Posts Tagged ‘publix’

A Little Perspective

Whew!  Busy week.  Sorry about missing Wednesday and Friday.  Hopefully you used the time to read some older posts.

Regardless, know that I did weigh-in Friday morning, I just didn’t get a chance to blog it.  260, which is down one more pound from last week.  Still in the 260’s, still annoying.

A couple of weeks ago I was whining about how slow this slog is, and how frustrating it is to not be losing at a greater clip.  A friend of the blog made the remarkable suggestion that the next time I’m in the grocery store I pick up a 25-pound bag of dog food and carry it around for a bit.  The point being that, having started at 287, I used to carry more than that around with me every step I took.  Hey, that’s a good idea, I thought to myself.

I didn’t actually do it, of course.

And then this afternoon I was in the Publix, and I was thinking, “Damn, I can’t believe I’m still fighting my way through the 260’s.”  And I remembered Ed’s suggestion.  So I pushed the cart over to the pet aisle and discovered that the Publix doesn’t sell 25-pound bags of Purina.  But they have 20’s, so I picked one of those up and carried it around for a few aisles.

You know what?  Twenty pounds of dog food is a lot to carry.  Twenty-seven pounds of fat must have been as well.

I don’t feel “better” now than I did before I started this journey, to be honest.  Clothes fit a bit better and I don’t have to take heartburn meds every night anymore, but I think I’m still about 25 pounds from really feeling what I could describe as “better.”  However, the reality is that right now … 27 pounds lighter … my knees aren’t working as hard.  My flat feet aren’t working as hard.  My heart isn’t working as hard.  Which means all those components – and more -should keep working longer than they otherwise would.

Which is fine thing.

So.  Thank you Ed, hell of a suggestion.

Thank you for reading.  I promise to get you a Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday post this week.


The Dogma of Diet Culture

You never know from where you’ll get a new perspective on a project.  I’ve been reading Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen a long essay about, among other things, the massive changes in storytelling/communications in the 20th century by one of my favorite writers, Larry McMurtry.  As I was reading along, absorbing his ideas, I bumped into this, which is completely relevant to this blog:

“… food began to make a comeback, not, however, because it tasted good or was a pleasure to eat, but as a form, I believe, of theology.  Food came back to save you, packaged now by the health food industry, whose orthodoxies are as strict as those of any faith.  First and foremost, fat – or Satan – had to be driven out.  (Visit a supermarket in Brentwood, Santa Monica, or Beverly Hills, California, and you will soon see how successful this crusade has been:  you can walk until you drop without seeing any food that will admit to having fat in it.)  Food that was just plain good gave way to food that was good for you.  The suggestion that fat-free food will save you from death – perhaps not forever but certainly for a long time – is everywhere present in supermarkets … The supermarkets themselves are more and more like churches …”

[Apologies for the length of the quotation.  One of the reasons I like McMurtry is probably that he’s even more fearlessly liberal in his use of the comma than I am.  I part with him on the use of the Oxford comma, however.]

It’s important to remember that he wrote this about a decade ago, when “fat-free” was still the current diet dogma.  But replace “fat-free” with “organic” and take a walk through your local supermarket.  Of course, he’s correct.  “Right living” used to mean “God-fearing” or at least “church-going.”  Now it means you eat what media/ad culture tell you is the right way to eat.  And those who subscribe to current diet orthodoxy look down their noses at those who don’t follow the rules the same way the Church Lady (and those who inspired her) used to look down their noses at Satan’s minions.  Buying a bag of chips elicits the same kind of shame in some people that buying a fifth of whiskey used to in the Bible Belt.

That’s worrisome to me. I do include a strong element of my personal theology in my work to lose weight – it’s a form of good stewardship to take care of the equipment I’ve been given.  But the Publix shouldn’t be confused with church.  And I’m afraid it is, in exactly the way McMurtry describes.

Health – spiritual or physical – needs to be a matter of good sense and reasoned thinking, not of dogma.  Which makes both a lot harder, but infinitely more rewarding.



Frozen Blueberries

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Because I am naturally contrarian, I refused to believe them for much of my life.  And we all know where that got me.

I used to think, “Hey, I’m not hungry, I can save ten minutes and a bunch of calories.”  I was stupid.  From the above-linked WebMD article:  “Some people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight, but the practice is more likely to cause weight gain than weight loss. Skipping breakfast is strongly linked to the development of obesity. Studies show that overweight and obese children, adolescents, and adults are less likely to break the fast each morning than their thinner counterparts.”

I am now a committed, confirmed eater of breakfast.

So.   Now I not only eat breakfast, I’ve been doing it long enough that I actually look forward to it.  On weekdays (I’ll get to weekends in another post) I drink coffee with half and half and eat some (yeah, some – I don’t measure) whole-grain Cheerios (not the multi-grain kind – regular Cheerios suit my palate and my nutritional interests better) with 2% (skim is just white-ish water) milk and some frozen blueberries.

Frozen blueberries?  For goodness sake, you say, why FROZEN blueberries when fresh ones are just steps away in the supermarket?  Because fresh blueberries are mushy.  Yes, all of them.  I’ve tried blueberries from all over the country (and the world), including fresh ones right off the bush (we grow A LOT of blueberries in north Florida), and they all feel mushy to me.  I don’t particularly like them, and I probably wouldn’t bother to choke ’em down just for the health benefits if I had to eat fresh regularly.

I like other berries fresh:  black, straw, occasionally rasp, but not particularly blue.

Alton Brown got me interested in the frozen kind, which, because they’re fresh-frozen, have the same nutritional value as the ones in the little plastic pint containers.  Plus, they create little Cheerio-cicles when I pour the milk over ’em.  Which makes breakfast fun.  Your mileage may vary, as they say.  By the way, I’ve tried two or three brands, but the Publix store-brand works best for me.  The berries tend to be plumper and not mashed and mutilated during the freezing and bagging process.

You may have noticed above that I use half and half in my coffee.  In copious amounts.  Because that’s how I like my coffee.  It’s also an ace-up-my-sleeve when I get down to the “short rows” of weight loss next year and am looking for things to eliminate to reach my goal.  But I’m putting that one off as long as I can.

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