A high ‘steaks’ game of weight loss

Paula Tessier
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So tell me, how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions so far? We’re three weeks into the month, February is right around the corner. Are you off to a smashing start? Or has your resolution already crashed and burned?

All during the holidays, hubby and I had several discussions about each of us wanting to get motivated, exercise a little more, and eat a little less indulgently and more wisely.

Sound familiar?

So, instead of talking the talk, I decided to start walking the walk, literally. During the holidays I started walking, not running, on the treadmill — I would only run if someone’s chasing me with a weapon. Thanks to a wonky neck, I’ve modified some of what I do, but there’s muscle toning happening as well.

At least I hope it’s happening — who knows at this age what’s toned and what’s just tired? But the point is, I’ve started.

Hubby, it seems, needed a little more motivation, but little did I know the form that motivation would take, and how it would affect me!

We were at New Year’s Day dinner with his entire family. He and his two brothers were trading barbs in the living room, and before we knew anything, they were each standing on a scale, and setting the ground rules.

It seems the challenge was issued to lose weight by the end of February. The biggest loser and his wife would be treated to dinner by the other two brothers and their wives … at one of the most exclusive (code word for expensive) restaurants in the province.

What? Given that this could mean serious dollars, don’t you think hubby should have at least consulted with me?

Resisting the urge to get him out of the bet entirely by making away with him then and there, I determined he’d at least need my help. Knowing that the answer to losing weight isn’t actually starving yourself, I did a little research on what nutritional foods are most effective to help safely, and healthily, drop a few pounds. Then we hit our favourite grocery store.

As I put plain oats in the cart, he screwed up his face and pointedly declared that he wasn’t going to be eating them. They stayed in the cart. As I read the back of the raisin bag to ensure there was no sugar added, he once again turned up his nose and said they were “a waste of money” because he wouldn’t be touching them.

They, too, along with the unsalted plain nuts, stayed in the cart.

Once I reached for salmon he was quick to remind me that he’s not a fan of salmon, that it stinks the house out, and that he wouldn’t be the one to eat it, and don’t get me started on quinoa!

Not wanting to make a scene, I was quick to remind him, through clenched teeth, that he agreed to the terms of this stupid bet, so he would eat these foods or starve.

Well, it turns out he’s been doing really well! Yes, he eats the salmon, and yes he still asks what “those little black seeds are mixed with the rice on the side,” and every time I remind him that he’s had quinoa before, that it’s blocked with protein and is really good for you.  

He’s not been as diligent with the treadmill as he could be, but his idea of a snack now is an apple and a handful of plain hazelnuts.

So perhaps the wager wasn’t a bad idea after all. It has motivated him to follow better eating habits and that can only be good. And if all else fails, I’m still quick to remind him that he agreed to the stakes and because they are so high, there will be no steak for him.

Email Paula Tessier

at chickp@bellaliant.net.

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