Today’s Featured Comment
I have been on Weight Watchers for over two years now – spent a year losing the weight (about 50 pounds), and now maintaining the loss for well over a year. I have never eaten better, and enjoyed my food more than I do now!
The tracking gets easier – it is painful to see the flaws in your eating, and to make changes. But as you form new habits, and get used to the routine, it becomes a normal part of your day. For me, once I got the “junk” out of my system, it also became easier to make smart decisions on what to eat, or not eat. I also learned to plan – for instance on a trip, I pack healthier, nutritious snacks, so I don’t give in to the pastries and other high-point, nutritionally poor options. I did well with Clif bars, or beef jerky, or something small and high protein I could keep in my purse.
Also, at some point, as Liz describes so well, I did discover the utter sensual delight of fruits and vegetables. I eat a rainbow diet of berries, and melons, and whatever new fruits and veggies I find each week. I discovered a new variety of mango this week – yellow, and better than the green/red ones I’ve had before. I have discovered pomegranates – they are so worth the effort, so jewel-like in their radiant red beauty!
I also eat a vast variety of vegetables – all colors, from every shade of green, to orange, to brightest reds. Even purple. I have learned new ways to cook them. Who knew roasted or grilled veggies could taste so different than boiled ones? And you can saute up spinach, or squash, or mushrooms, or many other vegetables in no time, with just a little olive oil, or light cooking spray. You can microwave perfect asparagus in 3 minutes, in a damp paper towel (though it is also wonderful grilled!). It isn’t hard. I started out using the steamer bags – but now keep the fresh produce on hand, and can do a dizzying array of wonderful, healthy sides to any meal, while the protein part of the meal is cooking in the oven, or on the grill.
With so many low or no-point options on my plate, I also can have treats like some dark chocolate, or a glass of wine. I am able to eat out quite a bit, my family knows that we can’t go places where they only offer “deep fried” fast-food options. I need stuff that is real food. So we go to places like Chipotle, and I have a salad, or a bowl, and I skip all the high-fat ingredients, like the cheese, sour cream, etc. And I splurge on the guacamole, since it contains oils that are healthy. Many places have healthy options, if you get creative! It has become a fun challenge for me – at Ruby Tuesday, the waitress said my order looked like a work of art! Other people scarfing down their bacon cheeseburgers left less satisfied than I did!
All year round, there are so many lovely, fresh options – sweet potatoes, cabbages and other leafy greens. Fresh sweet onions, real garlic. I could never go back to that mushy pre-packaged junk I used to eat! I look at donuts now, and all desire is really gone. I have fresh, gorgeous strawberries and blackberries in their place – and have come to love the balance of sweet and tart that you don’t get in processed, over-sweetened foods! My entire frame of refernece has shifted – my taste buds have adjusted to real, subtle flavors, and away from all the grease, and sugar, and artifical additives. At first, it seemed like I had to give up everything! Now I feel like I have gained so much more than I ever gave up. So give yourself time! There’s more to this than just watching the scale go down. There are so many other benefits to mindful eating!
[This comment was originally posted in this conversation. ~ Eds.]