Scale tales and renewed commitment

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May 7, 2009 by 8junebugs

I’m currently engaged in an experiment with my digital poundage measurer. I know that the surface beneath the scale can affect the results, so I measured my weight on the four different floor surfaces in my apartment the other day: linoleum, carpet (which I highly recommend), and in two places on the bathroom tile.

Results? A 7-pound range.

Yesterday morning, still amused, I tried weighing myself before my shower, then after, with the scale in roughly the same spot on the bathroom tile.

Results? A 4-pound gain in the shower.

Clearly, this is why Day 2 of the Avon Walk was so damn hard — I stood in a shower for HOURS.

Now that Avon is over, I’m back to normal levels of exercise and healthy eating. Carbo-loading is only appropriate when you plan to burn 2,500 additional calories in a weekend.

Diet? No. Just trying to stay healthy and fit.

A hundred years ago, when I was working for UPS (in the regional office, so no automatic workouts), I was in the gym all the time. It was nearby, it was women-only, and G. had just moved to New York for his master’s…it was a great way to blow off steam, counteract the kind of partying you can only do at 21 or 22, and maintain some kind of focus while I was trying to figure out my next steps (I was deciding when, how, and where to finish my bachelor’s degree).

I’ve never been small and I’m not trying to be small now, but I do miss that level of fitness, and I was happy with how my clothes fit. So, if I have a goal, there it is.

Between the changes in my diet and the exercise that I’m not going to talk about until I’ve managed to make it a habit, I suddenly have a metric buttload of extra energy. I’m enjoying it, even though it’s messing with my early bedtime.

The Basic Food Rules

There’s one foundation beneath these rules: I like food and I like to eat, but I like to eat simply. My favorite meal really is grilled salmon and roasted asparagus (with hand-cut fries, which is where I get ahead of myself). I like fish and vegetables and fruit. I don’t eat much red meat (once a week, if that). I don’t do cream sauces. I hate gravy.

I just get a little lazy sometimes. And I have some weaknesses: pizza (and oh, sweet pizza rolls…), bread and cheese, ice cream, chocolate…

There are also healthy things I eat when I’m out that I could easily eat at home. (I’m looking at you, grilled portobello sandwiches.) I just have to put a little more effort into it.

Kind of like how I have a fitness center upstairs, but I have to actually go upstairs to use it. (I am.)

The point, though, is that it’s worth the effort. Eating good food and feeling fit and healthy is worth the time and effort.

So here’s how it works, food-wise:

Breakfast = oatmeal. I like the instant oatmeal+flax packets from Trader Joe’s with a handful of their multi-grain oatmeal tossed in, made with vanilla soymilk and a dash of salt. I know some people hate oatmeal, but this tastes fantastic. (It would be better if it were flaxmeal instead of flax seeds. Are you listening, Trader Joe’s?)

Breakfast can also = a veggie-ful omelet made with an egg substitute when I get around to experimenting with egg substitutes. God, I miss eggs…stupid intestines.

Lunch = a version of dinner leftovers. Small portions, lots of variety. (I can highly recommend the under-$5 plastic storage containers from Ikea for managing this.) Or bean burritos, when I’m out of leftovers and the chicken-feta-spinach sausages I sometimes buy for lunches. The goal is to only eat what I bring to work — I’ll have a cupcake on Cupcake Day (the current incarnation of our monthly birthday celebrations), but the candy jars and daily popcorn are dead to me.

Snacks (2 or 3 a day) = apples, bananas, string cheese, fat-free vanilla yogurt, granola bars, pistachios, crudites with a little hummus.

Dinner = some kind of protein, a giant portion of vegetables, and a small (and optional) portion of brown rice or fresh pasta. Last night, for instance, I had a pan-seared tuna steak with edamame…mmm.

Dessert, if I bother = frozen yogurt or sherbert, fat-free vanilla yogurt with 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, fruit (strawberry plants are flowering!), or those WW chocolate muffins I make with pumpkin puree (which you can’t taste…seriously. But I like chocolate and pumpkin together, so I wouldn’t care if I could.).

Other: Coffee. Also red wine and hard cider. I am not made of stone, people…but I haven’t been drinking all that much, anyway.

No eating after 8 pm. Somehow, this is becoming critical.

I’m not going to bother measuring veggies, except for corn (which I usually have mixed with other stuff, anyway). I will be measuring starches, fats, and dairy…the dairy is more because I’m not supposed to eat it.

There it is, then. This isn’t about to become a diet or fitness blog, but, with everything going on, I will be paying more attention to keeping myself healthy.

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