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Food Fight (Probably not what you think)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wow. I haven’t blogged in forever. Since 2014 to be precise. How time flies! I think I’ve lost the same 20 pounds at least 5 times since then. Twenty seems to be my trigger number. As soon as I lose it, I start to self-sabotage. In fact, I’m not sure it’s actually self-sabotage or exhaustion. I fight myself for each and every pound. What I mean by that is that I struggle (as sooooo many of us do) with cravings for foods that aren’t necessarily healthy (and why ISN’T pizza healthy?). Constant battle. “Don’t eat that, it’s in opposition to your goals.” This is a running mantra. Living in a state of constant strife (with my bad food angel) is exhausting.

I’m determined that this time will be different. I’ve done a much better job at altering my food. By that I mean, I pretty much eat the same things Monday-Friday because I hate cooking and I batch cook or buy something (like pre-packaged salads) and then eat it all week. (If I’m going to eat healthy, it had better be easy; if it isn’t, I know I’ll make less-than-ideal choices.) Unfortunately, my weekends tend to negate any losses I had during the week. Ugh. Stalemate.

I guess I’m curious about how any of you have trained yourselves to see food more as fuel and not something to enjoy. LOL That didn’t come out quite right. I just can’t imagine ever enjoying a roasted chicken breast and roasted veggies more than I enjoy a well-crafted cheeseburger. I suspect therein lies part of the problem.

I’ve conquered my “what to do for dinner on a late work night” (and it doesn’t involve eating out). My routine works for me, but I need to stop viewing weekends as freedom from the grind/prison of healthy eating. I need to see eating healthy NOT as a grind/prison. How do you get there?

I know when I was running regularly, I reached a point where I could actually tell the difference in my performance (which was by no means elite) when I ate well versus when I ate yummy crap. A severe case of plantar fasciitis (which took 2 years to heal) put the kibosh on running. I’m starting to walk more vigorously now, and I want to build up to running again, but until then…I need to win the food fight.

I’m not feeling discouraged or anything. I’m not going to quit, but I’m interested in ideas on how many of you changed the way you think about food and, therefore, changed your world.

"Change your thoughts, and you change your world." --Norman Vincent Peale
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    URBANREDNEK: If you get this, I couldn't access your page. I wanted to thank you for your comments. I totally get what you're saying...but I hate cooking (pretty sure I'd prefer pulling my own tooth than cooking). I know how to cook. Have been told I'm a good cook. I just hate the process and the cleanup. I don't mind the step, with a liner mean little cleanup. As for the chicken...I do put a little dab of sweet chili sauce on it, so it's not entirely bland. I LOVE baking, but alas, cakes, custards, pies, etc are not conducive to weight loss. Perhaps once I achieve my goal and can maintain it will be easier to cook and have healthy alternatives. Right now, most healthy substitutions for "bad" food still have too many calories. I may hit you up for your pizza sauce though! emoticon
    1283 days ago
    Urbanrednek is on the path I'm on, so I'll just second that response!

    I find cooking my own food to be key to enjoying what I eat and eating healthfully. Yes you can cook unhealthy food, but there are so many ways to prepare great tasting food that doesn't break the calorie bank. And it's fun (for me, at least) to try new recipes, and find new favorites.

    And also, not every meal is healthy, sometimes the indulgence is worth it, but overall the diet is delicious and health promoting.
    1283 days ago
    Personally, I enjoy food too much to have any desire to downgrade it to just "fuel" status. That said, though, I eat mostly healthy because those foods are what taste the best to me, and they are the ones that I most enjoy. I had to learn to cook (and now love cooking!) in order to find healthier foods that are made to suit my preferences and my tastes --- and to find the easiest way to make them. There is nothing so boring as plain, roasted chicken breasts (get them in to a lemon wine sauce, at least, or do a tomato / onion / garlic / ham stuffing --- anything for some flavour!), and there was no way I'd resign myself to having that even temporarily, so it just made sense to ignore the stereotypes and make healthy food that I think is delicious. I look at the actual nutrient content of foods (and not at their "reputation" of being "good" or "bad"), and plan for meals that meet all my nutrient needs for the week (vitamins and minerals included - not just the calories and macros). Once all nutrient needs are met, then any extra calories needed get to be filled with whatever I am in the mood for - "healthy" or not!

    For me, a well-crafted cheeseburger can be just as healthy as any other option - it is a matter of the right ingredients, the right preparation, the right sides, and the right proportions. My cheeseburger is 1/3 lb of fresh ground sirloin (or elk or moose or bison), topped with just 1/3 oz of really good aged cheddar or stilton or another flavourful cheese (don't need much when it has so much flavour!), and will include grilled veggies and fruits as condiments (think elk burger with grilled pear slices, some havarti, and a bit of cran raspberry compote on top). The bun is homemade sourdough whole-grain with a lots of fibre and nutrients and a great "bite" to complement the meat, and the sides are all baked or grilled veggies with infused olive oil or a kickin' balsamic vinegar. Total meal is around 650-750 calories, but I most often end up eating only half of the burger since I'm too full to finish (dropping the meal by about 300 calories - which I'll have the next day for breakfast). It IS a bigger meal, but is highly nutritious and fits in easily to my weekly caloric needs. The beef (or wild meat) has far more actual nutrient content than chicken (and I need the iron and B-12), so I make sure that it is a regular part of our diet.

    As for pizza - I make my own crusts (prefer thin, cracker-like crusts and I do batches of 5 at a time then freeze), my own sauce, and include lots of veggies in the toppings. There are minimal unhealthy fats, tons of nutrients from the onions / mushrooms / spinach / tomatoes / garlic / etc. Again, I use strong cheese so that I need very little of it, flavourful meats for the same reason, and I keep the portions down so that I can enjoy some veggies on the side - either in a salad or a soup. Honestly, it's low enough in calories and easy enough to be a pretty standard meal for us any day of the week.

    From my experience, I'd say that you might have more success by learning to enjoy cooking and playing in the kitchen to craft some healthy meals that you absolutely love on the weekends --- and leave the "food is fuel" deal for justifying the easy and convenient batched meals that you eat all week. "Healthy" can taste way better than "crap" - it's just a matter of finding the healthiest options that suit YOU.

    Good luck - and have fun with it!
    1283 days ago
    emoticon blog!

    I'm afraid I haven't really "won the war" yet. I haven't been feeling that great, so I've just been trying not to overeat. I haven't been counting calories, or avoiding all the yummy foods. I still eat donuts on Sunday, when my brother gets them on sale. So I'm not sure I would be the one to ask! I'm thinking of giving the donuts up, but I don't feel quite ready yet.

    Well, I am a vegetarian. In the beginning, I started out avoiding red meat. Have you tried turkey burgers? You might like them! I did, but I cut them out after a while, since I was becoming a vegetarian. But I really preferred ground turkey to ground beef. Some people say bison is better for you than even turkey. If you knew the calories in the cheeseburger that you like to eat would it make a difference? It might!

    If you post this on the message boards, you'd probably get a bigger response. And more helpful advice!
    Diet and Nutrition Message Board
    1283 days ago
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