Saturday, December 13, 2014
I've been struggling this week. I"ve "caved in" a couple of times while eating out. It was my birthday and a friend took me out for dinner to the Olive Garden. MMMmmm breadsticks!! and I was having fantasies of pasta Alfredo...However when the time came to order, I had decided on Grilled Salmon and broccoli, and we had two bowls of salad and (sigh) I had three breadsticks.
Then yesterday while eating out with a friend, I had fantasies of fried chicken on a biscuit with gravy. But instead I ordered two pieces of French Toast using whole wheat bread and it was topped with bananas. This was on their 600 calorie or less menu. (which still is way too high)
It is true that I had two pieces of my birthday carrot cake (not on the same day) and I really should have just pitched the last piece in the garbage.
So I have been feeling like a failure....The scale has crept up two pounds and this added to my disgust with myself.
But then last night I was thinking. No, I did not live according to the Eat to Live principles. But the truth is that in each diversion from the "path"...I ended up making much healthier choices than I'd initially intended. So maybe I should stop slapping myself around and high five myself for making better choices.
Tonight I'm invited to a friend's house for a lasagna dinner (with a group of my friends). I checked with her...she is serving salad. But what to do about the garlic bread and the lasagna? I've decided I will have a bowl of my homemade vegetable soup and then will make steamed collard greens and shredded carrots covered by a raison/balsamic sauce before I go out of the house. Then, with a full and satisfied tummy, I will have some salad and yes,maybe one piece of garlic bread and I suppose I will have to take a tiny piece of lasagna...but I will not eat all of it.
I still have not done any real exercise. This morning I need a shower...so maybe I can do some exercise and not worry about sweating. I know I need to do cardio...but really need to strengthen myself before I attempt to really work hard on the bike or walking. But once more, while not choosing the ideal path, I will make a choice that is better than it could be...and I will try to give myself credit for doing even that.
That old anorexic in me would have me flagellating myself for not being perfect. I need to get around that because there is a world of self-hatred in that line of thought and these days, rather than punishing myself for my "failures" by not eating for a week, these days I punish myself by making terrible choices and pigging out on whatever takes my fancy. I do not want to walk that path. (or to roll down it either :) ). So right now I'm trying to feel good about making better choices...maybe not the BEST choices...but sometimes circumstances demand flexibility and you just have to make the best of them and give yourself credit for doing as well as you did. And then pick yourself up and keep on the path that I have chosen to take...The path that will lead to better health and a slimmer body.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
All you are today, is the consequence of your choices. It is true that things happen about which we lack control...sickness, financial issues, etc. But it is true that we have choices in how we will respond to such difficulties. You know the expression, "That which does not kill me, makes me stronger"? That is true for most people but there are people who cave in under pressure. That too, is a choice. It can be hard to pick yourself up from the ground and get going again, but truly, it is a necessity that you make that choice. And that includes your eating habits. It is time to take responsibility for our eating habits. Because that is what they are: habits. Habits, like smoking, can be hard to break, but bad habits can kill us. At the very least they will make us miserable.
If you look at yourself and you are Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead*, it is time to make a change. I'm preaching to myself also.. Begin with one thing and change it. Then when you have that down, add one more good habit. OR, if you are really motivated and want to see an immediate change for the better, read a book like Eat to Live, or Eating for Health by Dr Joel Fuhrman ( www.drfuhrman.com ) or you may choose to read the writings of Dr MacDougal. or "The Pleasure Trap" which is an excellent book about the grip of habits we can form in our search for a quick pleasure fix and the trap that leads us to in all areas of our lives. Make a radical change: a complete break from your bad eating habits.
If you follow one of the mentioned plans, you will see almost immediate results. It is true that there is a period of detoxing that your body will go through and that can be disconcerting and may cause some people to give up. Just remember that your body needs to adjust to your changed habits as much as your way of thinking must change. Be patient with this process; it only lasts for a week or two. And then your tastebuds will stand up and clap their hands at the sight of Brussel Sprouts!! And Spinach ...and you name it...these foods will become so satisfying and the joy you will feel at giving your body such a gift of good food, will make every bit of sacrifice worth it.. No more will you eat the last potato chip and feel that bitter taste of regret and shame.
Then comes the hard part. For me, changing my food habits was easier than beginning to exercise has been. I think back to 2010 when I lost 70 lbs and was really working on my body's capacity for exercise.. I felt SO good after each workout. I was high on endorphins and loving it. If I was forced to miss workouts (like when I was in the hospital for asthma or surgery) I felt awful and missed it horribly. But give me three or four days away from working out and once more I had to deal with entropy. And now I am completely out of shape following a rash of surgeries, asthma and autoimmune disease. These are all mountains I must cross and conquer. And again..it is a matter of choice. How badly do I want it? Is Victory right around the corner? Or will I, once again, not make the choice for health. (and "not to choose, is to choose")
Sometimes we can feel that we are standing at a precipice with a herd of coyotes ( is it a "herd"? Maybe a Pack of coyotes is better) at our backs. We feel that we have no choice but to fall into the depths. But maybe you missed seeing the tightrope you could have walked, or the helicopter flying ahead dropping a rope ladder. The Bible said that we will not feel temptation that is too great to bear....God will always provide a way out that we can bear it. ( that is good news for His children). So when you feel temptation...start looking for a way out. That may mean simply closing the refrigerator door and walking out of the kitchen. Or choosing an apple instead of cake. It is a choice.
So often we can feel like a victim of our circumstances. I have struggled with this trap. I have four autoimmune diseases as well as asthma, glaucoma and peripheral neuropathy. I am in a lot of pain all the time. And it is easy to say, I cannot exercise today, I hurt too much. But that is a choice and a trap all in one. There is always something I can do. Something positive. Something proactive. And it is those little "somethings" that will hopefully , in time, make it easier to do the "big" somethings. A big change is comprised of a lot of smaller choices. Break it down. Don't look at the mountain before you...look rather at the next place you can put your feet ..one step. one decision at a time. And before you know it you will be scaling tough walls which had previously held you captive and now you may climb over them with ease. It all begins with the decision to act for health. You will stumble but you needn't fall. Grab the hands held out to you. Look for the next step...and then Choose to take it.
I'm preaching to myself here also. I still have a lot of weight to lose...but I've done it once, I can do it again. "With God, all things are possible."
Today I will do some exercise. It's time to make that choice and to stop listening to the naysayers (some of whom reside in my own head) and listen to the voice that beckons me to change my life for the better. I have all of you to help me and encourage me. And I know that I can do it. One choice at a time.
*Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, is a must see movie...You can find it on Netflix.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Well I had a week of poor choices. Fortunately for some reason I did not have much appetite so that helped to keep it from being a catastrophe. Then on FRiday I bought some veggies and fruit because we were out of everything. Last night I cooked collard greens with shredded carrots and a raisin, balsamic, cashew sauce over the greens and carrots. (You blend those ingredients in the blender with a little water and it makes a lovely sauce). I really did not expect to like the greens. I thought they would be slimy and mushy but they weren't. Despite 13 minutes of steaming , they still had texture and a slightly crisp feel. I felt like I was giving my body a gift. Collard greens are one of the most nutritious things you can eat. Dr Fuhrman is always singing their praises....and now I know why.
I had a little of the sauce left over so today made a smaller batch of the same meal and also had a salad for lunch. And to get my quota of beans in I had a black bean brownie for dessert.
For tonight I am making Brussels Sprouts.....another new favorite that I'd avoided for my whole life up til now. I had cooked some about a week ago and fell in love with them. My daughter likes them too so I'm making them for both of us.
Today I was terrified to weigh myself after my week long excursion to the "Dark Side"....I thank the LOrd for the gift I found on the scales. I had only gained a half a pound, despite eating crap for a week. The only explanation I can give is the fact that I skipped meals, not being hungry.
So now, being back on track once again, I am sure that my weight loss will pick up. I am awaiting the transformation of my taste buds....When a slice of pizza tastes like a salt lick, and Doritos taste like chemicals. Already my taste buds are rejoicing with the good food. Soon I will lose my predilection for sweets...and for lots of bread or pasta. I'm allowed one starch a day and it is encouraged to make that starch a vegetable type...like squash or sweet potatoes. Tomorrow I am planning on making a small batch of whole grain spaghetti and having sauteed zucchini and summer squash topped wiht spaghetti sauce and non dairy cheese. It sounds delicious. I am only making the most simple of Dr Fuhrmans recipes....also I am finding some from other online sources such as Spark People. As long as they conform to the guidelines he laid out in his books, then I can't go wrong.
When my husband was eating the Eat to Live food, his chest pain disappeared and his labs were normal for the first time in years. And yet now, he is refusing to eat this food....even though he knows it is the only hope he has of remaining alive. His arteries are all 99% or higher clogged with plaque. He has 5 stents holding two arteries open...however the junk he is eating is going to re-plaque those stented areas and then he will be in serious trouble. I've begged him to join me in eating the right way....but he is determined not to.
I have set up for myself a list of goals and a point system for when I meet those goals. They are more in depth and more personally geared than are my Spark goals. I plan to reward myself with every hundred points on my system, and also for every ten pounds I lose. So far Ive lost 14.
I not only WANT to do this. I WILL do this. That is my promise to myself. And at some point I need to get more serious about exercise once again. The recumbent bike is the only type of cardio I can stand due to the Rheumatoid Arthritis in my ankles and knees. I have been doing some strength training with pathetically light weights. Ive gotten completely deconditioned. And I know that If I do not exercise....once i lose significant weight Im going to be a saggy skinned mess. In 2010 when I lost 70, I was working out really hard....and I did not have much extra skin. However, this time Im heavier and am less able to exercise.
Maybe --as Dr Fuhrman has said, --eating properly will reduce or even eliminate Autoimmune Diseases. He held out less hope for those of us who've had the illnesses for years. So maybe it won't go away....but maybe it will stop some of the inflammation and thus the pain.
I can always hope.
Then I could exercise again maybe.
I'm feeling so good about getting back in the saddle.
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