Saturday, July 14, 2012

Not What I Expected

A couple of months ago, sometime in May, hubby and I decided we both wanted to take off a few extra pounds that had mysteriously taken up residence on various unflattering parts of our bodies.

How to accomplish this? Simple. Cut out desserts and/or baked goods of any kind. And stop putting edible things in our mouths between meals. Being (sorta) intelligent and (sorta) strong willed, we felt we could do it.

Poor Papa Pea has much more of a sweet tooth than I do so it's been a little harder for him. Me? As long as I don't buy potato chips and have them in the house, I'm not tempted to rip into a bag in a weak moment some afternoon or after dinner with a cool glass of something liquid. I'm not saying I don't eat the baked goods I make, but I'm more salt and crunch; he's more sweet.

Is this plan of ours working in taking off the pounds? I think so, but don't really know about what weight loss we may have experienced because neither of us has gone near the scale that lives under our bed. But I can easily tell that my better half is looking leaner and my pants are definitely feeling roomier. I'm wearing shorts that I couldn't get into last summer. Wa-hoo! How great a feeling is that?

Something I've noticed (that is a little upsetting) and can hardly believe is how MUCH sugar, butter and flour I've NOT used since May. Were we ingesting ALL that sugar, butter and flour on a regular basis? Yup. Granted, a certain amount of what I baked was given away or eaten by someone other than the two of us, but all the same, we personally stuffed in plenty of it.

When we set up these restrictions, I expected to feel slightly deprived now and then and there are times when it seems like I NEED a small dessert to properly finish off a meal or when a cookie or two (or three or four . . . see how hard it is to be sensible?) would be just the pick-up I need a couple hours before dinner. But here's what I didn't expect to have surface.

I have found myself missing to a very large degree . . . the baking!

I've always found it both soothing and satisfying to sit down and go through my recipes to decide what to bake. Usually I have ingredients in the freezer or pantry I want to make use of. Or this time of year there are fresh berries and produce from the garden to be considered in my selection of what to bake.

For me the mixing and stirring and actual putting together, the creative process of baking is something I've missed. And then, of course, there is the WON-derful aroma of baked goods in the oven and lasting all the way through cooling on the counter.

Go ahead and laugh at me if you want, but I also feel less of a capable, efficient homemaker when I have no homemade goodie available to offer anyone who might stop in for a cuppa and a chat.

In hearing these sad lamentations (whiney complaints?), a couple of people have suggested I bake and give it away. First off, that would be cruel and unusual punishment for my husband. To watch me stand at the counter mixing up a sweet treat, smelling it while it baked and cooled and then stealing it out from under his very nose? That might be a little too much and send him right over the edge. Nope, can't chance that. It might satisfy my desire to go through the baking process but giving it away would still leave me with no luscious goodie smiling up at me from my kitchen counter.

All this rambling just goes to say that deeming baked goods a no-no in our house has worked well as far as losing pounds and/or inches, but has left a bit of an unsatisfactory empty spot in my Little Ms. Efficient/Happy Homemaker persona.

Can I handle it? Yeah, 'cause even though I do miss the baking for all the reasons mentioned, it's feeling pretty darn good to be losing that excess baggage that makes it uncomfortable to bend over and to not have to wear clothes that camouflage the extra flab making me feel self-conscious and unhealthy.

Will I give up baking forever? I doubt it. But can we limit our self-indulgence in sugar, butter and flour to the extent that it doesn't show up on our waistlines or impinge on our general healthiness? Time will tell. For now, I'm still feeling great about being able to fit into these summer shorts. With room to spare even!

21 comments:

fullfreezer said...

Congrats on the weight loss! Could you maybe relax your restrictions to allow yourself to bake something every week or two? That would give both of you your 'fix' without having too much lying around.
Just an idea...

Judy

Katidids said...

Congrats on the weight loss! Fitting into clothes smushed to the back of the closet is like finding a new wardrobe. We've cut back also but, I still once a week bake some type of treat. When it's gone it's gone. I generally bake a small fruit pie for the better half. I don't care for cooked fruit but it takes care of my baking urge & he has a small dessert

a view from a brown dog said...

I can completely relate to this post! A couple years ago i did the same thing as you and found the same dang craving to bake. I was a HUGE baker and still bake just not as often and tend to bake for others now. Congratulations on your weight loss and sporting those summer shorts around.

Sue said...

Congrats! You've got a strong will.
Me?
Never mind.............


PS I sure wish you'd give up the word verification-this is the THIRD time I had to enter the info.

judy said...

up there in the woods and no sweets what so ever,I'd be likely to go steal berries from the bears --jk but what will power .did you ever try substituting applesauce for oil in recipes ,I'VE HEARD IT WORKS BUT HAVEN'T GOTTEN AROUND TO TRYING IT,YOU'D THINK,WITH JERRY A DIABETIC ,I'D KNOW ALL THE TRICKS ,BUT I'M SO BUSY NOW ,HAVE TO TAKE JERRY'S BLOOD SUGARS AND GIVE HIM HIS INSULIN SHOTS FOR HIM -ITS FYI FOR FUTURE TIMES WHEN JERRY WON'T BE ABLE TO ANYMORE ,I'M ABLE TO HANDLE THAT BUT JUST NOT WHAT IT IMPLIES

Jennifer Jo said...

I agree with everything you said. When I was acting, I wasn't baking, and the butter never left the fridge. And I find baking cathartic and I like having stuff on hand to offer people, too. (As for what to offer guests: toast with homemade bread and jam is a good substitute, and if you have iced coffee in the fridge, or a bit of dark chocolate...)

Stephanie said...

Congratulations to you and Papa Pea :) But I totally get what you mean about the satisfaction from baking.

Mama Pea said...

Judy - Yep, hubby has been lobbying for a baked goodie one day a week . . . probably Sunday. So far, I'm dragging my feet . . . mostly because it's been too darn hot to put the oven on!

Mama Pea said...

Katidids - I've never been "fat" but have always had trouble keeping those extra pounds off so seeing them disappear right now feels soooo good. And I've always refused to buy "bigger" clothes when I get to the bursting point so getting back into most of my clothes (comfortably!) feels wonderful.

If I made a small fruit pie, I'd gobble it up before my husband had a fightin' chance!

Mama Pea said...

a view from a brown dog - Yeah, who knew the actual baking satisfied such a need? I'll figure out a happy medium somewhere along the line here.

The feeling of your clothes being a little loose rather than a little tight? Heaven, in my book!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - For you, m'dear, I will consider trying comments without the word verification. (I just hate to change anything 'cause seems every time I do, I have some kind of problems or another!) I totally agree, word verification is one big pain in the patoot.

Mama Pea said...

judy - We're still readily eating all the fresh berries we want. They're so good for us with all their vitamins and minerals. Just not as good nutritionally when baked into a good tasting dessert!

Mama Pea said...

JJ - Good idea regarding the homemade bread and jam. I'm betting most people don't get that on a regular basis! This time of year I do have iced coffee in the fridge and it would be easy to have a couple bars of good chocolate on hand. How'd you get so smart?

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - As much as I mitch and boan sometimes about having to cook three meals a day around here, I'll bet if I couldn't cook for any period of time, I'd probably miss that as much as baking. Funny ducks, aren't we?

Susan said...

And I miss all the lovely photographs of all the delicious things you used to bake! I miss my eye candy!! Seriously, congratulations to you both. It is amazing, when you think about it, at all the not-so-great-for-us ingredients that we were ingesting. I was surprised that my container of sugar has now sat, unused for months! And we are sisters of the soul on the potato chip issue. Can.Not.Have.One.

Sparkless said...

I had a long reply typed out and then for some reason it didn't post. ARG! The gist of it was congrats on your clothes fitting better!

Lisa said...

I totally relate to your post. I've been on a kick-start lose-a-few-pounds diet, so that means everyone in the house in on the same :) and I miss the baking of the cookies, cakes, breads.... ooohh smelling homemade bread. You've got another potato-chip-sister here too.. the saltier, the better.... just give me Classic Lay's and I'm happy. Then again, throw in a little homemade ranch dip to top it off. Okay, I need to stop here, potato chips need to get out of the thought process :)
Congratulations on living a healthy lifestyle, losing a little weight, feeling good and feeling good about fitting in your clothes. Those are the great rewards.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - What do you now do for your Sunday morning treats to your Barn Boys?

I never knew I was in such good company when it came to my love of potato chips!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Well, rats! Now I feel I really missed something by not getting to read your long reply. WAAAAHHH!

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Classic Lay's potato chips . . . yes, yes, YES! In the past I've figured if I'm gonna indulge I should at least get the organic chips. But they. just. aren't. the. same! So I say crunch on, sister-of-the-chips! (Only once in a blue moon anymore though. Sigh.)

Erin said...

I'm like you, more savory and not so sweet LOL! I need to get back on a more healthy menu as well, my metabolism is definitely not what it was 5 years ago and it's time to address the problem, good luck!