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Day 5 – What feels like a reward?

Friday, October 23, 2009

So yesterday was just one of those feel good days that lasted till I went to bed. Safe in my own happy world I found staying within the SP meal plan was easy – better than easy, it was a relief. And packing my lunch saved me $$$. AND, since I am saving up for a special Spa Day when I reach my final goal, I thought I'd put the difference between a bought lunch and a bRought lunch (estimate a conservative $5) in the kitty too. Who knows – I may save up enough for a Spa Weekend.

I've been thinking of other rewards I might give myself to celebrate milestones along the journey. Rewards have always been difficult for me to come up with, because, let's face it, if I want something and I can afford it, I'll buy it. I'm just not that into denial. I don't “forbid” myself small pleasures and little treats. The Spa Day is an exception, hovering out there somewhere in the realm of Movie Stars, as in, say, Movie Stars drive Porsches and I drive a Chevy. Movie Stars go to Spas and I go to the gym. But as for treats, well, right now I am so well stocked with treats and playthings and delights, I had a bit of trouble coming up with rewards.

Then I asked myself “What do you really want” and the answer was easy. I want time. I want time to play with all my pretty toys, to indulge my passions, to savor my delights. And I want a pedicure. I have one scheduled for the Christmas holidays but I'd love to have another one between now and then.


Here's the reward breakdown.

Meet ¼ my goal --- Take the afternoon off

Meet ½ my goal --- Schedule a pedicure and take the rest of the day off

Fit nicely into those khaki trousers --- Leave 3 hours early the following Friday

Meet ¾ my goal --- Take a day off the next week

First time someone says “Haven't you lost weight?” --- Schedule a pedicure and take the rest of the day off

Make my goal --- Spa Day hooray!

And the spa? Ahhh yes. The one at The Williamsburg Inn – check out this link!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 10/26/2009 10:37PM

    That sounds so much better than a lot of other things! Good rewards and a good plan!

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WEDDWT 10/23/2009 11:35AM

    Meet you at the spa!

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Day 4 - Solving the restaurant dilemma

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Did you know a taco salad was over 800 calories!?! No. Neither did I. I thought it would be much less than anything else at that Mexican Restaurant my precious patient, on the way home from hospital and hungry, wanted to lunch at. Well. I have learned. Next time I will have a bean burrito at less than half the calories! Or not eat the shell, which, I confess, I did. It was delicious but I was eating it long after I wasn't hungry any more. I was ...gulp... Cleaning My Plate!!!

And while I'm reviewing my slightly misspent day, I will tote up the other sticks I stumbled over. In addition to Clean Your Plate (Honestly, my parents never did that to me ... I don't know where I picked it up)

Mindless Eating ..... those dreadful tortilla chips and salsa .. yup. I gobbled some of them

Eating too fast ... as in gobbling my food

Eating in ignorance .... not really knowing what the numbers were on the food I was eating. Of course, it was not the easiest day for doing that, bringing a patient home from hospital and celebrating over good news from doctors with friends who love us. Not at a computer, not carrying any information with me about calorie counts and fat grams. ... but hey! Wait! Is that realistic?

This was a celebration meal with friends. I will never have a computer with me when I'm in a restaurant. I have the sort of life that is sprinkled with Restaurant Traps. There has to be an answer to this problem of dining out in celebration and I beleive it's this:

I'm going to do a bit of research on restaurant dishes - generic restaurants, generic meals - I don't plan to nitpick about this. What I want are some standard dishes I can count on averaging 400 calories and know that if I find myself at one of these places I can order that, dine with friends and loved ones and not blow the day's total. What can I eat at a chinese restaurant? a Mexican? a steakhouse? a buffet? Italian, anyone?

Once I am armed with this information I ought to be able to have fun with friends without feeling left out or ending up like I did last night ... hungry with almost no room left on my meal plan.

Hey - suddenly this all seems like fun! Like a mystery to solve - like finding a secret key to having fun with food while loosing weight ... with nobody even knowing how I do it! Cool

And my other wonderful discovery? You can dilute thick delicious, rich tasting, 75 calorie a Tbs. blue cheese salad dressing with equal parts water and that same delicious taste will actually spread more completely over your 2 cups of lettuce salad!

So. Though I actually regained the 1.5 lbs I'd lost since October 1 - I am feeling more confident, more sure I will make my goal than before. I'm feeling the power!

Thanks Spark People Meal Plan.


Day 3 - Life interfered

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

emoticon Today I had to be away from my kitchen, my office, and my meal plan. It was restaurant only eating at odd times with Other Issues crowding in from all sides. I was at the hospital all morning with a beloved family member, then at two different nursing homes playing Mary to my sister's Martha by spending quality time with each parent. It was a hard day. And I didn't even come close to the SP meal plan. I dabbled at a 3:30 breakfast with the plan but after that it was a hopeless case.

At least. It felt that way.

I knew this week was going to be like this - but next week it's all Important Meetings for work plus our state convention (all hotels, all restaurants). the following week it will be something else. There is NEVER going to be the perfect stretch of time to settle into a meal plan so I figured I'd best just dive in head first ... or belly flop ... depending on how you look at things. If I have bad days ... and today was one ... I will just have to deal with them.

And it wasn't really a bad day. The parental visits were precious and there will some day be a time when I won't have parents to visit. And the operation was a success. And I will have to get a grip on restaurant meals. They'll also always be a part of my life.

And there were some successes. I got in a mile and a half brisk walk in the early evening sunset. And I tracked what I did eat. I know exactly how bad it was. about 200 calories over the limit.


We just will figure out a way to do better when days like today happen again.

Like tomorrow. Yes. It's back to the hospital, (a 100 mile round trip) and back to the city. But I can get up at a decent hour (not 3:30 a.m.!!!) and I can Pack My Lunch. so you see. There are solutions to the problems. If today wasn't a success, it was at least a learning experience.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INPLAINSIGHT 10/20/2009 7:45PM

  Good for you, you have the right attitude. Making good choices on a consistent basis, no matter the situation, is the foundation for creating a healthy lifestyle. emoticon

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BLAKELOVE 10/20/2009 7:29PM

  When you are in a situation like this, just try to maintain as best you can, and most importantly, don't get discouraged.

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Day 2 - The Adventure Continues

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's a good thing I heeded the advice "do it - and then worry about doing it perfectly later" since perfect didn't happen yesterday. But then, mastery is achieved on the stepping stones of error - as in, say, when you are making white bean chili

and the recipe says 2 cups of white beans

and you mutter in the grocery store "Why do recipes call for cups of beans when everyone knows a can of beans is more than a cup but less than 2 cups"

Um. Bess? Duh???

It's time for you to realize the recipe means 2 cups of dried beans... not canned and if they'd meant canned, they'd have said so...

I had to tweak the recipe since I'd already dumped in the 2 quarts of water - by adding a package or taco seasoning to the pot and turning it into bean soup, but it still ended up delicious - and got the Non-Dieting Husband seal of approval. In fact, since I also forgot to buy cream cheese, I will have to tweak today's menu and I may just substitute yesterday's lunch for today's ... so long as the NDH didn't eat it all up last night. Have to check.

The only other problem I had was not being able to find an "Other " option in the meal plan where I could add something that wasn't already buried somewhere. I wanted to swap out my day's snack for something I'd eaten at a wake - smoked salmon on melba rounds. I found I could swap out one snack for a different already chosen snack but I couldn't find where to add something different. I did a calorie check for the salmon and melba and figured it came close enough to the calorie count planned and so just checked the preselected items anyway.

But these are minor things. The big thing is that I had delicious food all day, felt blissfully satisfied, and ended the day feeling really confident that I can do this. And it will be fun. What more can you ask from a meal plan than to end up feeling confident and happy at the end of day one? Bring on Day 2!! emoticon


Day 1 - Oh the excitement!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It feels like I'm waiting for my blind date. Will I like him? Will he like me? Will I emerge from this day feeling better about myself?

(Do you hear Maria singing "I feel pretty - oh so pretty" in the background?)

Today is day one of the Spark People Meal Plan. I believe I tweaked this day's menu to have a ground turkey burger for dinner instead of the Fava bean recipe. I'm not a big bean fan to begin with and I live in a part of the country where (go ahead and laugh) Fava beans would be considered an exotic - if anybody had ever heard of them to begin with. My grocery store is Wal*Mart. My choices are limited. Turkey sausage only arrived in my town 2 years ago. You could say I am grocery challenged.

Honestly, it was that option to swap out a food item, a meal or an entire day's menu that convinced me to try this. I can ease myself into it - with food that isn't too different from (IF in smaller portions) from what I usually cook. The big - no - the ENORMOUS - challenge for me is planning out meals so far in advance. I have often read that planning a week's meals in advance is a Good Thing - but it has never been a Bess Thing. Bess' (that's me) idea of planning has always been to buy enough food to make X number of meals and let serendipity determine what dinner will be on any given day. And for 20 odd years it worked. But for the past few years that particular method has frayed to the point that 20 extra pounds have made themselves very happy on my body. Not that they have made me happy - they are like most unwelcome guests that I wish were gone. Rather than trying to make an old system work, I've listened to wise emoticon Albert Einstein:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So. Today I try something different. I think I am ready for my date - with a slimmer stronger fitter me. And one day it will be me singing that song from West Side Story.


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