Only If It's Worth It
Thursday, May 31, 2012
You all know that I am a traveler. I love going to different places and exploring this little planet we call Earth. It is truly a special place, and I love going to new places, meeting their people, and eating their food.
Especially eating their food.
When I went to Paris, I ate food. Lots of food. I bought one little hat at a street market, and that was it for my shopping experience.
It's food and seeing the sites that I enjoy when I travel. I'm not a shopper. I rarely buy souvenirs. Where would I put it? It usually just adds to clutter. I have a tendency towards hording, so it's just better to avoid souvenirs.
Having the joys of eating abroad, I have to say I've come to dislike American restaurants. I blame Applebee's and Chili's oversized portions for my obesity.
In Spain and France, the plate sizes were small relatively. I could just hear in my head my dad complaining about the tiny steaks. And yet they left me overall more satisfied and well nourished.
Once a regular occurrence, I can't stand to eat at Applebee's anymore. The food is over processed, over salted, and over sugared. The apple pie is so sickeningly sweet, all I taste is sugar lightly flavored with apple.
In France, I had a wonderful apple tarte that was a little sweet, and a little tart. It was divine. I could taste the apples. The delicate flakey pastry complimented the apples with a slight buttery-ness. The Applebee's pie lacks the nuances or the complexities. The over saturated sweetness ruins the dessert.
Back in 2000, I weighed 160lbs and wore size 12 pants. On my 5'0" frame, that put me solidly in the obese category. Those were my high flying days of Applebee's burgers and apple pie.
Today, I weigh about 128 (post vacation weight), and wear a size 6. Almost a size 4 before I went on vacation.
After struggling with my weight for over 10 years, I finally discovered it's wasn't bad genes that was keeping me overweight. It was what I was eating. Which was completely baffling because I followed the dietary guidelines of 60/15/25 carbs/fat/protein.
This was simply a formula to keep me fat. If this worked for you, great. But it did not work for me.
These days, I follow a few simple rules, and I can eat relatively intuitive. Without carb counters, calorie counters or anything else.
1) 80-100 grams protein per day. (Protein with every meal)
2) No more than 60 grams carbs per day. (90% veggies)
3) No calories from drinks. (Low, low sugar consumption)
That's it. Believe me, 60g carbs is plenty. I can enjoy a piece of toast with breakfast, a cup of rice at dinner, or a dessert, but not all together. When I eat mostly vegetables for carbs, I have plenty reserved for something else I like.
Most everyone is familiar with a saying from Kate Moss: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
It's going to sound shocking, but I kind of understand this now.
Wait, wait. Hear me out.
When taken as an anorexic manifesto, this statement is beyond awful. It's too easy to take the wrong way, especially when you're a young teenage female.
I eat between 1400-2000 calories per day, depending on my activity level. There is so starvation diet here. So this statement means something different for me.
It means, if I eat something, it had better be worth it.
I will never hesitate to enjoy an authentic French tarte with a cup of coffee. However, I will never again touch an Applebee's apple pie.
It doesn't taste as nice as a pair of size 4-6 pants feels.