Even though I've reached a number on the scale that I can totally live with, I've decided it's time to buckle down and really clean up my eating. I don't care if I lose another pound, but I can tell where I have muscle and where I still have excess body fat. I do care about gaining the former and losing the latter.
One important tool that helped me kick almost 50 pounds to the curb last year was The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person. It's not a diet; rather, it works with any eating plan you choose (healthy, please).
Some of the daily assignments made me think "duh, I already know this," but let me tell you, there were many that made me open my eyes and see the light bulb going off over my head. Finally I got it: hunger is NOT an emergency and mindless eating is bad, bad, BAD!
Some things in the book were totally new and revolutionary to me. Others were nothing new, but something about the way they were explained finally broke through my mental barriers. I formed some great, healthy new habits and didn't feel much pain doing it.
However, I've noticed in the last month or so that I'm slipping into that sense of complacency that comes once the weight is lost. That feeling that I don't have to watch what I eat so carefully. Fortunately, this time I was prepared for it. That feeling came around every time I've lost weight in the past, why would this time be any different. What is different, is I've got Dr. Beck's book on my side. I probably won't work through every daily exercise (six weeks worth), but I will review the ones that I know are sticking points.
The only women's fitness magazine I regularly enjoy is Oxygen. While I don't like all the ads for fat-burning supplements and whatnot, Oxygen is heavy on the fitness and nutrition content, light on beauty and fashion (which I get from Vogue, thank you very much). Well, Oxygen wouldn't be Oxygen without regular contributing editor Tosca Reno, who has a small list of books to her name, including two recent books on clean eating. I just added one title, The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook: Great-Tasting Recipes That Keep you Lean, to my personal cookbook library (which I really need to inventory one of these days...).
I started cooking from it last night, preparing the Crock-Pot Porridge. It was nice to have a hot breakfast ready and waiting for me after my morning workout. Adding unsweetened applesauce instead of brown sugar will take a little getting used to, but it was tasty. And totally healthy. Tonight's dinner will be Country Style Beef Soup, which I picked mainly because I can use one of the packages of soup bones from the 100 pounds of grass-fed steer we have in our freezer. Oddly, I've had a hard time finding recipes that call for beef soup bones. I can also use up the rest of the cubed butternut squash in the freezer, as well as one pack of the frozen edamame from Costco and a few of the turnips still braving the cold in my garden.
Really, this is one of the few cookbooks from which I will probably make every single recipe. I'll just have to be a bit sneaky with the tofu recipes (sorry, J!).