Friday, November 18, 2011

Celebrating Life - All of It!

Frankly life gets in the way sometimes.  I meant to post here everyday when I first started my year-long- journey to become more healthy - to eat more wisely and to exercise more.  Then like always, I got off track.  Not with my eating so much, but with recording what I'm doing by journaling.

Relationships are critical to me and I know that.  Even though I may not know you personally, your input and words of encouragement are like gasoline on a fire to me.  That's how important you and this blog can be to me and my endeavour.   Imagine that.

Two things have happened.  First, I tore my miniscus (knee) and had to have minor knee surgery.  Because of that, I have  not been allowed to exercise (at least anything that moves my knee) and not even ride my horse.  Basically, I haven't been moving much.  Not moving is not a common thing for me.  I never stop...unless I'm forced to by an injury. That's happened a couple times before.

Keith Oliver didn't give up on me.  He has been so inspirational that I've begun to believe in myself and the ability I have to control how I feel and of course how I look.  During Keith's weekly visits we talk.  I've come to value failure and am beginning to use it as a learning tool.  That almost blows my mind.  I value failure????  Who does that?

My biggest failure has been in not writing down what I eat.  That's been a problem for me every single time I've tried to keep track of what I'm doing.  Keith pointed out to me that I also close my eyes when lifting weights and doing sit-ups. So, I close my eyes while exercising and stop writing down what I'm eating after a short period of time.  What does that mean?  I'm still working on the answer.

The other cool thing that's come to my mind is that I'm going to give up using my age as an excuse for having trouble losing weight.  Why?  Because even in the midst of all this down time that I've had, I didn't gain a pound. I may not lose weight as quickly as I did in my 20's and 30's and yes, even 40's but calories are calories. 

I am celebrating losing five pounds when I could have gained twenty.  I am celebrating eating mindfully and protein drinks.  In fact, there's not much I'm not celebrating right now.  Thank you God!!

I'm glad you stopped by to read my post.  Please leave your words of wisdom before you leave!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Practice of Patience....

Keith allowed me to share his story here.  You'll see why after you read his story.  Thank you Keith!

A short story by Keith Oliver for all my gardening friends.
Now is the time of the year that our gardens are drawing to a close, the last of the tomatoes are coming off, pumpkins and chrysanthemums are now in the height of their growing period. We begin to think about what preparation our soil needs to be fertile for next year’s life sustaining vegetables to yield a bumper crop.
Right now is also a good time for any transplants to be cultivated and put in their designated areas. Just dig to make enough room for them to mature and fertilize the bottom of the transplant area to insure healthy deep roots. Next cover the plants a little further up the main stem than they were planted before with rich loose soil. Lightly water these plants until soil is moist and cover with at least 4" of mulch to retain as much life giving water as possible and to act as a insulating blanket for the root system to properly form.
This spring will be a delightful time to watch the snow melt off of the tops of plants as they start to emerge, WARNING; this is also a time that we will lose many transplants because plants are still tender and need a little more time before they are ready to emerge. We can help our plantings by covering them with a additional layer of organic materiel and a couple more inches of mulch, the added time will give our plants a boost in nutrients and allow for robust rooting.
Don’t be alarmed when the efforts we have put forth don’t exactly "pop" that first year. There is a saying in the gardening world that my Grandmother Helen reminds me of every year as I help her to thin her hostas and expand my own plantings, I can hear her clearly informing me that the first season of growth will "sleep" they wont exactly mature to their best potential and many times they may not flower at all. Not to worry, the following season things will get a little better, all plants properly tended will "creep" beginning to show their flowers more often while their roots will fully develop.
The patience and consistency that you show your garden will be rewarded the following season by the event that all gardeners anticipate, at last your garden will finally "LEAP"!
The harvesting of the leap season in your garden will be truly rewarding. It will not matter that some of the fruits of your labor will be eaten by pestilence. You will find this seasons abundance will more than make up for any losses you may have, furthermore many of us find that our greatest challenge in these seasons of plenty are keeping up with the collection of our mature plantings and enjoying as much fresh nutrients possible before the years close when we begin to think about how we can improve next years harvest.
There are astounding similarities to the development of our lives found in these gardening techniques. If we begin in our proper areas; our most fertile environment and take a little care we can expect to realize the height of our growth potential.
The soil represents our souls or our spirits that need depth enough to make room for robust development. The fertilizer represents the nutrients that we feed our spirits, these nutrients encompass all we hear, see, read, watch, think and speak and if applied appropriately will make a excellent platform for our enrichment. The water represents our bodies, since we are made up of mostly water you can see how when we have our machines properly prepared we will be ready to say yes to our potential blessings and live up to our highest possibilities. The mulch represents our friends and families; the people that we choose to surround ourselves with, they insulate us from the frigid circumstances that life’s winter can sometimes produce while encouraging us to stay healthy in mind and body.
The cycles of development of plants also mimic life.
Before we realize a thing we could be considered to have been asleep, that is stagnant or slow in our maturity.
The practice of patience and consistent care produce the creeping results we find in the garden, meaning that we begin to realize who we are and what we are meant to pursue.
Finally many of us have experienced the blessing of a leap year, a time so abundant in spirit and materiel that we cannot deny our fortunes. Your leap may have developed on a different branch than that of your neighbor, while his professional life may be blooming you’re personal or spiritual or family goals may be in bloom. Take comfort in the knowledge that if properly prepared you can develop blooms on other branches as well.
None of these things are possible without the warmth of the SUN; of course the sun represents GOD. The loving comfort you enjoy when you feel the rays of love shining in your life. The sun gives plants the ability to absorb nutrients from their surroundings and is the bringer of life. Without the Sun we would all clumsily fumble around in the darkness until our inevitable death.
Thank you God for the light you shine into our lives. We acknowledge that without your divine care our efforts would be in vain. Continue to shine your blessings on us and we will tend our gardens well.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Absent but Never Gone

Absent but never gone is true about my posts for this blog and trying to make thoughtful lifestyle changes.  The good news is that my sister's surgery went well the bad news is that the minute I got home from Texas my father-in-law was hospitalized and has been in ICU until today.  Honestly, there has been no reason for me not to write except that I was preoccupied.

So in a nutshell, that's why I've been AOL.  And in a nutshell, those of us with eating disorders or dieting dilemmas are going to always live with a cloud over our heads.  I guess that cloud can be good or bad depending on if our bodies are in the season of drought or if they're saturated and content because the sun managed to peek through.  No matter what, even if we're not constantly thinking about what or what not to eat, that little cloud is always there...somewhere.  Does any of this make sense?

Unlike some people, I'm not an emotional eater.  I'm an emotional non-eater.  The fact that emotions contribute to what I eat or don't eat isn't a good thing although my conscious mind is always happy when I'm not hungry. I constantly have to tell myself that food is good. It is not bad.  It is good to eat.  It is bad to not eat.  Bottom line is, I'm still writing.  I'm still trying.  I AM NOT GOING TO DIET.  I am going to eat.  So here's a toast to ....bottom lines.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's the Key?

Okay. Here's the deal.  I'm in Texas right now because my sister had surgery.  I can't remember what day is what,  but I do remember when my year with this blog started.  I'm not going to announce days of my posts anymore, I'm just going to post.

Something interesting happened yesterday.  I was at the hospital all day and my sister's surgery was much later than it was suppose to be.  I grabbed a broccoli salad for lunch and was suppose to go out to dinner when my nephew came to the hospital. 

Well, our wires got crossed.  My nephew didn't come and there was nothing to eat anywhere in the hospital.  Surprising to me, after a certain point I wasn't hungry.  I had plenty to drink and because there was no food around, I wasn't obsessing.  Maybe the key is to deal with my psychological obsession and not food itself. 

Or maybe the key is to keep myself so busy that I don't have time to obsess.  Or maybe the key is to listen to my body and not my mind.  What IS the key?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Days 19 and 20 - Weekends are Challenging

Writing has been therapeutic for me...not surprising.  Reading the comments that some of you have left has been inspirational and exciting.  Keith is brilliant.  I am saving all his comments because he will have chapters of a book ready for submission.  Even if you haven't signed up to follow this site yet, please take the time to read Keith's comments.  They are far more valuable than anything I have to say.

Weekends are always challenging for me. I'm trying to keep things in perspective because of something Keith said about failures.  Actually, Keith congratulated me on a failure because of the new beginning that comes from that failure.  I'm being brief here, but that's close to the context of his message.  I also think it can be said that a lapse isn't a relapse.  Picking up and plunging ahead is what I do best.

My goal for tomorrow is to eat three meals that are healthy for my mind and soul.  Just tomorrow.  That's all I can think about right now.  One day at a time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Days 17 and 18 - That's What Friends Are For....

I talked to Joani, my longest and best ever friend friend yesterday.  I knew she read my posts from time to time but didn't know how much she really kept up with what I was saying.  It's interesting and somewhat significant that I had taken time to really pray about my difficulty on Monday or Tuesday.  I prayed and then I forgot I prayed.  What I do remember is the conversation I had with God.  "Please show me why I continually sabotage myself when it comes to eating," I said to Him. " Maybe if it becomes clearer to me I can deal with my issues and stop jinxing myself."

I don't know if you believe in answered prayers or not but I do.  I just never expected it to be answered in the form of Joani.  In a quick phone conversation with Joani yesterday she said several significant things.  First of all she pointed out that Keith is a genius.  I'm going to go back and read all his comments because I agree with her.  Then she talked about the issue my mom had with my body...that I now know was not all bad.  WhatJoani said made sense.  I want her to repeat what she said so I don't take it out of context or misspeak.  Maybe she'll have time to leave a comment. But, my point is this, sometimes the answers to our problems are so close we can't see them.  Joani was the answer to my prayer and I can't wait until this weekend when I can talk to her more.  Keith too.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Days 14, 15, 16 - CRAP!

Well, today is day 16 and basically I ate crap.   On top of that, I feel like crap.  I can't figure out why I keep jinxing myself.  Saturday and Sunday went well and I felt terrific.  What would make me not want to feel like that all the time?  I really don't know.

Putting the right foods into my body makes me feel better.  I'm disgusted with myself but what's new.  Since my eating journey is about truth and awareness I guess I'm still on track.  I told the truth and I am totally aware of why I feel badly today.  Ice cream and potato chips were not my plan for lunch.  I have to admit they did taste good while I was chewing but I would not feel so sluggish right now if I'd had a crunchy apple, some baked chicken, and a fresh green salad.  That was my original plan.

I have an 11-year-old King Charles Spaniel who was just diagnosed as being diabetic.  I didn't even know she was sick until her glucose level came back at 400. In fact, I just assumed she was sleeping a lot because she's getting old.  She's been on insulin for three days now and she's like a puppy again.  I don't want to become diabetic and I know that I can prevent it by the way I live my life. Sluggish is not a word that fits into my vocabulary.  Help me out here!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Days 12 and 13 - Surviving!

Keeping busy seems to help me not think about eating.  I do that a lot.  I think about eating.  Is this normal I ask myself?  I honestly don't know.

I have a hunch that normal eaters eat when they're hungry and they usually don't eat when they're not.  Sure, some planning goes along with eating but I honestly fantasize about sweet stuff.  Fruit is usually the last thing I think about when I'm thinking of sweets.  By this time next year, I want it to be the first.

So let's see.  Yesterday was stressful.  I had to spend a ton of money on the vet for my horse and then I found out that one of my three dogs is diabetic.  Unlike many people who eat when they're upset I don't.  I forget and then suddenly realize I'm hungry at midnight. Mindful is my goal. Being more mindful.

Today was fine.  Even though I was still upset about my animals (that I adore) I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner....well dinner, sort of.  I boiled a head of cauliflower for dinner and ate that.  In the whole scheme of eating, that may not have been enough.  Right now I'm comfortable.  I really hope I don't gobble up the kitchen later on.

I'll let you know how the stove, refrigerator, and any other appliance that is not glued to the floor survives!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Days 9, 10, and 11 - Freud and Me

Have you noticed that writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted?  Maybe that's why I started this blog about eating.  Perhaps way down deep inside me there was a Freudian need to be heard. I almost embarrassed to talk about my eating and or dieting adventures with anyone.  My husband doesn't believe I can stick to anything, much less a lifestyle change...and why should he?  I don't have a very good track record with my eating habits. I set myself up for comments that will upset me if I talk too much around my house about food.  Plus for whatever reason I feel judged.  Feeling judged makes makes me feel heavy. Maybe the heaviness that I feel is one of burden.  Does that make sense?  Maybe I need help!

 I guess I should come really clean with you and let you know that I've delt with an eating disorder for longer than I can remember.  No I'm not anorexic.  If I had to label myself I'd say I have been bullimic.  Yes, I've seen a counselor.  She traced my eating problems back to when my stick-thin mother put me on diet pills at the age of 15.  Looking back at pictures of myself I realize that I was perfect the way I was.  If any of you who are reading this are mothers, please take heed and realize what an effect your comments can have on your daughters.

The past few days I've eaten without making any announcements to my husband.  I've eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner and done okay.  I've been trying to think of carbohydrates as a garnish rather than a food.  Mostly I've been eating fruits, vegetables, and proteins.  Sounds boring but it hasn't been.  I've not been hungry but I've had to fight off the urge to eat late at night.  That's a habit that's going to be hard to break. I'm feeling persistent if nothing else right now.

Enough of the "heavy" stuff!  I've had lots of fun and exercise this week thanks to my grandson, dogs, and horses.  Babysitting for a 5-month-old, walking my dogs, and riding my horses allow me to be active almost constantly without feeling like I'm exercising.  Now that's something I can truly be happy about! Life is good.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 8 - Labor Day and Doing Swell!

Albert Einstein said, " Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
I am sitting here imagining next year at this time.  I see myself glowing with good health and enjoying another Labor Day cook-out with good friends and family. 

It was a glorious day here.  Finally the temperatures dropped and the feeling of autumn in the air made me feel as light as the first leaves falling from the trees that surround the the farm where I board my horse.  It's nice to feel light...even if it's only my imagination  I have a picture in my mind and a goal in my heart.

Holidays are nice.  Not necessarily because of the food but because of the fun and company that goes along with the food.  Imagine that!  I just put fun and company in front of food!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 7 - Feeling Better!

Yesterday I felt like a six-day-failure.  Today is a new day.  I read your comments - all of them - and remembered I'm not in this alone.  It helps.  Don't ask me why, but it does.  I've also been looking over some books I have here at home.  EATING MINDFULLY by Susan Albers is great.  So is The 17-Day-Diet.

Even though the word "diet" is part of the title of the book, it's a healthy way of eating and a good reminder for me.  Why?  Because I feel terrific when I eat healthy.  I feel like I can take on the world.  I think it's the combination of foods that give me the zest that I long for every single day.   When I read and re-read the book, I'm reminded to eat fruit and lean proteins.  When I EAT, I'm not hungry.

My oldest son just bought the book today.  We're going to eat together (not literally) for the next 17 days and support each other.  I'm hoping he'll join us here.  Eric is awesome.  He'll probably be able to develop new habits more quickly that I can. 

So, maybe I should look at my year-long journey as 17 days at a time.  I wonder if that would be easier?  Guess I'll find out!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 6 - Mad at Me

Okay, I know my journey towards a healthy new way of eating and lifestyle shouldn't always be a bed of roses, but wouldn't you think I would not stray from the beaten path on just the 6th day?

Well I did.  I ate breakfast.  Then I ate an early far so good.  Then I went to the barn to ride or attempt to ride because my horse is a little off but that's beside the point.  Anyway, it was hotter than a bonfire in July and I was dripping wet when I left.  I wasn't hungry but I didn't care.  I had my 12-year-old granddaughter with me so when I asked if she wanted ice-cream I knew exactly what she'd say.

It wasn't good enough just to get an ice-cream cone. I had to get a peanut butter lovers cone. ..complete with a peanut butter cup and extra peanut butter.  After that, it was all downhill.  I went out to dinner with two friends and had a salad and two glasses of wine.  Oh!  I forgot to mention the cheese plate appetizer that we had.

I don't feel very good about myself right now and on top of all that I'm stuffed.  That very wise dietitian that I told you about in an earlier post always says that a lapse isn't a relapse.  Guess tomorrow will be a new beginning.  Wish I hadn't decided to be totally honest with myself and you.  This is somewhat embarrasing!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 5 - Pleasant Thought

Just so you know, I'm not ignoring any of your comments, I just can't comment back right now for some stupid reason.  Actually, it's probably me that's stupid but someone with more computer wisdom than me will be able to figure this out...I'm sure of it.

Just one thought for today.  I think I may have read this somewhere but it's true...It's difficult to think of anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.  Sometimes simplicity feels warm and cozy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 4 - A Dinner-Out and Epiphany Too!

Okay.  Eating is eating no matter where I am.  Tonight we went to one of my favorite restaurants for our anniversary.  It occurred to me that when I'm eating out I always tend to eat mindfully.  I chose food that I like but I don't usually overeat.  I think I'm just the opposite of most people. I usually lose weight on a vacation....really. 
 I haven't been eating much meat over the past few days. I just didn't want any.  Instead I've been eating veggie burgers and other kinds of soy products.
Tonight I wanted meat so that's what I had.  I purposely ordered a steak.  I think it was between the crispy green salad and the perfectly-done steak tonight that I had an epiphany.  I eat well- planned and prepared food mindfully and I eat "junk" food mindlessly.  I seldom think about a handful of potato chips or a bite out of a piece of cake.  Those are the things I need to think about.  Those things matter.  And they really matter when I eat them late at night.
It is said that it takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow. My year-long journey is all about changing and growing.  I sure hope I'm up to the challenge.  I have a feeling developing a lifestyle change is going to take more than just a little work.....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 3 - That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles!

Usually when I break down and eat cookies it's because I haven't eaten enough during the day.  At night I have found myself starving...well okay, not starving but I grab the first thing I can find that appeals to me and it's usually something sweet.  Cookies standing up and stuffed down fast are what my stomach knows and loves.

Today was a different story.  When I started my journey...a short three days ago...I ridded my house of food that I really didn't want to eat.  I figured I'd face a SWEETS dilemma sometime down the road, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon.  Of course I was wrong.  Go figure!

Just before noon my friend came over for lunch and brought all kinds of good things for a gigantic salad.  And cookies.  My first plan was to eat the salad and not eat a cookie.  I prepared the salad with the tenderness of a mother handling a newborn baby. I dressed it till it glistened.  Then I sat down and slowly chewed and swallowed one bite after another until I wasn't hungry anymore.

I put on a pot of coffee and savoured the scent of the roasted beans.   The steaming coffee made me remember the cup of coffee I had with Keith on Sunday. Someone handed him a piece of birthday cake.  "Are you going to eat that?" I asked.

"I don't deprive myself of anything," Keith told me.  "I just don't eat cake all the time."  Funny how some conversations are just meant to be. A wise dietitian had said the same words to me on more than one occasion. I thought of her too.

I handed my friend a cookie and took one for myself.  A steaming mug of coffee, a good friend, and a fudge cookie.  What a great way to have a special lunch.  I'm feeling fine!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 2 - Scales? What Scales!?

You know what occurred to me?  I forgot to weigh myself yesterday on the first day of my journey.  I feel like celebrating until the cows come home!  I feel like kissing my dogs.  Shoot, I'll even call my husband to my office and give him a kiss. You want to know why?  I'll tell you!  It's because I must truly not be dieting.  I always weigh myself the minute I get out of bed when I start a diet.  Then if I pass the bathroom with the scale I weigh myself again...and again...and again.

This morning I woke up and thought about peaches and strawberries.  I thought about eating.  Frankly, I'm scaring myself. I FORGOT THE SCALES!  I did remember you though.  You've got to hold up your end of the bargain I told myself. You're pulling other people along for this ride.

Here's the other interesting thing I do before embarking on a diet.  I stuff myself.  I order a pizza and ask for it to be cut into four pieces because I'll get too
 full if I eat six.  I think that's pretty funny but the joke's usually on me.  Actually, it's always on me.

Right now it's 10:30 something or other at night and I've eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I felt the urge to go downstairs to the kitchen to get something else but you know what?  I'm really not hungry.  I've entered all my food on and I've had a very balanced day.

Let's make a toast.  Here's to a day of kind mindful eating and here's to you too!  Thanks for traveling the celeryandcarrots path with me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day One – Food Is My Friend and So Is