Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Not a big deal for me: nice to know there is one aspect of weight maintenance which isn't troublesome!
Beck advises that we consider carefully whether the calories in alcoholic beverages are "worth the price" -- given that those calories will eliminate other foods with better nutrients --; and also to consider that drinking alcohol tends to loosen inhibitions which can result in unrestrained eating.
I'm generally a "glass of wine once in a while" kind of person-- maybe once a week, or twice a month -- and i've been logging those glasses, keeping them to a moderate 3.5 ounces, almost never having more than one. I like the colour of wine (red, white, rose) almost as much as the taste. And yes, I do love wine, but not enough to "spend the calories" on it very often. Since I started Beck, I've been tracking my glass of wine in advance, just like everything else. Which does mean no more "spontaneous" glasses of wine added on to my meals! So I plan Thursday for Friday night's glass of wine, or plan Tuesday for the glass of wine I might be having at a professional social gathering . . . Other than that, might have a couple tall gins and tonics after golf at the club . . . over the entire summer. Not a big drinker. Not a problem.
Weight has stayed steady today at 150.5. Gonna try a "challenging" navy suit (very slim pants, no stretch) today: really enjoyed wearing a "challenging" black skirt suit yesterday!!
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
In the workbook, Beck calls this chapter "eating out with ease" whereas the book uses the "staying in control" title. In both places she offers plenty of useful tips applicable to a certain type of "eating out" -- that is, eating in restaurants or at larger parties. You can check the restaurant menu on line in advance and preplan what you're going to eat. You can preplan what you will nibble on at a large party where you're basically wandering around with a drink (might be non alcoholic) in the left hand, keeping the right hand free for shaking. I do these things and most of us who have been fighting in the trenches for any period of time have adopted such strategies for a long time.
But Beck does not, in my opinion, adequately address the issue of going to people's houses for meals: formal sit down dinner where the hostess has planned a menu, shopped for food, prepared several courses (appetizer, soup, main, dessert plus plus plus) and expects you to eat. Her suggestion that you take along a platter of something -- (raw veggies??) -- and provide that for the "feast" is frankly not one that is going to go down well in most instances. Asking the hostess to cook in accordance with your requirements, saying nothing and shoving a portion off to one side, skipping several courses that the hostess places in front of you -- none of this is conventional social behaviour.
And if you accept formal social invitations, you must reciprocate by having people back to your own home for a similar type event. Offering them a huge green salad and a little chopped fruit, or a bowl of homemade soup and some fat free yogourt with berries, will seem just slightly weird. Really. And if I spend the time reciprocating with a comparable meal (I'm actually a pretty decent cook when I turn my mind to it) that means I'll have spent the better part of a weekend handling high calorie, high fat, high sugar foods -- planning, preparing, serving, cleaning up, eating at least some of it -- triggering a craving for these foods which can derail my eating plans for weeks.
So: if the sabotaging thought is "I should be able to enjoy myself on special occasions" and the helpful response is "I can enjoy other aspects of the special occasion, but not the food so much", then I think that's right. And this approach works perfectly well for restaurants, large professional type dinners and cocktail hours, buffets and so on. But I also think (from my own experience) it does not work well for the kind of formal sit down dinner party with 6 or 8 people which was a staple of my social life for many many years; accepting invitations, reciprocating invitations. I don't do that any more. I try to substitute other social events -- the golf games, the walks in the woods, the trip to the gym, the gallery, the concert, the play -- with more and less success. Some people simply will be offended if you do not want to make a formal sit down dinner the focus of social get togethers: that's what they're used to offering, that's what they're used to receiving.
Beck glosses over this very real difficulty, rather than meeting it head on. Social life will change when food cannot be the focus of every social occasion with friends. And some friends won't accept that.
Scales today: 150.5. Go figure!!
Monday, February 28, 2011
Wah. Wah. WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH11
Oh, well. Oh, well. Oh, well.
I'm over it now. Up a pound from last week, just like Beck told me was possible. With the exception of eating those roasted veggies standing up (could not have been even 300 calories, probably less than half that) I was completely compliant with the program all week: measuring food, within calorie range, exercising diligently.
So be it. My ticker is changed. I've graphed it in my workbook. The scales will come down again. And lower. Yes they will.
Beck is launching into a week of solving "real life" problems -- the first of which is dealing with food pushers.
Food pushers are not too much of a problem for me, really. I refuse to socialize with people who make me eat. I refuse to entertain people who require to be fed elaborately in my home. I would prefer social events to be focused on something other than eating: a trip to an art gallery, or a play, or out shopping, or to the gym, or a walk in the woods, or a cross country ski, or golfing. There are lots of terrific options. Then I'm happy to pick up the cheque in a restaurant afterwards and my guest is certainly encouraged to order whatever he or she wants -- so long as I am accorded the same respect about what I choose to eat for myself. Which will be soup, or a salad. And fruit or yogourt if available. And black coffee. Lots of that.
But I'm not going to eat stuff I don't want to make someone happy. Which includes treats brought into work (fortunately, something that doesn't occur very often) or boxes of doughnuts from Tim Horton's delivered by grateful clients. Sorry if it hurts your feelings . . . really , I am sorry . . . but it's not just the calories at the time, it's the "trigger" effect of the fats/sugars/salts.
Would you force alcohol on an alcoholic? No? Then don't expect me to eat what I've decided already is not good for me. The fact that my breast cancer was a high estrogen tumour associated with excess weight, and that my chances of recurrence go up with an increase in weight: that to me is my paramount reason for weight control. I'm not going to force that uncomfortable explanation on someone in a social situation -- but just accept the "No thanks". "Looks great, but no thanks". "Not just now, thanks". Because I am. Not. Eating. It.
Card Four: "It's OK to disappoint people".
Yup, it is. And although dealing with food pushers is not a problem for me, their response can be.
I'm generally very friendly and sociable. People generally like me and I generally like people. But my refusal to eat socially in the conventional manner can be a stumbling block. It puzzles people. Espcially people who are themselves overweight and perceive me as thin. And who perceive my self control around eating as a rebuke or criticism of them.
They want to order the greasy fries or the ooey gooey nachos or whatever -- and they feel uncomfortable because I'm not. I've lost friends over my refusal to be compelled to participate in social eating situations.
Too bad. That's the way it is, and the way it has been for a very very long time. I'm not available for stuffing. It's not my idea of a good time, and submitting to force feeding doesn't cohere with my notion of what constitutes friendship. If you make me choose between your company, and my adherence to my eating plan: well, sorry, but that choice has already been made. NO CHOICE.
And it won't be you, babe.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
I've got computer problems -- a massive virus on my laptop which means I'll have to take it to computer tech guy, have it wiped clean and all programs re-loaded. So I'm borrowing computers at home and may not get as much Spark time as I'd like.
Yesterday was my first experience of deviating from my eating plan: while making my weekly pot of soup (roasted vegetable: sweet potato, carrot, onion, beet, parsnip, turnip with goat cheese for creaminess and Imagine veggie broth . . . rosemary and basil). I had left a large pan of vegetables roasting while I went to the gym for my workout. Came home, pulled the veggies out of the oven to cool, made myself a spinach salad, ate that and an orange with some fresh pineapple -- and while preparing my soup, simply started munching away on the delicious roasted vegetables. While standing up!! Not good. My "sabotaging thought"? Not even really conscious of it: presumably along the lines of "these are veggies, no problem, they're good for me anyhow"!! Sure they are, but not if they aren't on my food plan and I'm full already and I don't need them right now!!
Anyhow, weighed 153 this morning, up .5 pounds from the day before and up 1 full pound from my last weigh in.
And tomorrow is the "official" weigh in!!
Beck says "don't even think about skimping on your diet today so that the number on the scale looks better". I am not. I've put in my oatmeal/raisins/flax combo for breakfast: I've scheduled some of my roasted vegetable soup with yogourt and fruit for lunch: and salmon with Swiss chard and potato, and an apple with 1 tsp almond butter for dinner.
I've scheduled another session at the gym, too (cardio plus lower body ST, we don't have enough snow left to cross country ski, darn).
I know that I'll be struggling with my weigh-in tomorrow but I am trying to prepare myself not to be disappointed and to be realistic. I'm in this for the long haul, to learn to think like a thin person and to maintain without yo-yoing.
I will stay problem-solving oriented. I will read my Advantages and other Response cards.
And I will remember: NO CHOICE, no eating standing up!!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
This is quite the mental work out!!
First, I am to identify my most frequent "sabotaging thoughts". OK, by far it's the persistent thought that Beck takes way too much time in a way which is inelegant, narcissistic, obsessive. I don't want to be obsessive about food: I keep telling myself that naturally thin people don't think about food so much, and I'm supposed to be learning to think like a thin person.
(Yes, I have other sabotaging thoughts: but this is the ONE that gains most traction!!).
Next, I'm to apply the following seven questions to the sabotaging thought(s):
1. What kind of an error in thinking (of the 9 thinking errors in the book, or the 12 in the workbook) am I making?
Exaggeration: a sweeping statement of the basis of a small set of data. It's not really taking all that much additional time to follow the Beck program.
2. What evidence do I have that this thought is true? or untrue?
"Docketing" the amount of time it is actually taking me to: preplan my food (maybe 3 minutes a day on the Nutrition tracker, and no additional time because I was doing that anyhow after the fact); preplan my exercise (probably another 2 minutes, and again no additional time because I was doing that anyhow after the fact); make my lunches and salads etc (have been doing that all along anyhow, no additional time); read my response cards (seconds, really); check off the daily tasks in the workbook (again, minutes at most); blog about the process (optional, I'm doing that mostly to reinforce my own commitment and possibly be useful to others at SP who might be thinking about trying Beck/could find the initial outlay a bit pricey . . . : not Beck's requirement so doesn't count). So the evidence is: untrue.
3. Is there another way to view this situation?
Yup: been tracking for over 18 months anyway: and tracking as preplanning is way more effective because it helps with the "NO CHOICE" response: I'm not longer dithering about whether to eat or not, whether to exercise or not.
4. What's the most realistic outcome of this situation?
It will continue to take the time it takes, and I will become less "obsessive" as the skills become more natural.
5. What is the effect of my believing this thought or what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
If I continue to believe that Beck requires too much time to the point of inelegant obsession, I'll be justifying quitting it -- or more likely, fading away. Right now I'm calling it obsession because I just don't want to preplan. It's covert rebellion! I'm still struggling with the notion preplanning constrains my choices and I'd like more "spontaneity": to eat standing up, to inhale "ounces" of cheddar cheese which are really 4 ounces; to treat hunger as an emergency requiring immediate untracked inhalations of high calorie foods, and so on. So if I change my thinking about this, then I'm more likely to continue in a matter-of-fact way (not really requiring any more time or attention than I was spending before) but with a better result. Less yo-yoing, better health, less likelihood of breast cancer recurrence, continuing to be able to wear all my 8s and a few (generous) 6s!!
6. What advice would I give a friend? Stick with it, it's working for ya, and in time will become easy and natural. How do I know how a thin person thinks anyhow? The likelihood is that most naturally thin person are matter-of-fact about experiencing hunger from time to time, don't treat it as an emergency, maybe think of it as enhancing the whole experience of eating when it's time.
7. What should I do now (ie when in the moment, coping with the sabotaging "this is obsessive" thought?) Distract myself, read my cards, ignore hunger (which is not an emergency) and employ all the cognitive strategies I've been learning. Keep on keeping on.
I've copied the seven questions onto a card and added them to my stack.
This is one of the best techniques Beck offers!!
I have to use my brain to make my life work. And what is a more worthwhile use of my time than that?
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