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What's working?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I really wish there was some way to know exactly what works -- and what doesn't. Some weeks I don't change anything, others I may change several things. There's really no way to know. So here are a few of the things I think have been working lately:

1. Really watching the little things. Making sure there's as little mindless or uncounted eating as possible.

2. Giving up a sweet treat for popcorn after dinner a couple of times a week -- although I'll keep buttering my popcorn most of the time. I eat very little butter, so I'm okay with that.

3. Started a new exercise routine: Shaun T's Rockin' Body. I really like it; it's fun, and I'm dripping with sweat by the end. Not as hard as the 30 Day Shred, but it's mostly cardio -- and it's a lot more fun.

4. I've started to journal again, apart from this blog. A written, private journal. I'd been doing that a long time, but when the weather changed, I started knitting in the time I used to journal. So now I just journal at a different time of day.

5. The last couple of days I've been doing some exercise right after I feed the dogs -- in the time I've been knitting in the past. I'm not getting as much knitting done, but I actually find I'm feeling more energized. I started because it was the only way I could figure out how to get all my workouts in on Thursday before I left for the cat rescue.

6. I don't know if there's a cause and effect here, but I started eating about 95% vegetarian with my husband gone, and often vegan. But it's hardly the only change I made, it's just an interesting factoid to me.

7. Go to my WW meeting every week.

So there you have it. Is it one particular thing working? A combination of all of it? Probably the latter. The scale still goes up sometimes, down sometimes, and stays stuck sometimes. It is what it is. But that doesn't mean we can't keep trying to figure it out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINI-ME-2B 11/16/2008 11:15AM

    Everyone has to find out exactly what works. And by the time you get used to it working, it stops working. Which is why changing your routine up is necessary. Good job!

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MTER67 11/16/2008 2:18AM

    It sure sounds like you are doing everything right! I am so glad that is working well for you. Don't give up on your knitting--you are going to need all those warm things next winter!

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SQUIRTZIE 11/15/2008 9:40PM

    Whatever works! emoticon

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PEACHES804 11/15/2008 5:34PM

    Taking care of yourself will better enable you to take care of others. It seems we try to do so much in the course of a day that the only way to get it done is to make substitutions. Exercise OR knit. We pack so much into the course of a day that we tend to neglect ourselves.

The body and mind likes variety therefore it all works as long as we work it. Hang in there!

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Little things really do add up

Friday, November 14, 2008

The mysterious changing ticker. Many have commented how close I am to my goal weight -- well, I was very close to my first goal, and today I have achieved it: 10% of my body weight gone.

Now I have a new ticker -- the next 10% goal. The question is what goal date should I set? I don't usually do so well with setting dates for weight loss goals. Sometimes they come early, but more often than not they take longer than I expected. I average less than 1 pound a week.

At 1 pound a week, I could be at my next goal in 4 months. Except the holidays are coming up, I know it took me longer than 4 months to lose 15 pounds in the first place, and it just keeps getting harder the smaller you get, plus I have the added stress of the new home search and trying to seriously declutter bfore the move. So I'm going to give myself 6 months -- which puts me at let's say the end of May 2009. I'd be seriously happy if I can meet that goal -- and there's a certain symmetry to that, since I started going back to WW in May.

By now you must be wondering what the title referred to. I was very careful to really cross my ts and dot my i's this week. And it paid off at the scale. I had 2 nights where I didn't have dessert after dinner -- even though I always plan my treat, I really do need to cut back on my treats. I did, however, have buttered popcorn those nights.

As I've mentioned, one of my favorite breakfasts is a banana chocolate "pizza" (using a pita). I was using 1 tbsp of chocolate chips, but this week I cut back to 2 tsps -- and was perfectly satisfied with it. I think now I'll try it with 1 1/2 tsps.

I'm also planning to cut back on the amount of popcorn I make. I'll still have it buttered, but I'll have less of it. Going with my bowl half-full post of the other day, I was using a fairly large bowl -- and it didn't come near to filling it. Last night I used one of my pasta bowls, and it was overflowing and I was quite satisfied. It's all psychological -- the popcorn is premeasured, so I can't take too much. But if my bowl is half empty, I'm not always satisfied. If my bowl is full, I tend to be more satisfied.

Little things REALLY matter!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 11/15/2008 5:44AM

    You are doing so well--congratulations on reaching your first goal! When are you guys moving? I hope that you aren't going north during the middle of winter. That will be a shocker for you and the pups, won't it--the cold weather I mean? Again, congratulations on losing 10% and on already deciding on the timeline for your next goal!

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SQUIRTZIE 11/15/2008 12:12AM

    emoticon on your weight loss!! You are so right about the size of your bowl or plate. If it is full you are full.
I also love buttered popcorn. I limit myself to popcorn about once a month.

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MINI-ME-2B 11/14/2008 4:53PM

    Congrats on your 10%! We're doing great at this! It doesn't matter how long it takes (ok, yeah it does, but...), you're setting very good goals & taking your time to get there. If it happens quicker, then we'll have a party!

Thank you so much for the goodie & your support! Glad I could give you a chuckle today!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/14/2008 1:54PM

    Congrats on reaching your mini-goal! I couldn't set a date with my weight loss goals - I tried that when I was 2lbs from reaching goal and tried to reach goal so I wouldn't have to pay for the next 12 week series of WW! Didn't happen - I stressed out so much I ended up gaining and still had to pay the next 12 week session (with more to lose - argh). So I don't set dates to my goals anymore - heck, this is a lifetime journey so I'll take it when it comes......

I love my popcorn too - and work the 100 calories bags of microwave into my daily plan. Have you tried Becel spray on them? Or Molly McButter (powder so you have to sprinkle when popcorn is hot or mist with water then sprinkle). I also love using different seasonings on the popcorn - my favourite right now is Chipoltle powder - kind of tastes like a bar-b-q chip of days gone by. Popcorn is great - the fibre is good for us. Your pizza sounds interesting - care to share the recipe?

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STRAUSBAUGH9900 11/14/2008 1:32PM

    Congrats in obtaining your first goal! what an accomplishment! Best of luck with your next goal!

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Are you ready?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgiving is two weeks away (in the US). Have you got your menu planned? Shopped for the non-perishables already? Made something and tucked it away in the freezer?

This was actually the topic of our WW meeting this week, getting ready ahead of time. Making a list & checking it twice.

It's been a little hard on me, as usual, not quite knowing what we're doing (still). We don't have any family here. Some years it's been just us; some years we've invited friends over; some years we've gone away; some years we've gone out to eat; and some years we go to friends.

I think we're just going to be us this year. I am trying to convince my husband to do the turkey trot. It's the last opportunity we'll have to do it here, although I did check & there is one where we're moving. It's a hard sell, because it means he has to get up earlier than he wants to and move -- two things he doesn't want to do. But at least we can take the dogs with us.

I have some, but not all, of my menu planned. We're not big turkey fans, so we've done alternatives quite often. I was thinking of making duck, which I haven't done in years and years, but when I did my food shopping yesterday they had turkey legs on sale. The leg is the favorite part of the turkey for both me & my husband, so turkey legs it is! Now I just have to figure out how I want to make them.

What will be on your Thanksgiving table this year? How will you navigate the favorite foods that call out to you? Do you have any Thanksgiving food traditions?

I do. Years and years ago I came across a recipe for sweet corn buns in an Italian cookbook. Corn seemed to work with Thanksgiving, so I made them. And they have been our Thanksgiving tradition ever since, and Thanksgiving is the only time of year I make them. I'm going to try to veganize them this weekend . . . the results should be interesting.

One point our leader made was to make your holiday favorites, the things you only have at one time of year, throughout the year. Because it will make you less likely to over indulge in your favorites if you know you can have them any time you want. But I think I'll keep my corn bun tradition for Thanksgiving only. They're something like a cross between a muffin and a scone -- almost a dessert, actually.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SQUIRTZIE 11/14/2008 12:30AM

    Interesting blog. I have never heard of sweet corn buns.
For years my family went to my mother's. Then for a few years the weather was always freezing rain so we stayed home. We used to invite some single people with no families for Thanksgiving. Then back to my mothers for a few years and now again I just stay home.
I am undecided as to fix a turkey. I love it so I always fix a couple a year.

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MTER67 11/13/2008 4:21PM

    Like you I don't know exactly what I am going to do this year. Some times I wish I lived in a family where there was a long standing tradition of "We do Thanksgiving at Granny's house." We don't have a traditional gathering place b/c we have always lived so far from family--and it was mostly that way when I was a kid, too. This year I have gone from wanting to do a big dinner for my family and a few others, to wanting to cook for only myself and the kids, to wanting to eat out, to wanting to eschew the Thanksgiving trappings altogether and go out for the day to some place we have never visited. On Okinawa, of course, it will be an ordinary Thursday, so I thought we could visit a tourist attraction or something. I don't know. I would really miss the turkey and dressing!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/13/2008 10:40AM

    Planning is so important on this journey. Hope you have a happy thanksgiving. We had ours last month. I decided not to make turkey - we had ham, which we rarely have. (sadly, I admit that I missed the turkey while I was eating the ham). I made extra low point veggies so I wouldn't go overboard on the ham. For dessert, I made lemon meringue pie in a pre-made vanilla graham cracker crust (without the meringue) - it turned out pretty good and was a lot less calories (vs pastry). Because of the pre-planning, it was a pretty good dinner and I hardly used any of my flex points. I was pretty happy with myself; having survived another celebratory dinner while staying on program. The planning was well worth it.

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Bigger is better

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ok, fooled you! Really, bigger isn't better when it comes to food; so why does it always *seem* like it is?

And why can't I get past that? Are you like me, when you go to grab a cookie or muffin or whatnot that you've baked, you want the biggest one? That you'll actually put your first pick back, because you think you spy one that is bigger, only when you get it out you're not sure, and you go through two or three of them until you settle on one? Why can't I just take the first thing I pick, and be done with it?

I've never been able to figure out what this is about. Trying to "fill" myself up, obviously.

This is why using smaller plates and bowls and measuring can be so important. Unfortunately, I don't have any small bowls right now. So when I fill a bowl with mac & cheese, I want a full bowl. Doesn't matter that that might be two servings, I feel deprived if the bowl isn't full. Deprivation. I guess that's what it's about. I know I'm not deprived when it comes to food, so what's the deal?

I also just wanted to send out a reminder to everyone to be present, in everything you do. I was rushing making dinner tonight. I had one part in the oven, and was hurriedly cutting cheese to grind it in a food processor -- and you guessed it, I cut my finger. I would have had plenty of time if I'd just slowed down and taken my time -- I had almost plenty of time even after I left, washed my finger, put some antiseptic on it, and slapped a bandaid on it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/13/2008 10:36AM

    Sorry to hear about your finger - hope it's ok.
Isn't that funny how we are conditioned into thinking that bigger is better. You are absolutely right, it isn't better - it's so wrong in so many ways. It takes time to undo that conditioning. My DH grew up with 14 brothers and sisters and it took him years to stop piling his plate and 'hoarding' it for later....lol. We don't have smaller plates either, so I'm trying to get into the habit of not letting my foods touch one another. Eating out of a cup is a great idea too. Maybe my next splurge will be to buy a matching dinner set with smaller plates and bowls....maybe for Christmas.

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MTER67 11/13/2008 12:38AM

    Ouch! Hope your finger's okay! My husband cut his finger at the kitchen sink one time years ago. The next thing I know he fell backwards and passed out on the floor! It was really scary, but also a little funny (I know, I know, I am a terrible person.) Thanks for the reminder to watch the portion size. Stopping at one muffin may sound like the healthy thing to do, but not if the muffin is the size of Jupiter!

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MINI-ME-2B 11/12/2008 9:59PM

    I bought the WW measuring/serving spoons and use them daily. They have 1/2 & 1 cup. I use the 1/2 on starches and the 1 cup on veggies.

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SQUIRTZIE 11/12/2008 7:58PM

    I agree eat out of a cup.

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LDYRED53 11/12/2008 7:28PM

    Well you fooled me!!!How about eating out of a measuring cup if you don't have small bowls?It's not pretty but right now that is not what is important.And I always want the bigger one,of anything,too.
Good Luck,Merrill

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Brain games: new feature

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I haven't seen this announced anywhere, but did you know you can now play "brain games" for free on SP?


I just stumbled across this yesterday. I suppose it goes with a healthy lifestyle because it's important to challenge your brain on a regular basis. It won't help you lose weight, but it might help keep you mentally acute. Since I don't have any sort of gaming system right now, I really appreciate this!

I was also surprised to find that the games were pretty challenging, too.

I got a very physical reminder today about picking yourself up after you fall off the wagon -- I fell on my butt during agility! Nothing hurt but my pride.

I have been really careful with the little extras this week, and feel as though I've eaten pretty healthy -- even down to not having anything sweet after dinner one night, except for grapes. That's major for me! In fact, the only sweet thing of the day was a banana smoothie. Since the scale hasn't been moving much lately, I'm trying to really pay attention to all those little things that end up adding up at the scale.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 11/12/2008 7:28AM

    Sorry about the fall! Glad to hear that you are okay, except for the pride. I have never heard of the brain games, but I will have to check them out. Lately, I feel like my brain could use a little more exercise! Glad to hear that your eating went well--hope that the scale reflects that this week for you.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/11/2008 2:37PM

    Thanks for sharing the brain games - didn't know they were there either! It's pretty cool.

Ouch for falling on your backside and kudos to you for resisting sweets! yeah you!

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