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Cleaning out the kitchen

Monday, December 28, 2009

That's what I'll be doing today. Today all traces of holiday excess go out the door - as gifts, as trash, I don't care. It gets out of here.

And a trip to the grocery store for fresher, cleaner, lighter fare will be made!

Hooray for a Monday and a vacation Monday at that!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 12/28/2009 2:24PM

    Extra cookies will be parceled out to neighbors and friends. Leftover turkey will find the soup kettle and I make a nice broth for veggie soup later. I really missed
eating veggies but am now back on track. That sums up what is left. I am ready for a brand new day!

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DAYHIKER 12/28/2009 9:14AM

    emoticon Nothing left here! emoticon

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DAYHIKER 12/28/2009 9:14AM

    emoticon Nothing left here! emoticon

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JLITT62 12/28/2009 8:04AM

    If it doesn't snow like forecasted, I'm hoping to get out to the grocery store today, too. I hate shopping in the craziness before a holiday!

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RITAROSE 12/28/2009 7:18AM

  Smart, smart, smart!! Congratulations on being sensible! I'm up two pounds in the past week and am trying desperately to drop them! We still have company and occasions so I will be extra vigilant. I'm exercising too so I guess I'm a bit surprised with the gain. Yesterday at our big meal after church I avoided foods I normally would have enjoyed just thinking about those 7000 calories that have found their way onto my body! It will happen, I just need to keep my vigilance. I'm encouraged by your focus and drive to do the best thing for you! Keep up the good work, it will pay off!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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An assessment prior to moving into Stage III _ a loooooong post

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What a surprise in my emailbox this morning - a Welcome to stage III in the SP program.

Ha! Well. Wait! Whoa. Who said I was ready for that - especially the morning after our lavish and traditional Christmas Dinner? Not after being such a slacker with keeping track of everything this past week - from water to exercise to nutrition.

Let me think about this.

There are 6 healthy habits one is supposed to introduce during stage II

1. Portion Sizes
2. Eat the right stuff
3. Exercise consistently
4. Drink enough water
5. Eat on Purpose
6. Find unexpected opportunities

The only thing I have done with almost perfect consistency is #4 - drinking enough water. Not only do I drink enough, I have virtually eliminated soft drinks from my life and though I will have a glass of wine with a meal, I'm otherwise, not a social drinker. I would give myself an A on this.

I have done fairly well on #3, exercising regularly, though I have had some setbacks with plantar fascia and a touch of sciatica - both of which put a damper on my workouts. Also, I'm not fully utilizing the tracker. It's very graphic and responds slowly to my Internet connection. I think if I ever once got things set up efficiently, I could have a better handle on how I'm doing in this area. But I'll have to devote a lot of time to setting it up. I would give myself a C on this. Average but a whole lotta room for improvement.

Food, of course, is the big issue for someone who's not at her desired weight. #1, 2, and 5 really must be addressed and assessed.

#1 - Portion control. Here I would say I do fairly well. I know that restaurant servings are almost always twice what a portion should be. I do measure fairly often just to check up - especially here at home. I would give myself a B on this.

#2. Eat the right stuff. Whoa boy! I think I have to do some serious reconsidering about things here. Because even if I don't eat a LOT of wrong stuff - it takes only a little wrong stuff eaten steadily to kibosh any efforts to grow fit and healthy.

When I look back over my nutrition tracker I see a couple of things that disturb me.
Half the time I've eaten over my calorie limit
2/3 of the time I've eaten over my fat limit
2/3 of the time I've hit my carbohydrate allotment right on target
2/3 of the time I've eaten enough protein
3/5 of the time I've gone over the sodium limit
Only 3 times have I eaten enough folate
Only once have I eaten enough calcium
I have never ever gotten enough potassium and magnesium
I have rarely gone over the cholesterol limits

So - that's a 41% or a resounding F on this report card.
I am not exactly surprised. I am also not quite sure what to do about getting enough calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium. But I'm pretty sure about where to go to find out. I believe this weekend I will spend time reading about and planning meals around getting the dairy, fruit and vegetables I need to get up there in the healthy zone.

In fact - I am having an idea about how I want to start my New Year - even start it a little early - because wouldn't it be cool if, say, over the next few weeks, I could raise my grade from an F to passing to an Honor Roll A!?

Okay - I think the best thing to help me with that, besides more nutritional information, will be -

#5 - Mindful Eating - on which I will give myself a C-

I actually love it when I eat mindfully - when I really do taste my food and savor it's smells and textures and fragrances. I am always happy when I do this and disappointed when I realize I've gobbled down a meal and poof! it's gone and I can't remember enjoying anything about it.

In fact, I'd venture to say that every day when I've hit more of the nutritional targets was a day that I ate mindfully and every day when I missed them, I was also gobbling.

I believe I will pick this Healthful Habit to start with and to start today. I believe I will add a moment of thoughtfulness before every meal in which I will survey what is offered and say "thank-you" for the gift of it before I put fork to mouth. Yup. Time to add saying grace before eating to my daily routine.

Which brings me round to #6 - to which I will award myself with a D+ Find unexpected opportunities - like the one just mentioned above. Not just opportunities to exercise, but opportunities to do Other Good Healthy Things. Because - the world is full of opportunities. It's just up to us to take them.

Doing the math I see I've earned an A, B, C, F, C, D - which comes out to a 2 on the 4 point college scale. A C over all which, had you asked me to guess, was what I would have liked to have given myself. C.

And though a C may be not too far off from where most people are - I want to be an A. A nice good solid honor roll A sort of girl. I want A health. I want A energy. So I believe I want to go through stage 2 once again. I want, very much, to start a "bootcamp" program on January 4 - I've signed up for the SP bootcamp team and will use their ideas and suggestions to help me mold mine into something that's a perfect fit. But I need to be sure I've given each of these 6 steps the attention they deserve before I move on to Stage III.

But look out world - because I'm heading for Stage IV and I believe I'll be there before bathing suit weather gets here!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 12/26/2009 1:17PM

    A great assessment! And of course it's a good time of year to assess things. Altho I don't think any of us ever end up being true As when it comes to food -- or life -- which doesn't mean it isn't a good goal to shoot for.

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FISHING88 12/26/2009 10:13AM

    Thanks for sharing your assessment of how you are doing. It caused me to want to take time today to think through my own assessment. Thanks for the motivation! I think you will have success because you are thinking things through and planning what changes you need to make. You can do it and reach your goals!

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NO_SNOW_BODY 12/26/2009 8:33AM

    I actually started over at Level One because I felt I wasn't doing the program right. I joined the Boot camp too. The best part is knowing what you are doing wrong and working at doing it right.

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MSLZZY 12/26/2009 8:26AM

    This is the time of the year to reassess my progress as well! Maybe my report card won't look as good as I think!
Excellent blog with LOTS of food for thought! At least that is a no calorie idea LOL! I'm going to check it out! emoticon

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GARDENCHRIS 12/26/2009 8:21AM

    Good post. It bought things back into focus for me again. Why is it that we get off track? I didn't do to bad in food department yesterday, given the choices that were offered, but there is room for improvement. You made me think things through..... again!

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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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