first world problems

There are many reasons why I am overweight and we've talked about a lot of them here already.  It's amazing to me that the more I learn the more there is to learn about this issue (although that's true of everything else in life so why wouldn't it be here?).  I suppose it should be validating that the reason this challenge is so daunting is that it is so complex. Sure, the simplest way to lose weight is to ingest fewer calories than you burn... easy enough.  Behavior modification is where it gets a little more complicated.  There are endless resources on behavioral modification, some simple, some complex, all dependent on one main thing to be successful... a willing human.  And that willingness must persist beyond the initial burst of motivated energy to do something new, through the painful symptoms of withdrawal, over the hills of remaining intentional, around temptations, and beyond moments of pure laziness.

I am willing now, and I have been willing before, but what I have yet to experience is the persistence of that willingness.  I have had two periods in my life of extended positive food habits; the first when I was pregnant with spiderman (I craved fruits and veggies, was made ill by even the smell of fried foods, and could only drink water) and the second when after splitting from my husband (the first time... a few years ago) my anxiety kept me from eating much and when I did eat the only thing I ate was fruits and veggies.  Case 1: Eventually I gave birth, became desensitized again to the aversions that pregnancy brought and packed on the pounds.  Case 2: I continued healthy, intentional eating for months (basically the entire time we were split and for a few months afterward--so about a year) and it just faded away.  We can analyze why later.

One thing I can say for certain is that I felt better during those two periods of my life than any other: besides having a healthy, strong body I was naturally carefree, laid back, relaxed... and more words I wouldn't typically use to describe myself.  I want that back.  So, here we go again!

I have committed to Dr. Fuhrman's Holiday Challenge and starting on Monday, November 21, 2011 I will do the following every day:
1. eat a large salad (about 1lb)

2. eat a large serving of steamed green vegetables with mushrooms and onions (about 1lb)

3. satisfy my sweet tooth with three fruits a day

4. have at least one fulfilling serving of beans a day

5. avoid white flour

6. avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners

7. use oils sparingly

and finally I have promised that:
I will not allow peer pressure or tempting toxic foods to derail me from my health goals.
I will not compromise my health to please others.
I will set an example of health-mindedness for those around me.

You can commit to the same/make the promise here at Dr. Fuhrman's site.  It's free (make sure you cancel your membership at the 6 week mark if you want it to remain free).  Now, it doesn't say so anywhere (that I noticed) on the Fuhrman site, but I'm interpreting this as a completely vegan 6 weeks.  The commitments are essentially the instructions of the "Eat to Live" plan and the point is that you are so full from the foods above that you don't have any room to eat animal products or starches.  I've wanted to do "Eat to Live" for a while.  I'm excited!

Now you may recall that last time I embarked on one of these journeys I had a last supper.  I'm going to skip that this time...  I'd be willing to bet that at least 30 of my extra pounds come from "last suppers" that never were or "weigh in day" binging.  Ultimately, I want to be able to indulge in moderation or "treat treats as treats" (thank you Michael Pollan & the illustrated version of "Food Rules")... but that's not working for me now.

Instead of a last supper I decided to start a new ritual.  I'm calling it "kitchen inventory."  Actually, I'm not calling it anything and that doesn't even seem clever, but it seemed necessary...

I know I have a TON of food in this house, yet I still go out for food or buy lunch at work because "there's no food in the house."  It's really that I am not inclined to cook or prepare when I am actually hungry so unless it is ready to eat, I'm not eating it.  Obviously I need to do some meal planning and cooking/portioning/storing to improve my success rate and in order to do that I need to know what I have.  Imagine my embarassment when I did my inventory to find that I have the following on hand:

and we're talking about cans and cans and bags and bags and jars and jars of this stuff.  Seriously.  I could feed a small village with what I have on hand for at least a week.  Wow.

So, my "food" envelope is empty (mostly due to some indulgences that I should have skipped.  lesson learned), but my cupboards are BEYOND full.  Better get to meal planning...  If you had all of this in your house, what would you make?