JLITT62   52,035
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JLITT62's Recent Blog Entries

Losing weight is like cleaning

Sunday, June 22, 2008

At least, it is if you're like me. I'm not a total slob -- I don't like when things are messy & dirty. The problem is that I'm lazy. There are so many other things I'd rather do than clean. Cook, paint, read, be on SP. I've heard of women who actually enjoy cleaning, but personally, I think they're the ones aliens have experimented on; that's the only thing that can explain it.

The other day my kitchen was its usual mess after several bouts of baking & cooking, and so I cleaned it up. And the next day after I made something, I cleaned immedaitely.

That's the real secret to cleaning, isn't it? Do a little at a time. It's too tiring to clean up the entire house all at once, for most people -- just like it's too hard to change all your bad habits all at once. But do just a little at a time, and before you know it, your house (and your body) are at least halfway decent.

The other part of cleaning is to not let it get away from you in the first place. This goes hand in hand with do a little at a time. If you've never heard of FlyLady, www.flylady.com , and you're like me, it's time to check it out. FlyLady says that any one room in your house should never be more than 15 minutes away from being clean.

It's not that your house has to be perfect all the time, but it shouldn't be so messy that it's going to take you hours and hours to clean it -- because then it's too easy to throw in the towel.

And when we get to our goal, it's just as important to put in checks and measures. What will you do when you find yourself not tracking what you eat? Not exercising? Clothes not fitting? How far away are you going to let it get before you do something about it?

Even though I'm a long way away from my goal weight, whatever that might be, I still know the signs of bad habits creeping in. We have to think about what signs show us going off the tracks, and what we will do to put ourselves back on the journey.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BDTEACH3197 6/22/2008 6:32PM

    But you can clean your house top to bottom spotless in one day if you have to but no matter how much you change your habits, you will never lose all your weight and get your body into shape in one day. Too bad - I could probably succeed if that was true!!! I do better with the larger jobs than with keeping up the details with cleaning and healthy lifestyle!

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GREENGRRL007 6/22/2008 10:03AM

    I love the cleaning analogy! I like the idea of equating neat-freaks with health-nuts. I love them, envy then, but I don't have much in common with them.

It's funny, I immediately thought, "well, you can always hire someone to clean your house but you can't exactly hire someone to lose your weight for you." Then I remembered this cleaning person we had once. She was fabulous at making the house look great but she would merely gather up the clutter, put it in bags, and put the bags in the nearest closet/cabinet. We knew she did that but loved that the clutter was gone. Then someone would let me know that they were missing something (undoubtedly it was something absolutely critical and irreplaceable for some horribly un-reschedulable imminent event). We'd have to break open the bags and deal with the stupid crap in the bags. Even when the clutter was put in little bags for us, we still had to deal with it. But when you clean your own house, you know where things are and you can find them again.

Although I'd still like to find someone to lose weight for me!

Loved your post!

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MTER67 6/22/2008 9:58AM

    What a great comparison. Let the clutter build up and suddenly you are faced with a big cleaning project. Let your diet and exercise slide and suddenly you have a lot of weight to lose. Thank you for another thought provoking blog. Hope you are having a great weekend!

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You are enough

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some time ago I came up with this mantra:

You are enough. You have enough. You do enough.

Repeat to yourself whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, whenever you find yourself envying the woman who seems to do it all and still seems relaxed, whenever you find yourself about to make an impulse buy.

It's funny how just saying things to yourself, over and over and over again, can make it happen. It's called an affirmation. Seems silly, I know. But they work.

I know we all look at what we've done at the end of the day, and we think about all the things we didn't accomplish instead of the things we did do. Or we envy the people who seem to do so much. But you do enough.

We think we aren't good enough. Not a good enough mother, not a good enough friend, not a good enough wife, not good enough for anyone to ever fall in love with. But you are enough.

We live in a materialistic world, where the person who dies with the most toys wins. Only they don't, really. They can't take it with them. They don't bring you happiness. What brings you happiness is the people in your lives -- even if that's only the person at the grocery store checkout -- and how you treat them. The important things in life, after all, aren't things. You have enough.

Be grateful for what you have and who you are and what you do every day. I know that we are all here for a reason. I'm still trying to figure out what mine might be, but I know that my life is valuable even so. And so is yours. Celebrate it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONANDMARY77 6/21/2008 10:10AM

    Thank you for the simple words of truth. Same is true with weightloss. It is such a stuggle to feel content with were we are at the moment. Losing over 70 pounds isn't enough, because I am too focused on the weight I haven't lost. Thank you for the reminder that I can be happy during the journey we are on.

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ASTARB1 6/21/2008 9:56AM

    Excellent mantra! I'll definitely try to remember this during the crazy times in life! :)

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MARGO1966 6/21/2008 8:09AM

    Thank you so much for the reminder!

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DIANA_THE_AXE 6/21/2008 8:00AM

    Thank you so much for reminding me to appreciate myself. I know that we all forget to do that. When I look back on my life and realize how much I have accomplished, I say WOW, I was good, but I was so busy trying to be so perfect that I forgot to enjoy my life.

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Enjoy the journey

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sorry, no special fit tip today. The well has run dry, this week -- which is appropriate, considering how much rain we need here. There actually was a little rain today while I was out and about -- but apparently not at our house.

So today I am shamlessly stealing from my Weight Watchers meeting. This week's theme was that you need to enjoy the journey. The weight loss journey. I know a bunch of you are now sitting there with "say what?" expressions on your face.

But for me, this was timely. Not to mention while randomly flipping through my newest cookbook acquisition (note to self: must stop going to Barnes & Noble after my WW meeting), I came across this quote:

"Remember, losing weight is not a race to complete but a new way of life".

When life throws some synchronicity at you, you should stand up and take notice. And I did. Sure, I was bummed that I only lost a little weight the week before, and actually went up a teeny, tiny bit this week. But I do know that I ate healthy this week. That's what counts. As long as I continue to do that, and continue to explore my emotional relationship with food (good thing husbands don't get jealous of food, eh?), I know that eventually the weight will come off.

But enjoying the journey is the point. Of this blog, of Spark People, of trying to create a new lifestyle. Because if you ain't enjoying yourself now, you ain't never, ever gonna keep the weight off.

So if you can give up all chocolate, sugar, salty, whatever it is that floats your boat, forever, more power to you. I know I can't. So I work it in, everyday. Sometimes I have to reevaluate what I'm doing, tweak it here and there, but the truth is, most of the time I'm pretty satisfied. I'm not hungry too often, I don't crave foods too often, and I try not to go overboard on the exercise thing either.

And sometimes that means I go out to eat, get whatever I damn well please, and enjoy the hell out of it. I just don't do that every day, not even every week! I do it just often enough to make this pleasurable for me. Even that can vary month to month.

It also means that even though the scale hasn't been super-kind to me lately, I'm still enjoying the fact that these jeans are really comfortable, and they weren't a couple of months ago. I look forward to the day that they're too loose, but I will never forget how far I have come already.

So go on, I dare you: enjoy your journey. Every single step of it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CJROMB 6/21/2008 12:33AM

    I'm with you. The journey can be FUN! I am certainly having an absolute blast of it recently. I'm out a lot because of my business, and lots of people are noticing and saying things recently. And then today? I was able to wear a pair of pants that I haven't worn in YEARS. And I think they were more comfortable today then whey I USED to wear them. That made my whole day.

Hope your night is great and your weekend is the same. And you're soooo right. We could sure use some RAIN!!!

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MTER67 6/20/2008 9:44PM

    You are very wise and the fact that you are taking notice of all these things is one more reason why you will be successful this time. Consider this--what if it takes a woman 2 years to get to her goal weight. She reaches it, stops and looks around; and then says, "What now?" The point is--what about the 2 years along the way? What happened to them? Once a person is at her goal weight, does her life suddenly begin from that point on? Of course not. You get one shot at life and you have to give it your all. I know I can't live without chocolate and french fries. But, I have french fries maybe once a month. And, chocolate, I have every day, but only a handful of M&Ms. I cut out the stuff I can live without, so that there is room to enjoy the stuff I really love. A funny thing happens on your way to your goal weight: you change your habits, your lifestyle, your likes and dislikes. That is what will make you keep the weight from ever coming back. You are an inspiration, Jlitt, and I can't wait for the day when you have to toss those jeans in the Goodwill bag!

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KARBIE18 6/20/2008 7:38PM

    Great topic, and so true. There are many times in my life when I've thought, "I'd be happy if I could just lose ___ pounds." Well, this time I'm determined to be happy NOW. And it's working! It was that urgency to reach my goal that was making me dissatisfied, and actually led to poor choices at times. Now, I'm very content with the babysteps I'm taking, and I want to thank you again for reminding me.


Comment edited on: 6/20/2008 7:37:10 PM

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SWIMMERYOGINI 6/20/2008 5:48PM

  Thank you - that was a much needed reminder! It is a long process and I also have chosen NOT to forego all my favorites, but instead to learn to decrease the AMOUNT.

Have a great weekend and happy sparking!

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What is eating you?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's never about the food, not really. There's something underlying our skewed relationship with food -- and that something is always emotional. We're using food to fill some need in ourselves.

I'm still trying to figure this one out, personally. I know it's true, but I also am not quite sure about what need I'm trying to fill with food. I wasn't heavy, or thin, as a child, but I did begin to binge when I was a teenager. Not huge ones, no purging, but my mom would bake something, freeze it, and I'd hunt it down and eat (my poor mom). I'd buy whole boxes of cookies & eat them in my room & hide the box. In college, I'd eat an entire box of poptarts instead of going to dinner (just makes me sick thinking of that now).

I know some of it has to do with loneliness. I was never popular, never part of the "in" crowd.

One thing I know for sure: until you work on what's eating you, you're never going to keep off the weight for good. You may learn to eat right, you may learn to enjoy exercise, but the same old problems will be there waiting for that cookie, or chip, or ice cream -- whatever your drug of choice may be.

That is why the HALT tool is so effective. Whenever you're about to eat, ask yourself four questions:

1. Am I hungry?

2. Am I angry?

3. Am I lonely?

4. Am I tired?

If the answer is yes to anything but question #1, it's time to do some other activity than eat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PANDORASBOX820 6/20/2008 1:45PM

    I love this!! but what about "sad"? or "anxious"?

i guess what you really have to do is figure out what it is that makes YOU eat. for me it's when i'm sad, stressed, lonely, tired or angry....oh yea, and hungry!! the most important!!! :-P

soooo maybe i'll have to come up with my own acronym, but thanks for giving me a kick in the right direction!!!

and thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me such a sweet comment!! I'm going to add you as a sparkfriend!

:) have an awesome healthy weekend!

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MTER67 6/19/2008 11:01AM

    This reminds me of another one of your blogs--I think it is the before, during, after journal one. If eating were only about "refueling," nobody would be overweight. When I am lonely or not feeling well, I crave the comfort foods of my childhood: meat loaf, mac & cheese, pork chops. I also grab food when I am bored, but I have been pretty good at limiting snacking to a premeasured portion, so I sit down, eat it, and move on, instead of polishing off a whole package of something. I think you are right, just deciding WHY you want to eat--and then eating only when you are actually hungry--is critical to long term success. Hope you had a great day. It is midnight here--got to get to bed!

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LSFBOOK 6/19/2008 10:09AM

    What a great set of questions? I'm going to use HALT from now on when I just want to eat. Thanks.

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Major motivator -- maybe

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I live in TX. My parents live in NY for most of the year, and in CA for about 3 months of the winter. My in-laws & SIL live in Seattle. My in-laws used to live on Cape Cod, and sometimes we'd be able to visit both my parents and my in-laws in one fell swoop.

But now that they live on opposite coasts, it's a little harder.

We were thinking of going to Seattle this summer to visit. Seattle in the summer is great -- in fact, I've been there 3 times -- always in May! And the weather was always nice.

Then they were making noises about going to the Cape (they haven't sold their house there yet).

Then suddenly my SIL tells my husband that my MIL wants us all to go on a cruise to Alaska (something we have always wanted to do) in August. Talk about little notice! But I got on Expedia, and found some that still had rooms available. We talked some more, and they all want to do it -- so we may be going on a cruise in August. Maybe. If we can work out the details.

We like to cruise. This would be our fifth cruise (sixth, if you count the one day cruise to Ensenada, but I don't -- altho it was actually fun). We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. It was almost ten years after that until our next cruise, but it's speeded up since then. Our last was a cruise around the Hawaiian islands for our 20th anniversary. In fact, we'd always said we'd go to Alaska for our 20th, but when it came down to it, we both just kind of looked at each other & said "Hawaii!".

I'm pretty self motivated all the time, but something like this definitely kicks up the motivation a notch. They take photos of you as often as they can on cruises. Of course you want to look your best. I probably won't look as good as I did on our Pacific Northwest cruise (and I thought I was fat then!), but I should look better than I did on our Hawaii cruise.

But I also need to find balance. Push too hard, and something's gonna fall. I've had times in my life where I so desperately wanted to lose weight for something, only to be more out of control than ever. I don't think I'll have that problem this time; this time feels so different for some reason.

I have to find the right balance between a little extra effort and pushing myself so hard I burn out. I'm pretty sure I will. Wish me luck -- in finding balance, and in just getting to go on the cruise in the first place!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FABAT402009 6/18/2008 10:45PM

    I used to live in Alaska and you will love it. It's a beautiful place and I'm sure you will have a great time.

Here's to a fun vacation and a life of balance!

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KARBIE18 6/18/2008 10:44PM

    I've always wanted to go on a cruise, but my boat racing husband is afraid of the water! He's really paranoid about being out so far. I've toyed with the idea of going with my friends for our 50th birthdays, but it will depend on a number of factors. We'll see.

An Alaskan cruise sounds wonderful! I've seen a friend's pictures, and they were amazing. I"m sure the real thing is awesome. Hope you get all the details ironed out.

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ASTARB1 6/18/2008 10:14PM

    We went on a cruise for our honeymoon, too (Caribbean). I've heard that an Alaskan cruise is AMAZING.

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JAZMYNE70 6/18/2008 2:25PM

    I know you can do it. Just feeling better about yourself and how you feel, period, is a big motivator. What an awesome goal to look forward to -- going on a cruise!

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WOODLANDMYST 6/18/2008 11:17AM

  Here's to finding balance and going on a fabulous cruise! I hope you're able to get together with family. Hugs, Cyndy

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