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Nourishing yourself

Friday, September 12, 2008

There are many ways to nourish yourself; food is just one way, although even when you're trying to lose weight, it's important. Important to eat good food, that is. Once I had a few meals I'd made myself, I found that I did feel nourished -- I was still tired and trying to catch up with sleep, but I just felt better eating home-cooked meals.

That is what works for me; that is what has always worked for me -- lots of made-from-scratch meals. There are times I wish I was able to lose weight eating frozen entrees, but even when they're good, it just isn't the same as fresh. I also wish I had a magic helper to swing a brush through my kitchen and make all the dirty pots and pans go away -- I will admit, I often don't want to cook because the very thought of cleaning up tires me.

While in Alaska I bought an Ulu knife. It's similar to a Mezzaluna (not that I have one, but I have read about them -- and if you don't know what an Ulu or a Mezzaluna is, there's always Google). I love it. Somehow it just fits my hand right, and that's the secret to a good knife. There were some beautiful Ulus there, but I bought one on the ship (which sadly turns out to have been made in China), because I didn't want to plunk down a lot of money on something I wasn't sure I'd like. The only problem with the Ulu is that it needs to be hand washed.

I've been nourishing myself in another way lately, too. I had a manicure and a 20/20/20 treatment while on the cruise -- that was three 20 minute treatments: I chose a scalp massage, a hot stone massage, and a mini-facial. The best masseuse I've had in a long, long time. I actually felt my face looked better afterward, and I rarely feel that way from facials.

I've really been puzzled why I still break out so much. I know I eat healthy. Sure, I could eat better, but in general, I eat pretty healthy. One of the things the masseuse said to me was about exfoliation. Exfoliate? Moi? Yeah, right. I've been using simple soap -- actually, not simple soap, I usually buy local soap on my trips, and I'm very vigilant about the ingredients.

But I decided it was time to take better care of myself. And it just so happened that the Dr. Hauschka product line was on sale this week. So I bought several products, including a clay mask, and have been using them. And I could swear my face does look better. Like I don't think I'll scare people if I go out without makeup on. Not dewy, youthful skin, but definitely better.

So there you have it. It's just important to nourish ourselves as it is to nourish our loved ones. Find ways to nourish yourself that truly are nourishing -- good food, not fast food; fresh food, not frozen food; ways that don't involve food at all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 9/13/2008 11:40PM

    Good for you, taking care of "all" of you. That stuff is just as important as the diet and exercise, IMO. I haven't had a facial in years, but I remember how wonderfully relaxing it was. My favorite splurge is a pedicure with a leg massage--it's so nice to reward my legs by having all the knots kneaded out ! Thank you for reminding us to pamper ourselves every once in awhile--we deserve it.

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KSTARS 9/13/2008 8:39AM

    Great blog as usual, Judy. I really need a facial, but where to go? I picked up a "Got 2 B U" brand masque. Works pretty good for store-bought. I use Loreal moisturizer, which is surprisingly good for the price. I also use Loreal self-tanner-bronzer.

I don't bake or cook much, since it takes time and energy to clean. My favorites that I have made: Zucchini-chocolate chip loaf, and fresh corn tortillas with pepper jack. Can't do that now! LOL


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SQUIRTZIE 9/12/2008 5:23PM

    I don't care for frozen foods or prepared box mixes either. It is so hard cooking for 1. I still think I am cooking for all my kids.
I used to get massages many years ago. Sometimes I think that is the only thing that made it possible to work. Then I lost my job so I haven't been able to afford it since.
I did use exfoliation for a year also and that was nice. I should probably try that again. What is the clay mask like?
Excellent to be reminded that we need more than food to nourish ourselves.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Are you destined to be fat?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I used to think I was. In fact, I wasn't the only one. I worked out with a personal trainer for a long time. She knew I got plenty of exercise, and I brought in my food log for her to peruse -- she really didn't have a whole lot of suggestions. She was convinced I had a thyroid problem (she was also a nurse).

I exercised. I ate fairly healthy. I went to WW meetings, altho only monthly. Nothing seemed to work.

Yet here I am, 10 pounds lighter, even with my most recent gain. If the cruise taught me anything, it's that it's incredibly easy for me to put on weight. Not huge amounts at a time, but those sneaky 1 and 2 pounds will gang up on you -- literally.

I have to work very, very hard to lose weight, even small amounts. I have to get plenty of exercise, and really have to watch portion size and sweets in particular.

But here's what I know for sure: you are in control of your destiny. Unless you have a medical problem, you CAN lose weight. It may be harder than you thought it would be, but if you really want it, you can do it.

Ike, btw, has taken a turn overnight. Hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. At the moment it's not bearing down straight for us. We live far inland, so we'd never have to evacuate for a hurricane, but tornadoes can be a worry with them. It may very well turn out to be a non-event for us, as many hurricanes in the past have been. Or it could turn back towards us. We'll be fine either way. Thanks for the well wishes & concerns!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SQUIRTZIE 9/11/2008 11:29PM

    Good attotude. YOU CAN DO THIS! Remember Baby Steps.

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NOMI_822 9/11/2008 7:14PM

    I believe that if you want it, really want it you can lose it. Medical issues are different. I have to work really hard and stay super focused to make progress but I make progress. Keep at it and don't give up. Be careful with Ike. I live in Florida panhandle and we are having high tides like never before. We are also sitting on pins and needles as we do every time a hurricane comes into the Gulf. I have seen them bounce from Texas shore all the way to central Florida and back. They are sooo unpredictable but we always lived near the water so we are used to it. emoticon

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Losing weight is like knitting

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes, I have finally started knitting again. I tape the Today show in the mornings. During the summer, I have to get the dogs out early for our walk because it's so hot. So I watch it later in the day -- often at night.

Lola doesn't like it when I knit. She can't snuggle against my side like she likes to; she has to settle for snuggling against my legs. But I decided if I'm going to watch something like a news show, I can certainly knit during it -- it burns a few calories, and it's hard to eat while knitting.

I usually don't get more than a few rows done at a time. I like doing complicated patterns, and this one requires a fair amount of attention from me.

Losing weight is like that -- you make small changes and you don't necessarily see the difference those changes make in your body for some time. But eventually, one day, you realize that you've really changed; not just your habits, but your body, as well.

Another way knitting is like losing weight is that I'm very determined. I could sit and knit for hours because I want to see the finished product. I'm very determined when it comes to weight loss, too. Most of the time I'll do what I need to do because I want to see the finished product. The difference between knitting and losing weight is that with knitting, you get a finished product (sometimes) in just a few weeks or months; losing weight can take many months, and the changes are sometimes too subtle to notice.

Like my knitting, I am back in the groove with my weight loss efforts as well. My only sweets yesterday were a mini-Luna bar and the chocolate covered strawberries I made. I've made a lunch dish and a dinner dish, so now I have some meals that aren't processed, and I'll be going shopping today so I'll have some more fresh fruit and veggies in the house again.

Sadly, I may not be able to make it to the farmer's market this weekend. We'll see. They'll be open . . . they're there every Saturday, rain or shine, holiday or not. But at the moment they're predicting Ike to take a path towards us, and the accompanying heavy rain. The dogs don't like rain, and it's a real balancing act trying to get them to do their business in it. Thankfully, we rarely get a whole day of rain, but if the forecasts are right, we're in for a whole lot of it.

What will really be interesting to see is how the dogs deal with snow . . . Lola actually lived her first 8 months in MN; but Chester is TX born & bred, and while he has seen snow (we do get it occasionally), never more than a dusting.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 9/12/2008 12:47AM

    I used to knit a lot and it is a lot like weight loss, I think. We haven't lived in a place with real winters in a long time, so knitting lost a lot of its appeal, but I love the repetitive motion of it all. I also enjoy complicated patterns, especially cables and lace. I never liked switching colors though.

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STARTSPARKING 9/11/2008 7:08AM

    I don't know how to knit very well, but I learned to crochet in Sunday's school when I was a pre-teen. Our Sunday school teacher taught us so we could crochet baby blankets and hats to give to another Sunday school teacher at her baby shower party. They were some of the most meaningful presents I have ever given.

Good for you for doing so well with the sweets. Sorry Ike will prevent you from going to the farmer's market this weekend. Please take care. emoticon

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LSFBOOK 9/10/2008 1:30PM

    Knitting is great! It keeps me from eating too. Hope you are not in the direct path of Ike. Good luck!

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The benefits of breaks

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Another agility lesson. It's about 3 weeks or so since the dogs did agility. This morning was more humid than it's been in a while. They both did great, though.

There's a thing called latent learning. How you learn something, take a break from it, but your brain is still working on it subconsciously while you're on break. And when you get back to it -- you're even better. That was definitely the dogs this morning.

For a long time, the teeter (yes, somewhat like a child's teeter-totter) was Chester's nemesis. At some point he just got spooked, and he'd jump off of it unless I had a helper holding it. It's taken a lot of practice and a lot of cheese, but he's finally decided he loves the teeter again (this week, anyway).

In fact, he was a little too enthusiastic, taking off for it with lots of speed and momentum, while I barely had time to catch up with him and catch it before it hit the ground. Eventually he should do it without me touching it, but we're not quite to that point yet. The problem, of course, is that they have to find their balance once they get to the pivot -- which is almost at the end of the teeter for a little chihuahua.

Losing and maintaining weight is a long journey, no matter how much you have to lose. If you take off too fast, you're likely to crash. If you don't find your balance, you won't make it to the finish line. Sometimes you need to take a break to find that balance and enthusiasm again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 9/10/2008 8:38PM

    You always gain these wonderful insights from your observations. Then you make smart analogies or connections to our journey to better health. I love it! Thank you for sharing your inspiring perspectives.

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SQUIRTZIE 9/9/2008 11:55PM

    Glad you have so much fun with your dogs.
Everyone needs to step back and take a break to find the balance again.

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KARBIE18 9/9/2008 8:29PM

    Glad to hear your dogs did well today. That sounds so fun! And so challenging.

I know what you're saying about the break. I can't see you completely breaking away from your healthy habits, but I've heard that it can help to quit spending so much time thinking about weight loss.

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A new beginning

Monday, September 08, 2008

The nice thing about a new month, a new week, a new day is that they are all chances for new beginnings.

I dropped DH off at the airport yet again yesterday. He'll be gone at least 3 weeks this time, and part of that will be a business trip to Europe. I was feeling lonely again. And hungry. And tired. I haven't slept well, for a variety of reasons, in weeks, and I'm really tired (although last night I did finally sleep pretty good -- exhaustion will do that for you!).

Being so tired has made it difficult to get back into the swing of things. I don't want to cook or exercise; in fact, I really don't want to do anything at all. The dogs always help me there, because they need to be walked. I haven't been making the best food choices. Not awful ones, but I'm not eating enough fruit or veggies (veggies especially). I just don't want to go to the extra effort of making a salad.

When I came home yesterday, I felt a powerful craving for the chocolate peanut butter ice cream (low fat) I'd bought. I decided I would first drink a glass of water. I did that while working on finishing up my Alaska photos. By the time I was done with both, dinnertime was approaching and I decided I'd at least eat dinner first.

I'd like to say that by the time dinner was done my craving was gone, but it wasn't. So I decided I would scoop out my ice cream into a bowl, enjoy it, and be done with it. And that's what I did. Except I did take more than a serving -- but that was it. I ate no more last night, and this morning I did start the day with a healthy dose of banana, yogurt, and granola.

I also decided that it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself and do something. I printed out my before & after photo, added a motivational quote, and put it by the recliner, where I eat breakfast in the mornings -- and spent some time studying it this morning. I also printed out the SP contract. I do still have to fill it out and decide where that ought to go -- but hey, if visual motivators work so well for Michael Phelps, what can they do for us?

The funny thing about printing out my before & after photo was that I could really see the changes in my body, more so than when I look at it on my monitor. I still don't see what I see when I look in the mirror. But I will keep working until the image in my mind matches the image in the camera.

Oh, and I just wanted to add that my husband was really sweet. I sent him an email before I went to bed saying Lola wasn't the only female in the house who misses him. And he replied that he forgot to tell me something before he left -- that he loves me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARBIE18 9/9/2008 8:08PM

    You really are doing well. Your heart may not yet be into it, but you're in such a habit of eating well, that you will make choices that minimize your likelihood of gaining. Yes, you had the ice cream, but I'm sure you didn't eat as much as you wanted to, and you didn't continue to indulge in anything afterwards. As you know, if you make wise choices most of the time (banana, granola, etc.), it will all balance out. You have to live. And with life, there are going to be phases when you aren't going to be as enthusiastic. Keep up the good work!


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MTER67 9/8/2008 8:10PM

    Good for you for recognizing that you needed a treat, given that you are tired and feeling down. But double-good for you for limiting it to just a little more than a serving. I think it is understandable that you would have a hard time getting back into the swing of things after an amazing holiday and having to say good-bye to your husband for a long time again. Putting your photos where you are sure to see them everyday is a wonderful idea and I am sure that it will give you both the reminder of how far you've come, and the "push" you need to keep striving for more. Great blog, thanks--again!

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VAL503 9/8/2008 4:27PM

    Hi, I just wanted to say hang in there! My post-vacation exhaustion and funk lasted way too long, and I didn't keep up with Spark People, and ended up sliding backward. Just keep on keeping on, and I hope you feel better soon! You are always such a motivation and an inspiration to me, so let me know if there is anything I can do for you! Your blogs are so straightforward and honest, and they usually help me to see things in a new light, or re-motivate me, which is a huge help!
Take good care of yourself,

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    My motivation to eat sensibly has been so low lately. I just HAVE to get it together and refocus again. Good for you for doing your best to keep your ice cream indulgence within limits yesterday. I know how tough that battle is, and I've been losing that struggle lately. I simply give in without putting too much of a fight. Your post spoke to me today, and I'm inspired by your determination and will power. Thank you, my friend!

I'm glad that you printed out your before and after photos to study and drill in your mind. What a wonderful motivational tool. Please take care, and I hope you will get some much needed restful sleep soon.

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BALINDA2222 9/8/2008 10:22AM

    I really want to see your pictures and I know your going to make it,Keep looking at them before and after pictures,its like everyday is a new day and in one month what a change.Three weeks your husband is gone he could come back to a wife who he loves and see the smile on her face that in three weeks she did great and is happy about it!! Don't worry about messing up, just never stop getting back on the horse,hang in there!! You can do it!! We all are here for each other!! Love the Blog!!

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