It’s time to eat cleaner

I wonder if the Cornhuskers would have a spot for a fat, old guy who could plug a big hole if he could just get up out of a three-point stance.

For all I know, the VH-1 reality series, “Celebrity Fit Club,” isn’t even on TV anymore.

But I used to watch the slow, which featured host Anthony Steven Kalloniatis, a comedian who is better known as Ant.  On the show, he often said: “The scales don’t lie.”

And neither will I. Today was final weigh-in day for the Y’s Weigh, a weight-loss challenge at the Muscatine Community Y. I can’t remember what I weighed in at, but I didn’t move the scales very much. My weight is almost identical to what it was in January.

If I want to be optimistic, there are two ways to look at this:

1. At least I haven’t gained weight after losing my job in February, which, to be honest, is a pretty big deal. I am a champion emotional eater and I am at least pleased that this little disruption in life didn’t completely derail me.

2. My clothes are fitting better and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost inches even if I haven’t lost weight — if such a thing is possible.

But I can’t be completely optimistic because I know all of my dark secrets, one of which I have decided to share.

As I said, if you looked up the term emotional eater, you might find my picture. I eat when I am angry, unhappy, stressed, anxious, bored, etc. And Sunday was a bad day. Rainy and cold, I was home alone and unable to do the things I wanted to do — get on my bike and go for a long ride.  So I binged. This is not something I do as a regular habit, but there is no other word for it. Sitting in front of the TV, watching a movie, I inhaled somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 calories.

I knew it was wrong even as I did it. And afterward, I felt physically ill. In fact, I didn’t eat again for nearly 24 hours.

Why tell everyone about this today? Well, writing about it and moving on seemed like a better response than beating myself up about it. So this morning, I woke up, went to Warrior Crossfit Muscatine for another really hard workout (read more about it here. I did it in 13:53) and then attended a cycling class at the Y.

At some point this morning, I remembered something I read over the weekend on Twitter, so, of course, I can’t find it now. But it was a tweet that said something like: Your body is your best food journal.

In other words, if you don’t eat healthy, there will be ample physical evidence. And the scales don’t lie.

As of today, my plan is to shake up my diet. I’m reaching the point where the soreness from Crossfit isn’t quite so bad and my recovery may be even a bit quicker. So it’s time to address what I eat, when I eat and how I eat. This is familiar territory. I’ve been down this road before.

Food journals have helped many people lose weight, but I’ve never been good at keeping one. The whole idea of weighing and measuring what you eat just doesn’t strike me as practical.  But I think I will use this blog to keep track of the kinds of food I am eating.

Diet seems like an easy thing: Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of whole grains and some protein. Eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible. The theory is easy, but the practice is much harder. But if I commit here,  maybe it will help me finally kick the habit of eating processed food.

My plan is to eat out a whole lot less and to cut back — if not outright eliminate — meat from my diet for a while. Maybe longer. I did this once before and lost a lot of weight. And I wasn’t working out anywhere nearly as hard then as I have been lately.

So I guess I’ll forget about Sunday and move on. Today is a new day. And so is tomorrow. If I string enough of those new days together, doing the things I know I should do, I can get and keep my weight at the level I want.

In the language they use at Crossfit, I guess I’m vowing to eat clean. And it will be harder to do than any of the killer workouts they’ve put me through.

Lunch on Monday

On today’s menu: Like I said, I skipped breakfast today, which will not be a regular habit.

For lunch, I ate a bowl of couscous with stir-fried veggies and beans.

And that’s where I’m at for now. The real test, will take place after tonight’s group bike ride.

8 thoughts on “It’s time to eat cleaner

  • Journaling is a good thing, even if all you do is write down what foods you ate and not the amounts in detail. The biggest thing in eating well is portion control; well, what you eat is also important of course, but a person can gain weight on nothing but fruits and vegetables if eaten in huge amounts. Learn what a “portion” is for food categories (meat is 3 to 4 oz., fruits and vegetables is 1/2 cup, etc.). Don’t eliminate meat entirely unless you are planning to become a vegetarian. My mantra is that you don’t do anything to lose weight that you aren’t willing to do the rest of your life. Sure, the weight may come off quickly, but when you begin to eat “normally” (whatever that means for you) the weight will most likely come back quickly. All this great advice is coming from a long time dieter–a weight watcher, if you will–who has yet to make goal, but is a whole lot smaller than when she first began.

  • Hi! I wasn’t happy with my weigh in either, but it will be ok. I use MyFitnessPal to track what I eat. It’s a free app. There’s another on I looked at in which you take a picture of what you eat and it sends you a message a few hours later to see how you feel. Of course I can’t remember the name. Keep up the great work Chris!

  • A friend recommended this free website to help track food, exercise and lose weight. Thought this may fit your computer – savvy lifestyle. It works if you work it… and you’re worth it!

  • Have you heard about the guy from Iowa, if not Muscatine, who lost an extreme amount of weight? He was featured on the Today Show awhile back and his story is now going to be in a book I believe. If it’s here in town, might be worth checking into and talking to him. Just a thought.

  • It’s great to get recommendations and suggestions from others about what works for them, but it really comes down to what works for YOU. I just had a week of eating much less than usual because I had pneumonia and completely lost my appetite. I’m pretty sure that once I’m well again, my appetite will come back, so the challenge will be to continue the small portions I’ve been eating for the past 8 days.
    And don’t forget: the Farmers Market starts tomorrow afternoon! 🙂

    • Agreed, Lori. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what works for me and what doesn’t. But the devil is in the details, or in this case, just actually doing what I already know works.

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