Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Body New Life - I like it, Michael!

I actually clicked on a facebook ad (surprise number one) and really liked what I read after I clicked on it (surprise number two).

Michael Marsh, author of "New Body New Life" sets things forward in a clear way. What's this whole healthy body thing all about? It's actually so simple. "It’s true, all you have to do is eat right and get some exercise. It doesn’t matter how you go about that. Just do it in a way that fits your life, abilities, and circumstances. The real and only issue is seeing your unhealthy choices as they effect your life, and digging your heals in until whatever stands in your way no longer has control over you. Beholden to no one, or nothing. That my friend, is a feeling of clarity and freedom like nothing you can imagine."

Well said, Michael. I love that perspective. Daily, hourly, choice by choice, I need to critically examine what I'm doing and where my choices are leading me. Weight loss, as he reminds us, is simply creating a caloric deficit every day. Eat natural foods, exercise a little, and step on the scale. If the numbers aren't dropping, think about your food choices and make a change.

Habits are hard to change. Yes. But taking note of what has to be changed and doing whatever it takes to change (accountability, tracking, etc.) is possible. The key is to be attentive to what you are choosing each day, and then bit by bit change bad habits.

I watched a video clip where Michael explained how he realized his soda consumption was packing on hundreds of extra calories daily, calories that would've taken 45 minutes of running (every day!) to burn off. Conclusion he came to: drop the sodas!

Our world does barrage us with food constantly, and with expensive gimmicks that try to persuade us that dieting is complicated and that it requires special programs or foods. Michael Marsh is right when he says that it couldn't be more simple. It's just eating healthier and exercising some, and making tweaks if that is bringing about the desired weight loss. Of course, it's this same basic formula that's behind all weight loss programs.

Maybe some people need the program in order to get the results. I'm wondering if I'm one of those or not. Right now, I'm paying for WW. It's expensive, and since I'm on the road, I'm not even going to meetings. Plus, since I'm basically broke, I should cancel my subscription. If I can't lose the weight on my own, I can always re-sign up, right?

Anyways, the only funny thing about Mr. Marsh is that he complains about how everyone in the diet industry is out to get your money...but then he charges $67.00 for you to buy his program. Granted, that's not much compared to how much you pay for other diet stuff, but I think I get his basic premise? Know what's good food. Eat it, and not too much of it. Exercise. Check your progress and make changes if necessary. That's it, right?

I am inspired to start again now, not looking back! This diary will be a great place to write down what I'm doing, what changes are taking place, what struggles I'm having, what I am learning. I am excited! And I will keep posting to keep you posted!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

strange dreams of night

Yes, last night I dreamt strange things. I dreamt that a friend was telling me his wife (who is pregnant) weighed 500 pounds and wasn't doing well at all; that seemed amazing to me, as she really weighs probably around 150 or less.

I dreamt that there was a huge copperhead too close to me; in reality, I had almost stepped on a very small one curled up on my doorstep when arriving home from an airport run after midnight.

I dreamt that I saw a photo of myself not oh-so-long ago, when I had lost weight between my pregnancies. I looked great in the photo, and the optimism I felt in the dream has sifted into the day. Come on, now! It will take some time for me to lose the weight I've got to lose, but it's empowering knowing that I can keep track of what I'm eating and control the amount I'm intaking for effective weight loss. I'm going to do it, to look like the healthy, happy-faced girl I saw in the photo in the dream.

Started off the day with a cup of cherries. Can't have a bad day after that, or after so many crazy dreams, right?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

overachiever? or maybe just visionary

Not sure which one, but I do tend to dream big, at least from time to time. Today, I've already considered self-publishing a book of the poetry I have not yet written.

And of course, monumental weight loss is my recurring big dream. I have neatly folded stacks of clothes waiting as testimony of the idealistic hope I hold in myself.

Now the big question--how to turn dreams into actual reality, to carry them beyond the realm of mere possibility.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Do Skinny People Have Fun?

Silly question, right? But today, as I watched a skinny girl speed-walking past my kitchen window, I asked it.

I have to admit, it's an epic question that occurs to me often as I re-prepare myself for weight loss time and time again: "Will I be plagued with trying to stay thin once I achieve thinness?" The silly thing is, it wouldn't be any more of a nagging pressure than the pressure I feel now just to get there. But truthfully, I do watch thin people sometimes and think, "Do they always feel that they have to exercise and monitor their eating carefully to maintain that thinness they've achieved (or always had)?"

Why do I worry about that? Like, I can worry about it if I ever even get there, right? And anyways, I do love exercise. Love getting out early in the morning when it's cooler, when the sun is just rising, when the world is quiet other than the singing of the birds.

Maybe it's the eating I'm worried about. Worried that I'll never enjoy any delicious food ever again. Guess that's the problem that got me here in the first place: "Better eat this piece of chocolate cake--there may never be another!"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Delightful Soups!

I've been experimenting with new recipes, mostly of the healthy sort. I got a few recipe books from the library and am pretty happy with two of them. One I'm really enjoying, and have made four or five recipes from, is Splendid Soups: Recipes and Master Techniques for Making the World's Best Soups, by James Peterson.

Soon, I'm hoping to post some of my adapted recipes (he usually calls for a little more fat that necessary, so I've changed the recipes a little and they still taste wonderful!) The favorites include a curried corn soup and a very green Spinach soup. Then there's also my long-time favorite Whole-Beet Borscht, adapted just slightly from a recipe out of The New Laurel's Kitchen (a favorite cookbook that was first given to me, then lost, then rebought, and read from cover to cover at least once!)

It's recipes like these soups that keep me inspired--joining healthfulness with deliciousness. I'm not doing perfectly yet at always setting a completely nutritious table, but I am at least taking baby steps in that direction. So, look for delicious, nutritious soup recipes coming up soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nearly a Year Later

209 pounds ~

I was about to start a new blog, being unable to remember which email address I had assigned to this one...when suddenly this morning, the lightbulb came on and I remembered!

So, I'm back. After a move across the ocean, thousands of miles driven, one pregnancy survived, a new boy born, and fifty pounds lost and regained...I'm back.

Last night, as I sat in bed nursing the baby, I thought about what this food issue is really all about. It's not the real problem, and it's not the solution. The problem is that I have a hunger for something, and I use food to satisfy it. But food doesn't satisfy it. It's a hunger for something else.

In my mind, I know I think that losing the weight I want and getting into shape will be what will satisfy that hunger within me. But when I stop and think about it, I know that's not true either.

So somehow, this is something I need to do just because it's good for me. On one hand, I will be a lot more comfortable in a slimmer body; and it's better for my health, too. But on the other, I need to acknowledge that neither being fat and eating whatever I want, nor being thin enough to fulfil cultural expectations of beauty, is going to be the thing that makes me "happy at last."

Yes, I will reach into the philosophical realm and venture to say that there's something so fatally flawed about this life that even when we have (as I do) wonderful things like food, shelter, family and friends, the soul is left hungry for something more. I would venture to say, something even more than a relationship with God. The soul is left hungry, maybe because it just wasn't made to be satisfied with an imperfect world.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Are you ready to lose weight?

I read this excellent list of questions on the Mayo Clinic website, and thought it was a good, searching list of questions for me to ask myself. If you are trying to lose weight, and finding yourself lacking in the motivation or self-control or ability to make change, you might find this interesting as well.

Are you motivated to make long-term lifestyle changes that require eating healthy foods and exercising more? Be honest. Knowing you need to make changes in your life and feeling up to the challenge are two different things.

Honestly, I don't always feel that motivated to make long-term lifestyle changes for this one reason: I'm addicted to junk food! BUT, when I think about how yucky it makes me feel to stuff myself with junk food, and when I think about the possiblity of passing on my (and my husband's) bad eating habits to our infant son, it fills me with dread. I want to be a great example to him of health and discipline. So yes, I feel motivated, but I don't necessarily feel that I have what it takes.

Do you currently have distractions in your life that could affect your commitment to a weight-loss program? You may set yourself up for failure if you're distracted by other major events in your life, such as marital problems, job stress, illness or financial worries. Give your life a chance to calm down before you start.

I feel this is a copout. My life will be in constant transition forever. We have a lifestyle that involves frequent moves to different countries. I can't wait to all the "distractions" in my life to be gone before I make changes. This time is as good as I'm going to get!

Do you truly believe that slower is better? Losing weight at a relatively slow pace has proved safe, healthy and effective over the long term. You should aim for a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week.

Yes, I want healthy weight loss, surrounded by real life-changes.

Are you realistic about your weight-loss goal? Remember, losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your weight can improve your health if you're overweight or obese. This means, for example, losing 10 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kilograms) if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kilograms). Ask your doctor how much weight you can safely lose.

Realistic? I weight about 190, and I'd like to weigh about 130. I'm 5' 6.5" tall. Is that realistic? I don't know. If I made it down to 140, I bet I'd be pretty happy with myself!

Do you have family and friends to support your weight-loss efforts? It certainly helps to have someone in your corner. If you don't have someone you can rely on, consider joining a weight-loss support group.

My support = weight watchers online. And I don't sign in their very often. I found the real life meetings more effective. It's hard for me that my husband is overweight and seems not too inclined (in theory maybe, but not in practice) to change his habits.

Do you believe that you can change your eating habits? Sounds easy to do in theory, but in practice, it's often difficult. It's hard to cast aside established behaviors and develop new lifestyle habits, but it can be done.

I don't know if I believe in myself or not. I don't know if I can really change my habits.

Are you willing to become more physically active? Increasing your level of physical activity is essential to losing weight and keeping it off.

Yes, I'm willing to get more active!

Do you have time to keep records of your food intake and physical activity? Keeping records increases your chance of success. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how helpful it is to track your progress.

Yes, I have time to keep records. I want to do it.

Are you willing to look at past successes and failures in weight loss and other areas of your life? Learn from the past about what motivates you. Keep working to resolve barriers that might prevent success.

Yes, I am willing to learn from past successes and (I have a lot more of these to glean insights from!) failures!

Do you view a healthy-weight program as a positive experience? Losing weight doesn't have to be a bad experience. Many people find they feel better when they're more active and weigh less.

Yes, if I was succeeding at a weight-loss program, I feel like it would make me feel SO good!

Have you resolved any eating disorders or other emotional issues that make it difficult for you to achieve a healthy weight? If you have a tendency to binge, purge, starve or overexert when you exercise, or if you're depressed or anxious, you may need professional help.

I don't think I have a disorder per se, but I know I eat to make myself feel good. And I look forward to my snacks--chips, chocolate.

Do you believe that a healthy weight is a lifelong commitment? Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process. There's no going back to your old behaviors. Are you ready to make a permanent change?

I want to make lifelong changes. I'm just wondering if I have it in me.

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