Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Like so many others, I've been watching the Olympics a bit in the last week. I haven't been obsessive about it -- Winter games aren't really my thing -- but I've watched a few hours.
When introducing a competitor, the TV often puts in a little training montage, and they talk about the work and sacrifice that came before this Olympic moment. But then, it's all ski jumps and flips and spins on the ice.
The thing is, hundreds of hours of hard, thankless work goes into every minute of Olympic glory we see on the screen. Those people (most of them just kids) work HARD - day and night.
And those are just the ones that actually make it to the pinacle. For each of the people we see on TV, there are hundreds or thousands who dreamed that Olympic dream but just didn't cut it for some reason.
For any moment of glory, there's so much more that goes into. You have to pay your dues. You have to put in the time and the effort. It takes more than just wanting the gold. You have to LIVE for the dream.
So, why does anyone think that they deserve a quick fix when it comes to something worthwhile like losing weight? Anything that's worth doing is worth working for. That includes a healthy body.
It's going to take time - but if you've got the dream, the drive and the determination, then it's well worth the effort.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
When Jon and I were dating, we saw a lot of movies. We'd go to a multi-plex and stay there all day watching different movies.
The Saturday that we watched Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful" we both walked out of the theater crying. We held each other for a few minutes and then almost simultaneously said "Ice cream."
We are both emotional eaters. For me, strong emotions demand chocolate. For him, stress demands Taco Bell (just like Mom used to make). For both of us, ice cream eases sadness.
But there are better, healthier ways to deal with emotions.
Last night, I was doing the taxes and we came up almost $3000 short. I don't HAVE $3000 to pay the taxes. I was stressing, reviewing bills and savings and getting really, really worried.
I snapped at my kids. I kicked the cat off my lap. I wanted ice cream. I NEEDED something to calm me down and help me deal with the situation. I wandered into the kitchen and opened the freezer. Of course, I've planned ahead, and there IS no ice cream in my freezer.
I started to wonder if food was really the answer.
I opened the cabinet and saw the whole wheat bread, the crackers, the rice, but no chocolate, no tempting nuts.
The idea that I wasn't really hungry started to seep into my consciousness.
I wandered over to the pantry filled with the kids snacks - but I don't LIKE the snacks that the boys eat, so there was nothing in the pantry to ease my stress.
I realized I was actually quite full from dinner and food wasn't the answer.
So, I picked up my Rock Band guitar and worked out my frustrations that way.
I don't have to eat to deal with my emotions. Emotional eating doesn't solve the problems, and it only leads to guilt later - which leads to more emotional eating. Letting that kind of thing get out of control is one of the things that led to this problem in the first place.
After I had relaxed, I looked at the numbers again and realized that I had a decimal point error in my numbers. We don't owe anything on our taxes. I would have stuffed my face with "Comforting" ice cream for nothing.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
We were shopping in Costco today. There were a few samples about, as there always are on a Sunday. I walked morosely past them saying "I can't have that," "Nope, can't have that," "Uh-uh, can't have that either."
I found myself walking up and down the aisles concentrating on all the things I CAN'T have on my Slimgenics plan. I can't have the ravioli, I can't have Marie Calendar's Chicken Pot Pies. I can't even get the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches.
I was moping in the middle of the frozen food section when I took stock for a second and mentally slapped myself. (Would have been a lot funnier to actually slap myself in a crowded store, but I missed that opportunity.)
What was all that moping about? Who is it that's holding a gun to my head saying "You CAN eat this. You CAN'T eat that!"
No one. That's who.
So, I've got a food list. It says what is and isn't on the Slimgenics plan. But *I* chose to join Slimgenics. *I* make the choice every day to stick with it.
No one controls my food but me, and I have made a choice not to eat certain things.
It's not "Can't."
I *WON'T* eat the ravioli because I don't need it.
I *WON'T* eat the Marie Calendar's Chicken Pot Pie because it's not worth the insane number of calories in it.
I *WON'T* eat the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches - because if I'm going to indulge in an ice cream, it's going to be really, really good ice cream.
I *WON'T* give up on myself for something silly like samples in Costco.
I CAN eat food that is healthy and wholesome and is on my list.
I CAN stay active, use my Wii Fit and practice my karate.
I CAN lose the remaining 61 lbs needed to meet my goal.
It's not about what I can and can't eat. It's about what I choose to eat or not in service of my ultimate goal
Friday, February 19, 2010
How many times do I hear that?
As I walked into Slimgenics this morning for my weigh-in, I encountered a woman complaining that she couldn't get in her required 4 servings of veg per day. She was going to try making a chocolate shake with spinach in it to disguise the taste.
Really? Ruin perfectly good spinach by putting it in a blender with chocolate? Is she serious?
I didn't like vegetables when I was a kid. They were mushy and salty and nasty-looking.
I DID love the things my dad grew in his garden - radishes, peppers, onion carrots, lettuce, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes - Oh, the tomatoes! We'd pick things as they ripen, wash them off with the hose and eat them right there in the yard. He canned salsa and pickles and spaghetti sauce. We'd saute some squash and onions and serve them with burgers instead of fries. My mouth waters just thinking about them.
Those ARE Vegetables?
Oh, yeah. I guess they are.
Here's the thing, not every person is going to like every food. That's a given. People have individual tastes - and that's a GOOD thing. I don't like celery. Never have. Never will. I can taste even the tiniest bit of celery salt in a dish and it puts off the flavor of the whole thing for me. My brother in law will not eat bell peppers. Period. But that's not the same as the blanket statement "I don't like vegetables."
I think if you don't like vegetables, you haven't been eating the RIGHT vegetables prepared the right way.
I never liked eggplant - until I made ratatouille - now I love it. I never liked mushrooms, until I realized white button mushrooms aren't the only variety in the market.
Here are some tips I like to share with people who say they don't like vegetables:
1) Try getting some veggies from the farmers market. They'll have some of the freshest, best quality produce you can find. If you start with a better base, you'll get a better result.
2) Try grilling or roasting things you normally eat steamed, boiled or raw. Coat them with just a *bit* of olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and cook them until tender. The heat really brings out the sweetness of things like zucchini, onions, tomatoes and cauliflower. You can also dry-roast cauliflower with just a little salt and it comes out almost like popcorn.
3) Try some things raw that you have only eaten cooked. I didn't know until I was in college that spinach could be eaten raw. Seriously. I thought it came packaged, frozen and stringy.
4) Use different toppings. There is more to preparing vegetables than covering them in ranch dressing or cheese sauce. A little Mrs. Dash in various flavors can add an extra kick. Fresh lemon and lime juice are always nice. Or try a little homemade vinaigrette dressing like this one:
Sweet Rice Wine Vinaigrette
2 TB sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/4 C water
1/3 C Rice wine vinegar
2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
Stir the sugar in the water until dissolved. Heat for 30 sec- 1 min in the microwave if necessary to speed the process. Mix sugar water with the remaining ingredients and wisk together well. Pour over vegetables.
5) If you feel you MUST disguise the veggies, try mixing them in things where they go well (NOT chocolate!) For instance, I puree roasted veggies and put them in my homemade spaghetti sauce. I often cook pasta dishes with half cauliflower or cut squash in the pasta. To make a baked penne, I cook up half the amount of penne pasta I need, cut some zucchini and yellow squash into penne-shaped pieces, and mix them together with the sauce. My kids think it's the best pasta they've ever had - and they get an extra serving of veggies on every plate of it. Make carrot cake with real grated carrots. Bump up the nutrition in your salad by trading out the iceberg lettuce for red leaf or even romaine lettuce.
6) If you still don't like them, try and try again. It might take a few times before you get it right, or before your taste buds adapt to having real veggies prepared in real ways.
You CAN like vegetables. If my 15-year-old son can learn to ask for seconds on broccoli, you can learn too.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
My 15-year-old son was stuck on his Japanese homework last night.
He had to describe his family members. He came out to me looking all dejected. "I can't do it without insulting you, Mom."
He was required to include certain parts of the description, including height, hair and eye color, and whether the person was thin, fat, or average sized. It was part of their vocabulary. Oh, and blood type too. Apparently, the Japanese are very into blood types.
Anyway, the sentence he would have to include in his description of me would literally translate as "My mom is overweight" or "My mom is too much fat." He didn't want to say that because you're not supposed to call other people fat.
The more I think about it, the sillier it seems. I mean, the stupid little voice on the Wii plays "Dum-dum-dum *that's obese*" every time I get on it. I don't take it as insulting. A little discouraging, perhaps, but not insulting.
So, should my son be afraid to speak the truth? I don't think so. I told him to go back into his room and do his assignment the right way. His mom IS overweight, and writing that in a description of me is no more insulting than saying I have blonde hair or blue eyes.
And yet, I still wouldn't want a stranger to say I'm fat - or overweight. I don't think most people would. I guess it's because being overweight is generally considered a flaw. I wouldn't want someone to talk about a pimple, or a bad haircut, either.
You just don't talk about someone else's weight, complexion or personal grooming - not to their face OR to other people. It's rude. Except when it's family. Then, sometimes, you have to be completely honest. You don't have to be mean about it, but when you love someone, sometimes you have to say something. My son doesn't like his acne, but he and I have to talk about it. People who care about him make suggestions that are sometimes very helpful.
So, here I am, trying to teach my children between polite omission, tactful honesty and brutal honesty - and when to use them.
In the meantime
I am to much with fat.
But I'm getting better!
I told him he has to write a new description of me in 6 months. We'll see what he has to say then!
(And apparently, copying and pasting Japanese characters doesn't work well in these blogs. Oh well.)
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