Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Tomorrow I'm off to Oregon to visit my son and daughter-in-law, travel a bit on the wonderful Oregon coast and spend some quality big-city-time in Portland. I'm not feeling any stress about staying in my groove. My food choices are just my choices now and what I love to do most when I travel is walk, walk, walk - which I feel balances out any exceptions I might make. I am bringing my pedometer just to see how many steps we rack up.
We went to Oregon last year too when I was just a month into my program. I felt more stressed then about staying in my own alignment, especially since my son is vegan. But it all worked out easily and I expect more of the same this time.
This is my 3rd or 4th trip now since I've changed my eating style and I find I really don't have a 'on vacation' mentality about my eating. In fact, going off my groove would probably be counterproductive and would upset my system and actually detract from my travel enjoyment. It is nice that my food choices and the emotions around them have come into alignment and I don't feel that 'treats', 'rewards' , 'special occasions' or' special times' have to be celebrated with food that doesn't work for me.
And for good measure, I'll just keep on checking in with Spark while I'm away.
Saturday, August 02, 2014
I used the old school Atkins Fat Fast to break a long plateau and reach my first goal, but I have gained a couple pounds right after, lost one and am maintaining there. And yet, I feel okay with it all.
To break the plateau I increased my walking and a few other things and have kept up with that. I feel energized, healthy and at ease and instead of 'scale worrying' I decided maybe it's time to just fully experience my self at this time - comfortable in my own skin.
I'm about to go on a travel to Oregon. For the first time in years, I am completely comfortable with packing. I used to get into a swivet about what clothes to take, what fit and what if I lost my luggage, since it was always hard for me to find PlusSize clothes that fit well. Now I can just pull things from my closet because everything fits. And being a regular Misses medium or large, I feel like I can readily find clothes anywhere from Macy's to Walmart. I am amazed at the lack of stress in this area and doubly amazed at how much stress I used to carry about this.
One funny note. Recently old friends visited who we hadn't seen in almost a year. They immediately commented on my weight loss. Later in the day, they asked me if my health was okay [I've dealt with cancer before]. I told them I was the healthiest I've been in years. Eventually they admitted that they were afraid I had lost the weight because I had been ill and had recovered. I did laugh and assured them. it was just high protein/low carb and exercise. No one else has had that reaction but they are the first people who really saw me as a distinct before and after - most other friends have been with me as I gradually changed.
Life is good.
I love to begin the day with this song. Hope you enjoy it too.
Monday, July 07, 2014
In my last post, i commented on that I only eat what I like. A couple people thought, 'Well, duh, naturally!' But actually, it wasn't 'natural' and it was something I had to learn to do.
In the past I internalized and carried a lot of rules and judges about eating. 'Don't waste. If you put it on your plate you must eat it'. I ate because there was some left-over in the serving bowl or pot. I ate the 'not to waste' - off my husband's plate, the last slice of anything and so on. I sometimes ate things that were just there in the fridge, even though I wasn't really hungry or wanted them.
I also learned that what I ate was somehow important to other people. I learned I could hurt them by saying' No Thank You'. I ate food that people brought to my house, and listened to 'its only a little carbs, only a bit of sugar.' To be polite, I ate food at people's homes that weren't best for me. I even ate the portions other people served me. I'd go to a restaurant and not find anything that worked for me, but didn't suggest we go somewhere else.
All these things were food that I didn't really like and in that, I eventually saw that every time I ate that way I was NOT satisfied and then ate something else I did like later. But of course, that was extra food.
And eventually, I realized all these old rules were outdated, from another time and place and have absolutely no place in my life now.
I remember the first time in a restaurant I made a new choice - just for me. I was served an entree that came in a goopy, cornstarch sauce. I tried to pick out the meat and veggies, but it just wasn't working. I thought I'd eat something else when I got home. But then I just said,' I cannot eat this way.' I ordered another entree and had them take away the one that didn't work. I pushed through my guilt about the money, my guilt about 'offending' the restaurant and then enjoyed my meal. My husband was totally supportive and said, 'Never, ever eat what doesn't work for you.'
Now when I turn down food from other people, I say I am 'carb-sensitive' and people seem to get that or at the least, they accept my 'no thank you.' And even if they were to be offended, that's really their problem not mine. My food choices are mine along.
I like that.
Friday, July 04, 2014
I decided to celebrate Independence Day by thinking about the steps I take to keep myself 'independent' from my old choices and patterns.
I'm still in 'Beginning Spark Year Two' mode, looking at my ongoing plan with a fresh eye, so I decided to write this post to remind myself of how I intend to Keep On Keeping On. I mentioned some of these things in an earlier post, but here they are again. Maybe some of my approaches will resonate with you.
I added a mile to my morning river walk of 2 miles, which I walk with my husband each day. He doesn't do the extra loop and it turns out, that I like walking at a faster pace and being in my own head. Sometimes I make up little 'affirmation' songs, other times I focus on the mountains, trees and river and sometimes I think about the day ahead. By the way, we often get a quick breakfast at McDonalds before our walk and I love that I can get bacon or sausage or egg on a platter for very little moola.
I always drink a lot of water, but I didn't count those recommended 8 glasses, so I decided to see if the magic count of 8 glasses do make a difference. I fill a pitcher each day instead of count. Can't tell yet it it's actually a plus, but it's certainly not a minus.
During my old-school Atkins Fat Fast, I read a bit more about fats and Atkins and have been more conscious about eating enough fat. I found 2 recipes at CarbSmart - creamed spinach and creamed mushrooms using cream cheese or Boursin cheese that I have moved into my 'favorites' category.
I add a tsp or so of Coconut Oil to the cream in my coffee. I like to heat and froth the cream [I actually use 1/2 and 1/2 because it froths better] and I then add the Coconut Oil. I find it seems to give me a little 'boost of energy and seems to even out how my body takes in the caffeine.
I am now doing my afternoon 'crunches' and exercises four times a week. I simply didn't do them every day and then realized when I took that onus off, I am 'ready' for them. Also, my massage therapist said it was actually better giving my muscles time off with the in-between days.
Basically I don't eat any carbs at home - all baked goods, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc. I do eat a 'loaded' baked potato in a restaurant a couple times a month. I find the fat from the sour cream, butter and cheese anchor the carb response. I also eat small tastes of good bread in a restaurant, using lots of butter as the anchor. Occasionally while traveling, I may even eat a small bit of pasta or as in Florida, grits. I have just found it easier to do it this way. I have no problem making carbs for my husband either. I usually make a batch of noodles, rice, etc and then freeze portions for him. He picks out his own breads, muffins, etc in the grocery store.
I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I satisfy the one I have with whipped cream. Sometimes on sugar-free jello or sugar-free pudding made with 1/2 and 1/2. I've enjoyed some strawberries this summer too. A friend gave me a small whipped cream dispenser that uses little cartridges. I love it, as I found the grocery store whipped creams too sweet for me. I just add 4oz of heavy whipping cream and that's it.
I always make sure I have 'grab-ables' in the fridge - mozzarella balls in oil, olives in oil. good salami, pepperoni, cheese etc. Along with cut up celery, sliced cukes, zucchini and radishes. As you can tell, my taste is on the 'salt & savory' spectrum.
And as I wrote in another post, using zucchini spirals as a pasta replacement is my favorite 'trick'. Somehow these noodle replacements just satisfy my 'sense' of pasta. I never liked the alternative pastas - corn, rice, soy, etc. Also it turns out, that 'cream sauces' actually have less carbs than typical tomato sauce. I often use the cream sauce as a base and add tomato to it. Today I am going to try a chilled salad using the zucchini spirals. I love my not very expensive Veggetti spiraler!
Most of all, I really LIKE all the food I do eat, the foods on my plan, in my approach. I simply don't eat things that don't please me. I find don't feel deprived of the foods I chose not to eat, as I am so satisfied with the foods I do eat. I recently said to a friend at breakfast, as I ordered eggs with my usual with 'no toast, no potatoes' [I get grilled onions or tomato], that I may never have toast again. She was appalled and I said, 'Well, I will have some bread but really good bread, like a baguette, not just plain diner-style white bread toast.' In any event, eating only what I like works well for me.
I'm working toward losing 8 more pounds, but feel emotionally very 'light' about it. Happy to get there but happy as I am. Year Two just finds me in a very different place then Year One at my highest weight.
Disconnecting from some things about food - food as comfort, food to quell anger, food as reward - has been so freeing. My food is now independent of these emotions in a very different way. In fact, actually feeling those feelings is freeing and I find I move through them more quickly and look for solutions and examine why do I feel that way.
Hooray from Independence from old habits, old patterns! Independece from doing something to feel good for a moment which always ended making me feel bad for a long time! I vote for the freedom to be this me! And I'm celebrating!
Free to Be Me collage
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Inspired by a quote from PixieLicious. I have taken to singing little supportive songs to myself when I do my 'bonus' walk without my husband. lol - but really, whatever works.
Right now there IS a song in my heart, but this little image is a good reminder for those days that it seems not so.
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