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Cheating or Choosing?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

In this vivid holiday season all packed with sugar plums, puddings and cakes, and all the other seasonal temptations, I hear a lot of people talk about "cheating" on their diets. And every time I hear it I feel a pang. There's just something wrong with seeing yourself as a cheat. It's got to be chipping away at your soul a little, even if the word rolls off your tongue in a humerous and joking fashion.

Of course, people should use whatever words, tools or techniques that make their lives rich and happy so from this point on I am speaking only for myself - but I am never ever going to think of myself as a cheater! I may make a poor choice - even a stupid choice - but I am NOT a cheat. I am a human full of complex drives, emotions and desires.

I choose. I choose mindlessly sometimes, but still - I choose. To help me realize what I have chosen I intend to always use my nutrition tracker and to always honestly put down what I've eaten. If I miss a day or two with the tracker it will be because of time or space constraints. I live in the country and sometimes my "high speed internet" is a bit pokey. And the computer is in a room that sometimes has to double as a guest room. But I won't fear or dread owning up to my consumption. It's just one of the many facets of myself.

I've spent the morning reading my friends' spark pages and blogs and one of them (I'm sorry -- I've forgotten which one of you shared this wise thought) reminded me that each day deserves its own unique and special honor - each day is a jewel that deserves to be polished.

And so - off I go to polish up my Saturday. May yours sparkle like a gem!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYFEETHURT 12/7/2009 1:48PM

  I don't like to hear someone say they cheated either. If they must use that would be that by making the wrong choice...they cheated themselves out of a victory. The quicker we change direction when we are going in the wrong way...the faster we get to our destination or goal. Each day is a jewel that deserves to be polished. Oh, I like that. Gotta remember that one. Thanks for a great blog AGAIN. mary

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HARPERLADY 12/5/2009 8:46PM

    I love that idea, I bet simply changing that perspective will not only make you feel better but help you make a "now" better choice. I have been doing that a lot thinking about the choices that I make, each individual choice is one i choose to make, and that seems to help a lot , they had pizza at work yesterday and I had a salad and felt good about it cause I was putting something in my body could use emoticon

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MSLZZY 12/5/2009 8:29PM

    My Saturday did sparkle-thanks!

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OPAL50 12/5/2009 7:10PM

    Thank you for this blog. It's a very positive way of looking at CHOOSING a healthy lifestyle over the long run rather than looking at yourself as a negative CHEAT.

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BKWHITE3 12/5/2009 9:26AM

    A great blog. I don't say I've lost say 2 pounds,but I say 2#s are gone. To me lost means that you can find them again. Gone means gone never to return.

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JLITT62 12/5/2009 9:05AM

    Oooh, I like that too -- making each day sparkle. Really, a great blog & I agree 100%. No food is good or bad, but thinking makes it so!

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JOJOBU 12/5/2009 7:51AM

    Great post! What a great attitude to treat everyday like it's own unique opportunity to excel! Have a great weekend!

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TRENTDREAMER 12/5/2009 7:50AM

    "I hear a lot of people talk about "cheating" on their diets. And every time I hear it I feel a pang. There's just something wrong with seeing yourself as a cheat. It's got to be chipping away at your soul a little, even if the word rolls of your tongue in a humerous and joking fashion."

* Wow! You totally hit the nail on the head with this blog. I see a lot of subtle negative self talk on the postings on this site as well. It really breaks my heart (I'm not judging. I used to say the same types of things). You are spot on in that even small "humorous" put downs add up to a mindset.

For their sake, I wish that most people realized that there is a significant difference between their recommended calorie range and their BMR (Essentially, going over their range by 100-200 calories will only slow down their weight loss, not reverse it and ruin them). One or two bad days against five or six good ones doesn't make one a cheater/failure.

Thank you for posting this.


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MYUTMOST4HIM 12/5/2009 7:46AM

    What a great thought for the day!!!

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Today I am happy: My new favorite message board

Friday, December 04, 2009

I'm always discovering fun stuff on Spark People and yesterday I stumbled upon the message board "Today I am Happy because..."

A little like counting your blessings, asking myself why I'm feeling good, why I'm happy, is just about the best mind-shift exercise I know. I've actually marked it as a favorite so I can pop in there whenever I want, without having to go through any layers.

Life is constantly flowing things my way and it's pretty much up to me to decide how I am going to receive them ... or not. I remember once telling my young boyfriend and future husband, who still flirted a little with affecting cynicism because he thought it made him look cool, "Happiness is a choice". I think it was about then he dropped the disdainful airs - and good thing, too, or I'd have dropped him.

So why are you happy today? Oh really? Then go post it here!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 12/5/2009 8:53PM

    Thanks for the link! I'm so glad you posted it! emoticon

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CSDAYS 12/4/2009 7:42AM

    We make hundreds of choices a day. Happiness is a choice too.


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When is no gain a loss?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The week after Thanksgiving, that's when. Especially when it was followed by the Second Thanksgiving Crowd and the Third Thanksgiving Crowd. Eventually you've polished off the leftovers and after a while the kitchen looks like it did on November the 21st.

My weigh-in day is Thursday and I was rather pleased that there had been no weight gain. This long after the most egregious eating day means I can relax about any lurking holiday calories "weight-ing" to make themselves felt. I am not surprised that there was no movement in either direction because though there were many opportunities to indulge, I tried hard to listen to my body and eat only when hungry, stop between (several) bites and ask if I was still hungry, and stop when I was no longer hungry. In short, though I did eat pie, and even cake, and kettle corn, I ate them deliberately, not mindlessly, and in moderation.

I count this a successful week and am proud about it.

In the coming weeks, though, I want to do better. I began tracking my intake on Monday and I go back to the gym today. I have a 3 pound goal I want to reach before January 1. I believe I can do it!

Happy Friday Eve to you all. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 12/4/2009 6:36AM

    emoticon You did fine!

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JLITT62 12/3/2009 8:02PM

    I, unfortunately, had a small gain, despite also being very mindful of what I ate. But that's life. Annoying sometimes, but mostly rewarding.

Great job!

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HARPERLADY 12/3/2009 11:41AM

    great job! emoticon

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why do I keep eating when nothing tastes good?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bess's theory of mindless eating:

There are two types of people - those who stop eating if nothing tastes good = emoticon

and those who can't believe NOTHING tastes good and keep on eating ANYTHING in a quest for SOMETHING that does.

guess which one she is?

I remember one time I bought some Girl Scout Thin Mints and somehow the bakery had left out the mint my particular batch. Same crisp chocolate cookie. Same chocolate coating - but NO mint flavor. I always buy cookies from little salesgirls who are brave enough to come to me at the library and ask so I got these at work. Driving home I dug into the box - you know I was only going to have one - just to get that chocolatey minty taste. Only there was no mint. so I tried another. Still no mint. I tried another. What? No mint flavor in Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies?!?

I continued to eat those cookies till I'd eaten an entire sleeve of them! And I was never satisfied, even if I was sick!! I had a cookie hangover!!

Alas. I can resist temptation if I know it's coming - but I am often unable to resist following a path I think should be safe when it turns out it isn't.

So here I am, resisting the Biker Eclaire Guy -

And here I am waking up on the side of the road with the Apache Dancing Thin Mint Guy promising to still respect me

So. all this is just to remind me that ... if it doesn't taste good (like when you are home with a sore throat ...??) DON'T EAT IT!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great advice! The trick is in the following of it.

You are going to make this happen! One box of cookies, mint or no mint, isn't going to ruin you. Just get back on track.

You can do this!

**edit: to answer your question, because you are human and we need food to survive. sometimes we don't differentiate between good and not-so-good foods.
emoticon that's why it is called an addiction.

Comment edited on: 12/2/2009 9:56:43 AM

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SLENDERELLA61 12/2/2009 8:05AM

    Very astute observation. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom.

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SHYBABE5700 12/2/2009 7:48AM

    wow, you eat a whole box,,,lol I use to eat even though I was not tasting what I was eating. but it had to do with cancer drugs I was taking at the taste is coming back slowly. but you learn something...take care emoticon

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JLITT62 12/2/2009 7:47AM

    We have (well, most of us, anyway) all been there, done that. We're all a work in progress!

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BREN4376 12/2/2009 7:43AM

    You are so right! That's funny!

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Month 3 dawns and I am a different woman

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

December 1 begins the serious holiday season around here and I love it! Of course - I managed to pick up my annual holiday sore throat from one of my many Thanksgiving guests (That's my story and I'm sticking to it! emoticon)

But that is a little thing. I have 2 gallons of pine needle tea (our sovereign Powhatan Indian remedy for sore throats et. al.) and a sick leave day to spend napping in bed. I will lick this thing today. And while my foot is still tender, it's healing well. A day in bed ought to set it back in perfect condition.

Speaking of exercise I am proud to say I've passed the 1000 fitness minutes milestone. I hadn't ever thought about totalling my exercise minutes before but now that I've seen it as a lump sum I am thinking about totals and goals and progress. 1000 minutes over 8 weeks is only a little over 2 hours a week. Now - a week or so ago I scheduled daily exercise in my DayTimer and those sessions total up to about 4 hours a week. I think that's great progress over time but eventually I'd like my weeks to include 6 hours of scheduled exercise. I think that would be the perfect steady state to live in. So - in the new year that's going to be one of my goals.

In the mean time, though I'd scheduled mostly walking, I'm going to swap out some of those for stationary biking. Though it's not one of my favorite forms of exercise (yet) it has several benefits that I don't want to pass on - 1. it gives my tender foot beneficial stretching and protects it from injury 2. it uses muscles in my thighs in ways that no other workout uses and they need that different sort of workout

It's so EASY to do the same thing over and over again - be it eating the same meals because you "know" their nutritional make-up or doing the same exercises because you "know" their calorie consumption. And though all sorts of experts advise you to mix it up and though any healthy eating or exercise is better than none - I am ready to move up to the next level - I'm ready to make my healthy steps creatively instead of by rote.

Oh - My goodness! I hadn't realized it but I truly AM at a different place than I was 2 months ago. Then I was desperate to try ANYTHING! Then I was miserable in my body and feeling sluggish and flabby. Well. I was sluggish and flabby. Then I was looking for the magic that would make me, as my darling son used to say "All Fixed".

But we all know we have to make our own magic. We know that healthy living has to be interesting, fun, challenging, exciting and ... most importantly ... it has to be OUR OWN if we're going to stick with it and one of the first signs that we've taken ownership of our healthy lives is fine tune it - tailor it - to suit our own special situations. And that is what I realize I have done - without even knowing it at the time.

Man. I am so excited at this discovery I could dance. Ha! Dance myself back to bed with a big tumbler of tea.

So. May your own Day 1 of the Holiday Month dawn with a healthy mental breakthrough and may every day that follows lift you up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LILYPUTIN 12/3/2009 9:42AM

    I'm going to feel better about stationary biking now. We had our first snow today and usually I would change from outside walking to mall walking, but mall walking has lots of obstacles in December! I'll slip in some stationary biking and hope the snow melts off the sidewalks for a few more weeks of outside walking. Hurray for mental health breakthroughs!!!

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HARPERLADY 12/1/2009 9:09AM

    you are doing fantastic! great goal for your workouts I'm not a big fan of the sationary bike either but when I get on it I notice a diffence in the muscles I feel when I am using it. emoticon emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/1/2009 8:03AM

    Pine needle tea? OK, I can't even begin to fathom this.
But I love the new spirit that pervades you, and applaud your plans for the month. Well done! emoticon

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