Day 28: 100 Days Challenge - Eating Because It's There

Weigh-in day.  I am down 1.6 for a total of  5.4 pounds.  Only 94.6 more to go!!
I got on the treadmill a little later than I wanted today so I only got in 20 minutes, but I made those 20 minutes count..  Yesterday I did some running intervals and I really felt it this morning.  I am tickled that I did not "diet" this week, but still lost 1.6 pounds.

Today is the last day of February.  I have been doing this for one calendar month!  So far my habits are.

1. Working out every day - no excuses
2. Limiting my eating to 4 times a day

Last night I ran into one of the teachers at our parish school.  The one and only race I have ever run is the Maple Syrup 5K three years ago.  Sally also ran in that race.  I told her I was planning to do it again this year.  There, I committed myself.  But I had also already contacted the race director for an application.  Melisa (daughter number 2) is also planning to do that race.  We won't be running it together because I am sure she will leave me in the dust within the first 10 seconds.  This year I am taking my walkman and headphones.  And while I am running that race I will be thinking of my friend Deb(Jinx) and knowing that she is giving me a long distance "thumbs up!"

Today's reading from "100 Days of Weight Loss" is about mindless eating.  Eating because it's there.  I have really made some progress here.  I have found myself finishing up something just to finish, and stopping myself right then and there.  Because I have limited my meals to four and nothing in between, mindless eating isn't much of a problem for me.  If it is for you, the author recommends practicing that "resistance" muscle by learning to ignore food - things like hors deuvres  or food samples at grocery stores - tasting while cooking, that kind of thing.  She recommends using this phrase often,  "I don't eat food just because it's there."

In the "Beck Diet Solution" book, Dr. Beck talks about ending overeating.  Quitting when you are full - not overfull, not stuffed, but pleasantly full.  I have discovered that this is a pleasant feeling.  I am going make a special effort to pay attention to that this week.  I also want to do a better job of remembering to savor each bite.  Several times I found myself not paying attention and ended up eating more than I needed.


Day 27: 100 Days Challenge - Eat Dessert When It's Special

Just got off the treadmill.  I really wish I could bottle up the feeling of accomplishment and spray it around when I'm tempted to skip the workout.  More and more, I am loving the Never Say Diet book.  Have you ever read something and thought "I could have written that?"  The other day Chantel was talking about what it was like to grow up fat.  When I was a kid, weight really wasn't much of an issue.  I was hyperactive and my poor mother was sick.  Our neighbor (my mother's best friend) had a sister who owned a dance studio.  One day a week I spent the day at the dance studio.  I took tap, ballet, acrobatics, and baton twirling.  It gave my mother a badly needed break once a week, and at one dollar for the day, it was a bargain.  I can remember that as recital times drew near, my mother would encourage me to ride my bike so that my little pot belly wouldn't be so prominent under my costumes.  Weight wasn't really a problem because I was so active, but even back then I had the seeds of compulsive eating lying under the soil.  As the years went by, my mother became sicker and sicker.  They had no diagnosis at the time and even if they had, they didn't have the technology or the drugs to treat it.  In typical oldest child fashion, I took my mother's sickness as a sign of my failings.  Children are powerless over things like that and the only control I had was what went into my mouth.

When I was twelve, my mother died.  I was the caretaker of my two brothers and baby sister after school and on Saturdays.  I was not nearly as active as I had been, and the eating accellerated.  It was the worst time in my life to be overeating and not moving.  My weight began to inch up but I still wasn't that concerned.  We had bigger problems in our house with my dad trying to keep everything together and be both mom and dad.

Within a year my dad re-married.  Our new stepmother was a registered nurse.  She was also taking Bishop Sewing Classes and was very good at sewing.  I can remember as a teenager, she was measuring me for a dress I needed for something - can't remember what - and one of my aunts on my dad's side was visiting.  As Mom was measuring me, my aunt said, "be sure to add extra inches for her big butt."  Mom and I were embarrassed and didn't say anything.  I think we were shocked that someone could be so incredibly rude, and - yes- cruel.  When we didn't answer, she repeated it.  I can't remember what my mom said, but I can remember in great detail how I felt.  I can't imagine what was going through my aunt's mind saying something like that.  I'll bet she forgot it long ago, and yet the memory remains with me.

Today's topic from "100 Days of Weight Loss" is about eating dessert when it's special.  Special would mean not only that the dessert is tasteworthy, but that it is eaten at a special occasion and with people you love.  When I think about this, I think of the times I swayed from my "diet" and how I had the mindset that one dessert would ruin it.  And when I succumbed to that dessert, where was I?  Usually at a family gathering for one of the holidays.  And not only did I eat the dessert, but I very likely went on to eat to oblivion, long after the food even tasted good because, after all, I had already blown it.  In this 21 day habit cycle, I have allowed myself anything I want to eat, and I have found that the stuff I usually crave just isn't all that appealing anymore.  It's beginning to lose its power.

The "Beck Diet Solution" is about preventing unplanned eating.  At this stage of the game the only "planning" I'm doing is the spacing of my four meals.  I'm not sure I will ever get to the point where I am writing everything down and counting every calorie.  My jaws clench just thinking about it.  I am getting used to the four meals and once I have done that for 21 days, then I will think about the next habit.


Day 26: 100 Days Challenge - When Food disappoints you

Good morning,
I decided to update my background.  I'm putting my snowmen away for another year.  I'm headed for the treadmill.  Updates later!

Well, I messed up.  I did today's lesson yesterday and totally skipped the section on savoring - except I thought I wrote on that.  I'm losing my mind.  Today totally got away from me.  I stuck to my 4 meals, but they were much larger than they needed to be.  I will do better tomorrow.  It's all about learning, isn't it?  In the past I would have chucked the day and started over tomorrow.  Nope - not any more.


Day 25: 100 days Challenge - When food disappoints you

I know, I know,  I need to update yesterday's topic.  I had a chore to do yesterday that took me most of the day and I got behind.  But, the good new is, I'm still on track.  I'll be back later.
Okay, I updated yesterday's topics.  Our wireless has been cutting in and out.  I think they are making adjustments to our tower. As of today, we are one fourth of the way through the 100 Days Challenge.  I have achieved the habit of working out and am working on the habit of limiting my encounters with food to 4 times a day.  So now I am putting 2 stickers on my calendar every day.  I am so tickled with myself!   Oh, a random fact - I heard on the radio yesterday that this week is National Eating Disorders week.  Last night I went to a soup supper at our church.  Supper was my 4th meal of the day.  There wasn't much.  I had a small bowl of potato soup and and dipped 2 small pieces of French bread in it.  When I came home, my stomach was growling a bit, but exercised that "resistance" muscle and emerged victorious.  Part of what helped me was knowing that I was accountable here, but I also wanted to be able to paste that sticker on the calendar that Nina gave me for Christmas.

Today's topic in 100 Days of Weight Loss is about anticipating that wonderful food that you love, but it doesn't measure up to your enjoyment level.  The example the author used was a piece of cake that a lady had looked forward to all day.  It was dry and crumbly.  She kept eating in the hope that it would improve.  But remember what we read about the first two bites of any food?  The majority of satisfaction with regard to taste and texture comes in those first two bites.  It doesn't get any better after that.  Don't keep shoveling it in hoping that it will.

From the Beck Diet Solultion the topic of monitoring your food intake continues.  I will explore this when I get to that phase of my plan.

I was reading the Never Say Diet book on the treadmill this morning.  I will update my thoughts on this later as I have to leave for a meeting.


Day 24: 100 Days Challenge - Eat for satisfaction

Last night was quite a challenge.  My sabotaging voice kept telling me to eat.  There is no way on earth that I could have needed to eat.  I emerged victorious, however, and feel really good about it this morning.  I just kept reminding myself of that wonderful sense of victory I would have this morning if I just held fast.  The thing is that when this is going on, there is a feeling of urgency that drowns out the voice of reason.  If other steps are not in place, it is easy to just succumb.  There is a feeling that this struggle will always be there, and in a sense it will be, but remember what the Beck Solution book said about the "resistance muscle" vs the "giving in" muscle.  It was helpful for me to remember that I wasn't refraining from something, I was exercising my resistance muscle.  Exercise that muscle and the whole process becomes easier eventually.  As time goes on, and we begin to see results, that strengthens our resolve.  But at this point it is a leap of faith.  My body isn't showing results, but I know that soon the baby steps will have their effect.  Same way with the house.  The general look is still clutter, but the refrigerator, the bathroom closet, my dresser drawer, and my closet are getting in shape.  These things don't show, but they provide a place for things to be put away and soon the look of the house will begin to change.  It's all in the baby steps.

I'm headed for the treadmill - updates later.

*********** Very late update**********
Today's lesson from 100 Days of Weight Loss is about taking back your power with regard to food.  Rather than ban certain foods from your food plan, include them in smaller amounts and then savor them to the utmost.  Foods tend to be much more attractive when you know you can't have them.   One of my favorites, as my family will tell you, is M&Ms.  So, I have been including them in one of my 4 daily meals.  Today, the thought of M&Ms just didn't appeal to me.  Hmmm  I wonder why it is that forbidden foods always taste better.  Maybe my inner brat rebelling. 
 The Beck Diet Solution talks about monitoring your eating.  Writing it down etc.  Good idea, but as I said before, my baby step habit this month is making sure I eat only 4 times in a day.  This is what works for me.


Day 23: 100 Days Challenge - Savoring

Back in the groove today.  I got up and got that treadmill time in early.  Felt really good!
Oddly enough, my morning was much more productive - go figure.  Madison is getting into a kind of routine here so I'm able to plan my day and get things done.  If the temp is up tomorrow, I think I'll go outside again.  Outside is my favorite workout.

No Biggest Loser again tonight.  Grrrrrr. 

I didn't do my lesson reading on the treadmill today.  I'm reading a third book that I really, really like!  I bought it a while ago with a lot of other books and never got into it.  It's titled Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs.  She has lost over 200 pounds and I love her no-nonsense, no excuses approach to weight loss.  In fact, weight loss was a by product of her quest to be healthy.  I will go into more detail as time goes on.

Last night's Hoarders episode was enlightening.  One of the hoarders kept things because of the memories that were attached to them.  There is that link between hoarding things and hoarding pounds again.  What is the payoff for hoarding either one (and there is a payoff or we wouldn't hang onto them) and making ourselves miserable?  There was a little boy who cried because they threw away a broken plate that had belonged to Grandma.  He said he felt like they were throwing Grandma away.  Been there!  And with weight?  Are we afraid that we are throwing pieces of ourselves away when we lose weight?  That we're losing ourselves?

I have a meeting so I'll be back later to update today's lessons.
I'm back from the meeting - reminding myself that I don't need to eat.

Today's reading from 100 Days of Weight Loss is about savoring your food.  In this exercise, the author recommends taking 1/4 tsp size bites of your food and really savoring the taste and texture.  When you are this aware of what you are eating, you are usually satisfied with less because you have received maximum pleasure from each bite. 

In the Beck Diet Solution book we begin our diet.  I'm a day ahead there.  We are to write up a food plan and then stick with it.  I am not there yet.

In fact, I have altered my rules for this 21 days.  No one but a compulsive eater would understand that confining my eating to 4 meals a day is more than a baby step for me.  I was trying to take to big a chunk.  I am not counting my calories so I am probably going over my allotment, but I am going to take that restriction off and concentrate on the four meals for now.  I have learned my lesson about moving too fast and burning out within the month.  So in addition to my exercise habit, I am now creating the habit of limiting my eating to four meals a day.


Day 22: 100 days of weight loss - Multitask with food

Now that my exercise habit is established, it's time to look at the food.  As I wrote this past week, my first step on the food plan is to "organize" my meals into 4.  The only rule is that 2000 calories is the limit.  2000 calories is fairly generous, but I want to establish the habit of eating only 4 times a day - not grazing here and there.  I haven't been on the treadmill yet today.  That will be later, so I haven't done today's reading yet.

Evening update **************
Today is a perfect example of why I try to get my workout done first thing in the morning.  I planned to do it this afternoon and completely forgot about it until it was time to blog and I realized I hadn't done the reading.  Okay, done is done.  I will put it behind me - do some yoga stretches and call it good.

Today's food was so so.  I stuck to four meals, but I went over the 2000. That old voice of sabotage was right there urging me to just have a complete blowout and get back on track tomorrow.  Nope - not gonna do it.  Compounding bad decisions by making more bad decisions is how I got here in the first place.  So I told my inner brat to be quiet and I went in and did some decluttering in the bedroom.  So now, on to today's lesson.

Today's reading from 100 Days of Weight Loss - Multitask with food.  I must admit that I was not all that impressed with this topic.  Multitasking with food is a big problem for me.  Other than conversing with those at the table, I don't see any reason to multitask with food.  I was turned off by the sentence "if you choose to eat while you're watching the movies or TV . . ."  Uh uh.  Not for me.  This morning's breakfast was great.  The only multitasking I did was talking with Harold and 2 grandkids (who had spent the night) while eating breakfast.  I'm not worried about losing awareness - what I'm trying to do is disassociate food from so many of my daily activities.  As it was, I had to keep reminding myself all day that there are only 4 times I would be eating.  So that was that.

In the Beck Diet Solution today's reading is about starting the food plan.  The one section that leaped out at me was about the sabotaging thoughts that come flooding in when one makes a slip.  That's where I was today.  I knew I had gone over my allotment, but I refused to let it derail me.  I might have been wiser to get used to limiting the number of times I eat for a while before limiting the amount.

So that was my day.  I am heating water for tea and finishing up my chores so I can watch this week's episode of Hoarders.


Day 21: 100 Days of Weight Loss - Eating with awareness

I just finished my walk/jog outside. I am down 2.2 this week for a net loss of 3.8 only 96.2 to go!  LOL!  Actually I am only focusing on 5 pounds at a time.  Looking at the big picture is just too overwhelming.  I mentioned that I watch Hoarders on Monday nights.  Whether we hoard stuff or pounds, sometimes we just need to zone in on small chunks. Earlier I related the decluttering of our house to my weight loss journey.  So far, the incremental progress is not visible.  But that doesn't matter.  If someone walks in our house and sees clutter, that's okay because I know I am dealing with it. The same is true of - in Flylady's words - Body Clutter.  No one can see the 3.8 pound loss, but I know it's there.  As the weeks go by it will be more visible.  People may notice and comment, but my journey isn't about that.  I learned long ago that sometimes the people closest to you are the least likely to be encouraging.  But that's okay.  This isn't about them.  It's about me and how I feel about myself.  It is no longer about vanity, or trying to please people.  It's about me being the best Me I can be.  That's not going to be good enough for some people, but again, though it may make me sad because that kind of support would be nice, it's not going to be the determining factor in what I'm doing. That's been my mistake for too many year, both with house clutter and with body clutter.  My motives are now to do what I do because it gives me joy.  When I get up in the morning, even though I am in the beginning stages of getting this house and this body in order, I can open the refrigerator and see a concrete example of working the plan.  Opening my refrigerator makes me smile.  Putting a sticker on my calendar makes me smile.  As time goes on and the decluttering spreads, there will be more and more to make me smile.  And when I smile, I feel happy, and when I feel happy everything is easier to deal with.  Soon happiness takes over your life and you wonder why you waited so long and wasted so much time and joy.
Since I went outside this morning, I haven't done today's reading yet.  I will be back later tonight to update.
Nina, Diane, Deb - thanks so much for the support!

*********Evening Update**********
Today's reading from 100 Days of Weight Loss is about being aware of what we are eating.  Paying attention to flavors and textures.  No distractions like the TV or the computer (my biggest no no) or eating while driving.  No multi-tasking while eating!  We are reminded that we eat for two reasons - fuel and enjoyment.  Neither of the functions needs to be accompanied by anything except perhaps the company of others.

In the Beck Diet Solution book we are encouraged to plan for tomorrow.  A few minutes spend planning saves a lot of time in the long run.  Now that I'm home more and my life is less structured, I need to plan ahead - especially since there are many more variables in my life as far as kids go.  It is too easy to get caught up doing "filler" things and accomplishing nothing.  I just checked tomorrow's menu plan.  Bean Soup.  It's a good thing I planned ahead because the beans need to be soaked.  It took me 1 minute to put those beans in a bowl of water, but saved me a lot of time in having to come up with an alternative meal for tomorrow.  Less stress, more calm, more awareness at meal time.

I have officially completed 21 straight days of working out.  I have 21 stickers on my calendar.  Exercise is now a habit.  Tomorrow I start the next phase - my food plan.  I explained yesterday what that would be.  I will award myself a sticker for each day I accomplish my goal in that area.  I'm excited and nervous - but I can commit to 21 days.  I can.  I will.


Day 20 - 100 Days of Weight Loss - Half-off Special

Today's reading from 100 Day of Weight Loss is about monitoring your portion sizes.  One suggestion is to picture the size of a portion you would usually eat and then take half of that.  This kind of goes along with what I was posted earlier about asking for a doggie bag to be brought when my meal is served in a restaurant.  The chapter goes on to offer other suggestions for limiting your portion size.  One is telling yourself you will not go back for seconds.  Of course this doesn't mean loading your plate with double the amount in the first place.  Another suggestion is to decide in advance how much you are going to eat. This is actually a very powerful tool.  I've used it successfully at wedding receptions and family gatherings.  It's all about reclaiming your own power and not letting anything - food or people - to derail your efforts.
The Beck Diet Solution reading for today deals with mindset techniques for dealing with cravings.  I loved this chapter because it give me something to "do" rather than something not to do.  I don't know if that makes sense.  I might have written about it yesterday.  How it's easier to do something than to refrain from doing something.  If I'm not supposed to eat at night, then I need something to fill that gap.  When I quit smoking 10 years ago, part of what made quitting so hard was the fact that I didn't know how to make a substitute for whatever it was that smoking did for me.  In my smoking days, I could combat compulsive overeating by periods of eating less, and smoking was an important tool in that arsenal.  When I quit smoking I lost my "crutch."  A cigarette was the period on the end of a meal.  It signaled that it was time to stop eating.  It was something to look forward to when the food was gone.  Only a smoker could understand this, I suspect.

Monday I institute my food plan.  I will have 21 days straight of working out to my credit.  21 smiley faces on the calendar that Nicola gave me for Christmas. Exercise is now a habit.  Not working out is not an option.  Today I was excited about a project.  I was tempted to skip the workout, but I knew how great I would feel afterward, and how disappointed in myself I would be if I didn't work out.  I got on the treadmill for 20 minutes.  It's not the length, it's the consistency.  I'm glad that I didn't skip the treadmill today because later I was feeling bad about how I look.  I am so tired of trying not to catch glimpses of myself in mirrors.  I'm tired of not having things fit right.  I'm tired of not ever feeling like I look nice.

So, Monday starts the food plan.  For 21 days I will commit to following it.  I will start with a 2000 calorie plan divided into 4 meals. (blood sugar, remember?) I have a nutritional tracker.  There will be no rules about what I can and cannot eat (within reason) but my food has to fit within the 2000 calorie framework.  After 21 days I will fine tune my food choices but for now it is important for me to contain my eating to 4 times a day and to know that I am accountable here.

When I'm on the treadmill, I have a routine.  Today I set the incline to 4, the speed to 3, and read for the whole 20 minutes.  There is another book that I am reading in conjunction with the 100 Days and the Beck Diet Solution.  I'll write more on that book later.


Day 19 Hundred Days Challenge - Eat Reasonable Amounts

Will be back to update.  We finally got our wireless working.
Oooops, spoke too soon.  Wireless not working.  Grrrrrr 

Anyway, the reading for Day 19 is about learning to recognize a serving size.  Over the years the portion sizes in this country have gotten progressively larger so that we no longer know what constitutes one serving.  Yesterday, while running errands, I bought a single serving size of baked potato chips.  That's one ounce, folks.  I don't think I've ever eaten just one ounce of potato chips - not in recent memory anyway. I made it a point to eat them slowly.  I made that one ounce bag last for 20 minutes.  I savored each bite and made it last as long as possible.  When I finished the bag, I was finished eating.  I didn't crave more.  However, if I had been eating from a 6 oz bag in my usual fashion, I probably could have polished off the bigger bag in less time. We all know the science behind this, how it takes the brain 20 minutes to register that you have eaten, etc.  But if I was a logical person with regard to eating, I wouldn't have a weight problem to begin with.  For me it's all about slowing down and appreciating the moment.  I am learning to do that in other areas of my life.  Now it's time to apply that to eating.

Day 18 Hundred Days Challenge - Retrain Eating Habits

Today's reading from 100 Days of Weightloss is about learning to leave a little on the plate in order to reprogram our "Clean Plate" thinking.  The author suggests starting small - one pea at a time, so to speak.  One thing I've started doing is asking the waitress to bring a takeout container when my food is served.  Half of a restaurant serving is more than enough.
Record the thoughts and feelings you have while doing this exercise.  I know for me, when I eat at a restaurant, there is always that feeling of "this is the only time I'll be able to eat this, I just can't waste it."  But we know from yesterday's reading that it is wasted one way or another if I eat it just because it's there.

Today's reading and most likely tomorrow's are not really relevant for me in that it is about allowing yourself to experience hunger.  I can't really do that, but I can try an stop eating in between meals.


Day 17 - 100 Days Challenge - Stop Wasting Food

No diet book is complete without a chapter on how our mothers made us clean our plates in deference to the starving children in India, China, Armenia, Italy . . .
We all know, we knew it then, that cleaning our plates does not feed one hungry child.  I think the message was supposed to be "be grateful for what you have because others are not so blessed."   Unfortunately, our childish minds skewed the message.  Today's reading from "100 Days of Weight Loss" explores the meaning of waste.  It seems so common sense that many of us miss it.  You can waste food by throwing it in the garbage can, or you can waste food by treating yourself like a garbage can.  Puts it in perspective, don't you think?

The Beck Diet Solution talks today about differentiating hunger from craving or just plain boredom.  For me, hunger is fairly easy to identify because my blood sugar drops and I get the clammy shakes.  The challenge for me is that when this hits, I HAVE TO EAT and NOW.  If I let myself get to that point, it's too late because I start shoveling in food just to get my blood sugar up.  I don't enjoy it then, so I go back later for the "entertainment" value.  I don't have a choice but to schedule meals at certain times.  For me, that takes the guesswork out of it, but, I often eat at times when there is no meal or snack planned.  That's entertainment or emotional eating.  I have a feeling that if I could conquer that, I would be home free.

Day 16 - 100 days challenge - Nurturing power of food

I didn't post yesterday - completely forgot.

Today's reading from 100 Days of Weight Loss talks about the nurturing power of food.  I learned about that at an early age.  My mother died when I was a child and it was food that saw me through the tough years that followed.  I can't remember a time when I didn't use food to soothe the hurts in my life, to celebrate the joys in my life, to block out the worry in my life.  When food is used in this way, it makes the business of losing weight all the harder.  When recognition from other people isn't there - food is.   When we feel as if no one cares, food can mask the hurt . . . for a while.  I would venture to say that, barring some physical reason, emotional eating is the basis for most obesity.  It's easy to blame our parents or other people, but the ultimate responsibility for our condition lies with us.

The Beck Diet solution continues on with the business of setting up an exercise program, but that was already in place before I opened the book. 


Day 15: 100 Days Challenge - First Two Bites

Got up and got on the treadmill - that's 15 days straight!  This week I am going to work on food issues in preparation for starting my food plan next week.

Today's Focus from the 100 Days of Weight Loss is "First Two Bites"
Today's reading is about appreciating the flavors of food.We actually only really appreciate the first two bites.  All of the flavor satisfaction the we will receive is in those initial bites.  After that, the author says, we are just feeding.

Today's lesson:
1. Choose one of your favorite foods and then focus on all the details and tastes of the first two bites.  Let yourself appreciate the flavors.
I tried this with a piece of cheesecake.

2. After the first two bites, stop eating and get rid of the rest of the food.  In your notebook, write down the details about this experience.
I actually ate more than two bites, but I did not eat the whole piece.  It really is true that once you eat the first two bites, if the rest isn't sitting in front of you, you really don't crave it.  But the key is getting the rest of it out of sight.  At least for me it is.

3. With each food you eat today, pay close attention to the first two bites.  Notice how they taste in comparison to the rest of the food.

From the Beck book:
Today's reading was a continuation of yesterday's in that we are instructed to choose an exercise program. The book says that exercise is necessary if you want to lose weight.  Researchers are now saying that exercise has no bearing on weight loss.  What they don't take into consideration is that when you exercise, the weight you lose is mostly fat, not lean muscle mass.  I think it's disingenuous to lead the public to believe that exercise plays no role in weight loss.  Besides allowing more fat loss and less muscle loss, exercise is good for the heart, tones the body, alleviates mild depression and stress, and just plain makes a body feel good. Exercise is one of those "just do it" kind of things.  


Day 14: 100 Days Challenge - Morning affects evening

This is one of those days where I wonder why I even bother to do this.  I usually wake up in a pretty good mood, but not today.  My inner brat is telling me "Oh, just skip it today."  But I will get on the treadmill because I am doing this for me, not anyone else.  I know today's weigh-in will be a bust, but I will note it, move on, and try to do better this week.  Off I go to the treadmill.

I have to confess.  I did not get on the treadmill.. I WENT OUTSIDE!  Yeah!!!!!  Our 3 grandchildren live in the mile so I put on my running shoes and went out to deliver Valentines.  It was a nice 1/2 hour workout!!!  Clayton and Claire live 1/4 mile to the east of us and then you round the corner, and Madison lives another 1/4 mile north.  After I delivered Madison's I headed up the dead end.  It was so great to get out, but it's still a little cold for my poor lungs yet. I felt it on the leg back because I was heading into the wind.

As for the weigh-in, I am up 4 pounds.  That is now history and I am moving on!  I will be back with today's lesson later.  I usually read it on the treadmill and as we know, I did not get on the treadmill today.

Evening Update****************

I slept most of Valentine's day away.  Guess I was tired or something.  Here is a picture of the birthday card that Clayton made for me.

The child does not miss a detail.  The big round person is me. (Guess I better start that food plan). The little blob on my head is my hair.  I wear it in a clip and that is the top of my clipped hair.  The littler person is baby Madison.  She has fingers.  I'm not sure why I don't.  :)

Today's Focus from the 100 Days of Weight Loss is "Morning affects evening"
This was actually about how what you eat in the morning can affect your eating for the rest of the day.  This morning I glanced at the title, but didn't have time to read it.  I was thinking about how getting right up and hitting the road or the treadmill affects the rest of my day.  

Here is the actual focus:
1. Set a goal of eating breakfast every day for the next week.  In your notebook, record what you ate.
2. If you wish, you can split your breakfast into two mini-meals and eat the second one mid-morning.
3. Plan a couple of options for late-afternoon snacks.  List them in your notebook so you'll remember your ideas.


Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution is selecting an exercise plan.
I am already working that plan.  I am proud of myself that I am keeping my commitment to exercise each day and to post to my blog.  It was so nice to get outside today.  I think I actually coughed less through the day.  But I'm going to wait until the temps are just a little higher.  Normally, 26 degrees would be a good temp for me, but with the respiratory problems I've had this winter, I think it might be wise to wait.  It's strange that I feel like I work harder when I'm on the treadmill, but my HRM registers much higher when I am outside.


Day 13: 100 days challenge - Oops, I forgot to eat!

I have to laugh a bit at today's topic because forgetting to eat is not something I do very often.  But the chapter goes beyond forgetting to eat.  It talks about skipping meals, often in order to be able to splurge later.  As the old saying goes, "You can't fool Mother Nature."  This is also something I don't do very often because of my blood sugar.  I can't skip meals because if I do, my sugar drops and I get to feeling very queasy.
Today's Focus from the 100 Days of Weight Loss is "Oops, I forgot to eat!"
1. Write down the time of the day when you plan to eat your meals and snacks.

2. Make an effort to eat within 30 minutes of these scheduled times.  At the end of the day, review your eating patterns to see how well you did.
3.  If you tend to skip meals or forget to eats, set an alarm to remind yourself when it's time for fuel.


Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution is about getting prepared to diet.
This chapter focuses on getting ready to make room in your life for the things you need to do to really be committed to your new lifestyle.  In the beginning it may seem that planning these things takes time, but I have found that a little planning makes for a lot of extra time in my day.  When it comes to time, I think the fuel or filler thing may apply.  Do we spend our time doing things that feed the mind and soul, or do we spend it in "filler" type things like computer games etc.  I know I am guilty of getting caught up on games.  I try now to set a timer and limit myself to about 15 minutes 1 or 2 times a day.  In the book there is a scheduling chart, but we all know how to make one of these.  Mostly today's reading is about setting priorities.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day.  Because this was not a good week food-wise, I do not expect to have lost - in fact I will probably have gained.  But I will use that and what I've learned to make next week a better week.

Today my routine changed.  I am proud to say that I still got on the treadmill and did my 30 minutes.  My inner brat was trying very hard to talk me out of it, but I committed to 100 days, and that's what I'm going to do.  I think I may go outside tomorrow if it isn't too cold or windy.


Day 12: 100 days challenge - Fuel or Filler

I'm very late getting here.  Today is my birthday and I've had people over most of the day.  I did my workout this morning. Food was in its place for the first half of the day.  After Mass this morning, the church staff took me out to brunch.  Since I had to eat breakfast early, this worked out really well.  I had a chef salad.  I came home, did some cleaning, and then the family arrived.  I didn't really plan ahead so I didn't do very well with the food.  But the first half of the day was right on track.  Baby steps. 
Today's Focus from the 100 Days of Weight Loss is "Fuel or Filler."
Today we think about the kinds of foods we eat.  Fuel foods are those that supply our bodies with nutrients while filler foods are basically those that fall in the junk food category.   "Filler drains energy. "  "Plan your fuel.  To avoid getting trapped without fuel, pack your own meal."   Again, common sense advice, but we need to be prepared.  When caught without "fuel" we are sometimes left with no choice but to eat whatever is there.  We need to make sure that the "whatever" is good stuff, and that only happens if we plan ahead.
Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution is about arranging your environment.
This chapter spent a lot of time giving advice on how to keep food out of your line of sight while getting used to your food plan. Given the right frame of mind, I can resist anything.  But just the word itself almost seems to have failure built into it.  Think about what resist means.  It seems to have a time frame.  You resist until you can't. Does that make sense?  Avoid is another tricky word.  You can avoid something until it catches you off guard.  For me, it's more productive to begin thinking about "filler" foods in another way.  I can rearrange my kitchen, I can put tempting foods out of sight, but at some point I will be confronted with a choice.  Remember, all action is preceded by thought.  I think I would be better served to learn to think of these foods, not as tempting, but as destructive to my body.  This kind of goes hand in hand with the 100 Days fuel or filler.  When I think of filler, I think of those packing peanuts.  Not very appetizing.  I bet if I worked on linking every filler food in my life with the prospect of eating packing peanuts, maybe after a while those foods wouldn't be so tempting.  Maybe I could go one step further.  Maybe I could make the link in my mind to a time when I was at a good weight.  When I see fuel foods, maybe that picture should be in my mind.  And maybe when I look at filler foods, I can think about the picture someone took of me at a wedding and how upset I was at the way I looked.  If these mental images were to pop into my mind each time I see a food, what kind of difference would that make in my choices?


Day 11: 100 days challenge - Two purposes of food

Food is not where it should be for me, yet.  I am still overeating and eating for the wrong reasons. But - by golly - I have gotten up and done my treadmill thing every single day. As far as food goes, I do pretty well until about 3:00 o'clock and then it becomes a huge challenge.  I am working on solutions to getting through the late afternoon and evening, but I am proud of the progress I have made.  When I worked at the school, it wasn't bad until I got home because during the day there was structure.  Now my days vary and I am still trying to get used to being home.  I am learning to be more flexible and adaptable but transitions are hard for me and, even though it's been over a year, I am still in transition.

Today's Focus from the 100 Days of Weight Loss is Two Purposes of Food
We are encouraged to eat for only 2 reasons:  fuel and to appreciate flavors.
At first that seemed a little strange because we are usually told when dieting that food should be viewed only as fuel.  Appreciating flavors is a different concept and I had to think about it a while.  I can remember the last time I overate, there was a point where I wasn't really enjoying it anymore - wasn't appreciating the flavors - I was just eating to empty the bag, as it were.  Goodness knows the world will stop turning on its axis if I leave 2 cookies in the cookie can.  Gotta finish those cookies - all or nothing.  You see how it goes?  Those of us who overeat often, most often, eat to fill an emotional void.  And even though I know intellectually that there isn't a food in the world to fill an emotional void, our needy inner child denies it and keeps us searching for the thing that will make the "pain" stop.  When I used to smoke, it was easy to light up a cigarette and have a cup of coffee.  When I quit smoking, food took its place - that's when my weight problems really got out of control.

Today I told myself I would eat at 9:00, 12:00, 3:00, and 6:00.  When noon rolled around, I was definitely hungry. I had to postpone eating because there was something else I had to attend to.  For me, hunger isn't just a growling in the stomach.  I often get the "clammy shakes" that accompany low blood sugar.  By 3 o'clock my resolve was crumbling and by 6:00 it was out the window. 

The other day I related the state of the house with the state of my diet.  I have been working on decluttering the house.  (I have been a fan of Flylady for many years.)  There are areas of the house that look really good.  This week we were working on the kitchen and I chose cleaning the refrigerator as my project.  I got most of it cleaned out and when I open the door to get something, I feel a thrill of joy at seeing how nice it looks.    That's me from 9-3 in the diet realm.  Then there are areas of the house that are going to be very tough to tackle.  But do I leave the refrigerator a mess because I have a dungeon downstairs that needs work?  No, I do what I can and slowly but surely I get better at what I'm doing.  The same with diet. There have been 2 or 3 times in my life when I lost a significant amount of weight.  Oddly enough, I was not "on a diet" any of those times.  The weight came off a pound here and a pound there.  I wasn't really obsessing about losing weight and it came off.  A declutter of the house here and there, a declutter of the body here and there - and before you know it, you're where you want to be. 

Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution is about getting a diet coach.
This one really won't work for me.  I once had an OA sponsor.  My doctor and I had worked out an eating plan which I was following and doing very well on.  But gradually my sponsor kept suggesting more and more changes and I began to panic.  We parted ways.  I appreciate the support she gave me, but I think she overstepped when she tried to supplant her ideas for those that my doctor and I had agreed on.  For the time being I am going to rely on the support I have found here, but will keep an open mind about the diet coach thing.  In the future, when I am feeling more secure in my food plan, I may post my menu here.  For now, I am proud of the fact that I have posted every single day of this challenge.  Knowing that there are people reading my thoughts keeps me coming here to post.


Day 10: 100 days challenge - Appreciate good support

Diane, Ida, Deb(Jinx), I totally appreciate you!!!
There's not a lot to write about this chapter.  It's pretty much common sense and just plain manners.  We are advised to respond warmly when someone compliments us.  False modesty or self-deprecation can make the person complimenting us feel as if they being minimized.  That is something I had not really considered, although I do know the feeling of being dismissed when offering someone praise.  It felt to me as if the person was saying that the praise I offered meant nothing to them.  That may not have been the case, but it's how I felt.
Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution is about eating slowly and mindfully.
This is something I am guilty of - I often just stuff my mouth without even being aware.  This often happens when I am upset - like just a few minutes ago.  I don't know why it is that some people can make a really good day evaporate by just making a snotty or critical comment.  Not everyone has that effect on me.  The closer the person, the faster the joy disappears.  So I have a choice right now.  And I am choosing to have a pity party for 10 minutes and then I am shoving it out the door.  Refreshments will not be served at the pity party.

Now, back to eating slowly and mindfully.  This is a very powerful tool, but it's also one that I often forget.  It goes hand in hand with making sure that we are seated when we eat.  We eat deliberately and mindfully.  And we are less likely to forget that we ate.


Day 9: 100 days challenge - Here's what I want

This morning when my alarm went off, I did not want to get up.  I awoke several times last night with coughing fits and just generally did not sleep well.  I argued with myself, but knew the whole time that I would be getting up.  I got on the treadmill at about 7:45 and went about 20 minutes.  My lungs still hurt, and with not much exertion.  If this thing isn't any better by Friday, I'm going in again.  I didn't cough a whole lot today so maybe this thing is winding down.  Anyway, I did my twenty minutes.  The food end of things is not good.  I am stress eating and that has to change.  I hadn't planned to implement the food plan until I'd been working out for 3 week solid.  What I am going to do is limit meals to 3 with one snack if needed and nothing in between unless there is a blood sugar issue.

Today's Focus from the 100 Days of Weight Loss is Here's what I want
In this section we are advised to be very specific about telling people exactly what we need from them.  This one I don't really agree with.  My plan may be a major part of my life, but it isn't for others.  The people that care about me - I'll know where they're coming from.  The people that don't - let's face it, why give them ammo.  Today's reading from this book was not very helpful for me.

Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution is about making sure we are sitting down when we eat. 
Now sitting down to eat is not a huge problem for me because I most always sit down when I eat - at the computer, in front of the TV - you get the picture.  No, we are to eat at the table - like civilized human beings.  There is some really great thinking behind this that I hadn't considered.  When eating, the visual is as important as the actual eating.  Beck says that seeing the food spread out in front of you makes you more aware of what you are eating, and it is more satisfying because more than one sense is involved.  When I was working at the school, I ate sitting down, but since I didn't get a lunch hour I was pretty much on call. I was entitled to 2 fifteen minute breaks, but where I worked that never really materialized.  Someone always needs something in a computer lab. I can't remember one time that I ever took more than two bites without having to jump up.  The good thing was, I didn't try to eat other than at lunch.  The bad thing was, I never really felt like I had eaten so when I got home, everything was fair game. Now that I'm down to one job, I am around home most days.  Some days there are kids here, other days not - it all depends on what's going on in my kids' lives.  So . .  my days do not have a set structure, except for the first hour in the morning when I have decided that the workout is non-negotiable.  That's why I was able to get my tush out of bed this morning!  

What I need to do is make a structured - not rigid - but structured food plan.  For now the structure will be breakfast, dinner, supper and a snack. (We are farmers, our big meal-dinner-is at noon.) In the next couple of weeks I will be planning a perpetual shopping list (thank you Flylady) of staples to keep around.  The next step will be to generalize some menus.  I have control of breakfast, lunch, and snack most days.  Supper we usually fend for ourselves.  It will be the times we go out to eat that I will have to plan for, but eating out is not usually a problem for me.  My biggest adjustment will be adhering to those 4 set times to eat..  


Day 8: 100 days challenge - Help me please . . .

I got on the treadmill at about 7:15. When I got up, I felt like something the cat dragged in.  I didn't sleep well because of this cough that I have.  I subscribe to a website called "Meditations for Weight Loss." When I logged on this morning, I found a weight loss meditation in my inbox.  It was about not putting off what we need to do.  I laughed when I read this part.  " Don't wait until Monday.  Don't wait until your cough is gone. Start now."
 In the past I might have waited until this cough was gone. My lungs were aching but instead of ditching the workout, I backed the incline down a bit and did it anyway.  It's all about consistancy.  

Today's Focus from the 100 Days of Weight Loss is Help Me Please . . .
This chapter deals with telling others what we do and don't need from them regarding weight loss.

For instance I don't need . . .
1. someone telling me, "You haven't done it before what makes you think you'll do it now?" 
2. someone eyeballing my every bite and questioning whether I'm supposed to have it.
3. pushing food on me when I have already said no.
4. someone telling me about the diet I SHOULD be on.

I do need . . .
1. support and encouragement.
2. a pat on the back when I've done well  (Thank you Ida, Jinx, and Diane - you ladies are very good at that.)
3. people to understand that I am doing what I need to do.
4. people to understand that this isn't about vanity any more.

It's strange how weight issues are connected to other things in our lives.  On Monday nights I watch a show called Hoarders.  It dawned on me that many of these people are overweight.  I know that the state of my house and the state of my mind are directly connected.  That is not true of all people, but it is definitely true of me.  When the house is in chaos, most likely my life is in chaos too.  At the moment I am attacking the house chunk by chunk.  A visitor might see a mess, but I see daily small improvements.  The same is true for weight loss.  You may not see the number on the scale going down, but chunk by chunk I am making changes that will eventually get me where I want to go.
Today's Lesson from 100 Days of  Weight Loss
1. In your journal, wirte a list of things that people are always welcome to say or do in regard to your weight-loss efforts.  

2. Create another list of things you don't ever want people to do, such as: snatch your plate away, give you lectures, or admonish, "You're not supposed to be eating that."
The exception here would be family members who know about my blood sugar issues and are genuinely concerned about my health - and by family members I mean kids and spouse - no one else.
3. Read both lists to your support people including your spouse, your children, and your best friend.
This I probably won't do, because those people know what they can and cannot get away with, already.
Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution is about choosing an eating plan. 
 We are advised to begin thinking about what our eating plan will be - structured or flexible.
I know that I do better with a flexible plan because of my "all or nothing" perfectionist thinking.  (Hmm, that applies to housework as well.)  I know that I will be following a plan that is built around the glycemic load because of my blood sugar issues.  I used to love Atkins.  I think Atkins is a very sound plan and works vry well for those who follow it.  Because my blood sugar tends to fall to low on that plan, I can't do the ongoing weight loss phase of Atkins, however the maintenance plan, which South Beach, Sugar Busters and other are very much like, is one that could work for me.  I have some time to think about it yet.  I really need to prepare mentally because I can already hear my inner brat groaning. 
Once I accept the fact that I have to follow a healthy eating plan for life, dieting will be easier!  (in fact it will no longer be dieting - it will be a way of life.) My preparations will be to formulate of list of foods that will be staples - foods I like around which my plan will be built


Day 7: 100 days challenge - Weigh-in day - I can do it!

Well, it's weigh-in day here on the ranch. I am down 4 pounds. Not bad considering that I haven't instituted my food plan yet. That will begin on day 22. They say it takes 21 days to establish a habit. I will have established the workout habit. Then it will be time to start working on the food.

Today's workout was on the Wii Fit. Did the bike ride, step, advanced step, basic run and the tree pose from the yoga section. Can't say it was much of a workout, but Sundays are going to be fun days as far as working out goes - more to keep consistency than anything else. I don't want to take an "off" day. My last lapse started with an "off" day.

Because today I used the Wii Fit, I didn't do my reading yet. I will be back later to update.


Today's Focus from the 100 Days of Weight Loss is "I can do it!"
We are advised to become our own cheerleaders.  For some of us this is a tough assignment because we are so used to beating ourselves up for failing.  Would we do this to anyone else?  Then why do we do it to ourselves?

Today's Lesson from 100 Days of  Weight Loss
1. Tell yourself "I can do it" at least 10 times.  Use this to cheerlead yourself through the entire day!
This one is pretty easy.  After all, how many times have we repeated negative thoughts to ourselves?  I plan to use this to drown out the negative noise in my head.

2. In your notebook, write, "I can do it because . . ." and then add a few supportive phrases such as "I'm capable of doing anything."
I can do it because I am not a quitter.
I can do it to show myself that I can care about myself and still care about others.
I can do it because I am looking forward to all the good things that will come with it.
I can do it because I am changing how I think and feel about myself.

3. Read your phrases often, using them to reinforce your goals and build your enthusiasm.


Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution (day on continued)
Make your Advantages Response Card and use it . .
1. . .  daily at scheduled times.
2.  . . .whenever you find yourself struggling with cravings, temptation, or sabotaging thoughts.

Today's to-do list
_______________ Create My Advantages Response Card
_______________  Write, record, or post these advantages elsewhere
_______________  Implement a reminder system (to remind you to read your card several times a day.  
My reminder system is whenever I find myself heading for the kitchen. 

I also implemented a little reward system.  Today I put $5.00 for each pound lost in a special box.  As I reach smaller goals along the way, that money will be used to reward my progress.

(Just to clarify, when I use colored text, these are not my own words but are quoted from whichever book I am discussing.)


Day 6: 100 days challenge - Protect your program

Well today started off slow.  I allowed myself to sleep in because I didn't have kids coming over. I planned to do a fun Wii Fit Plus workout, but first I couldn't get my remote to sync.  Fixed that, but then the battery died on my Wii Fit board and I can't find the recharger that Nina and Jamie got me for Christmas.  The whole time, my inner brat was chanting, "skip it for today, skip it for today, it's getting late, skip it for today."  I successfully ignored her and headed for the treadmill.

Today's focus from "100 Days" is Protect Your Program.
Some days it doesn't take much to convince us to veer off course.  There are 2 particular times for me that are slippery slopes.  One is at night and the other is at large family get-togethers.  In the first instance I am the culprit.  In the second I am usually the culprit but at times others exert their influence.  I have not officially started the food aspect of this program yet because I want my exercise habit firmly in place.  But I am trying to avoid eating at night.  I am gradually instituting a nightly cup of tea habit.  I'm not a huge fan of tea, but at night it's nice to have a cup.  I am using that time to remind myself of the success I am having at getting up and doing my workout.  I am gradually using up items that I plan to discontinue buying.  I have decided to quit buying store bought cookies.  If we have cookies in the house, they will be baked here.  I can shovel down 10 oreos and not get as much enjoyment as I do from one home-baked cookie.  When I bake cookies there is a whole "experience" that goes along with it that feeds the soul.  I can stop at one home baked cookie.  The same goes for home baked bread.

The other issue is family gatherings.  As I said, I usually manage to sabotage myself, but sometimes there are other people involved.  I can remember one instance at just such a get-together when a family member urged me to have a piece of pie. I can normally take or leave pie so this wasn't a big deal.  I said I didn't care for any at the moment, maybe later. About 10 minutes later the family member approached me again and insisted that I take some because there might not be any left.  I again said maybe later.  Another 10 minutes and she was at my elbow again.  I'm not sure exactly what was going on, but I was getting ticked off.  I took a piece of pie, waited until she left the room and then left it on the table.  Someone else eventually ate it.  For some people food is love and when you refuse their food, you are rejecting them.  I think that may have been the sub plot that was unfolding.  I don't know.  One thing I do know is that I am not responsible for someone else's emotional well-being.  Well, I am in the sense that I am not going to mindlessly hurt people, but I am also not going hurt myself in the process.

The reason I bring up this incident is because the book suggests saying "not just yet. . ."  That doesn't always work if a food pusher has an agenda.  What I need to do before such events is have a talk with myself and establish the ground rules.  I may have something off plan, but I will decide in advance what that will be and I will stick to it.  It has helped me to tell myself that I will divide my plate into quarters.  1/4 will be veggies, 1/4 will be meat or protein, 1/4 will be bread or something similar, and the other 1/4 will be something I don't normally allow myself.    At family get-togethers, Bette and I have a tradition of clearing up and washing dishes. I usually only see Bette two or three times a year so we spend the time visiting or singing.  It's fun.  It also helps take some of the load off of Judy who usually hosts these gatherings.  As soon as Bette and I are finished eating, we discreetly begin the cleaning process.  This gets us both out of eating mode and keeps us from vegging out the rest of the day.  Having something concrete to do after dinner sets a limit to the eating and gets us away from the food.

This chapter also advises that you don't discuss your "diet."  I have found this to be great advice.  When I was on Atkins and other people found out about it, they all had something to day - mostly negative.  I heard it all from "you'll ruin your kidneys" to "you know Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack, don't you?"  (Actually he did not die of a heart attack.  His death had nothing to do with his diet.  But I digress.) I felt like I had to constantly defend my food choices and it got old really fast.  I eventually just said, I'm eating less and moving more.  That usually shuts them up.  Others, who were really looking for answers, I spent more time with.  So there are some people I will talk to and others I will just mollify with the diet and exercise answer.
The book suggests a kind of mantra ( I don't really like that word, but I can't think of another way to put it), "I must protect my program at all costs."  Overeaters Anonymous has a phrase that is much the same.  "I do not eat, no matter what."   It doesn't matter what phrase you use, the important thing is that you have something that you can have running through your head to squelch the negative voices that seek to derail you.

Today's Lesson from 100 Days of  Weight Loss
1. Watch for chances to repond to food invitations by using the line, "Not just yet; I'm going to wait a little while."
I find that when thin people say this, they are usually left alone.  This technique doesn't always work for me, but if it does for you, definitely use it.

2. Identify at least three high-risk times or events in your notebook and write down how you'll protect your program during each of these.
In addition to the two times that I mentioned above, I also eat if I feel stressed or worried.  It's almost as if I am telling myself that I don't deserve to be healthy if my kids are struggling or if my friends are hurting. I also feel the urge to eat in order to procrastinate. I have a set response to this.  I have written it down and I look at it when I am tempted to use food as a tranquilizer.  This card contains the phrase:  "Eating will only created another problem."  Then I have a list of 15 minutes activities to choose from.  Usually, completing one of those activities makes me feel better than food would have.

3. Do at least one thing today that reinforces your determination to protect your program at all costs. 

Today's lesson from The Beck Diet Solution
Record the Advantage of Losing Weight
On a 3x5 index card write out the advantages losing weight.  You may think that you could never forget why you want to lose weight, but when you are face-to-face with temptation, all of those reasons fly right out of your head.  I have found it helpful to excuse myself from the situation and head for the ladies room.  I pull out my index card and give myself a pep talk.  It usually works.

Take a moment to think about how weight loss will impact the following areas in your life.
1.  Your love life, friendships, family, career, and social life. 
2.  Your energy level and participation in hobbies and recreational activities.
3.  Your body, health, self-image, and mental outlook.

Be specific in your answers.  Example:  Family: My energy level will increase and I won't tire as quickly when playing with the grandkids.   Hobbies:  I'll have more time and energy to do the things that give me joy.
Just as gaining weight and feeling bad have a momentum, so does gaining control of your life and experiencing small victories along the way. 

Extra advantages:
1. Your cravings will diminish
2. You won't struggle over whether or not to eat something you shouldn't
3. You'll feel good when you resist unplanned eating
4. You won't feel guilty and demoralized because you gave in to cravings

(Just to clarify, when I use colored text, these are not my own words but are quoted from whichever book I am discussing.)


Day 5: 100 days challenge - Magic Notebook - Eat it another Time

It is day 5 and I am very proud of myself that I have gotten up every single morning and started my day with a workout.  I am so looking forward to lighter mornings so that I can do my running/jogging route.  As the days get longer, I anticipate spring and warmer days.  However, I enjoy each season in its time.  I do love winter and everything that goes with it except dangerous, slippery roads. 

Today's topic from "100 Days" is the Magic Notebook. The Magic Notebook is a suggestion, not a command. The purpose of the Magic Notebook is to free our thoughts from obsessions.  It works like this.  There may be a food that you want that isn't in your plan.  You write it down.  "Just because you think of a food doesn't mean you have to eat it." But you don't have to say "no."  You can say "not now."  (This works with grandkids too.)  Not now sounds much better than NO!  I think that speaks to the little kid in all of us. The author goes further to say that you might write down when you will allow yourself a certain portion of the food - when and how much you will have.  This frees you up from having to argue with yourself.  Arguing with a 3-year old can be exhausting.  How much more exhausting is it to argue with yourself when you are constantly with yourself?

Today's Lesson
1. Whenever you think about a particular food you want, write it down in your notebook.
Have you ever wanted to eat something but just couldn't identify what it was you wanted?  When I get like that I find myself pawing through the cupboards taking a bit of this or that and never really finding what I want.  So I end up doing a lot of mindless eating with very little satisfaction. Having a list of things you like might save you from eating through an entire bag of chips when what you really might have enjoyed was a small bowl of really good ice cream.
2. Plan that you'll eat it at another time.  If you wish, add the amount you'll have and how often you'll fit it into your program.
For me, right now, I am better off leaving "trigger" foods off this list, or noting that I may have them in a few weeks or a month.  Or maybe I will limit those foods to special family occasions and not buy them at all.

3. Stretch the times further apart for eating this food.  You may discover that after a while, certain foods don't seem as important to you as they once did.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am also reading "The Beck Diet Solution."  I read both of my books on the treadmill in the morning. This book is a 42 day program.  I've been reading the preliminary prep for working this program.  This morning I ended at Chapter 5.  This chapter is titled:  Week 1 Get Ready: Lay the Groundwork

These are the skills that we will be working on:

1. Talk back to your sabotaging thoughts
2. Reduce the frequency and intensity of cravings.
3. Remain motivated to follow your diet (plan), even when you experience intense cravings.
4. Be more conscious of every bite.
5. Increase your satisfaction during and after meals so you're less likely to reach for second helpings.
6. Solve problems that have caused you to go off diets in the past.
7. Feel more confident about your ability to follow your diet inconsistently, even when the going gets tough.
8. Feel more accountable for every calorie you consume.

You'll use Cognitive Therapy techniques to prepare your mind and environment for dieting.

I had considered not tackling the Beck book until after I was done with the 100 Days Challenge, but both book compliment each other so well that I decided to use them together.



Day 4: 100 days challenge - Boundaries, not diets

I had absolutely no chance to get on the blog today.  I got up at 6:00 and did my workout.  In fact, I jumped right up when my alarm went off.  I got in my 30 minutes and felt great about it.  Today was one of those days where if I had put my workout off, I never would have gotten around to it. Let's be honest - I would have opted not to do it at all.

Today's lesson addresses that "all or nothing" mentality that I suspect most of us have.  Diets are rigid, boundaries are moveable.  and let's face it, no one ever does this dieting thing perfectly.  Boundaries are much friendlier than diets.  Guidelines are more forgiving than rules.  I know that I have a problem with rules.  Tell me I "can't" have something and I'll look for a reason why I should have it.  But if I deal with guidelines, well, those are much less threatening.  Yes, there need to be boundaries, there needs to be an eating plan, but I know myself well enough to know that "rigid" doesn't work for me.  The "Hundred Days" book advises us to think of this journey as a path.  Paths narrow and widen.  Some days we find it easy to stay within narrow boundaries and other days we need to widen the road.  The important thing is that we keep moving forward.  Yesterday I talked about how it makes no sense to stay down because you fall down.  This is the same analogy.  If I were to veer off the path, would it make sense to tell myself that I will keep going further off the road because I missed a step.  This is the kind of skewed thinking that keeps us from seeing how the pounds are piling up one at a time.  Yet we want them to come off two or three at a time.  "Boundaries should give you benefits, not punishment!"  Why do we think it's okay to punish ourselves for things we would forgive in others?  "Depending on your needs, you can simply adjust the edges of your plan to fit where you are in life. By doing this, you'll be far more successful than if you punish yourself every time you step off the road."

Today's Lesson

1. In your notebook, draw a line down the middle of the page, creating two columns.

2. Label one column "Narrow road" for your diet plan.  Label the other "Wider road" for your maintenance or alternative eating plan.

3. Under the titles, define your eating and exercise plans for each of the roads.  Then deicde on ways you can be flexible with them without losing sight of the healthy road you want to follow.

I need to think on this exercise for a bit.  I haven't actually formally started my eating plan.  For the moment I am concentrating on my commitment to get on the treadmill every morning.  I am trying to listen to my body and define hunger.  I am being forgiving with the food at the moment in because I know if I try to make changes all at once, I will be overwhelmed and give up.  For now I am congratulating myself on 4 days of consistant morning workouts. Considering my mindset for the last few months, that is huge.


Day 3: 100 days challenge - Do it anyway

Watched Biggest Loser last night. As much as I don't like Miggy and her dramatics, I do admire her for doing what needed to be done in the face of huge odds. She managed to drop 5 pounds after a week that included an emergency appendectomy and a proscription against all exercise except walking. This is a very good example of someone who is committed. She is also a poster child for today's topic - Do it anyway. She had every excuse in the book to just walk away in defeat, but she didn't.
Kudos to Miggy!

Today's Lesson from "100 Days of Weight Loss":

1. In your diet or exercise plan, identify a task you don't feel like doing, and then do it anyway!
I don't like getting out of bed early. I like being up early, but I don't like the act of actually getting up out of a comfy bed. I've been doing it anyway because I've discovered that once I'm up, I enjoy the early morning, and I am more productive the rest of the day. When my alarm goes off, I get up. Period. Of course getting up early is much easier when I get to bed at a decent hour. It has been my habit to go to bed at midnight. I like that hour. There are no demands on my time. I can do what I want and watch what I want. Even though I would rather stay up until midnight, I am now going to bed at 11:00.

2. Notice how it feels to accomplish a goal by taking a "no matter what" approach to it.
My favorite feeling in the world is finishing a workout. If I don't get up early, I most likely will not get a workout in. Leaving it until later most often results in rationalizing why I should wait another day. Yesterday I only got in 20 minutes. When I was late getting on the treadmill, it would have been easy to rationalize not doing the workout at all since it wouldn't be the "perfect" 30 minutes I had planned. Perfectionism. I will have more to say about that later.

3. In your notebook, make a list of actions you plant to stick with today, regardless of how you feel at the moment.
I'll get to this one later

In addition the the "100 Days of Weight Loss" book, I am also reading a book called The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain. This book focuses on a "cognitive therapy" approach. It teaches one how to change the thinking that leads to destructive behavior. No action is performed without first having a thought. All behavior is preceded by a thought process and a decision. Last night after dinner, I was stressing about something. I ate several handfuls of chocolate animal cookies. I was over my calorie allotment for the day. For the rest of the evening I struggled with thoughts of wanting to eat even though I wasn't hungry. I could feel the negative thoughts flooding in.  "You failed, you might as well eat and start over tomorrow."  Then I remembered something I read in the Beck Diet Solution.
"Every time you resist eating something you shouldn't, you're strengthening your tendency to resist in the future. However, each time you give in and eat something you shouldn't, you're strengthening your tendency to give in.
So whenever you feel the urge to eat something you're not supposed to, think about which muscle you really want to strengthen. If you want to lose weight and keep it off permanently, you need to take every opportunity to strengthen your resistance muscle and to weaken your giving-in muscle."

This makes sense to me because after I have slipped or when I'm confronted with difficult choices, I feel as if resisting is a void - a negative action. To think about actually "doing" something really helps me. Another challenge in weight loss is what to do after a slip-up, be it big or small,. with that feeling of being hopelessly catapulted on to disaster. Having a plan in place for those times (even though we tell ourselves that THIS time there will be no slip-ups,) gives me a better chance of succeeding in the long run. I said in an earlier post, it isn't the slip-ups that do us in, it's what we do afterward that makes the difference. My general response to messing up it to continue messing up and tell myself I will start again tomorrow. To see how irrational that kind of thinking is, imagine that if you fell. Would you tell yourself, "I'll just sit here until tomorrow and then get up and start again." I suspect that the what's going on in my head has more to do with my weight issues than what is going in my mouth. Yes, what I eat matters, but before I eat, I have to think. The thinking needs to change.


Day 2: 100 days challenge - Interested or Committed?

Just heard on the radio that the groundhog saw his shadow.  That means 6 more weeks of winter.  To my way of thinking if winter only lasts 6 more weeks, that WILL be an early spring.

Anyway, I got my workout in this morning.  It was only 20 minutes this morning because I putzed around to much.

Today's Lesson from "100 Days of Weight Loss":

1. Decide that you will always be committed to you weight-loss plan, not just interested.
This may have been one of my problems.  Maybe I've always been interested and not committed.  Commitment means you do what needs to be done, even when it's not what you really want to be doing.

2. In your notebook, describe how you will stick with your program, no matter what.
It is my habit, and not a good one, to find excuses not to do something.  If it's inconvenient or not fun, I can always find a reason to avoid doing something.  The strange thing is that once I'm on the treadmill or out the door, I almost always enjoy the workout.  I think transitions are hard for me.  In fact, I know that transitions are a problem for me.  I'm not sure why.  It's something I should probably think about.
3. Do at least one thing today that demonstrates that you are truly committed.  For example, take a walk or eat your vegetables - no matter what.
Today I got up at 6:00 again so that I could get my workout in before the kids got here.  I actually like to get up early - well, I don't really enjoy the getting up part, but once I'm up, I am much more productive than if I sleep in.

Yesterday I didn't get in as much water as I would have liked, but all in all, it was a good day.  I did some decluttering in the laundry room.  I mention that here because I suspect that I hang onto stuff for the same reason I hang on to excess weight.  It's not that I can't lose weight, it's that I don't let myself.  It's almost like I think I will be losing an important part of myself.  It dawned on me that this is exactly the same thought process I have when I am trying to get rid of stuff.  In both cases I think it would help if I could focus on how freeing it would be to clear the stuff and the weight out of my life. Instead of thinking of the weight and the clutter as insulation against bad things, I would be better served to think of those things as barriers to being the kind of person I want to be.  How many of us put on weight to keep others at bay.  I know my last significant weight gain came when a man at church said something VERY inappropriate to me.  I think subconsciously I packed on the weight to keep things like that from happening.  But I have to consider what is more damaging to me - having to put someone in his place or having to deal with the humiliation of excess weight day after day.  Something to think about.


Day 1: 100 days challenge - I Used To Be That Way

Well, today is the day.  I hopped out of bed at 6:00 am ready to tackle the first day of the challenge.  My little granddaughter comes over at 8:00 on Mondays and Tuesdays.  I have figured out that leaving the workout until later in the day rarely works. Today's workout will be on the treadmill since it is still dark outside at this time of the year.  Also, I am still battling a sore throat.  My next visit to the doctor I will insist on them taking a culture.  I've had a sore throat since December 27 - enough already! Back to the challenge:  I will be reading Day 1 from the book while on the treadmill.

Today's Lesson from "100 Days of Weight Loss":
I used to be that way . . . .

1.  Make a list of any fears or negative behaviors that have hurt your weight-loss success in the past.  Read each one out loud and then say, "I used to be that way, but now I'm different."

2. Then write new ending for them by completing this sentence.  "I used to _______________(fill in your old behavior), but now I ______________(write in your new ending.)

3. Read these new outcomes often, and then live in a way that makes them true.

I think we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to achieving our goals.  No one has ever been meaner to me than I have been to myself when I stumble.  

1.  I used to eat to procrastinate but now I set a timer for 15 minutes and spend that time making a dent in the chore I am avoiding..
2.  I used to sabotage myself, but now I am trying to be my own best friend.
3.  I used to beat myself up when I slipped up, but now I forgive myself and move on.
4.  I used to have an all or nothing attitude about weight loss, but now I realize I am doing the best I can.  Progress, not perfection..
5.  I used to define myself by a number on the scale, but now I know that the number on the scale is only a barometer of weight loss, not an indicator of self-worth.
6.  I used to let other people define me, now I live according to my own set of values.
7.  I used to let "what other people my think" rule my life, now I think for myself.  As they say in OA, "what other people think of me is none of my business.".
8.  I used to let a slip-up become a total wash-out, now I know that it's what I do after a slip-up that determines the outcome. 

I did my workout this morning and was out of the shower by the time little Miss Madison got here.  It felt great to feel in control of my time.