Autumn is always my favorite time in Dubuque. The leaves are changing, the air is brisk, and the city settles in for the season. Meanwhile, I settle into my apartment with books and NetFlix while subsisting on a steady diet of melted cheese and red wine.
As a result, I’ve gained a few pounds.
Now, before I start whining too much, I realize this is a common problem for the native Dubuquer and Midwesterners at large. Cold weather usually means more time spent indoors, which usually means less activity and more time near the kitchen/refrigerator.
What’s a girl to do?
Here are some of the strategies I will be resorting to in the coming months (please hold me to this).
1. MOVE! Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, it’s better than sitting on the couch with a canister of parmesan cheese.
2. Keep a food journal: I love to eat and I believe my stomach has the personality of this guy…
so writing everything down prevents me from bingeing on my favorite unhealthy things.
3. Resist the urge to buy craptastic food: When I’m being diligent about eating healthy, it means buying the least processed foods I can find. As the book In Defense of Food states, I’ll be shopping the store perimeters, avoiding anything my great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize, and carefully reading labels of anything with more than five ingredients.
Have you ever tried to read the ingredients in those 100 calorie packs and most Weight Watchers products? It’s like a damned chemistry final and I suck at chemistry. Scary.
4. Weigh-in once a week. No more (fluctuations will drive me crazy), no less.
5. Limit alcohol (1 or 2 drinks a week): I suddenly feel the urge to weep. This is a tough one. For me, the empty calories of alcohol alone doesn’t pose such a threat, it is the munchies that go along with the alcohol and the day-after cravings (grease, carbs, grease, carbs).
We’ll see how this goes!