The Battle of the Bulge


I’m winning.  At least I think I’m winning.  It’s a lifelong battle and for a couple years I stopped fighting, but steady-on wins the battle.  or is it the batter…. No… battle.pot belly

That recent heart-problem “thing” from last fall put determination back into the battle with my waistline.  I have been losing.  Not as fast as I have on other occasions — but it’s been a slow, steady reduction and at the moment I’m 27 lbs down from my high.

I have a long way to go, but I’m optimistic. All I have to do is keep after it, and keep active.

I don’t know about anyone else — and I know weight loss people tell you to weigh yourself only once a week — but I have to get on the scale every single day.  If I don’t I neither hold my weight nor lose weight.

Fact of the matter is:  I enjoy eating. I love eating.

All my life I have avoided sandwiches. I didn’t grow up with them — aside from necessary sandwiches in my lunch bag at school — there were NO school lunch programs that I remember — they may have been there but I never ate at them.  My dad didn’t like sandwiches so mom never made meals at home involving sandwiches.  Not even for picnics or roadtrips were there sandwiches. There was  always HOT protein and COLD salads for roadtrips: a lot of fried chicken and fried breaded pork chops with good old tangy german style potato salad. The males in our family, famished as we must have been, always had hot food at our fingertips.steam-food

The lesson behind all that hot food was if it’s served hot it should be eaten hot.  And growing up I learned to dislike LUKEWARM or tepid food.  I’ve always been the guy who might have had time to converse while eating, but who had a priority whilst at the table:  eating my food while it was HOT.

I’m usually close to the first person done with a meal — and I enjoy my food intensely — and I enjoy it while it’s still hot.  No doubt I eat faster than I should.  I remember reading all the good things that happen when you chew your food.  **** — and I’ve been noticing recently that the more I slow down the less food actually satisfies me. My brain has a chance to realize that the stomach is no longer asking for food — and it’s able to send those signals before I’ve wolfed down more food than I needed in the first place.

The doctor was encouraging Clean Eating with the 6 meals per day routine — but we haven’t been able to get the hang of that.  Most of the time we’re lucky to get in two meals — one mid morning and one mid afternoon.

overweight beach
it’s a good reminder of what I don’t want to look like any more.

RV cooking continues to be different from cooking in any of our old houses.  Granted, the replacement of our NeverCold refrigerator (Norcold when I’m not being sarcastic)  with a household refrigerator has made a little difference in how we cook but not a lot.  We continue doing the 20 minute meal — almost exclusively from raw, un-processed ingredients (other than frozen vegetables).  I can’t remember the last time I fried anything — I do a lot of sautéing but we stay away from deep fat.  The biggest impediment to normalizing our meals is the fact that we keep moving around and finding the kind of raw ingredients I’m looking for changes from place to place.  I never realized how ingrained shopping had become in Milwaukee.  It only makes sense — but unless you think about it the impact of being in different places doesn’t jump up and say, “Here look at me.”

We have almost completely given up on buffets.  The only real hold out to that is the occasional Chinese buffet — I need my Hot & Sour Soup fixes!!!!!  Well, there are also the times when Mel & her fiancé are around — Drew needs to eat and sometimes a buffet is just an easy solution for a growing young man! 🙂

We are both feeling better as a result of our efforts.  We are definitely getting more exercise than we had been.  Even though the park here is far from flat & level the roads are paved and we walk them quite a bit  — which is helping both the weight loss and the cardio conditioning.

I think we’ve kept out restaurant visits down to less than one per week — that may be a record, or near record for us.  We never did a lot of restaurant eating but two or three meals a week weren’t all that uncommon if we were in a touring-the-area mode.  It’s easier to grab a bite in a local establishment if we snooping around an area and that also gives us a better feel for the local social atmosphere.

Mostly we had been doing the high protein/low carb diet but I am a guy who craves my carbs so every few days we throw in a little this or a little that just to keep from developing a craving that might result in a binge of something — like bread or pasta.  That said, poor Peggy is struggling to get along without as many pasta fixes.  Whereas I’m the guy who needs bread — she’s the gal who needs here pasta.

I hope by the time we get to Milwaukee in September I’ll be another 10 or 20 pounds lighter.  All we can do is try our little bit each and every day.  While still enjoying life — after all, what’s the sense of getting to retirement if you aren’t enjoying it?

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here to chat in the morning.

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8 Comments

  1. I’ve had a chronic health problem, COPD. After another poor cholesterol showing I completely changed our eating habits. We bought a wok, did a lot of stir fry, brown rice, beans, roasted vegetables. We didn’t do this to loose weight, but a 10% loss of weight occurred anyway. We are pasta once a week, made bread in a cast iron Dutch oven,(really good bread), our own pizza made from scratch, etc. We did this for 4 months. We also ate almost zero fat at that time. After 4 months we both felt so much better and I could breath sitting around without oxygen. We finally introduced some trout, Salmon, fat free chicken breast. We also stated using small amounts of olive oil.
    You can still splurge on the bakery and bread occasionally. 9 months later, we haven’t gained the fat back, and we eat in restaurants once a week.
    Basically, limiting sugar, white processed flour and red meat had made a remarkable change.
    I just wanted to share this. We live and cook in our 40 ft Holiday Rambler, full time.
    Thanks for your blog, I read it everyday.

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    1. Dave, Thanks for the “testimonial.” We live in such a rich country that obesity and overweight is a real — and even acknowledged — problem. Different things seem to work for different people. In the end, it still comes down to taking in fewer calories than we expend and however we get to that point varies an awful lot. I truly think that part of my problem is that a.) I used to eat for the wrong reasons (boredom & frustration) and b.) because I do eat when my food is hot my brain doesn’t wake up to the fact that I’m ‘satisfied’ until I’ve over eaten. Of both those I am aware. I’m having success in modifying both of those and with almost 30 lbs down there’s enough positive feedback to stick with the program. I’m afraid this time it needs to be for good. But, then, it’s good to be alive and have the opportunity TO change, right?

      >

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  2. Good for you! It helps when both partners are on “the plan.” Hubby tried it for awhile back in the fall, but he has tossed it aside it big time fashion now… makes it a little harder for me in the process. 😦 When I need to really focus on my diet again, like right now, I pretty much stick to my high protein breakfast, big salad lunch, afternoon protein snack and meat/veggie for dinner for a couple of weeks, then slowly start adding a few foods back again. That is what worked for me when I lost the 30 pounds a couple of years ago. Keeps it simple for me, and I can add more carbs to dinner for hubby… even though it’s tempting for me. Walking has also made a huge difference in maintenance, too… Fitbit has definitely helped with that… keeps me accountable every day. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were really doing good when we first got here to Highland Ridge about getting our walking in. The last week or so we slacked off a little — Lots of rain. But we’ll get back at it. I’m sure.
      And, losing does serve as a good reinforcement.
      As does getting on the scale every single day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been wondering if I can substitute spiralized vegetables for pasta to go under my meat sauce. Spaghetti squash as a substitute for spaghetti did NOT work but maybe spiralized zucchini under an oriental topping would? I know riced cauliflower works for some people.

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  4. My husband had a brush with the “heart problem” last year. Successful surgery led to a new lease on life. Now what to do about that “bulge”? He bought a juicer – within 2 months he’d dropped 30 pounds. Granted, he was a tad grumpy at first, but every day – fresh beets, carrots, spinach, celery, apple, pear – whatever was in season and abundant went in the juicer. He juiced in the morning, juiced enough to take a thermos to work, and ate one solid meal in the evening. His other rule was “no white food” – no flour, sugar, milk etc. The exception being plain yogurt added to the juice. After a few months he relaxed a little, but still juices every morning and feels 20 years younger (not to forget the close to 50 pounds he dropped). 🙂

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  5. Congratulations! Losing weight is not as easy as I thought it would be. Taking magnesium has helped with losing inches. My tummy is smaller and my clothes are loser, but not a single pound of loss showed up on my scale. In January when I was sick I dropped 10 lbs. I’m stuck there. As long as I don’t gain those pounds back, I’ll be happy.

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