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Gaining More Control By Exerting Less Control

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I put my foot down yesterday. I've been exercising and being more mindful of what I've been eating, but no weight loss yet. After a review of my food journal and nutrition tracker, I noticed several things:

1) I eat until I'm over-full about 50% of my dinners. I don't have this problem during the day, which got me to's because I clean my plate and my dinner plates are huge.

2) Even though I've been cutting down on sugary foods and trying to eat more healthfully, sugary and even healthful foods can pack a wallop when it comes to calories.

As a result, I resolved to serve myself smaller dinner portions, to not clean my plate every night, and to cut out all sweets. Sounded great when I made the resolution in the afternoon.

Nighttime. Dinner is almost done. I notice I'm comfortably full, but there's still delicious food on the plate. I stop eating. I feel uncomfortable thinking about wasting (or is it not eating?) the remaining food. The food is staring at me. I ignore it. It sings to me. I eat every last bite of it. I'm confused. Then it occurs to me that I just set myself up. I required myself to exert self control in a situation where I know I am vulnerable. Instead of beating myself up, I made a new resolution: Eat until comfortably full, then immediately pack up or throw out the remaining food so I am not forced to exhibit self control. Whew! Food: 1, Me: >1.

So now I'm happily watching TV with the hubby when he pulls two cookies out a box of cookies he recently got as a birthday gift. I'm full, mind you, but I covet those cookies. I tell myself I can't have them because I resolved just this afternoon to not eat any more junk food. But I want a cookie! It would taste so good! But would it? Did I really want the cookie or did I just want it because I knew I "couldn't" have it? Hmmm. Let's test this theory. Okay, Ms. Cookie-Craver, eat a bite of the cookie if you want. In fact, have a cookie! Wait. If I eat that cookie, how many minutes of exercise would I have to do to burn it off? Will it really taste THAT good? You know what...I don't really want a cookie after all. I think I'll just make myself a nice, warm cup of tea. Sipping my tea, I decide to modify my junk food resolution: I may or may not have a cookie some other time.

To be continued...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEASIM1231 3/17/2010 3:48PM

    I had a quarter of a cake in 24 hours, because I made it in cooking class...:( Something I do to 'trick' myself is to serve a very little portion, then I am allowed a 2nd or 3rd helping, so then it feels like I am being greedy, when maybe I am eating the normal amount.

Someone else suggested something about planning in advance. When I am good with the calorie counter, I see what I am allowed before I serve myself and only serve within my calorie range...

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SHERRYLHBB 3/16/2010 12:18AM

    Anita and Nicki,

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely give them a try.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NICKEL1331 3/15/2010 12:08AM

    I sooooo understand, that is what I do as well. This is something that you can try for portion control...if you want!

I don't know if you like lean cuisines or healthy choice meals BUT if you do eat them, they have the perfect size dividers. I would not recommend to put then in the microwave again, but you can get an idea for portions


Treat yourself to your very own plate...get a pretty one or a silly one or even go to a pottery place and paint your own. Just get a smaller size than your regular dinner plates!

What ever you not deny yourself will end up sabotaging all your good for you efforts! There is nothing wrong with having a long as you are comfortable with it!


Lots of luck sweetie!

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ANITAWPG 3/14/2010 7:05PM

    Try planning out the day/week - include healthy portion controlled meals and snacks, but do include a treat at some point in the week

you don't want to go into this depriving yourself

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A Little Encouragement Goes A Long Way.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I've been taking exercise classes five days a week for three weeks, but still no weight loss or reduction in measurements. I know it is because I've been more hungry after exercising, so I've been eating more. Well, I recently weighed myself and found out that I'd gained weight! How is that possible? I was so discouraged, but I still went to my pilates class as scheduled.

I find that a cheerleader is much more motivating to me than a drill seargent, so I'm being my own cheerleader. I'm actively trying to give myself pep talks and say, "Good job!" more often. So, I told myself that I was proud of me for going to exercise class and not just throwing up my hands in defeat. I kept telling myself throughout the class, and especially after difficult exercises, that I WAS improving, getting stronger, getting more flexible, that my exercising was not a waste of time because it hasn't resulted in any weight loss. By the end of class I was so exhausted. Even with the self-encouragement, there was this niggling feeling like all the work wasn't really making any difference. I felt so tired.

As I was packing up my mat, the pilates instructor came over and asked me if this was my third class with her (three Thursdays in a row). It was. She told me that she was already seeing progress . . . at one point in the class, as she was walking back to help someone with form, she noticed that I was doing an exercise with perfect form and muscle control. She told me that she was impressed and to keep up the good work. Thank you pilates instructor! I had to be improving if someone could observe it, right? My hard work was starting to pay off. Maybe not the way I had expected, but I'm doing something good for myself and I'm moving in the right direction. I don't know why those few words of encouragement meant so much to me, but they did. I was still exhausted, but I didn't feel as tired.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEASIM1231 3/17/2010 3:45PM

    I am on some team that had a thread where you post any accomplishments. I like it, because it makes you think of the positive things-"I drank enough water today," "I exercised today," "I said no to the 2nd nanimo bar..."

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ANITAWPG 3/13/2010 11:30PM

    it does take time to see results - which is frustrating

you will start to see results in both weight loss & measurements going in.

But it really is exciting when you see other things imporving as well - like with flexibility
At recently as the start of February I couldn't do a hamstring stretch - the kind where you reach behind and grab your ankle while laying down - I have been struggling with that for months now

I finally this week can do the stretch - still can't do it standing but at least layign down I can

So I know from personal experience that you will see improvements

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NICKEL1331 3/13/2010 1:07AM


Good for you! I bet you are proud! That is so cool!

I hope you have an AWESOME WEEKEND!


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Thank you, Body!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dear Body,

I have not treated you very well, especially during the last few years. I now understand that my weight is your best effort to deal with all the extra calories I consumed because I was stressed or sad or anxious, agitated or distracted, or just wanting something that tasted good. I look at you and realize how much I have struggled recently, because a balanced life does not result in such a significant weight gain.

I'm not going to do a perfect job correcting the issues that got you to this state, but I'm understanding more each day and am working to do better every day. In the meantime, I want to apologize for ignoring you for so long. I will do better. And I will remember that taking care of you is taking care of me, because we are me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIZRAINBOW 4/20/2010 2:10PM

  It's a really inspiring message so thank you. It's made me think.

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SHERRYLHBB 3/13/2010 3:21PM

    Thank you, all, for the welcome and the encouraging words. I really appreciate it! And I'm really looking forward to this adventure. emoticon

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NICKEL1331 3/13/2010 1:10AM


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CURVYELVIE 3/12/2010 12:59AM

    Very wise........patience is really our biggest tool on this journey. Good Luck on your journey. emoticon

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JOKNOWS 3/12/2010 12:52AM

    Great attitude -- I wish you well. emoticon

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KEETAK 3/12/2010 12:10AM

    Thank you! Very insightful. WELCOME to Spark!

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SEMUSPARK 3/11/2010 11:16PM

    What a great first blog post! We do need to care for our bodies- great message!

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