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Friday, September 30, 2011

Hot Fudge Sundaes

"We don't want to EAT hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to BE hot fudge sundaes."  Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. This is about the truest idea I have heard so far. I want my life to be as rich and enticing and joyful and yummy as a hot fudge sundae.

I feel changed. It started yesterday, with a sort of calm. I have felt this before, and love being here. This magical place betwixt and between manic and depressive; my own personal fairy land.  I hope I get to stay here awhile. I think I will, it feels different; I feel different. I feel like all of the ideas I've been collecting over the past five years are finding roots and beginning to grow. Maybe I just needed the time. Maybe I'm letting myself hope for too much too soon, but it's better than moping!

Good Morning Friday, it's nice to see ya!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A bit better

Okay, so maybe the book (Women Food & God by Geneen Roth) has some interesting ideas. I was laughing while I listened and learned about the acronym AFGO - Another Fucking Growth Opportunity.  That was me yesterday, and it feels good to laugh about it today. But really, that could be the defining phrase for this past decade or two or three as we have struggled into consciousness and trying to figure out this whole obsessive eating disorder problem so many of us have. I can see it referenced in a history reference of the era, "The AFGO movement of the 20th and 21st centuries led women out of the dark ages of compulsive eating that had resulted as a by product of the previous Industrial Age."

Garlicy salad for dinner and my mouth is singing. I took about 1/4C slivered almonds and ground them up, chopped up half a large section of garlic and tossed it in the blender with the ground nuts, a few shakes of red wine vinegar and a splash of cold water. It was a little too tart once it was all blended up so I added 3 of the little parmigiana cheese packets they deliver with pizza. Perfect. My salad was a quick one of baby spring greens straight from the plastic container, half a huge yellow pepper diced and a few slices off a red onion also diced. about 1/4C garbanzos for the little punch of protein and that was it.  Beans have been a lifesaver for me. They stabilize my blood sugar and help me feel full. Tomorrow I'll use the left over rice I have in the fridge and that will add the missing amino acids.  Anyway, back to the dressing - using nuts instead of oil is a great way to pump up the nutrients in salad dressing as well as adding another layer of deliciousness.

Ok, time for some R&R after work.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hump Day

Tired tonight; brushed the damn cat and now my eyes are all dry and itchy.  Had oatmeal with blueberries and flaxmeal for breakfast, fast food for lunch (vegetarian) and another brussely soup for dinner and ice cream for dessert.

I started listening to Women Food & God. I can tell it's one of those books I will have to listen to again there are so many stinging little witticisms in it. Another book about 'the answer' and not having to diet and learning about yourself. So discouraging.

Ok, a visual slap from Cher and a strong "Snap out of it". Positive thoughts...Four days in a row of eating lots of veggies, another three days of gainful employment, a snug bed waiting for me and a cute dog to cuddle up with. Life is good, and I'm just going to ignore the bad parts and hit the sack.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I love soup. I love making soup. I love making something wonderful by accident and such was this evening's soup. Started out normal enough, throwing some diced red onion into the pot over about 2 tsp. of oil. While those got started I cleaned and sliced up some Brussels Sprouts and threw them in. I chopped and added some artichoke hearts from my salad stash (in water, not oil) along with the water they were in. While putting those away my eye lit on a box of Carrot Ginger Soup from Trader Joe's that was left over and a baggie of wild\brown rice I had cooked last week and I threw those in too. I had picked up 4 bags of spinach on sale, so grabbed a huge handful of the beautiful green leaves and chopped that up to toss in the pot. About all the room was used up at this point so I tossed in a little garlic powder and some salt free seasoning, stirred it all together, covered it and turning the heat down to med-low set the timer for 20 minutes and left to do some virtual farming. OMG, it was so delicious I ate it all. But I'm not stuffed because it was mostly veggies. Think I'll go do a quick calorie check.

 From left to right the columns are Serving Size, Calories, Protein, Fat, Carbs, Fiber, Sodium & Calcium

Wow, so I thought the protein I had listed for Brussels Sprouts must be wrong so I googled it and confirmed they are high in protein. And I happened to eat them with whole grain rice, another accidentally good choice. I think some things that complement each other nutritionally also complement each other in other ways (think Falafel and Tahini sauce) so we are drawn to eat them together.  I'm not happy about the sodium that was in the prepared soup, but I know the rest of the day was low so maybe that's okay this time. The meal balanced out at  18% Protein    21% Fat  & 61 %Carbs .  So a little high in protein, but I'm happy about the fat and getting in my extra greens (Calcium is the 331 number up there.) One of the reasons I love eating mostly plants is that I can eat a big yummy meal without wasting calories and still filling up nice and full. I still need that, I'm still a foody.  Which brings me to desert.  I had to run to the Library and on the way home drove right in to 7-1 and picked us each up a Toll House Ice Cream Sandwich. Damage = 380 calories. But I know that my green smoothie this morning was about 250 and my salad at lunch not much more than that. I think I am still right around 1500 for the day, so that's good.

I knew that at least food-wise it was going to be a good day :)

Free Fall

Sometimes after a bout of grief I wake up strong and determined to get on with things; full of gratitude for all of the small things in my life that are good and ready to build on them. Other times I wake up disoriented, ungrounded, and grasping at straws to numb myself and disappear. This time I dove into a box of fries with a book and didn't come out for two days. I use to justify this type of unhealthy behaviour by saying at least I wasn't grabbing for some valium or a freight train to the Yukon. Now I am just dismissing it and moving forward. Green smoothie ready, salad packed for lunch, recipe printed to stop for groceries on the way home from work. A little morning planning goes a long way with me towards making good decisions later.  I am already counting this a good day and I haven't even left for work yet.  I actually started yesterday after driving through for breakfast; sometimes you just can't wait for the next day to get back on track. I will never be a 'Monday Dieter' again. Instead I am a 'do the best I can everyday' sort of eater, and my seat on the proverbial wagon will never stay cold for too long once I have fallen off.

Happy Tuesday World.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A birth story

The sound of his boots came echoing down the street, the thud of their impact on the wet sidewalk becoming ever louder as he headed pell mell towards me and home and the imminent arrival of his son. At the time we didn't know the babe was to be a boy, unlike our daughter I had been given no inkling as to who this new little arrival was going to be. But here was the father, weaving in the open door, the night wet behind him, one hand raking back through his wild blond hair while the other held on to the door frame to steady himself. And I knew that we weren't going anywhere yet. I had been up for hours, woken by the boulder my abdomen had become, and it had taken some time to track him down. He had found a pool game at the neighbours of a friend around the corner of the next street over. Typical birth story, a woman taking care of her man instead of herself as she prepares to bring a new life into the world. And yes, I know I sound just a little bitter. A few hours sleep, a cold shower and some cups of coffee later (him not me) I packed up our beautiful baby girl who had just turned three, called my sister in law, and we were on our way. First dropping Rhiannon off and then heading up the freeway towards the hospital with the well wishes of family still ringing in our ears. I don't remember much of the next part of the drive, just the never ending pain and hating being stuck in the seat of the car, but it's fleeting. The next real memory is laying in the hospital bed, so mad at myself that I was back in this..this..this most uncontrollable of all situations; wracked with unending waves of pain that I couldn't stop, stuck in the middle of the birthing process that would run it's course no matter how crazy I became. The staff was short handed with so many babies on the way they were running circuits between us all; then the need for the episiotomy the head was so big and no one to help ease the opening and the nurse explaining I wouldn't feel it at all, which was correct until the next day. And finally the beautiful little baby boy to hold and the joy and the love and the pride was a tide of emotion lifting me above all that had gone before. He was Joey from the beginning, Joseph David after two important people; Joseph for the man who gave me my first sailboat, and David after my husband's best friend. It was suppose to be the other way around, but I knew he was Joey as soon as I saw him and switched the order of the names.

It's so sad that I can't remember Jim being there once we reached the hospital. Maybe because I had been so mad at him, another night drunk when I could have used the support and company. I don't remember going in to have my tubes tied either, just the nurse asking me if I wanted something for the pain the next night and then luxuriating in the warmth and relief of a couple of percondan as they escorted me away from the pain and rolled me into the oblivion of sleep. Earlier that day I had discovered a little web between two fingers on Joey's left hand. No one else had noticed it, and the nurses were so surprised when I asked about it. Joey would be four and wanting to wear a baseball mitt before we scheduled the surgery to open up those fingers. And I thought labour was bad - waiting for him to be out of surgery that day was a nightmare of worry. But that's another story.

 My next memories are of us at the house; the pain and discomfort of the episiotomy, wanting everyone to just please leave so I could find some normalcy, and finally this tiny little baby sleeping on the couch while I sat on the floor next to him, Rhiannon in my lap, both of us adoring him. He slept so much more as a baby than she ever did. While Rhiannon fought sleep tooth and nail Joey succumbed with what I think of now as a pervasive need to disappear. I wonder now looking back if he was longing for the magical place from whence he came, if he had an inkling of how hard it was going to get before he was allowed back. Once he was out of his crib and his first twin bed was still on the floor he would disappear before bedtime, tucking himself in and out for the count before I could even read him a story.

I have a strong memory of nursing him, sitting back against the soft black leather of the hideabed that was in his nursery, a blanket covering the both of us, and the delicious sensation of nursing that made me feel connected to the web of energy I think of now as god. Then it just felt like we were an important part of the universe, that all was right with the world. To bring the moment back into focus there was a salesman in the living room running a kirby vacuum over the carpet, shampooing it for free. I ended up selling my mom the gold nugget watch I had left over from another part of my  life for $600 so I could pay for that damn kirby. Years later, I would let it go for $10 at a garage sale while still under the influence of grief.

And more memories...

Joey sitting on a winter's day in his little blue down vest digging in the dirt of the back yard and playing with his yellow dump truck. Blond hair shining, big sister at his side.

Joey riding his little red bike at four, training wheels just off, racing down the sidewalk.

Joey laying along the patio wall, playing at being dead so the vulture in the pine tree would try to come and get him.

Joey balancing on a surf board at the lake, water dripping off of him, the little droplets of light a halo around his strong slender body.

Joey's arm around my neck, holding on tight. If only I could have held on to him, protected him, from all that was to come. If only I could fogive myself for the memories I won't list and can't forget. It's 28 years later, and he's been gone for awhile now. Five and half years of gone. No birthday cake, no balloons, no candles. Just tears and chamomile tea. I sucked at giving birthday parties anyway, hell, I still do.

Where ever you are Joey, happy birthday. As much as I miss you now, I wouldn't for the world have missed all that came before.  I Love You, Mom

Friday, September 23, 2011


So two 'bad' days in a row, sort of. I did things great the first parts of the days, and then dinner ... not so much.  I will give myself some slack here, it's a rough week, and I know the pressure that is driving me to eat will be lighter on Sunday. At least I am being more good than bad in my decisions, and probably at worst breaking even.  It's too bad food works so well as a drug; if it didn't there wouldn't be so many fatties out here, now would there?

Had my green smoothie on the way to work, have home made soup to heat up for lunch and eat while I am walking over my break, and a big nectarine to eat on the way home. That will be the good part of my day. And afterwards...I like to pretend that I will be in control, and have a good evening. I like to pretend that I will go home, clean the kitchen, and make a wonderful, healthy, crunchy salad.  I can do this. I can.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tight Clothes

One of the reasons I feel the need to shed some pounds right away is that I have only one outfit to wear to work that isn't tight and uncomfortable. I wear it on Tuesdays. I know each week that there is one day I can look nice and be comfortable and not have to frantically search through my options to find something that is both presentable for our office environment and big enough that I won't be nauseous in an hour from toxins being pressed from my organs as my clothes bind and strangle me. This is not Tuesday, it's Thursday, and I have nothing at hand that I feel good about wearing. Stretchy top, stretchy  pants, all outlining the curves and bulges because while they may be stretchy, they have become too small and fit me like the proverbial glove's smaller sister. Why can I not remember this feeling of disgust in the afternoon while I am driving home from work? I am focused in the morning, making a healthy breakfast and packing a nutritious lunch, taking enough water and wearing shoes I can walk in (Crocks). But on the drive home I am all the things I learned one can not be in order to be successful at this whole being happy and losing weight thing. Weight Watchers called it HALT: never be too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. And on the way home from work I am all of those things. I know I am responsible for feeling that way, that I should be able to dig deep and find ways to change my thoughts and my circumstances. But knowing that I should be able to do that, and still not doing it, only makes me feel a failure all over again.

So instead of explaining why I feel all of those things every afternoon, I shall take a few moments here to restate in the positive and try to at least get the morning back on track.

a. I will soon wear clothes that are cute and comfy.
b. I will exercise daily to improve my stiffness.
c. I will start keeping apples in the car again to eat on the drive home.
d. My house will 'rise up to greet me' when I get home from work.

This is all possible, and heading my way. I can see it, can feel it, and each day brings me closer if I do the work. Today I will do the work and be glad of it. Today I will do the work and be grateful for all the little things that make it possible for one's life to change for the better.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dream a little Dream

I start each day now by reading a couple of entries over at Sean's Blog both for the inspiration I feel at reading his words as well as the habit of doing something positive each morning to get off on the right foot. Today I read about keeping your dreams at hand so you can use them to combat cravings. Funny how this is all coming together. Yesterday as I was walking at lunch time I passed a girl getting the mail across the street and I couldn't help but admire how her white tank top was very flattering to her form. Slim waist, strong shoulders...she reminded me of someone and it took a moment to realize that it was me. A me that was 60 pounds lighter, but me. Athletic, nice waist, strong shoulders - I have all of those things when you can see them. And yesterday I burned that picture into my head so I could bring it out when I needed it, so I could hold it up in my mind like a crucifix against the little devil words of temptation that creep in so pervasively.  I have written so many times about how tired I am of fighting, of how I just want to feel normal. Well, normal for me. But is fighting really fighting when you give in all the time? When you don't follow through in action what you battle internally what is that called? Because that is what I have been doing. I'm thinking it's time to stop whatever THAT is and actually get out there and win some battles in the real world. Like not eating the brownie bite yesterday, that was a real battle that I won. A few more of those each day and I could, just maybe, start feeling really good about myself. I need that, we all do.

As Glenda the Good Witch said, "It's been inside you this whole time" or something along those lines. I think making the connection between what's inside and what's outside is what makes the difference.

And with those last rambling thoughts I think I'll just ramble my way outta here determined to win all the little battles I fabricate this new fine day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm late, I'm late....

Late, but extending no excuses. Yesterday could have gone better, but it didn't. The good news is that I have the power to make this day one I can be proud of. 'Nuff said. Now I'm running late and the urge to farm is strong but instead I will use this time to good advantage and whip up a green smoothie to drink on the way to work and  pack my healthy lunch so I have no reason to 'drive thru' later.

Digging dip to find some Muchness and heading out into the world. I will append this entry later today.

Later:  Busy day at work. I know that theoretically you can only do so much in a day, but we are short staffed right now and going from one thing to the next without time to stretch and organize in between is getting tiring. But I am thankful to have a job! And to have a little house to come home to, and a for my little dog to greet me like I am the cat's pajamas. Better busy than moping this week anyway.

Had a great lunch today, home-made enchilada stoup from the freezer that was unlabelled and a nice spicy surprise. I did stop for a Big Mac (no beef, sub in tomatoes) on the way home; between my tired back and the heat there was no way I could face going home to make dinner. While I am giving myself a break this week, I am not diving off the deep end, and even after making some oven fries later on I think I was still within my calories for the day. Super thirsty tonight though - fast food will do it every time.  My green smoothie for breakfast was extra yummy since I added in a cup of light vanilla soy milk and a frozen banana (sweet!) in addition to the usual blueberries.  While I can't say the green smoothie energizes me, I can say that my ass drags when I don't have one in the morning if you catch the difference.

I did have a few hard moments today, listening to a couple of girls talking about someone's son and how wonderful he was. For all the awful parts there were, I feel my son was wonderful too in many respects. Guess it would be just wrong if I didn't think that, him being mine and all. But it did make me sad. I did not go get a brownie bite from the plastic container sitting on the break table, and I did not stop at 7-11 for ice cream on the way home. I just felt sad and then was able to let it go. Kudo's to me.

Planning for a good day again tomorrow. Hopefully I won't oversleep again and have time to do salad prep in the morning so it's ready for dinner tomorrow seeing as how the heat wave is suppose to last all week. My dream, or I guess just one of them, is to one day have someone to help prepare meals. If not my partner then hired help or a 'mostly plants' prepared food delivery service. It just wears me out. Maybe someone to do laundry and dishes too....but again, grateful that I can do it myself.  Wow, my brain is just wandering everywhere; time to say sweet dreams and skedaddle.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Ta Da"

Yesterday I played with my granddaughter all morning; what a fun workout. But there was a moment I almost blew it. We had walked down to the little 'tot lot' by my house so she could slide. She loves sliding, and is big enough now and strong enough to climb up the poles to the platform. Each time I would stand behind her to spot and tell her how strong she was, and what a good climber. Because I am the Grandma it was easy to find the patience to let her make as many circuits as she wanted, my goal was to wear her out so she would nap well for her Mom. And then it happened, she asked me to slide. I almost said no, in fact I did say, "I don't think so", but she asked again and I thought about ... everything. It was like how people say that your life flashes before you when  you are about to die, but in my flash it was the future I saw; me not setting a good example, me not fitting on the slide, me not practicing what I preach...and worst of all, me not participating. So I climbed up to the platform, very slowly and carefully (it's not even 5' high but I am currently sans health insurance) and climbed over the top pole to stand up. "Ta Da" I pronounced, hands held high in the air. And she yelled, "yay Mama". I barely fit to slide down, but fit and slide I did.  The next time she climbed up she raised her hands in the air and copied my, "Ta Da" and I was so proud of myself.

By the time we got home I was starvin marvin, having spent breakfast cleaning up and getting ready for my spur of the moment date. I made a banana shake with flax, light vanilla soy milk, vanilla flavouring and frozen spinach flakes, and a scoop of casein free protein powder. I've been freezing the bags of spinach that I buy on sale, then after the spinach is frozen crush it into flakes. This makes it easy to ice up a smoothie or add to soup, and it's a great way to save a bag of spinach that has begun showing signs of age; at the first sign of a wilting leaf the bag goes in the freezer. So yes, all my banana shakes are dairy free and green. And delicious. We took turns sipping from the straw as we played bananagrams, picking out the letters of our names and finding the vowels. Very fun, and a nice quiet time after the exercise of the morning.

zpizza - if you have one of these near you, it's a wonderful choice in pizza. My daughter brought us each a slice when she came to pick up the little dearling and it was wonderful. They use ingredients that are free from hormones and pesticides and they use skim mozzarella, and a thin chewy crust that is made from organic wheat. Real food and not food products. Roasted garlic and artichokes, yum. And the best part was my daughter, making sure the toddler didn't want her crust because she had to throw it away so neither one of us would finish it for her. It felt so good to have her support, without even asking.

Another good day, and a good weekend. I could have exercised more, but I did keep moving for at least half of each day which is an improvement. And I could have eaten more raw veggies, but my back was still pinching from the tree work on Saturday and I really didn't want to cut up anything. I ended up making oven fries for dinner (340c) instead of a salad but at least it was food and not fast food. Also, I didn't make soup as I often do on the weekend, having enough frozen from previous cooking days to last me the week at work. So good days don't have to be perfect ones, they just need to include healthy choices and no WTF moments.

Doing, not Trying, for another day in a row.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Counting Calories

Yesterday was the first time I tracked calories in...well, longer than I can remember. That poor tracking sheet has tabs going back to 2006. I refuse to think of it as a record of failed last attempts. It's somewhat like this blog, standing as evidence that I am still fighting, still trying to get to some mythical panacea of health and happiness. The satisfaction I see reflected in the writing of others has recently inspired me to 'do' instead of 'try' and I am hoping this mind set lasts longer than the weekend. It feels so good to be calm and focused for a change. I am not discounting that this has been a hard time for me in recent years. I was reading some past entries here yesterday and feeling just awful for...not me exactly, but for the anguish I read there and the girl who was typing at the time.  The pain is still here, but there are layers of other stuff overlaying it like bandages. I must mention now the allegory I found years ago - grief is like a redwood tree recovering from fire; the burn remains, but new bark is grown over the damage covering it up as the tree continues to grow. Ok, back to yesterday.

Here is my food log. As you can see there are more than just calories. When I set this up I wanted to focus on health and there were some basic tenets that I thought important at the time. 1. Get enough calcium. I had followed the Atkins approach to dieting for a couple of years and one day walked out the front door, stumbled, and broke my leg. It makes sense to me now that I know digesting animal protein puts my body in an acidic state and in order to bring balance back, base minerals are stolen from the skeleton. My poor bones were probably very depleted and weak after a couple of years of abuse.  2. Don't get too much sodium. I am a potato-chip-aholic. They are a continuing battle. I have found that staying away from processed foods and using table salt alternatives gets the job done. You will see in my chart below that the sodium overage is from processed foods: canned beans, ketchup & salad dressing.  If I had used home made refried beans and made my own dressing (as I love to do) my sodium would have been fine. But I had other things on my mind than salt yesterday.  3. Not too much protein. The WHO (world health organization) recommends that between 5-10% of daily calories come from protein. We WAY over indulge here in the States, and while my 15% is much higher than their recommendation, it is much lower than the average american bear. So this is why I expanded the tracking sheet. It didn't happen all at once, this is just the beast it has grown into. And that being said, I really should add a column for the last of the trifecta of evil in eating - sugar. But since I don't plan to track daily, I am not going to do that. I just want to track on days I am struggling to keep honest with myself, or to do a spot check if I am straying away from the basics (which I will share another day, this is already getting long.) I want to lose 20 pounds and I don't want to take a year or two in which to do it. I can do the last 30 or 40 slow and steady, not this first 20. It has to go and it has to go now! Hitting Control\Enter will enlarge the chart if you need a closer look.

After adding my orange for dessert about 7:30 last night I was happy with my totals.  There were times yesterday I did feel like eating more, but it was just boredom. I can only do so much at a time with my back the way it is, and after working cutting up tree branches for the green waste container I had to come in and rest the remainder of the day. Today I will put a book on my Shuffle and go for a walk when I get to that place again.

All in all a good start. I got things done around the house, helped a neighbour cut up a tree, ate mostly well, stayed hydrated, and went to bed feeling proud of myself that I made it through a 1500 calorie day. A quick word about that number. My sister, who weighs less than my goal weight, used that number to lose a couple of pounds she wanted to get rid of, and there was Sean at 500 pounds using the same number for him to lose weight. That is why I call 1500 the magic number and updated my tracking sheet yesterday. I had landed on 1400 being a number I could live with, but I like the idea of an extra 100 calories. I think it is more realistic for not hitting that place of desperation that rises from deprivation.  Ugh, hate awkward sentences but it says what I meant.

On to day two. I am alone again today and thinking about pancakes. What one has to do with the other I don't know, but the thoughts are linked. Well, I do know sort of; food has been a constant companion. In that I am no different than anyone else. Without it we would all die rather more quickly than we are now. Sad to think that I turn to food for company as much as nutrition, but changing my spots from a homebody...well, probably not going to happen. But I can change my habits, and have to a great extent if you discount this past year of self indulgence on the dark side. And it does feel ever so good to be out walking in the sun again.

AND...a phone call and I will not be alone today, the precious granddaughter is coming. Nothing like a two year old to keep you on your toes!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nuts and Bolts Updated

Things to consider in the search to be healthy: 
I am what I eat

Just found this while going to enter this morning's calories in my tracking sheet. Since this morning's breakfast included a little canola oil on my oven fries, I obviously no longer follow this strictly, but it is a good reminder to find a healthier choice next time. I wonder what would happen if I tossed the potato wedges in a blend of nuts and water. Hmmmm.

There is another list that I found interesting, and will post that tomorrow.

Nuts and Bolts

This blog wasn't meant to be a weight loss record, or lack thereof, but it comes up so often it might as well have been. Reading Sean's blog has encouraged me to focus on this for a while, if only to remind myself of all the wonderful knowledge I have and that I actually have to apply it for it to do me any good. So this morning I am thinking of the nuts and bolts of my eating program. Yes, eating program. We all have one, we all have a diet that we follow; diet and program don't mean restriction, they just mean what is usual for you. And I know that when I usually do the following things I feel better, have more energy, and lose weight.

I was logging my food and exercise at PeerTrainer back when I was slowly and surely losing weight and it really helped to find support from others who were eating along the same veins as I was (veins, plants, get it.) Anyway, I tried going back there recently and while it is still a good site I am too impatient - it loads super slow and takes forever to save changes. So I have decided I can do my logging here and pop in there to see what my group is up to and read what new ideas they are sharing when I am in need of inspiration.

What worked; these are the nuts and bolts - details later
Filling up two 24oz water bottles in the morning and drinking them throughout the day
Drinking a couple of large mugs of herbal tea, no 'natural flavours' in the ingredients
Staying away from glutamates (natural flavours usually means flavour enhancers which trigger cravings)
Staying away from artificial sweeteners
Moving; everyday do something to make it nice around the house, walk the dog, and shoot or ride the bike
Eating raw and cooked veggies every day; goal is a pound of each but at least a large healthy serving
Green smoothie for breakfast most days w\ flax meal
Variety, search out new and delicious meals
Restrictions: stay away from refined 'food products' and stick with the real deal
Weekend: hot yummy breakfast one morning (usually potatoes fried up with greens - yum)
Grocery day: one roll to make a yummy sandwich or bread item to share from the bakery
Evenings: finish eating by 7pm & go to bed with an empty stomach to boost my immune system
Breakfast: Break my Fast first with water or herbal tea, then eat when I am actually hungry

As I type this up I remember that these guidelines are about getting healthier, and that weightloss was an added bonus. But for my mental sanity I need to drop these first 20 pounds more quickly than before.  I'm going to try and count calories a couple of days each week to make sure I am not going over the magic 1500 calorie mark. Remember when that number was 1200 and we would starve and then binge? Ugh. I have my old spreadsheet I can use, but in keeping true to other beliefs I have built up over the past several years, I want to focus on the positive. "What you focus on expands" (expanding calories...uh, no thank you!) seems to be the mantra from Mother Teresa to The Secret....and Oprah of course :) And I believe it. Besides, I have a tortured and ugly relationship with the then almighty calorie and counting them never worked for me in the past. But I think I can use it as a tool to stay on track for weight loss instead of it being the all consuming exercise in frustration that it once was.

While I was using the nuts and bolts listed above I was getting stronger and feeling better and losing weight - and it all went flying out the window when I finally found a J.O.B. after looking for over a year. "You Must Pay the Rent, I Can't Pay the Rent!"  Anyway, what was easy to do while unemployed and time on my hands became impossible - add stress eating to that and the perfect storm of relapse came storming through my life. Now a year has gone by and I am back to working a desk job; the challenge will be to find ways to incorporate what I know into my 9-5 schedule. I am already making healthy lunches to take with me to work, and I am quitting my online farming in the morning to give myself enough time to make a healthy breakfast - so two big steps in the right direction.

Recommended Reading: In Defence of Food, anything by Dr. Fuhrman or Dr. McDougall or their fitness consortiums. I just want a refresher course on all the wonderful information I have read through; it's easier for me to make a good decision if there is a solid reason behind it; call it form following function (my form, my body's function.)  How funny that I see those as two separate things, I am all of one piece, am I not? Learning to integrate might be a huge learning experience, but this morning I feel game as I think about Sean's box with the mirror in it.

And speaking of humour, that is paramount. I must and will surround myself with funny movies, books and people. Maybe the people part will take some time, but this has to change in my life. I can not, and will not, continue to be surrounded by gloom and doom. My positive attitude will persevere, radiant light will freakin stream from my eyeballs!

On to a good day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Scaredy Cat

It's Friday night and I have the weekend to think about. I don't want to make the mistake of planning so many things to do along the lines of 'being good' that I wake up overwhelmed by my well intentioned honey do list and crash and burn into a stack of pancakes and butter. But now that I am working 9-5, I really don't want to waste my weekend being afraid of failing, so instead I will play my common sense card and make lots of small decisions that will add up to a good weekend.  I am starting tonight by not eating for 3 hours before bed time. That has been critical for me in the past. I know that going to bed on an empty stomach helps the immune system function better, and I want this wonderful machine I walk around in to have a good chance. That's part of the reason I want to be losing weight isn't it? Lightening the load so my poor bones and joints can have some relief.

Instead of 'getting away' with eating what I think I want this weekend (comfort food) as I spend much of the days alone, I will instead plan a couple of positive things so that I can eat what my body craves - greens - and find ways to keep moving and stay away from the mental traps that are ready to snap shut on my willpower.

My clothes were so tight today I was uncomfortable at work, having to adjust everything every time I stood or sat - what a pain! I remember this time last year, and how wonderful it felt to be able to come home in my jeans, and not have to change immediately into sweats to be comfortable. I remember what it felt like to have choices in my drawers and closet. And I want to feel that way again. Just 20 of the 50 pounds I want to lose and I can have those things back again; the 20 pounds I spent the last year gaining.

In a week it's Joey's birthday, and while I know there will be a great temptation to listen to the little voice inside saying WTF and eat myself sick - I won't. I liked what I read in Sean's blog this evening about being able to stand at the edge and take a couple of steps back. I will keep that in mind as I make 'good choices' this weekend.

Humour for the day, adding the word blog to the spell check dictionary as I write in my blog!

Goals tomorrow - review the simple and effective eating habits I was following last year about this time. I remember when I fell off the wagon and hit the ground gobbling. It was the huge bag of Halloween candy someone brought into the office. It was a hard time for me; working two part time jobs to the tune of about 45 hours a week at about minimum wage for the first time in over a decade, and dealing with grief for the first time in public as the holidays approached. And I dove into that candy bowl like it was oxygen and I was working on the moon.  This year will be different, the first day candy shows up - and it will- I will spend my lunch at the store picking out a bowl of fruit.

I don't feel manic, just positive, and I am hoping that being more consistent here will help me stay accountable out in the I am sure I have written many times.  But this somehow feels different.  Starting weight, 205 pounds. I thought I would never see that again, and having seen it I am amazed at how long it has taken me to decide to do something about it. Why I didn't scream and start eating carrots at 199 I don't know; but then that is the power of depression - it can ignore anything.  So my food choices will be based around eating for health since I know that I can stave off the big D a little bit that way as well as help defray the damage from the little G (depression and grief if you weren't paying attention.)

Positive thoughts. A breath of fresh air after a pity party.  Ok, so maybe a little manic after the depressive. But it's all me, and tonight it's all good. And now, to bed.


There are many types of sleepless nights. Those where you are too tired to get up but your mind keeps churning away and you can't still it enough to get some rest no matter how many sheep you count or mantra's you recite. Then there are those where you wake up as if it were morning and after visiting the loo never get back into bed. Because of the size of my house, or lack thereof, I cannot do much on those nights because I don't want to wake my housemate, or partner, or whatever he is these days. And nights like this one, where I wake up feeling sick and wonder if I am dying because I have not been taking care of myself. Where I mentally tick off all the extra sugar and salt I consumed the day before and can now feel coursing through my body - a stroke waiting to happen. So first it is tossing and turning and too tired to get up while my mind whirrs away and then finally sick of my own thoughts an unable to get a harness on them I quietly get up and unzip my little dog from her night quarters and we slip into my office to settle in for some distraction. She to her cats and me to my computer. A little farming, a little reading, and finally a little finger dancing across the keyboard. How I wish the words would come to sweep me away into oblivion as they sometimes do, but this night there is no such relief, and I am not saved from the boredom of ... well, of me.

And of course now my ego is up in arms, how on earth could I be boring. I am, after all, the center of the universe. And now I am distracted by the fact that the word center is not recognized here by spell check. How odd - or is it a message?  And that is just how tired I am, and a definite sign that I would be better off tossing and turning in bed! I guess the nonsense of it all might be better if it were shared, and it is sad that I don't have anyone in my life I would like to have that conversation with. Truth be told there has never been someone to just chat up all the little mysteries with in a fun convivial way. I seem to attract the opinionated sort of people who can't be bothered with all the 'what ifs' I would like to explore over a glass of wine, a walk, a lifetime. Well, that's not exactly true, there is E who would indulge my flights of fancy. And now, missing her, maybe tears will finally send me off to sleep.

All in all I guess this post will end up under Pity Party after all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Daily Inspiration

It's a nice change to go from venting everyday to simply looking and finding some small point of light to brighten things up, and by things I mean me. I had forgotten how nice it is be around someone who is positive. So thank you to those who shine a light instead of emanating gloom and doom. I aspire to join your ranks someday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

"act as if"

Quote from Sean (see blog link):

"Because I destroyed that old tape and replaced it with something worth listening to. How do you make a new mix tape for your brain? Write it out, memorize it, burn it into your brain, and most importantly...Believe it."

The last sentence is basically what my sister was trying to tell my stubborn self the last time I saw her. Keep a gratitude journal, use positive reinforcement.  There was another quote on Sean's blog that he used, something about 'not being able to walk into a new future if you amputate your past.' It happened, it's a learning block, use it. But don't let it rule you.

"Write it out, memorize it, burn it into your brain"   I will start today. I will write a new tape.

I know I have been wallowing in ... hatred. There, the sad ugly truth. Hating myself that I can't prevent horrible things from happening. And just like that the vision brought to me in 'Eat Pray Love' looms large in the flat screen of my brain - trying to hold back the ocean - like that could ever be done. Maybe too many stories growing up of heroines and saving and be saved: the undertow of my thinking my whole life, dragging me under because I couldn't figure out how to step up onto the surfboard and ride the waves instead. I love that picture, and I think I will use it to start my new positive tape. A picture of me surfing, what a wonderful picture to keep in the forefront of my waking thoughts. 

I think today that first I will write out my demons, then burn them. I have felt for years that I need a cleansing ceremony, and I have an idea now of what I need to do. I know this won't dispell the negative thoughts forever and always, but it can be a defining moment in how I manage them going forward. It can help destroy their holding pattern leaving room for my positive tape.

So my tape. First the picture, then the words. They don't have to be unique or super special or have the capability of blowing someone's mind with my grasp of a perfect solution. The tape just needs to tell my truth. That I have an athlete living inside who can come out now, that no matter how I look no one can destroy me because of it; that I am strong, and that I am worthy just because I am here. Simple and true. For me and everyone else. And the tape isn't a get it perfect and keep it sort of an exercise. The point is to start, and to keep it positive.

It has been said that because we are all special, no one is. I beg to differ. We are all unique, just a little bit different  than everyone else at the least, and that is special. I am special.

Thank you Sean for reminding me that all I need to do is believe. And if I can't do that, all I have to do is "act as if" until I can drag the positive truths about me out into the open.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just a crappy day

When you love someone, does it give you the right to stick your nose into their business? Not one of us is smart enough to know all the answers; for ourselves let alone someone else. So why can't I keep my big mouth shut? Even if I am saying what I feel, and especially if the other person isn't hearing what I mean, what on earth makes me qualified to tell anyone what my take on it is? On anything? I've screwed up so much, and everyone else has that same right. You follow your heart, you make decisions, and your life unfolds accordingly. Does what I have to say need to be part of their journey? Am I willing to take responsibility for how what I say is interpreted? Better to just keep my mouth shut, and my arms and heart open. That is my new motto. I promise. For at least some of you, or at least for the most important one.

I grew up reading stories about people being saved and saving others. That's the worst fairy tale of all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day one of Eleven

There have been some really hard days recently, and I am not proud of how often I have succumbed to that evil little voice that tempts me into thinking 'what the fuck' and grabbing some french fries for dinner. I am reminded everyday that I need to keep my thoughts positive, whether by myself or by others, but I am so tired of fighting to stay positive. I figure the 20 pounds I have gained back is punishment enough for not trying harder, and I just can't beat myself up any more or there will be nothing left of me.

Anyway, this past weekend I did the prep work for a healthy week. I made a big batch of lentil soup that was mostly greens and turnips and I prepped yellow squash and red onions so that they were ready to throw in the pot for an easy dinner. After work today I sautéed a big handful of the latter with the last of a bag of Asian stir fry veggies from TJ's and one small nuked potatoe (sorry, looks naked without the e at the end.) I mashed the tater up with a little home-made sauce of soy milk, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, tahini and chipotle sauce. Sometimes you just need to keep adding things until you get something good - I want my food to be delicious. I topped this with the veggies and YUM.

Then outside to shoot my bow, which I picked up yesterday for the first time in a year, and to berate myself for how weak I have become.  I also congratulated myself for being out there and shooting; yin and yang, keeping the balance.  Yesterday I also opened my old 'tracking sheet' file to look at how I was eating last year, and glanced at how I was tracking my exercise back when I was losing weight slowly and surely, and while looking at the detailed pages I realized I have absolutely no compulsion to take it back up again. Maybe if I put my energy into good choices instead of into logging what I have done and what I intend to do it will go better. One (I) can only hope. That's a step closer to living in the present, no?

I do have goals; I want to shoot in the PacCoast Championship later this month so I am in a hurry to build up some stamina. I need to eat more greens for energy, and I need to quit eating fast food for the same reason.

So today went well; green smoothie for breakfast, lentil soup and a walk at lunch, stir fry veggies for dinner, and 30 arrows shot in the driveway sweating away in the 93 degree heat.  It will be hot at the tournament so it's good training, and I love thinking of all the toxins leaking away in my sweat so that was okay.

Tonight I need to rest my back, so no farming - maybe a little bit later on, but this typing has used up the last of me for a while. If I want/need to eat later I have lots of fresh veggies to make a salad or just munch away on cauliflower and carrots.

Day One - Good. Ten to go before we leave for Sacratomatoes, otherwise known as Sacramento.