Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chew-a-thon? Hip Chick Guides you through chewing

I stumbled across Jessica Porter's book, "The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics" quite some time ago in one of my failed attempts to get real and serious about weight loss and healthy eating. OK, "failed" is really too harsh of a word, but I was in this space where if I could just find the right book, the right program, the excess weight would just fall off over night. Yeah and we know how that turned out don't we??

I've been attracted to the concept of Macrobiotics for some time. What exactly is "Macrobiotics"? Well, I'm still not too sure but it involves eating organic and locally and bringing balance into you world via food. Oh and do I ever need balance! Read Jessica for a better description. Not to mention that a Macrobiotic diet involves some quirky Japanese food that I adore - seaweed? Yah! Miso soup?? Double Yah!! Japanese pickles?? Holy Moly Yah!!! But of course, lacking in integrity, I spent like two weeks reading the book and formulating meal plans, only to shelve the book after a week of eating brown rice having spent stupid amounts of special food I'd never eat. C'est la vie.

The book is fantastic. It's funny, heart warming and chock full of recipes and philosophy. Big thoughts AND good food? How can you go wrong?

Not too long ago, I discovered that Jessica has a blog. And she's embarking on a Chew-a-thon. One of the key philosophies in Macrobiotic eating is thoroughly chewing your food. Like chewing each mouthful 100 times. That's a lot of chewing.

Now, as I stated before, I love food. I love to read about it, cook it, and of course eat it. And I notice, I don't really chew my food. I don't savor it. It goes in my mouth and my fork is already ready for the next bite to be plopped in. I love food so much that before I'm even done, I'm anticipating, and expecting, and waiting for the next bite. As I become aware of myself, and my body and especially my physical and emotional reactions to food, I've noticed that when I don't chew well, I get a kind of heartburn, especially when eating bread. Weird huh?

So when Jessica mentioned this Chew-a-thon, I checked out her blog again and her adorable video on chewing. So I'm going to jump on the chew-wagon and actually enjoy my food for once!

Oh yeah, and Jessica is on Twitter - @macrohipchick

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

50 in 100 is kinda unrealistic

Yeah, I know, losing 50 pounds in 100 days is kind of unrealistic. Shows like the Biggest Loser get us all hyped that we too can lose 30lbs in a week. Yeah, I know we're not working out 5-8 hours a day like those TV people. Yeah I know, we don't have an army of fitness experts holding our hands and "beating the weight off". To lose 50lbs in 100 days, you'd have to clock over 3.5 lbs lost a week. That's tough and probably not healthy. But not impossible. Weight Watchers will tell you that 1-2lbs a week is healthy. Losing .2lbs is even good. And it totally is. Anything that give you a downward trend is a good thing.

But I'm stepping it up. I'm really tired of battling weight so I'm not going to anymore.

Weight loss is a process and I'm going to enjoy that process. I'm not going to obsess over should I or shouldn't I eat that chocolate. If the chocolate goes in my mouth, it goes in with the realization that 2lbs might not come off the scale. And that's OK. But I'm aiming for 50lbs in 100 days. 50lbs by the end of the year.

My last official weigh in date, before I got all fired up is going to be my starting place. I weighed in on August 16 at 219.2lbs. I had to skip a week (notes about that interesting adventure to follow soon) and this Sunday I weighted in at 215.4. For you non math people, that's a 3.8lb loss.

Excellent progress!

Yeah, I DO just like food

I like food. I like everything about food. I like cooking it. I like shopping for it. I like reading about it. I even like food related marketing, package design and food science. There are few things that are as exciting and satisfying as finding a cool recipe with neat ingredients and an interesting preparation method and then questing for the ingredients and then coming home putting it all together and then putting it into my mouth. It's like a scavenger hunt that turns into a science project that turns into an art project that ends up in goodness in your tummy.

And I don't have a lot of emotional baggage about food and weight.

Honest. I don't.

I watched Bob Green on Oprah not too long ago doing a show on weight issues. They set it up for you to journal about weight and body image issues so that you could get to the bottom of your body issues and conquer your weight problem once and for all. One of the questions was something like why are do you over eat. And they said you cannot answer "I like food". That wasn't good enough. There MUST be an underlying emotional trauma as to why you are fat. You apparently must hate yourself therefore you eat.

I've done a lot of personal soul searching around food and weight issues. I don't hate myself and cover it up with weight. I kind of like myself. And apparently for self help gurus, simply liking food is not enough.

Yeah, I know I over eat, especially when I'm bored. Because what do I do when I'm bored? I cook. And when you cook, you have food to eat, and I just can't let it go bad, so I eat. And I know I get sucked in this cycle when I'm down, I get bored, and then I get all blue about being down and bored, and then I get bored with being bored and there goes a little circle of internal drama which results in lots of cupcakes and bread being baked and cupcakes and bread being eaten.

I've lost a good deal of weight in the past. I guess I was about to turn 30, I felt terrible, unhealthy and just yuckie. And I tipped the scales at 274lbs. Over the course of a year I got down to 203. I felt alive and sexy and awesome. Then of course I put 50lbs back on. I was in a terrible relationship where my partner would get on my case for not working out but then an hour later would take me out for ice cream. Talk about unhealthy!

I'm out of that toxic environment now.

I'm back home, living with my parents for awhile and it's been great on many many levels. On the weight front, my mom has been doing Weight Watchers for a while and signed me up. She's been really strict and has lost 60lbs and looks fantastic. I catch a peek at here every now and then and think "Wow! I have a skinny mom!". So since she's on the program, all the food in our house is WW approved. There's no chips or ice cream or even bread.

So I joined WW in November of 2008 weighing 250lbs. And I've lost 30lbs. But I've lost that weight really because there's no crap food around. If I want a Devil Dog, I have to get my ass up and walk to 7-11 and buy it for myself. So I've lost these 30lbs not by really dieting, but because the environment in this house is such that there isn't crap to eat.

30lbs in 30 weeks isn't bad. That's a pretty good accomplishment. But now I'm in the game. Now I have the commitment to make health a priority. To make me a priority. I want to be done with this nonsense. And it is nonsense. At work last night I inhaled two little packages of M&M because they were there, I was in a munchies mood, and yes, I was bored. That's nonsense. I felt all queasy after eating them. I let myself get pulled out of a good head space into bad patterns. And that stops now.

Now is where real life begins.