It Takes Time

I’ve been thinking about this since Christmas, when I ate more cookies than I should have, and I made the discovery that sugar leads to more sugar, leads to me wanting more sugar, leads to I WANT SUGAR NOW GIVE ME MY SUGAR, IMUSTHAVESUGARNOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW.  Really, I don’t know how I didn’t know this before.  I mean, I had an inkling that it might be a problem, and so, a lot of times I was choosing sugar free stuff on purpose, but somehow, something deep and internal has been learned.

But I digress.  What I have been thinking about is that question my sister asked last summer:  “Did your tastes change?”  And I really thought they hadn’t.  I still crave and love good food.  I had just discovered different food.  But I think she is right.  My tastes did change.  But it took a lot of time.  And I think it was a very gradual process for me.  So when I started, and I said, no more to unlimited sweets, no more to big giant brownies, etc.,  suddenly a Luna bar named German Chocolate Brownie seemed like such a good deal to me.  Or a Fiber One bar with little chocolate chips.  So before when I would have tasted these things and would have compared them to a ‘real’ brownie and a ‘real’ chocolate chip cookie, of course they would have come up deficient and been discarded as not worthy.  But now, since the ‘real’ things were essentially not available anymore (by my choice) it seemed delightful to me that I could ‘indulge’ in these treats.  And of course, since then, I have further changed and challenged my taste buds to enjoy even healthier treats, such as the ‘La Raw’ bars made only with dates, walnuts, and cocoa powder.  But it has taken a lot of time.  I am approaching the four year mark since starting this journey.

And that is the thing I notice all over blogland, and even closer to home with friends and acquaintances.  If a person is extremely successful and loses the weight quickly, either via discipline or surgery, they still have a lot of ‘work’ to do, whether it be in learning to eat well, or exercise, or accepting their imperfect body, or internalizing the fact that they are no longer fat.  That stuff just takes time.  I think it takes about four years…Ha!  since that is where I am right now.  But just recently, I have begun to feel so much more confident about the permanence of this change.  Just recently I have begun to think of myself as an athletic person (that is still not something I would say out loud to anybody.  But I do think it, at least.)  I actually always said that when I had maintained for 5 years, I could consider myself in remission.  So that time is still a long way off.

Some of the blogs that entered into this thought process:  Lynn wrote a great post this morning about running into the dark for your weight loss quest and coming back with something bigger and better than you expected—she related it to her dog going out to chase a toy and coming back with a dead possum!  You have to read this post!  And this guy has a GREAT weight loss success story (130 pounds in one year on W.W.!,) and has even run a 50 mile marathon, and yet admits to struggling with the ‘fat guy’ in his head.  And, of course, Lori, who has been so successful, and yet admits to the sugar monster roaring pretty fierce, and all my friends out there who are still struggling with this thing, whatever it is.  But as Linda put it:  NEVER GIVE UP!  This sounds so simple, but it struck me as profound.  If you really adopted that, NEVER give up, you eventually would be living a healthier life, wouldn’t you?

Re-Entry

Houston, we have a problem!  (Or, Miz, should I say, “Austin, we have a problem!”)  Boy, this is tough.  Like I said a few posts ago, I realized that no matter how many sweets I ate, it wasn’t enough, or satisfying.  It just left me wanting more…I like the way Lori describes it:  “the sugar monster is roaring pretty fierce.”  So I started out pretty poorly this morning.  Rummaging through my freezer (the indoor one, not ‘”the safe” freezer out on the back porch) for some blueberries, and what do I come upon but one of my old scones–full fat version.  So, that’s what I started my day with.  Then, that last piece of pecan pie was still sitting out, and I finished that off mid-morning.  But after that, I got it under control, and only ate my old healthy foods.  It was definitely a mental struggle, but I believe I will be able to stick the landing–oops, went from outer space analogy to gymnastics analogy.  Oh, well, you get the picture.  Also struggled all day mentally with getting out there for a walk/run.  Set 4pm as my cut-off time because I knew I wanted to get an hour in.  And at 4 pm exactly, me and the 4 k9 units (as Linda says) headed out the door.  It was good for all of us, as they were feeling pretty frisky from the lack of exercise the past few days, and it made me feel great to get the 3 mile round trip in easily.  While I was walking, I thought about what I could/should/would eat instead of the #*&%@# C-O-O-K-I-E-S in the freezer.  And I came up with quite a few of my old favorites.  So that made me pretty happy.

I also talked to my brother (remember, the weight lifter/long distance walker/health fanatic) who admitted to indulging a bit too much in the past month, and also has been slacking off for the past 3 months, and he now has 16 pounds to lose.  Its not that I am happy he has gained weight.  But it really gives me confidence that someone I know who has had long-term success with controlling his weight (like, his whole life) still can have ups and downs and still succeed in the end.  I mean, at one point (not now) Oprah’s ‘little problem’ would have put me in the dumper.

Another big advantage to eating good foods to fuel your body, and exercising to condition your body is that I think it makes your immune system much stronger.  I didn’t mention it, but I had a cold starting the day before Christmas Eve, but really, today it is essentially gone.  It just never got terrible.  Maybe its a coincidence, but I really think I don’t get as sick as I used to.

Well, I am still thinking about/working on putting more protein and good oils into my diet.  It is hard work trying to implement a new food plan.  I don’t think I will get away from the points completely.  It really still helps me to keep track easily of what I am eating.  But, I am going to work more on incorporating Lori’s 50-25-25 plan into my meals.  Thanks again, Lori, for spending the time on such a good post.  I am also going to add my weight lifting back in to my exercise.  I had worked up to using 17 pound dumbells before I hurt my back.  Then, I was a little afraid that I had hurt my back (or added to it) by lifting wrong.  And now, my back is better, and they sit there with the 17 pounds on them, and it just seems too hard.  I know what to do–back off to 10 pounds and work my way back up…okay, I’m going to end and go fix those dumbells right now!

 

The 'K9 units' rest up after their long walk.

The 'K9 units' rest up after their long walk.

The Fallout

Well, for fun, I tracked the food and points that I ate yesterday.  43 to my best accounting…  but I thoroughly enjoyed what I ate, and had quite a bit of healthy stuff in between the not-so-healthy.  And I am anxious to get back to ‘life as usual.’  Such a good feeling to know that I don’t want to continue eating all that other stuff.  There  are some great  food ideas out there in blogland today.  Vickie had some simple recipes that I am anxious to try, and Mizfit had a guest poster who loves food, but talked about damage control, and also about making a delicious soup today.  Yumm!

Yesterday was one of the loveliest, most relaxing Christmases I can remember.  It was SO NICE to be in my own home.  As a single person, and also as someone whose career demands that you work on Christmas, that is just not something that happens much.  But I think I will make sure that it happens more often.

My sister came up in time for dinner.  And brought with her some of her famous lemon tarts, along with a whole pan full of cookie bars that are officially named “Debby’s Favorite Christmas Cookies.”  I have to say that that is a true example of food = love.  She cooked all day for her family on Christmas Eve, and then spent a good part of her Christmas day making these cookie bars.

But today is a new day, and most of the goodies will go home with her, if she will do me the favor of taking them.  I think I will keep 4 of my ‘favorites’ in the freezer for a rainy day.  The thing about the freezer is that for some reason it is a ‘safe zone’ for me.  I actually had some fantastic pecan pie still in there that someone had made for me LAST Christmas.

I am looking forward to the next two weeks at home.  My main focus will be reading and maybe writing, quilting, and really amping up the exercise.  I am going to consult a personal trainer that a friend has highly recommended, and probably sign up for a group class that she is doing.  Let’s all hit the New Year with a collective Bang!

CHRISTMAS IS HERE!

Hay in His hair, love in His eyes,

God came visiting, 

                              What a surprise!

Walking down stars, 

                                                   from His throne to my heart,

High King of heaven

                                      how precious Thou art.

                                                                              (by Jill Briscoe)

dscn0597

Merry Christmas to the One who brings meaning and purpose to my life.

 

Whoa, Nellie!

Am I dating myself by using that phrase?  Anyways, my body kinda said ‘hold your horses’ on the unlimited sweets thing.  As always, WAY too much really great tasting junk shows up in the breakroom this time of year…and I had at least one of each.  But the main thing I really noticed this year was that whatever it was I was eating, it was NEVER enough.  I would thoroughly enjoy each bite of whatever cookie or candy I was eating, but when it was done, I wanted one more, no matter how full I was, or how bad my stomach felt.  Whereas, when I eat one of my planned ‘healthy’ snacks (i.e. pumpkin custard,)  when it is done, I am done.  I am satisfied.  I guess I kinda knew this a bit, because 98% of the time, when I am thinking about what I want sweets-wise, I will go through ALL the choices, but I end up picking the healthy one because I know I will be satisfied when I am done.  But for some reason, I was really surprised at how concrete my DISSATISFACTION was when I allowed myself to eat the goodies at work.  Lesson learned, I hope.

My plans to travel for Christmas this year kinda fell through.  And I am so happy to be having a Christmas in my own home for once.  It will be a quiet one.  I am going to our candlelight service tonight at church.  And tomorrow, a relaxing day of cooking, and my sister is going to come up in the late afternoon for dinner.  I am really looking forward to that.  AND, now I have 2 weeks off work and my whole plan is to stay home, quilt to my heart’s content, and really put in some serious exercise!

Again, have a Wonderful and Merry Christmas!

dsc00456Debby and two of the ‘bad little girls

Peace and Joy

I wish for all of you peace and joy.  I hope you will take some time for yourself.  Take some time for God.  Sit quietly and contemplate how very blessed our lives are here in the United States of America.

 

dscn0581Sing Joy to the World!


dscn0588Peace on Earth!


dscn0587All is calm!  All is bright!

Oops…

It all started when I ate my ‘drive home popcorn’ on the way to work.  I knew it would be trouble.  But I was sleepy and I needed something to munch on, I thought.  And I had that crappy popcorn in my locker at work for emergencies.

By the end of the day I thought, challenge yourself.  See if you can make it home without your popcorn to munch on all the way home.  (Remember, people, I work 12 hour shifts, and I commute 1 1/2 hours to work.)

Well, yeah, the answer is, of course I can make it home without my popcorn.  After all, I can get one of those giant hot dogs at Costco, and eat the whole thing and then follow it up with FIVE cookies and a walnut stuffed date.  No problem.  Who needs that healthy pop popcorn, anyway?  (The cookies came in a package in my mail that I picked up on my way home.)  My best friend’s  daughter-in-law (the woman behind the famous saying “a cookie is just a delivery mechanism for frosting”) is a cookie baker extraordinaire, and she sent me a sampler package of the most amazing cookies ever.  Really.  Quite amazing.  That is, if you like butter and sugar.  Yes. amazing.  Does anyone have a treadmill that I can live on for the next 48 hours?

Well, the remainder of the cookies are now safely abiding in the freezer, where I seem to have some semblance of control over what I eat.  And I am off to work out at Curves before going to meet my mom and sister for a little pre-Christmas celebration of sorts.  We are eating at one of my favorite restaurants, so I might eat a little more than I should, but my food intake up until then will be in control and limited!

Here are some more of my favorite Christmas ornaments. More birds and a bird feeder.  I love the little pink snow lady hiding behind the bird feeder.  The Canadian goose is new this year.  I got him on one of those trips to Lake Tahoe earlier this fall.

pinkdoll

Isn’t this zebra silly?  Can you see the little bird that is attached to his back?

zebrz

 

It seems like they are all my favorites.  But these two really are.  The coke bottle is one I got in the early 80′s when I was a confirmed ‘classic coke’ girl.  And the parrot is probably the oldest ornament I have–from my mom’s ornament collecting days.  It is so fragile that little bits seem to come off every year.  I think it is amazing something so old and so fragile could last through the years.

coke

 

More birds.  But the main thing is the little ice skating girl.  She is the first ornament my mom got for me–wow, I guess that would almost make her an antique–about 50 years old!  (That seems weird to me–I mean I know that I am 54, but to have a toy that I remember getting as a child, and it is 50 YEARS old?)

iceskater

 

New food combo I tried this morning:  Dannon Lite n Fit Carb n Sugar Control vanilla yogurt, with 1/2 apple diced, 4 walnut halves, a SMALL sprinkle of granola, and 1 date cut into pieces on top.  DIVINE!