Category Archives: Eat This

My food is out to get me

You aren’t fat just because a particular food is making you fat. Carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, fat and protein don’t magically find a way into your stomach. McDonald’s cheese burgers don’t magically levitate into your stomach. The movie size box of candy doesn’t jump off the shelf and say, “BUY ME!”.

Oh wait, you are addicted to a food item? Well that changes the laws of matter and physics. Now obviously the cheese burger can levitate, and candy has the power of movement. It’s the inanimate object that’s responsible for your decisions, not you. That’s the problem.

So as you go through life, fat and unhappy do feel free to blame the box of candy.

Can these foods lead to increased obesity? Yes. Are manufacturers trying to design foods to entice you to eat more, yes. The question is, at the end of the day who’s responsible?

You are. Food does not think or act. You are the one who decides what you are going to stick into your mouth. You can give me a laundry list of excuses. Bottom line, even an alcoholic has to acknowledge his actions. If you have a hard time saying no to a beer, don’t go into a bar. If you have issues with movie size candy, don’t walk into CVS and buy one. If a food causes you to binge, YOU are the one who has to figure out how to walk away. There is no magic, and there’s no special technique. If you gobble up the bowl of queso, then you need to tell the waiter to take it off the table. If your friends complain, tough nuts.

You are responsible for your actions. Period. It’s great that you’ve identified a food as a problem. It doesn’t matter a lick if you do not take steps to address the problem.

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The cottage cheese theory of weight loss

One of my favorite arguments against eating healthy is the, “but I don’t like the way X tastes.” I get this one frequently.

“What should I eat to make breakfast healthier?”

“Well eggs and oatmeal are a nice, balanced breakfast.”

“Oh I don’t like oatmeal. It’s yucky. How about a bagel?”

This type of conversation goes on in every weight loss forum, support group, and gym constantly. People ask what you need to eat to lose weight, you tell them, and then the answer is, “I don’t like that.” Cottage cheese is a major do not like food. For many in the fitness community it’s a staple food item. It’s affordable, and a great source of protein. It also hits a wide range of icky food buttons for folks. Be it a matter of taste or texture, cottage cheese inevitably receives an ick vote.

Here’s the thing. So what? So what if I don’t like cottage cheese? I like being fat even less. I don’t have a food allergy, I just have an aversion to that particular food. The foods I do like aren’t good for me. I mean a donut tastes tons better than cottage cheese. The donut is not going to help me hit my weight loss goal.

There are many foods I didn’t like when I started my weight loss journey. Cottage cheese was on the list. What I realized is that to get where I wanted to go, I needed to give up things that I enjoyed for a time. So the donuts went off the daily list along with a host of other foods. Cottage cheese rotated on the list. It was a struggle in the beginning. I mixed it with a low fat yogurt to mask the taste, held my nose and ate my cottage cheese. I made the decision that my personal dislike of a variety of foods needed to take a back seat while I worked to lose the weight.

This is a key point for those looking to lose weight and keep it off. You’ve got to make conscious decisions to do things which make you uncomfortable. Being fat is comfortable. It’s familiar, and it’s safe. You need to break down those old routines and habits that are keeping you locked in negative routines. Is it fun to eat food you don’t like? No way Jose. It was months before cottage cheese and I became more than antagonists.  I hit a point where I ate so much tuna I thought I was going to grow gills. I did not enjoy it.

I kept reminding myself that I enjoyed being fat far less.

Over the next several months, the weight dropped off and I formed new relationships with food. Cottage cheese turned from a disgusting food to a staple in the pantry. The Cottage Cheese Theory of Weight Loss was born. In order to get what you want, you’ve got to be willing to suffer through a little (or in my case a lot) of cottage cheese. Embrace being uncomfortable, and through that discomfort discover just how strong you can be.