Friday, July 10, 2009
The standard equation for weight loss is to move more & eat less, right? Seems logical, anyway. Except sometimes it isn't. It's so tempting to try to exercise away the food we eat. If we can't control what we actually put in our mouth, the least we can do is burn it off.
Well, I have been exercising less lately. Not a huge amount less, but I have made a conscious effort to get my rest days in. I'm also making a conscious effort to be more active in little ways, as I blogged about yesterday. Getting more active throughout your day in little ways is really what a healthy lifestyle is all about.
We didn't used to need to do such foolish things as running or aerobic exercise decades ago -- because we got enough movement just living our daily lives. Washing the dishes by hand, walking to the store, pushing a lawnmower, and so on. Sometimes it seems to me the more we come up with labor saving devices, the fatter we become (not that I'm giving up my dishwasher anytime soon, thank you very much).
So sometimes I still get my 10,000 steps on my rest days, without added exercise; sometimes I don't. And I've been eating more, because contrary to what I blogged about not so long ago, lately I've been hungrier.
I'm still losing weight. Not large amounts, but enough. Which is why weekly WIs are important to me: because there are times I've eaten more and I haven't continued to lose weight. So if there's a gain, then I evaluate if I can be eating better.
A lot of it is about listening to our body & what it really wants. Obviously, that isn't easy for most of us and it takes a lot of practice. But eventually, if you really listen, most of the time you'll get it right.
I do believe a lot of people think the harder you sweat, the more you'll lose, and that just isn't always the case. There's a happy balance somewhere. So try it: really listen to what your body is crying out for, and give it to it. And if it doesn't work the first time you try, just keep trying. You'll get it eventually.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
I don't normally impulse buy -- I usually put a lot of thought behind most of my purchases. But on occasion, I see it, I want it, I buy it. That's what happened several years ago at the farmer's market. Now, you may be wondering just what there is to really impulse buy at the farmer's market; the one I frequented in Austin had local craftspeople, too, and the occasional special events.
At one of those special events I bought a simple, nice linen tank top. Nothing terribly exciting, really, but I liked it. Only it was a little tight, and over the last few years, way too tight. Now it fits -- in fact, it's even a bit loose. My weight loss has been slow over the last month, but steady.
One of my rewards for when I got down to about 135 (or maybe I should make that 134, since I can stop paying for WW at 134) was a bread machine. I worked our last one to death. But I've begun to ponder this. Do I really need a bread machine, given my small kitchen? I baked bread for years, without anything other than my own 2 hands and a hand held mixer. Yes, it's more time consuming and work -- but the whole point of being active isn't just to do cardio & ST. It's to be active in small amounts throughout the day.
I think I'm getting better at that, although I still have plenty of sedentary tendencies.
I am still pondering the bread machine. It can be nice when you're sick, for instance. I made myself fresh bread when I was sick on more than one occasion back when I did have a bread machine.
Of course, I haven't actually made yeast bread by hand in many years. It must be like riding a bicycle.
I also have to keep working to remind myself to be present. Whenever I find myself thinking about the future, about getting to goal, about maintaining, about how I'll eat when I'm maintaining, I have to remind myself that I'm not there yet, so worrying about it is just wasted energy. Planning for it -- that's a good use of my time. Worrying, not so much.
And my final rambling thought of the day is about my eyes. Funny, I thought they were getting really small. You know how your eyes get smaller as you age? Only I've found as the weight has come off, my eyes seem to have gotten larger. I'm one of those people whose face is really round when I'm heavy, so my eyes tend to start disappearing into the fat -- and I think I have nice eyes. It's nice to see them again.
I lied. I have one more rambler. I made an appointment to get my hair cut on Monday. Way, way, over due. I have no idea whether this place is any good, but if it's not raining I can walk there. And the really nice surprise is that it won't cost me more than a haircut back home cost, and my hairdresser was pretty inexpensive. I just hope that I can find someone I like there. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I think control has a lot to do with losing weight. Eating cookies straight out of the box, standing in front of your pantry, is a very uncomfortable, out-of-control feeling for most of us. Or chips, or pretzels, or M&Ms, whatever your drug of choice might be.
Last week I was having a few issues with control. It's been a while. I was eating cookies, standing in the kitchen, straight out of the container. When I'm in control, I decide I really want the cookie -- and I warm them up in the oven, put them on a plate, usually make a cup of tea to go with them -- and sit down & enjoy them. It's definitely much more satisfying.
When we're in OOC (out of control) mode, we end up feeling guilty instead of satisfied. I know I did. Sure, the cookies WERE really good. But I felt guilty, probably because they weren't part of the plan and I wasn't eating them consciously. Such a waste of good calories (yes, cookies CAN be good calories).
This week I'm feeling more in control again, but hungry. More hungry than usual. Never blog about something you think you've conquered, because it will surely hear you and resurrect itself to come back and bite you in the a$$. I just recently blogged about how my appetite has diminished, and then I have a really hungry week.
Control has its dark side, too. We won't even get into things like anorexia or bulimia. It's as simple as not wanting to go to a party or a really good restaurant because we can't control the food. I know I've been there. What, go out to eat right before WI? More than 1 party in a week? No, no, no, I can't do that, I'm trying to lose weight.
It isn't easy learning to give up that control, either. I am slowly learning that I can go out to eat before a WI -- I might gain, I might lose, I might stay the same, but in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter. It's not about one meal; it's about how we eat every day and balancing the larger meal with a little less or something healthier the next day (but not vowing to do 2 hours of exercise to burn it off -- that's the dark side of control again, and that way madness lies).
I'm also struggling with control in other areas of my life. Other than a couple of magazines and one cookbook, I've bought nothing other than the things we truly need (food, toilet paper, that sort of stuff) for the last couple of months. Owning 2 homes -- fixing them both up -- is expensive. Now that our Austin house is sold, I can afford some of life's little luxuries again.
Yet these 2 months of a buying diet opened my eyes to just how much we're bombarded with advertising. On the radio, on tv, in magazines. It's everywhere, and it's relentless. I am trying mightily to resist as much as possible. I did go to the bookstore yesterday, and bought myself a cookbook. It's a reward for doing well the last few months. I'm still working on earning enough Mypoints points to get an Amazon certificate, so I can buy a few more cookbooks I've had my eye on.
Of course, I made the mistake of getting on Amazon this morning and there are all these really interesting new vegan baking books coming out soon . . .
I am still working on decluttering my life, though. Yes, we're still not completely unpacked, believe it or not. Mostly, but not completely. Of course, I can't unpack my books because they have nowhere to go right now. We want to get rid of the el-cheapo bookcases we've had forever & have some custom bookcases built. And part of the problem is a lot of these books lived in built-in bookcases in Austin, so until we've got new ones, they have to continue to live in boxes.
The point being that I am trying to downsize, not add. We've been going thru our DVDs, trying to decide what to get rid of so that they'll actually fit in the DVD cabinet. Some things really do make me happy -- but too much of anything is bad for you.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
In a month or so, hopefully, I'll have a new kitchen. We're planning to tear down a couple of the walls, put in an L of cabinets with counters over them, move the refrigerator back to where it's supposed to go (have to get rid of a cabinet & some a wall to do that, too). It probably won't buy me as much cabinet space as I'd like, but it will help with the lack of counter space & everything will just look so much bigger with more open space. It'll be almost a mini version of the kitchen I had back in TX.
We've got to tear down a lot to rebuild ourselves, too. Old habits have to be replaced with new, or it will never become a lifestyle. For me, that has meant:
1. Making sure I drink plenty of water. I've been drinking water for years, but when I really started to track it, I realized I wasn't drinking enough.
2. Not eating with the tv on or while reading. A biggie for me. While I made sure we didn't eat dinner while watching tv, I often ate breakfast or lunch with it on. And if the tv wasn't on, I was reading. The reading thing is still a struggle, but I just don't do it. You just don't taste your food if you're occupied with something else, and I want to know what I've eaten!
3. Exercising to DVDs. My walks with the dogs aren't enough (altho if I walk them 3 times a day, like I often did when we first moved here, that does seem to work). Exercising from routines I find in magazines doesn't work for me either -- I did that for years. I need someone to push me.
4. Limiting sweets. It's a tough job for me, but it's got to be done. I still eat probably more than I should -- I know I'd be healthier without my sweets -- but I keep chipping away at it.
5. Limiting portion sizes. Another biggie for me. I wasn't eating terribly for the last 20 years, but I was eating too much. Seems obvious now, of course, but not so much at the time. I don't weigh and measure food all the time, but I do it sporadically to make sure I'm keeping my portion sizes in check.
There's more, of course, but I think those are the main ones. This can't be something you do temporarily and then go back to the same old habits -- you'll get what you always got then. That's why restrictive diets like Atkins and cleanses don't work -- they're a temporary fix. If I can't do it for the rest of my life, what's the point of even doing it for one day?
Monday, July 06, 2009
When my husband was here last year by himself, he went for a walk with a friend along the Erie Canal. We tried to find it once, but didn't and ended up at a park instead.
Yesterday we headed out to try & find it again, and we did. It's not really all that exciting a walk -- it's a paved path that goes from Albany to Buffalo, and you only see the canal at a few points during the walk. But I get bored walking the same way every day, so it's nice to have options, and I'm sure it's pretty during the fall.
There are some parks at various entrance points along the path, and there are benches there -- but nothing for quite some time afteward.
The dogs check out the fence.
It was beautiful and dry yesterday -- the perfect day to be outside.
We walked down to this bridge, then turned around.
I wanted to get a photo of some of the flowers by the side of the path.
Apparently, once upon a time this was a train station.
Our house has a raised deck, and we made use of it when my parents were here -- otherwise we would have been rather crowded in the house. We haven't been able to use it too much, because the weather has been so wet. I feel guilty being out there when I can't let the cats out there -- especially since they can't go outside at all anymore. Still waiting on a fence.
I always tell my husband no one looks good photographed sitting down, but I guess having 2 dogs on your lap camouflages a lot. Lola wanted nothing more than to jump down, but we finally got the shot.
If you look carefully, you just might be able to see Gizmo laying on top of the couch inside. I thought it was kind of a cool picture, but it might not come across at this size.
A quiet, not very exciting weekend, but pleasant -- especially since the weather cooperated. DH wanted to go to the movies yesterday, but I wasn't about to waste such a lovely day!
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