This was originally posted in October 2007. I am attempting to return to its guidelines and offer them here in the hopes that they will be beneficial. I welcome additional thoughts and comnents.
I have actually lost weight since I have been married. While my weight has fluctuated over the last four years (now 13!), I have generally been able to keep it off when I follow a few guidelines which I detail below in an acrostic of S-L-O-W-M-O-V-E-R.
(S)hare: Restaurant portions are huge. When eating out, share an order with a friend or partner. When not sharing, I split my meal down the middle and eat half. The rest I take home to eat another day. This means I don’t eat as much and it gives me two meals for the price of one!
(L)ocal: We buy local food from farms and farmer’s markets close to home. I find that I feel better when I eat locally-grown food, either from our garden or another’s. I am also helping to support small businesses and family farms which are more sustainable and better for the environment. There is an Eat Well Guide to find local farms and markets in your area. The Meatrix Films are great, funny, and informative too!
(O)rganic: I try to eat as organic as possible. It is more expensive but I feel that my body is worth it, it is easier to digest organic foods, and I don’t get all of the processed chemicals. Most supermarkets have a pretty substantial organic food section now.
(W)heat: I stopped eating wheat. This was based on the recommendation of my father-in-law and an article he gave me by Dr. Bruce West on how to naturally heal the gut. Some of the information is here. The basic idea is (rather than taking pills or antacids) one gradually eliminates a variety of possibilities from the diet. While Dr. West’s ideas are not without some controversy, this one has worked wonders for me. For awhile I was drinking Mylanta by the bottle and I rarely get heartburn now. Wheat can also cause depression, sores, and a variety of other health conditions. There are a lot of gluten-free alternatives out there and I happen to like salads which is a good thing when one is on the road! (I also don’t eat as many sweets, pastries, cookies, etc.)
(M)oderate: I eat pretty good and while I do avoid some things, I eat well, just in moderation. I guess I feel like too many rules and restrictions can backfire into gorge fests and over-snacking. Some of the ways I do this are detailed throughout this entry.
(O)mit: Fast food, buffets, and seconds. After watching Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock, I now do not eat at McDonald’s and I avoid fast food as much as possible. Slow moving and fast food don’t go together. I also try to avoid eating at buffets because I tend to eat more. While there I limit myself to small helpings of a variety of items and definitely try to visit the buffet no more than twice. When eating at home, I try not to have seconds. I have good portions on my first go around and leave it at that. Then I have room for some dessert!
(V)itamins: I take a multivitamin, vitamin C, and fish oil daily along with a variety of other herbs from the store and Standard Process. Standard Process especially has made a huge difference in healing my gut. (I have also recently started taking a probiotic). Do some research. There is a lot of good information out there regarding natural healing. I have not been sick in quite a while. Just a note: I work in the schools and especially during flu season, I have small bottles of instant hand sanitizer in my cars and a large one in my office. I am a hand shaker and whenever I do, I rub some stuff on immediately (once the person has left of course!)
(E)xercise: Before I sprained my ankle, I was planning on taking Tai Chi on Mondays and playing basketball on Wednesdays. I work in an office and am not as active as I would like to be. I think paying for a gym membership is dumb and running is not the greatest thing for the body. So I walk. I would like to do so more often, but at least once a day I have been taking the long way around the block to get the mail and do errands downtown. I think it is important to find an exercise that one enjoys because that way it will become something that lasts rather than be coerced. Walking is something that I can do anywhere anytime if that “favorite” exercise (for me b-ball) is not happening. (Now I walk dogs as a job and am trying to bike more. I also have an exercise bike so I can bike when looking at my phone or the TV rather than just sitting on my large rump).
(R)elax: I eat way too fast, probably from rushing through too many school lunches. I am still learning to eat slow. Some helpful ways to do so: 1) take small bites, 2) chew slowly and thoroughly, and 3) put the eating utensil down beside the plate between bites. I also try to avoid eating on the run. This definitely ain’t good!
My goal is to avoid Dunlap’s Disease which seems to be common among men (especially soon after they are married). This is where the belly has “done lapped” over the belt. I would like to be more active and am still learning how to heal my gut. But if the gut is healthy then the rest of me will be too. And the stomach is a great barometer in determining how slow I am moving. So I listen to what it is telling me!
Speaking of which, it is growling now so I think it’s time for an apple (organic of course)!