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Act AS IF - using visualization (plus a little bit of a food blog)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

If I can thoroughly convince my mind that I am a slender person, do you suppose I will act like a slender person? That's what's behind the power of visualization. This is a tool that I intend to use every day.

Today I went for a walk with my dogs. The area is lovely. It's a nice path around a pond that is beautifully landscaped. All the summer flowers and the fall leaves are gone right now, but it still has a lot of character. Each season brings it's own special signature. Once around the pond is half a mile and we did 3 laps. Today was brisk and Zac, Ziggy, and I had the whole place to ourselves. They are great walkers. They stop and sniff every so often, but mostly keep up a nice pace. I was able to get lost in my thoughts. In the past, I would do a long walk in the neighborhood alone with my ipod music. This was more like a walking meditation. I got lost in the silence and enjoyed it very much.

When I got home, I roasted some delicata squash. That's my newest food discovery and a wonderful one indeed!!! If you've never had one, you are truly missing out! The skins are thin enough to eat. This is what a delicata looks like:

Cooking them is a breeze. Here's what I did:

While pre-heating the oven to 425 degrees, 1) scrub the outside with a vegetable brush; 2) cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds; 3) cut into 1/2-inch slices (they look like little half moons); 4) drizzle 2 Tbs. olive oil over them (measure out because too much oil makes them soggy); 5) sprinkle some salt & pepper; 6) Put on large cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil (I use the non-stick kind) in a single layer; 7) roast for 10 minutes; 8) take out and turn each one over with tongs; 9) roast for another 10 minutes. Both sides will be golden and resemble french fries but taste WAY better.

Here's my result:

A few of them in the back browned a little more but I have to admit I like them best. I was tempted to eat all of them, but decided to share them with my dear hubby who really enjoyed them too.

Back to my original thought....there's something to be said about "fake it 'til you make it." Act AS IF, and before you know it, you ARE.

I believe that your thoughts and emotions can either work for us or against us. It's our choice and it works the same, whichever we choose. I know because I had been allowing myself to get lost in the wrong direction over the past few months. The hole gets deeper unless the thoughts change. It hasn't been easy to change directions. I've had to work hard at it. But now that I have turned around and headed towards my desires instead of away from them, it's become a lot easier. Whatever direction you are going in, you pick up momentum. Habits are nothing but the result of repetitive thoughts. There's always a thought before an action, if you don't realize it at the time because you are not practicing awareness.

I can feel a shift and I have to say it feels good. Every day, in every way, I am better and better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDGYNOMORE 11/18/2012 9:42AM

    Thank you for this wonderful blog and for the squash introduction. There are so many wonderful and interesting foods that I walk by because I have no idea what they are or how to cook them. I'm going to look for this delicata next time I go shopping.

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IMEMINE1 11/11/2012 8:19AM

    I am very glad to have your page.
I convinced myself I was a non smoker when quitting cigarettes and its worked for 14 or so years.
Loved the recipe.

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MAZZYR 11/5/2012 7:05AM

    Oh Mary, thank you for sharing your thoughts and recipe. Lol, I seem to have the desire for squash today.

Congratulations on shaking up your exercise routine. Sometimes small changes really make the difference.


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SERVINGTHRUPT 11/4/2012 6:00PM

    Mary, Mary, Mary -

I've missed your blogs. Thanks for the reminder to...ACT AS IF, and thanks too for sharing that lovely looking squash.

Blessings to you my friend!

: )

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BEST_LIFE_NOW 11/4/2012 5:40PM

  I've never tried that kind of squash but it looks good - especially the browner pieces, those would be my favorites too!

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SUGARSMOM2 11/4/2012 4:57PM

  well keep my eyes open for these in my market . thank you . faking all the way . eating more veggies then i ever thought i would . good job in spreading the word . one picture is worth a thousand words .

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GETSALONG 11/4/2012 3:35PM

  emoticon omg Mary, I adore the delicata! They are my all time fav, although i never thought to eat the skins... but... the past year, discovered eating the butternut skins... less dense than russet potatos... i am going to try the delicata skins next time i have one... i just found butternuts on sale last week so have those to eat first! i like to poke several times each side with a fork, then roast whole until tender, cool, split, clean... then refrigerate... i add spoonfuls to soups, stews & stirfrys, eat for snacks... i'm betting they would make sparktacular soups!!! i loved the carrot ginger soup i made last year, this year, i'm going to finally do a butternut squash... who knew???

emoticon emoticon emoticoni am so very tickled u have stopped the slide & reversed your spiral again... i know how discouraging the slide can be, how very difficult it is to stop & to get up, dust off and start walking upwards again... the view at the top will be sparktacular!!! glad we're walking it together!

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November 1- new beginnings

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Okay, confession time. I've been spiraling out of control for a couple of months. I've worked my way though the Downward Spiral from frustration/overwhelm/disappointment/doubt
/worry/discouragement...skipped hatred, jealousy, & guilt....and went straight to fear/grief/depression/powerlessness.

Part of it is the aftershock of my sister's passing a year ago on October 2. Fall was OUR season. We both loved it and got together every weekend and did the most fun things. It's so lonely without her. I have some great friends and we have gone places this year too, but it's never the same. I need an army of people to replace my precious sister.

Today is November 1 and I always look at the 1st of the month as a new beginning. Fall is officially over in my mind. After the strong winds on Tuesday, the trees are completely bare of leaves. It's gotten colder and definitely feeling more like pre-winter.

Yesterday I started cleaning and organizing closets and cupboards. That always makes me feel good. Today I am hovering between contentment and hopefulness in the Upward Spiral.

Time to get my eating under control. November and December are usually difficult months for me and I can conceivably gain 5-8 lbs. by January 1. I'm already back up to an all-time high. I hadn't weighed myself in 2 months and last Sunday a.m. I was 196.6 which is back to where I was last February before I began the 17 Day Diet and lost 20 lbs.

I've tried so many different plans and read so much conflicting info that it's difficult for me to know WHAT to eat anymore. Three years ago I never heard of gluten intolerance and wheat-belly. Some say dairy is bad...some say you should have yogurt everyday. Some say eggs are good for you... some say just limit the yolks...some say avoid them completely. Some say fat is bad...some say it's the type of fat that's bad. Some say coconut oil is saturated and clogs your arteries....some say coconut oil has fatty chains that are good for you and burn fat. Some say eat unlimited fruit...some say limit your fruits to low glycemic and don't eat them after 2 pm. Some say all meats are bad...some say poultry and fish are okay, just limit beef and pork...some say you need even red meat in moderation because otherwise you'll be too deficient in B vitamins and become anemic.

Every single plan has only two principles in common; and that is: 1) vegetables are the supreme health food. They are loaded with nutrients and fiber and low in calories. They fill you up and protect your body from illnesses. 2) all processed foods are loaded with chemicals that create illness and a desire to overeat them.

The one thing that makes total sense to me is to ADD. Add lots of veggies, especially greens. Add so many veggies that they crowd out the bad stuff (i.e., processed food). Tosca Reno's "Clean Eating" makes sense to me. I guess that's a start. I won't worry so much about anything other than increasing veggies and decreasing processed. Just doing that will take a lot of effort for me, and just doing that will take me to a better place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANTISHANTI 11/12/2012 2:06PM

    Yeah Mary, I've been in a slump myself. It must be hard for you this time of year without your beloved sister. Hang in there, you know she would want you to do well and be healthy, for sure! My heart breaks for you!

But back to the food. I know what you mean about conflicting information. If I read another diet book, I going to scream.

I once did a plan and was very successful at it. Nothing out of a box, bag, or can, lots and lots of veggies, no grains or beans, lean protein, and one fruit a day. Oh yeah, and nothing between meals (ouch.) It was very restrictive, but it did work. I just can't get myself back into the mind frame to follow it again. Let me know what's working for you.

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IMEMINE1 11/11/2012 8:23AM

    emoticon Good Blog.

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SERVINGTHRUPT 11/4/2012 6:05PM

    You've been in my thoughts & prayers, and I'm glad to read that you're back. ;o)

I LOVE the ADD the veggies & CROWD OUT THE BAD STUFF. Now, that's easy enough! Well, okay, maybe easier said than done, and I'm doing the same thing.

Our meals are now... LOT'S of veggies & a healthy meat, that's it! I love what I believe you reminded me of before, don't eat it if it has a label on it. So, with that being said, that's what we're up to here on this island.

Have a BLESSED & wonderful November my friend.

: )

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WARMSPRINGDAY 11/3/2012 6:52AM

    emoticon emoticon

I can relate. I care.

Love the "adding" concept - that's what I need to do.

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GETSALONG 11/2/2012 4:17PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon luv adding idea! emoticon

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SARALEE11 11/1/2012 4:26PM

    GOOD for you - blogging about your emotions and getting a handle on your heart & health! I'm so sorry about the loss of your loving sister.

I am reading Hungry for Change, and Jon Gabriel is one of the many health experts quoted in the book, as well.

You're right.. today is a new beginning! emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 11/1/2012 2:27PM

    I am sorry for the loss of your beloved sister.

I know what you mean about conflicting diet plans, and YOUR decision to add more is really great advice!

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MAZZYR 11/1/2012 2:01PM

    WTG Mary. Getting back on track at this time of year and focusing on ADDING the healthy stuff is the WTG!

This morning thoughts of being healthy lead to reminding myself to take care of me. It's so easy to get overwhelmed by food choices. Today I needed to remind myself to eat mindfully, one meal, one snack at a time. The mindful eating is leading me to mindful living. Today, when I had the desire to eat and it wasn't meal time, or I know I ate enough, I had to live in the moment and ask myself... Why do I want to continue eating? I couldn't be hungry, I just ate. For me, I'm thinking it's a mindless habit and I want to stop and start thinking before anything goes in my mouth.

I know we can do it, one meal, one snack at a time.


Comment edited on: 11/1/2012 2:14:03 PM

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TERRRI 11/1/2012 12:18PM

    It is always a good time for a new beginning.

I am sorry for the loss of your sister. I have never had a sister but I have lost close friends and 2 brothers. The part I find the hardest is when I remember something we did together or shared and then I realize they were the only other person I shared that memory with. There is no one else to say "do you remember when we...". That is when you realize you are really just living for yourself.

Welcome back to what ever or where ever you are going!

I get you on all the different ways of eating that work. That is when we really need to just figure out what works for us. I believe everything works for someone but not necessarily me. I started back on the 17dd c1 today. I leave what doesn't work for me and take what does work. Just because it is written in a book doesn't mean I will fail if I don't follow it exactly.

When I was "lost" these last few weeks I would read magazines in the checkouts and think I should buy them because they had a new diet. Luckily I came to my senses and realized none of it is new just reconfigured and I already know what I need to know I just need to practice it.

Here's to not giving up!

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GABBY308 11/1/2012 11:54AM

    I'm so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I highly recommend the book The Gabriel Method by Jon Gabriel. It's not a diet food plan per se. He mainly addresses the emotional aspects. He has a lot of suggestions for what he calls emotional obesity. After I wrote this I saw that you have a quote from him in your blog. I'm currently re-reading the book and still getting inspiration from it.

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MORERED 11/1/2012 11:52AM

    Today is indeed a new beginning. Janet would want to see you take care of yourself and be content. She will always be in your heart!

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3G1RLS4ME 11/1/2012 11:43AM

    I'm lactose and gluten intolerant and from when I was 19 - 30 I lived with a condition called Myoclonus it's where I lost all muscle control in my body I'd often have 30 episodes a day that's. a lot. But since stopping wheat the myoclonus stopped and I no longer have to take meds. It's great. I love fall too, sorry bout your sister passing but like I'm sure your aware shell always have a special place in your heart and mind:)
Glad your getting out of a depression cycle

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Why I believe you don’t have to count calories, and why "just a little" CAN hurt you

Sunday, September 30, 2012

You will either find this blog very depressing, or very inspiring. Sometimes the truth hurts, the truth will also set you free.

I think as a society we’ve all come to the agreement that “diets don’t work”. The problem is, we’ve repackaged dieting and are now calling it “lifestyle changes”. Who’s kidding who? If you are measuring out food, logging what you eat into a journal, counting calories-carbs-points-whatever, you are dieting.

Lots and lots of people lose weight. You can see inspiring testimonials all over. There are as many different ways to lose weight as there are different people. No matter what plan you read about, they all have a common thread—you consume less and you exercise more…calories in/calories out….the law of thermodynamics which has ruled the diet industry.

The problem lies not in the losing of weight; it’s in the keeping of it off. Yes, you hear about so-and-so who lost 50 lbs., 100 lbs., “half their body size”. But how often to you read about the person who has maintained their weight loss for 5 years or more? I’ve lost the same 40-60 lbs. many times over the years. Yet, here I am still working at it. That goal weight is always just over the horizon. But as I keep traveling the same road towards it, that horizon keeps moving forward as well and I never quite get there.

I am impressed with the Biggest Loser show because it does bring back former contestants and tells the truth about who is maintaining and who has regained. A lot of the winners have maintained a healthy weight; a good majority gained back 20-30 lbs. from the final results show, but they are maintaining a weight that is more reasonable for them to sustain. A lot of those people now work somehow in the fitness industry and obviously have changed their lifestyles. There are also many contestants who did gain all the weight back.

Studies done of people who’ve lost weight indicate that 95% of them gain all or some of it back. Those are really bad odds! I’ve been on Weight Watchers the past couple of years (off and on) and read a lot of the blogs on the site. I’ve been a member of SparkPeople for 5 years and read similar blogs. More often, the blogs are written about despair. Not being able to stay consistent is a common theme. Yes, there are the 5% who got to their goal weight and are learning to maintain. But the other 95% are still trying to find the answer. So many are starting over fresh…beginning again…striving to keep positive. Everyone wants to succeed, but I can feel their self-doubt when I read. The statistics are daunting. Sometimes it seems as though it’s better to just stay the same instead of going up and down over the years. I just read that in mice they studied, yo-yoing is actually better for health than staying obese. Well, that may be true, but it does raise havoc on the psyche. I’ve been through it so many times. I lose a considerable amount of weight and the compliments flow often. I gain back the weight and there is silence….the deadening silence that speaks so much louder than words.

It’s a mental thing. “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it” ~Albert Einstein. Another Einstein-ism: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Yes, he truly was a genius!

It’s often difficult to view a problem with different eyes, to try something new that doesn’t feel natural, to accept a philosophy that’s opposite of the belief system we’ve had since we were children. For many of us who have been working on this quest for slimness for a long time, we think we know what to do but we feel it’s this illusive thing that is just beyond our grasp. This time I will do it, this will be my year! Every time we don’t make it, we feel like we’re the failure. But the fact is that it’s our method that’s really the failure.

Okay, so I’ve gotten through the depressing bad news part of the story. The good news is that there really IS an answer. I’ve read it SO many times in various books and articles. It’s so simple and yet I haven’t yet fully embraced the principle.

There is only ONE way to guarantee both weight loss and maintenance. It involves eating, and sometimes lots of it. You never have to weigh and measure a bit of food again! You don’t have to keep track of calories, count points, log food into a journal. You don’t even have to be concerned about portion control. You can eat as often as you like. Because of the way you now eat, you will no longer think obsessively about food. You don’t have to fear social events and you definitely don’t have to fear gaining weight back. That got your attention, didn’t it?

You know the saying, “if it sounds too good to be true….” Well, there IS a slight catch. You must eat high-nutrient food the majority of time. Notice I didn’t say ALL of the time; although that would be optimal, I think somewhat unrealistic. You can’t go from 0 to 100 in one second. I can see your face wincing and your disappointment. I felt the same way too. Heck, if that was easy, we’d all be thin! Another saying comes to mind, “I didn’t say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it”.

ALL excess sugar is stored as fat. Period. ALL empty calories are fat calories. Your body just doesn’t need sugar. It’s not one of the major food groups. However, if you eat nutritious foods, they will be used by the body and not stored. Further, the more you feed your body nutritious food, the less it will crave food. Hunger and cravings are two entirely different things. Feeding your body addictive foods increases the need for these foods, which results in constant cravings that are never really satisfied…the more you eat, the more you want. Feeding your body nutritious foods satisfies the needs of the body and satisfies hunger. You naturally eat less because once the needs are met, the desire of food subsides. The other part of this is that if you are truly hungry, you enjoy your food more. If you are constantly eating due to cravings, you don’t reach the same level of enjoyment—it’s just a habit and something you do in a coma-like state. Add to that the fact that regular consumption of sugar, salt, and other chemically processed additives will dull the taste buds. I haven’t drunk soda in many years and have had the experience of tasting a soft drink and hating the heavy, syrupy taste of it. The same thing happens when you go for an extended period of time without eating sugar, excess salt, and processed foods. People talk about how their taste buds re-awaken to the sweetness of fruits and yes, even vegetables.

I’ve read this simple principle too many times to ignore. It requires me to take off my rose-colored glasses and come to grips with the real truth. A little bit of certain foods CAN hurt you. Moderation/smoderation - food addiction is real. There are chemicals in the foods we eat that are more dangerous and addictive than heroin. There’s going to be an uncomfortable withdrawal period when eliminating these foods. The longer I can hang in there and keep them out of my diet, the easier it will become. Any time I re-introduce these foods…no matter how long I went without them…I will become re-addicted and will have to repeat the grueling process of abstinence all over again.

My own brother lost 100 pounds in a period of a year. He was on a doctor’s program and he completely, 100%, gave up all bread and sugar. He sat right there in my kitchen and told me that he would NEVER go back to those foods, and I quote: “Those foods cause me to gain weight. I’ve lost weight before, went back to eating them, and gained the weight back. I do not miss these foods”. Man, was I impressed with his conviction. He sent me a picture of himself on a vacation in California where he looked the happiest I’d ever seen him and brimming with health and vitality (truth be told, I was kinda jealous). When I went to visit him 6 months later, my trim brother was grabbing a few tortilla chips, sampling cheesecake at dinner, and eating a large amount of trail mix at the ballgame. I was shocked and concerned. Rightfully so, because 6 months after that we spoke on the phone and he was bummed out that he’d gained back half of the 100 pounds he’d lost. Six months after that, he’d gained it all back and was back to being entangled in food addiction and feeling hopeless and ashamed. This story is not meant to discourage anyone. It’s to demonstrate the power foods have over us. He was as committed as he could be when he’d abstained for many months. All it takes is that first bite. It’s dangerous because it sneaks up on us slowly when we THINK we’re in control and we can handle it. Reminds me of the analogy of how to kill a frog. If you put the frog into boiling water, chances are it’ll jump out. Put the frog in a pot of cold water and heat it up slowly to a boil and that’s it for the frog. These foods are doing the same to us. By the time we realize the damage, we feel powerless to get out.

The worst of these addictive substances/foods are:
White sugar in all forms, most especially dangerous is high fructose corn syrup. This includes the obvious candy, cookies, cake, pies, donuts, pastries, ice cream. The number one offender of high sugar, nothing-but-empty-calories is something that’s not even eating….soda pop! The not-so-obvious are things like cereal, ketchup, bar-b-que sauces, and a whole array of packaged foods…you MUST read labels. Dr. Joel Fuhrman said it best: "The most important thing to remember about food labels is that you should avoid foods that have labels."
White flour, and in some cases even wheat flour
In fact, all refined foods including white rice. Any food where the nutrients have been stripped away and they are now just empty calories.
Fried foods…fried chicken, chicken tenders, French fries, fried onion rings, potato chips, etc.
Saturated fat – and did you know that cheese has more artery-clogging saturated fat than even butter?!
Trans fats, the worst of all fats. You have to be cautious of labeling. The package may say zero trans fats per serving, but that’s merely because a serving is a teaspoon. Biggest offender in my opinion is Cool Whip….I used to be able to eat an entire container in one sitting. Anything with partially-hydrogenated on the label has trans fats.
(While I’m talking fats, unroasted nuts and seeds are healthy. They have many good nutrients and it’s good to have them daily. Unfortunately, they’re not unlimited because they are very high in calories and the deliciousness of them makes it easy to over-consume. A handful is the maximum portion. Portioning them out is key – freely eating them out of a container makes them turn from healthy to fat-producing.)
Processed foods. There are chemicals added to packaged foods to preserve freshness and increase shelf life. The longer the shelf life, the unhealthier the food (remember Twinkies!). There are also chemicals added to enhance flavors, which are especially dangerous because they cause us to be satisfied with less and want more, more, more. Proceed with caution anything that comes in a wrapper, bag, box…read the labels and you may be more inclined to put it back on the shelf. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Oh my gosh, you say. What CAN I eat? All vegetables & fruits are unlimited. So are whole grains because they’re not only nutritious but they contain a lot of fiber that will fill you up faster. The secret to this eating style is to not focus on what you can’t have; rather, replace these things with all the great foods you can and should have. If you HAVE to have bread, sprouted grain bread like Food for Life Ezekiel is perfect. I rather love the nutty taste of Ezekiel English muffins. Bake instead of fry. I enjoy cutting up sweet potatoes into fries, sprinkling with garlic powder and Mrs. Dash’s spices with a small drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and baking them into crunchy fries. You can do the same thing to make kale chips, butternut squash chips, etc. Let your own creativity be your guide. I’ve given up cereal for the filling, yummy flavor of pure oatmeal cooked with chopped apple, blueberries, & cinnamon with chopped walnuts and a dash of pure maple syrup on top. A natural sweetener that is often overlooked is dates. I throw a few into the blender for my smoothies. I even make an outstanding sorbet by blending a frozen fruit (strawberry or mango are my all-time favorites) with unsweetened almond milk and a few dates. It’s far better than ice cream because it not only tastes great but it fills me instead of leaving me wanting for more.

Once you’ve cleansed your body of the bad stuff and experimented with ways to enjoy the good stuff, you’ve crossed over the threshold into a whole other world—the land of Never Having To Worry About Weight Gain. But it’s so much more than even that! Science is finding more and more benefits to eating fresh veggies & fruit. They contain phytochemicals and micro-nutrients that aid and protect our bodies from diseases…not only heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but even the mysterious and scariest of all: cancer! I’ve even read about some foods preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s in older age. Who wouldn’t want all of that? Normal weight naturally AND protection from illness! It doesn’t seem as insurmountable a task to forgo sickly sweets and fats anymore, does it?

You know, I can read and read about this stuff ‘til the cows come home. I can talk about it and all the benefits. It’s all well and good, but it’s meaningless if it’s not put into practice. I wrote this blog mainly for me. I wrote it to read and re-read and remind myself of what I want most. What I want most is to not just reach a particular goal weight; in fact, I've come to think that number is also meaningless and how I feel inside physically and emotionally is more important. My biggest desire is to change my habits permenantly - to conquer the internal demons that taunt me and laugh at me when I stumble....sometimes just yards from the finish line. It's a cruel joke. It feels the same as when all the bullies in my Junior High school class teased and laughed and took pleasure in the pain I felt inside. Those years partially shaped who I am and are hard to let go of completely. I know I have to let go because those memories stand in the way of my success so often.

I struggle with consistency. I know WHAT to do and I know why I want to do it. I never lack motivation. I still am working on lining up my analytical mind/thoughts with my subconscious habits/emotions. The desire and the follow-through seem to be in constant conflict. That's my roadblock and what I'm working on the most right now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIERAE41 11/21/2012 1:48AM

    You speak wise words, Dear Lady. I feel very much like you do. I have yet to learn to listen to my body's true hunger and satiety signals so until then, I will keep tuning in and counting my foods.
I lost 17 pounds on "Eat to Live" and NEVER gained it back. It took 6 weeks but even after I went back to bad habits again that 17 pounds I lost over that 6 weeks never returned.
I am gluten intolerant and have to keep an eye on my natural sugars because I am pre-diabetic. I ate one of my husband's Hot Pockets after coming to grips with the gluten reality. It tasted like dirt. I had not really had any packaged food for a loooong time before that.
I need to get back to my daily "Bucket of Salad" as it has been named. I never worried about dressing because I wasn't told to worry about it. It was healthy oil and ingredients. Now I make my own. So easy with the Magic Bullet. A whole avocado, some red onion, a cube of blue cheese and water and the flavor is soooo immense.
Thanks for reminding me. You have quickened me and I think I will take another look at Eat To Live.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISS_CAROL 11/18/2012 11:48AM

    Great blog! I try to eat foods that are not processed. I feel better when I eat healthy whole grains and veggies. I am still a sucker for chips and certain sweets. I have been able to do them in smaller less frequent amounts.

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BEST_LIFE_NOW 11/4/2012 5:53PM

  There is so much great information in there ... Are you sure you didn't write this specifically for me? emoticon

Thank -you!

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_BABE_ 10/24/2012 9:14PM

    I have a bad memory and always forget how sluggish I feel after sugar but when faced with the offending food I seem to rationalize away whatever I know to be true. All calories are not created equal and anyone who consistently eats junk whether that be in any particular calorie range or not is doomed to fail.

That being said to swear off of it forever has set me up for more than one last supper ....that last a decade.

To eat it sets my craving mode in high gear....sugar begets more sugar and salt begets more salt.

Am I doomed?

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TERRRI 10/3/2012 12:22PM

    Good blog Mary! I had laugh at the part where you say some people might ask what there is left to eat. I remember when I heard someone make that comment one time and it made me think that their "diet" must be awful because leaving out processed food leaves tons of options. I am so thankful I grew up in a large family that couldn't afford the luxury of processed food and we had to eat real food because it was cheaper. LOL!

I had been tracking my food for almost a year and a couple of weeks ago decided that was enough. At first my weight actually went down and then I just let my eating wander to food I hadn't had in quite awhile even though I wasn't really craving it. I realized the other day that yes, if I don't get in all my fruits and veg that I am hungry all day. I can maintain my weight without having to measure or count calories but that doesn't help me to lose weight. What I need to do is stay conscious of what I eat and how I feel and that is my next step starting today actually.

A book I really like, especially for its simplicity, is Michael Pollan's "Food Rules". It doesn't get much simpler than that.

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MISSILENE 10/2/2012 11:30AM

    Thanks for the information.,

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SERVINGTHRUPT 10/1/2012 8:52PM

    WOW, lots of GREAT info. Mary. Thanks for taking the time to "spell" it out. Yes, almost all info. we know, and yet... to be reminded of it.

I have missed you & ALWAYS enjoy reading your blogs. I hope you're doing well. You've been in my thoughts & prayers, as we near... Oct. 2nd.

Blessings my friend.

Kiko : )

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KTISFOCUSED 10/1/2012 8:06AM

    You have said this all so well. I agree with you and not only do I believe that is how to maintain weight but I believe that is also how to have optimal health, eating the foods that God made, not the ones that man made. I think we must all do some kind of physical activity almost daily too. I like to follow like the 85% rule, eating right 85% of the time and then enjoying an occasional treat. Thanks for all the thought you put into this blog. This isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle!

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MAZZYR 10/1/2012 8:03AM

    Great blog Mary. I love the concept of focusing on what I can eat. Sometimes I forget about all the the healthy nutritious foods that I love to eat and need to remind myself to plan ahead to buy them and make the effort to include them in planning meals.

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LIV2RIDE 10/1/2012 7:28AM

    Consistency is the key. Like you said we all know what to do and why we just lack the motivation to do it. I'm in the process of eliminating sugar and it's so hard but I know in the end it will be worth it. I'm starting with my nightly after dinner snack. I'll progress from there.

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MILLIE5522 9/30/2012 2:14PM

    Most of what you say I totally agree with but I put on weight by only going over my daily calorie amount by 150 calories on average a day. Over a period of 2 years that added up to a gain of over 35lbs. I analysed where this extra 150 calories came from and they were mainly from a glass of wine in the evening (150calories) or from my morning break biscuit at work. In other words the gain can happen with a very small amount of food/drink.
I have reached my goal weight now and am eating nutritious foods as much as possible which definitely make me feel more satisfied than sugary foods. I still drink the occasional glass of wine but now I am more aware of how the little things add up. I still track my food as this allows me the freedom to choose what to eat without any sense of guilt or anxiety. I am happy to do this ...its a small price to pay for keeping my slim figure! This is my new lifestyle.....not huge changes, just a few adjustments.

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GETSALONG 9/30/2012 1:54PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon i was thinking near the beginning you were sounding furhmanesque ~ lol ;) so, may i ask which of his books you read? I see his show on tv, he has a immune fighting book i was pondering reading over his weight loss books... and would agree with you, from all i've read & come to understand that real food nourishes us, and processed foods are intended to make us want more & i can't resist... (sighs)

i look forward to hearing more as you work on this further. emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/4/2012 4:33:51 PM

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WHITNEYLD 9/30/2012 1:30PM

    Thanks for all the info!

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ZIGGY122 9/30/2012 12:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WARMSPRINGDAY 9/30/2012 12:57PM

    emoticon blog.

I've placed a link to it in my journal so I can come read it and re-read it.


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HEALTHY4ME 9/30/2012 12:45PM

    Well written and lots of info. I too know this info and for me the most important thing in this was I CAN'T have ONE bite of cake, cookies - it starts the craving again. And since I only drink pop on rare occasions, I can tell you and whoever reads this that I was doing great on primal - no wheat, only fruit and veggies and meat till I had 2 coke one evening and since then have done terrible. I am bloated, having "gotta get to the bathroom NOW' symptoms again and am itchy and achy-ier. So starting tomorrow cos got the stuff to make my own wheat free bread I am back to the healthy and wise, no idea where the wealthy will be or come from. YOU know the healthy, wealthy and wise.
I as you question the can I stick with it, NO matter how well I know it is good for me.... like when you see people ( a friend of mine, and my mum till she died) with lung cancer still smoking, or someone that has had a heart attack still eating doughnuts and you think OMG IF I...... well I ereally wonder at times if I would be any stronger then they are even though I look and think OMG. especially when the experts are saying sugar has a stronger or as strong a hold as drugs. It sure is easy to find thats one thing.
So here's to knowing, learning, absorbing and putting it all in practise and keeping it at the forefront of our minds.
HUGS and now gotta go buy some cashew butter....

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Day 21 - wasn't this supposed to get EASIER??

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm 3 weeks into my program. I've been steadfast and determined. I went from feeling grouchy, depressed, and anxious....to feeling energetic, happy, and jazzed....and then....back to feeling lousy and discouraged ???? What's up with that?

As I blogged before, the last few days I had lost my appetite completely. I mean, I didn't even want to eat my meals. Of course, I did eat and felt better afterwards. But then yesterday I hit a wall. I didn't feel well when I got up and had to force myself to eat breakfast. I felt overall yucky. I started questioning the plan. Is this right for me? Why do I feel so awful? Is this way of eating causing OTHER problems? Am I eating TOO much protein? TOO much fat? What if I end up sick?

My thoughts really worked a number on me! I had a stressful day and felt whipped by late afternoon. When my husband suggested we go out to dinner at the Red Lobster, I jumped at the chance.

I actually stuck pretty close to my program, having the flame grilled lobster, scallops and shrimp - no potato and extra broccoli. The ONLY things I had off program were a couple of those scrumptious biscuits (the first time bread in any form has passed my lips in 3 weeks - can you spell H-E-A-V-E-N-L-Y?) and I got the Caesar salad that has a sprinkling of grated parmesan, croutons, and I'm sure a non-compliant dressing. I felt very satisfied after my meal. Not stuffed but comfortably full.

Then....the coup de gras..........after I got home, I got out one of the speciality chocolate candy bars that some friends had given us. I knew I was treading on dangerous territory there. I had a bite. Oh my gosh, it tasted like plastic to me!!! I threw the rest away. OKay, now that was a huge victory!!!

After my "cheat night", I guess my entire resolve was fading (just a bit), so first thing in the a.m. I actually got on the scale for the first time in 3 weeks. I lost 8 lbs. That was good, but somehow I had expected a little more. I am okay with it, though.

I felt MUCH better this morning than I had felt the last several. I got to thinking, do I need to "tweak" this program a bit? Then I decided that I only have 9 more days to go to reach the full program, and one evening of indulgence is not going to undo 3 weeks of effort. So I was back to eating my compliant breakfast and will continue to swear off bread, sugar, and the like. Just move forward and not look back.

Interestingly, I get a daily email from Whole30 that serves to motivate and educate me on what's happening and what's to come. They addressed the VERY THING I just went through! Here's an excerpt from the email:

"You’re so close to finishing your Whole30. You’ve nearly banished your cravings, and it’s been easier and easier to pass up desserts and sweet treats—even the Whole30-approved ones. You’re practically a healthy-habit-machine these days! And then…

Your brain rebels. You get the worst case of cravings you’ve experienced to date. You’re practically sitting on your hands to avoid raiding the pantry, and you cannot believe that this far along into your program, your Sugar Dragon is breathing fire right down your back… again! What’s going on?

The science-y term for this phenomenon is “extinction burst,” and the good news is that this is totally normal—expected, even. And if you know it’s coming, you can brace yourself for it.

Any time you quit something cold-turkey (as you do when you give up old habit-foods during your Whole30), your brain will make a last-ditch effort to return you to your habit. Once you become accustomed to reward, your brain gets really upset when you can’t have it. So when you expect a reward and nothing happens (it’s after dinner… dessert must be coming! But wait… it doesn’t come? What’s going on!) your conditioned response starts to fade away… and your brain freaks out.

This is actually good news. It means that you are on the brink of giving up that long-term habit (dessert) for good! Your brain is going through one last-ditch effort to keep getting that reward, so the cravings come back in full effect. But you are smart. You know they’re coming, and you’ve prepared for this. You have strategies in place for dealing with cravings and boosting your willpower.

You will resist… and kick that habit to the curb. Winning!"

WOW! That explains it! I feel much better because I'm even more motivated than ever. This has been quite an experience and I'm feeling more and more confident that I will slay this devilish Dragon once and for all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHITNEYLD 9/30/2012 1:32PM

    emoticon on the weight loss! emoticon

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GABBY308 8/29/2012 8:01AM

    Mary I just discovered your blogs and read day one and then this one. Great job on starting a healthy program and sticking with it. I'm really happy to hear the determination to stick it out for the rest of the 30 days. emoticon

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SERVINGTHRUPT 8/26/2012 9:52PM

    Woo hoo, "go Mary" is right! You have done such an AWESOME job, and you've only got NINE days to go, you CAN do this!

As someone on here (I believe it was Terri) said, we know we'll make a bad choice, and it's not the bad choice that gets us, it's what the next choice is that makes the difference. So, throwing the plastic candy bar out, WOW?!

Keep it up Girl, you've come a long way.

: )

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HEALTHY4ME 8/26/2012 5:34PM

    I found that I did good for while then slowly got less enthusiastic. Have to admit feel totally blah today, great day but we have been totally lazy, I had nap, still tired, just worn, I know some is the drugs, and the prednisone which I finihsed on friday, but man I am eating so poorly this past week. Can't blame it all on prednisone cos yes makes you hungry but I could have continued eating healthy as I was. Now tomorrow I am going to have to do a full withdrawl again.
But knowing how great I felt eating healthy and primal I will get back to it.
HUGS and yea "only" 8 lbs. Why I say that is cos I too lost about that much and was expecting the 15 or so that many say, But hey 8 lbs is awesome really!!!!
you rock girl!!!

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SHANTISHANTI 8/26/2012 1:40PM

    Go Mary Go!!! Eight pounds is awesome. You're almost at the finish line, YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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WARMSPRINGDAY 8/26/2012 12:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

I've been looking over the Whole30 webpage. Just not sure that I could do that right now. But you have inspired me to do another 3 days refined sugar free. That seems to re-set my sugar cravings like nothing else I've tried.

Comment edited on: 8/26/2012 1:09:56 PM

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NOE1234 8/26/2012 12:31PM

    Sounds like you're doing great to me. 8lbs is alot in 3 weeks. I love how you explained "extinction burst" that really resonated. Keep doing what you're doing!
emoticon emoticon

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TERRRI 8/26/2012 11:49AM

    Great job on the weight loss and stamina and willpower. We all know that eventually we will want to eat something we shouldn't, it is just a matter of how we will react to it. Your taste buds are changing as evidenced with the chocolate bar. You didn't stuff your face. You gave in a bit to cravings but the results weren't devestating. Only 9 more days! I love it when we learn something new about our eating habits and ourselves. You are stronger than you know!

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MAZZYR 8/26/2012 10:07AM

    EIGHT pounds, wow, WTG!

I'm doing a HaPpY dance for you. Releasing the weight and learning to get back on track when you need to are fantastic. WINNING, for sure.


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Day 19 - I've lost my appetite

Friday, August 24, 2012

This is a strange occurrence for me that I have never experienced before. I have noticed lately that I no longer live to eat, I eat to live in every sense of the phrase. I haven't felt hungry between meals for several days now. This morning I didn't have any desire to even eat breakfast, which is not really a good thing. It felt like my appetite for food in total had gone away.

The book that describes my plan in detail "It Starts With Food" covers this and says that it can occur when your hormones are still off balance. It suggests to just eat the same balance of food as a meal (protein-veggies-healthy fat + fruit if desired) in order to stabilize the hormones and restore appetite. I did that this morning and surprisingly the food tasted good to me and I felt better afterwards.

Another side effect I've experienced the last few days is light-headedness once in a while (it happened during Zumba last Tues.). I'm monitoring my blood pressure daily because I'm on HBP meds and want to make sure it's not dropping too low. It's been averaging around 117/71, which is outstanding for me. I do hope to reduce and then eliminate the meds as I drop weight. I've been on them for a little over 20 years...20-some years of yo-yo dieting and eating lots of processed food and sweets has been the cause and the pills have been the band-aid. Now I'm seeking the cure.

I also started checking my blood sugar and this morning my fasting sugar was 96 which is good.

All in all, I'm happy with my progress. My thoughts are no longer consumed with food. I'm not sure yet, but I may do another 30 days of the program if I'm still feeling good. I hate to say it, but some if it may depend on what my weight is after I've completed the 30 days; i.e., do I want to keep going because I'm a lot closer to my goal weight, or do I want to "take a break" from the plan and see if I can maintain a while and proceed to the Re-Introduction Phase. I sort of would like to keep going and get to my goal weight before the holidays. But it's hard for me to say what I'll do at this point.

During the Re-Introduction phase, you eat one food group at a time and assess how you feel. There are some foods that I anticipate to still be huge triggers (such as cheese, breads, sweets) that can only be an occasional thing. What I'm hoping is that the huge desire (craving) I once had for these foods will fade away such that a couple slices of pizza or some birthday cake once in a while won't send me back into overindulgence. Only time and experimentation will tell.

I've continued to stay off the scale, but yesterday I tried on a couple more pairs of size 12 pants that hadn't fit before and now I can wear them!! There had been about a 2-inch gap at the zipper in front, and now the zipper goes up easily. That makes me smile!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4ME 8/24/2012 7:27PM

    Mary did you do a whole 30 thing like the site of the same name or dod you do what is in the book it starts with fvood. I have that book on order from library.
I was curious as I have done the whole 30 but when Iw as doing that I wasn't commited and didn't finish. I have yet to read the other book.
Glad things are going well and hmmm I too have been dizzy but putting it down to all the meds for my nerve /sciatica issue.
HUGS have a great weekend

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GETSALONG 8/24/2012 6:46PM

  emoticonu make me smile! you're making wonderful progress! emoticon

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MAZZYR 8/24/2012 6:15PM

    WTG Mary! Your commitment sure is paying off.

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TERRRI 8/24/2012 5:09PM

    Good for you for getting a rein on your eating! I don't know if I would be able to stay off the scale for so long but your "new" pants are surely motivation to stay off for the whole 30 days. Thanks for keeping us posted.

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SERVINGTHRUPT 8/24/2012 3:30PM

    "Lost your appetite," interesting?

So good to read how great you feel. To see the difference in those pants too, that's awesome!

Keep it up Mary, you're SO inspiring!

: )

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ALESHAWALKER 8/24/2012 12:22PM

    That's great! I went through a loss of appetite which was similar. I used to live for my lunch break and now I can enjoy it.... it is so strange how food can have so much control. Congrats on your loss so far!

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