Monday, February 14, 2011
Yesterday's preplanned nutrition planning and fitness planning went even better than the first day's attempt: I had put in a number of foods that I didn't in fact eat, and that helped to quell any feeling of possible panic about "maybe there won't be enough". So I deleted the gala apple, almond breeze beverage, granola bar and two servings of yogourt, and still felt full -- despite putting in a full 90 minutes 6 km cross country skiing in superb conditions. Great glide: it was euphoric!!
I'm preplanned again for today, have already been to the gym for my 32 minutes 400 calories on the elliptical and upper body ST. Feels good! And treated myself as planned to another Greek omelette with the naturegg comb of fat reduced whole eggs and egg whites: increasing the protein is working well for me. Lunch salad/chopped fruit was not only tracked but made yesterday -- ready to take to work. Valentine's Day dinner has been preplanned and tracked. Interesting ethical dilemma: when I track in advance, I get the points in advance: and then if I use the points to send goodies to SP friends, what happens if I don't actually do the fitness and delete the entry, losing the points? Do all those goodies come zipping off the friends' pages??? (Just joking: I'll treat this as a little extra motivation to do what I've planned to do!!).
Today Beck tells me that it's important to learn to waste food deliberately by heaping my plate with an extra portion beyond what is "allowed" and setting it aside on the plate and throwing it out. Actually there is a difference here between the book (2008) and the workbook (2007); the book indicates you can put the extra portion in the fridge for another meal, whereas the workbook instructs that the extra portion should be put the garbage.
The purpose of this counterintuitive move? To train yourself not to eat everything put in front of you at a restaurant or friend's home.
I am also to eat dinner very quickly and then wait 20 minutes to prove to myself that satiety will "kick in" ; this is to demonstrate for the body that it can take 20 minutes after eating to feel full.
My Mum (who struggled with weight issues all her life: she and my sister and my daughter and I share the same super-efficient metabolism, I guess!) used to say: "Better to go to waste than to my waist". I won't have a problem wasting food, I don't think. At lunch I will put out a yogourt portion not on my tracker. And not eat it. And throw it out. I'm disinclined to gulp my Valentine's Day dinner with DH (glass of red wine in the tracker!! chicken, broccoli, baked potato: also one chocolate truffle after my strawberries!!) so I'm planning to eat my lunch salad at double quick time instead. And bake a large baked potato for dinner, but allow myself to eat only a medium potato's worth.
Beck says that if it is easy to perform these tasks, it might not be necessary to do it again: but that many people who think it's going to be easy find it impossible. So I'm curious. And I do think it's important to learn to set aside an excess serving, and to wait for satiety to register. So I'm committed to trying this.
I'd love to end overeating, for sure. And chuffed that the scale was down .5 to 155.5 this morning!!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Yesterday's experiment with entering all foods and exercise into the Spark nutrition and fitness trackers the day ahead went quite well.
I had forgotten to enter my usual post-cross country ski granola bar (PC peanut butter) into the nutrition tracker: I could have added it as "unplanned eating" but chose not to, just didn't have it. It turned out to be a bitterly cold day with gusting winds (sunny, though, with sparkling sparkling snow) and our friends opted not to brave the highway to join us. So instead of the planned 90 minutes, DH and I skied only for 60, and didn't go for lunch at the club after. In fact, I somehow didn't get around to eating lunch at all: headed out for a little Valentine's Day shopping instead! (Mike will be opening a new cross-country "wicking" turtleneck, red, tomorrow!! We are soaking wet after skiing -- it's such amazing exercise).
I was zooming around at a fast clip for 2 hours and so removed 30 minutes skiing time and clocked some of that into the fitness planner instead as walking time -- After I had located gifts, cards and wrapping (and a bottle of red wine for tomorrow's dinner) I also spent (oh, self indulgence) some time trying on clothes!! Love doing that as an effective distraction from eating, and it sure works for me. Did not buy anything!! Was somewhat tempted by a black leather 3/4 sleeve swing blazer (marked down from $500 if you can believe the tag to $70) but opted against it. Decided that it didn't really flatter my figure, a bit "boxy". Also tempted by a gorgeous squashy bright red leather shoulder bag with a heart pendant, marked down from $300+ to $74: and again, resisted. Simply don't need it. Tried on a very form fitting navy jumper (or dress) which looked terrific but again, opted against it: the material was just that little bit shiny and "cheap" looking (marked down from $180 to $30). And a tiny bit short in length, maybe: okay with opaque tights but I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb!
So: about 4 pm ate the chicken I had scheduled for my lunch salad at the club (sitting down, savouring every bit) just before we went out to buy groceries, and just skipped the rest of lunch altogether. Enjoyed my chicken barley soup for dinner with yogourt and berries as planned, lite PC hot chocolate also. Husband and son were enjoying a roast beef dinner: I don't eat roast beef, but was tempted by their crispy roasted potatoes!! However, they were not in my meal planner so that was an easy decision: no choice. Distracted myself by leaving the room: and they (bless them) tidied the kitchen and wrapped up the left overs so I didn't have them staring me in the face!! Went to the computer and planned today's meals and fitness (yesterday) instead: I could, of course, have planned leftover roasted potatoes for today but decided that I didn't actually want them enough to "pay" the calories.
I seem to be getting into a breakfast omelette riff to boost protein but I don't want to worry about cholesterol if I eat eggs multiple times a week. So I bought cartons of the naturegg Omega Pro (50 calories for 1/4 cup, only 10 mg cholesterol) and the naturegg Simply Egg whites (1/4 cup 30 calories) and this morning made my Greek feta and spinach omelette with these. And I've clocked in a Greek omelette food grouping as well, which will make meal planning even easier going forward. Sure love my mixed veggie and chopped fruit food groupings: very handy to click once, then edit out or add items (avocado, say, or fresh cherries) that I don't have every day!! Beck and Spark are very compatible.
Saying No Choice to unplanned eating is actually a big relief. There are, as Beck says, lots of things we have no choice about and we accept those issues pretty matter-of-factly. I don't ask myself if I feel like having a bath or brushing my teeth or going to work or paying my bills. I don't struggle over it. And: I don't have to struggle over eating if I plan ahead and tell myself I have no choice about unplanned eating.
Of course I know there will be times when I do eat unplanned foods. And then it's going to be important to pull out card 18 and Get Right Back on Track.
"if I eat something I shouldn't have, I haven't blown it. It's not the end of the world. It's just a mistake. Get back on track this minute! Don't keep on eating! That makes no sense. It's a million times better to stop now than to allow myself to eat more."
Yeah. I'll be using that one for sure. I know it.
But for now -- time to go skiing!!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
OK, after 2 weeks of preparation, this is day 15 and the official "start" of the "diet".
Much to my glee and pleasure, I discovered late yesterday that not only can I track ahead (yesterday for today) my nutrition -- so meeting the Beck "planning" requirement with a minimum of paperwork-- I can also track ahead my exercise. The SP trackers are sooo useful with the Beck program!! So, clocked in my planned cross country ski yesterday which will be happening at about 10 a.m: I expect about 90 minutes!
If I don't eat something on my nutrition tracker, I can delete it. If I do eat something unplanned, I can add it -- to snacks. And ditto exercise. So this is going to work really well.
Got up early early -- weighed myself and changed my tracker to 156, which is 1 pound over my goal weight and within my maintenance range -- so not optimal, but not bad. Although of course what I want to do is level out maintenance and possibly move to a lower sustainable maintenance level.
I got up early, have the laundry just about done, prepared a spectacular looking pot of chicken barley mushroom soup without nibbling on anything!! No eating standing up.
Had 3 cups of coffee (one for TEENIE BIKINI!) and read the Globe and Mail, my fave Toronto newspaper, while the laundry whirled around and the soup simmered.
And then, exactly as clocked in yesterday right down to the olive oil Pam spray, prepared my omelette with feta and spinach and Greek seasoning and salsa on the side: so flavourful. I'm stepping up my protein (within calorie range, of course) to try and improve satiety levels. Have a tendency not to hit my protein levels!!
I've taken the new Response Cards out of the workbook: read them through and added them to the stack I'm keeping in my wallet (in a sandwich size baggy, along with the earlier cards and my "reasons for losing weight" card and a few home made ones, such as "hide the chips, peanut butter and cheese"!!)
The new cards include:
10. "If I'm hungry after a meal, don't worry, it may take 20 minutes to feel full." I do feel full right now after my breakfast.
11. "No excuses. Just because I want to eat doesn't mean I should". I wanted to try just a small taste of my new soup, had the ladle out and a tiny tiny sampling bowl. But a taste of soup before breakfast wasn't on my meal plan for today. So I put the bowl and the ladle back. And gave myself credit for that!!
12. "Resistance habit. EVERY TIME i eat something I'm not supposed to, I strengthen my giving-in habit. EVERY TIME I don't give in, I strengthen my resistance habit". Having that tiny bowl of soup would probably not have significantly affected my calorie total for the day. But that's not the point: the point is, giving in would have strengthened my giving in habit.
13. "I can't have it both ways. I can be loose with my eating OR I can be thinner. I can't be both". So, I didn't lick the salsa spoon while standing up. And I don't eat the crumbs of feta cheese on the knife while standing up. I threw them out. Yeah.
14. "It's not okay. It's NOT OKAY to eat this. I'm going to be very sorry if I do". Useful card, I'm sure, when I'm at the club for lunch today after skiing and desserts are offered. It's not going to be okay. I'll take a trip to the ladies' room and pull out the card and read it if I need to.
15. "I'll care later. I may not care right now, but I will care a LOT when I get on the scale". Yeah. I really do care a lot when I get on the scale. And will be happy to see it even .5 pounds lower a week from now.
16. "I'd rather be thinner. Being thinner is SO much more important to me than eating this food". So true. And great to have the reminder at hand, as needed.
17. "NO CHOICE. NO CHOICE. NO CHOICE." Beck points out that people are very resistant to planning their food daily ahead of time. But that planning means you are no longer faced with the repeated agony of making decisions all day long. "What do I feel like eating now?". "Is it OK to have the chocolate mousse just this once? I'd really like to. Yes. No. Yes. No. All right, what the heck, I will." That's what's tough: having to make decisions all day long. And hating yourself when you make the wrong choices. So much eaiser to have the decisions already made, by pre-planning. And then remind myself, there is NO CHOICE. This is a huge one, for me. Huge. Why is "spontaneous eating" such a highly rated value -- central to our sense of liberty/autonomy/individuality -- but spontaneous exercise not nearly as appealing? Hmmm. I'm going to express my freedom to be unplanned with as much spontaneous exercise as possible, instead of indulging in spontaneous food choices!!
I'm loving this Beck approach. For the first time in my life, I really believe I'm going to learn to think like a thin person!!
Friday, February 11, 2011
Yesterday's distractions worked very well: in fact, I was so busy at work that I really did not experience anything more than mild hunger, and did not need to seek out deliberate distractions. But I'm glad to know about that technique and I've got my list (on a card) for when I need it). Had a professional "cocktailes" type thing last evening and managed to restrict my intake to one Virgin Mary (looks just like a Bloody Mary, basically tomato juice and lime wedge over ice with a salt rim) and even had it sitting down!! Left before the snackies came out, feeling I had been sufficiently convivial!!
Got to the gym this morning for my third time this week, as planned: 32 minutes on the elliptical, 400 calories; upper body free weights work out, abs, stretch: I feel terrific!
Today is all about planning for tomorrow! I'm supposed to log my food and exercise for tomorrow, and get ready for my first official "weigh". I know that I'm about 3 pounds more than my ticker weight of 153 -- and that's well within the maintenance range I've been allowing myself. . But of course part of the purpose of Beck for me is to level out the maintenance range and also to see if I can sustain (not achieve) a lower maintenance range.
Much to my pleasure, I discovered (for the first time) that the nutrition tracker will permit me to forward and put in my food in advance -- so I'm going to plan my food for tomorrow on SP this evening. Breakfast will be an omelette with spinach, low fat feta, salsa on the side. I'll be cross country skiing in the morning, then having lunch with friends at the club -- .can't know exactly what's on the menu, but I will select a salad with grilled chicken and black coffee, dressing on the side -- so I can estimate that with reasonable accuracy. Supper will be soup; home made chicken veggie (supposing I find time to make it, since last week's chili will be gone with my supper this evening).
Because I pretty much eat the same things every day, the advance planning of the food is not such a big deal for me -- and SP makes it so much easier than doing it on paper. SP and Beck: together, a terrific combo!!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Hmm. Yesterday's lunch skipping went pretty well; I was aware of hunger from about 11 am on but it was "mild" discomfort", intermitent (forgot about it while I was working), and certainly not unbearable. I've experienced much much more severe discomfort too many times to count. Really.
I did have supper (soup) a little early -- at about 5:45!!
Key message for me: "normal" thin-thinking people experience hunger every day without considering it an emergency. They just wait for the next meal. Thinking thin is not about eliminating hunger.
Today the idea is to develop a list of distraction techniques to better withstand hunger and cravings. When you wnat to eat something unplanned, you look to the list of distraction techniques and choose up to five activities -- and then rate the activities on their effectiveness in distracting your obsession with hunger and cravings.
Some of the suggested distraction techniques look more effective to me than others. I did read my list of reasons to lost weight quite a few times yesterday. And reread my response cards too!!. Polishing my nails, tidying out drawers, taking on a home decorating project: probably not for me. More appealing ideas include drinking a low cal beverage (yay black coffee!!), going to the gym (like this one), brushing my teeth (always good: then I hate to eat and "dirty them up"!), taking a walk or a bath, patting the dog, and so on. Tried and tested distraction techniques of my own include going shopping just to try on smaller sizes (love this one), shovelling snow (I need to check the walks at work for liaiblity reasons), golfing or cross country skiing in season, wandering around my garden (this is terrific, winter or summer). And of course Spark is a great distraction, especially the motivational stories.
So many entries on Spark are concerned with lack of motivation, or lack of "will power" to withstand temptation. I know that I don't have motivation until after I've done what I need to do: motivation never seeks me out, it's always after-acquired. I know that I can't resist temptation, so I have to eliminate it (throw the food out, hide it, not bring it into the house in the first place -- all recommended by Beck).
Beck really does provide cognitive strategies to deal with these issues. It's not about the "diet"; any reasonable eating and exercise plan is going to work.. It's about sticking with the plan, and learning the techniques that make it possible to stick with the plan. It's taking a lot of time and effort right now, but I'm grateful for the reinforcement and for the additional strategies to deal with what is going to be a life long challenge for me. And although I'm reconciled to the reality this will be a life long challenge, I'm also developing some optimism that it's going to get a bit easier when these strategies become second-nature.
Thanks, Judith S.!! And thanks, SLENDERELLA61, for introducing me!!.
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