I have a strange love affair with food.
Throughout my life and even into my mid 20s (before hormone treatment started) I had one of those metabolisms. You know the one I mean. I could eat mostly anything I wanted and wouldn’t gain a single pound. Of course, being on various medications on and off since 1st grade, my weight often fluctuated.
Couple this with coming from German, Italian and Irish roots: we feed people we love, we make TONS of food and it’s not always the healthiest (for example a big ol’ pot of pasta and meatballs, potato dumplings, schnitzel).
Then the third and most annoying part of it: I am essentially a hormonal teenage boy going through puberty. This means I wanna eat ALL. THE THINGS. I am not kidding – I have demolished more food in the almost 2 years (!!!) I have been on testosterone probably than I have in my entire life.
When I last went to my new PCP and she had me do some blood work, my blood sugars came back super high. Pre-Diabetic high as I understand it. Diabetes is on both sides, with my paternal grandfather dying from complications with that and heart disease before my parents even got together (Dad was in college).
Since then I have cut out soda almost entirely (I still have a diet Pepsi every now and then, and when we go out I get a soda), read the labels on all the foods regarding sugars, and am generally trying to make better food choices.
Lemme tell you though: when one of you is self-employed and the other is in the midst of job searching, AND you only get $187 in food stamps/SNAP benefits a month, this eating right thing gets tricky. Especially when a thing of carrots is one price but the thing of Cheetos is four for five… see where I am going with this?
The other night, I had an epiphany of sorts. I have tried paleo, I’ve tried keto, and lo-carb – every damn time it leads to me being more hungry and more grumpy than I was before (trust me you do not wanna see me when I get hangry). Add this to me wanting to snack on more junk food to feel full, and well…
But what if instead of cutting things out, I tried things in moderation?
I went and read the label on the triscuits box. One serving of crackers is 6 crackers, according to said label. So if I figure this correctly, six crackers twice a day is not as bad as eating the whole damn box in one sitting.
Also only putting Easy Cheese on them sometimes (so bad but so tasty) but I digress.
Ok, so if that makes sense, then let’s go read the serving size for one of my other favorite snacks, olives. Huh, quarter cup of them? Makes even more sense. Portion those out so I am not eating the whole jar in one go.
And pop tarts? Only one pack of those a day and only in the afternoon. Eventually I plan to purchase the organic ones which also taste freaking delicious.
This of course leads to what happens with main meals? We don’t have a scale, buuuut once again our trusty labels and the internet comes to the rescue. All I have to do is figure the serving size for one person, make four to six servings – that feeds Beth, me and we have leftovers for the next day when neither of us wants to cook.
This led to another observation – trying different cooking methods for different things: steaming, frying, boiling, raw, etc, etc can make a serving of boring old tuna turn into something tasty and healthy-ish!
Add more vegetables, more organic and free-range options and voila! A diet that I can work with and finally makes sense for me.
Now of course, you gotta have cheat days. And with an event coming up and me being on a meal plan, I will probably fall off the wagon a bit. However! as long as I keep my portions in mind and try to not eat too much of a bad thing, even then I can make it work.
Finally, I think I will win this battle. I hope so, at least.