Posts Tagged 'diet'

Skinny Bitch

Irony and coincidence are plentiful in my life.  I had just made a comment on my friend Consuella’s post about her decision to cut meat out of her diet for a while, when my son’s girlfriend (I’ll call her Muchacha in honor of her Mexican heritage), came back from her apartment with the book “Skinny Bitch” that she recently finished reading.  Muchacha is also determined to live a nearly meat-free lifestyle, and not just on a temporary basis.  Although she would like to see some weight loss and health benefits from cutting out meat, Muchacha’s main motive is her love of animals.  The book talks about some of the heartless treatment of the animals we use for our food, and she can not bear to be a part of this abuse.

I, too, would be more motivated to not eat meat more on principle than for health reasons.  I struggle sometimes with the thought that we are actually killing living beings to satisfy our cravings.  And then I go right ahead and dig into that gorgeous hunk of juicy steak.

You see, no one has yet been able to give me the definitive proof that we are nothing more than animals ourselves, as entitled as the next beast to use our wits and hunt for our food.  We’re all fair game, right?  Then there is the other extreme, which to me is yet another excuse to not feel guilt while savoring a morsel of prime rib.  Many religions teach that animals were put here for our own personal use and pleasure, and cite the Bible passage where man was given “dominion  over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  It all sounds a bit egocentric to me.

Those crazy chicks that wrote “Skinny Bitch” would not only have you give up meat, but also fish, eggs, dairy products, and just about any alcohol besides organic red wine without any sulfites.  Of course, I totally agree with their recommendation to cut back on processed foods, white flour and sugar.  I try not too eat much of those things, but there’s no way a piece of candy will never go in my mouth!  Even worse, they go on and on about the evils of that heavenly morning staple–the steaming hot cup of coffee.  I can’t even fathom life in the morning without a cup of coffee.  The few times I’ve tried to function at work without at least a cup of tea, I was lifeless and dull.  I’m at my productive best with a cup of java by my side.  No lie.

There are people that live to be a hundred years old.  Many, if not most, are carnivores.  Many drank liquor; some even smoked.  I don’t know how many more years of life they would have eked out had they completely given up these indulgences.  I believe moderation is the key.

At one time, I was a skinny bitch.  I ate large helpings of red meat and potatoes.  I drank whole milk by the half gallons, and I frequented the corner candy store.  Now I’m just an average bitch, eating more veggies, fish and chicken but still enjoying a T-bone with some gummy bears for dessert.  I feel fairly happy and healthy, even if I have a few unsightly lumps and bumps.  That’s what body shapers are for, am I right?  Take away my taco meat, my corned beef and cabbage, or my morning cups of coffee, I’ll be nothing but a mean bitch.  And those few extra years I might possibly gain from this deprivation will not be worth it.  For anyone.

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Make A Change Challenge–Week 6

Tammy’s Make A Change Challenge is in the final stages–only a couple more weeks to go!  Let’s just say I’ll probably never squeeze into size 6 pants again.  I’ll hang on to the size 8’s but I’m not even sure about them.   But I’m maintaining.  This is no small feat for a girl who loves food the way I do.  I’d rather run ’til I drop than give up the chow.

I subscribe to Jillian Michael’s (from Biggest Loser) newsletter.  One tip she had got me thinking:

Get Intense
Ever notice the color-coded exercise “zones” listed on cardio machines? There’s a “fat burning” zone, an “endurance training” zone, and so forth. The colors look nice, but how many times have you chosen the “fat burning” zone and watched as your fat stayed put? That’s because fat-burning programs keep you at a lower intensity level, when to lose weight you really need to burn big calories. That only happens when you exercise at a higher-intensity level.
Let’s look at the math. In a half hour of low-intensity exercise, you might burn 100 calories. Of those 100 calories, roughly 80 percent will be fat calories, meaning that you’ve burned 80 fat calories. In a half hour of high-intensity exercise, you might burn 300 calories. Of those 300 calories, roughly 33 percent will be fat calories, meaning that you’ve burned around 100 fat calories.

This seemed logical to me, and in fact, I’ve often told people I could walk a marathon and I wouldn’t lose weight like I do when I run even just a mile a day.  So even though I’m still eating like Michael Phelps, I’ve started using my treadmill and working on increasing my pace.  I alternate laps between a walk (at 3 to 3.5) and a jog (4 to 4.2), then walk, then slow run (5 to 5.2), and continue the pattern each time increasing the run speed.  So far I’ve made it up to 7 on the treadmill speed.  I can handle the torture for 1 lap so I don’t quit, but I’m getting a heck of a workout overall.  And I lost a pound this week, without denying myself any goodies!

Make A Change Challenge-Week 2

One of my favorite things in life is good food.  In fact, overeating is my only vice.  I don’t gamble or spend a lot of money.  I’ve had half-packs of cigarettes crumble away in my purse.  I enjoy a cold brew or a glass of wine, but then I worry about the calories.  I’d rather get my calories chowing down.

Unfortunately, the metabolism is slowing down.  I’m not exactly heavy, but I weigh more than I would like.  I heard once that it’s common to put on 10 pounds each decade, and this is exactly true in my case.  And I’m way more active than I ever was as a 20-year-old.  I’m in much better shape now, and some of that weight may be muscle, which we weight-watchers constantly remind ourselves is heavier than fat.  I’m not expecting to lose the whole 30 pounds I’ve gained since my teen years.  I could wear anything in my closet if I lost ten.  Fifteen would be amazing.

To help me reach my goal, I’ve joined Tammy’s “Make a Change Challenge.” It’s just somehow easier knowing that others are suffering along with you, passing over that third piece of pizza, running those painful miles.  And then there’s the accountability thing.  I really felt like a lazy slug last week having to report that I’d lost absolutely NO WEIGHT at all.  I blame it on all the Easter candy still laying around, successfully tempting me.

This past week, I exercised even less.  It rained several days, so I didn’t walk or jog as much.  And I started cleaning out some closets in earnest so I didn’t seem to have as much “me” time.  But most of the candy was gone, and I tried to eat healthier.  I usually go back for “seconds” (because I’m such a damn good cook) but I made them small portions and I chewed them slower and savored it more.

The result?  Two whole pounds shaved off last Monday’s weigh-in.  A respectable 1.47% loss.  I’m happy.  This gives me motivation.  If you have any tips that work for you (besides wiring the jaw shut), please feel free to share.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Big Daddy and Youngest Son are out giving blood today.  There was a time when I didn’t weigh enough to give blood.  That’s not the case today.  I just hate needles.

Youngest Son is so on a roll lately.  He actually got up early (for him) today so that he could run before he went to give blood.  One thing you don’t want to do, as Big Daddy found out the hard way this past summer, is to physically exert yourself after a blood donation.  It makes you not feel so well.

Youngest Son is in excellent physical shape.  He’s one of those strong-minded people that just never gives up.  That’s why he’s gotten straight A’s in 3 semesters of college (well, OK, the 2 English classes were A-minuses).  It’s why even the best high school soccer offense players in the region dreaded seeing him on their tail.  His calf muscles bulge obscenely.  He’s decided to join the college track team in the spring and he’s starting to prepare for it now.

I wish I had the same mind-set.  I can push myself at times, but only so far.  For a while, I was busting my butt running at least 15 miles a week.  Now, not so much.  I know part of it is the winter funk has set in.  I just want to hibernate when it gets cold.  And we’ve had too many goodies sitting around the house.  I don’t normally even crave sweets all that much.  But lately, I’ve had trouble passing them up.

Last night, when I stood on the scale, the dreaded number was reached.  This is almost the weight I was on the day I gave birth to one of my kids.  I can’t remember which one, but it was the only time I recall being weighed the day I gave birth.  It seems like kind of a cruel thing.  The number seemed obscenely large for me at the time.  For a lot of people, it’s a perfectly good average weight.  On Biggest Loser, it’s even a goal weight for some.  But for the girl who desperately wanted to reach 100 pounds in high school thinking perhaps then I’d get some boobs, it’s a scary number.

So, even though it’s cold as freak outside, I’m going for a short run.  I passed up the cookie tray this morning when I had my coffee.  I may have given up running 5K races, but I’m going to keep doing little things.  I just can’t turn my back on the good foods, but I will take smaller portions.  I’ll never be a size 4, but I’m determined to stay in the clothes that are now hanging in my closet.


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