Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Can of Peas, Please

I've lost 54 pounds over the last several months. I’m very happy about that. Basically, what I have done is to exercise more and eat less. I’m also trying to eat better food too. I have a lot of weight left to lose, but I’m happy with my progress.

The other day, I was talking to a woman who had recently lost 20 pounds. She was telling me all the different rules that she follows. She always waits an hour to workout after she eats. She doesn’t eat within three hours of going to bed. She eats every two hours throughout the day. She had many other rules that she followed, and she told me that she never realized that losing weight was so complicated.

I didn’t say anything to her at the time. I figure what works for her is great. However, she and I definitely go about this weight loss thing in completely different ways. I don’t have a lot of rules. For me, tons of rules mean tons of ways to fail. I’m more comfortable with something a little more laid back. This makes me more confident that I’ll be able to keep up my efforts for a lifetime instead of just trying new diets every couple of months.

I’ve tried the eating every two to four hours method. I know this works for lots and lots of people. It just doesn’t work for me. I feel like I’m grazing all day, and it drives me batty. I eat three to five times a day, depending on my schedule. I try to make one of those meals a big meal, because I like big meals. :-) This works for me.

I’m trying to eat better also, but I’m not super strict with my diet. One of my big goals is to eat more vegetables. For years I tried to buy raw, organic vegetables and cook something impressive. It just hasn’t happened. Today, I’m content to cook a big can of peas. Yes, I said canned peas. I admit it. I love canned peas. Well, they have to be the small early summer peas, but I love canned peas. I can eat a whole can of them myself. I realize there are much better ways to eat vegetables, but I think this is much improved over ordering McDonald’s fries and try to pass them off as a vegetable.

The book that has been my main reference material for my fitness journey is “Body for Life for Women” by Dr. Pamela Peeke. One principle that Dr. Peeke stresses is to strive for progress, not perfection. This was definitely a major problem for me in the past. I would try to go from a mainly fast-food diet to a diet of perfectly cooked meals at home. When I didn’t do things perfectly, I just stopped trying to be healthy. It was always an either/or for me--either eat perfectly or forget the whole thing. Now, I’m eating much better than I used to eat, but I still have a way to go. For now, I’ll take my canned peas though. They suit me just fine.

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