10 things I’m doing to lose more weight
Here’s the skinny:
- Last week I stood on my bathroom scale for the first time in months and quietly closed my eyes. Computers are dead machines that report information impassively, I reminded myself, and opened one eye. 230 pounds. Thirty-four pounds since I moved to California five years ago. Forty-eight pounds from my target weight, which I last weighed seven years ago. I felt my gut with both hands. “Hey,” I said to my brain: “let’s maybe not do that again for a while. We can work on some things. Maybe brainstorm some ideas. But let’s not step on the scale.” I haven’t done so since. Who needs the stress?
- I get out at the Rockridge BART stop, three miles away from home. Resolutely, I walk past Zachary’s Pizza, Smitten Ice Cream, the Saturn vegetarian diner, and all the other delicious-smelling places that my post-work hunger thinks might be good pit-stops. I walk home. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 2,000 calories. Do not get ice cream.
- I’ve started eating from smaller plates. I’ve been trained to eat all the food on my plate. A small plate holds less food. There’s less of it to eat all of. I’m ashamed of this psychological trick. “Brain,” I say to my brain, “I’m ashamed of you.” But it works.
- I don’t have seconds, ever. A second helping represents another plate of food. Having a second plate of food would negate the small plate thing. Two small plates of food is just a really big plate. Nobody asked for that.
- My point is, I try to do less eating in general. It’s hard for me.
- I want less of the food I eat to be meat. I like the taste of meat, a lot, but it isn’t particularly good for me in larger quantities, and it’s not at all good for the planet. I was raised on Indonesian food, so I’ve always been at peace with tofu and tempeh, which are traditional proteins rather than meat substitutes (which is what meat addicts always say when I serve them). I’m okay with Beyond Meat, too.
- I drink a lot more water. And no coffee after 10am. And no alcohol unless I’m with other people. (Tea is okay, though; I’m not a monster.)
- Eating out in America is so easy. Fast, convenient food is everywhere, delicious, and often more affordable than cooking for yourself. I’m regularly tempted — like, every day — to just grab something. For a while, I forgot how much I enjoy cooking, even when it’s just for myself (which is, let’s face it, one of the worst parts of living alone). But it’s better: you can experiment, you can be creative, and most of all, you can avoid all the hidden ingredients that go into prepared food. I have control over the sugar, the salt, the starch, the additives — and the size of the plate. Cooking or yourself is adulting 101, but I’m only just getting back into the flow. Don’t judge me. Or at least, don’t judge me much.
- I forgive myself for my transgressions, and don’t measure myself too hard. Life‘s too short to template it. I don’t need metrics for everything, or a set goal for everything I do in life. The best things about being alive are about wonder, meandering and discovery. Allowing the unexpected into your life. I’m not about to turn my eating habits into a science experiment; I don’t want to quantify myself. I want to live — just, maybe in an incrementally healthier way.
- Look, I’m eating less and exercising more, alright? Quit hassling me.