Does anybody else do this?  I walk around all day thinking about great new blog topics.  They usually revolve around some food/diet/exercise/maintenance victory I have had, and I think I must share that.  It might help someone else. And then I have an extremely non-victorious day.  And it all goes out the window.  What right do I have to tell anyone else how it is done?  I can’t do anything right myself. That’s what happened Friday.  As I explained to good blog buddy Jill:

Ugh.  That’s what I say about this weather today.  About today in general.  It was supposed to snow, but instead it snowed just enough during the night to put the electricity out, which turned the porch light off, which gave the raccoon the go-ahead to get into the dog food, which made Noah bark non-stop, which made me get up and bring in the two giant cans of dog food off the porch.  Problem solved.  Until I woke up to smoky smell in the house.  I HATE THAT!

Oh, and then I decided to make a batch of homemade yogurt this morning.  All excited about that.  I heat the milk in the microwave for 13 minutes, and then after it cools down a bit, I add some yogurt to it.  Oh.  Except I forgot to get some yogurt at the store.  Got dressed and down to the local store in the rain to get yogurt and a few other things.  All before 8:30am.  Sigh.

Oh. So then, because I ate a crappy pancake for bfast (didn ‘t have my cottage cheese for protein pancakes) I felt too full.  So I remedied that by eating some walnuts, then some more walnuts and raisins, and then some of those ginger cookies.  Ah, its good to have my eating under control AFTER SIX STINKING YEARS OF WORKING ON THIS!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, before that I was thinking about sharing about how I make little refinements in the way I eat or interact with food.  I think sometimes these little changes can add up to major ‘lifestyle’ changes.  Here’s a few refinements I’ve made in the past month or so.

  • Gum and sunflower seeds.  For quite a long time I kept a hefty supply of Eclipse gum on  hand.  Same thing with the reduced sodium sunflower seeds.  Then for a while I kept the sunflower seeds in the car all the time.  Of course, the gum was always in my purse.  So pretty much most of the time I was in the car I was munching on sunflower seeds or chewing gum.  Pretty soon it became apparent that I could not drive anywhere without something in my mouth.  Sometimes on the way home from work I would chew a whole pack of gum (I don’t like to chew one piece for very long.)  And in between I was munching on the sunflower seeds.  Now, neither of these things have that many calories in them.  Still, a whole pack of Eclipse gum is 60 calories.  And by my unofficial count, I can eat about 100 calories of sunflower seeds in one hour.  Anyway, one day I decided that this was more about having something in  my mouth all the time.  And that maybe it would be a good thing to practice spending time without food in my mouth, especially in the car.  So I stopped buying the gum.  And I stopped keeping the sunflower seeds in the car.  I kind of make a game of setting an hour or two without amusing myself with food in the car.
  • Taking food to bed.  I got into quite the habit of taking a little cup of ‘homemade trail mix’ (walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips) to bed with me, not every night, but quite a few nights.  This had nothing to do with hunger.  More to do with just having a treat.  So sometimes I substituted grapes, and then I mostly just stopped.  Really, its too many calories for a treat (on top of the dessert I already had earlier in the evening.)
  • Salt.  I’m not always 100% with this.  But usually, I try to eat vegetables and meat without adding extra salt.  Sometimes I just move the salt shaker off the table, and then I am too lazy to go and get it.  Just trying to learn to enjoy the food without extra salt.
  • Spackle 2.0.  My newest obsession.  It is a very healthy breakfast, and I love how it keeps me full for a very long time.  But really, at 500 calories, it is more than I need for breakfast, and in fact, I am too full after I ate it.  Half the recipe would not be quite enough for me, so I came up with a smaller version that comes in at 320 calories that I am very happy with.  It will be just right, I am sure.  And if I get hungry mid-morning, I can have a piece of fruit.  Which I really enjoy also.
  • The no-dairy challenge.  That went pretty well. I only went 6 days instead of seven.   The main thing I need to do is to NOT keep so much dairy in the house that I feel pressured to eat more of it than necessary.  Most days I only eat two small servings (1/2 cup) which is not that much.  I enjoy it, and it is good for me.  And I don’t like taking calcium supplements, so I should be eating it regularly.
  • I’ve been switching around my workout at the gym.  Adding in more free weights, doing more circuit-type routines, adding in the PLANK.  Hey, can a plank be an aerobic exercise?  Man, I was just huffing and puffing and my heart was pounding after the last one I did (55 whole seconds LOL)

In spite of these refinements, I have not lost the six pounds I gained over the holidays.  It is tough to change your regular patterns of eating.  It is extremely frustrating to me that I still struggle with this  SIX YEARS after starting the weight loss journey.  But today I am content that I am continuing on, making healthy choices, eating wonderful satisfying delicious food.  Working on portion control, and not eating when I am not hungry.  That’s okay once in a while, but its not okay as a way of life (if I want to maintain a lower weight.)

Lori wrote a wonderful blog today, about enjoying food that was also nourishing to your body, and that those two things were not mutually exclusive.  That is pretty much what I am always working on.  Tonight I had a meal that was just that.  I picked up some strawberries at a farm stand today, and I had some of my most favorite cottage cheese in the fridge (thank you, Safeway, for bringing back your 1% cottage cheese) and then I had a piece of previously  cooked chicken because I was feeling the need for meat, and had the little carrots because I was too tired to cook anything.  Oh, and some of that Chevy’s salsa to dip the carrots in–yumm!

Friday, when I was in such a fowl temper pretty much all day long, I was finally snapped out of it when I was laying on the couch in  the evening, watching a movie.  Noah was sound asleep on the floor, and Sophie was on my lap under the quilt I was working on.  Mr. Monk was in his usual position, on top of the sofa cushions, and I heard his soft, even snoring.  And I thought, this is pretty nice.  Imagine that.  A whole silly day in  a bad mood, and a snoring dog is the solution.  Who knew?

Hey, while I was writing this, a news flash came up on my screen–The Kings Speech won the Academy Award for best movie!  Good choice!


11 thoughts on “Refinements

  1. Is it okay that I smiled through much of this post?

    And I think this about myself all the time – if I smoked – can’t even imagine how many cigarettes I would go through in the course of the day.

    I think it is not only having something in the mouth it is VERY MUCH the hand to mouth thing. Something about that motion.

    (I have severe asthma, can’t even be next to someone who has smoke on their clothes and in their hair, but I still realize how easy that addiction would be).

    • For me its not hand to mouth. Its more like underlying anxiety/must quell with food. On the way home from work mostly related to being completely over-tired, to the point of falling asleep/must do something to stay awake/etc. Eating doesn’t really help me stay awake. Drinking water, breathing deeply, and cold air help more. But I’d rather eat LOL.

      And smoking. Seriously considered taking it up to lose weight at one time. But I can’t even stand a whiff of cigarette smoke, so nixed that.

  2. Hey girl! I missed you. I just finished reading the Africa posts–thanks so much for writing about your trip. I almost felt as if I were there. We have a boy in Tanzania, thru Compassion. It’s been fun to “watch” him grow up over the past few years. I’m with you on the gum. I chew way too much gum. It’s a way to try to keep my mouth busy (and away from other snacks), especially in the car, but I want to quit. I can see just how hearing Mr. Monk whiffle in his sleep would dispel your Friday funk–he’s a cutie.

    • TISH!!! So glad to hear from you–I missed you. ‘My’ little Compassion girl is from Tanzania too!

      Whiffle–what a great descriptive word!

  3. I LOVE this post Debby! I have increasingly become so tired of thinking and counting and worrying all the time about food that I too have been trying to make some small changes that maybe will make a difference. Now you’ve given me some additional items to think about.

    Mr. Monk looks so peaceful and content, how could you not absorb that yourself?!

  4. Yay Mr. Monk! Animals really can have an interesting effect on people and they don’t even know it. Must just be the simplicity of their lives and how they enjoy that rather than worrying about stuff or not living in the moment.

    We all have days where it feel like being back at square one. Looking at all the cookie wrappers and saying “What the hell just happened?”

    I think the real key that you have learned is maybe to just move on. Yes, days like that happen, but they don’t define you.

    • “days like that happen, but they don’t define you.”–thanks for that, Lori. Will remember the next time I have a day like that!

  5. Like I said before, I don’t think I will ever have it under control, and if I have to struggle with something, then I’m glad it’s food and not alcohol!

    Lori’s right – don’t let it define you. 🙂

  6. “It is extremely frustrating to me that I still struggle with this SIX YEARS after starting the weight loss journey.” I get that. Boy, do I get that. But like Lori said (I think we should all her Wise One :)), one day doesn’t define us. However, that we stay IN the game, are constantly on alert, and really know where our weaknesses are is certainly what defines our journey THIS time and unlike all the other times. (Yes, this is a self pep talk…I’m having one of those days today.)

  7. Great post Debby. My new year resolution was to stop all eating in my car. I had no idea how much of I was doing that.

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