BESSHAILE   44,221
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Baby steps day 28 - getting comfortable in my skin

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yesterday was a good day - a good day for cleaning my house around a still glittery Christmas tree - a good day for tidying up the piles of paper that got stuffed in my bedroom to make room for the glittery Christmas tree - a good day for thinking about how to make my weight a non-issue in my life - to get comfortable in my skin - to get the size skin I can be comfortable in.

And what do you know - along came today's Best of Spark People article by Dean Anderson: Stop Dieting and Start Living!
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivat
ion_articles.asp?id=620


I have read this article before but it was good to read it again because it is just what I'm trying to do. I'm sick of the subtraction, minus, restricting, numbers game. I really think I am supposed to live slim and fit and well, just the right size - for me - for the rest of my life. I'm really and truly tired of "struggling with my weight" and, I admit it, being "on a diet" or about to be "on a diet" or just gave up "on a diet".

Yesterday I asked my Wild Child if she thought she could live the rest of her life as a 145 lb woman and she said "sure" and then "so long as you listen to me" - and also so long as I actually asked that part of myself what I really want to know. Not what I think I want to know.

It's all about being honest. About not playing games. About not setting traps for someone, even if that someone is me! (An aside here - this is why I hate most modern comedies, chick lit, and even straight fiction. The game playing dysfunctional behavior of the characters is so blatant and unsympathetic I don't really care what happens to these characters - let 'em suffer I think as I shrug my shoulders and walk out of the theater or put down the book.)

I don't mind being on the quest - but I'm tired of being on the healthy body quest. I want to have gotten there so I can take that healthy body someplace else. I want to be comfortable in my skin so I can take it swimming, not because it'll help me lose weight - but because it's Fun To Do!

I'm sure I'll have more to say on this subject as the new year rolls in - but soon I hope I have nothing more to say because I'm talking about Other Things.

So - how did I do yesterday

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ____X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ____X____
3. A long walk out to the mile point and back ... or maybe even to Robert's Landing (3 miles rt) ____X___

sweet. 3 for 3 and I cleaned the house to boot. That gives me a score of 76.5 points or 6 hours and 23 minutes.

And for today

1. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
2. 30 minutes of right hand/left hand writing
3. AM Yoga.

This baby step program ends on January 1 ... at least I'm going to stop blogging about it - but I will keep doing the baby steps and when I have earned a day off, I'll set another reward for the rest of January.

So. Happy New Year's Eve Eve to you all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 12/30/2010 9:04AM

    You've come a long long way Bess - and whatever name you give to your journey, you are going to reach your destination!!
Hugs


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CHEERS2YOGA 12/30/2010 8:41AM

    I liked your blog, Bess. It's very down-to-earth and, as you said, HONEST! I think we do have to do a better job of filtering out the hype of "working out to look good" or "dieting to get to the ideal body weight" goals and instead make it an individual quest to what feels right for you. I struggle with this, especially since I turned 40, almost four years ago. I feel like I have to keep my head above the rising water, but it seems to get harder and harder. Maybe it's better to go "with" the water and see if it takes me to a different ideal body weight, or a place where I look good in a different way than when I was in my 30's. Ya know? It's hard to trust, though. Society's feedback really sucks sometimes.

I'll read that article and see if there's anything I can latch onto in it. I do know that ever since I've been doing yoga, I've had a healthier attitude about what I want my body to look like. I love that people of all shapes and sizes do yoga -- that there's not one type of body than can or can't do it. I've also seen how flat chested women can be very beautiful, too! HAHA!! emoticon

Anyway -- thanks for posting this and good luck with your ongoing internal quest. I'll be curious to read more from you.

--Tanya
p.s. That picture of the bald eagle is amazing! emoticon

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BESSHAILE 12/30/2010 8:24AM

    Hey - thanks for the title suggestion. Happily, I'm a librarian. I can go get a copy right away. and the thought of rereading the baby step posts is a great idea too.
Thanks

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KEC1974 12/30/2010 8:15AM

    I highly recommend the book Intuitive Eating, it's about exactly this. Not being in a diet mentality but listening to what your body is telling you.
I hope on January 1st that you go back through your baby step blogs and see and appreciate just how much you have accomplished!

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Baby steps day 27 - digging deep for treasure

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yesterday was a big improvement over Monday. Oh mind you now, we are still swathed in holiday activities and even some holiday dining but there was none of that out of control madness of Monday - where chocolate floated down my throat chasing the bourbon fruitcake that had followed the cheese. There wasn't that sense of mindless out of control that cast it's spell over Monday.

And why, you may ask, is there chocolate and bourbon fruit cake and cheese in my house? Well - I do not live in a vacuum, nor do I stay only in my house where, from time to time it is ascetically pure. I visit family, accept food gifts from them, even open them and partake of them - though I try hard to not consume like Ms Pacman used to do to those little colored balls. The goal is to learn to deal with all of life's temptations, not just the easy street of carrots and flax seed meal. My inner wild child is not interested in repression and deprivation but she's perfectly amenable to the freedom of adding New Improved Treats - so many and to such an extent - that the old tired salt and sugar laden treats lose some of their appeal.

How do I know this? Well, wild child and school marm had a little chat. The conversation, written down to use as a reference while we all work towards a better way of living, revealed some hopeful thoughts like in exchange for slothful lazy School Marm getting up of her duff and doing the AM Yoga she loved so much last winter, Wild Child will refrain from scarfing down 3 slices of bourbon fruitcake. And as long as SM is totally honest with WC, the latter is happy to consider all the Lists of Things To Do that the former is itching to write down.

Okay - I'm being a little silly about all this. A less metaphorical way of explaining what I did do yesterday was: I spent some time deeply considering whether I believe I can live the rest of my life at my optimum weight ... which I believe is somewhere between 145 and 150. And if I do believe it (even Wild Child admits to this belief) then how will I go about it. And for the most part - it is going to HAVE to be adding new grand pleasures to my life at such a pace that the old pleasures fade. I don't have the sort of competitive nature that responds to the challenge of goals or competition. I DO have the sort of cooperative nature that loves buddies and to work on joint projects ... which is why I'm here and writing this blog and listening and responding to the folks on Spark People.

I still have a whole lot of thinking and pondering to do but happily - I have 6 more days of holiday vacation with ALL my obligations to Other People taken care of. It's ME time. At least, as much as ME time can exist when you're married and your son is visiting - and that sort of US time is pure pleasure, believe me.

so. how did I do yesterday?

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ____X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ____-X____
3. Take some time out, probably after we get home, to find a way to make food that isn't made with flour and sugar seem like a treat.____X___

Score - 73.5 points or 6 hours and 8 minutes.

Too bad about the fruits and vegetables thing. I had been doing really well with that but it just didn't turn out that way. The trip into the city to see my parents was long and delayed by much digging of snow to get the cars out. All time schedules were scrambled and lots of chores got added on to the day. I felt it too - and am pretty uninterested in anything BUT fruits and vegetables today. This was a fluke, not the start of something bad.

Today?

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
3. A long walk out to the mile point and back ... or maybe even to Robert's Landing (3 miles rt)

With that - I wish you all a happy hump day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIME2BLOOM4ME 12/29/2010 1:23PM

    emoticon

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Baby steps day 26 - a big bust

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Evidently my inner Wild Child took great exception to limiting myself even slightly, without consulting her first. She gobbled her way through the kitchen all day long. This is a lowering and disappointing confession to make but it has to be owned. And my inner school marm lolled about watching and saying "Oh it's just too much bother to correct her today. after all, it is the Christmas holiday." (she's such a sloth!)

And that Wild Child is crafty ... she did drink all her water, she did assess her self (and noted that she felt like c**p) she ate her fruits and vegetables and then ... chewed her way across the kitchen counter. Just look!

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ____X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ____X___
3. Find some inedible nourishment that really feels like a treat ____-X___
4. 4 food treats ____-X___

This is sad since it leaves me with zero points. It's not that I didn't enjoy sensual delights - or that I didn't eat 4 treats. I ate 4 times 4 treats. So. Yesterday was a day I fell off the wagon. Today I climb back up.

The score stays the same as yesterday - 72.5 points or 6 hours and 3 minutes.

For today - since I am going to visit my parents in the city I'll have to deal with travel issues and foreign meals. But I have to find some alone time to think about what's going on inside... so

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
3. Take some time out, probably after we get home, to find a way to make food that isn't made with flour and sugar seem like a treat.

Happy Tuesday to you all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 12/28/2010 12:42PM

    Well, we all have days like this. I always look at them and think -- is there something I was missing? Something I could've done or eaten that might have helped me to make better choices? If the answer is no, just chalk it up to hormones. If the answer is yes, well, it's a learning opportunity, right?

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MSLZZY 12/28/2010 10:03AM

    That was my day after Christmas with no possible explanation as to why. But I got back on track yesterday and hope today is the continuation of a streak. HUGS!

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AEBROWNSON 12/28/2010 9:25AM

    But you're back on the wagon...and that's a good thing.

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SHEILA1505 12/28/2010 8:10AM

    Awww - that's sad!
Hope today goes better and that you enjoy the time with DS and the parents

Hugs

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Baby steps day 25 - Now the hard part begins

Monday, December 27, 2010

The festive weekend is over - I indulged in the rich food and enjoyed every bite of it ....

Wait! No! That's not true

some of yesterday's bites were just not that great. Mind now - I confess I bit them anyway - but I'm sort of getting tired of rich food. But there's still plenty of it around - including the rich food I'll find visiting friends this week, waiting on tables or little trays or on cozy kitchen counters. Now comes the hard part of eating healthy during a holiday. I'm going to have to map out a plan to make it through the rest of this week without putting on any weight.

but first - how did I do yesterday? out in the deep blustery wintry snow? or sheltering from it?

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ____X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ____X___
3. Hike through the snowy woods with my guys and my dogs ____X___
4. listen to meditation tape ____X___

yup - 4 for 4 for a score of 72.5 points altogether or 6 hours and 3 minutes. That day off is coming close.

here's proof of outdoor snow play, btw.


So how do I handle today? It seems to me I do best when I plan in some indulgence. This helps keep the inner wild child from oversetting the lunch table and gobbling up everything that's in sight. So - best give that wild child some treats. Oh. But. They don't all have to be food treats. In fact, I think I'd best tap into her early on today and find out just exactly would feel like a treat to her. But for the food thing - hmmm. Well. So long as I take steps 1 and 2 I'll allow myself 4 bites. You know - those things I do at parties - 4 bites the size of golf balls - 4 bites equals one brownie or half a donut or 4 garlic crackers with cheese on them. 4 bites plus whatever Substituting of Inedible Nourishment I can come up with.

Here are the steps:

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
3. Find some inedible nourishment that really feels like a treat
4. 4 food treats

So what is the day after boxing day called? Hope whatever it's called, yours is a happy one

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 12/27/2010 10:07PM

    Keep adding to those minutes and that day off will be luxury! HUGS!

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SHEILA1505 12/27/2010 7:57AM

    In South Africa it's called yet another Public Holiday this year to compensate for Boxing Day (or Day of Goodwill, as it is called here) being on a Sunday - otherwise, it's day back to work usually for those who don't get their annual leave now or work for a company that shuts down for 3 weeks (construction, many manufacturers etc)

Hugs and well done for coping so well :)

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SJTEBB 12/27/2010 7:42AM

    Good luck

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BILL60 12/27/2010 7:22AM

    Great plan!! Good luck with it.

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Baby steps day 23 & 24 - How they added up to a really great Holiday

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I set my baby step goals for Christmas Eve and did quite well with them:

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ____X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ____X___
3. Morning Yoga ____X___
4. Afternoon nap. ____X___

With 4 for 4, giving me a score of 68.5 points altogether or 5 hours and 43 minutes. And I wondered about how I wanted to handle Christmas Day. This is always a sugar laden, cheese filled roast beef and Yorkshire pudding kind of day and I didn't want to skip the fun of all that. But I also didn't want to end up feeling either sick or crazy ... at ANY point during the day. So first thing I had to decide was ... no matter what I was going to enfold step #2 into the day ... the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing. In order to do that I was going to pretty much have to do baby step #1 - if not on a regularly scheduled sort of way, then, each time I was confronted with an opportunity to bite into something.

At the same time, I didn't want yesterday to be anything but a cozy time spent with loved ones, talking to them, listening to them, singing with them, playing with them. so, I didn't actually set baby steps at all. I just adhered to those two behavioral patterns without making them into any sort of list to check off. And I did really well with both. I ate lots of delicious gift and luxury food, but never more than made me feel good. I drank plenty of water all day long, to make sure my body felt balanced - which it did. And when the slab of roast beef hit my plate, it was almost an automatic thing - I cut it in half and gave the other half to a cousin who wanted more. When I could have had another glass of wine, I did the briefest assessment of how I felt and decided "no - I'd had enough."

so in some ways these baby steps have been incorporated into who I am. I still don't feel like they're solid concrete but they sure are much more part of a comfortable habit. I'll keep using them as little check off items till I no longer feel any nervousness at the thought of NOT doing so. But the fact that those two really healthy things really did feel normal - feel a part of who I am - is evidence that I'm making the kind of progress I really want to make. That fact is an enormous Non Scale Victory.

JLITT62's Blog post today talks about whether baby steps hold you back from big dreams - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3862451

and the more I think about it - I think any step: big, little or medium sized - can lead you to the big goal, the big dream. It's just important that you take some step at all. We're not in a race. We're living our lives.

Today, though - I'm back to listing, taking and scoring those Baby steps and you can guess what the first two things will be:

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
3. Hike through the snowy woods with my guys and my dogs
4. listen to meditation tape

Happy Boxing day to you

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 12/26/2010 11:10AM

    Sounds like an excellent job & an excellent time! Just think how satisfying your day off is going to be, knowing that you earned it.

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SHEILA1505 12/26/2010 10:37AM

    Sounds like a great day, Bess!

My day was made easier by the fact that there were no nibbles around - wait for the meal!! However, there was plenty of sparkly bubbles - actual genuine (good stuff) French Champagne and that fits in beautifully with my acceptance of French Women Don't Get Fat - because they have the Champagne instead of the Bread Sticks!! So I did not ration myself but I did have a 1litre bottle of water with me all the time and slugged from that between glasses of bubble :))

As far as Steps are concerned, I feel that as long as they are in the right direction it really doesnt matter what size they are

Hugs and love

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