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It's about worthiness

Monday, November 03, 2008

What are you worth? Your loved ones, hopefully, think you're worth a lot. But what do you think you're worth? Are you worth the time it takes to prepare a healthy meal? Are you worth the time it takes to get to bed on time? Are you worth making time for exercise?

If you don't think you're worth it, you won't be.

While it may seem selfish to put yourself first, how will you help your loved ones if you're so tired from lack of sleep, good food, and exercise that you can barely move?

I got this subject from watching Oprah's show about "The Biggest Loser". I don't like the show, although I'll admit I've never watched it. What I don't like about it is that it's totally unrealistic. Normal people do not have 6 hours a day to exercise. Most of us are doing well to squeeze in half an hour or an hour.

I must say, they did a fair job: they showed a few of the past winners who are struggling now. It's easy for me to sit here and be holier than thou, except I can't be: I've struggled for most of my adult life. For all I know, I'll continue to struggle for the rest of my adult life. But I know that this isn't something I do until I get down to my goal weight; this is my life.

This is what my life will always be like: plenty of exercise, planning meals, cooking meals, examing what works and what doesn't, and always being mindful of what I'm putting into my mouth. Most of the time I'm ok with it; sometimes I'm not -- but that's what life is like, up and down. I'm worth it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 11/5/2008 3:36AM

    Unfortunately, I also have to have plenty of exercise and REALLY watch what I eat in order to maintain a healthy weight. It is DEFINITELY tough, and lately I have been off track. Thanks for the reminder that I need to remember my worth and put in greater efforts.

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SQUIRTZIE 11/4/2008 8:58PM

    Great blog!! I agree with you about the exercising. When I read some of the comments on SP about how someone exercises for 3 or 4 hours a day, I always wonder if they have anything else to do. I'm disabled and if I exercised that much I would never get anything else done.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/3/2008 8:03PM

    Thank you for the reminder! We are ALL worth it - sometimes we just don't realize it and need to be reminded. thank you.

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MTER67 11/3/2008 4:16PM

    I'm worth it, too! I definitely am--but that doesn't stop me from seeing how far I can push it. I have a short run to take this morning, but I went to bed waaayy too late last night, so now I am sitting at the computer with sore eyes, yawning. My run will suffer a little because I am tired, but it should also energize me a little. I need to remember that sleep is an important "reward" --and I ought to be rewarding my body with more of it for carrying me so well day after day. Thanks!

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Time saver: frozen meals

Sunday, November 02, 2008

In tandem with yesterday's post on where did my time go, today I'm sharing about frozen meals. And not the ones that come from the grocery store, either. SP has an article around somewhere on making your own frozen meals.

Lately I've been taking that advice to heart. When I make something I like, I'll usually take a serving and vacuum seal it (keeps things much fresher than simply freezing in a plastic bag or container). I started doing this because I realized that every time I travel, I come home and there's little food in the house -- and I'm usually too tired to jump right back into cooking right away.

I do always keep a couple of store-bought frozen meals on hand, for emergencies and times when there just isn't enough time to do meal prep. But even the healthiest frozen meals are still swimming in sodium.

I'm even considering tinkering with making my own frozen pizzas, dough and all. It's been a long time since I've made bread, but considering the frozen pizza I buy is $5 a pop, I know I could make myself several frozen pizzas for that amount of money -- and customize it to my tastes, too. You can make your own frozen pizza with store bought pizza dough, of course, but one of the main reasons I'm thinking about it is truly to save money. Plus there's something very thereuptic about slapping around bread dough.

Some people hate leftovers, but I adore them. Cook once, have 4 dinners? It's the lazy person's dream. So next time you have some leftovers you don't know what to do with, consider making some frozen dinners of your own.

And here's a thought from that famous cookie maker (who knew he'd have good advice for those trying to lose weight?):

"Believe that you can do it, under any circumstances. Because if you believe you can, then you really will. That belief just keeps you searching for the answers, then pretty soon you get it."
-- Wally "Famous" Amos

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 11/5/2008 3:40AM

    I am a terrible cook and don't mind leftovers at all. If it's delicious the first night, I don't mind enjoying it again the next night. I also believe in cooking a big batch and freezing portions. I LOVE my freezer!

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MTER67 11/3/2008 5:05AM

    I am not such a good leftover eater. I forget the stuff is there until it is questionable whether or not it should be eaten any more; or there isn't enough left to stretch into a meal for 5 or 6. I do make a mean homemade pizza though and it is just as easy, if not easier, than ordering out. If you are interested in a good dough recipe, let me know and I'll spark mail it to you! I have not frozen the dough before, but I bet you could--as long as you bring it to room temperature and let it rise before rolling it out and putting your toppings on.

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SQUIRTZIE 11/2/2008 9:33PM

    I usually freeze a couple of meals a week. Frozen pizzas are a really great idea.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/2/2008 10:42AM

    I love left overs too! They make taking lunches to work so much easier. Hey I have one of those vacuum sealers that I received for my birthday and never used. I'm going to hunt it down and start! Thanks for the great idea!

Have a great Sunday! Looks like you are enjoying your journey - keep enjoying.

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WOODLANDMYST 11/2/2008 9:41AM

  We love leftovers! And I still manage to freeze some too for those nights I'm workiung late, no time to cook (unless we want to eat at midnight...ugh) I wanted rice the other night - so I cooked a big batch. The next 3-4 meals I'm looking for rice, it will be ready in just a few minutes.

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Where'd my time go?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I thought this was an appropriate post for a day when we get an extra hour's sleep. Altho I always figure you're really sleeping the same amount of time, you just change the clock. That's the way I look at it, anyway.

I often wonder just where all the hours in the day go. I don't work anymore, after all -- well, not at a regular job. Just what can it be that keeps me so busy?

And then one day I realized: living a healthy lifestyle is time-consuming! Don't get me wrong; it is time well-spent, but the simple fact of the matter is that it's easier to eat convenience foods and not exercise. Or is it? Is it really easier to have no energy? To feel disgusted with yourself? To derive no pleasure from your food? To never sit down at your table to eat?

I spend a lot more time on preparing food now than I did before I started this journey. I was still cooking and baking then, but I did absolutely rely more on convenience foods than I do now. I'd say I probably spend a good hour on food prep most days.

I'm also spending more time exercising, too. I was walking the dogs every day even while I was at my heaviest, and doing strength training several times a week. But I only started to lose weight when I added in doing an exercise DVD in addition ot that walk 5 times a week.

There is no getting around it: a healthy lifestyle is time consuming. It takes a lot less time to go through a drive through than to prepare a healthy dinner. It's much easier to watch tv than to exercise.

A healthy lifestyle is time well-spent, though. It will boil over into everything you do: more energy to get more things done, more confidence to deal with everyone in your life, and just the sheer joy of knowing how much good you have done for yourself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 11/2/2008 1:03AM

    A healthy lifestyle does take up a lot of time. More time to cook, as you said, but also more time spent planning the healthy meals and snacks. More time spent shopping for the ingredients. More time exercising and recovering from the exercise. But, I consider the alternative ways my time *could* be spent, i.e. exhausted on the couch, winded on the landings of staircases, or waiting in doctor's offices to be seen for health problems. Healthy living is definitely time well spent--you're right!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/1/2008 10:41AM

    How very true. Not to mention trying to fit in the new joys that one finds on this journey - like knitting classes, social activities.....it is time consuming and a balancing act is required. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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The sweets diet

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Anyone who gets to know me, knows I have a sweet tooth. It's genetic. I get it from both sides of my family. In addition, I love to cook & bake -- and I'm good at it.

So I've had to learn how to incorporate sweets into my weight loss plan. I know that conventional wisdom says you should only have dessert a few times a week, and I know that that is healthy. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for me.

If I could, I'd have dessert morning, noon, and night. Some days, I actually do -- sort of. For instance, I made chocolate waffles this weekend. So I might have one waffle for breakfast. I also made some tofu-maple syrup spread, and that gives the waffle a protein staying boost. I'm also quite fond of peanut butter on my waffles, and there's little in this world I love more than peanut butter and chocolate.

I take a calcium supplement called Adora. It's a very small chocolate disk. Not the chewy kind like Viactiv, but a real chocolate. It comes in both milk and dark chocolate, and it's yummy. I have that with lunch most days.

And yesterday I had a home made cupcake for dessert. I ate really healthy yesterday, and I felt really nourished by what I ate.

All this means is that I do have to search my voluminous cookbook collection for healthy recipes for baked goods. Or mostly healthy -- occasionally I'll make a really decadent treat. The cupcakes actually were. They were vegan, so no animal products, but they were still rich. But many of the muffins and cookies I bake are relatively healthy.

I know that I would both be healthier and lose weight quicker if I limited my sweets more. But I wouldn't be happy. And as I wrote yesterday, if you're miserable, you're never going to make this a lifestyle change. So far I've managed to lose 18 pounds and still be able to bake and eat what I bake. I could have lost more by giving up baking -- but I would have lost more than just more pounds, too.

This is what I mean by making your plan work for YOU. Figure out what you need, and work it in. You can have anything you want, you just can't have everything you want.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 10/30/2008 9:38PM

    You have a very healthy and wise outlook on this journey. I never start anything if it's something I can't continue on an ongoing basis. Eventually, I would just give up if I feel deprived.

Congratulations on your progress so far. Live, and enjoy! emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 10/30/2008 7:51PM

    I have a sweet tooth too and have worked my 'treats' into my nutritional plan. I like searching for and trying recipes that are a healthier alternative to the usual baked treats we use to buy. You know it's a winner when there is the same (or almost the same) taste......


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MTER67 10/30/2008 7:32PM

    You are down 18 pounds--that's awesome! I am also a big sweets eater. I don't care much for candy or boxed chocolates, but I never met a brownie or cupcake I didn't like. Baked treats are a real temptation for me. This is also a terrible time of year for temptations. I had a birthday cake to nibble this week; Halloween today; next week another birthday cake; and then comes Thanksgiving and Christmas! Yikes! I think you are right though: any plan that has you cut out all the things you love is doomed for failure. It is so much better to allow yourself what you love--in moderation.

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Fake it until you make it

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm an idea person. I get a lot of ideas; some good, some bad. Most aren't acted on, a few are, and some of those are actually pretty good (meaning most aren't). And yes, I get ideas for blogs at weird times, so I actually do write down my ideas on a calendar.

And this was one of my ideas. I was going to write about how you do you have to do so you get what you want (a hard lesson for me, sometimes). IOW, fake it until you make it -- just do something until it becomes a habit.

I still think that's good advice for many things in life, but while subconsciously stewing on that for a while, I don't think it really applies to weight loss, and here's why: you have to want it. You have to want it baaaad.

If you really want weight loss, then the inevitable changes you have to make won't seem so hard. Sure, some will be harder than others; change is always hard, but mostly things won't seem so bad because you're getting what you want: a healthier you, with more energy.

So if you're really struggling, it may be that it's just not the right time for you. And that's okay. Which doesn't mean you can completely throw in the towel. I think if you're really struggling, it means you haven't dug deep enough into the real reasons behind your poor habits, you've set unrealistic expectations for yourself, or you're not doing it for the right reasons.

If you're struggling, change your tactics. Maybe lighten up a bit. A little less exercise, or some more healthy food, or a few more treats. If you just can't make exercise a habit, commit to just 5 minutes a day and really concentrate on your healthy eating. If you exercise but can't seem to control your eating, make sure you're at least getting in your fruits and vegetables or tracking your food (not necessarily both). If nothing is working for you, maybe it's time to try just maintaining.

Weight loss isn't easy, but it shouldn't make you miserable, either. Because it's for the rest of your life. If you can't imagine doing what you're doing for the rest of your life, then you're not doing the right things for YOU.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 10/30/2008 9:56PM

    Another insightful blog, my friend. I used to hate to exercise when I had to force myself before I found group exercise classes. Now I have no trouble at all getting myself to exercise. Eating sensibly is a whole different story. Like you, I will never make perfect choices because I refuse to give up the things I love. I just try to indulge in moderation. Most of the time it works. There are times I struggle a bit. I'm still a work in progress and will remain so for the rest of my life.

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MTER67 10/30/2008 3:31AM

    If you are totally miserable, you won't stick with something. A kid might drop out of soccer after a few weeks, and a woman might "drop out of" an exercise class if she really hates it. Drastic changes may appear at first to bring faster rewards, but they are so hard to keep up. Great blog, as usual. Thanks!

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KARBIE18 10/29/2008 9:17PM

    You are so wise! I totally agree. And you know how good I am at maintaining!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 10/29/2008 7:36PM

    My sentiments exactly - but it took me a few weeks of being miserable to figure it out! Thanks for sharing.

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MRSMILLER777 10/29/2008 9:29AM

    I'm going to post this on my blog to as a reminder. I feel this way often especially trying to help others and I think It's a great reminder to myself. summing it up as If you can't imagine doing what you're doing for the rest of your life, then you're not doing the right things for YOU is like you pulled the feelings right out of me and put them on here! Thank You & I hope you don't mind me copying it to put on my blog so I can reference it.

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