This one will be shorter than the “Advantages” post and will have several of the same entries:
I have a kid: He’s fussy and he hates leftovers. If I give him something and he only wants part of it, that food will sit out on the table, tempting me. No, I won’t put it away, because he will sometimes finish it off himself later, and that’s what I want. But on those times he won’t finish them, that’s wasted food. That’s a problem because…
I don’t have much money: Yes, I know I listed this in my advantages post. But throwing away food we paid for has been pretty challenging.
My wife: Another double entry, but this one isn’t her fault. She’s not eating gluten right now, but her food issues are more complex than that. She’s also avoiding salycates and amines, which means no broccoli, bananas, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, pickles, vinegar, olives, soy sauce, etc. etc. There are all sorts of delicious, healthy foods that she can’t eat, and since most of our meals are taken as a family, they’re often off-limits for me, too. Which is just as well, since I have fewer weird reactions like rough, red, itching skin on my face. Still, it’s hard enough to deny myself a certain food.
I don’t like fake food: Non-fat yogurt looks like regular yogurt because it’s full of odd crap–stabilizers and whatnot. I don’t even know and I don’t want to know. I certainly don’t want to eat it. Low calorie salad dressings taste horrible, and so do garden burgers, tofurky, turkey bacon, and all the rest. I don’t like that crap and I don’t want to eat it. That means I get to eat good (but high-calorie) foods in small quantities, or I can only eat them rarely.
Now, there are very few foods that I’ve given up completely. Sugary teas, yes, but I still have pasta once in a while, and I still eat peanut butter sometimes. But what I have to do is be very careful about serving sizes and planning my day. If I’m having pasta for dinner I try to eat lighter-calorie meals during the rest of the day. Same thing if I’m going to have a beer at lunch or dinner. I also try to make sure that, generally speaking, the food I do eat is of good quality. Am I going to waste 600 calories on a frozen pizza? Fuck that. But a homemade pizza, sure.
Laziness: Do I want to record calories for everything I eat? Hell no. But I have to and I hate it. Oh yeah, hold on a second.
The holidays: This one’s obvious, right? No one who loves turkey and stuffing sandwiches the way I do can look at these next few weeks without dread.
Cravings: How often do I hear some fit person say, as though talking to a child, that all a person has to do is “eat sensibly” or “only take in as many calories as you use?” Thankfully, not as much in recent years as I used to. People are beginning to understand that people don’t all have the same thoughts and feelings. They accept there are differences in height, hair color, personality, all sorts of things, but hunger and food cravings?
The idea that someone else might experience cravings more powerful than they have ever experienced in their lives is a hard one for people, especially when fitness and/or thinness is so tied into a personal sense of virtue.
For me, my cravings have gotten less overwhelming as I’ve gotten older, but they can still be overwhelming. They feel quite a lot like despair and when they start I have to stop whatever I’m doing and wait for them to pass.
Still, today, for the first time in weeks, I went over my daily calorie limit. Not by a lot, but I still broke the boundary. Not that it matters much; as long as I keep doing well on other days, it’ll all even out in my favor.
Next time I’ll talk about the pros and cons of the Livestrong program. Oh, and as of Friday I’ve lost 27 pounds.