Health Kick Chick

Join me on my laymen's journey towards better health. Eat. Move. Rest.

Archive for Reflections

I did good! (Dinner @ DBGB)

The other night, I met up with old and new friends at Daniel Bolud’s DBGB.  I looked at the menu online before hand, as is my way, to see what would be the best thing to eat.  Then I realized that I was in serious danger of being in the red this week since yet salacious rendez-vous with Blue Bunny premium ice cream on Friday and a very generous, flirty bartender on Thursday wiped out most of my allotment.  Besides, I promised my hostess I’d attend the celebration and I was curious to eat at his restaurant since seeing him on Top Chef and seeing everyone fawn over his food in general.

So, I made a quick list of five items I wanted and figured out the calories and nutritional breakdown of each allotting for extra due to heavy-handed use of butter, cream and fat (fat tastes gooooooood).  Satisfied, I met up with the group after having eaten an apple with string cheese so I wouldn’t be tempted to overdo it.  My game plan was one drink, 2 pieces of bread and butter, my entrée and a few miscellaneous calories.  Thank God I always plan for irresistible foods because who could say no to this?

That's baked alaska for you non Frenchies

By the end of the night,  for the first time in a long time, I made the event about the company and the occasion–not the food.  I sat at the table for 4 hours with my new and old friends, laughed, talked and pretty much closed down the restaurant.  I’m proud of myself because I feel like small habits like this make me believe that I can do this for a lifetime.

Eat. Move. Rest.

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Back to basics

I’ll admit it.

I’ve fallen into bad habits the last six or so months.  Not accurately tracking my calorie intake because I rationalize that strength training afterburn will probably make up the difference.  Not taking the time to make at least soup and one meal ahead on Sunday so on a particularly busy day I can grab and go.  Keeping trigger foods in the house, etc.

This weekend, I decided to get back to basics when I bought a bag of Chex mix.  The last time I got Chex mix, I ate straight from the bag until I saw only salt and crumbs at the bottom.  I went on an eating tear that week and gained 3 lbs.  This week, while watching Down Home with the Neelys, I pulled out a few zip top snack bags and a half cup measure, which is equal to one serving.  During the commercial break–all of 3 minutes–I bagged up all 15 servings.  This is something I used to do all the time but somehow I figured I was beyond portion control.  But it took no time at all.

 So since I was on a good habit kick, I decided to plan ahead for the next day when I’d be meeting up with a friend for lunch.  I looked at the restaurant menu online and figured which meal would be the most filling and help me get the best nutritional bang.  I also wanted a side of fried plantains Fried plantain by ashe-villain

because I haven’t had them in forever and that would be my dessert. I had good conversation and a good meal and left satisfied.   That good habit lead me to go home and make 2 meals ahead for the week, do some hardcore strength training and plan around a social event I knew would be full of delicious, calorie laden foods (hello wine and cheese bar).  

It felt like I’d forgotten how to be on track.  It’s good to know that even after all this time, I can remember successful habits.  And the fact that they often snowball into other similar habits.  So, tomorrow when I’m munching on a pear and half of a Luna bar, I’ll be less tempted to lord over the Maytag blue.

Send it back!

Last week, for the first time in a really long time, I treated myself to lunch.   Of course, I eat out but usually in the company of loved ones. But for monetary and sanitary reasons (usu. food poisoning) I prefer to cook my own meals.

I stopped into an Asian fusion restaurant that, ironically enough, my mother had just ordered lunch from.  As I scanned the menu, I decided to try the pineapple sauté with tofu since I really love the salty-sweet flavor combination.  I asked the waitress for brown rice instead of white and to bring the sauce separately. I’d already calculated how many calories I was willing to spend on this meal and with the sauce on the side, I’d be able to enjoy some miso soup, the rice, tofu, pineapples and veggies with a scant amount of sauce.

However, when she brought the dish to me, lovely as it looked, I could see that the tofu was deep-fried and drowning in the greasy syrup I was hoping to avoid.  As she placed it before me she winced and said “oops” in Cantonese.  Then she walked away.  I sat there for 5 full minutes thinking she was re-doing the order to my specification until the mâitr’e d asked why I wasn’t eating.  I mentioned, as kindly as I could, that I was waiting for my order to be brought to me.  He looked confused and called over the waitress.  She explained that she forgot that I’d made a special order.  Okay, so why did you realize it and then leave it sitting in front of me for 5 full minutes?

He then took over as my waiter and replaced my meal as she apologized and twittered about.  I’ve been a waitress before and I know that you live on tips.  I also know that when you mess up, you fix it.  So, unfortunately for her, the tip was scaled downward.  Her little mistake would’ve cost me 650 calories and that’s unacceptable.

Once the proper meal was returned to me, I savored every delicious morsel.  It was well worth the fuss:

A few years ago, I would’ve eaten the meal in silence but now I realize that when I’m not the one in the kitchen I have to be extra vigilant about what I consume–especially when one mistake is equivalent to an entire other meal’s worth of calories.

I just hope they didn’t spit in my food.

Will I Regain the Weight I’ve Lost? (a.k.a. Everything in Moderation)

This article talks about the very thing that I think is the reason so many people regain all the weight they lose: because they live their lives to one side of the pendulum or another.  An all or nothing approach to weight loss will get old quickly.

The first time I truly dedicated myself to losing weight, I went to the supermarket armed with a certain popular printout of go-to diet foods from a woman we’ll call FamishedGirl.  Most of the foods on that list were processed within an inch of their life and full of food with little or no nutritional value–but they were low calorie.  And really, aren’t all calories created equal?

However, I got night sweats at the thought of never eating cheesecake or fried breadfruit ever again.  So, I decided that whatever path I embarked on would have to allow me eat what I wanted and still lose.  In time, I realized that I did crave Cheez Doodles but I also craved fresh blackberries.  Moderation is, as far as this HKC is concerned, the pillar of any successful lifestyle change.

This isn’t Biggest Loser, folks this is life.  Some days will be better than others and then you have to get up and try again the next day.  You just have to. Because, really, what are your options?  Time will pass regardless and wouldn’t you rather be a work in progress than stagnant?

So, guided by the ever popular weight loss mantra “don’t do anything while losing that you can’t sustain on maintenance”, I’m seeking balance and moderation.

Eat. Move. Rest

Before meets after

Sorry about the long delay.  I just haven’t been in a bloggy mood recently.

I just wanted to recap what happened this weekend that really reinvigorated me.  A few days ago, I was talking to a woman who we’ll call M. who has only known me at my current size/weight.  Like hundreds of thousands of women, M. is a single mom, juggling home, work and school while trying to maintain a healthy body to support her lifestyle. She’d commented that after having her last baby she’d put on a lot of weight but didn’t realize how much until she went for her mandatory annual physical for her job.  When the nurse read off the weight, she was surprised because she hadn’t weighed herself in over a year and didn’t realize she’d put on 20 lbs since her last weigh in.   I told her that I know how that feels because at some point when I started ballooning, I’d refuse to step on the scale–even going so far as to bully the nurses into not telling me my weight once I’d stepped off the scale.

Now, as part of my journey I weigh myself weekly.  Once I step off the scale I can reflect on the past week or two and think about ways to tweak my diet and exercise accordingly.  Either way, instead of demonizing the scale I use it as information and not a condemnation.  The scale only tells part of the story of my weight loss journey and I know that I am more than just my weight.

Back to M.  M. didn’t believe I’d ever struggled with my weight (not a struggle so much as a complete resignation).  She thought I was naturally thin but when I showed her my “before” pictures, her eyes grew wide and she gasped.  While I’m proud of how far I’d come and look at my pictures as a part of my story, I didn’t realize that it would have that kind of effect on someone else.  It made me regretful and self-conscious at the same time.  Thoughts raced through my head like ‘did people used to do that behind my back?’, ‘was I the person everyone used as a cautionary tale?’, ‘what did I look like to others?’  I’m glad I didn’t have these thoughts back then because being overweight is judgment enough in the real world; I didn’t need to add insecurity to my list of issues.

When M. finally closed her mouth and looked back at me she said “you should be proud of yourself, for what you’ve done.”  You know what?  I am.