Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Food Plan

There was a time when I wished this could be my food plan. I would like to be able to say that I was 5 years old at the time. Not so. While I certainly could not or would not want to eat like this every day, at one time I would have been happy to have a day like this once in a while. In fact I do remember the time my friend Barbara and I went out for dinner and we each ordered a salad and split 3 desserts. Barbara was and is tall, thin and gorgeous. Not so for me. I remember that I was thin when I got married; I am still trying to lose those extra pounds (and then some) I gained with pregnancy. Since my youngest son is almost 40, it is safe to say I have not been successful.

Since starting this blog, I have made some progress. I am drinking water daily. I will probably work on increasing my water intake even more in the future. I currently average 5 or 6 glasses a day. For me that has been a big improvement. I now exercise 5 days a week. I am really thankful for the two days off, but I find that the 5 days on are not bad at all. I haven't tried to talk myself out of it. That is major progress for me.

There have been a few slips, however. One occurred on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I was at a local store standing in line when I saw a tall jar of Pub Mix. I quickly looked away. Then back. Turned away once more. "Thanksgiving!" I could put it out when the family comes for Thanksgiving." In the cart it went. Who was I kidding? Of course it was opened. I did wait about 4 hours before giving in. Even though I searched for my favorite pieces, the soy chips, I did not feel good after raiding that jar. It was too salty for one thing. The neon orange color of the powdered cheese coating the little cracker twists  was a turn-off. The thrill is officially gone. If I never buy another jar of Pub Mix, it will be fine with me.

I have fallen behind on my 100 Days of Weight Loss; however, the author of the book, Linda Spangle, does not seem to mind if that happens. She says we readers can pick up where we left off. So right before Thanksgiving, I am at the page that tells me to look at my food and meditate on how it looks, how it will taste, the act of chewing it, and the sensation of swallowing it. Savor my food and watch the rest of the family gobble everything up. I will just think of their hips expanding while I slowly chew and meditate.

Finally, I have chosen a food plan. It is called The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. It is not new, and it has worked for me in the past. But I lost my focus. That is one thing I am learning; I must focus on my new way of eating and living healthy. At least for now. I know there will come a time when my healthy lifestyle will not require so much focus. It will be a part of me, something I do effortlessly. I know it will not always be easy. I will have my slips, but as long as they make me feel as lousy as the Pub Mix slip did, I believe I will succeed.

As I finish this post, Thanksgiving has come and gone. I managed not to stray too far from my plan. The next day, I was right back on the right track.  I also managed to lose 6 pounds. I have decided not to get scale-crazy. So it will be at least a week before I weigh myself again. My current feeling on this is that the more I get on a scale, the more I turn this into a diet, the more I add stress to what has, so far, been one stress-free baby step at a time.

How about you? How is it going? Have you tried any new strategies that you would like to share? Please post them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Awful Truth

It has been about a month since I started this blog. I have accomplished two things. One was planned, increasing my water intake. The other took me by surprise, exercising regularly. I am amazed that I am doing it. I don't think I have missed one day, but I admit that I do look forward to Wednesdays and Saturdays, my two days off.  Who knew?

In between sips and steps, I have been experimenting with eating plans, hoping to find one I can live with and more important, one that will keep my blood sugar in check. I have tested quite a few plans, and I think I may have found one that works for me. I will write more about it next time. It is nothing new to me; in fact, it worked before.

So if it worked before, why didn't I stick with it? Why don't any of us stick to it? My son once reminded me that I put myself through college while working as a waitress and raising him and his brother on my own.  "All you need to do is apply that same determination to losing weight." Oh, is that all? I really could not argue with that, so I tried it. Like my other attemps, it did not last.

I don't know the answer, but what I do know is that this time around, I am investing much more time in it. And much more thought. In the past, I thought I was doing everything I needed to do. I got rid of the "bad" food, planned healthy meals, shopped with a list, even kept a food journal. I got up early and exercised. Once I even thought of five things I was grateful for and repeated them aloud while I exercised. Thank you Oprah. I was very grateful when that bit the dust.

I think that the time and thought I am investing now is helping me stay on track. I have no real measurable goal. Sometimes I think maybe I should try to lose 10 pounds by a certain date, but that really is not what I want to do. I really want to live a healthy life, and I want to do it as effortlessly as possible. I want it to be part of me. Maybe that is the missing piece.

In the past I had all kinds of goals, but I merely went through the motions. Now I have no measurable goals and I find myself thinking about what I am doing, what I am eating, and what I may really accomplish.  I think about what lies ahead for the healthier version of me. I now understand what people say about exercise. It really is true that after putting time into exercise, you do not want to destroy any good you have done by eating something like a  Ferraro Rocher or drinking some sugary, fat-laden coffee with an 8 word name.

Maybe the truth is that sometimes setting a goal is not the answer.  Sometimes you just need to be mindful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Who's Counting?

This glass of champagne was my downfall. Or maybe it was the glass after this one. Might even have been the one before. I wasn't counting. But in my own defense, I did say I wasn't counting anything anymore. Certainly not glasses of champagne! It was my birthday after all. Did I mention I no longer count the years associated with my birthday?  So while the birthday is celebrated, the years are ignored. No counting! I find that it works very well.

Besides my birthday, my friend Zoraida and I had lots to celebrate. Let's see;  it was Saturday, it was Halloween, and we were free of all obligations for the day. That alone is something to celebrate. We had so much to catch up on; our lives, our work, celebrity gossip. We even discussed dieting and weight loss. Unfortunately for me that is as close as I was to sticking to my food plan for the rest of the weekend. I wonder how many calories are burned by talking?

 Surprisingly,I did not miss one day of exercise. Foodwise, I was derailed. I am back on track now, but I am surprised that I exercised every day. As a result I have switched from my 10 minute workout to Walk Away the Pounds with Leslie Sansone. Leslie said results will be seen if I use her tapes 3 or 4 times a week. I almost immediately opted for the least amount of exertion: one mile  3 times a week. But that will be too many days off. So here I am, the woman who hates exercise with an iron passion, planning to do 1 mile 5 times a week with my original routine as a backup. Leslie's workout is not that easy for me, so it will be a while before I move on to a 2 mile workout. I am very motivated.

As you can see, my initial plan to save exercise for last has been revamped. Partly because, unlike eating, it is a once-a-day activity. The other reason is that while I figure out a plan that I can live with, I am still burning calories.

Thanks for sticking with me. What have you been doing? What works for you? Please post your comments and ideas. See you next week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On the Waterfront

Hello there,

I am proud to say I am now a water drinker. I do not drink 64 ounces a day, but I'm getting there. One of my water habits is to have a drink first thing in the morning. Most of the time I have 2 glasses. I have a glass or two before lunch and dinner. I have also started drinking water if I have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Crazy? Well, I am using the WW Method. WW as in Whatever Works. Thanks to Rose for this idea. She mentioned that she does this in one of her comments. So now, like Rose, I am a middle of the night sipper. Talk about the power of suggestion.

While thinking about water consumption, it occurred to me that some people  do not like the "taste" of water. However, there are things we can do to alter the taste and form of our water. The easiest is to add a squeeze of juice from a fresh lemon, orange or lime.  How about crushing a fresh mint leaf or two into a glass filled with ice and sparkling water. I'll bet the lime or lemon and mint are good combinations. Could other herbs work?  If we can drink lavender martinis, can we drink Lavender water? As much as I adore (yes, adore) lavender, I think I will pass on that idea. But here is something I can recommend: Torani Syrup and DaVinci Sugar Free Syrup There are just a few things to remember about using these syrups. One is that it is much healthier to choose a sugar free flavor. The second thing is that you want to use just a splash of flavor. Finally, don't expect the white chocolate to taste like some super-duper white chocolate mocha java frappe with extra whipped cream. If you mix the root beer and vanilla, you will not have the exact duplicate of a root beer float. You are looking for a pleasant hint of taste that will make the water palatable.

Another idea came from Vera. Vera and her husband use the Soda Stream to make their own seltzer water. That is a great idea. Thanks Vera. The Soda Stream sounds like a real money saver for those who enjoy sparkling water.

Now for the form of water. Some people like chewing or sucking on ice cubes. I am not one of them. Inhaling steam won't do it either. What I do happen to have and enjoy is my Snowman Ice Shaver. I love this machine. We have used it for cocktailsas well as water ice (if you grew up in Philadelphia, a snow cone was called water ice). This is probably not the best time of year to recommend an  ice shaving machine, but if you enjoy a frozen daquiri, the Snowman Ice Shaver can also help you increase your intake of water, especially if you add a splash (a splash is NOT a teaspoon) of Torani or DaVinci sugar-free syrup. Or you can order sugar-free Fuzzy Navel or Strawberry Daquiri flavors on line. These are non-alcoholic flavors, by the way.

Finally, do you add ice to your water or not? Most people I know must have cold water or a tall frosty glass of water full of ice cubes before they will even think about drinking it. I can drink my water at room temperature; it seems to go down easier. Warm water does not appeal to me at all unless it is in a bathtub. However, warm water and lemon juice is supposedly a very healthy way to start your day. Now there is even a food plan based on starting your day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice.

Thanks to Ruth and Vera once again for their ideas. More of your ideas on other topics will be posted soon. So please send them or post them. Keep drinking! Water, that is. Thanks for reading along.