Posts Tagged ‘gregg mcbride’
One recent morning I was up early, finished with the gym and running a few errands. While in my car and stopped at a red light, I saw a man on the crosswalk, consuming a large bag of barbecue potato chips. I checked the clock in my car (still before 9am) and did a doubletake, surprised that this person apparently could not begin his morning without the chemical-y goodness of artificially-flavored chips (yes, I checked the brand on the bag to see if they were all-natural or not).
Then, as if to emphasize a point, I saw another man nearby — this one sucking on a cigarette as if he were in outer space and needed it for oxygen. I must admit that I was in awe — so much so that a honk behind my car made me snap to and realize the light had turned green.
As I drove on, I thought about these two people. If you had been with me, you would have seen that the looks on their faces indicated their chosen substances were life giving forces that they needed to begin (or even get through) their respective days. But I assure you I wasn’t judging these folks. Instead, I was shuddering — reminded of a time in my life when I needed my own unhealthy substance to begin my day.
When I weighed over 450 pounds, I would wake up with a serious food hangover. And I assure you that “food hangover” is no catchphrase. Back when I weighed more than my scale would even register, I would eat at night until I was literally stuffed and in physical pain. I would then toss, turn and sweat all night long — until finally rising in the morning, barely able to stumble to the bathroom due to being in such anguish.
This is when I would grab for my life giving force of diet soda. That’s right. I would have to consume 3 to 4 cans first thing in the morning in order to be able to start my day and actually function. Along with the artificial ingredients (that I’m sure my body mistook for sustenance) and the caffeine, I think that the carbonation somehow helped digest the leftover food from the night before. I truly was unable to function before having multiple cans of diet soda. I was addicted — to this (and so much more).
I’m not proud of this confession — but I make it as a reminder to myself that I never want to go back to a time in my life when, to function, I felt like I had to remain on a cycle of self-abuse (in this case delivered by consuming the wrong foods and/or beverages simply to begin my day). Whether barbecue chips, cigarettes or diet soda, these are not the kinds offood groups recommended to start our day – food groups that can give us a positive (and healthy) outlook.
Letting go of what doesn’t really serves us means making a commitment to getting back to paying attention to how our bodies feel when consuming such substances. Today the thought of ingesting diet soda makes me want to barf. Don’t get me wrong. I’m human. I want my big cup of black coffee along with my all-natural cereal and fresh sliced fruit. But all of these things work together to add some pep to my step — rather than clogging my body, mind or organs with unnecessary ingredients that my body cannot process (and that might even cause harm in the long run).
Was this you, too? Or is it you? What do you feel like you have to have first thing in the morning that might give a nutritionist a panic attack? By paying attention to how you feel (how you really feel), you might just realize these substances aren’t what you’re craving after all. And as our tastes change, our bodies, minds and health can change — for the better. So tomorrow morning, why not rise, shine and dine — on a healthier, happier (and ultimately more delicious) choice than chips, cigarettes or diet soda? The life you save may be your own.
Photo Source: eatyourbooks.com
Although you wouldn’t know it to look at me today, I used to be a total boob man. But the difference between me and that guy who Googles Dolly Parton is that, at the time I had boobs that could give Ms. P a run for her money.
This was back when I weighed well over 400 pounds and was approaching the dreaded 450-pound mark (at which point my scale quit me – but that’s another story for another post). During this time period, I was somewhat terrified to leave my apartment. Mainly because I was worried that the world was judging me. By just stepping out the door, I felt like everyone could figure out my weakness (food!) and see my Achilles’ heel (well, myAchilles’ belly, in any case).
Of course, a lot of this thinking was ego-based. I mean, inhabitants of Tallahassee, Florida (where I lived at the time) were likely too busy living their own lives to really care that my girth was close to being assigned its own zip code. And yet, often times, their stares told me differently. Usually, once I would catch someone staring, we would both look to one another, acknowledge mutual shame and then look away. This would usually be followed by me making fun of their outfit (silently in my head) – anything to combat the torture I was sure they intended for me to suffer.
Again, a lot of this was drama I was creating for myself. And this drama was paralyzing. This is why I would usually shop for groceries late at night. After all, I knew the sight of a 400+ pound man shopping for food might be too much for some onlookers to bear. Luckily for me, there was a 24-hour Albertsons nearby. So late at night I would sneak out of my apartment and scurry over to the grocery store, trying to stay hidden from the world. And from myself.
But there was a reason this market was open 24-hours a day. It turns out other people liked to shop around the clock as well (although I was sure their reasons weren’t as important as mine).
I’ll never forget one late evening, while pushing my cart through the aisles of Albertsons. My bounty thus far included my usual picks: 1/2 very healthy, “diet”-type food along with 1/2 binge-worthy treats that I would use as a “last meal” before beginning that week’s diet. Thus, I would quickly wheel past anyone who happened to be in the same aisle as me.
This particular evening, I found myself in one aisle that was very crowded. It was the cereal aisle and I was picking out one ‘healthy’ and one ‘unhealthy’ cereal. When turning my cart to leave the aisle, I saw a bunch of shoppers on one end. Abort mission! I quickly turned my cart toward the opposite end of the aisle, horrified to see it was just as crowded. ‘Why must everyone like cereal as much as me?,’ I wondered.
I then swallowed hard, looked down (eye contact with anyone seeing my girth was forbidden, after all) and pushed my cart toward the end of the aisle. At one point, I passed a mom and her daughter. The little girl (around 6 or 7) made eye contact with me. There she was, this sweet, innocent cereal lover. So I risked everything and smiled at her. Much to my chagrin, she stared back blankly. I continued past her and her mom. But as I did, the girl screamed out to her mom, “Mommy! Mommy? Why does that man have boobs?”
Everyone – and I mean everyone – in that crowded aisle turned to look at the man with boobs (I was sporting facial hair at the time, so there was no denying I was male). I quickly made my way down the aisle, my hands gripping the cart while I held my breath, determined to slink away before every shopper saw my 44Bs. Or were they Double Ds?
After rounding the corner, I abandoned the cart and quickly left the market – getting into my Chevy Chevette and speedily racing home like a vampire fearing dawn’s first light. Once safe in my apartment, I wished that I had said something equally mean to the little girl – something that would have kept her up at night or, at the very least, made her pee her pants in front of all the other shoppers. I never did see her or her mother again. But I still went even further into hermit mode for the next several years.
I share this not to demonize – or even excuse – the little girl’s behavior. I share it because I know the agony of stepping into public with added girth. It’s our embarrassment and shame that not only keeps us from heading into public but also from actually taking the weight off. This is all part of the cycle of abuse that society offers and that we participate in. Looking back, I can see that the little girl wasn’t my worst enemy at the time. I was.
Nowadays I think back on my man boobs with pride and a big sense of humor. When appearing on the Today Show, I joked that I felt like I was nursing America when they flashed one of my shirtless “Before” pictures onscreen. It’s this kind of humor that can free us. No matter what size we are, it’s nothing to be embarrassed of. And it’s nothing that should keep us from shopping in public – or doing anything else in public for that matter (perhaps even exercising)… And it’s nothing that should keep us from loving and accepting ourselves. This kind of acceptance can be so freeing – and can help unblock the path to weight loss and good health once and for all.
Today, I have slightly-defined pecs from my years of working out (emphasis on slightly — LOL!). But look closely and you’ll see scars under my nipples from when I had excess skin around my chest (and elsewhere) cut away after losing and keeping off the excess weight. So I still think twice about being seen in a bathing suit in public. But then again, so do most people I know (even those odd ‘Thin all their lives’ people).
So wear your boobs proudly – no matter if you’re male or female, no matter if you’re in a “Before,” “During” or “After” phase. And for God’s sake, keep your sense of humor. After all, I may not have actual boobs anymore, but I’m still one of the biggest boobs you’ll ever meet.
Have you experienced something like this? If so, I want to hear about it. Not to be horrified. Not to be frightened. But to acknowledge, smile – and hopefully laugh – with you… One boob to another.
Who can turn the world on with her smile? Turns out it’s not just Mary Tyler Moore, but also Valerie Harper, who has bravely come forward with her brain cancer diagnosis and is inspiring all of us with her brave and positive attitude.
After recently catching Ms. Harper (appearing with others from the original Mary Tyler Moore show) on Katie, I was moved by her joy, her courage and her refusal to stop living life even after being told by her doctors that she may have just months to live. Instead, Ms. Harper gracefully cautioned us all to “Not go to the funeral before the actual funeral.”
I realized in that moment (while watching her speak) that despite what I thought was a stressful day (the kind of day that made me want to reach for the nearest package of cookies and eat them all), that I actually had nothing to complain about. After all, if Ms. Harper could smile even when facing her current circumstances, then why couldn’t I?
Ms. Harper is a great reminder for us all to live in the moment. As she recently told CNN, “I just want folks to see me, that I’m OK, that I’m not suffering so far. There may be pain. There may be a lot of things ahead, but whatever they are, they’re ahead. They’re not now.”
She went onto tell interviewer Piers Morgan that she is trying to live in the moment and then offered this advice for others: “Keep your chin up and don’t go to the funeral, mine or yours or your loved ones, until the day of the funeral because then you miss the life that you have left.”
“Death is out there for all of us,” she told Mr. Morgan. “There’s other ways to handle it than just sit on the couch and accept.”
I always find it very inspirational when people facing odds we can’t even imagine share their courage and inspiration with the rest of us. It helps make whatever we’re facing seem tolerable — while also reminding us to count our blessings and be thankful for every little thing in our lives (cookies and otherwise).
Photo Source: knue.com
One of the most popular recipes I’ve shared on this blog is my recipe for Beer’d Chicken. It can become a real go-to staple for any healthy eating of weight loss program. I get asked for the recipe all the time and am always happy to share it — thus my sharing it again here, today.
I love making this chicken ahead of time (and lots of it all at once as it lasts nearly a week and can be easily reheated). And bonus – it’s just as delicious when eaten hot as a main course or cold when cut into chunks for use in a lunch or dinner salad. You can also make this for friends, as they’ll be astounded how delicious this healthy meat entrée is.
I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts because I find the thighs offer a richer and moister flavor. Yes, there are a few more calories from fat in the thighs, but these aren’t the kind of calories that get us into any trouble. I also leave the skin on for some bonus flavor (both while cooking and while eating). If you’re on a very strict plan, you can remove the skin, but do so after cooking so you still get the benefits of the flavor.
6 – 12 Large Chicken Thighs with Skin
1 Bottle of Beer
Put Chicken Thighs into a large pot (bone down, skin side up). Next, pour a bottle of beer over the chicken thighs. Yes, it’s that easy. Next, place a lid on the pot (preferable one that allows a minimal amount of airflow) then place on the pot on the stovetop – at the lowest heat. Cook on the lowest possible heat for about 4 hours (until chicken is cooked through). While chicken is cooking, prepare a large broiling pan. I like using nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper in addition to the pan to make clean-up easy. Next, remove chicken from liquid and place on a broiling tray, skin-side-up (AKA bone-side-down). Place tray under the broiler for approximately 8 minutes (on ‘High’). After 8 muntes, remove the chicken from the broiler. Allow chicken to sit for a few minutes. Then… Ta-da! It’s ready to serve (or store in fridge for future use)!
6 – 12 (depending on the number and size of the thighs)
For me, a common evening meal will include 1 piece of Beer’d Chicken (wrapped in nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper, sprinkled with a splash of Balsamic Vinegar and warmed up in the oven on very low heat for approximately 20 minutes if coming from the fridge) along with steamed green beans (sprinkled with Granulated Garlic and Pepper) and a 1/2-cup of sliced Grape Tomatoes.
Another option is to serve the chicken with my ‘Fresh Veggie Side Salad’ recipe for a winning (and complete) meal. Your taste buds will thank me for it! If you’d like the recipe for the side salad, Click Here.