More or Less?

By Laura Moncur @ 6:00 pm — Filed under:

Ward Jenkins - The Ward-O-MaticI don’t know how it happens, but even the blogs I read for fun end up to be eating lessons for me. I regularly read a blog written by Ward Jenkins, an animator who works for Primal Screen. He has worked on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and probably a hundred other things, but I can’t find a complete resume for him. I started reading Ward-O-Matic because of his wonderful review, The Polar Express: A Virtual Train Wreck. It explained to me why the animation on that movie gave me the heebie-jeebies.

This entry, “More or less,” is about animation and developing the ability to work in that medium:

He says:

“A new animator wants to put more drawings in, a seasoned animator wants to take more drawings out.”

When I read that, I felt the same thing about eating healthy.

“A new dieter wants to put more food into their diet, but a seasoned healthy eater wants to take more food out.”

When I first joined Weight Watchers, I joined because I knew that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as it fit within my Points. Those first few months on Weight Watchers, I had a Krispy Kreme donut about three times a week. I would save my Points for donuts and high point treats. I would splurge on whatever treats that I wanted and eat strictly veggies for dinner to compensate. I refused to feel deprived. If I wanted something, I ate it and worked my Points around it and I lost weight at a healthy rate of about one pound a week.

“The more experienced an animator you become you start to realize that not only do you tighten your movements by economizing your drawings, but the most important thing for you to know is where to economize; where to tighten. How to know? Practice.”

This phrase also spoke to me:

“The more experienced a healthy eater you become you start to realize that not only are you able to restrict your food without feeling deprivation, but the most important thing for you to know is where to economize; where to tighten. How to know? Practice.”

The longer I’ve been on the program, however, the more I’ve drifted away from processed foods. It started with caffeinated products. I noticed the link between my caffeine consumption and my headaches. Once I realized that I could get rid of eighty percent of my headaches by avoiding caffeine, I gave it up without a regret. I excised it out of my life without feeling a bit of deprivation. The lack of headaches was far more important than a daily Diet Mountain Dew.

The next on the chopping block was anything that tasted like preservatives. After years of eating Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones and other foods that are low in Points, I couldn’t bear to eat them anymore. My palate had become sensitized to anything that tasted too processed. It started with cookies like Chips Ahoy. I used to love those cookies, but after eating healthy, I couldn’t stand to waste my Points on them. I would much rather make a cookie from scratch and eat it fresh from the oven. Even if that one fresh cookie was more Points than the Chips Ahoy, it was worth it.

The same was true for the frozen dinners that I had eaten every day for lunch for years. One day about three months ago, I just cringed at my lunch. I was starving, but I didn’t want to eat one more frozen concoction. Instead, Mike has been putting his culinary arts to the test, making wonderful, low Point dinners in bulk sizes. We freeze the leftovers and I have lunches for the next few days. Most of the time, Mike is able to make his dinners with less Points than the frozen dinners that I regularly ate had. Plus, they taste better.

It seems that the longer I eat healthy, the more I gravitate to simple food made fresh. I’ve seen it in my restaurant habits. I’ve seen it when I crave treats. I’ve seen it in my daily eating rituals. These are the changes that I noticed in my cravings and desires over the course of three years. Your body may be different and your final eating routines may include far different changes than mine. You need to experiment and practice to see what it is that your body needs. Ward didn’t know it, but he was talking about much more than animation technique. He was talking about life.


2 Responses to “More or Less?”

  1. Personal Training, Fitness, Diet, Nutrition Says:

    […] A great example of this compounding by Laura at starlingfitness.com describes how she first removed caffeinated products, and then foods containing lots of preservatives, and then moving more towards fresh foods. It seems that the longer I eat healthy, the more I gravitate to simple food made fresh. […]

  2. Daily Weight Loss Tips Says:

    Hi Laura,

    You are so right about packaged frozen dinners. There is something about them that just makes me cringe… And they all taste the same to me! They just all have that “packaged frozen food” taste, whatever it is. I can’t believe that years ago I used to eat them every day for lunch! 🙂


    P.S. – FYI: your comment form works in Firefox, but not in Internet Explorer

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