Confessions of a Fat Girl 144: A Convenient Life

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August 4th, 2010

I woke up today feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest! Now, we can plan our holiday in peace! We’re meant to leave town next week Thursday, the 12th. I’m very happy because JJ has been able to clear his calendar, and will be coming with us this time around. Yay! More money to spend!

Chidera and I talked, and she’s decided to join us at the end of the month. Her kids will be coming along with JJ and I next week. Rather than start immediately, she’s decided to work till the end of August, and effectively start her leave in September. I really wish she would just pack it up and leave now, but ah well! At least, she has finally decided to do the wise thing.

I also reckon she and Okei need the extra month to sort themselves out. Now that the work wahala has seemingly passed, I’m sure they need to figure out what exactly they are doing with each other. There’s still a lot of mess there that needs to be cleaned up, and with Okei’s wife still on the war path, that might not be the easiest of tasks.

But anyways!

I went to the grocery store with the kids this afternoon, and as I struggled reading food labels, to decide which biscuits and treats would do them less damage, I just realised how more convenient it would be to just throw in any brand, without caring to read the labels.

Ah, convenience!

One of the things that helped me get fat. The ease of quick treats and fast food! Quick, sure but detrimental to a healthy lifestyle. You see, life can get busy, especially with kids, family, work, business, house work, school, exercise, etc., and a lot of food companies feed into that! But are we so busy that we can’t take the time to read the labels of what goes into our mouths, or prepare healthy unprocessed, whole foods in between being on Facebook all day long and/or watching TV?

Take breakfast for example, which often falls by the wayside when you’re rushing around first thing in the morning. I used to think it was easier to just grab a tub of flavored yogurt and go? Yep, it sure was quicker…but was it better? But what exactly was in that tub of yogurt? I recently analysed the nutrition information on my favourite yogurt brand, and this is what I found:

flavoured-yogurt

 

Serving size = One 6-ounce container

Calories = 190

Fat = 3.5 gram

Carbohydrates = 32 grams

Protein = 7 grams

Sodium = 100 mg

Fiber = 0 grams

Ingredients: Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Reduced Fat Milk, Sugar, Nonfat Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Strawberry Puree, Kosher Gelatin, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Colored With Carmine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.

Can you imagine me thinking a no finer substitute and something with 28 grams of sugar (the equivalent of 7 teaspoons of sugar, in the form of high fructose corn syrup, HFCS) was a healthier substitute to a quick meal? Checking out the ‘lighter’ version of the yoghurt, it is 70 calories less, but you still get the but you’ll still be getting the HFCS.

I decided to go ahead and compare it with a healthy alternative, so I washed and halved a whole cup of frozen strawberries (but it could have been any fruits of my choice really), and put them in a container in the evening. The next morning, topped with 6 ounces of natural yogurt, here’s the nutritional breakdown I came up with…

Fruit-and-yogurt

Calories = 136 (56 calories saved)

Fat = 1 gram (2.5 grams saved)

Carbohydrates = 16 (half of the Yoplait)

Protein = 18 grams (more than double the protein of the Yoplait)

Sodium = 2 mg (a savings of 98mg, that’s huge!)

Fiber = 4 grams

That’s more nutrition, obviously but also more food! And more food means more satisfaction. For even more satisfaction for just a few calories more, add a half a cup of crushed whole wheat cereal.

I’m on a roll here, so let me do one more. I decided to compare a fast food lunch vs. a homemade lunch.

I used as a basis for fast food, my (former) favorite fast meal, two double cheeseburgers, large french fries and a bottle of Coke. I don’t have the ingredients exactly, but here is what I found online:

DoubleCheeseBurger-2

Calories = 1,610 (the amount of calories I now eat in an entire day, broken up into 4 meals and 1 snack)

Fat = 70 grams

Sodium = 2,660 mg (the RDA is no more than 2300 mg/day)

Carbohydrate = 190 grams

Fiber = 11 grams

Protein = 55 grams

For the healthy meal comparison, I decided to use the chicken kebabs with cole slaw I made for dinner last night. I made enough so that I could make us lunch wraps today. It was marinated and grilled skinless chicken breasts and fresh, crunchy cole slaw on a whole grain wrap, with a cup of seedless grapes. It took about 5 minutes to make this healthy meal, thus attacking the argument that healthy food takes too much time to make.

But I digress!

Here is what I found the nutritional composition of of the healthier meal to be:

bigstock_grilled_chicken_kebabs_3057849_2

Calories = 421 (about one quarter of the my fast food option)

Fat = 15 grams (a 55 fat gram savings)

Sodium = I don’t have this number, but I’m sure it’s way less

Carbohydrate = 64 grams (126 gram savings)

Fiber = 16 grams (7 bonus grams)

Protein = 33 grams (less, but still a perfectly respectable amount)

But don’t get me wrong. Is one processed yogurt or a cheese burger every now and again going to harm us? Not if we make thoughtful food choices on a regular basis. The sad thing is that there are people who eat like this on a daily basis, people who only eat vegetables if they are on a burger. I used to be one of those people. But I’ve learned that there is a better way of doing things, and I’m noticing the benefits of that more and more each day.

The numbers speak for themselves. Food preparation can be time consuming but there are ways to make it work for your busy life. When you think about the control you have over what goes into your body, which in turn will directly affect the way you feel and look, it certainly is worth it. I know I am worth it!

I didn’t weigh myself this week, but I think I’m going to try on my smaller clothes before the week runs out. I need to know if I’ll be shopping in a new, sexy size…abi?

 

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Catch up on Ihunna’s story here:

  1. Confessions of a Fat Girl 1: Grubbido
  2. Confessions of a Fat Girl 2: Fragile
  3. Confessions of a Fat Girl 3: Defiant
  4. Confessions of a Fat Girl 4: Progress
  5. Confessions of a Fat Girl 5: The Gym
  6. Confessions of a Fat Girl 6: Killjoy
  7. Confessions of a Fat Girl 7: Pain
  8. Confessions of a Fat Girl 8: Frenemies
  9. Confessions of a Fat Girl 9: Exhilarated
  10. Confessions of a Fat Girl 10: Popcorn
  11. Confessions of a Fat Girl 11: Free-fall
  12. Confessions of a Fat Girl 12: Sunday Morning
  13. Confessions of a Fat Girl 13: Mission Reactivated
  14. Confessions of a Fat Girl 14: New Things
  15. Confessions of a Fat Girl 15: Bad Business
  16. Confessions of a Fat Girl 16: Luxury Items
  17. Confessions of a Fat Girl 17: The Solution
  18. Confessions of a Fat Girl 18: Magic Formula
  19. Confessions of a Fat Girl 19: Date Night
  20. Confessions of a Fat Girl 20: Quinoa
  21. Confessions of a Fat Girl 21: Perfect Fit
  22. Confessions of a Fat Girl 22: Keeping In Touch
  23. Confessions of a Fat Girl 23: Delete
  24. Confessions of a Fat Girl 24: Philosophical
  25. Confessions of a Fat Girl 25: Keep it Moving
  26. Confessions of a Fat Girl 26: My Co-Wife
  27. Confessions of a Fat Girl 27: Old Jeans & Old Friends
  28. Confessions of a Fat Girl 28: Prawn Stir Fry
  29. Confessions of a Fat Girl 29: Facebook Tagging
  30. Confessions of a Fat Girl 30: Detox Part 2
  31. Confessions of a Fat Girl 31: Abs & Crunches
  32. Confessions of a Fat Girl 32: Making Notes
  33. Confessions of a Fat Girl 33: Christmas Party
  34. Confessions of a Fat Girl 34: Ashiedu
  35. Confessions of a Fat Girl 35: Willpower
  36. Confessions of a Fat Girl 36: Packing…and TV
  37. Confessions of a Fat Girl 37: Last Minute
  38. Confessions of a Fat Girl 38: Body Image
  39. Confessions of a Fat Girl 39: Christmas Trip
  40. Confessions of a Fat Girl 40: Christmas in the Village
  41. Confessions of a Fat Girl 41: Daddy’s Girl
  42. Confessions of a Fat Girl 42: 2010
  43. Confessions of a Fat Girl 43: Uzoamaka
  44. Confessions of a Fat Girl 44: Sugar Binge
  45. Confessions of a Fat Girl 45: The E-mail
  46. Confessions of a Fat Girl 46: She whose name must not be repeated
  47. Confessions of a Fat Girl 47: Smokescreen
  48. Confessions of a Fat Girl 48: Running away
  49. Confessions of a Fat Girl 49: Fry-Up
  50. Confessions of a Fat Girl 50: The Only Solution
  51. Confessions of a Fat Girl 51: The Intervention
  52. Confessions of a Fat Girl 52: Tri-State Sisters
  53. Confessions of a Fat Girl 53: Manhattan
  54. Confessions of a Fat Girl 54: Daddy’s Girls
  55. Confessions of a Fat Girl 55: Stunned Silence
  56. Confessions of a Fat Girl 56: Bereavement
  57. Confessions of a Fat Girl 57: The Reconciliation
  58. Confessions of a Fat Girl 58: Staying Back
  59. Confessions of a Fat Girl 59: Friends & Marriage Proposals
  60. Confessions of a Fat Girl 60: Colourful and Happy
  61. Confessions of a Fat Girl 61: Sweet Potato & Chicken Salad
  62. Confessions of a Fat Girl 62: Miss Amerikana
  63. Confessions of a Fat Girl 63: Tragi-Romantic
  64. Confessions of a Fat Girl 64: Dead to me
  65. Confessions of a Fat Girl 65: Love Triangle
  66. Confessions of a Fat Girl 66: Forever my lady
  67. Confessions of a Fat Girl 67: Fight to the death
  68. Confessions of a Fat Girl 68: Hard choice to make
  69. Confessions of a Fat Girl 69: Back to reality
  70. Confessions of a Fat Girl 70: Life Reflections
  71. Confessions of a Fat Girl 71: Oatmeal, Blueberry & Banana Pancakes
  72. Confessions of a Fat Girl 72: The Engagement
  73. Confessions of a Fat Girl 73: Pillow Talk
  74. Confessions of a Fat Girl 74: Secretive Sister
  75. Confessions of a Fat Girl 75: Homemade Soup
  76. Confessions of a Fat Girl 76: Nna Men!
  77. Confessions of a Fat Girl 77: Comfort Food…Healthy Food
  78. Confessions of a Fat Girl 78: Miracle Working God
  79. Confessions of a Fat Girl 79: Lumps, Bumps and Jiggles
  80. Confessions of a Fat Girl 80: Oyibo Boyfriend
  81. Confessions of a Fat Girl 81: Wedding Gowns 
  82. Confessions of a Fat Girl 82: My New Friend
  83. Confessions of a Fat Girl 83: Emotional vs Physical Hunger
  84. Confessions of a Fat Girl 84: Look like an Mgbeke
  85. Confessions of a Fat Girl 85: Food Cravings
  86. Confessions of a Fat Girl 86: Who am I?
  87. Confessions of a Fat Girl 87: Separation, Counselling…Divorce
  88. Confessions of a Fat Girl 88: A Man’s World
  89. Confessions of a Fat Girl 89: Envy, Weight and Love!
  90. Confessions of a Fat Girl 90: Regret
  91. Confessions of a Fat Girl 91: Time to move on
  92. Confessions of a Fat Girl 92: Have some fruit!
  93. Confessions of a Fat Girl 93: Family Easter
  94. Confessions of a Fat Girl 94: Sister Reunion
  95. Confessions of a Fat Girl 95: Perfect Fit; Perfect Surprise
  96. Confessions of a Fat Girl 96: The Love Story
  97. Confessions of a Fat Girl 97: Caught in the middle
  98. Confessions of a Fat Girl 98: Kisses…and Blood
  99. Confessions of a Fat Girl 99: Past…or Present Tense
  100. Confessions of a Fat Girl 100: Jewel
  101. Confessions of a Fat Girl 101: “Ill find you…and I’ll kill you”
  102. Confessions of a Fat Girl 102: Homecoming
  103. Confessions of a Fat Girl 103: Fever Pitch
  104. Confessions of a Fat Girl 104: Whodunit?
  105. Confessions of a Fat Girl 105: The Hypocrite
  106. Confessions of a Fat Girl 106: Message from Mom
  107. Confessions of a Fat Girl 107: Accountability & Responsibility
  108. Confessions of a Fat Girl 108: It’s for the best
  109. Confessions of a Fat Girl 109: Port Harcourt
  110. Confessions of a Fat Girl 110: While you were away
  111. Confessions of a Fat Girl 111: Planning…and a little bit of Salmon
  112. Confessions of a Fat Girl 112: Putting yourself first
  113. Confessions of a Fat Girl 113: Fruit Crumble
  114. Confessions of a Fat Girl 114: Resting Heart Rate
  115. Confessions of a Fat Girl 115: Shishi, he no get
  116. Confessions of a Fat Girl 116: The truth hurts
  117. Confessions of a Fat Girl 117: Veggie Burger
  118. Confessions of a Fat Girl 118: Weight Watchers Porn
  119. Confessions of a Fat Girl 119: The Worst That Can Happen
  120. Confessions of a Fat Girl 120: Baby Dady
  121. Confessions of a Fat Girl 121: Not a Player
  122. Confessions of a Fat Girl 122: Fat versus Fit Brain
  123. Confessions of a Fat Girl 123: Aunty Caroline
  124. Confessions of a Fat Girl 124: Delete his number
  125. Confessions of a Fat Girl 125: Meal Planning
  126. Confessions of a Fat Girl 126: Food Shopping
  127. Confessions of a Fat Girl 127: The Baby Bump
  128. Confessions of a Fat Girl 128: Cavorting, Prevention & Spunk
  129. Confessions of a Fat Girl 129: The secret is out
  130. Confessions of a Fat Girl 130: Postpone the inevitable
  131. Confessions of a Fat Girl 131: Queen of Wishful Thinking
  132. Confessions of a Fat Girl 132: Fat Prison
  133. Confessions of a Fat Girl 133: Some time away
  134. Confessions of a Fat Girl 134: Taking life too seriously
  135. Confessions of a Fat Girl 135: Is this really me?
  136. Confessions of a Fat Girl 136: Soothing
  137. Confessions of a Fat Girl 137: Welcome to the real world
  138. Confessions of a Fat Girl 138: The Storm
  139. Confessions of a Fat Girl 139: Head up!
  140. Confessions of a Fat Girl 140: Half-Year Check
  141. Confessions of a Fat Girl 141: Leave him for his wife
  142. Confessions of a Fat Girl 142: The Plan
  143. Confessions of a Fat Girl 143: Leave of Absence

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