Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Idle Hands Remedy

I can't sit still. Really. I know ex-smokers who trade handling cigarettes for handling snacks. If you put a bowl of snack food nearby me, it's likely I would nibble my way through it. Part of this is an eating disorder. An active lifestyle is ideal, but that may not be realistic (really: it's November and your two year old has a cold-- you're home). Basal calorie burn is approximately 9 kCal/lb/day (200 lbs means you burn 1800 calories by being alive). If you do nothing, you're running at that basal burn-- that's what you're using when you're sitting there watching TV. Add in a bag of chips and you have a problem. Here are some ideas for the idle hands issue. Here's some thoughts on what to do with idle hands:

Crafting: If you have your hands covered in glue and glitter, you're not fit to handle bigs'n'bites. My personal favorite is sculpting. I noticed that when I am deep into a project, I don't even think about food.

Keyboarding: Why not? Yes, a senditentary passtime is a killer and surfing the web probably keeps your calorie burn rate close to a coma. But, it will keep your fingers busy.

Knitting: It's active, it keeps your hands busy and Russell Crowe does it.

Busy Balls: Replace the snack bowl for one of those cornstarch filled rubber balls. It will keep your hands busy if all else fails.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Wasps Can't Fly Down

We had a wasp problem. I got a "natural" trap: basically a cylinder with a hole in the middle. Fill it with sugar water and pests will go in, feed and be unable to leave. According to the label, bees and the like can't fly down.

It gave me a thought: what if fat people can't fly down? I've started to inch off the weight again. As soon as I did, my body started these nagging reminders. You're hungry, it's time to eat. There's slightly less flab: time to stock up. When I've gained weight, there hasn't been that nagging chime. Maybe that's part of problem: everyone has a saiety/hunger alarm; and one of my two circuits has burnt out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Okay Day Followed By The Pit Trap

With a new job, I'm trying to captialize on the dynamic to revisit my diet. Here's how day one went:

Breakfast: (209 calories)

Lunch: (80 calories)
Dinner: (760 calories!)
Total: 1049 calories

Any ideas where I when wrong? Yep: despite how tasty that steak was I could have done a few things to put that main dish back into perspective:

Replace the mac'n'cheese with a vegetable:

Replace the steak with the equivalent:
If I wanted to have the same mass on my plate, I could have swapped out a huge hunk of steak and KD (700 calories) for a smaller piece of tuna (125 calories) and 2 cups of broccoli w/cheese and zucchini (130 calories). Net difference: 455 calories.

What is close to 455 calories?
If you want a treat, this is a good place to cut back. If you had a treat six months ago and it's now part of that mass of fat around your middrift, swap steak and pasta for fish and veggies and make up for it now.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Signature Soups

Safeway deli departments have a line of "Signature Soups." Some should have a flashing red lights atop them and blast out, "DANGER" but some are downright healthy:

Fiesta Chicken Tortilla Soup - 100 calories/250 ml (275 kCal for a full container)
Baked Potato Soup - 440 calories/250 ml (1100 kCal for a full container!)

They are all tasty, but choose wisely.


Will Well

When you burn out your willpower with a tough day of work, you might not have the capacity to resist comfort food.


Saturday, May 21, 2005


"Diet" Foods

A lot of low carb food is a scam.
A good example are low-carb tortillas. I compared a low-carb tortilla and the regular of the same size. The calorie gap? 145 for the regular vs. 123 for the low carb. Wow. An amazing 15% reduction. With 22 calories less in my day, I can save the exercise of walking up those last five steps.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup

I like tomato soup more than I like dairy. Here's a really simple recipe.
In a large bowl, take avocado, mash it up. Add some of the tomato. Mix tomato with avocado. Blend. Add tomato slowly to make sure that the avocado has completely blended with the tomato. Add water until you have an acceptable consistency. Add pepper and chilis. Heat Soup. Serve. Well, you should serve it. After all, you had to mash up an avocado and open that tin.

Calories per 2 cup serving: 120 calories.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Wrap it Up!

I like stuff in wrap form: burritos, egg rolls, spring rolls, salad rolls, souvlakis, pinwheel sandwiches-- you name it. When I gave up bread in favor of tortillas, I thought I was make a calorie conscious choice. Nope. A 10" tortilla has a calorie count of approx. 150 calores. Two slices of bread have approx. 140 calories. Pitas? Pitas are a bad option: they weigh in at 300+ calories per.
How do I satisfy the wrap craving? Apart from moderation, I have three approaches: crepes, crepes light and rice paper.

Crepes. Traditional crepes are more soldified egg than a flour suspension like a tortilla. In other words, tortillas and pitas are calorie heavy because of their flour content. Crepes rack up a lot of calories from fat, but they net fewer calories. So, I will make a batch and sub them out for tortillas.
Directions: Mix together, chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Use a hot non-stick pan. Ladel out 1/2 cup of the batter in a donut shape-- not on the edge, not in the middle. Then swirl the pan. Some of the batter will move to the outside of the donut. Some to the inside. In the end, you will have an evenly coated surface. When its done, the crepe will lift up and can be flipped.
Yield: 10-12 crepes.
Calories: ~110 per crepe

Crepes Light. If the crepe calorie count is too high, try a spin on the recipe. They won't taste as good, but they will be better for you.
Directions: Mix together, chill for 1 hour. Use a hot non-stick pan. Ladel out 1/2 cup of the batter in a donut shape-- not on the edge, not in the middle. Then swirl the pan. Some of the batter will move to the outside of the donut. Some to the inside. In the end, you will have an evenly coated surface. When its done, the crepe will lift up and can be flipped.
Yield: 9-11 crepes.
Calories: ~90 per crepe

Rice Paper. In the Chinese food aisle or most store in your town's Chinatown, you will find sheets of rice paper. They are disc shaped with a funky cross hatching pattern that makes them look almost like white wicker. The best part, they're really low calorie (approx 20 calories each) and really easy to work with. Stick them in a shallow bath of hot water. After a couple of minutes they're easy enough to work with. Pull them out, pat them dry and fill with ingredients. My favorite:
Roll it up and you have a 60 calorie salad roll.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Fat Ass Rollercoaster

I've been fat since I was six.
I fight a thirty-one year battle with weight. My enemies:

Metabolism. My body likes to store weight. Everything efficiently turns into blubber.
Society. You name it, I can buy crap at almost any hour. Donuts, burgers, pizza, beer, Chinese food. TV blares out its feel good message. If I eat, they promise I can be happy. Dance to a jingle, cram something crappy in your face.
Family. My mom always laid out a spread of high calorie food. If I didn't eat, something was wrong. If I got fat from food, it was my fault. They weren't forcing chow into me.
Me. I have a whole host of problems that make me susceptible to weight gain. I have triggers that make me eat and fitting my life into the groove where I can follow a decent diet. I have depression issues and I like to cook. It's like an alcoholic running a bar. I need to be strong. If I am weak, I need a system of protection-- like a bumper or an airbag.

For the last three decades, I have fought this battle. Bit by bit, I slide. Sometimes I make great strides.

Here's the skinny on the chubby (a chronology of fat)

19686lbs. some ouncesBorn
1975100 lbs.I was Seven. Who doesn't see that a child this fat isn't an issue?
1984260 lbs.I lived across the street from a Macs and its 24hr. access to slush cats. The trip across the street never twigged my agoraphobia. Bad news.
1987 - August270 lbs.The fattest I had been yet. On a fateful day in August I made a huge Chinese food meal. The next day I started to diet.
1987 - December200 lbs.I stopped eating. I screwed over my small intestine. I would go out for walks and come back 2lbs lighter. By the time I was done, I would forget to eat for a day or two.
1988 - June175 lbs.My personal best. I was within 10lbs of my ideal weight. Like seeing Vahalla and getting spun around by Grendel.
1995200 lbs.Like the toc-toc-toc of a roller coaster, I edged back up again.
1999250 lbs.I couldn't fit into a pair of pant to go to a friends wedding. I was almost in tears.
2004300 lbs.When I would carry my daughter, my backpack and groceries, I would tip the scales at 375 lbs. Wow. How could I walk? That I'll never guess. I knew I was far gone. When I weighed in at the doctor's office, I almost broke down crying.
2004 - December260 lbs.With a fervent effort, a lot of vegetables and very little starch I was able to shed 40 lbs.
2005 - May265 lbs.Back up the roller coaster...

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