Saturday, 6 February 2016

Cooking for One, Eating for Too Many

One of the things I've found hardest to get used to now I'm on my own is cooking for one. Even now, a year on, I still often find myself cooking way too much. This isn't a huge problem of course, leftovers always get used up and frequently I deliberately cook more than I need so I can freeze meals for those days when I really don't want to stand in a cold kitchen and chop veg, but I do wonder if I would still have gained weight if I'd mastered the delicate art of cooking for my lonesome.

No matter how small a dish or saucepan or tray I use it always seems to contain such a feeble amount when I measure out a single portion. If I'm hungry, especially, the temptation to tip out a few more chips, chop extra veg or throw in a extra handful of rice can be almost uncontrollable - what can I say? I have zero willpower.

It's often not until I'm dishing up onto a reasonable sized plate that I realise at best I have a man sized portion, at worst I've cooked for two, or four, or ten! My ex-husband ate big meals so I became accustomed to cooking quite large amounts even for just the two of us, and try as I might I just can't curb that trait.

I used to worry far more about my weight. My husband had a tendency to be brutally honest (excuse me for a moment as I laugh at the irony of that), and wouldn't hesitate to mention if he thought I was getting fat - for my 'own good' you understand - so I worked hard at keeping my waistline under control. I was often fighting a losing battle as I have an under-active thyroid, and am on medication for other conditions that can cause weight gain. Double whammy. Needless to say I was often miserable and fixated on the flab much more than I probably needed to. I can look back at photo's of that time and think wow I looked great, but the truth is I felt fat. To my mind at least, there was always a few more pounds to lose.

These days I'm much more comfortable in my skin. I don't fixate on the numbers on the scales and I know one man's idea of what was 'fat' is not necessarily someone else's. I've accepted that a combination of health issues means my weight can yo-yo, but as long as I feel good, as long as I'm as healthy as I can be, then that's fine. And I've learnt that looking good is more about attitude than dress size.

That said I was still more than a little gutted when last week I had to buy clothes in yet a bigger size!

Fortunately for me there are a few very good charity shops in Liskeard that, so far at least, haven't succumbed to the national trend of sky high prices. My favourite sells all its clothing at £2 an item, this means they have a good turnover of stock as things aren't hanging around for weeks on end as in many other charity shops, so there is always plenty of choice. I invested in a few versatile pieces that will work with the clothes I have that do still fit. £12 well spent for comfortable clothes and a boost of confidence, but I don't want to be wearing them for long. This extra weight I'm carrying is taking its toll on my back and hip and I'm increasingly out of breath so it has to go.

I can't do much about the health conditions that affect my weight, that's just something I have to work with/around, but I can make sure my diet is healthy and I can work on those portion sizes. I need to lose at least a stone (14lb) to get back to a weight that doesn't cause me pain so somehow I need to master this 'cooking for one' lark.

Any tips?

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