Well, hello there!
Yup, been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve been living up to that XKCD comic once again. Trying to catch you up all in one go might be a bit much (or it might not, I’m not sure I’m that interesting), so I’ll just try to throw some tidbits at you as we go along.
One thing I’m particularly tickled over is that little chart to the right. If you view this post on my own site, you’ll see I’ve added a weight-loss tracker to my page. Back in September, Cindy and I both hit a point where we were just…fed-up 1)no pun intended with our general health and the feeling that almost everything else in our lives seemed to come before that one most simple, precious thing.
I haven’t discussed it on this site, or really anywhere else before, but last year around this time my father passed away. A ‘sudden cardiac episode’ is really the only term I remember – I kind of stopped listening much after that. My dad was 68, and was older than either of my grandfathers or my uncle when they died. And yet, just one more generation back, men in my family were reaching their eighties.
So here’s me. I turned 40 this year. I weighed 350 (although, over the past couple of years I’ve reached 363 at my max). My doctor has tried to get me on blood pressure medication (“you’re borderline, and with your family history…”), but it doesn’t stick. Or rather, I don’t stick with it. He’s put me on thyroid, to try and relive the stress my weight places on that…and just recently suggested a common diabetic medication because my blood sugar had passed 100, and he wanted to relieve my pancreas before full blown diabetes could set in.
I’d managed to ignore my blood pressure, but diabetes? I knew…knew it wasn’t possible. I’d just been eating too much sugar lately, that must be it. So I stopped and thought about it, and I realized…every day for the past several weeks I’d been eating donuts (usually apple fritters, or cinnamon rolls) for breakfast. Candy bars and pastries from the vending machine during the day. And 2-3 20oz cokes a day.
“See?” I was supposed to say, “that’s not normal.” But it was. It may only have been a few weeks, but it was the habit I’d settled into. And that has been my life the past many years: finding and settling into bad habits. Usually periods of excess, followed by remorse and giving up a few things. That’s why I’ve fluctuated between 350 & 360 the past couple of years. As I see the needle creep upwards, I feel guilty…I promise to change…
If you’ve struggled with your weight like me, you’ll recognize this. We do this constantly. We often think there will be a sudden change, a lightning bolt out of the blue that will wake us up, and get us on the right path for good. And possibly, what I’m writing here sounds like that…but I’m not sure it is. I didn’t wake up Sept 1st and say to myself, “that’s it! I MUST CHANGE!”
It’s more like…I felt myself walking down this road, and every so often I’d realize it was getting darker, so I’d go back a ways…but it’s up hill. It’s difficult. And frankly, I can keep going down the road with my eyes closed. I paused on this road, and took a good, hard look ahead. I don’t want to go forward, I don’t want what’s waiting for me that direction.
Turning back and climbing the hill behind me had proven too challenging in the past, so I looked for an alternative. I had to face…myself. I’m lazy, resistant to change, and apt to take the path of least resistance. So I made that my new path. I’d heard of a place through work, called My Fit Foods. Somewhere between a restaurant and grocer, I guess…they make complete meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Divided into three simple sizes (small, medium and large), choosing a size is all you need to fix your daily caloric intake. The meals are simple, lean, low-glycemic, etc., etc…Honestly, I don’t even have to think about it. Oh, I read the all the details at first…years of failed dieting has taught me what to look for, and what to avoid. What sells me on this plan is:
- It’s pre-balanced for all the nutritional guidelines appropriate for good health, and safe weight loss.
- It’s made of real food, prepared simply. Nothing is frozen, just refrigerated. So we’re eating freshly made meals every 3 or 4 days, max. I think the most esoteric thing I’ve seen so far has been brown-rice pasta. 95% of the ingredients would come from the produce, meat or dairy sections of your grocery store. Very little would come from a box or can.
- It offers variety for each meal type – hot and cold breakfasts, and lunches and dinners built around different proteins – chicken, beef, salmon, pork, shrimp.
And that’s it. I don’t have to think. I don’t have to cook 10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts each week (and more importantly, I don’t have to eat sameevery day of every week). I don’t have to measure portions, assemble meals, or really lift a finger. Every 3 or 4 days, we go to the shop and pick up the next few days of meals.
That simple plan has resulted in 23 lbs lost so far, and 20 for Cindy. She reached a similar point as I did, from her own experiences and for her own reasons. She’d heard about My Fit Foods at her work place, so when I mentioned it, she just said, “let’s go check it out!” I feared I might have to sell her on the idea…a dreadful fear for any weight-challenged person wanting to try something new with a friend. But she was as ready for this as I was, and we embarked on this course change together.
It’s been 2 full months now, we’re still happy, we’re still finding it easy to follow. We’re even beginning to cook some of our own meals again. With the prepacked meals as guidelines, we try to keep to the same formula of wholesome, organic foods prepared simply. We’ve got rough guides to caloric count, portion size, etc. from existing meals we can make the occasional breakfast or dinner quite easily.
Oh, my doctor is thrilled too. I’m off the the diabetic medication and blood pressure medication…still on the thyroid for now. That might change as I continue to lose weight. This is the part where I should be a good child and mention the importance of exercise, and yes, I do walk about a mile a day. It isn’t a marathon, or a session at the gym. But it’s where my body’s at, and it feels good to do.
No, rather than ramble about exercise, I just want to pause and say this: I don’t want this to be an advertisement for My Fit Foods. Don’t get me wrong, I love them right now…they’re just the thing I’ve needed to start turning myself around. But they’re not the only game in town. Other coworkers have recommended Simply Fit as an alternative in the same business of pre-packaged, not-frozen, healthy meals. And I’m sure there’s more out there.
What I want to say to you is: don’t keep trying to change yourself on sheer willpower alone. It’s taken me many years to admit it to myself, but the simply fact is we each have a fixed supply of the stuff. A battery, if you will. And when that battery is low, we lose the ability to actively set out course…so set it passively. Find a way to play to your weaknesses, if you will. Maybe it’s having the meals premade, maybe it’s just a point system to help you evaluate choices on-the-fly a la Weight Watchers. But don’t beat yourself up for moments of weakness…just use your moments of strength to chart around them ahead of time.
Right..in serious danger of becoming preachy now 2)becoming?, so I’ll stop.
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