Sunday, October 11, 2009

Like Riding a Bike

I had to take my health evaluation for our insurance this week. It is a ridiculously sucky procedure that I dread every year, but it only takes a few minutes and we get a break just for doing it. So it's an absolutely necessary evil. Usually when anyone in any sort of authority sees my weight, they hit me with a goal of losing about 130 pounds. Good Lord. I can't lose 130 pounds. That's a whole person. That's insane. That's just too much and it's too hard. But this evaluation suggested that I try to lose 60 pounds this year. 60 pounds by this time next year. That's a goal that sounds reasonable to me. And I really am tired of lugging all of this around. 60 pounds by this time next year and they'll say, "Good job! Goal reached!" You know, right before they set another goal... but still...I'm keeping my eye on that number - not the much more difficult to attain 130.

I can't exercise (post surgery) for another 2 weeks. I can walk now, but I fatigue pretty quickly. I still might try to go to the park some afternoon this week. Take it slow. Rest on the benches if I need to. Maybe don't try for the full 4 miles right away. Baby steps, baby steps.

But there's nothing to stop me from dieting right away. Tom wants to be healthier. Liv wants to be healthier. Lea will be eating a lot of cereal and PBJ's, because she has no desire to be healthier at all. Even as I was planning the menus and shopping list for the week, I could hear her saying, "Oh, GROSS!!!" She'll have to get used to it.

I know I'm not supposed to say 'dieting'. I'm supposed to say 'lifestyle change'. I wish I could see it that way. But it feels like a diet. So far. One day in. That decadent - eat anything you want because you're already fat so what's gonna happen plus this is how you are and people need to accept that - attitude is - well hell - it's pretty liberating. I loved looking at a menu and choosing what I wanted rather than what I thought I ought to have.


Day one.

We went out for lunch. I perused the menu for the healthiest item. It was good. It was even filling. But I wanted a cheeseburger with guacamole. So I didn't leave the restaurant hungry (by any means), but I left it feeling deprived. Not a very good first step. But it was surprising how easy it was to remember little things like slowing down and having a sip of water between each bite. (Ok, Diet Coke, but I'm making no apologies for that. I only have it when we're out and I knew I wasn't getting out for another week. That's a legitimate thing, in my book. That's my logic and I'm sticking with it.)

After lunch and a couple errands, I made a menu and a shopping list. I have an arsenal of healthy cookbooks. The panic in Lea's eyes when I pulled them out as a group during menu planning was palpable. I tried to choose things that were high taste. I took two meals from the Fast Food Fix cookbook, which is a godsend. She MIGHT eat those two, anyway. But I made sure there was PB and cereal.

I looked at my grocery list with SO MANY items on it and thought, shit, I'm gonna go way over my weekly budget on this stuff that I'm just gonna hear complaints about every day and that is gonna suck big. But you know what? I was just a smidge over budget. Not bad at all.

When the bag boy helped me load my groceries into my trunk, he said I looked like a great cook. First impulse? "What the hell does THAT mean? Girl packs a couple extra (people's worth of) pounds on and you make assumptions?" Thank goodness I didn't say that, because he was referring to the sheer volume of fresh produce. He asked what I was making with a few of the items I had and said it sounded really good. I wish he was gonna be at my dinner table, because I doubt my family will share his enthsiasm. Tom might. He'll try, anyway. He knows it's good for us. And he's been trying harder than I have to make good choices for the past couple weeks.

I know how to do this.

I know aesthetics are important. A pretty presentation goes a long way towards making one feel less deprived. Drink that water from crystal rather than a tumbler and it's a treat to look forward to. Take the extra step to make the plate look pretty. Garnish.

I know all of this.

I can do this.

It's like riding a bike.

Which is another thing I'll try to do in a couple weeks.

Breakfast time. Good bye pancakes with real maple syrup. Hello oatmeal.


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