Supersize v. Superskinny

Glory!

I’m late to the reality-TV party, but I recently discovered the UK show Supersize v. Superskinny, which is kinda reality-TV because they are real people taking part in a filmed interactive situation. But this show uses its shock value for a very constructive purpose rather than just for entertainment. Basically, Dr. Christian Jessen, often just called Dr. Christian, guides one obese and one near-anorexic person to learn from him and each other, in order to revampt their eating habits. Dr. C, with his sensible comments and caring voice, has taken up residence in my mind along with my favourite participants, and encourages me now.

Two different people each week meet and compare visual display of a week’s worth of food. They are each going to have to eat what the other one did in the past week, as recorded in a food diary. They enter the feeding clinic and the skinny person is presented with a vast dinner, often followed by unwanted snacks. The fat person gets some sad excuse for a meal, like a chocolate bar, a piece of toast and an energy drink, or if they’re really lucky, decent food, but a portion fit for a four-year old.

So this past week, I set up a “feeding clinic” for myself. No one else here, just the show participants and Dr. C to cheer me on. From the show, I learned that you can reset your appetite. I planned three sensible meals a day for myself, and a protein shake as an option if rushed or heading out for a long swim and the like. Currently the two key points for me are to do without snacking, and to make a plan and follow it. I already eat high quality food made from scratch, for the most part, and now that is exclusive. No more fast food burgers and other not-great stuff I’ve enjoyed in the past. Time and again the supersizers suffered through some hunger but pretty soon were okay with their tiny portions. I can only guess their bodies started burning a bit of fat.

Amazingly, most of these people started to look noticeably better after several days in the clinic, especially people who were there for a whole week, and especially the super-skinnies. Even though they were often eating takeaway food with lots of bad fats and carbs, just getting more calories put colour in their face and took away some gauntness, immediately. I also noticed after the first day on my feeding clinic, immediately my complexion looked clearer, just like most of the supersized folks on the show.

So, I got a bit of glory. I found something that I know will work. I saw it work for many others. Planning your meals is not a new thing, but it’s something I resisted till now. I like flexibility, but now I need control. I always cooked in bulk and saved it in the fridge and freezer for meal convenience, so I’m used to that level of planning, but the point is here is planning for portion control. Limit intake to three meal periods and a scoop of protein if necessary. So far I’m not defining the meal portion extremely. That will be the next step, once I have the 3 meals without snacks habit down pat. I’m quite sure this alone will make a decent difference, as I was quite the opportunistic grazer up till now.

It’s great to have a plan I can believe in, live by, and refine, and be free from emotional eating. Yes, I had a few thoughts of indulgence over the past few days, but I focused on my goal to get through to a new state of being, like the peiople in the show. They are sent off for a few weeks or months and come back to reveal their results. They are encouraged to continue beyond that. Unfortunately, I won’t have a feeding clinic buddy to keep in touch with, but I can at least remember a lot of the delightful and inspiring people who have been on that show.

Just one thing about me – I’ve never been a dieter. My life has been going through hell the past two years, due to my marriage breakdown. I did manage to lose some weight during the separation part of that, but gained more than half of it back. Yoyoing is not fun and I don’t want that pattern to repeat. I’m taking it slow, steady, and comfortable (except being willing to feel hungry while adjusting), so it can be a solid lifestyle change.

I know all the supersizers and superskinnies and Dr. C would wish me success.

 

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Love

Love

Is this not the best cheddar cheese ordinarily found in grocery stores? Please let me know if you know of a better one. This is very sharp and cheddary, and often goes on sale. What more could I want? Well, there is a cheese with truffle bits in it – fabulous, but $10 for a small piece maybe 1/3 to 1/4 size of this one, which is often on sale for $4. So, that’s like 3x as much. And, sure, it tastes 3x better and maybe I’ll buy it one day, but I haven’t yet. I tried it at a conference… wow! So I researched what on earth I had eaten. I love cheese, okay? Cheese slathered on seedy bread with a base of butter to stick it all together. Oh, yeah.

I have been kicking butt on life, okay? Making bucks, getting fit, making friends, setting limits with other friends. Even though it’s amazing to be wanted… it’s even better to not spend time with people who aren’t that interesting. “I like you – You’re a good conversationalist.”  And then, “Why don’t people want to visit me — I mean you.” Wow, believe me, this is not the kind of experience I’ve ever had before in my life. Am I on something? Is this a hallucination? No. It’s just a result of being 55 and trying to connect with people in the world. And I’m sorry, but it’s hard to connect with someone who has given up on trying, who can’t remember anything, and is just lowering their standards (her words) to make life more comfortable.

No, I have drive and passion. I want more. I’m not satisfied. Yes, death is a comforting thought, but that’s because life is so unsatisfying. I don’t want to lower my standards. I want great cheese, the good kind, and soon I’ll buy the kind with truffle bits in it, dammit.

But that’s just hedonism, is it not? Sure, it is. I want to do something grand. I want to be totally absorbed in a mission. Frankly, I am not excited about the achievements of Tony Robbins or Arnold – no need to spell his last name – but I totally desire to be completely absorbed in pursuing something with intensity. Arnold’s workout sets were insane, and I love that, even though the drugs he took are no longer legal and in fact guys built like a brick shithouse do not actually appeal to me. And Tony, the coke-head (I think, no aspersions cast) Robbins, no, I don’t get excited about his insane rants and coal-walking, but I am totally impressed with how he learned to give speeches. He went and gave several a day, not just a few a month. Go Tony! I dig that.

But what am I to do in this world? I am having difficult figuring that out. So many aptitudes. So much  random knowledge. So much passion. No frickin’ clue about what to do.

I’m TCB, doing all I have to do, but I want glory. And it’s not coming from cheese, luscious as that is.

 

Curry? Bingo!

Curry? Bingo!

Today, someone was going off to the seniors’ centre, apparently, to play bingo. I guess this because as she was leaving, she asked me in a friendly almost boisterous voice, “Do you like bingo?” I gotta say, she was leaning on a walker and I was standing up on a concrete wall working on my garden. I said, “No, I don’t think so. I haven’t played it since I was a kid.” After a moment, “We make money!” Good for you. Enjoy. Then she called back about the chicken dinner or something over there. Another thing I don’t want – chicken prepared for old people. Yuck. It won’t be curry. I don’t much like eating out, anyway. It’s mostly disappointing. (Except the Himalaya Restaurant at Main and 49th or 50th has never been disappointing, and I’ve been there dozens of times over the past 35 years. You won’t need the hydrant in the picture – it’s not THAT spicy.)

There’s a very elderly lady that so, so slowly walks up and down my street every day. The pillow on her walker has a male name on it. It used to belong to her husband, now deceased. She has a sweet smile that got a wistful twinge as she explained to me about that one day. I’ve chatted with her the odd time. She goes to the Waffle House every day, she tells me. She asked me if I go there. “No, I like spicy food.” I did go there a couple times – yuck – didn’t tell her that. Different strokes. “Oh, but spicy food isn’t good for you, is it?” “Oh, but I think it is good for you.” “Well, maybe.” Yeah, no doubt turmeric, garlic, hot chilis, ginger and more are good for you. But may not agree with typical senior digestive systems. “Different things suit different people.” For me, that’s curry.

But seriously, bingo? I told her and showed her, “I got the bingo wings for it, though!” Fraid so. Some day I’ll have ’em chopped off, if they don’t shrivel up and die from intensely exercising nearby muscles as well as general flab loss. But, no, I don’t see myself playing bingo, probably ever. I’m actually thinking about going to grad school, despite my age. I’ve been reading up on different researchers’ pages, looking for something I would be excited to work on. Something that to me seems to have a point and maybe even a chance of changing the world. Something I always wanted to do, since I was a pre-schooler. Something I always thought I would do. Something I haven’t done.

And, by the way, when did 55 become senior instead of 65?  “Slow down, America, 55’ll do” was supposed to be about conserving fuel. We older people, many of us, will have to work till 75 and beyond, now, so there’s no point having 55 be the senior age. But I’ll take the discount at the massage school, thanks!

 

 

Parsley

Parsley

I was just reading about the health benefits of parsley. This alone could almost explain why my blood work is almost always “perfect” despite the fact that I’m very overweight.

In fact, I’m obese. I found this in my medical records some years ago when I ordered copies. The doctor had never used that word with me, though. I was shocked! I had to google its definition, which was re BMI. Yes, I’m heavy because of muscle and very substantial bones – could be to do with parsley and also weightlifting formally as well as just carrying my weight around. I haven’t been inactive. I’ve sweated in the garden, turned soil and loaded mulch with a wheelbarrow. Pretty intense. But I really am fat, got lots of jelly that I have discovered does not help with belly dancing, ironically. A little jelly is fine. I’ve got so much it goes bouncing in one direction after the core of me has moved on to another direction. Kind of like a blurry echo or visual haze image. First, fairly distressing, but in the end very motivating.

But anyway, at least I’m pretty healthy.

I see some fancy recipes to get you to eat more parsley. Tabbouleh, some baked stuff, even pesto. But I’ll make it way simpler for ya: Take a big handful of parsley, like 2-3 generous branches of it. Chop it up, not too finely. Pile it on the plate, maybe on top of some chopped cuke or tomato, something it’ll stick to. Pile some other salad on top of that – maybe a bean salad, which is what I keep handy in the fridge all summer. Greek salad, whatever. And just eat it. Or for that matter, just chomp on the branches by themselves. I have never left parsley on a restaurant plate unless it looked pale or limp. Just eat it! Yum!

And by the way, if you don’t like the taste of parsley very much, grow some or get some from a veggie gardener or maybe even a farmers’ market. It tastes different from the store kind, about 10x better, as with everything else home-grown.

 

 

 

Just food

My friend who doesn’t cook was supposed to eat before she came over. She was going to go out. She had asked if I want to, but I don’t eat out much, so I said no. Then she arrived and she was hungry because she hadn’t made it out to eat. Not sure how the topic came up, but she was hungry, and I offered her a salad, to which she agreed.

Dry cottage cheese, some freshly shredded cabbage, cucumber slices, radish and broccoli on the side, and all topped with 3-bean salad I had made a couple days before. She watched me make it, as I whipped things in and out of the fridge, and bits of waste into the compost bucket. “I’m getting an education,” she said, and, “It’s like a cooking show.” It’s just how I cook – efficiently.

“I should take a picture,” she said when it arrived on the table. But she doesn’t have a cellphone, so this salad didn’t get uploaded anywhere.

I’m good at cooking. Been doing it since I was a kid. When my parents split up, I was tasked with making dinners because mother was late home from work. I got a driver’s licence at 16 with the understanding that grocery shopping was now my job, each week. I’m old school; I make stuff from scratch. Buying a can of pre-cooked beans for the salad felt extravagant – I usually cook them from scratch, but this was a special case of 3-bean instead of just one or two, so the third one was from a can, as I didn’t have anything stashed in the freezer.

Wish I had such facility and variety and habit in my career area. I need to spend more time exploring all the variations there.