Archive for March, 2010

Progress Report

Well, it is the end of March and I am happy to report that I am well on my way to being fat. Since March 1st I have lost nine pounds. As of breakfast I have 134 pictures in my photo food journal.  From the pictures I can see that 72% of my meals were prepared at home and 28% of my meals were prepared in a commercial setting. I can see that I had pizza for dinner (or breakfast) eleven times and I had five cheeseburgers during the month. I think that the pictures have really helped me quickly evaluate my diet and it also makes me more conscious of my eating since I take a picture of every little snack, which lately has caused me to skip the bad snacks altogether.

Leo Babauta at zenhabits.net posted a habit change cheatsheet; a few of the tips include: 1) Do just one habit at a time, 2) Start small and 3) Do a 30-day Challenge. I spent a month working to stop biting my fingernails, now two months later my fingernails are photo-ready. I spent a month working on keeping track of my meals through photos, now I am much more aware of my meals and as I said I am slightly slimmer. For April I think I am going to focus on establishing a better exercise routine (which in all honesty “better” would be spending ten minutes a day doing any physical activity).

I read two books on food this month, Food Matters by Mark Bittman and The Eat Clean Diet for Family and Kids by Tosca Reno. They both had their good points. I think I like Bittman’s 80/20 approach better than Reno’s 100% approach to clean eating. I also was less interested in the environmental concerns expressed in Bittman’s book than I am about the impact of food on my body directly. Both were helpful in advancing my knowledge on the subject. (DISCLAIMER: The links are not affiliate links, I haven’t gotten around to setting anything like that up yet.)

An Idea Worth Spreading

If you have never spent some time at the TED website, you are missing out. Here is a talk given by Jamie Oliver about the current state of our diet and its impact upon our children:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I Want to Be Fat

I want to be fat. No really, hear me out. When I figure my BMI, a number I don’t fully understand or believe in, I am not fat, I’m obese. What a fun word. That means I have a long way to go to be skinny so for now I think I should focus on getting back to fat. It seems too onerous to be skinny from where I am right now. I believe that it is possible in time, but I think setting a more realistic interim goal will help me to stay focused and not get frustrated with the pace of my progress.

Deep down I don’t know if I am ready to be skinny. I have always been big and I draw some of my identity from my heft. My size was useful during my football playing days. My quick wit and sarcastic tendencies probably developed as a defense mechanism for my weight. But I do not play football anymore and I am beginning to think that I could still be funny while skinny.

On a positive note, I followed through all week with my photo food journal and lost seven pounds. I know it is mostly water weight but it did make me more aware of my food intake and I had a more nutritious diet this week.  I have planned to make Saturdays a free day where I can eat an occasional greasy cheeseburger or pizza without beating myself up. I got up this morning and evaluated my breakfast options and decided that even though I had planned to go get biscuits and gravy from a local breakfast spot I decided that I really did not want to eat such a carb-loaded calorie-filled non-nutritious mess so I opted to splurge with an omelet instead.

I am on my way to being fat and I look forward to being able to show off my fat physique while resetting my goals further to shoot for skinny.

Photo Food Journal

In connection with my new outlook on food, I am trying to eat healthier and exercise more. Instead of getting a fast food salad I decided to go to the local grocery store and pick up ingredients to make my own salad at work. While I was making my lunch I had an epiphany, I could take pictures of my food with my iPhone and use it as a food journal. (A simple Google search later confirmed that many others without my prior knowledge had the same epiphany, so don’t think I am trying to claim some novel concept for myself.)

I have read countless articles about the need to keep a food journal and I have even tried to do so in the past with lackluster results. I had been searching the iTunes store for an app that I could use for a food journal but never found one I really liked. I almost always have my iPhone with me and it just takes a second to snap a photo, so I think this will be a good way to document my meals.

Here is lunch; a chicken, strawberry and walnut salad with Italian dressing, baby carrots and a red delicious apple: