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Precise: Estimate::Obsessed:Rational

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Precise is to Estimate as Obsessed is to Rational.?! Hmm. Maybe, on maintenance anyway.

When I look at the top rack of my dishwasher I used to be able to tell you what my bathroom scale was doing. If my dishwasher was full of measuring cups, measuring spoons, and the top of my food scale, I was losing weight. I was measuring my portions. I was cooking, almost always healthy foods. On the otherhand, if the top rack of my dishwasher had no measuring implements you could almost guarantee I was not doing well on the big scale, either.

It may be different now, as I am learning maintenance. Estimates may be acceptable, may even be preferable. I am pretty good at it now. I pour a bowl of cereal and think, well, I should measure it, and it turns out to be exactly one cup!! Weighing and measuring everything seems kind of obsessive. Estimating may simply be a more rational approach for the long run. So I may just back off of weighing and measuring so much. Maybe just my teaspoon measure for oil, because it is so calorie dense.

If the bathroom scale goes up, though, the food scale and friends will come back out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 3/11/2010 7:12PM

    I am not much good at estimating so I will stick with the cup and weigh scale, but do have to guess when at a restaurant, but I rarely eat out so shouldn't be a big problem. I plan on staying with tracking mainly because I struggle to get enough carbs and fat, and usually end up too low on them in a day, so have to add something extra.
All the best with maintenance!

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PERSISTANT123 3/10/2010 2:36PM

    You have described the correlation between the top rack in my dishwasher and my success. I am not at maintenance, but I do hope that by the time I get there I would have a pretty good idea what my servings are on things is normally eat.

This is something for me to file away for future reference when it get there.

Thanks for being a role model for those of us still struggling (sometimes) to get there.

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WALKINGANNIE 3/10/2010 2:08PM

    I LOVE your observations Marsha. You should write short stories or novels! (Perhaps you do!)

You blog has helped me a lot today. I have felt that I'm still too obsessive about all of this because I still track very day. My own analogy of using trackers as sensory supports like reading glasses or hearing aids moved me forward a bit. Your blog has now helped me edge a bit further forward as I realise that I have progressed from measuring portions to estimating - except for oil!!

As an all or nothing person - like you I think - I'm trying to move to middle ground so that not doing it all doesn't mean total relapse.

Actually, I think we're so far down the road this time and have such a strong support network that I don't think that we, or any of our mutual friends, will go back to our bad old ways.

Thanks as ever



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AQUAGIRL08 3/10/2010 2:02PM

    Good plan! I know you're going to be successful!

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MONTY68 3/10/2010 1:36PM

    Hi Marsha,
I have been on maintenance over 2 years now. For the most part I do not use the scale or cups. In items that I use or eat quite often, I think I am pretty accurate in using my sight. However, If I am trying something new that I am not familiar with, I will measure it. The one thing that I will not stop is tracking everything I eat.
Like you, I feel once a person reaches maintenance, that we should be experienced at measuring.
What I like is the brilliant way you present a topic but most of all the way that you can motivate others.

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REDFROG25 3/10/2010 1:32PM

    I laughed out loud at the scale/dishwasher comment, Marsha. Good for you for being on maintenance! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/10/2010 1:20PM

    I agree with estimating (and folks call me anal retentive...)
To tell you the truth, I've been estimating all along. If I couldn't find the food in the nutrition tracker, I just used one close - seems to work, particularly with Spark's rule of thumb portion sizes.

Good luck!

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One Down Differently Today

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Yesterday when I wrote "One Down" I was talking about finishing the grant proposal that I'd been stressing about. Today my "One Down" is a good one, too. I'm back down the one pound I was over the weight I'm aiming for. I expected it to take 5 days, but just one day of careful eating and I'm there. This experience helps me build confidence that I CAN maintain a healthy weight! Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Everybody, dance with me!! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Doing the Happy Dance with you Marsha!!

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PO_PAZZA 3/9/2010 2:47PM

    Learning that is worth a very happy gavotte.

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WALKINGANNIE 3/9/2010 1:17PM


Happy Dancing is just the most satisfying calorie burner of all!

> emoticon

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AMANDAJCD 3/9/2010 12:46PM

    Yay, happydance!!!

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AQUAGIRL08 3/9/2010 12:27PM

    emoticon Happy dance! Way to go Marsha!

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/9/2010 12:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONTY68 3/9/2010 11:04AM

    Yes Marsha , I will dance with you. Congratulations. I had no doubt that you would release that pound. You are balanced and focused on what you want in life and I have confidence in you that you will maintain that weight. You are an inspiration to all that read your blogs.


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DONNABRIGHT 3/9/2010 10:19AM

    Good for you!

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 3/9/2010 10:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 3/9/2010 10:03AM

    Celebration Dances are FUN! Enjoy yours, and we'll be with you!

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KALIGIRL 3/9/2010 9:42AM

    I'm DANCING!
emoticon emoticon
You're the emoticon

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PERSISTANT123 3/9/2010 9:41AM

    You are the Dancing Queen. We're dancing together!!!

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One Down; Preparation for Next Time in Order

Monday, March 08, 2010

Well, the grant proposal is in the mail, with all the required forms and signatures. Relief. Natalie is napping and I'm sipping decaf tea. Relax. Relax.

In The Spark, Chris Downie says, "Avoid stupid stress," on page 42. He demonstrates how planning and preparation can help you avoid stress in many situations. He writes about losing car keys and feeling stupid, and ironically, I left my car keys at the bank this morning in the middle of trying to get everything assembled and in the mail. I refused to feel stupid, though -- just waltzed back in and picked them up with a smile! Maybe it helps that the tellers know me and weren't surprised. Or maybe that is too telling.

But now I'm trying to decide if there is anything I can do to prevent getting so stressed out over similar projects. In this particular case, I should have started earlier, especially to get the letters of support. Looking back on it I probably had out of state company when I should have been starting to get things lined up. That's partly a reason and partly an excuse. I didn't jump right on it after they left, either. Well, live and learn. On the positive side, I think it ended up being a strong proposal with a good likelihood of it being funded. Time will tell. (Live and learn... Time will tell.... Some of my favorite comforting, trite expressions.)

I weigh one pound over what I want to weigh according to the scale this morning. Not bad. I'll try to be careful for a couple days. It will be easier now that I am relaxing. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 3/8/2010 9:10PM

    I love to read your Blog

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KALIGIRL 3/8/2010 7:28PM

    What's the other old saying? Best laid plans?
Sounds like everything went well and only time will tell.
You amaze me with all you do - I'm glad you have some time to relax.

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PO_PAZZA 3/8/2010 5:27PM

    I used to have a little sign that said, "Organized people take infinite pains. And give them to others."

I've since determined that my life improves dramatically when I'm organized. It gives me peace and more time for cups of tea. So, congratulations on working to add that peace into your life. And for reminding me to do it, too.


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WALKINGANNIE 3/8/2010 5:22PM

    Congratulations on completing the proposal before the deadline. I'm impressed by your self-analysis - as one who has always functioned best under the stress of 'just in time' submissions!

Congratulations also on your attitiude to the 1lb gain and taking it in your very capable stride.

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Focus Vs. Balance

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My meditation reward last night was truly restoring. It helped me relax, as I aim to have balance in my life. I tend to focus. Focusing rather than achieving balance has gotten me in a lot of difficulties throughout my life. Like either I'm dieting (eating healthy) or not. Either I'm exercising or I'm not. Either I'm almost a constant whirling of productivity or I'm not accomplishing much.

I have had a lot of success as a grant proposal writer, but I find it stressful. I almost always want to quit at least once during the process. Usually the proposals are collaborative and the proposal writer tries to coordinate a lot of different people/agencies/programs in a way that the potential funder will find appealing. Also, the agencies involved need to be able to do the program and deliver the outcomes. Anyway, it is time consuming, challenging, obstacles occur regularly, and there is always a "drop dead" deadline looming. I often struggle to remain true to my cheerful and positive self during the process. Much of me just really wants to be retired now, but that may not be best.

Anyway, my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter usually come for a home cooked meal on Sunday evening. That sounded like it would work. I wanted to totally focus on finishing the grant proposal Sunday morning while I was fresh and get it done in time to cook. The goal is to mail it Monday morning with letters of support I still have to get signed on Monday. Well, my daughter and family had a commitment for Sunday eve and asked if they could come for Sunday lunch. I really did not want them to, because I wanted to focus. Hubby really wanted them to come. So, he offered to do a lot of the lunch and I took him up on it. Meditation allowed me to relax enough to at least act unstressed while they were here. Actually, I really enjoyed the break.

I'm waiting on a call from the new agency director with feedback on the proposal. I can't wait to have the proposal in the mail, but I know that balance rather than focus is better for me. Balance is what I am working toward. Meditation will help me as I strive for balance.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 3/8/2010 9:10PM

    you are doing great

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AMANDAJCD 3/8/2010 8:50AM

    I know just what you mean about balance vs. focus. I know it's a good general reminder, and for me it's a very good specific reminder of what kinds of goals I need to set.

Well said, Marsha :)

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MONTY68 3/7/2010 9:46PM

A wonderful blog. I am glad you started your Meditation yesterday. What a clear writing with your thoughts on balance and focus. Having both makes life work so much smoother. I think it is wonderful to have focus but I think one must have balance first in order to stay focused. Look how well today really went and because you were in balance. You are such a exceptional person and everything you write is benefiting anyone that reads your blogs. Thank you so much.


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JOHAL52 3/7/2010 6:30PM

    Oh Marsha I LOVED this blog! Like you, I tend to focus too as I am a last-minute person. I usually do all the prep work but never actually "do" it until the last minute. I fell apart over this a few years ago when I was at the dissertation stage of my doctorate. Now, looking back, I see that if I had thought more about balance in my life rather than focusing on one thing at a time, I might have completed it.

Anyway, I loved your blog and I loved your description of grant proposal writing, something I often wondered whether I could do.

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PERSISTANT123 3/7/2010 5:32PM

    You are doing so well!

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KALIGIRL 3/7/2010 5:25PM

    I'm so glad your meditation helped you center and enjoy the company of loved ones. (I'm also delighted your husband pitched in to make your life more balanced.) While I agree focus is an important attribute, it has its place.

Sending good thoughts your way for your proposal (although I know it's superb.)

All the best! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/7/2010 5:26:15 PM

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UUCEEJAY 3/7/2010 5:05PM

    I'm another "all or nothinger". I have also done some grant writing and know what that involves. emoticon I too am trying to find the balance, but as someone who is pretty goal driven, it is hard to move smoothly from one thing to another. Sure seems like you are making progress. emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 3/7/2010 4:53PM

    I hope you get your grant proposal finished and in the mail so you can relax. You and I are a lot alike. I tend to focus and just work until a job is finished regardless of how long it takes. I get really wound up and it is difficult to relax. We had some neighbors over this afternoon to discuss some neighborhood stuff and I vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, wiped down the kitchen counters and polished the kitchen sink. They never even went into any of those rooms. But inside my head, I knew that they would be clean if they did. Once I get going, I'm the same way with exercise. I get in the groove and am constantly working out. I think I'm compulsive with exercise. Moderation is key! I'm working on relaxing and on getting seven or more hours of sleep per night. Believe it or not, since I joined SP I've been successful!

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WALKINGANNIE 3/7/2010 3:48PM

    Good luck with the feedback.

You have zoned right in on the core of my past mistakes in weight control - an all or nothing attitude. It's great to know that you're tackling similar challenges and sharing your experiences so that others can learn and develop alongside you.

Thanks as ever,


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Just For Me

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Today's Love Yourself Just the Way You Are Challenge: Do the Team walk at Lake Morton, 9:30a.m., this morning. Later, do something special just for YOU. Share what you've done or write a blog about it.

The Team walk was great this morning! It was a gorgeous sunny day with cool breezes. The swans swam sedately as a dozen team members walked the perimeter of Lake Morton. I should have stayed to walk a second mile just for the companionship, but I was feeling energetic and wanted to burn calories fast. So I went on to the YMCA. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 20 on the stationery bike and got home just in time for to greet Natalie. Both her parents worked today, so I had her noon to 8pm.

There was much today that was special, like unsolicited butterfly kisses from Natalie, and the way she laughed when in response to her complaint about it being cold, I warmed her potty seat with the hair dryer!

But as far as what I am going to do special just for myself, I have decided that I am going to meditate. Maybe just a few minutes or maybe longer depending on how it goes. I used to meditate regularly, but have kind of gotten away from it. I have a big work project and several other concerns taking up much of my brain space. I need to limit the concerns to their proper proportion, and connect with my true calm and confident self.

Well, I'm about to get started. You know, it just might work!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANNIEWANNIE 3/7/2010 9:29PM

    Your mind is grateful for the rest from worry. Good job. Hugs from J

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WALKINGANNIE 3/7/2010 12:11PM

    Thanks for this joyful and uplifting blog Marsha.

What could be better than unsolicited butterfly kisses and laughter? The hairdryer trick was very resourceful!

It would be great to meet up with other SparkFriends and your walk sounds lovely.

Look forward to hearing about your meditation.

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GATOR12 3/7/2010 9:28AM

    What a wonderful day you had. Thank you for sharing it so descriptively, so tht we could visualize it with you. I agree with prestated views, You were "head start" on your meditation before you decided to. Being present, in the moment and enjoying the blessings of nature God has given us is most peaceful to me. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/7/2010 8:21AM

    I am thrilled you chose meditation as your reward and delighted to learn you used to practice. It is indeed a small world...

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JOHAL52 3/7/2010 12:17AM

    Sounds like a lovely day and it sounds like you've already had a head start on meditation too!

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PERSISTANT123 3/6/2010 10:16PM

    I'm sure I don't have to tell you that clearing your mind, will bring a point of view you couldn't see before. Glad you had a great day!

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