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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Biggest Dieter's Mistake and Slacking Off Issue Right Now: Not Cooking

I am totally NOT giving it 100%. I'm not even giving it 80%. Shoot, I'm barely hitting 55%.

And my biggest step backwards, my hugest slack-off, from when I was losing--and even maintaining--is...not doing grocery shopping, meal planning, and home cooking.

Without question, this is my big hurdle to tackle this week. Without this, I might as well admit I'm gonna fail.

I've been back into getting take-out, eating out. This spells disaster. It has. I'm stuck at just nearly 8 pounds from my best during this blog's existence. And it's not budging. I thought I could do it with judicious eating out. I can't.

It got especially bad when I was sick (hey, now there's an excuse to order pizza or have hubb go to the local Mexican restaurant or Kabob place). And as I was coming back home after driving through Taco Bell post Pilates (talk about ruining a good deed with a bad one), I told myself this had to stop. I had to get my cooking mojo back on.

So, I committed to myself to go get groceries either later today (if I can get my second wind, as I feel mighty pooped) or after my ultrasound appointment tomorrow. But no later.

I have to admit. I have NO excuse not to grocery shop and plan and cook meals. It's just plain laziness. It's just bad old habits taking over again.

No. Gotta kick the take-out habit. Trying to regulate it (ie, promising to choose only healthful options) isn't working. I gotta just make my food. I have to control what goes into my meals. I have to turn that stove and oven back on. I have to stock that freezer and fridge and the fruit bowls. Period.

And you know, I'm not the only one who needs to do this. Read this a few minutes ago at Diets in Review:

Since 1965, women have gone from spending 13 hours per week cooking meals to the meager 30 minutes per day now, and in that time the number of overweight women has more than doubled, to 65 percent. Biggest Loser cookbooks author Devin Alexander pointed out that “Twenty minutes in the kitchen will save you three hours on the StairMaster.”

Yes. We've become a nation of eater-outers, not home-cookers. Let's be real. At home, you have to measure out the oil and butter and dressing and cheese and portion the meat and chicken and tofu or whatever. You just don't get this plate, like magic, from the Kitchen Fairy. You can't say, "Well, maybe this mashed potato isn't so bad, or these veggies weren't doused in too much butter." At home, you can't fool yourself. You know exactly what's in there, cause YOU put it in there.

I love to eat out. As I told hubby yesterday, after we left the gynecologist (where he held my hand during the painful exam), when he commented how he likes buffets cause he serves himself (and he has VERY little food at buffets, cause his appetitie is pretty small for a tall feller, and they definitely MAKE money off him, cause he never eats 10 bucks worth!), I like being served. I LOVE having someone bring me yummies and take away dirty plates and ask me if I want coffee and dessert.

It makes me feel like an Empress. Or, okay, a Princess. :)

I think a small part of it's 'cause my parents were not eater-outers. Eating out was this amazing thing to me. I'd see sidewalk cafes in NYC when we visited Manhattan and it was so alien. A thing only special people did. Not poor people like us.

I never sat down in my first Chinese restaurant until I was 16, and that because a friend's dad invited me out to eat with his family. I found it astonishing. And it's the same today. I get this wild thrill at heading to a sit-down restaurant and having whatever my heart desires.

Sit-down restaurants are like small vacations. Drive-throughs are me just not wanting to do any work. Either way, they both are about self-spoiling. For me, anyway. Luxury. Not wisdom or self-control. Indulgence.

My parents never modeled this. This is just ME. Spoiling myself. Acting all rich, right? No...They were homey types, simple folks who worked very hard at low-paying work and who watched pennies like hawks watching field mice. Cooking at home was economical. No takeout, except for a walk to the bakery to get bread. That's what poor folks did and do, especially poor immigrant folks who have a hankering for their ethnic flavors, do. Eat at home.

For me, eating out is a huge luxury. It's what rich people do. What my parents could not do.

It's crazy how much money we waste eating out. Really shameful. We could be putting that towards retirement or paying off our car note. Seriously.

It's a bad economy--a perfect time to figure out how to eat well without spending a fortune. It's a challenge, but not insurmountable. For the $5 or $6 bucks that cafeteria or eat-out turkey sandwich costs plus whatever beverage you get and maybe that bag o' chips, you can make two to four lunches at home (depending on what you eat).

So, the Princess needs to haul her fat butt to Whole Foods and get what she needs for a week of meals. I love eating out too much to nix it altogether. But man, even if I reduce it to once or twice a week, that's better than what I've been doing. Every single dinner and most lunches out. Crazy. Foolish.

Oh, man. Back to the basics.



Dawn said...

Yes cooking your own food really helps you to control you intake of fat, salt, carbs, everything.

You can do it. Be encouraged.

Andrea said...

Good for you, getting back on that weight loss wagon. Keep up the good work.

Fab Kate said...

I got out of the habit of cooking when it became too difficult to stand for as long as it took to prepare meals. I wasn't big into take out, but got a lot of packaged foods from the supermarket.

These days I still use some packaged foods, but they're organic, which has been a big help in eliminating some of the worst stuff I'd been putting in my body. I've been slowly reducing the amount of pre-packaged food again, and hope that by summer (when I'm well recovered from my surgery and back from my travels) I'll be mostly whole food shopping.

20in20 said...

Just started following your blog, gotta say, I agree. Cooking at home is hard for me as well, after an eleven hour day at work, making food for other people, last thing I want to do is start it again at home. So, out comes the take out menu. My mum was never like that so I don't know what made me this way. Laziness I suppose. Guess it's a habit to start to break.

Sara said...

It is hard to stay on a diet if we don't see the results, actually the motivation is gone. And then, who wants to cook. That happened to me and then found that eating smaller snacks and meals every 3-4 hours actually helped. Stay on track and good luck.

Linda said...

For me it's about dollars and sense. We went thru a phase where we were ordering take out or grabbing fast food almost daily. My son loved it. My wallet didn't.

I've learned to enjoy creating my meals. I've also learned to enjoy the comfort of having leftovers I can grab for meals to go.

You can learn that, too. You have to choose to get up and do it. Been there, doing that.

Whatcha gonna cook tonight?

JC said...

You know sometimes I just have to look at my eating as a job. A job to be managed just like my paying job does. This way of thinking works for me other wise I would eat out every meal. I was eating out every meal three years ago.

Like you I don't care for buffets. I want to be waited on. I appreciate great service. I never ate out until I was an adult and on my own, making my own money. We were not poor but my parents came though the depression and knew how to manage money. Daddy was a self employed coal miner, farmer, handy man and mama raised five kids. Since daddy and his brothers farmed in the summer, mama canned and froze food so I've never known a hungry day.

You know what you must do so just do it because you are worth the effort. BTW thanks for coming by and leaving me a comment on my dental issues. I so appreciate you taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. You pointed out great issues. Have a great day and get on to the market for some healthy food.

Jay said...

You've realized what many dieters never figure out so be proud that you're already ahead of the pack. Cooking your own meals is especially important in the maintenance stage and it's really hard to keep up with because foods that you loved while dieting lose their taste as you curb your exercise and diet restrictions.

I lost over a 140 combined pounds eating processed fresh foods, frozen dinners, and lots of whole wheat crackers. This is possible because the calories are printed on all of these foods which makes it much easier to stay within your daily caloric limits; I recommend the PC Blue Menu products because most are high in protein, low sodium, complex carb based and under 300 calories.

It isn't until you start to get to the last 25% of your weight loss goal that eating homemade measured out meals becomes essential; by then your body has adapted and needs a much healthier diet to shed the last few pounds.

So don't get discouraged if you are the type of person that hates cooking...there are alternatives.

moonduster said...

I use eating out as a reward for losing weight. At each week's weigh-in, if I've lost weight, I treat myself to a meal out or a take-away. Then it's right back to eating healthy until the next weigh-in.

It works! (I've lost 70.5 pounds so far.)

HopeFool said...

They say that "failing to plan is planning to fail" and it makes sense, but I guess through laziness, I've been doing the same thing. Not take out, but the quick easy things that I know how to make and that include very few vegetables.

I need this blog today, thanks!

Lisa said...

I'm with ya, Princess! I sure do love being served but they sneak fats and sugars and wheat gluten into so many darn things. Nothing beats having the control over what we eat by doing the work ourselves. I just reseasoned my cast iron pan so I have no excuses! Shop, stock, and enjoy your healthy bad self!

justjuliebean said...

I truly think eating out and weight loss are oxymorons. It does take effort to feed myself, and I don't always want to, but I only eat out once a week or so these days. It wasn't weight loss hopes that caused it, but being unemployed for six months (no more, thankfully), got me in the habit. I just made pizza tonight, full fat cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, broccoli, home made sauce, on a whole wheat pita, and it's not low-fat, but compared to getting a slice or two at the pizzeria? Much healthier. The sauce is tomato paste with garlic and stuff, I make a bunch and freeze it for the next six pizzas. Not only is it easier to control what goes into the food, but portions are easier to deal with (especially if you want some for lunch at work-very important in my life). There's a big learning curve, but it gets easier, more automatic.

The Better Idiot said...

How's the home cooking going Princess? Any good recipes to share :)