Chinese Food Hangover

As with many overweight people, I live with the knowledge that I “have to do something” to reduce my waist size. I have read the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, and Scarsdale Diet. I have watched Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and that man with the big bushy beard on PBS. I read their books and signed up for their web pages too. I have tried almost every program on the market, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Overeaters Anonymous, and Dr. Bernstein. And each time I watch a new show, read a new book, study a new web page, or join a new group, I go in with so much dedication and determination I am convinced, that this time, finally, I will end up a size 10. But I also go in with my perfectionist attitude.

And here it ends.

If I can’t measure out a portion size exactly, meaning, if the broccoli, brown rice and tofu casserole says that it makes “8 servings”, and if one of those servings has, say, one extra piece of broccoli in it, I’m off the rails. My thinking then becomes, “well, if I ate one extra piece of broccoli, I may as well eat this bag of potato chips”. And the diet is now done. Of course I’m exaggerating, but it’s not too far off the mark.

Again, like any overweight person, I have had one of many, many, many, “Last Suppers”. My last hurrah before adopting a new life. Last night, it was Chinese food. Oh it was delicious. Hot and sour soup, spring rolls, Szechwan beef, pork dumplings. No veggies. I even picked out the onions and green peppers in the Szechwan beef. And as with any sudden increase in fat, salt and sugar, my body responded by puffing up like a balloon, feeling slightly light-headed, then a bit cranky, and finally, sleepy.

As I laid on the sofa last night, wallowing in my Chinese Food Hangover, doing the only exercise of the day by playing Angry Birds on my iPhone, I recalled a conversation I had with a friend on Friday night. He’s making small changes. First, the reduction of pop he drinks in a day. Second, as his lunch usually has some sort of carb in it, for supper he is choosing to eliminate the carbs, and just have protein and vegetables. I encouraged him for these small changes, because he will notice a huge difference over time. It seems so sane.

Back to me on the couch playing Angry Birds. I got angry at myself (and not because I couldn’t figure out Level 12 of Poached Eggs). I can dish out the advice and support, and know without a doubt that small changes over time will make the world of difference. So it was time for me to do the same. I put down the iPhone, donned boots and coat, and went for a walk with my hubby. It was a beautiful walk. The air was fresh, the sky clear. It was rejuvenating. The cells of my body gasped, “thank you”.

Now, my small change thus far. A week ago, I resumed swimming. The only sport, other than golf, that I can say I’m truly passionate about. Getting to the pool and into a swimsuit was the biggest challenge of the year. But I did it. This week, I vow to eat whole grains and incorporate more veggies into the diet. And here I will stop and let this become part of my routine, before I add something else to my New Me plan. I have to wade into this gently, with no sudden moves. I have Michael to consider too, and if I switched suddenly from carbonara sauce to tofu cheese on rice crackers, both of us will get pissy.

Sunday has always been a day of rejuvenation for me, and today, managed to keep my resolve by having whole grain bread, toasted,

With peanut butter,

A banana (cut up in slices to make it a “fancy” breakfast for Sunday morning),

And of course coffee. Coffee (and wine) are two things I refused to give up. Ever.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Marg says:

    I too, have had soooo many “last suppers”. Thankfully whole grain foods are sooo good too, eh Cathy!

  2. David says:

    Angry birds you say?

  3. Walsh Cooks says:

    I laughed at my picture of the bread in the freezer. If you pan your eyes just to the right, you will see some frozen bacon! LOL. You’re right though, whole grains aren’t so bad. I just have to “remember” to eat them.

  4. Walsh Cooks says:

    Best 99 cents I spent all week. šŸ™‚

  5. Charlotte says:

    Bravo Cathy!

  6. Carrie says:

    It really is the small changes that make the biggest difference….you have a good mind šŸ™‚

  7. rebecca Schellenberg says:

    Hi how are you making the coffee? Interesting picture!

  8. Walsh Cooks says:

    Well, I’m glad you noticed! I’m quite proud of my coffee contraption, and am very pleased with the resulting coffee. The brewer is glass and sits on top of my coffee mug. The coffee filter is a recyclable cloth I found at Earth’s General Store.

    I have tried every kind of coffee brewer available on the market. Many years ago, I tried to reduce the amount of coffee I was drinking, and started using the simple Melitta plastic cones and filters. These worked beautifully for years and years.

    Last Christmas, my husband bought me the device you see in the picture, it’s called a Hario V60 two-cup pour over brewer, and is available at Transcend Coffee in Edmonton. They have fancy paper filters to be used with it, but these are a bit pricey for everyday use. Melitta paper filters work in it too, but you have to give it an extra fold to work well, and I’m not into origami before my first cup of coffee. I found the reusable filter as shown, and it works like a charm. Took a few goes to get used to dumping the grinds in the garbage without getting them all over the floor, but now that that’s mastered, it’s the only way I’ll brew my coffee. Perfect for my one cup of coffee to get me out the door, and even better that it’s less stuff for the landfill.

    The filter is low maintenance. Just give it a rinse and let it air dry. Once a month, soak it in a bath of hot water and baking soda. šŸ™‚

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