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Look Long

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One of the things I learned riding my motorcycle is to make sure to always look long. If you stare at the pothole thinking it will make it easier to avoid it, you WILL hit it. You and your bike will always head toward where your eyes are pointed. If you want to go left around the corner, lead with your eyes. If you are always aware, your peripheral vision will sharpen and you will be able to see and avoid road hazards.

It's the same for me with my goals. If I concentrate on the cookies, I'll surely eat them. I am always aware of potential hazards with my peripheral "vision", and I am able to aim toward the goal.

Stay always aware and keep looking long!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BANKER-CHUCK 1/19/2012 5:23PM

    You hit the nail on the head!! During my dirt bike racing days we used to call those holes and rock "magnetic". You look at it and you will hit it!
Last May I went off tracking and my scale and profile show the results by regaining a third of the weight I have lost.
Like you said, "...keep looking long."

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BRATS4 12/31/2011 1:20PM

    great way to look at it.thanks

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WVAWACKADOO 12/29/2011 11:08PM

    Good example & of course there are bumps along the road & we can get there immediately. We can stay on the straight & narrow or we can take some side will just take us longer to get there Thanks for sharing...

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DARLENEK04 12/28/2011 6:44PM



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ZUCCHINIQUEEN 12/28/2011 3:18PM

    Makes a lot of sense, Nell!

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DEMETERSCO 12/28/2011 9:34AM

    Well put - I know I tend to focus too hard on what's in my face rather than seeing the whole picture. I think you're very brave to ride a motorcycle!

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BITTYGIRL51 12/27/2011 11:48PM

    Good advice!

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FISHINGLADY66 12/27/2011 10:03PM

    emoticon Thanks for the Tip.

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GINNAR 12/27/2011 9:16PM

    Thanks for some great tips. We all need these as we navigate our way out of the holiday mode!

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67CAMARO_SS 12/27/2011 5:26PM

    Awesome analogy!
Keep looking long!!
June :)

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MEADSBAY 12/27/2011 5:03PM

    Wise words, indeed, my friend!

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I LOVE TO EAT!! Is that so bad?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Today I am frantically preparing a feast for 17 people, and all the food will be fabulous! And I intend to enjoy every bite!! Of course, it won't be as many bites as it might have been at one time, and it won't include as many foods as it did at one time. There are many dieters who limit themselves to very few foods.

They keep telling me "Eat to live, don't live to eat". Well I live to eat! I spend a couple of hours every day to make a great dinner that will be consumed in 15 minutes, but they are a very important 15 minutes. A simply glorious 15 minutes! I don't care if I have to start dinner at noon, using a recipe that calls for 30 ingredients. If that's what it takes to make my 15 minutes the center of my day, then I will do it.

I don't need to eat great quantities of food to enjoy it. Ever see wine tasters take one sip, move it around in their mouths, then spit it out? Well I certainly don't spit out my food, but I do notice that they learned what they needed to know of the wine from just one taste. I savor my weighed and measured tastes of food I have lovingly prepared, from Chicken Pot Pie to "fried" bread (all Weight Watchers recipes from years gone by) and I can eat them and love them, and look forward to the next meal.

I can love a small plate of food just as much as a big one. It's the love! It's the taste! It isn't quantity that makes food one of the great joys of life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OOLALA53 12/29/2011 7:28PM

    Savoring food has been a mainstay of my ability to be satisfied with less. And I still love food! Many thin people love food. They just hate to be really full. I don't like it now, either. emoticon

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JITZUROE 12/29/2011 6:53PM

I love the wine tasting comparison. So true!
I wish I could say the same about my own holiday eating experience. I certainly fell off the wagon. But I am here, and I reading inspiring works of art like yours to keep ME looking ahead.

: ))))

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BRATS4 12/26/2011 4:27PM

    good deal

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MISSG180 12/25/2011 10:20AM

    I agree with you 100%. The notion that food should only be some kind of fuel we insert into ourselves negates the joy that comes with cooking, sharing, and appreciating good food. I don't think that's healthy.

Enjoy your feasts - in moderation!

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MEADSBAY 12/24/2011 10:50PM

    I, too, am amazed to have learned how such a small amount of food can keep me happy!

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FISHINGLADY66 12/24/2011 10:17PM

    It took time to learn to enjoy your food. You took control of your life and your living healthier because of it. I am almost there too. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. (((Hugs)))

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    Enjoy your food! As you said...quality not quantity.

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SHALOM19 12/24/2011 5:55PM

    quality, not quantity works. I'll remember that.

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Overly Optimistic Thinking

Friday, December 23, 2011

I have been reading a couple of books about people's tendency to be overly optimistic about their abilities to do something, and about the world in general. No one ever thinks the house will burn, or the hurricane will hit THEIR home, and tend to underinsure. People always assume they will pay all bills on time, never overdraw their accounts, never lose their jobs, so never read the fine print in their documents. Then when something DOES happen it's someone else's fault for not explaining consequences carefully enough.

Alas, things DO happen. I always plan for the possible negatives. I give myself "cookie insurance" during the holidays: I keep them away from me, then give them all away. I eat very carefully and during this season I write EVERYTHING down. This is all in anticipation of the possibility that I may not live up to my own expectations without a LOT of careful planning.

Many people consider it "negative thinking" to even consider a less than perfect outcome, but I am old enough to know that I can "positive think" myself into a corner. I am aware of my weaknesses, and know all too well that I can put myself in an uncomfortable position where inner strength won't be enough. I know that sometimes I can't rely on "motivation" any more than I can rely on the weather or the guy driving the other car.

So I always carry insurance. I carry it on my life, my cars, my home, and my eating.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 12/23/2011 7:07PM

    Dang! You are (unfortunately) so right!
I am a 'head in the sand' type person.
thnx for the reminder.

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    Very good blog!

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SLENDERELLA61 12/23/2011 4:23PM

    Great blog!! I love the insurance analogy with eating. Positive thinking is a good thing -- up to a point. Sometimes a dose of realism is needed. Thanks for pointing that out. -Marsha

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BRATS4 12/23/2011 2:07PM

    love it

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ZUCCHINIQUEEN 12/23/2011 1:47PM

    I not only "liked" that blog; I "loved" that blog!

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DRKYASHI 12/23/2011 11:48AM

    'Precautions' are always good things to have in mind. emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 12/23/2011 11:05AM

    Great Blog Nell.Thanks for the thoughts.

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Dealing with temptation

Monday, December 12, 2011

I just finished a great book by Stuart Vyse called "Going Broke". It is an economic and sociological discussion about why we spend, but also discusses why we succumb to any temptation. He talks about what we want in the immediate future vs what we want long term: the car now vs comfortable retirement, the drink now vs sobriety, or the food now vs long term weight loss. He says that surveys about why we do what we do don't work because you are talking to people when they aren't immediately confronted by temptation. Some people either inherently have or have developed not so much self control, but a desire for a long term goal that exceeds the pull of immediate temptation. There are some who want to ban credit cards or fast food outlets so that they are never confronted with temptation, and there are people who create temptation free zones: they don't have credit cards, they never keep snack foods in the house. Americans value total freedom of choice, but in the end are confounded by it, and allow themselves to partake simply because it's there.

I, for one, tend to allow myself to think that I am giving up so much for one long term goal that I should be able to postpone the realities of achieving another long term goal. It isn't so much self-control (I still don't know what that actually IS) but I have developed mantras and methods to keep my eyes focused on my long term goals, trying not to confuse one goal with another. I mean one order of french fries won't impact my savings, but it WILL impact another goal. Over the years and decades, they are ALL important to me. I just need to make sure they are important at that one brief moment of choice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4DOGNIGHT 12/25/2011 12:58PM

    Very interesting. THank you for sharing.

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OOLALA53 12/25/2011 12:36PM

    This dovetails with the information I read in a book years ago called New World New Mind by the brain researcher Robert Ornstein. He did not talk particularly about food issues but about the fact that humans evolved in a world in which the immediate dangers were very important to deal with and there was little long-term vision in what we had to do to survive. Thus overall humans tend to be more compelled by the singular and immediate rather than the big picture: the airplane crash that kills 100 people (and statistically very few people compared to how many fly) vs. the 400,000 people (that's like more than 10 crashes a day) who die each year from mostly lifestyle-induced diseases. Some people will be afraid to fly but will eat, drink, or smoke themselves to death 1) because the body does reinforce the use of these sources of pleasure, esp. the manufactured foods of today, and 2) we are not in touch with the long term effect because of genetics, as well as a lack of training. Humans are capable of making conditions that are dangerous and have incredible costs to individuals and to society but we protect them because of this human tendency. A few individuals have a prediliction for foresight and many more could be trained in it. He and his co-author said it is becoming imperative that we teach more about probability and long-term decision making. I read the book in 1991. Much of what they wrote about keeps getting proved but not much happens because of it. It sounds like you have become aware of these elements in your life and are making use of your abilities. Great job!

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RR1_RR1 12/14/2011 1:13PM

    Cutting up the credit card is certainly something I need to do!

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SIMPLY-EVA 12/14/2011 12:18PM

  That sounds like a really good read. I think I know why I spend, its because for years I was on a tight budget, and growing up we were considered poor even though Mom always made sure we were never left without food or decent hand-me-downs. I am currently not a good example for my DD though since I dont have her on any sort of budget and she feels that there is always $ to be spent. On the days that I do "clamp down" she is shocked and wonders why we have to be so poor. I explain that this is not poor, we actually are doing pretty well... anyway, my point is that I should probably read this book and quick!

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BITTYGIRL51 12/12/2011 3:42PM

    Here's where I run into a problem with this thought provoking analogy:

I avoid temptation by not having the trigger foods in the house - good idea, right? So, then if I have a craving and want cake, I will buy only one piece at a restaurant rather than a whole cake, better option, right? But, I'm also trying to satisfy my budget and therefore can't stand to pay the price I have to pay for a piece of cake out versus making a whole cake at home for about the same amount of money!!

The only sensible answer is to not eat cake AT ALL!! emoticon Easier said then done some days.

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FISHINGLADY66 12/12/2011 2:57PM

    Your blog is very thought provoking. I agree with you and the book sounds like a great read. Thanks for the information.

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ZUCCHINIQUEEN 12/12/2011 11:55AM

    Your thought-provoking blog got me thinking! I enjoy reading your thoughts!

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Christmas Cookies??

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I notice that Spark's Recipe of the Day each day so far in December has been cookies. The serving sizes are one or at most two cookies.

ONE OR TWO COOKIES??? What world are they living in??? If I could eat one cookie, I'd never have gained weight. The only time I can eat one is if it's the last one and I brush my teeth immediately afterward, and the only time I'm there for the last cookie is if I've eaten the ones before it and the attitude is "what the heck might as well eat it".

Cookies, even homemade "lower calorie" cookies are finger food: no plate or cutlery necessary, only requires one hand. Very dangerous for me. Christmas is the toughest season for me because of the cookies my family expects. I make them the day before Christmas and send the leftovers home with everyone else. I'll let THEM deal with the sugar. I have decades of experience in not being able to control them, I'm not going to find the "secret" now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/12/2011 10:47AM

    Yeah, this site really isn't set up for helping people cope with food abstinence.

Is it any wonder so few manage to maintain their weight around here?

I ignore the "official" recipes here. I know what works for me, and I stick with it. I don't need the starches and sugars and fats they sometimes push at us in the guise of "healthy" alternatives.

P.S. A friend in my neighborhood has been baking cookies to send in tins as Christmas presents and posting photos on Facebook. A bunch of people asked him to make up tins for them. I did too.

I asked him to put ONE of each of the 12 kinds in the freezer and subscribe me to a "cookie of the month" club. As in, I get one cookie per month for the next year. He said he will even deliver them. LOL

That is the only way I can have just one - if someone else is rationing them and there IS only one! hahaha

Ron was one of my original walking buddies when I was just starting out with losing the weight, and he fights diabetes, so he "gets" it.

The other people on Facebook? No way. They think I'm crazy. I don't care.

Comment edited on: 12/12/2011 11:02:33 AM

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BITTYGIRL51 12/8/2011 4:30PM

    I would have to say that I don't have as big of an issue with cookies as I do with cake (and it's not really finger food) but doesn't matter, because once already sliced cake is "hidden" in the freezer it becomes finger food!! emoticon

Funny how timely your blog is, because I just made buttermilk fudge and thumbprint cookies with lemon curd this morning. I only ate two small cookies, but the fudge - well, almost a whole "row"...

December is a VERY BAD month for me. Lost my dad on Christmas eve 15 years ago. The only way I survive severe depression is to BAKE! It's been a Christmas tradition for my entire life and I have tried to give it up, and just CAN'T! Baking is therapy for me, especially with my 91 yr. old bedfast MIL under my full-time care here in my home this year.

I make up goodie trsys with most of the cookies etc; for gifts etc but there is some collateral damage that goes along with it. I've tried very hard to change it, but in my opinion it's better than taking anti-depressants or relying on other meds to get through the month. I also exercise feverishly to run damage control. Exercise is a great mood elevator, too. It's the best I can do....but I fully agree with what you are saying. Sugar and fat combined????? DUH, = TRIGGER FOOD! emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 12/7/2011 10:35PM

    I guess we all can identify with this blog. lol.

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BRATS4 12/7/2011 5:45PM

    me too.maybe one batch or two,not one or two cookies

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DARLENEK04 12/7/2011 3:03PM

  Nell I am right there with you. If I take the first
darn cookie, I am done for...

I don't bake any more for that reason.


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MEADSBAY 12/7/2011 12:26PM

    Me, too!
Cookies are sooooooooooo dangerous and 'tis the season!

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JEANNE229 12/7/2011 11:10AM

    Yes, I am the exact same! Anything baked (fresh from the oven and warm) is an endangered species in my house. Can't have them in my reach at all.

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CHIEF_GEEK 12/7/2011 11:02AM

    Totally agree with you!!!!

There is no way I can eat only one or two of my wife's cookies, flat out no way. She loves to bake, so there is my problems. Even those cookies going into the freezer does not slow down the eating process that much.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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67CAMARO_SS 12/7/2011 10:50AM

    Funny & true Nell! You sound the like voice for so many of us!!! LOL
June :)

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SIMPLY-EVA 12/7/2011 10:34AM

  I love this! Its so true that cookies are finger food! So portable and they stay fresh for days. I make sure that if Im going to have a cookie its a decent sized one and that it really is my favorite flavor so that the calories are actually worth it. Right now, its oatmeal cranberry walnut which I get at Subway. I dont go there often and if I get a 6 inch sandwich I dont feel so bad about eating the cookie. :)

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