About 12 years ago, I had finally come to the point where I couldn’t see my shoelaces anymore and decided it was time to actually get off my enormous butt and do something about it. I signed up for Weight Watchers…
A true thing about me is that I tend to get over-excited about things in the 1st inning, only to move on to something else quickly after striking out a few times early in the game. As always, I came out of the gate at a wind sprint and lost like 10 pounds in the 1st week, telling everyone it was awesome to be finally eating healthy. I was full of it, the reality was, it was like holding my breath the entire time. After 2 weeks of counting points, I decided to go to a meeting and it all ended as quickly as it had started. I was the only male in the room and it was clear right away that this ww thing was a way of life, not a diet. I hadn’t singed up for a new way of life, I signed up for the fastest shedding of pounds the world has ever seen so I could get back into my double x Harley Davidson vest in a quick!
Additionally, the lady that was leading the thing wasn’t that skinny! Actually she wasn’t even sort of not fat…she was actually sort of fat. That blew my mind and gave me all the ammunition I needed to stop at In N Out burger for a little double cheeseburger action on my way home. Looking back, I was just done refraining from eating anything that I wanted to eat when I wanted to eat it, in what ever quantity I desired, and I used a superficial half truth for self justification for making much needed changes in my life. The truth is, the lady probably used to weigh 500 pounds and was a walking talking phenomenon but I didn’t give her a chance to explain because I’m a dork like that more than I care to admit.
Anyhow, here we are 12 years later and while I can still see my shoes, I’m about 50 pounds heavier than I should be and it’s time to face the issues behind the issue. Like I said earlier, self-discipline isn’t something I’ll be teaching workshops on anytime soon but it is something I very much want to get better at. All the holes I fill with food should be filled with faith in a God that is far more capable of meeting my needs than a bag of Funyuns. The moment I learn to delight in the Lord rather than food, I’ll be on to something. I’ve never really processed my weight problem as a spiritual issue before but more and more I’m convinced that it is for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe it’s sin to be a foodie and I have no intention of ceasing to lie awake thinking about how best to braise a pork shoulder…what I’m saying is that in my own Journey, I’m feeling more and more convicted about how I display such gluttony and self indulgence in the context of food. I don’t run because I get out of breath and who wants to be out of breath? I don’t lift weights because they are heavy! I don’t eat healthy food because it doesn’t taste as good as good as bone-in ribeye…see the trend.
I joined Weight Watchers again last week and I’m currently a point counting machine. I’ve lost a few pounds so far, but more than anything, it’s enabling me to actually face some of the tough realities that often stand in the way of me connecting with God the way that I desire. I’m starting to call on God more when I’m anxious rather than burritos, and that’s a good thing:)
Some practical thoughts related to Weight Watchers….
The new system allows you to eat as many fruits and vegitables as you like with no points deduction, barring a few starches like potatoes and corn. I read a letter from the CEO and he basically said that it occured to him that something was wrong with a system when it treated a 100 Calory Snack Pack of Oreo Cookies the same way it treated a fresh apple in terms of points. He decided to take a stand for natural foods that are unprocessed with the new system. The result is that fresh fruits and vegitables are encouraged by having a zero points value, while processed snack foods and pastas have higher points values than the old system. For me it’s nice because I at least know that if I’m hungry I can eat something and not blow the entire day by going way over my limit. Staying within my points has really, mostly been skipping the fast food and gas stations stops, and skipping the 800 calory grazing sessions that tend to take place between 8:00 pm and midnight. For instance today, I kicked but on points and still had a good bowl of soup and a piece of cheese pizza from Fresh Choice, accompanied by a killer salad, then for dinner I had Chicken stir fry with white rice. This evening I enjoyed a glass of red wine and some cheese with crackers. Believe it or not I only used 75% of the points I’m allowed with all of that!
On Monday I made a zero points Mexican Vegitable Soup and it was really really good. I adapted the recipe from one I found on the Weight Watchers site, I hope you like it.
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes 12 cups
6 cups vegetable broth (I used 6 cups water and Better Than Bouillon)
28 ounces canned diced tomato, Mexican-style preferred
3 diced fresh medium tomatoes
2 cups fresh green beans (start with 8 ounces, then trim and snap into bite-size pieces)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini (about 8 ounces before trimming)
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
1 cup tomatillo, cubed (start with about 4 ounces or 2 medium tomatillos)
1/2 medium poblano chili pepper, chopped
3 pickled Serrano peppers (they come in a can in the mexican food isle) The original recipe called for a jalapeno diced with seeds removed
1 medium red or yellow (Spanish) onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fresh oregano (I used 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
2 roasted red peppers packed in water (I used these jarred peppers from Zergut)
1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (these are found in small cans in the ‘Mexican’ section and boy, and be careful, they are hot!!!! I used only a scant teaspoon)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons lime juice (from 2 limes)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the vegetables and spices (canned tomatoes through as oregano) as they’re prepped. Add the broth when it’s ready. Make sure to mash the chipotle pepper to distribute as finely as possible throughout the soup.) Cover and bring to a boil. (Because I used boiling water, the soup was just starting to boil when I added the last ingredients.) Once at a boil, partly uncover the soup, reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in salt, lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately.