Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Bit Disenchanted

With a daily average of 33 "points" on WW (not counting any earned for activity), I find that I am sometimes hungry. Each point is worth about 50 calories, so that's 1650 calories a day for me. It's not exactly 50 per point, but that's a fair approximation. Anyway, I find that I AM hungry with that many points, but not terribly hungry. I want to be hungry for meals anyway -- food tastes so much better if I am. The real restriction for me is that I can't really eat anything "extra" without being hungry. If I "spend" points on a cookie, that's less nutritious, filling food I can eat. So even though they SAY "you can eat anything you want", you really can't if you don't want to spend part of the day hungry. At my points level, anyway. I imagine that if I used 33 points a day on healthy, nutritious food only, I might not really be all that hungry. There haven't been too many days like that, though. Unfortunately, a few of my days have been 60 or 100 points, while others have been 21. Not very smart or healthy of me.
Honestly, I've averaged something like 40 points a day since I started and I've still lost 5 pounds. I think I've gotten away with such a high average because I'm usually quite active. Aside from purposeful daily exercise, I usually get 10,000-12,000 steps a day on my pedometer.

I was a bit disappointed in our last WW meeting because the leader actually brought up the stupid 1 point hot dog! Here I was thinking that WW had changed over the past 6 years since I first joined, but apparently, it hasn't changed all THAT much. The discussion was on how to provide variety to prevent boredom with your meals, and we were talking about sandwich outsides, fillings, and sauces. Someone had mentioned a hot dog bun, which she said you could really fill with anything, but if you wanted a hot dog, what was the best kind to buy? I wanted to yell out "one with no nitrates", but didn't have the nerve. Someone suggested a turkey dog, and the leader said you'd think that, but no! There was a FAT FREE 1 POINT HOT DOG out there! I was glad that a member challenged the leader by asking about all of the crap you'd put in your body by eating a fat free hot dog, but the leader took the easy way out. She said WW isn't here to tell you what to eat because that is up to you. They are simply here to help you know what you can eat and stay within your points. I thought that was a rather specious answer. As a leader, I would assume she is there partly to provide a healthy example of the way to maintain your weight loss. Apparently not.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Weight Watching

I have a confession to make. I joined Weight Watchers. I know, I know -- I am now kicked out of the "intuitive eaters" club. My coworker was joining and I went along. I was prepared to hate it, but I have to say that I am very impressed with the changes they've made in the 6 or so years since I previously joined (for a whopping few weeks). The amount of "points" I have to spend on food is enough to keep me from going hungry, provided I don't eat a bunch of fat or sugar filled foods. I suppose that could be said of any "diet", couldn't it? Fruits and vegetables are now "free", except for peas, corn, and potatoes. It does seem a bit out of whack that a baked potato and a big mall pretzel both have five points, but the point system has been overhauled mostly to the good, as far as I can tell. No more encouraging people to eat 1 point hot dogs.

I was really happy with the leader the first week. She talked about how she doesn't cook so she eats in restaurants twice a day every day (whoa...) and eats whatever she wants, not just dry chicken breasts and salad. She went down a bit in my estimation this week when she discussed getting rid of things in your environment so you won't eat them. I know it makes sense -- Brian Wansink showed in his book about mindless eating that people ate more m&ms when they were visible -- so, out of sight, out of mind. Or out of kitchen, out of mouth. BUT, again you have the problem of not being able to throw out all of the m&ms in the world. Sooner or later, you'll be faced with a buffet and you may stuff yourself with multiple desserts, dips, chips, and other foods you haven't seen in weeks or months -- if you haven't made peace with food.

I was going along well til we went to a part on Saturday night. I took some vegan chili so I'd have something to eat, but ended up overeating because I took a few spoonfuls of other things and got overfull. Can you say TRIGGER? I had a few small spoonfuls of desserts and was even more full. Then more people -- with more desserts -- arrived and I had some MORE desserts. I estimated my point intake that day to be about 100 (when I'm allotted 26 per day plus 49 "extra" per week, plus points for activity). However, because I felt accountable to my coworker and WW, I was able to put it behind me and not continue with that behavior for the rest of the week. Rather than throwing in the towel, I ate intuitvely on Sunday. That meant that I actually ate only 21 points. You really aren't supposed to eat fewer than 26, but I honestly wasn't very hungry (perhaps because I overate on Saturday night?). We went out to IHOP for breakfast and I ordered one of the "healthy" omelets. There wasn't anything vegan on the menu that was healthy, and I figured it wouldn't kill me to eat some egg substitute. That was around 9:30am and I wasn't hungry for lunch until 4pm!

On Monday I still wasn't very hungry and ate under 26 points. I ended up with a four pound weight loss for my first week, which surprised me. I ate normally on Tuesday and Wednesday, and so far today. I've been doing fairly well with the McDougall diet, though I can't give up my one Lindt truffle a day or my coffee. I've discovered that I love broccoli and other cooked vegetables with spaghetti sauce (meatless, of course) and hot sauce over them. Mmmmmm.........

Friday, November 25, 2011

Change is Slow

I'm not sure how I went from writing a blog that hardly anyone ever looked at to being the target of spammers, but what the h*ll? I'm suddenly getting half a dozen comments on every blog post -- all of which belong to spammers who have shady weight loss sites. I've deleted at least 100 comments over the past couple of months. Oy. Moving on...

Since my last post, I've been attempting to move toward the McDougall way of eating, with mixed results. I haven't been overly hungry, so it fits in well with eating intuitively and not starving. I've not had any meat that I can recall, and I can't say I've really missed it. I haven't had much cheese, had no eggs or yogurt, and no cows' milk. Heh. Let me rephrase that. I've had no eggs or milk plain. I have, however, eaten some baked goods that I'm sure contained those ingredients. I baked a vegan cake for my daughter's birthday (she is on a kick to give up dairy), but then proceeded to eat ice cream at her party...and for several days afterward. I've stayed away from most of the goodies at work, but have had days of just plain giving in and snarfing down a doughnut or a few mini candy bars or a few cookies. It's also hard to feed my family things like pizza and not have any.

For thanksgiving yesterday, I did well at eating sensibly -- skipping the turkey and white store-bought rolls, and eating cranberries, the vegan quinoa stuffing I baked, the vegan sweet potato casserole I baked, the vegan mashed potatoes I made....then I ate a piece of banana bread my SIL brought and the downhill slide started. I ate several pieces of pie -- there were five to choose from, and though I started with small pieces of three, I went back and ended up overstuffed after at least five pieces. I felt like crap. I continued to feel like crap today after eating leftovers. After weeks of not stuffing myself, I stepped right back into the role of out-of-control binger.

I feel as though I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. When I deny myself for health reasons, I act like a kid left alone in a candy store when I am around things like peanut butter pie and chocolate pudding pie (yesterday) and I overeat them. Yet, I can't eat that stuff on a regular basis and "legalize it" unless I want to take cholesterol medication for the rest of my life.

I've made some recipes from the McDougall cookbooks, and they are bland with a capital B. I know that they probably are that way on purpose since he advocates as little salt intake as possible. I made a squash/sweet potato/carrot soup and added about half a tablespoon of adobo chili powder to each serving. I made a potato corn chowder and added a ton of chipotle chili powder to that. Hmmm...maybe I have ruined my tastebuds by adding Sriracha to everything and anything? I have discovered that potatoes are really quite satisfying. I had a grapefruit and a small potato with catsup for breakfast one day and wasn't super hungry til noon. Since I wake up at 4:45am, that's quite a feat. Of course, I didn't EAT the potato and fruit until 7am, but my oatmeal/banana/flaxseed/almond butter breakfasts never stay with me til noon.

For many lunches, I've just been throwing a bunch of frozen veggies in a bowl and layering 1/2c of a grain (brown rice, millet, wheatberries, barley, quinoa...) on top of them, 1/2 cup of beans (black, pinto, etc) on top of that, and then drizzling some vegan "cheesy" sauce (fat free) and Sriracha on top of that. It's quite filling and satisfies me for hours, most days.

I had lost a few pounds, but after the last couple of days of pie gluttony, I have probably put them right back on. However, the only way to fail is to stop trying, right?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time for a Change?

It's been a while since I've gotten excited about a new way of eating -- dare I say "diet"? So, I guess it's time. I'm being facetious, but I do feel kind of "stuck" lately. I saw the movie "Forks Over Knives", and wow, it provided a lot of food for thought (ha ha -- no pun intended!). After watching it I wanted to run out and buy a bunch of vegetables and throw all of the chips and sugar in my kitchen straight into the trash can. Reality intruded when I realized the revolt my family would stage if I announced I was never again going to cook their beloved (nitrate free, locally raised) bacon, or buy sugary cereal. Over the past 18 months or so, I've evolved into a more vegetarian cooking style, and I've introduced my childen to the love of hummus and lentil sloppy joes. I only cook meat a couple of times a week (and I don't usually eat any), but whenever we go to a restaurant, they celebrate with steaks the size of a dinner plate, BLTs, fried chicken strips, and french fries. I always thought I couldn't totally be vegan because I like yogurt so much, but the movie kind of turned me off dairy products.

I have lost and gained the same 8 lbs or so over and over again for that same time period. Stuck. After Dr. John McDougall was mentioned in the movie, I did an online search to find out about him, and interloaned his books from the library. They're pretty dated, but intriguing. His book on reversing heart disease is enough to scare the fat right off you, though he offers a lot of hope in the form of patients who went on his diet and reversed their disease. I don't have heart disease (maybe I do, but I don't know it if so...), so I checked out his other books, and liked what I read for the most part. He advocates a vegan diet with whole grains, starchy vegetables & legumes, fruit, and non-starchy vegetables, fruit, no caffeine, very little salt and sugar, and no fat. None. That part...well, I wonder if he still pushes that since studies were published 8 years ago (or so) showing how fat helps the body absorb all of the good stuff from the veggies.

His ideas appeal to me more than Dr. Joel Fuhrman because of the grains & starchy veggies. I was trying to force down gigantic salads and huge bowls of vegetables and avoid bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, butternut squash, potatoes, and other things I adore. Dr. F advises only 1 cup of whole grains OR starchy vegetables a day, and that was used up with my morning oatmeal. Dr. M is a bit vague on specific serving sizes, but from what I gather, he would recommend that your mealtime plate be 1/3 starchy vegetable or legume, 1/3 whole grain, and 1/3 green/yellow vegetable. If you want to lose weight more quickly, change it to 1/2 green/yellow veg, avoid bread & pasta, and limit fruit to 2 per day.

I still have the dessert problem to contend with, but he writes in the book that if you eat your starchy vegetables and grains, you won't crave something sweet after your meal. I thought that was ridiculous -- he has obviously never met me -- but I admit that it's kind of true. I've been eating "Dr M" type lunches this week, and haven't had that immediate "now I need chocolate" urge after lunch. I also didn't get that hollow, OMG I'm STARVING feeling at 4pm that I usually have at work. I don't think I've lost any weight -- maybe a little -- but I made a pact not to weigh myself until at least January 1. It was making me slightly crazy, and I don't need that.

I want to try out this way of eating more seriously, but I think I'll add in a few nuts with my vegetables, especially if I eat greens. It's a little easier right now because my husband is working nights and doesn't want to eat dinner with us (since it's breakfast time for him), so I can whip up something really simple for the girls and a different dinner for me. I haven't been baking much because my teenage daughter is trying to stay away from dairy in hopes it will help with her complexion, so I don't have a lot of tempting baked goods around. It will be a whole different ballgame when Tim goes back to days in a couple of months. There are, however, some really tasty sounding recipes in the McDougall cookbook and in this books, so maybe it will all work out if I stick with it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


You have heard (read?) me whingeing about work many times on this blog. I came back this past summer from my vacation feeling dread, rather than returning with the usual enthusiasm I regain while on a break. I was absolutely miserable. I felt crabby and didn't want to be there. I felt dismay that I'd have to work at least 15 more years, mostly unhappy about it. THEN, I had...well, I guess an epiphany, for lack of a better word. An online friend of mine posted on FB that she'd counseled a client of hers (she's a life coach) that she didn't have to fret so much about her situation, she simply had to accept it. Huh. Accept it. Yes, I could do that. I can't change the circumstances at work that have made me dislike it so often, and I can't change my lazy coworkers. However, I can accept the fact that I can't change those things, and simply try to enjoy the time I'm there for the reasons I DO like it. I love helping people, I love the kids, I love doing storytime, I love seeing new books, I love setting up a nice display, and I really do enjoy most of my coworkers. I accept the fact that there are things I loathe, and that's that.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone

Um, yea...that bloodwork? Still haven't gone. I'm seeing my doctor on Monday for my yearly checkup and I'm not excited about the lecture I'll get. It's totally out of character for me to avoid knowing my cholesterol level. I'm the first one to run to the doctor with a suspicious bump on my skin, convinced it's skin cancer. I never miss a yearly checkup, and I jumped at the chance to have genetic testing eleven years ago. I almost always do everything I'm told to do to recover from an injury or surgery. I just feel like my risks for heart attack or stroke are low. Yes, my cholesterol is probably high, but my blood pressure is normal, I eat lots of veggies, fruits, beans (and not much meat), and I exercise every day. I don't drink, smoke, or do recreational drugs. I'm going to bring these facts up to my doctor and see what she says. She'll probably point out that I'm overweight.

I am doing a decent job of trying to push the boundaries of my comfort lately. I signed up for golf lessons in the spring, and actually made it through all six. I've gone through these particular lessons twice previously and skipped at least two of them each session. I got all panicky that I wasn't good enough, was going to be stared at or thought of as a bad golfer, or chastized by the teacher for not practicing, or I was just too tired to go....or whatever. This time I talked an acqaintance into signing up with me so that I HAD to go (we rode together), and I signed up on Saturday morning, so I didn't have the "too tired" excuse. I took vacation time on the two Saturdays that I would have had to work, so it all worked out. I was pretty proud of myself for making it through the lessons, and when the instructor mentioned the Wednesday night beginners golf league he runs, I was tempted to join. I dismissed the idea, since I'm not a good golfer. After all, if you aren't good at something, why bother? (has truly always been my secret thought in the past about...well, about pretty much everything) However, my friend Julie asked if I wanted to be her partner in the league and "yes" popped out of my mouth. Oh. My. Word. The first week of play I was sooooo incredibly nervous and scared and panicked. But, it was fine. Totally fine. Yes, I'm bad. So is my partner (she's actually worse than I am, most weeks). Big deal. It's a beginners' league, so we're expected to be bad. Everyone we've played so far has been very gracious and patient. I feel so confident now that when my dh asked me if I was planning to play in his dad's family's 86th annual golf tournament, I said yes without any hesitation.

We joined the neighborhood weight loss challenge again this summer, and they added a new component. We get points for showing up to a weekly exercise activity on Sunday afternoons. The first week's activity was beach volleyball. Let me tell you, the last time I had played volleyball was at least 20 years ago. I went to a game with my then-boyfriend, who pressured me into playing in spite of my protestations that I was awful and didn't want to play. Sure enough, I didn't hit the ball once. Not one single solitary time. At first there was laughter -- nervous laughter on my part and "isn't this fun?" laughter on the part of the other players. As the game went on, there were fewer laughs and more sympathetic looks from others, as I got hotter and hotter with mortification. There was grim silence when the game finally, mercifully ended. So, you can understand my reticence about playing with my neighbors. Not to mention the whole "not allowed to jump, run, hop after shattering leg" thing. They told me I could just show up and get points without playing (they all know about my leg), so even my dh was quite surprised when I said I'd try playing. I figured that since it was on sand, my knee might be okay. And it was. My knee was pretty sore the next day, but playing was fine. I wasn't great, but I wasn't horrible. I hit the ball quite a few times and wasn't a total disgrace to my team. It was even kind of fun. Kind of. My dh was very proud of me for playing and I was too.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Ah spring! I have hyacinth, Grecian wildflowers, and crocus coming up in my yard, which is always very cheering. However, rabbits or deer or squirrels seem to have dug up most of my crocuses. Annoying. I'm so sick of the stationary bike and elliptical and I can't wait for it to be just a bit warmer, so I can bike outside.

My March commitment to eating for health wavered a bit. On the one hand, I've been eating more vegan meals than ever -- even when eating out, I have looked for a vegan or at least vegetarian option. I've walked 10,000+ steps a day on most days, as well as doing cardio on the stat bike or elliptical 5-6 days a week. On the other hand...I had a few episodes of overeating. I won't call them binges because I didn't end up eating so much that I made myself sick. It was more like consciously choosing to overeat because I was anxious/bored/feeling powerless. I had days when I chose not to use food and I felt so strong and capable of dealing with any and all emotions that I wondered why on earth I ever chose the opposite. Then there were the days when I ate another piece of toast, another piece of dessert, another whatever until I was way overfull and feeling hopeless that I'll ever be a normal eater. Our neighborhood contest ended (whew) and we came in last place this time. I lost 7 lbs and dh lost 20 or so, but everyone else was far more into it this time. That's okay -- if we'd won a second time, I would have felt guilty. I ended March weighing pretty much the same as I did at the beginning, which is okay, but not very exciting.

I've been reading the revised version of Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I'm not sure what is revised about it. It's been a while since I read the original, so I don't remember it all that well. Anyway, you certainly can't argue with the results. People with cholesterol levels below 100 (that's TOTAL cholesterol!)? Yes, please! However, I just can't imagine being able to eat only two grain servings a day and no bread, no pancakes, no ice cream. Well, he does say you can eat those things occasionally, but that you should stick to a vegan, super low fat diet 90% of the time. I have gotten to the point that I eat 2 servings of fruit, 6+ servings of vegetables, and 1/2-1 cup of beans on most days. I've cut way back on cheese, having only a sprinkle of feta on my pizza or salad occasionally. I eat meat only about once every few weeks, if that. I can't really remember the last time I did eat it. I've been using unsweetened almond milk in my morning oatmeal. I am still enjoying greek yogurt though; I just don't care for soy yogurts. I probably eat too much nut butter, and have still been eating too much sugar. Dessert -- my eternal temptation. I have only 1/2tsp of sugar in my morning cup of coffee, and none in my oatmeal as long as I have half a banana to cook into it, but still long to eat ice cream, cookies, and graham crackers. I had chocolate in my cupboard for so long that it went past the "good by" date, but if cookies are around, I have difficulty sticking to just one and difficulty not eating one or more every day. I'm still hoping that I can move even closer to the "Eat to Live" way of eating. My doctor is sending me for bloodwork and, since I haven't been taking my cholesterol medication on any sort of regular basis, I'm a bit nervous to see what the results will be.

I decided last week that I'd treat my carnivorous family to a week of meat-filled meals. They had been uncomplainingly eating meatless meals for weeks, so I wanted to treat them. I made steak, roast, pork chops, ribs, and bacon all in the space of ten days. That didn't work out too well for anyone except my husband. My 13-year-old announced that she wanted to become a vegetarian after watching a movie in school about slaughterhouses, and my 8-year-old ate only a bite of two of each meat. Today she told me that she is a vegetarian. Huh. At least that daughter likes beans. So, I am back to meatless meals most of the time. Poor dh will have to get his meat fixes when we eat out. I will cook meat for them sometimes -- they both still love bacon -- but mostly will skip it. Here is one recipe that was a fair success with all. They ate it with flour tortillas:

Ethiopian Vegetable Stew -- makes 6 cups
1T of olive oil
4 c coarsely chopped cabbage
3 c chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp turmeric
2 c water
2T tomato paste (did you know you can buy tomato paste in a tube? genius!)
3 c carrot chunks (1 1/2-2-inch pieces)
3 c green beans (about 1/2lb)
1 1/2c potato chunks
1/2 tsp salt (I left it out and let people salt at the table)
1/4 tsp black pepper
Heat the oil over medium-high and add cabbage, onions, and garlic, Cook about 4 min, til cabbage is wilted. Stir in turmeric.

Add water and tomato paste; stir until combined. Add the carrots and green beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 1/4 hours. Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper; simmer, covered 25-30 minutes longer. Add 1/4c additional water, if necessary.

I think this would have been good with eggplant, summer squash, or zucchini added too, though I wouldn't put it in until you add the potatoes. Otherwise, mush. This picture doesn't make it look all that appealing, but it was tasty. The lighting in our house is TERRIBLE. Everything looks yellow.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Ups and Downs

I really wanted to give up something for lent, but giving up sweets last year didn't work out so well. I was successful, but ate way too many sweets on Sundays (which aren't technically part of lent -- doesn't that seem like a cop out?). I debated trying to eat a healthy vegan diet for lent, but in the end, didn't want to do anything that might trigger restriction panic. I decided to try and eat vegan four days a week. I started Ash Wednesday, and wow, is it far more difficult than I had envisioned! I wanted a few chocolate chips on a graham cracker, but the chips had "milk solids" in the ingredients, so that was out. I bought some bread at Great Harvest, but it had egg yolks in the ingredients, so that was out. I swear I never wanted Greek yogurt so badly as I did on Thursday, though I usually go days without having any. Thankfully, my family has eaten three vegan dinners in a row without complaint. None were incredibly successful, though they seemed to like the "shepherd's pie" pretty well. I can say with certainty that sticking to a vegan diet for life would be extremely hard for me.

Lately, I've been up and down more than a roller coaster. In my weekly weigh-ins for the neighborhood contest (which is, thankfully, almost over), I've been up one pound, down 1.5 lbs, up 2 pounds, down 1 lb, etc, etc. Overall, I've lost 7.4 lbs since January 1, which isn't thrilling, but isn't anything to weep over. Unfortunately, I can't say that my eating has been stellar. I usually eat very healthfully Mon-Thurs, but fall apart after the Friday weigh-in. That's why I'm glad the contest is almost over. I want to get back to not feeling pressured to lose weight. It is fun to do this with my neighbors because it makes me feel like part of a group, but I sort of hope dh doesn't want to do it this summer if they start it up again. At least he isn't as determined to win this time. He doesn't really care how we do - he just wants to lose a bit of weight. He isn't really overweight - maybe 5-10 lbs?

I have gotten really good at pinpointing exactly why I want to eat when I'm not hungry, though I don't always let that awareness keep me from doing it. Unfortunately, too many times it's because I don't want to do something. I need to just do it - whatever it may be. Or not do it, and not feel guilty about it. Sometimes you just need to lie around on the couch and read a book.

I just finished a book called Hungry, by Allen Zadoff. It was a very interesting read, though it seems that he decided that his problem was a lack of willpower, and only abstinence could save him. He never names them, but it seemed like he joined OA. He is not a believer of "everything in moderation", but rather thinks that compulsive eaters need to abstain from sugar -- or whatever foods trigger them. Anyway, one thing he said that I identified with was that he always rationalized that he stayed home because he was too fat. I'm paraphrasing from memory here, but he thought he didn't socialize or date because he was too fat - but the real reason was that he was out of control with his eating. When I feel like I'm spiraling out of control, or have had some "bad" days of mindless munching and/or overeating and/or bingeing, I just want to put on my pjs after work and not go anywhere. I don't even want to run the errands that I really NEED to run. I just want to hibernate. I think I don't want to go to so-and-so's tupperware party because I feel fat, but it's really because I feel out of control. I am scared that I will inhale the entire snack table and sit there feeling bloated and miserable, because the truth is that I already feel miserable before I go. Here's to fewer of those days, and more....normal....days.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Month of (Mostly) Healthy Eating

Wow -- it's February 2, and I've eaten to nourish my body instead of eating to abuse it for an entire month. It didn't really seem very difficult. Making the effort to make sure I am eating at least five servings of vegetables every day definitely makes a difference. As does making an effort to cut way back on eating sugar and snack-type carbohydrates. I've been sauteeing a big batch of vegetables every few days and putting them in the fridge. Then I can just put a bunch into a large bowl, add in half a cup or so of a whole grain, squirt on some sriracha, and plop on half a cup of beans for some protein. I also finally found some nutritional yeast, though I had to buy it online. I don't really think it adds a "cheesy" flavor though -- maybe I'm not using enough.

Anyway, my resolution to eat dessert only once a week has had only spotty success, but eating one square of dark chocolate in a day isn't really going to hurt me too much. I've been exercising, but not too much, and cooking my family more vegetarian meals than they'd like to eat. They're very good about it though. I had only one small setback during the month. We have to weigh in on Fridays for our neighborhood contest, and I got on the scale last Friday to see a .4 lb gain. It was temporary - we'd gone to eat at a French Bistro the night before, where I'd overindulged in French cheese and flatbread pizza with carmelized onions and goat cheese. However, I allowed the stupid number to get me down, and I went into a bit of a tailspin. I overate snacks, chocolate, and cookies at a scrapbooking crop I hosted that evening, and continued overeating the next day. That evening, I had a stern "talking to" with my inner critic, and successfully shut her up. I went back to healthier eating the next day and have been okay since then.

I feel really good. I think keeping my blood sugar on an even keel and eating food that is good for me has helped me be less crabby, and my knees haven't been hurting as much. I've also been my old, energetic self. On to month two!

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Start Update

I still feel great! I've been focusing on eating sugar only sparingly and I must admit that I'm falling asleep more quickly (I was having some wicked insomnia in December), and no longer feeling sleepy in the afternoons. I've stuck to my decision to eat 5+ servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day, and I've not been going hungry. I seriously think that the secret to being satisfied with less food is to eat lots of greens and beans. In my quest to eat a mostly plant based diet, I've been eating beans almost every day, and when I have a nice vegetable stir fry with a bit of olive oil and a half cup of beans thrown in, it is tasty and filling. There have been many days when I haven't eaten the afternoon snack I've brought to work because I've not been hungry enough until almost dinnertime. Of course, that could also be because not eating sweets is keeping my blood sugar on an even keel. Whatever. I worry a bit that I am just feeling that "high" you get when you decide to eat better or lose know, that feeling that wears off by the 100th celery stick?

Have I felt deprived? Hmmmm. It's been fairly easy not to feel that way because the river of goodies at work has slowed to a trickle, and we don't have a dozen different kinds of cookies at home. I have my Christmas stocking chocolates at work, but haven't even opened them. I just don't feel like eating them. I made a dessert last week to use up some cream cheese I had, and yes, I definitely wanted to eat more than the few bites I had. I decided to stop after one small piece though, and it was okay. I'm sure that no matter what happens in my life, I will ALWAYS want more dessert. Right now, it's a matter of which I want more -- lots of dessert or knees that don't hurt. Choosing the knees at the moment. As far as the rest of my food, I've made some delicious things like homemade pizza with ww crust, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and blue cheese, hoisin braised tempeh (still don't LOVE tempeh -- I think I need to find a less earthy flavored brand), beer chaser chili, and veggie burger stew. Eating healthy food that tastes delicious is much less punishing that eating diet bread with low cal lunchmeat and raw vegetables for lunch (as I did every freaking day of my starvation days).

Our neighborhood contest is chugging along. Tim and I haven't won either week, but we haven't been in last place either. I've lost almost 5 pounds since the first of the year, but you know -- most of it is probably the bloat I gained over the holidays.

I'm leaving in 15 minutes for a scrapbooking retreat. I was getting into a terrible tizzy about it last night, thinking about the not-so-stellar food usually served, the endless buffet of unhealthy snacks that is always out, and the late nights that lead to unwise food choices. This morning I woke up and realized that I was all jacked up for nothing. I can either choose wisely and eat mindfully or I can come home on Sunday filled with regret, remorse, and cholesterol coursing through me. I packed up some healthy snacks: clementines, apples, almonds, energy bars, and almond butter. Mindful, here I come.

Friday, January 07, 2011

New Year, New Beginnings

I always love the start of a new year. I'm one of THOSE people who believes that it is a fresh start, and THIS year I'll get it right. It is a rare year that I actually achieved any of the resolutions I made with such hope, but I think the day I stop trying is the day...well, I hope I never see that day.

This year, I resolved to take at least one photo each week. That may sound pitiful, but last year's idea to take one each day lasted about three days, so hopefully this is more realistic. I also have a couple of scrapbooking projects in mind, and I want to pay for things in cash whenever possible. We pay off our credit card bills every month, but paying cash definitely makes me more mindful (see previous post! :-)) and makes me question whether or not I really need that cute ________________. It's better for my girls to see that money runs out too, rather than just seeing me slap a credit card on the counter to pay for everything.

Then, there's the question of making resolutions to lose weight or be healthier. I'm pretty sure I've made one or the other every year. Sometimes I've been pretty successful, sometimes not so much. I definitely want to lose weight. My knees are protesting every time I walk up the stairs, I've started grunting when I stand up from the couch, and I really don't want to buy a whole new wardrobe. I have no interest in starving, however. My initial action is going to be to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day, and to avoid eating dessert more than once a week. I'm rather sick of sugar anyway, after the weeks of eating half a dozen cookies every day. A group of friends asked us to join in a "couples biggest l*ser" contest. My husband wanted to do it, and I did too. We are mainly doing it for the fun, so I don't think I'll get all weird about it. One of the husbands set up a website, complete with "smack talk" board, and they have organized Sunday family walks at a local orchard.

So far, I've felt good about eating more healthily. I already feel more energized - it's amazing what eating broccoli instead of cookies does for your body and your psyche.