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Packing the Nutella

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm back and I am done with the weeks of food centered events that daunted me so back at the end of March. Tomorrow is my weigh in and it'll be interesting to see how I've done, scale wise, but I already know how I've done on just about every other healthy front.

Very very well.

I'll go into that more tomorrow, when I can fold in any numerical successes I might have, but I do want to talk about the trick I used on this most recent trip. It's a Martha Beck 4-day win trick too and not one I would ever have thought of trying if I hadn't had the back story to it so I'll give you both. First the back story in extreme brevity. A rescue dog who had been starved as a puppy would bury a bone every day, on the floor beside his new, loving owners' fireplace. Of course, the bone was not buried, but lying right out in plain view, but the dog, who suffered fear of hunger, felt like it was safely buried and so long as nobody paid any attention to it, he was a perfect pet. Threaten his stash and the dog went ballistic. His fight-or-flight trigger went off whenever he felt like he might be deprived of food. He didn't overeat. In all ways he was a normal dog except over his need to have is cache, stored safely away.

In other words - our lizard brain will go ballistic if it even Feels like it doesn't have an adequate cache. But so long as it has one, the reptilian brain quiets down. The stash can be stored off site - perhaps not on the floor by the fireplace, but certainly not on our hips and thighs. Maybe packed away in a suitcase or a kitchen cabinet.

I know this goes in direct contrast to popular thought .... don't have contraband food in the house. But I had never yet been able to survive the groaning tables of rich food served by the folks at Graves Mountain Lodge, accompanied by lots of other people sitting beside me, piling it on, without joining them and I've been going there for 12 years. What if I knew I had a stash of chocolate wonder in my suitcase back up in my room? What if I could tell myself "pass on this and just go back and dig your spoon into that dark chocolaty nutella jar"? What would happen?

I'll tell you - I was able to get through 4 mammoth meals eating only 3 bites beyond that sensation of "Oh, I'm no longer hungry". Not 3 bites past feeling full, but up to the point of "not hungry". That's 3 bites spread over 4 meals. I was never "full" the whole time. I was always Just Right. In fact - I forgot about the Nutella by the second day and only remembered when I was unpacking last night and found it in a side pocket of my bag. And I never actually ATE any!

A huge bell is going ding-ding-ding-ding-ding in my brain. My WC is saying "Aren't you glad you listened to me?" I had a simply delightful time and by that last meal I felt actual Confidence as I sat down with friends and selected, from just a few heaping platters, the small bit of lunch I wanted.

Knowing I had that chocolate option was a great comfort. It made it easy for me to say "nah - I'll pass on desert" because I knew if I wanted something later ... it was there. What a discovery.

Don't think I'm advocating a house full of junk food. But having my bone packed in the suitcase really took the pressure off me. It freed me from the buried, hidden, denied, emotional pain of Fear of No Food. An irrational fear, I admit, but hey, there nonetheless. And years of Not Listening to that fear haven't helped my weight. I'm willing to give listening to it a try. Listening and finding a soothing counter to it.

Happy Saturday to you - I am rewarding myself with a New Knitting Project!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRISPINI 4/27/2010 7:30AM

    You know you're right! I always ALWAYS have dark chocolate in the house. And I take it with me while traveling. I don't have to eat it but I have to have it in the house.

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    I think your idea is awesome, I took seperately wrapped lindt choc squares away with me o/s I took one for every day I was away and only ate one of them.
Great idea emoticon

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BRILLIANTAQUA 4/24/2010 4:22PM

    I have emergency nutella as well. So nice to hear that I'm not the only one!! Great job on eating well during your trip!

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SANDRAFIVE 4/24/2010 12:15PM

    It sounds like you have found something that works for you. I had to get rid of a jar of Nutella because it kept haunting me. emoticon

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JKTENTATIVE 4/24/2010 10:00AM

    I so admire how you are taking this journey. Nothing scares you. You dive right in, with eyes and mind wide open to new ideas and new insights. As a result, I can feel by your words that you are making real, lasting change. Thank you for sharing all your insights.

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CLAIRESML 4/24/2010 9:47AM

    Great blog and glad you did so well!
I liked the analogy of the rescue dog and bone. Made perfect sense to this dog owner. emoticon

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LBIMAMMA 4/24/2010 8:26AM

    I like this story, and may incorporate it myself! Thanks for sharing emoticon

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MSLZZY 4/24/2010 8:22AM

    Excellent reward and WTG with being satisfied with only 3 bites! The temptation was there and you were able to bypass the guilt by staying focused! Have a great weekend! emoticon

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KATHERYNP 4/24/2010 8:22AM

    Great blog! I have to laugh because I have my bottle of Nutella too.."just in case"..I never thought of it being a comfort just knowing it is there. I do have a spoonful now and then and am able to stop with just one small spoon of delicious chocolate delight.

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Streaks and such

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I keep a tally of a couple of things as Spark Streaks and for the next 2 days I'm going to be AFC (Away From Computers) so of course, all those spark streaks come to a halt. I wonder ... if you go back and track them, do they still count in any given streak or is a break once registered there for good.

Not that I really care, for I must admit I seldom go back and look at them, but when I do I am often puzzled by how long a given streak was. when had I forgotten to track my 8 glasses of water, for example.

eh. Well. Not too serious. just wondering. and really wondering how my Wild Child will do on a business trip. I have a lot of confidence in her because she's basically a pretty smart cookie. Just emotional. emoticon

Yesterday she told me she really wanted the full 45 minute yoga workout, not just the brief morning session and I remembered to do that after work. What a super feeling that was. Not just the yoga calm, but that "I've been good to myself" feeling floated me though the evening and kept me on track nutrition wise.

Well. Off I go to face the groaning boards of Graves Mt. Lodge.

I'll be back on Saturday with a report.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 4/22/2010 7:48AM

    I'll be gone by Sat., and most likely computer-less, so here's to a great weekend! I have no doubt that you'll tame your WC.

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MSLZZY 4/22/2010 7:13AM

    Tell WC she's a great motivator, when she wants to be! emoticon

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Is resistance becoming less futile?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Can it be? Is all this quiet conversation with my Wild Child really making a difference?

It seems like it is. It seems easier to forgo the extra desert (don't gasp or blink - a desert is half a cup of tapioca - one skinny cow ice cream sandwich - not a slice of Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake) It feels like it's easier to forget about food for longer stretches of time.

I seem to be remembering to swap out a SIN (Substitute Inedible Nourishment) for an EEC!(Eat Empty Calories). I spent a few minutes gently brushing my hairiest dog yesterday instead of snacking when I got home late from work.

It seems so. It feels so. It's early days yet, though. And the True Test comes tomorrow, when I toddle on up to Graves Mt. Lodge (Virginia's may know this place of gargantuan meals) to sit for 2 days in long meetings (anybody who works knows about these) only to flow back upstairs for More Gargantuan Meals served family style - i. e. 8 heaping platters of country cookin' will be passed under your nose at every meal.

I usually leave that place feeling somewhat bilious. Let us see how I feel on Friday night this year. Let's see if I can take that Wild Child out in public. In fact - let me go ask her what it will take to get her to behave nicely while we're submitted to such temptation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 4/21/2010 10:50PM

    Tell WC to be nice and give her a gold star for good behavior LOL!

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PATMARIE45 4/21/2010 11:54AM

    I used to sit as close to a mentor or possible future promotion as I could and then make a dedicated decision to put 1/2 less on my plate than I would normally. I also listened very intently to the dinner conversation and contributed when I could, and ate slowly. I found that it took time for my brain to register that I was full, and lollygagging around like this gave it time to send that message. Humor and a positive attitude will get us through this. Pat

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CRAVE_FREE 4/21/2010 9:59AM

    Sounds like you are living life from a place of thinner peace! emoticon

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JKTENTATIVE 4/21/2010 8:57AM

    I hope there will be some healthy alternatives. I find that when I am in such a setting, if I at least have the option of fresh fruit and veggies, it helps a whole lot. And, I let myself eat as much of those healthy choices as I feel like. (Ordering a large hot tea right when you sit down is another good thing to keep you busy when the goodies start to come round). Good luck!

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CINDYMCD1 4/21/2010 7:51AM

    Go Wild Child, them how it can be done!:)

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Dieting on the right side of the brain

Monday, April 19, 2010

In the 1980's I began to see books about the bicameral mind creeping into the public market. The phrase was coined by Julian James in his book "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" which I tried to read and found heavy going. The one that hit the popular market hardest, though, was "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards, though my mother, a very fine artist, claimed that most of her ideas were representations of Kimon Nicolaides book "The Natural Way to Draw" which I own and pull out and enjoy every now and then.

Okay - last of the librarian stuff - promise.

I'm really here to report about my experiment with letting my WC right brain actually write to my SM left brain a la Martha Beck's suggestion.

First off, it was fun. It was a wee tiny bit scary but it was also exhilarating. I used her suggested questions from the word dominated left brain School Marm and wrote whatever popped into my head when I switched the pen over to the right brain Wild Child. Here's the conversation:

SM: Hey how are you?
WC: fine thanks

SM: What can I do for you today?
WC: food not hungry (something, something) rest, dog, glad

SM: What can I do to help you eat less?
WC: Play, go, rest, slow, sleep, run run, song, listen, ha ha hahaha

SM: Well, I'll give all these a try. More sleep and more laughter, huh?
WC: Got it, more sleep, gogogo

SM: OK - well, I'll see you tomorrow, we'll talk again - often
WC: Good

Hey - it doesn't take someone with a psychology degree to see that my Wild Child wants more play and laughter and MORE SLEEP! And maybe more time petting my dogs. But the interesting thing was that I could really tap into how I felt the rest of the day - and into the evening - especially about food. I did NOT eat too much - and 90% of it was both healthy and delicious. And there was a sort of calm glow going on.

I can't wait to try this again.

And this morning, when I woke up at about quarter after 4, I didn't rationalize that it would soon be 5 and I might as well get up and go do stuff. I very deliberately turned over and went back to sleep, waking up at quarter after 6, feeling pretty good but wishing I had another day off today as sweet as yesterday's. I really need to schedule some vacation time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEDDWT 4/19/2010 7:45PM

    I like your Wild Child - but she's not so wild, she's very sensible and so polite!
Hope you find more time to talk with her!
Like how 'bout now?!

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SANDY5882 4/19/2010 10:07AM

    Which Martha Beck book are you referring to here? I love her books! Thanks for the info. Sandy

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ELLENB10 4/19/2010 9:10AM

    I've read Martha Besk, too, - actually I listened to her on a CD to pass the time ironing. I got more ironing done that week because I wanted to hear her read! But hadn't thought about her for a while - I'll have to find a print copy and review! Thank you!

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CRAVE_FREE 4/19/2010 8:39AM

    I love your posts. I haven't gotten Beck's book yet, but I'm enjoying it through you. Over the weekend I tried talking to my WC like you talk to yours and it kept me from eating more than I needed. You rock! emoticon

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MSLZZY 4/19/2010 7:57AM

    Very interesting! Glad you slept in. Have a great day! emoticon

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/19/2010 7:52AM

    I'm enjoying Beck's book, to the extent I've gotten time to read it. I definitely want to read more of her writings.

The Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain was eye-opening to me. That she would tap into the same thing makes perfect sense.

Thanks for putting me onto this.

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Those fleeting emotions are still powerful

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thank you all so much for the good wishes. We're going to spend the whole day playing together but our biorhythms don't change even for an anniversary so my Night Owl is still asleep while this Lark has a few moments to blog and I have a few thoughts I want to share before I forget them. Sieve brain stuff.

As you all know, I have been devoting a fairly good bit of time to letting my Wild Child and my School Marm duke it out and I am much more aware of fleeting emotions as they flicker through me. The hint of jealousy when a friend tells you of an adventure she's setting out on, while you are just scrubbing the bathroom floor. The pinch of frustration when the 60 watt light bulb is too dim and you haven't any stronger ones and it's 10 o'clock at night. That tiny pinch of anger when the socks are on the bedroom floor instead of in the hamper that is right next to them.

It dawned on me that it's important to acknowledge those twinge emotions because ... I think that tamping them down, ignoring them because we are ashamed of them, because it's polite, because they aren't really important enough to investigate, makes us stop listening to all sorts of emotions - which are our Wild Child's way of warning us that something's wrong. We just placate it with chocolate.

Well. I'll be. hmm. have I had a light bulb moment here?

I also notice about my WC and my SM is that for the most part they like each other and cooperate. Like true siblings they squabble and argue and each can make the other truly miserable. What I realize is that they both want me to be safe, they both want my life to be good and they often embrace.

So, I'm working my way through the 4-day win book, making head changes. I'm about finished my ridiculously easy first 4-day win, which I have accomplished, so long as I eat no more than 2 deserts tonight. LOL Really! That was what makes it so ridiculous. It's been hard to do the daily rewards because I tend to forget about that part, but the 4 day win reward, which is sort of big this time, because it's the first and because we're getting a tax refund, is to purchase some yarn from elann dot com - because they have some stuff I want to buy.

And I am utterly drooling at the idea of writing with both hands, dominant hand asking questions and Wild Child hand answering - so that is going to be my next 4-day win challenge. I'll let you know how it goes. Sounds like an art class to me!

Happy Saturday

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPAL50 4/17/2010 8:39PM

    Well...great idea! If you are writing with both hands you won't be able to eat. emoticon LOL!

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MSLZZY 4/17/2010 12:02PM

    Stay in touch with those emotions but let them leave as quickly as they come.

Writing with both hands-interesting concept! Have fun and have a wonderful weekend! emoticon

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TAMMS001 4/17/2010 9:00AM

    Oh WOW! I love the idea of using both hands to write! I will be curious as to how it goes and I just might give a try too! Great blog! Thanks!

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JKTENTATIVE 4/17/2010 8:59AM

    Very intriguing. Can't wait to get deeper into this 4-day Win book...

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