Monday, September 29, 2014

Ready to Go? Week One:Step One

My (hopefully our) journey is to being healthy which is more than just losing weight. I have decided that instead of throwing everything out there at once I am going to start slow and build a different lifestyle. I don't want to do a traditional "diet" because their progression is so typical. I start strong, fully resolved to eat in this certain way for X number of weeks. The first few days, maybe week, on occasion even couple weeks go well and then I find it simply unsustainable and once there is a crack in the flood gate the whole thing comes crashing down and I am back where I started.

Instead I am going to devote a week or possibly in some instances a couple weeks to adopting a new lifestyle habit. Each week or two I will add a new habit to the mix and within a few months I will have developed a new lifestyle. That is what I need: a different way to live. Some of these goals will be directly related to losing weight while others will be towards a more generally healthy lifestyle. There will be both positives and negatives as in there will be things that I will eliminate from my lifestyle and things that I will add.

Sustainability and accountability are the foundational principles that will enable this lifestyle to be built. Most traditional diets are simply unsustainable and often they are not meant to be sustained but only to "lose weight fast." The opposite ideology of "I'm simply going to eat better" lacks accountability both internally and externally. If "eating better" is not defined then there are no principles by which I can hold myself accountable. And if my vow of healthier eating is done in solitude then I have no community to celebrate my achievements or support me through my shortcomings. There will be shortcomings. I have spent 29 (all to soon to be 30, yikes) years developing my current lifestyle. I cannot expect to change 29 years of habit without making mistakes and falling short of the goal. That is why this will be a process. I have some notion of what the final product looks like but that is of no concern for me today. Today I start with step one.


I cringe even typing the words. There is probably nothing as quintessentially modern America as fast food. We are busy people and are constantly on the go. Fast food companies do everything possible to accommodate our busy lifestyles and make their product the easy choice. But this is why it must go:

Big Mac, Large Fry, Large Soda: 1,440 calories

Whopper w/cheese, Large Fry, Large Soda: 1,550 calories

My BK Favorite meal
Double Whopper w/cheese, Large Onion Ring, Large Soda: 1,760 calories
Even this picture makes me hungry. Satan get behind me!!!!
Beyond the egregious amount of calories that are in each of these meals there is also a pile of sodium, saturated fat and high fructose corn syrup (which btw is really not good for you.) Fast food is delicious but it is killing us...literally. The average sized adult is suppose to consume around 2000 calories a day. One sitting in a fast food joint is almost an entire days worth of calories.

The reason I am starting with this goal is that it is the low hanging fruit. If I can eliminate fast food that will cut at least a few thousand calories a week from my diet which will obviously help me loose weight. I am also choosing this goal because I have gone fast food free before and it felt amazing. When I lived in DC there were not any fast food joints near where I lived so I simply didn't eat it that often. I went probably 3-4 months without eating at any of the major fast food places. I felt great. My stomach felt better and overall I just felt healthier. 

To achieve this goal is going to take planning. The most common times that I eat fast food is when I dont bring a lunch to work and when I am in a hurry with the kids. Packing my lunch has to become part of my daily routine. Im not even going to worry that much about what goes into the lunch box at this point but only that it gets packed. Secondly, I am going to think ahead to identify the times in which the kids and I are going to be in a hurry and out and about during supper. Having simple to make or pre-maid meals on hand will be the key to not being tempted to just grab a quick bite.

Thank you for all your support and I will check in sometime this week to update how things are going. I hope that some of you join me on this goal and let me know if giving up fast food was easy or hard and if you feel any different. Also, if someone you know could use a plan to get on track to a healthy life please let them know about my blog. There is power in numbers and doing this as a group is better than going it alone.

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