Broccoli, Cupcakes, and More: Volume One

It’s really hard for me to pretend. I don’t have a good pretend face or pretend voice.

This can make being a nice person challenging sometimes, because sometimes people are totes cray-cray.

I had a conversation with someone a long time ago that required a pretend face. This person told me that they were working on being healthier, and they found a recipe for a special smoothie. If you drank this smoothie, you burned 60 calories just by drinking it.

A lot of thoughts I couldn’t say ran through my mind. One of them was, “I think maybe we burn about that many calories when we sleep at night, but that’s not meaningful in terms of weight loss or living a healthy lifestyle.”

The smoothie itself might have been full of really healthy ingredients, but it was the excitement over a person burning 60 calories just by drinking it that required me to put on a good pretend amazed face.

As a person who is clearly not a picture of health, who was I to tell this relatively healthy person that they needed more than a magic smoothie to meet their health and weight loss goals? People who are significantly overweight (as I was, previously) aren’t in a place to criticize magic smoothies.

It did, however, motivate me to try and lose weight without any kind of fancy diet. Not with magic beans, but with old-fashioned wisdom like “eat healthy and exercise.” And this strange conversation about a magic smoothie also made me not want to become one of those people who starts to make healthy changes and pretends to be an expert on all things healthy. Because I am definitely not. I’m not good at pretending, or being healthy.

I think everyone already knows all the healthy things, anyway. You don’t need me to tell you which berries have the most antioxidants. While I might consume more berries than I used to, everyone already knows that berries are good for you. As long as people have been alive, they have told themselves “Berries are so good. I feel good when I eat them. I should eat more berries, and less lard.”

Do all good things have antioxidants? I don’t even know.

I think what I do want to say is more honest things about this weight loss journey. Things like:

– There is more than one way to have an unhealthy relationship with food. I’m well versed in overeating, but I don’t want to become afraid of food. If someone makes me dinner and I refuse the dessert that they made for me because “Oh, I’m trying to lose weight, I can’t eat that” – then I think I’m still unhealthy. Healthy people aren’t afraid of food. For this reason, I eat a cupcake every time I lose 10 pounds. Also, because they are delicious. Healthy people understand moderation.

– Losing weight requires a lot of exercise. But exercise doesn’t own me. I don’t feel guilty about missing a day of exercise. I go to the gym when I can. Sometimes, I stay home and read a book.

– I ate cheap, nasty, Mexican food for dinner the other night. Nasty in a good way. You know what I mean. Lots of cheese, and grease. I put it all in my mouth. I ain’t even worried about it.

– I’m shifting from unhealthy to healthy. This means I don’t eat nachos for breakfast, not that I ever did. Maybe once. But it doesn’t mean I’m paranoid, or afraid, or guilty when I eat a cupcake or miss a workout. None of those feelings are healthy – unless you assassinated a political figure, and you’re trying to get off the grid. You should feel completely paranoid, and afraid, and guilty in that scenario.

– Sweet potatoes are really, really good. I’m not trying to tell you that vegetables are good for you. You already know that. What I am telling you is that I ate one every day for a week, and my stomach started to feel a little weird. Moderation isn’t just for cupcakes. I should not eat the same vegetable every day just because it is tasty. I should enjoy a variety of vegetables.

I don’t want to judge people that are experimenting with different diets, and recipes, and weight loss strategies. Everyone is different. We all have our own journey. There is no one-size-fits-all journey to health. I just want you to know – you have no reason to be ashamed of eating pizza for dinner, or watching Netflix instead of exercising. You can tell me all about it, because I am going to tell you all about it.

So, expect to hear some real life commentary on how this process is going for me. I have some thoughts, but I am not an expert.

Last time I checked, though, I had lost about 35 pounds. If cupcakes were a unit of measurement, that would be almost four.

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