Results … Month #13

Not a typo!
Unfortunately!!!

I just can’t believe it, I weigh exactly what I did this time last month. I can’t even get the same weight on the scale twice during a single day, never mind over the course of a shaggin’ month. At least I didn’t put on weight, but this whole project is supposed to be about weight loss, so what happened over the course of the last month?

Summer is the time of salads & walking on the beach, it should be the easiest time of the year to lose weight. Not!

My story, & my excuse, for this pretty shoddy result is that I was trying to shop local. In fact, I was trying to find a local beer. I wanted a “favourite” beer made by a company that is locally owned, & not by one of the big international brewers. I have nothing against the big guys, I like a lot of their stuff, but I did want to have a couple of favourites among the small, local brewers too. Craft brewing is big everywhere these days, of course, but I’m struggling to find a couple or three beers that I really like. I don’t know what’s going on with all these fruit & chocolate flavoured brews, I just want a bloody beer-flavoured beer. And no, it doesn’t have to be screaming hops, or some other bloody ingredient, at me either. Is that too much to ask for?

Anyway, sitting amongst hordes of millennials, all of them sipping pink & cranberry coloured brews, with cinnamon sticks & orange slices hanging off the glasses, I tried beer after beer. They’re not all bad but I haven’t found the one yet. You know the one I mean, that one that is so good that you have to have a couple of dozen in the beer fridge, at all times, in order to avoid the constant worry that you might be running low. So … & only very reluctantly, I assure you … I might have to continue this beer investigation through the month of August too!

I think I might not be a wine drinker. Now that doesn’t meant that I haven’t drunk a glass or two of wine in my time. And I’ll probably drink a few more going forward. But really, is it just me, or doesn’t most of it taste like shite!?! That said, I’ve had a few glasses that I’ve enjoyed along the way so, never one to give up, I will persist until I find that perfect red & that perfect white. Here again, I’m looking for a local product. I still have a lot of work to do on this wine front yet. So maybe another project for the month of August.

And of course, when you’re testing beers & wines, you need to eat some stuff that you mightn’t normally eat. To mop up all that excess alcohol swishing around inside you, as it were. The old French fry is a great tool for that & you can get them everywhere, can’t you!?!

On the bright side of things, the good news is that it looks like I’ll be able to integrate beer & wine into my regular diet & not balloon up again.
Sure, isn’t that only great news!!! 🙂

PS … I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer & if you have any recommendations on the beer & wine front, send them my way!

Weight Loss & Being Frugal

A nice bowl of stoup!

This isn’t about comparing the relative costs of grass-fed beef against factory-farmed meat. Nor is it comparing the merits and pricing of organic veggies to those herbicide and pesticide-laden choices we sometimes make. This is about the challenge of sticking to a diet when you’ve been endowed with the frugality gene. And I am so endowed with the frugality gene!

Being raised in a household where “clean your plate” was a dinner time mantra, I learned my lessons well. Perhaps too well. I struggle to leave that token amount on the plate. What a waste of good food, I just can’t do it! My habits are more to the contrary, and I’ll mop up whatever residue remains on the plate with just one more bread roll. Buttered, heavily, of course. Now that I mostly don’t eat bread, I have nothing to mop up my plate with. And I haven’t reached the point of licking the plate yet! But I have transferred the expression of my frugality gene to the fridge.

As we approach garbage day, I start surveying any foods that are likely to wind up in the garbage. Or that I know will not be consumed by other members of the household. I feel obliged to consume such foods. And I often do it in the form of a stoup. A dish that is too thin to be stew. Yet too thick to be soup.

My latest stoup was an Irish-German-Mexican-Thai fusion! Garlic & onion, sauteed in the bottom of a large pot starts the process. Add a liter of (organic, as it happens!) chicken broth to the pot. One large, peeled & sliced, potato as a thickener for the broth. Then I go hunting through the fridge. A full head of cabbage, excellent! A bunch of ignored cilantro. Half a dozen wieners that somehow survived a barbecue. Oh look, a little bowl of leftover mashed potato! And another chicken broth container, with a little less than half the contents remaining. A quick smell … yep, that’s good too. Good job I had that extra mashed potato to thicken up all that extra liquid! A couple of slices of cooked bacon. Wash the inside of that German mustard jar with a little broth & in that goes to the pot. Another half an onion in a container. And … wait for it … half a tub of sour cream! Season that pot with some salt, pepper, some other weird condiment mixes & then … a spoon of curry powder. Absolutely essential that.
Oops, now I’m short some liquid. Can’t spoil the pot by adding water, can I? But a can of coconut milk will do the trick!

I can tell you that this was quite delicious. And I should also admit that that one cute little bowl of stoup in the pic wasn’t all I ate!

It probably wasn’t the perfect dish to have on what should have been a low-carb day. Though I’m sure I’ve done worse. But, being frugal, I’m forced to eat all those leftover foods that others (all of them skinny!) won’t eat. It’s just not fair!

But … with all the money I’ve saved … we’re going out & I’m going to treat myself to a nice steak dinner now! 🙂

Fat & Broken .. but Functional?

Beer or Wine? Mmmm!?!

There has been a big movement decrying fat shaming in recent years and that’s a good thing. It’s sadly typical of the screwed-up society we live in, that men are more “tolerated” for being fat than women. That doesn’t mean we don’t feel the pain sometimes too.

And I do.

These days, we are encouraged to accept ourselves for who we, and as we are. That too is a good thing.

But what if I can’t?

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a store window. Or maybe it’s a pic (Please, God, don’t let them post that online!) on a friend’s phone. And I’m shocked. For the most part I don’t actively notice such things. I carry on with my life, making my best effort to not think about my condition. But, every now and then, I see myself with horrifying clarity. And I am just that … horrified. For some short period of time, I am devastated. Is that really me? How could I have let this happen?

I grew up in a time and place where the definition of good parenting was a little different than it is today. Negative comparisons with our peers was often considered a good motivational strategy. And indeed, for some, it was. Regardless of its impact on my emotional development, I was sometimes motivated to change. Even today, I “happily” berate myself, in the hope of triggering some action.

And … sometimes … it works.

I guess I’m broken. Aren’t we all! Should I go and get it fixed? I don’t think so, it’s not serious enough for that.
Unless it’s the cause of me being fat in the first place!?!
No, that would be a nice excuse but I know that’s not it. Or at least it’s not all of the problem.
But is it okay to use this childhood affliction to motivate adult weight loss?

Occasionally,so long as it’s not bringing me down, I think it is. And, every now & again, I will use a good self-berating session to challenge myself to get back on track.

Such a pity it doesn’t work all the time.

Sometimes, I’ll instead just challenge myself to deciding between whether I’ll have a pint or a glass of wine!!! 🙂

Results … Month #12

Happy Dietary Birthday to me!

It’s early morning, & despite the rain & the grey day I’m looking at, I am so happy to be down 43.2 lbs for the year!!!

I’m going to gloss over the fact that I lost 33.8 lbs in the first 6 months. While only losing 9.4 lbs in the last 6 months. Who cares! I’m down 43.2 lbs for the year!

It probably no surprise that I would lose more in the first 6 months, than in the following 6. But the difference is a little more than might be expected. However … I have some great excuses! Moving house, some added job stuff, that hospital stay. There were a few stressful events that influenced the last 6 months so that’s what I’m blaming the slowdown on. It has absolutely nothing to do with my addiction to my homemade ice cream. Nor the fact that my French fry days have increased a little. Okay, a lot! It couldn’t have anything to do with the bias shifting heavily slightly from dark to milk chocolate, could it!?! LOL

Today is also Canada Day & I’m hoping that rain clears up. Because there’s a big Ribfest going on. And now that I’ve weighed in already, I don’t care how much sugar they’ve got in that BBQ sauce … I’m going out to do some serious damage to some brisket & ribs!

It doesn’t matter where you are, I’d like to share the warmth & joy of this holiday spirit with everyone …

Happy Canada Day to all!

I’ve learned a lot over the course of the past 12 months. The biggest thing I think I’ve learned is what my diet might look like when I decide to stop “dieting”. And I think it’s good! Of course, the job isn’t done yet. There is still a long way to go. But the journey began with a single step. And now, down 43.2 lbs, those steps are getting a little easier to take. I think I’m almost looking forward to seeing what will happen over the next year. I am cautiously optimistic. Putting aside the visit to Ribfest today, I’m ready to tackle the new year. One day & one month at a time.

Wish me luck!

Back to Normal?

My Drugs of Choice!

Is it possible that only a week of fentanyl and hydromorphone use, prescribed & while in hospital, could result in withdrawal symptoms?

I’m scared of drugs. I mostly choose to put up with a headache, rather than take an over-the-counter medication. I prefer to let a fever run its course, over taking something that might reduce my temperature. I generally try to avoid antibiotics. Don’t get me wrong, I will take prescription drugs if my doctor tells me it’s essential. I just don’t want to mindlessly, nor needlessly, take them. I figure that my body, despite how poorly I treat it, will know best how to handle most minor afflictions. That philosophy went out the window with my recent attack of pancreatitis. I couldn’t wait for the medical professionals to stuff a fire-hose into my vein. The pain was excruciating and I didn’t care what they had to do to make it go away!

After two or three days, I passed on a refill. I wanted to see if the pain was manageable without drugs. The logic being that pain serves a purpose. If I move, and I feel pain, then perhaps I shouldn’t be moving in that particular way. The test worked. I still hurt. Stick that thing back in my arm again, please!

Next day, I skipped another dose. It hurt, but not so much. I was switched to the oral versions. Overnight, inadvertent turns triggered pain and disrupted my sleep. I wanted to be oblivious, so I took the overnight doses too. When I finally came out of hospital, I was depressed. I was missing my gallbladder. I felt sure that if I’d had time, I could have figured out a dietary solution. I regretted not having had a chance to do that. But I couldn’t risk another attack. Imagine if that happened while travelling. I thought the, potentially unnecessary, loss of my gallbladder was the cause of my melancholia.

While I had to get back to grinding through my work days, I wasn’t enthused about much else. It is only a few days ago that I started to feel like my usual self. Notice too, the length of time between this post and my last. That’s just not me. With the return to my “normal”, I can’t help but wonder if, as much as I missed my gallbladder, was I missing those drugs more?

Scary stuff, those drugs. I think I’ll carry on steering clear of them. And, I hope, hospitals.

Now if I could just develop a similar attitude towards cigarettes!