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My kingdom for a cookie!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Most people say that if you give up something for a couple of weeks, you're well on your way to giving it up for good.

I have been jonesing for a cookie, a brownie, a piece of cake. Oh, I'm not trying to give up sugar. Sure, sugar is empty calories for the most part, but I don't try to be perfect. I just try to be "good" about 80% of the time.

I am used to having at least one semi-rich dessert a week, usually one I've baked myself. And it's been about 3 weeks now. I swear, I was about ready to hold up a bakery. If only I could find one. Scratch that; if only I could find one that had what I wanted.

I went to the natural foods co-op today. They have vegan cookies & brownies, and other assorted goodies, and I spent some time drooling over them. But decided in the end that nothing was quite what I wanted.

Then on to explore a little, to a store called "It's Only Natural", which turned out to be a little disappointing. It wasn't quite what I'd pictured. But it was in a small upscale outside mall so I decided to walk around and check things out. Surely there was someplace selling a cookie.

No bakeries. A place called "Boutinful Bread" turned out to be a sandwich shop, which had some baked goods, but not quite what I was looking for. "Good Eats", as it turned out, was a deli essentially. Something they really don't have in TX, but there are quite a few here. My husband scored, because I picked up corned beef for his lunches.

I spied them while checking out. Not quite what I was looking for, still, but small chocolate-walnut cookies with an icing filling. Kind of like thumbprint cookies, only with a cream cheese icing where the jam would go. I'd seen them at another deli when we'd stopped to get subs last weekend, but I decided they would have to do. I'm getting tired of frozen yogurt. I enjoy it, but it's just not as satisfying to me as the crunch of a cookie.

They were good, too. I meant to leave a bite, but I didn't. There are 3 left. I could hide them from my husband and save them for another day for myself, but I'll share. I'll be better off that way.

I have every intention of making some cookies to freeze this week, no counter space be damned. I can't go on without cookies!

Of course, I could buy msyelf some Freihofers. You'd have to be from upstate NY to know Freihofers. I used to demolish entire boxes in one sitting as a kid. Entemmans are a close runner-up -- but I could still get those in TX. Freihofers is unique to here. It's home. But I know I just don't need the temptation of an entire box. Boy, I haven't had them in years!

P.S. I also spent some time in an independent bookstore there. Some good new cookbooks out there. Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Vegan Brunch" -- can't wait! I love her cookbooks, and if you don't think vegan food can be good, get "Vegan with a Vengeance". Also perused "Vegan Scoop", which I'd read about. Vegan ice cream. Has been getting good reviews. I already have "Vice Cream", a similar cookbook, and I've never used it. Maybe because I no longer have an ice cream maker (used to have one, used to make ice cream -- it was fun, and hey, I used to live near the home of Ben & Jerrys in VT -- but never quite seemed to have enough room in the freezer).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 5/14/2009 6:08PM

    Sounds like someone went to Stuyvesant Plaza!! Or was it Newtonville?? I am dying to go to Professor Java's Coffee Sanctuary on Wolf Road!!

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KEAKMAN 5/12/2009 10:40PM

    I wish you luck in finding or making the cookies of your dream. I can't have them around at all....I eat them all up! So I buy Scott the kinds he likes that I don't care for. Right now I am happy with my Skinny Cow icecreams. But you have made me hungry for TastyCakes......and I have only ever found them in the Philly area...drat!

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MTER67 5/12/2009 10:20PM

    I am a little jealous that you have so many different shops, delis, bakeries, etc. to choose from. I admire that you knew what you wanted (a cookie) and were able to pass up all the other goodies until you found what you wanted (mostly). You must be getting settled now because you are ready to start baking again!


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LEONALIONESS 5/12/2009 7:02PM

    If you haven't tried them yet, Alternative Baking Company makes AWESOME vegan cookies. Half of a BIG soft cookie is around 220 - 250 calories and 7-9 grams of fat (depending on variety).

I love the pumpkin spice ones, m'self.

I usually tend to bake at home, too (with wonderslim instead of oil) but sometimes I just want a cookie... and fast! ;)

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The roller coaster ride

Monday, May 11, 2009

This applies to both weight loss and moving.

Every time I think I've made progress -- and obviously I have -- I get depressed again when I start counting up all the boxes in the garage just waiting to be moved into the house, not to mention the boxes in the house still waiting to be unpacked -- mostly office boxes right now, although there's still too many kitchen boxes unpacked, too, mainly because I have nowhere to put stuff.

Oh, we moved a book case and my utility cart into the kitchen, but they're almost completely filled already. As is the hutch in the dining room. The counters still aren't clear.

But weight loss is like that too. We feel on top of the world when the scale moves down; crushed when it moves up -- even if we know that there's a good reason for the scale to go up.

The fact that my husband had been living here before we moved in is both a blessing and a curse, too. Because there's all his already-there clutter to deal with -- some of it cluttering up my kitchen, for instance. It's one thing to move into an empty kitchen, quite another to move into one half filled already.

Yet if he hadn't been here, we wouldn't have had our custom made litterboxes ready, we probably would have had to go out and buy new towels in desperation, we wouldn't even have had a refrigerator.

I just can't really seem to make headway in my kitchen. Everytime I clear out some space it immediately gets sucked up with more stuff. Sometimes it's hard to figure where to even start. Just like sometimes the whole thought of losing weight is so overwhelming that we just don't know where to start.

All I can do is dive right in. Take my baby steps in the kitchen, just like I took my baby steps in the beginning of my weight loss journey. Do what I can every day, and have faith that in the end, there will be not only a slimmer me, but a clutter-free house (well, a girl can dream, right?).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 5/11/2009 8:04PM

    Again, you are wise, oh Grasshopper! The big picture can be so daunting that we give up - whether it's the kitchen or weight loss. But little bitty goals, little bitty victories - that's do-able. I have found the same is true when I run. It's exciting to say "I'm running 5 miles today" for about 1/4 of a mile, then it gets hard and if I think "Only 4 3/4 miles to go" I'm ready to quit. So instead I tell myself to make it to the next half mile or mile marker. Or if it's the end of a run and I'm pooped, then just make it to the next telephone pole or to the end of this song. All of a sudden (or so it seems) I am near the end and find myself with plenty of energy to finish.

I wish I could offer some sage advice about your kitchen. But you already know everything I would say - little steps, no counting the boxes left to do, and give yourself a pat on the back each time you accomplish another miracle of space and stuff!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/11/2009 1:45PM

    This is a good description of life in general!!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Julia Cameron writes about synchronicity in "The Artist's Way". Basically, if you're open to it, you'll start to see how everything is connected.

I took the dogs for a long walk at a park today. I learned about the park in my WW meeting. If I weren't a WW member, it probably would have taken me much, much longer to find this park.

It's close to home, even closer than we were to the hike & bike trail in Austin. The trails are almost all paved, but there's a lot of them -- there's a small man made lake with ducks, an "orchard" (it's a fairly new park, so the trees are still smal), a wetlands, and quite a bit more.

It's not as crowded as the hike & bike trail tended to be, but Lola still got lots of training meeting dogs -- something she needs constant work with. There are picnic tables and places to grill. All in all, a lovely park.

It's a cool & blustery day here, so we even did a little jogging, which I haven't been doing since we moved; too tired most of the time.

I'm also doing a happy dance because I think I've finally found my other sneaker. We're still searching for some things -- our towels (my husband already had some of our old towels here), the key to my treadmill (still buried in boxes, but if I had the key, I'd be making sure it was usable). Things are slowly, slowly falling into place.

We're going to move some furniture around in the kitchen today which should hopefully allow me to clear off our counters and make cooking easier. We have a lovely wooden utility cart we had custom made in VT years & years ago -- back when I had a tiny kitchen and needed more space. In Austin, it became a huge pet bed for the cats & the place I stored my Mexican blankets. Here it will be pressed into service again.

Of course, there's still the next wave of boxes to move into the house. We're not quite done with the first wave, but we've sure made a dent.

Getting back to the title, there's an old Chinese proverb that says when the student is ready, the teacher appears. It's amazing, sometimes, what life has to offer you if you're just open to it. Of course, I'll get back to you in the winter. I may not be so cheery then.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 5/11/2009 12:18PM

    You sound so much calmer and more relaxed these days. I am happy for you! Here's to more synchronicity in all of our lives!

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TRECECOOKS 5/10/2009 5:18PM

    And also, "All things work together for good". . .

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BABYFACE26 5/10/2009 1:17PM

    Yes, I'm fascinated by Synchronicity. I love when it happens, and I am certain, that when it does...it means, that you are on the Right Track in your Life.
Even if applies for just a moment in Time - you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing. There are No accidents, and everything happens for a reason, usually for your Soul's growth. ..and the more you pay attention to these "coincidences" the more they seem to happen! Its a beautiful thing.

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Doing what you can works

Friday, May 08, 2009

At least some of the time. Or maybe it was the different scale. Who knows? I'm just happy to have had a larger weight loss this week, and to actually know I've not only maintained, but continued to lose weight even with so much out of my control these days.

I suspect I wasn't eating enough food during the move. It felt as though I'd lost weight, but the scale disagreed. This week, as I've written, I've been a bit hungrier than normal. I've had a few more snacks after dinner, something I don't do too often, because I've been really hungry. I still don't quite have all my ducks in a row with my normal snacks & meals & such; it'll take some time.

But there are still things I CAN control Since walking is the only thing readily avaiable to me right now, I've made sure to take longer than normal walks. Today I'm going to unfish my food tracker and begin tracking again. I bought one of those food journals (non-WW) a while back. I like my leaders idea of highlighted days and/or weeks when your eating is particularly on track, not to mention having it all in one place so I can go back a month if need be.

I hope that maybe we'll get the DVD player hooked up this weekend or maybe next week, so I can start getting back into a normal workout routine. Not sure what next week will bring, as I think I'm getting close to TOM. But I will just continue to do what I can do, and pay close attention to the signals my body is sending me.

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MTER67 5/9/2009 8:14PM

    Woo hoo! Congratulations--it must feel really good to have lost weight in spite of all that you have going on! That's fantastic!

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KEAKMAN 5/8/2009 3:46PM

    AND lay in a supply of gold star stickers to reward yourself with when you have a good eating day! (that's what I do - I love getting me those stickers!)

Congrats on losing weight - maybe you just needed to eat more!

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Why is it so hard to let go?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wasn't planning to blog today. Didn't really have a topic in mind. Yet as I struggled to find homes for yet more stuff, I am struck by chasm between who I am and who I want to be, wondering how to get there. Sound familiar?

I read books and articles about voluntary simplicity, how couples can fit all their stuff into just a few suitcases. And here I am surrounded by stuff. Too much stuff. Too much weight.

And yet it's so hard to give it up. I have donated, I've filled another 5 boxes of stuff to donate or sell, and we have an entire downstairs and garage half full of yet more boxes.

Are these all walls I've built around myself? To keep the outside world out? Why would I want to keep the outside world out, anyway?

I remember when we were first married. We'd have the occasional party. Even when we first moved down to TX, every once in a while we'd invite people over. At some point, that stopped. I know my husband was ashamed of the state of our carpets . . . that didn't bother me so much -- that was something beyond my control, really, when you have sick animals that can't help but mess up your carpets, there isn't a lot you can do. I did the best I could.

Exactly when did the stuff take over? Was it the same time I began to struggle so with my weight?

Don't get me wrong; I'm not a hoarder. You could walk into our old home. Sure, there was clutter, but it wasn't as if there were piles to the ceiling you could barely squeeze your way past. But I know sometimes it's a short leap from pitying someone else for their problems til you own their problems yourself.

This isn't the first time I've pondered this question, either, but having your belongings in stacks & stacks around you really brings it home in a big way. I feel like it may take me months to dig out. I really want to eradicate the surface clutter, but in the meantime, every surface IS cluttered because there isn't places to put stuff yet. I know for sure that the answer to clutter doesn't lie in more closet space, either.

It can be so hard to part with stuff. In my heart I know that's exactly what it is, just stuff, but there's little doubt that a lot of it has sentimental meaning for me; many things bought on our travels. Some things no longer make me smile, and they're already in boxes for garage sale/whatever.

But many things, however useless other than to bring a smile to my face, are just so darn hard to part with. It doesn't help that I hate to clean and these things are dust-magnets. Do I deserve nice things if I can't keep them clean?

Which brings us to books. I've gotten rid of a lot of books over the past year, but there are still so many. Some have been with me since I was about 12 years old. Will I ever read the hobbit again? Shogun? Parting with books is like parting with old friends. Which doesn't stop me from going out and buying new friends, of course.

Of course old eating patterns, old thought patterns, etc. etc. are hard to let go, too. The idea of never having pepperoni again . . . I probably would have shuddered when I was in college. Now I would shudder to eat it -- it long since ceased to hold any attraction for me. Wish I could say the same of sweets and chocolate. And so on & on.

I have made progress this past week. There are only a few kitchen boxes left -- the few I don't want to deal with yet (pantry items, crystal, china, that sort of thing).

Most of the living room boxes, aside from the DVDs, are also gone. I've been hitting the bedroom today. Yes, I did finally find my jeans a couple of days ago, thank God, altho my everyday sneakers is still just one sneaker, and I'd really, really like to find the other one.

I don't have much of a point today. Just a bit depressed by the extent of my stuff, I guess, and yet having such a hard time letting it go. I can let some of it go, but I know that to live the life I truly want, I need to let more go; it isn't easy.

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BABYFACE26 5/10/2009 1:28PM

    Ah, now you have hit a topic of great meaning. I have a great book, called "Sacred Space. Clearing and enhancing the Energy of your home." and another good one, by Karen Kingston, called "Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui"
Oh, the first book is by Denise Linn....anyway, there are deep psychological issues at work here, as you touched on. ..and the bottom line is, that we are reluctant to let go of the Past, but when we do clear things out, we allow room for the New to enter our lives. We also Feel better, in a simplified environment.
....check out Karen's book. its full of good suggestions, for how to do this.

My problem is magazines! I've been forced to throw away a lot of stuff, because I've had to move so many times, in the past 7 years!..now I live in a studio, and there just is no room for very many things. Very little storage.

By the way, I do astrology, and now is a GREAT time for going thru your stuff, and re-organizing and throwing away whats not needed, or what doesn't make you joyful..(its about Mercury retrograde, if you're curious)

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KUNGFOOD 5/8/2009 7:58PM

    My favorite bookstore will look at my books then give me the option to take whatever cash they offer or a very generous "trade" that I can use in their store. I always take the trade as it is at least double the cash offer.

I read what I like, recycle it. We are book lovers and have limited bookshelves in our small bungalow (downsized from a 4K square foot turn of the century brick monster!)... we have simplified a lot.

There's still clutter, and about twice a year I have to purge. But I try to recycle things using Freecycle, Goodwill, or other thrift stores. I love recycling, and I love auctions. The beauty of having a small space to work with is that you can reinvent yourself all the time.

Letting go of things... yes it's hard. There is more to look forward to than owning, dusting, moving them around.

What seems like a dark cloud may bring cleansing rain. (yeah, ask me about that one!)
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/8/2009 8:00:08 PM

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TRECECOOKS 5/7/2009 11:06PM

    I so completely understand what you're saying here. Voluntary Simplicity is something I am aiming for, all the more so because I recognize how much of the stuff here is the kids' cr*p.
And then there's the books. . .

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MTER67 5/7/2009 6:16PM

    First of all--what a beautiful blog. For not having a topic in mind, I think you have hit on something really important here. Are all the boxes of stuff walls you have built around yourself? Hmm, maybe. Maybe it is easier to identify with "stuff" and reminisce about mementos than it is to go out and live new experiences and forge fresh memories--especially if you are not confident about the way you look and feel. I tend to be a collector of things--pottery, artifacts from our travels--and I live behind them just a little bit. It is safer, I suppose then making my own art and putting it "out there", you know what I mean?

At the risk of blogging on your blog, I have to tell you this:

When I was growing up, we had two big book shelves of old books. Most of them belonged to my mom's aunt. There were some classics, with print dates in the 1800's. I read only very few of the books, but I used to thumb through them and savor the "age" of them, and look for old clovers, flowers (even old shopping lists) that might have been pressed in the pages.

Anyway, I assumed all my life that those books would be mine some day. When I was visiting them in GA, I learned that my mom had gotten rid of most of the books when they moved. The best of the collection she gave to my 17 year old niece. I was initially pissed off. Like I said, I thought it was UNDERSTOOD that I would get all the books.

But then I thought about it. My niece is exactly like me. She loves those books and all books and she will take great care of them. So, I let them go. What was really important to me is that they will be preserved, and they will. But the MEMORY of them and the recollection of how it felt to sit among stacks of them as a girl--THAT I will always have. It is hard to separate the intangible from the tangible some times, but our houses are only so big! Good luck finding your balance.

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KEAKMAN 5/7/2009 4:07PM

    A few years back there was a diet book out there called something like "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" He had the same idea you did - too much junk in our lives means we have too much junk - period. Time to clean up and clean out. (but I can't get rid of books ever!)

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MOCACHOC 5/7/2009 2:50PM

    When you declutter your life, you declutter you. I know stuff can have a sentimental value, but when you are overwhelmed with stuff it needs to go no matter how sentimental it is. I have had old baby stuff and I asked my daughter did she want to keep it for her kids. She said no mom I am not going to start building clutter.

I want peace and tranquility where I live. The less the better. Just enough to entertain and keep the house looking lived in and well kept. You don't need a lot of things to be happy. Sometimes we don't even realized how much junk we have until we have to move and we look and see this mountain of things we have to sort through.

Let it go, Let it go, Let it go, you will find it will be a release for your soul. It will be an AaaH, moment.

Ever seen clean sweep, do it just take some time when it's warm take everything out of a room and if you don't absolutely need it give it away or have a yard sale, make some money. Everything else can go to good will. Donate the books to the Library if no one buys them.

Good Luck and God Bless you on your journey to Health and wellness and decluttering.


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CAROLJTD40 5/7/2009 2:31PM

    I have a lot of that "stuff" too. Hard to part with things since we both know that as soon as you get rid of it, you'll need it again. :-)

I also am having a hard time parting with old favorites - like hot wings, nachos and beer. If only I could enjoy those in moderation...

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