Friday, March 04, 2011
If Beck's musings on drinking and travel were perhaps not so immediately useful to me, this chapter has huge resonance.
Like most people who've been around as long as I have (!) there have been many emotional challenges in my life and for many many years I believe that I did soothe emotion with food.
But (and Beck doesn't entirely capture this, especially in the context of social get-togethers, travel and so on) food was the treatment of choice for dealing with positive emotion too. So:
And so on.
Beck has persuaded me that hunger is not an emergency requiring immediate treatment with food. (When I'm "hungry" now, I sometimes imagine the sound of an ambulance siren: "BEE-BOP BEE-BOP BEE-BOP" speeding towards me with emergency life-saving supplies of potato chips, yeah right).
And emotion in general is not an emergency which I need to soothe with eating. Eating doesn't work. When the emotion is negative, the excess eating makes me feel worse. Even a little excess eating -- 100 excess calories a day -- packs on 10 extra pounds a year. But worse than that -- since SP is about more than weight loss/maintenance -- eating actually distracts me from dealing with the underlying problem (if it's possible to deal with it). Or in the alternative, it prevents me from achieving that "oh well" equilibrium which matter-of-factly accepts that disappointments and failures are part of human existence.
Beck doesn't write about this, but I think it's equally important: when the emotion is positive, the excess eating takes the edge off it, dulls the happy times. I want to feel the euphoria, not the cheesecake. I want to experience joy, not indigestion. Yeah.
OK, I'm getting it. If emotion is the problem, eating isn't the answer.
And emotion shouldn't be a problem anyhow -- I wanna take a closer look at that!!
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Beck asks us to anticipate how we'll deal with the Beck program while on the road.
I've kept off an 80 pound weight loss for almost a decade (with a few small blips here and there) so I've travelled quite a bit during that period of time.
And I know what I do: stick with the program. Track my calories. Probably exercise more than usual because we tend to be active while we're away: more walking, golf, swimming, kayaking, birdwatching, shelling, galleries, museums. And we typically stay at condos/small houses/apartments for rent by owner (there is a great selection on the internet) and continue to prepare our own meals because we prefer it. So I have often come home down a pound or even two after a week away. Last summer when I took a course in Toronto, I rented a small apartment close to campus, prepared my own meals, walked everywhere, and easily maintained my weight. I just don't like restaurant food enough to "spend the calories" on it: would rather buy local produce and fish in the market, experiment with a bottle of local wine, see what local spices/seasonings are available -- it's part of the holiday experience. Makes me feel like a "native" of wherever we are. I even buy local flowers for the table!
Beck suggests some people may like to add 300 planned calories every day; or a minor splurge of 500 calories on several days; or a major splurge of 1000 calories on one day: and expect to gain a pound or two as the "price" of the holiday. Good strategy for lots of folks, better than unrestrained eating on a 12 day cruise -- but not my style. The thought of an all-inclusive with free bar etc. where many people are eating and drinking with abandon to "get their money's worth": arrgh.
I sympathize that people want full value, but I don't wanna be there.
Don't wanna do it myself, don't wanna see it either.
Don't want to travel to a compound surrounded by barbed wire patrolled by people on golf carts with guns keeping the locals out. Would rather meet the locals on their own turf, buying fresh mangoes or snapper from them or whatever -- not in a situation where they are waiting on me or cleaning my room.
What I will add to my usual travel routine from Beck will be: Sitting down every time; Eating slowly and mindfully; Reminding myself that hunger is not an emergency. These strategies are new additions to my repertoire and will stick.
Today's weight: 148.5. Probably a temporary blip down, but nice to see that middle number 4. Hip measurement 38. Waist measurement at 28. I've got a challenging skirt for this occasion which is pleated and full but quite snug through the middle . . .
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.
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