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A waist is a terrible thing to waste

October 7, 2012
By SHAUNNA DUNDER HERSHBERGER - Lifestyles Editor (sdunder@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

"What is THAT?" my husband, Justin, asked me one evening as I sat down on the couch. I had a large plastic cup filled with a thick, green liquid and I proceeded to slurp on it.

Long story short, I was drinking a green smoothie. In an effort to get some greens into my daily diet, and because I had grown sick of eating salads, I started incorporating spinach into a daily smoothie. Blended with low glycemic fruits and adding things like almond or coconut milks, almond butter, shredded coconut, unsweetened cocoa, protein powder or avocado makes for quite a tasty, nutritious drink. Yes, I have become one of "those" people.

"It's a green smoothie," I answered my husband.

He looked at me like I'd told him I ran used cat litter through the blender and served it over strawberries.

"That's gross," he stated, almost sounding like a kid who didn't want to eat his Brussels sprouts.

"You can't even taste the spinach," I told him. That's no lie. You really can't taste the spinach. Honest.

"Blah!" he replied.

I smirked and continued to drink. Justin is not a fan of some parts of my diet. In fact, he tells me I eat like a caveman (or cavewoman, I guess). "Are you going to make brontosaurus burgers for dinner?" he wondered aloud once.

No, I'm not eating dinosaurs. I eat lean meat, and I've cut way back on grains, carbs and dairy. I guess you could say that my diet is an adaptation of the paleolithic diet (or paleo diet), but I'm definitely not totally paleo. I just use the diet as guidelines for eating healthy and for eating the things that make me feel good. For example, after I cut carbs and grains, I realized that, when I actually ate them again, I felt awful. By not eating those things, my stomach issues pretty much vanished, so I don't see much reason to go back to that way of eating. As far as my diet goes, it's more accurate to say that I'm a "JERF" - I "just eat real food." That means I eat lean, organic meats, fresh fruits and veggies, and avoid as best as I can anything that comes in a box or can. That doesn't mean I don't eat brown rice or black beans or even bread and pasta on occasion, but I can count those instances on one hand.

As a result of my new eating habits and the addition of some weight training combined with my cardio work, I've lost a few pounds, but most notably, I've lost inches. Clothes fit better and I feel much better than I did six months ago.

So the fact that Justin likes to repeatedly announce that "I made him fat" has absolutely no merit.

"How am I making you fat?" I asked.

"You're feeding me," he replied. "I was doing just fine fitting in my clothes until you came along."

"If that's the case, then why is my stomach going in and yours is going out?" I pointed out.

"Your fault," he grumbled.

The statement that I'm making Justin fat is wrong for so many reasons. First of all, the man does not eat. Seriously, most men I know are garbage compactors when it comes to food. I don't know where they put it all. Justin, on the other hand, is the opposite. I could out eat him any hour of the day, any day of the week. He's certainly not getting fat because I'm feeding him breakfast, lunch and dinner. I make dinner. He's on his own the other two meals of the day, which means he usually doesn't eat.

Second, despite what he says, we do not eat the same things. Yes, he eats the healthy dinners I prepare. It's later in the evening, however, when he breaks out his Kroger-brand Chip Mate chocolate candy cookies. He makes short work of these. I buy at least two to three packages of these cookies every week at the store. The funny thing is, he even eats these things while he's half asleep. He dozes on the couch, wakes up, reaches for a cookie, eats it and then goes back to sleep. He's fallen asleep on the couch and when I go wake him up in the middle of the night so he could come to bed, he's usually lying beneath a pile of cookie crumbs. In the morning, he's singing a pathetic "My belly hurts" swan song. Yes, it surely must be my fault his stomach is expanding.

Third, and most importantly, I've emphasized that he's not in college anymore. "You're over 30 now," I said. "Your body is not going to react to those cookies the same way it did when you were 22."

One evening, Justin was helping me take my measurements after I completed a three-month weight lifting program. Curious, he took the tape measure and wrapped it around his waist. When he looked down and I confirmed the number, I thought he was going to faint. Do you know how characters in cartoons, when they see something unbelievable, their eyes pop out of their heads, sort of like they're on springs? Well, that's how Justin reacted. He gasped. "32 and a half!! I've always been 31!"

By no means is Justin "fat." He's a six foot tall rail. Honestly, adding a little meat wouldn't hurt. In fact, when I met him, he told me his mom wanted him to eat ice cream so he would gain weight. If he hadn't told me that his current waist measurement was bigger than before, I really would have not known.

"No wonder all my size 32 pants are tight!" he exclaimed, looking and sounding panicked.

In an attempt to get back into "high school" shape, Justin purchased some workout videos. No insanity workouts here - these are actually workouts for normal people. I'm really not sure how long he'll stick with these (as I've really yet to see him start), but I'd like to think he'd give it an honest try. He claims he's got pants from high school he can still wear. Great.

If he could commit to bicep curls with weights the way he's committed to bicep curls with cookies, I think he'll be in pretty good shape. At least, he'll hopefully be in better shape than those pants from high school.

 
 

 

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