Inquiries

When we were sharing the bathroom yesterday, my wife said, “Please stop your diet. I can see your ribs.”

I was showering and I had my arms over my head scrubbing. Naturally, bones will show through the skin when the arms are in that position. I replied to the next question that no, I’m not planning on being anorexic. I still love food way too much for that.

I am in the transition period of my diet, but I’m still losing weight. As of this morning, I’ve dropped a few more pounds–now down to minus-61. That’s six pounds after adding fruits two weeks ago. I think my coach will probably put me back on the full vegetable plate in a few days, adding potatoes and carrots. Yum.

I think I will miss the diet when I’m off it. Many of the prepared foods have been good companions the last few months. I’ll need to be more attentive to preparing healthy foods, and making sure I eat properly to maintain my weight and good health. No doubt I’ll be buying more quality ingredients–I expect that tempering my overeating will be balanced out by paying a bit more for whole-grain products. It’s really amazing that most bad food is cheaper than good food. It will probably help that I enjoy preparing food. I find it a real blessing after a long day at the parish to come home, work a bit with my hands, and throw ingredients together in a thoughtful or even improvised way.

A staff colleague carefully prefaced a few curious questions  the other day. I told her I don’t mind talking about my weight loss. Same goes for you commenters. I’m happy to respond to any questions you may have.

My sister is suggesting I post before and after photos on Facebook. I’m not into that. Plus I don’t really have a good before-picture than shows my whole body. Certainly, I’m happy about being able to gain three belt notches and fit into pants I would have worn in college. (My wedding band is alarmingly loose, though–need to get something for that.) But I’m far more concerned about good health and a good attitude than I am with how I look. My friends see me and notice. Many have been very encouraging through the process.

I will admit that when I saw my face shot on the parish web site, I really noticed the change from last year’s picture. That’s when I thought it was probably a good time to transition off the diet and get into a full set of good eating habits.

My coach has suggested I bring my experiences, attitude, and knowledge to the program and coach others in turn. A little extra money might be helpful in the household these days, but I think I’m going to wait on that opportunity. I’m happy to share my story with those who ask. I know I would be a good supporter of a person who was on this or another diet. Believe me: if there was a temptation to experience, it flashed through my head at least once since the end of May.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Inquiries

  1. crystal says:

    I have a question :) Could you give an example of what a day of “normal” food would be, once you’re no longer on the prepared diet?

  2. Todd says:

    Sure, my friend. Six small meals a day:

    breakfast: 2 eggs, scrambled with a little homemade salsa
    mid-morning: one banana
    lunch: leftover chicken and vegetable mix from the night before, about 1.5 cups
    mid-afternoon: granola bar and tea
    dinner: grilled shrimp with pea pods and a small side of fruit with cottage cheese
    late evening: a small dessert

    or

    breakfast: small bowl of whole grain cereal with dates or a small amount of fruit
    mid-morning: vegetable juice
    lunch: half a sandwich on whole grain bread and an apple
    midafternoon: small salad of lettuce, cucumber, and peppers
    dinner: beans and rice with corn, plus about 5 oz chicken
    late evening: about 1 cup of fruit or some small dessert

    I’d have to make sure the meals are all reasonably small to medium-sized. Portion control and eating not to be full, but to fuel (the body)

    I was looking at spelt flour in the health food section of the grocery store today. Anybody ever bake/cook with it?

    • Liam says:

      Spelt is, of course, a form of wheat, and thus a glutinous grain (for some reason, people think it’s not glutinous, and they are simply wrong, and dangerously so for people with serious gluten intolerance). But it has a different solubility profile than regular hard or soft wheat flours (just like whole wheat flour has a different solubility profile than white flour). Bread doughs made with spelt tend to be slack and somewhat dense compared to white flour; I believe spelt bread doughs benefit less from kneading and more from autolysis (a long period of hydration); the so-called “no knead” wheaten breads that Mark Bittman helped to popularise a few years ago are perhaps extreme examples of that approach.

      Btw, if you are trying to limit yourself to spelt forms of wheat, farro is not a reliable option. Pace Wikipedia and other Internet diversions, farro is supposed to be emmer, not spelt; but it appears that farro sold in US markets might be either

      Btw 2, if you are allowed buckwheat, don’t forget that the center of US buckwheat production is in the Finger Lakes; Birkett Mills in Penn Yan has been doing buckwheat for over 200 years, and the area is a great source of buckwheat ingenuity (their Puritan buckwheat pancake mix is the closest I’ve seen to the fantastically light buckwheat pancake mix at Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn in Angelica NY):

      http://thebirkettmills.com/shop

  3. crystal says:

    Thanks, Todd!

    I’ve never tried spelt but I see it n lots of forms at the Whole Foods market.

    I copied down your examples – they look really good. I think what I eat now is not too different except for more dairy products to take the place of meat, and I try to eat nuts or peanuts every day too. So much food, so little time :)

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