Monday, February 27, 2012

Here's where the story ends

Here's where the story ends.  The story being my growing waistline and my inability to take responsibility for it happening.  That ended on January 3rd, the day I stepped on a scale for the first time in about 9 months.  My knees ached and having a torn meniscus wasn't helping matters.  They weren't going to get better by themselves either.  I finally pulled up my bootstraps and started to do things the right way.  I will be posting my before and after pictures so you can see that yes it is possible to shed pounds, eat great food and feel great everyday.  You need to take this day by day.  Small changes yield big results.  Case in point for people who feel its hopeless.  Simply cutting out 100 calories a day and you will lose 10lbs.  That's a small bag of potato chips.  Seriously, its that simple.  You have to exercise too.  If you are as big, meaning over 250lbs, as I was, then exercise won't necessarily be required for weightloss.  If you are obese, please see your physician before undertaking an exercise program.  I will also post what I eat and recipes and things that have helped me along the way.  If I can do this, you can too.  Belief in yourself is the most important element in achieving your goals.  Think small steps.  I take my weightloss in 10lb chunks.  I shoot for 1-2 pounds per week. I don't get discouraged if I don't see the number change on my weekly weigh in.  There are a lot of factors that can effect your weight throughout the day. When you ate, what you ate, how much you drank and when.  This can add 2-8lb swing in your weight.  The other important thing to do is to chronicle what you eat.  You probably don't realize how much you really eat until you are forced to keep track of it.  I use to help me.  A lot of the recipes that I will be posting have the calorie counts already listed on the site.  They also have a handy phone app that will allow you to scan in barcodes and put the calories into your diary of what you ate.  Anybody who wants to friend me there can do so by typing in my screenname, StuartFine.  Here are my first couple of tips as a recap:

1.  Get up off the couch. If you are watching TV for 3 hours, get up and stand 10 minutes of each hour.
2.  Journal what you eat and be honest.  Look for one way to cut 100 calories from your diet
3.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Don't get discouraged by looking at your weight daily.  Think weekly progress, monthly progress and work towards those goals.
4.  Exercise.  Even just a few minutes a day can add up to big changes long term.  Don't be afraid if you can't do an exercise for a long time or exactly the most perfect way.
5.  Start eating real food.  Try and cook more meals.  If you are already cooking look to cook healthier.  I can help with improving your food through strategic swaps and techniques.  Healthy food doesn't have to taste like crap.  If anything it might even taste better to you.
6.  We all have bad days.  Make sure your bad day doesn't become a bad week, month, year or life.

I think thats enough preaching for the moment.  Here is one of my favorite recipes for a low cal satisying soup to help get things started.  If you are a fan of chinese food, this recipe will hit the spot.

Hot and Sour Soup

2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth (14.5oz each), I use a box of Pacific Natural Foods Free Range Low Sodium (320z).
2 Tablespoons Lite Soy Sauce (I use Kikkoman's)
1 tablespoon or to taste Thai Chile Paste
8 oz Shitake mushrooms, stemmed caps, sliced thinly
4 or more tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons Corn Starch
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 package firm tofu drained well, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger ( I use the tubes of pre-mashed Ginger)
3 scallions/green onions thinly sliced

In a 5 or 6 quart pot, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, chili paste and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Once boiling add mushrooms, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.  While that is cooking, In a bowl whisk together cornstarch and vinegar. Add to pot and stir until soup thickens slightly.  Now take the beaten egg and slowly drizzle into soup while stirring.  This should form ribbons off egg within the soup.  Stir in tofu. Add ginger.  Shut off heat and stir.  Let sit for about 5 minutes and taste.  You will probably find you need to either add more heat or more vinegar to suit your tastes.  Ladle into a bowl and sprinkle with green onions.  Makes 4 servings.  Approximately 110 calories.

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