Kris at Cheap Healthy Good just posted a list of why she gained / gains weight. I've been following her blog for a while - she has a posting schedule of recipes interspersed with foodie-licious articles and links.
While the recipes usually make me stop by her blog for a gander, her list / posting above is probably one of the first times I've commented on her site.
You see, I am an average sized girl. But I've always been made fun of for my weight. As an Asian, I was always taller and bigger (boned?) than my counterparts. Yes, by North American specs, I'm probably average sized, but I've always felt bigger than most as my relatives would poke at my flesh and make me feel ashamed of my body. It doesn't do good either, when, as a developing adolescent, my mother would tell me that she was "never as big as" me when she was younger.
As an adult, I've come to terms with my body, but at the same time I am still guilty of neglecting my health and weight. It is said that the average weight gain for North Americans is 1-3 pounds a year. I can say that much is true; I've gradually gained weight as an adult.
Why? Here we go:
I gain weight because:
1) I live with a man who *needs* to have meat with every meal, or at least, every day. And none of that "white meat" either. He means business, meaning bbq ribs. Steak. Brisket. Bacon. Sausages. The only substitution for any "meat" is with cheese.
2) Cheese? Did you say Cheese? As a child, I *hated* cheese. It felt heavy, was plastic-y, and turned crispy black when my mother or brother made "grilled" cheese sandwiches. As an adult though, I've grown to love cheese. Real cheese. Give me gouda. Gruyere. Brie. Cheddar with ale. Cranberry camembert. Cream cheese with mixed herbs. Goat cheese with poppy seed or nuts. When I was living in Victoria, my roomate introduced me to pate. We would literally survive for days on nothing but cheese, crackers, and pate. Oh, and the odd grape thrown in for good measure. I kind of miss those days.
3) I feel that I deserve it. I've commuted a lot in my adult life. At the end of the drive, what's fast and easy and portable is an ice cream cone. Or a container of fries. And Bob as my witness, after that hellish traffic jam, I deserve it!
4) I believe that I can lose it later. I took up running three years ago. I loved what it did to my body, but more what it did to my eating habits. I could eat whatever I wanted, and I would just burn it off!! What's bad is when I take a break after the marathons or 10k races and kept on eating the same. I can honestly say that for the past three years, I spent the first half of summer feeling and looking great, then the remainder feeling bloated and sad because my body morphed back into its former self.
5) Eating is a social thing. Birthday party = dinner. Mothers / Fathers day = dim sum and / or dinner. Hockey game? We'd watch it over greasy pub food. UFC Fight Nights = fattening potluck food. Happy hour? Sure. Oh, and when me and my friends decide to celebrate something by going dancing? We end up drinking. A lot. And girly cocktails are empty calories. Might explain the most recent weight gain.
6) I love cooking. I love cooking for other people, I love cooking for myself. That, combined with the fact that I was raised and trained not to waste food, causes me to overeat a lot of the times.
7) I have a fear of going hungry. I think in every stage of my life - high school, college, office life - I had this fear of my stomache growling and that being rude. Subsequently, I'd "over pack" my lunches and snacks. Where it allowed, I'd even keep extra food in my locker / backpack / cublicle / drawer to snack on so that I wouldn't go hungry. That access has probably provided me with extra calories that I could do without.
8) I try to eat like the boys. I was a real tomboy growing up. I hated being ridiculed for being inferior - so I'd try to eat like a boy. I've gotten a little better as I've grown up, but I notice that I do try to match portions with M, who is 6' and ~200lbs. I am 5'5" and about 75% of his weight, and he has more muscle mass than me. I`ve also tried going beer for beer (or drink for drink) with the boys, which had bad results. Again - empty calories.
9) I've worked in the food industry for my entire adult life. This means free food, free samples, trade shows with free food and free samples, and a some of taste panelling. Not good.
10) My mothers' love of deep-frying as a form of food preparation has somewhat been genetically passed on to me. Not only was this bad when I was younger (sometimes we'd eat nothing BUT fried food for dinner...eww.), but now that I'm older, I fall into the same trap as I like the texture and convenience of fried food.
Where does this leave me? At least now I can identify why I gain weight. Now to correct some of my bad habits.
- drink less
- portion control
- be conscious of what I eat
- stop the lose / gain cycle
- keep healthy snacks in the car and at work
- freeze leftovers!
- stop when I'm full.
Let's see where this gets me.