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SLAYINGDRAGONS's Recent Blog Entries

The Bad Habit Dragons

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sometimes the dragon is much bigger than I am! This morning, I got a better perspective on several of my most difficult and ingrained bad habits. I want to share just a little about these then give a rundown of my activities.

I admit that I am a perfectionist! I won't go into detail right now about how I came to recognize this or who helped me learn how to deal with it. I just want to admit that I think I do this because I fear failure which is rooted in pride. It's not all bad and sometimes people are blessed by my overactive sensitivity. I learn more than I need to, I perfectly set the table and match things for aesthetic appeal, I get riled when others do not do their job or what we agreed they would do (mostly privately), I think "there must be something I am missing or need to do," and so on. I've been working this out and trying to stop myself more often esp. when it comes to researching things to death! I'm not going to completely stop being a perfectionist. I mean, who wants a surgeon who's not?! No, I am not a surgeon. That was just an example. However, I do not want to allow my perfectionism to stress me. And I do not want this perfectionism-rooted-in-pride to affect my well-being any more. I need to give others and myself permission to not be perfect sometimes!

Another thing that I have difficulty controlling is the anger inside of me that gets in the way of seeing things for what they really are. I don't go blind from it, nor do I lash-out at people, but the negative emotional response inside of me gets in the way of my decision-making. I want that to stop! I used to respond to negative emotions by indulging in food, esp. sweets. Thanks to SparkPeople articles, food tracking, and the support I received from my SP teams, I stopped that a few years ago.

A long time ago, I stuffed the emotions down with cookies! More recently, I realized that the habit continues in a different form. To change this, I am (1) naming it for what it is (anger, self-hatred, recognition of injustice, being manipulated, etc.), (2) forgiving myself for overreacting, if I did, and allowing myself to be a normal human being with emotions both negative and positive, (3) confessing to God that I finally see this from His perspective, (4) either deal with it immediately, schedule a time to deal with it, or walk away and leave it behind me, and then, (5) de-stress (breathing exercises, exercise, take a walk, play a game, watch a movie, work on a project, or message a friend).

Last week was very busy and this week looks like it will be even more so. I've begun a project that will take a couple of weeks. I'm pleased to have gotten far enough into it that I can envision its completion. Monday, I begin my training for my next BIG step which involves a lot of study, practice, and memorizing. I am thrilled that the founder and director of the school is going to participate directly in my training once in awhile! I am also grateful that my husband seems to be supportive and willing to participate in proofreading my translations from English into Portuguese, which I will be needing as the training progresses.

8+ years ago, when I joined SP, I did not dream and plan steps-to-goals. I merely hoped to have personal fulfillment in my lifetime. I didn't actually believe that I would find it, although God kept a little spark of hope alive that one day I would actually enjoy my life and maybe see a dream or two come to be. Thanks to SP, I learned how to choose my goals and plan achievable steps, which I continue to work through, to reach my dreams. They've been within reach all these years and I did not know it! SP affects more than weight and exercise goals. It's about total well-being through learning to persistently make healthy choices in every area of your life.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 10/20/2014 7:39PM

    You are a champion! A dragon-slaying champion! no less

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Make that 10 lbs off!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

So last month on my vegan, no oil, no dairy, no nut eating plan, I lost 8 lbs! This month has been slightly different altho I am eating the same. I quit the coffee with no problems - just one afternoon with a headache, but I think it can be attributed to the heat and going downtown that morning. I have been holding the same weight until this morning when I weighed in 2 lbs lighter! I am super-pleased and feel like this is a dream, which it is not - this is real, baby!!!

It still is amazing me that I am not overly hungry! No cravings, no uncontrollable appetite, sometimes feel like I could have eaten a little less. Wow, this makes me happy!!! I still have not begun the strength training, but, however, and it's incredible! the fat that I am losing is abdominal fat and I am not even doing ab exercises!!! This is such a thrill because I have worked so hard for years to try to lose it and it would not budge.

Today we had guests for a waffle breakfast. I did not eat with them because waffles (made of eggs and milk, altho I did use whole wheat flour) are not in my plan. I ate my bowl of oatmeal with cranberries beforehand and had tea with our guests. I then led the meeting and we had a very animated conversation. For lunch, I decided to try a new recipe using the waffle iron because it was out of the cupboard and not cleaned up yet. I made hash browns in my waffle iron! They took a bit longer than I had hoped and were delish! Here's how I did it:

First, I chopped peeled potatoes and onion in blender like Libby Louer mentions on her blog -

Then, I cooked them in my waffle iron for like 45 minutes until they were crispy like Susan Voisin did in her blog -

I was going to smother them with catsup but I liked the flavor so much that I just folded the four sections into one and gobbled down; I didn't even share with my husband! Then I went back to the kitchen and made us both some just-banana ice cream and topped it with a little bit of the fruit compote I made for the guest breakfast this morning. Wonderfully full!

I'm glad last week is behind me and am looking forward to this coming busy week. Hope yours is terrific!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 10/11/2014 7:28PM

    wow, that sounds yummy!
I'm thrilled about your success! You're my inspiration!

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COSMIC_ENERGY 10/11/2014 4:47PM

    emoticon Taters Baby! emoticon

It's so nice when you're not thinking I can't have this or that.

I just think about all the wonderful things I can have.

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Short Blog - October Plans

Saturday, October 04, 2014

This needs to be short and quick because it's lunchtime and I have a lot to do today!

October Plans:

* no coffee (got it!)
* eat a potato for lunch (vegan all-the-way)
* experiment a few more vegan recipes
* start strength training exercises again
* new curtain and flower arrangement for church
* prep next two speaking engagements
* clear all wall hangings from my office in prep for painting
* continue training sessions
* continue research on several subjects
* go through a few more storage containers to sort and save for kids or trash
* go through my clothes to see what should go
* keep up the little gardening (right now I have tomato and collard seedlings besides the flowers)

Vintage Original Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head commercial from the 60s - Can you believe it was with real potatoes?!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 10/7/2014 11:08PM


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You are an inspiration with your devotion and determination!.

I am going off line for a month to see if that will heal the painful bursitis in my hand and shoulder. Also had to give up pulling weeds from the flower beds and garden, but the season is almost over.

Best wishes to you, Elaine

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AJDOVER1 10/4/2014 11:40PM

    I admire how organized and focused you are!
Best wishes for a great October!

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GEORGE815 10/4/2014 11:50AM

    Sounds like an active October planned.

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KBEAR9963 10/4/2014 11:36AM

    So like your month is going to be awesome! Good luck!

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Surprising Success!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I had not recorded my weight since last November. It has gone up and down between a couple of numbers for several years. Not many months ago, it hit 2-0-0 and I freaked! If you have accompanied my blogs for the past 8 years, you know how frustrated I have been. Well, finally, I believe that I have happened upon the answer to what I need to do to lose Ė eat a potato every day!!! Funny, huh?!

I always tried to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. After Baby #2, my doctor told me to get the weight off and use diet sweeteners. My husband told me he didnít like me much with the added weight. I tried so hard to get it off and although I did several times, I could not keep it off, no matter what I tried. With SparkPeople, I counted calories, increased activity, got plenty of support. I refused to starve myself and I worked hard to learn to no longer reward or console myself with food. I learned to plan steps to reach goals. After a while, I learned to look for other measures besides the scale.

I was in the habit of eating low calorie veggies and being very careful with the complex carbs because they are higher in calories. I eliminated many of them from my eating plan and tried to fill up on salad vegetables. For a long time, I concentrated on proteins even when I decided to go vegetarian. But this recent move to vegan eating is where I belong. I am now eating mostly veggies, a few fruits, whole grains, no nuts, no oils, little to no sugar.

AND, when I added a large potato a day (mainly for lunch), I began losing weight. I have lost 6 lbs. since Sept. 1st Ė thatís been 27 days as of today. I am thrilled! I am beginning to dream of myself as slim! I have not allowed myself to imagine that in many, many years. I want you to know that I have done this with no regular exercise. I am gaining energy so the exercise will begin again before long. Count on it!

Itís amazing and I am grateful.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COSMIC_ENERGY 10/4/2014 11:50PM

    I never thought I'd see the day that potatoes would make us healthier! It's all true! I'm back in the 140s instead of 3 or 4 10s higher! And I don't exercise!

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GIRLINBRAZIL 10/2/2014 8:11AM

    Congrats to you, Mrs. Potato! He he! Seriously, congratulations on all the hard work and for never giving up! Lots of love to you and much saudades!

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AJDOVER1 9/28/2014 12:30AM

    What an amazing success story!
I hope this progress continues. You're doing great!
It sounds like you've found exactly what works for you! emoticon
You're my hero emoticon

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The Skinny on My New BFF - Mr. P-o-t-a-t-o!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Over the years, I have had some terrific BFFs! I want to relate the BFF concept to my eating and how I have felt towards certain favorite foods. Most of my life, my eating BFFs have not been good choices. I have spent way too much time with foods that were not healthy. As a child, I was introduced to the concept of goodies and food rewards. My parents worked hard to provide the basics and sweets were saved mostly for special occasions. We kids had to finish the food served to us before allowed to have dessert. Sometimes treats were offered as a sort of bribe for good behavior. Also, in a large birth family of nearly two males to each female, I learned that if I wanted any of the goodies, I had to consume them rapidly or get some extras and hide them for later. Our Halloween treat bags, Christmas stocking goodies, and Easter basket sweets were horded in our rooms like treasures and rarely if ever shared. I donít blame anyone for this effect on me, because at that time these seemed to be common practices in the homes of my friends, too. Thus began my life-long love affair with sweets.

As an adult, eating out and making treats became the way to honor others. I remember Christmastime and Thanksgiving was usually a time of great stress for me. Not only was I caring for our familyís needs and trying to participate in ministry activities, I wanted my children to enjoy every aspect of the traditional North American holidays that I could manage. I also wanted to provide the best possible nutrition for my growing children. So I planned, shopped for, and prepared balanced meals. I did a LOT of cooking. Many aspects of the celebrations thrilled me, but I overdid, overate, and paid for it in poor health! Any challenges I faced that overwhelmed me (there were many), I tried to control my emotions with food. I heard criticism about my poor health and weak constitution from certain colleagues and that hurt deeply. Although I blamed myself back then, I donít blame anyone now, not even myself. I thought I could figure out the problem areas, cut back on my eating, cut out certain foods, use sweeteners (as various people, including medical personnel, suggested), get active (even when I did not feel up to it), and get in shape. These things helped for a while, yet nothing seemed to be a definite long-term solution.

I have always leaned toward vegetarian and whole foods and tried to implement that. However, certain ones in my life told me it was strange, too extreme, and would never work. I tried innumerable diet plans, lost the same weight over and over, but never could keep it off. I read about and concluded that some people are just meant to be overweight. I was tired all of the time. When I joined SparkPeople, I decided I would never again starve myself and I learned to be consistent with my exercise. I found improvement in many areas of my life but the weight still would not stay off.

Let me tell you about my recent personal diet discoveries. About three years ago, I went to a daily three-month clinic for total cleansing, inside and out. What an amazing experience! And there, I ate one vegan meal a day. I reproduced that at home for my other two meals. I was delighted to become more energetic. At that time, I needed to add a few items in order to balance the nutrition. Last year, needing some pain management, I consulted an acupuncturist who helped me further with the nutrition side. Our conversations were so helpful. I never gave up the idea of losing weight, but wondered if it was possible.

In recent months, SparkFriend Cosmic Energy has shared about following the McDougall Program (vegan, no oils). I became more and more interested as she began losing weight again with this plan. I had to find out for myself so have been reading and watching videos, including many on YouTube about vegan eating. I decided that it is time to take the plunge. In one of the videos I watched, the speaker talked about how to satiate your appetite as a vegan. He said that you must include brown rice, pasta, potatoes, or sweet potatoes. I also think that manioc root (cassava) fits this category. So three weeks ago, I included one of those in each noon meal. I found that the only one that fills me enough and keeps me from feeling that voracious late afternoon hunger I have always had, is the potato! So the next shopping trip, I bought 7 large baking potatoes and baked them all at once. After they cooled, I put them in the fridge and have ate one every day.

Last week, I bought ten large potatoes and repeated the prep so Iíd have a little extra if needed. I am amazed and thrilled to report that in these three weeks I have lost 4 lbs. that are staying off. Now I realize that others might think itís a little early to know that the weight-loss is realistic. You need to understand where I have been up till this point in my life! Since joining SparkPeople eight years ago, I have done the weight-loss weight-gain dance many times. Early this year I was so discouraged when I stepped on the scale and saw 200.0! Yes, I have been higher than that, however, I never wanted to see my weight go over that number, ever again! It frightened me and discouraged me like you must believe. I cut back enough on some of the extras I was allowing myself and got back under continuing to imagine what would happen if I did not have the control I do in regard to my eating. I tracked my food for a while again and discovered that I had not been eating over my calorie limit. I checked myself to be certain I was weighing and measuring everything. I counted my liquids including water. I wasnít exercising as I was completing my Masters Program. I figured that lack of exercise is probably the reason for the gain so started making plans for getting it done. Yet, I remembered several diet programs by doctors who said that it was better to get the weight off first.

I have not actually lost weight in so long I canít recall when. What was happening was an up and down not going below 194.5 lbs. And here I am at 191! I can hardly wait to see what happens next week!!!

Some things that have changed since I became a vegetarian and now a vegan:

* I donít enjoy participating in eating to honor someone else or myself. I feel a bit like doing that dishonors me and want to find other ways to show my appreciation of someone.
* I have very few bouts of craving and when I do it is usually for something that is good for me.
* When I look in the mirror, my eyes are sparkling!
* Sleep is improving.
* I am learning how to fix tasty vegan meals (a few have been flops, but most are amazing).
* I am thinking more clearly and my energy is increasing.
* Several times a day, I exuberantly thank God that hope to see my dreams fulfilled never left me, for helping me hang onto them all these years, for giving me the wherewithal to turn them into goals with steps I am now taking to reach them!

Here is a link to listen to Chris Voigt, Executive Director of the Washington State Potato Commission talk about my new BFF

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NONIE_C 9/25/2014 9:20PM

    emoticon So happy to see how things are improving for you on so many levels!!!

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AJDOVER1 9/23/2014 5:18PM

    I'm so happy to read you blog! You sound great, strong and confidant! I wish you continued success

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