Thursday, September 4, 2008

Monthly Experiment = No meat, no dairy, no processed foods

I’m going to have a Monthly Experiment, and a Weekly Challenge. I need to keep this entertaining, for one, but I also need very short and small goals to strive for so that I feel like I’m making progress on something, anything.

I think weight loss and getting fit is 80% experimentation. You need to learn what works for you and what will sending you crashing into a bowl of guacamole faster than you can scream “Butter! STAT!”. For some people, things like Jenny Craig work very well – you just pick a box and you don’t have to worry about mashing together a healthy meal on your own. Slimfast is good if you don’t mind drinking your meals. Weight Watchers can work if you like group therapy and counting. I know some things that don’t work for me. I get board with eating the same thing, which leads me to be lazy which leads me to not want to cook, which leads me to eat out, which leads me to “well, I already fucked up so what difference does a pint of ice cream make.”

So I’m going to experiment with different things to play up my strengths and downplay my weaknesses.

September’s experiment is Vegan.
My carnivore habits have flip-flopped all over the spectrum. I can remember not liking steak as a child because it was squishy. I quickly conquered that phobia (although texture and “mouthfeel” are still very important to me) to be your classic suburban meat-and-potatoes kind of gal. Then I went overseas and rarely eat beef, but inhaled as much pork and fish as was possible. Then I went from being mostly a vegetarian (exceptions were made for bacon, because, c’mon, it’s bacon, can you blame me?) to doing the Atkins program. I did lose 40lbs fairly quickly but of course put it back on when my old lover, the Baguette, came back into my life. I was mostly vegetarian, eating very little chicken and some shrimp (and of course the bacon) until I moved in with the Ex.

Now, I know I just said in the above post that I wasn’t going to Ex-bash, and this is no way meant to be an excuse, but the Ex totally fucked with my food habits. Yeah, I was present, I let it happen, I let his food preferences and this pathetic need to appease and please him shift my fundamental ideas about food and eating. For god sakes, I bought, made and consumed INSTANT MASHED POTATOES! I’m a food snob when it comes to my potatoes. I’ll bring my own bag of spuds to family events rather than risk the instant nonsense. The Ex’s diet consisted of almost all processed foods from frozen burritos’ to pizza. This is what he shopped for, what he bought, and what he ate. Perhaps he’s trying to embalm himself with preservatives before death. Anyhooo, lost in this sea of processed crap, the weight piled on and on and on.

I also realized the other day that I ate because I felt empty. He made me feel so alone and empty that only food gave me that false sense of fullness. Now mind you, I didn’t realize that’s what was going on because I snowed myself into believing the myth of the happily-ever-after with this nutjob.

This “empty” realization was the first kick in the ass to move me forward. The second, yes I know this is still Ex related, was that I allowed myself to fundamentally change core beliefs and behavior patters to please this meathead. I let him stomp out and kill the bubbly, vivacious part of myself. And it is high time I claimed that all back. I was mostly vegetarian before I met him, it is time to go back to the motherland.

“Vegan cleanse” programs are all the rage right now thanks to the Oprah influence. To be honest, I’m not really opposed to the raising and consumption of animals. I like leather, and don’t see myself giving up leather shoes and accessories anytime soon. Yes, I know that is very selfish that I would let animals suffer for my shoes, but that’s where I am right now. However, I’m not finding meat very tasty right now. I’ve had terrible run-ins with “enhanced” meat products that have been soaked in or injected with saline solutions to plump them and make them tastier (well, tastier to someone I guess). I cooked some enhanced chicken breasts and it gritty like saw dust in my mouth. I don’t eat a ton of meat right now, so that will not be difficult to forge.

Dairy will be tricky.

I -heart- cheese. And cream, and butter. Oh butter. I could literally eat it with a spoon. Butter does almost any food good. I don’t know if I can give up dairy for life, a month will be a challenge. I’ll introduce it back and then decide if the love affair will continue. I just have to keep reminding myself that the main function of diary is to make a calf gain 250lbs in a year. YIKES.

So no dairy, no meat, no processed foods in September. After a few days I might be brave enough to include coffee in that, but I’m not quite ready to go there yet.

1 comment:

MsMeiss said...

I'm rooting for you!

What you have chosen to do is very impressive, and I am grateful to be able to follow your journey.