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Mindful eating

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I think most of us know, or have learned, that we need to be present, or mindful, when we're eating. It's so easy not to be. If you're by yourself, as I am much of the time, it feels like you're with someone if you've got the television on.

I have been working on not eating in front of the tv (ok, I do eat in front of the tv, but it's not on now) for a while. But boy, was it brought home to me yesterday why it's a great idea to be mindful when eating.

I was watching an episode of TLC's "I Can Make You Thin", http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/make-you-thin/

And he had a story. They gave a couple of people big bags of popcorn to keep in their office for a week. Then they went on the street, with the popcorn boxed up like movie popcorn, and tried to give it away -- but didn't get any takers.

Then they took the same bag to a movie theater, and gave the movie goers who got popcorn that popcorn. Then they checked after the movie, and most people had eaten almost all of the popcorn. Some even lamented they hadn't gotten a larger size. The same popcorn they couldn't give away on the street!

Talk about an eye opener. You can be sure I didn't eat with the tv on this morning.

And I'm proud of myself for last night. I almost always want something sweet after both lunch and dinner. At lunch, often I'll have a piece of fruit. At night, usually I'll have a small piece of chocolate.

Much of the time it's more a pyschological longing than true physical hunger. I got busy with the animals after dinner, and by the time I could relax, I decided I wasn't really hungry and didn't have anything.

Sometimes it really is the small things!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AHHHME 3/26/2008 5:01AM

    Hi :) I'm going to check out that show - it looks really interesting. Good job working on your tv/eating habits! That is my worst habit!

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RENA1965 3/25/2008 12:10PM

    Hi JLITT62,
I am so proud of you! Small is really okay and the animals will love your extra attention too! hugs Rena

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JENNIFER124 3/25/2008 12:00PM

    very good reminder and more enjoyable when i do...........jen

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MOONLIGHT71 3/25/2008 10:57AM

    I also saw the "I can make you thin" show and that story about the popcorn was interesting...then after they told the viewers it was a week old, they gave them fresh popcorn to taste the difference. I also struggle with eating when I am by myself. I work mainly by myself and sit in front of the computer for most of the morning...that's when the cravings start...when I am alone with nothing to do! Also today has been a sad day already, so I am struggling with emotional cravings. I think I will try the tapping trick Paul McKenna showed on his show. Congrats on fighting the temptations!!!

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TYLERSMOM430 3/25/2008 10:46AM

    Good job on the mindful eating. I am alone a lot of the time too. I don't watch tv but my thing is eating in front of the computer or while I am studying. I know I need to stop, but it is so hard to just eat and not do anything else you know?

Keep up the good work and good luck with your goals.

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Are you a tortoise or a hare?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Me, I'm a tortoise. Most definitely. I have always lost weight very, very slowly. I think the most I have ever lost in one week was three pounds -- and that's when I had all four wisdom teeth pulled & couldn't eat!

Now, I know that it's better to be a tortoise. You're more likely to keep the weight off when you lose it slowly. It's healthier to lose weight slowly. And you usually don't get as much saggy skin when you lose slowly.

But we all want to be hares, don't we? We want it off. Now. Not tomorrow. We just want it gone. Even though it may have taken us years to put it on in the first place.

Being a tortoise is one reason I don't weigh myself. It's hard to keep track of the 1/4 pounds, and it can be depressing to see it come off that slowly (if at all).

Hopefully this tortoise will win the race.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THEMEEM 3/24/2008 2:24PM

    I LOVE IT! Never thought of it this way - I am definitley a tortoise as well. Cheers to slow and steady!

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MAINEROCKS 3/24/2008 1:48PM

    Cute post :-) The world is made up of many different creatures so we all are a bit different and do things in different ways. Good for you for finding the way that works for you and not giving in to the impulse to go against that instinct. Keep up the good work and best of luck in reaching your goal!

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XHASTEDMOMOF2 3/24/2008 1:41PM

    I too am a tortoise who also wishes she was a hare!! Oh well! Slow and easy wins the race!!!

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    It's great that you have such insight into your desire to be a "hare" sometimes, but you can still accept that being the tortoise is what works, and finding ways to moderate that inner hare. You're defintely going to win the race!

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RENA1965 3/24/2008 11:50AM

    Hi Jlitt, I am a tortoise and always will be, but it didn't help the fight against my excess skin. I had to have 35 cm peice of stomach skin removed back on the 3/2 and my navel replaced on my new stomach. I found out long ago, that wishing for things fast just make me frustrated so decided to live life along the slow road. I have seen people loss weight faster than me (it took 2 years to drop 176lbs), but I wonder how the others look under all their fine clothing. I look terrible and still feel like a chinese shar pei, however I am able to avoid all the infections this extra skin caused and I no longer look in the mirror cry and give up hope of looking some what normal now... This makes me smile alot.

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The secret of my success?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Salads. Could it really be that simple? I don't know, but I do know that I ate a lot of salad this week -- for lunch, for dinner -- and I just plain feel lighter. So I'm inspired to make myself a 3 bean salad today.

I am lucky, in a sense, because I'm Jewish and I don't celebrate Easter, so I don't have to worry about Easter candy at all. Woo hoo! That would be a challenge for me.

But next week my niece is being Bat Mitzvah'd, so I'll be on the road and at the mercy of whatever my family wants (usually not so healthy).

I don't weigh myself, so I don't know if I actually lost weight this week. I do know I haven't gone down a pant size yet, but I also know the tight jeans I tried on yesterday are now feeling looser. But the shorts I bought in the next size down, which I could've sworn felt comfortable in the store, still feel tight. Inspiration? Doesn't usually work for me. But the next size up were too loose.

I do measure my hips & waist, alternating with taking my blood pressure. This week was a blood pressure week. Luckily, my pressure is normal, but high blood pressure runs in my family.

Next week is measure week . . . after several days of travel! And I've been stuck for a while now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 3/23/2008 7:32PM

    Oh, exercise isn't a problem for me. I've been exercising for years. And I have dogs. Sometimes getting the right intensity of exercise is a different story. I walk, do some intervals, weight train, yoga, pilates, even a little kickboxing.

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BDTEACH3197 3/23/2008 6:56PM

    I'm glad you are having success with your salads. The key to dropping sizes is to exercise and convert fat into muscle. It weighs more but takes up less space and therefore your clothes should fit better. How have you fit exercise and activity into your program? It can also help bad days of eating be less devastating overall.

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GAYLLYNNE 3/23/2008 2:09PM

    I've found that I'm doing a lot of salads since I've started dieting and I also feel lighter (of course I've lost weight and that helped a lot) but I haven't gotten into smaller sizes yet either. Soon I keep telling myself, soon.

Funny thing is my first goal is May 31st. I am hoping to be down close to 20 lbs. That's the date of my friends daughters Bat Mitzvah. I agree, it's not going to be easy!!

Of course, for us the next hurdle is Passover!! It's at my house this year and everyone knows I'm the best cook. All they are talking about is matzo balls, sponge cake and tzimmis!!! Not going to be easy but I've already told everyone that they have to take food home with them. I don't want these leftovers in the house!!!!

Good luck in your weight loss efforts. You've got the right attitude and I just know you are going to do this!

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AHHHME 3/23/2008 12:53PM

    Have fun at your niece's Bat Mitzvah! See - there are food challenges no matter who you are! Get by Easter and there is something else. :) I hope you have a great trip!

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What do I really want?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My husband is currently living in another state (long story). We see each other every couple of weeks, basically. This weekend he's home. Only he really isn't. He had a sort of wake to go to. He wanted me to go, and normally I would have even though I never met the man, but I'm going out of town in a few days and I just had a lot of stuff to do. I thought maybe he'd make it home for dinner (it's a long way out).

No, when he went to the friend who's going with him, they pottered around talking for a while and then went out to lunch. So they didn't even get there until three in the afternoon.

While I knew he might very well not make it back in time for dinner, I'm a little resentful that he comes home, is eating out -- while I'm still at home working on my portion of our taxes (that's my fault, not his, should have been done a long time ago), walking the dogs, feeding all the animals. It would be really nice to have a break once in a while. Yes, I will have a break next week when I'm away. I guess I'd just really like him to contribute a bit more when he is home.

So I was trying to decide what to do about dinner. I'm tired. He got home at 1:30 am, and I had a hard time getting back to sleep, so I'm tired. I really don't feel like cooking.

I have some Home Bistro meals -- they're even the lower fat ones -- but they're still a bit more caloric than I normally eat. I know I'll be eating a fair amount next week. And I could just go out by myself, which I was going to do, but did I mention that I'm tired? Plus I'd probably eat more than I wanted to again.

I ran through what sort of frozen dinners I have on hand in my mind. I finally settled on a veggie burger with some sweet potato fries. I really didn't want to eat badly just because I'm tired and I'm feeling just a little bit resentful.

I don't have a problem with having a cheat meal once a week. I don't always do that, but sometimes I do. A meal when I eat whatever I want. Not a binge, but if I want dessert, I have it (although I always share with my husband). But I don't always have one. Especially not when I know so much of what I eat next week will be out of control.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAMMYSKIDS58 3/22/2008 8:48PM

    I'm sorry you are stressing and tired and frustrated. I guess things never go the way we plan. Try to enjoy the rest of your weekend. Enjoy your out of town time and relax, relax, relax!! Happy Easter!!

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JLITT62 3/22/2008 7:08PM

    It's really funny you should mention grilling . . . last time he was home the plan was to grill. But we were out of gas! And we're still out of gas. And the weather's supposed to be iffy tomorrow.

We'll be together next week when I travel.

I had my veggie burger & sweet potato fries -- outside -- and it was good. I wanted to make a fruit smoothie for us to share, but we'll see when he gets home.

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AHHHME 3/22/2008 6:25PM

    Hi :) It sounds like you're having a stressful weekend! I think you're doing the right thing by grabbing something quick from the freezer - as you said - you are going to be doing some 'vacation eating' next week plus you're tired and need rest. Maybe part of your problem with your husband is - because it would be for me - that circumstances are not working out well for the two of you to spend much time together before you leave for a week? I'm sure you miss him when he's gone, etc. If he's home and wants dinner - tell him you missed him *and* you want something he cooks on the grill (whatever he can cook that you like) and then don't you make anything. :) Just an idea :)

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Clean eating

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I've been reading Julia Cameron's "The Write Diet". If you're familiar with her, she is the author of "The Artist's Way". Anyway, she recommends clean eating: basically no processed foods, fruits & veggies, whole grains -- you know the drill.

And yes, I find when I eat clean that I have more energy and just plain feel better.

So why is it so hard to do? It takes time to make meals from scratch! I actually enjoy cooking, but I hate the cleanup. It's so much easier to stick a frozen dinner in the oven than to stand around chopping up vegetables and washing up pans.

But this week I did it. I made a nice greek salad using tofu (tastes much better than it sounds!) and a great veggie pasta with a garlic butter sauce (not quite as fattening as it sounds). And that took me through much of my week.

But most weeks aren't like that. I'll buy ingredients to cook simple meals, and then they'll go rotten and I feel terrible for wasting the food. But I do have to commit to me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AHHHME 3/22/2008 5:06PM

    Great job on your clean eating this week!! That veggie pasta sounds yum - let me know how to make it please. :) I haven't seen Julia's book on diet but I do know The Artist's Way. I'll put it on my reading list. :)

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