Re-Framing Life


I was going to title this ‘Re-Framing Travel,’ but the more I thought about it, it has to do with all of my life.  Re-framing is one of those Weight Watcher’s terms.  re-framing thoughts can help you to see events or situations differently. 

This is the longest trip I have taken in recent years, and the most successful in the areas of food choices and exercise.  Usually the longer the trip goes on, the more my food choices degrade into poorer and poorer quality, and increased volume.  And usually, I exercise less and less as time goes on.  But this trip was definitely different.

I brought enough of my homemade yogurt to last the whole trip.  And I brought that Bob’s Muesli with me.  I have found that 1/2 cup of the yogurt with 1/4 cup of that muesli mixed in is a very satisfying breakfast and lasts me most of the morning.  And of course, I had lots of apples with me, some walnuts, my lo-bars,  and a few energy bars.  Those few items were really the mainstay of my breakfasts and lunches.  Pretty simple to pack, and only the yogurt needs refrigeration.  Of course I was lucky that the main part of my trip was spent at my friend’s house, and she knows I am trying to eat well, and so all the dinners she and her husband prepared were really very healthy.

I had been looking forward to jump-starting my running while in Oregon because it is flatter there.  And I did get out and really get in some challenging and satisfying run/walks.  Like I told my friend, it reminds me that I am no longer ‘fat girl on vacation.’  Which is mentally where I usually end up.  Even after all this time, the old mentality wants to slip back in.

And that is mostly what I wanted to write about.  My mental process on the trip home.  I can’t believe how much time I sometimes spend thinking about what I am or am not going to eat.  My friend pointed out that I probably spent the same amount of time thinking about food in the past, and she is probably right, but the focus is different.  Now the time is spent thinking about CHANGING my first inclination, and that is the hard part, I think.

So the driving time home is 8 1/2 hours.  I got a great start at 7 am, which meant without any stops (impossible) I would arrive home at 3:30 pm.  Ashland is about 3 hours from Elkton (starting point) and is usually a place I like to stop.  Only thing is, I like to stop to get more coffee, and a morning bun.  And shop, which I also didn’t need/want to do.  And there is a gourmet type market that is full of not-so-good travel food choices.  And if I didn’t get any of those things, I might stop at the old candy shop and get a caramel apple, or something even worse.  And if I stopped ‘just to get coffee,’ I knew that I would also end up shopping and buying MORE stuff that I really didn’t need.  None of these things by themselves would be terrible.  It was just that there was a good chance I would get out of control if I stopped.  And this conversation went through my mind for MILES AND MILES.

Then I tried to ‘re-frame’  the situation.  If I didn’t stop, I would get home earlier, and I could take the dogs for a walk, or I could even go to the gym if I still felt like it. (I had even dressed in ‘workout clothes’ for the drive home.)  I could at least stop at the gym and get some lo-bars for a treat.  And if I wanted to, I could even treat myself to some of that tart frozen yogurt that I love so much.  All of these things really appealed to me.  But the pull of Ashland was still pretty strong.  Finally, a few exits before Ashland, I ate an apple and a few walnuts so I absolutely would not be hungry when I reached the Ashland exit.  I drove on by!  Success!  I am guessing that to some ‘normal’ person this whole process seems kind of crazy.  But after almost 5 years of working on changing my food habits, I still struggle.  And I guess I always want to share in the hopes that it might help someone else who is trying to change and is struggling.  I also write stuff like this down to remind myself of what is happening.

Continuing on, I spent many of the next four hours thinking about where I would stop to get some groceries in Sacramento.  The main thing I really wanted was some greek yogurt and lots of vegetables.  At first I was going to stop at Whole Foods.  I really wanted some more of those Jay Robb bars.  But it is a little out of the way, and of course, there is the danger (for me) of their dessert department.  Then I thought about stopping at Costco.  They have the big bag of spinach that I like to get, and I heard they also had Fage greek yogurt.  But Costco has lots of other stuff to buy, and I knew I would spend too much time shopping and would probably spend some money that I didn’t really want to spend.  In the end, I stopped at Trader Joe’s, which was the most convenient stop, and I stocked up on lots of really good food choices.  As a bonus, the little strawberry stand was open, and I got some fresh-picked ripe strawberries.

I made it home by 5:30.  By the time I reached Jackson, I no longer felt the need for the frozen yogurt or lo-bars.  Those treats would wait for another day.  I took the doggies for a nice run/walk, which was good for all of us. I pretty much unpacked the whole car.  And cooked a great dinner.  And I even had energy to vacuum the cobwebs that had accumulated (vacuuming cobwebs involves holding the vacuum cleaner up with one hand while waving the extension wand with the other.)  It feels so different to get home after a trip like this and still have energy to do so much.  And I guess that is the part about re-framing life, instead of just making it a travel thing.


This took forever to write, and doesn’t seem to explain half of all that goes through my mind in working this out (aren’t you glad!)  I am having some technological problems, and so these pictures are actually from a few years ago when I visited Oregon at about the same time of year.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some of this year’s pictures with you soon.

I also wanted to point out a new recipe on my side bar– ‘THE GREEN PINA COLADA.’  This was really amazing tasting–I just made it this morning.  And a very bright and beautiful green color too (no red fruit in it to make it brown.)

13 thoughts on “Re-Framing Life

  1. Beautiful pictures, Debby. And I think you should revel in the fact that you are a thinker! I am a thinker too–well sometimes I obsess about things. And I just want to quit thinking sometimes, but oh is it hard! My two best friends–who happen to be men–sort of don’t understand why I have to always voice my thoughts. I work at a job where I spend a lot of time at my desk, which is not always the best for me because it allows me to get lost in my thoughts. I think that is why I am such a reader. I really turn to good literature as an escape from all these intense thoughts! But I will say that I would not be happy living a life where I didn’t think deeply about ALL things! I don’t believe I would experience the profundity of life. (Okay I am way off topic here!)

    That is great that you were able to control your eating on your vacation. I am sure you are proud of yousrelf!

    • Ali–you sound like a girl in need of her own blog! Anytime you want to try to start one, I will try to help. It is really simple on wordpress.

  2. Wow Debby – you are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing that inner struggle, because I could have written that word for word 😀 Maybe we really are twins LOL!

    You have such great tools in your arsenal now, doesn’t it feel great?

    • Lori, you don’t know how good it makes me feel to hear that someone like you has these same struggles. Oh, maybe you do know since you are my twin LOL!

  3. I have a small town that I drive through – a few times each year now with the oldest in college – and with where my brother lives. I haven’t always driven through this town several times each year – but on and off different years for a total of about 25 years.

    and EVERY SINGLE TIME I think about ice cream sandwiches.

    I must have HAD one in this town at some point in the past. But have no active memory of it.

    And when I objectively look around – I don’t even see a likely spot to buy one.

    So either the whole thing is in my mind (like for some odd reason I was driving/thinking about ice cream sandwiches the first time this happened and then I just keep remembering when I drive through) –

    or I did get one and that place is now out of business.

    but I totally understand about associating places and food.

    glad you had a good trip. I bet the dogs were so glad to see you.

    • Vickie, that is funny about the ice cream sandwiches. Our mind is very complex, isn’t it.

      And yes, the doggies were very happy to see me. Of course, they seem to be that happy to see me when I have only been gone for an hour. Oh to be a dog and have no sense of time passing!

      I was really happy to see them–I was really missing them.

      • did you TAKE those wonderful pics or copy them from somewhere (maybe you said and I just missed it). The quality is wonderful – remind me of OLD oil paintings from the masters).

    • Thanks, Vickie. I DID take those pictures. I think the Oregon light at different times is what gives the pictures that quality.

  4. Great post and fabulous photos. I especially like how you think about food so much. In a different way from before, of course, but you’re still thinking about it. I sometimes think I’m the only one. Kinda lonely feeling, you know?

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