BESSHAILE   52,178
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What's your biggest challenge?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We had a bit of discussion about this at yesterday's WW meeting. Of course we all have similar challenges - busy lives, proliferation of valueless but tasty foods, primitive eating habits in an urban world, massive advertising efforts by food companies. My own biggest challenges are two-fold. First, I'm not THAT dissatisfied with how I look and feel right now. Second - I am a process person. I am not all that thrilled by crossing things off of lists and have a hard time feeling the rewards of attaining a goal. In fact, goal reaching is such a daunting thing for me it often triggers both grief and a fatal procrastination so that I don't actually reach goals. I just don't get there.

The biggest project I ever oversaw at work was the building of a new library. Of course I didn't build the thing and there were lots of other people with more authority and more impact on the actual construction process, but I so internalized what was going on that when it was over I wept for 3 months. Needless to say - I won't do something like that again and I hope I don't have to be part of ANY building project again unless it's a studio for me - which is something I really do have authority over.

Well. So. What does all that mean anyway? Does my grief over reaching goals mean I will play around forever with these last 15 lbs? Am I going to just talk the talk without ever walking the walk - away from Mr. Ice Cream Box?

I don't think so.

Because I actually do accomplish things and even actually make permanent changes in my approach to life. I do it by redefining myself. Back in the olden days, when clothing was expensive and when cheap clothing actually meant poorly constructed, I made all my own clothes. For years I would stop sewing on something the minute it was finished enough to wear - if the waistband could be held together with a safety pin, why bother with the button and button hole? If I could iron the facing flat, why tack it at the seams? But one day I really thought about what I was doing and how that defined me and I realized that half-finished just wasn't a definition of me. I was proud that I could pad stitch a lapel. Why wouldn't I honor my creations with completion?

It had less to do with what I did - with any act or even series of acts I performed. It had so much more to do with how I defined myself. Who I believed I was.

So. The question is - do I believe I am a slender woman who eats consciously with knowledge and wisdom or do I believe I'm a slap-dash gal who packs away a bit carelessly. I rather like the slap dash gal - but .... do I want to be her any more?

It's something to think about, isn't it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 10/19/2011 10:19PM

    Quite a point you made. I am the ultimate competitive type so I have to finish what I start with no shortcuts. Am I always happy? No, driven is more the word and I need to drive less and enjoy more. HUGS!

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AEBROWNSON 10/19/2011 9:33AM

    Bess, you and I are two peas in a pod! Once I hit my goal weight I immediately gain ed 11 pounds and have been messing around there ever since. Candy is my downfall, and now we're.un candy season!

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DWYER1952 10/19/2011 7:55AM

  biggest challenge..not snacking while watching TV..not only at night ..anytime

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BESSHAILE 10/19/2011 7:49AM

    Yes. A gal can FAKE a finish but can she honor the work done - HER work done - if she does?

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JLITT62 10/19/2011 7:42AM

    I guess it's the old any job worth doing is worth doing right, right? I can definitely relate! For yrs I never blocked knitting projects - but yes, it really makes a difference.

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The Party Season

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I love the months between Labor Day and Christmas. The cooler weather energizes me. The shorter days give me a cozy, snuggle down at home feeling. The delicious Monday Holidays give me my favorite gift - TIME. Best of all - it's fun to cook once again.

I must not be the only one who feels this way, either, because come September, the party season begins. First is my birthday and not many weeks later is a special anniversary Himself and I share. There are 3 other family birthdays in this quarter of the year too. Plus, of course, all the charity functions that wait till September to host galas and fundraisers. And friends who have been longing to get together issue irresistible invitations.

I am sure you can guess where this is going - and it's not up on a podium to sing about my successful weight management, either. Because last week was back to back dining opportunities - dining? No. Foodie extravaganzas. And while I overindulged - I am not positive I had any fun doing it. I was so anxious about how much this was going to cost me I guess I tried to jinx the effects of Gorgonzola crumbles stuffed in olives wrapped in wilted spinich or grilled scallops wrapped in bacon by that old southern custom of denial. "It doesn't count if I didn't enjoy it".

Only, of course, it did count and the tally showed up yesterday at weigh-in. No play money for me this week. I'm still dancing around that same old 2 lb weight gain/weight loss that I've toyed with for 2 months. grrrr.

Because I know it was my own fault - because certainly nobody tied my hands behind my back and forced succulent tidbits into my mouth. We're heading into the major big party holiday season. I need to know what I'm facing and I need a defense strategy or I will end up in 2012 with a body I am not happy with. But I want to savor and enjoy every bit of this happy busy season. Whew. this is a wrestling match - or as they say around here - a wrasseling match.

Okay - what do I know - what are the tough days up ahead.


Yikes! and we're not even past Halloween.

so what can I do about it?

1. add 15 minutes more exercise to my routines
2. always have a broth based soup on hand - or the ingredients to make it.
3. get real about how much ice cream I am eating - and how frequently
4. perhaps most important of all - meditate before a party type event - think about it - walk myself through it

I guess what I'm saying is - it's a constant effort to remind myself that I'm serious about this. For now, for me, it's not a mindless effort but a conscious one.

And you'll be glad to know that I actually began DOING this last night - when, at the point when I'd really eaten all my points/calories - and I still hadn't had any ice cream ... I decided to have an apple instead.

yes. I have to think about it and act deliberately rather than mindlessly - but ... the rewards will be worth it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 10/12/2011 1:04PM

    Excellent job!


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MSLZZY 10/12/2011 7:07AM

    Think and act delibrately-now there's a plan! HGS!

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SHEILA1505 10/12/2011 7:01AM

    I love that - it didn't count, if I didn't enjoy it!!!! Good choice to eat the apple instead of ice cream - and can you go for 15minutes walk as well as the extra 15minutes other exercise?


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Magic Food

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Today's Best of Spark People email was about high fructose corn syrup, that sweat of Satan snuck into food in the 1970's to make it last longer on the shelf and taste better to our jaded palates. It is a shocking thought that everything, including peanut butter, has to be so heavily sweetened. I am guilty of eating lots of sweet stuff myself - though I do make an effort to curb my intake. But HFC has been linked to just about every bad thing that can happen to a body, including, but not limited to obesity. And now here comes research that HFC is no worse than any other fructose/glucose blend.

For a while my husband and I tried to follow an alkalizing diet. While we added some of the precepts to our daily eating, it was impossible for me to stick with it - it was too expensive and ultimately too time consuming.

A friend of mine recently adopted a vegan lifestyle and now her health problems have simply melted away. Banish animal products from your life and you too may enjoy perfect health. Again - I am willing to explore vegan recipes because I like adding vegetables to my meals and new ways of doing that are always welcome.

I myself am finding that at my advanced age too much white food gives me heartburn. Combine it with either cheese or wine and I will be up all night.

So. Is this because there are evil foods and saintly ones or are we just dynamic beings whose needs change over time. Age, activity - even weather with it's pollen, humidity or high mold count - also affect ... well, I make no claims for anyone else, since I am not a scientist - but they all affect me. All I will commit to is that I do not believe in magic food. I'm reluctant to even witness finger pointing at other people's food choices. And the more something is demonized the less I am going to believe the judge.

These days, my food mantra is what my mother always told me: All Things In Moderation.

And my moderate food choices this week led to another weight loss, which makes me happy, though it only brings me back to the weight I was when I posted 3 weeks ago. And I have not had much success fitting exercise into my days. Travel and mosquitoes have kept me indoors and meetings have packed my work week tight, leaving me little spare time. But today I think things have settled down into a nice autumn routine and I promise (myself) I will get serious about allotting time for daily exercise.

There are 12 pounds to eliminate from this body - enough to shrink me down one size - quite a motivation. Let us hope that next week I will be smilingly telling you that I am some ways closer to that happy place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAFACE 10/11/2011 10:25PM

    The librarian in me had to find that article to see where they got their info about HCFS from. Not that I don't trust your judgment- you ARE the librarian! :) I still think HCFS is evil like all of the other fake crap in food these days. It might not react any differently in my body than other sugars, but I will keep avoiding it anyway.

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MSLZZY 10/5/2011 10:58PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHEILA1505 10/5/2011 8:13AM

    It seems to me that all the things my mother and grandmother promoted (back in the 1950s and so on) are now acceptable again - like "go to work on an egg". For long enough they've been the bad guys, but now they are OK.

Moderation, portion control -and something I saw today - an Eviction Notice for all the excess fat clinging to my organs and muffin top!!

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JLITT62 10/5/2011 7:50AM

    I agree whole heartedly!

When my husband & I were living apart due to his job, I ate veggi/vegan/some fish. I don't have a lot of health problems, so can't say as it made a difference. It just fits into my ethical/health beliefs.

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Every Body's Different

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Because everybody's different. And bodies become different over time. Take my body - and wheat products. My body does not like me to consume too much wheat. I'm not really sure if this is new or if over the years I have developed this reaction to too much wheat. But I have become powerfully ware of this change. The important words here are the adjectives, the quantifiers, not the noun. It's the "too much" that I am becoming aware of.

So imagine my dismay upon hearing that beloved precious darling friends were taking us out to an Italian restaurant for my birthday! Well - I was not about to demur. I am a big girl and I wear big girl panties. I can either make dainty choices from the menu or deal with bloat and weight gain for another week. Because I had already been eating what I call Convention Food - boxed lunches provided by the seminar folks that had desert treats beyond temptation all the way into sinfulness and, of course, sandwiches. Two days of this kind of eating topped with Italian Restaurant food. Oh well. Chalk it up to "life".

Only - I didn't HAVE to make a dainty choice. Every wonderful dish offered at that restaurant came with the option of having it loaded onto pasta or onto a bowl of baby spinach! You have not lived till you've tried Tuscan Seafood over Spinach. Woo Woo. What a marvelous surprise. What a great idea! And the next time Himself requests Clam Spaghetti - I just might just pour mine over a bowl of baby spinach.

In spite of being wined and dined for days upon end during last week's birthday celebrations, I managed to make at least one meal a large salad. Yes there was cake. In fact, there were 4 cakes. And wine. There were marvelous full bodied red wines. I participated but I was measured in my portions and the result was that I whittled off a pound and a half. Happy news for the Birthday Girl.

Who's not all that different - only one year older.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AEBROWNSON 9/28/2011 9:45AM

    Good job! And the sauce over spinach sounds amazing! What a good idea. I suppose the restaurant was dealing with the gluten intolerant crowd.

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MSLZZY 9/28/2011 7:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I never would have known this to be an option but what a wonderful way to enjoy a meal
and still eat healthy. I will have to remember to use spinach instead of pasta and see how I like it. HUGS!
Sounds like your birthday bash was wonderful!

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Lesson Learned

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Well - Tuesday's are my WW weigh in days and last week I was bound and determined to stick with the program, within the points/calorie/healthy food limits and see a brilliant drop in poundage.

I did not, though.

Mind now - I thought I had eaten well, carefully, thoughtfully. But I had not. I have a home scale that weighs pretty much exactly what the WW scale tells me and for as long as I have lived I've stepped on the scale first thing in the morning. So yesterday's "official" weight gain was no surprise but digging around trying to figure out where it came from was enlightening.

You see, on Friday, after a really really long and productive week I took home chinese take-out. steamed vegeies and shrimp with some sauce - ostensibly for me, and for Himself - foo young and fried rice - which is what he asked for. I helped myself to a very measured 1/2 cup of fried rice and 1/2 of a ... what do you call them? a young? a foo? those egg omlettey things?

But then on Saturday, a cold rainy wet Saturday that included a funeral - (where no, I did not nibble no the brownies/cakes/tartlette offerings) Himself asked if I couldn't please make him a pizza... A nice homemade pizza with, again, measured cheese etc.

But the combination of those two high sodium, high wheat gluten, more than the usual dairy fat foods puffed me up like a blowfish. Sunday morning I was weighing in at 166 or so and it was a shocker! And it took 3.5 days for the weight to drop back to something familiar.

Lesson learned? We do not eat even small amounts of Chinese food in the same week we eat a pizza - even if it is homemade. I know I have to be careful with the bread products - not do without - but eat them in limited quantities. And these party type foods have to be carefully controlled too. I just don't have the teenage metabolism to burn them off and I have to accept it.

Ahh well. No $50 play money for me this week - but there is always next week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPAL50 9/21/2011 9:08PM

    Sodium does it to me! We can overcome! emoticon

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SHEILA1505 9/21/2011 10:45AM

No play dough! Hugs for you
Big lessons
Once again I am relieved that I just can't eat the grains as I know I would have even more serious problems if I could!

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JLITT62 9/21/2011 8:52AM

    They can be hard lessons to learn, but most of the time I can't figure out what's going on so kudos to you. Knowledge truly is power.

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WENDYSPARKS 9/21/2011 7:34AM

    Hang in there!

Wendy emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/21/2011 7:29AM

    Sodium can really come into play and mess things up. Granted, it is usually temporary but
the shock of retained fluid can kick us into high gear and raise a flag on what we have done. Take it all in stride and keep that positive attitude. emoticon emoticon

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