Posted in about me, food, know better do better, motivation, physical health

I reached my fat limit

It finally happened.

I reached the limit for how heavy I am willing to be.

I didn’t know ahead of time what that was. It’s not something I’ve kept in mind all along. I just reached the point where I had to say, “No more!”

When I went back to school in 2016, I gained a little bit of weight, eventually figuring out that since I was home more than I had been, I was also snacking more than I had been.

Snacks for studying, snacks to avoid studying, snacks to avoid housework, snacks snacks snacks. My eating was pretty clean—for lack of a better word—at that point, and that didn’t change. Just quantity.

The weight stayed with me.

Also in 2016, The Climbing Daddy and I started dating. He is a big fan of eating out, and we ate out together multiple times per week—way more than I ate out on my own. This also contributed to added pounds.

COVID was the biggest culprit, though. Most of us know how this has been going down. Lots more snacks. We also did some baking a year ago and through the summer, which meant eating foods we didn’t usually keep on hand. Not tons. Not even weekly. Just more.

Sweets tend to lead to more sweets, particularly with two adults in the house who struggle with regulation. Often enough it’s The Kid who says, “We’ve had enough sweets lately.”

Even with taking walks daily and running a few miles regularly, pounds crept on, as they have for many of us.

You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

Wearing elastic-waisted pants regularly doesn’t make my brain feel good, regardless my body size or shape, so most of this time, I’ve been wearing jeans and other pants and shorts with buttons and zippers. Most of them still fit. Some of them are quite snug; others must be a little more stretchy or were a little too big to start with. Work pants don’t fit, but I haven’t needed them in several months.

Enough.

If hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer. I don’t need snacks when I’m bored or stressed or anxious or avoiding unpleasant tasks.

So I stopped snacking, and I stopped gaining weight. (Note: it took longer to stop going to the kitchen looking for snacks than it took to stop eating them.)

I got Climbing Daddy on board—this was critical—and the bits of junk food that had been impulse purchased at the grocery store have stopped coming in. This helps tremendously in avoiding snacking for reasons beyond hunger.

To take off some of the extra, I eliminated or nearly eliminated three categories of foods from my diet: sugar, wheat, dairy.

In the last few weeks, I’ve had some noodles, a tortilla, and two slices of pizza (one sitting). No bread, and have passed on various bread stuff on several occasions. I’ve had a small amount of cheese four times (including the pizza, which was the largest amount of cheese), and I had a brownie.

The brownie was just the other day, was homemade and delicious, was smaller than the average brownie, and I felt sick after eating it.

This is good. This is my body adjusting to food it needs to thrive instead of food I was trained to want in times of distress that don’t serve me.

What am I eating instead? Mostly produce. Hummus with apples or carrots or cucumbers or celery. Nut butter with the same.

Nuts, but not too many.

Thick smoothies, the texture of soft serve, from frozen fruit.

We went from having small, anemic salads with dinner a few nights per week to having big, delicious salads every night. Climbing Daddy chopped up lots of veggies and we have them in the fridge. Everyone chooses the ones they want for their salads. Trader Joe’s recently introduced plantain croutons which are crunchy and delicious. The balsamic has a bit of sugar in it but it’s not sweet and I’m not worried about it.

The featured image is Jamaican curry, with chickpeas, peas, carrots, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, over rice. That was dinner one night and lunch for two days.

I lost three pounds quickly, which was expected. All three of those categories of food can cause water retention, and taking them out leads to immediate extra-water loss.

The rest will take some time, but with my cleaned-up diet and continuing exercise, I’m on my way.

Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 28Mar21

Just wandering around a park, looking for interesting details. It’s the season for most local plants to be flowering, so the question is: can I get a good shot? One that’s interesting, well lit, in focus?

Besides flowers, one plant had one little area with a cluster of pods. Most of them were deep enough into the plant as to be shaded, and those shots didn’t come out great, but I got one that I’m happy with.

It was a little breezy, making these pics a little tricky. Fortunately, it was nice and sunny, which meant I could use a faster shutter, making fewer shots turn out blurry.

A few pinecones were on the ground, so I played around with those a bit, too.

The lead photo is from a different location but still local. Could have been growing in the park.

It’s a beautiful time of year!

That’s all! Have a great week!

Posted in ebb & flow, mindset, thoughtfulness

Notes, drafts, and passing time

I have a lot of drafts of blog posts. What’s interesting at this moment is how many of those drafts are currently not relevant. Drafts of things from January or February 2020, before the pandemic came to this part of the world in force. Notes and thoughts and paragraphs about pieces of life that don’t exist now.

A few months ago, I went through the drafts and deleted quite a few. Some had notes that no longer triggered thoughts. (“I wrote that?”) Some were written and needed to be deleted instead of edited. (“I’m so glad I didn’t hit publish on that!”) Some were specific to a point on the timeline of the pandemic and are no longer relevant.

Even with that, 41 drafts remain. One I wrote today, for next week.

And 40 others that don’t fit today.

As I sifted through them, looking for something to spark words, it turned out to be the sifting that sparked thoughts.

It’s funny how very different and how very much the same life is now as it was when those bits were saved.

There’s still school and work and the changing seasons. There are still friends and music and art. There’s still wonder and curiosity. (There’s still lots of bad things, too, but I’m not going to list those out.)

We’re interacting with all of that differently than we used to, through masks or through computer screens, but it’s still there. Some of it is better than it was. For example, I will be happy to have game night again, but doing it online let me play with friends I’d never be able to play with otherwise. Maybe I’ll still do it online sometimes.

I’ll keep the drafts, and when it’s time, I’ll see if each is good as-is, if it needs to be revised, or if it needs to be ditched. Just like all the pre-pandemic habits.