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No food comas!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tonight is New Year's Eve. Will you end it in a food coma? You know the feeling -- bloated, tired, not quite sure what you ate but you know it was way more than you should have.

Do you have a plan in place? Do you know where you're going, or what you're serving if you're ringing in the new year at home? What healthy snacks will you eat to keep hunger at bay, which foods can you pass up, and which foods you really want to eat? Do you have a plan to get in some exercise today to counterbalance that extra food? Maybe push yourself a little harder?

If you haven't considered all this yet, now is the time to start! When you're starving and faced with a plate of appetizers is no time to just throw caution to the winds, especially if you're planning to drink, too.

A food coma is when you inhale food without tasting it. And what's the point of that? Isn't the point of good food to savor it? Another nugget from the book I'm currently reading: we shouldn't be spending our time thinking about the food we want to eat, we need to be enjoying the foods we love -- in moderation.

I think that's part of why I am usually satisfied. I don't give up anything. There's a time and a place for everything. We are staying in tonight (heck, there's no way I stay up to midnight anyway, and Lola's afraid of the inevitable firecrackers in the neighborhood). Still, we're having a special dinner. So I've made sure that there's been precious little unconscious snacking the last few days. No eating a few chocolate chips when I make my chocolate banana peanut butter wrap in the morning (it's on Cookbook Maven, btw). No soy whipped cream in my hot chocolate. Yogurt with granola for dessert.

I've also made a conscious effort to get at least my 10,000 steps in this week. I fell short more often than usual last week. I went with my husband on the afternoon dogwalk Monday, because I was coming up short. I went to the mall yesterday, and made sure I did plenty of walking in the 2 hours I was there. Today will be a little difficult, since I have to take Chester to the vet for his annual, and their morning walk needs to be later. But we'll do it, because I need my 10,000 steps.

I've got tonight covered. No chips in the house. No candies. A decadent dinner, but planned for. No drinking. I don't drink anyway. I gave up drinking long ago, because I'd rather eat my calories than drink them. I've never missed it. If you do drink tonight, know that it makes it way easier to overeat -- but SP already has plenty of articles for you. Find them. Read them. Use them.

But tomorrow, tomorrow is a different story. We're getting together with friends for dinner. They chose a restaurant I've always wanted to go to, one known for its desserts. Since we're moving in a few months and this is my only chance, I plan to order what I want, including dessert (I'm not planning on dessert other than maybe yogurt with granola tonight -- or maybe apple crumble).

I also plan to savor every bite. Here's a trick for savoring: close your eyes while you eat. It's amazing how you can slow down and really taste what you're eating when you close out all distractions. I probably won't be closing my eyes tomorrow night, but I've been using that a lot this week. I bought some challah to make some baked french toast for tomorrow (get ready today, refrigerate it, then just pop it in the oven tomorrow). I love challah. I've been known to eat one in about 3 days. A bite here, a bite there, and it's all gone.

I had a small piece of challah with my soup for lunch yesterday. I closed my eyes while I ate it. And I was totally satisfied with that small piece, not to mention full for hours afterwards. In the past, I would have gone back for more challah.

And if you do fall into a coma tonight? Tomorrow is another day. Heck, it's a new year! No more excuses. No more I'll start tomorrow. Start with your next snack or meal. Where would Dara Torres or Michael Phelps be if they quit after one bad race?

Most of all, enjoy yourself, and have a healthy, happy New Year!

On Cookbook Maven today:
The Vegan's 100

How many odd foods have you eaten? Share on your blog and let me know!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/31/2008 5:26PM

    Have a Happy New Year JLTT62! No food (or drink) coma for me tonight - this is my 5th day OP and I plan to stay that way......Cheers!

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STARTSPARKING 12/31/2008 11:41AM

    My health club has cancelled a few classes today, but I was still able to start the day with an invigorating step aerobics class. I try not to skip my exercise because it is one part of the healthy living formula that I can still be proud of at the moment. That doesn't excuse my poor food choices, but I need to feel good about SOMETHING about myself even if I falter in other areas.

I also do not consume alcohol because I have enough trouble controlling the calories I chew already. I can't imagine managing another vice! emoticon

I know I tell you this often, but I really feel the need to say it again. I LOVE your blog! You always have something intelligent to say, and what you share is usually quite relevant to me. I will keep this blog entry of yours in mind as I ring in the new year tonight. No food comas!

Enjoy your intimate dinner tonight, and have fun at dinner with friends tomorrow. Happy New Year, my friend!

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No quick fixes

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's that time of the year again. SP, the gyms, WW, etc. are all about to be innudated with people looking to drop a few (or a lot) of pounds. Some will be successful, but more will fall by the wayside -- yet again -- because they want it off yesterday.

I wish it worked that way. I get a bit annoyed when I see the ad on SP "I lost 43 pounds in 2 weeks". I know all about advertising supporting this site, because I used to work for an advertising-supported Website myself, but c'mon -- they can police the ads better than that. 43 pounds in 2 weeks is totally, utterly unrealistic (not to mention unhealthy).

Even expecting to lose 2 pounds a week every single week is unrealistic. Yes, your average weigth loss will be about 1-2 pounds a week, but there will be weeks when you gain; weeks when you maintain; weeks when you lose only a fraction of a pound.

The truth is it isn't about numbers. We'd like to think it is, and numbers can certainly be motivating -- but they can devastate us, too. A number is just a number. It doesn't tell you if you can now walk around the block without getting winded, instead of only being able to walk to the end of your driveway. It doesn't tell you if you can actually lace up your shoes from a sitting position for the first time in years.

There are truly no quick fixes because this isn't something you do for a while and then go back to all your old habits. This is your life. Right here, right now. If you're looking for a pot of chocolate at the end of that candy-colored rainbow, you're not in the right frame of mind yet to lose weight. If you can't picture yourself eating this way and exercising this much for the rest of your life, you've only set yourself up for another failure.

If you're in it for the long haul, though, you will succeed. Maybe not in the time frame you think you ought to, but you're a winner. And you've definitely come to the right place!

On Cookbook Maven today:

Baked potato skins

Look good for New Year's? Although I eat these as lunch or a dinner, not an appetizer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 12/31/2008 11:45AM

    I know exactly which ad you were referring to. That one in particular really bugged me also. I agree that as much as SP needs the money to support this invaluable website, there has to be SOME sort of guideline. One of my favorite SP articles is "12 Ways to Duck a Quack". Maybe if we have to be subjected to advertisement of impossible promises, we should at least arm ourselves by reading an informative article like that.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/30/2008 7:37PM

    For me, the numbers were important, I mean I had a lot to lose......but after losing 100lbs it became a journey of self-discovery and the numbers don't seem to be as important anymore..... I agree, it's not a diet, it's not a quick fix, but it is a journey. A journey of self.

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ASTARB1 12/30/2008 1:56PM

    Thanks so much for such an inspiration blog post. I'm definitely one of those people who focuses too much on the numbers. Thanks for the reality check!

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BGGARDEN 12/30/2008 10:30AM

    Good Morning - Thanks for stopping by my blog. I responded back to your comment about 'having to have them in the house'. I am not very good with expressing my complete thought. HOWEVER.... I do agree with your blog. I just want to learn to live and be healthy. I to dislike all those adds you see for the QUICK FIX DIETS. IT is so sad that so many Woman fall for that. IF I see one more JEnny Craig Comerical I swear I am going to SCREAM!!!! The thing that bothers me about those is you can't live on their food alone. IT is to my understanding that you have to eat there food. WELL I HAVE BEEN THERE.... once you start LIVING again you will gain all the weight back plus some. That is what has happen to me too many times in my life.

I have been curious about WW online. How do you like that organization. I live out in the boonies so finding a W.W. group would not work for me becuase I would have to drive 45 minutes one way! I was thinking about their online service but I think Sparks could work the same. I guess I just don't know enough about them. Please share!

Sorry.... Didn't mean to write a book on your blog but I love your ideas and thoughts on dieting.

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It's about feeling good in your jeans

Monday, December 29, 2008

Not just looking good in your jeans. Though of course looking good in your jeans is a side benefit.

I read this in a book this weekend. And it's so true! I think this is a big difference for me. When you're young, often the reason you want to lose weight is to look good. Sure, there are other benefits, but the bottom line is often how you look.

And the problem is that looks fade, no matter how good you take care of yourself. Which isn't to say you're doomed to a life of looking frumpy, so why bother, just that time waits for no man (or woman).

How you feel, though, that's different. Sure, you get mysterious aches and pains as you get older. But you get far fewer of them if you keep at a healthy weight. You have more energy. You can keep up with the hubby, the kids, the animals. How you feel is what is going to keep you moving through the tough times.

Loose to feel good, and you're already a winner.

Today on Cookbook Maven:
Crockpot baked potatoes

And maybe you need some baked pita chips or tortilla chips for New Year's?

One final word . . . did you know you now get 1 point per day for blogging? Seems those of us that blog get more support, so they want to encourage blogging. Works for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITABRIA 1/1/2009 8:28PM

    Thanks for mentioning the point for blogging -- I hadn't noticed that!

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STARTSPARKING 12/31/2008 11:29AM

    Like I just said in a previous blog comment, attitude influences so much. Your statement "How you feel is what is going to keep you moving through the tough times" really spoke to me. My current major setback is really troubling me, but there are brief moments when I just want to throw my hands in the air and say "I give up!" Of course I cannot because life goes on whether I continue my quest for better health or not. Therefore, there is simply no giving up. However, I really need to dig deep and somehow find a way to find my way back.

I was glad that SP is encouraging members to blog more often. Perhaps that is one of the things I need to do more often. Like ASTARB1 said, blogging and reading blogs are best tools to stay on track for me as well. When I blog, I am working out issues in my mind. If it's something I'm trying hide or escape, it is released out in the open. I am then free from the burden. Afterwards, I get encouragement from supportive friends, which really helps a great deal.

As always, thank you for your insights!

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JANDELL 12/30/2008 9:04PM

    At nearly 57, I totally agree with you that feeling good in the jeans is much more important than looking good in them. Because, no matter what, I am still going to look my age, whether I'm fat or thin. But just getting back into a size twelve jean has been SO motivating for me!! It looks good to ME, and that's what counts. I FEEL so good in them that I think that makes me look better to others.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/29/2008 7:20PM

    Agree with you 100% - we need to feel good in anything we wear! Good post JLitt62!

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ASTARB1 12/29/2008 3:29PM

    I completely agree with you about the difference between feeling good and looking good. It can kind of work against you sometimes, though. You could look great to everyone else, but if you don't feel good, it doesn't matter!

Good news about points for blogging. I'm motivated by Spark Points, and blogging and reading blogs are my best tools to stay on track - thanks for pointing that out!

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Was it worth it?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last night we went out to eat at Romano's Macaroni Grill. I love Italian food; and unfortunately, I love all the rich stuff. I didn't plan out my meal beforehand, but I did remember looking up what I was going to have several months ago (something I often get there, and was curious just what was in it), and seemed to remember that of the choices, it really wasn't so bad.

And it isn't -- if you consider what else is on the menu. I have tried almost all the desserts there, for instance, and even if I share them with my husband (which I almost always do), they're still my entire WW points for a day!

I had the mushroom ravioli. This is not a low fat entree, and I know that. I must admit I was still pretty shocked when I looked up the points afterwards at www.dwlz.com/restaurants.html (a wonderful resource, btw) to see that the full entree is more than my entire points allotment for a day.

Only I didn't eat the entire thing. I only ate half. I had a salad with low fat Caesar dressing on the side (more on that later), and I did have 2 small slices of bread dipped in olive oil. I do think it was worth it, with one exception: I was not full afterwards. I adore their mushroom ravioli, but eating the whole thing is too much (and not just in fat grams), but half isn't quite enough. I probably should have thought about ordering some veggies as a side, but I didn't. Next time, maybe. I went home and had home made (fairly healthy) apple crumble for dessert.

Here's an interesting note: half this dish, which is what I ate, is about half my points for the day. Yet calorie-wise, it's really not that bad: about 450 calories (plus the bread and salad, of course). Still, not really devastating. The reason it's so many points is the amount of fat in it: 30 grams in half the entree -- probably as much fat as I ought to eat in the entire day.

I don't regret it. We haven't eaten there in months, and most of the time when we go out we get sushi, which is pretty healthy (and I also adore sushi -- funny how you can love both healthy food and absolutely unhealthy food at the same time). I enjoyed every single morsel. I ate slowly, and I savored every bite. If I'd added a side order of veggies, I probably wouldn't even think twice about it, because I probably would have felt full and wouldn't have missed dessert.

Oh, and the salad dressing I mentioned? I ordered it on the side; I always do. Most of my family does, then they go ahead and pour pretty much all that is brought to them on top of their salad, deluding themselves into thinking they have been virtuous. I dip my fork into the dressing before every bite. You'd be surprised how little you use that way, but you'll still enjoy the flavor.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/28/2008 12:22PM

    That's what I do with my salad dressing too - it's a neat little trick, eh? Your dinner out sounds great - glad you enjoyed it.

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What do I want in 2009?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What a great question! It's not actually something I've given a whole lot of thought to. But other people are already coming out with their resolutions, and I read somewhere about having a goal for each month of the year.

So here goes (off the top of my head, in no particular order):

1. I want to be more positive. I keep trying; I used to think of myself as a positive person, but somehow I've become more negative than I'd like to be. I can't just talk the talk, I've got to walk the walk. Sometimes it's hard. My husband tends to be very negative, and that gets me going -- but it shouldn't. The more positive I am, the more positive he will be (someday!).

2. I hope to change my goal weight for WW to the high end of my range, and I hope that I get there this year. That won't be my personal goal, but I can stop paying if I reach my GW. If I can change it to what I want to change it to, that means I can stop paying in 14 - 16 lbs. I lost roughly 20 lbs this year, but that was just since April. Altho I joined SP in Feb., like many, I didn't get serious about it at first.

3. I want to go back to work for WW once I reach my GW. Except I became a leader after reaching my GW all those years ago. At the time, I was actually still struggling, although I didn't realize I was. In retrospect, I think I should have waited. Which begs the question, how long do I wait once I get down to GW before exploring going back to work for WW?

4. Maintain my weight when we move to NY. I really have to work for every pound gone, and I know I just won't have the time I have right now during the move.

5. Really make www.cookbookmaven.com a community. It isn't easy to find an audience, but I used to be a Guide for about.com -- so this really ought to be right up my alley. Only this time I call the shots.

5 seems like a nice, round number. None of them are easy goals. I need to think on month-by-month goals.

What do you want to happen in 2009?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 12/31/2008 10:59AM

    Attitude is everything, so it's great that you included "be more positive" as one of your goals. That will help all your other goals. I will have to keep that in mind as I tackle one of my biggest goals of the new year: Get back on track in the area of nutrition. I am still doing fine in terms of exercising regularly. However, my eating has been out of control since Thanksgiving. I need to make eating healthfully my number one goal in 2009.

Good luck with all your goals. I continue to admire your determination and diligence, so I know you will work very hard to accomplish them.

Comment edited on: 12/31/2008 11:00:16 AM

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ASTARB1 12/28/2008 8:12PM

    I really like the concept of goals for the new year instead of resolutions.

I feel like resolutions are about willpower and deprivation, goals are about accomplishing something. Negative versus positive. And I love your goals: you're right - they are not easy, but you will feel a great sense of accomplishment *when* you achieve them.


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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/27/2008 5:07PM

    Good goals for next year.....I am still working on mine. Maybe tomorrow, when I can shake off this dark cloud I'm under. Thanks for sharing - motivating me to think about mine some more.

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