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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Another low-calorie day for me. 1349.

I'm low on protein and was going to have a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese as an evening snack. But I realized that I'm not actually hungry. Being low on protein for a day can't hurt now and then. Right? I'm actually low on protein kind of often. Or I just barely make the minimum.

I need to rethink some of my normal foods. I've been noticing this week that I'm maxing out on fats while keeping my carbs in check and (oops) protein too low. I'm not eating a lot of high-fat food. I think it's just that I've cut back on carbs, so proportionally my fats are too high. I need to look for ways of getting more protein without added fat.

Got any ideas?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOMOVER40 9/10/2012 1:54AM

    Out of the blue, I happened to see your blog post. I have the same problem, if I don't make a conscious effort to add protein to my diet (usually why protein in a smoothie or some peanut butter), I am usually about 20g short on any given day. Recently I've found a new low-fat high-protein snack: hummus. We get the Mediterranean kind from Trader Joe's. It's great with baby carrots if you want to avoid carbs altogether, or you can have some with half a whole wheat pita. Hope that helps.

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JODROX 9/7/2012 1:36PM

    Thanks for sharing ideas! It's a great reminder of foods I do like but don't eat often!

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MEADSBAY 9/7/2012 1:35PM

    I love hard boiled eggs- Greek yogurt (plain non-fat for me)- peanut butter- my own protein smoothies- even spinach has a good amt of protein.

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PHILLYSKYLINE 9/7/2012 11:45AM

    I have the same problem--my fats are regularly at the top (or over the top) of my range, carbs are very low because those are my trigger foods, and protein is always on the low end of the range. I try not to worry about it too much, as long as my calories are in the right range and I eat relatively balanced meals. I eat eggs but don't like them enough to eat them every day, and I'm not a big dairy eater, other than cheese.

So I've ended up eating lots of beans! I love white beans, especially, because they have such a nice mild flavor. You can add them to soups, rice dishes, whatever. And white beans pureed with a little sage and vegetable broth make a lovely sauce for pasta, veggie sausage, egg dishes, you name it. Quinoa is also a good high-protein, low-fat food.

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FLOWERGIRL908 9/7/2012 11:36AM

    Egg whites are a great source of low-fat protein. Plus I'm not too fond of yolk anyway lol

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DHARMAPHILE 9/7/2012 3:17AM

    That's happened to me too. My fats get too high and I struggle to get enough protein. I think it's great that you were attuned to your hunger state, something I need to do more often.

Oh and thank you so much for my goodie! I just love the idea of a massage and I think I will try it. The injury is not too painful, but slow to heal so I'm holding off running till it's better.

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JANTWO 9/7/2012 12:31AM

    Do you like Greek yogurt? They have some tasty ones out there!!!! I have also come across laughing cow cheese and it is so good!!!!

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

1293 calories today. Really?

I never, ever, ever am that low. My range is 1200-1550, and it's tough for me to stay under 1550, let me tell you! It's much easier since quitting pop (again) and beer (temporarily), but still -- if I weren't watching it so closely, I could easily eat 2000 calories a day and not blink an eye.


I had to stop and think: Did I forget to log something? I thought through everything I ate all day. It was all entered. The only things I could think of were the sauce they served on the meat at lunch, which I hadn't accounted for, and the large cornbread muffin. So I added barbecue sauce and bumped up the muffin from 1 serving to 1.25.

That brings me to 1330.

Hm. A "lite" day. So this is what it's like to eat within reason and not feel like I'm starving.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBIEDAY 9/6/2012 9:59AM

    emoticon AWESOME feeling isn't it??

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KALIGIRL 9/6/2012 8:45AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Here's to more 'lite' days!

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TRICIAE2 9/6/2012 8:34AM


Cherish those days!

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VIMVIGOR 9/6/2012 1:22AM

  emoticon emoticon Cheryl emoticon

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DIANER2014 9/5/2012 11:24PM


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KNYAGENYA 9/5/2012 10:24PM

    Congrats! Good job.

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MEADSBAY 9/5/2012 10:22PM

It's a lot easier for me to stay in my range (1500-1800) when I abstain from my beloved wine.

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August Eval + September Goals

Saturday, September 01, 2012

My Great Big August Goal was to lose 10.5 pounds -- to finally get down to 130. Did I do it? [Drumroll..... oh the suspense!]


I started the month off with a bang, largely because I had eaten quite badly toward the end of July on our vacation. So I was very motivated for the first part of August. And then... my motivation trickled away again. Picture my motivation as a quite large dog on a leash, running away from me and me pulling on it to bring it back to obedience. Eventually I got Fido back under control. Good dog. Sit. Stay.

I lost 3 pounds. Mini-hurrah!

So for September, I AM GOING TO LOSE THE REMAINING 7. DAMMIT [she adds to convey the very real sincerity of her conviction].

September goals:

* Lose 7 pounds
* Train for 5 mile run
* Stay under my calorie max
* Meditate every day
* Stay AF

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VIMVIGOR 9/4/2012 12:49AM

  I echo DEBBIEDAY!!!

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RG_DFW 9/2/2012 7:50PM

    Good attitude... sometimes life happens and it just doesn't happen in the short term, but I can promise you that if you'll stay true to 1) calories 2) cardio and 3) strength training, you'll hit the goal you set. Stay with it!!

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DEBBIEDAY 9/2/2012 1:55PM

    emoticon Great goals!! You CAN do this... emoticon

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CLWALDRO 9/1/2012 9:56PM

    you have a good plan now it is time to make the rubber hit the road so to speak and get movin`
One step forward every day= progress with will = success emoticon

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KALANTHA 9/1/2012 10:39AM

    How fast you lose it doesn't matter. Just keep going in the right direction. You CAN do this!


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Meditation Retreat: The Whole Story

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The meditation retreat yesterday -- Iím still fired up about it and can't wait to try it again on my own. I'll tell you everything we did and what I learned.

First off, we had a great guide. He is Buddhist and has been meditating and studying meditation for 30-40 years, here in the U.S. and in Thailand... or did he say Taiwan? Anyway, one of those places where people are really into it :) So while we were meditating, he was gently telling us what to visualize, how to focus on our breathing, just helpful, soothing advice.

I so appreciated hearing that it's normal when your thoughts drift off -- just gently bring back focus to your breathing. Don't force the breathing -- just observe it. Don't worry about doing it right or wrong -- just do it.

The first meditation we did was focusing on breathing. I've tried this before and definitely noticed in the past more of a forced, uncomfortable breathing. Yesterday, somehow, it was so different. Just easy and natural. Every once in a while he'd have us take a deeper, cleansing breath, and then return to normal breathing. If we found it helpful, he said we could count -- breathe in (one), breathe out (one), breathe in (two), breathe out (two), and so on. If you find it easier, just keep counting one. I like that! It's more of a mantra than counting :) Now that I think of it, one is more than a number too -- one with the universe. We are all one. Spectacular!

When we finished the first meditation, I asked how long we had been doing that, because you really lose all notion of time, and normally I manage to meditate for about 5 minutes before I'm ready to quit. We had been at it 28 minutes!!! It never felt too long. There were a few times when I thought he went quiet for a while, but that was probably intentional and a good thing, to give us a chance to try on our own without his guidance.

Some in our group had a lot of aches and pains while sitting there. They tried different positions throughout the day, and some had better luck than others at finding what worked for them. I was lucky -- no aches and pains. I had a cushy, large pillow on the bottom, and then a circular, thick meditation pillow made from buckwheat hulls (
) on top of my cushy pillow. So my butt was up on the meditation pillow, and my ankles had the cushy pillow to rest on. He said you want to have good posture, but not so erect that your muscles are straining. I found that I would start to slouch as time went on, but I'd sit back up again and try to hold myself there. I'm definitely ordering one of those meditation pillows. I've had more aches & pains meditating at home, but with the combination of my own cushy, large pillow and the Four Gates pillow, I felt great!

One cool thing that happened to me during one of the meditations was a sense of the complete absence of my body. I was focused on my breathing and I noticed that I had no sensation of anyplace on my body. Not one ache or itch. Nothing was calling for attention. I felt lucky to be having an easier time, physically, than my companions.

Another meditation we did was qigong. He described it as like tai chi, but simpler. I really enjoyed the slow, soothing movements, and could see the meditation benefits once you get used to doing the movements. It's very relaxing. Check it out:

We also did a walking meditation. This was harder for me. You're supposed to focus on your footsteps, walking pretty slowly. But I found it hard to step slowly enough to focus on each step without losing my balance! Instead of thinking "lift-step-place," I ended up thinking "step...step...step..." to make it simpler. Still, it was hard for me to tune out the world and just focus on stepping.

We did two meditations with more of a theme. One was loving kindness, and the other on forgiveness. I found both of these to be very powerful, positive, and healing.

With his direction, again very gentle and nonjudgmental, he guided us to think of someone who is very easy for us to love, someone for whom we have only positive thoughts. And then in your thoughts you tell them "May you be well. May you be healthy. May you be happy. May you be successful." (This whole part of thinking about them and picturing them and feeling your love for them and wishing them well goes on a while. It wasn't just "think of a person you love and wish them well" - BAM - done.) Then we repeated that with a "neutral" person -- someone you don't know very well but you have neither positive nor negative feelings toward. Then we repeated it with someone for whom you harbor some resentment. Then we repeated it with ourselves. What a positive thing to meditate on specific people in our lives and wish them well! To take the time and energy to even wish ourselves well. I think that's a great way to start the day, and then head out into the world with loving kindness in our hearts!

Lastly, we meditated on forgiveness. This is the part that moved me to tears. First we were to think of some situation from the past year that upset us. I picked something recent and specific. Other thoughts crossed my mind, but they were just too overly complicated -- I knew I wouldn't be able to get my mind around them in a half hour meditation. With our leader's guidance, walking us through the event that upset us (and it could be an action or words or lack thereof, whatever the thing was that upset you), we pictured the person's face and the whole scenario. Eventually we got to a point where we pictured telling this person that we forgave them, and they apologized for hurting us. Again, this went on a while, and during all this time of thinking about this one isolated incident, I really did feel forgiveness toward this person, and I saw the whole thing from his point of view and knew that he didn't mean any harm. I felt true forgiveness.

The harder part of the forgiveness meditation was thinking of a situation where you did something wrong and needed to ask for forgiveness. I thought of something with my dad -- something I didn't do but now wish that I had. Immediately tears stung my eyes. You can't do or undo anything once someone you love is gone. You just live with the regret. I had already thought through all those hard feelings after my dad passed away, but it was helpful to meditate on it, to visualize myself telling him, "I'm sorry, Dad...." and to picture him saying, "I forgive you." I know he does. But I guess it still upsets me. I guess it is easier to forgive than to be forgiven.

So that's my whole meditation retreat story. I highly recommend trying something like this if you have the opportunity. I'm planning on looking for some guided meditation CDs. I think I need that guidance. On my own, I'm kind of flailing about, but with a helpful voice guiding me, I get it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSON1926 11/17/2012 8:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBBIEDAY 9/6/2012 10:05AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 9/5/2012 10:34PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your retreat in such great detail.
It sounds so wonderful!

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VIMVIGOR 9/4/2012 12:47AM

  Thank you so much. I almost felt that I was there. It sounds like such an uplifting experience. Again thanks for sharing. emoticon Cheryl

Comment edited on: 9/6/2012 1:20:59 AM

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CELIAMINER 9/2/2012 3:12PM

    Sounds like a great experience!

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KARMSTRON 9/2/2012 11:50AM

    It sounds like you had a wonderful retreat. I enjoy meditating in a group sometimes and having a gifted leader is wonderful.

Jack Kornfield has some good guided meditation CD's

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TEENY_BIKINI 9/1/2012 11:37AM


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-LINDA_S 9/1/2012 7:50AM

    Sounds like a great experience. Thanks for reminding me I need to meditate more.

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MEXGAL1 8/31/2012 6:25PM

    sounds wonderful!

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JENNYJENN18 8/31/2012 2:32PM

    Thank you for sharing this amazing experience- sounds great and sounds like it helped to keep you focused on HEALING & COMPASSION!

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ROSALIEESTHER 8/30/2012 9:34PM

    Thanks for sharing the details. Sounds amazing.

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MELLYBEANS0919 8/30/2012 2:56PM

    The retreat sounds like a very wonderful event for you. I struggle with mediation when I have done it in the past.

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KATOFORNOW 8/30/2012 2:01PM

    sounds just lovely and healing!
first time I tried meditation..yeah, mind making lists of things to do.. but kept coming back to 'center' took me a long time to really get it.

I love the walking meditations using labyrinths..when they were first introduced I thought , oh please! but then walked one and wow.. could not believe how peaceful it was and how calming to my spirit.
reminds me I need to go walk a labyrinth again soon... like maybe next week the start of September..get off on the right foot this fall.

thank you for a lovely blog!


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AMANDAROX 8/30/2012 12:56PM

    I'm sure my mom would love to try something like this. Thanks a lot for the info!

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NANAW12001 8/30/2012 11:08AM

  Thank you so much for this. I know it will help me.

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BOBBYEDEE 8/30/2012 9:49AM

    I appreciate this blog *SO* much! I've struggled with this very thing and you gave me enough insight and suggestion to move forward with a new approach! I thank you for that and wish you the best in this journey :)

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Meditation Retreat

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I've been wanting for years to meditate. I've tried it and read about it, but mostly not done it. When I try, I do short sessions and don't manage to relax and get into it.

Today I went to a whole-day meditation retreat. It was amazing! Our leader guided us through a variety of styles of meditation, from focusing on your breathing to walking meditation and a bunch of cool stuff in between.

The two sessions that I'd say affected me the most were the loving kindness session and meditating on forgiveness. I was actually moved to tears and had real clarity on a couple situations where forgiveness was needed.

I'm proud of myself for opening my heart and mind to this important practice. I remember years ago doing some sort of guided meditation and being totally paranoid the whole time that people were looking at me. But this time, as soon as he got us ready to begin, I was in my own little world with just his voice providing guidance.

I feel like a new person. I *can* meditate! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 9/5/2012 10:25PM

    Sounds heavenly -
I'd love to try that some day.

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VLL723 8/30/2012 2:58PM


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SOXYINMO 8/30/2012 9:23AM

    Sounds amazing!

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VIMVIGOR 8/30/2012 12:01AM

  Please tell us more when you can. This interests my very much, as the first part of your blog describes me to a T. I eagerly await more info. Thanks Cheryl

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SURLYGIRL 8/29/2012 11:16PM

    Wow - I would like to find something like that too. It sounds great. I do a class on Tuesday nights that ends with 5 - 10 minutes of relaxation and meditation and I just LOVE it !

I'm glad you were able to fulfill a dream and attend this retreat - it's a very special gift you've given yourself.

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JODROX 8/29/2012 11:11PM

    Sorry - too tired to go into more detail tonight, but maybe I'll write more about it tomorrow. It was really a great experience! And the odd thing was I didn't get hungry all afternoon and into early evening. We had lunch at the retreat and then meditated all afternoon. I came home and then went running and didn't end up eating anything until 8:00! And even then I wasn't really hungry - I just thought I should have something. 1300 calories today! That's amazingly low for me. Odd!

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KAYE454 8/29/2012 11:06PM

  good blog

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