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Losing weight is like asparagus

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Now, asparagus is a good weight loss "supplement". Full of fiber and potassium and a mild diuretic. But that's not my point.

Asparagus is basically a bulb. You stick the bulb in the ground, and in a few years, you get asparagus. It's really just that simple. Bugs don't even seem attracted to it -- I've had mine quite a while now, and I've never had to worry about something attacking it.

For the last few years, though, I've raised asparagus ferns. That's what happens when you don't harvest your asparagus. Not this year, though, I enjoyed some roasted asparagus from my "garden" (it's the only thing in my garden right now other than weeds; lots & lots of weeds) just yesterday.

You have to keep your eye on it, though. It can go from not ready to be picked to too ripe (and woody) in the space of a day. I have to check it a couple of times a day. Just like I have to track my food, keep on eye on portion sizes, and really pay attention when I eat.

As I said, if you leave it too long, it gets tough & inedible. If I ignore what I'm eating, I gain weight. If I don't keep up with my exercise, I gain weight. You have to be mindful.

Asparagus takes patience. Even though I have quite a few plants, you only get a spear or 2 or 3 every day or so. So it can take an entire week -- sometimes more -- to get enough for a side dish. The green bags I use for veggies do keep it from getting limp until I have enough. Weight loss takes patience, obviously. Lots & lots of patience.

I had one more thought, but I forgot to write it down and now it's gone. You get the picture, though.

I'll leave you with these quotes:

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."
Marie Curie

"You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."
Mahatma Gandhi

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 3/30/2009 6:22AM

    Losing weight is like asparagus... That' the first time I've ever heard that! I LOVE all your weight loss lessons and analogies.

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KARBIE18 3/29/2009 4:50PM

    You crack me up - you can relate anything to weight loss, can't you? Love the quotes, and couldn't agree more. But I don't love asparagus. We've got two patches that have grown wild on our property for years, but, no matter how many times I've tried it, I can't seem to like it. (Everybody else who's tried it says it's delicious.) Sort of like tomatoes. I keep trying them, hoping I'll miraculously develop a taste for them.

Enjoy your Greek food!

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KUNGFOOD 3/28/2009 5:12PM

    Wonderful post... I love grilled asparagus AND the quotes.
emoticon food for thought!

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D710DANCE 3/28/2009 1:23PM

    Loved the metaphorical comparison...very well written and motivational blog!


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MOMMA_GRIZZ 3/28/2009 11:11AM

    Good post. If life was easy it would also be boring, eh? It takes time, patience and perseverance. Have a great day!

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KEAKMAN 3/28/2009 10:54AM

    What a great anaology! I would add.....some of us don't like asparagus (ME!) but they know it's good for them, so they eat it becaue they should; the same is true for eating healthy - you might not want to do it, but you know it's good for you....

Lessons are all around us, aren't they?!

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Persistence pays off & other ramblings

Friday, March 27, 2009

My little line may be going down slowly, but it is going down -- for an entire month now. I am not on track to meet my goal of 135 by the end of June -- already moved back from the end of May), but we'll just leave it as is for the time being and see what happens.

Funny how small things can add up. Adding in the healthy oils, which is part of the WW Healthy Guidelines, did me in. I'm pretty sure that's what stalled my weight loss at the beginning of the year; although who really knows? Maybe it was just time for a plateau. Just adding in those extra teaspoons of oil, though, really seemed to do me in. I already eat a relatively healthy diet, full of healthy oils, ground flaxseed, nuts and seeds. But too much of anything, even something healthy, will make you fat. I should know, I've been fat for years despite eating healthy.

Funny, too, how sometimes the stars just align for us. I called to make an appointment with the vet for one of my dogs yesterday -- it was for a chiropractic adjustment (don't laugh!), and it usually takes a couple of weeks to get an appointment, but she just happened to have a cancelation that day.

We missed the rain on our morning walk, and it cleared up just in time to go to the vet. On the way home from the vet, I had green lights almost the entire way home -- that NEVER happens, especially not during rush hour.

Today seems the opposite. We got rained on pretty good during our morning walk. Then it poured again, and started to thunder, about the time I had to leave for my WI. Lola is afraid of thunder, so I left late. The friend I was supposed to go out to lunch with canceled (an email beforehand would have been nice).

There is always a silver lining, though. I did lose weight, for the fourth week in a row. I was able to find the size jeans I wanted that weren't at the store the last time I stopped there. They don't fit yet, but I know that they will, and I know that this store always has a good price -- I don't know what I'll find in Albany yet, so I was willing to take the plunge even though they don't fit now.

I am glad, too, that my husband was too cheap for the funnel cake. That could have been enough to keep me status quo this week. I definitely would have eaten some if he'd bought it. Would it have been worth it? Dunno. But I'm happy to have lost weight, despite the Greek food and the bagel and lox.

I forgot to mention, too, that when I stopped at the used book store the other day to sell back books (the thing that caused the blowup with my husband), I got a set of exercise DVDs I've been wanting to try for a long time -- Core Rhythms. Another dance workout. Unlike Zumba, Turbo Jam, and Yoga Booty Ballet, I was never able to find opinions on SP about this one.

So far I've just tried the intro. Which goes really slowly, which is good for a dance-challenged person such as myself. My hips never seem to move the right way, and they really go slowly -- I like that. I think I'm definitely goint to like it. The price was certainly right - between what I got for the books I sold and my discount coupon, I paid a whopping 23 cents for it. I've been really, really lucky to find a lot of the exercise DVDs I've wanted at the used book store. I will miss Half Price.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARBIE18 3/29/2009 4:59PM

    Saw the title, and just knew you had lost again. So glad your stars are aligned, and that your persistance paid off! Four weeks in a row! That's terrific!

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MTER67 3/28/2009 2:32AM

    Sounds like everything is continuing to go well for you! Green lights, rain stopping, new jeans, and continuing to watch the scale creep down! Glad to hear that even though the move is pretty stressful right now, there are still a lot of little things that you are finding to be happy about!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 3/27/2009 8:08PM

    I guess "when it rains, it pours", eh? (sorry, couldn't resist) What a great deal for the workout DVDs - good for you. They sound interesting - I too am dance challenged and Core Rhythms sounds like something I could manage. Please let me know what it's like after the intro - I'll keep my eye out for it.

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KEAKMAN 3/27/2009 4:09PM

    You are so right - persistence does pay off. If we keep at it, eventually we see results. Sometimes it's hard to keep on when we don't see what we are expecting, but I like your "keep on doing it" attitude!

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Facing stress

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today DH leaves. This was his last trip home before we move (still approximately a month away).

We were doing pretty good right up until yesterday. He blew up at me because I'd gone to get an oil change, then stopped by at the used book store to sell back some books. It wasn't on his priority list, and he didn't get as much done as he wanted to -- I'd asked him to walk the dogs so that I could get out a little earlier. You must bear in mind that DH almost never walks the dogs in the mornings, and I rarely ask him to.

Also keep in mind that he spent the afternoon on Sunday going shooting with a friend. That was more than just a couple of hours. I knew he really needed it, and I didn't say a word about it. He'd also installed a new screen door with the same friend the day before.

He accused me of not doing enough, which is probably true enough. I don't deal well with being a whipping boy (or girl); I tried to keep my cool, but I was very angry, too. He always manages to make me feel that what I do isn't important. He feels the same way about me. But where he blows up big & then it passes over, I smolder.

However, later in the day he apologized. I know he's under a great deal of stress -- but let's face it, so am I. I've been working really hard on keeping my cool over this visit, and mostly managed it, but it wasn't easy. It seemed like a cruel joke that I'd be getting my period as well, and had the hungries. I feel I managed them fairly well. It's a fine line, knowing when I need to really eat, and when I just need to feel hungry for a while, when it's being hormonally driven. Unfortuantely, I'm due again right around the time we move.

It would have been very easy to use food to medicate. Only with this kind of stress, I actually tend to have the opposite reaction -- instead of getting hungry, I tend to lose my appetite. It's funny; the little things can drive me to eat, but the big things tend to rob me of my appetite.

Wish me luck in a month. I'm going to need it. At the moment, we're thinking of making two trips with the animals. It didn't much help that friends told DH that they have never flown their dogs in-cabin -- but they have no choice; their dogs are too big to fly in-cabin. I don't want to make one trip with them, much less two, but I just cannot bring myself to put any of them in cargo.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLYNANB 3/26/2009 12:39PM

    Usually if my DH tries to play the "I do more than you" card, it is because he is frustrated about something else, like his schedule getting changed or something not working right like the garbage disposal. I just shrug it off because I know he's not saying what's really bugging him.

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KEAKMAN 3/26/2009 8:38AM

    emoticon emoticon

I am sorry that your past full day together included some unpleasantness. You both are under a lot of strain and pressure, add in the impending seperation, your hormonal issues (which include some disappointment issues for both of you, no doubt), and it's a wonder you two didn't come to blows.

I hope you have kissed and made up by now, and can go your seperate ways loking forward to being together rather than being glad for the time alone.

Now.....HOORAY YOU! for not turning to the kitchen for comfort. I am very proud of you! emoticon I hope you are, too. It is hard to break old habits, and in times of stress, it is even harder not to go back to what you've always done. I am very impressed and if I was there I would give you a big old gold star for the day! emoticon

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MTER67 3/26/2009 8:30AM

    Oh, I am very sorry! You ARE both under a great deal of stress, but that does not mean that you deserve to be made the "whipping post." I know what you mean by "smoldering." I can stew over things and the stress of it really eats away at me.

I call my husband "Pretzel Man." When I sense that he is twisting something in order to blame me for it, I twist my arms around like a pretzel and say--"PRETZEL MAN!" It has become a long standing joke in our marriage and many times (but not always) it stops the blaming before it has really occurred. I think it forces my husband to stop and think about whether he is really being fair or not.

Good luck working out the rest of the details of your move. I hope that everything else from here on out goes smoothly, so that neither one of you will have reason to become irritated with the other!

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Frugality saved the day

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Never underestimate the powers of a cheap husband. We went to the rodeo last night, and because it's fair food -- a nutritional landmine -- I decided we'd eat at home. I prepared a very nice shrimp & veggie pasta dish, and we had cupcakes for dessert.

That didn't stop me from yearning for some funnel cake, or an apple dumpling, or the chocolate dipped cheesecake. I was hungry; my period is about to start any moment.

My husband bought some glazed pecans as a snack, and I did eat a few -- about 6 -- but I counted those. Everytime we go, we forget that the rodeo portion of the show is a bit more than 2 hours. We keept thinking it's only 1 hour. I figured we probably wouldn't stay for the full concert, so we'd be home around 9:30. Only the concert was just getting started then!

As the rodeo was wrapping up, DH said he wanted to get something to eat. I said I might have a little bit. He came back empty-handed -- thankfully, because apparently he was eyeing the funnel cake. But he just couldn't fork out the $6 for it (especially since you had to buy tokens). So I escaped unscathed.

I wasn't that hungry, really, and like I said, I'd already had a nice dessert. Yet I still wanted it. It would have been fine if I'd had it, too, as long as I savored it. I couldn't tell you the last time I had funnel cake. Probably the last time I went to the rodeo, and that's several years ago.

Still, it's been a week of "heavy" eating for me. Lots of meat, because we're clearing out the freezer & DH is home. We went out for Greek food yesterday. And tomorrow we'll have bagel & lox to send DH off with (still clearing out the freezer).

Sarah Bareilles was awesome. What a set of pipes! She may be destined to be a one hit wonder, but I hope not. Many, many years ago we went to see another act I liked at our county fair (apparently a tradtion with us): a little band called Miami Sound Machine. You might know the lead singer: Gloria Estefan. Only back then they weren't big, but I knew them.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 3/30/2009 6:41AM

    I'm always secretly thankful that food at fairs and amusement parks are expensive. I'm a cheapskate and hate to pay those high prices, so that's what saves me from those deep-fried nightmares.

You saw Sarah Bareilles? Isn't she great? I saw her as an opening act at one concert then again a few months later at an outdoor music festival. I love almost all of the songs on her CD. "Gravity" is probably my favorite. I really hope she is not a one-hit wonder because I want a second CD from her!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 3/25/2009 9:26PM

    Good for you - that's what I call a Non-Scale Victory! Yeeeha! Way to go! Sounds like you had a great time.

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MTER67 3/25/2009 5:43PM

    My husband is the SAME exact way. Whenever we go to Disney or a theme park of any sort, the kids and I walk around salivating with rumbling tummies because he won't spend the money buying us snacks (and I would probably not have the will power to withstand all the noshing, if money was no issue!) He is not a snacker, so we have learned to live with the smells of popcorn machines and churro warmers without stopping to partake of them. He does have one weakness though--cotton candy. The kids know he will always get some for them b/c he loves it. Luckily, I really don't have a taste for the stuff!

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KEAKMAN 3/25/2009 11:35AM

    You just never know when your good-eating guardian angel will do something for you - sorry you missed out on the funnel cake, but glad you didn't have to face the temptation of overeating!

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Numbers don't lie

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Or do they?

Yes, I'm number obssessed these days. Friday I was happy that I finally got to where I've wanted to go for a long time. Yesterday I was unhappy that my photos didn't show a change.

And this is partially why numbers aren't important. It is why weighing yourself every day can be a very bad idea (and why I haven't had a scale in my home for dozens of years, much to my husband's chagrin).

We can't totally ignore numbers, either. For instance, I am happy that I am 23 lbs lighter than I was a year ago. And if I look at my photo from last year compared to yesterday's photos, I am happy again.

I think where I get into trouble, again and again, is that I don't see myself as heavy as I actually am. I feel thinner. To me, I look thinner than I appear in photos. But numbers don't totally lie, either. At 5'1", I am still fat at 145 lbs. Intellectually I know this; mentally, I have just changed my attitude. At some point I hope that my intellect and my outsides will match up.

I think vanity sizing is part of my problem, too. Of course the size of our pants shouldn't matter, but the truth is it does. I am presently wearing a size 8 short in my levis -- that should be thin, right? Only it's not, obviously, because of vanity sizing. 10 years ago that might have been thin, but pants sizes go up with our ever-increasing waist size.

BMIs are deceiving too. You can weigh 125 lbs, and be 30% fat; or you can weigh 125 lbs and be 15% fat. Guess who will appear thinner, even if they're both the same height? I continue my quest for a healthy BMI, like so many here, but I know that's not the full picture, either.

Originally I thought my ultimate goal weight might be 125 lbs. I'm pretty sure I've revised that to 130. I'd like to weight 125 -- but I think 130 is more realistic for me. It does put me in a healthy BMI. It gives me a little extra fat to help me through menopause. It allows me to attend WW for free, and work there too.

Lately, though, I've begun to wonder if maybe I ought to hang out at 135 for a while. I think that's a weight that I have maintained for quite some time in the past. I will have to accept that I won't be as thin as I'd like to be, but will I be happy? Will I be healthy? Will I be sustainable? Those are the keys to a healthy lifestyle.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 3/23/2009 11:19AM

    First, emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon on losing 23 pounds in a year! I think that's wonderful and deserves a party.

Second, you are so right. The clothing industry makes it hard on those of us trying to lose weight, get healthy, and realistically judged how far we've come. Why can I fit into a size 14 jeans that are pretty darn old, but can't get a size 16 over my thighs? But are supposed to be "relaxed fit". sigh.

So we have to use how our clothes fit, regardless of size or scale, and how we feel. And I TOTALLY get the "I feel thinner than I am" dilemma. Because I have been eating so much healthier and exercising, I feel a good 20 pounds lighter in my mind set than my body shows me to be.

Like you, I am constantly striving to find the right exercise and eating combination that is healthy and sustainable. THAT is where my reall success story will come in - finding a way to live the rest of my life.

Best wishes as you continue to find that for yourself. And who knows? 135 may creep down to 132 or evern 130 on its own. Or it may just hang there until after menopause, and then slide down some more. You are so smart to keep that important change in mind and recognize the need our bodies have to hold onto some extra fat during that time.

You are one smart and healthy lady!

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STARTSPARKING 3/22/2009 3:58PM

    I carry my weight well, and I exercise regularly despite of my less than ideal eating habits. Therefore, I look lighter than my actual weight. That is both a blessing and a curse.

I have something to tell you about people at the same weight but look drastically different. I have a friend who was inspired by my initial weight loss enough to join my gym a few months ago. Anyway, we're about the same height. In late summer of last year, I was at my all-time SP low of 122 pounds. I've been off track since and regained a big chunk of the weight back. I'm happy that my friend is making some progress since joining the gym. However, she is CONSTANTLY asking me how much I weigh to compare with hers. She has actually touched my tummy on a few occasions to feel for herself. Why does she gauge her success by my failure?! We weigh about the same now, but I guess I look lighter than she. She has asked quite a few times and even tried to make me step on the scale in the locker room. However, I keep refusing to tell her my current weight. Last week she mumbled, "I bet you're about 130, huh?", but I just responded with a slight smile. I just don't want to be in her little competition!

You have a wonderful perspective, and it's great that you want to be at a weight that you are comfortable in maintaining. Thank you for another great post. emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 3/22/2009 10:51AM

    You are absolutely right - health and sustainability are the keys. I set my WW goal for my height at the high end of my range - with the thought that when I'm 80 and still a lifetime member, am I going to want to weigh 128? (not in this lifetime - lol). My personal goal is 10 pounds under my WW goal. My personal goal will fluctuate as I get older, I'm sure. But even I am leaning towards changing my personal goal from 145 to 150. As long as I stay under 150, I'm happy. I don't want to struggle with those 5 pounds anymore - what would be the purpose? It just adds stress to my life.

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