Sunday, August 10, 2008

Downsides to Living at Home

For the most part, I am very thankful that my parents let me (and now the boy as well) live at home, rent and everything free. I have a laundry service, my internet/cable/utilities/water all paid for as well as the vast majority of my food. It helps keeps costs down a ridiculous amount, especially now when I'm unemployed.

This does, however, come with the large downside of having to eat what the family eats ... which is rarely completely healthy. I should delve into a bit of background here first ...

My mom and dad are both overweight. Dad was actually totally awesome a few years back, losing weight by the standard: cutting and counting calories, smaller meals, swimming and walking. However, a lot of it was health motivated. His doctor basically told him if he didn't lose weight and lose weight soon, he'd be in a whole lotta trouble. However, since then, his weight has creeped back up and his exercise is back to non-existent, save for some occasional yardwork. I also don't think he's been to the doctor since he's packed the pounds back on. I know that for him, eating healthy and working out can be difficult given that he travels an ass-ton for business eating out all the time ... but I've found that it's not so hard to squeeze in a walk here and there, or some body weight squats, or some crunches, or something. He also snacks at night ALL THE TIME which is also a recipe for destruction.

Mom, on the other hand has been overweight for years, has tried a myriad of diets, claiming they all "don't work for me, they're all full of shit." She claims her metabolism is slower than molasses. She has some weird vegetable soup diet thing she tries every now and then (more of a cleanse, now that i think about it), but obviously it's one of those "quick fix" things. She, however, has a lot more things working against her:

1.) She works third shift, hanging tags at a supermarket. That schedule alone fucks your body up. Given that she has to do a lot of crap during the day, her sleep schedule is erratic at best so she's always tired and always cranky. Perhaps, in part, due to this,
2.) she eats like total crap. I've told her that she should just try the mini-meal thing - a few nutritionally dense meals throughout the day/night to kick-start/keep her slower-than-slow metabolism going. However, her snacks at work will be Twizzlers or 100-calorie packs of Lorna Doone shortbreads. She'll have a bowl of ice cream, saying "I felt like it" or "it's okay, because I'm getting my calcium in this way." ... WHAT?
3.) Her health (in general) is good enough that her doctor doesn't feel the need to tell her to lose weight or else. She's got good blood pressure, cholesterol levels and the like - which I'm thankful for inheriting because my blood pressure kicks ass. However, despite that, she has had arthritis in her knees for years and, more recently, has been having back and foot troubles. She claims it's just due to working on her feet all the time, but I can't help but think it's got something to do with all the extra weight she's carrying around.

She enjoys swimming, but wouldn't go with me to 24 when they had their "bring a guest for free" promotion, finding some excuse. When the whole family had a membership to the rec center, I dragged her along for some walking and low-level recumbent biking, but only a few times. She couldn't swim there, but only because the lap schedules were erratic and didn't fit in with her work schedule.

Now, she proudly said she lost five pounds last year eating what she wanted when she wanted (i feel like an asston of jelly on my toast this morning, so i'm gonna have it). The weight loss is good, don't get me wrong, but at her weight, she could be safely losing AT LEAST that a MONTH. But with no imminent health dangers (well, obvious ones at least) on the horizon and her declaring she's always too tired because she stretches herself thin everywhere else, the motivation will be impossible to come by.

My brother is a strange case. He claims he eats well, but when I'm around him at family meals, he eats a shitload of relatively crappy food. If he eats better at home, then more power to him. But as his business is slow lately (he works in remodeling kitchens and bathrooms and stuff), he's been eating more and more meals back at home base (our house) to save money. His job (and now, his puppies) keep him active and he does enjoy the occasional bike ride (though hasn't in a while), but his main vice is beer ... as evidenced by his slightly solid (looking, at least) beer belly.

To get back on track, the reason why I got so frustrated that it sparked me to blog tonight: tonight's dinner.

From pretty much everything I've read amongst the ever-changing diet advice out there (coffee is the bomb! coffee will kill you! and so on), one standard is that when it comes to the food on your plate, it should be colorful and pretty; avoid the monochromatic meal.

Well, let me tell you what the family enjoyed for dinner tonight:
- 2% cottage cheese with canned pears (i actually enjoy this ... in small quantities)
- steak (don't know what cut) covered in Montreal steak seasoning (too seasoned; i prechop my steaks so i only eat about a serving and toss the rest in a ziploc - can't eat much red meat anymore)
- chopped mushrooms sauteed in butter, for the steak (ate a tiny bit; could tell mushrooms were getting old and yucky)
- corn on the cob, buttered (ate a half-cob; i hate this as a vegetable - it's basically a starch)
- russet potatoes, peeled, sliced and fried with onions (bland and just ... blah)
- pillsbury crescent rolls: garlic butter edition, served with brummel and brown (realized they were the garlic butter ones halfway into my second roll - knew it tasted funny and couldn't figure out why ... *gag*)

The color palette? white, light yellow-green, gray, brown, yellow/white, white, tan. Pretty damn monochromatic if you ask me. I had as little of everything as possible and supplemented with some red grapes, but still.

Costs be damned, I wish Brandon and I could move out now, if only to eat better without the family looking down on me (history for another day ...).

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