Shrinking Sloth

AvatarJSI can cook.  Man, can I COOK!  I’ve just made a Dutch oven full of red lentil soup.  It is, if I don’t say so myself, wonderful!  And it’s not the first time.  I’ve done this before. Several times. It just gets better and better. If I were not my own sous chef, I could radically increase my output.  But I am my own sous chef.  So I have to chop vast quantities of onions and carrots and celery and garlic, and that takes time.  But, with help, I could become a production machine!

I could make vats of red lentil soup…all sorts of soups, in fact.  I could make vats of the stuff, filling dozens and dozens of 2-cup containers, and freeze enough of this stuff to make enough lunch portions for the two of us (the other of “us” is my favorite wife) to last for months and months.

I mention my proficiency in souperstition because I’ve taken to enjoying a cup of soup for lunch of late, along with a spinach and mushroom salad.  It satisfies my hunger and is contributing nicely to my efforts to eliminate some unneeded and unwanted pounds, pounds I’ve allowed to return since I slipped into my old, slothful ways. Putting my cooking skills to proper use, coupled with a powerful dose of discipline and desire (see earlier post), I expect to return to something resembling decent physical condition within the foreseeable future.

Breakfast remains simple and reasonably healthy: a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal or a bit of scrambled egg-beaters with some turkey bacon or half a grapefruit, accompanied by a glass of tomato juice; nothing new here.  Dinner is as dinner has been, but with smaller servings and considerably less starch.  Snacks, if required: celery or cucumber or grape tomatoes.  And tea.  Lots and lots of tea.  And no beer, no wine, no hard liquor.  Of course, I cannot deny myself this stuff forever, so every couple of weeks, maybe more, I will allow myself a slight departure from the regimen, but only a very slight departure.  I am in need of a return to my “salad days,” so discipline will be the order of the day.

Tonight, I will season and poach salmon filets, steam some broccoli and, perhaps, make some wilted spinach or steam some fresh green beans.  Tomorrow’s dinner will be similarly “normal.”  Aside from watching the portions, though, one other thing has changed; after eventually getting around to cooking the one remaining frozen pizza, I’ll not allow my sloth and laziness to extend to buying more of the same.

This new approach to eating has had good results so far; down more than six pounds this week.  Would that I could continue the same pace; I could achieve slimness in short order! But, alas, that’s not the way the world works. I will begin adding more exercise and the weight loss will slow.  But I will feel and look better at the right pace.

When I have achieved what I consider the “right” weight, I will replace the bitstrips image above with a real photo of myself; and I’ll edit this post to show the “before” and “after.” And, of course, I’ll post the news with a link to this one. I’m posting this publicly to add emphasis to my need for discipline…I trust there are disciplinarians in the broader world, right?

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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10 Responses to Shrinking Sloth

  1. Trish says:

    You mean those crooked bastirds*, John?! (*you and Jim taught me that spelling/pronunciation…luv it! Do hope I got it right, please tell me if not.) They will feed you poison just to make their profit…always a good idea to keep and on those scoundrels. Yes, we do share that detain, don’t we?! And I’m happy for that! 🙂

  2. We share a common disdain for the food industry, Trish!

  3. Trish says:

    John, I would also love to see a bit of humanity from the food industry, (btw, you gave away your Libra inclination on that one), but don’t count on it. Therefore, I’d say pick and choose might be the antidote…arm yourself with food knowledge. And, please don’t trust what is written on the box/packaging. This is only what they, by law must tell you, the rest of the crap that contains is up to you to investigate. The best avenue….no frozen or canned food when ever possible to avoid. The corporate bastards could care less of what you consume or not, just buy what they push….and their mission is complete…

  4. Trish says:

    Oh, no John, I’m glad it came up. I’m so very undisciplined are doing a reread. I want to get it right, but sometimes I can’t get out of my way! lol! Not to worry, good man, the incident was a good flag for me, unbeknownst to you ! 🙂 And anyone correcting me “es bienvenido”….:)

  5. Trish says:

    One can gauge a diet on their on personal preference. i.e, meat lover, but limit the carbs. Others take the all carb approach, and limit the meat and will have weight loss success. Like Juan knows, I eat like a bird.;) I have my own version of dieting, and that being, just limit the fuel. In other words, moderation, for after all you shouldn’t have to live on a specific diet plan for eternity, it should be livable and incorporated into your lifestyle. And when you leave that type of diet, one that’s very pointed, you will gain back what you lost. I used to be the queen of calorie counting…this was a fashionable approach back in the 70’s. Did it work, yes. But only if you kept the calories in check. Till this day, I can look at a basic food and tell you approximately how many calories it contains. Do I count calories now? In the back of my mind, yes, I still do to a certain extent. I would liken the body to oven, a wood burning oven. The more wood you throw on it, the more it has to burn. Calories are units of heat, after all. So, lets burn! 🙂

  6. Trish, I did not intend to correct; did not even notice “regiment!” Juan, carbohydrates in overabundance are so easy to enjoy! I love all of the things you say you missed…and I will continue to love them. But, for now, I need to retrain myself to eat like I evolved from hunter-gatherers who, on rare occasion, would stumble upon ecstacy and gobble it up, but not get used to it! It is too easy to sell crap that’s bad for people while making a killing on the sales; too bad the monstrous food manufacturers and distributors cannot seem to inject a little humanity and compassion while they’re injecting addictive sugars and massive amounts of empty calories into their products. Growl!

  7. juan says:

    For at least 3 months last semester, I limited carbohydrate intake to no more than 30 grams per day. My diet, as I used to tell my brother on the phone, “Puro carne!” We would laugh.

    But the result was that I came down in weight from 180 to 160, and still falling in about 2 months. Toward the end of that diet, I was beginning to edge at 158 on some days, and I even had to buy another belt. I was proud of myself.

    But I missed things. I missed pasta with a good sausage sauce — possibly the spaghetti fried in olive oil (pasta putana), along with some crusty, baguette bread — and then washing it all down with some beautiful red wine, like a Bordeaux or a Barbera d’Asti — the latter now my current favorite, because it’s not like a Bordeaux or Cabernet or Merlot. It actually bites a little as an after-taste, cloaked in lime or lemon-like taste. It’s now my favorite wine, especially if it comes from the vineyards of Pico-Maccarrio. My virginty was lost with that vineyard — how could I forget?

    I missed toast, slathered with salted butter, maybe with a bit of red orange marmalade from Andalusia, or even some salty tasting Vegemite that’s naturally loaded with B vitamins, including the coveted B-12.

    My WATCH was carbohydrates, which I truly believe is a major problem with Americana diets: We are too steeped in “Wheat Belly”: Pizza (mostly bread), Pasta (mostly wheat) or popcorn (love when watching a home movie) or anything made of corn or wheat or rice (I miss eating a bowl of rice with chopsticks) — it was anything else but protein.

    That’s the problem!

    The reason why even the poor are fat is because carbohydrates — coming in its variant forms — is abundant and cheap: Imagine a daily breakfast of waffles or cakes, doused in corn syrup, or just two slices of toast at 80 grams of carbohydrate — more than twice my critical diet in carbohydrates. Someone says, “I had grain filled whole-wheat,” which is like the difference between filter and filter-less cigarette.

    In effect: The “puro carne” diet taught me to read “ingredients.” That was the real, good, and better result of my diet. I learned to inspect food!

    Now, I am back to some bread, though we only buy Pumpernickel. I’ll do a little pasta putana this evening — but I still focus on protein, and I am watchful of carbohydrates.

    Our journeys are not without purpose — even when they are failed! This has been my lesson, even from since I checked my fermenting, home-made beer this morning.

  8. Trish says:

    Whoops, thanks for the correction on “regimen”, John. Soldier on! 🙂

    By the way, lentil soup is delicious! Luv it!

  9. Thanks, Trish. My walking regimen will resume, perhaps not quite as it was, before long;

  10. Trish says:

    Best of luck to you with your new dietary regiment, John! Look forward to your before and after photos, too. Are you planning to resume your long walks?

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