For delicious wholesome food.
An unexpected flower this morning.
Mr. Monk is comfortable.
Forever and ever. Have you ever said that about a new diet or weight loss method you are using?
Finally. Finally it seems like you have found something that is working for you. And you think, “I will eat this way forever.” Or, “I will eliminate that food group from my diet forever.” Or, “If this is what it takes, I will keep coming to these meetings for the rest of my life.” Or, “this exercise method is the key to my new thinner self. I will do this for the rest of my life.”
I have. When I started Weight Watchers nine years ago, and it looked like it was actually going to “take,” I remember thinking (and even saying out loud) that I would continue coming to the meetings for the rest of my life. I thought of it as being like an alcoholic who needs to keep going to AA meetings to stay on the straight and narrow.
Only I didn’t. Me and W.W. parted ways after a couple of years. I like to call it an amicable divorce.
Between W.W. and the Me Diet, there have been a lot of twists and turns in the weight loss and weight maintenance journey. I completely changed the foods I ate and how much I ate and how often I ate several times. I like to think that most of the changes I made were for the better.
Last November, when I started the “me diet,” I understood that “forever and ever” could not be depended on. I was pretty sure I could not keep drinking shakes for the rest of my life. So what was I going to do? I thought about this ALL THE TIME.
During the past year I have come up with a few alternative low-cal higher-protein meal/snacks that I can substitute for the shakes. And, surprisingly, I have come to enjoy my shakes (smoothies.) Thanks to my friends, Lori and Cammy, I have a very nice repertoire of low-calorie, high-protein smoothies.
I have no doubt that as time goes on, I will continue to make changes in my food choices and portions.
And exercise! Now that was one of the first things I read as I started to lose weight–how our bodies are highly adaptable, and would get used to one kind of exercise and become very efficient at that. And so it was a good idea to occasionally change the type of exercise you did, especially if your goal was weight loss.
The main point, I guess, is to know that the human body is very complex and is not static. It changes, and its needs change. To navigate weight loss and maintenance successfully, I think you have to agree to this and at least be willing to consider change along the way.
This picture makes me very happy. Mr. Monk has been having a tough time lately. His arthritis, especially in his rear legs, became very severe a couple of weeks ago. And then a “sports injury” to a front leg (he jumped off of a chair. yes, I know I shouldn’t have left him up there unattended…) aggravated it to the point where he was having a hard time walking.
He was already taking glucosamine. The vet added rimadyl, but it didn’t seem to be
helping at all. In fact, he was getting worse by the day. So back to the vet, who added an opiate (who knew?) After a couple of VERY UNCOMFORTABLE days, and an increase in the opiate, Monk has had a few days where he seems relatively comfortable. When I heard a familiar gnawing on the bone, I turned around and was so happy to see him enjoying a chaw. I love this old man a little too much.
Thankful…thankful…what am I thankful for? …mentally drumming fingers on imaginary desk…
As usual, I have procrastinated my AIM post until the very last day. Which means I was reviewing the chosen topic while listening to the sermon in church this morning. Why yes. I CAN mentally multi-task. Why do you ask?
Back to the topic at hand. My AIM pals suggested we use our November post to discuss what we are thankful for. And since our acronym stands for “Adventures in Maintenance,” I decided to limit my thankful choices to those that directly pertain to my weight loss and maintenance.
The first thing I thought of surprised me. Pain. I am thankful for pain. Let me clarify. I 100% know that my pain is nothing like the pain that many people live with. Most days I don’t even think about taking ibuprofen for it. But what I mean is that the pain in my back and my knees is pretty much a constant reminder that it is imperative that I maintain my weight loss. If I was still carrying that 100 pounds around, I’m not sure I could even manage to walk. So the daily pain is a gift that reminds me gently to stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to food choices and food volume.
The next thing I thought of was that I am thankful for my willingness to be flexible in regards to trying new foods and food combinations. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have an adventurous spirit. But I sure do eat some “funny foods” these days. To be honest, I don’t always put a picture of some of the stuff I eat on the blog because it doesn’t look that appetizing. Tonight I had a mix of pear sauce, cottage cheese and walnuts. It looked like the gruel they served the orphans in the movie “Oliver!” But it was a taste treat–something I look forward to on Sunday evenings, along with my rutabaga oven fries (another food I didn’t try until I was 58 years old!)
The third thing I am extremely thankful for? It appears that I have “beat the odds.” If the literature is right, only about 5 percent of people who lose weight will keep it off. It was almost 9 years ago when my friend invited me to a Weight Watchers meeting and I started this last journey down the scale. There have been many twists and turns along the way, but I lost 100 pounds, and as of last month, that 100 pounds is still gone.
Fourth, I am extremely thankful for the real pals I have garnered through this blog and the whole healthy living/weight loss/weight maintenance blog world. Its so fun to be able to talk with friends who REALLY get what its like to STILL struggle with life after “morbid obesity.” Its not the same as for other people. Its not even the same for each of us. But the understanding is there. You all know who you are–I treasure your friendship.
And I can’t talk about being thankful without asking myself the question: WHO am I thankful TO? I am thankful for all these things and so many other blessings in my life to my God and my Savior, the One who created and sustains me. Thank you, Lord!
Be sure to check out my AIM compadres. Its fun to see how each of us have a different view of the same topic!
Its not the same. You know that, right? When you see those 37 calorie brownies on Facebook, they are not the same as the 900 calorie brownies that you can also see on Facebook. Without sugar and fat, baked goods might look the same, but they do not taste the same. They do not have the same mouth feel. They also do not leave you with the never-ending wanting for MORE.
So that’s why I choose to do most of my baking low-fat and sugar free. I love the luxury of having a scone for breakfast every morning if that’s what I want. I enjoy having a brownie with some decaf coffee for my dessert in the evening. I can have both of those every day if I want to (I do not want to LOL.)
But as long as I have been doing this, I am still suckered in by the photos that look deceptively similar to their high-fat, sugar-loaded cousins. Its okay that they taste different. It would be better if you knew that before you tried them so that your first reaction is not disappointment.
Apple Custard –this was a really good recipe! It has a little fat (from whole eggs) and a little sugar (honey,) but it was not the same as “real custard” made with full fat milk and sugar. Still an excellent value at 150 calories for a large serving. It made the whole house smell delicious! I had it for dessert AND for breakfast. Not on the same day.
I just returned from the Pacific International Quilt Show. Every year it seems there is a special exhibit that really touches me. This year it was an exhibit of 23 quilts called The Tall Girl Series: A Body of Work, by artist Carol Larson. I had heard the story behind these quilts before I came to the show. But to see the quilts, and read the stories behind each one touched me in a very deep way.
Here is Carol’s explanation of the series:
in 1965 when i was 17 years old and 78.5 inches long, i was surgically shortened 6 inches with the intention of giving me a “normal” life. so begins the introduction of the “tall girl series: a body of work.”
this series highlights the 40+ years since the three surgeries that broke my body, nearly crushed my spirit and forever changed my life.
Can you imagine being given the responsibility of making such a horrendous decision when you were 17 years old?
I know its a stretch, but what it made me think of is how many of us with “weight issues” are willing to go way too far in order to achieve a body that we think will make us “fit in” and be “happy.” Every day people undergo unnecessary surgery (and not just us weight control people.) Surgery is serious business. If people had to watch it like I did as a student nurse, they would understand a little better why it hurts so much, and why it takes so long for your body to heal. And why, oftentimes, it just exchanges one kind of long term pain for a different kind of long term pain. I am always surprised when people seem to go casually into major surgery.
And then of course, there are the “lesser things” that we do to achieve that magic “goal weight” and/or body image. Like the woman I just talked to today, who is thinking about (ON HER DOCTOR’S RECOMMENDATION!) going on a 500 calorie a day diet. Even though she has done it before, and she has experienced re-gaining all the weight lost on such a restrictive diet, she is still considering it.
I am glad to tell you that Carol is an extremely talented and successful artist with a wonderful sense of humor.
From Carol’s blog:
I still believe this is a story that needs to be heard. Every single one of us has something in our past which has molded us into who we are in the world today; and for so many these truths are painful, tragic things that happened to our bodies.
The purpose of the series was my personal healing. It’s purpose today is to encourage others to do their own healing, to speak of and expel their own story from their body. Believe me when I say it takes a huge toll to hold on to old sorrows.
I was blessed with a very sensitive spirit and also the courage to tell my story. I am also blessed with the intuitive sense that the story can go on now to inspire others, without my active involvement.
Maybe this will make you think of something else that is a deep seated problem in your life. Something worth spending the time to work through, as Carol bravely did. I wish you could have seen the whole exhibit, with the unbelievably painful things that she experienced during her life. Here is a link to an article that tells a little more about her story.
Thank you, Carol, for sharing your story with us. As difficult as it is to hear comments from insensitive, unthinking people, I hope you know that there are at least as many of us who heard, and are trying to understand, and that it has done a great deal of good for us.
I went out to the garden to take a picture of one flower (I thought, ooh, gotta share this one with Lori,) and then found the “close up” option on my camera. I’m having fun playing with this new camera. If only I would read the instruction manual, I bet it’d REALLY be fun…
Here’s the flower I wanted to share. Its a Shasta Daisy, but so much more fun than the Shasta Daisies we had growing up. I got two of these plants to put in the corner garden where the tomatoes are currently residing. They are supposed to be deer resistant. We’ll see about that…
Next up, pansies. Aren’t pansies just marvelous? They look like they’ve been painted by someone. Well, as a matter of fact, they HAVE been painted by Someone!
I replanted the little plot outside the front door. The pansies will be so cheerful in the spring!
This is the first year I’ve kept a fuchsia alive for the whole growing season! It is enjoying the cooler weather of fall. Unfortunately, it won’t so much enjoy the frost we get in winter…
And the coleus, that had just about died at the end of summer, has made a re-appearance!
Nice color combo, don’t you think?
I am anxious to re-plant other areas of the garden (I have 150 bulbs to plant!!) but I just can’t bring myself to take these annuals out yet.
This plant was a big surprise. It was just a few sticks when I bought it in the spring. It has gotten quite huge, and is a prolific bloomer through all three seasons. Its called a Flowering Maple (Chinese Bell Flower).
There was a bee buzzing around the salvia. I had fun trying to get a good picture. Not quite as proficient as Lori with her close-up shots!
Its a beautiful color though. I think this is a plant that will come back. I have really enjoyed its beauty this year.
And more shots of my favorite lantana.
And this little plant has just steadily produced blooms all summer. It seems to be enjoying the cooler weather too.
And that’s the garden report for this weekend. I have some little plants to get in the ground, including some snow peas (yumm!) but I have to wait for some of the other plants to die so I will have room for them. That sounds rude, doesn’t it? But that’s life.
I have lots more to say about diet and food and aging and life, but I am having a hard time making myself take the time to write. How do you all do it?