BESSHAILE   44,756
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What else I gained besides an extra pound during this week of excess

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Today is weigh in and I had dreaded it so I considered just skipping it this week. I haven't even been logging my meals ... in part becaue I haven't felt good and in part because I haven't wanted to admit what was going on.

Full of enthusiasm on Monday I have made comfort food choices every day since and was really thinking I'd take a Spark People vacation till next week.

And then I had a thought.

(really? Haha)

And it had to do with .... who am I? who do I want to be? Am I afraid of even knowing myself? Am I so worried about keeping up and playing by the rules that I'd rather not even admit that ... well, hey, ... I am a woman who sometimes eats too much. But running away from that truth is not going to either change me or help me.

So I got on the scale. It was not too bad - a gain, yes, but a small one. And I came here and talked about it. Because if I'm going to make any changes in myself - my health and my size - I'm going to have to know what I'm dealing with.

So - what am I dealing with?

1. I don't really hate my body as it is ... but!...
2. My body, as it is, is aging and my freedom of movement and strength to do the things I want will decrease if I don't keep it light and exercise it
3. I stay healthier when I eat healthier
4. I will sometimes eat food that has empty calories in it
5. I don't want to not know who I am - so it's important to step up to the scale (or sit down at the computer) and admit it - in fact, it's important to always know who I am.
6. There is no cost for telling myself the truth. Nobody will punish me for it. I won't lose friends because of it. I will only ever win when I am completely honest with myself.

so. That is what else I gained this week by coming here today and admitting who I am.

I think it's time for a green smoothie!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 12/24/2009 3:42PM

    Wonderful, inspiring post. I gained a pound this week, too, but I made healthy choices. Sometimes you just do! Well, actually, I've been stuck in a plateau for a while. But I always want to know. There's power in knowledge!

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NEWMOMOVER40 12/24/2009 1:56PM

    Great post. Those are words to live by!

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DAYHIKER 12/24/2009 11:26AM

    Good post and good thoughts. It's a journey of self-discovery that we're on and I know that I have a lot to learn about why I do what I do. But at least we are ON the journey and not longer living in denial that we have some "issues." emoticon

Love the background--it's so cute!! emoticon

Merry Christmas!!

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MSLZZY 12/24/2009 10:16AM

    Facing reality head-on and admitting we have made some not-so-good choices is so positive. This is the season of temptation and it is so easy to reach for comfort food and empty calories.
But take heart, you admitted your downfalls and are still serious in your journey. Guilt came be such a bummer so stay
positive, do the best you can and know I'll be here to cheer
you on no matter what happens. You are strong, you are special and you are unique! You CAN do this!
Merry Christmas and have a blessed holiday! emoticon

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JUGE300000 12/24/2009 9:21AM



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Adding Spark to someone's life

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

At least - vicariously - or might I say, representatively. My DH has asked me to help him lose the lbs that are creeping up on him this fesitive season, by fixing lighter meals.

He is a dear heart with the most different view of life I have evern experienced. Particularly when food was the issue being discussed. He used to insist that Fat was stored energy so eating fat gave you more energy. there was absolutely nothing I could ever tell him, show him or read to him, that made him think differently. It took a heart attack to convince him that the 4 food groups aren't fat, sugar, salt and meat.

After that he decided to eat more like me, include more vegetables and fruit, but he still has trouble wrapping his brain around some nutrition facts and portion control is really his biggest obsticle to optimum health.

Hmmm. Well. So it is mine too - though during this holiday season pecan butter balls are also part of the problem.

He is not a computer user - though he will if he needs to - so he's not going to make his presence known but he will be a SP user because I'm going to include him on all my fitness and nutritional adventures.

There should be a lot less of us in 2010 than there was in 2009!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOMOVER40 12/24/2009 1:55PM

    The portion control thing is SO key, and my hubby seems not to have a grasp of it either - even though he is the one who originally enlightened me about it (and got me on SP too, incidentally).

Your post is inspiring me to be more assertive with him about controlling his calorie intake. He finds SP too hard to use and hasn't made the kind of friends I've made here, so I'm going to have to convince him to use some other tool. But if he doesn't start keeping track of his calories he will not reach his goals. I admire your gumption and I hope you have success convincing him to change his lifestyle! You have already inspired him!

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ELLENB10 12/23/2009 6:59PM

    It starts with lighter meals, then long walks together, and soon all of that "stored energy" will be used up! Have fun together!

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MUSYCLAU 12/23/2009 8:28AM

    He's a lucky man!

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JLITT62 12/23/2009 7:49AM

    Excellent! I would just love if my DH would ask for help, too. I sure hope it doesn't take a heart attack to wake him up!

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MSLZZY 12/23/2009 7:24AM

    emoticon emoticon
Both of you on the same lifestyle page! You should have a great year with your new found
built-in buddy! emoticon
Merry Christmas and a great New Year to you both!

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My weekend of excesses -groping for a viewpoint

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm finding it difficult to write this blog today and even THIS fact is an interesting aspect to note about my weight/food/fitness/health situation right now. It's interesting because my discomfort - though it's mild - has to do with a commitment I seem to have made to the Spark People community to live more healthily and now that I have had a weekend full of less than stellar choices I feel a tee tiny bit as if I've let people down - maybe spark people and maybe Bess people.

Of course - I realize at an intellectual - a mental - level - with my thinking reasoning brain - that, of course, I haven't let anybody else down. And I am not crushed by my not-always-the-best choices this weekend either - only a little disappointed and yet also fascinated by the whole process. so don't worry that I'm beating myself up - I am not. But I AM examining things and looking for clues to help me make better choices in the future.

so - after such a cavilling preface I will report that I have chosen to respond to emotional promptings to eat rather a lot of high fat and high sugar foods over the past few days. Beginning with the county employee luncheon last Wednesday and moving through festive food laden opportunities every day since I have at last seen the scale go up - a vision I did not want to see this month. And yet, a part of me wants to say to myself "It's alright, honey - it's Christmas!"

Decorating a Christmas tree has always been accompanied by egg nog and something rich - something cheesy or sweetly heavy. We decorated the tree on Saturday - in a raging blizzard of a snow storm - another kind of day that prompts one to eat cozy comfort food. And I did NOT want to drink water or nibble on carrots. I wanted eggnog and cheese crackers. And I had them. And I enjoyed them too. So here are two memory laden food opportunities that I'm not sure I want to change. I'm just not sure. Are the memories and warm feelings those indulgences give me worth a pound or two. I just don't know. right now I think they are - but two weeks from now I may not.

And here I may have hit on something - I don't feel bad about the small weight gain shown on the scale this morning. I think it's worth it to have shared the past 5 days with loved ones, colleagues, friends, and family doing warm cozy foody things.


I don't want to do it any more. At least not for the next few days. Today I want a green smoothie. Today I want a long walk in the still fresh and very heavy snow. Today is NOT tree decorating day or snowed in day or Office Christmas Luncheon Day or anything else day. Today is Monday. Today is not about comfort food or memory food or warm fuzzy food. It's about healthy Bess.

Maybe this is the first inkling of the difference between Lifestyle and Diet. A diet means I have been a baaaaad girl and should feel bad and hang my head. Ugh. Horrid. A Lifestyle says ... there are festive occasions. there may even be several of them strung together. But not EVERY day is a festive occasion and on those days you live a healthy way that fuels your body and flexes your muscles so you can enjoy each moment of ordinary days in their special ways - just as you enjoyed festive days in their own special ways.

Hmmm . Am I on to something here? Can I make the switch from dieting to living? I know that admitting to who I am and what I do in a journal that I share helps me admit these things to myself as well. The public aspect of this is important. Obviously I need techniques and tools to help me - but not tools to help me diet - tools to help me live healthily.

Well. What do you know. I think I owe you all a big THANK YOU! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELLENB10 12/21/2009 9:05PM

    I had a similar weekend and got back on on track today. I feel much better. Thank you for your thoughts. As long as our eating is "mindful", we can enjoy our traditional favorites without suffering too much guilt.

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BUSSMOM 12/21/2009 12:36PM

  I loved your insight. I am concentrating on the joy my loved ones will bring when we gather. I am looking forward to the memories. However, my daughter and I have already talked about the food we will have available. In an effort to spend more time with my family, we are opting for ease and convenience on the food end. Veggie and fruit trays...with dip. Meat platter.....with spreads. Chips....with dip. Chili with cheese sprinkled on top, and if I can get it together, I will be making cinnamon rolls to go with it.

My plan is to enjoy every bite....and to memorize every moment, every laugh, every insight, every person. I just want to enjoy the people I love.

Merry Christmas

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JOHNSHERIDAN 12/21/2009 9:30AM

    Way to go! I think that you are right on target! this is a lifestyle, not a diet. So even when the holidays come around, We can partake as dayhiker said, because we dont do it everyday. I think that you should be able to consume in moderation, without the guilt. You are doing great! Its sounds like you have it under control. Keep up the great work!

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DAYHIKER 12/21/2009 8:49AM

    I also think you are definitely onto something, Bess! I think the whole lifestyle change thing is an ongoing journey of discovery and of making choices based on what is important to us. You are not keeping the eggnog and cheese crackers on hand all the time--they were a special occasion food. I am definitely going to continue to have pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and my dil's wonderful cherry cheesecake for my birthday because those things are traditional for our family. But I'm not keeping them around the rest of the year, either!

You are really doing emoticon on all levels and it's obvious that you are definitely making it a lifestyle and not a diet! emoticon

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JLITT62 12/21/2009 8:36AM

    Oh, I think you are exactly right. It's absolutely ok to have our favorite foods sometimes, no matter how unhealthy, as long as we enjoy them and get right back to healthier eating.

I'm a foodie. I love food. I remember memorable (to my mind) meals for years afterwards.

For instance, when we took the train from Prague to Vienna we got lunch on the train. I still had a few protein bars, but I was beginning to run low and wanted to save them for traveling back home, just in case.

There weren't a lot of choices. I ended up choosing the cheese pancakes (crepes, really). A heart attack on a plate. And they were memorable and delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite, altho I did leave a little on the plate. And 2 months later I still don't regret that decision. But I sure didn't continue to eat cheese crepes, either!

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BKWHITE3 12/21/2009 8:27AM

    I think you are right. Think of this way of life as a life style not a diet.Life style is a positive and diet is a negative thought. Hope that makes sense.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yes we have snow! In time for Christmas or at least, in time to get us all in the mood for Christmas if we weren't already (I WAS). If the power stays on it will be the absolutely plus perfect weekend before Christmas. I have a tree. I have firewood in the house and on the porch, I have food in the fridg. I have knitting to do and music to listen to and dogs and even Internet access for now. Can't ask for much more than that.

Obviously I won't get in my Saturday workout at the gym but I'll go out and play in the snow for an hour or two and that will do just fine for a cardio and even a little bit of weight training workout.

Now. If I just don't give in to the urge to bake Christmas Cookies. I know my son's GF will be bringing me an assortment. I don't need more. but I think I will bake something just to fill the house with that good smell.

May you all be safe, happy, loved and warm this wintery snowy blustery Saturday - and if it's sunny and warm where you are - I still wish you the same good things!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARPERLADY 12/19/2009 11:41AM

    sounds like a plan, we had some snow but now it's rain emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/19/2009 11:34AM

    I miss knitting - not much use for woolens in Houston.....
Not much use for a fire, either.

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JLITT62 12/19/2009 11:07AM

    I always get such a kick out of people who get a kick out of snow. I never liked it. I can tolerate it, but I was perfectly happy living mostly without it for 17 years, too.


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2VICKY 12/19/2009 10:32AM

    Sounds like a plan to me! Have a safe and wonderful Christmas.

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MSLZZY 12/19/2009 10:07AM

    Iplan to bake a few of the kids' favorites today. I get done what I get done. I made a double batch of party mix and candied pretzels last night. Hope DH leaves a few for Christmas Day LOL!
Have a most wonderful dau. We've had light snow this morning and may get a few more
snow showers before evening. It makes the world look so clean!

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Thoughts after a Party Food disaster - a bit long

Friday, December 18, 2009

What is it about dainty morsels set out on pretty trays arranged around a festive, candle lit centerpiece that triggers a mindless frenzy of mouth popping – of sampling and tasting and nibbling? I was at an event last night – part fund raiser, part Christmas festivity – and that's what happened to me.

Now – I knew ahead of time that there would be dainty treats, all likely to be sugar and butter packed. And there were.

I also knew that there would be fun interesting people, most of whom I knew, but some complete and fascinating strangers, exciting to get to know. This is an energy pumped environment.

Although it was certainly cocktail time, if not dinner time, I was NOT hungry. Get this. I was En Oh Tee hungry.

So why was the hand reaching for the tray almost the moment I went through the door?

Well. Um. Of course, partly it was because so many goodies were in the entrance hall of the B&B where the event was taking place. It was the FIRST thing you saw when you walked in.

And then – I went there directly from a high energy afternoon with no down-time in between. I was extremely pumped up from an afternoon of working with our local Christmas Mother program – leading a team of the cutest 12 and 13 year old girl volunteers as we matched Christmas gifts with Wish Lists. (more about that another time – I don't know when I have ever had such a fabulous time, watching these future mothers, these future civic leaders, this just plain Future – developing the values of charity and service! Wow! My best Christmas present ever!!) And here, at this event, were lots of folk who should know about how important, how valuable this program is, not just for the recipients but for the givers! They need to know how much more could be done next year. Folk like the mayor and members of the town council. Okay okay – Not the point of this post – but as I said, I was pumped – I was on high flying auto pilot enthusiasm. Not in a condition to stop and ask “Do I really want this?" or "Am I really hungry?”

There was also a size issue to consider – everything was bite sized. Or, as we with weight issues are tempted to say “Just a bite” sized. Tiny little morsels you could pop in your mouth without realizing you'd even done so. I tried to keep count of how many tidbits I ate, but I bet I missed some.

So what's the solution? And how much damage did I really do? Did I do anything right?

Well, yes. I did.

I skipped the alcohol. My excuse? “I'm driving” which was true but the real reason was that I knew, as up as I already was, if alcohol joined into the equation I'd really go mindlessly off the rails and let's face it – I didn't want to wake up the next morning in some dietary back alley with a painful food hangover. Heck – I have aNOTHER Christmas function today. So – I stuck with water. Glad I like water. Glad our local water is so good.

After the second buttery spinach and pastry thingy I found a room that had very little food in it (there were trays of goodies in EVERY room) and took a seat. This was after I'd cruised every room to talk to people – another good thing – talk to the folk first, even if I didn't eat the food last. So all in all, I could have done worse.

And I did. Sigh. The last thing – and the worst – was that when I got home, not having eaten dinner and not having consciously enjoyed anything I ate at the event, I went through a whole snack bag of Cheeto's. Yeah – talk about empty calories.

So. What to do about it next time.

FIRST OFF. No matter how rushed, how busy, how pumped or lackluster I feel – If I am going to an event that will be serving food I MUST MUST MUST go off somewhere, have a big drink of water and then think about just how much and of what I plan to eat. 10 bite sized treats? 8? 15? Only two of which can be pastry or cheesy, only 2 may be sweet? What if it's a sit down meal? Only ½ of the grain and meat courses served? Exact portion sizes?

It doesn't mater so much what I decide, as THAT I decid, because if I know I've done what I planned to do I will feel good. It's the “not knowing” that makes you walk away from a food event feeling guilty. And to feel guilty after a fun event like last night's is a tragedy.

But the water and the calm 10 minutes of reflection are essential. I think, after that, I'll be okay.

In fact, I think, if I do the first thing I won't have to worry about coming home and eating anything – most especially junk food. I don't often have junk food in my house – and I suspect that I would have found some sort of comfort carbohydrate to placate my discomfort last night. What triggered the eating frenzy at home was the sense that I didn't know what I had eaten, didn't know how much, and couldn't feel that I'd fulfilled a plan so it was still eating time. I bet that if I'd decided to eat 10 goodies and I had eaten 10 goodies I would have been “done with eating” and not been tempted once I got home.

SECOND OFF - especially if it's a cocktail type event - No Eating till I've spoken to everyone. Even if it's just a quick hello in passing - speak first - eat last. Period.

Anyway – that's the plan and I bet I'll have an opportunity to try it out sometime this party filled Christmas season. I'll let you know how it goes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RETTAROSE 12/18/2009 12:37PM

    I like that. Easy enough.

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OPAL50 12/18/2009 8:32AM

    We've all been at these parties. Why is it that the goodies draw us to them when there are so many other ways to enjoy an event?! Having a plan will help and how great you will feel when you follow that plan. Enjoy your next festivity with friends and new acquaintance. emoticon

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JLITT62 12/18/2009 8:06AM

    Yup, having a plan is essential. Luckily, I don't drink. I hear more people bewailing what they eat when they're drinking here, and it's not something I miss at all.

For me, it was looking at the options, deciding on the one (or 2, or 3, you pick the number) thing I REALLY wanted, and having it. Eating it mindfully. Savoring every bite. And filling up on the veggies first, of course.

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MSLZZY 12/18/2009 7:44AM

    Plan ahead-talk first, then eat! Good plan. emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 12/18/2009 6:57AM

    Good plan. Thanks for sharing.

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