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Taking It Easy

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Again. Yep. Back here again. I don't know if I'll do anything different really. I do know that I'm going to take it easy. I mean on myself. I am extremely hard on myself and I think in the past this has caused me to become upset, which causes me to overeat or make unhealthy choices. I think that taking it easy on myself will actually free me up to take better care of myself, which may in fact mean working harder! We'll see.

I do know that it feels good to be back here, tracking my food, logging what I can, and reading whatever feels good to be reading about. Just bringing this into my consciousness and maintaining a non-judgmental curiosity about my habits seems to be changing them (for the better) already.

Like I said...we'll see.


Curiouser and Curiouser

Friday, March 20, 2009

This past week my calorie intake dropped by about 400 calories a day. This was not on purpose, and it's very surprising to me. It may be in part that I'm making wiser calorie choices and that the foods I'm eating are more nutrient-dense, but it still surprises me to not feel hungry. Last night, I actually had to make myself eat some dinner of rice and veggies.

With that said, I am now eating within the calorie range that sparkpeople recommended, so I don' t think that I'm under eating. Also, I eat fairly constantly throughout the day, so my energy seems pretty steady.

I also noticed this past week that I don't feel so good after I eat a couple of foods: dairy products and peanut butter. I know that many people have dairy and peanut allergies or intolerances, so I'm considering taking these foods out of my diet for awhile to see if this makes a difference. I'm a vegetarian and soy products give me terrible gas, so I'm going to have to figure out some good alternatives for getting protein. I do eat eggs and fish, so that should help.

I'm curious to see what might happen next in my eating adventure!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARTSEA11 3/20/2009 8:09PM

    way to go finallyfit!
keep up the good hard work!
i have not yet gotten into counting calories, but hope to get there soon!

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Let Me Not Eat Cake

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Well, here I am toward the end of week one of getting back on track. I raised my calorie intake goals because I realized that I need about 1800 calories to not feel hungry and to meet some of my other nutritional goals. I was pretty close to that this week --squeaking over a couple of times, but I felt good about that.

I've realized that what I eat in a day makes a big difference. Not just the number of calories, but what make up those calories. That recent news about calorie reduction being the main way to lose weight may be true, but if I eat many sweet things, even while staying within my calorie range, I feel terrible.

This week, Nancy brought home a piece of vegan chocolate cake, and I decided to eat it because I had some room in my calorie budget. It was amazingly delicious. Then, about an hour later, I felt terrible and miserable and like no good could ever come. I've noticed this pattern with sweets before, particularly ones that contain chocolate, but I've repeatedly chosen to ignore it.

I don't want to think of not eating sweets as a way of depriving myself, but rather as a way to give myself the gift of taking care of myself and remembering the consequences. I'm pretty sure that I might chose to suffer the upsetting consequences of my eating sugar some time in the future, but at least I want to do it on purpose.

I've heard that making changes like this will eventually become a no-brainer -- like learning not to touch a hot burner, just a reflex. I guess part of the problem is that the sugar crash isn't immediate, so I have plenty of time to make up all kinds of stories about why I would feel that way. But I've learned that I do not think rationally at these times.

There are a few things I can eat that are sweet but don't do this to me:

Trader Joe's lime pops
fruit and yogurt
sorbet (although this can make my head feel strange and bright)

I've also found that if I eat enough sweetishness with my meals, including fruit or say a cereal bar as a snack, I don't really have the craving so much.

I just remembered that the Yogi brand Vanilla Hazelnut tea with a teaspoon of honey and a little non-fat milk can take the evening sweet craving edge off.

I should start asking people how they handle their sweet cravings. I know plenty of people struggle with this, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYRA34 3/2/2009 10:38AM

    I don't know if this would help since it does have some chocolate in it and SUGAR...but one thing that i go for when I'm having a sweet craving is chocolate milk: 2 TSP of Nesquick and 1 cup skim milk. really hits the spot for me

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AMACUBA 2/28/2009 11:34AM

  As time goes on, you'll notice the same icy feeling when you eat unhealthy foods. I ate fries a few weeks ago (not to say I've eaten completely healthily ever since! lol), and about 20 minutes later I had the trots. That's graphic, I know, but for the last year or so that's been my body's reactin to junky food.

The people I've helped on their journey invariably call/email/come to my office one day and say, "I had (whatever) last night, and do you know what HAPPENED??" It makes me laugh. I tell them that ironically it's a GOOD thing, because it means your body isn't used to it anymore, because they've been eating healthily. Of course the other part of that is "what are other people's bodies like inside, when they can eat McDonalds every day???"

So, it's icky, but it's GOOD! It means you're on the right track!


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This One's For Myra: What I've Learned

Monday, February 23, 2009

In this blog entry, I'm going to list what I've learned about what has worked for me in terms of taking care of my body. I may not be able to list everything, but I think this might help me as I try to get started again.

Things that work for me around eating:

1. Eating every two to three hours helps keep my energy up and I avoid overeating or eating things that are high in sugar.

2. Eating low-fat foods has helped my IBS more than any other single thing.

3. Making sure to eat carbs before eating protein or fats (even a couple of bites) also helps prevent an attack.

4. Vegetables are very filling! If I eat them first when I want a snack, I usually don't want anything else. I've found that a non-fat vegetable soup is ideal.

5. My body always feels better when I eat foods that are cooked and warm.

6. Making anything off-limits only increases my desire for it. I like the idea of allowing myself to eat whatever I want in moderation.

7. With that said, I don't seem to be able to control myself around sweets. But then again, I'm not usually eating those because I'm hungry.

8. I really like the feeling of being truly hungry. It has been a long time since I have experienced that. I mean hungry for food.

9. Drinking a cup of tea with a little bit of skim milk and honey can tide me over for a good hour if I think I'm hungry.

10. Little things add up. I forget that it works both ways. A little bit added to food here and there can add up to pounds over time. A little bit not taken can add up to weight loss.

11. I feel great when I eat fruit or vegetables at every meal. Actually, if I had to choose one, it would be vegetables. Sometimes fruit, especially when I eat it raw, upsets my digestive system.

12. Going shopping for particular recipes and having all of those ingredients on hand makes eating heathfully during the week much easier.

13. If I have lots of healthy snacks ready to eat, I will generally choose them over things that are high in sugar. It seems I just don't like taking the time to prepare things when I'm hungry.

14. I used to drink lots of juice. Now I do "juice shots" if really want some. I pour some into an espresso cup (just 2 to 3 oz) and tip it back. Fun! Sometimes I'll add the "shot" into some seltzer for a spritzer. Yum.

15. Some non-fat products are disgusting. For example, non-fat cream cheese and non-fat ricotta are the weirdest consistency. I'd rather go without or eat the full-fat or low-fat versions. I do like non-fat milk and yogurt -- in fact, the full fat stuff almost tastes too decadent now. Still, I'm in conflict around these dairy products for a couple of reasons. One is that I think food that isn't messed with is probably better for us. The second reason is that I think I would feel better if I gave up dairy all together. I've done it before and I really have felt physically better. We'll see what I wind up doing.

16. Soy products give me the worst gas! I've also read some articles about soy and soy products, many of which are highly processed. Again, the less we mess with things, the better I think they are for us.

17. I'm having trouble drinking water lately. Just not interested. I'll have to think of some things to spruce it up. I guess I could add juice or lemon or lime. It just doesn't taste good. Maybe I'll try herbal teas -- get those good herbs in. Maybe I just don't like the cold?

18. I am very lucky to have a family that also likes vegetables. I think it must be really difficult to be wanting to lose weight and eat well and have family members who refuse to eat vegetables and aren't supportive.

19. If it's in the house, I will eat it. I can resist during certain periods, but it's just better to not tempt myself.

20. I love Trader Joe's frozen lime pops. Dessert for only 60 calories and no fat (I'm pretty sure about the fat part)!

Well, I could probably go on, but I think I'll try to write a little about the exercise and moving around thing:

1. I liked doing the 10 minute videos in January. They were fun and I really do feel like I can do almost anything for 10 minutes. It's often how I trick myself into doing things for a longer period of time. Just do it for 10 minutes and then you can stop, I tell myself. I'm such a sucker!

2. I like to be outside a LOT. Unfortunately, I think my experience of shame prevents me from moving around during the day. Sometimes I just don't want to be seen. It's much easier if I'm with a friend. Some days I don't feel this way at all, but it has prevented me from going out before. Just the thought of dealing with another person can sometimes feel like too much.

3. Walking is wonderful. I feel so good 99.99% of the time after I walk. Nancy and I decided to do the Walk for Hunger in Boston a few years back and we trained for weeks. One day we took a 13 mile walk. I was euphoric by the end (and exhausted). It was the longest spring that I can recall -- we watched every stage of the wonderful budding and blooming of springtime. The Walk was great, too, but they spend so much on advertising and rewarding people it makes me nuts.

4. I wish I had a bigger enough space in my house for indoor hula hooping. I might be able to do it in the basement or somewhere. I love hooping. I make my own hoops and I feel so good when I do it. I think I'll be at it a lot this spring.

5. I like doing something different each time I exercise. I can't do the same thing day after day.

6. I love dancing, and I keep thinking I should find some more classes. I took belly dancing most recently and it was great, but I think I need to find a new teacher.

7. I think I'll try to build exercise into my daily routine by walking or biking to do errands, by taking the stairs in buildings where there are elevators, by parking a little farther away and walking...that sort of thing.

8. I often cry when I do activities that use my core muscles.

9. I would like to have a physical practice that is also spiritual, like yoga or t'ai chi.

10. I prefer activities that don't require special gear or outfits.

I need to stop here and do some other things. Thanks for the encouragement, Myra!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYRA34 2/23/2009 5:03PM

    WOW I'm impressed!! So much to learn from here for me as well. Thanks. And you went above and beyond on this challenge! emoticon

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Shifting Focus

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I found this recent picture of myself this past week, and it reminded me of two things: 1) how far I've come (25 pounds give or take a few) and how much further I'd like to go (this remains kind of vague to me -- not exactly sure what my goals are).

I've been off the food recording, and I can feel it -- in my waist! I've had a lot of desserts and been eating out (wedding and other events), and I think I really need to get back to it. It surprises me when being "off the wagon" looks this good, but I'd still like to get back to it. I've definitely stalled.

I did start a weight lifting routine awhile ago, but that's been out, too. I know I'll get back to that because I felt SO good doing it. It's actually kind of fun, and I can do it right in my house, with things I have here. That means a lot to me. I still walk very often, and I've been taking belly dancing lessons, which make me ridiculously happy. I even think I'll go on my birthday.

I went to get a bathing suit today, and I realized how far I have to go with my self image and self esteem. I'm not really sure what to do about these. I think if I just shift my focus back to paying more conscious attention, I'll feel a lot better.

So, I think these are my new goals:
1. start tracking food again, even if I only write it down on paper.
2. work out with weights three times each week: MWF (I'll be away or super busy most of the rest of the weekends in August).
3. I'll try to take at least a short walk every day.
4. I'll continue going to belly dancing on Mondays.
5. I'll try a yoga class on Wednesdays.

I think I'd better leave it at that. In fact, I think I'd better go write that down on a piece of paper so that I can see it. And get out a small notebook for tracking food. Maybe I could enter it every couple of days into the food tracker. I guess I'll see about that part.

Okay. I feel a little more centered and reconnected to this, and that is a very, very good thing.


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