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Life's too short to be unhappy

Monday, February 16, 2009

Boy, it can sure be tempting sometimes. There's always something to be unhappy about; but the reverse is true too -- there's always something to be happy about, even if it's just that you're still breathing.

Some of you know that I'm moving to NY in a couple of months. Those that know me, know that this isn't a move I'm looking forward to. I grew up not far from where we'll be living.

But life is too short to be unhappy. I won't let the fact that I'm living somewhere I wouldn't choose to be make me unhappy. I won't let the size of my body make me unhappy. I won't let the fact that I spent my second birthday in a row by myself make me unhappy. I won't let the weather today make me unhappy. And so on.

I will let the dogs & cats make me happy. I will be happy that I have enough to eat and a roof over my head. I will let the fact that I've lost 20 lbs and many pants sizes make me happy. I will be happy Chester is feeling better today.

I'm not saying we can't ever be unhappy -- I still don't want to move. I don't even want to do all the work involved in a move. So I let myself feel how that feels, and I move on and I just do it.

Happiness is a choice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARBIE18 2/17/2009 11:29AM

    I totally agree that happiness is a choice. I wish more people understood that. Thanks for the positive attitude, and for sharing that idea. I'm glad to hear that Chester is feeling better. I know how it is when our "kids" are sick.

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STARTSPARKING 2/17/2009 4:49AM

    Good for you for CHOOSING to be happy, my friend. I admire your positive attitude. Good luck with your upcoming move!

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CITABRIA 2/16/2009 7:51PM

    I agree wholeheartedly that happiness is a choice, and applaud you for putting aside the bad and choosing happiness today!

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MTER67 2/16/2009 4:57PM

    Days are seldom all good or all bad. It is in how we choose to remember them that they become one or the other. I also have a move coming up that I am not excited about, but I have moved enough times now that I know I will find something I like wherever we end up. That is how it has always been; it is my nature, I think. You will do the same. Give yourself a little bit of time to be "unhappy." You love where you are now--so you should be allowed to mourn it when you go. The strangeness of your new home will be daunting at first--so accept that you are going to be "unhappy" for a little bit on that end of the move, too. As soon as you get into the swing of things, I am confident that you will grow to love it there.

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TAFODIL24 2/16/2009 2:18PM

    Thank you ~ just what I needed to read ~ It IS a choice and I choose to be HAPPY!

Hugs~Taffi emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/16/2009 11:44AM

    That's a great attitude - good for you! Sometimes it's hard to find that silver lining, but I think it is important to find it at least once or twice a day. Negative energy never got me anywhere. You're right it's ok to feel it and to acknowledge it, but it is important not to let it control my emotions and take over. Kind of like my 'mountain of laundry' - my silver lining was helping out others and making them feel good. When you 'have' to do something might as well feel good about doing it too. So true that Happiness is a choice.

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Big eye syndrome & celebrating with food

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We discussed eating dinner out at our meeting this week. Our leader suggested that we eat out most often simply to avoid cooking, with a few times a year being celebratory.

Her theory is that if you're eating out so you don't have to cook, you shouldn't be eating anything you wouldn't be willing to cook. When you're truly celebrating, go for it. My problem is I always want to go for it when I eat out. Eating out is a treat, and I don't do it that often -- so I'm drawn to all that high fat food that I love.

My leader's advice makes a great deal of sense. I'll have to see if I can put it into action.

I also suffer from big eye syndrome, aka my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I have no problem only eating half my dinner when I eat out most times, but for a little girl, I have a big appetite.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I had it all planned out (although I admit I hadn't tallied up the points score): a home made chocolate waffle for breakfast; pick up something at the farmer's market for lunch, with the chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert; left over prime rib & roasted veggies for dinner, with a cupcake for dessert.

I ate lunch early, then went out to peruse a bookstore and go to a movie. I worried a bit that I'd get hungry before dinner, since I'd be eating a bit later. I shouldn't have worried; I was full -- not unpleasantly stuffed, just pleasantly full.

In fact, in the end, I didn't eat the cupcake. It was a struggle, I assure you -- but I simply wasn't hungry after dinner. That is the nice thing about losing weight -- eventually, your appetite does decrease too. Sure, there will always be hungry days, but in general, you just can't eat as much as you used to.

I wanted that cupcake; I really did. I knew how good it would taste. But I just wasn't hungry, so I saved it for today.

Why is it so hard to stop celebrating with food? I still fall into the "I deserve this" trap sometimes, and birthdays -- especially birthdays spent alone -- certainly fall into that category! I had hot chocolate after lunch, because it was a cloudy, blustery day. Instead of plain soymilk, I used my light chocolate soymilk. And put in some soyatoo (soy whipped cream) -- hey, it was my birthday, right?

I have come a long way. Time was I would have had that cupcake, hungry or not, because I'd planned it and I deserved it. But there is still quite a bit of work to do. Is it really necessary to celebrate with food? What truly makes me feel better?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 2/15/2009 10:01PM

    Happy Birthday! Good for you for making such great food choices. I bet it was a struggle, but you did it! It really isn't fair that shorter people like me have a normal-size appetite. Most of the time, it doesn't even have anything to do with appetite. I just want to eat junk, and that's not something I can keep doing anymore. I had a craving a couple of days ago, and I managed to stop by asking myself, "Is just a few minutes of pleasure worth gaining weight that will stay with me for a long time?"

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful birthday weekend. emoticon

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MTER67 2/15/2009 7:58PM


I think a lot of us fall into that trap of eating out when we don't want to or can't cook. If I added up all the money I've wasted on cardboard delivery pizzas in the past year, we could go out for a few, far more satisfactory "celebratory" dinners! I think we all deserve to celebrate sometimes--and that we should do it with the foods and people we love--but you are right, we need to watch the frequency and our portions.

Hope your day was extra special! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/15/2009 9:14AM

    Very good post! It's hard to break the conditioning of celebrating (or soothing) with food. But hey, at least it was a cupcake AND you saved it for today when you will be hungry - that's great! There was a time (for me anyhow) when it would have been a birthday cake instead of a cupcake and I would have eaten it just because it was my birthday and because it was there. As they say, 'You've come a long way, baby'! Good for you!

Hope you had a good birthday and enjoyed your time at the movies.

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A balanced diet

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I think it's somewhat ironic that popular health advise is to have a few go-to meals and eat the same things all the time. I understand the reasoning behind it, but the problem with it is that you aren't eating a balanced diet.

I will admit that I get stuck in a rut as much as the next person. Winter? Soups, roasted brussel sprouts. Spring? Salads, roasted asparagus. I could roast (and sometimes do) brussel sprouts and asparagus every single week. Oh, throw in some greens. That's a whole lot of green -- it would make a pretty boring rainbow.

We get the most out of our food when we eat a wide variety. Roasted beet chips. Baby carrots. Deep purple grapes. Succulent zucchini. Meaty mushrooms. Bell peppers in all their glory. Chocolate dipped strawberries. Crunchy apples. Are you hungry yet?

I also try to eat more seasonally then I used to, which means eat foods when they're at their ripest. I'm treating myself to chocolate dipped strawberries this weekend, and it's still a bit early for strawberries, so I'm not a purist -- but these are the first strawberries I've had in months. And I'm afraid I do eat bananas year round, but everyone has to have their vices, I suppose.

We are meant to get as many vitamins and minerals are possible from fresh, local, in season foods -- not the kind that comes out of a box. Our bodies should be a soup of different veggies and fruits. A multivitamin should just be the icing on the cake, not the flour and eggs that bind it together.

What colors can you add to your diet today? I have yellow (banana), white (onions), red (strawberries), green (brussel sprouts, spinach, & maybe chard), and orange (baby carrots) planned. I know I'm missing a few colors there, but it's about balance over time, and this is one of my busy days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 2/15/2009 10:07PM

    I love your analogy that a multivitamin should be icing on the cake, not the flour and eggs that bind it together. Ooh, my mouth was watering reading your descriptions of all those luscious fruits and vegetables! I agree that eating produce that is in season ensures quality, and it's good for the wallet also. Thanks for another important reminder, my friend!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/12/2009 7:30PM

    How right you are! That's one thing I have noticed since starting this journey, our dinners are a LOT more colorful - the more color the better! Yeah!

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MTER67 2/12/2009 4:50PM

    Yum! I wish I did a better job of eating "in season." I shop at an American commissary and much of our produce is flown in from far reaches of the planet; only a few things are grown right here. Seems ridiculous, eh? Anyway, my point is--I was in a Japanese grocery store the other day and discovered that--lo and behold--it IS strawberry season here! We won't get the first sad specimens that are already furry in our commissary for a while, but if I shop in town, I can get 'em right NOW!

Happy rainbow eating!

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I'd like to use a lifeline, please

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I just read an interesting article in this month's "O" magazine, from life coach Martha Beck -- about using lifelines. And it has nothing to do with being a millionaire, although it could help you feel like one.

The basic premise is to think about when you were heaviest -- how old you were -- and mark that down. Then think about when you were thinnest -- how old you were -- and mark that down. There's a chart in the article; you're supposed to rate it from 1 to 10 (it's not just for weight, it's for anything you struggle with).

Then you are supposed to think about what was going on in your life at those moments. What were you doing? Where were you living? And so on. Continue on, rating each year of your life as you can remember -- eventually, you should see a pattern that will help you realize when you gain weight -- and when you lose it.

I haven't actually done the exercise yet, but it did get me to thinking about it. Because like most people, I've had my ups and downs. From just thinking about it a little, I know that as an adult, I've been at my heaviest when I was most dissatisfied with my life; except that's only one piece of the puzzle.

Because I started to gain weight after I became a lifetime WW member and began working as a leader -- that's something I'm going to have to ponder, since right now one of my goals is to get to my goal weight and to go for work for WW again -- although not as a leader, not right away. The puzzling thing about this little factoid is that I loved being a leader -- which surprised me. So why did I struggle so with my weight?

I do know that I gained a lot of weight when I got Chester. Dogs are supposed to make you lose weight, but not me! The simple answer is that I wasn't getting enough exercise (despite sometimes walking him an hour and a half a day). But life is never simple, is it?

I don't have all the answers yet, but I think this is a very interesting exercise -- and anything that gets you thinking can't be bad.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 2/11/2009 7:44PM

    That sounds like a very interesting article (which I expect from O, but I never get to read it!) The cycle of weight gain and loss, happiness and dissatisfaction, is very fascinating. Humans are soooo darn complex and becoming overweight is far more complicated than just a matter of noshing on chips after sundown. I think you are very smart to want to get "underneath" the habits you are kicking and also to uncover what motivates and derails you. Only then will you really get an upperhand, and that is the best way to be successful. Good job!

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CITABRIA 2/11/2009 7:29PM

    I did an exercise like this a few weeks ago, specifically focusing on comfort eating. What I discovered is that I first recall eating for comfort when I started living alone in college -- I don't remember ever doing it before then. I might not have always made great food choices (I've been fat for as long as I can remember), but I hadn't been comfort eating before then.

That's helped me look more closely at my emotional/non-hunger eating now, and to work on strategies to prevent it/survive it without any "damage."

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PUPPYWHISPERS 2/11/2009 7:54AM

    Thank you for this blog! It came at a time when I needed to read this, and I realize I should do the exercise to figure out where I am and where I'm going.

I noticed that you said that you gained when you reached lifetime with WW and were a leader. I've found that sometimes becoming a caregiver or supporter of others, you tend to neglect yourself. That has happened to me, and I know it's something I need to work on.

I'm mom to a furbaby too, but I must admit, she's my walking partner and definitely keeps me active!

Thank you for a very though provoking blog! emoticon

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A leap of faith

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I've compared my weight loss journey to my knitting before, but it's my blog, so oops, I'm gonna do it again.

I'm knitting a pair of socks. Well, I'm knitting one sock. It's too complicated a pattern to knit two at once! I just do a little bit most days; half an hour of knitting gets me through maybe 5-7 rows (tiny needles, thin yarn, complicated pattern). Weight loss can be like that -- slow but steady.

When I read through the instructions, sometimes I can't make sense out of them. Sometimes you've just got to take a leap of faith and do it. The funy thing is, it works: once I'm actually in there knitting, things work out, even if I wasn't quite sure what the instructions meant when I read through them.

Weight loss is like that -- sometimes we just have to do it, and take a leap of faith that our healthy habits will lead us to weight loss, even if it isn't apparent for a while.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 2/11/2009 7:48PM

    Yes! Very true! And sometimes you screw up and have to tear back a couple rows and redo them--and you are irritated to have to do it, but after it's all done, proud that you did!

What size needles? I did baby slippers once (notice I said ONCE) on double pointed size 0 needles. It was miserable--like knitting with toothpicks. But, you are right, you are never sure how they work out to be socks--the turning of the heel always amazes me--but they do, if you stick with the pattern and manage to hang on to your sanity!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/10/2009 8:02AM

    Love it! It is very much like knitting - lol - one stitch at a time. Sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith. Have a great day JLITT62!

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