Sunday, January 13, 2013
I remember when I knew I needed to lose weight, had tried everything. I wanted to wake up one day when it would be easy. I thought that if I just heard the magic words to understand the secret, or had sufficient knowledge it would be easy. It never was. I had to do it first.
But how do I do that? We none of us need a list of what to eat and what not to eat. We can recite those lists in our sleep. But we all have to figure out how to do what we know we are supposed to do. For me that meant learning discipline.
And how to do that? Remember the Karate Kid? Wax on Wax off? Brush up and down, brush sideways? Daniel thought is was stupid, exhausting, and was sure Mr. Miyagi was taking advantage of him to get out of doing his own work. But he kept at it and something amazing happened. While he was doing all those senseless, stupid, meaningless activities, without his knowledge he was developing reflexes that served to help him achieve his goal. He didn't go right out into the fighting arena, he practiced by doing things that, to him, made no sense.
I do not snack. I do not eat seconds of anything. I started with those silly goals because I needed habits that would eventually get me where I wanted to go without having to think about each and every thing I ate or didn't eat every day. My life is very different now and I eat a wider variety of foods now (who ever heard of jicima or tomatillos in 1970?). The habits formed of a seemingly senseless discipline have carried me through all these years. That discipline was hard for awhile, it seemed longer than it probably was, but over time it got easier.
Does not snacking have anything to do with weight loss? Actually, no. But when I see athletes running up and down the stadium stairs (what does that actually have to do with playing football?) I understand. Do they like it? I sincerely doubt it, but they do it because it helps them do what they really do want to do: play football.
I don't look for motivation. I rely on the habits I took the time and, let's face it, guts, to develop. When I wanted to lose weight more than I wanted it to be easy, I got there and have stayed there.
Let's hear it for Mr. Miyagi!
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Ever notice how those of us with weight issues always think of "indulgence" in terms of food? My intuitively normal sister doesn't. For her, indulgence is sleeping in, or having an hour to read a book. For some it's enough hot water to take a long hot shower. Or a massage. For me, it's food.
But it doesn't have to be foods I shouldn't eat. I will always think of food as reward and comfort, as pleasure and indulgence, but I have altered the concept of "indulgence" to mean a special version of foods I can have, formerly known in WW as "legal". Sometimes I'll use a fat exchange as a small piece of bacon with my egg. Or take the time to simmer that wonderful tomato sauce. Or, indulgence of indulgences, 3 oz of filet mignon instead of ground beef.
Jean Nidetch used to talk about how much thought and creativity went into being fat, how she had to select the lounge chair closest to the pool to shorten the distance between dropping the wrap and being in the water. How carefully she had to select her hat and necklace to draw eyes to her face and away from her body. That same creativity can go into selecting food.
They say that a simple change in attitude changes everything. Simple? HAH! But we change our attitudes about a lot of things, like in-laws and technology, even home decoration. And we can do it about food. I will always think of food first, but indulgence doesn't have to mean whipped cream. It can mean lobster tail or lamb chops. I can feel totally indulged and still be "legal".
Monday, December 24, 2012
I am not quite sure of the exact date, it was really a long time ago, but it was about Christmastime 1970. My goal has dropped since then; as I've gotten older I can't carry the same amount of weight. I weigh about 10 pounds less now than my original 21 year old goal. I sure can't eat as much as I did back then. If I ate today what I ate to lose when I was 21, I'd GAIN weight. I remember gaining 10 pounds over menopause, but that was about accepting a radical change in how my body worked, and once I accepted the new limitations (arrgghh!) that weight came off.
Is it easy? Well, it's easy-ER, but not always easy. A goal doesn't need to be easy in order to be achieved. I remember the events of the last 42 years vividly, but not so much the food that accompanied them. There's a lesson in that. I eat to my Plan and enjoy the events. That's how I have a life worth remembering.
Some people tell me that I must be very strong to be able to stay at goal weight, but it isn't true. People with physical limitations learn to live with them because they have no choice and it's obvious. I have food limitations and I DO have a choice, but I accept them and live within them. It's not always easy, but limitations are limitations even when they are invisible to others.
And today I will be prepping the big dinner here tomorrow. I am now Grandma. The big dinners we had every year at my mother's are now here. Most of the older generation is gone, just Mom now, but lots of new family members in the newest generation. I get to feed them, which gives me the opportunity to cook mounds of food. They are all of normal weight, so they'll eat and drink moderately (how did I manage to have moderate kids???) and they take all the rest home. I'll be left with a safe, warm house with lots of happy memories in the very air. Memories are calorie free and I feast on them.
Have a glorious Christmas everyone!!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
It's that time of year. I only make 3 sweets for Christmas, the favorites of decades in my family. I can pass up the pecan snowballs and have just a small piece of Chip N Cherry cake. But oh the sugar cookies! My kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews require them at Christmas, and it's my happy job to deliver. I use the same cookie cutters that my mother used when I was little, and I just ice them but don't decorate them which really would take hours and hours. My kids call them "crack", addicting, and they are. And I always eat them. Every year. I'll send them home to 5 grateful households after Christmas, leaving this grateful household without them.
And it's just once a year. I suppose that is part of why they taste so good. I won't eat commercial sugar cookies; they just aren't nearly as good as mine, and I never let myself eat other people's cookies just in case I like them too much. My family is very good at looking forward to a special food and only eating it then. It's something I trained them to do, then as I've gotten older, their comfortable joy in anticipation of a rare treat comes back to me. I taught my kids, now I learn those same lessons all over again from them. Which is a good thing since at my age weight comes on faster and comes off slower. My grandmother warned me about this phenomenon and I wish she were still here so I could chuckle with her about it.
Time to make the icing, and fight to keep the cats off the cookies. Unfortunately, they like it, too.
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