Photo by Devon Rockola from Pexels
Writing these posts has really opened my eyes to how much I have changed over the last several years. I remember having the thought, at about the age of fifteen, that I had reached adulthood and moving forward from that point, I didn’t anticipate changing much. I am SO thankful that I was wrong. I have been happy to discover that even someone like me, with a lot of well-entrenched habits and ideals, can learn new tricks.
One of these is my approach to preparing food and eating at home. I was raised by someone who didn’t enjoy cooking and kept our family fed on easy and cheap meals like hot dogs, pancakes, and potatoes and eggs. I didn’t do much better for myself when the choices were left up to me.
Many of my culinary challenges were because I was simply uneducated. As a young adult, living by myself for the very first time, I decided to cook a chicken breast. I put it in a pan, without seasoning, and baked it in the oven for a long time. I had no clue that sometimes less is more or why it was completely inedible.
I am naturally a finicky eater who married someone even pickier. Our son, whose palate is challenged even further by autism, definitely has our genes when it comes to what he eats (or more appropriately- what he won’t). When I did cook at home, things had to be simple and eating out was very common. Unfortunately, my wallet and my waistline paid the price. Even when I started eating better two years ago- I still ate out frequently; I just made sure my choices were fitting into my Weight Watchers points allowance.
I began looking at social media, searching for weight loss inspiration. It was in that search that I found some recipe sites that had meals that were both easy to prepare and fit within my point/calorie budget. I began to experiment and discovered for the first time in my life that I enjoyed cooking at home. This was a huge surprise! I had always turned up my nose at leftovers, but I find I would much rather eat those, cooked specifically the way I like them, than pay for restaurant food. Eating out often leaves me disappointed and then I feel bad for wasting money on a splurge I didn’t enjoy.
As my confidence builds, I have started looking at meals outside the lower calorie recipe sites and contemplating how I can adjust them to suit me, both in terms of flavor and calories. It’s actually kind of fun. I have had to deal with some real bombs, but I have also been lucky that the successes have far outweighed the failures.