[Rowing Machine] 2019: Week 47 {212.0} “Least Favorite Calories?”

My least favorite food is… probably something I haven’t considered eating in years. If I’m thinking of the question for purposes outside of hahahah tomfooled, bro!, I don’t much like the taste of mint or lemon, so I tend to avoid those flavors. If your weight isn’t great, like mine, I would recommend that you avoid any foods with carbs, proteins, or fats that have insidious calorie counts, like I avoid minty or lemony foods.

Notice how I didn’t imply cutting carbs.

At the risk of turning this essay into a casual debunking of the whole no-carbs diets that are popular, I’ll limit it to this paragraph: I think the reason why these diets are so popular is that simple and complex carbohydrates tend to have excessive calories. It’s more difficult to eat 300 calories of protein than carbohydrates. You can eat a sugary snack full of carbs at around 300 calories and still feel hungry. Eating 300 calories worth of protein would typically have much more mass, so I think the true effectiveness of these diets is decreasing the overall consumption of certain types of foods.

What foods are you comfortable cutting from your diet?

I see pizza as a symbol of bad foods. Its ubiquity assures that you can find yourself with a slice of pizza in your hands at any American party or social gathering you will ever attend. My penultimate slice of pizza had so much grease that I had to dab it up with over four napkins and the last time I ate pizza tasted good yet didn’t leave me feeling great. That sort of Pyrrhic victory wasn’t worth the effort. I will still eat pizza. It’s just for special occasions only, like visiting “the best” pizza place or going to somewhere actually special rather than just the shop down the way.

In that way, eating pizza becomes more difficult than not.

When foods are more difficult to casually eat – if because of inaccessibility, disapproval like how I avoid lemony minty foods, or specific dietary reasons – I won’t be tempted to eat them and let their calories gunk up my system. If this seems obvious, it’s because we have such a surplus of foods available to us in the American popular culture that it’s easy to see how obesity is such a problem. I wouldn’t say epidemic because it’s an affliction that happens “upon people” as the etymology suggestions.

Eating too many calories is not the same as catching the flu.

Obesity is caused by an inadequate diet education and an abundance of inadequate foods. I have some broccoli and sweet potatoes waiting for me in my cooker, which I’ll eat after the end of this sentence, because although I must admit that a cheeseburger or slice of pizza should taste better, I’m beginning to enjoy the taste of unadorned broccoli and sweet potatoes have always been a favorite food of mine.

I needed to put pepper on my broccoli.

Otherwise, I don’t mind steamed broccoli. I pour about two liters of water into my rice cooker, set it to “quick rice,” fill the bottom with broccoli or other larger frozen vegetables, cut up my [sweet] potatoes, put them in, and go about my waking routine. By the time I’m about thirty minutes into writing, the buzzer will go off, and that will usually be a good time to take a break anyways.

For me, that’s easier than cooking up some kind of fancy dish.

I know roughly how many calories that all is – 400: two sweet potatoes might be a bit more than 200, and the broccoli packaging said exactly 200 – so I can go update my Rowing Machine Sheets Supplementarium with that number. I don’t often round down like that. My stomach is full and I still have 100 calories of sweet potatoes to eat. I’d rather have a routine like that and eat predictable foods so I can track my results. I was a bit stressed out this morning when I got home from work, so I ate one of my last remaining unhealthy, sugary foods – a pre-packaged crêpe – because it was easy to eat.

Pre-packaged foods will soon be on the list of my least favorite calories.

That crêpes is similar to the aforementioned pizza example. Why would I eat something that “tastes good” in the short-term, but doesn’t actually do much of anything for me in the long-term, unless it is for a special occasion? The opportunity of eating something to relieve stress doesn’t match the experience of having a fresh crêpe made by someone that makes crêpes.

What I’d advocate is having a staple of foods you enjoy.

I’m way into counting calories, so you don’t have to be as obsessive, however, I would still recommend figuring out a baseline of foods you can eat regularly without getting sick of them. Those should be foods that nourish you until the next meal. When you have fewer of those hunger pangs, often caused by a combination of fatigue, stress, and perceived starvation, then you won’t be as tempted as I was by sugary foods. When I wake up in the morning, I prefer the food that takes 45 minutes to passively cook than the food that requires a few minutes of active cooking attention.

I can still cook those other foods if I’m hungrier or running late.

However, the more I analyze my health trends – like this morning’s overeating due to needing to work late with a heavy workload, surviving stressful situations, and needing to cancel my plans to get my car looked at because I was running late – the more I realize that I eat certain foods not because I enjoy their taste, but because I enjoy how they relax my mind through those tense situations. That crêpe didn’t help me relax. Writing and going to sleep helped me relax.

Favorite foods: decently nourishing foods, tastiness optional.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 212.0
Last week’s weight: 213.0
Difference: I was certain I was going to weigh more, in part because I had already had breakfast, but, I guess I had already released all that weight before I weighed. We’ll see next week.
Inspirations: Another spare rowing essay. I think by exploring broader topics like this, I can start to narrow in on my specific thoughts on health and wellness. I just don’t like pizza or crêpes enough to want to eat them daily.
Related: Past weekly column entries.
Photo: My rice cooker with broccoli and sweet potatoes. Don’t worry, I don’t eat out of the container. I strain the water and put it into a bowl. Although I advocate eating discipline, I still have some eating manners. Sometimes. Don’t assume too much there, buddy.
Written On: October 29th, 2019 [56 minutes, from 6:51pm to “favorite food of mine” at 7:22pm to eat breakfast and make the image then from 7:45pm to 8:10pm, WordPress]
Last Edited: October 29th, 2019 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.