Wednesday, December 23, 2009
As some of you may have noticed, I've been griping about how hard it is to maintain my weight lately. Comments like "I should've at least been able to ENJOY gaining the weight" and "What would my weight be if I DIDN'T watch my exercise and calories like a hawk?" have been heard. They were a clue to my dangerous state of mind, thrown by not being as much in control of my weight as usual.
I NEVER plan ahead to have a treat or a day when I indulge myself, but it had to happen. Last night, Bill and I went out to dinner, to celebrate his birthday and have a holiday treat for ourselves. We were planning on going to our old favorite, the Chinese buffet, but changed venue at the last minute to a cozy restaurant on the Exeter River, where we went downstairs to the little basement bar--all warm, happy, crowded, and beautifully decorated for Christmas. Figuring that this was our holiday treat, I ordered whatever I felt like. I started with the spinach salad with gorgonzola, walnuts, and cranberries, and delicately picked my way around much of the cheese and nuts, and had balsamic on the side, to keep the calories down a little. Then my seafood risotto arrived, and all caution was thrown to the winds. My plan had been to eat mostly the seafood and leave much of the risotto. Fool, I! I LOVE risotto. What was I thinking? I ate pretty much the whole thing. The two glasses of wine didn't help.
At least we didn't order dessert, right? Right! But at home waited a boxful of evil desserts that a friend had brought over the night before. I had resisted them up until then, but no more! One of them was a key lime parfait, another a white chocolate cake, and another an intensely chocolate experience. I had some of each, thank you very much. And then ate as many of my addictive butter spritz cookies as I could stuff in my face.
When I go off the rails, you have to admit I do it with enthusiasm.
So, today I'm getting back on track and trying to be content with not gaining any more!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Boy, I got out of bed all cranky this morning, for no reason I could put my finger on. But once I got my butt in gear, my outlook improved. First I stripped the bed and popped the bedclothes in the washer, so I couldn't get back into it. Made some tea to work up my courage to bundle up and go out in the snow with Dingo. It's still coming down here in NH, the light powdery kind that fluffs when you scuff it with your toe, and not slippery at all, which makes me happy. So we got our usual morning walk, and now I'm planning the rest of the day over another cup of tea.
I think some housecleaning is in order, and another batch of cookies. I'll see if I can find hokey Christmas movies or music to put on while I do that, plus turn on all the lights in the house. So much for the electric bill and greenhouse gases--I want it cozy in here!
(Not our house, but close!)
Friday, December 18, 2009
I'm now 5 pounds over my low weight from the summer, and I could almost sense why--but not quite--until just now, when I pawed through my fitness and nutrition trackers.
When I went back to analyze my weekly cardio now compared with the summer and fall, I discovered that I'm doing on average MORE cardio now. I must be compensating successfully for my fear of winter slothfulness. So that isn't it. It must be food.
So now I have to be honest with myself all over again. Weighing, measuring, and counting accurately. Assessing whether I'm really, really hungry enough to have that afternoon or evening snack. I knew in my heart that I hadn't been doing those things, and a look at the nutrition trackers tells me exactly how and where. I've been looking mainly at the total calorie count for the day and rejoicing if it's within my range, when I should really be staying BELOW my range. I've been slacking off and using the cold weather as an excuse for unnecessary eating. And I'm shocked to see that I've been having more wine in the evening than before. At least my weighing and measuring was accurate there--I just wasn't paying attention to it!
So, I'm rededicating myself to weighing, measuring, eating only when I'm hungry, and being aware. I haven't been relaxing about my physical activity; why should I relax about my eating?
So, much better to get a grip now, rather than wait until New Year's and make all those resolutions then. That's part of what makes early January such a drag, so I'll do it now instead!
Wish me luck!
Friday, December 18, 2009
I woke up ten minutes early and figured I'd just get up anyway. It hurt to get out from under those two comforters, because the house was down to 55 with a wind chill of arctic, so I nudged the heat on and turned on the bathroom heater just to weigh in au naturel. Eating with winter gusto has inched my weight up a little ... oh well.
Fed the animals, sipped some tea, and bundled up: longjohns, T shirt, sweatshirt, jeans, neckwarmer up to my eyes, hat pulled down past my eyebrows, furry coat hood up, fingers rolled up inside gloves and stuffed in my pockets. (I need mittens, I think!) And out we went for our usual mile walk.
It didn't feel like a wind chill of 9 below, but it was what it was. The few households awake were running their cars early. And Dingo, god bless him, moved as fast as a windup dog with 16 motorized legs all going like mad. I appreciated that!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
As Christmas approaches, I offer some reflections.
This year, we aren’t buying gifts galore, like usual—just a little money for Bill’s kids and grandkids in Florida, one gift each for mine, and a gift each for Bill’s mom, brother, and son, with whom we’re visiting over Christmas in New Jersey (and to whom we’re transporting a huge Christmas Eve cioppino for dinner). I’ve made cookies to hand out at work, to our families, to neighbors, and to various friends who might pop in over the holidays. We agreed not to buy each other anything, but instead to go out for a nice dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.
Does the cutback in gift giving depress me? On the contrary—I feel freer to enjoy the spirit of the season. I love it that everyone around this time of year is just a little bit more cheerful, a little bit freer of care, a little bit more outgoing. As it turned out, Jo March was wrong when she grumbled, “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.”
I was actually considering not going to New Jersey to be with Bill’s mom, brother, and son—because of work pressures. But, you know, a corporation could really care less whether or not you’re a workaholic. It will just take and take and take, and not give you anything back. So I’m going to have a life for a change!
Though we didn’t buy a full-size, $45 tree, the house is decorated—which always lifts one’s spirits when everything is cold and bleak outdoors. If the idea of Christmas decorations didn’t eventually get old, I’d leave them all up until April. By then, of course, I’m starting to feel like the Christmas decoration police should go around banging on the doors of those who still have wreaths up. Maybe I’ll find some Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day trees and lights to brighten things up through the winter. And make more cookies.
I sent cards to one and all, getting in touch with some folks for the only time all year long that I do. And after I found some more cards, later, that looked like they could have been a photo of me as a child, hanging my stocking by the hearth, I sent some people a second card!
We’ve been to a Christmas party. It was so much fun to dress up, get decked out with holiday jewelry that blinks, and spend time with friends! The food was truly awful, so this had nothing to do with eating either.
I’ve changed my car radio from NPR to an oldies station that plays nothing but Christmas music—and NOT just because of the NPR year-end fundraiser.
Yesterday, Bill made a triple batch of my Christmas Spritz Cookie dough, which I squeezed out, decorated, and baked after I got home. “Why do you insist on making these things every year?” says Bill. “They’re really labor intensive! Something else would be so much easier.” Now that he's actually mixed that cement-consistency dough by hand himself, he understands! And he’s right about their being labor intensive, but those little red-and-green-sugared Christmas trees, Scottie dogs, camels, and pinwheels just taste like Christmas to me, like nothing else does—even if I eat only one of them. So I tore around like a banshee for a couple of hours last night to finish them. (In the process, I somehow set the oven 10 degrees hotter than I should have, burnt two dozen, and had the smoke detector shrieking before I got back on track.)
Finally, I miss my mom and dad, whom I can see so clearly in my mind this time of year, even though they passed away thirty years ago.
Merry Christmas to all my SparkFriends!
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