Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I’ve always said that my husband was a man ahead of his time. When I met him 35 years ago, he was wearing those short sleeved knit golf shirts with the little crown on the pocket that he got out of the “old men’s” section of the Sears catalog . This was long before Izod put a little alligator on the same pocket and
set the whole world crazy! I remember thinking that once the ring was securely on my finger, I’d change his wardrobe.
Long before organic became a buzz word, he refused to eat or drink artificial ANYTHING! I grew up on products like Tang. Remember that sickeningly sweet, artificially flavored, artificially colored faux orange drink? We didn’t have a lot of soda, but when we did it was full of cyclamates - you know the one the FDA pulled after mice started getting cancer and their babies were born with five limbs? My mother was diabetic so when we did get any soda pop it was pretty much that or nothing. I’ve never drank anything that wasn’t “diet”.
Not the husband.
Does that mean he ‘s always been a healthy eater? Noooo…
Not hardly. It just means NO FAKE GREASE for him! He loves Little Debbie because she is pure --
Yeah. Pure sugar. Plenty of sweet but no innocence!
So I figured out early on in my “dieting” days that our meals were going to be a real challenge. AND that changing my husband's diet was going to be about as easy as changing his wardrobe...
I didn’t want to be fixing two dinners. I didn’t want tempting “real” snacks in the house.
What was I going to do? Like all things in marriage -- communicate and compromise. I told him that I needed his support and, as I blogged before, he did agree to try. Just one request:
“No fake crap!”.
I readily agreed and then -- served him a Bocca Burger…
The ensuing gagging, hawking, and coughing performance was Oscar worthy, let me tell you.
When he asked what the heck THAT was I insisted:
“It is a REAL all vegetable soy protein patty and I like it!” Well, at least the first part was true…
The truth is that I, myself, love nothing more than a greasy burger dripping with cheese, hot crispy fries, and an ice cold beer.
My waistline, however, decidedly DOES NOT. Not to mention my arteries.
I tried limiting such indulgences to only when eating out, but found the calorie overload just too depressing to see in black and white when I tracked it.
So what to do? Forever give up foods I love like burgers, pizza, spaghetti? After all, over time I have learned to enjoy many new healthier foods.
But what about my husband? Watch him eat a juicy burger dripping with cheese while I spear my fork in fat free dressing while eating my garden salad without croutons?
I would try to make “lite” versions at home, but what about my husbands no fake crap rule? Therein lay my challenge.
Could I make tasty, lighter versions of some of our favorites and “sneak” them past my husband’s taste buds?
Take a look at a few of the items:
It tracked like this side by side with a similar restaurant version:
Hamburger made with 3 oz. extra lean ground beef - 199 calories
Kraft Free American cheese - 1 slice - 31 calories
Village hearth Light Italian bun - 80 calories
Dill pickles and onions - 10 calories
Lays Kettle Cooked Reduced Fat potato chips - 140 calories
Crunchy cole slaw made with olive oil and cider vinegar - 43 calories
Michelob ULTRA beer - 95 calories
Total: 598 calories
Compare that to an Applebees cheeseburger, cole slaw, and potato chips
WITHOUT beer - 1282 calories
Needless to say it passed my husband's taste test - despite me sneaking in a few
less than "real" ingredients. I told him that I call it my "reasonable facsimile" meal.
That meal is still a calorie indulgence for me but, for the occasional yearning, it satisfies without totally breaking the calorie bank.
The other day I debuted a new lower cut shirt that I had bought and when paired with one of my Victoria's Secret floatation device bras - I changed my normal flat chested appearance to one with a little more oomph!
I gushed to my husband, "What do you think? Do I look like I have LADIES now??"
He grinned a sly grin and said "I'd call 'em a reasonable facsimile"...
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Didn't Joni Mitchell sing that once? Well I had a front row seat to that lecture this week, only I'm willing to bet Joni wasn't chirping about sinus surgery...
I have spent this weekend eating naughty, naughty, naughty and today it finally hit me why.
My nausea and dizziness are gone, but while in the throes I naturally ate less. Making up for lost time?
It dawned on me when the hubby brought home a pretty bouquet of which I'll grant you don't usually have a BIG fragrance but...
With my nose full of disolvable packing, I still can't smell a thing. AND when you can't smell, you can't taste much. Real salty. Real sweet. Everything else is like munching on cardboard.
I've been eating more of the two things I can taste and LOT'S of them to "feel" like I've eaten something.
Reminded me of all the times I used to inhale my food. I still have to remind myself to SLOW DOWN at the dinner table.
If we don't take time to savor the flavors, we'll just keep eating more and more.
Like the time my sister tried weeping softly in the next room after a silly argument with her husband early in their marriage. He called out through the wall "If you want those tears to be more effective, you're going to have to turn them up a little"! Realizing the futility of the effort, she gave it up.
Back in the day, I'd have been the sister that would have sprang back through that door and manipulatively sobbed LOUDER right next to his ear...
However, like 34 years of marriage, 5 years of eating healthy has taught me a few things and recognizing the futility of eating more to try and compensate, made me give up the effort.
It isn't just the feeling of saity that stops us from eating. It's that sensual enjoyment that you get from the taste, texture, and colors of our food. I think I've gained a whole new appreciation for and
Any packing still left in my nose by next Thursday will be taken out by the doctor (lovely thought!)
Until then I have made out menus for every bite I put in my mouth next week. Every bite has been pre-tracked and I will be eating healthy, healthy, healthy - right off the tracker. I may not taste much and certainly won't smell it but thankfully it is temporary. Like an astronaut floating in space eating dehydrated goo...
But when I get my tastebuds back in full swing, I'm going to concentrate on new textures and flavors. Try some new spices. Slow down and savor each and every bite!
'Cause you really don't what you've got till it's gone...
Friday, April 16, 2010
So I've laid around now for three days enduring all the discomforts that surgery of any kind can bring -- feeling weak, dizzy, nauseated. I didn't know what to expect after sinus surgery but have discovered that it isn't the breeze that I thought it would be. Imagine having THE supreme sinus headache and all the accompanying agony. Watery eyes, stuffed head. Throw in the extreme dry mouth from mouth breathing and the stiff neck from sleeping on the recommended two big pillows. Don't bend over, don't sneeze, don't blow...
Yousa! That's a lot of whining!
Thankfully, I figured out that getting off the narcotic pain meds helped with the dizziness, weakness, and nausea. Not that I'm against pain meds. They helped me sleep pain free all day, day one, but plain Tylenol is working just fine now.
I actually turned the TV on today and found that I haven't missed much by not watching daily.
I've been reading and thinking. Lots of thinking...
One of the things I've been thinking about is spark points. I know, right? Of all the things I could lay around and think about -- why on earth spark points?
You see I never have paid much attention to the whole spark point thing. I've read blogs from friends that basically said they didn't have any thing to say, however they wanted the points for blogging. I was mildly amused and didn't mind reading them, but still couldn't see the point.
The little rebel in me -- the one that came out when I got a tattoo at age 50 -- said "I do what I feel like doing, when I feel like doing it and I could care less whether I get points or not"!
It's that same little rebel that whispers in my ear that one doughnut hole won't impact my healthy eating that much...
When my good spark friend, JIMDAB, posted a similar blog, I paid a little more attention. He's a pretty rational guy who usually writes a lot of common sense.
Thanks, JIMDAB, for setting my wheels in motion:
Spark points mean that you are participating. Every article that you read, blog that you comment on, recipe that you try only contributes to your success. When I have found myself searching lately for where I might be lacking in my weight loss efforts (notice I said weight loss and not maintaining...), this is one area where I'm lacking. Not taking the time to track calories. Not keeping in touch with my teams in a daily huddle, not journeling. I can blame it on a lot of things. I'm just as busy as the rest of the world. Between work and working out it seems as though I don't have time for anything else.
Well let me tell you, seven pounds snuck on me somehow and I'm willing to bet it was by finding the time to put something in my mouth. Especially something that wasn't thought out.
Spark points serve another purpose. They make us feel successful. We all know that eating right and exercising just for one day isn't going to make a huge impact on the scale the next morning. Because we don't get that instant reward, it's tempting to say why bother? I'm just as impatient as the rest of humanity. I want to see my efforts paying off sooner. What better way then seeing those spark points go up? If my points are going up, it's because I'm spending my time in a pursuit that only furthers my efforts to acheiving my health and fitness goals. You won't lose weight watching TV -- until we get Spark TV, huh?
One of my worst health habits used to be eating in front of the TV set. I only eat at the table now. I even staggered out to the dining table the day after surgery and ate my pudding.
I always laugh and say I can't eat and type at the same time so I don't eat at the computer. After ruining my beloved Mac by spilling tea on it, I won't be drinking anything but bottled water over it either!
Voracious reader that I am, I went looking for articles about sinus surgery and low and behold, found some great information right here on SP AND --
I got points for reading it!
Wow!! Points for doing something I would have done elsewhere on the web for nothing! I'm liking this!! I'm going to go to my points page today and look for every way I can rack up those points and know that the benefits will be more than just a trophy on my page!
Now if you could just get points for emptying the dishwasher!
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Dear Spark Friends:
I am veering off my usual health and weight loss topics to bring a concern I have to my table of friends --
I am co-leader of my hometown's team and as such try to read as many blogs as I can from fellow team members to stay in touch. The other day I read an entry from a teacher who wrote about a particular student of hers who had a difficult parent and the gist of her blog was about her resentment over students who are on free and reduced lunches and other entitlement programs.
I am quite certain that this woman was probably venting out of frustration and I left a comment expressing a little of my own opinion. After thinking about it later, though, I regretted leaving it.
I want to make it clear that I didn't regret my opinion one bit, but that I let myself get emotionally sucked into a subject that has nothing to do with motivating and inspiring health and fitness.
So I went back and read over comments that other sparkers had left on her blog and was shocked at the vehemence of some peoples opinions. One particular woman's comment in support of the teacher's feelings seemed especially harsh so I clicked on her page and read the only two blogs she had written at the time.
I was so saddened and disappointed at the judgemental, political extremeness, and almost hateful nature of her blogs!
It isn't the fact that my political leanings differ from hers. I am not an extremist by any means to the right or the left, and I certainly respect the concept of freedom of expression.
However, one of my favorite quotes is:
"Freedom of expression is NOT yelling FIRE! in a crowded theater"
(I am sorry that the author of that quote escapes me for the moment.)
She is entitled to say what she feels like on her own page.
What REALLY bothers me is that when we express ourselves in a judgemental, hateful, vehement manner about any segments of population, we risk alienating people. Now I entirely get the drift that she could care less whether the folks she has chosen to spew her venomous diatribe at feel alienated or not.
I firmly believe that this isn't what Spark People is all about. I am very concerned that a newcomer to SP will stumble across her politically driven blog in seek of weight loss motivation and be completely turned off by the whole website.
For all intents and purposes, Spark People is about motivating, inspiring, encouraging others in the WEIGHT LOSS AND FITNESS EFFORTS.
I have no problem with people blogging about personal issues that are emotionally challenging to them. Our blogs shouldn't be restricted to JUST weight loss and health issues, especially when they ultimately impact our state of health mentally or physically, but I definitely feel they should be presented in a non-judgemental, non-hate mongering manner if they bring in other peoples.
Maybe it's because I am NOT a judgemental person by nature. I read my Bible faithfully, and you know what? I haven't found my name mentioned in it anywhere as an appointed judge. In fact, our good Lord is pretty specific that HE alone has that privilege.
I chose a profession where I get to help all walks of life -- every race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, and gender. The workings of our bodies really is the great equalizer. We have more in common with everybody else than not when it comes down to it.
I like to think of myself as a kind and gentle and tolerant soul in my "old age". Lol!
While I am by no means wishy-washy or timid in my political leanings, I simply don't feel like Spark People is the venue to express them. There ARE websites out there where you can share all your opinions with like minded folk. Some are monitored by the FBI, I'm sure :)
So when I read her blogs, did I click the little icon to report an inappropriate blog? No. She wasn't profane, sexual, racist, anti-semantic. or anything like that. She was political. She was judgemental and disparaging about a segment of society that through the grace of God I am not in.
So I am coming to MY friends here on SP and asking that you please not encourage these kinds of public blogs by commenting either in agreement or disagreement. By simply commenting, we are acknowledging them and giving them fuel to either continue with them out of our encouragement, or continue them out of vengeance over our dissenting opinion.
Let politics be politics on MSNBC or FOX News. Or on any of the myriad of websites out there dedicated to such.
Let Spark People be Spark People...
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Not too long ago I blogged about being in the doldrums and searching for my motivation. I shared the funny but true story about my husband helping to bring it back. The truth is, I DID spend time reading blogs, re-reading The Spark, and visiting friends pages and I really think it was a culmination of all those efforts that got me mentally back on track.
Now one thing I discovered back when I first started on my weight loss journey is that while making a commitment to yourself is an important first step, carrying on through with it can be quite another story. If only all it took was deciding you really want to be thin, we'd all be thin!
The first thing I did was get back on the scale. You know I ended my affair with the scale a while back and I found that I was using that as an excuse not to get back on it and face the proverbial music. However, there is a difference between sensible weighing in and a daily obsession with it.
Turns out my "little funk" and subsequent foray into the land of cheeseburgers, cheese nachos, and cheesecake cost me SEVEN POUNDS!
I swear, I can never figure out how it can take me seven WEEKS to lose seven pounds, but only TWO weeks to put them back on!
Next thing was to analyze my calories in and calories out. Obviously, cheeseburgers et al are NOT healthy choices. I didn't have to look too far to figure out that what I was eating was wrong. Yes, I understand the whole concept of moderation and not depriving yourself. BUT, I know me. There is no such thing as a few fries. I don't count out 15 tortilla chips and I certainly don't drizzle the cheese sauce - I ladle it on.
Where the analysis came in is WHY was I eating like that. Was it really loss of motivation? Could my determination of the last 5 years go out the window THAT quickly?
I wasn't tracking my intake because when I'm eating all wrong, I don't take the time to look up each and every thing I put in my mouth. It not only is overwhelming, but I'm actually ashamed to see it in black and white.
Working from memory, I went day by day and analyzed where I was when I lost control and what were the circumstances --
One day I forgot my lunch. Left the house with it sitting on my counter. Why? I was rushing because I was running late. Because? I had stayed up late the night before and I was tired and drifted back to sleep for a few minutes. So that meant ordering lunch to be delivered. Did I order wisely? No because most deliveries take a minimum order and that meant asking around the office for volunteers. No problem there except the usuals whom eat out everyday don't exactly eat at healthy places.
One night I got home late from the Y where I work out after work. I was tired, my DH had a cold and had taken a much deserved nap after work and didn't start supper, so we went out to eat and I wanted something fast. Why was I late from the Y? I got out of work late and I chatted with friends after working out. Those things happen.
I decided that I needed to keep a healthy frozen dinner in the freezer at work with my name on it, along with a carton of sugar free applesauce, so if I forget my lunch again, I don't have to order out. Oh and I need to get into bed earlier so I'm not so tired that I can't get right out of bed in the morning.
I also need to keep lean sandwich materials on hand at home and maybe a can of healthier soup or some healthy frozen leftovers so if I'm delayed after the Y, I've got options. If we do end up going out, It can be somewhere like Applebees and DH can order me something off the healthy choices. I'm not even looking at the menu!
Lastly I looked at my exercise. I give myself kudos for being a consistent exerciser. Even when feeling blah about it, I kept going 5-6 days a week. BUT, and this is a big but, I have been in quite a comfortable routine with my exercise. I might read a magazine and ride the bike 30 minutes tops on a low resistance. I might "run". I even convinced myself I was doing "intervals" by running a little, walking a lot. Before Christmas I was running a solid 30 minutes. Granted I was sick most of January and part of February, but instead of working my time back up, I was still taking it easy.
So I decided to turn on the heat a little. Yesterday I ran and I pushed myself. No it wasn't a solid thirty minutes but it was run fifteen, walk five, run ten. Then I went to the bike and did another thirty on a resistance that made me work! Today I rode the bike for 60 minutes on that same resistance. No reading material. I was pumping too hard and sweating too much, so I half way watched TV along with the clock thinking how much longer?!?
Once I was done, my legs felt like jelly but I felt GREAT!
I discovered something. When I exercise like that, it seems that controlling my eating is much easier. First of all, I just wasn't as hungry and secondly after burning all those calories, I wasn't going to eat them right back on!
I've been thinking all day about all of this. Do I want to keep this intensity going just for seven pounds? I look good enough seven pounds heavier. My clothes still fit OK. The answer though, really lies in how I feel. When I eat unhealthy I don't have energy. I feel bloated, gassy, tired, and mentally sluggish. I don't feel like exercising. It gets to be one big vicious cycle!
I picked my goal weight because even though it takes more personal effort to maintain it, I feel SO MUCH BETTER when I make that effort. A pound or two fluctuation doesn't make an appreciable difference, but more then that and I can tell a huge difference.
For right now, the word moderation is not in my vocabulary. I'm the original "if you give me an inch, I'll take a mile" kind of dieter. I'll have to be fairly strict until I'm back to goal. THEN if I can keep challenging myself in my workouts, I can treat myself occasionally with a usually off limits food. But only when I feel in control and CAN be moderate.
So there you have it folks. Next time you feel like you are struggling take some time to do a little self analysis. First get your head back in the game, then analyze what it's going to take to get where you want to be. Break out of those vicious cycles we set up for ourselves.
What's holding YOU back?
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