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Sunday, July 19, 2020

One Day at a Time, I choose Me.

This was the sentence in today's interview that hit home. I have heard this before in other ways, but never in this specific line up of words before. One day at a time I choose me. I choose to stay on my path.

If the link works, here it is.  You can watch the recording of the interview with Marquese here.

206 yesterday morning, still a tortoise but steadily moving in the right direction for a total of 26.6 pounds since October. Really, almost nine months I've been doing this? Some lose this much weight in their 8 week bootcamp.  Days are Bright and nights not so much. Hearing so much about 'parts work' and why I have such a rebel inside, I have started to visualize the girl that I was and try to convince her to just let it go. Yes, it was horrible, but it's over and we shouldn't be punishing ourselves over it. Then I move on to the woman I was, and how horrible it was, and in calming loving words and actions try to comfort her and tell her to move on, that there is still life ahead and we need to stop hurting ourselves.

It's hard doing this, to remember details on purpose and feel the anger and pain and frustration that comes in tow. But I am hoping that I can convince them to join me in moving forward, because I am tired of being tethered to past suffering.

God, I feel like Sybil trying to connect the inner selves to become whole, to be integrated. And I know it's the rebel part that screams, "This is ridiculous, shut up and have a cookie already!"

I'm still loving spending days with the grand kids, even though I should be doing a better job. But that will come once I am really only working four hours each day at the 'real' job. I'm tired, and everyday convince myself all over again that I can do this. LOL, shades of 50 First Dates. Ha!

Life goes on, and I am still the girl who does the best she can each day. I don't give up.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Just Tired

I am tired. Way tired. But tomorrow is Sunday and I am done for the day. I even did some cooking when I got home from work; green beans with onions and mushroom soup. Yes, I sauteed the onions in bacon grease, and yes, I wolfed down a few slices of bacon while waiting for the beans to cook. I'm not proud of it, but oh well and all that.

My back is hurting, the old repetitive motion pinch in my sub scapular bursa, so that is worrisome. I'm almost hurting enough to warrant a shot of tequila, but I'll go for the ibuprofen and tylenol mix first. And some relaxing tea. I hate to think of spending tomorrow resting instead of puttering around the house, but it is what it is. If nothing else I'll cook a batch of 'spaghetti soup' for my next set of meals. For lunches I'm pulling the batch of black bean soup out of the freezer, and I'll do breakfast from scratch each morning - oatmeal cooked in 1/2C Oat milk, plus walnuts and blueberries or whatever frozen fruit needs to be eaten.

So food planned, and just waiting for the meds to kick in.

I did love being home with the grandkids this week, or the three days anyway. I just really need to moderate my activity; just because I'm home doesn't mean I get to do everything I want.

God, it's not even 7pm yet.

No more whining. Going to rest.

Oh, and 210.2 this morning, the lowest number in years despite my midnight snacking. I will get past this, I will, but more about that later. I am really missing the hot tub right now....

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A bend in the road

As usual of a weekend, I am planning my Bright Line meals for the week ahead. I placed a grocery order for delivery tomorrow morning, and will cook and prep for all of my meals for the week. This week more than others it's especially important, because Tuesday is my last full time day at the accounting department I have been part of for the past eight years. Instead I will be staying at home caring for my grandchildren, then working part time at accounting four hours each night. It's a crazy schedule, working 8am - 9pm, but it's only for a month or two while they shift workloads at the office. Then I will cut back to something more manageable, because I doubt 13 hour work days will be sustainable for me, even if do I get to sit down for the last four of them.

My dinners next week will be a couple of vegetable recipes from the BLE cookbook, some meatballs using another BLE recipe, and some sun-dried chicken sausages. I'm going back to cheese and triscuits for breakfast to cut back on the cooking I need to do tomorrow, plus it's a favorite breakfast.  I have cut way back on cheese, and I may have noticed a slight decrease in pain, but nothing measurable. Maybe I'll try again this Summer. I've already cut out cream from my decaf coffee, and the plan is cheese only once a day for now.

My black bean soup last week was delicious, and I still have a container (4 servings) in the freezer I can pull out for lunches. Later this evening I'll do some salad prep; we need to use up some purple cabbage before the Imperfect Produce delivery next week. Slicing that up thinly may be a task better relegated to the food processor so I think a trip to the kitchen section of the garage will be in order. I'll add some to a base of Romaine, carrots, and green onions for my lunches all week.

Speaking of purple, I think we are making the purple potatoes we received last week into potato salad tomorrow. This means skipping my grain at breakfast and having it at lunch, but I'm cool with those kinds of adjustments. Because I am committing to eating bright line meals for the week, instead of specific foods for only the next day, there will be no chatter around the change. Sausages and potato salad on Memorial Day, a beautiful bright line plan. There will roasted veggies from my cooking tomorrow to round out the meal (lunch) then an everyday BLE dinner.

I rode my bike this morning, taking a turn down to the pond after R&M returned from their ride. OMG, it's only about a mile and I was aching to be home. Well, my thighs and buttocks were anyway. But I made it, and I will keep doing this until I can ride five miles at a time as I once did. It did feel good to have my face in the wind! And it was a chance to listen to more of my audio book, which I haven't done much of now that I am not commuting.

So lots of positive thoughts about this coming change, and a determination to do right by the grandkids and myself all at the same time.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

BLE: Committing my food

The Instant Pot is full to the Max line with black beans I pre-cooked earlier this morning for 30 minutes, a large red onion, a med green bell pepper, a large zucchini, a can of roasted diced tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, a bay leaf, and various salt free seasonings including garlic powder and cumin. Vegetable broth to cover, which brought us to full.

I'll be able to pack away a container in the freezer, and keep one in the fridge for lunches next week. Already prepped are meal containers of squash & onions with meatballs. Lots of bananas and apples are on the kitchen counter, and there are frozen blueberries in the freezer.

I have eggs, green chilies, and mushrooms ready to bake a tray and divide into breakfast servings; divided between the fridge and freezer. It feels good to plan ahead. Oh, and there is a large tub of celery and cauliflower cleaned, chopped, and ready for salads.

I have never been good at committing my food nightly for the next day. I did try at the beginning, but that quickly evolved into journaling here the next day about what I ate the day before. So I am trying something new - despite the huge block of data that shows committing to food the night before leans into automaticity and not depleting will power. I don't know why this is a point of rebellion for me. Maybe because of the years I spent keeping food logs and breaking everything down in to calories, and macro nutrients and then adding calcium and fiber and OMG enough already.

Which leads into thinking about Identity Shift and how I see myself. Because I don't think of myself as someone who diets anymore. Years of not writing down my food, and eating for nutrition, and not denying myself anything were stepping stones towards where I am now. And while Bright Line Eating has given me focus and clarity on how my body works, and probably saved my life to boot, I still rebel at committing my food nightly. Hence this new approach. Committing my food weekly. Making sure that going into the week I have everything prepped and ready so that while I may be using willpower to make a decision, it's quick and painless. It's either pre-weighed into meal containers, or as with my batch of soup, ready to scoop and weigh.

Is drifting off the BLE plan a good idea? Probably not. So why am I doing it?  Because this feels sustainable. I just can't see myself writing down food for the rest of my life. I also can't see weighing my food for the rest of my life. How stubborn am I? But I can see myself using the 'one plate' option, and keeping bright lines against sugar, flour, and snacking.

I've been fighting against myself, a salmon swimming upstream in the wilderness of my brain. Bright Lines intact during the day, then a midnight snack of bread and butter, or Oreos, or pepperoni slices. I am staying within two pounds of my initial 20 pound loss, but not gaining ground - or losing ground, whatever. Partially it's the cortisol in the time of Covid-19, but mostly I feel it's because I have never laid down the new pathways in my brain that are needed to obliterate the voice of the saboteur. And in the middle of the night, groggy and susceptible to evil thoughts, I succumb. Not even really succumbing, more like planning ahead to fail. Insanity and all that.

So maybe for me, accepting that something isn't working, and figuring out just what it is that I can identify with, is the right thing to do. I feel that this is right for me, and I commit now to eating only the beautiful food I am preparing today for the week ahead.

Last night there was no midnight snack. Yesterday there were no bright lines broken. Another day One. I have the 100 day chart in my paper journal to prove it, the yellow highlighter a glowing review of a successful Bright Line day. And I am ready for today to be another such.

I wish I had someone to share this with, to talk about it, but I haven't been able to connect with anyone in the boot camp, despite support being an integral part of the program and sustained success. I will continue listening to the weekly vlogs, and facebook live replays, and try to post in my facebook group. But it's the need for conversation I crave, not cheer-leading, so I continue alone.

My goodness but the soup smells delicious!

Friday, April 24, 2020

From Soup to Strawberries

I am excited about the soup I made this morning. Slow sauteed onions and peppers, the last 6oz container of roasted sweet potatoes and onions, the last of the beef and chicken broth packages in the fridge, and a large bunch of alligator kale that was stemmed and chopped. Also invited to the party were a half bag of lima beans and a handful of corn. Stone Soup; all the oldest and left over bits from the fridge and freezer. I forgot to season the soup, but tasting it after an hour at simmer, I found it needed none. Almost. I did add a couple of grinds of fresh pepper to each container. Oh, and there were five links of smoked apple Gouda sausage in the pot. Links I had cut in half for easy measuring later.

I weighed out protein for three servings (three half links and a bit), and covered with mostly veggies to get to my 6oz, then weighed out 5.5 ounces of beans for two more servings and covered them with veg from the soup. So five servings, then I divided the leftover broth and the few veggies that were left between the containers. A note about the beans. I know that in Bright Line Eating there are 6oz of beans in a serving of protein. But once the can of pinto beans were rinsed, the net weight was just under 11oz. It makes more sense to me to divide the can equally for two servings than to open another can of beans that I will have to store most of in the fridge - which will get lost and spoil and eventually be tossed out with much disgust after the stink in the fridge warrants the search to find and destroy. Five and one half ounces of beans is plenty of protein. Plus there is the soup broth adding a bit more protein, so it's all good.

Tomorrow after work I'll do my weekly turn at shopping, and stop for mushrooms on the way home. I wanted to make a fritatta today with the fresh spinach that needs to be eaten, but opted for soup since it was the mushrooms I was craving. So that's on the cooking schedule for Sunday, and will provide breakfasts for next week. Eggs, cheese and milk will provide the protein, and I'll eat with my usual triscuits each morning. Can hardly wait.

It's beautiful outside today, and I have already been busy watering and bringing in garbage cans. It's actually too hot for where I want to work by the front door right now, so that will have to wait for later. The damn snails have eaten all of the johnny jump ups that were left over from winter, but I can't really justify another trip to a store to buy flowers. I should have taken the time to pick some up the day I was getting the garage door. Which is wonderful by the way. A shout out to M for installing it!

Earlier this week we gathered around the fire pit in the back yard for S'mores. I had one tiny taste of warm sticky roasted marshmallow on a graham cracker, but that was it. Mostly I was just out there to spend time with the family. I'm so glad we did the back yard last year so we can actually use it.  The tomatoes are growing nicely, with peppers a bit behind. And the potatoes seem to be thriving. It's so exciting! Oh, and the strawberries are flowering already, the little plants nicely tucked away in their new tower.

Between the cooking and the garden, I am going to have to start taking pictures again.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Pudding, a Labour of Love

A is sick, with a really bad sore throat. I mean red swollen scary things in her throat sick. And I wanted her to take some Immune, but she couldn't bear even trying to swallow the capsules. The softest thing I could think of was pudding, and she agreed to try. But of course there was no pudding in the house, and I decided to make some. I googled 'homemade pudding' and picked the recipe with the most comments and highest star count.

Everyone loved it. Except C who wouldn't try it.  A had hers warm with two capsules of Immune mixed in so mission accomplished. My back is paying for it, all of the stirring after all of the measuring, sifting and whisking. And now there are containers of chocolate pudding chilling in the fridge. But sometimes it doesn't feel right to think of oneself first, and it feels eminently right to think of a grandchild first. So there you have it, and I'll just have to ignore the pudding - I don't imagine that it will last long.

I almost had two Bright Line days under my belt, but I licked a bit chocolate deliciousness off of the spoon and a little bit more off of the pan before washing it, so two lines broken. Barely, but broken nevertheless. I am hoping it won't affect my progress; after just two days I am already feeling better. About myself, and feeling lighter, and a ring is loose. If you stay true it happens fast.

I have been listening to Susan's vlogs again, and have signed up to have access to the upcoming health summit she is speaking at, so taking time for myself is paying off.

Big Yawn. I am craving the relaxation of laying down after being up all day, that feeling of release as muscles let go of their tension and your body is flooded with..just the nothingness of it all. Nighttime tea first so I sleep better, then the laying down part. I'm out.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Shades of Essential

Essential has become a topic of interest during Shelter in Place. Essential for whom? For what? Food certainly is essential, but are Twinkies? And given we don't know what our future will bring as we battle the pandemic, are tomato stakes? And garage doors?

Today, these things were essential for my peace of mind. The last rainstorm that blew through had stripped the side garage door of it's last semblance of security. It had been weathered almost beyond redemption, and the storm was the final blow. I ordered one online to pick up, and since I was there I grabbed the tomato stakes we needed, and some soil to bolster the potatoes that are growing. I only knew I needed that from watching Grow, Cook, Eat on a 'free to me' xfinity channel at some point last night while not sleeping. We had planted some sprouted potatoes on a whim, accidentally at exactly the right time of year, and the timing of the show was perfect. Our plants were about 6" high or so having been in the ground a few weeks, and this is when you push dirt up around the leaves, covering all but the topmost greenery. This forces the plant to keep reaching up, creating a longer stem, resulting in more potatoes. I'll do this a couple of more times over the next month or so and the potatoes should be ready to harvest come October. Next year we'll plant them in a raised bed instead of a container, now that I have the skinny on proper planting.

So M is in the backyard replacing the door. It was a testament to my strength and fortitude that I figured out (with a little handyman help at Lowe's) how to fit it in the car, and had a bungee cord on hand to hold the back gate closed on the drive home. It feels good to know we are being productive, and it's such a beautiful day out.

Side Note: yes I wore a face mask, disinfected my hands at the store, changed clothes and washed up once home. New normal and all that.

Those are the good things.

While looking for the items on my list at the store (caulking, shims, hand set) I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirrored door. In aisle 45. At least I think it was myself. A grey haired frumpy woman leaning over the handle of a shopping cart and slumping along. Obviously tired, looking beat. It wasn't how I felt. While the glow of having lost 20 pounds is fading, I feel so much stronger that I forgot how much farther I have to go.

Time to get off the maintenance I have slid into and back in to losing mode. There are a couple of things I have been thinking about. One, the more energy I put into thinking I need to do this, the worse I do. I have come to the conclusion that the energy I am generating gets eaten up by both wolves. I need to go back to the beginning when I just did what the book said. No cheer-leading, no fan fare, just doing. Plain and simple. Luckily I do begin each day Bright, so it will be easy to continue.

Back to one day at a time. I can do this today. I can keep my Bright Lines today. While the pool may not open this Summer, I expect there will be hot days on which I need to take my turn supervision in a wading pool out back. I will be ready.