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Put it off until Tomorrow

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I have been reading a book called "The End Of Overeating" by David Kessler. He discusses the propensity of overweight people to eat large amounts of food that have a combination of fat, carb and salt. He is trying to figure out why some people need to eat the glorious trio to excess.

Now, I lost my weight a long time ago, and have kept it off for many years. I still love those same foods that so many people insist on eating to excess. But I have a different approach. I don't think it's because I like it any less (I LOVE it!) or that I have any more "willpower" than other people. I just put it off until tomorrow.

Ever notice how easy it is to put off starting a plan, or cleaning the closet, or starting your taxes, until tomorrow? I do that for food. Just because I can't have 6 oz of steak or two potatoes, doesn't mean I can't have the same meal tomorrow if I want. I get to eat THREE times a day! That's TWENTY-ONE times a week! I don't have to eat it all in one sitting.

Now, it's true that in the Weight Watchers I attended all those years ago, we were taught to take any craved food and make it in a legal way. That took a lot of creativity (and no one has ever said that overweight people aren't creative--we certainly are!), but it has paid off over the years. I now crave oven fried potatoes. I don't remember what regular fries taste like. I love lowfat milk: I can no longer tolerate the feel of high fat coating my mouth. I prefer my homemade ice milk to ice cream. It took time but it DID happen. I LOVE my own cooking better than any restaurant now.

Mental gymnastics? Maybe, but it works. One of the advantages of being the cook in the house is that I get to decide what we will have for dinner, so we have what I want. I measure out my allowed portion and clean my plate. I can have it tomorrow and the day after that again if I want.

It takes the pressure off the moment to know that I can eat my favorite meals any day I choose.

Some things are better put off until tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 2/19/2012 10:09PM

    "The End Of Overeating" by David Kessler - yes I listened to the audio book and still have it. It was shocking to hear about corporate America and the food industry.

Do you need an ice cream maker to make homemade ice milk?

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FISHINGLADY66 2/19/2012 8:12PM

    Great Blog Nell. I love your strategy. Thanks for the motivation.

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BANKER-CHUCK 2/19/2012 2:30PM

    Great Blog. I use many of your tactics but do fall off plan. Sometimes for several months. Food is very addictive and it does not take much to fall off the wagon. When I am home I am good at preparing my own food. But when I am away from home it really becomes very difficult.
It is all a matter of training and playing the substitution game with food. I like your oven-fries idea.
I am happy for you being able to stick with your weight-loss/maintaining plan. It is a lifelong plan.

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TAMPATINK67 2/19/2012 12:55PM

    Nell - you rock!

First, I have the carb, fat, salt monster living inside me too. Sweets have never been my thing, but the combination of the evil triad was my addiction. I didn't want the baked potato - unless it had butter and sour cream. Did I want plain bread - nope, but add garlic butter and I couldn't stop. And I never met a French fry or potato chip I didn't love

What a freeing idea: I'm saying no for today, because I want to achieve my health goals... But I can always say yes tomorrow IF I want...

Talk about declaring independence! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/19/2012 12:56:04 PM

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BRENMICH 2/19/2012 12:35PM

    Very good blog. We cook most of the time at home. We don't eat out very often so leftovers we do have from time to time or I just make enough for that meal. I really liked the message about putting off tomorrow. So very true. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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MEADSBAY 2/19/2012 11:23AM

    I read that book a few months ago- I don't binge or eat anything in excess- but he sure made it easy to understand the obesity epidemic, didn't he? The cards are stacked against us.
Like you, I cook 99% of the time and cook MY way-the healthy way.

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JILLSMYTH 2/19/2012 9:29AM

  Great thought!

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CHUM48 2/19/2012 9:14AM

    Awesome Thank you for your insight! It's great to know that on this road we travel together others have gone before and succeed and are now encouraging the rest of us up the hill. Thanks again!

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Children, parents, meals and discipline

Saturday, February 04, 2012

There is a wonderful article today in the Wall Street Journal's Review section about "Why French Parents are Superior". We can all debate that, of course, but one of the points that struck me is that children are taught from birth the concept of delayed gratification. The example they gave was food and meals. Here in America people graze all day long. Hungry? Bored? Eat something. In France you eat 3 times a day, and children have a snack at about 4 or 4:30. Period. Nothing in between. My husband's first wife was French, and my step son, whom I have known since he was a teen, never ate between meals. He would be bouncing on his feet moaning "hurry up" while I was making dinner, but it never occurred to him to snack. He is pushing 50 now and has two kids of his own, and he has raised them the same way. Just that one aspect of "delayed gratification" has worked its way into all his life. We all have heard about French women not being fat and have examined their food for the "secret", but no one ever mentioned that the culture doesn't involve snacking. I love the story I read about Euro-Disney when it first opened. Disney had designed their food vendors the same way we see them here, but in France, the vendors were empty between meals and overwhelmed at meal times. They actually had to "educate" people to eat like Americans when at the park just so there would be the capacity to feed them.

I was raised not to snack, but I let that "after school snack" get WAY out of hand, and got fat. When I got to Weight Watchers in 1970, snacks weren't part of the meal plan; maybe you broke lunch into two parts an hour or so apart, but the emphasis was in getting to the next meal without snacking. It's the old "delayed gratification" thing.

To this day I do not snack. There is no "snack food" in my house. I have three planned meals each day, and I make sure to eat enough at each one (according to my plan) to get me through to the next. That's how I raised my own kids, although it was primarily because I couldn't afford to give them food outside of meals. I had no idea I was teaching them to accept delayed gratification, but I guess I was.

Maybe that's why I have no trouble putting off purchases until (or if) I can afford them. I can wait until everyone gets here on Christmas afternoon to open gifts. I had no idea that waiting until meals to eat would have such a big (although unattributed) affect.

If you can get your hands on the Feb 4 Wall Street Journal (they charge for online or I'd link it), it's very interesting.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VADAVICTORIA 2/11/2012 9:41AM
7473816.html - here's the link!

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DARLENEK04 2/9/2012 6:04PM

  I found this interesting....I hear a lot of arguments both
ways, but for me, I eat 3 meals a day.


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SIMPLY-EVA 2/7/2012 1:51PM

  I wish this is something that I had been taught growing up. I grew up as the youngest child and my sibs were pretty much grown. We spent a lot of time at church and snacks were always available to keep me occupied while mom was busy in meetings. I in turn always turn to food in times of stress or boredom. Its a hard habit to break. These days I chew a lot of gum in hopes that keeping my mouth busy will keep me from putting other things into it. Yup, Ive got a lot to learn and a long way to go but Im finally "getting it".


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    Very intersting perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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    What a new thought, Nell!
I know tht I do better at losing weight when I have "3 squares", but I never knew why!
This is a life-changing thought!

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BANKER-CHUCK 2/4/2012 11:08PM

    After reading numerous articles in Spark and other outside material I don't agree with the French schedule of eating. While trying to lose weight I eat 3 main meals and 2 to 3 smaller ones. As a diabetic, type 2, it is suggested I eat every 3 to 4 hours. Over the last 1.5 years I lost over 60 lbs. However I did fall off the wagon and reintroduced foods back into my diet. Mainly backed good, ice know the bad stuff.

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FISHINGLADY66 2/4/2012 8:17PM

    Great Blog Nell.

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FREELADY 2/4/2012 7:16PM

    Wow, great blog. So fascinating.

Most libraries have a computer with a subscription service where you can read the article. Thanks for pointing it out to us!

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KALISWALKER 2/4/2012 7:15PM

    I enjoyed your blogged. Delayed gratification is also important with personal finances - saving to buy something, rather than running up the credit card.

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CATLADY52 2/4/2012 7:00PM

    That's a very interesting concept. emoticon
More people ought to try the French Way.

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    Snacking always ends up going right into the next meal for me. I totally understand why snacking should not be taught to children.
Thanks for the insight.

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Stress in Retirement

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I know, it sounds impossible. When I first stopped working I was terrified: What would I do with my time? What would get me out of bed in the morning? What would shape my life, give me purpose? Well, like most retirees, it wasn't long before I wondered when I ever found the time to work. Life was slower, I had control over what I would do most days.

But then, the activities took on a life of their own. Which isn't a bad thing. I LOVE going to 6 or 7 stores a week to buy food because I love to cook and spend a couple of hours every night making food better than any (well, most) restaurant. I was available to help out my kids more than ever before, and be part of my grandchildren's lives.

When my husband had a few strokes, then broke his leg (which still hasn't healed), I was able to take good care of him here at home. Which made a dreadful situation much better.

Now my mother needs my help. She is having trouble managing her affairs so I will be taking over. It's an easy task by itself, but I will essentially be working for her. I want her to be happy, but since retiring I'm kind of used to doing things my way in my time. "Do you REALLY need to shop at that many stores just for food?" Well by now, yes.

All these things that I started doing to "fill up time" all those years ago have become my comfort, express my creativity. The stress comes in having to curtail what others see as frivolous so that I can help Mom.

I can get through about anything if I have the time to cook and eat well. The only practical stress reliever I have is cooking, which seems to be irrelevant to many people in this day of take out and ready made food.

I have maintained my loss for a long time by cooking, and took it to a whole new level after retiring. My mother doesn't like to eat, doesn't understand why I like to eat, and has little patience for interests in which she doesn't share. I'll manage but it is going to be a second very stressful year in a row.

Funny, even in stress, it's all about the food.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TNEWELL26 2/4/2012 11:19AM

    Nell best wishes. I too know the comfort of cooking. When I am cooking my family healthy food it is relaxing and rewarding. Best of luck dealing with the stress.

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JITZUROE 2/3/2012 1:43PM

    You are right about the food factor. It always pops up in our life somewhere, eh? I love that you have used cooking as a method of therapy for life. You clearly show love by cooking and feeding good stuff to great people.
My uncle is the same way as your mother about food- almost aloof. It used to make me mad, but now I can see why he can disappear for hours on a nature walk. Clearly, his mind and mine are in different realms. But as long as your mom feels how much you care for her (by helping to care for her now), I am sure she is happy. You certainly DO have a full plate though; amazing wife to your hubbie,amazing chef, and amazing daughter!!!

Is this where I spill the beans that I was at a research hospital this past week and mapped out Trader Joes BEFORE we started our 100 mile drive to the hospital since I am so spoiled with good food myself!? Ha!!!

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KALISWALKER 2/2/2012 12:55AM

    Wow I can relate to retirement and being so busy now. I retired in October. Yes I am doing things my way in my time too!

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KANOE10 2/1/2012 7:49AM

    Keep cooking Nell and do what you love to do..that makes you happy. You are being such a strong person taking care of your mother..and helping your husband..But be sure to make time for you..even if others don't understand or it does not matter to them.
I love to cook also. It brings me great pleasure to find new dishes! Hope you have a good day..and find time to cook something wonderful.

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67CAMARO_SS 2/1/2012 6:18AM

    Nell, we never know how strong we really are -until we have to be. Or so they say....
It's hard work - just being strong & being there for others. Us chicks are really good at it too. But it does wear one out, doesn't it? Take all the advice into consideration, & fit it in where you're able. I'm pretty sure you're gonna get thru each day somehow, so it may as well be with your smile intact & a sense of pride. That sounds like a good plan anyway - but I know its tough to follow thru on it some days. Keep trying to "remain yourself." It will only help you with all the stuff life is throwing at you.
Keep sparking friend -
June :)

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PJCHILIS 2/1/2012 5:23AM

    I guess before you retire there isn't time for everything to go to hell, but there sure is then. Family, health and everything. I totally understand where you are coming from.

Make time for yourself. Watch your health. Be sure to have your mammograms. I thought I was home free and I wasn't. They have digitals now that catch everything sooner. If you feel depressed, ask for something. I waited too long.

Life is better now. Live life to the fullest. Peg

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FISHINGLADY66 1/31/2012 8:59PM

    I understand and I agree with you Nell. emoticon

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BANKER-CHUCK 1/31/2012 7:48PM

    I retired 6 years ago. and I had many of the same "retirement" fears as you. After 2 years of retirement I bought my street bike, joined 3 different motorcycle organizations. Motorcycles really helped keep me occupied with club functions and long road-trips. My mother has been in good health up until a couple of years ago it has been declining. Mostly age related but she is so far self-sufficient, still drives short distance. She is now 91 years and the age is starting to take its toll and has reduced her abilities to get around as well with walking outside.
My worry is the day she will be unable to be totally self-sufficient and require more care.

I feel for you and know what you are going through. Take care and do as much as you can to enjoy life.

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DARLENEK04 1/31/2012 7:03PM


More than ever, you need to keep that time of shopping,
cooking and eating because it brings you joy.
You have dealt with a lot in the last year, and while I
know your mother is important to you, if you don't care
for your needs/wants, then you will not be able to care
and do for others.

I know it is hard for them to understand that this brings
you so much enjoyment, but your health has to be your
priority, and everything else falls into place.

It will keep you will keep you happier. In
the long run, that will allow you to deal with everything else
in your life.

Is your mother still living at home? her home, I should say??

Blessings and keep us posted....

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TAMPATINK67 1/31/2012 6:37PM

    It is and needs to remain about your health... Sounds like everyone is adjusting to the changes to the best of their abilities!

Cook on Lady Nell!


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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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