Looking at my mindless eating habits.

I am overweight.  Yep, I said it.  I lost 76 pounds back in 2010.  Then I got hit by a truck and life as I knew it seemed to stand still for months.  I lost all that weight by being mindful and connected to my food.  Things like urban farming and farmers market trips weekly, sometimes multiple times weekly were all part of my life.  Also I biked everywhere.  I hated paying for the bus fare so I forced myself to bike up two big hills daily to get home.  I also cut back on my alcohol and limited my processed food.  I was not only losing weight but saving a ton of money.

What happens when your whole life is turned upside down?  You lose focus, you lose energy and drive and you fall into depression.  When you are in constant pain you drink alcohol more and smoke weed far more than normally.  The fact that my partner’s housemates gave me a key code to their home did not help.  He lived half the distance that my home was.  I also could avoid hills and frankly my partner drinks daily unless he is on call.  He is what I would call a functional alcoholic.  I worry about him, but he is pleasant and not a danger to anyone so I keep my silence.

Needless to say I gained most of my weight back.  I have half heartedly tried to lose it again.  I even biked across the country thinking that in the process I would “get skinny” as a good friend put it.  Sadly on the road you eat unhealthy foods.  You are also not picky about the food you are offered, even being a vegetarian is hard on the road.  I do not know when I lost all my hope, but recently I found it again.

Knowing that I leave in 52 days has motivated me to lose at least enough to drop a pant size maybe two.  I started to focus in November and started tracking my foods.  It totally changes how you eat when you post it openly for the World to see.  I finally opened mine up so others could see it and found that I did not want anyone to see an entire bag of Doritos in my food log.  I also wanted people to see more activity than I currently had.  I bought a pedometer hoping to increase my activity.  I lost several of them.  I finally bought a digital one that directly connects to my tracking website.  I now have a goal of 6000 steps a day and 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week.  I also try to do a short strength training session.  I started the strength training and 30 minutes of cardio two weeks ago.  I have found that I have lost 2 pounds since I started, almost three.

My new tracking device will light up and show how close I am to my goal daily.  It frustrates me to see how inactive I am, and I try to get more cardio in when I see I am struggling to get to my goal.  I tend to pull my bike out when I see that I have been far to sedentary most of my day.  The holiday season is not an ideal time to focus on food, but I did and I am glad that I did.  I may have went over my calories on certain days, but I was more aware of what I was putting in my mouth.

One thing I have noticed is that I tend to eat more when I am bored.  Since I have few friends here and I spend my days home alone, I tend to have to force myself to find something else to do besides eat.  One thing I have focused on is my food planning.  I find it a great way to spend my time, basically because I am not eating while I am planning.  I also have started planning on my wardrobe to pack for Jamaica.  The problem with this is that it costs money.

I do find that a bike ride in the middle of the day is helpful to distract me from mindlessly wasting my day.  I have found a bar down the street that I bike to and read a book, but I tend to drink while I read, it is after all, a bar.  I have found a couple of coffee shops to sit and read at, but they tend to be much farther away.  I wish I had someone to meet in Midtown and then I would enjoy biking there so much more.  Maybe I should force myself to.  I find myself less distracted when I find focus.  That is a total duh moment, but typing it out helps me see it better.

I typically avoid frozen foods.  What I have found though, is that without them I buy less produce and then I have less to munch on when I do get a craving.  In the last month I have bought a few different bags of veggies and fruit.  The fact that Richard’s girls will eat only certain veggies and mostly the kind that is frozen cemented my resolve to keep them on hand.  It has helped.  I keep certain things fresh on hand but things that are out of season are in the freezer.

I have also broken my rule about canned things.  I now keep canned organic beans on hand.  This is for me to add to a salad when I forget to make them ahead of time.  I have been experimenting with new grains and whole foods as well.  I have found several ways to enjoy quinoa.  One of my favorite is tossing it in a vinaigrette and adding cilantro and pomegranate seeds.  I found this to be quite delightful.

I still have a long way to go, but I know that I am back on track and that by the time I leave I will at least be a size smaller than I currently am.  This makes my clothing situation even better.


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