a suburban greenmom decides it's time to lose the baby weight from her last pregnancy 6 years ago...
Okay, it’s time.
I went to see the doctor about how my “sprained” ankle from almost 2 months ago is still painful at certain angles, got an order for an x-ray, and we of course talked about my general health and some other little issues. And she gently mentioned that a lot of things might overall improve for me if I lost a little weight.
She’s right, of course—I’m about 30 lbs overweight, having slowly put it on a few pounds at a time over the last couple of decades. There was the high-stress, no-time-to-cook job at age 30, then the first baby, then the second baby, then the high-stress, no-time-to-eat-right working mom stuff I’ve been in for the past 9 years or so. I’m happy with myself, I don’t hate my body, my husband still thinks I'm gorgeous and sexy, and I don’t think my worth as a human being will be increased if I get rid of my belly bulge and amply padded derriere. But…
My ankles hurt when I get up in the mornings and try to walk. I get headaches. I get winded if I try to run for trains, something that happens fairly often given that the North line has a habit of perpetually being 4 minutes late, while the West line to which I need to transfer always departs on the dot, and I keep missing my train. I just plain don’t feel as well. And I remember last time when I did successfully lose about 10 lbs., pretty much all of that went away.
So…for the first time in years, I am about to make a concerted effort not to just reduce portion size, eat only good healthy foods, only eat when I’m hungry and pay attention to cues, all the other stuff I have done from time to time—no, I’m going to try to actually Lose Weight. And so is my husband. God help him.
I know the basics of how it should work—more veggies, more fresh produce, less processed food (which I eat very little of anyway), less white flours and sugars (which I eat a lot of). Avoid fast food like the plague unless I buy already prepared really healthy stuff. Green smoothies. Fruit. Fewer grains, all of them whole.
The hard part is that at the same time as I want to do this, I’m also dealing with a) an insane schedule (no time to exercise beyond the 2-ish miles I do 5 days a week between trains and school) and one less income in the house than we used to have. Options for heading over to the local Whole Foods to buy a salad for lunch are a little less practical given that our income has dropped by about 35%. That $1.49 bagel looks really good at that point. I pretty much don’t ever eat conventional produce any more, and buying organic salad food daily is going to break the bank if I try it.
So what do I do?
I have a few ideas, and I seriously hope y’all Boothers will be kind enough to offer a few more if you have ever been here. For one thing, homemade soups will be staples of my life (and my husband's, God help him) for the next few months. Those I can make flavorful, veggieful, and low-cal in great quantity and enjoy them without feeling deprived.
I’ll alter our favorite cheap-feed-a-family pasta night (a bag of pasta is $1 and a jar of sauce that lasts 2 weeks is $4—beat that!) by sautéing a bunch of vegetables like peppers, onions, spinach, and shrooms in the sauce and halving the amount of pasta I eat. My husband (God help him) will by default do the same.
I may shift my breakfast-lunch habits a bit and maybe have a protein-y egg for breakfast and oatmeal and fruit brought from home for lunch—oatmeal is way filling and I can cook it in our office microwave. (I have mentioned before that I don’t really much like breakfast.) Since I don’t have time during the school day to go buy anything most days, and since I’m too broke to afford it anyway, that’s an area where the frugality could be a big win.
Of course the biggie is portion control, always a tough one for me. And there also frugality should help…because, duh, we’ll have to buy less. Although my husband (God help me) is really difficult to convince on that front, and I have a hard time controlling mine when he doesn’t want to control his. He views deprivation of any kind as a huge personal insult, so that part may be tough.
So…anyone have any tips or hints for this? Aside from the whole “eat food not too much mostly plants” and “don’t say you won’t eat any of this because then you’ll crave it more” and standard stuff we already know?
What does a green weight loss plan look like?
--Jenn the Greenmom