Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Unlike most of my blogs, I'm not ranting about anything or posting totally off-topic ramblings. This is actually Spark People oriented. Here goes:
I don't do well at recording things daily - I'm just not that kind of person. What I do manage to do most days is stop by every one of my teams' Huddle Wall and give a word of encouragement or just say hi. Frequently, even though I'm doing this mid-day, I'm often the only one, or one of half a dozen, to do this, and I think that's a shame.
For points junkies like me, you get a point for this (up to five), but mainly it's a quick way to check in on Spark buddies without getting into individual comments and blogs which, we all realize, can eat a whole day with no problem.
I admit I don't do a lot with my teams, (although I do have at least one team goal per team), largely because of time constraints, but I don't think stopping in each morning to say hello is too much to ask. You don't even have to be creative - just click one of the preset phrases or steal someone else's greeting. And if you're having a particularly rough time of things, there's an "I need support!" button that will send all your Friends to your blog or page to help prop you up.
For months and months, all I did was spin my wheels and talk a lot about losing weight, but now that I'm down over 35 lbs and halfway to my goal, I'm starting to realize what a valuable asset SP is and trying to make use of more of the options available. I really like the Huddle Wall and think that it is a valuable, and mostly overlooked, resource.
So, team members, stop by your Huddle Walls and say hi! It takes a second, and that can be an inspirational second for you or someone else.
Now, back to rambling and ranting....
Monday, October 15, 2012
Ever notice how tuna is called "tuna fish"? Is that a regional thing? What else is there? Tuna cow? Tuna chicken?
Yesterday I was reading something and the author remarked that he had a collie dog. I had a collie dog until last year, and I've heard that a lot over the years. Other than the "hound dog" that Elvis made famous, are there any other breeds that have to specify that they're dogs? You never hear Doberman dog or Newfoundland dog...why collies? Are there collie other things? Collie cats? Collie fish?
The last small thing is a personal decree: I won't eat anything that has to declare itself as "food", like pasteurized, processed cheese food product. What, if they didn't tell me, I'd think it was pasteurized, processed cheese spackle? Nope. Food should be obvious as food, just as tuna should be obviously a fish and a collie should be obviously a dog.
Climbing back down off my stump now and going to wash dishes. Oh, wait - there is one other thing. Did you ever notice that the Dawn and other brands of dish washing stuff (for manual washing, not dishwasher) don't say "dish washing" on them? They say "hand washing liquid" on them. They aren't over with the hand soap - they're with the dish washing stuff, and we all know that that is their intended purpose, so why do they call themselves "hand washing liquid?" There's something fishy here, and it's not tuna....
Monday, October 08, 2012
I'm just starting to work this through, but it's an idea I think is worth pursuing.
I've been broke recently - like genuine penury, not just a bit low on funds - and it's changed the way I eat. I traded an old 1949 FarmAll tractor for four years' worth of CSA membership, and basically I've been eating what they give me, supplemented with beans (the dry kind that you soak and cook, not the canned, high sodium ones) and brown rice, cooked or dressed with olive oil. Once in a while, I'll buy some cheese, usually feta or parm. I buy an occasional dozen eggs from my Amish neighbors, maybe bum a quart of raw milk off my friends across the way, but little else with any regularity. I decided a long time ago that if I wanted bread, I'd make it rather than spend $4/loaf (and I still had money then - just refused to pay the price, and wanted to cut down on the bread anyway.) I have almost 200 acres of half-wild farmland, and I've done some of the Euell Gibbons stuff, too - it's surprising, the things that are yummy and growing wild (no, no mushrooms. Broke, not suicidal.)
As a result, given my preference for easy, hot meals, I've made a lot of large pots of soups and stews, and a lot of trays of roasted vegetables to eat hot or cold. What I've noticed is that, with fewer choices, I've become less concerned about what and when I eat. I don't have "tempting treats" around, so I'm not constantly fighting the urge to snack. If I'm genuinely hungry, whenever that occurs, I can grab a tomato and a handful of carrots, or heat up some soup. I've eaten a baked sweet potato for breakfast, and many times eaten the same vegetable stew for brunch and dinner.
It sounds really boring, and maybe it is, but it's healthy as the dickens (all organic, all fresh, all grown within walking distance of home) and I find that spending less time fretting over figuring and counting and planning food is helping me not only lose weight but find time for other things that I enjoy doing.
It's been really interesting, discovering all the things I thought I couldn't live without that are barely making a blip on my radar of missing things. Mayonnaise and butter are two of the food things. Directv made a big mistake, I think, in shutting off my service, because I found I really don't miss it all that much.
I bought apples today, because the weird spring weather caused me to lose my entire cherry and apple crops - me, along with many other farmers in my region. But last year, every day for breakfast I'd go out and pick an apple or two to enjoy with a bit of cheddar and my black coffee ( I started drinking it black again when I ran out of cream one day and discovered I didn't care.)
Maybe this sort of careless monotony only works for certain kinds of people (like those of us who live alone) but for me, it's been very instructive. I not only shed a few pounds painlessly, but I've gotten to see how much of what I think of as "necessary", really isn't. Eating only when I'm hungry, sleeping only when I'm tired (radical concepts!), and not worrying about either one of those things at other times has been both educational and freeing. I've spent most of the summer farming (for the CSA) and now am doing a lot of wood for the winter, and frankly I haven't worried much about exercising. Even if I wanted to, most days I'm too beat at the end of the day for anything more than a quick dog walk.
I've always lived pretty close to the ground - cooked from scratch, had big gardens, enjoyed the outdoors and relatively hard physical labor - but this summer has taken it to a whole new level of basic-ness.
I'm not really recommending Spartan existence, just suggesting that maybe all this emphasis on planning and programs and counting isn't such a good idea for all of us. Maybe we'd do better without obsessing over every sit-up and calorie (and if you can count all those things without becoming obsessive, then God bless you - I couldn't) and just live our lives as they unfold.
As I said in the very beginning, this is something that I'm just starting to play around with in my mind, not a strong opinion or platform. But what if it's true that what you think about expands...doesn't that suggest that the more we fuss about food and fat, the more fuss and fat we get? Just stuff to think about...
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
I'm below 200# for the first time in ...well, quite a while, certainly. And I believe that, for myself, the secret is that I'm a cheapskate.
I just absolutely refuse to pay $4 for a loaf of bread. I swore that if I were that desperate for bread, I could just make myself a loaf. And a few times I've done that (no fair buying the frozen kind - we're talking yeast, flour, kneading, rising, the whole deal.)
However, since my cheapskateness (and if that's not a word, well, it should be) is rivaled only by my laziness, bread doesn't get made all that often and therefore, my carb consumption is way down. I pretty much eat what the CSA gives me to eat, throwing in some beans here and a package of tuna there. A few eggs if I have them. Yogurt smoothies for breakfast. My diet is very heavy on the vegetables, and very light on the other stuff. You'd also be surprised at how the urge to snack goes away when the only way to snack on something is to cook a vegetable (or eat another one raw - and I do sometimes.)
Oh, and I also quit buying butter and mayonnaise. I don't care if I want it - if it's not in the house, I'm safe from it. I'd *much* rather put mayo on my tuna-in-a-tomato lunch, but since I don't have any, I'm forced to use balsamic and a sprinkle of herbs. I like butter on my bread, but since I rarely have bread, the missing butter isn't so bad.
I may just be getting the hang of this thing. I'm tired of whining about feeling fat - I want to whine about how all my clothing is too big!
Have a great day, guys.
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