Friday, January 30, 2009

Better Habits

I am inching into better habits. Last night I called it a night and quit eating after dinner. What a concept! I have had more gym visits due to daughter's 7 day pass and grandson's membership. Daughter is going to join but must have some nice workout clothes. Typical girl...I think I can swing some for her even though I am on a spending wisely and get the bare minimum.. I am thrilled she is doing this so I want to support the effort. Need to do my marketing ASAP because I am out of lettuce... a near crisis at our house!

My body feels better, my legs feel more toned, my belly is still out there though, not what it was last summer, but it can get there easily. We are only talking about 8 pounds actually. And I am not going to let it discourage me into bad habits!!

Speaking of positive. I have a co-worker who has been badgering the other paralegal to start "putting her resume out there" and the other day she said some stuff to me along that lines. I promptly told her I was staying with this company until the day they tell me to leave because it is a very good job. I am not making any fear based decisions about employment and it irritated me to have her talk to me that way. I thought maybe she wanted me to leave so it would make her feel more secure with additional work even though she is an attorney. But that's most likely a little paranoid on my part. I have a great job, and to look now and take another position would not give me any more job security at a new place (things are tough all over) PLUS I have six weeks of paid time off and I seriously doubt any new job would give me that - so I'm going to enjoy my time off days, my current salary, and think positive for pete's sake!!! I work for a profitable company that is still making plenty of money last time I checked.

Now, that being said I could get my walking papers tomorrow - but I would still not regret my decision. We get severance packages around here. I am going to work hard and enrich my education if possible and make the most of what I have!!! Besides, worrying makes me eat, and I hate when that happens..

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I want to take a minute or two to write about habits. I have learned which habits promote weight loss and maintenance. And I have learned which habits keep me stuck or promote weight gains. Here they are:

Habits that promote weight loss and maintenance (for me):

1. Tracking food - writing it down and tallying it up. This keeps me in reality about what is going in. I find it impossible to lose or maintain if I eat too many calories, and certain types of carbs. It is easy for me to lose track, think I am doing ok, etc. if I don't have it written down. Writing it down works. I have proven it to myself over and over.

2. Regular weigh-ins. When I start avoiding the scale I am entering denial. When I weigh in regularly I know whether or not I need to adjust my eating. And I am in touch with the impact food has on me. Plus, it is a nice reminder of my loss.

3. Regular Exercise - This promotes a good state of mind in addition to the benefits of muscle tone and cardiovascular health and burning of calories. If I do it regularly, I keep up the momentum of positive thoughts and attitudes toward my body. Plus it helps with loss and maintenance.

4. Blogging - Blogging keeps me focused on goals and keeps me accountable and involved in my weight loss and maintenance. It gives me the ability to support other people and be supported by them. It helps me remember that other people are doing this, too and we can help each other with ideas and encouragement.

5. Strategic shopping. Shopping regularly to keep the stock of healthy foods is essential. If I run out I reach for alternatives that don't promote my goals. If I stay stocked I am ready for anything and can easily stick to my program of healthy eating.

6. Positive thinking - I have daily readings to assist me with positive thinking, but just making sure I think of things to be grateful for and look for the positives in life makes a huge difference. It takes practice and effort, but the benefits are many. I feel better about life and I tend to stay focused on goals and feel that I can accomplish them instead of giving up.

7. Water, lots and lots of water. Staying hydrated keeps me from the bloating and retention that makes me feel yucky and then I eat.

8. Sleep and rest. If I don't get it I feel out of whack. If I do get it I feel more confident and competent and less stressed.

Here are a few habits that I want to avoid because they promote weight gain and keep me stuck when I am trying to move on:

1. Negative thinking - for example when I have a gain if I focus on the "fat" and the downside I tend to have trouble pulling myself out. It is easy to start on the negative path because of course I am not happy with the gain, but it is better to tell myself that I can lose the excess if I just stick to my proven success techniques.

2. Allowing unhealthy foods. This becomes a habit - It sneaks in at holidays and special events. I do it a couple of times and the next thing I know I am doing it all the time. I have to be careful with this. Unless I follow up and get right back to normal eating I stay in the permissive state and the indulgences become habits.

3. Eating whatever I want whenever I want it. This is the opposite of tracking and planning. It becomes a habit almost immediately when I stop tracking and planning but I can change it at any time.

4. Evening eating - in front of the TV lately. This is a hard one for me, even if I am not in front of the TV. Something about getting home and making dinner and de-stressing for the day makes me just keep on eating. I can break this one if we go to the gym in the evening.

Anything opposite the good habits can become a habit. I am watching myself more now because once I fall into the old patterns I often don't even notice it anymore. That's why blogging helps. I thought I was "doing good" and I experienced a two pound spike that is sticking around. So now I am paying more attention and tracking things. I think next year I am going to have a holiday strategy. This year I just got looser and looser and now I am having to work harder. But that's ok because when I work hard at it I learn things.

More will be revealed!!

Friday, January 23, 2009


It has been a while since I blogged. My weight has been about the same with a pound or two drop. I have been sticking to the healthier foods but my volume needs to drop. I have been going to the gym more since my grandson joined. Daughter wants to join now, too. I have been tired this past week with some stress. My son had a parole hearing today. It went good but there won't be an answer for several weeks. These hearings bring up a lot of emotion for me due to how young he was when he got in trouble, and how long he has had to serve for this extreme and unusual sentence. Anyway I did not use food to medicate my feelings, though and I need to be mindful of that.

Also, looking back to two years ago when we last saw the parole board there have been changes in our lives. Good changes. Two years ago it was but four days after the sudden death of my grandson's other grandmother and his instant move in with me. I was still reeling from that. I was heavier and was in the midst of figuring out where we were all going to move. And, since my move I have met many supportive people, even men who were once in trouble who are doing good and living purposeful lives. The support groups out here have helped me make new and meaningful contacts and I have a much better network of support. I rarely isolate. I can't. I have too many people in my life today to hide out.

So I used this experience, in part, to reflect on the positive changes in my life. My grandson and daughter are doing great. My daughter's GPA was a 4.0 in spite of her many absences from school due to illnesses. My grandson's grades were up and down but he is upbeat with his new appetite for fitness and generally in a much better frame of mind than he was a couple of months ago at the onset of his depression. And, since two years ago when he came to live with me there have been many improvements in his life, physical and mental health. He plays in the jazz band and the band at school. He is not on any medication and he has is at a normal weight.

I like to take the opportunity to look at the good things in life whenever I can. I have been in a slump off and on for a little bit but I am far better off than I ever was in my life. I use my experiences to learn and grow. I have been browsing some college information the past couple of days because I want to make use of the tuition reimbursement benefit at my job. I may be taking a class or two in the near future. I don't want to spend money on it out of my own funds because looking at college tuition has been a big reality check for me regarding my daughter's educational needs. All I can say is Yikes! She is interested in a private college nearby and I'd love her to go there. But I saw the price tag....I don't want her to incur that much I may be looking at setting up a fund. Sheesh. I may need to take a second job. Grandson will qualify for grants and aid based on financial needs. But daughter would have to disclose my income. Anyway who knows what can happen in the next three years...but its coming up. I am just glad she is planning to go to college and use her smarts.

I want to start tracking my weight better. I have been on the scale less often. I find I lose better when I check in every day. It keeps me in reality!

More will be revealed!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Slow Return to Normal

This week went OK. Grandson and I started going to the gym. I did nothing but cardio. I am returning my body to Normal and getting out of Holiday Gain mode. I have had a couple of weird set backs - gram crackers in the middle of the night (I hate that stuff) and some chocolate last night. Probably a rebellion in response to prudent eating during the day. I've been going with the lean protein and the complex carbs, heavier on protein and lighter on the carbs and avoiding all the junk.. I do my push ups in the morning and ab work but not as much as I was doing. I am getting my habits back in place. It feels good. I still feel the puff of the gain but it is temporary and not a continuous trend. It's going away. I want to focus on the here and now and make that my priority. There are goodies still at work left over from holiday treats. They are not happening for me today.

We are also getting our sleep back to normal. We are all tired at night. Daughter has been going to sleep very early and getting up at 5 a.m. I have been very sluggish in the mornings and tired in the evening, too. I am very glad it is Friday!!!

More will be revealed!!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Live Lightly

The words "live lightly" popped into my mind this morning. Not just about food. About everything. I want to a speak softer, spend less money, go easier on others, myself and the earth, and practice an attitude of lightness in all my affairs. Lighter on worry. No extremes of any kind. I want to relax. This lightness of mind naturally includes eating lighter, but not holding myself to extremes or rigid plans. Just light. Smaller portions, lighter food, and so on.

I want to pay all my bills and go lightly on money where I can. I don't want to make impulsive decisions or spend money I could save. There appears to be a relationship between over spending and over eating in my history. They often go hand in hand. It's that reaching for outer things to satisfy a desire from within.

I had a flat tire the other day. At first I felt it was the worst thing that could possibly happen. But after I got out and began changing the tire I realized how empowering it felt to change the tire myself. I went in and got the kids and showed them how a tire is changed. I dropped the tire off to be fixed and was debating on buying at least two new tires. I decided not to act in haste and see how I felt about it when I picked up the repaired tire. I did not get a good feeling about the tire buy, or even having my tires rotated when I picked up the tire so I just took my repaired tire home.

I think I will rotate those tires myself with the kids. It will be a great exercise in the tire change training. I am having a friend over to look at my tires and give me an opinion on their wear. I want good tires, but I don't want to waste what life these still have. They are not worn out at all, just a bit worn. As long as they are safe, I think I should use them, in keeping with lighter spending and going lighter on waste. And perhaps, lighter driving!

Anyway, I will hang on to my inspiration. Grandson is joining my gym. I need a workout buddy.

More will be revealed....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day One of Re-programed Scale

Ok. Today was my swollenest, puffiest day. I did not want to weigh in but I decided to do it because ducking the truth gets me in trouble. I ate shrimp, pork roast, drank diet soda, and had salty popcorn and a bunch of celery yesterday. All salty. But I don't care. I re-programmed the mystery scale at this highest weight. So it is all down hill from here. I still fit my pants but I don't like the bulges. I like it when I am regularly working out. I realize sometimes I will have lapses, and gains but it is VERY IMPORTANT in fact, CRUCIAL to get back on track as fast as possible. Perhaps some day my slips will be shorter and have less impact. This is the worst I think I have had but that makes it scarier. So, consider me scared straight for now.

I am invoking all the good things I have learned. Except one thing I won't give up yet and that is my coffee. I will measure my creamer, though, and maybe even give it up, too. I am prepared with my baked chicken breast, eggs to boil, etc. I am going to use the Mary Lou scale to get ten pounds down. Then take a look at things. I never got down as low as I wanted to, and to be honest I could even be happy at what I am now, but I need a cushion to fluctuate in, and I am not there.

Right now I just want my habits back. My tracking, my lean protein, my portions and most of all my workouts. I did some ab work yesterday and I still have my strength. I can still do things, just not feeling as nimble, and fit.

I am hoping someday when I am reaching for those goodies, that I stop and think "Do I really want to have to work even harder to deal with the consequences?" because sweets impact me...they start that trend toward more sweets, and then more other stuff, and then just plain I really want to do that?

For today I am drinking lots of water and thinking positive. Negative thoughts will make things worse. I have a prison visit today...vending machines...but they have bottled water...

More will be revealed.