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It’s funny when you look back and realize just how hard it is at training your body to not want the horrible crap that you’ve been feeding it for years and years and years!

That’s something that I’ve realized lately that I really need to tackle because although I’ve done marginally ok with my last task of upping the breakfast and tea antes appropriately, over the last couple of months I’ve probably circumvented whatever good effects have resulted by stuffing myself full of pizza and chips and other miscellaneous junk food the other five meals of the day.

…so that sucks, but we’re trying…

The last couple of days have been a bit of a mental battle as I’ve tried to steer myself away from my usual snacking and eating and towards that real food target that I’m gunning for. And it’s been tough because we really haven’t done much grocery shopping for actual meals lately – instead, one of us runs to the store and buys whatever they want to eat for the next couple of days … and a lot of it is usually crap … and then a day or so later, the other will go. So on my part, there have been a lot of hot dogs and frozen pizzas and microwave chicken – easy stuff – of course, coupled with lots of junk from the bakery and snack aisles that taste delicious, but end up disappearing and thus making me feel like crap two days later when I’m like, “Seriously – those cookies lasted how long?!”

I’m actually pretty proud of our trip to the store last night, though – lots of produce, some meats and cheeses, and almost no junk carbs to speak of whatsoever!

As you can see, I had kiwi as a snack last night and what inspired this post is the notion that even though at the time I could’ve plowed through a bag of Sweet Chili Doritos just the same, instead I had a kiwi and a cup of tea and not only was it hundreds of calories better for me, but I ended up feeling a lot better about myself when I was done. I think that’s important and is going to come into play here more in the future as I try to reprogram my brain to be less dependent on chips and cookies and other snacks with hopes of enjoying other snacks like fruits and vegetables just the same.

I mean, I’ve done it once before – it’s been over three years since I gave up on drinking soda and I really don’t think that I’ve ever looked back. There was a time when I used to like a Coke with certain meals, but even that has changed for the better – I pretty much steer clear from soda altogether unless it has some sort of booze mixed in with it.

…which isn’t very often at all, mind you!  😉

In a way, it’s a little sad because I’ve enjoyed some of these foods for so long, but it goes along the lines of facing growing older – if I want to enjoy as much of it as I possibly can, these changes need to happen. Plus, the wife and I have talked about it a lot and we REALLY don’t want to pass these kinds of bad habits on down to our kid now, either. I don’t want him to struggle with being overweight for decades because he was taught all growing up that eating five Oreos at a time is ok. I want our house to be the kind of home where there’s always lots of fresh fruits and vegetables around, and we cook actual meals instead of heating them up or deep frying them, and eating is something that you do for fuel, not just because you’re bored.

In retrospect, it’s also a little shameful to look at the calendar and realize that I’ve been conscious about my weight for over a decade now – pretty much ever since I moved to Florida in 2003. That’s way too much of a person’s life to be living it so poorly … if I had a time machine, I’d go back and tell my 20-something self – who was only a little overweight at the time – that it really does get a lot worse if he doesn’t take diet & exercise a little more seriously in between chugging cans of Dr. Pepper and playing Warcraft 3 until four in the morning!

If it takes a little bit of guilt to keep me away from the bad foods and steer me towards the ones that’ll keep me around as long as possible, then maybe I deserve it at this point. And I don’t mean that in a negative way – I mean that very much in a realistic way.

I’m feeling surprisingly good about my direction as of the last three or four days – now let’s see if we can talk the scale into reflecting that. 8)

So I think I did ok for my first day yesterday.

I’ve decided that for my first week, my two simple goals are going to be:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast everyday
  • Drink more tea

I should probably note that “healthy” in the first bullet point isn’t defined by mountains of virtue or anything … my goal is just to eat real food to start my day – whatever time of day that actually happens to be! 😉

Yesterday it was a simple scrambled eggs (with cheese) and a glass of OJ.

Today was a little bigger because it was a bit later – I added an extra egg and also a couple of pieces of toast.

And that’s that.

I’m not even trying to get into calorie counting or scrutinizing every little turn – the only major change is that I might need to switch to egg whites (on account of old man heart health), but it’s not like I’m making pancakes with a huge pool of maple syrup, so even with a couple slices of toast on occasion I don’t think it’s a very bad start. Next week I’ll probably pick up some ham to dice into it as well as some veggies … my main goal with this meal is just quick and simple, healthy, and filling enough that I won’t be lunging for a snack 2 hours later.

And hopefully bullet point #2 can help me a little with that as well because my main driver for tea is simply that in the past it’s tended to help cut down my cravings for other snacking when I have something to sip on that isn’t water.

I even bought a little mug warmer thingy to keep at my desk so that I can stop pouring out half-empty cups of cold tea!

That’s it for changes at this point, though – again, the real goal is small, simple changes that months from now will all add up to a healthier routine for me across the board. And it’s admittedly weird because even yesterday I felt the drive to add just a couple more things to my list because I was in the mood and wanted to dive in headfirst, and I had to actively tell myself, “No – this is enough for now … we’ll add more next week.”

I mean, there’s definitely plenty to tackle – carbs, junk food, other meals, sleep schedule, late night snacking … I fought with that a little last night, which to me oddly enough is actually sort of a good thing because it tells me that my body is sensing a change. It’s fightin’ it, too, but it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if after a month or so of tweaking other things with my diet, the midnight snacking cravings just sort of manage to dissipate on their own.

Last night I had a big bowl of Reese’s ice cream with whipped cream and that chocolate shell stuff that I’d bought at the low of my being sick, and even though an hour later I wanted a plate of pizza rolls, too, I was able to distract myself long enough until it wasn’t on my mind anymore. The eating while I’m sleeping thing is a little different, but I think it’ll go too with time.

One day at a time… 🙂

So I’ve been thinking about weight loss stuff again over the past couple of days…

Yeah, it’s been a while! 😯

I don’t know … maybe it’s the 5 pounds less that I weighed in on the scale yesterday – mostly on account of being sick for the past week and a half, but this topic has been on my mind yet again and I think I want to talk about it. And this is going to seem odd because despite this big, old blog just recently passing 800,000 words, in the last couple of years I’ve kind of steered clear of talking about weight loss and dieting efforts – frankly, I think, because I did so much of it early on and it feels a little embarrassing to keep writing the same stuff over and over again.

It’s true that a lot of what I’m going to write is probably stuff I’ve said already, but who knows – maybe I’m finally in a better place to actually be able to do something about it.

In a way, there’s a lot to be learned in looking back at those failed attempts. One high level thing that I noticed just now is that for each time that I fell off the wagon, it was easy to cite some big thing that had just happened that threw us all for a loop – got married, got a puppy, got a house, dealing with pregnancy stuff – and the funny thing is, despite having the mother of all excuses to be thrown just down the hall from me, thankfully sleeping soundly at this very moment, I guess that almost-34-year-old Scott has learned that … there’s always going to be something to throw you off your game…

For the next few years it will be baby, or maybe even another baby, and then school, then teenagers, then high school … holy cow, how did this turn into a post that whipped through the next twenty years of my life in the better part of a sentence?!  😯

I think the takeaway from it all is just what I’ve said before – I need to find a way to maintain a healthy diet that fits with my day-to-day life because if big chunks of time were only sporadically available in my 20’s, I can tell already midway through that my 30’s aren’t looking any better and I don’t even want to think about the decades after that!

The funny thing is, despite my existence feeling kind of topsy-turvy right now with the introduction of a new human to care for, at the same time this is kind of perfect timing to start making some changes like this in my life for the better. My current work arrangements after the baby was born have had me working from home almost exclusively, which means that in both a bad way and a good way, the refrigerator is only a 15-second walk away from me at any point during my day.

What this should mean in the positive way is that instead of eating whatever I can scarf down in the car on the drive in for breakfast, there’s really no reason I shouldn’t be eating something simple and delicious like a quick omelette or some scrambled eggs and juice every single morning.

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And for lunch, not having questionable cafeteria food within walking distance (and super good, 400-calorie cookies…) and tons more fast food options a quick drive away, there’s really no reason I shouldn’t be throwing together the types of lunches that I always avoided taking to work – sandwiches that would get soggy sitting in the fridge, pretty much anything not frozen for simplicity’s sake.

Snacks can be healthy stuff like fruits and vegetables that I don’t have to carefully portion out in the morning when I’m already running late.

My tea can … well, there’s really not much different about the tea because that’s where I actually started drinking it in the first place, but I can start that again, too!

And that’s all just food!!!

I’m not going to ramble here incessantly because just like the changes I want to make, I’ve been reading a lot of posts that remind me that it’s small, consistent changes over time that will really make the difference in the long haul, so that’s what I want to do. Long term, I’d love to see a slightly more photogenic me by Christmastime so that I don’t have to be as crop-happy when choosing which family photos to post as I have been lately; in the short term, while I’m still trying to get over this sick stuff, I think I’m going to start making some small tweaks here and there and we’ll see what happens.

I’m sure we’ll talk again soon! 😉

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I just cleaned that gigantic mess out of our kitchen pantry, where it had accumulated for several months.

My wife decided to try NutriSystem around November of last year, and for the first couple of months it worked great! She probably lost 20-30 pounds – we’ve got the Beanie Babies with the #s stitched into them around here somewhere to prove it, but the problem was, just like Weight Watchers or any of the others where they sell you food to eat, is that inevitably you eventually realize just how terrible the food actually is, and gradually you start eating less and less of it as you slip in just a bit of regular food here and there, and before you know it you’ve got shelves of this crap with new shipments coming in every 4 weeks that you don’t even have room for anymore!

Seriously, I think our last shipment before she finally put the thing on hold earlier this year probably stayed in the box for a good month and a half while we convinced ourselves that it was still possible to “catch up” and get back on track. even started eating some of it myself – at least the ones that I could stomach – but that only lasted so long because you can only eat so much of the same packaged, microwavable crap day after day. There are only so many choices that they can give you, and if you end up not liking a sizable number of them, you’re pretty much committing yourself to eating the same thing every. damn. day…

Of course, I don’t have a huge bushel of room to talk because I was trying to lose weight right alongside her doing my own thing and I wasn’t really very successful, either, but it just goes to show you that it’s really willpower that you need to lose weight – not some fad diet or books or a new workout routine. I never really cared for these types of schemes because the question always in the forefront of my own mind was “How am I supposed to switch back to normal foods after eating all of these meticulously-planned meals for month after month???” Sure, they tell you that they’ve got a graduated plan to ease you back into the real world once you’ve hit your target weight, but the truth of the matter is that most people probably never even get to that stage because they slip far before they ever reach their target weight and once they’re reminded what a hamburger not made out of cardboard tastes like, the food starts backing up like a clogged toilet. 🙁

I need to see if there’s a food bank nearby where I can donate all of this crap instead of feeling guilty about throwing two months worth of “food” in the garbage…

Note – I actually listed to the original versions that he offered off of his blog when he did Thing a Week so many moons ago, but this seemed a little easier to post in a playlist-type format, so you end up getting a mix of live performances, fan music videos, and more – enjoy!

Seriously, how did we ever even exist without the ability to stream from a basically endless supply of videos on YouTube through the air to a computer that fits in the pocket of one’s gym shorts???

For what it’s worth, it helped speed me up by 5 minutes on tonight’s walk, too! 🙂

Apple-Chipotle Pork with Sweet Potatoes!

July 30, 2013 9:55pm
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When wives start cooking again, we all win! 🙂

…well, *I* win, anyways…

P.S. It was good.

An interesting video about what 200 calories actually looks like…

And actually a really great idea on how to prevent yourself from overeating! I could use about 20 of these things…

Kickstarter: The Kitchen Safe
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thekitchensafe/the-kitchen-safe-the-time-lock-safe-that-puts-you

(I had an idea kinda like this in a humor column last year – great minds think alike!)

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Got a good chuckle out of this very random ad when I came across it – not for nothing, but if the secret to killing belly fat was found in pepperoni pizza, yours truly would already be a living Adonis amongst the pizza-loving masses… 😛

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