A few days ago there was a Spark Newsletter that talked about cleaning out the 'evil' things in your pantry and refrigerator. It really made me think about how Spark fits into my life, and about what I can change, what I have changed, what I'm not willing to change, and the importance of gradual change.
If you want to lose weight, you have to change your lifestyle. It's not about dieting - all we Spark folks know that. You need to reduce your caloric intake, and increase your activity. It's that simple. The benefits can be a better appearance, more energy to enjoy life, better health - and the health part is so important. Something that a lot of 'diets' really don't promote, amazingly enough.
In the last few months, I've conquered high cholesterol through my rather lackadaisical diet and exercise changes. My last test showed my 'good' cholesterol was too high for the test to measure. My doctor said I'm only the 5th person he's ever tested who has had that result. A round of applause for my great-great grandparents!!!! My blood pressure, which had elevated suddenly and rapidly over the previous year (and no weight gain) to the 200/100 range (yeah, I know, stroke zone) is now controlled through medication. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of one of the medications is to make me sometimes feel weak and tired. But overall, I'm in much better shape from a medical standpoint than I was a year ago.
The article in question was, "Where is Danger Lurking in Your Kitchen?"
* Throw out: Thick dressings, white rice, creamers, white pasta, chips, dip, soda, mayonnaise, pudding and just say no to Twinkies!
* Keep: Vinaigrettes [sic], spinach, nuts, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, grain rice, tomatoes, oatmeal, carrots, salsa, yogurt, mustard, natural applesauce.
* Put on probation (if they become a problem, get a substitute): High-fat cheese, whole milk, butter, ice cream, eggs, cooking oil, beef.
My issue with this list is that if I am changing my lifestyle, what I can really LIVE with for the rest of my life? Will I never eat Marie's Blue Cheese dressing or eat a steak again? While that might be a reasonable choice for some people, it's not for me. I don't keep creamers, chips, dip, soda, or Twinkies on hand - never did, even when my kids were young. I buy sugar-free puddings because my husband is diabetic and he really enjoys having one for his afternoon snack. I DO have all the 'Keep' items on hand - I always have. As for the 'probation' list, most of those things will always be in my house, with the occasional whole milk and ice cream, the latter generally for company and the occasional piece of homemade pie with a small scoop.
I bought 'lite' mayo - used it once and gagged - threw it out. I'd rather eat dry tuna than put that in tuna salad. Quite simply, I won't buy - or eat - 'fake' food. I've also noticed that clipping coupons is an exercise in futility for me - if there's a coupon for it, I probably don't buy it. I buy 'whole' foods, and that's what I cook with and that's what we eat.
What I have changed - portion control. Increased activity. Although its been a real challenge for me, I've quit eating ANYTHING between dinner and bedtime. I can't say the pounds are melting off, but I feel better and my medical profile looks better. I've met a lot of great people along the way, and look forward to logging into Spark and keeping up with their lives.
Oh, and I really love my Wii. :)
Smooches, and good luck on your journeys, wherever they lead you.