Saturday, February 6, 2010

Less is More

Jay and I eat very different meals. And by that, I mean different from eachother, not different than what other couples and families ate, although it was likely that too. We knew that we would need eat as a family once we started having kids (or in our case, kid : ) For a long time I was hyper-obsessed with fat content and eating "healthy" foods. Jay ... well, he was pretty much the opposite. So, some of our usual meals would be me eating vegetable soup or a baked potato and him eating a multitude chicken tenders in buffalo wing sauce (many of them) with blue cheese dressing. Neither of our methods were model eating by any means. For the past few months, our meals have continued to differ, but with a purpose.

Things have changed.

Jay's been on weight managment program. He's eaten mostly shakes and oatmeal and nutrition bars for the past months. He's lost 70-some pounds since September. He's looking and feeling great. His motivation? Grace. She's so active that he wants to always be able to keep up with her, and be around for her too.

Jay's done awesome. (Here's before and after pictures. He hasn't worn the soccer jersey since college. And he says it fits him better today than it did back then.)

He hasn't whined or been grumpy about the diet. Not at all. And now he's eyeing fruits and vegetables Grace and I are having with interest. (Since I've been "cooking" for just Grace and I, I'm eating better than I ever did. Providing a balanced meal for Grace means a balanced meal for me too.)

Let us not forget that this eating healthy shift has occurred in the land of cheese and beer. The fact that I'm not dragging Jay to Friday night fish frys every week might be to his advantage too : ) We've avoided having any snack temptations in the house which has been relatively easy. The things I snack on, dried fruit and granola bars, aren't things that tempt Jay in the least. The only item that I feel I sacrificed for him was a little thing called Jumbo Rice Krispies. Those things are good! So good that a box rarely lasts 24 hours in our house. Serious.

At the time Jay started the program, we both happened to read the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (by Brian Wansink). A very, very interesting book that really gives insight into why we eat so much often without even knowing it. (Owning big dinner plates we feel like we need to fill with food -- mmm, pasta. Motivation to clean said plate -- don't want to waste any food! The convenience of not so healthy foods -- hello candy bar from Ms. Vending Machine. You get the picture.) Such obvious things, but things that are fixable without going on a diet-diet.

We're looking ahead to healthy, tasty family meals (which we have realized is indeed possible) and enjoying some special treat meals (ahhh, McDonald's, you know we love you.

Jay's also been working out regularly. While he's always been active (softball and volleyball in particular), it wasn't a regular part of his week. We are very much looking forward to family fitness (spring, where are you?). A handy Christmas gift -- Mr. Lawn Tractor -- will mean Jay spends less time mowing on weekends, and more time with Grace and I.

Since Jay's made such a huge change in his life, I've given in on something I have protested for years. Jay wants us to go bicycling as a family. Sounds like a simple request, right? Well he happened to marry someone for whom the phrase "It's just like riding a bike." does not apply. I have had many bikes in my life, but for some reason I've never been very good at it. (Meaning, I get on the thing and fall over and bruise the heck out of myself.) So I balked at the idea of family bike riding -- until now. Inspired by Jay's dedication, I'm willing to give it a try again. As long as our bike trips don't lead to the McDonald's drive-thru, I think we're on the right track.


MollyinMinn said...

Kudos to Jay, he looks great! I am impressed, for sure.

And I am like you. I don't think I have been on a bike in 12 years. And, despite conventional wisdom, I am quite sure I have actually forgotten how.

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