Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Over the weekend, our coffee maker died. My husband is a Mr Fix-it, but was unable to make the necessary repairs. Three days of being deprived of his caffeine quotas had him quite edgy by Monday at supper time. I’ve never seen him so eager to go shopping in his life! Last night after supper, we headed out to purchase a new machine. But first, we made a stop at a coffee shop!
Once at the department store we spent quite a bit of time looking at all the models and makes of coffee makers available. There were the economy versions for $19.99 and the deluxe models at $179.00. Some had timers so that you could have the coffee brewing while you slept a few moments longer, some didn’t. Some would brew one cup at time, some 8 cups and some 12. Some were black or white plastic and some were stainless steel. And of course, I mustn’t forget – some used basket style filters and some cone-shaped. You can use throw-away filters or purchase the reusable type.
In the end, we purchased a machine that was 50% off and headed home. My husband is the coffee drinker so it was his job to get the thing set up. He read the manual and figured out how to get the timer working and ran some water through it as the directions indicated. He got the thing set up so that when he stumbled to the kitchen this morning at 6:30 his coffee would be waiting for him.
And sure enough, this morning the coffee was waiting.
After this entire process was completed, it occurred to me that coffee machines and diets are really the same.
Once we decide we want to either lose weight or just live a healthier life-style, we often-times spend some time checking out various ways of reaching the goal. And just like coffeemakers there are many different diet plans to choose from. Some count calories, some count points, some exclude carbs, some specify eating certain types of protein, and so on. Some tell you that you must exercise and some say if you follow their plan you don’t need to exercise. There are some plans out there that cost exorbitant amounts of money to join, some are more economical. To be successful with any of them, you must read and follow their instructions for success.
In the end, whether you’re counting calories or points or using portion control, purchasing special meal plans and vitamins or just making healthy food choices on your own, whether you’ve added exercise and/or weight training, or just counting on the nutrition part of the plan to make the changes, we are all hoping to have the same end results – feeling better about ourselves, inside and out. And just like my husband and his new coffeemaker I know we can get there.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
This afternoon as I trudged from my office to the parking lot where my car was parked, the song made famous by BJ Thomas – Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, came to my mind. And from there, my mind drifted to the boy who was in my daughter’s Grade 9 class, and who loved to sing this song, was next in my thoughts.
The further I walked from the school, however, the lyrics to the song left my head as did my daughter and her classmate. Its really pouring out here, and I began to think about my evening walk, or the possibility of there being no evening walk. “Cancelled due to weather conditions” might prevail this evening.
In my desire to become more active and fit I have refused to pay for a membership to a gym or to a Curves program. I like to say that the reason I don’t have a membership to any of these is because I’m Scottish and too cheap to pay for a membership.
But the reality is probably because any more than a walk or a bike ride is not for me. I have had an abhorrence of physical activity and exercise ever since I was a young child. As a young adult I attempted tennis lessons, but spent more time chasing the ball than actually playing the game. Cross-country skiing was all the rage in the 70s and I tried that a few times, but spent more time sitting on the ground than actually skiing. I was that kid that couldn’t keep up with the rest of the class as they ran around the track in high school, and I was that one that could never perfect the technique of a backwards summersault in Grade 3, let alone a hand stand. And I was the first student in my high school to realize that you only needed one physical education credit to get a high school diploma. To horror of school officials I probably was the one that started the downward trend in PhysEd enrolment.
So here I am, on a rainy evening wondering how I’m going to get that 30 minute walk completed and the 10,000+ steps I’ve committed myself to per day. I might be able to get my exercise in at the community arena that boasts a walking track (which is free of charge to users). But, no, wait, this is Thursday night and that’s the night that our local minor-hockey team usually has a game. No walkers allowed. So I’m praying for something to give – either the rain to let up to an acceptable drizzle, or that the hockey team has a game away from town tonight….
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
For those of you who have asked, here it is - my brown bagged lunch.
Monday, September 27, 2010
I have been a brown-bag lunch girl for a lot of years. You might as well say from about Grade 3 on. Doing some simple math I realize that’s about 46 years. My, how time flies!
Over the years there have been a few work locations where fellow co-workers preferred to eat out or order in and occasionally I have been known to participate in these meals, but overall I much prefer to bring my own food with me. I find packing my lunch early in the morning gives me the incentive and extra push out the door and even during the years when I wasn’t concerned about salt and fat content I still subconsciously knew how to make better choices than found in a lot of restaurant food. Sandwiches, or last night’s leftovers, are packed in eco-friendly reusable containers, fruit is washed, and either placed in equally earth-friendly containers or placed on top of the sandwich container. Water bottles are filled and ready to go.
My co-workers, where I presently work, are of the same mind as myself and there is seldom the rumour circulating at break-time that somebody is ordering out and looking for others to join them.
Another phenomena is what I call our ‘brown bag’ fashion statements. Most of us have acquired some pretty snazzy lunch bags. Whether the bag is a designer product, a classic black colour, knockout red or a pattern such as plaid or hounds-tooth they are all filled with assorted goodies to give us the energy to get through our work day.
During the summer I had debated on whether or not I should purchase a new bag, but decided not to. I figured that my present bag was still in excellent shape and I really didn’t need another one to get through until retirement. But that mentality changed on Friday. Our newest staff member quickly realized that she wanted to join us in our lunchtime fashion statement and purchased a gorgeous bag that could double as a purse. Needless to say I was green with envy. But she came to my rescue. She told me that I shouldn’t worry about how long I’ll need a lunch bag, I can always hand it to my daughter when I’m finished with it. Now that was an idea I could work with! Off to Costco I went – and found the most perfect red bag.
This morning, as I packed my lunch, I realized that choosing my workday food choices is even more appealing now that I am committed to eating healthier. Sandwiches often include lettuce and are made with whole-wheat or whole-grain breads, sliced cucumbers have found a spot in the bag along with two fruits and a chewable calcium supplement. And I mustn’t forget to mention my thermos-style water bottle. And out the door I went – with my new ‘brown bag’!
Friday, September 24, 2010
I’ve designated Thursday morning as my weigh-in day for the week. Been back on track for almost a month now and have been successful at losing at least a pound every week – except for this week.
This week I’ve managed to put back on ½ pound. Doesn’t sound like a big amount, and if the ½ pound was in the opposite direction I probably would have felt that it wasn’t even worth thinking about. But….the pound was in the ‘going up’ mode and it felt more like five pounds of disappointment!
I’ve looked back through my food diary and my walking regime and at first couldn’t find a reason for the scale going in the wrong direction. I know my weekend was a bit off-track, but it certainly wasn’t as sinful as the weekend we attended a wedding. I definitely didn’t spend less time walking and counting steps. If anything, I may have done more. I don’t think I’ve been consuming less calories long enough to have reached a plateau. So what was with this unacceptable weight-gain?
Going back through my food diary, I started paying more attention to the foods I had consumed this past week and compared them with food I had been eating earlier in the month. The only difference I could find was the type of bread I had been eating. I have to admit that I am a white bread ‘junkie’. In my mind I claim that my preference to white bread over whole wheat is an hereditary thing. I can remember as a child my Dad used to say “the whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead”. Then he’d grin and grab another slice of white squishy bread. Growing up, we never had anything but white bread on the table. As my Mom grew older, she started preferring to eat a bran bread, but she was the only one in the house that ate it. So whether its hereditary or just because that’s what I always ate, white bread is the one I reach for when at the grocery store.
Looking at the food diary I could see that all of the bread listed this week is white. The first three weeks’ I was eating more whole-wheat varieties. So now I’m beginning to wonder if the fibre that was missing in my bread is my downfall with this weeks’ lack of lost pounds. I can’t figure out how to add fibre to my daily nutrition reports on this site. There must be a way. I’m going to try to figure that out.
But for now….. Tonight’s grocery night. And here’s a big note to myself – DO NOT REACH FOR THAT LOAF OF WHITE WONDERBREAD!!!!!
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