ROOSTER72   26,757
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I can have it if I want it . . . . and then somehow, I don't want it

Friday, November 09, 2012

This happened twice yesterday.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to not track, and eat more intuitively. No foods are off limits, but you are encouraged to think about whether you really want it.

In the morning I ran out of time, so I did not prepare lunch for the kids & myself. I I found myself happily in the line at the cafeteria with a piece of banana cake on my tray. No food is off limits, right? I have not had something like this all to myself for months. Yum. Then I looked at my watch. 11.30am. With the kids I often eat lunch around this time . . and I thought to myself, do I really want cake? Is that the fuel that my body wants at this time? No. I want lunch. I put the cake back and selected a salad sandwich. And ate the apple I brought. No need for cake.

In the afternoon I was in a shopping centre starting my Christmas shopping with my daughter asleep in the pusher. I started to think about getting a muffin. I can if I want to. Which somehow took all the desire out of it. I'm not hungry. I finish shopping. I go home. Later I am peckish, so I chop some grapes & mix them through some greek yoghurt. Healthy & satisfying.

I'm not saying this is always going to work - but I am really pleased with how these occasions went. In both cases I was not feeling deprived or virtuous in making a better decision. I was thinking about what my body needed.

Woo hoo!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 11/11/2012 4:37AM

    I love this !

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WATERMELLEN 11/9/2012 7:50PM

    Fantastic. I state of mind devoutly to be wished! (I'm in the SLENDERELLA group, unfortunately . . .we both gotta track. )

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SLENDERELLA61 11/9/2012 6:38PM

    Impressive!! You are doing fantastic. I have not been able to do that, although I've been at goal weight almost 4 years now. Maybe someday I will have good sense when it comes to food, but for now I have to track because otherwise I don't know when to stop.

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POSITIVEPAULA8 11/9/2012 6:17PM

    Awesome! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Paula emoticon

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WENDYJM4 11/9/2012 6:11PM

    a light bulb moment. Well done.

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    Feels weird at first, doesn't it? But it really is more sensible. Being able to have something if you want it does kind of take the allure out of it. Plus, if you decide to go ahead and have it, I think you will eat it with more appreciation and enjoy it more.

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/9/2012 4:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 11/9/2012 3:59PM

    Those are real breakthrough moments. Good for you!!

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October Wrap Up (can someone slow this year down?)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Looking back at my goals for October
1. Keep maintaining - YES
2. 1200 fitness minutes - this is a stretch target for me, but I want to aim for it - YES
3. Eat more fruit and vege - YES
4. Plan food in advance at least 6 days per week - Ummm? Had a bit of a change of heart on this one

On the face of it, October looks pretty good. As you know, I stopped tracking my food about half way through the month. I believe it was driving me to emotional eating - rather than stopping it. So far I am happy with my choice to stop tracking.

Goals for November
1. Keep maintaining
2. 1400 fitness minutes (this assumes I am going to get to spin class each week)
3. Keep focusing my meals and snacks around fruit and vege
4. Concentrate on dealing with emotions, without food

Just about every way of eating has a name, and (at least) one person who has written a book on the subject. I suppose I am wanting to not follow someone else's concept, but follow my inner self.

So these are the princlples I am going to follow -

Eating more fruit & vege
- Satisfies, with all the fibre & bulk
- Provides all the micronutrients that make me feel healthier & more energetic
- Ensures the majority of my food is high value (nutrients), low cost (calories) without tracking
- Follows the healthy eating guidelines of the mainstream health professionals

Awareness (someone with a book has probably called this 'Mindfulness')
- sitting down to eat
- being aware when I have eaten enough
- listening to whether my body is hungry or needs fuel - or is reacting to an emotion which would be better addressed another way
- enjoying the occasional treat - since this is part of the pleasure of life.

Two simple things to focus on - sounds simple (I hope)!

Wishing you a great month!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKETOZUMBA 11/9/2012 12:34PM

    Excellent! Congrats on October, and I love your November goals. :) (And seriously, this year is just speeding to an end, I can't believe it's NOVEMBER. I swear we were still in February just yesterday!)

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    I agree with you on your philosophy and implementation plan.

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WENDYJM4 11/9/2012 4:21AM

    great goals and planning. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/8/2012 7:58PM

    Great planning! I've gotta track, but I'm following your experiment with interest!

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Tracking - a new perspective

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

On the weekend I met a young insulin dependent diabetic woman.
She was talking about how she has to mentally calculate the impact of all the food she eats on her blood sugar. All day - every day. She talked about how she would love a cure to be found so she will not have to do this for the rest of her life. . . .and how sometimes she just wants to take a break from keeping tabs on her food.

I realised that she is mentally tracking her food - maybe not calories, protein etc, but certainly sugars and carbs.

I hated tracking, and am really enjoying trying a new way. I can take a break from tracking, and if it doesn't work - I can take it up again.

I am so fortunate!
This other woman does not have that option.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/7/2012 7:33PM

    I'm one of those people who "has" to track . . . because if "I'm" not tracking my body is anyhow!!

Oh well. We all have different stuff to manage . . .

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Not tracking - addressing emotions

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

So - my focus is on trying to eat really healthy foods, revolving around vegetables and fruits - with lean protein and quality carbs . . . and with treats small and few.

When I tracked, I generally did well - since my habits are generally good (as above).
When I went off the rails, I would beat myself up for not sticking to the plan.

I am now exploring the idea that rather than criticise myself, I need to explore what I am really feeling - and address that emotion. Getting cross with myself for reacting to the emotion only serves to bury the original emotion further.

Am I bored, tired, nervous, angry, embarrassed? What can I do about it? Meditation, exercise, talk to someone, plan something fun . . . all positive actions.

Just back from 5 days camping - did a couple of good bike rides, offset by too much chocolate. Oh well, it was fun. Back to the usual healthy routine today

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKETOZUMBA 11/7/2012 10:17AM

    Camping sounds like fun! And with all the activity involved in camping and those bike rides, I'm sure you burned that chocolate right off. :)

As always, I love reading your blogs and having this window into the thoughtful approach you take to weight maintenance and a healthy lifestyle. Keep up the fabulous work!

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    That sounds like a great plan. I also struggle with emotions. Sorchasloane has great suggestions!I have anxiety too. I tend to be sensitive to disharmony around me and people not getting along. The breathing helps me too. Imagining something pleasant and relaxing is a great idea. I found retreatig to quiet places where people are pleasant is helpful. One day I hit the local library, a stationary store and a hospital gift shop. I also really like bookstores. I like the "switiching the channel" idea because one can't always escape physically.

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SLENDERELLA61 11/6/2012 6:52PM

    Sounds like a great plan. I think it will work for you, but I'm sure you'll amend it if it doesn't do the job. I admire your basic good eating habits. That is wonderful! My default is awful. I have to work to eat good!!

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SORCHASLOANE 11/6/2012 5:11PM

    I, too, have found that managing my diet/lifestyle is really about 75% managing my emotions.

For me, my trigger is anxiety/stress. Ever since I started making concerted efforts to just stop every hour for 1 minute and assess how I am feeling (just noting it, not trying to fix it), I've realized how often I get anxious. My challenge is that tension in other people easily transfers onto me, and I need to find better ways to resolve this issue.

The act of chewing and eating, unfortunately, was such a good "numbing" agent for these emotions. For the past 2 weeks, I've been making points to every hour practice deep, slow breathing for about 1 minute while imagining someplace pleasant and relaxing, and it's been really helping me. At first, I was having difficulty trying to "resolve" the anxious feelings with self-chatter, but once I just let it be and just "switched the channel" to the relaxing imagery, everything resolved.

By the end of the day, I'm just plain sick of all of this "emotional management," so I'm still trying to learn some other techniques for the end of day.

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I'm not ungrateful . . . . really.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Hi SparkPeople

I joined your community in May 2011 - that's about 17 months ago.
At that time I thought I knew what a healthy diet was, and a healthy lifestyle was - but I could not lose those few excess kilos. I knew why. I was hopeless. Undisciplined. I tried to be good, but could not sustain it - and ended up succumbing to temptation. See? Weak. Undisciplined.

Then I joined SP - and I realised that I was approaching eating all wrong.
No one can be disciplined all the time. Unless you are a saint - which I never aspired to be.
What I needed to do was understand
1) How much food was appropriate for me
2) How much protein, fat and carbs was a good balance
3) What the caloric cost of some of my foods was (real mayonnaise? who knew? - so not worth it)
4) How 'treats' tended to have more caloric value - and why I was hungry on the days I over treated (lack of fibre & protein in treats!!)

I read my SP articles. I drank my water. I strived for my serves of veges. I participated in the SP community. I followed the program.
And it worked. I lost weight slowly & consistently. It was almost too easy.

When reading other SPers stuff, I admit to being frustrated if they weren't following the program. Going 'low-carb'? Haven't they read the articles about how the body needs carbs, and there are better carbs, and it's all a matter of balance? What are they doing on SP, if they aren't going to follow the advice?
(OK - I was SP through and through!! Hardcore)

So now that I have decided not to track my food, I am feeling a little hypocritical. SP recommends tracking in order to be successful in maintenance. I am still here - but I am not following the program. Somehow I had turned tracking into a cycle of restriction & binge - without paying attention to what my body needs. Huge exercise day yesterday? Might be a hungry day today.

I'm not ungrateful for all that Spark has given me - in fact, I am incredibly grateful.
I feel like a bird in the nest - my mother has painstakingly taken me through all the principles of flight. I have learned, I have paid attention. Now I want to see if I can put it all in to practice. In my own way.

I am tempted to finished with something about being 'the wind beneath my wings' - but that would be too cheesy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Makes sense to me! We need to be in charge of our own lives....we're the ones that are living them! I almost left Spark but now feel that there are enough people that I can interact with that it will be a positive experience for me. I am going to restrict my participation though and not afraid to be my own boss.

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PATTYKLAVER 11/3/2012 8:38AM

    You've learned a lot and come a long way. Good for you!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 11/1/2012 11:59AM

    I think you've got exactly the right approach here. It doesn't come across as ungrateful at all! This is what works for you, and realistically speaking, none of us can track EVERYTHING indefinitely. At some point, I'm going to have to break up with SP too, and move on with my life. I spend so much time tracking everything; I'm really looking forward to the days when I feel comfortable flying solo. I'll have so much more free time! :)

Thank you for setting such a great example of how to create a successful maintenance program.

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A*L*P* 11/1/2012 10:05AM

    Tracking calories ends up being a dirty obsessive thing for me. Being on spark for the community is ok.

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A*L*P* 11/1/2012 10:05AM

    Tracking calories ends up being a dirty obsessive thing for me. Being on spark for the community is ok.

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A*L*P* 11/1/2012 8:18AM

    Tracking calories ends up being a dirty obsessive thing for me. Being on spark for the community is ok.

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PATTYKLAVER 11/1/2012 6:58AM

    You're finding out what works for you. That's great!

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HAKAPES 11/1/2012 4:56AM

    Great blog!

I have also discovered, that my tracking should be different now, in maintenance, vs. when I was targeting to loose weight heavily. Now, it's more about keeping track, and catching discrepancies, problems, looking for patterns.

Still, I see the difference, when I track, or no. When I track, somehow I'm much more on the good track. :-)

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ZENNITH 11/1/2012 4:05AM

    I think I've read on Spark about doing what works for you. I feel the same, kind of like I'm not a 'real' Sparker if I don't track, glad I read this because this me be one of the things that's causing me a few hiccups along the way - thanks

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SKEPCHICK 11/1/2012 2:52AM

  Do what works for you even if that means not following the 'program.' It's a tool, not a religion

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