New fitness regimen, part 1 – MORE VEGETABLES

March 27, 2012

As I outlined in my previous post, I’m starting fresh in my attempt to lose weight and get in shape. There are four aspects to my new approach, and the most important one right now involves veggies, veggies, veggies!

It all started when my husband discovered Netflix. (Bear with me; there will be a connection :)) Once we had watched all the regular movies we wanted to, he started on the documentaries. Now we’ve seen just about every food documentary ever made. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but believe me, I don’t care if I never see another one. Anyway, after learning more about our food supply and because of our own feelings about the matter, we have become sorta kinda pseudo-vegetarians. We’re not being real strict about it; we will eat meat on occasion, like at a friend’s house or when dining out, but we just came to the conclusion that our bodies will do best on a diet of mainly vegetables and fruits.

So rather than building our meals around meat, we are now building them around vegetables, and in fact, since we started doing this, we have not yet felt the need to add any meat. We’re experimenting with vegetables we rarely ate before, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and some varieties of squash. We’re also trying out various fruits that we never had before. We haven’t really been eating salad much because salad requires dressing, and dressing gets us into trouble, but we are going to try to do more leafy greens and stuff going forward. We’re still having some dairy as well as brown rice and whole wheat bread, but those will supplement our veggie-centric diet rather than dominate it. It’s working well so far.

In the past, I dismissed most diets without even considering them because they were too far out, dangerous, difficult, or the results were questionable. So I’m not one of those people who can say they’ve tried every diet ever conceived, but of all the things I have tried, this is the first time I have really put the focus on veggies. During most of my weight loss attempts, I have tried to “eat right,” knowing that meant more vegetables, but that was more lip service than anything. This time I mean it. This will be a new experiment because it’s never been that big of a part of my diet plan.

Clearly, I am not continuing with Atkins. Not because I don’t think it works or that it’s bad for me, but simply because it’s not the right approach for me. I’ve tried and failed at it three times and it has become clear to me that it’s simply not my style.

It seems like whatever diet I’m on, what I miss is the sugar and empty carbs. My sweet tooth is absolutely out of control. I’m just going to have to reconcile myself to the fact that that’s always going to be a struggle for me, and of course I’m going to try to substitute fruit whenever possible. And I love it, I really do, but I’ve gotten so used to heavily sugared stuff that sometimes fruit isn’t enough. But now that my taste buds are adjusting, fruit is tasting better again. That will go a long way toward controlling those cravings, but it’s not going to go all the way.

I’m in charge here!

So I’m getting serious and simply not allowing the contents of my refrigerator or cupboard to dictate how heavy I am. It’s ridiculous. I’ve been acting as though there’s some other force in control that makes me put those things in my shopping cart. They only control me because I allow it. I don’t know when I gave food the wheel. But I’m taking it back.

My hubby has lost about 25 pounds simply by cutting out obvious sources of sugar, saying no to cake, cookies, and bakery at work, but making no other changes. He still had heaping huge plates of pasta for supper and steak and potatoes and pizza and all the stuff that I was eating, but just by cutting out a few snacks, the weight melted off in about 3 months. That’s just not possible for me, and probably not for a lot of women. It’s incredibly annoying but a sad fact of life. Of course, I am happy for him. At least I pretend to be. :)

He’s been maintaining it for a while now, even with some splurges. He would like to lose another 10 pounds, and fortunately, we both got the “vegetarian” bug at the same time, due in part to those documentaries. His main purpose, though, is overall health. He contracted Lyme Disease this summer and was on a rough road for a while. Lately, he’s better, but it’s up and down. He’s focusing more on vegetables to get more vitamins and minerals that he needs to help him deal with the pain and fatigue. It’ll be much easier now for me to stick with my diet, knowing that we’re going to eat the same way.

I’d love to hear from you! How do you feel about veggies? Love ‘em, hate ‘em, or sort of ambivalent? What part do they play in your fitness regimen?

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