Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 5 - Embracing measuring

Day 5
Sunday. Quiet. In groove of things. Eating slightly larger portion sizes due to measuring. Completely on board with measuring now. If I can't eat until I'm full then how do I know when to stop? Below explains how I came to accept measuring.

I start reading WW materials. I quickly realize that I have one big positive going for me. I already understand how to cook healthfully for myself and my family. I don't need to learn that. I have lots of great short-cuts to make food more nutritous. I add flax meal and wheat germ to things. I mix in tofu or pureed squash to sauces as thickener sometimes. I don't use a lot of butter (except in eggs but even that I'm diminishing). I love vegetables and fruit. I weaned myself off most non-whole grains a year ago. I have made attempts lately at preparing more vegetarian meals for my family. I don't drink a lot of soda, alcohol or fast food. I like to get some exercise although I don't push myself to exhaustion enough.

On the down side, I do cook by tasting, not with recipes so I need to taste less. I never follow recipes. I never measure when I cook. For me cooking is a creative endeavor not to be hampered by rules or lists. I think people who do are unimaginative and rigid. Can't you just estimate?? What is wrong with you? You need a measuring cup to tell you what to put in a stir fry? (Obviously this means I don't bake.) In my twenties I lost a lot of weight by changing my daily habits, eating small portions, and some forced weight-loss due to gall bladder surgery. I had a roommate who did weight watchers and used a scale. I thought she was silly and couldn't think for herself.

Now I'm staring at the cutting board trying to figure out how many chicken slices to put on my salad. I keep throwing one or two slices back and forth from my plate to the cutting board. How little can I eat while still being able to exercise? I have to be hungry sometimes so that is not a measure any more. I'm confused. Emily tells me to use the WW guidelines. A WW portion of lean meat is 4 oz. This is somewhat helpful. But how many thinly sliced pieces makes up 4 oz? I let go of my entire previous 37 years of identity, grab a 1/2 cup measuring cup from the drawer and start shoving in chicken strips. Then I put them on the salad. That was pretty easy! I eat. I'm not full right away when I stop, but I'm full soon enough.

Have I become a person who uses measuring cups?? Well yes, I have. But only for personal portion control. I have a lot more on my mind than I did in my 20s and I just want to shove the food in the measuring cup and dump it in my bowl. I'll get better at eyeballing things.

I still don't measure to cook. But I do measure my own portions. I feel like a different person now. De-coupling these two kinds of measuring is an epiphany! I can keep my creative cooking identity, but still understand how much I'm eating.

Have lovely tea/shopping date with Emily. We discuss many things, including her baby's sleeping habits. Did I go through that? We also discuss my newfound fascination with WW's plan. Instead of being distrusting, I'm coming to view it as a vast social experiment. How does it work? It's fascinating. We work in public health so I should know. My previous job was in Internet consulting so I felt the same way about joining Facebook and learning about blogging. It's kind of a job requirement and a necessary activity to make me more knowledgeable about important social trends in my field. Of course the result has been thousands of wasted hours on Facebook and now on this blog. Hmmm.

I think it's kind of common knowledge that most people who have long-term success use WW. Emily tells me to stick to the WW Points allotment and not eat less because they have done millions of dollars of research and know what they're talking about. I believe her. She reads things. After a lovely time out, I go home and get really cranky about making dinner as I don't want to be in the kitchen with all it's temptations. And I'm tired from attempts at exercise. I perk up though and realize my husband has just had the kids for 5 hours and grilling chicken isn't really all that hard.

Food log to Emily

breakfast/morning snack
one egg, smidgen of butter, 1/2 naan
1 yogurt, no sugar
1 high fiber muffin

some weights for arms, but only 10lbs.

1/2 cup salmon on arugula, tomatoes, peppers,
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic glaze
1/2 naan

tea (with you!)

1/2 cup ground beef
1/2 cup whole wheat pasta
(bad part!) 3 almonds and 4 mini rice crackers - bad snack but i gave in for a minute. I didn't eat much - like 2 tablespoons.
roasted green beans with no salt, nothing.

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