Friday, October 03, 2008
Actually, this isn't a question you should be asking yourself -- either with your weight or with your daily calories.
I'm on a new Spark streak. I've lost weight every week for the past 4 weeks. After half a year of seriously trying to lose weight, I think that is the first time that's happened. Now, I'm aware that my streak could come crashing to a halt next week, but still, I'm going to share what I think is going on, and I think it was pretty simple: I don't think I was eating enough food
Let me repeat: I don't think I was eating enough food. It's always hard to tell, of course, and weight loss is a funny creature with a mind of its own. But here's what I know: I've talked about WW activity points. When I started using all the activity points I earned each day, I found my weight going down. Not the same amount every week; it varies, but it has gone down 4 weeks in a row since I started.
Basically what that means is that I'm eating 2 small snacks between meals most days, typically after exercising. Before I was sometimes skipping a snack if I wasn't hungry. I've found that most days I do better to eat my snack even if I'm not particularly hungry. If I really was stuffed, of course I wouldn't eat a snack. Sometimes I don't really feel hungry until I eat. I will sometimes skip a snack if I haven't exercised, though.
And there's something else I changed. I used to save the bulk of my 35 flex points (you have to be a WW member to understand) for the weekends. I never starved myself, but I would eat less typically during the week. I changed that, too, and started to use my flex points fairly evenly throughout the week. For whatever reason, totally going against the whole calorie cycling craze, this seems to work better for me. At the moment.
And a final word to WW members -- use your flex points, please. They're there to be used -- because if you don't use them, your body starts to get used to less food, and ultimately, you may find yourself having a harder time losing weight.
So my answer to last week's question of whether or not you can dance the weight off seems to be yes, for me. My month of Zumba has correlated with an almost 5 lb loss, which is quite good for me. I'll be adding in different workouts soon, though, because your body gets used to exercise over time, so it's about time to change things up.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
They come from within. That's part of today's SP Healthy Reflections. How true! How well said! That's part of what I was trying to say yesterday.
We can choose how to react to situations.
Lately it seems I put out one fire only to find another has started. One of my dogs is sick. It's unclear yet if this is something that will pass on its own, or whether or not I need to take her to the vet. I very much doubt it's serious, so I'm not that worried, but it's tiring to watch her all the time -- not to mention the fact I didn't sleep very well.
It's just another thing in a long list of things, mostly minor, that seem to continually go wrong in my life lately. I could bewail "why me, why me?". Sometimes I come close. Yet, as I pointed out yesterday, I am blessed in many ways. There are many countries where the thought of feeding an animal who does no work for you in return would be unthinkable. My animals bring me such comfort most of the time.
So I have a choice. I can choose to feel victimized, wonder why bad things seem to keep happening to me, and comfort myself with food. Or I can choose to realize that bad things happen to good people, and remember my many blessings, and nourish myself with good food.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
It can be hard to live in the now when times seem so troubled. Right now, mostly, my life is good. Yes, lots of little things have been going wrong in my life for a long time. But the truth is we're all healthy, we have enough to eat, we have a roof over our heads -- this is a lot more than many, many people in the world have.
Times are troubling, to be sure, and it's good to stay informed. That doesn't mean we have to be glued to the television all the time. If something big happens, we'll hear about it.
It's especially hard, I think, when we feel we have so little control. Is the government doing the right thing? Does the government even listen to what we want? These are things that are, for the most part, out of our control. But we have this moment, right now, this very minute. And that's all we have. Tomorrow might be worse; it might be better. What we can control is right now.
That means taking a deep breath. Being thankful for all the many blessings we do have. Letting go of our anxiety about what might be, because being anxious about it won't change it -- but it might harm us.
I know for sure that food won't cure whatever might be going on in the world, in our country, in our hearts right now. Eating too much or too little will harm us. Eating the wrong sorts of food -- you know what I'm talking about -- won't make a bad situation better; what it will do is make you even more anxious, because it's not the type of food that will give you the energy you need and then you'll feel guilty because you ate it.
Remember, there's only now. Use it wisely.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I love summer for all the great fruits it brings: melons, strawberries, grapes, cherries. I am not as enthusiastic about fruit during the winter. True, I adore apples; always have. Pears are okay. Not interested in grapefruit. Oranges are okay, but not my favorite fruit and so much work.
I will admit I eat a lot of bananas. All year. They work great in smoothies, cutting down or eliminating the need for sweetners. They're great for baking. And I use them for breakfast in a variety of ways. Sometimes I'll have one as a snack shortly before bed, as supposedly they have tryptophan, which helps you sleep.
I recently finished the book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingslover. It definitely got me thinking. She doesn't eat bananas -- at all -- because they have to be shipped from the tropics. She eats local, and grows quite a bit of her own food (including raising, and slaughtering, her own chickens & turkeys).
I don't think I'm ready to give up bananas, even though her points make a great deal of sense to me. Maybe someday. It took her a while to get to that point, too.
What sparked this post was the fact that the bananas I bought almost a week ago are still green. Usually they ripen in just a few days, but the mornings are cooler, the days are shorter, even if it's still warm here. I grabbed one this morning thinking it couldn't be that bad -- but it was. Still hard. Tasted like cardboard. I'm sad to say I threw it out.
I'm finding it just a little harder to get my fruit in lately because the fruits of summer are disappearing.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I think baby steps are the secret to just about everything. A lot of little things have been going wrong in my life -- for the last several months, really, but also for the last week or so.
It feels overwhelming, sometimes, trying to fix all those little things. I admit I was falling into the pity party for me mode. But I shook myself out of it, and I'm trying to tackle the problems one problem at a time. And I'm making progress -- at least I think I am.
The only thing it seems I never get a handle on is the clutter. I try really hard, but my home is still cluttered. Granted, it's been worse, for sure, and I keep trying my baby steps. But I just never seem able to hold a streak with the cleaning & decluttering. I'd much rather keep baking things than take the time to clean the kitchen.
I have to wonder, do I need to schedule a time to clean? Like some people schedule times to exercise? And then just do it? I already have my cleaning into zones a la Flylady, and I do certain things on certain days. I mean, I know I ought to wipe down the kitchen every day and really ought to vacuum every day, but I know myself, and that just ain't gonna happen.
Anyway, the best way to attack pretty much any problem is to break it down into very little steps, and concentrate on one step at a time. Finishing that one step can give you a sense of accomplishment, and lead to the next step. That works for cleaning, for losing weight, for training animals (and humans!) -- really, it works for just about anything. Baby steps.
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