Sunday, January 29, 2012


The TV was on this morning while I was making breakfast. I was just using the TV as a "white noise" generator, when a commercial for some brand of yogurt (I don't recall it) came on touting its yogurt as being a good alternative to other snacks. The premise of the commercial was a youth spelling bee, and the word was "swap-ortunity".

It got me thinking. What have I swapped in my journey to my current weight?

In terms of food, I made many changes. I drink water almost exclusively over any beverage with calories. I use olive oil instead of butter on my bread (and the bread is now homemade, with extra fiber from milled flax seed.)  Here is my most recent bread, a Rye/Flax loaf.

Formerly, I used to take 1-2 fish oil capsules daily (300mg omega-3 fatty acids per capsule), but one serving of flax seed (2 tablespoons) has more omega-3 than 8 capsules, plus fiber and protein.

I eat eggs frequently for breakfast, but toast rarely. Initially, I swapped whole eggs for egg whites in omelets, but as I went along I went back the whole eggs for the nutrients and fats. I used to worry about the fat in my diet; now I worry about too many carbs and not enough fat and protein.  Plain Greek yogurt has taken the place of low-fat sour cream for the same flavor and consistency but much more protein.
I've swapped salt for increased herbs and spices (I use a lot more fresh ginger and garlic now, and have many salt-free blends from to punch up the flavor without adding salt.)

Instead of 1-3 beers a day, I have 6 ounces of red wine 3-4 times a week. I swapped caffeinated beverages for decaf (another step toward getting my blood pressure under control.)

I've swapped many things related to exercise, too. I walk the stairs instead of elevators and use distant parking spots instead of a spot as close to the door as possible. I use an old-fashioned reel mower (the kind with no motor) instead of my riding lawn mower. I used to just time my walks when I took Ozzy out, but now my FitBit counts them far more accurately (and then transmits the calories expended to my LoseIt profile for me!)

Finally, and most importantly, mentally I have swapped things. I no longer assume that I am a non-athlete, so to reinforce that I registered for the 10K Bellin Run. I am going to buy a bike as spring nears, and will start training for long-distance rides. I will be making a hike this summer (a round-trip walk from my current city to my hometown and back, totalling 166 miles, with only what I can carry on my back for support) just to do it.  I am learning to believe in myself and that I deserve to be healthy, and that being healthy is a step toward being happy.

What are some of your swaps?

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