The Final Fifty

{March 12, 2013}   When your tight pants become your baggy pants.

So far, this week is going easier than last week was. Not because I have more energy, or anything, because I am dragging serious ass. Seriously, I hit that wall last night after rehearsal, you know the one? When your body tells you in no uncertain terms that you’re not doing anything more today besides dragging your lethargic ass into bed and clocking some zzzs. Except I did that part, and I woke up this morning almost exactly as tired as I was before I fell asleep.

I managed my hour of tap dancing yesterday, but I think the xbox was conspiring against me, because I had to stop about three times to either restart the video or wait for the console to unfreeze itself. It was an act of sheer, stubborn will, and I am proud of that fact. I also confirmed that I can do turns just fine as long as I’m not doing 300 of them in a row. This is good news, because a dancer who can’t do turns is in a pretty sorry state. Like a model who can’t turn left.

But that’s how a lot of this journey is: harnessing your will and dragging yourself through, kicking and screaming. At least in the beginning. Your body will rebel against you every step of the way, because that’s the way evolution has crafted us. Think about it. Say you’re not living in a society with grocery stores and huge farms and whatnot. Say you’re living in the wild and you have to actually obtain your food in the ways that humans used to: hunting, gathering, searching. Imagine that every calorie you consume represents real effort, and instead of living in a world where we have to learn to consume less, you live in a world where you can’t save food without it rotting, unless you eat it all and store it in your flesh. That is the environment we evolved in, and that is the environment our bodies are suited for. So your brain and your body conspire to make you a) consume as much as you can, particularly things like sugar and fat, and b) fight to keep those things stored in your body as fat by conserving calories and avoiding unnecessary caloric expenditure through exercise.

And, over time, if you don’t do exercise and only limit the calories you take in, your body will make itself more efficient in it’s use of calories, meaning that your metabolism will slow down, and you will require less food to maintain your current mass. These things are wonderful adaptations that have helped the human race survive through the generations, through the lean times. We may come to a point as a species where we need these same adaptations again. They’re not bad things. They just make it harder to stay healthy in a culture where overconsumption is the norm. If you’re interested in this kind of thing, I recommend a book called Mean Genes. I read it back in college, and it is definitely a worthwhile read.

I think I can state at this point that Mission: Tea has been an unqualified success. I have very little trouble staying hydrated, particularly during the week when I am at work with my little teapot and my collection of loose teas in jars. It’s a little harder over the weekends, when I am generally too busy to sit down and enjoy tea as much, but I think if I just make a mental note to work on getting more water into me, I will be able to manage. Also, I’m not sure whether it’s the better diet, the increased hydration, or both, but my skin seems to be improving. Not that I really had bad skin, but I noticed this morning it looked better, even though I haven’t done anything differently.

Cauliflower was another success. I tried it raw, and it’s not bad, a little bland, but with a pleasant nutty flavor. Then I roasted it with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and it tasted just like roasted potatoes. So that one is definitely going into the regular rotation. A friend suggested that I use curry powder on it next time, which I am definitely going to try. I love curry, and pretty much anything I can eat with curry, so it doesn’t take much prompting to get me to try that. Also, I’ve heard you can mash them like mashed potatoes, and that you can make a pizza crust out of them, so I’m really excited about the possibilities with this one. Which is fantastic, because I was a little bummed out that I don’t like broccoli as much as I was hoping I would. I think the key there is to find the proper recipes to use it in.

After doing laundry this weekend, I realized that my tight pants have become the pants I can only wear once after they’ve been shrunk a bit by a run through the dryer. I remember when I bought these pants, at my smallest when I lost the first 60 lbs. I actually bought them a little before that, because I picked them up at Costco without trying them on, and initially they didn’t fit me. They’re a size 15 in juniors, and Levi’s, and for a long time they were my goal pants. I remember having them for a while, and then I remember the day I could finally reasonably wear them. It felt like an accomplishment when I could finally wear them, and I think it will feel like an accomplishment when I can no longer wear them because they fall off, even fresh from the dryer. That day is coming soon.

Today at work, it’s one of my coworker’s birthday, so my boss just walked in with a chocolate cake and various other pastries. I knew this was coming today, and I thought maybe I would let myself have a little piece of something, but now I feel like I don’t even want that. I’ve made so much progress at kicking the sugar addiction and resultant cravings, and I don’t want to invite it back in and have to battle to get used to it even longer. I’m starting to get to a place where I look at sugary things and only see the consequences of them, which I think is a good place to be right now.

Another consequence of this diet is that I feel like I am becoming a better cook. I’ve always been a good cook, that much runs in my family and I was trained in it since I was little. But up until now, my main forte has been comfort foods that are high in calories and fat, and sometimes sugar. My mashed potatoes are legendary, as are my deserts. And I can still make those things, but on a day to day basis, they simply won’t do. Now I’m learning to cook a much bigger variety of things, and I’m not depending as much on fatty or sugary ingredients to make it tasty. I think, over time, I want to try to find healthy and delicious alternatives to the holiday favorites I’ve always made for my family. My turkey isn’t too bad, so I’m not concerned with that, and maybe the mashed cauliflower would be a good alternative to the mashed potatoes. I’ll definitely have to try it.

Tonight I am making Sweet Potato Burgers, and I am so freaking excited about them. I will give a full report tomorrow and let you know how they came out!


Kristine says:

You know, you inspire me right the heck back. FYI. ❤

Hurrah for mutual inspiration! ❤

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