At least, not when it’s your mother cooking for you because she’s “concerned about your health”. I should probably backpedal and explain something very (or not so) important: I’ve lost almost seventy pounds in the course of one year.
Yeah, this is now officially a “weight-loss motivational” post. Or more specifically, a “why-having-your-own-kitchen-in-college-is-pretty-amazing” post combined with “help-my-mother-has-not-a-degree-in-Nutrition-stop-Mom-STOP” rant. Sit back and enjoy.
But, wow…sixty-eight pounds. It would’ve been more (and it once was), but this is summer vacation and my mother’s cooking is rather inescapable. There must be something slightly twisted about Mom, who can compliment my progress while offering me a plate of her homemade nachos at the same time. Bravo, mother, bravo.
Seriously. This is the woman who, while also being responsible for my very existence, has always been the person who lamented the fact that I had to shop in the Plus Size section of the store every year for the Back to School sales while her other, thinner daughters were in the trendy Juniors department. I swear, when she discovered Torrid, she flipped out and bought nearly everything she could get her hands on. Needless to say, it was all sparkly and not to my tastes. “Now you’ll look like a girl instead of a gangbanger, wearing flowy, dressy things instead of that horrid black jacket and black maternity pants.” Paraphrased, don’t question it. But, yeah, flash-forward three years and I’m dressing as I please, using a Large instead of an Extra Large, and my mother is worried that now I’m too thin of all things, despite still being in the 200s.
Maybe she’s worried about how I lost the weight. Maybe she thinks that I’m one of those people with a secret anorexic life or that I’ve taken drugs or something. I’m pretty sure she was convinced that, while in high school, I cut myself or something. I don’t know; my mom’s one of those people who have a tendency to overreact. For example, when Pokemon came out (I think I was still in elementary school?), I began to collect the cards. My mom found them…and somehow came to the conclusion that I was worshiping them. It wasn’t as bad when I picked up the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game a few years after that, but only because I got better at hiding my shit. But without fail, if an image of Yami Yugi were to come up on TV or on my laptop while I’m surfing the web, almost automatically my mother says, “Omigod, look at his hair! Why are his eyes so damn purple?? He must be the devil.”
I swear, her attitude concerning anime and video games deserves its own post. Anyway…
How to lose weight: eat less and move more. That’s about it. When you start, it doesn’t really look like you’re progressing at all. And that’s alright; your body is still getting adjusted to the whole “less intake and more output” mode of living. It’s gonna be a pain in the ass (hopefully not literally), especially if you’re changing the way you’ve been living for the past decade and a half. But that’s the thing: you have to change. I can’t stress that enough. Well, I can, I suppose, but that would mean putting it in all caps, bolding, and underlining the text, which is just excessive and rude online behavior.
And we’ve stumbled onto something that also needs its own post. Fantastic. I’ll get right on that.
So, “eat less, move more”. It’s a simple enough concept. It helps to cook your own food, too, as you can then have the most control over what you’re eating. I think that the biggest reason for my success in the last year has indeed been the fact that I didn’t have too much of a choice in where I could eat at school. Sure, I got a meal plan. You kind of have to get one in order to live on campus. But, being the thrifty person that I am, I decided to get the smallest one: the Bronze Meal Plan, loaded with nine-hundred meal points. Let me put this into perspective: this meal plan is only available to students that reside in the apartments; if you still live in the dorms (I’m sorry, “residence halls”), then the smallest you can get is the Silver Meal Plan (1,200 meal points a semester, if I’m not mistaken). So, the Office of Housing is essentially telling you, “Listen, you’re in an apartment. You’ve got a kitchen, just enough meal points to buy ingredients from the student store if you budget yourself to $35 a week, and you should know people who can drive you places by now. Allez cuisine!”
And that’s what I did this last year. I piggybacked on my roommates’ kitchen utensils, car, and meal plan (only when I needed to, because my roommates this year were SO much more amazing that those previously; of course, I did my best to make it up to them, as reciprocity is always good) and I made my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I still went to the cafeteria (my apologies, “University Center”) when I was in a hurry or I just didn’t feel like cooking that day, but for the most part, I fed myself. I controlled my portions, took down how many calories each meal was on my iPod app, and I was set on the intake part of the weight loss equation.
As for output…allow me to put it this way: I pay for a gym membership, but I don’t use it. It’s awful, a waste of resources, and a damn shame (because those facilities are pretty freakin’ sweet), but I find myself hesitating to go because other people go. And those other people actually look like they go to the gym regularly. I want to say it’s like a catch-22: if I want to look like them, I have to go to the gym, but I can’t go to the gym and be comfortable unless I already look like them. Does that make sense?
But, it’s summer vacation. I may not have a gym, but my sister does have a treadmill, a set of ten pound weights, and plenty of room. So, why don’t I get to it? Why don’t I get off of the computer for a couple hours and workout? Because of my mother. My mother and her contradictory belief that losing weight can be achieved by eating more of her food. Honestly, I think she’s been watching too many Nutraslim commercial, ’cause that shit is cray.
So, what have we learned? My mother is not a nutritionist, cooking is a universal skill (as it should be, gentlemen out there), and I am not a physician or professional trainer. Please consult with a legitimate, certified doctor that doesn’t have a history of getting their asses sued before attempting any and all exercise and dietary plans.