It’s been a while since my last post; like everyone else I was busy with the holidays. Christmas and New Years has come and gone and I’m sure many of you have made your New Year’s resolutions. How many of you have made the same ones year after year “this is the year I lose that extra weight, this is the year I get in shape” only to find another year has passed and you’re another year older and a few pounds heavier. It’s time to finally do something about it. Our country is on a collision course with disaster as far as obesity goes. We are seeing the life expectancy of our younger generations decline because of obesity. I have read that our military is expressing concern about not being able to find enough fit recruits to fill the ranks. Obesity related diseases are out of control and getting worse every year.
I’ve never been obese but over the years I have seen my own weight fluctuate up and down; gain a few, lose a few. At one point after putting on too many pounds I decided to get rid of the excess baggage and I lost 30 lbs. Over the years as time went on I had gained back a few pounds but after making some changes I’ve recently lost almost 20 pounds. At 60 years old I am now at the lightest weight I’ve been since I was in high school and I feel great. I’m not stating this to brag but to say that it’s never too late to get fit. Over the years I have learned what works for me to get the weight off and keep it off. It isn’t the latest diet fad or weight loss shake. There is no magic pill or potion a doctor can prescribe. The only thing that really works is a change of mindset and the way you look at food. A lifestyle change as it applies to eating is the key to lasting weight loss. You have to educate yourself as to which types of foods to eat and which to avoid. I will get into this in another post but for now just let me say “stay away from highly processed foods as much as possible”. If it doesn’t resemble real food that you can identify then don’t eat it.
In this post I want to focus on mindset and the way we look at food. One of the biggest mistakes I believe we make is portion control. In our supersized world too many of us have become supersized ourselves. We seem to think that if we don’t leave the table stuffed to the gills then we didn’t eat enough. If we go out to eat and the food isn’t overflowing our plates well then we got ripped off! Now let me state right here that I love to cook and baking is a real passion of mine. I truly enjoy food but I have learned to not let it control me. I eat to live, I don’t live to eat.
It took me a while to understand portion control, specifically the fact that I don’t need to eat the same size portion as my husband. I was reminded of this the other day. My husband and I were out running our weekly errands and we ended up having lunch at the local Subway restaurant. We decided to split a foot long sub meal. When the girl went to cut the sub in half I ask her to cut one side bigger than the other. She gave me an odd look and when I told her that it was because my husband eats more than I do she laughed. I think she thought I was joking but I explained that he’s bigger than I am therefore he needs more food than I do. She said she’d never thought of it that way. That got me to wondering how many other women never thought of it either.
I admit that this way of thinking took a while to take hold. I used to make sure I gave us the same size portions; that was only fair right? What wasn’t fair was that he never gained any weight but I did and it was my own fault. If he said anything about the size of my portion being the same as his I only got defensive. Slowly the realization came to me that he was right. My husband is over 6′ tall and I’m only 5’5″ so why would I need the same amount of fuel, which is what food basically is, to get me thru the day. If we look at our bodies like a machine or a furnace it makes this thought process much easier to understand. Like a machine our bodies need fuel to run; like a furnace burns fuel to create heat so our bodies burn calories to create energy.
Consider this; if we were vehicles then my husband would be a pick up truck and I would be a small car. We can both go the same distance but he would use a lot more fuel to get there than I would. So ladies remember that as women we are very fuel efficient so lets stop overfilling our tanks! Men will burn more calories than women while doing the same task and even while sleeping at night. Men have more muscle mass and muscle burns calories. That’s just the way it is so accept it and don’t try to match your spouse spoonful for spoonful.
We have to stop living to eat and start eating to live. Remember food is the fuel that powers us thru the day. I’m not saying that we have to deprive ourselves of life’s pleasures but just take them in smaller portions; everything in moderation. If you want to have some ice cream then do so but instead of dishing up a heaping bowl for yourself just have a small scoop. Remember dessert is not a meal it’s just a treat.
Dining out can have it’s pitfalls because the portions are the same for everyone. We don’t dine out often but when we do I make it a point to just eat until I start to feel I’m getting full and then ask for a take home box for the leftovers. If it is something that I really love and know it will be hard to not eat the whole serving I decide what is a reasonable portion before I start eating. That way I never leave the restaurant feeling like I’m going to explode! Also remember to drink plenty of water with your meal, it helps you feel full and aids in digestion. If there is a tempting desert on the menu you might try doing what my husband and I do; instead of us both ordering a dessert we order one dessert and two spoons. It can be a fun and romantic way to end a meal. Not only will you consume fewer calories but it saves on the bill as well.
Start thinking about how much fuel you need to fire your furnace for the day and consider what type of fuel you should be shoveling in. Anything extra will be stored away as fat. You ideally want to only consume what you need for the day. Portion control is vitally important to maintaining a healthy weight and if you can’t do it then ask your spouse to serve up the portions and don’t leave the platter on the table so you can dish up a second helping. You won’t starve, trust me. It does get easier as time goes on particularly when you see the pounds starting to melt away. Your stomach will get used to your new portion size and you will feel satisfied when you are finished eating a meal. You’ll start to look better and feel better and by next New Years you won’t have to make the same resolution to lose weight again!
Thanks for stopping by.
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.