Friday, Feb. 18, 2011

It has been too long since I last updated this.

I have given up on the no dessert for a year.

When I went for my weigh-in at Curves on the 7th I was sorely disappointed.  Their scale said I had lost a measly .5 lb.  My scale at home said I had dropped 4 lbs, but I chose to believe the Curves scale.  On top of that was the fact that the only place I had lost inches was on my thighs.

I already have skinny legs!  I don’t need skinnier ones!

Anyway, I spent a good 24 hours being really pissed off.  Then I got my shit together and decided that cutting dessert out of my life really wasn’t having an impact on my weight loss goals.  So. . .

. . .I’m taking a more realistic approach to this whole thing   I still want to lose 30 lbs., I still want to be healthier and make sure I have a good, strong, healthy heart.  To do that I will continue exercising — I’ve had my workout intensity level ramped up a notch at Curves and I’m attempting to get there 4 times a week — I have managed to get out for a couple of nice long walks — that was a week ago when we had spring-like temps.  Now that we’re in the deep freeze again. . .

My brief stint of not eating dessert (it was a month and a half) has taught me that I don’t really crave sweets as much as I had convinced myself I did.  I am satisfying my sweet tooth with fresh fruit and a daily serving of yogurt and granola.  It is certainly enough.  I will still limit how much and how often I have dessert.  I will replace cookies with my tea with a piece of fruit instead.  I will continue to chew on raw vegetables when I get the munchies.  (this is not my favorite thing to do — but it’s better for me, I know).

So, that’s my new approach.  I don’t feel like too much of a quitter.  I feel positive and energized.  And hopeful.

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Monday, noon-ish, Valentine’s Day

I have writer’s block. 

I don’t know how many times I’ve approached the computer meaning to sit down and blog, and instead of turning to WordPress I’ve gone to FaceBook (oh, the shame!) and played online computer games.  Not gambling games — just solitaire — and I guess that has something to say about my frame of mind.  Solitaire.

I don’t know what precipitated this vacuum I’m in and I hope by forcing myself to sit here and do this little bit I will get past it.

It’s like I don’t have an original thought in my head.  All that comes is inane crap that I certainly don’t want to be bothered writing down. 

I really want to figure out why I’ve stopped thinking.  And, therefore, stopped writing.

I started a writing group at my school for kids who want to come out and learn what writing is all about.  Wanted to share with them the fun that writing can be, the sense of freedom it can bring, the pure joy and exhiliration of putting words down on paper and knowing that they are YOUR words. 

Do you know how hard it is to speak of the joy and satisifaction of writing when you’re not feeling it?  Talk about feeling like a hypocrite! 

Anyway. . .

I guess that’s it.

Monday, Jan. 31, 2011

So, I made it through my first month.  I ate dessert only once — for my son, Landon’s 30th birthday.  I made cheesecake with strawberries.  Had a small piece.  I remember it as being very good.

I have lost another 2 lbs.  Yay!  Finally.  When I stepped on the scale on Friday morning it said 166.  So, I felt good about that — a total loss of 4 lbs for the month.  Yes, I was imagining double digits, but what the hey, I’ll take it.

Generally, I’m finding I’m doing okay with not wanting any dessert.  There has been the occasional craving for something sweet like chocolate, or cookies, but I’ve managed to get over it by grabbing a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit.  I find making myself a cup of green tea helps, too.

Speaking of tea. . .

I was at David’s Teas in West Edmonton Mall on Sunday and bought some amazing ginger tea.  It’s called Organic Pu’erh Ginger and is purported to aid digestion, cleanse the blood, help with weight loss, counteract nausea, colds and sore throats.  It has a hint of orange flavour and I can honestly say it is a wonderful tasting tea.

I am committed to getting to Curves 3 times a week — therefore, because I have such a busy week ahead of me I’ll be going for two workouts before work this week.

The walking in the evening did not pan out last week, I only managed to be home one evening out of five and when I was home I was so thrilled to be there and able to cook a meal I didn’t give going for a walk even a fleeting thought.  I know it won’t happen again this week because I’m busy for the next three evenings and then I’m off to a conference for four days.  Sigh.  The only upside is that hopefully it will be much milder by the time I do find time to get a walk in.

Monday, Jan. 24th, 2011

A new year, a new and open road.

Still stuck at 168 lbs.

Last week I got to Curves 3 times, this week I am aiming for the same.  I realized I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough during my workouts and so I really stepped it up last week.  I’m hoping that my increased efforts will produce some results.

I made a concerted effort to cut back on carbs and fats last week.  Trying to increase the servings of fresh veggies and fruit I eat throughout the day this week.  I do not snack in the evening other than a piece of fruit and a cup of tea, during the day I have yogurt in the morning with some trail mix or a piece of fruit, then during the rest of the day I may nibble on a granola bar or eat a handful of nuts.  I’m just not getting why it’s so hard for me to lose weight.

I am getting a little discouraged, but I refuse to give up — yet!

My plan of getting up at 5:15 has not been working — I just can’t seem to drag my sorry behind out of bed at that time.  So, I’m going to try really hard to get a walk in after supper at least twice this week.  I realized that once upon a time I used to walk every day, no matter how cold it was, but for the last couple of years I’ve wimped out.  Granted, I am much busier now in the evenings, but on those days when I can be at home I’m going to make a supreme effort to get my boots on and get some fresh air and exercise.

Here’s hoping for a 2 lb loss by next week!

Day 20

Okay, so I’m a little miffed.  I haven’t lost a single pound since my last post!

But, I think I know what might be going on. . .

although I’m no longer eating desserts I believe I’m compensating by eating more ‘real’ food.  and not ‘good’ stuff, either.  I noticed this week that I’m eating a lot more bread than I usually do, and I’m, of course, putting butter on it.  As I’ve been quite busy the last couple of weeks I’ve eaten a lot meals in restaurants and from take-out.  Not great.  I try to choose healthy meals, but I think I’ve been ‘rewarding’ myself a bit too much with things that contain creams, cheeses and the like.

So, I am my own worst enemy!  Like I didn’t already know that.

With awareness, however, comes the power to change.  I am going to carefully watch what I eat from this point on — there’s no point in going through the agony of denying myself dessert and goodies if, in the end, I replace them with other bad-for-me types of food.

On a positive note:  having rid my diet of 90% of the sugar I was consuming I feel more energetic, less frenzied.  I am not craving sugar, I’m finding other ways of getting sweet tastes — spices, fruit, dried fruit — all can help curb my desire for a piece of candy or chocolate.  I won’t deny that there have been many evening when I wished to have a few cookies with my nightly cup of tea, but grabbing an apple or a handful of grapes has worked to satisfy my sweet tooth.

One thing I don’t want to do is replace the sugar in my diet with sugar substitutes.  I’ve used them once or twice but find I don’t really care for the taste.  Also, it’s not really teaching me change my food habits — I’m just replacing one ‘bad’ thing with another.

We have ‘muffin morning’ once a month where I work.  It’s a chance to socialize and well, eat muffins.  This month I wasn’t going to indulge, but someone had thoughtfully brought  some really healthy, hearty type of muffin and so I did.  Since then I’ve been wrestling with the idea of whether this was ‘cheating’.  I think I’ve come to the realization that I’m going to have to incorporate things like muffins into my diet, or pretty soon there won’t be much for me to have in the way of snacks.  And I’ve still got 11 and 1/2 months to go.  The granola bars I’m eating aren’t a particularly good choice either — they have 10 grams of sugar each — I think I’m going to have to find a recipe to make my own.

It’s the snacking that’s hard — eating more fruit isn’t the answer as it’s too high in sugar — I limit myself to 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt/day.  I’ve incorporated dried fruit and nuts into my diet, but that’s high fat, high sugar as well.  So, I’m kind of getting concerned about what else I can eat.

I’ve explored different variations of rice cakes and although I like them they get pretty boring.  So, if anyone out there has any suggestions for snack foods I would appreciate hearing about them.

10 days in. . .

Okay, so it’s been 10 days so far. . .

. . . I think it’s going to be a long year.

Last Friday I had a terrible craving for chocolate while at work — I ate an orange instead.  Then chewed gum.  Then drank tea.  Did not succumb, but it was hard.

Saturday, during our recovery from the snowstorm I went into cocoon mode and that generally means comfort food and to me comfort food means cookies, cake, candy, etc.  I went and played Scrabble, drank sherry and ate mini-oranges instead.  It worked.  I made it through.

When I weighed myself yesterday I was down 4 lbs.  Current weight:  168 lbs.  Not kidding myself, that is most likely all water loss.

I have started back at Curves.  Went twice last week, am aiming for 3 times this week.  I am also trying to get in some yoga or the treadmill 3 times a week.

I’m trying the Curves weight loss program again in an effort to jump-start my metabolism.  I am going the protein route rather than the carb route.  Too many carbs generally make me feel bloated and lethargic.  I may switch between them, but I’ll have to check out whether that is recommended or not.

I think I was expecting big, immediate results after 10 days of not eating any kind of sweet, but I have been disappointed.  I do, however, think it has made a big impact on my sense of general well-being.  I am not as tired as I was before starting this crazy thing, and I have not changed my sleeping habits or daily activities.  So, getting rid of excess sugar and fat in the diet does have that positive immediate impact.

I got measured and weighed at Curves last week.  In the interest of transparency and so I can keep a running comparison going I’m going to post those measurements:

Bust — 41″
Waist – 36′
Abdomen – 41.5′
Hips – 41.5′
Thighs – 22.75′
Upper Arms – 12′
Weight – 172 lbs
% body fat – 41.2%

Not a pretty picture, but not entirely bleak, either.  I am determined to lose 35 lbs and get down to a size 10.  I’m not sure I can accomplish that in one year, but I hope this gets me on the right track to achieving my goal.

I sometimes wonder why I bother, why I don’t just sit back and enjoy my life as it is and stop worrying about my weight, my health — I eat pretty good, I get moderate amounts of exercise — it all just takes so much effort.  And then I bend over to tie my shoes and find myself gasping for breath.  I hate that.  The day I can bend over without feeling like my head’s going to explode will be a great day.

Day 4 — Not feeling the pain, yet

Yesterday was actually pretty easy.  Took all the chocolate to work.  Was not tempted to sneak one.  Yay!

Totally ignored the pile of cookies and chocolates in the staff room.  Got some strange looks when I explained why I wasn’t snarfing them down.  Chewed on a handful of dry, honey roasted peanuts.  Had a moment of feeling smug then realized break was over.  The tough part about being back at work — regulated breaks.  Huge sigh.

Am trying to decide what I’ll choose this month to spend my one goodie on — Pie Day this weekend with the girls, my son’s 30th birthday, or my granddaughter’s 6th birthday.  So far, my son’s birthday is coming up the favorite.  It’s next Wednesday.  Pie Day is this Saturday.  Hailey’s birthday is the end of the month.  Landon’s birthday is the halfway mark, but more than that, it’s such a milestone I feel I should celebrate it with him.  By eating cheesecake.  That I’ll make.  With strawberries.

I think I’ve just convinced myself!

January 3, 2011 — New Year, Not so new me

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, even if, unlike me you had to work through most of it.

My holidays were great.  Spent a nice day with my son and his family on Christmas Day then hit the road for Winnipeg bright and early (4 a.m.) on Boxing Day.  Spent a terrific week with my sister, Lori, and her family.  Played Scrabble, drank wine and pomegranate martinis, and just generally enjoyed myself.  They were wonderful hosts and I’m so glad we decided to make the trek.

So, because it’s the New Year I’ve embarked on a new and crazy resolution.  I don’t make your ordinary resolutions — oh, no, those are just too boring.  I never stick to them, anyway, when I make them.  But, if I choose something a little ‘out there’ I seem to have better luck.  This year my goal is to NOT EAT DESSERT FOR A YEAR.

I started thinking and talking about this about the middle of December.  Even mentioned it to a number of people.  In all instances the reaction was the same:  Why?  and, I couldn’t do that.  It’s going to be tough, believe me.  I LOVE my sweets.  Having a piece of cake after supper, chowing down on homemade cookies, indulging myself with decadent confections, these are all things that are as much a part of who I am as is my dyed red hair.  So, why am I giving it up?

Well, mainly because I’m getting fat.  And no amount of exercise is seeming to make any difference.  At 52 my metabolism has slowed down to the point of nearly zero; I’ve got to do something to get it revved up again.  Then there’s the obvious health benefits of not eating all that sugar, starch and fat.  I’m pretty sure my heart and other internal organs will benefit greatly after a holiday from ooey-gooey treats.

Today is Day 3 of my resolution and so far it hasn’t been too bad.  I resisted my sister-in-law Michelle’s baking on New Year’s Day and I barely noticed the bowl of chocolates I had put out on the side table in the living room.  (They are going to work today with either Tim or myself.  Remove temptation is the best way to stay on track, I think.)  There are other traps I’m going to have to rid my house of, but the thought of doing it isn’t making me sad.  Yet.

Basically, I’ve decided that dessert means any kind of  ‘extra’ treat that I would tend to eat in a day.  So it does not include snacks like granola bars or yogurt or fruit.  It does however, include things like: brownies, butter tarts, cookies, cake, puff-wheat squares, Rice-Krispie squares, candy, chocolate bars, cheese cake, pies, ice-cream, caramel popcorn, toffee, fudge, . . . the list is endless, but I’m pretty sure you get the idea.

I’ve also decided that I will allow myself one ‘treat’ a month.  There are just too many birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions in my life to completely avoid.  I’m going to have to do some major planning ahead and really consider the importance of when I decide to indulge.  I’ve already received some flak about this decision, but i see it as a way of testing myself.  After having cut the crap out of my daily diet for weeks, what will I choose to do when I allow myself a small indulgence?  How will it affect me mentally?  What will my body do when I finally jolt it with sugar and carbohydrates?  I can hardly wait.

My aim in this little experiment is to see how much healthier I am after cutting this type of food out of my diet.  In North America we are so programmed to think of ‘treats’ as something we are entitled to, something we ‘deserve’ that it has become ridiculous.  What we’ve been brain-washed into is a life of obesity, heart disease and bad health.

Right now, I feel I’m on the edge teetering before that pit of bad health.  Part of it is age, but mostly it is my lifestyle.  I don’t want to have to start taking pills to battle cholesterol and high blood pressure.  I don’t want to have to monitor myself for diabetes.  I don’t want to have to go on a rigid diet and exercise program to rid myself of toxic weight.  I want to be healthy and happy and full of energy for as long as I possibly can.  There is just too much in my life that I value to risk it for the sake of a chocolate cookie.

My starting weight, as of January 1, was 170 lbs.  I couldn’t believe that when I saw it.  I had gained 5 lbs over the 2 weeks I was off.  But then, I crammed as many goodies into my mouth as I possibly could during that time.  There’s that North American attitude for ya!  Seriously, how stupid of me!  I’m going to do regular updates of my progress, letting you all know just how much I’m suffering (or not) and how this little experiment is affecting me personally and socially.  If you feel like joining me, please do!