*Or: Does this food blog make me look fat?
Last year, I wrote my triumphant "how I lost weight, and kept it off" post. I'm not as thin as I was at my lowest weight, but I've kept off 40 pounds for a long time.
In October, my workplace offered a health screening. I went, to see where I was at. The results were not good. I weighed 228 pounds, about 10 more than I did at the beginning of the year. Even worse, my blood pressure is up, and while my overall cholesterol is OK, my good cholesterol is low. This worried me; my blood pressure had been good ever since I went through my original weight loss. And I was surprised I weighed as much as I did. My weight had been stable at 220, plus or minus a few pounds, for quite a while. 228 was heavier than I wanted to be.
I decided to get back to how I lost weight in the first place:
- Track my calories, and reduce overall eating
- Eat more vegetables (relative to meat, dairy and starch)
- Eat lean meats and nonfat dairy
- Eat whole wheat rice, pasta and bread
For a couple of weeks, maybe a month, I was a good boy. I tracked my calories, didn't go back for that third helping of chili, and stopped after a glass of wine with dinner. OK, maybe two glasses. According to my home scale, I weighed 222 to 224 pounds the whole time - no weight gain, no weight loss. Then I stopped paying attention again.
Now it's the New Year, and I wanted to write a follow up post about weight loss. And I was struggling with it. I couldn't get myself to sit down and write these words. I think I new what was coming. After stalling for a couple of days, I took a deep breath, readied the camera, and got on the scale.
Two hundred and thirty three pounds.
Since this time last year, I gained FIFTEEN POUNDS. According to my scale, which said I was 222 at the time of my health screening, I am up ten pounds since October!
As much as I try to avoid it, this really isn't a surprise. I know that my meals have been pretty light on vegetables, particularly when Diane has been taking evening classes. My three picky eaters just won't eat vegetables, so it seems like too much effort to make them. And I do go back for that third helping of chili, or spaghetti, or ribeye. And that glass of wine or two with dinner sometimes turns into "one more glass, just to finish the bottle".
And...I'm worried I gained weight because of this blog.
*Oh, yeah, and a complete lack of self-discipline. I tend to forget that part.
I love writing recipes like rotisserie pork loin stuffed with cheese and capicola and grilled ribeye steaks with chipotle butter baste. And they're great to eat...in moderation. Those should be celebration meals, not something I cook weekly.
*Or, even worse, a couple of times a week.
Now, don't get me wrong; I'm not going to stop writing those kind of recipes. Or cooking them. But I am going to try to cook, eat, and write healthier in the new year.
Time to get back on track. As of today, I'm counting my calories, watching my portion sizes, and making sure half of my plate is vegetables. I still get to celebrate (Fiesta!) once a week, but I have to be vigilant with my other meals.
Vigilant doesn't have to mean boring. Good food seems to help me lose weight. Mindless eating is all too easy. Good food helps me pay attention while I eat, and makes me more satisfied with smaller portions.
And, because mindless eating is so easy, it's time to go to my bag of tricks. If I'm going to slip up, and eat mindlessly, I want it to work for me. Smaller portions are key; using 9 inch dinner plates tricks my brain into thinking the portions are larger. Food with low calorie density helps; eating a lot of soup (or a big dinner salad, or a vegetable heavy stew, or bean heavy chili) fills me up while keeping the calories down. Finally, I need more meals where meat is a condiment, not the whole dish (like a stir fry where one pound of meat is bulked up with a bunch of vegetables).
*I'm still trying to convince myself that brown rice and whole wheat pasta are as good as the regular versions. Whole wheat bread? Love it. Brown rice? OK, I can manage it, if I mix it with beans. Whole wheat pasta? Well, I'd rather not, if it's all the same to you.
What do you think? What are your New Year's resolutions? Any calorie reducing tricks you would like to share? Good ways to cook brown rice? Leave them in the comments section below.
My Rules for losing weight still work, if I bother to follow them.
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