Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I have really gotten rolling with my re-set:
---No sugar, no grains
---Eating only between noon - 8-9pm, resulting in a daily "fast" of 16 hours
---Tracking all food
---Weighing in weekly.
I've avoided the latter two for too long and I don't wanna hit spring filled with coulda/shoulda/wouldas. Being at the upper limit of my clothes...nothing nudges me like THAT!
The irony, which I'm able to take without self-bashing, is that when I finally weighed in last Weds. for the first time in a long time I looked back @ my weight records @ SP only to find my weight was within a pound of where I was a year ago last January! 255. I had succeeded in whittling down to 240 during this past year and allowed it to slide right back up again.
Here's my goal: no more Sisyphean-rock-rolling back up the hill only to allow that rock to fall again! REALLY going to do my utmost to hold onto nutrition tracking and weighing in so that I can hold onto, maintain and add to my progress.
Along with be-friending Hunger and welcoming it almost every night and morning when I wake up, I am making peace with what used to be my OTHER former "mortal enemy": NUMBERS! While I could do better with the whole portion thing and may tighten up in that department, I've made significant improvements.
For example I almost always have a bag of natural, unroasted almonds in my car for snacking. I used to snack on them very mindlessly without limits. Now I find myself being very selective about my almond-munching and count them out while I eat them, remembering that 24 roughly = an ounce. I'll often break up my ounce to 10 or so almonds at a time.
Over the weekend I had a challenge with TWO restaurant visits in one day, one of which was at a BUFFET, no less! The buffet was pretty easy to negotiate as I simply did not allow myself to "wander" into the sweet, desert-y section and stuck (since there were still breakfast items available) to a freshly made omelet with ingredients of my choosing and a slice of turkey.
Later we went to an ITALIAN restaurant where carbie dishes are crawling out of the woodwork! BUT: I found a nice big spinach salad with cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese and opted to top it off with a chicken breast. I used the dressing extremely sparingly and...best of all could only barely eat 1/2 of the salad before feeling "full", not STUFFED. Saved the rest for my my lunch at work the next day.
Which leads to another reward I'm already reaping: my appetite is shrinking. I'm feeling full with less and less food.
Inspired by a Mary Oliver poem shared by VALERIEMAHA:
When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,
like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.
Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.
Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.
A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.
Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.
In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem)
My reaction: There might be something to be gained from re-framing many conditions formerly thought to be "negative".
I've been befriending hunger. Perhaps it's time to start adding others such as loneliness and grief (as mentioned by Oliver) instead of self-medicating with food...even GOOD food! I sometimes find myself gnawing through a bag of baby carrots when something is gnawing at ME.
As I have been learning to "be with" my hunger, it might be worthwhile to spend time "being with" anger, loneliness, anxiety and a host of other emotions formerly thought to be "uncomfortable" and to be avoided at all cost...
Friday, January 10, 2014
It was a late work day yesterday (heck today too!), after 8 pm when finished and I was HUNGRY! Way more than my usual hunger thus far in my re-set for the new year. But I thought of WATERMELLEN's advice from www.fatloser.com and Siebold's tip to welcome hunger as a sign that one's efforts are paying off and weight is being lost.
I have an ancient, automatic response to hunger which says: FEED ME!
I had to pick up some freggies and canned goods at the grocery store which were going to go off sale by the end of the week and I knew I'd be too busy to get there beyond today.
So I'm in probably the very WORST condition to be waltzing through a grocery store! I had developed a hugely horrible habit over the past several weeks to "reward" or "self-sooth" myself with a carbie snack whenever I go to the grocery store or drug store. So I resolved that it just ain't gonna happen anymore!
I whizzed through, avoiding all the tempting aisles, got the freggies & canned goods I was going after & outta the store minus any indulgences and made it home to MY own food!
But even THEN I wasn't out of the woods. I realized that I was trying to talk myself into eating something OTHER than the home-made black bean soup which I planned on. I teased apart my thinking a little further. It went something like this:
"Jeez I'm REALLY hungry, maybe I'd better have something more substantial than the soup I had planned. Since I'm limiting my food intake to only between Noon and 8-9 pm, how about some eggs, cheese and salsa...that'll stick to my ribs better and hold me overnight. Besides, I avoided buying any carbie junk, why not reward myself?" Sneaky booger, that inner tiger I'm trying to cage!
I realized I was acting like a fireman rushing to a fire and looking to put it out as best I could. I stepped back and reminded myself yet again about Siebold's talk about hunger being a GOOD thing, an indicator that my plan is working, that I'm torching calories! I reminded myself of all the freggies I'd had earlier today along with portioned cheese and was like "who am I kidding?"
So I stuck with the bowl of soup, dodged a craving bullet tonight and learned to turn my "mortal enemy," hunger into my best bud!
I got a kick out of a co-worker today who stops by all the time to graze out of my bowl of freggies which I put out everyday for myself and whoever's interested. He tossed me a $20 bill as he does now & then saying: "thanks for keeping me stocked on the good stuff! If this wasn't around I'd be eating all sorts of garbage everyday!"
I think I've started my own CSA at work! :-)
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Well yesterday's allergy symptoms oddly let up enough for me to get a super night of sleep and woke up with hardly any symptoms other than an occasional runny nose. Whew! Glad that didn't hang on...I don't *do* sick very well, lol!
Spent a couple hours getting my feet 'neath me again with cx skiing. Still so awkward...! always fighting my crappy balance...course that works my shoulders a lot, they're feeling the after-effects of all that heavy sticking with the poles to keep myself upright. Still managed to tumble a few times, once I had a heckuva time getting upright again...no Snow Angels left by my flopping around...but a respectable attempt at a Jackson Pollack!
I always head to the flattest area I know at the north end of our local parks where they have 4 soccer fields end to end. Looped round four times. Once to quasi-bushwhack a trail left by snow-shoers...by the 3rd/4th loops had at least a LITTLE bit of slide & glide going. Snow was sticky though, being so warm, around 32 degrees. Had to shed my jacket, just a long-sleeved t-shirt was all I needed as I heat up so easily! Hopefully there will be more than the usual opportunity to go and gain greater confidence with cx skiing this winter.
Getting out and grabbing the world sure beats ANY contraband I could choose to put in my mouth! Thinking about pour food choices as limiting my ability to be, as I like to quote, "Alive In The World" sure makes it easier reach for healthier fuel!
Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone!
Saturday, January 04, 2014
I came across a surprising editorial in the New York Times by Mike Tyson during my 'net wanderings today. Although he focused on his recovery from alcohol / street drugs, I, on the other hand, honed right in to how closely his insights & experiences parallel my own junk (i.e. sugary, starchy) food addiction.
Here is a link to his essay:
Fighting to Kick the Habit
Even the title hits home! Here are some of the more striking quotes:
"For addicts, discipline isn't something to strive for each new year; itís necessary for every moment."
"I had to replace the cravings for drugs or alcohol with a craving to be a better person."
"Iíve learned that being sober is more than just avoiding drugs or alcohol. Itís a lifestyle focused on making moral choices and elevating the things that make life worth living to the forefront."
"Even with your conscience nagging at you, itís extremely difficult to develop a sober and moral consciousness without a good support system." Where would we be without our supportive friends, family and SparkFamily? "Recovery is a drawn-out process, and without the continued encouragement of my support system, it would be close to impossible."
"Strangely, times of success are most dangerous for me. When people tell me, 'Youíre great' or 'Your comeback is amazing' or 'Youíre a god,' I could feed right into it and go get high." Yep, been there, done that...even recently a well-meaning person who hadn't seen me in a while was telling me how good I looked and to myself I replied: Ugh. Don't tell me that! Cuz I know the score. My tight pants knows the score! I have been known to pervert praise as an imaginary "get out of jail free" card. Which we all KNOW doesn't exist, but those well-worn grooves can be so treacherously easy to slide back into!
I know I've seen similar thoughts / struggles from those well into maintaining weight loss: "even though I hadn't been using for five years, all that time I just didn't feel comfortable in my skin."
And near the end he shares a lesson I've recently re-learned, re-honed: "I had learned not to beat up on myself. I remembered that relapse is a part of recovery." Congrats Mike and thank you for passing along your insights!
This is day 3 since my re-set. Tracking & low carbing absolute essentials to where I want to be!
I also GREATLY appreciate the HUGE tip shared by WATERMELLEN (check out her recent blogs:
I've since signed up for Steve Siebold's FatLoser program (Mental Toughness Program for Dieters) and have begun reading his free e-book:
www.fatloser.com and doing the work.
In other news, I was disappointed today to have my allergy problem, which may be more than allergies, I'm beginning to suspect, prevent me from getting out on one of the increasingly rare days when we can cross country ski in our area. I've been sneezing uncontrollably, runny eyes, raw nose from blowing, headaches (which I rarely get) and absolutely zero energy. Despite that I have been able to put together a terrific soup with beef broth, crushed tomatoes, kale, onions, garlic, jalapenos, a smidgen of pumpkin left over and black beans.
AND I've wrapped up my third day of tracking. Sure I feel lousy with my allergies, but hey, no matter what, I can always choose what to eat!
Monday I see my old allergy doc, hopefully get to the bottom of these spells which come and go and knock my socks off!
Thursday, January 02, 2014
I usually do my utmost NOT to join in with the crowd as I've always disliked the I'm-doing-it-cuz-everyone-is-doing-it mentality.
As a result I've never been a fan of New Year's Resolutions.
Well, this year will be an exception as I have backslid too much during the "dark months" and it is time to declare *ENOUGH!*
Some of the thoughts / factors influencing me are:
---Reaching the upper end of tolerance for tight clothes. Thank goodness I gave away all my "fatter" clothes...! :-)
---Feeling the pounds tugging at my cardio performance. Going slower against my will? Not at ALL tolerant of THAT!
---News of upcoming cycling events for 2014 and just not at ALL wanting to beat myself up for dragging along extra pounds that I coulda/shoulda/woulda sent to the curb.
---One of the retail therapy "indulgences" I've allowed myself over the past few months has been to gradually pick up deals on camping gear for some more self-supported cycling trips. I've got my tent/footprint, sleeping bag, super absorbent towel, inflatable pillow, powerpack for cell phone...all that's left is the air mattress and a waterproof stuff sack. All these material investments in my cycling fun has me thinking it's way past time to kick it in the pants for some physical investments into my body!
So my plan? First & foremost: no self-bashing! I've done enough of that! Now *learning* a thing or two about relapse prevention? I'm two thumbs way UP on that!
As always I've gotta keep it simple. Two critical factors will bring results for me as they always have:
1) Dial the processed carb way WAY down. In fact my hope is to only allow for perhaps one serving of fruit per day and at times legumes in soups and hummus. All sugar/flour-based carbs...fuggedaboutem!
and the REAL BIGGIE:
2) Tracking my food intake. Duh...what a shocker, right? Nothing has brought me the results and satisfaction with my efforts like tracking and being highly aware of the types of calories (fat/protein/carbohydrate) I'm consuming.
One thing I like about my past accomplishments is that without tracking, just eating what I *KNOW* and have learned over the years is "good" food for myself I am able to maintain my weight around 240 pounds. Which is no small thing given the heights my weight has reached in the past.
But: I know that is not enough to satisfy me over the long haul. I still think 200 is going to be a weight which will be an acceptable goal for myself. Who knows for sure until one gets down around that range as to whether or not this will be live-able and maintain-able...but I'd like to give it a serious shot. I succeeded once back in March 2010 and I know the critical factor which enabled this success was tracking.
Another accomplishment I feel good about is my rock-solid commitment to being physically active and working out at least 5x a week with maybe one, at most two days off.
Another thing I'm going to try short-term as a way of jump-starting my efforts is to limit my eating to roughly between the hours of noon and 8 pm. This results in a limited "fast" for the other 16 hours. I'm intrigued by this idea as it "keeps it simple:" no thoughts or concerns about eating during a good part of the day! Will it be sustainable? Dunno. I'll maintain awareness of my inner deprivation / resentment barometer...if it kicks up too much of a fuss I'll ditch this pattern. If nothing else, it sorta shakes things up which appeals to me. Let's not just get outta the rut, how about taking some DYNAMITE to the rut?!
So let's get this 2014 thing kicking, shall we? :-)
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