Cassie takes a load off…all through portion control

Hello, my people. I am not a gym rat, or fish… hell, I don’t even like to be called Jim. I don’t find working out to be enjoyable at all. I really wish I did, or that I could trick myself into becoming addicted to working out. I have a treadmill at the house and I use it… usually for the length of an episode of Ellen. I am 46 years old and if I don’t do something physical every day, I start to feel achy and awful. During the warm months, I have the pool I can swim in; I just wish I had more motivation to be active but that TV ain’t gonna watch itself.

In a few weeks, I am taking a much-needed vacation, so to get ready, I wanted to build up my stamina and lose some weight. I have been a lot more active and working out more. My husband and I also started Nutrisystem because my friend Marie Osmond told us it worked for her. (Since I was a kid I’ve always thought of TV people as my friends, so shut up.) Anyhoo, Nutrisystem is the weight loss program where they send you all the food you are to eat except vegetables. I figured we could do it for the entire month of August to see if it would help us lose weight.

Day 1 freaked me out a little. I opened my “breakfast” — a cinnamon streusel muffin — and was appalled by the size of it. It was somewhere between a mini muffin and a regular one. I thought, “These mutherfuckers don’t know me. I can eat! This ain’t gonna fill me up!” Which is part of my problem. I usually only eat two meals a day, lunch and dinner, where I stuff myself until I am miserable.

So I ate Miss Muffin and she was good. Since I never eat first thing in the morning, it was surprisingly filling. A few hours later, I had a snack (one of their shakes), and it was good. At lunch — about 4 p.m. for me — I had one of their grilled chicken sandwiches — let’s call it a slider, not a full-sized sandwich. It was pretty good, too. I also steamed some broccoli just in case it wasn’t very filling. For dinner, we had lasagna with green beans and spinach on the side. A chocolate ice cream bar for an after dinner snack and I realized I wasn’t hungry the whole day.

The trick was getting used to the small portions and supplementing more vegetables to fill you up. I have been surprised by how easy it has been. Even my husband, who is a very meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, has stuck to it. I’ve learned our taste in vegetables could not be more different. I love fresh spinach, while he prefers canned. Same with green beans. He refuses to eat a fresh salad; I could have a salad with every meal.

We’ve gone out to eat a few times and have had great success at a fish restaurant in Mansfield, Fish City Grill. We get some kind of grilled fish — salmon or trout — and two sides of vegetables. We even get an appetizer of peel-and-eat shrimp and we don’t go over our calories for the day. Speaking of calories, we have been tracking them on an app and have only been eating around 1,025 calories a day.

I would have to say that the hardest part of this has been watching TV. Even if you fast forward through the commercials, you still get a glimpse of that KFC bucket and you think, Mmmmmmm fried chicken. I don’t even really like KFC, but at those moments I’d punch a baby for a chicken leg. Or you are watching a movie and they start showing this beautiful elaborate spread of incredible looking food and you forget the storyline for a second because you are fantasizing about the noodle dish you just saw. Thank you Crazy Rich Asians!

As of now, I have lost 19 lbs. I feel better, my clothes fit better, blah blah blah. I’d like to lose 8 to 10 more before we leave for our vacation, but that may be pushing it. Jamie has lost almost 20 lbs. I am very proud of us. I just hope that in our vacation photos we only have the one chin and we don’t find the weight we lost while we are gone.

I think the take-away from this is that portion control is key. I think I will keep some of the Nutrisystem food here at the house for low-cal lunches and force myself to eat breakfast every day, even if it is just a breakfast bar. We are a work in progress and until my addiction for working out becomes a reality, I will just keep swimming!

Now to help someone else.

Dear Cassie, I will be blunt. I want kids. But the world, unfortunately, is also blunt. I’m a single, gay, soon-to-be 40-year-old disabled retired veteran. The world is OK with me having kids with the majority of that previous statement — except, of course, for that little gay part. I can get around the disabled part, but I’m worried about the fact I’m gay. I have a lot to offer this world, a lot more than sitting around this house all day everyday doing nothing.

So how do I do it? How do I adopt? Where do I start? I have my finances and housing in the place I want it to be to have a child. Most people can’t say that.

Thank God for my military retirement status — I think it’s my strongest asset in this case for adoption.

Also, I was adopted, so I know how it works — I know how I would want to be treated growing up in this case. I have to imagine that my training and years working as a combat medic in the U.S. Army will look good for my case. I know how to handle things in a crisis. Literally.

I live on a modest budget, have a huge house that wreaks of family friendliness. I have the support system in place from my mother who lives in my house with me. Speaking of my mother, she is 63 and it means the world to me that she see the next generation start. I want my kids to know her and honestly the years are running out. Help! Any advice? Thanks, Jason.

Dearest Jason, I take it you want kids. Where do you start? I have no idea. Your Google ain’t broke. Just kidding. You know a lot more than I do about adoption, research it and found out where to start. Make lots of calls and talk to agencies and ask questions of someone that knows the right answers for the state you live in.

There are so many children out there that need good homes to make them feel safe and help them grow. There are so many gays that would be great parents and might be overlooked or refused because they are gay. It is a shame but it is not impossible. I’m no expert but your situation sounds a little questionable. Single, disabled and gay do not scream, GIVE THAT GUY A BABY! If you know what I mean.

That being said, start the process. Find an agency, do your research and don’t jump into it without really knowing what you are getting into. Having kids change everything. Make sure you are ready for a complete change, if you are… make that first move and good luck!

Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nov.