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Random Acts of Eating

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The best time to track your food is before you eat it.

Last Friday my husband and I decided to pick up my son at his apartment and have dinner at Fuddruckers. It's close to my son's apartment, and there are things there I can safely eat. I usually get a grilled chicken sandwich (without the bun because I'm gluten intolerant), a baked potato with butter and sour cream, and a strawberry milkshake. Those milkshakes are awesome: rich and creamy, with chunks of whole strawberries blended throughout. We're not talking McDonald's "shakes" with artificial flavors and precious little milk. We're talking the real thing.

But I sat down before we left to "track" this meal on my nutrition page. What a wake up call! The only strawberry milk shake I could find when I searched the food list was like 390 calories for 10 ounces. Fudd shakes are probably twice that size. That would be 780 calories for the shake alone. Couldn't do it. Better get diet Coke or water instead. The grilled chicken sandwich was about 6 ounces of lean chicken breast. I decided to eat only half of it for a more normal serving of 3 ounces. I also decided to skip the butter, and eat only a tablespoon of the sour cream. And I added a side salad, no croutons, dressing on the side. Now I had a reasonable food plan. Armed with this plan I ate a reasonable meal and enjoyed our night out immensely.

Last night I was watching Monday Night Football and snoozing in front of the TV. Suddenly I decided that a small snack was in order and got into the jar of roasted, salted pecans. They were delightful and I ate a couple of handfuls. Then I sat down to "track" my snack. Oops. Pecans in all their roasted, salted loveliness are full of fat and calories. How many nuts is in an ounce? How many did I actually eat? Granted, nuts have "good" fat in them, and a little bit of fiber, but I didn't need any more fat or fiber in my diet yesterday, so I blew my goals.

Oh well. Sometimes you need to remember that fat is not a personality disorder. One unplanned snack is not an eternal condemnation. I will hide the pecans at the back of the pantry and eat them again after I've tracked them into my food plan for the day, and not before.

My poem for today is one I can totally identify with. It's written by Joyce Huff:

The Hymn of a Fat Woman

All of the saints starved themselves.
Not a single fat one.
The words “deity” and “diet” must have come from the same
Latin root.

Those saints must have been thin as knucklebones
or shards of stained
glass or Christ carved
on his cross.

as pew seats. Brittle
as hair shirts. Women
made from bone, like the ribs that protrude from his wasted
wooden chest. Women consumed
by fervor.

They must have been able to walk three or four abreast
down that straight and oh-so-narrow path.
They must have slipped with ease through the eye
of the needle, leaving the weighty
camels stranded at the city gate.

Within that spare city’s walls,
I do not think I would find anyone like me.

I imagine I will find my kind outside
lolling in the garden
munching on the apples.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDDYTEDDY 12/20/2009 8:41AM

    Great poem...

Your comment about pecans being high in fat.....brings back a memory from 2007 or was it 2008? I ate only 5 large pecans fresh by mail from Georgia...and guess what...I had my first gall bladder attack and thought I was having a heart attack..couldn't breath cause my ribs hurt so bad.....

Ended up having gall bladder surgery 3 days later with another attack after eating only 1 protein bar that had 10 grams of fat...

After that I looked up the fat content (and calories) in all my favorite nuts and my favorite were macadamians, brazils and of course, they were the highest fat with pecans high on the list, too.

I see from your blogs that you have been saved from overdoing quite a few times by checking on the nutrition content before eating...I should follow your example....

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TRAILPAL 12/15/2009 3:52PM

    Well written!

I loved those lines:
"They must have been able to walk three or four abreast
down that straight and oh-so-narrow path."

Luckily that is not my goal!

but yep, "planning ahead" instead of "mopping up behind" works better for me too. emoticon

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CHANCELUND 12/15/2009 10:18AM

    I loved this blog. My first holiday party of the season was an all night snackfest! When I got home and tracked what I ate - let's just say I crashed and burned.

The second party, with advice from my SP team members went better. I only drank water, and took small amounts of what I really liked. I ate slowly. No seconds! I still went over my 1500 calories for the day, but I felt in control!

I am less worried right now about the calories than avoiding the binge!!! emoticon

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JCORYCMA 12/15/2009 8:21AM

    I love it - "Fat is not a personality disorder" - I think I'll post that by my computer. You are a gifted writer. It must hereditary emoticon

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The Best is Yet to Be

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I could say that I've struggled with my weight all of my adult life, but that wouldn't be true. There wasn't much struggle there.

I was a skinny child and an average sized adolescent. I gained weight in college, but lost it in my senior year after a nasty two-week bout of flu. I was quite slim when I married at age 23. Over the next 10 years, and two children, my weight crept up to what was to become my adult poundage. I knew intellectually that I was overweight. I even joked about shopping at the fat lady shops for clothes, but I never really felt fat. I just accepted my weight and got on with my life. We lived in Bermuda for 5 and 1/2 years and kept pretty active with swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. After we returned to the states and eventually settled in Virginia, I joined the local county recreation center and swam or did the treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes a day, six days a week for about 10 years. I even did the weight machines 2 or 3 times a week. My husband and I went out to eat a lot and my weight didn't vary much. I lost some weight after developing gluten intolerance, but after my digestive problems were diagnosed and solved by a gluten free diet, the weight came back.

After Bermuda I had returned to the interesting, challenging job that I'd left before my daughter was born. I bought nice clothes so I would look professional at work. I shopped for plus size clothes, but I shopped at Victoria's Secret, too.

As I aged, the excess weight began to take it's toll on my health. I took medication to control my high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I developed diabetes and took more medication to control my blood sugar. Unfortunately, one diabetic drug I took, Avandaryl, caused me to gain 30 pounds. I switched medication to Metformin and 10 pounds came off immediately, but the rest of the weight I'd gained seemed to want to hang around.

I couldn't really worry about my own health at that time because my husband's kidneys failed and he had to go on dialysis and finally get a kidney transplant. Since the transplant his health has been wonderful and things have settled down a little.

Then this past year my right leg began to swell and I had several episodes of cellulitis. I saw a specialist who prescribed compression stockings for me. I asked how long I would have to wear them and he said, "Until you lose 50 pounds." My first reaction was, "Well I guess I'll be buried in those suckers, then." But when I thought about it I decided I would give dieting a chance. I knew my sister had lost a lot of weight and kept it off with the help of Spark People, but I decided to go it alone, and I lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks.

Then life intervened again. I slipped on a wet deck and broke my left ankle in three places. I used 2 months of my accumulated sick leave to recover from the surgery and found myself with no ability to be active, and a lot of time on my hands. So I joined Spark People and starting tracking my calories. I really enjoyed that and found it helped me to eat rationally. I lost another 8 pounds and hope to lose 30 more.

I love poetry. I don't write poetry, but I collect poems and like to share them. Here is a poem by Robert Browning that I've always liked:

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be;
The last of life, for which the first was made;
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”

I'm living a good life, but I still believe "the best is yet to be."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JCORYCMA 12/14/2009 8:28AM

    Oh my goodness, I'm all teary eyed this Monday morning! That's one of my favorite poems too. You are at a perfect time in your life to get as healthy as you can and feel the best you can feel! Congratulations on not accepting status quo and making the decision to change.
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LUCYSMOM09 12/13/2009 5:29PM

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to SparkPeople the place that will change your life! You have been through a lot. Take it slow.

No one is in charge of your happiness except you. Much success on your weight loss journey.

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JOJOBU 12/13/2009 5:29PM

    Great quote and great first blog post! Good luck during the holiday season and in the upcoming 2010 year! emoticon

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