As my training has increased I have discovered that I need to eat a bit more and that I need to think more about nutrition. I’ve had to add some protein in the form of lean meat and some vegetables to my diet. Due to a few recent health issues I have also had to consider where I am getting fiber in my diet and how much. This has caused me to think about perceptions about foods and about eating that I have held for many years.
Saturday was one of the first really nice spring days here. I was driving home and passed a new Dairy Queen that is near my house. I recalled one of my favorite childhood memories – going to the steps with Uncle Joe and then going to get a DQ. This is not something that I have craved (though the DQ right in front of the grocery store is a bit evil in my opinion), but I was curious. So I went home and looked up Dairy Queen online to see just how many calories are in a DQ. Horrifying. A small Butterscotch cone, one of my favorite DQ treats, has 330 calories and 14 grams of fat. Then I looked up TCBY and found that the non sugar yogurt was pretty reasonable. No sugar added vanilla yogurt at TCBY has 80 calories and no fat. That was a no-brainer for me if I wanted ice cream. On Friday I had lunch at Panera Breads. I had my usual pick two of soup and a salad for about 300 calories. There were Easter egg sugar cookies in the pastry case. I had just spent over an hour in the pool and was going to ride 26 miles later in the day so I thought maybe I could have a cookie on my day off. I had also been editing and was going to keep on editing until I went out on my bike. (Note, I didn’t really want a cookie and I haven’t wanted this kind of food for months. I am not sure where this is coming from this week other than having too much to do.) Since I had my laptop I decided to check on the cookie first. 480 calories and 22 grams of fat in one, single cookie. I did not eat a cookie. I did kind of want a good piece of chocolate though because once in a while I do want that. I went to Manna Groceries and bought a couple of squares of dark chocolate Bug Bites – 50 calories each and very satisfying.
I don’t want to sound like I am obsessing about everything I eat. I’m not and I don’t want to get to that point. I do track what I eat. That is something that has been ingrained in me from years of Weight Watchers. It helps me keep track of what I eat, when I eat, and, perhaps most importantly, how much I eat.
I liked Nancy Clark’s article in the Phidippides newsletter early this week. She writes, “Food is not the problem. Food is fuel. Food is health Food is an inanimate object, just like a desk, rug, or book. It has no inherent power over you. But if you feel as though a food (let’s say, bread) has power over you, bread is the symptom, not the problem.” She goes on to provide examples and to offer advice if food has become a block.
I have been quite careful and have tried to follow the plan I have chosen over the past 10 months. It pleases me that I have been able to lose almost 140 pounds without surgery, pills, or shots. That has been my choice and has been the right one for me. I have been able to lose weight because I changed my diet. I have already written about not being able to follow the Bariatrics plan 100% because of my work schedule and other events in my life. This has helped me make wise choices, however. I have to ask about preparation of food if I am uncertain and I study menus and ingredients before I order.
I have also changed other aspects of my life. Exercise is a major component of my day now. I believe it has been a key element in my success so far. I still have a ways to go but I am getting closer to my goal. I truly do not know what my absolute, final goal is for weight loss. I really need to see how I feel and respond when I reach the original number I set. It is more than a number though. How I feel, how my body handles what I eat, stress, life in general are all important. It also has to do with how I feel as I exercise and as I compete. I need to be able to make adjustments to my diet when life demands that but not go back to the way I ate a year ago. My food preferences have changed as has the way my body reacts to certain foods. This is a lifestyle change and a change in nutrition. As someone said in a conversation last week, diet is just the way we eat but too many people treat it like a special thing. I want the former – this is just the way I eat now, nothing really special. Food is fuel that provides energy for my body and what I need to do.
Other things I am thinking about: