Monday, April 23, 2018

Obsessing Smarter


It's been a month since our first post about ending the weight obsession in exchange for a healthier way of eating and treating our bodies. No more beating up on ourselves or doing crazy things to try to be perfect. I have been implementing my get-healthier habits, and with the exception of this weekend, it's gone pretty well. I am a few pounds down, which doesn't sound too exciting, but it beats being a few pounds up. Ideally, I'd like to lose thirty pounds, so as of today, I am down two, so twenty-eight to go!

Here are some things that have worked for me. They're not fast fixes, but my goal isn't to return to a life of self-abuse and rapid weight loss, but to treat my body like I appreciate all that it does for me.

-Get enough sleep. When I'm tired, I crave sugar like a junkie looking for a hit. That's where I went wrong this weekend. Fatigue pushes the body to look for energy in the form of food, usually high carb quick hits.
-Hydrate. Drink enough water. I've read that your body confuses thirst with hunger- have a glass of water before scarfing a cookie.
-Shoot for 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Thinking of what you should be eating over what you shouldn't eat helps change the brain's food obsession.
-Keep a food journal. Like Jo Wake commented last week- writing down what you eat is helpful. I use an app on my phone that tracks my intake and calories. Doing this keeps me conscious of my snacking. If I'm not logging in what I eat, I tend to do too much mindless grazing, especially when I'm tired, busy, or stressed.
-Move. As a writer, I spend a lot of time in a chair. Time to make exercise a priority. I've been
walking a mile a day, at least.
-Log your success on a calendar. I have been giving myself stars for each day I get in my mile walk. The other day, I was walking on my treadmill and reading and accidentally walked an extra half mile. The more you move, the easier movement gets!
-Avoid fast food. This is the hardest of all the changes. It's so handy to grab dinner from a window rather than cook when I'm busy and tired. I've found keeping healthy lunch meats and soups in the house is a good alternative.
-Get rid of the junk. If there are chips and candy in the house, I'm grabbing handfuls mindlessly.
-Choose healthier snacks. Popcorn, fresh fruit, brownies- without the oil. I quit adding the oil to my cakes and brownies years ago and as long as you don't over bake, you will never miss the oil.


It's also the last post of the month! Time for our entertainment check in. It's a good thing I had a weight obsession post planned because this month's entertainment was slim pickings. My husband and I were on a roll in April choosing one bad movie after another.

I did switch up my satellite line up. I reduced my channels to a much smaller package and joined Hulu. I was able to catch up on all the sitcom episodes I missed. My two favorite for the month?

New Girl 

The series begins with Jess surprising her boyfriend (and his date!) with a striptease. She leaves the cheater behind and moves into an apartment with a group of crazy, lovable guys. New Girl always makes me laugh and the characters are loyal and enchanting.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Jake Peralta is a quirky detective working among the most unique, hilarious staff of co-workers. Unique characters, unlimited shenanigans.

What I'm reading...

The Moral Compass by KA Servian

Set in the 1800's, the heroine, Florence is forced to leave England with her indebted family for the wilds of New Zealand. It's a romance with plenty of twists, turns, and engaging characters.



Monday, April 16, 2018

The best time to start a #diet - part 2

Timing is everything - ain't no joke.
IMHO, I think Spring is a great time to set healthy eating plan goals because:
  • No major eating holidays
  • Warmer weather is on the way, so you'll want to bare more skin soon
  • Better temps also encourage outdoor activities
  • The produce section selection starts to improve - more good eats to pick from!
So try on your warm weather clothes - if they don't fit, don't throw a fit! It's time to get fit!

I did all of the above. As I came dangerously close to my weight limit (which is sadly similar to the Debt Ceiling--every time it's close, we raise it a little) Unlike the government, I decided to do something about it.

Phase 1: I started by setting actual hard limits on my snacking and substituted more natural choices.

Results: For the first week, this worked out well. Due to work, family problems, and baseball season, I was forced to make some schedule changes and fell off the wagon which proceeded to run me over a couple of times... Quick drive-thru dinners save lots of time, but are horrible for a good eating plan.

Overall, I lost two pounds. yeah.

I still consider myself in Phase 1 until I master it for three weeks (when it becomes a habit!) But I want to add a little more to it, so I'll call it Phase 1b.

Phase 1b: snack limit & natural choices, plus walk the dog at least once a week.

this is me BEFORE
Sounds easy enough - but with my time constraints, I have to make tough choices. My weight is the least of my problems - until I'm dead! Prevention is a necessary evil that most people don't make time for. But in reality, we're just set in our ways and want to eat and do what we like. Starting kids in a healthy eating pattern when they're young is important.

Unfortunately, the rebellious teenage years usually undoes all the good they learned. But that's another story...

Anyhoo, unless I think of a spectacular idea for a post, I'm going to keep updating you on my progress. Talking about it helps! If you want to join me, please feel free! Misery loves company! But don't expect any pictures - I'm not that brave and I don't have enough confidence in myself to see much of a difference... Argh! I guess losing my negative attitude might help!

Good luck to us!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Weight Obsession Confession

my friend, Kelli, on the left, me on the right

Side note: I was NOT athletic. I threw shot put.
I didn't qualify for an event ever. You had to
be able to throw the ball a certain number of feet
to qualify and I could never work up enough oomph. 
Tara started the discussion about it with last week's post (read it here) and I'm jumping on her bandwagon because it's a topic I know too well.

The weight-obsession-confession. I admit, I'm guilty. I have spent most of my life worrying about my weight- even when it wasn't a problem. That picture of me on the right? I hated it. My arms were fat, my legs were thick...I looked like a beefalo. Or so I told myself.

Looking back, I'd love to have that body again! What the hell was I thinking? Obviously, I wasn't. I was too obsessed with constant worry to be logical.

This picture was taken my freshman year of high school. At a family reunion that spring, a great-aunt told me she was glad to see I had meat on my bones.

Teen-brain translation...I'm a cow.

After I had my first son, I had an epiphany. My body was more than an image. It created and sustained a life. It was disease free and every part was in reliable working condition.

Some people aren't that blessed, so I decided to stop dogging the blessings and count them instead.

I stopped worrying about weight and the scale stayed steady.

Then life hit me upside the head with a stick. A series of family crises left me off kilter and stressed for time and energy. The abandonment of healthy eating for fast food and easy to grab junk combined with the stress left me feeling double-chinned and miserable.

The obvious solution was to diet, which was the worst choice for me. When I diet, my brain is focused on food and all of the old insecurities come raging back like a beast in search of cookies. I gained more weight.

Add caption
Now, I'm going back to square one. No easy fixes. No quick losses. This is my only body, and I want it to last a while, so I must take care of it.

It's time to readjust my thinking-- again.

How about you? How do you find the healthy balance?


Monday, April 2, 2018

The best time to start a #diet - part 1

You know DIET is a four-letter word.
that's diet, btw
It's so negative. This is what it means to me:

D - Deny
I - Ingesting
E - Every-
T - Thing I like!

I used to try fad diets. Some worked at first. But you know the story - once you see some results, you give yourself a reward. Then something comes up, like a vacation or Thanksgiving or the weekend! and the diet is out the window.

I don't diet anymore. I've been dieting all my life - never satisfied with my weight. Sound familiar? That's a problem in and of itself - a self-esteem problem that is shared by most women. With age, and child-bearing, I grew to accept my form. I maturely realized I wasn't going to exercise my butt off (ha ha). I chose to spend my valuable spare time on things that were most important to me, like family and writing.

I stayed relatively healthy and not too heavy. Then the Change hit. No one said anything about the 25 extra pounds that magically appear!! And in such a short time! I didn't change my eating habits or minimal exercise routine, but BAM! Here I am about to hit my max weight of dire consequences. This is unacceptable and I now have to do something drastic. But I won't call it a diet...

Time to UPGRADE MY LIFE!

I have four constant goals:


But these goals are wishy washy and vague, and easily ignored or appeased. "I drank three cups of coffee - that's mostly water" or "How many raspberries do you think are in a jelly donut? That counts." I groan at my own excuses!

So I am undergoing a lifestyle change. I have to be serious. I also have to be reasonable with the expectations I place on myself. But most of all, I have to have WILL POWER!

At least I'm starting this undertaking at the best time to start a change of eating habits - SPRING!

In Part 2, I'll talk more about my plan and why Spring is the best time to start it. I decided to go for it on Thursday 3/29, so I'll have a 2-week update on my progress as well... Wish me luck!

Do you have a max weight? Do you diet? How do you stay healthy?
Hope you're having a great start to this Stormy Spring!

Monday, March 26, 2018

March Entertainment Wrap-Up

It's hard to believe another month is almost done and gone! Here in West Virginia, we welcomed spring with a few inches of snow. Enough of that! I am ready to say goodbye to winter.

Since it's the end of the month, let's do our end-of-the-month entertainment wrap-up. 

On Netflix, Hush is an excellent thriller. A deaf writer goes to a cabin in the woods to finish a story deadline, but instead becomes the target of a crazed intruder. A great edge-of-your-seat movie. 

6.6 on IMDb

Rented from Redbox, The Disaster Artist, is wonderful entertainment. Based on a true story, this movie is a hilarious and thoughtful look at the making of the cult classic, The Room, and its writer and director, the eccentric, but endearing Tommy Wiseau.

7.6 on IMDb

Also rented from Redbox. The Florida Project was a good movie. I believe The Florida Project was a contender for this year's Oscar Best Picture. Honestly? I thought this movie was way better than this year's winner (The Shape of Water). This movie was like looking in on a snippet of American reality that is at times touching, but also scary, especially now as America looks on at the violence of our youth and asks, "What's wrong with our kids?"

7.7 on IMDb
I must mention that this movie is enjoyable, but the most impressive part is Brooklynn Prince. This young actor is amazing. If I hadn't watched the making of the movie in the bonus material, I'd have thought this adorable child really was just a natural at being a precocious pain in the rear.



As for books to recommend this month, did you know you can download excellent books for free? Project Gutenburg has lists and lists of titles that are now public domain, so they are free to download onto your Kindle or whatever e-reader you use.




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