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A brand new Day 3 - because I have hubris (sorry - long post)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A few weeks ago I posted about Day 3 of what I hoped would be a new regimen of exercise and nutrition - and of course promptly began a spiral of exercise interrupted by pain and diet interrupted by mindless eating. The result was weight gain and a little sadness, culminating in a rather doleful post on Sunday about my backsliding. The downward curl of that trough has passed, though, and I'm gliding back on upwards in the normal ebb and flow of an ordinary life. This quick turnaround was vastly aided by having my Spark People community, with it's fountain of inspiration and support, from which I could sup as needed. And so, courting the fates once again I am ready to post about a brand new Day 3.

First a little back story -

In 2005 I had a terrible fall that exacerbated a tender back I've had ever since I was 20. As Boomerdom has settled in so firmly throughout my 50's I've been prone to lower back issues and that fall - and a subsequent visit to a very bad chiropractor - really did a number on my spine, leaving me with permanent nerve damage in one arm and, evidently some sciatic issues as well. I'm still groping around to find the best exercises for me to do that will strengthen me without compromising my spine. Thank goodness I actually like exercise, which means I'll continue to seek - but I'm not there yet. Next week I go for my annual check-up and I am going to ask for a course in PT because I know there is a good team at our local hospital and I think I need some advice on what and, more importantly, how. But the bald fact is ... I have painful "health issues".

Weird. I never ever thought I would have "health issues" but eh. There it is. Not an end, merely a challenge.

I began listening to the audio book "South Beach Diet Supercharged" last week and felt both exhilarated by the promise of ABetterLifeWithMagicDiet and deep sadness at the thought of bidding things like bread and watermelon goodbye. The conflict - unreasonable hope and unrealistic loss- didn't do much to help me deal with an already out of control eating spiral. NOTE to Bess - watch what you listen to.

I seriously toyed with going on the SB diet but eventually rejected at least Phase I because it is just too severe for my emotional state. I do NOT want to stop eating grain products - even for 2 weeks - and there is no way I am passing on watermelon just as the melon season is beginning. No Way.


I do want to eat fewer processed grains - flour products are my go-to gobble when I am famished - and I do want to be a little more honest about eating whole grains. I don't usually choose them over the refined grain products because [A.] it takes longer to cook them and [B.] Himself really balks at things like whole wheat pasta and rice. (though I can get him to eat brown rice)

So. I spent Sunday pouring over the SB Diet recipes, knowing that they would be heavy on the whole grains and light on the saturated fats. And I decided that I would spend the next 4 weeks eating ONLY whole grains and cutting back to 4-5 servings a day. I'm also doubling my vegetable consumption. I really like vegetables but I've been eating only 2 or 3 servings a day - because the extra 3 or so servings of grains, especially processed grains, really rather filled me up. The other thing is that, for 4 weeks there is to be no BLTing of sweets. I'm not a major sweet eater - I don't lust for cakes or pies, I can always pass on a donut, a cookie now and then can tempt me in the afternoon, but candy is almost never within my radar. Still - I'll pluck the after dinner mint out of a bowl or nibble a piece of this or that - and the truth is - I don't always remember each little Bite, Lick or Taste. I may THINK I'm not nibbling my way through the sugar bowl - but I don't actually know. In fact, if I am actually wondering about Think vs. Know I Think I Know ... I am eating a lot more sugar than I realized.

Eliminating sweets from my diet, though, does not depress me the way even the idea of crossing off grains in some form or another does. And being depressed over something I'm doing is NO way to create a healthy life. If I can only eat whole grains, that's okay. I like them too.

So here is the new game plan - on which I am happily celebrating Day 3:

One less serving of (only) whole grains a day
Twice the vegetables (4-6 servings)
ZERO added sugars

Let's see what 4 weeks of that does for me. With a starting weight of 168 let's see where I am on July 4 - an independence day goal for sure!

Sorry about the length of this post but the truth is this is the first time I've actually written out what the game plan is. It's good to actually SEE what I'm committed to. Once again - having my friends to share my thoughts with has really been a bonus for me.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIMESSA 6/10/2010 6:59PM

    I think it is AWESOME that you realized that the SB diet was going to be too hard for you to stay on...we need to remember that this journey we are on is not about "dieting", but about changing our lifestyle and establishing healthy habits. I think you are TOTALLY on the right path, and your new game plan sounds very smart and DOABLE! I wish you the best, and hope you can also find a way to minimize your pain!

As always,
sTay sTrong!!

Comment edited on: 6/10/2010 7:00:23 PM

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JLITT62 6/9/2010 5:57AM

    I think your new plan will have you actually feeling better. I don't eat a whole lot of processed grains. I make sure things like pasta, which I try not to eat too much of, are at the very least enriched and have lots of fiber. DH doesn't seem to really notice that, oddly enough, but he's not too fond of brown rice (which is too bad, because that's what I make).

I have been trying to concentrate on getting true whole grains in, tho -- oatmeal, brown rice, bulgur -- at least once a day. Sometimes more.

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OPAL50 6/8/2010 5:48PM

    Sounds like a good plan. For some people it is good to "change it up a little" to keep it interesting. I hope to hear you have reached the goal you set for yourself. emoticon

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CRAVE_FREE 6/8/2010 4:51PM

    That looks like a fun plan and it's fun to change things up and keep your body guessing. I'm listening to Jillian Micheals Master Your Metabolism right now. She wants me to go all organic and on and on with specific lifestyle changing eating... I want to run in the other direction. Maybe I will take a hint from you and pick out some good points from her plan and focus on a few small good changes. Thanks for yet more inspiration!

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SHEILA1505 6/8/2010 2:54PM

    After a couple of days of cutting out the added sugar you are going to find it so much easier to avoid them - the cravings will go and it will be so much easier to deal with any little niggling thought that a sugary carb filled thing might be appealing.


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DAYHIKER 6/8/2010 1:12PM

    It is sometimes tempting to do "something drastic" to boot us back into weight loss mode, isn't it! You made some good choices and you have a good plan and you are on an upward spiral! emoticon

PS: When I'm not getting all my veggies I have been putting some celery and spinach and an apple or whatever I have into the blender for a sweet refreshing green drink. Hat tip to BOBOO0607 who sends me Dr. Oz stuff.

Comment edited on: 6/8/2010 1:15:20 PM

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Thanks SparkFriends - you're just what I needed

Monday, June 07, 2010

I knew you would be - that's why it was so important to confess my backsliding and move on. That's just what I did yesterday. Got in some good exercise. Plotted out some healthy meals for the week. Did the weekly grocery shopping. Tracked my meals.

All in all - it was a perfect turn-around day. And as if the weather gods decided to reward me, the air cleared, the temperatures dropped and the wind died down. This morning was crisp and fresh with dew. I took the dogs out for a sweet little morning walk and since the weather is supposed to stay this way all day, I'll take them again when I get home. I know there are more beastly days ahead - this is, after all, Summertime in Virginia, where you can have 98% humidity and a drought. We haven't had one yet and if it just rains when the corn tassels we'll make a good crop.

Even the stars are in my favor as Mars moves out of Leo and into Virgo - I am promised lots of energy. In fact, I'm even told that it was Mars pushing me to be honest and sincere. Just read this from Mr.Horoscope:

You may never know the full extent of your potential because the more you achieve, the more you will then be able to accomplish. Be inspired by this thought. Be inspired too, that the current conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus is taking place in the part of your chart that governs 'honesty and sincerity. It's through these noble qualities that you can now be freed from a sense of helplessness or hopelessness.

Well. I certainly don't feel helpless or hopeless. Thanks y'all. You're the best.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIMESSA 6/10/2010 6:52PM

    So glad to read that things are looking better!

As always,
STay Strong!!

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PLAYBLUES22 6/7/2010 8:11AM

    Very nice Sweetie, and you sound so happy in the tone of your blog emoticon

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KATHERYNP 6/7/2010 7:52AM

    Great blog!!

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fighting with a downward (or upward?) spiral

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The past 2 weeks I have found myself eating everything in sight. Eating too much. Eating when I'm not hungry. Eating when I am hungry. The result has been embarrassment and frustration and disappointment. Embarrassment because I know that the only honest thing to do .. and the only thing that will help me fight and conquer this problem is to 'fess up here. It would be SO easy to just blog about something else or not blog at all and then say I was busy (which I am - so who isn't?) But that would be telling a big fat lie to all of you, who have been such good support for me through the past months - and though I might be able to lie to myself now and then, as I hold the peanut butter jar in my hands - I can't do that to people who have been so good to me.

And that surprises me in a way - this commitment to others when I can't seem to commit to myself. but then my interaction with others is always measured and deliberate - I have to log onto SP and then actually click on the Post-a-Blog button. when it comes to deluding myself - well - that can be done in the twinkling of an eye - or the opening of a refrigerator.

That's where the frustration with myself kicks in. Because even though I've made bad choices in flash decisions over the past 2 weeks - I'm pretty sure I can remember that moment - each time - when I could have chosen to make a better decision. I didn't gobble my way back up to 168 lbs insensibly. Just about every time, I had at least a moment of opportunity to act differently. I just didn't.

Disappointment has to do with not reaching a goal I'd set last year - to wow my doctor at my next check-up - which will be in 2 weeks. Oh - I will be a little lighter than last year but not enough to talk to him about medicine changes.

So. Where does that leave me - besides squirming in tighter waistbands.



You know - it really leaves me where I always am - right here and right now. Right in the present moment. Nothing in the universe will allow me to change what has happened up to now. There are no guarantees about tomorrow, even if planning can help us feel more secure about where we'll end up. There's just now.

And now, just for today, I can eat a healthy diet. I can (maybe) get in some exercise ... it's freaking hot and humid this week - an unusual 99 degrees for June. I have to do the weekly grocery shopping this afternoon and I can certainly plan out all our meals for this week and make sure every one of them is a healthy sized portion of optimal food. I can acknowledge my disappointment in my recent performance

And I can move on.

And out of this whole 2 week debacle I have found one sweet glimmer. Though I did eat too much and when I was not hungry - I always recognized it when it was happening. I can't truly call this craving because there was always that moment of choosing - of deciding. Bad decisions, I'll admit, but I can't really claim I was Out Of Control. I was just being a brat - and while I don't like brats or bratty behavior - this seems like an infinitesimal movement but at least it's progress.

Okay my friends. I begin again. thank you for being my kind and non judgemental conscience during this difficult time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIMESSA 6/10/2010 6:51PM

    This was totally me like a little over a week ago...had a bad 5 days of happens to all of us from time to time. The great thing is that we can begin again...we need to learn from our mistakes and poor decisions, and then forgive ourselves and move on. YOU CAN DO IT...I know you can! This journey is not an easy one, but with the help of our SparkFriends, we can find the STRENGTH to persevere and be successful! LET'S DO THIS TOGETHER! I am on my 6th day now of being back on track...let's get you on the same streak...YOU CAN DO IT!!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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OPAL50 6/6/2010 8:33PM

    We always have choices. So you made some bad decisions...
this is why we are on Sparkpeople. Every one of us is prone to making bad choices and returning to our former behavior. During these times I pray this: Thank You, Lord for this challenge and thank You, Lord for this opportunity to grow. emoticon
You have been and continue to be an inspiration to your Sparkfriends. emoticon

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JLITT62 6/6/2010 1:13PM

    Misery, as they say, loves company. For whatever reason there seems to be a lot of this going around, and I am not immune. For all I may look small in my photo, I am up several pounds and I feel every single one of them, too.

But I refuse to beat msyelf up. It isn't the way we learn. We do learn by rewarding the positive, which reminds me that I need to go take some photos of my 5k shoes before I write my next blog.

Being aware of what you are doing IS a positive thing. And I also believe that unlike so many times before, the reason we CAN turn things around is because we have each other. We CAN do this. We WILL do this.

How about some new goals that don't involve weight?

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HARPERLADY 6/6/2010 12:38PM

    I think its natural to have times like that and it is wonderful that you knew what you were doing, before I started this I just ate and what a huge difference that can make, no longer can you wolf down a candy bar and not totally be aware of it and being conscious is a great step, glad you're back making good decisions emoticon

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MERALO 6/6/2010 12:24PM

    I've had many of those choices to make too...we all have, but I truly applaude you for recognising them and not beating yourself up about it. You can start again - the difference is, that this time, you had a bit of a bender for a few the past that would have become months, and then your actual way of life.


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JKTENTATIVE 6/6/2010 9:59AM

    Your honesty is wonderful! So, am I doing the same thing to myself and not being honest about it? I haven't lost any weight in several weeks, and when the scale goes up a little, I refuse to record it. Am I tricking myself?
Thanks for your blog and your honesty. It is making me think about what is going on with me.

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SHEILA1505 6/6/2010 9:55AM

    How could we possibly judge when we do exactly the same thing - open the fridge and take things out, or open that drawer, or throw things in the shopping basket, and brattily challenge the Th-inner Self with "so what? What you gonna do about it?" Guilty? Nahhhh - guilt has nothing to do with it - tastes good, texture's good, whatevva ... I now have 60 days to get myself into peak condition again, but I don't think that is as low down as I went before my birthday - that was gaunt and haggard according to one DD - but I need to be able to pass some fitness goals and that's the important target now.

Big hugs - let's do this thing properly now :)

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CRAVE_FREE 6/6/2010 9:20AM

    Glad you've owned up, forgiven and found yourself ready to keep moving forward. We're happy to be here for you every time you start over, stumble or experience success. And I still KNOW emoticon

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CRAVE_FREE 6/6/2010 9:17AM

    Glad you've owned up, forgiven and found yourself ready to keep moving forward. We're happy to be here for you every time you start over, stumble or experience success. And I still KNOW emoticon

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MYFEETHURT 6/6/2010 8:55AM

  Oh, choices...they kill me too. I also KNOW when I'm making a bad one. But...for whatever reason...I do it anyways. Too late to wow my doctor as well. I think I'll be a few pounds down since 6 months ago...but wow factor. Maybe we will sweat some off in those 90 degree days. heck...I'm in San Antonio...we had about 60 days of over 100 last year. Maybe that will help me eat right and stay in the AC. LOL Hang're still in the game.

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The rewards of consistency

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I got a trophy from SP today for consistency. I like to check in here every day and, if I do nothing else, spin for the log-in points and update my status. But I have to laugh about the consistency award because ... well... perfect attendance has never been important to me. My mother used to say "everybody needs a day off and if you need one just ask and I'll write a good note to school for you. just don't pretend you're sick when you're not." the confidence that gave me, knowing if I needed a day off I had it, was so powerful it carried me through most of the school year. My mama was pretty smart, as well as a lot of fun.

One of the funniest essays I've ever read (from one of the funniest southern humorists I've ever known) is in Celia Rivenbark's most recent book:

It's the first one in the book, where she describes booing the child with the perfect attendance award at school - since she's the one who brought her germs to share with all the rest of the children. Remember - it's satire - so the hyperbole is what you're supposed to be laughing at.

Still, while I am not a slave to routine I am aware of the value of practicing something consistently - that is how you become good at things. If it's something you like to do you'll practice more and get better, if it's not, you can still get good enough that either you can zip through unwanted tasks quickly or figure out better ways to do - or best of all DELEGATE - them.

Interestingly, there are often unexpected rewards that come from doing something consistently and one of them was revealed to me yesterday. I hadn't been to the gym all of May. I was working out at home with Powah Yogah and never felt like going to the gym. But yesterday just felt like a gym day and once inside it felt like an elliptical day. I figured since I hadn't used that machine for a while I would be good for 10 minutes. Imagine my surprise when I barely broke a sweat at 20 - which is all the time I had. The machine monitors your heart rate and I was steady at 130 which, for my age and weight, is maximum. It was a piece of cake - with no surprises later in the shape of seized up muscles.

Wow! I had no idea this was happening to my body. What a hidden reward.

Now - if I can only get consistent about my daily caloric intake - man I would rock!

Off to the city today for a family consultation with Mama's rehab center.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERALO 6/4/2010 8:25PM

    I always used to complain that my dad would only let us have a day off school if we had blood pouring from our eyes...but it taught me the same lesson! Keep at it, never give off-day is not an excuse for quitting!

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ALIMESSA 6/4/2010 7:36PM

    Congrats on the progress you are making...must feel great to know that what you are doing is obviously working fitness wise! Hope you can figure out how to be more consistent eating steps!

As always,
Stay Strong!

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OPAL50 6/3/2010 9:43PM

    So true! I always gave my kids "mental health" days.

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JKTENTATIVE 6/3/2010 2:39PM


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HAWKEYERANT 6/3/2010 11:17AM

    Celia Rivenbark lives in Wilmington - gotta love her newspaper sections and her books. I haven't read that book, but now I definitely want to. :)

Congrats? on the Consistency Award !! :)

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JLITT62 6/3/2010 8:18AM

    What a great reward for all your consistency -- a steady HR.

Vibes for a peaceful day.

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DAYHIKER 6/3/2010 7:45AM

    Good blog post! You are so right--perfect attendance is nothing without application of the principles we (are supposed to) learn!! Congratulations on that added strength!! It's working!! emoticon

We were parents who took our boys out of school when their dad had a business trip somewhere interesting. One teacher pointed out that they would probably learn more from the experience than they would at school. They both graduated well and have gone on to good success in their adult lives.

We get grumpy when people come to church sick then shake everyone's hand!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/3/2010 7:46:06 AM

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SHEILA1505 6/3/2010 7:41AM

    Oh Bess - I do so agree with you - and this is why I did not comment on any of my Friends' perfect attendance awards, or consistency, nor do I applaud the Spark Points - I do however congratulate for fitness minutes and other achievements :))

hugs and love

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WESLEYV 6/3/2010 7:37AM

    Great.... how true.

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WALIDGAZALA 6/3/2010 7:03AM

    It is Beautiful
Very few are nice as this

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ALYFITN 6/3/2010 7:00AM

    lnteresting blog. I knew someone who made perfect attendance first through 12 grade. He brought germs to the class for sure--wouldn't even stay home for flu! I thought it was selfish and idiotic. The reward: a special honor at graduation for his perfect attendance.

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Do I really want to be slender? wisdom from the Right Brain

Monday, May 31, 2010

I pulled out the RB/LB journal yesterday and asked my right brain a serious question. I asked my right brain if I really wanted to be slender and it answered

"I don't care."

I was shocked ... and yet not shocked. obviously I wouldn't have asked myself this if I hadn't begun to doubt. I don't have a ton of weight to loose but I know that even as little as 20 lbs would make an enormous difference in my shape, my size, my clothes, my face - and all photographic evidence of what I look like.

I also know that it only takes a little adjustment to start losing my weight. 100 calories less a day or 30 mintues more movement. So why isn't there any progress? and why is it so miniscule when it comes? I figured Righty had to know and she did. so here's the conversation ... because .. well... just because:

LB: Look, I'm not sure about this fat thing - I hate the fat photos but I love a lot about eating.

Righty: Lythe strong body

LB: (in dispirited tones) Yeah, yeah, I know all about the health thing....

Righty: I want to be treated like a queen - with the best food and always enough time for exercise

LB: oooo. I think I understand - good food in careful portions eaten mindfully is not something that comes as a reward for obeying rules or scheduels or other people - they come first! Hey? am I one of those people who puts others first instead of me? only others are not other people but other things I think matter more? abstract things?

Righty: duh

LB: But what about when I'm tired

Righty: You know how to make lists - prepare

LB: OK, I can do that. So. Do you even want to be slender?

Righty: I don't care but I want to be healthy and strong

LB: And I just want to be fashionable

Righty: We can be both

LB: And so we can.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIMESSA 6/1/2010 7:15PM

    You and MERALO have the best Blogs regarding internal conversations!! LOVE IT!!

Being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is definitely what this journey is all about...being slender is just, often times, a byproduct of it!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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JLITT62 5/31/2010 1:50PM

    I'd like to be a little bug in your brain.


Great conversation, tho! While I do think I could stand to lose 20 lbs, I think 10 lbs is reasonable for me right now. I wouldn't have to pay for WW, maybe I could work there & bring in a tiny bit of cash -- if it was enough to pay for pet sitting I think DH would be happy, and of course, there is the whole healthy thing -- more energy -- who couldn't use some of that?

It's still hard tho. I have been doing great on mindful eating this week -- thank God! -- but probably still eating a tad too much & the scale will most likely reflect that.

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GEODAWG 5/31/2010 11:42AM

    You hit the nail of the head. My feelings exactly. My actions exactly! LOL

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MERALO 5/31/2010 11:27AM

    Yes, you can...and you can have the best of both worlds too!

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WEDDWT 5/31/2010 10:33AM

    There are a lot of slender bodies who are not healthy, strong, fit, and happy. So a goal of healthy & strong with the perk of slender makes sense!

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CRAVE_FREE 5/31/2010 10:05AM

    And so you can. Inner conversations can be the stepping off point for outward changes. emoticon

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