Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eating Healthy to Lose Weight

Off and on during the course of adult life, I’ve tried to lose weight. I’d go on a diet, stick to it for awhile, eventually ending up feeling deprived and frustrated, which ended the attempt. The primary focus of every diet I attempted was counting calories. I found it too involved and complicated, requiring everything to be precisely weighed or measured. While I loved to cook, having to go through all the extra time and effort negated the pleasure of cooking.

Like many Americans seduced by the advertising on television, I fell into the trap of ready-to-eat and prepared meals and ingredients, such as Hamburger Helper and using cream of whatever soup as a basis for casseroles and more. I did some ‘from scratch’ cooking, but not a lot. I guess you could say my cooking style became a cross between Betty Crocker and Sandra Lee.

As a result, our waistlines grew, and neither of us was happy about it. And we were also getting bored with the dozen or two ‘staple’ recipes I depended on.

Over the past 16 months, or thereabouts, I’ve been changing how and what I cook, and therefore what we eat. Initially, the idea was to add variety to our meals. I started watching Food Network shows as well as Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, and Kitchen Nightmares. I did internet research into ingredients, recipes, cuisines, and cooking methods. While I have been cooking for many years, I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of ingredients, as well as some methods and techniques, is lacking.

But as I learned and experimented, things started to change. I was cooking more ‘from scratch’ and the food was not only tasting better, but also becoming healthier. Since the initial goal was not to lose weight, the pounds were slow to come off, but we were eating healthier and I was learning more about cooking. I created a wish list of kitchen tools and equipment, and added a few of them to my kitchen. I also created a wish list of cookbooks, of which I’ve gotten two (more about them in future postings).

Earlier this year, several of Michael’s co-workers joined Weight Watchers, and he told me about how they liked it and how they were losing weight. So I decided to check it out, and joined in mid-March, opting for the online version rather than meetings.

We have lost both pounds and inches, although Michael’s loss has been a bit more dramatic than mine. While I would like for my losses to be more than they have been, I am not unhappy with what I have lost. Since the beginning of March, I’ve lost one clothing size, and a pair of pants I bought at that time requires a belt to prevent them from embarrassing me in public.

I’m still learning about ingredients, methods and techniques, as well as things like flavor pairings. I’m still experimenting with new recipes. And I’m still “tweaking” our weight loss plan. I still have quite a bit of excess weight to lose, but I am confident that I will lose it.

Coming Next: My Weight Loss Plan

1 comment:

Anne-Marie said...

Congrats on the weight loss and the comittment to a healthier lifestyle through diet.