29 Pounds! 29 pounds? Yes, you have gained 29 lbs. this past year if you are the average American slowly emerging from quarantine. Very slowly, since you are obviously spending a lot of time in your closet trying to find an article of clothing that will button, zip, or pull on over your hips.
This was the news I tuned onto Friday night as I sat my tired “walked 5 ½ miles that day body”( more about that later) into my lounge chair. According to the story on NBC Nightly News, we have cooked, baked, eaten, and sat our way through an entire year of quarantine.
If you have paid any attention to Facebook, Instagram, and tv news shows, you are aware of EVERYONE, from your next door neighbor to your favorite celebrity singer, actor, dancer, and entertainer sharing new recipes they have been experimenting with during their time at home.
And let me be clear about this………..I have seen NO ONE enthusiastically demonstrate a new, unique way to combine lettuce, celery, and kale into a yummy, must eat, tasty quarantine dish. I have, however, seen copious amounts of butter, sugar, chocolate, nuts, raisins, pie fillings, and whipped cream, to name but a few ingredients of choice, made into the most delicious looking, calorie and fat laden concoctions ever to cross a TV or computer screen.
I have seen FRIED macaroni and cheese balls; bacon burgers……….that would be chopped up bacon formed into burgers and fried in their own fat; someone touting a “healthy” vegetarian dish…………..vegetables fried in the fat that rises to the top of coconut milk when you leave the can of milk in the refrigerator overnight; deep fried grilled cheese sandwiches; carrot cakes that are literally 500 calories per slice ( obviously the carrots are not the star of this recipe), and so many more artery clogging, hip enhancing, chin addition recipes than I even knew existed.
Anyone who has ever struggled with weight knows that there is also a strong emotional component to overeating. So here we have “the perfect storm”………………………emotional stress and isolation from a disease that could strike and kill you or your loved ones at any time, combined with boredom of being stuck in the house for a year.
To alleviate the boredom and cope with the stress, we Americans cooked, baked, and ate. A LOT. For a year. According to NBC, that accounted for an average of 29 extra pounds per average American.
Explained in this manner, I’m thinking that anyone who gained 29 lbs. got away easy. If it were me before my bariatric surgery, I probably would have gained 50 lbs. Bariatric surgery or not, don’t think I sailed along unaffected. Throughout the year, my body adjusted to the surgery, as the bariatric team warned us in the beginning. I still get hungry; I still get cravings. I just am not able to eat large amounts of food like I did before. In order not to join the “29 er’s”, I had to stick to a strict diet of protein, vegetables, low carbs, and as few sweets as I could possibly endure. (Full disclosure – sometimes I failed miserably in the sweet department, but the walking and surgery did allow me to get right back on track.) Along with this eating regimen, I had to walk up to 20 miles per week. This, and only this, allowed me to maintain (notice I did not say “lose” more) my weight.
There is a positive side to Americans gaining enough collective weight to sink the country a few more feet into the ocean. It will be a boon to the economy……….gym memberships will rise; athletic wear will sell off of the shelves; diet programs will enroll a multitude of customers; diet delivery food industries will thrive; healthy cookbooks will sell. And restaurants will reopen to those hateful people who can eat anything and not gain weight, as well as to people who don’t care if they gain weight. I see a win/win for everyone.
And don’t forget…………….I was busy helping you out during this time……………my healthy recipe videos are available by clicking the “course” section on the left side of this website or by typing my name in the search bar at YouTube. The cauliflower “fried rice” is still my absolute favorite. Yummy and low in calories and carbs.