BESSHAILE   47,390
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Made a deal with myself and won

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I didn't pack my lunch yesterday so I had to eat out. I was pretty hungry but I also had to do some other shopping so I stopped at a fast food place and ordered something I didn't know but that looked tasty and possibly not too high in calories. It was a Taco Bell Salsa roja Tortada - a flour tortilla with grilled chicken and some sort of tomato based sauce and a little cheese.

It was also enormous. So I went to that quiet place inside me and breathed a little and got calm. And then I pretended I was actually talking to a miniature Wild Bess in skins and bark with a gleaming hungry look in her eye and I said. "how about this. You eat half. Enjoy it. Taste every bite. Then we'll go do that other shopping we have to do and when we come back to the car, if you want to eat the rest you can. Or you can put it in the refrigerator and have it as a snack later in the afternoon. I'll look up the nutrition facts when I get back to work, just so we'll know, but no matter what they are, if we want to eat it we will. Promise."

And since I was being so calm and gentle, the Wild Child agreed. Needless to say she wasn't in the mood for the second half the rest of the day. It's still in the refrigerator at work and I'll probably eat it today since I have a meeting during lunch.

Score ONE for the watcher me - watching out for the whole self.

BTW - calories are 480, which is high but acceptable, but whooee - sodium through the roof. Not a choice I'll make too often.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 4/13/2010 3:02PM

    Good job!

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HAWKEYERANT 4/13/2010 12:29PM

    That is amazing! You rock! I like how you had to talk yourself down to the half... I do that often. I go, do you really need to add X amount of calories to your nutrition today? And then I sit and think about how much I've consumed and if it's an okay choice for me or not. Good job!

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SHEILA1505 4/13/2010 10:25AM

    Good girl - was that 480 per half??? Or total?
Just wondering - I only asked ....

Last night when I took the students to the steakhouse to thank for letting me go away shortly, I had calculated my 200g steak and 1.5 cups of salad, plus a glass of red wine - OK didn't expect to eat some deep fried onion rings but I was still in my range! Woohoo - you have PTP and Custard - I need to name mine. Perhaps I'll think of something appropriate in Paris :)

Keep well and keep winning

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HARPERLADY 4/13/2010 9:42AM

    emoticon emoticon glad to hear you are still in control, you are going a great job!!!

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JKTENTATIVE 4/13/2010 8:34AM

Sounds like you really are getting this whole thing under control.

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PLAYBLUES22 4/13/2010 8:10AM

    Nice job and such will power

U GO GIRL !!! emoticon

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JLITT62 4/13/2010 7:52AM

    Really makes you wonder just what the heck they're putting in there.

480 isn't bad at all. Sounds pretty healthy.

Congrats on a job well done!

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MSLZZY 4/13/2010 7:16AM

    Now you know. It sounds good but probably not something I'd want if it is high in sodium.
Thanks for sharing the nutritional facts. Probably a good thing that Taco Bell is 60 miles from home LOL!

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I'm in my Mr. Darcy mode....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Unwilling to speak at all unless I'm prepared to amaze everyone"

Now, can't you just hear Colin Firth say "You know that isn't true..."

And it isn't, but I do seem to be unable to find a good opening line for my blog post or even to pull all my thoughts together to make at least some sort of point. I'm floating still in that mellow state of afterglow from a weekend with friends, family, party dinners three nights in a row and a long slow Sunday afternoon out on TheRivah.

Yes. That's how everyone in Virginia pronounces it. TheRivah refers to any one of those wide tidal vacation spots that probe deep into the state from the salty Chesapeake Bay. If you live in the Richmond area TheRivah is more likely to be the Rappahannock River than the James, though that's the river which flows through the capital. I never could figure that one out unless it's because all of the land along the James was scooped up by plume-hatted younger sons of British lords some 400 years ago, while the Rappahannock, that wild western frontier full of danger and far from civilization (the picketed triangle fort of Jamestown) was where the hoi polloi got their small holdings. Their descendants are the ones who built the little cottages to rent out to summer visitors. The James River plantations will let you pay to tour their ancient grandeur, but you can't spend the night. Again - think Pemberly vs Longbourn.

Okay - sorry for the literature, history and geography allusions- especially when I want to say that I AM pleased with how the weekend went Spark-wise. I had ample and frequent opportunities to mindlessly munch my way through food and I never did. And I'll admit - I didn't even deliberately step into my Place of Thinner Peace except perhaps yesterday, late in the day, after everyone was gone and quiet returned to the house - along with a justifiable tiredness. Evidently all the practice I put in last week, deliberately asking myself how I felt - first physically, then emotionally - really paid off. I can't say I feel total and complete confidence in my ability to always act (and eat) in concert with my true feelings but I do see that I can coast along for a day or two without deliberately checking in.

And so I begin a new week with a little more confidence than I had at the end of March. Won't it be fun to see where I am next week?

And just for fun - here is what we were doing on Saturday night down here on the farm
Burning off the last of winter in a huge bonfire - hot dogs, s'mores, and children playing tag in the dark. Does it get any better than that?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 4/12/2010 11:02PM

    emoticon Sounds like you had a wonderful time and made good choices to boot! WTG!

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AEBROWNSON 4/12/2010 10:31AM

I was looking for the Four Day win to put on my kindle and it's not available! Have you read the Joy diet and if so, is it worthwhile to buy?

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SANDYJAS 4/12/2010 8:41AM

    Loved the Virgina lesson :)

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MOOOOW 4/12/2010 8:23AM

    This time of year is great for almost everyone, even we in Texas are having spring. I hope ours last for at least a couple of more weeks before the heat settles in. Activity of any kind helps me stay focused on what I need to do. Boredom is the culprit. emoticon

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JLITT62 4/12/2010 8:21AM

    Oh, the bonfire looks divine. S'mores. Yum. Haven't had the real thing in a long, long time. And after living in TX for so long -- well, it's way too dry for bonfires. Almost always a risk of wildfires there.

3 cheers for a job well done!

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SHEILA1505 4/12/2010 8:04AM

    What a lovely weekend - and the Welsh and many others do exactly the same about going up to London whether it's uphill or not etc.

Your work with PTP and Custard really seems to be paying off at the moment - long may it last

with love

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LMSTRAW 4/12/2010 7:29AM

    WE Virginians say a lot of things funny. Here in Danville we talk about going up to Greensboro, which is definately south of us, down to richmond, which is to the east, you just have to know what we mean! Sounds like you had a great week-end and handled it so well! Good for you!
Take care,

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VENISEW1 4/12/2010 7:21AM

    emoticonRivah sounds like someone from here in MA where they don't pronounce their r's, lol Glad to hear you're doing well my emoticon

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Eating from my place of quiet watching

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I figured April was going to be a high energy, high stress, foodie month and I was dead on the money. It has cranked itself up as tight as a drum. We didn't JUST have a library author dinner last night - we had a week of crisis management leading up to it - with a sudden cancellation and a scramble to find a new author and long anxious discussions about how - and how much - to publicize the change and do we give the money back and how to do that - and to be handled in 3.5 days! And it all went off splendidly.

Thank goodness I have been practicing going to my place of quiet watching. I'm using Martha Beck's terms - because I've been listening to her diet advice book The Four-Day Win. It's a wonderful supplement to everything else I'm doing here on Spark People. And of all the suggestions she's made, finding what she calls Place of Thinner Peace, has turned out to be my favorite. When things start swirling around me - or grind to a sudden halt - the way it happens during high stress periods - I like to pull a kind of mental cloak around me and go inside myself. To me it feels like a place just inside my ribcage - well above my stomach but below my throat. As if there were a body inside the body that was really operating things. (remember the Arquillian jeweler in Men In Black? press the button and the head opens up to show the little guy inside running things. )

Well, perhaps I'm just being fanciful, but I have been practicing a sort of emotional withdrawal in order to to check in with myself, assess my stress level, my hunger level, my happiness level. I ask if this emotional issue before me is really as bad as it looks - is the result of an error on my part or just the whims of fate. If it's just whimsical fate I really can't get all twisted emotionally about it because hey .... what could I have done to prevent it? Nothing. So no point in absorbing pain or punishment via the oreo cookie bag. Just let it flow away.

I ask myself "how do you feel right now? How do your legs feel? what about your shoulders? Any aches or pains anyplace? Any hunger? Nope? Great."

I don't just do this in an emergency. I'm trying to do this throughout the day. I do it in the car when I'm on my way to work. I do it after I've had lunch. I do it any time I remember to and the more I go to that quiet place the easier it is to go there. And from that quiet place I can make some pretty good choices. Not just good food choices either.

I have a beloved cousin who is in a pickle and she's a high energy type so when she starts to get sucked down the drain, she can pull me in after her. I know she's in a bad place and I know that she is the only person who can get herself out of it. So my getting sucked down with her will only make me sad, sucked, drained. From my quiet place I can tell her I love her and tell her I wish her good things but I also know that I can't fix her situation so it's not my role to feel her emotions or share her reactions (or choices).

The happy result is that I breezed through the fancy rich dinner last night with exactly the emotional and behavioral responses I was hoping for. I could taste the cheese and be satisfied. I could have a serving of lasagna and be satisfied. I didn't need the bread and butter. I thoroughly enjoyed the small dainty desert. I stayed well within the calorie range on the nutrition tracker.

but best of all - I was calm around the food. The goal I'm striving for - to be calm around food situations - is within my hand. If I continue as I have begun, I believe one day it won't be a goal any more. It will be a part of who I am. And I can't think of anything I'd like better for myself.

May your goals become your self and may you always feel calm around food.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOOOOW 4/10/2010 12:18PM

    Another great journey with you and your inner peace. Thanks so much.

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SHEILA1505 4/10/2010 11:37AM

    That's one big one crossed off your list - well handled! I like the way you are coping thru your PTP, too.


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JKTENTATIVE 4/10/2010 9:55AM

    Wow - you are so articulate on this "touchy-feely" stuff that just swirls around in my head. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like I need to get that book.

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JLITT62 4/10/2010 8:07AM

    Wonderful blog! You are inspiring people, you know.

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/10/2010 8:01AM

    Yesterday, I purchased Beck's Finding Your North Star. I've just begun it, but it seems promising.

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PUDLECRAZY 4/10/2010 8:00AM

    Great plan. Quiet reflection can be very powerful.

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MSLZZY 4/10/2010 7:53AM

    The Place of Thinner Peace sounds so awesome! Glad you found it and thanks for sharing! emoticon

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2 steps forward, 1 step back is still progress

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I was so proud of myself for using calm kindness to choose to eat a little piece of cake on Sunday, which was a stressful day if ever there could be one one. Funny - when I ate a non-nutritious food with calm permission and loving kindness to myself, I only needed a little, had no trouble stopping when I no longer wanted any and it didn't leave me feeling stuffed, frustrated, down or any other of those baddie feelings.

But yesterday, when I was shopping and knew we were having company, and a party with kids this weekend, I purchased deserts and chips and such - Well. Harrumph. Lust was triggered - food lust - in my heart and I didn't resist it. I watched as I yielded to temptation, rapidly calculating in my brain just how far I was going to go over my calorie limit with another skinny cow frozen ice cream bar. Yes. I said another. This was true emotional eating.

I was lured by the images on the box. I was drawn by the promise of cold chocolaty goodness. I once again procrastinated my commitment to losing weight till ... tomorrow. At Tara.

The weird part of this was that I really was watching myself be a brat - insisting upon having my own way. My inner dictator is such a wuss. Unlike the martinets in the Marta Beck books, mine is more of a lazy overindulgent parent, giving in to the brat because it's easier than standing my ground. I think even my inner dictator must be fat!

Well, realization of making an error is a lot closer to change than mindless eating. Believe me - I was NOT mindless. If I hadn't had the stirrings of guilt hatching inside my conscience, those three ice cream bars would have tasted PERFECTLY delicious! Instead they were only good and I ate them too fast to really savor and enjoy them. There's always a price to pay when you violate your true north star path.

So. I count this whole experience as just a single step backwards .... which in my book, is still progress. And if it's not ... well ... I've got to get this house ready for company so I'll just have to think about it all tomorrow - at Tara.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 4/9/2010 8:02AM

    Awareness is definitely the first step. And we've all been there, or we wouldn't be here!

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U2ROXMYSOX 4/8/2010 10:29PM

    I can really relate to can be so frustrating, but at least, like you said, acknowledging it is a big step, it's making progress. Any maybe next time, you and I both can remember that feeling of guilt and control ourselves! And then it'll be like taking two steps forward and NO steps back! emoticon

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MSLZZY 4/8/2010 4:27PM

    Quite an interesting way to look at things, and with a sense of humor! I won't be visiting you-at Tara!

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MOOOOW 4/8/2010 11:19AM

    Been there done that. With what you wanted chips, etc. you may have had a sodium need. I rarely crave sweets and carbs but it is almost as if at times my body feels deprived of salt.
Pris emoticon

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SHEILA1505 4/8/2010 10:16AM

    Itty bitty baby steps - so long as they go in the direction you want them to go, not the other way, then it is progress even if it is not as much progress as you would like it to be.

Be good to yourself

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JKTENTATIVE 4/8/2010 9:11AM

    So, here are two questions: 1) Did you enjoy the food you ate? 2) Are you back on your healthy eating track?
The answer to the first question should be yes. It is perfectly fine to eat some goodies once in a while. Thin people do it all the time. The difference is that they don't keep eating. Nor do they beat themselves up about it. Sounds like you are heading in the right direction here - in that you knew what you were doing, gave yourself permission to do it, but I am not sure that you enjoyed it without guilt. The second question is directly related to the first in that it is much easier to get yourself back on track if you aren't beating yourself up. You sound like you are somewhere in the middle here. What is crucial is that you put it behind you, get right back on track and drink lots and lots of water today. It is also important that you be honest with yourself. Was this a controlled goodie for you or a near-out-of-control binge? A controlled goodie is in fact a victory. A near out of control binge is better than a completely out-of-control binge, but you should evaluate this and see what you can learn to help yourself stay more in control for next time. And, the only thing we can all be sure about - is that there will be a next time. So, since you are in this for the long haul, be sure to make this a learning experience and a step in the direction of a healthier you!

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/8/2010 9:01AM


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CRAVE_FREE 4/8/2010 8:39AM

    Love the Gone with the Wind reference. And it is progress. Take progress anyway you can get it!

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Sweet Virginia Breeze

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I admit it. I am wildly partisan about my home state. I love our history. I love our geography. The music of the old tidewater accent, which still lingers in the conversation of the 50+ folk around here, lilts into my ears and makes me sigh and relax and start looking around for a gin and tonic. I have an inordinate pride at having been born here, delight in being able to survive our hostile summers, enjoy the infrequent snowy winters we get, and absolutely relish our glorious springs and autumns which are warm enough to go barefoot and leave doors and windows open, crisp enough to wear sweaters and mittens.

Each spring there will be 8 to 10 weeks when I can leave my front door open in the morning while I putter about the house and goof off here on the computer. I must explain that there are no screens on the front door. It's a wide double door made from a set of interior parlor dividers we picked up at a salvage yard, lo, those decades ago when Himself built the house.
I say built with no reservations. Every evening for three years he came home from work and sawed, hammered, nailed, plumbed, screwed, wired, and everything else one has to do to build a house. Now and then he had friends with him who helped - there was a time when Ed, Ned, Ted and Fred were working on this house. I swear it. Not a joke. But the bulk of it he did all by his lonesome. (there is a back story about why I did NOT help but that is for another time) I have never known anyone with such an ability to finish a project as he has and I admire it with all the fervor of an ENFP who, in fact, grieves, when she comes to completion and can take no pride in her accomplishments till long after they have faded into history.

Now in our comfortable middle age we have gotten a little too lazy to push for a front screen door. Since there are enormous windows with screens in them, it's not too important anyway, but the delight of coming down in the morning, sometimes while stars still flicker between the thin leafy lace of the April trees, and just leaving the door open so that the sweetness of freshly turned earth from the farm fields and the wake-me-up songs of birds vieing for territory can drift over the threshold is a sweetness beyond description. A shivery tingly giddy sweetness I wish I could box up and send to all my loved ones.

And so. today there is nothing here about diet or weight or nutrition or exercise. Today it's all about how blissful it is when April comes and I can leave the front door open. Wont you step inside?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LMSTRAW 4/12/2010 7:34AM

    I love your home, how grand you DH could do it! I love VA and feel the same as you, except about the occasional bad winter, I could do without them! I love to take people around Danville and show them the cobblestone streets of yesteryear, point out the changes since my childhood, tell about our museum being the last capitol of the confederacy. I love VA people, got to be the best in the world! Thanks for sharing our home with everyone!

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MSLZZY 4/7/2010 3:42PM

    I'm afraid your front door would not stand up to South Dakota winters but how nice to be able to open the door and let the fresh air in. I have been opening windows in the kitchen and bathroom most days unless the breeze (wind, in some cases) is blowing straight in. A little
ingenuity on my part. It freshens up the house so nicely and makes for great sleeping.
Have a great day!

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CLAIRESML 4/7/2010 2:53PM

    I enjoyed your blog and story. I also love Robbin Thompson's song and always will. thanks much for posting. emoticon

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AEBROWNSON 4/7/2010 2:19PM

    I lived in Virginia (Farmville) for about 4 years and loved it. Loved the weather, the people, pretty much everything.
And I'm an ENFP, too!

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WEDDWT 4/7/2010 11:54AM

    Ahhh, thanks for giving us a view and description of your little slice of heaven. A complete contentment about being you think the birds you hear vieing for territory feel the same about their nests?

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SHEILA1505 4/7/2010 10:54AM

    That is a wonderful tribute to your DH (and friends) and enormous love for your home.
We didn't build from scratch but spent 15 years around kids' arrivals renovating an old house and then I continued alone for another 8 trying to get it finished before I eventually sold it. A complete mixture of emotions about those adventures !

Keep well and keep smiling

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JLITT62 4/7/2010 10:30AM

    Hey, it definitely doesn't have to be all about food!

That is so cool that your husband built your house -- such an accomplishment. Mine is very handy, but doesn't have the time. And we might just kill each other if we actually had to decide on how to build a house.

Enjoy the cool breezes before the humidity sets in!

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SANDYJAS 4/7/2010 9:15AM

    Are you a professional writer? I love your style!

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CRAVE_FREE 4/7/2010 8:30AM

    MMMMMMmmmmm, you just made me feel so at home and relaxed. Thanks for sharing your home with us today.

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