Friday, January 29, 2010

Starting over?

Hello Everyone,

I know it has been a while since my last post, but it has taken a while to feel better. I certainly did not bounce back from my bout of poor health. I lost some weight as a result, and I have been anxiously avoiding the scale. I expected some pounds to return because I knew I would start eating more than I did while I was sick. So far only about 3 or  4 pounds have returned. I can certainly live with that.

Along the way I have had a few bad days. One day I had a pity party; only cookies would make me feel better. Ha! Well, I did read the labels carefully and chose to buy a very small box of cookies. I knew better than to attempt the 100 calorie packs; I would have ripped them all apart at once and devoured them. I was very happy with my little box. Then there was the day I needed pretzels. I have loved pretzels ever since I can remember, and I still do. Unfortunately, we have a very volatile relationship and can not live together.

So where am I now? Have new habits gone by the wayside? Is my water intake back to being very low? Have I poured sugary treats down my throat and found myself in a carb-induced sugar stupor?  The answer is yes...and NO! Yes because of the cookie and pretzel slips. Other than the few slips, I have not lost the new habits. There were a few days when I did not drink my water, but I quickly began to crave it. No sugary treats except for the cookies. No more pretzels. That craving has been satisfied for a while. I say for a while because realistically, I know that I will not go through life never having another pretzel or cookie.

The only thing that I have not resumed is exercise. It's no surprise. But even that seems to be something I want to do again. Believe me, that is a first. I did not push myself to resume doing it. I knew I would go back to it. This may sound crazy, but the feeling that I would return to it is probably what is motivating me to start again. I think if I had chastised myself or become discouraged, I would make excuses, feel like a failure, and give it up. But I know I will be doing it in the next few days because I can visualize myself doing it, and because I remember how good it felt and because I felt so  healthy doing it.

That is all for now. I hope you are all doing well. I am looking forward to reading your comments.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

A New Sensation

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!
I know it has been a long time, but I was sidetracked by a kidney infection which knocked me off my feet for a while. Then before I knew it, it was Christmas. I operated in slow motion over the holidays, but everything seems to be okay now. I knew I was back to normal the other day when I woke up and thought about exercising.

So what is this new sensation? Zhu zhu? No. A Slanket?  Guess again.  How about an inflatable lamp? The more you pump it the bigger the balloon and the brighter the light? Nope. Read on.

One thing that happened while I was sick, which is not surprising, is that I could not eat anything. I had only soup, water, ginger ale, and the occasional Saltine cracker. Forcing myself to eat something was a new sensation for me. And it went on for a long time, about 3 weeks. At one point, my son bought me vanilla ice cream so I could get something down that had  some calories. Even with that, I lost 15 pounds.

In my earlier post about the water challenge, I tested the concept of forming a new habit in 3 weeks. It worked for drinking water, and it seems to be working now for eating. I no longer have to force myself to eat anything, but eating less is not difficult most of the time.On one or two occasions when I ate larger portions, I felt very uncomfortable. It is the same feeling of discomfort I now also get when I eat too much processed food or too much sugar.

At one point, my doctor was ready to put me in the hospital. That was a wake up call for me.  I always took my health for granted  until I got close to retirement.  But even then I was halfhearted about it. Now it is a top priority.

I also learned  the difference between real hunger and the desire (habit!) to eat. I eat even more slowly than I did before. I put my fork down more often between bites and savor the food. I really think about the taste and texture of the food. A few evenings when I felt the desire to eat,  I drank more water or a glass of V8 which tastes so good to me and fills me up. If that was not enough, I would just go to bed hungry. It turned out I really wasn't hungry at all. It was just an old habit (snacking) dying hard.

I apologize for dwelling on my illness, but I have to say it  changed a lot of things in my life  for the better. I have slowed my pace down and try to enjoy whatever I am doing. I make an effort to relax and enjoy a least one good laugh every day. I am eating as slowly as possible, putting the fork down more often, and savoring my meals instead of eating mindlessly in front of the tv or while doing something else. It is making a difference for me. I know it will for you too. I'd love to read your thoughts on this, so please comment.

And, yes the 15 pounds is still gone.