Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Food: Chapter 2
The scale in the weight room at the North Boulder Recreation Center is my old enemy. I began tracking my weight on it 3.5 years ago, beginning when I first signed up for a women's weight training class, and have been discouraged by it ever since.
But last Thursday and again this morning, discouragement morphed into something like hope. That's because on both days, this stern taskmaster of a scale registered my weight at below 136 pounds. That's a point that I have tried and failed since pregnancy to breach--despite the weight training class (which I've continued in some form without interruption since 2008) and training for two (now three) half-marathons and several shorter races over the same period of time.
To be exact, on Tuesday it read 134.6. Today it read 135. Since even I am not one to fret over a difference of .4, I'm going to call it a trend.
This backs up a highly subjective observation I've made recently that my jeans are starting to feel a tad bit loose. Thing is, I've felt that before and been dead wrong about the direction my weight is going. This is the first time both the scale and my pants have been saying the same happy thing.
What have I been doing differently? Not very much, but there are two things that may be contributing. One is that I have kept up with the gum chewing when I crave sweets, especially at work where sweets abound, a trick recommended by several sources including Martha, the nutritionist I was working with earlier this year. The second is that I have been emphasizing fruit consumption.
And by emphasizing fruit consumption, I mean that I've been downing a lot of fruit. I put it on my morning oatmeal. I eat it for snacks. If I get the munchies after dinner, I reach for a bag of frozen mango or frozen cherries and throw worries about serving size and calories to the wind. Because it's fruit, and it's so much better than the other junk I could be eating at that time that I figure extra is OK.
Hopefully all this fruit consumption makes up for the fact that I really don't eat as many vegetables as recommended. It's not that I don't like vegetables. Prepared well, they are delicious. But I'm lazy, so preparation isn't going to happen a lot of the time. Also, when it comes to food I'm easily bored, and I'm sorry to say there is little in the food world that I find more boring than, say, baby carrots, steamed broccoli or celery sticks. I *know* these things are good for me. But they do nothing to satisfy me either when I'm genuinely hungry or having a craving.
Fruit, however, is another story. I'm actually starting to crave that frozen mango now. My cereal is starting to seem naked without bananas and blueberries on it. I can actually now imagine a world where I might order fruit for dessert. And somehow it makes total sense that the way for a proven sweet addict to lose weight just might be to not try to eliminate all sweets but to find a healthier way to binge on them: by binging on fruit!
This also has given me a tiny glimmer of hope that perhaps I might learn to feel as happy about eating vegetables someday. But baby steps, one thing at a time, etc. If I can get the rest of the weight off without dieting, keeping a food diary or counting calories, I will be so happy.
Let's hope my body has decided that after nearly three years of warfare with the rec center scale, it's time to make friends.