So glad, that so many people are voting on their favorite recipes, keep up the voting and tomorrow or Tuesday your favorite for week 2 will be posted!So today, I have a lot of homework to do, so I figured I would blog this morning, not about the food that I am cooking today, but about my new healthy lifestyle.
Living healthy was a personal choice that I had to make, I know that in the about me section of my blog, I go over the fact that I was pre-diabetic and that I was obese, but those things weren’t what changed my lifestyle. It was months after I found out that I was pre-diabetic that I even made a change to my eating. I wasn’t concerned, and when I was concerned about it, I just brushed it off. I figured that I was always going to be big, just like some people were always going to be small. I thought that it was just another element of “Stephanie” and boy was I wrong. Looking back I know that I wasn’t willing to change for a long time. I didn’t want to go to the gym, I was sure that everyone would laugh at me. I didn’t want to eat healthy because I didn’t want the questions associated with my weight to be brought up. I didn’t want to go through weight loss by myself, I didn’t want to be without support. I also didn’t want to ask any questions, I thought that people would relate my lack of knowledge towards nutrition as the key point to my weight issue. I also didn’t want to think, deal with, or talk about why I was comfortable being overweight.
That all changed one Saturday morning. I can’t really tell you what happened, because honestly I don’t even know. I woke up one Saturday morning, my parents had left to go out already, and my sister was still sleeping, but I was awake and felt like I was on an intense mission. I had talked to my mom briefly a few months earlier about eating healthier and I blew her off, I really had no wish to hear what she wanted to talk to me about, but that Saturday all of that changed. That Saturday morning mission felt so clear to me, I felt like I NEEDED and WANTED to change my lifestyle, and more than all that, my attitude towards it all changed. I sat down at the computer that morning and began thinking of every fast food, restaurant chain that I would frequent and began printing out pages and pages and pages of nutritional information. I didn’t know if I would be able to cook healthy food for myself, let alone know even how to cook, but I knew that I could change things by ordering differently. I printed off nutritional information for all my favorites, Red Robin, Coldstone, Islands, Jack-in-the-Box, Macaroni Grill, everywhere that had nutritional information, I printed it. After a few hours into the printing, my parents came home, and my mom was astonished by all the information. She then told me that there was a book that had all that information in it, The Official 2008 Calorie King book. I told my mom that I needed to do this, and I asked for her help, she helped me by getting me a few books, the Calorie King book, and the original Eat This! Not That! book. Those books, I practically memorized, I was in love with finally having the information, and I felt deceived. I mean, I could have told you that a Sourdough Jack from Jack-in-the-Box was bad, but I couldn’t have imagined that if it really added up to 680 calories, 46 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of trans fat per burger, why we still allowed places to sell them. I know that might sound extreme, but I used to eat about 2 a day!
After I let my anger towards my ignorance and lack of knowledge that I previously had slip, I felt like a very intense fire burning within me. I felt like, I had been cheated, not only out of my money, I mean I was paying for crappy food and having to pay even more emotionally for the heart ache that I experienced through my school years and now I was being swindled out of my cash for the expensive clothes that I needed to fit my larger frame. I began tracking strictly what I ate, and stuck to an eating plan of 2000 calories and 60 grams of fat per day. I started by substituting a little at a time, I began by not getting mayonnaise on my Subway sandwich, then I started leaving off the cheese, then I made it a 6 inch, I then said bye-bye to the oil and I eventually swapped my iceberg lettuce for spinach. It was a process for everything that I ate, but I kept thinking, it’s better than before. It has taken me almost 2 years to make these changes, it wasn’t an instant cold turkey thing. I needed to gradually swap out different things or else I knew that I was going to be unhappy. I suggest to anyone that is trying to lose weight that they do the same thing, cutting everything out from the beginning is going to make you feel unsatisfied with the choice of becoming a healthier eater.
I tell you all of this to tell you that even with all the knowledge I have, I slip. This past week I went to dinner with Dan and his parents to celebrate my soon-to-be Mother in law’s birthday. She picked Souplantation, and I was sure that I wasn’t going to have an issue. In fact on the way there I was coaching my fiancée on what things are great choices and which ones aren’t so great. We got there and we started out with the salad, I avoided all the premixed with mayo stuff and made myself the largest green salad with every veggie you can think of, I topped it with a little red wine vinegar and we were on our way to a great meal. I got the huge salad in hopes of trying to fill up a little bit before being shipwrecked in the land of breads, pastas and soups. I enjoyed my salad, but I was still hungry so I went for a soup. They had a turkey chili that looked awesome so I gave it a shot and grabbed a piece of squaw bread to go with. I then headed back and enjoyed my chili and needless to say, I was still hungry, I decided to go back again and this time grabbed a bowl of turkey with whole wheat noodle soup and a bran muffin. After enjoying my now second bowl of soup, I was still feeling like I barely ate, so I went back for my third bowl of soup, this time a hearty vegetarian and barely stew and a piece of sourdough toast. By this third bowl of soup and third trip to the dreaded bread counter I had started to finally feel like I had eaten, but right at the end of our time I got a little hungry again. I went to the bread counter and grabbed the last small bran muffin and then we were on our way. I was feeling over satisfied at this point, I hadn’t let my food sit, and I was really unsure of all that I had really eaten. I went home and forgot about it, but I finally examined the menu a couple days later, when I realized that I had eaten 500 calories worth of bread! My soup, wasn’t too bad, only about 100 calories for each small bowl, adding up to 300 but those 2 slices of bread and 2 tiny muffins really did me in. My salad, I don’t count the calories for, overall probably about 100 calories, but honestly I don’t count and my soups 300 calories, but for more than half my meal to be spent my measly bread I was floored. I felt like once again I had been bamboozled and I have done this for a while. I felt like I hadn’t just let me down, but I had let others down, but I am writing this to let you know that I mess up too. It’s not something to beat yourself up over and if you have ever struggled with food addiction it doesn’t ever just go away. It’s a constant thing that you will always need to be aware of. Just remember on days when you might go a little overboard that tomorrow is another day (as Scarlett O’Hara would say) and don’t let it get to you. It doesn’t mean that you should stop on your journey to be healthy, it just means that you hit a speed bump in the process.
Well, I am off to homework land, but I will be cooking Texas Sheet Cake tonight in honor of my good friend, Cami and will be making a dump cake for my beautiful sister-in-law, Elaina’s birthday tonight, so tomorrow we will talk more about recipes.
Until, I’m in the kitchen again…