Thursday, February 24, 2011
Day 41 is about Making a New Daily To-Do check list. I did that, and I have 18 items I will check off daily from March 1 - April 12. At that time, I will review the check list and undoubtedly simplify it.
Day 42 is titled Practice, Practice, Practice and is the last one of the days of activities. It has one very important concept. It says that rough patches are to be expected and that they are TEMPORARY! I know in the past sometimes I have given up because I thought it was just too hard. I believe had I kept doing the best I could each day, I would have gotten through the tough times with little, if any, weight to lose.
Chapter 11 is When to Stop Losing and Start Maintaining Weight. It is very different from Weight Watchers, where you start adding back in maintenance points (calories) when you hit a pre-set goal. Beck has you lose until you naturally plateau. She tells of the concepts of lowest attainable weight vs. lowest maintainable. Several pages are devoted to people who don't think they are thin enough. I think I'm thin enough, so doesn't relate to me. I think my 126 is a maintainable weight, but I'm just going to have to live at this weight and see. I know if I choose to eat more or exercise less I could gain a few pounds and still be healthy. Beck advocates not just drifting to a higher weight, but sitting down, preferably with your diet coach, and writing a new plan including how many additional calories you will eat or how much you will reduce your exercise and then gradually achieve the weight that goes with that lifestyle. I'm sure that would make you feel more in control than just gaining weight.
Chapter 12 is How to Stay at Your New Weight. Beck advocates writing new Maintenance Advantages Cards. I realize that is what I wrote from the beginning, even though I had a couple pounds to lose. I went ahead and re-worded and strengthened all my "cards" and put them in a Microsoft Word file. I may print them on card stock and cut them, but I think I might like having pages instead of a bunch of cards to shuffle. I like that it is so easy to edit or improve them when they are saved. If there is an advantage perhaps kinesthetically to actually writing them, well I've already done that. Beck advices to recommit yourself if you gain three pounds. Sounds like a good idea to me. So if I hit 129, I'm back to full program. Beck says to anticipate the effort that maintenance requires, realizing that occasionally it will get difficult, but it will get easier again then. She advocates eating consistently, about the same amount of food -- a little more on special occasions -- and for the most part limited options of food. She says that successful maintainers usually have three breakfasts, three lunches, eight snacks and eight dinners that they usually rotate, although they do not stick strictly to these as limits. So she suggests creating menus. I think I eat a wider variety, but I do not think it is a problem for me. I do like the idea of creating two months' worth of menus with shopping lists. That is on my To-Do list for the year 2011. I have no illusion that my hubby, the grocery shopper, will stick to the list very well. We'll always be working in whatever is on sale!! Nonetheless, I want to create these delicious, nutritious menu plans and then deviate from them.
Should any of my SparkFriends, especially fellow Beck SparkTeam members, want to see my cards or my To-Do list, SparkMail me or comment below. I'd be glad to send them to you.
This has been a wonderful adventure. I've learned so much. I'm going to take off a couple days and then go back. I want to identify the chapters and exercises that I need to repeat. I hope this book becomes a reference that I reach for whenever I need to improve my thinking about eating and exercise! I appreciate those of you who have followed me on this journey. I appreciate your support more than you know. -Marsha
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I believe I will maintain my weight loss because I have the skills to do so. The most important of those skills include:
1. selecting healthy foods. My tastes have really changed. I enjoy lots of fruit and veggies, lean protein, skim milk, and a little olive oil. I don't mind eating food really plain, but enjoy some tasty healthy recipes from time to time. When I eat out, I'm good at making good selections or at least some of the best available. I occasionally enjoy a treat -- like on Valentine's Day I had 164 calories of dark chocolate. I don't feel the need for treats frequently any more, though. I easily turn down food that does not fit my program almost always.
2. selecting appropriate serving sizes. I've learned to judge portions pretty well, but usually use my food scale and measuring cups/spoons. It is not difficult for me to leave food on my plate (doggie bag) when I eat out.
3. tracking my food. I've been doing it regularly with just a few days off for 27 months now.
4. enjoying cardio exercise. I'd miss my workouts if I didn't get them in. I like walking, biking, swimming, elliptical, treadmill, Zumba, pilates, and now running.
5. doing strength training regularly 2 or 3 times a week. Not sure I'd miss it if I didn't do it, but I'd miss seeing the muscle definition and enjoying the functional fitness!!
6. comforting myself without using food -- I'm pretty good at that now. I'm still getting better at calming myself without food.
7. tolerating hunger and cravings - I've come a long way, but still improving.
8. forgiving myself, accepting myself, and getting right back on track!! Have been doing that for several years now and find myself getting off track less and less often. Here I have been a normal weight for just about 2 years and I'm still improving my eating.
9. asking for help when needed. I've got Weight Watchers, my incredible SparkFriends and local SparkTeam, my Beck team, and my Beck diet coach. Val and back-up, Ellen. I can always go back to the Beck book if I'm struggling, search SparkPeople for relevant articles, turn to my diet coaches or talk to my WW leader.
For my Beck "I Believe" card:
I believe I will maintain my weight loss because I have the skills to do so, including:
1. selecting healthy foods.
2. selecting appropriate serving sizes.
3. tracking my food.
4. enjoying cardio exercise.
5. continuing my strength training habit.
6. comforting and calming myself with means other than food.
7. tolerating hunger and cravings.
8. getting right back on track when I slip.
9. asking for help when I am struggling.
Of course, I can do this!!! Banish all the doubt! There will be tough times, but they won't last. I will succeed.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Beck says, "Once I create a consistent routine of using my weight-loss skills, dieting will be easier." I'm adapting that to, "Once I improve my consistent routine of using my weight-loss skills, maintaining my weight loss will be easier."
In reviewing this chapter I realized I never made an I Believe card, despite the fact I worked on that "day" for several days and wrote a great deal about it. I need to condense it into probably 5 key skills that I remind myself about -- daily for a while -- skills that enable me to maintain my huge weight loss. This activity will help boost my confidence in my ability to maintain.
I realize that some of Beck's activities I've done very, very well and gained a great deal from. A few of the topics presented are areas I've already conquered. But there are a few of the activities that I skimped on, didn't give my best, and didn't get the maximum learning. The day in which I tolerated hunger for 8 hours, for example, I got busy and forgot to record my hunger level every hour. And I just realized that there is a rule I need to impose upon myself. Although I've been eating sitting down, eating in the car should be off limits, except perhaps on the rare occasion when we are traveling and my hubby drives through and won't stop to eat. I also think that I'm going to give myself a month to maintain my happy weight and then I'm going to tackle one last eating problem. I'm going to define my overuse of artificial sweeteners as a craving and use Beck's methods to overcome it.
Today or tomorrow am going to do what Beck suggests and adapt the to-do list in her book to use for the foreseeable future. But I'm going to go back and re-read this powerful book to find gems I overlooked.
Oh, one big success this morning. I did something that Beck suggested near the beginning of the book this morning. I prepared my entire breakfast, laid it out, and looked at it. (I'm bad about getting my tea, and then my oatmeal, and then my fruit, and then maybe half a piece of toast.) When I looked at my tea, my 1/3 cup oatmeal with 1.25 cups blueberries, 50 calories of whole wheat bread with 2 teaspoons of Smart Balance Light spread, and my 1 cup skim milk I said to myself, "this is too much." And I put back half the blueberries. It filled me up just fine. I think that is a success.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
At this point of my life I am an avid exerciser. I thoroughly enjoy many forms of cardio and I'm willing to push myself to achieve new goals. I have just taken up running and am training for the Senior Olympics 5K Road Race on March 12th. I'm willing to do strength training because I enjoy the results and sometimes I enjoy feeling strong while I'm working out. So this chapter of Beck is one I just want to tuck into the back of my mind in case I ever have a challenge that makes me revert to my old couch potato days!!
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