Results … Month #9

Results … Month #9

Results Month 9

I changed this month’s animated pic. Typically it would have proclaimed that I was “Down 32 lbs“, since I started the program. Instead, this month’s says that I “Gained 8 lbs“. I am keeping the Results post heading consistent but I didn’t want to hide the fact that this month’s efforts resulted in a pretty big weight gain. The first time that’s happened.

Of course, what I really wanted to do was scream out …

What a total loser! Or maybe it should be … What a total gainer!

What I said, after stepping on the scale this morning, was a tad worse. I won’t repeat it here. But you might be surprised to hear that I deliberately brought this all upon myself.

I had scheduled June for a bread test month. A couple of opportunities for some good bread eating turned up at the beginning of last month, so I flipped it to March. I have managed to work a lot of things back into my diet & I really wanted to see if I could integrate bread again. Why?

Because I love bread, of course!

For an entire month, I ate bread. Sometimes in controlled doses, at other times with abandon. And that wasn’t quite what my original intention was. It got so messy, so quickly, that I really haven’t learned anything new from what should have been a month of measured bread eating. I was so out of control that I was blaming eating bread for the slice of chocolate cake that followed. And for the bag of chips I scarfed while watching the big game on Saturday morning. For most of the month, bread was being blamed for everything. It was a total fiasco. I was, all at once, stressed, depressed, anxious & furious. And stuffed. It was all bread’s fault. It certainly wasn’t mine!

Was I anxious & depressed because I was eating all that bread? Or was it the anxiety that had me eating more bread than I intended? The whole month was so out of control that I didn’t know which came first … the chicken or the egg?

In fact, I didn’t care if it was the chicken or the egg, so long as they were between two slices of well-buttered bread!

Not only have I gained 8 lbs over the past month, but I’ve learned little to nothing from the experience. So I’ll have to do the bread month again. Properly this time. Just not anytime soon!

Now, a new month, a new start. It’s April. Maybe I’ll quit bread & smoking at the same time for the day that’s in it!?!

Happy Fool’s Day to all.

Unfortunately, I’m not foolin’ about the weight gain for March. It’s real.

Get Fat Like the Cat!

Get Fat Like the Cat!The Fat Cat

At the weekend, our pet store was sold out of the grain-free cat food so we picked up a small bag of the regular stuff, to tide us over. That word “regular” is potentially one of the most dangerous words in the modern North American vernacular. We talk about regular sugar, for example, as opposed to sweeteners. It lends an air of acceptability and normality to things that might not necessarily be acceptable, nor normal, given our genetic inheritance.

As kids growing up in the countryside, our pets were free to move between the house and the great outdoors. We fed them table scraps and all sorts of foods that might be frowned upon by pet lovers today. Indeed, our parents weren’t impressed with our food disposal techniques back then either! However, given freedom of choice, animals are a little smarter than humans. It wasn’t unusual to find dead birds, rabbits and mice at our back door. These pets still knew how to eat a more natural diet, and they went hunting when they’d had enough of human junk food.

Now, as city dwellers, we feed our house-confined pets from bags of processed food bits. Yes, they have pretty pictures of salmon fillets and prime cuts of chicken on the bag, but some pet foods are heavily biased towards grain. Eating such foods, our cat got fat. No, our little kitten was obese! So we switched to the grain-free foods and … wonder of wonders … out kitty slimmed down a bit. She is still overweight. But I think it’s fair to say that she’s no longer at the kitty BMI level of obese.

We typically feed our kitty twice a day, morning and evening. Like all hungry pets, she nibbles enthusiastically when her bowl is first filled. But then she saunters off to lazily perform her morning ablutions. She’ll wander back and forth to the bowl for an occasional nibble so that her morning bowl probably survives ’til about lunch time. Her evening bowl usually has some few leftover pieces that will survive ’til the following morning.

I noticed that her morning bowl of this new bag of grain-based food was gone within the first hour!

Is it possible that cats can’t have just one cookie either!?!

And isn’t it funny how we like to feed our pets a healthier diet than we sometimes feed ourselves! 🙂

Dieting on the Road

Dieting on the Road

Tandoori Platter

It’s not as challenging to eat “well” on the road as we dieters like to imagine. I’m not talking about going the chicken salad route (hold the chicken skin, the croutons, the dressing and the dried fruit & nut pieces) … you can do that if you want but that’s not how I diet!

Yes, you have to have some dialogue with the server. And yes, they’ll probably think you’re a bit of a pain. But better that than blow the diet. Again!

On the road last week, I was led towards an Indian restaurant this particular evening. And that was just fine by me. I pretty much love all food but if you forced me to pick just one national cuisine, I might have to go with Indian. As it happened, I was on a low-carb regimen that particular day. Oh boy!

I love rice, naan, samosa & pakora but those were not going to be allowed today. Yes, there were salad options. And yes, there were vegetarian dishes aplenty. But I was drawn to the Tandoori Platter. Right away, the word platter promises a gut-busting feast of goodies. And it was. Beef, chicken, lamb, shrimp and who knows what else. There were some token veggies in there too, just to assuage any little fear I might entertain of it being an unhealthy choice. One of the key reasons for this choice was that it didn’t come with a sauce, Tandoori dishes are dry spiced. And I refused to ask about their spice recipe … just in case there were any bad ingredients in there that would have forced me to order that chicken salad! I do love those sauces, by the way, but there’s always some bad stuff hiding in them. And today was to be as sugar & starch-free as any reasonable road warrior could make it.

The bottom line was that it was delicious. I was stuffed. And I was sufficiently fortified to resisted all the starchy temptations offered by my dining companions!

But did it work?

I don’t know!

I’ll have to wait for the official end-of-month weigh-in on October 1st to see how it all plays out. Though I might have been grateful that I didn’t have my scale with me during my travels!

 

The Chicken or the Egg?

SunriseWhen it come to what to eat, the short answer is both. But leave the skin on the chicken! That, however, isn’t the topic. Stress eating is. Do we eat because we’re stressed or depressed? Or does bad eating cause the stress & depression? That may be as difficult to answer as to whether the chicken or the egg came first.

One thing my wife knows for sure is that I’m a far nicer guy when I’m eating well. Now my own opinion is that I’m a nice guy regardless of my diet! But I have to admit … I do feel better when I’m eating well. I don’t mean that when I’m eating less, just when I’m eating real, whole, good food. The association between depression & diet is one that has long been made. Very often, studies are done on the basis of who’s funding what. Or which dietary program is trying to prove it’s the best. But long before diets were a marketable commodity, people realised that there was a dietary influence on mood.

I’ve been eating better for a month & a half now. Is it just coincidence that I’m getting up early, and far more often, to catch more sunrises? The therapeutic benefits of those early mornings by the water give me a shot of calm that endures for the greater part of most of those days. Feeling less stressed can help with weight loss too. Which of those came first? Did I have to be less stressed & depressed in order to jump out of bed early? Or did I overcome the “stuff” to get down to the water a time or two before the stress reduction cut in?

It’s all a bit circular, isn’t it? But it probably doesn’t really matter. Because the two things I am sure of are these …

I am better for eating better.

And I am better for the water & sunrise therapy.

I can highly recommend both. And if you didn’t make it up early today, here’s a pic of my morning sunrise for you. Don’t fret if you missed it, there’s always tomorrow.

And please … take a little time to enjoy your day.