Thursday, December 27, 2012

Food: Losing Weight the Tasty Way

So around Thanksgiving, the dear FussyFoodie Husband and I looked down at our stomachs in abject horror.  The problem: we both have a gut.  Hubby has only a tiny little paunch, being the exerciser that he is, but I look downright almost-pregnant.  My size 16 jeans are no longer my "fat" jeans.  Yeah, I'm admitting this because I have hope that there might be a single reader out there that is NOT a family member or friend of mine who knows who I am.  And family and friends who read this?  Yeah, you read right.  I am a whopping size 16, up from my size 00 days of high school.  I'm not humiliated to admit this, merely ready to get rid of it and get down to a healthy weight, say a size 8 or so.  00 was way too underweight, and I know this.  But 16 is too overweight.  8 was about right for my 5'8" frame, and it is my goal.

The official goal?  Lose a pound a week until next Christmas.  I have lost 7 pounds so far, but I virtually guarantee that I have a net loss of about 4 pounds now that the holidays have hit en masse in terms of food.  Yes, I have been careful, but it's hard not to have the occasional cookie or dessert.  Or prime rib (Boxing Day dinner!).  Or filet mignon (Christmas dinner!).  I did guard my portion sizes, and I can honestly say I have only had 6 Christmas cookies this year.  And I enjoyed every single one.

The secret to my willpower came from something the great and venerable Jim Parsons said on a late-night talk show appearance (the show eludes me right now) about how he quit smoking.  His doctor basically told him that he could still smoke, but to make sure to really enjoy every cigarette.  And he found that he was smoking less and less because he was taking time to be mindful of his smoking and his enjoyment.  Soon a pack a day became a cigarette a day.  And then the cigarette a day became a cigarette a week.  And then he forgot to smoke.  I am trying to do the same approach with food: every bite I put into my mouth I have to feel good about.  That doesn't necessarily mean skipping dessert, but it does mean REALLY ENJOYING every bite of dessert that I eat, and if I find I'm no longer really enjoying it, I stop eating.  Want to know the crazy thing?  It's working.  I'm eating less and less, and feeling good about myself.  Yes, I am eating more this set of holiday eating with larger portions than I normally have, but you know what?  If I gain a few pounds during the holidays, I know it isn't the end of the world.  I can always lose them again through maintaining smaller portions and urge-surfing after the holidays are over.

There is an interesting book out on this philosophy now called Eating Mindfully that goes into this philosophy more.  No, I haven't read the whole thing, but reading the synopsis of it on has made me aware that this is exactly what I've been trying to do.  I don't want to give up carbs forever.  I love carbs, especially pasta and sourdough bread and rice, oh my!  But I do want to be proud of my food choices and, as a FussyFoodie, live up to my name by enjoying food more.  I mean, have you ever REALLY concentrated when you ate a piece of excellent chocolate?  The experience is delicious.

And that, other than the 4 miles a day dog walk plus treadmill plus pilates, is how I plan to lose weight in the coming year.  I plan to continue posting in here with healthy recipes that taste delicious, restaurant reviews, etc.  And I probably will post as often as I have time.  In other news, now that my psychiatrist has found the right medication cocktail, I have this sudden urge to live life to the fullest again, and a lot of that means I'm not sitting at home surfing the computer as much, though my facebook friends might argue to the contrary.  (I'm still on there, just for smaller durations of time!)

May you all have a wonderful rest of Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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