Sunday, July 04, 2010
So far, blogging every day has been a good thing for me: got me back tracking, too, not just blogging. As I think about what to post here, there are the mundane details of what happens in life: great dinner last night, by the way, we had Greek Salad (a healthy recipe I make), and then my daughter in law made tilapia in a bag... a recipe she worked out to be similar to something Red Lobster used to have on their menu.
Doesn't it look delicious? Tasted wonderful... that's fresh thyme and lemon on the top layer! A whole lot healthier than what my sister plans on doing tonight.
Link to the recipe: www.redlobster.com/press/media_kit/t
I got the tour of their little place... a washer/dryer and a bedroom suite have been acquired, used... and she's made it a cozy little nest.
Came home while it was still light (it doesn't get dark around here 'til 9:30 or 10 pm this time of year) and was able to see some of the neighborhood fireworks as it got later.
Tonight... the sisters!
Saturday, July 03, 2010
For those of you who have "always thought of myself as thin"... you can probably skip this blog. You're "going home" when you lose weight. You are immune to the "change back" messages that come disguised as "compliments".
But for those of us who have always considered ourselves, "the fat sister", "the chubby friend", etc., it becomes a particular challenge as we get close to or achieve our weight loss goals. Even more so around holidays and family gatherings, when we are faced with the comments of well-meaning or envious people.
One that was particularly devastating to me one year was my "skinny sister" lamenting over the fact that I (two inches shorter than she) was weighing in at less than she was. Huge "change back" message. The joking "you're going to blow away", or even "hello skinny" can be a "change back" message to someone (like me) who thinks of herself as substantial.
One recent comment that got me thinking was from a gal who has always kept herself in good shape. It was simply, "You aren't still losing, are you?" I sloughed it off with "no, I'm maintaining, but just starting to wear clothes that fit." But it bothered me.
Body image issue number two: do I feel comfortable in clothes that fit? I'm trying to learn to be. But the clothes that fit bring on those kinds of comments, and those kind of compliments have to be dealt with, or I end up eating over them.
One day at a time: breathe, get my activity in, and remember that outside the skin (other people's words) is not something I can control. Arm myself with the knowledge that this weekend has a high potential to generate comments from people I might have boundary issues with.
I am me. A real live individual. Not an extension of someone else or an assigned identity within a sibling group. If I can just remember that, I should get through not just dinner with daughter in law tonight, but bring a dish with the sisters and families tomorrow.
Who'd have thunk it? Over 50, you can still have identity issues!
Friday, July 02, 2010
I know that many folks who follow along are in my age range and totally understand this, but in case you haven't been around this block a few times, let me clue you in: just because your body size has changed doesn't mean the image you hold of yourself, in your mind... has accepted it!
One of the reasons I keep taking photos is so I can look at them and say, "Yes, this is me". If you look at the "before" pictures, that's also me. My body size has varied so much over the years that at times I'm not sure which one is really me. In truth, they all are. I'm the one that some people have recently told "You're getting too thin, you might blow away" (change back message), and I'm also the one that they avoided saying anything to because she was so fat, to avoid hurting my feelings. I'm also the one in the middle, on her way up or down.
"You are more than your body". That is so true, body, mind, soul... all is part of identity. I was raised with the concept to "take no thought for your body". I now know and accept that I am a compulsive eater with behaviors that date back to childhood. This has directly resulted in the large body size that has returned multiple times throughout my life.
Compulsive eating can go both ways... it can be compulsive UNDER-eating, too. Once a certain amount of weight is off, and one starts wearing more flattering clothing, the comments come in, and the brain goes in differing directions, depending on your particular compulsion... either restricting continues, and the compulsion takes on THAT flavor... or the little devil voice tries to convince you that you can have ANYTHING you want because you're "cured".
For recovery from compulsion, there has to be something else, that is neither of these. In 12 step programs it's a concept called abstinence. If you don't buy into the whole compulsive eater thing, the word is "maintenance".
A big part of the whole thing is accepting myself whatever my size. It's about being "comfortable in my own skin"... loose or taut! Inside my skin = mine to deal with. Outside the skin = I have no control.
Going into this Independence Day weekend, my hope is to accept me as I am at the moment... to be comfortable with the size I am now.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
It's about to be a holiday weekend, and that usually means seeing family. On Saturday I'll be sharing a meal prepared by my daughter in law, who has started to follow the Mediterranean diet.
She tells me that she needs to have some kind of program to follow, she doesn't do well left to her own devices. I get that. This is the third such program she's followed... on the previous two, I went along with her: South Beach, and more recently Jenny Craig. My own philosophy is that the program doesn't much matter, as long as it supports balanced nutrition and exercise. If a shiny new program helps you stay motivated and take care of your health, go for it.
Most important I really, really get that everybody has to learn and grow in their own way and at their own pace. Family connections sometimes make it harder to share what we've learned, as the relationship and individuality get in the way. Sometimes it's easier to learn from a book, or a friend, rather than a family member.
I'm kind of looking forward to it, and kind of dreading it at the same time. The perfectionist in me worries about both the relationship and my own healthy eating program.
Relationship: "will she be offended if I don't care for what she prepares?" Food: "But what if it's something I really don't like?" So... watch the portion size, try to be polite, but not stiff. But more important: "Will she think I'm judging her own efforts at weight loss if I don't like the food." I know, I know, I'm warped.
I'm still feeling my way around my relationship with my daughter in law, and particularly where healthy habits are concerned. She's a fellow traveler. And that can mean sensitive. You know how the most critical anti-smoking people are former smokers? Well, sometimes I think the most critical feelings we take on are from former "fatties". You know what I mean? The big problem? When I go on these programs with her, I generally end up getting to my goal faster and staying there longer. Right now, I'm at goal and maintaining.
Some of this is leftovers from my relationship with my own mother, who seemed threatened when I lost weight... afraid I would want to push my new habits and values on her. Being a people pleaser... that came back to me, internally as a "change back" message. Internally, it can get morphed into a "why try?", a "she won't love me anymore", etc. Mom's gone now, but this echo remains in how I respond to the comments of others when they notice my weight loss. And I don't want to do that to someone else. Yes, I am projecting, psych majors among you.
Deep breath... Serenity prayer time: Inside my own skin, mine. Someone else's internals... I can't control. So, do my best, be genuine, and focus on loving the people. Beyond that... it's in the hands of a power greater than me!
I'll let you know how it went.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I may have shared (because I share a lot) that my food group challenge is fruit. I love my veggies, but getting the recommended 5 servings of fruit to go with my 5 plus veggies every day (my maintenance plan)... a stretch.
Well, last Sunday, the fruit staged a takeover of my fridge.
You see, there is this guy in our area who works with the Texas growers. Every year he sells door-to-door in our neighborhood twice. Once around about now with grapefruits and oranges, and again in the autumn with apples. He's been coming around for several years. He rings your doorbell and hands you a slice of his wares, that he cuts right on your porch step.
Of course it's the best fruit ever! Fresh, hasn't made it through the grocery, straight from the trees to you. Except that he sells it in crates! And there's only ONE of me! So each year, while raving over the quality of the fruit, I explain that I couldn't possibly eat what he sells before it spoils. Even though he says it will last 8 weeks without refrigeration. And that's the end of it, until my sample on his next trip.
This year, he caught me as I was ready for my Sunday afternoon snack, and it was the juiciest citrus fruit. And he said he would sell a mixed half crate. And I succumbed to the temptation. As you can see, my fridge has been taken over. And there was a lot more that didn't fit, and I gave away to my sisters and to people at work. But I think, at least for a few weeks, I'm going to have no problem getting in those five fruits.
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