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Five Minutes...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I realized I have five (maybe six) things I want to do. If I spend a minimum of only five minutes a day on each item, then that's half an hour. I can schedule a half hour out of my evening...and of course, the minimum means I spend five minutes OR MORE on each activity. And I can do one or two of them in front of the TV.

They are:

1. Be outside (at least "be;" ideally, mow, pick up, plant, sweep, etc.)
2. Exercise
3. One relationship-building activity a day
4. Learn Arabic
5. Finish my book list
6. Clean/organize the house

My plan is to do the outside thing right when I get home, before I sit. Then, I'll exercise while I watch TV. If my RBA is an email, FB message, letter, etc., then I can do that in front of the TV, but if it's something like a phone call, then I'll do that either before or after my exercise. Before I go to bed, I'll do my five minutes minimum of Arabic, and after that, read before bed.

This could be something good to use my stickers for, one sticker for each task completed, but that still begs the question of where I'm going to stick my stickers.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/20/2012 5:18PM

    emoticon

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MONAKIN314 9/20/2012 12:10PM

    Nice Plan. You always make me laugh. You could make a sticker calendar like when we were kids and give yourself a sticker when complete a daily goal, then give yourself a bigger reward after earning some many stickers.

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HOPESINGH 9/20/2012 9:27AM

    Go for it! Kaizen really works

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RUTHXG 9/19/2012 8:46PM

    Yep, sounds good! You could make some kind of display calendar for the stickers, & reward yourself when it fills up!

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MADAMES 9/19/2012 7:57PM

    That's a great list! You can accomplish great things with that list.

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DUXGRL1 9/19/2012 7:54PM

    Sounds like a good plan!

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KIM--POSSIBLE 9/19/2012 7:50PM

    Sounds promising! Just five minutes. Most of us can find five minutes for the things that are really important to us. And, I bet once you start with five minutes, you will end up doing more on the exercise! Good luck!

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Sybaritism

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I guess I'm "back."

Not that I was super-gone. I've logged in daily, tracked iffily, replied to blogs, etc.

But I haven't been Sparking.

Since May, I haven't been Sparking. I've barely exercised. My food sucked, then was okay, then sucked again.

So what happened in May?

Well, I guess I'll just put it all out there.

I started smoking again in May.

I did the same thing I always do. Smoke for a few days, stop for a day, smoke for a day, stop for three, ad infinitum. I finally smoked my last one on Labor Day. And this will be my LAST. I really can't keep doing this. And it's scary $hi+, too, what can happen if you continue in this way.

So that's what I did, and it's really wild what an energy suck this is. And it doesn't affect you just physically, either. It's mental, too. I feel like I'm in a funk, like I physically can't BRING myself to get up off the couch and move the 10 feet over to the stationary bike. It's harder to get out of bed. And actually working to succeed something, like quitting diet soda, cutting down on sweets, or even reading a book or clipping coupons? Forget it. Life becomes an endless urge, punctuated by cigarettes, TV and BrickBreaker.

Well, probably about five or six days ago, I started feeling more like me...like the cloud had lifted...like I could actually SEE again, if that makes sense. And I started exercising a little bit. I went back to the eating plan that I had made work for a couple weeks during my nicotine bender.

One thing that's come over me though, that I don't understand, is that I'm going backward somehow. I have a sudden urge to buy stickers and stuffed animals. And I have. Stickers, anyway. A stuffed elephant probably isn't far behind.

Why? Am I trying to go back to the time before I smoked? Or try to recapture the time I smoked, but overshot? Any therapists/counselors reading this, please give your opinion!!!

So today I bought these:

www.partypro.com/red/bulk-party-supp
lies/stickers/friendly-fruit-stickers-
case.html


And these:

www.ebay.com/itm/Stickeroni-foil-smi
ley-faces-sticker-sheets-free-ship-20-
min-order-/320982934010


And I found these in my closet:

www.amazon.com/International-Travel-
Scrapbook-Stickers-FST905/dp/B0081MZRHU


So what do I do with these stickers? I have no idea where to stick them or what to do besides buy them and look at them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/20/2012 5:09PM

    Just curious, have you ever read Alan Carr's "Easyway to Stop Smoking" ? just wondering because it came highly recommended so I sent it to my mom. My grandma just had an operation on Monday to remove her lung cancer -- she quit smoking 30 years ago, and luckily they caught it early. But I'm trying to urge my mom to quit. I guess she has to want it herself, and I know she does, but we'll see. Keep us updated, i KNOW you can do this. emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 9/19/2012 8:54PM

    It's tough, but it can be done. I smoked for 25 years. I quit in 2007 at age 48, then started running...very slow and for maybe 1 minute at a time.

9 Months later I ran my first marathon at age 48 and haven't smoked since.

You can do it...whenever you're ready....don't wait as long as I did!

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RUTHXG 9/19/2012 8:53PM

    See my suggestion above. I have no idea why the sticker & stuffed animal yens are emerging at this moment--but I'm VERY happy to hear that you're starting to feel like yourself again!

Nicotine is a nasty, nasty drug. You are fighting a noble fight.

emoticon emoticon emoticon !!

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MADAMES 9/19/2012 8:10PM

    You could put a sticker on a wall calendar for each day you accomplish a goal. If you pack yourself a lunch, put a sticker on your napkin. Make yourself a poster and add one sticker for each step of a special project that you complete.


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If and when you get tired of the stickers, you could donate them to any school teacher, Sunday school teacher or day care worker. Never fear! There is no danger of a sticker going to waste!




Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 8:11:53 PM

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KIM--POSSIBLE 9/19/2012 7:48PM

    It is amazing what a difference one "little" thing like that can make! Glad you are "back"! We've missed you. emoticon

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Passion

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I went to a party tonight.

It was hosted by some people who called their house the "Street-they-live-on" Brewery. We took our new exchange student, and we had to leave early, after the third time I saw him yawn.

I don't blame him for being bored. We knew we were going to a beer tasting; we just didn't know that we would be sitting through over an hour presentation of hops, barley, yeast and "what do you smell? What do you taste? How's the head?" And the kid's 16, so he couldn't participate. I teased him as he poured some lemonade, beckoning him to let me smell, and look at the glass through the light.

It was BORING.

But in a way, I was entranced by our host's passion for beer brewing. I want a passion like he has, but I don't know what it could be. I could get back into German...maybe the lit, maybe the SLA. Crossword puzzles, coupon clipping, playing an instrument...I don't know what it could be, and thanks to my friend's passion, I'm not in the clearest state to determine what it is right now, but it makes me think.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/28/2012 6:46PM

    Oooh, yeah I agree about the singing.
Mine is baking, but lately I've also gotten into jigsaw puzzles and hama beads (aka perler beads).

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4LEEFCLOVER 8/27/2012 3:11PM

    How about the singing? Are you still in to that? Maybe there is a local a cappella group that needs you. Whatever it is, it should feel good when you give it your all.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMFAN 8/27/2012 2:33AM

    emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 8/26/2012 9:52PM

    It's a good question to ask yourself now, rather than looking back on your deathbed and wondering how you were alive so long and yet never really lived. When you find your passion, you will really feel alive. Let the search begin!

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ANIHAKA 8/26/2012 12:41PM

    I enjoyed reading your blog and pictured your exchange student yawing with boredom. OMG that's a difficult one - finding my passion. At present I'm a bit obsessed with making plum jam or jelly as it's termed in the USA. Plum trees happened to grow from wild in our tiny front garden and I've managed to salvage enough of the fruit for a few jars of jam. Who knows what next - preparing my house for the inevitable.
Have a good week!

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 8/26/2012 7:48AM

    passion that's a hard one, but you already have a passion that you don't realize, your healthy, or you would not be here, you are living a healthy life style full of change
Have a great day

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HOPESINGH 8/26/2012 2:51AM

    Quite a funny post. I know that my passions really bore other people (what's so fascinating about the middle ages, they ask. Or about Bollywood movies, the Hindi language, etc...).
Think about it when you're sober!

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RUTHXG 8/26/2012 12:48AM

    I hope you find a great passion that's precisely Beatletottish!

I have some friends, & a cousin, who are really into brewing. I think it's cool that they do it, but I don't really like the beers they make, though I enjoy many commercially available beers. That's a little awkward. emoticon

My passion is language. But I don't like to bore people with it, & anyway I'm not one of those people who rant about the greengrocer's apostrophes that they noticed on a billboard--life is too short. Since I get to earn my living working with language & play solo word games regularly, my yen is satisfied day by day.

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DIET_FRIEND 8/25/2012 11:05PM

    I read a SparkPage about a girl whose passion is working out in a gym. Then I read your blog and between the two, I pondered what my passion is. Currently it's decluttering. Each week I take a bag or 2 of clothes and stuff fit for donation to the Salvation Army. They can give it to needy people or sell it raise money. Each week I declutter an area to the point of filling up my trash can up prior to the garbage truck coming. I've been in the same house for 16 years and it's pretty cluttery.

I recently read a quote that said wealthy people end up being the custodian of their possessions. I may be that, but I need fewer possessions to be the custodian of!

Hopefully you will discover something to be passionate about soon.

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 8/25/2012 11:01PM

    Sorry it was boring. Man, that's the pits isn't it?

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The Worst Starfish Ever...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Okay, no, I'm so not the worst Starfish ever. You remember that one season where seriously between a third and half of us were completely inactive after the second week? What a nightmare that was!

I am the worst Starfish I've ever been, though. As we go into the final week of the challenge, I'm really starting to realize how little I've done for yuns. Very, very little exercise (my number for last week was...0), not much participation on the discussion boards or just for fun boards...not posting regularly to the tracking thread, not posting till, like, Tuesday most weeks...posting twice a week on the tracking thread! This isn't me! I really ought to be fired as EL...yeesh.

But the weirdest thing about this is, I think I've lost more weight on this challenge than I have any of the other challenges. I guess while I haven't been working out, I've been more careful with my food choices, and it's actually showing. I think I can be okay with that for now.

I decided to finish strong in the last week of the challenge...it's the least I can do, right? I mean, really, the VERY LEAST I can do. Then, I have a few weeks in between to get my head on straight, on which I'm very much behind. I went back to another online support group, one I hadn't been on for over two-and-a-half years, last night to admit my failings and failure and come back. I need to focus on them for awhile, but I'll divide my time equitably for both sites this week, focus on them between challenges, and come back strong for the fall 5% Challenge. I love my Starfishies!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANASAMM 8/16/2012 12:28AM

    This week has been rough for me getting in here to post. My grandbabies came Friday and they kept me so busy I totally missed weigh in. I'm sorry. I did finally get to the beach and did some walking and I finally got to the Y and did some swimming! We are a great team! Go Starfish!!
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REBECCAMA 8/15/2012 10:33AM

  Hey.. if you've lost weight then you are a head of me. I think I've gained.

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AMYLONGHORN 8/15/2012 9:19AM

    Holy crap when I saw your blog title scrolling on the Starfish page, I was writing a post on the discussion board about how much I have been a LOSER Starfish, and I thought your blog was about me for one hot minute! Dang...I don't know what is up with me, either....but I've been losing weight, too!! It's soooooooooo weird, but I'll take it!

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SEATTLESIMS 8/13/2012 7:43PM

    Great job on the weight loss even if you haven't been an active starfish..
I'm a bad starfish too :( just too busy with work stuff..


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/13/2012 2:38PM

    I agree - it's weird because I think the boards got a little screwy with people posting their every day stuff in the "just for fun" board, so to me, it seemed less"fun" over there. The challenge board has been very quiet. Overall, except for this week, everyone has been good about getting their weigh-ins posted (a lot of people were MIA this week, but hopefully they'll come back next week with a big loss) and stuff like that. I hope to have a loss this week. I'm feeling like a terrible starfish, too.

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CARLYG8 8/12/2012 9:44PM

    Wow...you just read my mind! I signed on, and as I clicked on Sparkpeople, I thought to myself how disconnected I have been. I don't think I posted a single blog through the whole challenge!

And a leader? Pfftt! I so let the team down on that one.

Okay...one more week to focus...and then a couple of weeks to get into a new routine with the new job, and back to school time before the fall challenge starts.

We can do this!!!

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REBECCATKD 8/12/2012 2:53PM

    No firing of you!
This is why I like the Starfish team so much -- we ALL have a week or more that wins us the "Worst Starfish Ever" award. But then we come back to an amazing and supportive network. This team keeps me coming back, even after the worst of weeks. I may not have lost any weight during these 7 weeks, but I was able to bounce back after every Oops. Just like you!!!

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KIM--POSSIBLE 8/12/2012 12:59PM

    You have been awesome throughout the challenges I've participated in with the Starfish! Everyone deserves a break and no one is expected to be perfect! I have missed hearing from you lately, but you have to take care of yourself first!! We all go through periods of highs and lows, motivation and, well, lack of interest in exercise, etc. Awesome job on the weight loss!

Let's finish this challenge strong and we will continue to support each other, through the challenges and breaks, highs and lows! emoticon emoticon

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MOMFAN 8/12/2012 12:04PM

    emoticonAt least you are getting the weight off. How many have I been on and not lost!!! I think this one I might make my goal. I am at least making progress!

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HOPESINGH 8/12/2012 9:42AM

    When I saw the title I thought you were talking about me! emoticon

Good luck on the final week and kudos for the weight loss!

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DRAGONFLY02 8/11/2012 11:10PM

    Awwwwe, I don't care how much you participate or not. I just like being on this team and encouraging one another. Who cares if we're first place or dead last. I'm just happy to be here.

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KOKITTY 8/11/2012 9:54PM

    Better late than never! Make this week count, in whatever way you can! We'll all finish strong together!!
GO STARFISH!!!

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MADAMES 8/11/2012 8:23PM

    Go Starfish sister!

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MISSLISA1973 8/11/2012 7:22PM

    You are an amazing person. Don't be too hard on yourself. emoticon

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RUTHXG 8/11/2012 5:35PM

    We love you too! And I've missed hearing from you, but I've noticed the weight loss & am very PROUD of you, emoticon So you have contributed to our good numbers even though you haven't posted too much exercise.

Hope the other support group is really fruitful for you in the coming weeks! You are emoticon!

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Dogs, Diets, and Days Off

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I haven't posted a blog in a long while. I started one at one point but realized that it wasn't interesting. If it bores me, I certainly don't think it will interest you! I mean, the Challenge prep blog seemed a bit forced when I wrote it, too. Just haven't had a lot to say, I guess, but really want to get Pumpkin Lady off my main SparkPage.

June was kind of a lost month for me. I didn't exercise. I sat around and felt tired, lazy and sorry for myself. July hasn't been much better exercise-wise, but I feel like I'm really getting somewhere with my eating, and workouts are getting a tiny bit more regular.

Really, I haven't had a lot of time for working out. I'm being more active, moving more at work and at home, but actual exercise is more sporadic than normal.

Part of the reason is this chihuahua/terrier mix I'm fostering. I picked her up from a kill shelter in Baltimore, where she'd been left after her owner died. She'd had the same owner for her whole 12 years, and the surviving family didn't want her. It was so full in the shelter, she wasn't even in a cage; they had her in an office.

She's very sweet, and unlike Mr. Sam, she actually can (and wants to) take walks and play. Anyway, she's still here, and I don't know when she's leaving. I hope in the fall, when families start returning from vacations and routines fall back into place, that someone will take her. She's awesome with children and will make a great dog for someone.

I've been reading a few "diet" books. I've been working on the Spark since Christmas and have a Volumetrics book on my nightstand. The ones that get read faster are on my Kindle, so I actually started and finished "Diets Don't Work" by...Schwartz? Yeah, I just looked it up, and it's by Bob Schwartz. Anyway, it was good. Basically, he talks about the "Diet Mentality," and about what naturally thin people do, and as you may expect, it's actually quite simple and you've heard it before. They eat when they're hungry, and when they're not hungry anymore, they stop.

It made me realize a lot of things. I discovered a lot of reasons I eat that I wouldn't have thought of if he'd just said to write down the reasons why you eat. I "bargain eat," for example; that is, eat because it's free. I "scarcity eat," which is problematic when I bargain eat, because then I have to stock up on the free stuff, you know? Then I eat three croissants at work. And I eat because of the starving children in Africa, too.

I also realized that I have to stop thinking of food like it's something special. The bosses eat lunch together in the dining room once a week, and people go down there toward the end to get to the leftovers. One of my naturally thin friends and I were talking about how we don't want to look like beggars, so we don't go down. Then, she said, "Yeah, it's just food."

Just food? I don't know if I ever thought of food, especially good, quality, tasty, (free) food as "just" food. Reading the book made me realize that I should look at food as "just food," and that I shouldn't think about it all the time like I do. If I could only figure out how.

About halfway through, Schwartz gave the four rules of naturally-thin people's eating habits.

1. They eat when they're hungry
2. They eat exactly what they want
3. They enjoy every bite
4. They stop eating when they're not hungry anymore

I like 1, 2, and 4. 3 is problematic for me. I feel like naturally-thin people wouldn't necessarily enjoy every bite, because why would they? Why would they even think about the bite? It's just food. How do I reconcile #3 with the above anecdote with my friend. And do I need to? I feel like in my mind, I do, because it just doesn't make sense to me.

On the other hand, I'm a speed eater. I eat so fast. And people say you should eat slower so the stomach can tell the brain it's full or whatever.

So I'm trying. I am doing really well with 1 and 2. 4 is a crapshoot, but I can tell I'm improving. I've been leaving food on my plate the second I feel like it. I left half a pork chop last night, and two bites of the omelet I had this morning. Two days ago, I left a third of a sandwich on the kitchen table, and my husband fed the insides to the dogs. I still feel full probably about half the time, which isn't great; Schwartz says you should stop when you're "not hungry," not when you're "full," because "full" means different things to overweight people and naturally-thin people.

Well, then there's 3. I'm trying it. When I remember, I tell myself to keep chewing, but that's maybe twice a day.

And even though naturally-thin people apparently don't track their food, I am more or less. I'm not as regular about it as I used to be, but I do want to see what's going on, and what's going on is interesting.

I'm staying in my calorie range!

Even today, I wanted Popeye's fried chicken. I don't even like fried chicken that much, but for some reason, I wanted Popeye's. When I got hungry, I got it. And I ate it. Maybe a little much--I was fuller than I should have been at the end, but not stuffed, but when I tracked my food, including the Popeye's, I was still in range.

Even with two biscuits. And Cajun fries. emoticon

I WAS IN RANGE!

I'm finding that to be the case a lot, even when I'm having beer, and my weight is going down. I lost 1.6 pounds last week, and just .1 pounds this week, but a loss is a loss, and I'll take it.

So I took a few days off this week but didn't have a plan. I was supposed to go to NYC, but my plans fell through with that, and so I stayed at home, ran errands, watched a ton of TV, exercised a little....and I was so unfulfilled. I texted a friend yesterday to see if we could hang out because I was bored and lonely, but spent some time on things start-to-finish in the spirit of my very old blog "Happiness=Closure" www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4154760

and it helped some. But I have 33 hours left of "staycay." Any suggestions on making it worthwhile?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 7/17/2012 2:37PM

    You are doing a lot of good stuff, Brenda! #4 is definitely the most problematic for me! I've pretty much mastered #1 so you would think I could do #4 but it's just so hard!
OMG you have me drooling now thinking about Popeye's! Dang! You're doing good with the weight loss, and for someone little like you, any loss is good. I'm .4 up but I had TOM and our anniversary dinner so I'm hoping to rebound this week. I have to!
Take that doggie for a walk!

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REBECCATKD 7/16/2012 9:59PM

    Way to stay in calorie range!
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MONAKIN314 7/16/2012 10:13AM

    1. They eat when they're hungry
2. They eat exactly what they want
3. They enjoy every bite
4. They stop eating when they're not hungry anymore

I like these, but I agree with you on the enjoying every bite.

I always get what I am craving, I found that if I deny myself what I am craving I will ending up binging on it. It is only a matter of time. So when I a want to I go get it, I track it, and I move on.



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MISSLISA1973 7/16/2012 6:59AM

    Good to see you back and in the going down process. And some naturally thin people aren't really like that. One of my naturally almost-model-thin friends posted on FB the other day, "I eat Fig Newtons by the sleeve." I went out to eat with her once and saw her order a ton of stuff. She threw half of it away, so the part about stopping when full is accurate for her.

I am learning what full means. It used to take me tons of food before I felt full, even if I thought I had had enough that I should be full. Then I started eating lots of fruits and veggies. I found myself getting full -- as in I really did not want to eat any more even though it still sounded good -- a lot more often. Then one time I didn't eat much fruit or veggies for a couple days. We went to the buffet and I just kept eating and eating until I finally felt "full." What I realized then was that what I used to think was full is actually bloated, distended, and uncomfortable. So for me, I found it was a lack of freggies. I have seen where others talk about it being protein for them. Some people say a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, which is true on one level. On another level, I have learned that some calories SATISFY whereas other calories leave us wanting more. Hope this helps!

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HELLODANAE 7/15/2012 6:20PM

    emoticon on your weight loss!!!

I eat compulsively and really any reason is good as any to eat emoticon

You will find out what works for you, I'm sure of it!!!




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DUXGRL1 7/15/2012 2:56PM

    Some really thought provoking items in your blog!

I definitely "bargain eat," for example; that is, eat because it's free. I "scarcity eat," And I eat because of the starving children in Africa, too. I HATE wasting food. Sometimes I do not plan well and end up with too much food and end up trying to eat it, so that is a problem for me.

It the 4 things, I have been doing number 2 in this latest weight loss journey, and it has been working really well for me, as long as I watch my portions and do not eat too it all at one time! I guess I do number 1 and number 3, too. Number 4 is the one I do not do yet.

Off topic but back to one of your previous blogs....I went to see Neil Diamond by myself last month, and was immediately "adopted" for the night by a really fun couple sitting next to me. I felt fine about going on my own, but meeting them made it even more fun. We are now in touch on Facebook.


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MOMFAN 7/15/2012 12:17PM

    If it is not too hot go to a park and enjoy God's beautiful nature or go on a hike. Maybe some charity work? Just do it. Work on an unfinished project.

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AMYLONGHORN 7/15/2012 12:10PM

    Idea for the remainder of your staycation: call your sister! emoticon

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RUTHXG 7/14/2012 9:40PM

    Yay, you are losing weight! I'm impressed with your skillful eating-in-range.

Yes, food is "just food," but even for lots of thin people it's also wonderful & delicious. My experience is that when I'm paying attention & enjoying every bite, I am sooner satisfied & don't feel a need to eat so much. Paying attention to the taste & texture of food is related somehow to paying attention to the body's sense of being satisfied, no longer hungry.

I had never heard those Schwartz terms "bargain eating" & "scarcity eating"--really useful concepts, because of course we often eat with those false justifications!

It sounds as if the dog you're fostering is a total sweetie. I can see how having another being to care for cuts down on your exercise time, but still keeps you active.

As for what to do with the rest of your weekend: are there any free concerts-in-the-park to attend? What about reading a yummy book? I like to play word games by myself. Oh, is there a forest preserve nearby where you could go for a long walk/hike under the trees? That's one of my favorite things to do, along with going to one of the plant conservatories (also free). The elevated oxygen & the shade & fragrance just work magic for me--blissful.

emoticon Wish I were nearby!

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