Saturday, October 4, 2008

Small steps to a smaller you

I saw this ad on Amsterdam and 67th last week and thought I'd take a shot of it. I had only seen it once (June, LES) and thought it was very clever and memorable. The text along his "profiles" reads (from outermost to innermost):

- - - Started getting off bus a few stops early and walking to work - - -
- - - Gradually worked up to walking 30 minutes a day 5X a week - - -
- - - Has co-workers wondering who the new guy is - - -

I seemed to match JC pound-for-pound during her pregnancy weight gain. When March rolled around, she suddenly lost a lot of that weight, and I still looked to be with child. I ballooned up the heaviest I'd ever been and thought -- enough is enough. Time to do something.

The change for me really took:
  1. A desire to be more healthy
    It takes a lot of honesty to understand why your dress shirts don't fit so well anymore. I knew I was balooning up, and my life needed change. I started to internalize that change is possible, and that I have the ability (responsibility?) to make it happen.

  2. Cooking at home more often
    It helps to know what's in our food. I think the last time we ordered chinese, there was more oil in the bottom of the tray than I could comprehend. I have to believe that even with the olive oil that we use, there's no way it's near the amounts of fat, butter, oil and god knows what that take-out restaurants use to make the food taste "better".

  3. Eating smaller portions
    This is certainly related to cooking at home, as restaurant portions are usually closer to two meals. I realized recently that I would have made a fine guppy, had that been my lot in life. Eating until it's all gone is a talent of mine. By cooking at home, I'm better about putting smaller portions in front of me, then packing the rest as lunch. This gets the rest of the food out-of-sight, and thus, out-of-mind. There's a great psychological difference in snacking from the food that's resting on the stove versus savagely violating tomorrow's lunch container early.

  4. Snacking less
    This was a hard one for us, and being frugal was the best solution. Post dinner runs to Duane Reade for those decadent Entermann's dark chocolate and pecan Cookies... what was I talking about? Be right back -- NO! Focus! ...right, cookies... Well, it's easier to pass on them when you see it as an unneccesary expense. It took a little while to kill that habit, but we're pretty good now about avoiding snacks. We do have fiber one bars if the crave strikes, which are a much healthier alternative to a package of cookies. I mean a few cookies. Did I say a package?

  5. Looking for opportunities to walk
    This was a little easier for me to incorporate. Two days a week I work 20 blocks away from home, so I've walked home a few times, and I'd like to increase the regularity of that. We'd find ourselves going to the library 12 blocks away, or the supermarket 10 blocks away as having multiple benefits. My fear is that with Winter around the corner, this part of the plan could be seriously impacted. Here's hoping for a dry winter.
We've lost a considerable amount of weight in the past month or two, without so much as a gym visit. I know it could bounce back, but I have confidence that the changes we've made are healthy choices, not the results of extreme measures. I also have a guilty meal now and again to remind my body that I'm not in starvation mode. I haven't been overly cranky or tired, and I feel better. Plus, now I'm able to wear clothes on the "too-small" side of my closet. You know, the ones that were too small when I bought them, because I was going to lose weight very soon? Also known as "last year's pants".

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