Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I had cookies after dinner last night. I do that every now and again, but it's been a while, and man, those cookies were goooooooood. Can we say the "o" word again?
I think the reason the cookies tasted so good was simply because it had been a while since I'd had any. It was special. I have been working on cutting back on sweets. I will never eliminate them -- I don't even plan to try -- but I know that I still eat too many sweets.
How many times have you eaten a whole sleeve or package of cookies, not really tasted one bite, and felt sick to your stomach afterwards? Ashamed? Guilty? Like a failure?
Cookies shouldn't be off the menu. But they should be special. Don't settle for anything less than great. If it's not great, throw it out after a bite. You are worth more than mediocre cookies.
And that goes for all holiday treats. I like to say that you can eat anything you want, you just can't eat everything you want. So pick and choose wisely. Savor every single bite. Maybe leave just a few bites on your plate. Make it special, because you're special!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Ok, I lied yesterday, just a little bit: yes, I write this blog for me. But I also enjoy helping & motivating other people. So sometimes it's for you (and me) and today is one of those days.
The holiday season is already in full swing. And food pushers lurk around every corner. What's a healthy eater to do?
Just say no, of course. But that doesn't mean you have to be abrupt or short. A little bit of honey really does make the medicine go down.
So when someone tells you they made something just for you, tell them "thank you. That was so kind of you; it looks like you really poured a lot of love into that. I'm just stuffed right now, but I'd love to take some home."
Of course, the trick here is to take it home and either regift it or simply throw it out. It doesn't do any good if you take it home & snarf it down in the privacy of your own home (calories DO count if you eat it standing up).
You need to acknowledge the effort that went into the person's gift, thank them graciously . . . and stick to your guns.
But what about the person that insists they will die on the spot if you don't just take a bite? You can try taking one or two bites (assuming you don't have ten of these people waiting in line to pour food down your throat), tell them how delicious it is, and say you simply couldn't eat another bite. Then ask THEM a question. Or you can thank them, tell them you're trying to eat healthier, and then ask them a question.
For the really food pusher, you can always say "no thank you" and just move on. They're dealing with their own issues.
Most people will empathize with you when you explain that you need to eat healthier. And if they don't, as I said, they have issues of their own. Food may have been -- still is -- the center of our conversations in my home growing up (even if we just finished a holdiay meal, we'll be discussing the next one), I was lucky that my mother isn't a food pusher. She will provide us with way too much food, but her feelings aren't hurt if you don't want to eat it.
You can have a good time and please the people around you AND stick to your guns.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I had a spark buddy email me. I'm on a sparkteam that is active, but doesn't have active bloggers (and I haven't been active on it in a while). She was wondering if I was lonely, because my blog shows up . . . day after day after day.
I replied that while I'm often alone, I'm seldom lonely. Which is true. I have four animals to snuggle with, which is mostly great on cold days like today (the downside is having to be outside where once I might have chosen to huddle inside, since the dogs do not like to go out in the cold -- and still need their daily walks).
But I don't blog to get comments on my blogs, although of course I like getting comments. I blog for me. Because getting stuff out of me helps me get stuff off of me.
Julia Cameron wrote "The Write Diet" (she is also author of the Artist's Way, which should be a must for any person who is creative). In both books, she has what she calls morning pages. You just sit and write first thing in the morning -- anything that comes to mind. It helps you to clear your mind.
I admit that I have fallen out of the practice of morning pages, as often happens. I've also fallen out of the practice of my private journal -- I still journal, just not as often as I used to (my private journal is separate from this blog).
I do believe she's right, though. Writing, even if we're not writers, is a good way to get stuff off of our chest. And for most of us, it's not what we're eating, it's what's eating us. Sometimes we don't know, but it still ends up coming out when we just take pen to paper.
I really think sparkguy is a briliiant guy. Everything is here for a reason, and that includes these blogs. It includes the articles, the sparkteams, the newsletters -- everything! If you're not using all the tools here, you're only cheating yourself. And they're all free!
Sometimes, like today, I have no idea what I will write about. Other times I have a subject in mind. And sometimes things just come out -- things I didn't know I was thinking about or hadn't consciously realized.
I blog for me.
On Cookbook Maven today:
DIY sugar-free hot chooclate
So simple, I almost didn't post it!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
All I have to do is look at Oprah, and the ugly fear of regaining -- not really gaining, but regaining what I have lost, rears its ugly head. I have had times in my life when I've maintained, but it seems as though there's always some point when I regain. Not always more than I've lost, but sometimes. I am definitely tired of the cycle. I want to be done, as so many people here say.
That is why I do get fearful when I see a gain. My mind knows that it is normal -- even if you eat perfectly every day and exercise every day, at some point on your journey you will see a gain. I don't let it derail me, but every time it happens, I feel like a failure. Feeling like a failure is probably what has created my distorted relationship with food in the first place.
I can balme it on all sorts of things, but when all is said and done, it boils down to my choices. No one puts a gun to my head and forces me to eat.
I do believe that this time is different. I feel that it is. But how many times has Oprah felt that same way?
I have to *believe* that this time is different. Maintaining doesn't mean I will never gain weight again (and let's face it, I'm still a long ways away from maintenance); maintaining means that I will believe I can maintain. I will look back over what worked in the past. I will continue to go to weekly meetings, as much as I can, no matter how crazy my life gets. Maintaining means that I will set a weight gain that is my alarm bell -- and not hit the snooze button!
I have lived much of the first half century of my life stuck in a cycle of losing, gaining, losing, gaining. I do not want to spend the next half century of my life stuck.
On Cookbook Maven today:
Vegan brownie scones
No, these aren't low fat, but they are a nice treat. I made the large ones; if you make them smaller, they can easily fit into a healthy eating plan. Even the large ones can . . . on a special occasion.
Think you can make these tasty and lowfat? Got a better way to veganize them? Submit your own recipe -- I'll post it & credit you however you'd like to be credited! Or just send me your tips. I want Cookbook Maven to be a community for people passionate about food.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
If you're a WW memeber, by now (unless you weigh in today), you're familiar with Momentum. It's been all the buzz on my SP WW team. Yesterday was my meeting, so I finally got some details.
It's not really a huge change for me, because I was already following the Flex plan. I think it's a bigger change for Core followers, because now they have to track.
But it did get me thinking about my food choices, and that's never a bad thing. One of the reasons I never followed Core is that I like to cook and bake, which means a fair amount of non-Core foods, and it just seemed too restrictive to me.
Now the cornerstone is to choose "filling" (aka Core) foods as much as possible. And this makes a lot of sense. It's not that I don't eat a lot of Core foods, I do; but do I always make the best choices for me?
Mostly I'm reconsidering my snacks. How can I choose more filling foods on a regular basis for snacks? This is something I have to think about. I do use nuts as snacks -- portion-contrlled -- on a regular basis, and unfortunately they are not considered a filling food, although by rights they ought to be. I suppose the thinking was that they are high in fat, and therefore easier to go overboard on. But I have a tin that holds exactly one ounce of nuts, and I usually eat only a quarter to a half of that at one time.
And that is one of the areas where I do think they fall short of the mark. I think there is too much emphasis on fat free and sometimes sugar free foods as filling foods. Fat free cheese qualifies, for instance, when the irony is you're more likely to be satisfied eating the full fat variety -- but watching your portion size. Fat free tends to be full of junk, not to mention not tasting like much. Full fat, while much higher in fat, naturally, is more satisfying for the simple reason that it IS full fat.
Sugar free is also problematic to my mind (for instance, sugar free cocoa or pudding, while not filling foods -- I think -- do qualify towards your calcium intake). But sugar free is guaranteed to be full of junk. There truly is nothing wrong with a little sugar (a lot is where we get into trouble). I know, I know, some people can't control themselves around sugar, and I used to be one of them; but I've come a long way. Reliance on those "real" filling foods is the very reason I can afford to have some sugar now and again.
These are, of course, just my opinions.
Still, I am doing my best to rethink my choices, and see where I can choose filling foods more often than I have been. While I eat pretty healthy, there's always room for improvement!
So my question to you WW memebers -- what are your favorite snacks involving filling foods, NOT fat free or sugar free, that fall around 1-3 points?
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