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WATERMELLEN's Recent Blog Entries

Meet With Your Diet Coach: Beck Day 6

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Yes, I've done that: by email!! With gratitude for support already received, with a plan for regular contact by email on a weekly basis to report weight changes and additional contact if I'm dealing with sabotaging thoughts or preparing for a particularly challenging social event.

This is such an important step for me. Pre Spark, I'd always "gone it alone" when it came to weight loss/maintenance!!

Sabotaging thought: I can do this on my own. More helpful response: not very likely, since I've had such a struggle with maintenance. Maintenance is not yo-yoing, it's learning to think like a thin person. I do give myself credit for not ballooning up 20 pounds or so again (since 2009) but I don't like going up 5-8 pounds and then yanking my own leash to lose it, over and over again. I'm much more likely to stay at maintenance (with a more reasonable 2-3 pound fluctuation) if I report to my coach and get help when I need it. I'm much more likely to "maintain thin thinking" -- not just the outer appearance of a relatively thin person -- if I work with my coach.

So: thanks coach!!

Yesterday's eating was mindful, sitting down (except I licked one yogourt spoon while standing). I enjoyed every spoonful of every meal, did not read while eating, did however eat with people and had some minor conversations while doing so.

I wore a navy suit which was entirely comfortable through the waist band of the trousers, with a blue cashmere sweater under the jacket, also comfortable (it is cold cold here). And gave myself credit for that.

Read my Advantage Response Card several times.

This. Is. Working. Yes!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 2/3/2011 9:08PM

    So glad this is working for you and you've found your coach!

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IMAGINE_IT 2/3/2011 1:19PM

    emoticon I bet you was an "A" student in school???!! (do they gradewith 'A's and B's and such in Canada??? Because in Germany we grade 1 through 6...6 being the worse grade one can get....
But going back to Beck Day 6....i am so proud of you for following all the steps so far..very good Ellen!! emoticon emoticon
And just reading how you savored every Bite..and ate mindfully and on top of it dressed all nice for your meal...all that wants to make me do the same..because to be honest i have some horrible eating habits..i read...talk...watch TV and have been known to 'surf the Net' all at the same time!!!
Keep up the good work Ellen emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 2/3/2011 9:04AM

    Good going, Ellen! I do think coaching each other makes a whole lot of sense. Knowing one person is following us closely and rooting for us helps. When I have a struggle, sharing it with someone who understands and make suggestions will definitely help me and I truly hope to be of help to you. Should neither of us have the solution, we can take it to the whole Beck team, too, so we have lots of resources.

Yep, I find myself licking something or mindlessly taking one bite while standing, but probably only 20% of the time I did before Beck. It is a hard habit to break, but we are making progress. I find reading that ARC surprisingly motivating. When I started to do it I thought it was kind of a dumb, rote thing to do, but I've changed my mind.

Keep up the great work, Ellen!! emoticon

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Slow Down and Be Mindful: Beck Day 5

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

There is a heck of a storm blowing outside our windows: thunder and lightning in the winter time, snow blowing hard and sticking in the window screens.

And I've got a little bit of an internal storm going on too because I know: today is about pushing further on the "sitting down while you eat" skill. And there is no way this is going to feel "natural".

Yesterday I did mindlessly pop two blueberries into my mouth while standing up and preparing my dessert after dinner (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and fat free sugar free vanilla yogout). Calorie count? negligible. Better than a big hunk of cheddar cheese? or a heaping spoonful of peanut butter? Yes yes yes: give myself credit. But this is at the heart of learning to think like a thin person for me and the key impediment to maintaining without yo-yoing.

So: sitting down exclusively while eating requires more than just sitting down. I've got to:

--take small bites and chew slowly;
--finish chewing and swallowing each bite before putting more food on my fork or spoon;
--put my utensil down between every few bites and count to 10;
--take a sip of water every minute or two;
--above all: not to give in to the impulse (strong) to skip learning this skill: do it anyway!

OK, this will be tough tough tough for me. Today I'm to practice by eating my breakfast and my lunch alone. No conversation, no reading. I usually eat breakfast with my husband over the newspaper; it's storming so hard, our newspaper wasn't delivered today, which has to be a "sign from the universe" this matters!! I usually eat lunch with work colleagues while talking about work issues or life in general. Or catching up on professional reading. I do often eat dinner alone (or with Charlie) while reading another whack of newspapers. You're seeing where this is going -- a whole lot of mindless eating even when I'm sitting down!!

Lost my first version of this blog and have had to rewrite it; second little sign from the universe this matters!!

All right then. Here goes breakfast!! Sitting down. Slow. And mindful.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMAPPLE 10/18/2014 6:23PM

    Great job with sitting down while eating! One thing I learned from my nutritionist that I would like to pass along is to drink a half hour before and/or after eating so your food can digest better. I found out I was washing away digestive enzymes because of drinking too much water while eating, which was causing me health problems. Let's raise our glasses to good health!

BTW, I noticed that you read a "whack of newspapers." My hubby is an editor, and I just wondered if your line of work has you reading them, too.

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SLENDERELLA61 2/2/2011 7:20PM

    Great job, Ellen!! You are seriously and mindfully taking on the challenge of changing your eating and becoming a mindful eater. Change is not easy. You are doing it. I love the rules you have set for yourself, especially putting the silverware down between bites and swallowing before putting more food on your fork. Good job of getting very specific with your expectations. I like the confession about the 2 blueberries, too. I find myself almost doing something equivalent almost every meal. I sense that being very strict on this sitting down to eat and eating mindfully will pay off!! You are doing great, Ellen. Keep up the good work.

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KALIGIRL 2/2/2011 12:54PM

    Isn't it wonderful to have the 'time' to savor food and give thanks for it?

As Marc Lesser notes in "Office Zen", Spiritual practice and work practice can be boiled down to two simple activities: sitting down, and getting up. When we sit down, we are quiet, observing, listening deeply. We let our thoughts, feelings, and ideas rise to the surface. We watch and listen for what comes through the cracks of our consciousness and our thinking. What wants to be seen or heard, that may be difficult to see or hear?"

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VALERIEMAHA 2/2/2011 7:23AM

    I have resisted even reading your latest blogs because I DON'T Sit.Down.And.Just.Eat. I have a ritual of eating with my friends, my SparkFriends, that is, in front of the computer. Almost every meal. I don't even have have a dining table, though I could easily enough rig something up. The Buddhist approach to mindfulness and "just this much," of "chop wood, carry water," mindfully doing one thing at a time, is such an ingrained part of my *knowing*...but not as much in the *doing.* Mind you, I'm MUCH better at it than I was years ago. And meditation practice has helped me in this regard. But my eating practice is one of the last hold-outs. I think about doing something about it, sometimes a lot, and then let it slide. I know all the steps you describe from the book would help my own challenges with maintenance. But I guess I'm not ready yet. Perhaps soon?

Thanks for rattling my cage though...now that I finally caved in and read through all your Beck blogs. hahaha You amaze me.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Building My Confidence: Beck Day 4

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Hmmm. Beck is telling me to give myself credit every time I "engage in a positive eating behaviour": such as, sitting down while I eat.

I did manage to sit down while I ate absolutely everything yesterday. Yay me!! Weird, though -- particularly while eating my tiny container of yogourt at work for mid afternoon snack.

So today I've got my "Give Myself Credit" card tucked into my purse with my other Response Cards. I've reread my reasons for losing weight. I've slipped an elastic band on my wrist to remind myself to give myself credit. I've had (and tracked) my breakfast of oatmeal, flax seed, cinnamon, raisins, 1% milk.

I've told myself it's OK to praise myself, just as I would praise a good friend and give her credit for adopting new diet behaviours. "Good job". "Great". Even though I haven't done much deserving of praise so far: eating sitting down, one day. Big deal. (Feel a bit like I'm speaking to my dog, Charlie -- "good boy". But after all, Charlie gets a lot of praise: and Charlie has become the best dog ever. So: must work!!).

Actually eating sitting down IS a pretty big deal for me -- and will continue to be difficult.

So: good job!! With feeling: GOOD JOB!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMAPPLE 10/17/2014 8:01AM

    I enjoy and find it refreshing to go back to your older posts when you first began the Beck Diet and see your thoughts in writing, which I can relate to, especially things like thinking that it will be hard to sit down and eat, and giving myself praise which we associate with how we praise our dogs.... like how is that going to help motivate me. I like your response to your dog turning out great with praise; if it works for him, it can work for us!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/1/2011 9:42PM

    I think giving yourself credit is absolutely crucial. Glad you are sitting down to eat (yay, you!!) and glad you are giving yourself credit. Love the story about the best dog ever! Your breakfast looks super healthy. I'm going to have to get some of those flaxseeds. Keep up the great work, Ellen. The more I work this program the more I like it!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 2/1/2011 11:18AM

    Great job indeed!

You are simply awesome.


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JHADZHIA 2/1/2011 8:58AM

    Way cool! I am a bachelor and usually eat over the sink to reduce dishes and messes, but only using one hand means I am forced to sit down and eat everything now.
I have enjoyed watching Marsha using this Beck program and its interesting seeing your challenges with it..
Its never entered my mind to give myself credit for anything. Don't see the point. You just do what you have to to achieve your goals..
Good luck with it!

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Eat Sitting Down: Beck Day Three

Monday, January 31, 2011

This has to be one of the most important new techniques for me. I will struggle with it. And I've already made myself a Response Card: SIT DOWN TO EAT.

My "sabotaging thought" about this is, of course, that it's not my fault because it's "automatic". But eating is not automatic. It's not like my heart beating. I decide to eat, and I decide not to eat. Standing up is not an option. There is no choice. Not even "just this once".

I am going to notice and I am going to savour every bite that I eat.

Sitting down. Every time. Every bite.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSHINEGB 10/16/2014 8:23AM

    I sit down to eat, even if it's a snack. I eat my breakfast sitting in front of the TV to watch news but . . . I make a healthy breakfast so I figure it's okay!
You'll get used to sitting down and it will become a habit.

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TBANMAN 2/2/2011 10:45PM

    I am also exceptionally guilty of eating standing up. Thanks for the reminder that it's not about how fast, but how good.

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PHEBESS 2/2/2011 9:37AM

    I eat sitting down - it's just in the living room in front of the TV, LOL!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/1/2011 6:29AM

    Good use of response cards! Good job of identifying sabotaging thoughts! You are right, this is a big one. You can do it!! emoticon

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FROSTIERACES 1/31/2011 9:50PM

    I rarely ever sit down to eat unless we make a meal and then for some reason I always end up back at the counter standing and snitching at my plate! I'll be checking back to see how this works out for you. How challenging!!

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IMAGINE_IT 1/31/2011 2:19PM

    Sitting down to eat?? Definitely a "Must"..but many times very difficult to accomplish..i wish you lots of success with this step. Maybe try and set the table with some pretty flowers..or change where you sit and where you can look at something totally different while eating? I know i have a 'better eating'experience when i actually sit at my dining room table and turn the TV OFF!!! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/31/2011 1:07PM

    Sounds super to me - stops the tasting while cooking or eating on the 'run'.

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Commit to a Diet Plan: Beck Day 2

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day Two: I've picked two reasonable diets. The primary diet plan will be to continue nutrition tracking on Spark, which I've been doing for some 20 months or so now: calories, carbs, proteins, fats and a whack of other nutrients including calcium, Vitamin C etc.

And in the alternative, if for some reason Spark nutrition tracker stops working, I'll sign up for a course of home delivered meals from Healthy Heart, Toronto based food service endorsed by the heart and stroke people -- so not prefab, but low in sodium, without preservatives, portion and calorie controlled and very delicious actually.

The Healthy Heart plan is relatively expensive so I don't want to go there again -- I had used it a couple time before I found Spark!! But I do know it works, particularly as re-education concerning portion size. So that's my secondary plan.

I've considered modifications to my primary plan -- because it's important to plan modifications in advance, not just on impulse. I'll be planning for 1 square Lindt 85% cocoa chocolate a day after workout and two snacks -- probably low fat sugar free yogourt most of the time -- mid morning and mid afternoon at work. Both modifications are incorporated into my calorie range.

I won't be skipping breakfast or loosening up my plan on the weekends . . . I will be sticking with my plan today even though I'm attending a party this afternoon. Now that should be a bit of a challenge but the hostess is well aware that I watch my weight carefully. She is also a breast cancer survivor, and I can be sure she won't enagage in any "food pushing" activities, so it's up to me.

I'm confident that either or both of these plans would meet with the approval of a "health care professional": didn't "consult" this time but have done so in the past.

I've read my list of reasons to lose weight and will do so again!! I have them on a Beck card in my wallet and will review them just before I get out of the car at the party address!!

Going out for a cross country ski this morning . . . yesterday's was glorious in full sparkly sunlight and fresh snow, today is soft grey with drifting snowflakes and will be lovely in a different way.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINOUSH 7/18/2011 9:49AM

    Hi, I'm Minoush. I have finished my chemo and radio therapy but I'm still taking hormonal therapy. I'VE PUT ON 10 KILOS. I need a diet plan to follow as all my trials have proved to be failure ones. Thank you emoticon

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JHADZHIA 2/1/2011 9:05AM

    Awesome! I love my piece of 90% Cocoa dark chocolate from Lindt too :)
Glad you have decent enough weather you can get out and ski, that would be so pretty!
Saw two people actually skiing on the ice in spite of the extremely cold temperatures..
Too bad pre made and delivered meals are so expensive :( That would be so convenient..
Keep up the great work!!

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IMAGINE_IT 1/30/2011 3:26PM

    Sounds like you have your plan ready and in action!! emoticon
Adapting to a new..or different 'diet'/lifestyle is all about discipline and willpower and 'just how much a person wants to do it'...you seem very disciplined and determined to me...so i have no doubt that you will do great!!
You know you have me curious now ..and next time i am going to the Book store i will check into this Beck book!! I have 30lbs to go before i am at my goal weight and at a healthy BMI...i need all the help and ideas i can get!!
Have fun skiing and enjoy the party emoticon emoticon

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CMB2048 1/30/2011 11:39AM

    Ellen, I'm really interested in the Beck book. I hate to buy it right now though because i've bought so many books in the past. But I'll be following along in your experience with it.

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PHEBESS 1/30/2011 10:20AM

    Sounds like a plan! Sometimes I wish we had meal delivery - there are days when dinner is a bowl of cereal!

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SLENDERELLA61 1/30/2011 10:00AM

    Like your two choices! Both sound healthy. Wish we had that delivered healthy meal option here - maybe by the time I'm 90+ and don't want to cook we'll have it.

Great that you are using your Advantages Response Card. I've found it surprisingly helpful.

And, I'm in awe of your cross country skiing. Fantastic!! Naturally, in sunny Florida, that is not an option here. But I might go ride my bike on the trail or hit the gym today. Haven't decided yet.

Take care, Ellen. You are doing great!!!

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