BESSHAILE   52,204
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BESSHAILE's Recent Blog Entries

Back to work - and just in the nick of time too

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The weather and some personal issues kept me home all last week and I'm proud to say that, even with Valentines Day thrown in, I have done remarkably well sticking to my nutritional plan. Doing Yoga every day has been more than a pleasure, it has been an adventure. But long hours indoors so close to the kitchen always holds the potential for overeating and yesterday I found myself succumbing to that.

Today I have hours worth of tests at the hospital, having to do with a health issue that cropped up in January and derailed my exercise plans. When they are finished with me there I will stop by my office and prepare for my return to the working woman's world. It is wonderful that I have a good job that I really enjoy with lots of scope and freedom for self expression. It will make re-entry much easier than if I were going back to some unpleasant place. Still and all - it means I no longer have leisurely mornings to while away here AND get in my morning yoga - and these days Yoga takes pride of place over most other activities. But it also means I shan't be tempted by that refrigerator door and the freshly baked loaves of bread in the bread basket.

I've been anxious about those tests, obviously, because I had bad dreams last night that woke me at 3. I never did go back to sleep so it's good that I don't have to make important decisions today, but I wonder if lack of sleep will effect the results all those medical machines will pull out of me. Eh. so it is. No escaping the inevitable - best just get through it.

I suspect my basic discomfort also helped me eat More Bread when I Wasn't Hungry. I wish I could report that I realized what was happening and stopped myself. Alas. I only realized what was happening and watched. Well there - life will always be throwing me these little curve balls and the best thing I can do is to brush my teeth and start a brand new day.

The good news is ...there is time to get in my morning yoga! I am sure that will make the rest of this day sweeter.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEDDWT 2/16/2010 12:34PM

    The tests will diagnose your physical parameters but you know that your spirit will remain strong no matter what and will overcome. Go get 'em!

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JKTENTATIVE 2/16/2010 11:21AM

    Good luck on your tests. Please let us know how you are doing. As far as the bread goes, put it behind you and drink water, water, and more water today. It will physically and mentally clean you out!

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MOTHERBEAR4 2/16/2010 8:05AM

    Hope everything goes well. Good Luck today! emoticon

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JLITT62 2/16/2010 7:54AM

    Hope the tests go well. We all fall into bread baskets sometimes. Yes, yoga will definitely help you find your back out of that basket!

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BETHDISCOUNT 2/16/2010 7:25AM

    hope all goes well

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SHEILA1505 2/16/2010 7:24AM

Strength and hoping for good test results for you.
Hope you enjoyed the Yoga

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TRACIWRIGHT79 2/16/2010 7:06AM

    I will be thinking about you and your tests today. I hope everything goes well.

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Moving to Stage 3-it's all about being true to that First Self

Monday, February 15, 2010

emoticonAgain, I want to thank all of you who shared my excitement by commenting on yesterday's blog post. I hope your valentines day was sweet and there are no chocolates left to lead you astray.

This week I begin Stage 3 of the Spark Plan Diet. I've been at Stage 2 a long time because I wanted to be sure I was serious about staying with this program all the way through to a new way of living.

I knew I could stick with it all the way to a weight goal. I've done THAT before. But I wasn't yet sure I would stick with this all the way to a new life. I really wasn't sure I wanted to change me or even if I could.

I don't quite like calling this a lifestyle change because that word feels too much like magazine jargon and pop culture language. It's true, I realize. We all do develop different lifestyles and they shift in time from youthful to responsible to whatever.... Believe me. I have changed my lifestyles several times - though, perhaps not as many times as I have changed my weight.

What I wasn't quite positive about was ... could I change Bess in a permanent way so that she would be slim, strong, supple, steady - in short - could I be different from now on?

Whenever I have something daunting to do at work I create an external structure to help me get it done. I have time lines and gant charts and to-do lists. There are all sorts of artifical deadlines I set up so that I can keep moving forward. I do this because I know it's easy for me to procrastinate my life away. Stage 2 of the SP was like my external structures. It's very mechanical with it's nutrition tracker and the calorie counts and the potassium charts. The daily exercise routines are there and if I submit to them I will progress.

But what I am longing for is a Bess who doesn't need all that external structure to live a healthy life. Oh - not that I won't want access to it when my path has bumps or curves that throw me for a loop. I want all these things to be here for me, as tools for when there is a job to be done. But I would like, most of the time, to just BE the sort of person who eats healthy food but only as much as her body needs, and who exercises her body - not because exercising is something she has to tick off a list - but because ... that's just who Bess is! A woman who exercises her body.

Because once, long long ago, when I was about 5 years old, I was that kind of woman. I ate till I was full and ran around all day till I was tired. Ha! Who knew!? I sure didn't, when I started writing this blog. Lordy! If you had asked me I would have told you I have struggled with my weight all my life. But that's not true! There was a time when I always made the right choices for my body. So I want to be 5 years old again. Well. At least I want to approach each day like that 5 year old.

So. So maybe I don't want to change myself at all. Maybe what I want is to be true to that first Bess - that little girl who went all day long doing what was good for her. What a happy thought to take with me into Stage 3.

Hope you find your inner 5-year old today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 2/15/2010 2:29PM

    What a great concept! I wasn't an overweight child. Never skinny, but never overweight, either. Frankly, I'm not sure I can ever quite get back to that child. I actually probably enjoy exercise more now than I do then -- I was always a quiet child, never much in motion, nose always in a book, altho there were some physical things I enjoyed.

The exercise part is no problem for me. Eating is a different story. I'd really, really like to be the sort who is naturally thin and just eats til I'm satisfied -- but I think my sense of satisfaction has just been so skewed that I'll always have to be uber-aware.

Thanks for a thought-provoking blog, as always!

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SHEILA1505 2/15/2010 8:37AM

    I do hope you find your way to being able to play like a kid again - I've done it a few times this year already - playing in the sea with my grandson on his birthday (I even blogged about it) and again with my Energy Buddy's daughter

It's such fun and makes a huge difference to ordinary days - just knowing that we can play and giggle till we ache - and it's not even a case of wanting to get away from our responsibilities. We can handle those too

Well done for changing Stages when you are good and ready for it!

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HARPERLADY 2/15/2010 8:31AM

    emoticon, moving thru

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Bye Bye Belly Flap

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Virgo Horoscope for today says : If all you want, this week, is a situation that looks good to a casual outside observer, you can easily create one. But you've got your heart set on something deeper that. And if you're only willing to let go of the idea of 'superficial success' you can enjoy that more meaningful kind!

I love to check my horoscope each day to see if I like what the stars are offering. If I don't like it I forget whatever they say but if I do I like to pass it on to other folk. I really liked today's horoscope especially because the scale did not budge this morning at weigh-in. I wanted it to and I have been active and careful about what I ate all week long. But the scale just sat there where it was last Sunday even though I got on it several times just in case it changed its mind. It didn't.

And I wish it had because it would have been an added bonus at the end of a wonderful week.

Note that, though. I said ADDED. It wasn't the more important and deeper progress made this week. This week I bid goodbye to my Belly Flap.

If you have, or have had, substantial weight to loose you probably know what I'm talking about. Excess weight will accumulate your belly and after a while it will hang down in a fold. I've gotten into the habit of slipping my fingertips beneath that little fold every morning as a gauge of ... well .. as part of what I really look like. It's a way of knowing. And one morning this week, I noticed it just wasn't there. Oh my belly isn't flat but it doesn't fold over onto itself any more. My belly flap is gone.

At first I didn't believe it I'm still a little awestruck at the thought, because Belly Flap has been with me for a long time. But several appraising looks in the mirror, trying on some tighter clothes and just plain touching has convinced me. I'm flapless.

And somehow that's more valuable to me than a scale victory. This is a victory that reinforces my belief in the program and my confidence in my eventual success.

And for those of you who might wonder how I did yesterday with my Exist in the Moment day well, it was a wonderful day. I had to catch myself now and then, as I started to take another bite before I'd swallowed what was already in my mouth or paw through my stash looking for aNOTHer Different ball of yarn before I'd even finished the project I'm knitting but I flowed gracefully through my entire yoga workout doing each step at a time and also thoroughly enjoyed taking a nice soaky bath after the Saturday housework. I will continue to try to let go of my crazy multi-tasking habits and maybe one day, like I said to my belly flap, I'll say bye bye to trying to live on speed-dial.

Happy and Love Filled Valentines Day to you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/14/2010 4:38PM

    I'll bet it snuck away when you weren't looking! WTG!

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JLITT62 2/14/2010 2:05PM

    Now THAT is an extremely important NSV! Much more important than some number on a scale.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/14/2010 10:52AM

    Right On! Almost felt like I was reading my own thoughts! That's great! I am so proud of you, and your outlook, and your achievements!

I love the peascefulness that flows from your typed words!

Have a wonderful Valentines and week to follow!

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JKTENTATIVE 2/14/2010 10:31AM

    Very inspirational posting for those of us who also did not have a cooperating scale. Thanks for sharing and congratulations to you! {Time for me to go get that tape measure).

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SMILES4383 2/14/2010 10:25AM

    emoticon Your efforts are showing !!!

(I kept getting the wrong emoticon ...... emoticon is PERFECT)

Comment edited on: 2/14/2010 10:26:48 AM

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CHATERJOY 2/14/2010 10:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HARPERLADY 2/14/2010 9:30AM

    way to go!! that is super!! emoticon emoticon when something like that happens it makes it that much easier to stick with it, what wonderful victory

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SHEILA1505 2/14/2010 8:27AM

    I do know what you mean about that belly flap - how I have envied long distance runners their flatness between the hipbones and hollows in various parts of the body.

Congratulations on finding something other than the scale to confirm that you are well on your way!


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SEACHELLEFLY 2/14/2010 8:11AM

    What did you do to loose your flap? I would love to know any tips you I got a flap of my own I would like to send on permenant vacation with yours!

Life on speed dial is fun and a daily adventure....I do stop to smell the roses often.....making it more of life on speed dial with some long conversations interspersed throughout the day. (like today I noticed how much clearer my little one was speaking today...big breath in of beautiful scent!)

Fly high, Fly strong....I will Fly Flapless!

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ANTOINETTA46 2/14/2010 7:50AM

    what a wonderful blog! happy valentine's day to you,too! you have a great attitude! you will succeed and reach your goal weight! have a fantastic day!

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Making time for sleep - because What's Next will be there when I wake up

Saturday, February 13, 2010

One of the things I wanted to concentrate on this year was getting Enough Sleep. SP emphasises sleep in its program as do other good health guides but in this world of instant 24/7 distraction it's easy to think we can fit more in if we just stay up a little later - or, as in my case - since I am a lark - get up a little earlier. So one of my New Year's Resolutions was that I may not get out of bed before 5 a.m.

for you night owls, that may seem preposterous but there you have it - I think staying up later than 9 o'clock is absurd and I quit a promising career in music because it is basically Night Work. I actually look forward to 8:30 when I can start thinking about going to bed. emoticon

But my brain is just as susceptible to the world's demands for speed and quantity as anyone else so I often go to sleep already planning to hop out of bed early the next day. And in my case, I think it has a little to do with not living enough in the present - with running away to the future so I can be prepared - and in the end, loosing touch with the here and now.

I notice this with my yoga practice yesterday - that I wouldn't come back to a resting pose and think about what I had just done - and feel what had changed within my body. Instead, I was reaching for a prop or putting myself into the next pose the moment I reached maximum stretch. I would watch myself do this and think 'You're being absurd, Bess! Stop it!" and I would, but the period of flowing into repose was already gone, brushed aside in my haste to Be Prepared for the Next Move.

Like multi-tasking - another bad habit I've embraced - and mindless eating - I am not actually doing anything in and of itself. It's always got to share space with TheNextThing which will also get smashed into whatever follows that. I tend to never actually BE anywhere or DO anything solely and completely because I'm always preparing for What's Next - which frequently includes borrowing troublesome worries about the many ways What's Next can go wrong.

I've actually realized this about myself for quite some time. Now and then I've even consciously stopped behaving this way. But I believe that, for today, I am going to concentrate on living in the present - finishing everything I pick up, eating all of what's in my mouth, completing every yoga move - for the whole day. It will be fun to see how I feel about things at the end of the day.

Happy Saturday to you

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOUISE1238 2/13/2010 5:10PM

    I suspect the majority of us suffer from this getting-ready-for-the-next-thing syndrome. It's nice when we actually realize it, and, at least for a few moments, come back to the here and now. Happy (almost) Valentine's Day! I love yoga, too, btw. But I am definitely NOT a 5am person.

Comment edited on: 2/13/2010 5:11:35 PM

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SHEILA1505 2/13/2010 11:31AM

    I can relate to this Bess - instead of enjoying the process of creating an attractive corner in the garden, or painting a room, I'll go at it like a bull in a china shop to get it finished a.s.a.p. Yet I do enjoy the process so my only excuse is that I am impatient to see the finished product.

I'm also up with the sparrows and find I'm yawning my head off after dance socials if my friends have persuaded me to go on for coffee afterwards (at 10pm!) No longer the night-owl I used to be - coming home with the milk delivery or the newspapers.

Let us know how you get on with the single tasking - and whether you actually enjoy the adventure!

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JKTENTATIVE 2/13/2010 10:12AM

    What an articulate posting! You know, I have thought about some of this sometimes...about really living in the present, but I have never tried to put it in words. Sounds like you are starting to really get a handle on it all, based on the way you have broken it all down into the key steps. Happy Saturday to you too!

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    Great insight about that Being Ready for The Next Thing syndrome; hope your reflection at the end of the day is fruitful. And may the end of your day coincide with an early bedtime. (Me too -- bliss is bed at 9!)

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JLITT62 2/13/2010 8:40AM

    I've gotten much, much better about not multitasking over the years.

OTOH, I have trouble sleeping past 4:30 am most days (and I don't even have to go to work!). Most of the time I will get up because what's the point in laying in bed when you're not going to sleep? I could be reading blogs, after all.

I keep trying to convince DH that multitasking isn't such a great idea. I've been trying to get him to snuggle with the dogs before coming to bed, so that he doesn't go straight from the computer to bed. Well, I keep suggesting it, anyway. Maybe someday it will stick.

Good luck on being in the now today! I often have to remind myself to concentrate on the task at hand, not the 20 next tasks.

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Hitting the override button on my stomach

Friday, February 12, 2010

so here is my conundrum.

I am working hard to train myself to eat:

Only when I am hungry -
Only what I want -
To Savor what I'm eating -
To Stop when I'm full

I know that if I eat that way I will eventually weigh what I should weigh. Period.

The tools I'm using are:

Nutrition tracker to be sure I'm eating food that nourishes me
S L O W I N G down my eating
Packing my lunch and healthy snacks
Eating food I really really like
and of course Spark People

So. So why is it that when I have done all the above - and it's dinnertime and I've eaten a delicious dinner I cooked myself, of foods that I really like, in portions that exactly satisfy me

and dinner is over

and I know there's a little wiggle room on my nutrition tracker ... a few more calories uneaten


I go out to the kitchen and get a skinny cow ice cream sandwich anyway?

Now - there's nothing wrong with the skinny cow ice cream sandwich. It's tasty, it's got calcium, it won't push me over the calorie limit -


so - why do I violate the first rule of mindful eating?

It's important to remember the part about Not Being Hungry here - because there's absolutely nothing wrong with eating something planned. The question is ... why is it that I don't think I'm done with food if I don't eat something sweet?

Is this something leftover from infancy or childhood? (could be) Is the sweet lust hard wired in human brains? (I suspect so since breast milk is sweet)

I'm glad I planned well enough to fit some sweet ice cream into my daily consumption but I am not glad - I am really dissatisfied with how my brain hit the override button on my stomach.

This is the biggest hurdle I have to leap - switching control from my brain to my stomach. Because all too often I mindlessly choose sweet junk or even sweet not-such-junk to eat for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with hunger. (remember those cheetos?)

I wonder if I had waited just 10 minutes or maybe 15 - would I have gone out to the kitchen and visited Mr.IceCreamBox? Hmmmmm. coming up with a plan here. hmmmm.

Okay -

For the next two weeks there will be No Desert till 15 minutes AFTER dinner. Then - if I can honestly say I am hungry and if I can honestly say there is room in the calorie budget and if I have had a glass of water first - then I can have whatever I'm lusting for.

Let's see if this little exercise will help my brain have a more honest and respectful relationship with my stomach.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/12/2010 5:07PM

    You've got a good plan. Good luck! Have a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend!

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ELLENB10 2/12/2010 5:02PM

    At least you are thinking about this. Drinking the water and waiting is a good idea. I will have to try that, too.

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DMBEECHAM 2/12/2010 2:27PM

    When I do my nutritional tracker, I budget in dessert/glass of wine at the beginning of the day so I know what my remaining ranges are for the rest of the day. I might have a glass of wine per week on average, but I like to have something for dessert. Sometimes it's 1/2 cup ice cream, 1/2 cup rice pudding, apple slices w/ cinnamon sprinkled on, or grapefruit & 1/2 cup cottage cheese. But, in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, I'd rather budget in a dessert than feel like I'm depriving myself. Yesterday, my son decided he wanted to make brownies for everyone to have as dessert. I was able to eat sensibly for my remaining meals and still have a brownie guilt-free. I also usually delay having dessert until 30 min-1 hour after I've finished dinner.

Best wishes with your exercise during the next 2-3 weeks. emoticon

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BESSHAILE 2/12/2010 2:18PM

    Thanks so much friends. I do want you to know that I am all about planning for the treats in life. What I'm working on now, though, is something different - a habit of listening to my body and responding with the appropriate behavior. I've spent a lifetime of listening to my heart, listening to my mind, listening to my parents, teachers, and others. Everybody including my psyche has been allowed to take first place in line.

What i want to work no right now is letting my body tell me what it wants. 102633 - your suggestion of giving this 3 weeks is great! I'm going to add another week to this process. Don't think I won't have a treat in these three weeks. I just won't have one if I am NOT hungry. I'll drink the water, wait the 15 minutes and then have the treat.

again -you guys are all the absolute best!

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JKTENTATIVE 2/12/2010 11:50AM

    I don't try to fight it. I plan to have a WW chocolate fudge bar some time after dinner...usually when I am watching TV. My goal is to only have 1 (or 2 if I need the addl calories to hit my target). This is an enormous accomplishment for me, because before it was 1 or 2 whole boxes!! I think it is okay to have that sweet after dinner, though I never have it immediately afterwards. You can't put yourself in an eating straight-jacket...that is not sustainable. I think you should allow for and plan a sweet treat each evening, enjoy it, and while you are eating your meal, know that that will be consumed later in the evening. That might be a more sustainable compromise with yourself...and will also allow you to achieve complete control.

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SHEILA1505 2/12/2010 8:00AM

    My sympathies!
I don't know if it works out any less in calories - but if the delay and the water story don't make any difference, have you tried eating an apple or a peach and then cleaning your teeth?
Usually once I have done both of these, then eating is over for the night.

Good luck

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JLITT62 2/12/2010 7:48AM

    I have the same problem. So I usually plan out my sweets, too. Because if I feel deprived of my sweets, I'll eat around it -- usually eating more than I would have if I'd just eaten the darn thing.

If I'm craving something sweet that isn't planned -- then I invoked the water & the 20 minute rule. Most of the time I find the craving has past, but sometimes it's still there.

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102633 2/12/2010 7:27AM

    Many of us have your same problem. We have been raised in this culture that says, "the meal is not over until you have that piece of dessert".

It sounds like you have a handle on what you need to do. Your "re-programing" exercise should work. Just remember it takes 21 days for an action to become a habit. Perhaps a three week change will bring you closer to making the positive change you want to see.

Good luck and healthy living to you. Let us know how things turn out with your new motivation.

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