Friday, February 17, 2012
"Habits start out as cobwebs and turn into cables." - Steve Siebold on Fatloser.com
I have been listening to free talks from this "mental toughness coach." As long as I can remember, I have known that I needed a mental toughness coach. My DH has helped me tremendously in this area; his rock-solid love combined with patiently expecting me to do my best means I have definitely grown in mental toughness. Mr. Siebold has some no-nonsense challenges. Here are excerpts from talk no. 2. (Thanks to BigLittleWoman who made me aware of this site and TravelGrrl who put it in a blog.)
"Successful dieting is about breaking down old habits and building new ones. . . . you can't afford to let your old habits in the door even for a second. These old habits are haevily entrenched and extremely strong. Breaking them is like cutting steel cables, which is why most people fail on diets. Diets work perfectly, but most people aren't mentally tough enough to break their old habits. . . . . You have to sever the old habits and give the new ones a chance to get established, so they are strong enough to fight the old habits when they re-appear; and they will! Old habits die hard. You are training a new army of habits strong enough to fight off the old army." (end of quotation)
Even cravings can be "trained" through habit. God is helping me. As you walk in the door of the big-box store near my house, immediate you see the promotional aisle. It has yards of low-cost food items, but absolutely nothing fit for human consumption except cans of tuna. For some reason I just started craving oranges. Hooray!
The other thing I crave often is hot tea. For months I have made it any time I was hungry off-schedule. Also I have allowed myself to buy it away from home to wean myself away from the emotional habit of treating myself to unhealthy items. I get it unsweetened, trying many forms and flavors, savoring the aroma and delicate nuances, noticing how good the warm cup feels. Now I find it very satisfying. Yes, it is a crutch. But it is a replacement for other things that I'm a whole lot better off without. And I'm thankful that I often crave hot tea now.
More from Steve Siebold: "I want you to be tough today. Instead of whining and crying about how hungry and deprived you are, think of how great you will look at your natural weight. I want you to ignore anyone who attempts to derail you or demean you or throw you off course in any way. Remove yourself from any situation that tempts you to cheat, even if it makes you look rude or inappropriate. People who care about you will understand. You must get tough with yourself and your surroundings. Don't think about it; just do it. Do the work, or you will die fat. This is serious business."
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
My daughter had 10 girls coming over for a Bible study / Valentine party, and we wanted something festive and yummy to have with the chicken fiesta vegetable soup. I knew half a strawberry would be heart-shaped, so we used cream cheese to stick them to apple slices. (We cored the apples and sliced them horizontally into rounds.)
Sunday, February 12, 2012
For the Beck Diet Solution I had to make "Advantage Response Cards" listing specific reasons I wanted to lose weight. They have been tweaked a bit since I started working through Dr. Judith Beck's book in December 2009, but overall have stayed the same. I put the list on my "Other Goals" tracker (one long entry of 11 reasons) so that would be at least once a day I'm sure to read them---reading my ARC was one of the first Beck disciplines to establish. I'm also noting on my Spark Page several of them that in God's mercy have been accomplished.
Through God's amazing grace I have two more elements of progress to celebrate with you. The very first item on my list has always been "Get rid of back pain." For years I had almost continual pain between my shoulders and pain every evening near my tailbone, plus hip pain. Thank you, Jesus, I have been truly pain free since before Christmas. I have an excellent chiropractor from the Palmer method who is also an inspiring nutrition and exercise coach. Losing forty pounds, plus regular chiropractic adjustments, plus deleting wheat which is generally inflammatory for me, plus God's healing hand . . . this combination of factors God has used to grant me complete relief from pain.
After all, most people at a healthy weight would get a backache if they put on a pack with nearly forty superfluous pounds and carried it around all day, every day!
Another on my list of reasons to lose weight was "Walk around without embarrassment." You will be amazed to hear that this is already true in my life. Yesterday I worked at a high school basketball tournament for 5 hours. I had to walk in and out of the gym and along the sidelines a dozen times at least. Near the end I realized I had never felt self-conscious once. I didn't give a thought to how I looked, slimmer or not. How could that be, when I still have forty or fifty pounds to lose?
Some of it is just God's grace in my heart, and I am so grateful. Also I have observed some specific elements that have contributed. Making healthy choices helps me feel great about myself as a person. I have more concrete self-respect and more confidence. Yes, I am overweight (right on the cusp of obese) but I am working hard every day to keep moving in a healthier direction.
It has been a long, slow progress in teeny tiny steps. I still blow it and I'm still stubborn about things. But I have stopped fussing at myself about my years of obesity and I'm looking ahead at what I still can accomplish with God's help. Somehow that also released me to recognize other things I can feel great about: I am compassionate, creative, reverent, analytical, and funny.
I guess what it boils down to, regarding the embarrassment, is that as far as walking around goes, I don't have to be constantly thinking about those dozens of extra pounds I'm carrying. I'm focusing on the job God wants me to attend to right at hand, savoring each moment's unique joys, strategizing about the current challenges I face and the action I can take.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
While traveling I carry along lots of fruit and nuts and carrot sticks since our teen girls get hungry often. At one motel breakfast bar I realized that later we'd be in the Creation Museum a long stretch of time, and figured a munchy snack might be easier than fruit in some settings, so I took with me a single-pack of a sugary breakfast cereal. It was probably a lingering twinge of (misplaced) guilt also, because this particular variety of cereal used to be a celebrated favorite in our home. For years our cabinet would never be without THAT CEREAL (lots of boys continually refueling plus yours truly being stubborn about changing our eating habits). But I did gradually change what I bought, and the boys are all grown and gone, so the younger kids haven't had that item in a long time!
When we were unloading the car after the trip, the sealed cereal pouchlet was still knocking around beside the seat. Surprised but ever frugal, (you DO NOT throw away food!), I brought it in and stuck it in the pantry. Now five weeks later, today my mid-teen daughter waves it around asking me what to do with it, cause she's certainly not going to eat it. I ask the pre-teen daughter, "Can you please eat this tomorrow so it won't be a temptation to me?" (I've been hungrier the last 2 days and feeling vulnerable.)
Younger daughter looks at the package with scorn: " _ I _ don't want it!!"
Thanks be to God for His mercy! and if you're in the difficult stages of nudging your family toward healthier eating, don't give up. It does get better. Many of them will "get it" eventually . . . and even if they aren't wholehearted about it, you don't need to feel guilty for acting in their best interest.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
[Hey---maybe that should be my overall theme for 2012!]
I don't think I've blogged about it, but I have been fussing about some outrageous and offensive ads on SparkPeople. In extreme cases I have also commented on their site help message board. Now I want to comment that an ad I have seen is quite pleasant and wholesome . . . and I appreciate that!
The Lipton Green Tea ad --which has various fruits bouncing in and out of a steaming cup-- is attractive and cheerful. I don't mind being caused to think about green tea and/or fruit. The amount of animation is tolerable. I also don't mind neutral ads. I realize I need to put up with some degree of distraction because it keeps this wonderful site free.
Positive products abound; they do exist. Surely we can keep being shown advertising that pertains to beneficial items and upholds community standards of good taste and high moral tone. I think it's reasonable to ask for ads which have healthy products, beneficial products, or at least wholesome and G-rated products. Ones I don't mind being in view if my pre-teen daughter is in the room.
We positioned the computer screen in full view of the family room and kitchen for a reason. I hate feeling embarrassed about something showing on my screen, when what I'm doing is reading a friend's blog or writing an encouragement to someone!!
Spark has an official article that discusses concerns about inappropriate ads. They state that a third party selects and cycles them . . . the old "we can't control it" cop out. Yet if you look at the message boards for site/technical help, many offensive ads have been removed and Spark says "Thanks, we hadn't caught that one."
So it is worth it to go through the specific procedure to report offensive ads. Here's the article, and at the end they list exactly how to do it.
Yes, it's a hassle, and takes up time we could be getting motivated or spurring on a friend. But it will bless many other people if we can stifle some of the garbage ads that are tainting the uplifting experience that I associate with SparkPeople.
P.S. Here's a FAQ answer that's similar and links back to the same article:
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