On the Reader Questions posts, I will respond to questions I've received via email at email@example.com. The questions don't have to be about weight loss or running--anything is game! And Jerry said he's up for answering questions as well.
I'm sure you all know this, but just keep in mind that I am not a doctor or medical professional, so everything I write is based on my own experience. I am a certified running coach and certified weight loss specialist, so I don't just make things up out of nowhere, however ;) Anyway, that said, here goes the first RQ post in over three years!
Q. How many tattoos do you have? And has anyone told you that you look like Tina Majorino?
A. I had a dream last night that I was answering this question, which is so weird! The answer is one tattoo (but in my dream, I actually had four--haha!). The only tattoo that I have is a ladybug on my toe, which I got when I was 18. I hate it. It looked good when I got it, but it faded and the ink bled a little over time, so now it looks like a fuzzy mole. I even get emails from people who see my tattoo on my Wednesday Weigh-in photos, suggesting that I get it looked at because it looks like it could be melanoma ;) Someday, maybe I'll get it removed, but I just deal with it for now.
And interestingly, yes--people HAVE told me that I look like Tina Majorino! My "real life" friends and family don't see it, so maybe it's just in the way that I look in photographs. I went through Tina's pictures on Google, and Jerry and I agreed that this is the one that resembles me the most... but I have pretty much zero pictures of me not smiling, so it's hard to say!
Q. How do you deal with the emotional side of weight loss? As an example, I'm currently overweight and eat whatever/whenever I want without caring, so for me to go from that to having to count, measure, and care about the foods I'm eating fills me with dread and sadness. Let's face it: food is good and eating is fun! I just don't know how to get over that aspect of weight loss.
A. This is something I struggled with a lot when I was counting Weight Watchers Points. I was willing to do it forever, but I tried not to think too far ahead. Some days, I just got so frustrated because I wanted to just EAT and not have to calculate Points. It's especially difficult when going out to eat, and you can't just look at the menu and decide--you have to calculate the Points. I've even had little breakdowns at home when trying to figure out what to eat!
Since I started calorie counting, I feel much more relaxed about it. A lot of restaurants list the calories, which is simple. And if they don't, it's easy to make a good guesstimate. Now, I honestly don't mind tracking my food! I eat what I enjoy, and by eating smaller portions, I feel like I enjoy the foods even more. I take my time eating, instead of eating very quickly.
It is a difficult transition at first, going from not counting/caring to having to plan/measure/track. But after a few weeks, it really becomes second nature. I find that planning ahead takes a lot of the stress out of it. I would suggest to try and spend 10 minutes each evening planning out the following day's food, so you don't have to come up with something when you're hungry. I don't know about you, but hungry=cranky for me ;)
Q. You've mentioned before how you don't like some foods, like salad or some vegetables. I really admire how you've overcome things like fears of flying or dogs through exposure. Have you considered doing that with healthy foods you don't like? Or have you done that over the years with foods you now enjoy? I ask this because I used to not like a lot of healthy foods like peppers, avocado, almonds, etc. and learned to tolerate them just by exposing myself. Over time I grew to really like them.
A. This is a great question! I'm trying to think of foods that I really dislike, and there are only a couple that come to mind right now--yogurt and several types of cheese (blue cheese, goat cheese, gouda--I basically just like the average-joe cheeses). I used to say that I hated salad as well, but I go through phases where I eat it often. I love Caesar salad! I can't think of any vegetables that I really dislike.
Anyway, I am very open to trying new foods! I've tried yogurt dozens of times--all the different brands, flavors--and I still just don't like it. Once in a while, I'll buy a container to try again, but no luck with that one yet. Before having kids, I hated green peppers. When I was pregnant with Eli, I craved them like crazy, and now green peppers are one of my favorite vegetables! It's kind of odd how that works.
The main issue I have with vegetables isn't that I dislike them, but just that they are inconvenient to prepare. I love roasted cauliflower, for example, but washing it, cutting it into florets, and roasting it is quite a bit of prep work. Usually, when I eat vegetables, they're mixed into whatever dinner I'm making--I make a lot of skillet meals and casseroles, so I'll throw the vegetables into that.
So basically, to answer your question, yes--I am very open to trying foods that I dislike in the hopes that I will one day enjoy them. There are a lot of foods I eat now that I hated when I was kid, so I believe that our tastes change over time. Wine is another example--I used to hate wine, can you believe it? Then I found a sweet wine that I liked, so I started drinking that. Renee and I formed a wine club for our friends to get together and try different wines (and learn about them). At first, I only liked the very sweet ones; then I gradually started to like the semi-dry wines. And now, I like the very bold, very dry reds--the ones that I hated when I first started wine tasting!
I found this in a book that I filled out when I was six years old, and I thought it was kind of funny. I apparently used to love salad when I was a kid!
Nathan is my younger brother, for those of you that may not know ;) It's so funny--Nathan was just looking through his "My Book About Me", and on this same page in his book, he wrote, "And please don't give me any Jeanie. I can't stand it." (Jeanie is our sister). Clearly, we were a very loving family!
Thanks for the great questions!