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Facing Your Worst Fears

Monday, November 28, 2011

I just read today's SparkPeople Healthy Reflections.

This one is 'speaking' to me personally today.

Here's the reflection:

Facing your worst fears...

Your worst fears are usually the ones that never happen. Unfortunately, they're also the ones that keep you from trusting yourself and your abilities. Doesn't it seem silly to give up in the face of an anxiety that may be no more real than the fairy tale troll that lives under the bridge? If you approach a possible roadblock with hesitation, it might resist and break your resolve. But if you step forward with confidence, you can climb that wall, even one inch at a time, and pull yourself over the top. It's all about confidence, which you build by facing problems. Then you know that you can take on anything that comes along. The unknown monster under the bed is always scarier than the dust bunny reality.

I can worry myself sick and usually, it ends up being a 'dust bunny' under my bed and not the 'monster.'
I think it goes back to my always seeing the negative or the down side of things...before I see the positive or the upside of things. I have worked really hard to get rid of this 'stinkin thinkin' but still struggle with it. And when I get down, worry or filled with anxiety of what 'might be,' I reach for food to comfort myself. Well, I am doing less of that these days and trying to stare down those demons...without turning to food. Food used to numb those feelings. It's tough to stay with these feelings when they come...but as I try new behaviors and new ways of reacting, food is losing it's 'magic spell' over me.

I try to see the positive in everything these days, even if the event is painful and I find myself anxious at first. It's the hard work I need to do so that I don't eat for comfort...temporary comfort, that really isn't comfort at all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARMSPRINGDAY 12/4/2011 1:02PM

    I'm in the boat with you. Thank you for sharing this.
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1BEACHWALKER 12/3/2011 4:27PM

    Know what you are talking about! I loved that article too, a thought provoker! Good for you! We all need to face whatever worries us head on and not use food as our comfort or place to feel good after a stress filled day! I am a worrier too and since I have an anxiety disorder-everything seems amplified! It is hard, but I know we can do it if we keep trying hard! Good for you!! emoticon

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GRACEISENUF 12/3/2011 4:18PM

    Certainly been there/done that.

Now on with the new approach for both of us!



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NPDSLEUTH 11/28/2011 10:20PM

    Wow -- if it's any consolation I know just how you feel! Before i read this, I just blogged about something very similar.

Ah, food, you just aren't the friend you made yourself out to be -- and I'm not going back to the "dance" with you again.

Well, another thing we have in common -- we've both been worrywarts but are fighting the good fight to get outta that mindset and remain positive. I KNOW you can do it -- and I will too.

Thanks for always supporting me, my friend. I want to do the same for you. Much love, N.



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HESSNER 11/28/2011 8:56PM

    I had an experience that completely plays into this. I was terrified of a meeting today and couldn't kick it. I finally resolved to stop worrying about it and to go in with confidence and take over if need be. Honestly, once I resolved to not worry about it my day really brightened up. The meeting went surprisingly well and my day was very satisfying. I think its all a matter of perspective like you said, and at first it requires a mental resolve to say enough is enough. Good luck with everything, and just remember that sometimes its literally a day at a time.

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ROSEWCI 11/28/2011 5:46PM

    I think we all succumb to worry now & then...& even tho we may have "learned" new ways to deal w/stress & anxiety, we sometimes resort back to old ways! I'm speaking about myself here now! Smiling.... Even tho I feel I've "reset" my thinking...it's never far behind! And it doesn't seem to take much for those old ways to come creeping back!

You've done such a fine job Maria! And I don't see you as being a negative person at all! You're right tho! We never stop learning....& we should never give up trying to change for the better! We CAN do it! One day at a time, my friend! One day at a time!

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Comment edited on: 11/28/2011 5:48:11 PM

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MEADSBAY 11/28/2011 3:09PM

    It's funny about that whole 'stinkin' thinking" thing.
It must be part of one's basic personality or how we learn to cope with life as we grow up- some of us are worriers and some are not. I do think it is something that you can work on, though.
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Comment edited on: 11/28/2011 3:10:37 PM

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THINRONNA 11/28/2011 2:20PM

    You are a very smart woman Maria. I am amazed to read your words about seeing the negative side of things first because, while I do of course believe you, I do not see that in you at all. You are such a positive and affirming person and that really comes through here on Spark. But I sure do know what you mean about worry. I have two worry lines in between my eyebrows that will never go away from so much time spent worrying!

Congratulations to you for realizing that your method for comforting yourself (eating) was no good for you and facing down your worrys head on. This is so great. You are a strong and smart woman!

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SMILEYBEE 11/28/2011 2:16PM

    Maria, you are always so positive in your interactions with me that I'm surprised to hear you have had to work on dealing with negative thinking. Thank you for sharing this. It is helpful to know that others struggle with issues too! I loved the unknown monster/dust bunny analogy.

To quote that old ad: You've come a long way baby! Thank you for all the positive feedback you provide!

Have a lovely day! Betty

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Lowest Achievable Weight vs. Lowest Maintainable Weight

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Lowest Achievable Weight vs. Lowest Maintainable Weight "

I have been thinking and working on these two issues in recent months…
In the book titled: The Beck Diet Solution, by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. ~ Judith Beck talks about, making a distinction between those two things (achievable vs. maintainable weight).

She makes the point: You don't want to be doing anything to GET to a weight you intend to MAINTAIN, that you are NOT willing to do FOREVER. That includes both "diet" (food plan) and exercise...She makes the point that since you can expect your metabolism to DECLINE with age, that you would have to exercise MORE and eat even LESS to maintain that weight as you age.

"You need an eating and exercise plan you can comfortably live with for the rest of your life."

So that is what I have been trying to figure out.
How to eat and exercise and maintain my personal goal weight.
I have settled for a goal of 8 pounds below my original goal weight set by Spark People when I started this journey in June, 2010. By mid-July 2011 I was there…57 pounds lost.

Since that time I have tried to see if I could lose and maintain a bit more weight.

I did lose almost another 5 pounds.

But, since fall I have discovered that I can’t cut my calories or exercise more – to make maintaining that weight part of my new lifestyle.

For the winter I will work on maintaining my weight at the 57 pounds lost mark – by focusing on healthy eating/food plan & a committed, but sensible exercise program.

Next spring when I am naturally more active, I will see what my body wants to do.

For now, I won’t make myself crazy. I will learn how to live at my present weight – comfortably, as Dr. Beck suggests.

Some other valuable points from her book:

If you have reached a weight plateau:

Regarding your food plan, ask yourself:
Do I want to eat less?
Will I get enough satisfaction if I eat less?
Will eating less be healthy and fit into my lifestyle?
Could I live with this food plan comfortably for the long term?

Regarding your exercise plan, ask yourself:
Do I really want to increase the frequency, duration and intensity of my exercise?
Will I have enough time and energy to devote to more exercise?
Will exercising more be healthy for me? Or will I be overdoing it?
Will I easily be able to keep up an increased level of exercise for the long term?

What if your lowest maintainable weight is HIGHER than the weight you wish to achieve? "But I want to be thinner" thinking....

Continue to enrich your life...in ways other than losing weight.

Focus on the parts of your body that please you the most.

Say to yourself "oh well"....

Focus on how you've improved.

Change your comparison.

Prepare yourself mentally before you weigh yourself.

Accept compliments from others.

Act "as if."

"The richer your life, the less you'll focus on your weight."



I would recommend reading her book for more details: The Beck Diet Solution ~ train your brain to think like a thin person ~ Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIWI202 11/24/2011 9:19PM

    Great blog! Something we all can take from! Although, I'm only halfway toward my goal, it's good to think about your maintenance weight before you get there, because this really is a lifestyle change we're making.

Thanks for the blog and book recommendation!

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WARMSPRINGDAY 11/24/2011 7:27PM

    Good common sense!

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THINRONNA 11/23/2011 4:59AM

    This is an excellent blog Maria! It really strikes a chord with me right now. You have given me a lot to think about in a healthy way. Thank you and great job on being so insightful and thoughtful on your own journey!

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1BEACHWALKER 11/18/2011 1:56AM

    emoticonGood thoughts to ponder! I am still working on the magic formula to being a better me! In all different ways! Can hardly wait to be thin, but it is always a work in progress! I am patient! I know I will get there! emoticon

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ROSEWCI 11/11/2011 5:45AM

    THANKS for the recommendation Maria! I'll check it out!

Even though I haven't reached goal weight yet! I'm comfortable w/my weight as is...so I'm not feeling the "drive" to push myself! My weight's been bouncing around a 5 lb span for quite a while now...even w/my exercising 2 hours daily! And with the holidays coming up...I'm gonna just plan to hold steady! I'm live w/these 2 mantra's at the moment!

* Eat to live, not live to eat!
* Eat less...move more!

You've done such a fine job Maria! And you continue to gain insight & strive to do better! I'm learning from you, as you strategize through maintenance! Keep us "in the loop"...& informed! I LOVE when you share your knowledge!

(& your recipes too!) emoticon

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SMILEYBEE 11/10/2011 7:12PM

    Another thought filled blog Maria. Thank you!

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MEADSBAY 11/10/2011 6:11PM

    Some wise words here, Maria- Beck's and yours.
Thanks so much for sharing.
You gave me a lot to think about.
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SEATTLE58 11/10/2011 5:46PM

    Thanks so much for writing all you wrote about dieting and maintaining. I know that I can get way overly obsessed and that's not a good thing. Just like I was reading on SP recently about losing weight with being so concerned about low-fat foods to the point of not getting enough fat! Wow, that really hit me. I guess this is one of the reasons that I love SP and the nutrition tracker, down to the details of the min.'s to the max.'s on each category. It's a long ways before I get down to my goal but I've certainly gotten a good start on it. I want to really be in tune with my body to know when I feel good and I have the symptoms of good health and not bad. I really want to get that book. I've been obsessed with my weight as long as I can remember! Every day I think about it! Yes, I need that book!! emoticon I know you'll get the satisfaction you need to feel good about yourself and your health because you're going down the right road! Good luck!

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EMMANYC 11/10/2011 2:47PM

    This is a great post. Thank you. The issue of maintainable weight is something I have thought about since I reached my goal weight about 18 months ago.

In addition to the points made above, which are about healthy weight and healthy attitude, there also some practical and possibly superficial factors to consider in choosing a goal weight. I'm talking, of course, about clothes.

Earlier this year, my weight dropped to 122 (versus a goal weight of 125-128) because of illness and some other factors. My initial thought was "Cool! I wonder if I can keep my weight down there?"

As it turned out, however, 122 wasn't a "convenient" weight for me. At 122, I'm too small for my usual size 8 tops/size 4 pants, but size 6 tops and size 2 bottoms don't fit properly. My shoulders and hip bones are too broad (I have a kind of X shape), but the larger-sized clothes that fit my shoulders and hips hung off me. This has happened to before, when I was a lot younger, and I remember that I spent a lot of time trying on clothes and looking like I was wearing tents, or getting clothes altered. (Also, my weight wasn't very stable at that level, so I'd fit into the size 2s for what felt like 2 minutes ...)

When I weigh about 127-128, my clothes fit perfectly without alteration. When I weight 132-135, my clothes feel tight but I swim in the next size up. So purely from a practical (and superficial) perspective, the best weight for me is 125-128.

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ISHIIGIRL 11/10/2011 1:22PM

    Wow, what a great blog! Thanks for sharing and you hit the nail on the head with this one. I am right in this train of thought. What is a maintainable weight may not be sustainable over the long term. At 47, I continue to ask myself how maintainable my current efforts are and what will I do as I age. And I think it is very interesting what she says about how rich our lives are. I guess she is saying if your life is rich and full you will not have time to focus on your weight. Interesting.

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STEFFSJET 11/10/2011 12:50PM

    Great things to think about! I had not even started this train of thought since I have so much weight still to lose but I have to say it gives me lots to consider.

Good luck this winter and hopefully spring will be bouquets of flowers and answers for you.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 11/10/2011 12:39PM

    Yes! That is absolutely true- what can you maintain for the long term? Can you maintain the exercise? The eating? That is KEY! Otherwise you will be stressed, frustrated and end up more than likely gaining.


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DANIELLESAUTUMN 11/10/2011 12:29PM

    This is amazing insight- and something I think a LOT of people on this site need to think about. Even myself being at 210lbs I know what I cna do to maintain. Good for you for not just trying to get to the lowest weight possible- because then you WOULD set yourself up for failure when you try to maintain. Everyone has to find their happy medium- something that's just attainable and possible to keep up with.

Good luck this winter- and congrats on your loss!!

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Living Life

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Today I would like to share something written by a Minnesota artist - Bonnie Mohr.

We have several of her prints displayed in our home. Most are of cows and life on the farm.

This is the verse from one my daughter gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago and it hangs in our living room. It's of a big, beautiful Oak Tree. I have a 'thing' about trees.


Living Life by Bonnie Mohr

"Life is not a race - but indeed a journey.
Be honest. Work hard. Be choosy.
Say "thank you" and " great job' to someone each day.
Go to church, take time for prayer.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.
Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper.
Love your life and what you've been given,
it is not accidental -
search for your purpose and do it as best you can.
Dreaming does matter.
It allows you to become that which you aspire to be.
Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them.
Some of the best things really are free.
Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming.
Forgive, it frees the soul.
Take time for yourself - Plan for longevity.
Recognize the special people you've been blessed to know.
Live for today, enjoy the moment."

May you have a wonderful first day of November!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 11/23/2011 4:55AM

    Beautiful! Thank you.

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1BEACHWALKER 11/7/2011 3:48PM

    emoticon emoticonHave a happy November!

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SMARGED 11/6/2011 3:07PM

    Very nice! You do share some beautiful things!!

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MRSBENNETT2 11/2/2011 7:50PM

    I like this!

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ROSEWCI 11/2/2011 7:20AM

    What a great sentiment! emoticon for sharing!
Happy November to ya! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAINA413 11/1/2011 9:55PM

    That was beautiful. Thank you for posting that!
Have a wonderful November!!

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SEATTLE58 11/1/2011 8:27PM

    Awesome and thank you so much for sharing. emoticon

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COOKWITHME65 11/1/2011 4:45PM

    This is beautiful Maria. Thank you so much for sharing.

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SMILEYBEE 11/1/2011 1:31PM

    Maria, that you live by these words is obvious to me. You are such a kind and giving friend. I am so blessed to have connected with you through SparkPeople!
Have a fabulous day!

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MEADSBAY 11/1/2011 1:16PM

    That is just so beautiful!
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DADDYS_GIRL6 11/1/2011 12:53PM

    Maria thanks so much for sharing that sweet poem! It was a real encouragement to me today! Happy Nov. 1st to you too!!

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Ten Steps to Permanent Weight Loss

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I read articles from all sources to help me make permanent weight loss a lifestyle change, not just another yoyo weight loss - weight gain episode.

Today I read an article by Sabine Persenaire titled "Ten Steps to Permanent Weight Loss."

I'd like to share the ten points here. You can read the entire article - with details of each point, at this link:

www.livestrong.com/article/361641-10
-steps-to-permanent-weight-loss/


I know if I focus on these points and make them part of my daily life, I will be one step closer to maintaining my weight. I also know that I have to make an effort each and every day. Atleast for now. I hope that at some point it will be second nature. I have read that maintaining one's weight is supposed to get easier over time. I am hoping that this will be true for me.


1. Promise Yourself You Will Never Diet Again - (I made this pledge along time ago and am sticking with it.)

2. Identify What's Holding You Back - (This point I continue to work on - the emotional and mental work of why I was overweight.)

3. Pledge to Take Care of Yourself, Now and Always - (I have really bought into this one!)

4. Get Moving - (I also know that I have to make exercise a part of each day of the my life if I want to maintain my weight.)

5. Identify What Foods You Cannot Live Without - (This was fun. There are foods that I can't live without and won't. I can have them, just not as much or as often as I used to eat them. But, I still can have them!)

6. Be Present and Mindful - (Again, a point I continue to work on. I eat too fast; I eat while doing other things sometimes. I need to focus on my food and enjoy it.)

7. Start Cooking - (This one is one I really enjoy. I love to cook and bake. I know I can make most dishes tastier and healthier than if I were to buy them ready made. I still enjoy eating out atleast once a week. And I can do that!)

8. Relax and Take it Slowly - (Yup! I took it slowly. 60 Pounds lost in about 1 year and 3 months. I want this weight to stay off. Slow and steady wins the race, right?)

9. Have Faith in Yourself - (I have had to learn to believe in myself. I CAN do it! We ALL CAN do it!)

10. Take Pleasure in Food - (I love to eat. I eat less now, but enjoy it more!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNINGWAVE 11/18/2011 9:10PM

    I'm new here and just started & I really like this! It's inspiring and helpful. Thank you!

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SMARGED 11/6/2011 3:06PM

    I love your blogs, too. Maria. Don't know how I missed this one, as I am supposedly subscribed to your blogs.... Maybe the email is there and I just never saw it.... I am way behind on emails again!! Hope to catch up a bit today!

I really like this blog - am going to save it... and go back over it occasionally. I need to work on # 2, 6 and 7. # 10 is easy!!! I, too, love to eat and really enjoy it!

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SMILEYBEE 10/29/2011 11:25PM

    Thanks Maria! You have the best blogs!

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JUNA89 10/27/2011 11:07PM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon

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AMYHAY1 10/27/2011 8:16PM

    Wonderful points! Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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MEADSBAY 10/27/2011 4:24PM

    Excellent points there!
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ROSEWCI 10/27/2011 3:33PM

    LOVE these! You've done such a fine job Maria! I have no doubt you'll be able to maintain your weight loss. But I know whatcha mean....it can get away from ya in the blink of an eye! I've been there, done that several times! So I speak from experience....

These are all good points to ponder! I need to especially take note of #6...& be mindful of my snacking! It's my downfall!

Thanks for the helpful list! emoticon

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BLESSEDGIGI 10/27/2011 3:08PM

    emoticon No 4 is also the main point I have to work on the most.

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DADDYS_GIRL6 10/27/2011 3:07PM

    Thanks for sharing! All 10 points - how very true! It is coming off slowly,
but faster than when I was trying to diet! And it is staying off! I feel so much better and the success is wonderful!
Congrats on your Success too!!

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OHMEMEME 10/27/2011 3:05PM

    Great Job on the 60lbs! I hope I can be so patient. I've lost 29lbs in the past 6 months with 25 to go. I shudder in disbelief that it has already been 6 months but then shudder again when I think ahead of 6 months longer to lose the remainder. I am trying to refocus my attitude about this process and your blog has helped. Thanks for sharing.
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GRACEISENUF 10/27/2011 3:01PM

    Maria these are excellent points to ponder. #4 for me personally is the most important and has been the key to unlock my success her on SP.

Thanks for a great blog!

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My Love Affair...with Medjool Dates

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Each fall and longer if I can find them, I puchase Medjool dates.
This aren't your ordinary dates.

Susan Russo in an article for NPR describes them well; she says:

"Medjool dates are deep amber-brown and have a slightly crinkly skin that shimmers from natural sugar crystals. Bite into one, and your teeth sink into satisfyingly sticky flesh that tastes of rich caramel, hints of wild honey and a touch of cinnamon. Melt-in-your-mouth Medjools are so luscious they taste as if they have been warmed in an oven."

I love to bake with them. But since joining Spark People, I just eat them as special snacks. A serving is 2 large Medjools. Heaven. And portion control.

Ms. Russo offers these tips about purchasing, storing and eating Medjools:

"This season's crop is currently available at supermarkets and online. They range from $6 to $10 per pound, depending on their size and quality, and come in grades: choice, soft, fancy, large and jumbo. In this case, bigger is better. Splurge and go for the jumbo."

"To store Medjools, leave them covered on the counter for up to a week or place them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to six months."

"There is one caveat regarding Medjool dates: They are addictive. Eating too many of these sugary jewels can induce a hyperglycemic laziness (this is a benign condition which a brief nap will remedy)."

"So I offer you the following three suggestions: 1. Pace yourself. 2. Leave the pits in full view so you can keep count of how many you've eaten. 3. Ask somebody else in your house to find a good hiding place for the remaining dates and swear not to tell you."

Yes, they are addicting. So I do take my 2 dates out of the container they come in, and return that to the refrigerator before I sit down to enjoy my treat.

They used to be my private, little treat - but within the last year both my husband and daughter have ventured to try them and continue to eat them when I have them in the house. My secret stash isn't so secret anymore and it doesn't last as long as it used to.

I have found these at Sam's Club and Trader Joe's. I am sure if you live in California, you could find them at farmers markets.


Here's the nutrition information on Medjool Dates:

nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-
and-fruit-juices/7348/2




To read Susan Russo entire article at NPR, please go to:

www.npr.org/templates/story/story.ph
p?storyId=15282847

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZZELIZ 1/21/2012 1:41PM

  I have been eating these for many years now. A family from the Middle East owns a produce store in our neighborhood, so they are almost available there . I have found them in our local Grocer, Big Y. Slice one down the center, take out the pit, and insert crunchy peanut butter or as many cashew halves as will fit.. It's a wonderful after work snack. When I was younger I would also roll them in sugar, but now that I have type 2 diabetes I forgo the sugar. Dates are high in carbs, but have a lot of fiber too. If you want them to taste even sweeter, put a few in the microwave in a cereal bowl with 2 Tablespoons of sugar and heat for 30 seconds or more.. PS I live in Springfield, MA...

Comment edited on: 1/21/2012 1:43:11 PM

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SMILEYBEE 10/27/2011 2:21PM

    I don't think I've ever had these ... I'll keep an eye out for them next time I shop!
Thanks Maria!

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ROSEWCI 10/27/2011 6:14AM

    Delish Maria! emoticon Our local supermarket sells them this time of year! I love 'em too!

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PROVERBS31JULIA 10/26/2011 7:54PM

    Even if you live 1500 miles from California and the nearest TJ's (I MISS MY TJ's - last one I went to was in San Diego. Sniffle!!), in places like Kansas, you can get fresh luscious Medjool dates. Just find your nearest Lebanese or Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant and collar the owner - ask them if you can buy some from their stash!!
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Actually, in Wichita, they can be obtained at Sam's Club, at Byblos Imports, at N&J's Cafe & Bakery, at Bagatelle Bakery and those are the places I can think off the top of my head...oh and the Dillons MarketPlace grocery stores (Dillons is a Kroger affiliate).

Oh and strangely enough, some of the SDA (Seventh Day Adventists) have private stores that you might be able to access if you call ahead, or find local health food stores that are formerly owned by SDA - they are into vegan cooking and use Medjool dates as substitutes for white bleached sugar (as well we all should be doing!!).

But it is YUMMY and I like to think of them as "Soul Food From Jesus' Time" and imagine Him enjoying delicious Medjool dates after a healthy meal!!

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MARZIPAN22 10/26/2011 5:42PM

    We do live in California and one of my very favorite local treats is dates stuffed with walnuts. Oh my gooooodness!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/26/2011 5:42:50 PM

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DADDYS_GIRL6 10/26/2011 5:30PM

    Ah I too have discovered this special treat! Thanks for sharing all the info about them!

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GRACEISENUF 10/26/2011 3:47PM

    I don't recall every trying them but I sure will now! If I like them I'm sure I can find a secret place to stash them, lol!

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