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OBSIDIANFIRE's Recent Blog Entries

Real-Life portion sizes

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I made spaghetti for my family tonight. When I read the package of noodles to find out the calories per serving, it gave the portion in DRY ounces. That is not helpful. I am cooking for a family, not just myself. So I use the whole package. How much is 2 dry oz once it is cooked??
I measured out 2 dry oz. I looked at that and thought, no way. That's not enough to feed a mouse, let alone a grown-up. I measured out one more ounce. I cooked it separate from the rest of the noodles, and weighed it once again when cooked & drained. 3 dry oz of spaghetti noodles translated into 8.5 oz cooked, approx 1 & 1/4 cups. I dumped it onto my plate and was shocked to see just "how much" that was.
It was more than plenty. I would have been plenty full on just 2 oz. Especially after adding a cup of spinach and my spaghetti sauce to my plate.
It was a good lesson to learn.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBONARRIGO 1/11/2012 10:09PM

    Very cool that you did this! You've inspired me to "see" what 2 oz. actually looks like- thanks!

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Lessons (yet to be) learned

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When I first lost weight, a big part of what I did was exercise. At first, it seemed as tho I could eat anything I wanted - after all, I was burning it off at a pretty good clip. Then, things stalled out. Somewhere deep down, I knew that I had to get control of how much I eat - not just what I eat.
I actually do eat a very healthy diet. I love vegetables and fruits, and various grains, and have never been a big meat fan - especially fatty meat.
Fast forward a couple years, I am no longer, for whatever reason, able to just eat with abandon and expect my weight to stay stable.
When the first injury-related downtime got me, in Sept '10, I still had some activity I could do, and I made a big point of minding my calories. Because I knew deep down that was the one thing I had not yet fully dealt with. My eating. How much I eat. Why I eat what I eat. My eating habits. My sweet tooth (and fat tooth, and carb tooth). During the downtime of that injury, another one (worse) cropped up. I dealt with that too. I kept moving, much as I could. I kept a tight rein on my diet. I had a vacation/business trip with my husband coming up in March and I would be meeting people he worked with (including his bosses) and I wanted to make a good impression. I slogged on. I felt so stressed by the pressure of "an appearance".......I promised myself when we returned home I'd eat anything I wanted, as much as I wanted.......it lasted for 2 1/2 months before I reined myself in. I pulled myself together and started working towards my weight loss and fitness goals with more focus.
Then I got injured again. This time with a stress fracture in my foot. It took the doctor 6 weeks from the initial visit to diagnose this. I spent another 8 weeks in a walking cast. I kept myself as active as such limitations permit. I started keeping a food journal again. I managed to keep my weight stable. I finally get back on my feet and feeling like I am making progress, and then this latest injury crops up.
The recurring theme that plays itself out in my head is that I MUST get control of my eating if I want to maintain a healthy weight for the rest of my life. I cannot rely on my body (exercise) to help, because frankly it is putting in a rather poor showing these days. Since one way or another I have been able to "put off" dealing with my eating issues - and still maintain a reasonable weight - I have not had to really confront this head on. Every time I take unplanned down time, I think to myself, I must deal with this. I have to. If I don't, I will end up exactly where I am most afraid to go. I have to get a handle on this.
But, eating is not always so cut and dried. Eating is such a part of who we are and our cultures and our emotions. Eating is.......well........"ok".....as opposed to venting anger or frustration out loud. Eating is preferable to dealing with uncomfortable emotions of any sort - even the good kind such as love and acceptance. Just the act of eating itself can provoke such guilt and anxiety; is this "healthy", is this "bad"? More to the point - am "I" good or bad because of what I chose to eat? Why should food determine if I am a good or bad person? Why should I feel my only option in dealing with feelings is to eat?
Just once I'd like to sit down to a meal of my choosing - whatever it is - and not feel one ounce of guilt or remorse. Just enjoy the meal for what it is (nourishment for my body, and enjoyment for my taste buds), and not drive myself into a tizzy over the choices I made (was the steak lean enough? grass fed? were the vegetables organic? was there any butter on them? how much bread did I eat? how many calories in that brownie for dessert?).
I'd like to try many different ethnic cuisines. But that would mean a whole lot of eating - tasting at the very least. I'd have to learn how to cook them, which would mean more groceries, more experiments in the kitchen.... and much as I'd love to, I'm afraid to.
Then there are the "fitness/health" magazines. On one page, it is eat this! it's good for you! and the next page, how to lose the ten pounds you just gained from eating this food we told you to eat. I have learned to skim the articles and pick out the key points and toss the rest. And to try not to let them make me feel guilty for not being perfect.
I have to take charge of my emotions, no matter what they are or who they apply to or why. I have to recognize food for what it truly is, and what it is truly meant to be, and what it is not. I have to accept that other people are not going to see it that way. I have to learn that portion control does not mean a lack of. It doesn't mean I'll starve, it doesn't mean there won't ever be another. Above all I must learn that food will not solve my problems; indeed, it only adds to them. Food is not your friend.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBSPOERL 1/10/2012 11:52PM

    I have noticed that lately about health/fitness magazines!! It never dawned on me until I was serious about being fit & healthy (both exercise & food) just how contradictory their information can be. Like you I usually just skim through & if there's anything new I haven't learned yet that I can use, I make note of it. Otherwise it is good to get inspiration & ideas from some things they put in their 'zines too. :)

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Toughing it out

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finally went back to work Sunday, "light-duty". By the time I left, I could hardly turn my neck, it was burning so bad. I have no idea what actually happened, but the long and short of it is I pulled/strained/tore my trapezius muscle. Doc gave me a prescription anti-inflammatory and sent me to my massage therapist. Between her and the drugs, I felt really good last night and got some sleep. But the gremlin is back again this morning. Argh!!!!
However, I figured I could hit the gym today for some walking, at the very least. BUT....now my 5-yr old is sick. 'Tis the season.....so we will be house-bound, again.

Now, After my drs visit yesterday I was feeling rather sorry for myself. When I stopped to pick up the Rx, I also picked up a package of my favorite cookies. And I was talking to myself the entire time - you dont really want this (yes I do yes I do) you're just having a pity party (so what?) fine you bought them now what? (eat them eat them) I ate a good lunch first, limited myself to 3 (there's ONLY 12 in the package). Well you bought 'em you best eat them....... ouch.

Today, I vow to do better. Even tho I'm stuck at home. Even tho I ate the last 3 cookies for breakfast (and for the record, I didn't eat them all myself, some got shared). I will eat a decent (light) breakfast shortly, I will eat a vegetable-laden lunch, and I will eat something reasonable for dinner.
Every moment is a chance to make a fresh start. You don't get "do-overs" but you do get the opportunity to turn things around. Take advantage of it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIHIKES 1/10/2012 12:51PM

    I still occasionally indulge in sweet treats when times are stressful. I know that's emotional eating that doesn't help anything. But one positive change I made is to a good bakery (usually on my break from work because that's where my stress is) and order one item (cookie, mini cupcake) and eat it there. That way the whole package isn't there to tempt me!

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The worst advice I ever got

Friday, January 06, 2012

When I got really serious about my weight loss journey, one thing that kept me on track was a food journal. I still keep one. I'd been a gym regular for about a year and I had lost the weight but was mostly doing cardio, with only a little strength training. Given my lifestyle I am not a wimp by any means, but all the same.... I decided to hook up with the resident personal trainer for some sessions on weight lifting, so that I could learn proper technique. I also showed her my food journal. She said to me, you need to eat more. Oh boy. You don't ever ever ever ever say that to a former-fat-girl. Never never never. Somewhere in the back of my brain something went "plink!" and it hasn't shut up yet. In hindsight, what I needed was MORE REST. I had an 18-mo old baby. I had a physically demanding job & lifestyle. I worked out 90 minutes a day in the gym or outside running. I needed a nap during the day, along with the baby! What I got instead, was 5 lbs I didn't need. That 5 pounds has since tripled. Nothing I have done has gotten it down or gone. I have starved, I have eaten, I have done meal-replacements. I have worked out until an ultra-marathoner would have nothing on me. I have gained and lost the same 5 lbs (of the 18 I ultimately ended up gaining) about 3 times now.
Now my baby is older, but nothing else has really changed. I still have the same job, the same lifestyle, the same drive to push myself as far as I can.
My best advice, to myself and anybody else who reads this: Balance your meals. All of them. Even your snacks. Ignore people who tell you to eat more. And above all else: GET REST.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OBSIDIANFIRE 1/7/2012 12:00AM

    In this society it seems as tho "rest" is a 4-letter word...(altho it is, technically, you know what I mean). KLEE201, I am glad for your comments! Being tired is also my biggest trigger. I lose the ability to make good decisions or maybe more to the point, to follow thru on them. Thanks for the feedback!!

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KLEE201 1/6/2012 3:12PM

    I completely agree. It doesn't take much to trigger those of us who have food issues. I also completely agree about getting rest. I've discovered that being TIRED is my BIGGEST trigger--more so than being sad or angry or bored. It's like my body gives me a signal that it needs more energy, and instead of giving in to my need to sleep or rest, I eat. Thanks for the blog--its nice to hear other people experience what I'm going through!

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You can't eat well enough to not need rest

Thursday, January 05, 2012

3 years ago I started working with a nutritionist. That was one of the things she told me. That is something I was doing at that time - eating to stay awake when what I really needed was a nap. Yesterday (Jan 4th) I was exhausted. I have not been getting very much sleep for one reason or another, and what sleep I've been getting is not restful. I started out the afternoon planning to make homemade chicken noodle soup. But, I should have started the broth much earlier in the day....I forgot....by the time I remembered, well.....it would have been rather late by the time dinner was on the table. And like I said, I was exhausted. My youngest was begging for "mommy time" and I very rarely get the chance to sit down and watch a movie with him, so I did......I was hoping to just fall asleep on the couch for 30 minutes while he snuggled with me but that did not happen. I finally stood up and said, I can't do this anymore, give me your order from Subway, and I went and picked up sandwiches. Something I rarely do.
Anyways back to my title........as I stood up preparing to either finish the soup or set it aside, all I could think was "I want some brownies"......but I was too tired to dig out the ingredients to make them. And finally mindful enough to realize that I was only looking for an energy fix.
But what I found interesting this morning when I logged in the rest of my food tracking for yesterday, I found that even tho I ate an entire 12" Subway sandwich (an Italian one at that), I FINALLY managed to reach my protein requirements for the day, and I did not exceed my carbohydrate or even my fat percentages. That tells me something about the way I am eating earlier in the day. Hmmmmm.......

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1_AMAZING_WOMAN 1/18/2012 7:37PM

    I absolutely agree. If we don't get enough sleep we can do everything else right, and still not succeed because the shortage of sleep will foil all our plans, or our hormones which effect successful weight loss.


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