Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I just finished reading Jen Mueller's blog, "Is Eating Red Meat Bad For Your Health? " What a great blog! It made me think about the kind of protein/meat I eat and I'm happy to say that for years I've gotten something right! I am what my husband refers to as a chicken addict. I could eat lean chicken every day of the week. I also love egg whites - the low fat answer to my protein needs. I usually eat 4 egg whites for breakfast every morning and have done so for at least the past 12 years. I fill my plate with veggies at meal time too. Yes, I enjoy an occasional meal with steak or pork, fish and seafood. It's nice to have a little variety at times. Then why am I seventy five pounds overweight? Portion control is the first thing that jumps into my mind, followed by snacking on sugar loaded low fat foods. Since joining Spark People last year, using the food tracker has made me very aware of what I'm putting into my body. Believe it or not, I've had trouble meeting the daily minimums for fats and carbohydrates. Why? I think I went through a phase in the 1990's where I bought a lot of fat free food because I thought it would be better for me. Of course I also felt that I could eat more because it was fat free! Bad idea! I became obsessed with eliminating fat from my diet. Then one day I attended a seminar with my daughter, at a local hospital. She would get extra credit for her college health class if she recruited someone to go with her (me of course!). What an eye opener! The topic was "Fat In Your Diet". It addressed the problem of cutting out too much of the good fats from our diets in our rush to lower the overall fat intake. I felt like I should go home and search for hidden video cameras in my house because the speaker must be talking directly to me! Along with eliminating the bad fats, it seems that I had eliminated almost all fat including the fat that my body needs. Oh no! I was in panic mode and my anti fat campaign was already a habit that I had been practicing for years! It was during this time that I gained weight too! I didn't know what to do so I contacted a dietitian to help me. The first thing she said was that I wasn't taking in enough of the right kinds of calories. Me? The chicken addict who eats veggies was doing it all wrong??? EEEK!! Help! Actually that part of my diet was fine except that I needed portion control. What a relief! What the dietitian encouraged me to do is throw out all of the sugar laden non fat snacks and eat fruit, dairy and whole grains instead. She also encouraged me to start eating nuts, olive oil and some butter or margarine. I increased the frequency of eating to 6 meals a day. I lost 20 pounds just by doing this. It wasn't much of a struggle either and I wasn't hungry!. Then I became disabled, we moved from a place I'd lived for 40 years and I lived with my husband's family while our new house was being built. Their eating habits were terrible! I was very unhappy and I ate my way through it - gaining back the 20 I had lost plus an additional 27 pounds. I stopped eating 6 times a day (it was very inconvenient for them and they frowned upon this - even though I was buying the food) and did very little exercise. I hated me and had given control of my eating to someone else. I needed to get back that control and get myself on track. Then we moved and when my husband went to the doctor, he was shocked at his blood test results! He actually asked me if we could go back to eating the way we used to - chicken and all! I was only too glad to oblige! Since that time, I've lost over 40 pounds. There are plenty of bumps in my road but with Spark People I've learned to navigate through them. I still have issues to this day with fats and carbohydrates. Old habits die hard! It was recently suggested to me that I should increase my starchy veggies and eat more nuts to help with that issue. Guess what? It helps! My lifestyle has become much healthier too. It's an eating plan that should last a lifetime if I want to remain healthy and..... I do!