Sunday, June 25, 2017

My absence is a good thing

I feel like I should explain my nearly three-year absence.

Simply put... I figured it out. I figured out how to get down to 200 pounds and below. (At one point, for a minute, I even got under 190!)

Basically, this is the meal plan that leads to my best self:


Breakfast is typically light, consisting sometimes of fruit (berries or grapes, usually), and nuts (almonds, usually). Sometimes I'll have a couple eggs with toast. These days I'm really partial to avocado toast -- it's delicious and healthy and keeps me full for hours. This morning, for instance, I toasted a piece of whole wheat bread with coconut oil, cut up half an avocado, sprinkled a little bit of garlic/salt/cayenne powder, and put a small handful of chia seeds on it. It was delicious!

I also have a lot of coffee for breakfast, which helps suppress my appetite for hours. If I have access to good cold brew, I'll drink that. I love it because it doesn't need any cream; just a little Splenda. So I have this extremely low-calorie drink that keeps me full. (I also often have 7-11 coffee with lots of flavored creamers, which admittedly is a bad habit and I'm trying to get away from it.)


Lunch is basically whatever I want. Sometimes I get a Chipotle burrito. Sometimes I get a burger from Five Guys. Sometimes I get a curry chicken platter. I try not to stuff my face with really unhealthy stuff like a bunch of french fries, but this is mostly just because having lots of starchy carbs during the middle of the day makes me super sleepy. That's another thing I've noticed: The less food I eat, the more energy I have that day and the next day. Note that this only works down to a point; if I restrict my calories too much, I'm lethargic and foggy. Same with restricting my carbs too much (I'm still rolling my eyes over the one week I spent last year on the "keto" diet, ugh).

When I worked near a Sweetgreen, I went there for lunch most days, and the pounds came right off. I do miss Sweetgreen.

During the day, if I get peckish, I'll have some almonds or berries. Or, if there are treats out at work, I'll often have one - but just a little. One cookie. A small piece of cake. I tend to skip the donuts these days; they just don't make me feel great.

The exception to the "eat whatever I want for lunch" rule comes when I know I'm having a big dinner that night. If I'm going out with friends, for instance, I'll have something light (like Sweetgreen, if it's available). Then I'll feel free to enjoy myself at night. But the key is I can only have a big meal for ONE of my three main meals. If I eat big at two meals, I gain weight. If I don't eat big at any meals, I often never achieve a feeling of satiety, and so I don't feel content, and after a few days of that it leads to bingeing.


On a typical day, when I'm not going out with friends, I will have a light dinner. A couple times a week I like to make my classic stir fry, which consists of lots of veggies (broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms, jalapeƱos, etc), sauteed in olive/sesame oil, with a protein of some sort, and chia seeds, all on a bed of Miracle Noodles. Sometimes I'll wrap that in big lettuce wraps.

Sometimes I'll just have lettuce wraps with chicken sausage and a little bit of hot sauce. Sometimes I'll have a can of soup. Generally, I try to keep my dinner to around 600 calories or less.

Sometimes, I will drink at night. Often, this will consist of a bottle or two of beer, or a glass or three of wine. Sometimes, if I'm still full from lunch, all I'll have for dinner is beer. This is particularly true when pumpkin beer season begins, and I can savor my Schlafly Pumpkin Ale. ☺

I really try not to order a pizza for dinner, because I inevitably eat the whole thing, and I gain several pounds in water weight that take days to come off, and I feel awful about myself. Same with Chinese. I've learned that whatever is placed in front of me, I will eat everything. So the key is often just to make sure the food is not placed in front of me to begin with.

And that's about it. It's a fairly simply plan, and it affords me flexibility. There is also a major component of just listening to my body. Am I having a craving for protein? Fill my body with protein. Do I want beets? Roast beets and eat them with goat cheese crumbles! (An absolute favorite meal, which I only discovered this year.) Does my body really want dark leafy greens? Eat dark leafy greens.

These are true cravings. My true cravings never lead to pizza. They never lead to donuts. If I really want those things, that is a false craving, often a result of poor eating which throws my body all out of whack.

Now, I do have what I will call emotional cravings. These aren't necessarily a bad thing. For instance, I'll be back in Michigan next week. When I'm in Michigan, I always get certain foods. They bring me a sense of joy and nostalgia, and they are damn tasty. You will absolutely find me at Sy Thai and Buddy's Pizza next week. Maybe Sila's Pizza. I won't be stuffing my face. But I will be enjoying my visit. I probably won't gain much weight next week, but I definitely won't lose any. ☺

By following this "plan," the weight melts off. I'm hovering right around 200 pounds now (I was 199 yesterday, 201 today, and by next week I'll probably be 198). I'd love to get down to 190, and go from there. But I'm happy where I am now.

In my next blog post, I'll focus on what I'm trying to do fitness wise.

Please leave a comment and tell me works for you!

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