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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feeling Good So Soon

When I arrived home last night from my weigh-in I tried to play a little game with my husband.  And since it was Valentine's Day, we made it interesting.  The deal was, if he could guess my total weight loss to date to the exact tenth of a pound then...well, you can figure it out.

Do you believe that bastard guessed it right on the mark?!  I couldn't freakin' believe it.  I insisted he cheated; looked it up somewhere or even called my counselor.  Which, he did not.  But, he was that good, right down to the last ounce.  Total weight loss after three weeks on Diet Center,...11.2 pounds!  And, that is without exercise.  Just imagine what will happen (hopefully) when I actually begin to move my fat ass!

Upon arrival to the DC office and before facing the scale I experienced a sense of dread and trepidation.  I felt that I had succumbed to some old habits last week.  Like, some pita chips with hummus.  Cooking a pot roast with mashed potatoes for Sunday dinner.  Going out to eat at least three times last week can also leave you susceptible to sodium overload.  There were a lot of unknowns.  The thing that helped me keep everything balanced was writing down everything I consumed in my journal, even if it wasn't 'on program'.  I was psychologically preparing myself for a weight gain but, surprise, I lost.

This brings me to something huge that I am beginning to master on this journey to a (hmm) bikini body (hmm, again).  Living your life without deprivation is the only way to live.  Life does not have to stop when you begin to eat healthy.  In fact, it seems that life becomes a rebirth when you are reteaching yourself about what your body needs and wants in order to live and thrive.

For years I became one of the many followers of the belief that 'faster and cheaper is better'.  In fact, faster and cheaper can kill you faster (not sure about cheaper, though).  I now realize that when you look hard enough and contemplate the quality of food that you put in your body sometimes it is worth the cost.  But, it is always more fun trying to find the best and highest quality for the cheapest price.

Aldi is the answer for me.  First, I am very familiar with the layout of the store and I can get a weeks worth of groceries for under $50 in less than 30 minutes.  It has the least expensive fresh fruits and veggies bar none.  There isn't as much variety as say, Lowes Foods where I happen to buy my kale and brussel sprouts, but Aldi can't be beat for broccoli or peppers.  I also like their lean chopped meat and chicken tenders.  One of my favorite quick meals is using the frozen wild-caught salmon at less than $5.00 for a pack of four three-ounce steaks.

So, all this good, healthy food makes me realize that this is how we should treat our bodies every single minute of every single day.  We are all worth the extra effort and the extra dime.  Being selective about what we choose to put in our bodies should be taught from the very beginning.  It takes at least 30 days to break a habit and 30 days to adopt a new habit.  It's a shame that a lot of the obese Americans will never get the chance to learn the lessons I am at this very moment...

Part of living without deprivation is treating ourselves to something special.  I did that at least three times last week.  On Tuesday we went to Shucker's, a fine seafood restaurant, for lunch.  Besides it being a little cheaper at lunch, the portions are still generous.  I started from the moment we sat down and explained to the waitress we (my mom and I) are on a special diet and we immediately declined the hush puppies.  We ordered unsweetened iced tea with lemon.  Two green salads, no croutons, with balsamic vinegar.  Mom had the broiled scallops while I had the grilled shrimp.  We doubled up on the veggies (her with broccoli, me with mixed veggies) and we eliminated the starch.  We were so full and satisfied at the end of our meal that we took enough home for another meal.

My second treat was our typical Friday night out.  Yes, every Friday after a long, hard week we go out and celebrate the upcoming weekend.  The entourage includes myself, my mother, and my son(s).  Prior to the commencement of my journey we would typically hit our favorite local Italian restaurant, La Foresta, where we would indulge in their appetizer sampler and their white pizza.  Lately, we've been trying other restaurants and this night included Chili's.  Before we went out I Googled "Eat This, Not That" to see what would be the best of the worst items on the menu.  I went with the fajitas (no tortilla wraps) while my mom doubled up on the shrimp skewers and broccoli.  It was very enjoyable but I do worry about the salt content of food prepared by others especially in that type of restaurant.

On Saturday, before we went to see The Artist (an excellent movie), we took a chance at a place called the Lynnwood Grill.  This is your typical sports bar and family restaurant that serves everything from wings to pizza.  After taking a serious gander at the menu I was delighted to see a variety of salads in which you could add your choice of protein.  I had a Greek salad with grilled chicken.  Hold the croutons.  Balsamic vinaigrette on the side.  I was excited to see quality lettuce being used like spinach and arugula.  Unsweetened tea with lemon and we were all set.  Yes, you can choose something healthy even in a sports bar.

The bottom line is treat yourself the way YOU DESERVE to be treated.  We are only on this earth once (as far as I know) and in order to live a long and healthy life we must pay attention to how we fuel our bodies.  Making yourself BELIEVE that you are worth the extra money for the fresh vegetable or exotic fruit or organic chicken (if you so desire) is half the battle.  Adopting a healthy lifestyle is a MINDSET.  It is not easy and it takes a lot of training to keep you focused on the benefits of making good choices.

It is something I have to do each day for the rest of my life!

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