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Handling Holidays with Aplomb

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Greetings, Sparkers.

It's been a hot minute since my last blog, but please trust that I have been taking at least fairly decent care of myself while in pursuit of these important, life-changing habits and goals, the substance of which we share together in our journey for healthier living. I have been periodically tuning in quietly on the site, reading blogs and group challenges with interest. I continue to gain momentum and reassurance from your words and brave shares of struggles, as well as successes.

Since I grapple with an addictive personality, which is not exclusive to food, I have really been working hard at a workable plan for this holiday season, and I am eager to gain your thoughts on the matter.

For starters, on the physical level, I pregame the big meals, and I am grateful for them, with extra hydration and big breakfasts. So far so good. On Thanksgiving, I skipped my usual oatmeal and instead had a couple of eggs the way I like them, with a bit of cheese, wheat toast, hot sauce and some of that rancid fake butter that I have learned to tolerate. Oh well, we can't have everything. Butter is off the menu permanently. This I strategically ate an hour later than usual, thus leaving me only moderately hungry when the feast came. And then, at dinner, I made sure that I wasn't the first one to eat, spoke between bites mainly to ask questions and start conversations with other guests, and also, deliberately took my time and the initiative to cut up the food for the little ones present. This worked. As a guesstimate, I probably consumed about half the food that I normally would on this bounteous holiday. And I left the table feeling sated, and even a bit proud.

Other pregame moves include slowing myself down, opting for a book instead of television, as I am way less likely to scarf snacks while reading as compared to mindless television that happens to be saturated with food frenzy ads this time of year. And psychologically, there is plenty of work to do, for sure, but I have been more forgiving of myself and even my sometimes poor food choices. I let it be and move on. In the past, I have doubled down insensibly after caving to chocolates or pancakes or whatever. The cycle was as follows: eat poorly in between meals; feel sorry for myself; sulk and eat more to feel better about it; repeat; and then eat a normal dinner so no one would be suspicious of any aberrant behaviors. Well, you guessed it, that never worked. So, when I occasionally cave to sweets, I simply acknowledge it, choose to feel only mildly disappointed about it, and then vow to adjust my caloric intake (guesstimating, not a numbers guy) for the rest of the day.

So far so good, Sparkers. Do you have a holiday game plan?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWESTEN1 11/29/2014 8:37AM

    I am so glad to see that you are back! And it looks like you're doing very well with your planning - Thanksgiving was obviously a success!

I think it's a great idea to read at night instead of the tv.... that was always the easiest time for me to partake in the mindless eating. For the past month I've been doing the p90x dvds with Ed after work. The good thing (for me) about a hard workout in the evening is that it kills my appetite. So I try to have my "shake" for a dinner around 4 and then I'm done for the night. Unfortunately this doesn't work for everyone b/c Ed works out and then is ravenous...

Either way, I like your idea of talking more during the big meals & helping the kids with theirs. Just wish there was a way to not be tempted by the sweets - haven't figured that one out. So, congrats on doing so well!

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LORIVIOLA 11/29/2014 7:51AM

    sounds like your game plan worked.
emoticon emoticon

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It's good to be an injured loser today!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Greetings, Sparkers!

It's been far too long since my last entry, but rest assured I have been tuning into many of your inspiring stories all along, gaining strength, newfound hope, confidence, and fortified commitment along the way.

There was a period in my life, really most of my life, where I would let certain setbacks consume and doom me. Somehow, there was something about a downward spiral that in an odd, and inexplicably, subconsciously appealing way, sucked me in and took me for long, tormenting rides through darkness and dismay. But today is not that day. I am different and I am proud.

Getting back to the literal version of this story, since joining this site a few years back I have intermittently logged my journey to better health. Among lowlights were the following: job loss, knee surgery, marital strife, crippling insecurity, and even a minor (if there is such a thing) bout with depression. But, unlike my past self, if you will, I have somehow managed to cope, and with help, and find solace in the things that I could control and make better. For me. I work for me.

So, today's fresh perspective and tempered enthusiasm is not about the 25 pounds that are no longer with me since my first spin, although that is sweet, it is more about a celebration of the self. I am happy to be me, grateful for the challenges that have made me stronger, recommitted to better health because of the way it makes me feel, and balanced in a perspective that looks to climb, crawl and scratch at doors toward light, rather than stumble and spill quietly and effortlessly into spirals that used to own me and drive the bumpy road of life with me locked in the trunk.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJRVIC2000 9/27/2014 9:38AM

    When one door closes on you, God opens another door just for you. God Bless YOU! Vic.

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LOSE4LIFE47 9/27/2014 9:36AM


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Watch out for those bunnies...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Just wanted to state publicly that today will end as follows: Frank: 1; ChocoBunny: 0. You see, every day that I don't sneak a bite or two from my daughter's Easter chocolate stash I am that much more likely to avoid the disaster altogether. When she is good, she gets chocolate from the stash provided that she first eats her dinner. If last year is any barometer, we will likely be well into May before the soon-to-be 5-year-old finishes the blasted stash. She takes little bites, you see.

So, my motivation is twofold: It is better to give than receive (read: steal and sneak); and every day is a little easier cause the chocolate gets a bit more stale and slobbery and less available.


"Hoisting" Furniture Like a Pro

Monday, April 07, 2014

I have a joy to report, people...

While I did not resort back to good old days of hoisting large hunks of furniture over the shoulders, I did manage to carefully and strategically move a rather large chest up two flights of stairs all by myself. And without pain or damage!

This is a big deal because a month ago I could not even think of doing this on the knee following surgery. But with time, and patience, and plenty of late 30's style stretching, I am well on my way to recovery.

I may not measure up like I used to, but I am feeling stronger than I was was a month ago. And, as a matter of fact, two years ago, when I was at my heaviest, I don't think I could have moved that piece, or chased after my little girl, or even taken three flights of stairs with relative ease as I now can. I am making progress, people, and I am proud of myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWESTEN1 4/11/2014 9:28AM

    That is awesome! It's amazing how capable our bodies are - and how we take so much of that away by putting on weight. Yet, look how great you feel now with losing the weight & getting the knee repaired... soon you'll feel like Superman!

Keep up the excellent work!

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GRACEOMALLEY 4/7/2014 2:09PM

    You should be proud of yourself! Good for you! I am so pleased that you shared this and that you are doing so well. Keep up the good work!

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ELRIDDICK 4/7/2014 1:31PM

  Thanks for sharing

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Eff' da Pizza

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I have noticed that it is becoming easier and easier to consume massive amounts of calories in very little time, with very little thought, and usually with minimal coin. Well, I'm better than that, Sparkers! At least on this day, anyway.

About a month ago, I bought about a dozen pizzas to reward a group of children and their teachers for a job well done. These pies were a mere $5 a pop. And the pizza vendor lady threw in an additional pie for free when she saw my school name tag. I didn't have any pizza on that day, but it got me to thinking and fantasizing about pizza another day: today.

Five bucks a pie?!? Oh, yes I can easily justify that one. And so close to work. And look: I can even order the thing online to save time. Maybe throw in some questionable meat topping for a half-dollar more and share a slice or two even. Heck, I'll even eat a slice or two on the road. Saving lots of time.

No! Forgetaboutit! Earth to self: I am lactose intolerant, overweight, and feeling good about myself on this chilly Wednesday. Why ruin the day with a $5 pie? Really? Two slices would mean at least three Lactaid pills just to "digest" the mess. Yet I digress.

Folks, you can't even watch a basketball game on TV without seeing a commercial with some skinny kid devouring a larger-than-life, but neatly wrapped taco while running for his life. Oh yeah. It's just so easy. Order online; save time; save your preferences for next time; just click and consume; and repeat; and repeat; and repeat. Save coin on the questionable meat products that come while the car is not even parked. There are freakin' 6 DD's within half as many miles from my home. Really!?!

If it's this easy to consume the wrong thing, it has to become easier to avoid it all. And I think that blogging in this fashion is a start, at least for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLEE33 3/26/2014 10:35PM

    emoticon emoticon Good job on saying no, and possibly helping me say no next time!

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GRACEOMALLEY 3/26/2014 5:21PM

    Good for you! emoticon emoticon

I watch ads for food on tv all the time and I've made it a game to look at them critically - like I'm the producer of the food the ad is selling and I'm trying to determine just how well this advertisement will suck in the viewing public. Once you start looking at them that way, you'll never view them the same way again. You immediately begin to recognize the B.S. inherent in them. You should be so proud of yourself for being aware of that and not letting them suck you in now. emoticon

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PROPMAN1 3/26/2014 2:45PM

  Yep...getting easier and easier to fill up on empty calories. They advertise so much and make it seem so easy to stay lean despite eating lots of food, drinking soda (diet or not), tasting all those chocolates, etc. All we can do is our best. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MJRVIC2000 3/26/2014 2:34PM

    What you decide today may make a Big difference tomorrow. God Bless You! Vic.

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