health

Food and Fat

Recently, I watched a documentary: Peter Jennings Reporting – How To Get Fat Without Really Trying that aired on ABC on December 8, 2003. Something was said that really resonated with me, “Obesity is not going to be resolved by sheer physical activity alone.” True words. I’ve written some about the stereotypes surrounding fat people. In the past, I lived in constant fear that people thought I was lazy because I was fat.  I’ve struggled with wondering why, no matter how active I was, I was still fat.  It drove me crazy. Being active has always come easier to me than making better food choices.  It is just so easy to pick up something pre-packaged (okay, maybe I am lazy).  I would reward calories-burned with desserts eaten.  I thought that it was a simple calorie swap.  I heard it for years: the key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume.  So I’d log my food eaten and either severely limit my caloric intake or stay on the elliptical for an hour trying furiously to burn off that brownie I had eaten for breakfast. It wasn’t that easy.

 

Let’s read those words again.  “Obesity is not going to be resolved by sheer physical activity alone.” Food choice is so very important. I know this, but I still struggle daily to pick fruits and veggies over carbs and well, more carbs. And not good carbs, but sugary-sweet-processed foods. I’m an educated woman, but for some reason I have this mental block when it comes to making smart food choices.  This has to change, and I know it.  So I’m very interested in your food ideas. I don’t like fish, but love other seafood options and just about anything else.  Let the ideas flow.

 

P.S. If anyone knows of a good and natural pre-workout, I’d love to hear it.  My pre-workout just isn’t doing it for me anymore. Thanks y’all!

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And I’m FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Hopefully not free-falling.  Okay, okay.  I’m conditionally free.  I have been released to only wear the boot when I’m feeling pain or discomfort.  For the next two weeks, I have to wear tennis shoes (or some other stable shoe with laces — unfortunately not heels yet) and still modify my exercise.  I am so relieved to learn that my foot is healing and that in two weeks I can begin to try to run again.  I have to admit that I’m a little gun-shy, and I’m worried that I’ll push myself too hard now that I’m sans boot.  I just have to keep reminding myself that I want to get better and stay far, far away from that retched contraption (aka the boot).  Tonight, I went to body works class and lifted weights.  I modified lunges still and gave my foot breaks if it started to feel sore.  I was careful (for all you people out there who are worried I’ve been doing too much on my foot)! Also, I ran everything by my doctor, and I can still work out – just no high-impact stuff for at least two more weeks.  He said that it will be another month before my foot starts to feel normal again.  I’m okay with that.  The important thing is that I am making progress and healing nicely.  For now, I’ll just rock my hot pink Nikes with my business attire at work.  Tonight I did go up on my foot in plank position on reflex. I quickly modified and ended up completing one single-leg push up! I’m pretty proud of that.  It will just take some additional mental adjustments as I continue to workout while healing.  It felt so weird to have a regular shoe on my left foot tonight. I definitely don’t miss the velcro sounds my boot made when I’d walk.  I’m not burning that sucker, but I hope to put it back in the far reaches of my closet very soon.

 

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Look ma! I can cook!

Last Friday, I got my very first Blue Apron shipment.  You can click the link to find out all about the service.  I opted for the two person plan and it sends three meals (after I filled out some dietary specifications) for about $60/week.  That breaks down to $10 a meal – which isn’t bad in my opinion.  My cool friends, Shonda and Jeff, use the service, and they sent me a link to try my first week free.  Awesome! The shipment arrived from a delivery guy (who coincidently was walking up as I was leaving the house, and he scared the shit out of me) at around 12:30 that afternoon.  It arrived in a box that had a freezer bag inside with all the ingredients on Nordic ice, and a nice little welcome letter with three recipe cards.

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I’m lazy so I just shoved the entire spacey looking freezer bag into the fridge and continued on my merry way.

 

Saturday, I decided was going to be Shrimp Po’Boy day at the house.  I grabbed the trusty ingredient card, and very easily pulled out the required ingredients from the space bag.  My roommate Jason helped me cut up ingredients.  It was pretty easy to mix the remoulade sauce. I finished up the salad, while Jason cooked the shrimp.  The finished product looked like this and tasted pretty good for only 575 calories a serving.

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I went a little too heavy on the remoulade during assembly.  This isn’t surprising since I am usually sauce-happy.  The only downside to this meal was the mess in my kitchen.  That has nothing to do with the service; I always make a mess when I cook.  While making the vinaigrette for the salad, I squirted lemon juice everywhere (no surprise there).  I also got water all over the floor when I was cleaning the produce.  The downside there was that my boot kept slipping while I was cooking.  All-in-all, meal one was a success! Colored me impressed Blue Apron.

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Tonight’s meal: Orange Beef Lo Mein.  I am not an adventurous cook and usually am intimidated by asian dishes.  This wasn’t too difficult.  I was on my own cooking tonight since my sous chef was stuck at work due to the weather.  I managed pretty well.  I did burn my finger, but that’s definitely not Blue Apron’s fault.  After surveying the mess I made while cooking, I’ve come to realize that I’m about as messy as if a parent turned their 5-year-old loose in the kitchen to cook a feast.  I slung cooked beef across the floor.  There were chopped green onions and garlic slung amuck.  I even misread the directions and used two tablespoons of oil to cook the beef instead of two teaspoons.  However, the food still turned out rather yummy.  The portions were very satisfying, and a full belly quickly erased the pain from my burned finger.  Another Blue Apron success! This dish was about 700 calories each serving.

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Who’s coming to do my dishes? Anyone?

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Last night, I made my last meal for the week.  It was Chicken & Sage Chicken Pot Pie with cremini mushrooms and purple top turnips.  Again, the dish was pretty straightforward.  I did have to ask Jason how to peel a turnip (DON’T JUDGE ME).  I learned that I don’t really like turnips.  However, the meal was still pretty delicious despite that.  I pulled out the handy ingredient sheet (soaking wet from God knows what) and started chopping up all the veggies while Jason poached the chicken.

 

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I shredded the chicken while Jason cooked all the veggies, and then it was time to make the sauce! I must admit that I am not a true southern lady.  In all my thirty-one years, I have never made a roux.  Oh my! I hope you are not clutching your pearls as you read this.  If you are, rest assured because I made a roux tonight.  I even have proof! IMG_2746

 

As I tended to the sauce in a loving and attentive manner, Jason mixed up the sage biscuits.  The finished product looked like this:

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I’m pretty smitten with Blue Apron at the moment.  I recommend giving it a try because it is just so damn convenient.  We got our new box for the week yesterday afternoon.  Next on the menu is lamb and beef shawarma, crispy chicken thighs, and three cheese cannelloni.  I am feeling like a gourmet chef these days, until I look down and see all the mess on my boot because I am a horribly clumsy cook.  Oops!

PS: While stirring the sauce tonight, I couldn’t help but think that it was really too bad that Mark Darcy from Bridget Jone’s Diary (aka Colin Firth) was not there to help me with any lumpy gravy emergencies! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch Bridget Jone’s Diary.  But I have to go, sorry, lumpy gravy calls.

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Beep! Beep!

No, I haven’t turned into Roadrunner. Thank God because I would not be able to outrun Wylie Coyote at this point. The beep I’m referring to is the sound my cart made as I backed up. Last night my foot was hurting more than it ever has. The pain got so bad while I was out shopping that I had to get one of those motorized carts. I’m not proud of this fact.

Those things are tough to drive. I’m pretty sure I frightened other patrons because if I had to back up to get something, I would laugh hysterically as the cart beeped beeped beeped all the way home. The cart also didn’t have a tight turn radius, and I kept taking out displays or knocking into the shelf.  My concerned roommate laughed and snapped pictures from afar. He’d also jump out of my way as I tried to navigate the aisles.

If you see me around town in one of these things (or at the Grand Canyon as the hover round commercials show), it’s best to give me a wide berth. Hopefully, I’ll return to being fully mobile and cart-free very soon. For now, the captain of the SS Injury Wagon is signing off.

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Take that stereotypes!

Let’s talk about the stereotype that all fat people are unmotivated slobs who are too lazy to care about their health. Here’s what I say to that stereotype: In your face! I got my lab results in from my physical almost two weeks ago. All results were great. My doctor even wrote “Great!” on my results before mailing them to me. This is a step up from the “Good” I got last year. I’ve gotten a clean bill of health every year for the past 3 years (that’s when I started getting physicals). I am a healthy, 31-year-old woman who happens to be fat.  I am also aware that I currently have youth on my side.  It won’t be this way forever which is why I am trying to lead a healthier lifestyle that involves losing some weight.  Diabetes, high-blood pressure, stroke, and cancer are in my family history.  I know this.  Armed with this knowledge, I am trying to set in motion habits now that will benefit me for years to come.

Even though I don’t always make the best food choices, I am a very active person. It still amazes me that people are so shocked to see that I’m in pretty decent shape and have pretty good stamina, you know for a fat person. When I joined my gym last year, I got a free personal training session and fitness assessment. We took my fat percentage and weight and calculated my BMI. The trainer viewed all those numbers and made a determination on my physical abilities based upon them. As we were working out, (well I was working out, he was telling me what to do), he kept making comments (with a very surprised tone) about how good I was at cardio. I even fell during one exercise, but I jumped right back up and kept going. He expressed his shock at my ability to do this because “most people” would quit from embarrassment. He was kind of an asshole. I should have predicted that. He was wearing dress shoes during our workout. I’m sorry, but my new philosophy is to never trust a personal trainer who is wearing dress shoes in the gym.

I was told once, by a “friend” that another “friend” expressed her concern that I had quit coming to a bootcamp class. Said “friend” was questioning if I had substituted other classes. She was worried because 1) I couldn’t stick to anything, and 2) I really needed the cardio. That was two years ago, and I am still at a loss as to how my exercise habits were any of her business. The last time I checked, she was not my doctor. How did she know whether or not I needed cardio?

 

I bring all this up because I was once the self-conscious, fat girl who was too embarrassed to go to the gym and workout because I thought everyone would judge me. At that time in my life, I thought that I was beyond help, and was too embarrassingly fat to do something about it.  I didn’t have confidence in my own power.  I didn’t yet know what a strong, kick-ass woman I would turn out to be.  Sometimes life is intimidating as hell.  Sometimes we are hanging on by a thread.  There may be someone out there who is trying to change themselves for the better, and your judgment of them, based upon a stereotype can do a lot of damage.  Don’t underestimate me and my health solely based upon how I look.

I say all this to myself as well.  For years, I underestimated myself because of how I looked.  I would be too scared to try something because I just knew that I was too fat to do it.  I tell you what, I’ve done a lot of things now that I never thought I would do – run 5ks, burpees, lift weights, lead Zumba songs, spinning classes, bootcamp classes, have fun at the gym, push-ups, planks, etc.   Talk to your doctor about what is best for you based upon your health.  Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or what  unsolicited advice someone is giving you (unless it’s maybe, “hey you’re likely to snap your neck if you keep lifting that barbell like that, let me help”). So stop judging yourself! Stop underestimating yourself! Challenge yourself and know yourself. (Yes I know, this is the unsolicited advice that I just told you to ignore but maybe listen to that last part).  -K

 

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

 

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Jumping off a Cliff in Jamaica – I was the first in our group to take the leap.  I also was the first to jump from the middle of a waterfall that day. If you need an “f” word to call me, how about fearless?

 

 

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