BESSHAILE   40,513
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Why do I think there'll never be any more food?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Or perhaps I should say

"Why do I FEEL there'll never be any more food?"

I KNOW there will be so Thinking there won't isn't possible. That urge to clean my plate is lizard brain stuff - Custard, shrieking to me "Fill Up or you'll be hungry by 10 o'clock".

Well. So What? It's not as if I'm working on the floor of a store or factory and don't get a break till noon. It's not as if I'm still in school and we all know there's no snacking in school. It's not as if I'm going into combat and don't know when I'll see a meal again.

Heck. I work in an office with a lunch room and a fridge and besides ... I'm the boss! If I am full after eating half my breakfast I can stop eating in the sure knowledge that I can walk into the lunch room at 10 o'clock and get something to eat.

So yesterday, when I'd eaten half my breakfast and was comfortably full - and even though I could have eaten all my breakfast and not been miserably full - when Custard began to shriek "DONT STOP NOW! YOU'LL BE HUNGRY BY 10 O'CLOCK" ... because he always talks in all caps ... I just stroked his back and said "That's okay honey. If I am, I'll go eat something."

Felt pretty triumphant all day too.

Oops. Almost 8. More on this another time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXBALLARD 3/31/2010 6:48AM

    Love the concept. Now if I can get my lizard brain to remember it more than just once....LOL

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/30/2010 12:07PM

    What wonderful insights. I find myself reacting like that. A good example is, I'll be eating very well, everything under control, right amounts, right balance etc. Then, I stroll into the break room to get some water and someone has set a cake (or pizza, or whatever) out to share with whoever wants it.

My brain kicks into high gear.
"Oh, get some of that, it's ok, it's free!"
Not to brag, but I bring home a comfortable salary, and acquiring food has NEVER been a problem - EVER. So where does this grab-it-it's-free mentality come from?!?!

Glad to know I'm not alone.

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JLITT62 3/30/2010 11:28AM

    Lately my lizard brain has been winning more often than not . . . good for you for taming yours!

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NANCYANDRA 3/30/2010 8:04AM

    Ahhhh that's a great feeling to be satiated after only half your plate - I love it - that and the extra energy we have with less food to digest - of course I'm talking NOT overeating - Good Job!!!

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HARPERLADY 3/30/2010 8:01AM

    clean plate, oh yeah has been a problem but little by little we learn to overcome it, I try to make a small plate so if I do clean no biggie still in control emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/30/2010 7:58AM

    Excellent control there! Tell Custard to take a nap!

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STEPHASANA 3/30/2010 7:55AM

    I like this! I'm the same way. I just need to learn when to stop, and that it's ok. Thanks.

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Make it work

Monday, March 29, 2010

Among the pleasures of reading are all the surprise discoveries you make that cross over from one area of your life to another. I have been reading Tim Gunn's book "A Guide to Quality, Taste, & Style"

Early on ... page 16, to be exact, he throws out the command "Make it work" and goes on to say that often when students struggle with a project they will toss it out and start again. he says "This practice unnerves me because it's like playing roulette with one's work. ... Important learning occurs when a struggle is examined and analyzed, diagnosed and a prescription offered."

Wow. did that ever hit home, stumbling upon that shortly after posting yesterday's blog.

Because I know I have lots of tricks and knowledge to achieve my weight loss goals, but that doesn't mean I know it all or that even knowing it all would guarantee I'd reach my goals. Yesterday I had to examine, analyze, diagnose and prescribe .... and there's still no guarantee that I'll reach my goal, though I know that the chance of failure or delay would have been much greater had I failed to do all that work.

It was good to be reminded that everything deserves at least enough attention to "make it work". Where one goes from there is a different matter. I plan to go shopping for new clothes. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/29/2010 2:34PM

    Excellent thoughts! Hope your shopping trip was a success!

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/29/2010 12:22PM


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SHEILA1505 3/29/2010 10:19AM

    Phew - that's OK then

Cos - don't you sometimes also get in a pickle like me with - keep on keeping on, but then again if we keep doing the same things and expect different results isn't this a "little touch of madness"?

Glad that you are going into the next month of distractions and temptations with strength and renewed commitment

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BESSHAILE 3/29/2010 9:39AM

    No no don't be sorry. I completely agree about not flogging a dead horse. But I needed to see that problems deserve attention and I think reading it only a few hours after I'd faced my own issues I read his thoughts on not quitting.

It's sort of like rain - it's really good when there is a drought and it's not so great when there's a flood. I was just dry. emoticon

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SHEILA1505 3/29/2010 9:23AM

    Interesting indeed - does he give any info on knowing when we are flogging a dead horse, though - because continuing with something when it is downright wrong is futile. I appreciate the thought that we could be giving up when the solution is just around the next bend, but what if we are on the wrong road entirely?


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JLITT62 3/29/2010 8:12AM

    Hmm. Very interesting perspective. A lot of food for thought there.

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MRE1956 3/29/2010 7:56AM

    While I despise the fashion industry for more reasons than I care to think, oddly enough I enjoy Project Runway and quite admire Tim Gunn. He comes across as a very sincere, warm and engaging person who passionately believes in what he does....would that more people, regardless of their chosen field, feel and act the same.....

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50 ways to loose your groove

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The weigh-in was not so hot today. I didn't exactly expect it to be good, but I had hoped it would hold steady. Alas. there was a small gain. It looks like I'm still playing around with that same 5 pounds that have dogged me for the past couple of years.

Sometimes I feel like they are this swinging gate that resists me going through and when I finally do, it smacks me on the back swing and shoves me inside again.

But that's only when I am feeling sorry for myself - which isn't all that often.

Other times it's as if I figure out how to deal with one situation only to see that two more have popped up ... There must be 50 ways to loose your .... groove. (Can't you just hear Paul Simon singing "50 Ways to Lose Your Lover"?)

Here's a sample of the next few weeks of my life:

3/31. Someone's (who wants to eat out) Birthday
4/4 Easter brunch with parents in high carb heaven nursing home dining hall
4/9 Work Function with guest and meal
4/17 36th wedding anniversary -sorry - I don't cook on my anniversary
4/22&23 Work retreat at another high carb heaven ... meals pre-selected for maximum tryptophan ... after all, it's held at a resort where you are supposed to relax. Just because we'll be working all day doesn't mean we won't also be SITTING all day Ugh!

Lordy! An opportunity to fail every week! And this isn't counting all the times when I am tired and feeling like cary-out - or celebrating a friend's triumph or patting her back in a food laden situation.

I know that we are supposed to find Other Ways to celebrate our friends and loved ones, but I do not always have the say in selecting these ways. And in fact, during most of the week lunch time is the only time I have to play with buddies. Some of my buds are happy to brown bag it with me but a goodly number of them either can't or won't.

No doubt about it. If there are 50 or even 100 opportunities to loose my diet mojo I have to find a way to cary it with me all the time. That's why one of my goals is to be calm around food - because I'm going to be around it all the time. It's the world I live in - an agricultural rural community of beloved friends and family that doesn't necessarily think thin is beautiful. I am actually on the skinny side of the fulcrum so there is no societal pressure on me to be fitter and trimer. It all has to come from me.

So. What's a girl gonna do? Especially faced with a couple of weeks like the ones I've got comming towards me!

Okay - let's see - 3/31 ... Someone wants very much to go to the Churrascaria ... the Brazillian restaurant where they bring you all sorts of grilled meats on skewers. Okay I can do this. I just have to remember what a portion looks like. My favorite meat there is the tenderloin so I need only eat a portion sized amount of that and let Someone do the festive eating. I can still have fun even if I don't eat all night long.

Easter Sunday brunch at the nursing home? Well. I know there will be fresh fruit and I know there'll be other healthy choices. Nobody will pry my mouth open and shove a Danish or a muffin down my throat.

The library function on April 9? Easy - just eat only half a portion (it'll be lasagna) and NO bread. Just decide this, bess. And half the desert since I know it will be special.

The anniversary? well. There I will have some control over where we go and if the weather is nice Someone will be happy enough with a picnic ... which (laugh at me) isn't cooking! Or rather, that sort of cooking is done before the event so it doesn't count.

The library retreat? ouch. That is going to be tough. It's always at the same place and it's always this same heavy food, of the sort and quantity needed to fuel 19th century coal miners or perhaps men going into combat. And it's all good too. I'm going to have to really decide ahead of time what and how much so that when the 5th platter of vegetables laced with butter is passed beneath my nose I can be calm and pass it on to someone else.

Well. Dear me. Obviously what is needed are plans (maybe written down?), a goal to keep in mind, and .. not exactly willpower, but decision. Calm decision. Because .... this is only April. There are 12 more months and 50 more ways to loose my groove. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXBALLARD 3/29/2010 7:22AM

    Good luck! I like what you said about staying calm around food.

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VLVTGRRL 3/28/2010 3:04PM

    With so many of us wishing for healthier choices out in the world of restaurants, we should start our own SparkRestaurant chain! LOL! All meals/entrees will be 300 calories or less!!

And a full menu of 100 calorie desserts. :-D

Ok, I'm back from dreamland now. Great planning-ahead! Take some 'stick-with-it' with you when you attend these functions. Good luck!

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OPAL50 3/28/2010 1:52PM

    Good luck with your game plan. The food choices in life never end. emoticon

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JLITT62 3/28/2010 1:48PM

    You know what to do -- it's obvious from your blog post that you know what to do. I think the key might be deciding WHY you want to do it. Keep that first & foremost in your mind.

Oh, and the borders coupon? Luckily only good in the store. Have no desire to drive back out today, so I'm good. This time. NOT that I didn't find things I want -- I can always find more than enough at a bookstore -- just that I decided I didn't need anything right now.

Now, if I could just bring that philosophy over into my eating . . .

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WEDDWT 3/28/2010 12:37PM

    I like your breakdown of the next several weeks, you know where the hurdles are and you can plan for them. Your list stopped at the end of April; had you gone on to do May, June and July, there are probably just as many hoops to jump through. Our lives are FULL of temptations and choices. I think that's the advantage of looking at the big picture and seeing the potential for failure alongside the potential for success. It never stops. It doesn't help me to think "oh, if I can just make it thru..(fill in event).."
It helps me to think "what can I do to support myself today"? All those days strung together make weeks and months of choosing what's best. It's work, tho, no doubt about it. Don't lose your groove!
Happy Easter, Bess.

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JCDROLSHAGEN 3/28/2010 10:32AM

    Think you have a plan! Stick with it! emoticon

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JKTENTATIVE 3/28/2010 10:27AM

    You know, it is all these celebrations and events that strung together comprise a life. I think you have the right approach - yes you should go and celebrate the people and the event, but also take steps to help yourself remember that the food is secondary (at best). Creating a plan and bringing tools will be helpful in managing the food. Another suggestion - focus on chewing each mouthful 20 times before you swallow; and chew mint gum whenever possible. You can do it!

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SANDRAFIVE 3/28/2010 9:53AM

    When I started reading this blog I thought "she is having a pitty party" but then as I read more you sound like you have things under control. You have a plan and I know that you will follow through with that plan. The little walks sound like a good idea. Good luck with the month of April and all the rest of the months. emoticon

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DAYHIKER 3/28/2010 9:27AM

    It is like we live in a sea of food and special (food) events! Even church is fraught with dangerous things like fellowships and "pie and praise." (sigh) Wishing you the best, Bess!! You have a well thought out plan of attack!


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FURBALLDTH 3/28/2010 8:59AM

    sounds like you have made a wise choice for every upcoming function. Think of how thrilled you will be if you follow thru on your game plan! Remember the functions you are attending are for the people connection they bring not the food. emoticon emoticon

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SHEILA1505 3/28/2010 8:52AM

    Your plan and decisions will save the day - remember how I set myself up before the wedding High Tea? AND I managed to fit in some of the glasses of bubbly.
This weekend is DGD's sweet 16th BBQ - family of Butchers :)) and then Energy Buddy will arrive on Easter Sunday with the Chocolate despite knowing how I feel about it! Hoping to spend some time with a SparkFriend after she finishes the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon -

so.... plan, plan and set yourself up for triumph!


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SHEALUNA 3/28/2010 8:43AM

    Good for you on your game plan! I think when you go in knowing what to expect and having a plan of action, you are much more likely to succeed! During the tryptophan induced coma, I mean library retreat, you could always slip out during breaks or in the evening and take some walks. Even a little short walk will burn a few calories, plus have the added bonus of reviving you with some fresh(ish) air!

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I knew that ... just forgot to do it

Friday, March 26, 2010


Oh. Don't eat dinner while watching television, of course.

I've been absolutely enjoying eating mindfully - Only when I'm hungry, Only what I want, Savoring every bite and Stopping when I'm full - these past two days. And I can feel the difference and I can see the difference on the nutrition chart - except - last night I sat watching television as I dined with Himself - we actually watch old tv dvd's and stop them to discuss plot flaws and guess the end of the mystery - and I never even realized when I got full. I ended up full - even a little too full though, not bloated or anything - but the whole experience of eating was lost in the tv story unfolding before me.

I am sure it was a good dinner. but I never savored anything past that first bite. (baked salmon - yum) Basically I threw away the pleasure of food for a television show I could have watched later! You'd think I didn't even LIKE food!

So. New rule in the Haile family.

Dinner is eaten in the dining room, not the den. Period. emoticon

Happily, I know Someone will go along with this. He's fun that way and always likes the opportunity to talk.

Of course. I knew this. I just didn't do it. I won't make that mistake again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 3/26/2010 8:58AM

    This is an excellent reminder of what I should be doing. Thanks for the nudge in the right direction.

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JLITT62 3/26/2010 8:35AM

    It drives my DH nuts that I won't let him watch tv while I'm eating (we often eat lunch at different times, for instance, or I might be having some dessert when he's finished).

Which is pretty funny, considering as kids we begged our Mom to watch TV while eating dinner . . . and yes, she usually caved. I guess I'm stricter.


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PLAYBLUES22 3/26/2010 8:13AM

    Nice job I' just learning the same thing and believe me it does make a difference emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/26/2010 8:01AM

    I'll take my cue from you! Eat at the table and focus on what I am eating, tasting and savoriing each bite. You are so smart and I'm glad you get good support on this. I prefer not to talk with my mouth full LOL! Have a great Friday! emoticon

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A good day - with progress towards a goal

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One of my goals is to feel more confident around food - to feel calm and at ease in all food situations. I hate the sensation that IF a box of cookies is in the house I WILL eat it. Of course, I don't keep them around often, though during Girl Scout season I am likely to have several or many boxes of them at least pass through my hands. Most have been immediately donated to armed service folk overseas and a goodly number of them have been handed off to the 20 something young man who is on my staff - but a few boxes have made it home.

Anyway I am digressing ... Just know that I seldom have sweets in the house but I sometimes do.

The point is - I would like to be confident around food so that if there are boxes of cookies, or huge platters of macaroni and cheese (far more likely to tempt me) or pizza or any of the other juicy gooey things that can show up on a dinner plate, I can either take a healthy sized portion or pass - depending on how hungry I am - not on how irresistable the food is.

I want me to be the boss, not food. I am working hard to develop the ability to stand back and asses my physical needs - the ones my sweet little body will tell me any time I ask it how it is. I haven't been doing that very well the past month and my weight reflectes this. So yesterday I decided that for the next 4 days I intend to devote myself completely to asking first and then eating.

The idea is that I can do anything for 4 days. On Sunday I may commit to another 4 days or I may take a day off. Well. I suspect I shan't take the day off because I feel so good when I eat Only when I am hungry, Only want I want, Savor each bite and Stop when I am full. But I will still DECIDE about a second 4 day stint, I won't go onto autopilot just yet. The goal is to string enough 4 days together to make eating this way the norm but I am not there yet.

Best of all, eating this way will lead to the big goal of being confident about food - so I won't end up like this:

(That is a sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mints, promising to still respect me after I wake up from eating his box mate)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDYJAS 3/25/2010 11:26AM

    LOL! I love the sleeve man.

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SHEALUNA 3/25/2010 9:53AM

Love the cartoon! That's fantastic!

I feel the same way. I'm really learning to ask my body about and then LISTEN to what it has to say. Do I want this because I'm hungry or because I'm bored/emotional/etc.? One day we will do this naturally, but until then it is a constant, conscious decision.

Go us!

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JKTENTATIVE 3/25/2010 9:11AM

    You know the old saying about potato chips, "you can't eat just one." I have totally bought into it - in that I find it is so much easier not to eat anything on the "no-no" list, than it is to eat it in moderation. Your goal is actually much more advanced that this approach and I applaud you for it and wish you great success. Perhaps at some point I also will be able to find it inside myself to have a handful of pretzels without finishing the entire bag, regardless of my hunger level. For now, they are not permitted in my home. Yes - the self-scan you are employing is a tangible, achievable goal

Comment edited on: 3/25/2010 9:13:20 AM

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HARPERLADY 3/25/2010 8:49AM

    I hope your a success with asking and maintaining 4 days, I notice the more I eat healthy the less I am hungry during the day so I guess healthy foods really are more filling but when I get around pizza watch out so I try never to take a bite cause I know it will be a down fall or I have a salad on side with it to help fill me, best of luck to you

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JLITT62 3/25/2010 8:16AM

    Heck, sometimes just one meal at a time is an accomplishment!

It's hard to trust our bodies. They may know what's truly best for us, but our mind gets all tangled up in things. Here's to a great 4 days!

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/25/2010 7:46AM

    Sometimes it even helps to break it down to 1 day instead of 4 - or even 1 hour.

I'm betting on you.

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