Wednesday, August 24, 2011

133.4kg>115.8kg What's in a number...

I started a modest goal of descending from a crest of 134 kg (over 21 stones/near 300 pounds) to a weight of 115 kg (18 stones or about 250 pounds) and now, after 6 months, my goal is in reach. Of course, this present weight has me moved from Clinically Obese into merely Obese. Breaking the next goal of being under 100 kg (less than 16 stones and under 215 pounds) may well be another 6 months away... and still have me, squarely, within the Obese category... a wide trough of despair where most Americans live.

Considering some of the sacrifices, death by a thousand lost habitual oral gestures, one may question whether the journey is worthy of this extended footnote. Yet there has been so many small yet memorable moments, a small necklace of successes and learned lessons. In a life where progress is hard to detect, it is fun to feel progress... to learn more of the subtleties of cuisine, the addictive powers of common foods, the actual limits of my will power, and the humor of our human condition. Dieting is fun when it isn't outright miserable.

The Low-Carb experiment survived an American Southern States road trip, and now the next journey is more of the same, augmented by more actual exercise, in the Isles of the Philippines.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Texan BBQ Low-carb benefits

The fast food chains are just too tough to find a good option for the low-carb dieter. Fortunately, when traveling through Texas, and some of the neighboring States, there are fantastic barbecue restaurants. Texans know how to prepare meats to be tender and savory. The trick is to remember to put the sauce on the side for moderate dipping. The sauces are strong so you won't need much for seasoning. Sides (side dishes an option of two or three in most restaurants) have vegetable options to replace the ubiquitous breads and potatoes.

In the fast food chains, almost all the fish and meats are breaded and deep fried, and accompanied by massive buns and hills of potatoes. This makes any home-style BBQ truck stop, or family friendly diner, a blessing of delicious low carbohydrate options. Usually the staff are also more enthusiastic, and helpful, in these family owned and operated establishments. I love eating in Texas as long as I can find a good family owned BBQ and can avoid the more common chain eateries.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dieting on the road

Traditionally, when my Japanese friends visit the USA, they add on a few kilo. This is understandable, as most of us love to try the local cuisine when on the road. For a returning expat like myself, the temptation is more nostalgic, wanting to eat the favorite foods of my childhood.

Curiously, I've discovered these sentimental treats taste better as a memory, than in actuality. Very little of what I gobbled down as a child was all that special. What was special was being young and hungry and active, the perfect storm of delectability! Now at 60, I am mostly sedimentary, and I really do not need, nor even enjoy, the sugary carbohydrates of my youth. I deserve, and can afford, better.

I have discovered eating primarily a choice protein, a great well prepared steak, for example, or fresh un-breaded seafood, matched to a choice selection of well prepared vegetables, or a creative salad, beats the traditional poor boy grub of massive piles of breads, potatoes, grits and assorted greasy goop, designated to most of the American plate.

The trick to healthy eating while on the road is diligent scrutiny of grocery store labels, and restaurant options. Fail safe old habits, or following the suggestions of advertisements or fast food marketeers, is a formula for disappointment. There are great treasures in the American horn of plenty, it just takes scrutiny. Feeling satisfied beats being stuffed by bad choices. Too bad it took me so long to learn this lesson.