Monday, July 12, 2010

Starting Over

Hello Everyone,

It has been a few weeks, and a few things have changed. As usual, when you step back and look at a situation, you gain a new perspective. I had gained back some weight, and I was wrapped up in frustration. My focus became very negative.It was all about what I did "wrong." And so the guilt piled on, just as the pounds had.

I decided to go back to the beginning. I would read my first posts, see what my successes were,and start over. The truth is, I never got around to reading my original posts. Partly because I was very very busy this week and partly because I already knew the answer. I am sure, however, that when (not if) I go back and read them, I will find something else that will keep me on the road I need to follow.

 Meanwhile, I decided to stop worrying and blaming. I just started eating the things I know I should be eating. I stayed away from the scale. After an entire week of that, I was too curious. So, today I took a look, and what I saw made me very happy. All the pounds that piled on were almost gone. Only 1 left.

So what I learned from this setback was what I already knew. It just got buried by my need to find more; something else, something new, something better. All along, what I was looking for was right there. I am now back on track, and I am enjoying what I am eating.

I hope all of you are doing well, and as usual, I would love to read your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Liz and Shelley to the Rescue

It has been more than a month since my last post. Where has the time gone? Where have my healthy eating habits gone? I can no longer say that I have stalled or that I've hit a plateau. Otherwise that plateau would be as wide and long as the Sahara. I have gone from being frustrated, to disgusted to not caring.

I remember when starting this blog, I said I was not going to count anything. I wanted to take baby steps and make the changes seem as painless as possible. My first challenge was drinking water. I worked exclusively on it, and it worked. I am still drinking at least 6 glasses a day, most days it is 8 or 9.

Now I am counting things and I even purchased a portion control plate, which is now sitting on the top shelf almost out of reach. I am not happy, nor am I succeeding. I  think I know a few changes to make, but first, some inspiration from Liz Taylor and Shelley Winters, two actresses who had weight issues. Perhaps some of Shelley's wardrobe ideas would help while I try whittling  the weight off.  The hairdo is definitely not an option. The cocktail is. I could wear something like that wherever I go. The supermarket, drugstore, gas station. I bet it would get me in and out of places quickly. All I need to add is sunglasses and a cigarette holder.

Or Liz's jewelry techniques might help. I could walk around with the strand of pearls I use when photographing my soap products. I could just hold them across my face like Liz and make sure to pull the strand under my chin extra tight for some added lift. Maybe I could combine the two looks! Now we're talking!

Or maybe I could cut the new habits I had not planned on picking up. I have started taking advantage of the Lean Cuisine frozen entrees on sale, and I notice that I am ordering food for delivery more. You can get just about anything delivered here, no need to pick it up or drive through.  My excuse for Lean Cuisine is that it is perfect for portion control. I have a few excuses for delivery, which is NOT pizza, by the way. One delivery item that I like so much is good for 2 or sometimes 3 meals. There is so much of it and I don't have to cook. For both options, the price is right. But is it really?

I know cooking can be a pain in the neck, but it is what I always did. Even though I was cooking for one, I enjoyed making meals that I really like; I also did not mind eating the same thing a few times a week. That meant I did not cook every night.

Recently a friend of mine, who is a lot younger than I am, observed that we are the only people we know who still cook. Everyone she knows is ordering, driving through, or microwaving. I think it is true for most people I know, too.  Now I am not being critical of those who do this. I know lots of people do not cook, nor do they want to. I never liked the idea of cooking every single night. I love to dine out, and ordering food occasionally is something I have always done. Those things will not change.

What I am talking about is my personal choice to drift away from what I always did, which was to make most of my own meals. Now I am going to sound like the old fuddy-duddy that I am. When I cooked, I knew what went into my food. I can taste the salt in the food I purchase whether it is delivery or frozen. My friend made another important observation. "Who knows what preservatives are in that stuff?" How true. Having worked in many restaurants (some considered fine dining establishments) as a waitress, I know what she is talking about.

I don't know what is going to happen next. I often feel that I will continue to struggle and never lose, but just maintain these extra pounds. In the meantime, I am staying away from the frozen food aisle. If you are still with me, thanks so much for reading all the way to the end. As always, I would love to read your comments.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Every Step I Take

Hello Bloggers,

I hope you have all had a good week. Right now I am in between cars, and I have been walking all over the place. Today will be my second day off this week. I enjoy walking, but my back often tells another story. But I lost another 2 pounds of the 7 that I gained. Only 2 more to get back to where I was before vacation. The price I am paying for those cupcakes is high, but I do remember the lesson I learned. Nothing tastes as good as the first few bites. So less really is more.

 Yesterday, I rediscovered something. I can remember that in high school I never ate breakfast because when I did, I was hungry all day. Now I was in high school 50 years ago. So the low carb craze was, at best, in its infancy. I did not know anything about carbs then, just that cereal in the morning kept me eating all day. Of course when all the low carb plans evolved, I tried them and they worked. While I worked at them.

It has been an ongoing struggle, one that until recently was half-hearted. Even this time, I have strayed more than I wanted to admit. This past week was tough because of the portion control problem. Until yesterday. I saw a 5 minute microwave recipe for low carb bread. I was intrigued so I tried it, and it was not too bad. I made a sandwich with it and I was full after eating only half of it. As the day wore on, I had no cravings for anything AND NO PROBLEMS WITH PORTION CONTROL! So you know what is next, I am going to try a low carb plan once again.  Not sure I will follow a specific plan,  but I think I will just count carbs and see what happens.

Don't forget to visit Roxie's blog. Roxie is an inspiration. If you feel like straying or giving up, reading her posts will recharge you. They are both encouraging and fun to read.

See you next week.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Easy On, Not So Easy Off

Hello Everyone,

This has been quite a week. I started over. I really cast all reason and common sense to the winds while on vacation. It was oh so easy to discard my healthy new habits and fall back into my old carb-laden sugar-coated habits. I added 7 pounds as a result.  I did manage to take off 3 of those pounds, but it was not easy. So many times this week I wanted something sweet. I wanted more carbohydrates, more food! I went to bed wanting something to eat. I won't call it hunger; I think it was more of a craving. But not a craving for a certain food or taste. It was more of a craving to feel full. YUCK! Believe me I had enough food to eat.  I still have no regrets. Here's why. None of the cupcakes tasted as good as the first one. Oh they were good, but not like the first one. Now a week later, I can really feel the difference.I like this much better than that carbo-overload-on-my-way-to-a-diabetic-coma feeling I had.

That does not mean cupcakes are the enemy. They are not a daily menu item. Instead they are a treat to be savored. This brings me to my next step. Portion control has been a real problem for me. It is what I am going to focus on until I have  conquered it. I will do this by using my portion control plate, and by eating as slowly as possible. Slow slow slow. That's my new way of eating.

Don't forget to visit Roxie's blog. And as always your comments are welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Two Cupcakes Away and No Regrets


Hello Everyone,

Well, here I am back home from Cape Cod. It was a wonderful trip. I really enjoyed spending time with my friends from Make Mine Pink. One of the highlights of the trip was Cupcake Charlie's. Once you click the link, just roll your mouse over the flavor names for a picture of each of these little confections. The one pictured here is the Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcake. This wonderful little shop sells cupcakes that are truly memorable. I did not want to believe it, but I kept testing, and yes, they are truly awesome. Not just something sweet to look at, the cupcake is more than the sum of its parts. The cake is moist and flavorful. The icing is swirled on top to creamy perfection. The surprise fillings are rich and delectible. That is why I am no longer just one cupcake away. I am now 2 cupcakes away. I have gained 5 pounds.

Can you see what we were all up against? It was the cupcake counter. This photo is courtesy of Gail Friend of Gail Friend Designs.

And I even have the nerve to say , "No regrets." Yes, that is right. For me regrets provide opportunities for insight and lessons learned. I saw myself for what I really am: a sugar addict. It was like a drug. I did not stop. Besides everyone else was doing it. It was my vacation. So easy to rationalize what started as a treat, then became one poor decision after another.

Now I am starting over. Back to my plan. Hard to do? Maybe, maybe not. I will certainly find out. But one thing I know is how awful leaving my plan made me feel. How even though there were more cupcakes to be had, I got to the point where I did not want them anymore. They were no longer a treat. I learned that it is so much more enjoyable when things like that are a once a week treat. I savor them and really taste them, instead of inhaling them which is what I did last week.

 I would like to add that the cupcakes are not entirely to blame. There were days I did not drink my water. My lips felt rough and chapped as a result. I ate more restaurant food than usual. The salt content was noticeable to me. I recently discovered that I am so out of touch when it comes to food. I may be the only person in my circle of friends who actually cooks most of the time. I eat out maybe once every two months. I never have fast food. That may be why I noticed the salt content. I am hoping that accounts for some of the pounds. Even 1 pound would help.

 I am not going to beat myself up over this. Instead, I will take my lesson and move on. Every time I feel like eating junk, I will try to remind myself how much better I feel not eating it, how much better the quality of my life will be in the long run. How much healthier I can be. Make that WILL be.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Planning , Portions, and Walking on the Beach

Hello Everybody,
This week's post is up early because I will be in Cape Cod on Monday. . I have been thinking about how to handle the vacation eating. I came up with many plans from 1) no desserts, 2) eat a healthy breakfast and always have salad for lunch, 3) stick with it; you do have a cheat day coming 4) damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead. My final plan is to be mindful of what I am eating, savor the cheat day, do the best I can, and don't beat myself up if I slip. My doctor has told me to walk and not worry about the pace, so I am also hoping to get in a few long walks on the beach as my exercise.   After all, vacations come once a year...unless you are retired and look at every day as a vacation. Hmmm. maybe that's the problem. But enough of that.

Roxie and I decided to talk about portion control this week. That is the bane of my existence. One cookie is never enough.  Did anyone say ice cream? Mamalama! Ice cream is my all time favorite. I am a lifelong protein lover, so I can easily go overboard on what might seem like a healthy food. Okay, so you get the idea.

The portion control problem is not entirely our fault.  Have you ever noticed not just the size of the portions in restaurants, but the size of the plates? One of my favorite restaurants was Ernie's, an Italian restaurant  in Manhattan. The first time I ate there I was astounded by the bowl containing my entree. That bowl was bigger than any serving bowl I have ever seen. It was not brimming to the top or even half full, but the portion was still huge. Ernie's was NOT a family style restaurant where you order portions for 4 or more; it was a single portion restaurant. That was over 15 years ago. Since then restaurant portions have become much worse. The plates in some restaurants are the size of a satellite dish. Maybe even bigger. Imagine being a server and carrying those things around. So what's an overweight girl to do? Well, there are a few things. You can use a handy chart of portions, or even pictures of portions. Or you can try the Portion Plate. It looks like a great idea to me. I am going to order one. The site is also diabetic friendly and even has a very helpful portion quiz. You might also want to check out what the Mayo Clinic says about portions and servings. The bottom line is that you have to work at it. Really really work at it. That is something I am still struggling with. When I am successful, it is because I have reminded myself how much healthier and happier I am when I eat the right thing.

Have a great week. Marie

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Marilyn, Roxie, and Me

Hello Everybody,

So what am I doing with a picture of Marilyn Monroe? It happens to be one that I will be using for my Marvelous Melons soap, but that is another story. I have read more than a few times that Marilyn was a size 14. Even if it is not true, and she was a size 12 or even a 10, I love that she was in the double digits. Some psycho designers now consider 14 a plus size. But I will settle for size 14. It is a respectable size. Marilyn looks pretty good to me in this picture. I think she is looking right at me. She is! She is saying, "Marie!! you can do it. I know you can. When you are a size 14, I'll let you borrow my dress." Well Marilyn, okay. I guess I could wear it on my birthday, which happens to be on Halloween. That could work. Thanks for cheering me on. This brings me to my next topic.

I am so happy that my friend Roxie is joining me on this trip. Unlike Marilyn, Roxie is a real living person. I know that together we can accomplish much more than doing it alone. Roxie and I will be sharing our thoughts, experiences, ups and downs, tips, and recipes with all of you. We would love to have you along for the ride. We will be blogging on Mondays. You can find Roxie at her blog. In addition, we are both members of Make Mine Pink. Look for our posts on the forum. Hope to see you. As always, your comments and suggestions are very much appreciated.