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The best laid plans

Monday, August 03, 2009

Actually, all in all yesterday went pretty well, even if not quite the way I planned it.

We had a couple & their 2 young children over -- one of my husband's coworkers (actually, his one "employee" now that he's a manager, altho that's about to change). His coworker is a really nice guy, and has been really helpful to us, too.

As I was vacuuming at 8:30 in the morning, the power went out. We decided to take the dogs for their walk -- I suppose that's a good thing, left to my husband's devices, it would have been a later walk, but when he had no tv to watch or computer to surf on, he was ready earlier. As we were heading home, our neighbors stopped and informed us the transformer across the street had blown.

I was puzzled, at first, that I hadn't heard it -- those things are usually pretty loud -- but then I realized that I was vacuuming. Since it was a rainy day like they forecasted, we were a bit concerned about just what would happen with the dinner -- my stove is electric, and my husband doesn't like to grill in the rain. Not to mention what to eat for lunch. My husband was all for using the refrigerator, but I wanted to keep it closed if I didn't know how long we'd be without power. The power came back on around noon.

I planned personal pizzas for everyone. I'd made the dough -- something I hadn't done in a really, really long time, but have been wanting to get back into -- and wasn't quite sure how it would turn out. It was pretty good. I put out cheese & crackers & some chips & guacomole for munchies, but no one was munching at first. Eventually, though, people got into them, thankfully. The cheese wasn't really a problem -- I can control myself with cheese -- but the guac won't last that long and I can only eat a little guacamole at a time.

I also made a vegan cheesecake for dessert. It was ok, which was surprising, because almost everything I've made from that particular cookbook has been really good. Unfortunately, the wife of the coworker brought us cookies. I told them we didn't need anything, and I certainly don't need cookies! You know me & cookies by now. I had one, and I told my husband to put the rest in the freezer downstairs. Hopefully that's far enough away (the garage) so that I'll stay out of them.

Normally I send anything that's tempting to me in with my husband to work, but I feel that would be a bit tacky in this case. I may just take them to my small dog meetup this month.

So things worked out, as they often have a tendency to do, even though it didn't go quite as planned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 8/3/2009 8:41AM

    I love how you rolled with the punches and kept it all together!

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KEAKMAN 8/3/2009 8:34AM

    Wow - no panicing! I would have been in overdrive if I had no power and guests coming over for lunch! You are such a calm cookie (hehe - I said "cookie" about you!)

Anyway, glad the dinner turned out well, and I hope you forget all about the freezer until your small dog meetup.

emoticon on having only one cookie and then putting the rest away - you have super self-control!

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SEKSUNSHINE 8/3/2009 6:11AM

    Sounds like a great day! Glad you were able to keep away from your "no" foods! If you were tired yesterday from the kid thing. Come to my house and I would really wear you out! Daily minimum of 6 maximum of 12 all ages. I'll work any cookie off you eat! LOL!! Have a great week!

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ALBA06 8/3/2009 5:42AM

  it sounds like not only did you have a good time but you managed to make healthy choices for yourself and really did a good job. congrats to you

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Creating a healthy lifestyle

Friday, July 31, 2009

I read an SP member's blog a little while ago; she was talking about what part of a healthy lifestyle is due to nutrition, to behavior modification, and to exercise. She was developing her own "formula". But I think that all parts of a healthy lifestyle actually have equal weight -- it's only when we're in balance that things work. Finding that balance is the hard part. And we may have it for a little while, and then have to juggle things again to find our new balance. Which works with yesterday's blog -- we're always under construction.

We were chatting during our WW meeting as usual, and one woman near me was talking about how if she eats a little too much one day, she exercises more the next. Our leader was also talking about a tool she has that tells how much she has to exercise to burn off certain foods.

There was a time when I would agree with these attitudes, but I've slowly come to the realization that that isn't a healthy lifestyle. Exercise addiction is just as bad for you as food addiction.

Exercise and nutrition have to work hand in hand. You can't always expect to use exercise to burn off extra calories. Because there will be times when you simply can't: when you're sick, when you're busy, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying exercise isn't part of the equation; it is. But I just believe (for the moment, anyway), that it's wrong to use it to correct overeating. That will work in the short run, but not in the long run.

And there's a whole other part of the equation I haven't even touched on: the mental aspect. If you never tackle why you overeat, then you're most likely doomed to just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. If anything should get more weight in the equation, it should be the mental aspect.

All of these have to work together. If you can't get your eating under control, no matter how much you exercise, you're going to continue to struggle. If you can't get yourself to move, you're going to hit a plateau at some point. And if you can't get a handle on why you overeat, all the exercise in the world won't save you.

None of this happens overnight. That's why there's no quick fix. We are battling the habits and problems of a lifetime. It's not easy to turn your life around, but you CAN do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 8/1/2009 5:59PM

    This three-pronged approach is the best! Exercise, eating, and motivation (why we do or don't do it). Balance them properly (didn't you just talk to me about balance??) and things jell.

Great ideas and great insight!

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    I agree with you wholeheartedly that this has to be a healthy lifestyle. To me, that would be looking at the overall big picture and not obsess on every single minute details. Exercise addiction can be very harmful, and it can even lead to other issues.

As always, you raised some excellent points. Thank you for another brilliant blog post.

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PANDORASBOX820 7/31/2009 10:01AM

    you write the best blogs. i don't understand why you're not a sparkpeople motivator yet. you motivate me to improve my thinking and my behaviors every day!

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ERINQD 7/31/2009 9:41AM

    Very good point about the mental aspect. That's a tough question and one I need to consider right now. Thanks for the food for thought!

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ANGELCOWBOY1 7/31/2009 9:38AM

    Great blog. Balance in life is critical! At the moment, I am struggling with that because of serious illness in the family - but I will find it again soon. emoticon

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The road to success is always under construction

Thursday, July 30, 2009

That was my leader's quote at today's meeting. So true! Being "done" (aka, done being fat) was all the rage, but the truth is that no matter how long we are at our goal weights, we're never really "done". And if you think you're "done", you probably really are -- that is, you're done for.

Despite the evil PB Bars, I lost a small amount of weight this week. Despite that fact that TOM arrived in the middle of the night last night, keeping me up for much of the night -- and we're having some people over for dinner this weekend (we think, anyway, DH doesn't even get home til later tonight). I attribute a lot of that to minding my ABCs this week.

Yesterday I had cookies after lunch, AND strawberry-rhubarb crisp after dinner. But they were conscious decisions, I put them on a plate, and I savored every bite (plus had plenty of fruits & veggies throughout the day).

I wouldn't be human if I didn't admit my latest freakish weight gain does bother me. I still can't see anything I did that week that would account for it -- or in previous weeks, for that matter. And it puts me back to what I weighed in April!

But, I've begun to think of myself as Sleeping Beauty. I haven't really quite hammered out the details of the analogy, it doesn't quite fit, and yet it does. I'm not waiting for my prince to come along -- there's no quick fix to weight loss, and I know that. But I do feel that sometimes while I am working on all my healthy habits my body is sleeping -- or even gaining weight -- and that all those good habits will catch up to my actual weight at some point. Something like that, anyway.

It wasn't a fluke of the scale, because I could feel it in my clothes. Yet I'm still very well aware of how far I've come, how much better I feel & look, and I don't want to lose that. So for now, I'm trying to mind my ABCs as much as possible, and also eliminate more of those little touches of sweetness I like to throw into my day; or just be a bit more aware of them. I'm trying to, once again, wean myself away from sweet snacks. I'll still have my treats, but I want my snacks between meals to be more savory, for the time being at least.

It's true, we're never "done". There is always something new to try, there are always little tweaks to be made, there is always something new to learn. And that can be exciting, if you allow it to be.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 7/30/2009 9:50PM

    That is so true - we are never done! I like that, the road to success is always under construction - that's life, in a nutshell. I'm writing that in my food journal - thanks for the reminder.

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Easy as ABC

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Well, it IS. We all know what to do -- we really do, unless we're just starting our journeys. Way way back, before WW, I had no clue what healthy eating meant. But now I do. There are no excuses.

Why do we let OOC take over when it feels so good to be in control?

I wrote down my points for the peanut butter bars I ate. I'm still within my points, altho there's a good chance I undercounted the number of points in the bars I scarfed down. The last couple of days I have made sure to go back to the basics, and I feel much better. I may not feel quite so good after my WI tomorrow, but I'll get over it & move on with my life.

I am making sure to write down what I eat, have a treat everyday (and really think about just what it is I want), eat that treat in a mindful way, get plenty of fruits & veggies, get plenty of water, exercise, and most importantly -- eat every meal in a mindful way.

That is what bothered me so much about the PB bars -- not so much that I ate them; they weren't truly that terrible. The recipe came from a book called "Cook Yourself Thin", after all, altho I had to modify it somewhat. The problem was that I didn't just take what I wanted, put it on a plate, sit down & savor every bite. Every time I don't do that, I know I am OOC. Even if I don't eat that much -- I don't enjoy it as much when I don't eat it mindfully, and if I'm going to indulge, I want to enjoy it.

Funny thing is, too, when I do indulge and eat mindfully, I don't normally gain weight. Which is exactly s it should be.

Here's to mindful eating.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZY6281 7/30/2009 2:47PM

    I have to make a conscious effort to take my food, put it on a plate and sit down and enjoy it. My old habits included eating directly out of the refrigerator or out of a can while sitting on the couch watching TV. And you know I didn't count those calories because everyone knows there is no calories in something you eat standing up...

Good for you for taking things in control. You can do this!!


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STARTSPARKING 7/30/2009 4:29AM

    Many people from other countries eat luscious food, but they don't have the obesity issue as Americans do. I believe one of the main reasons is mindful eating. Real food is lovingly prepared and savored slowly and joyfully with family and friends. It is not an after thought fast food, wolfed down in the car before soccer practice.

Thank you for another thought-provoking post.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 7/29/2009 7:55PM

    I so hear you.......I spent 3 (or more) weeks being OOC - not good! I like what you said about the mindful eating - putting it on a plate and being mindful. Makes a LOT of sense. Thanks. I needed to read your post today.

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KEAKMAN 7/29/2009 9:03AM

    Living consciously is so hard in modern America. We are pushed to hurry, hurry. There is no time for anything. Even when we have our days off, or those who do not work outside the home - do SOMETHING with every minute, and do AS MANY somethings as you can in one day.

It is right for us to rebel and insist on a little thought. A little enjoyment. A little reflection. A moment of consideration. Those moments help us to avoid "I wish I had.." and "what if I hadn't...." They also help us to focus on what we want and what matters, rather than just being seen as busy busy all the time!

As usual, great blog!

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PANDORASBOX820 7/29/2009 7:09AM

    ugh, i SO need to print this and put it on my fridge. it's my biggest problem-- not eating mindfully. whether it's something decadent or just a handful of almonds, i tend to shovel things in my mouth and swallow. My parents call me the "Hoover"... i need to change my morning routine so that perhaps i take my oatmeal w/ blueberries and strawberries into the quietest room in my house, sit cross-legged, and meditate with my food. wouldnt that be a funny image to walk into? :)

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What's fear got to do with it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Everything, I think. I think most overweight people are fearful people. They may not appear so on the surface, but deep down inside, fear is weighing them down.

Yesterday I had some errands to run. I had planned to take the dogs with me, as they were to places where dogs are allowed (Lowes, a pet food store). The prediction for yesterday was afternoon thunderstorms, and it sure looked like it was going to deliver.

I went back and forth on whether or not to push these errands back to another day. I had lots of stuff to do around the house, after all. Finally I decided I couldn't let the fear of storms get in the way of living my life, and we left. The dogs love to go shopping with me -- so many new smells! And you never know what food you just might find on the ground!

As I was driving over to the pet food store, it was getting darker and darker. I will say that I did have one legitimate fear: Lola is afraid of thunderstorms. Even heavy rain can get her shivering. It's always a concern what she might do if we were to get caught outside in a bad storm. Still, it didn't rain.

I debated whether or not to stop at Lowes on the way back, but as we got closer and closer, the sky didn't seem so dark, so we did. I narrowed down some of my choices for the new kitchen cabinets. We didn't get rained on at all. In fact, yesterday we barely had any rain at all.

It easily could have gone the other way. There were some pretty good storms close by, but they didn't get this far.

It's so easy to let fear paralyze you:

Fear that your friends won't like the thin you.

Fear that it will be too hard.

Fear that you'll fail.

Fear that you'll succeed.

Fear about keeping the weight off.

Fear that you'll have to give up the things you love.

Our fears are legitimate, but they shouldn't rule our lives. The other side of fear is power. It's time to take the power back! Let go of the fear, trust in a higher power, and live your life. Sometimes you WILL fail, and it WILL be painful. But that just makes the times you succeed that much sweeter.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 7/28/2009 8:06PM

    So true. Fear of the unknown almost made me stop my journey half way through my weight loss. When I was heavier, I was ignored - people didn't see me. Half way through my weight loss journey, I started being seen and I didn't know how to handle people that would come up to me (or see me). I pushed through that fear with anger and made it all the way! Thank goodness I didn't let the fear rule.

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KEEPSAKES66 7/28/2009 12:26PM

    too true- if you spend your life letting fear rule your actions you will never accomplish anything. Better to conquer the fear and live your life so that it is enjoyable.

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KEAKMAN 7/28/2009 9:47AM

    Great thoughts. Sometimes I wonder what it is that I fear that keeps me from losing weight. But after a bit of self-analysis I decided it reallly doesn't matter WHY I fear or WHAT I fear - I just need to get beyond it and live my life. Thanks, as always, for the thoughts!

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