My Fitness Pal and this binge eater.

This post is for anyone that is “clinically obese” and trying to work their way through the foreign territory of eating healthy.

Diets, to me, mean restriction.  I have to give up the foods I like in order to lose weight.  The food I have to be eating to lose weight is often tasteless or, in some cases, down right nasty tasting.  My family doctor tells both Joe and I we have to lose weight.  The internet is chock full of ads and articles proclaiming the obese need to lose weight.

Have you done a search on Google, or whatever search engine you favor, on eating healthy?  How many results have you encountered?  I have found, at one search, over 8 million results.  Most of the results are totally useless.

Joe has been in the hospital, once again, with another Pulmonary Embolism.  He was taken off Warfarin in November of last year.  Partly he is to blame in this but the doctors he sees have not been steadfast enough to prohibit him from doing so.  Let me tell you he has more doctors to see than I even knew existed.  His long list of “Ologists” is crazy.

The first issue at hand is he has “Possible” Deep Vein Thrombosis, or blood clots in his lower right leg.  I say “Possible” because there either are blood clots or there is scar tissue in the veins from previous DVT’s.  This current blood clot in his lung came from somewhere.

Joe is a truck driver.  This means sitting in one position for HOURS at a time.  The only walking done is when he stops to put fuel in the truck then visit the bathroom facilities.  Then the walking into a truck stop or restaurant for food.

For many of you, your job entails a lot of sitting.  Mostly office workers.  You do get up and move about in your job.  Go for a cup of coffee, walk to the bathroom, walk to another office area to deliver documents or retrieve them, file away papers.  Whatever your work entails you do get up and move around during your 8 to 10 hour work shifts.  Joe doesn’t move for eight to ten hours except for about half an hour in between times.  I can attest to this fact because I was a truck driver myself and know the business.

We both are “Binge Eaters“.  Have been for most of our lives.  A typical week for me, at any given time over the past 12 years as a truck driver, played out like this.

Skip breakfast.  If either of us ate breakfast at 6 a.m. by 10 a.m. we would feel like we were starving.  Our stomachs would cramp and roil to the point of it being painful.  Don’t eat breakfast and we would not have that issue.

First meal of the day would be around 3 p.m.  That meal, for me, would consist of a giant cheese burger and fries.  Sometimes a salad would be added to the meal.  Joe would eat a hamburger steak (which to my way of thinking is crazy because it is essentially a hamburger without the bun and other stuff) mashed potatoes with white gravy, a salad with both Ranch and Bleu Cheese dressing, an over cooked vegetable of peas or corn.  Most often Joe and I would order a dessert as well.  My favorite is Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting.

Some days I would opt for the truck stop staple of Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes with white gravy poured over the meat and potatoes, a salad, and a dessert.  The Chicken Fried Steak at some of the truck stops is over 8 inches in circumference.  Some truck stops offer a double portion of the deep fried meat.

Joe and I would eat like this for a week or two.  Then BAM.  One day hits and we start with breakfast at the hotel.  Especially if the hotel provides a hot breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs, bagels, and pastries.  A few hours later at the truck stop getting fuel I would run in and purchase a couple candy bars (one for each of us) a bag of chips for me and a bag of crunchy Cheetos for Joe, a bottle of Ruby Red Grapefruit juice for me and a bottle of V-8 Juice for Joe.  Another two hours and one of us would have to stop to relieve our bladder.  That would result in a purchase of beef jerky for Joe, another candy bar for me, a large diet coke for Joe, and a coffee refill for me.  Another couple hours later we would be stopping at a favorite restaurant along our route and Joe would order a steak and a baked potato while I ordered my cheese burger and fries.  Reaching the hotel at around 9 p.m. we would be hungry yet again and order pizza to be delivered to the room.  To be frank…Joe and I were actually “malnourished” if you can believe that.

By the time we wake up the next morning both of us feel like crap and go back to eating once a day….until the binge happens again.  A vicious cycle we had.  Joe’s weight fluctuated between 310 to 314.  Mine fluctuated between 224 and 227.

I got to the point that I hated eating.  I wished that I didn’t need to have food.  I dreaded coming home because I would have to cook.  The time necessary to prepare meals was time I felt was a total waste of energy.  Three or more times a day spent cooking usually meant about four hours of preparing and cooking.  I had better things to do with  my time than COOK!

After Joe’s return home from two hospital stays in one month (an outpatient Carpal Tunnel surgery and the Pulmonary Embolism with a surgery to install an IVC Filter to catch blood clots) made him decide to lose 100 pounds.  Great.  Now I have to figure out how to cook and eat healthy.

Thus began my internet search for healthy meals and how to eat better.

My new companion would be My Fitness Pal.  This is a major pain in my a**.  Recording everything we eat and drink on a daily basis.  I not only  have to enter my information into my app I have to help Joe enter the information in his app.  Sometimes that man surprises me with his helplessness!

This month I have been diligently working out a way of cooking and eating that allows us to stay within our “Caloric” goals for each day.  If you need to find out what your daily caloric intake should be check out the site link I’ve included.

It is not my intention to make this blog another “cooking” site but I thought if there were someone out there struggling with what to eat I am hoping to help.

One final note.  You will find yourself in the produce section of your grocery store more than you ever thought you would be.  During your food prep for salads and meals KEEP THE BITS OF VEGETABLES you would normally toss out.  Put the peels, skins, cores, and any other stuff  you cut away from your vegetables in a gallon size zip lock bag.  Put this bag in the freezer and continue adding your food trash to the bags.  Check out this recipe for Vegetable Broth.  I will be making this broth at a later time.

Save your vegetable trash and freeze it

Save your vegetable trash and freeze it

I don’t have this healthy eating perfected.  We are generally over on carbohydrates, protein, and fats by a small percentage.  The portion sizes of the main entrees have been reduced while the salad, fruit, or vegetable portions have been increased.  I will be honest here.  There is a lot of work involved in eating healthy.  A lot of work.  Plus eating three times a day makes our scales go up and down.  This, I think, is normal because our bodies are not used to the frequent food intake.  I get headaches and have read this is normal because my body is adjusting to the difference in good carbs versus all the bad carbs I had loaded my system with.  The headaches are getting less extreme…especially on the days I increase my water intake.

This is what I’ve had to eat so far today.  A fruit smoothie, half a plain bagel, and cream cheese for breakfast.  Half a ham and cheese sandwich and salad for lunch.  You can see the caloric count of these two meals so far today.  Dinner will be grilled chicken (approximately 140 calories), Royal Blend Texmati rice (approximately 140 calories), a salad (approximately 155 calories), and some cantaloupe (approximately 102 calories).   That will take up 537 of my remaining 817 calories for the day.  I think there may be some Rainbow Sherbet in my dessert future for tonight.

Food consumption so far today

Food consumption so far today

Next time I will post about cooking in bulk and freezing the extra for later meals.  Might as well get a stash going since I have to be chopping and peeling so much.



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

4 responses to “My Fitness Pal and this binge eater.

  • gardenpinks

    Oh Leslie so sorry to hear that Joe has been back into hospital. I was wondering how you guys were doing as it had been quiet on your blog for quite a while.

    No Leslie we don’t have those problems you highlighted – certainly don’t spend hours and hours in the kitchen cooking and we cook all our meals from raw ingredients however we only have one cooked meal per day with cereal and/or toast for breakfast and a light lunch such as a salad, homemade soup or a sandwich.
    I make fresh soup several times each week, I spend a great deal of time in the greengrocery section of the supermarket as we have plenty of fresh vegetables then if there is a special offer on broccoli, cauliflowers or whatever then I stock up to make soup. I don’t use peelings to make broth – that goes on the compost heap 😀

    I never did understand why people don’t batch cook much more often for the freezer! That is what a freezer is for! Yes I am overweight and that is down to liking biscuits!! Also not exercising as much as I used to and I must make a concerted effort to get back into walking. Rod is at the correct weight, he is one of those sickening people who can eat what they like and don’t get fat!!!!!!

    I wish you well with your new lifestyle of eating and hope you and Joe are successful.
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xxxxxx

    • Message In A Fold

      This month has been a trial. There are so many things Joe wants to do but can’t because of the weight restriction on his left hand. Then the problem with his PE and his lack of energy. Thankfully he is feeling better now and is getting around and doing things instead of just sleeping in his recliner. I’m having more trouble with the cooking and eating multiple times a day thing. I’ll get it figured out and make it work for me instead of me working for it :/

      Thank you, Lynn, for being my friend. I so appreciate you.
      Love you – Leslie

  • jesskawrites

    Good for you for making such a huge change!! I used MFP for a while, but am using noom at the moment, it has a whole load of encouragement in the app which helps a bit. I found MFP better in that they have more foods in the database, and show you all the categories, not just calories. I don’t cook every meal, just evenings, and often only every other day. The rest of the time I eat Müsli (breakfast) or sandwiches (lunch and alternate dinners).

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you for popping in and leaving a comment. I’ve not heard of “noom” I’ll have to take a look at that app. Cooking for yourself must be difficult. I would have difficulty in cooking for myself so I just imagine it would be for you as well. In fact, when I’m home by myself and Joe is out on the road I don’t eat much….until the binge hits :/

      I appreciate you leaving word on how you deal with your daily meal planning.


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