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Making better choices

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Probably the reason it's so easy to be focused on weight loss in the beginning of the year is because the days are short, and that actually gives us more time to plan. There isn't so much to do outside (barring shoveling snow), and even if we enjoy things like skiing or snow shoeing, we're more likely to call it a day earlier when the light disappears -- but we don't go to bed any earlier (or maybe not much earlier).

I know that I have to stay focused. I know that I want to stop paying at WW. And that means that I have to make better choices. Because when it's all said & done, that's what weight loss boils down to.

We went out to dinner last night, at a steak house. I don't normally eat a whole lot of steak, and when we do have it, I like the fattier cuts -- prime rib & rib eye (which is really just prime rib in disguise).

Last night I decided to try a sirloin. Anything that ends in loin is a better choice, did you know that? And it was good. In fact, DH got the surf & turf special which included prime rib, and I took a small bite of it. And I must say I actually liked my sirloin better.

Little decisions like that can really add up. I'm trying hard to be more focused and if I do eat more than I was planning on or the munchies attack, I'm trying to make sure at least they're healthy, filling foods.

And I feel much better already, no matter what the scale says!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 5/30/2010 3:48PM

    "Little decisions really add up." That's going to be my motto this week. I needed to hear what's in your blog today!
emoticon

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BZYBOYSMOM 5/30/2010 1:00PM

    Well done. When we plan we plan to succeed. We went out to dinner last night to celebrate my sons graduation and I had looked up the menu and preplanned a low clalorie choice and it was divine and I felt so good about the choice!

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KEAKMAN 5/30/2010 10:30AM

    Great choices my friend! And I didn't know that about "loin" - but I'll remember it. I LOVE steak, and I am not a fan of the fattier cuts anyway (the first and only time I ever had prime rib I was sooooo disappointed!)

I plan to use my summer to get a good plan in action that will take me through the long dark winter successfully this year.

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SHEILA1505 5/30/2010 10:27AM

    Glad you enjoyed your sirloin last night - I had one too and it was great! Together with the salad and the wine it was a good evening out with my neighbour/friend/client - and we had a voucher that gave us one meal free - split the bill and my savings went into my FunFund as usual.

(Pity that I ate too many almonds and cubes of cheese while I was watching rugby on TV in the afternoon! Oh well .. it's a lifestyle, not a diet :) ... )

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KARBIE18 5/30/2010 9:55AM

    Yes, I did know that about the loin, and I always try to keep it in mind.

So glad to hear you are feeling better. You have been such an inspiration to me all along on this journey, and your persistance, and insight, have been invaluable. You've worked so hard to get to this point and deserve to reach that goal.

You wrote a blog a while back asking (and I'm paraphrasing) if we feel we have to eat perfectly to lose weight. I don't think I responded, because, like so many of your blogs, I have to stop and think about the answers (still trying to figure out which actress would play me!). I have come to the conclusion that, at this point, I do....or as close to perfect as I can. For so long I resisted the idea of tracking, and of restricting my food intake any more than I already do. But now that I am so close, I think my body is trying to tell me that, if I want to lose, I'm going to have to be even more strict. I am going to spend the (almost) three months of my vacation tracking and cutting the majority of my indulgences out, then, if that doesn't work, I'm done. I also joined the GOYAAM EXTREME fitness challenge, and plan to do everything in my power to get off my butt even more than I do now.

This plateau crap is getting old, isn't it? What do you say we do this thing, once and for all??!!

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HEALTH4LYFE 5/30/2010 9:46AM

    Good for you. I agree it's all about choices. Some choices we make will have a minor effect on our lives, while others, much bigger. With regards to a healthy lifestyle, little choices add up over time and thus can have the biggest effect on our lives. (I guess that's why SP promotes baby steps).
May you continue to make healthier choices without depriving yourself of treats every now and then (that's what SP calls living). emoticon

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The push-and-pull of being present & minding the future

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Boy, that's an awkard title, eh?

We spend a lot of time contemplating the future, don't we? We're even encouraged to do so by the healthy eating gurus: think about how you'll feel when you're thin. What you'll eat. How you'll spend your time.

I do think that's good advice.

But we also have to learn how to be present, too. How is what we're doing make us feel right now? Is what I'm eating satisfying? Is it filling me up? Am I really hungry?

I am beginning to think that maybe we need to focus more on the here & now than the future. The future might never come for all we know, but we are here right now.

It isn't always easy to be present. How many times have you eaten something only to wonder how that happened? You have no actual memory of eating it because you weren't really present, and most likely you were reacting to feelings rather than hunger.

The big question is how? How do we remain present? Well, I know concentrating on your breathing (i.e., meditation by any other name) can help bring you back to the here and now. But I'll have to think on that some more. Any suggestions?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTY68 5/29/2010 10:45PM

    Hi
What a fantastic blog and I am going to say that while I write a response to it and think of only what I feel and what I want to say, I am in the present. If I my mind moves to any other thought, then I have left that present moment, this is the same for anyone who reads these comments with out breaking the thought, they to are in the moment. I feel that when we think of the future with goals and expectations, we continue in the present. It is when we are up set about the past or concerned and stressed about the future, we lose our balance of life. Being in the present is probably one of the most difficult thing to do. I agree, meditation, being still, focusing are good exercises. However, the only true way I feel is to release the past, don't worry about the future and let each moment bring the now experience.

Thank you for sharing , it is a subject that can bring balance and success into our lives.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 5/29/2010 4:52PM

    I think that part of my weight issues are that I have a hard time staying present and connected with my body. I've tuned my body out for so long, that it's hard to hear what my body wants "right now". Thanks for the reminder to "stay present".

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HEALTH4LYFE 5/29/2010 4:01PM

    I have a friend with whom I work who provides some time for mindfulness training/meditation on Wednesday mornings. I don't always get to participate because of what is going on in the office, but I have gone a couple of times and it can be very difficult to remain in the moment. There can be so many distractions around us and for those who think they can multi-task, it can be daunting.
There is usually a bell or gong which goes off while we are sitting quietly listening to the sounds around us as we practice our mindfulness from the suggestions provided on the CD.
Being mindful can be extremely helpful. It can help reduce stress, letting things go can be quite liberating.
I need to practice it a bit more.

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KEAKMAN 5/29/2010 3:02PM

    I read a book that had some suggestions for keeping present while eating....her ideas may sound goofy, but they work (if I do them!) One was to use a special utensil - an heirloom fork, a one-of-a-kind water glass, something unique - and then everytime you notice it (which you will since it is unusual) that is your cue to stop and think about what you are eating, how you like it, is it warm, too cold, are you filling up, etc.

The other is to mentally describe each bite to yourself as you eat it. "This is a bite of pasta with Alfredo sauce. I can taste the garlic, and I think I would like it if there was a bit more. The pasta is cooked prefectly for my liking, a little firmer than al dente. The temperature is just right, too....warm enough to make my mouth feel warm but not hot enough to burn my tongue." And so on.

Thank for reminding me that this used to be very effective for me. I "discovered" I had eaten half a bag of Ruffles and nearly 16 oz of dip the other night. One of these exercises would have prevented THAT fiasco!

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FREELADY 5/29/2010 11:47AM

    It's such a challenge, isn't it?!

One thing that helps me is bringing more senses into awareness . . . consciously smelling the food, the breeze, the clean laundry . . . noticing the feel of the chair cushion under me, the sun on my arms, my friend's hand on my shoulder . . . listening to a squirrel rustle in the bushes, a piece of music, my friends chattering and chuckling, my husband's resonant voice . . . looking for beauty and for God's creative genius in small things . . . eating slowly and savoring each morsel.

I do have to keep catching myself slipping into mindlessness or worry!

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DAYHIKER 5/29/2010 10:46AM

    Ohhhh, yeah, this is good. I am so absent minded that it sometimes scares me and I have been working on it. A lot of what I do doesn't take a lot of concentration so I can get pretty scattered before I catch myself. From time to time I go back to using my Flylady timer to help me keep my focus!

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/29/2010 9:58AM

    I have been practicing staying the present more and more. It is working great in managing stress and keeping me sane (whatever little sanity I have left!). Presentmindedness helps me focus better. Have a wonderful day.

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Wishing my life away

Friday, May 28, 2010

Even tho I'm a big fan of living in the now as much as possible, I'm glad June will soon be here because I seriously need to regroup.

I actually think I did fairly well on vacation and while I was sick, but boy, right after that the munchies pulled up a chair and made themselves comfortable. And I just invited them in.

Well, it's time to kick the munchies out with May. Time to figure out just what will keep me satisfied and on track. Time to light a new fire under myself. I've been letting too many little things go lately -- actually not tracking my food for a couple of days -- mostly because I couldn't bring myself to write down all that mindless munching and face what I'd done because I knew there was no way to dig myself out of that hole. Like an ostrich, if I can't see it it didn't happen, right?

I like who I am, but that doesn't mean I have to get too comfortable with myself either. If we're not growing, we're dead.

This weekend is the perfect time to do a little soul-searching and come up with a plan.

Have you got a plan for your healthy journey?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 5/30/2010 5:03PM

    You seem to be singing my song too. I have some untracked days for exactly the same reason. I just didn't want to even KNOW how many bits of this and that I'd nibbled throughout the days.

There hasn't been any serious collapse of good healthy choices - just a lot of fraying around the edges. I'm digging pretty deep today (and tomorrow) to find those better choices and then making them!

so - why is it I am so glad we're in this together? Hope it means I'll be even gladder when we're out of it together, hmmm?

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DAYHIKER 5/28/2010 3:38PM

    There is something hopeful about starting a new month isn't there?! My plan is to use the new calendar that is at the bottom left of our Start pages as a motivator for June and see how many days I can make my goals. Restarting the Bootcamp has really helped me a lot. I was floundering with exercise and that is just so key for me.

Hope you'll have a great weekend and get your new plan rolling!

emoticonCindy

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HEYRED221 5/28/2010 2:20PM

    I understand. I got myself back on track last week. Going to the gym here at work, just paid for a locker today, so I am committed!!! Have a great weekend!!!

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USARUNNERGIRL 5/28/2010 1:52PM

    I from time to time have to repick myself up, reeval and come up with a new plan. We are all human and things will happen. I have faith that you will get back to where you want to be, after all you are the food diva. emoticon

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SHEILA1505 5/28/2010 11:47AM

    I can sooooo relate to this Judy - I gave myself 2 weeks to recover from the Paris/London stuff and the cold/vertigo that followed it - hit my ridiculously low goalweight and then just blew it all away just cos I had a stupid birthday, then DD2s friends invited themselves round for a BBQ in exchange for giving them parking for the game. I didn't track for a while and now I have to admit that I seriously need it again. How on earth did I manage to stay at the low end of the calories? Oh well - just made a new commitment to myself - 7 weeks till next dance exams - get head involved as well as my feet - and 10 weeks to get myself into peak fitness (for me, that is) and goal weight.

Intensified my work-outs this week but then the pool was too cold for me today - and I hadn't taken my workout clothes! Hmm have to do double tomorrow - but I did have an extra 1/2 hour dance lesson which involves sweat. Also got 3hour Ball tonight - OK Friday was not a wipe-out after all.

You keep an eye on me and I'll keep any eye on you - OK??

Hugs - nice that you are back with us

(Oh I've also been slacking on SP - it's been gobbling up my internet bandwidth again - or FB has ...)

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BZYBOYSMOM 5/28/2010 11:39AM

    My plan is really to take it one meal at a time. Plan, yes! But I am not going to fret over planning every meal on the other hand I will make good healthy choices. The next 2 months are full of graduation celebrations, trips, weddings and birthday parties I can do it!

My big plan is to get more exercise in now that my summer vacation is here.Yeah!! I want a bike!

Jump right back on track! You are a role model and inspiration to us all here! Go girl!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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It's all relative

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yesterday I blogged about loving yourself. Today, as I was walking along with the dogs, I realized how much better about myself I felt.

And here's the rub: I weighed this amount about 15 years ago. I felt so fat then. I'd struggled for so long trying to lose those extra 10 lbs (kind of like now), only unlike now, I felt like such a failure and also felt I couldn't lose the weight.

I guess now I look at myself and notice the good things about myself more often than not. Sure, I have my down times just like everyone else, but I'd like to think that I'm more positive than negative these days.

Part of that comes from having weighed so much more just a couple of years ago. Remembering how uncomfortable it made me feel, how difficult it was to find flattering clothes.

It's all relative. If you're heavier than you've ever been and you hate yourself, please start turning that negative self talk into positives. At the very least, you're aware that you weigh more than you ought to. That's something. That's the first step.

And as the weight starts to come off, remember how it felt at that weight. Notice how you feel at your new weights. Document it here. It will motivate you and keep you going when you just want to throw in the towel.

Now, right before a holiday weekend in the US, is a really good time to think about all that. And do more than think about it. So my challenge to you today is to blog about either what makes you feel good right now, what doesn't make you good, and if you've already lost some (or a lot) of weight, how that has changed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 5/26/2010 3:35PM

    You are such an encouraging person. You always discuss things I really need to hear.

How perceptive.

Thanks be to God, I can now do many active things. I had actually forgotten how much fun active recreation is to me. It is helping me feel better about being 52, since I can still enjoy many sports and games. Fifty-three pounds ago, my options were much more limited, and I was feeling much older. I remember feeling very embarrassed about my size when I had to climb bleachers to WATCH active recreation. I betcha when I get out of overweight BMI, I'll find many more pleasant surprises!

Thanks for another great blog.

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CRAVE_FREE 5/26/2010 12:18PM

    I have been thinking this very thing. The weight I am now, was once my highest weight and prompted me to join Weight Watchers. But this time around, I had to lose 10 lbs to get here and I feel SO GREAT. I think the difference is I see how much I can accomplish and I feel good about a healthy lifestyle and taking care of myself. Thanks for the insight!

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/26/2010 11:14AM

    You should be a team leader - you're very solution oriented and helpful. Have a wonderful day.

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KEAKMAN 5/26/2010 8:58AM

    Another Sparkbuddy encouraged me to take some seriously personal "before" pics - the flabby arms, the back fat, the belly roll - and then put them away to pull out when I don't think I have made any progress. While I would die if anyone else ever saw them, they do a world of good for me as they remind me of what I have accomplished AND what I never want to look at again!

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If your life were a movie, who would play you?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I got this idea as I was watching Oprah yesterday. She had Julia Roberts on the show, who plays Elizabeth Gilbert in the movie version of "Eat, Pray, Love".

I read the book well before it was on Oprah, and wasn't particularly impressed the first time I read it. She seemed so whiny. But at some point, not too long ago, I read it again and it spoke to me a lot more.

And then I started to think about who would play me in a movie. I asked my husband who he would want to play him. Eventually he came up with the guy who used to play Father Guido Sarducci on SNL -- only to disocver that he's now 67, so maybe a tad old to play him.

Then I asked him who would play me. He was pretty stumped at first. I had come up with Sarah Jessica Parker (of course she'd have to go back to brunette, as whe was way back in Footloose) or maybe Winona Ryder. He eventually suggested Janine Garafolo.

Anyway. I read an interesting article not too long ago about how body distortion. The gist of it was that if you see yourself as larger than you are, even if you've lost a significant amount of weight (which is totally normal), you may not truly believe that you can lose the weight.

Now, as I said, it doesn't mean you're doomed to be fat forever or that you can't lose the weight. But it may be a sign that you need to change all that negative chatter in your head. We've all got that, too.

I have come to believe that one of the biggest paths to losing weight is to love yourself. Which isn't always easy. It's not always easy when you have 3 chins, nothing fits, your thighs could start a fire, and you don't fit into seats.

But every single one of us is deserving of love, no matter how much we weigh or what anyone else tells you. So start loving yourself -- today. Maybe just smile at yourself in the mirror. Maybe buy yourself some flowers. Maybe take a little time to read or even just sit outside. See how much better your life can be when you love yourself.

Now me, I seem to have the opposite problem this time around. I seem to see myself as smaller than I appear in photos. Even tho I could certainly still stand to lose 20 lbs, even tho I was (am?) stuck for so long, I find myself looking at myself and thinking sometimes "damn! who is that tiny person?".



But my face is almost always disappointing. It's too round. There's still that hint of a double chin if the angle isn't right. Some people have such lovely bone structure in their faces that they look good no matter how heavy they are -- I am not one of those. I swear my face is one of the first places weight shows up.

Which is why I was so surprised at the photo above (taken on Wall Street, with the bull). I was like "really? that's my face? It's actually kind of thin".

So, if your life were a movie, who would play you? Or do you have suggestions for who would play me?

And don't forget to be kind to yourself today!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BZYBOYSMOM 5/28/2010 11:42AM

    You look adorable!!
Who would play me?? Sadly Mama Cass!
Who would I like to play me............anyone thin!

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MONTY68 5/25/2010 10:28PM

    Hi
I love your blog, I have no clue who I would have play my role, the 67 year old is about my age, although I
feel younger. When you talk about body distortion, I didnít realize what I looked like when I started my plan, I never saw the before picture until I hit my goal and was shocked at what I looked like. In fact embarrassed that I didnít post any pictures until recently, I donít see me as heavy, in fact I really like what I see now and not to sound conceited, I look at myself in the mirror and smile.
I feel that the most important thing you touched on is loving yourself. So important that I feel that by not loving our self can and will sabotage weight loss. I have commented and in my blog, I give a suggestion as to find out if we truly love our self and if not suggestions on how to learn to love self. It was suggested to me by a very good Spark Friend that I had to change the comment under my before picture. I understood and did. To understand loving yourself doesnít mean that you have to love the weight, but to understand that that part of self can be released. I feel that when a person loves and believes in themselves that all things are possible.
I love your comment of who is that tiny person and I think you have to accept that pictures donít always appear absolutely correct.
Thank you for sharing, I guess I should start interviewing who will play me in the upcoming movie. emoticon


Monty
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAYHIKER 5/25/2010 12:41PM

    Cute picture! I can't come up with any ideas of who to play me in a movie!! (Garfield came to mind first...) emoticon I also think of myself as thinner than I am in pictures. I should not look fat in a size Medium when I am almost 5'9!

Cindy

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FREELADY 5/25/2010 12:29PM

    I love this blog. As usual, you offer so many fascinating things to ponder. So helpful!

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KEAKMAN 5/25/2010 9:04AM

    Great pic! Although the hat sort of keeps us from seeing all of you! I always think of you as that lovely lady in black with the cat (your profile pic) Now looking at this latest pic and seeing your long, slender neck, I am reminded of Audrey Hepburn (my mind is stuck in old classic movie mode)

Now if I could convince myself that I look like Kate Hepburn.....

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TATTER3 5/25/2010 6:17AM

    What a neat thought....I've got to ponder this for awhile! Keep Sparkin'!!!

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