Sunday, January 15, 2012

This is How We Do It: Part 3 – You are what you eat.

My sincere apologies for the dire lack of posts recently! The first couple weeks of 2012 have been interesting.  Aside from life throwing me a few quite unpleasant curveballs, it’s also been a time of my body getting back to normal after the holidays.  Don’t get me wrong – I thoroughly enjoyed many wonderful things over the holidays!  Peanut butter balls, puppy chow, prime rib, candy, potatoes, wine, beer, cookies, cheeses…  These are just a few of the things I indulged in.  And, boy, could I tell. 

Holiday treats, you slay me!
It turns out that the holidays proved to be the perfect catalyst in showing me just how much my habits have changed, and how much better it makes me feel!  You really are what you eat. 

When I began the weight loss process, I really didn’t give much thought to what I ate. 

It’s there.
I’m hungry.
It’s yummy.
I ate it.
Now I’m not hungry. 
That was really yummy…
I’ll have some more, please.

That’s about it.  There really wasn’t much purpose or thought behind it.  If I was hungry, I ate.  Sometimes I ate things because I was in the mood for them and they’re super yummy.  Sometimes I ate things because they were just there and required no effort.  Sometimes I ate when I was bored and fidgety and didn’t even really realize. 

Well, try losing weight behaving like that.

A typical day for the old Sarah probably would have consisted of no breakfast, sometimes no lunch or whatever was quick and easy, snacking like crazy while preparing dinner because of being so hungry from not eating all day, then dinner.  My meals weren’t terrible all the time, but I do realize how a lot of my bad choices were from lack of preparation and convenience.  Hot dog & fries from next door?  Sure!  Burger from a few storefronts down?  Fine.  I didn’t realize until I started tracking things that even the salads I’d create at the market down the street were easily 500 calories.   I once unknowingly put almost 200 calories worth of sunflower seeds on my salad.  Granted, it was about a ¼ cup, but I just figured, “Hey – it’s healthy, right?”  Too much of a good thing is still too much, it would appear.

What changed? 

I was driving home one day after having had my oil changed.  I spend a little extra on my oil changes because I’ve got leaky gaskets, but spending a little extra on really thick oil and some other oily thingamajiggy sealy treatment thingy keeps me from having to spend $1000 on huge, bad things.  I got to thinking about it all, especially the oily thingamajiggy sealy treatment thingy, and then wondered, “Holy cow…  If my car will die on me without doing something as simple as getting the oil changed regularly, then what on earth am I doing to my body?!  What on earth could possibly go wrong inside of me simply because I’m not doing routine maintenance?”  I guess I realized that I was pretty much slowly, irresponsibly setting my body up to just quit on me.   And I didn’t want that to happen.


BREAKFAST!  Chobani (anything but Greek yogurt just leaves me hungry), Special K, Bagel Thin, banana...
Snack – string cheese, fruit, vegetables, hummus, pretzels, try to keep under 100 calories
Quinoa, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 an avocado, basil, 
and sliced garlic.
Lunch – Lean Cuisine, Top Chef Healthy Choice, sandwiches, salads
Snack – same idea as above…
Dinner – usually around 300 calories, varies from 200-400ish.  Veggies and fish are my favorite!  Usually meat, vegetables, grains like quinoa or cous cous, etc.  If I've got calories leftover, sometimes I'll have a low calorie dessert like sugar free instant pudding!

I know we’ve all heard it before, but it’s so right…  Eating breakfast every day and eating a little something every couple of hours has undoubtedly made a huge, huge difference.  The interesting things will come, like getting better at cooking and having your new go-to/on-the-go products…  It’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat.  The combination of those two things is powerful!  

Our bodies are worthy of good fuel!  Cars?  Maybe they die, but there are plenty to go around.  We’ve only got this one life to live, and my life is certainly worth a little bit of healthy, routine maintenance. 


  1. Hey Sarah! Sorry to hear you have had some unpleasent-ness this year :-(

    This is such a timely post for this time of year... I know I certainly indulged too over the holidays, and my body was not happy with all that sugar! It amazes me how much junk I used to eat on a daily basis, and now just a little bit is enough to make me feel icky. I think it's important for everyone to really evaluate how they feel after eating!

    1. Yes, yes, yes - sugar and I don't get along especially well, either. You're so right about evaluating how you feel after eating. If I hadn't finally grasped that concept, there are so many things that I'd still be eating and wondering what I'd had that made me feel awful! Unfortunately, some of my FAVORITE foods are no-can-do's now, like shellfish.