen miles and I am not tired.
I did not incorporate exercise as an important part of my weight loss routine. But, once I had lost some weight, I did incorporate exercise as something fun to do. As you become healthier, I hope you can find more fun things to do that maybe you couldn't have done just months before.
Monday, June 20, 2011
When I was born, the general wisdom of the day by the 'experts' was that formula was superior to breast milk. My caring parents wanted to do what was best for little BearClaw and so they fed me formula. Who wouldn't want the best for their child?
As I grew, the wisdom of the day by the 'experts' became perfectly clear that all that cholesterol in butter and eggs was bad. It was killing America! So, my caring parents banished butter from the house in exchange for trans-fat filled margarine. They also turned eggs into an occasional thing rather than a regular food. Eggs actually would sometimes go bad in or fridge because they weren't used fast enough.
And low-fat was obvious. "It isn't the carbs in that boy's diet that is making your son fat," said the doctor (or something to that effect)....it is the fat. Duh! So flavorless low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream. Low-fat milk. Frozen milk instead of ice cream. Pizza was a good food if you topped it with low-fat mozzarella.
As I grew, the wisdom of the day by the 'experts' made it clear that table salt was killing us! So, I basically grew up without a salt shaker in the house. Really. The rare guest would have to take a pinch from the bottle in the baking cabinet.
All the while, there would be a Hostess treat in my lunch every day and dinner was always a meat, a vegetable and a big pile of either potatoes, noodles or rice. Deserts were every day and certainly not high in fat (but sugar bombs the likes of which would make you cringe).
Lean cuts of meat and vegetables served with a pile of starch was good for you, right?
Could it be....just possibly true....that maybe....just maybe....the experts who set up the food pyramid and the new 'food plate' and who also seem to work for a government that subsidizes grains for billions of dollars per year....just might....possibly...be wrong......again?
I have found a way to eat that let over 100 pounds melt away almost effortlessly. I have found a way to live that allows me to exercise but my general health isn't dependent on exercising obsessively. I have learned a way to live that is sustainable for the rest of my healthy life. And...it does include butter, fatty meats, vegetables, eggs, salt and sour cream while it does not include grains, potatoes, Hostess treats or trans-fats.
I am still fat, but give me some time to undo a lifetime of damage. It has only been eight months after all. And, I am not going to listen to what the 'experts' say when they tell me how to do it. They have been wrong too many times in the past.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I became fat when I was about six years old. I even remember one of my friends at age eight asking me, "What happened, you used to be so skinny?"
As time went on, I would sometimes fantasize about waking up one morning and magically the fat in me was just flowing out of my body like I has sprung a leak and the only thing coming out was the fat.
This is now many years later and that is exactly what has happened. I discovered that I was fat because I ate too many carbohydrates, that all that carbohydrate was causing my insulin levels to be constantly higher than anything my biology could possibly deal with, that all that insulin was forcing the fat cells to hoard the fat, that all that hoarded fat meant that the rest of my cells were starving, that starving cells made me hungry, that being hungry made me eat more, and that eating more made this cycle continue.
Cutting the unneeded carbs has allowed my fat cells to finally give up the fat that they have been storing all these years. The fat is flowing out of them just like I had fantasized as a child. It may be taking a year instead of a night, but the effect is the same. Hallelujah and pass the steak.
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