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Dogs, Diets, and Days Off

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I haven't posted a blog in a long while. I started one at one point but realized that it wasn't interesting. If it bores me, I certainly don't think it will interest you! I mean, the Challenge prep blog seemed a bit forced when I wrote it, too. Just haven't had a lot to say, I guess, but really want to get Pumpkin Lady off my main SparkPage.

June was kind of a lost month for me. I didn't exercise. I sat around and felt tired, lazy and sorry for myself. July hasn't been much better exercise-wise, but I feel like I'm really getting somewhere with my eating, and workouts are getting a tiny bit more regular.

Really, I haven't had a lot of time for working out. I'm being more active, moving more at work and at home, but actual exercise is more sporadic than normal.

Part of the reason is this chihuahua/terrier mix I'm fostering. I picked her up from a kill shelter in Baltimore, where she'd been left after her owner died. She'd had the same owner for her whole 12 years, and the surviving family didn't want her. It was so full in the shelter, she wasn't even in a cage; they had her in an office.

She's very sweet, and unlike Mr. Sam, she actually can (and wants to) take walks and play. Anyway, she's still here, and I don't know when she's leaving. I hope in the fall, when families start returning from vacations and routines fall back into place, that someone will take her. She's awesome with children and will make a great dog for someone.

I've been reading a few "diet" books. I've been working on the Spark since Christmas and have a Volumetrics book on my nightstand. The ones that get read faster are on my Kindle, so I actually started and finished "Diets Don't Work" by...Schwartz? Yeah, I just looked it up, and it's by Bob Schwartz. Anyway, it was good. Basically, he talks about the "Diet Mentality," and about what naturally thin people do, and as you may expect, it's actually quite simple and you've heard it before. They eat when they're hungry, and when they're not hungry anymore, they stop.

It made me realize a lot of things. I discovered a lot of reasons I eat that I wouldn't have thought of if he'd just said to write down the reasons why you eat. I "bargain eat," for example; that is, eat because it's free. I "scarcity eat," which is problematic when I bargain eat, because then I have to stock up on the free stuff, you know? Then I eat three croissants at work. And I eat because of the starving children in Africa, too.

I also realized that I have to stop thinking of food like it's something special. The bosses eat lunch together in the dining room once a week, and people go down there toward the end to get to the leftovers. One of my naturally thin friends and I were talking about how we don't want to look like beggars, so we don't go down. Then, she said, "Yeah, it's just food."

Just food? I don't know if I ever thought of food, especially good, quality, tasty, (free) food as "just" food. Reading the book made me realize that I should look at food as "just food," and that I shouldn't think about it all the time like I do. If I could only figure out how.

About halfway through, Schwartz gave the four rules of naturally-thin people's eating habits.

1. They eat when they're hungry
2. They eat exactly what they want
3. They enjoy every bite
4. They stop eating when they're not hungry anymore

I like 1, 2, and 4. 3 is problematic for me. I feel like naturally-thin people wouldn't necessarily enjoy every bite, because why would they? Why would they even think about the bite? It's just food. How do I reconcile #3 with the above anecdote with my friend. And do I need to? I feel like in my mind, I do, because it just doesn't make sense to me.

On the other hand, I'm a speed eater. I eat so fast. And people say you should eat slower so the stomach can tell the brain it's full or whatever.

So I'm trying. I am doing really well with 1 and 2. 4 is a crapshoot, but I can tell I'm improving. I've been leaving food on my plate the second I feel like it. I left half a pork chop last night, and two bites of the omelet I had this morning. Two days ago, I left a third of a sandwich on the kitchen table, and my husband fed the insides to the dogs. I still feel full probably about half the time, which isn't great; Schwartz says you should stop when you're "not hungry," not when you're "full," because "full" means different things to overweight people and naturally-thin people.

Well, then there's 3. I'm trying it. When I remember, I tell myself to keep chewing, but that's maybe twice a day.

And even though naturally-thin people apparently don't track their food, I am more or less. I'm not as regular about it as I used to be, but I do want to see what's going on, and what's going on is interesting.

I'm staying in my calorie range!

Even today, I wanted Popeye's fried chicken. I don't even like fried chicken that much, but for some reason, I wanted Popeye's. When I got hungry, I got it. And I ate it. Maybe a little much--I was fuller than I should have been at the end, but not stuffed, but when I tracked my food, including the Popeye's, I was still in range.

Even with two biscuits. And Cajun fries. emoticon


I'm finding that to be the case a lot, even when I'm having beer, and my weight is going down. I lost 1.6 pounds last week, and just .1 pounds this week, but a loss is a loss, and I'll take it.

So I took a few days off this week but didn't have a plan. I was supposed to go to NYC, but my plans fell through with that, and so I stayed at home, ran errands, watched a ton of TV, exercised a little....and I was so unfulfilled. I texted a friend yesterday to see if we could hang out because I was bored and lonely, but spent some time on things start-to-finish in the spirit of my very old blog "Happiness=Closure"

and it helped some. But I have 33 hours left of "staycay." Any suggestions on making it worthwhile?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are doing a lot of good stuff, Brenda! #4 is definitely the most problematic for me! I've pretty much mastered #1 so you would think I could do #4 but it's just so hard!
    OMG you have me drooling now thinking about Popeye's! Dang! You're doing good with the weight loss, and for someone little like you, any loss is good. I'm .4 up but I had TOM and our anniversary dinner so I'm hoping to rebound this week. I have to!
    Take that doggie for a walk!
    2042 days ago
    Way to stay in calorie range!
    2043 days ago
  • MONAKIN314
    1. They eat when they're hungry
    2. They eat exactly what they want
    3. They enjoy every bite
    4. They stop eating when they're not hungry anymore

    I like these, but I agree with you on the enjoying every bite.

    I always get what I am craving, I found that if I deny myself what I am craving I will ending up binging on it. It is only a matter of time. So when I a want to I go get it, I track it, and I move on.

    2043 days ago
  • MISSLISA1973
    Good to see you back and in the going down process. And some naturally thin people aren't really like that. One of my naturally almost-model-thin friends posted on FB the other day, "I eat Fig Newtons by the sleeve." I went out to eat with her once and saw her order a ton of stuff. She threw half of it away, so the part about stopping when full is accurate for her.

    I am learning what full means. It used to take me tons of food before I felt full, even if I thought I had had enough that I should be full. Then I started eating lots of fruits and veggies. I found myself getting full -- as in I really did not want to eat any more even though it still sounded good -- a lot more often. Then one time I didn't eat much fruit or veggies for a couple days. We went to the buffet and I just kept eating and eating until I finally felt "full." What I realized then was that what I used to think was full is actually bloated, distended, and uncomfortable. So for me, I found it was a lack of freggies. I have seen where others talk about it being protein for them. Some people say a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, which is true on one level. On another level, I have learned that some calories SATISFY whereas other calories leave us wanting more. Hope this helps!
    2043 days ago
    emoticon on your weight loss!!!

    I eat compulsively and really any reason is good as any to eat emoticon

    You will find out what works for you, I'm sure of it!!!

    2044 days ago
    Some really thought provoking items in your blog!

    I definitely "bargain eat," for example; that is, eat because it's free. I "scarcity eat," And I eat because of the starving children in Africa, too. I HATE wasting food. Sometimes I do not plan well and end up with too much food and end up trying to eat it, so that is a problem for me.

    It the 4 things, I have been doing number 2 in this latest weight loss journey, and it has been working really well for me, as long as I watch my portions and do not eat too it all at one time! I guess I do number 1 and number 3, too. Number 4 is the one I do not do yet.

    Off topic but back to one of your previous blogs....I went to see Neil Diamond by myself last month, and was immediately "adopted" for the night by a really fun couple sitting next to me. I felt fine about going on my own, but meeting them made it even more fun. We are now in touch on Facebook.

    2044 days ago
    If it is not too hot go to a park and enjoy God's beautiful nature or go on a hike. Maybe some charity work? Just do it. Work on an unfinished project.
    2044 days ago
    Idea for the remainder of your staycation: call your sister! emoticon
    2044 days ago
    Yay, you are losing weight! I'm impressed with your skillful eating-in-range.

    Yes, food is "just food," but even for lots of thin people it's also wonderful & delicious. My experience is that when I'm paying attention & enjoying every bite, I am sooner satisfied & don't feel a need to eat so much. Paying attention to the taste & texture of food is related somehow to paying attention to the body's sense of being satisfied, no longer hungry.

    I had never heard those Schwartz terms "bargain eating" & "scarcity eating"--really useful concepts, because of course we often eat with those false justifications!

    It sounds as if the dog you're fostering is a total sweetie. I can see how having another being to care for cuts down on your exercise time, but still keeps you active.

    As for what to do with the rest of your weekend: are there any free concerts-in-the-park to attend? What about reading a yummy book? I like to play word games by myself. Oh, is there a forest preserve nearby where you could go for a long walk/hike under the trees? That's one of my favorite things to do, along with going to one of the plant conservatories (also free). The elevated oxygen & the shade & fragrance just work magic for me--blissful.

    emoticon Wish I were nearby!
    2045 days ago
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