The other day I wondered how I could be this cool. I know the answer now. And that is by merely showing you this picture:
The other day, I was complaining to my wife, Claire, about how I can't seem to get my head wrapped around this eating right thing. She insisted I was being too hard on myself and I insisted that she didn't see all the snacking and dessert eating I do when she's not around.
Then she said something that made me see the light. She said, "Do you remember how you ate when we started dating? A meal for you was an entire frozen pizza or a bowl of elbow macaroni slathered in Cheez Whiz.
Well, my eating is nowhere near perfect. My portions are still a little too large and I don't always pick the best things to eat but I've made tremendous progress since I transformed myself from the man who gained 80 pounds in college to the man who is losing 100 pounds in a year.
Here are a few things I've picked up during my transition:
Disclaimer: I am not, nor do I claim to be, an expert on nutrition. The information here is correct to the best of my knowledge. If you spot something that is false or otherwise misleading, please let me know via the comments section below.
1. I started snacking on almonds. Almonds are very good for you. They contain Omega-3s and all kinds of other good stuff. I'm not a dietitian and I don't know all of their benefits, but I can tell you that they're delicious. They fill me up much better than chips do too.
The downside of almonds is that they are very calorie-dense. So be careful.
2. I've been eliminating white foods from my diet. Now this sounds silly. Why would I eliminate a food from my diet based on color? Well it's not really about color, it's more about content. Foods like white bread, white rice, and anything with white flour contain simple carbohydrates. Your body loves simple carbs because they are easy to break down and store as fat. Once your body has stored all of the energy you just took in, you're hungry again. Leading to some pretty severe cravings. I've chosen instead to opt for whole grain alternatives. I've switched almost exclusively to wheat bread, brown rice, and, get this, whole wheat saltine crackers. Holy crap are those things good. Seriously, they're 10 times better than regular saltines.
The reason whole grain foods are better for you is they contain what are called complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs aren't as easily broken down by your body and stored as fat. The energy you get from them is much more consistent than simple carbs. You don't crash once your body has finished storing it all as fat.
3. I've moved from iceberg lettuce to spinach. I don't know a lot about what's in spinach, but a friend of mine told me he once heard a doctor say "Even if you have to deep fry it to eat it, spinach is still one of the best things you can eat." Please don't deep fry your spinach. Personally, I like it in chicken caesar salads.
4. I've worked hard on getting over my psychological need to be stuffed to the gills every time I eat. Stuffing my face used to make me feel secure. I once had an incident (in my 20s) where I nearly threw a fit because we stopped at a Dairy Queen that only had ice cream and hot dogs. I wanted my flamethrower burger. One of the ways I've coped is I fill my 24 ounce water bottle before each meal and drink the whole thing as I'm eating. I usually feel quite full after my meal even though the food alone wouldn't do the trick. Plus, drinking water is very good for you.
5. I make my own Chinese take-out at home. I love Chinese food but it's not good for you at all. I used to make the Wanchai Ferry kung pao chicken kit, but my stupid grocery store stopped carrying it. So I decided to learn to make my own. It's way better and I think a bit healthier too. I'll post the recipe some time.
6. I've exercised. A lot. I started by going to the gym for 20-25 minutes a night a few nights a week. Then I bumped that up to every night for 3 weeks in January. I've tried (and failed at) the 100 pushups challenge. I made it to 55 and I'll try again at some point. I'm currently doing Couch to 5k and plan on running a 5k race this summer. I've also started a weight-lifting regiment courtesy of Mr. Scott. I'm always trying new ways to move my body, but interpretive dance is still off the table (for now).
When you make a few changes to your life, it really helps motivate you to make others. These are just a few things I've tried to do to change my life. I have a long way to go, but I'm learning how to do more than just drop pounds. I'm learning how to be healthy.
What have you changed to make your life better and healthier? What will you change? Do you think Spock is as cool as I do?