I am frustrated with my baby weight. It is the unwelcome house guest around my middle that just doesn’t realize it’s time to go. Some of the pounds unpacked and got comfortable during my first pregnancy seven years ago, and then their relatives moved in during my pregnancy with the twins last year – and none of them have made the slightest pretense of budging! I’ve hinted, I’ve tried to make things as uncomfortable for them as possible, but sadly, they like the food.
So I’ve decided it’s time to get serious about what I’m eating. For quite a while I’ve deluded myself, talking myself into the logic that a Lean Cuisine at lunch makes up for Ben & Jerry’s after dinner. And did you know that a cookie eaten around 4am is necessary for getting back to sleep? Any of you who know what I’m talking about are familiar with this very creative self-bargaining.
But getting serious about what I’m eating is daunting to me. I can’t cook. So when my husband is working, I’m left to forage for whatever is easy and convenient, two adjectives that are usually associated with not-so-good food choices. Peanut butter and jelly – a staple. Soup – out of a can. Noodles and sauce. Frozen chicken cordon bleu. Okay, not the worst foods in the world, but certainly very low in redeeming qualities. I look at recipes for healthy “easy to prepare” meals and I literally feel myself getting lazier.
The real impetus for me came two days ago. I went for a haircut and based my choice of style on what would most flatter my heavier face. Then my hairdresser, also a mom, shared that she has lost 60 pounds since January. My curiosity piqued, I asked for details and was thrilled to hear that she, too, cannot cook and has little interest in learning. A kindred spirit! She told me of the egg-white omelets she makes herself, the salads loaded with grilled chicken and veggies, the dramatic reduction of starches and sugars, water as the beverage with every meal. And when she and her husband go out to eat, because they don’t deny themselves, they’ll share meals to help with portion control.
But what really struck me was when she said I shouldn’t try to do it all at once. That I should make changes in my diet gradually rather than jumping into the deep end. I know this isn’t a revolutionary idea. It’s not that she’s the first one to ever think of this, but it was just what I needed to hear in that moment. It’s like she gave me permission to take my time and not feel as if I was taking on something burdensome.
So this morning I made an egg-white omelet (store bought - didn’t separate them myself, even though I do know how to) with bacon, low-fat cheddar, and oregano. I also had half a grapefruit. Sure I could have used turkey bacon and added some veggies and my salad lunch should have had some greener leafs and, again, more veggies, but I’m going in the right direction. I bought almonds and mini carrots to have as snacks and kept my water bottle with me throughout the day. So maybe Ben & Jerry’s peanut brittle ice cream came to visit – I only had a few spoonfuls–really!
Most important, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m not just complaining but actually taking steps. Baby steps, true; but that seems only appropriate for a mom!
Wellness Program Lead