Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20th

Skinny? TINY? (also, it's more challenging now)

Lately, some very kind folks have described me as 'skinny,' and even 'tiny.' To be fair, the person who used the term 'tiny' may have had a couple of margaritas. Now, I certainly appreciate the kindness, BUT, those terms do not apply to me quite fairly at 6' (okay okay okay 5' 11") and 197 pounds. Since dropping 30 pounds, I have been wondering at what point I really would be skinny, and how much more weight do I really need to lose? Should I go for an even 50? Would I look good at 177 or would I look like Skeletor? If I looked like Skeletor would I like that? Actually I just did a google image search for Skeletor and it turns out he's not skinny, he's uber buff - weird for a skeleton. Okay, so, at 177 would I be gaunt? Is it even possible? Am I rambling? Oh hell to the yes I am. I suppose the most reasonable thing to do would be to keep eating this way and exercising and just see what happens.

For years now I've bought XL and XXL shirts. Many years ago I went through a phase where I bought all my shirts at one of those 'big and tall' men's stores, and picked everything in at least a 4X, if not a 5X or even 6X. Was I weighing in at 300+? Nope, I was about 235. Clearly, I have body image issues. In the past decade I've at times been at a size where a L would have been okay. This week I bought a MEDIUM t-shirt. It's a stretch for me - no, I don't mean I'm stretching it out, I mean it's a stretch for me to wear a shirt that touches me all the way around, at least lightly, instead of flapping like a sail.

I'm going on 3 months now of not eating meat and dairy. A few weeks in, I grilled 30 cheeseburgers for the local middle school soccer team, which was an engagement I agreed to prior to my big dietary makeover. The experience was not pleasant, the burgers looked yucky, and I had no temptation to eat them. A couple weeks ago I had the second of such engagements, and this time the burgers looked intoxicating. The aroma and texture of the worthless white bread hamburger buns, the sizzle of the cow flesh, the rich look of the thick slices of cheddar cheese....breathtaking. No, I didn't partake, not even a nibble? Know why? Because I realized I didn't want one, I wanted THREE, at LEAST. That's a problem. Moderation and me are not exactly on close terms when it comes to junky food. Then a couple days ago I went to a potluck with my coworkers and I had fried chicken, huge deli sandwiches, and large hunks of BBQ sausage - meaning, I had those things available to me, didn't eat any of it though. It was hard! I felt like an alcoholic at an open bar. Happily, I had brought lentil chili and someone else brought some unadulterated fruit.

My wife and I have been discussing how we are getting a little bored with how we're eating. What we'll need to do is read more recipes, and learn more skills. For me, the temptation to go back to meat and dairy kinda dies away every time I consider how that might take me back to the land of 230 pounds.

Since the middle of last week when the Engine 2 Diet site was kind enough to publish a guest blog that I wrote, LOTS more people have read my humble little blog here, and I've had so many wonderful comments! Thank you all so much! Feel free to keep the suggestions coming for other animal free food ideas coming!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bacon and Gatorade

My oldest boy went from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts this year, and with that change came the prospect of weekend camp outs on a monthly basis. Also, the prospect of me going along on said camp outs...I figured I should check in with the troop leader (a significantly overweight man, with a son in the troop that was on the road toward being even more overweight than his dad) about what the boys eat on those weekends for two reasons, 1) my kid had cancer, so we don't have him eat a bunch of sugary processed crap, figuring he should have fruit and veggies instead, and 2) I sure wanted to know for my own sake. Here's what I found out from the troop leader - the boys that lead the patrols are in charge of the menu and the cooking. I asked 'so, if the boys choose to bring nothing but Pop Tarts and hot dogs...?' and he said "we allow them to fail, it's part of the learning process for them." Stunning. Strangely enough, they don't have that same 'learning from failure' ideal in place at the gun range. He did say though that we could certainly bring along food of our own.

We took a cooler with fruit and vegetables for both of us, and some bread, avocado, cereal, and hummus for me. Guess who else had fruit and veggies at the camp site? NO ONE. Saturday morning my son's patrol leader did not do a headcount, and as a result my son missed breakfast - a breakfast of bacon and gatorade. That's it. That is a FANTASTIC way to eat in the morning to be ready for a full day of activity in the sun! Suffice it to say, I had a bunch of fruit and such to give my boy, along with plenty of water. For lunch the boys had meat sandwiches, and again I doled out some fruit. One of the dads who attended roasted a whole pig for the troop to eat that night for dinner. What went with it? Rice and beans - white rice with zero nutritional value, and canned black beans with loads of sodium, cooked with an excess of olive oil. My spinach and avocado salad was really good.

Yes, I know Scouting and camp outs are not just about food, BUT, I would think that since part of the Scout motto is "I will keep myself physically fit," then some level of appropriate guidance in how to eat would be a worthy idea? They have the boys work on calisthenics, but say nothing about how to fuel their bodies in order to do the calisthenics! Perhaps other troops do it better, or at least I hope so.