Trying to eat better, An Repeated Exercise in Futility (only this time I’ll win)

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.

Advertisements

I wrote a poem that made me cry.

Here it is.

Yellowstone

To most people its just a destination

something to mark off of their bucket list or sight seeing itinerary.

To me and that select group

it’s a second home.

There are nights where I wish I could walk out the door

and be surrounded by trees

Hear the quiet rumble of the grand loop as I walk down the maintenance road

and then follow the trail to the employee fire ring.

I used to lay on my back on the smokers table

and watch the night sky float by me.

I spent two summers there

but the first will always stick with me the longest.

That second one has some parts of my past I am still coming to terms with.

Have you ever stood not 10 feet away from a bison?

Or smelled the sulfur in the air on the road to Lake?

Have you hiked into the back country

and found a quiet lake to sit beside and read?

There is something in the air there

that’s magical and pure

and real.

I long for that simple life

and feel the call of it in my bones.

Someday I’ll be back.

Someday I will show my child the trails I walked

the sights I saw

that waterfall tumbling down the rocks in its gray-blue-green glory.

I only hope that in their own way

they understand the quiet way I gaze across the canyon

remembering that summer so, so long ago

when Zac, Moe, Trace, Brett and I

stood on the overlook

and couldn’t speak.

Not Too Bad Around Here

Here I am, sitting here at the computer listening to a podcast while drinking my now cold coffee and wondering what the hell I have done to end up in a place like this.

To be fair, I am pretty content.

I am excited about running my own business, even if I am just getting started and can’t afford to own my domain just yet so I can post stuff to sell (working on it – slowly).

Beth has a job working for a friend’s massage business, and that’s helping keep our heads above the water. This also means we can afford things like toilet paper, and underwear and gas.

After a long and intense situation with Income Support, we have our food stamps and insurance, which means we can eat, and we can afford medication (at least for now until Cheeto Head possibly screws it all up).

My sister came to visit two weeks ago and we had a grand old time – we even filmed some YouTube videos for her channel and mine, which I am in the process of working on.

I decided to be a masochist, and on top of blogging and YouTube decided to try my hand at podcasts, which I have loving dubbed “The Bitter English Major”. It’s going to be about books and writing and everything that goes with it. I need to invest in a nicer microphone, but that should be up and running soon. Once I try not to explode.

And I have a new book in the works. A themed poetry collection. I hope people like it.

On the other hand, I have been really struggling with depression, anxiety and dysphoria recently. Beth and I have had a few rough patches, though its nothing we haven’t been able to work through.

Also I have been having trouble with joint pain. Yesterday it was so bad I spent most of the day on the couch, unable to do much but watch TV and sleep. I am going to be contacting my new doctor this week to see if I can get in for a follow-up and maybe find out what’s wrong with me. At the moment the Ibuprofen is wearing off and I feel kinda awful.

But I’m still trucking along. As my buddy Cameron says, “If I’m bitchin’ I’m breathing.”

Thanks for reading today y’all. I appreciate it. If you like what you see, drop a comment, and if you’re so inclined, drop me a donation. You’ll notice I got a new button, and it’s awesome.