Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Amazing Coincidence (or NOT!!)

Did you ever want to KILL your spouse?

Today's picture is to show you that my humor is still very much intact, despite the somber tone of many recent posts?  Little by little I am moving pictures from CD's back onto the huge hard drive of my new computer so I have easy access to them.  In spite of the many conversations Mr. B and I have had regarding "rear" shots while hiking, it is obvious that he pays me no mind.  This one was taken in October of 2008 along the lovely Flat Creek Trail on the North Carolina side of the GSMNP.  It has provided me with some chuckles this morning, so couldn't resist sharing.  I was fairly near goal when this "butt" shot was taken.   Another vivid reminder that, no matter how much I weigh,  my "butt" will never be small.  Thanks, mom - that's one inheritance you could've kept to yourself!

Several times, I have mentioned the use of Henri Nouwen's, "Bread For The Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith"  that I use as part of my morning devotion time.  Today's meditation, "A Choice Calling for Discipline," brought on one of those "how did he know?" moments for me.  Allow me to share:

"When we look critically at the many thoughts and feelings that fill our minds and hearts, we may come to the horrifying discovery that we often choose death instead of life, curse instead of blessing.  Jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, greed, lust, vindictiveness, revenge, hatred - they all float in that large reservoir of our inner life.  Often we take them for granted and allow them to be there and do their destructive work.  

But God asks us to choose life and to choose blessing.  This choice requires an immense inner discipline.  It requires a great attentiveness to the death-forces within us and a great commitment to let the forces of life come to dominate our thoughts and feelings.  We cannot always do this alone; often we need a caring guide or a loving community to support us.  But it is important that we both make the inner effort and seek the support we need from others to help us choose life."  

An amazing coincidence that Mr. Nouwen (who died in 1996) knew how fitting these words would be for me (and maybe for you) on August 31, 2010??   I think not.   I choose life and I choose blessing.   I choose the support of a loving community and will make the inner effort.  I started today.

This morning's weight:  (will start posting tomorrow - this is going to be painful!)
Yesterday's total number of steps:  12156
Yesterday's food:  (will starting posting tomorrow)

Yesterday's Greatest Challenge:  (will start tomorrow)
Yesterday's Greatest Joy:  (will start tomorrow)

Today's Strategies for Success:
1)  long walk on one of my favorite greenways
2)  blog reading
3)  finish homework on "The Me I Want To Be" and attend Small Group tonight
4)  catch up on note and card sending
5)  start planning our Fall Break trip (I'm so behind on this)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Trail Ridge Road - Elevation 12,183 feet
Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado
May 29, 2009

Just got home from today's SECOND dining out experience.  How in the world did I let myself get into this mess?   Thank goodness, all are behind me now.  I feel like a stuffed pig.  This is not me and is most definitely not the way I want to eat.  Except for the fact that I have several pounds of damage to undo, the past days of all-out binge eating may have had an advantage.  I am so ready to slide into September and get all this garbage out of my system.  I really dislike the way I feel.

Here are some observations from my behavior today.  At both of the restaurants where I was "treated," there were decent choices I could have made.  I just didn't.  Why?  Two things come to mind.  1)  I am so full of sugar and white flour that I've lost all ability to reason.  I look at a menu and my eyes gravitate towards the menu items which contain high concentrations of those items and lots of calories.  I've fallen back in the trap of addiction to those items and will have to "detox" (translation: spend a miserable few days until sugar and flour  are out of my system) before I am free again and my body feels light.  2)  I am so focused on September 1 as a new start date that the "old" me (the one that diets instead of eating healthy) believes I should stuff myself until then because that's the day the "diet" starts.

Neither of those excuses are acceptable to me, so I plan to fight back by resuming healthy eating as of this very moment.   I am sick of feeling this way, frustrated with myself for letting it continue this long, and determined that there is no mountain high enough to get in the way of this girl getting her energy back and reaching her goal weight by December 31.

I am not aware of any obstacles on the horizon and I have spoken lovingly with MIL about the fact that I have gained some weight and it cannot continue.   So having said all that, I officially declare myself in detox.

Here's what that means:  (there's no new material here - you've seen this before from me, but it works!)
1)  No white flour
2)  No white sugar  (and as little sugar of any kind as possible)
3)  1200 calories per day
4)  no less than 10,000 steps per day
5)  no dining out
6)  post food, weight and daily steps on blog
7)  post each day's greatest challenge and greatest joy

I like and am using the Strategies for Success that I posted a few days ago, so here they are again: 
1)  Print comments from recent posts and place on pantry door, fridge, kitchen cabinets and freezer
2)  Blog, blog, blog
3)  Read blogs (make sure I've read "whole" stories of all my favorites)
4)  Find some "newbies" to embrace and encourage.
5)  Get outside 
6)  Get a massage (still have enough for 2 from Mr. B's Valentine's Day gift card)
7)  Move all my pictures to new computer
8)  Read "Born Round" by Frank Bruni (thanks, Sarah)
9)  Attend Small Groups and fully participate in Fall Festival of Faith at my church.
10) Finish reading, "The Me I Want To Be" by John Ortberg, the book being used for the Fall Festival.
11) Use my gift card from Bike Zoo
12) Buy a new hiking book and work on a fall hiking plan.
13) Make the changes that I've wanted to make on my blog and set some new goals for it.

To sum it up, I'm looking at 36-48 hours of feeling like you know what, then I'll gradually start feeling pretty good again.  Within a week, I'll have my energy back and the cravings for sugar and white flour will have subsided. At some point in the future, I'll go back and do some serious evaluation as to why this became the setback that it did.  Yes, I had compelling reasons to let go a bit, but it shouldn't have gone this far and at some point, I could've/should've stopped it.  I really want to dig deeper into that so maybe I can prevent it from happening in the future. 

But for now, I just want to move forward with determination and see some progress.  Yes, the road is long, the canyon is deep, the river is wide, the mountains are high, but nothing will keep me from reaching my goal.  And to quote one of my favorite movie characters, "that's all I'm going to say about that."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Water is Wide

Along the New River Rail Trail - October, 2008 

Part of me wants to just wake up and have it be September 1, but the other part remembers one of my mother's favorite quotes, "don't wish your life away."  So, I'm happy that it's August 29 and I'll do my best to make August 30th  & 31st productive days.  But I'll still be glad when the calendar tells me it's September.  My Awesome August I was so excited about didn't quite turn out as I expected, did it?  Here's to new beginnings.  

We were having a special music program in conjunction with our Fall Festival of Faith & Renewal this morning at church, so we invited Mr. B's mom to go with us.  She didn't feel quite ready to return to her church "alone" just yet, so we thought this would be a good interim step.  We ended up having a wonderful day together, but of course, it included another lunch out.  This time, the culprit was Chili's Bar & Grill.  It had been years since I'd eaten at a Chili's, so I checked out their menu in advance and was absolutely appalled at the lack of healthy choices.  Well, let me rephrase that - there are healthy choices, they are just so huge, the calorie content is woeful.  Very few choices under 1,000 calories and that's just for the entree.  I made a good choice (the Asian Chicken salad w/o wantons and peanut drizzle sauce) and enjoyed it.  Of course, after lunch, we went back to her house and finished off all the desserts brought by well meaning folks last week.  At least, they are now GONE! 

The formal functions are behind me.  I have two more dining out meals to face - both of them tomorrow.  After that, I'm hoping things will settle down and I can return to normal.  This is truly what I want to happen and I am more than ready.  Much damage has been done, but I still hope to reach my goal by year end.   To help me be accountable, I plan to start posting my food, my daily weight and my daily number of steps on this blog for at least awhile.  I did that in the beginning and found it helped me think twice before making poor choices.   More than anything, I just want to feel good again like I did a couple of weeks ago.  I feel as if I'm operating in a flour & sugar induced coma that leaves me feeling bloated, achy, in a fog and just slightly hungover.  It just doesn't have to be this way and I know that.  

Mr. B and I are huge fans of Celtic Woman and one of our favorite songs is The Water Is Wide.   Some of the lyrics from that song have been playing through my mind like a broken recording.
The water is wide, I can't cross o'er
And neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And we shall sail, my love and I 
This weight loss journey is really "wide" right now.  I can see the other side, but I can't cross over and I haven't the strength to fly.  But there is a boat.  It is the boat of my determination and it can carry two or more.  I have Mr. B, I have my friends, I have you, and I promise all of you that I will sail.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Canyon Is Deep

Grand Canyon - May, 2007

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take

but by the moments that take your breath away."

  This one certainly took my breath away!


As you might have predicted, this "get back on track" plan isn't as cut and dried as I had hoped.  The road is long, the canyon is deep, the river is wide and the mountains are high.  So, yes, I am cutting myself some slack and giving myself room to breathe.  The short-term goals have changed because I can't meet them by September 1.  The strategies for meeting the goals have not changed.   In my enthusiasm, I failed to take into consideration several "events" I have to face between now and September 1.  So, in addition to being on a binge to start with, I attended a formal function last evening in which I had no control.  This would have set me back even had I been fully "on plan."  Since when does "heavy hors d'oeuvres" mean absolutely NOTHING healthy?  There was not one single thing on that table that would have constituted a "good" choice.  I was very disappointed.  There are a couple of other events like this coming up.  They are tied to Mr. B's work and a pretty aggressive fundraising campaign, so I have to be on my best behavior.  Fortunately, all occur prior to September 1, so I've set that date as a target date to be fully back on track.  


I am spending 3-4 hours each day with MIL helping with all business and financial aspects of FIL's death. She prefers morning hours which takes away the time I'd grown accustomed to spending reading and writing in Blogland.  For a time, my posting may be a bit more sporadic than usual, but I hope to be back to almost daily posting soon.  My sincere appreciation to Margie who wrote an entire post based on a comment I had left in response to this post of hers.  Check it out.  If you haven't faced this already, you will and she has dealt with it more than once. 


Here are my revised goals for today until next Wednesday, September 1:

1)  Weigh every day no matter what.  (I've gained six pounds - EEK!!)

2)  Accept that I WILL have a weight gain for the month of August and move on.

3)  Do the best I can between now and 9/1 looking towards that date as a new beginning.

4) Get my daily steps (10,000) in as I've done so faithfully for four years now.  


Here's the plan for today:

1) To MIL's at 1 with long list of things to do.  Mr. B will be with us and dinner out is the plan.  We have a gift card from one of the nicer restaurants in town that we need to use.  MIL has never been to this restaurant so we decided to take her out.  FIL did NOT enjoy eating out even when he was healthy, so this is something that makes her happy.  Do you see a HUGE trap here for me????

2) I will stop by riverfront and get my walking done before going to MIL's.

3) I can eat consciously and remain in control at this restaurant.  

4) I have talked with MIL and told her I am trying to get back on my healthy eating plan.  Would she mind making sure all the leftover desserts and cool whip, nutty, fruity salady things are out of sight. 


Here's the plan for tomorrow:

1) Normal Saturday trek to Farmer's Market.  I can't wait.  This is one of our favorite outings and we haven't been in four weeks.  

2) Rest of day dedicated to getting our house and yard back in order.  Both are a wreck and accomplishing that will put both of us in a more positive frame of mind.  


I can do this, it's just going to take more time and adjustment than I had originally thought.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Road Is Long

Hiking in Florida's Apalachicola National Forest
December 30, 2007
I am at goal weight in this picture - where I'd like to be on December 30, 2010

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother.

So on we go

His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me

If I'm laden at all

I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another.

It's a long, long road

From which there is no return
While we're on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy, he's my brother.

He's my brother

He ain't heavy, he's my brother.
It is evident from your response to me over the past days that my "welfare is of your concern" and yours certainly is of mine.  Thank you for everything up to and including some tough love last night.  I asked for it, I got it and wouldn't have expected anything less.  This morning is a new day and a new attitude.  The road ahead is long, winding and filled with ruts just like in the picture.  But I have a plan and I have goals and I have friends.  Walk with me - let's go!

The Goals:
1)  Do not weigh until September 1, one week from today.
2)  Maintain weight for the month of August.
3)  Reach goal weight of 138 by December 31, 2010.  
4)  No more weeks with less than 10,000 steps average over the seven-day period.

The Plan:
1) This week (today 8/25 to next Weds, 9/1) follow original "diet" as outlined in this post.
2) For this week, NO sugar, white flour, extra snacking, eating after 6 p.m.
3) After 9/1, back to plan I was following that was slowly, but surely, working!

Strategies for Success:
1)  Print comments from recent posts and place on pantry door, fridge, kitchen cabinets & freezer
2)  Blog, blog, blog
3)  Read blogs (make sure I've read "whole" stories of all my favorites)
4)  Find some "newbies" to embrace and encourage.
5)  Get outside 
6)  Get a massage (still have enough for 2 from Mr. B's Valentine's Day gift card)
7)  Move all my pictures to new computer
8)  Read "Born Round" by Frank Bruni (thanks, Sarah)
9)  Attend Small Groups and fully participate in Fall Festival of Faith at my church.
10) Finish reading, "The Me I Want To Be" by John Ortberg, the book being used for the Fall Festival.
11) Use my gift card from Bike Zoo
12) Buy a new hiking book and work on a fall hiking plan.
13) Make the changes that I've wanted to make on my blog and set some new goals for it.

Guess that's enough to get me started and at least provide a "go to" list for weak moments.  I'm going to "pretty up" this list of goals, plans, and strategies, then print it and post somewhere that I can't miss.  Mr. B just LOVES it when I post things all over the house. 

Here's the plan for today:
1)  Headed to MIL's to help her complete an insurance policy and then to her bank.
2)  Downtown to pick up "Born Round" which I have on hold at the library.
3)  While downtown, visit Wednesday Farmer's Market for some fresh veggies.
4)  Make sure I have my 10,000 steps before coming back home.
5)  Finish homework for Small Group Study tonight at church.
6)  Go to Small Group Study and choir practice.

Strategies for today:
1)  I have food planned
2)  I have told MIL I will bring my own lunch.

Yep, the road is long and so is this post.  But I'm strong and I refuse to be heavy.   So on we go...............

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Fat Lady (Me) Is Still Singing....................

December 30, 2009 - 16 pounds heavier than now

................and if she doesn't stop singing soon, she's going to be right back where she was in the picture above.  I know all of the things you've said are true.  Yes, I've experienced pain, stress, overwhelming grief, numbing exhaustion, fear of the unknown, dread of how we would handle death when it actually happened, etc, etc, etc.  Yes, I must give myself time to recover and yes, I know I will turn this around and get back on track.  But for crying out loud, what's up with this out of control, if it's in my pantry, I have to eat it, all out binge?  I've eaten everything from chocolate chips (thanks a lot, whoever mentioned them) to copious amounts of bagels (remember the ones we bought in Boone, NC back in May??), to three kinds of yummy, fluffy sugar filled "salads" back at my MIL's (you know the kind full of cool whip, jello, nuts, cream cheese, etc) to Honey-baked ham and fried chicken......guess you get the picture.  Oh, and after taking MIL to several places she need to go this morning, she took me to Olive Garden for lunch where I enjoyed several bowls of soup and after round one of salad, I just told the server to hand me that gigantic bowl they bring it in and not even bother with a salad bowl. (BTW, I am just kidding about that!!)

I truly thought I was o.k.   When I went to bed last night, I thought I had recovered the resolve that has served me so well for several months now.   I'm seriously afraid. One minute I think I'm o.k. and the next minute my mind is back in the pantry or out in the freezer.  I happen to know there are NINE more of those bagels.  

Help me friends.  It was really hard to write that first paragraph because I have it in my mind that none of you have had a serious relapse like this where you were eating stuff as fast as your mind can figure out where to find what you were going to eat next.  

Please tell me if you have and what did you do to get back on track?  If everybody will tell me one thing, I'll print them and post a copy on my pantry door, my fridge and my freezer.  Maybe if your little faces are looking at me, I'll think twice.  

O.K., the fat lady has begun the final chorus and I hear her singing, "The Party's Over."

Monday, August 23, 2010

No One Told Me About The Food!

That's my sweet FIL on the right with my MIL to his right.   This picture was taken last October  at an apple orchard a couple of hours from our home.  Going to the orchard in the fall was a tradition that we loved - we certainly had no idea on that day that it would be our last trip.  His mind had already begun to really deteriorate and it was only a couple of weeks later that his cancer was diagnosed.  But on this day, you can see how happy he was.  BTW, that is NOT Mr. B.  That gentlemen and his wife have been good friends of ours for many years.  His mother, who is a dialysis patient and has been quite ill for a long time, is standing in the front.  None of us would have ever dreamed Mr. B's dad would be the first to go.  I have other pics from that day, but this one was the best of my FIL.  He was always smiling.  I wanted you to see him as we remember him.  

Why didn't you warn me about the food?  Why didn't someone tell me that getting through this without a major backward step would be virtually impossible?  Why didn't I understand that this whole ordeal would most likely end with a binge? Was it inevitable from the beginning?

I've been preparing (or buying!) food to take to friends after a death all of  my life.   Why did it never occur to me that people would do the same for us?  I have never seen so much food.  Food began coming in within an hour after we arrived home from the hospital last Thursday morning.  We received coordinated food from FOUR churches, twice from extended family and who knows what all from random people who wanted to contribute.  Just another vivid reminder to those of us with weight issues that our world revolves around food.  Staying away from it and out of it was impossible.  To refuse to eat it would have been rude.  So pretty early on, I just gave in and ate, and ate, and ate................................

Am I angry with myself?  For the damage I did on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, not so much.  It was a part of the ritual and I needed to participate.  But for today's continued binge, yes, I am angry with myself.  It was unnecessary and reflective of bad habits I'd worked for months to overcome.  Now I am forced to start from scratch.   Yes, it's o.k. and yes, I will cut myself some slack.  These have been trying days, but I'm reminded how much I don't like the bloated feeling left after consuming large amounts of white flour and sugar or the cotton-mouthed feeling brought on by the same thing.  And then there's the headache which can no longer be blamed on tension.  Nope, this headache is sugar induced.   No doubt about that.

So tomorrow I weigh - something I haven't done since last Friday morning.   And then I face the music.  The music will not be pretty.  Will you help me? 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lux Aeterna - Rest Eternal

My precious father-in-law, who loved me like a daughter for 35 years, died this morning at 6:45 a.m. I have a picture to share, but our internet signal is weak at Mr. B's mom's house and I cannot get it to load.  Will share later.
I cannot thank you enough for the love, kindness and support you have shown me throughout the past two weeks and even before.

"Tears may linger in the night, but joy comes in the morning."  We are rejoicing that he is home at last with a clear mind and free body.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Diet Buddies Challenge - Week 5

Sunset from the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge
Chattanooga, TN

Only time for a brief post to report that we are hanging in there and to report results from the Summer Diet Buddies Challenge for last week.   My blog writing seems to have come to a standstill, although when I can find a few minutes to ponder things, it is so totally therapeutic.  I'm jumping around from blog to blog trying to read your posts, which is also therapeutic, but please forgive my lack of support and commenting.  I'll be back to my familiar routine one of these days.   Just don't forget me, PLEASE!!

Last week's results:

Next week's goals:
1)  As close to 1200 calories per day as I can get.  Average calories over the 7-day period was 1335 (total calories divided by 7) so I was pretty close.  I was surprised - eating was sporadic and often in hospital cafeteria or off tray brought to MIL.  A couple of days, I lost my appetite completely and hardly ate at all.

2)  No white sugar or white flour.  To the best of my memory, I did not eat any refined sugar, but there were a few times where something containing white flour was the only choice I had.  

3)  No food or drink after 6 p.m.   Nope, not even close.  

4)  Lose at least one pound per week during challenge.  I lost 1.5 pounds last week.

5)  Send at least two cards or notes of encouragement to friends or relatives at least one of which must be someone I know is struggling to lose weight.  Nope - only got one card sent and it was a sympathy card, not to someone struggling to lose weight. 

6)  Eat out once with Mr. B choosing the restaurant and still stay within daily calorie range of 1200.  I will claim success with this one, but it didn't happen in the spirit with which I set the goal.  There is a Panera Bread near the hospital and Mr. B chose it twice last week.  He likes Panera, but I am certain he only chose it those days because he knew it would help me.  So even though I met this goal, I didn't really if that makes sense.

7)  Try something new.  (OK, I admit I copied this from someone else, but I absolutely love the idea.)  Again, I can't begin to tell you how many new experiences I've had this week, but none of the kind I had in mind when I set this goal.  
Next week's goals:
I'm going to keep the same goals next week.   I like them, they challenge me, but aren't too difficult and I'd love to strive for a week in which I'm able to meet them all in the way I intended when I set them.  
Please forgive any horrid grammar or typos in this post.   I have neither the time to proof it or preview it.   Our family so appreciates your kindness and support. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Discovering Hidden Treasures

Biltmore Estate - Asheville, NC
April 2, 2010  

We have been season pass holders to Biltmore Estate for more than twenty years.  Asheville, NC is about 1 1/2 hours east of us and is our perfect quick getaway spot.  Fortunately, we discovered Asheville and the western North Carolina mountain area before it became quite the tourist destination that it is today.  We know the area about as well as we do our home area and can get most anywhere via backroads that the masses haven't yet found.  We stayed in some absolutely exquisite Bed & Breakfasts until they became so popular they priced themselves right out of our range.  We then turned to cabins/cottages so that we could have the privacy we craved as well as control over our food.  

Here's what most people never discover about Biltmore Estate.   Although the mansion is the "main" attraction, people who pay their days admission and only tour the mansion, have completely missed out on the Biltmore experience.  We are told through the magazine and promo materials we receive as season passholders, that only a small percentage of the mansion and the grounds are open to the public.  The acreage is vast and over the years, we've seen miles and miles of hiking trails, biking trails and horseback riding trails built.  We often go for a night or even just a day trip and never enter the doors of the mansion.  While the hoards of people are standing in line waiting for their "timed" entry, we are meandering along paths beside the French Broad River, through the woodland areas, around the garden or across the knolls which provide unbelievable views back toward the mansion.  We have never visited Biltmore that we didn't find at least one hidden treasure we'd never noticed before.  While strolling through the gardens on our most recent visit, I discovered the hidden treasure of a tulip (my favorite flower) that was the most exquisite color of lavender (my favorite color) I have ever seen.  We also found a new Woodland Trail that we'd never walked, but yielded two Pink Lady's Slippers and a Jack-In-the-Pulpit.

Every day brings hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered.  But the most precious of those probably aren't going to jump out and dance in front of us.  We have to be willing to step away from the crowds, take time to walk down the road less travelled, maybe go against the grain a bit and find the treasure most meaningful to us rather than just accepting treasures as others tell us to see them.  I think the simpler the hidden treasures are, the more profoundly they affect us.  I love the majesty of Biltmore Mansion, but not too far away, is a rare wildflower that can only be found if sought.

I'm in a place right now where I'm extra sensitive to the simplicity of life and discovering hidden treasure isn't difficult to do.   Here are a few that have profoundly impacted me over the past few days.  There are others too personal to even share with you.   But I'd encourage you to look around and find something new to treasure even in the normal routine of a Sunday afternoon.

1) The treasure of one specific new blog friend who told me very early in this process with FIL that she deals with these types of situations in her career as a social worker and offered to help in any way she could.  We reverted to private emails and she has given advice to us that has been invaluable as we've made decisions.  The advice, the time she's given and the peace of mind it has given us is something Mr. B, my MIL and I will never forget.   Thanks, Deb!

2) The treasure of ALL of you.  Not only have you been a comfort to me, but you have made an amazing impact on my husband who wept last night when I put my last post in front of him and said, "read these comments."   

3) The treasure of watching my precious husband of 33+ years change the diaper of his father.  Not that the nurses wouldn't do it, he just wants to.  If that doesn't move you to tears, I don't know what will.  

4) The treasure of feeling so much love in a room, you hardly see how the room can contain it.

5)  The treasure of having scrambled eggs and a bagel for breakfast (because I had run out of milk for cereal and was too tired to stop at the store last night!!) and realizing half way through it that I was FULL!  Not only did I realize I was full, but I thought about it briefly, got up, put the rest in the garbage disposal and listened to it grind with great pleasure.   I believe that it a first! 

See, hidden treasures can be simple, serious, lighthearted or just plain funny.  They're there, just open your eyes and see them.

P.S.  FIL still hanging on, but continuing to deteriorate.  Doctor shakes his head and says, "it can't be much longer."    Since he is now so peaceful and we feel his spirit has been gone for days, we wonder if this isn't time for us.  We've shared memories and learned so many things about each other that we've never known. Each hour that passes makes us feel stronger in begging him to just let go. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Still Waiting.....................

Along the Appalachian Trail on the TN/NC Border
October, 2009   

I do not wait well.   Especially when the waiting is this painful.  Mr. B's dad is resting comfortably.  His body is shutting down and breathing is beginning to slow.  He has fought hard even with us repeatedly assuring him that it's o.k. to go.  It should be soon.

Waiting is exhausting.  I've often said that it's easier for me to hike ten miles than to wait in a line for 20 minutes.  Since Mr. B is an only child, we are a small family unit and although, we have a host of friends and extended family who want to help, the three of us want to be present with our husband/dad when he leaves this world.  So we take turns, we run home to bathe and catnap, only to return and wait some more. 

This is life.  This is not what I intended to blog about this week.  I had lovely pictures and subjects all picked out to talk about, ask your advice about and have fun with.  Things change.  Those subjects will still be here in a week or so when I can devote more time to it and get back into the routine with which I've become so familiar.  

I am so exhausted mentally and emotionally, but during the long days in the hospital room, I'm finding comfort in reading your posts.  It reminds me of a sense of normalcy that I will find again in a few days.  Precious life is still happening all around me even though I have to look on the whiteboard in FIL's room to remember what day it is.  I've made a few trips down to the nursery to get a glimpse of new life as I watch the final hours of life flow out of someone I love deeply.  I don't have the mental energy to write posts of my own, but thank you for yours. 

Interestingly, after the episode with the Triscuits, I seem to have lost my appetite completely.  This is NOT the way I want to lose weight.  I think it will pass, but right now, I just don't want to eat.  This may very well be a first!!  

This is becoming a bit of a ramble and that is not my intent.  It had been a couple of days since I posted, so just wanted to say thanks for your kind support and comments.  Mr. B is totally amazed at the community I've found in such a short time.  I will keep you posted - it just probably won't be every day  for a little while.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stuck In Limbo

Cascade along the Cabin Creek Trail
Grayson Highlands State Park - Virginia
October, 2009

One definition of the word "limbo" states that it is "any status where a person or project is held up, and nothing can be done ..." Sort of explains where we get the catch-phrase, "stuck in limbo," doesn't it?  Well, stuck in something is exactly where my family is right now and yours truly is going stir crazy.  I am continuously reminding myself how blessed I have been to have so little experience with how slowly the wheels turn when dealing with medical issues.  FIL has deteriorated into a complete state of dementia and not without some very tense and rough moments.  He is now being kept completely sedated, his doctors are all in agreement that he needs to be moved directly to a skilled nursing facility/nursing home and we are in the early stages of making that happen.  All of those things happened yesterday - today there was no movement whatsoever.  We simply waited, and waited, and waited.  Stuck in limbo.........................

This was also the day I learned that "stuck in limbo" is a very close relative to "Help, I'm A Control Freak".  I came home about three this afternoon.  The hospital room is small, stuffy and not designed to hold three people plus one completely sedated person, for hours on end.  Mr. B wanted to stay with his mom a while longer in case one of the doctor's came in, so I found myself home alone for a couple of hours.  

I was hungry, tired, sad, stressed and the pantry was between me and my laptop.  For whatever reason, I opened the pantry and there they were.....a fresh, new unopened box of TRISCUITS!  The conversation started immediately.  "No, Sharon - bad, bad, bad."  "Oh, but think how good they would taste with one wedge of the Herb & Garlic Laughing Cow Cheese."  "Only seven Triscuits with the cheese."  "That's a good snack."  "NO, NO, NO Sharon - you know Triscuits are your trigger food.  You CAN'T eat just seven.  You'll eat the whole box."   

The bad news is:   I ate the Triscuits.
The good news is:  I only ate half the box.

The bad news is:  It's been so long since I've eaten that much wheat (even whole wheat) and salt, I'll probably be swollen up the size of the Pillsbury Doughboy tomorrow.  Not to mention the headache I'll have.
The good news is: I ONLY ate half the box.  (In case anyone is wondering - yes, I've eaten a whole box many times...one of my favorite binge items)

The moral of this story:  "Stuck in limbo" and "out of control" are closely related and since we all know I don't deal well with "out of control," it should come as no surprise that I'm not handling "stuck in limbo" very well either.  Our lives are on hold.  We wait.  We have no control over the circumstances or the speed at which this process moves.  We wait.   I CAN control what goes in my mouth and for just a moment, forget how sad this all really is.  We wait.   I eat.  We wait.  All of a sudden, I get it! My mind makes the connection between "stuck in limbo" and mindless eating. Yes, I've eaten half the box, but I put the rest of the Triscuits back in the pantry.  We wait.  No more Triscuits!   But still, we wait................we are stuck in limbo!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Diet Buddies Report - Week 4

In keeping with the flower theme I seem to have started, today's picture is of a Yellow Lady's Slipper taken along the trail to White Oak Sinks this past April   Peak bloom time for both the Pink and Yellow Lady's Slippers is the first week of May.  This year, they bloomed early.  On another trail not far from this one, we counted 235 Pink Lady's Slippers one year.   

I am a goal setter and a list maker.  Most of the time, these two characteristics serve me well.   I have also been told that I can be obsessive about it and to "lighten up."  But I do know this.  When it comes to blogging and weight loss, I love being part of a challenge.  It motivates me and encourages me to set higher goals.  I did well with my Summer Diet Buddies goals this week, but quite frankly, they were a little lame.  Next week's are going to be more challenging.

Here's Week 4 results:
1)  As close to 1200 calories per day as I can get.  .  I did well with this one.  4 days slightly under 1200, 2 days slightly over and 1 day over by 400.

2)  No white sugar or white flour.   Done

3)  No food or drink after 6 p.m.   Done

4)  Lose at least one pound per week during challenge. Done - I lost 1 1/2 pounds.

5)  Send two cards or notes of encouragement to friends or relatives at least one of which is struggling to lose weight.  Done.

Next week's goals:
1)  As close to 1200 calories per day as I can get. 

2)  No white sugar or white flour. 

3)  No food or drink after 6 p.m.  

4)  Lose at least one pound per week during challenge.

5)  Send at least two cards or notes of encouragement to friends or relatives at least one of which must be someone I know is struggling to lose weight.

6)  Eat out once with Mr. B choosing the restaurant and still stay within daily calorie range of 1200.

7)  Try something new.  (OK, I admit I copied this from someone else, but I absolutely love the idea.)

Thanks for your kind comments and support regarding our situation with FIL.  We are moving forward with the next steps and so far, all involved in decision making (us, medical personnel, etc.) are on the same page.  Please continue to remember our family in your prayers.

Our trip to Beech Mountain, NC has been cancelled and the person from who we had rented a condo, has graciously agreed to refund our money minus a small deposit.  She did not HAVE to do this so once again, I am reminded that although it's so easy to focus on the negative aspects of our society, basically people are still kind and good.

I am also reminded that more often than not, timing works out according to a perfect plan.  Mr. B does not have to be at school until a week from Wednesday.  Barring significant problems, that should be enough time for us to get the next steps underway for his dad.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I'm Drawing A Blank Today

One of the most beautiful Crested Dwarf Iris I have ever seen.  This picture was taken in April along the Ace Gap Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  This flower is frequently seen along certain trails during spring wildflower season, but this one was special.  Generally found in patches, this one was all alone and had the most brilliant color of any I'd ever seen.  It was exquisite.   

Please forgive me in advance if this post seems to have no point.  Although I have several things written down in my "ideas" journal that I want to write about, none are seeming to inspire me today.   But I wanted to write (I ALWAYS want to write!!) so just thought today would be a journey through Sharon's eyes and believe me, it has some gains and losses.  

Mr. B's dad did not have a good night and consequently, neither did Mr. B.  More tests are planned for tomorrow morning - hopefully, we will know more after that.  I think both of us are anticipating them to find nothing medically wrong as we believe this is probably mental.  But we could be wrong, of course.  It just seems ironic that after MIL went home last evening and Mr. B became very stern with his dad, all of a sudden he could swallow again and was able to take his meds mixed in with some pudding.  He ate some applesauce this morning and took his meds, but once MIL arrived, suddenly he could no longer swallow again.  Go figure......

It is difficult to write anything about the trip we had planned this week because I don't want to come across as sounding self-centered or as if that is more important than my FIL's health.  Obviously, we are going to lose at least a day of our trip and my guess is that it will be more.  Fortunately, our destination is only 3 1/2 hours away, so maybe we'll get to go for part of the week.  We sure were looking forward to it.  

I'm still having a difficult time fighting off the munchies. It has been several weeks since I've experienced an intense desire to "munch."  And notice, I said "munchies" as opposed to "cravings."  I am not craving any particular thing and I attribute that to the fact that I'm pretty much off refined sugar and white flour.  These are not carbohydrate or sugar induced.  Last night, I finally ate some grapes (more than I should have) and some almonds (more than I should have), began reading blogs and eventually fell asleep.  Today, the same desire to "munch" is back, and thanks to last week's breakthrough posts, I think I may have a handle on it.  It's the control thing.  Starting yesterday afternoon, when we got the call from MIL to head to the ER, I began feeling out of control.  What's happening? What are they going to do? What could this be? Are we going to have to cancel our trip  Will we lose our deposit? Etc! Etc! Etc!  Once I was back home pondering all these things, suddenly all I wanted was something to "munch" on.   Once I recognized that "out of control" feeling and knowing I couldn't change anything, rather than heading to the kitchen as I've always done in the past, I picked up my computer and started reading.  Worked like a charm and it has worked again today.   It's too early to get really excited, but I think maybe I'm really on to something valuable for my journey on through weight loss and into maintenance.

I mentioned that my birthday present was new computer equipment.   I had done no upgrading since I left CorporateLand in 2002, so that tells you how antiquated everything was.  I'm now high tech (what a joke)!   A friend came over to help me with the networking and I am happy to say that everything is operating properly and all are talking to each other!!  I have several "projects" I've been wanting to attempt, but didn't have the equipment for, so I'm really excited about getting to work on some of those things.  I also have a lot more work I want to do on this blog and can't wait to get started on that.  I'll try to warn you because once I get started messing with things, heaven only knows what may turn up...lol!  I've already scanned my "fat" picture and will try to get it posted soon.  I'll whet your appetite by telling you that it is disturbing on several levels!!!!

When I first mentioned our challenges with Mr. B's dad, a few of you (Margie and Tish I remember specifically) shared some of your personal experiences with caring for parents and in-laws.  Those words were so encouraging to me.  Please share more.  Right now, I'd like that.  Mr. B is an only child and I became the daughter they never had.  Their love for me has always been completely unconditional.  It is so hard when he looks at me and I can tell he isn't sure who I am.  Mr. B seems to be handling that part better than I am.  Have you all had to deal with this yet?  For how long?  Does it get any easier?  

Well, I may have drawn a blank, but as usual, I certainly wasn't at a loss for words.   Thanks for listening!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weekend Turmoil

This was one of many Pink Lady's Slipper flowers found along the Ace Gap Trail during my hike last April.   This picture doesn't do justice to the beauty of the flower especially the brilliant pink color.  They are found in other places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but this trail is known for one of the largest stands.  

How quickly things can change!   Yesterday, we spent a wonderful day with Mr. B's parents.  We helped with some things that needed to be done around the house, then Mr. B stayed with his dad while MIL and I went to the mall, Sam's, Walmart and the grocery store.  We separated at the mall so I could walk and she could meander through her favorite stores.  It was just a good day all around.  FIL was in better shape mentally than he had been my past several visits. 

Tonight, he is in the hospital.  MIL called early this afternoon to tell us he was unable to swallow and she was taking him to the ER.  In his current mental state, that could mean several things.   Can't, forgot how or just plain won't are three possibilities that come to mind.  Since he is having no problems breathing or talking, it doesn't seem to be life threatening at this point, but after several x-rays, scans and hours in ER, the decision was made to admit him.  Of course, with it being Saturday, absolutely nothing will be done until Monday.  Mr. B is staying with his dad tonight, so MIL can have a night of uninterrupted sleep.  That leaves me all alone and if there was anything bad in the house for me to eat, I'd probably be chowing down right now.  You, my blogging friends, have come to the rescue once again.  Instead of eating, I am writing.

Monday morning is when we were to leave for our end of summer fling.  Guess that's on hold for the time being.  We were so looking forward to this time.  Once Mr. B starts back to school, he literally hits the ground running and hardly has time to breathe until December.  

We did make our weekly run to the farmer's market this morning.  I bought a new variety of tomato I'd never seen called a sausage tomato.  It's shaped like a large dill pickle and has a distinct flavor that I really like.  Will work perfectly sliced long ways on sandwiches.  No more blackberries, but did find a new variety of white peaches that are good.  

Will try and update sometime tomorrow. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Trail - Who Knows Where It Will Lead?

Ace Gap Trail - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
April, 2010

 The feeling I experience when I first set foot on a hiking trail is difficult to describe.  It's a mixture of excitement and anticipation with a certain amount of caution built in.  Do I have enough water?  Do I have my emergency kit?  Did I pack enough food with lots of protein?  Do I have my rain gear?  All those things plus many others race through your mind, but you point those boots forward and don't look back.  You know it's going to be hard work and you'll be tired, but the thought of not heading out on that trail isn't even an option.  Because no matter how hard the trail, the overwhelming sense of peace and serenity one experiences makes every rocky section, breath stealing uphill climb and knee killing downhill slide worth it.  That's kind of how I'm feeling right now.  

My last two posts (here and here) were not easy to write.  I didn't plan them and there was a lot of stuff in them I had never verbalized before, but once I got started writing, the words flew off my fingers.  I cannot thank you enough for your comments and feedback.  I have read them over and over again trying to learn something from each one knowing that there has been a wealth of kindness and some introspection with each one.  The "trail" ahead of me is long, but here are some things I feel much better about right now:

1)  Until I wrote those words, I truly don't believe I'd ever made any sort of connection between those childhood food memories and my inability to stop eating until food is gone.  Now that I have a glimpse of what is happening, I can begin the work of setting some guidelines to help me get past those moments between "I've had enough" and "I can't stop until it's gone."  

2)  Someone (sorry I can't remember who) suggested starting now talking to MIL about new eating habits and being very candid (in a gentle way) about things I no longer eat.  With FIL's health deteriorating rapidly, things are beginning to change in the way we do things anyway, so I believe there will be fewer and fewer times in the future where I am unable to have any control over what is served at meals.  I truly believe this problem will take care of itself.  But I'm actually glad it happened the way it did this year because I think the two events (with in-laws and parents) happening so close together are what helped me identify the food issues in a way I'd never done before.

3) This one may be hard to properly communicate in writing but I'll try.  In writing the post about my parents, particularly my mother, I believe some anger flowed out through these fingers that I knew I harbored, but had no idea why.  Because here is what I want you to know.  When I think of my parents and future time spent with them, there is now a sense of peace and calm, as opposed to dread, that I haven't experienced in a long, long time.  Yes, they have (and always will) their hang-ups, but make no mistake about it - I am eternally grateful to have been raised in a home where my parents loved God, each other and me.  Those things were NEVER in doubt.   Having identified this connection between food in my childhood and overeating in my adulthood, I'm ready to put it behind me and not play the blame game.  It's the way it was and I'm a big girl now - it's my responsibility to move on and treasure what time I have left with my parents.

4)  Writing is cathartic and totally therapeutic!  (But we already knew that, didn't we?)  I think this blog is going to have a long life.  Hope you'll stay with me.  I need every one of you!  Thanks so much.

Will all of this help me lose this last 16.5 pounds any quicker?  I doubt it, but it will help me understand that "good" food is always available to me and I have control over making poor choices or excellent choices.  If nothing else, I'm proud of myself for figuring this out.  I think it's significant and is a breakthrough which may prove to be even more useful in maintenance phase than weight-loss phase.  
Mentally, I feel much the same level of exhaustion that I often feel as a long day of hiking draws to a close.  There is such a sense of accomplishment and if you are returning the same way you hiked in, there is a sense of comfort and familiarity along the trail.  This picture was taken at almost the exact spot the earlier picture was taken - I was heading out instead of in.  The sun is shining differently and if you look closely, you can see my car in the upper right corner.  This day's hike was over.   It had been almost 11 miles of perfect temperatures, excellent trail conditions and an amazing display of wildflowers (this trails boasts one of the largest stands of Pink Ladies Slipper's in the entire park).  Nonetheless, it is always a wonderful feeling to look up and get the first glimpse of your car.  

My latest hike of discovery began a few days ago.  I've "walked" the path until I'm braindead and mentally exhausted, but I've had some amazing revelations, gotten some great feedback, reached a turning point and am headed in the right direction.  The sun is shining on the path and as for the trail, who knows where it will lead.  But I've laced up my boots and I'm ready to go.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why Do I Have To Eat It All?

View from the front porch of the log cabin where friends of ours live. 
View is the same no matter which way you look!
July 24, 2010

Today's post is a continuation of yesterday's ramble, so bear with me.  I think I may be on to something which seems to have struck a chord with some of you also.  So keep talking to me.  I'm listening and maybe for the first time, REALLY hearing and making connections.

From my mother, I inherited many things for which I am thankful.  One of those is my passion for travel.  We were a middle class family, but they found ways to make certain my sister and I saw other parts of the USA besides Tennessee.  We never traveled far and we always camped, but by the time I left home for college, I'd gotten the travel bug.  There are many other things I could name, but those are not the point of this post.

Both my parents, as I've learned in my adult life, have some major issues regarding money management.  I don't know how to say it other than to just come right out and say they are cheap, cheap, cheap.  All my sister and I heard throughout our childhoods, was "we can't afford that" or "that's a waste of money."  As I grew up, went to work, being managing my own finances and now, manage theirs, I pretty quickly realized that they aren't, and never were, as poor as they believed they were. To this day, I can't persuade them to enjoy even a tiny bit of what they worked for years to save.  It's ALWAYS, "we can't afford it" or "that's a waste of money." This is, obviously, some pretty deep stuff that doesn't need to be discussed any further here, but I felt a little background was in order.

The other factor that must come into the picture is that my mother worked very hard all her life.  She held the same job for almost 40 years, and although it was not a management level position, it was a job she loved.  There is not a domestic bone in my mother's body!  Our house was always a mess and she could hardly boil water, much less cook.  

So now, we get to the point of today's ramble!  Put all this information together and you have a child, teenager, young adult headed off to college who grew up in a home where meals were rarely nutritious, generally out of a box, really cheap stuff and just plain nasty.  Grocery shopping was a rushed affair with no planning or preparation and my memories include constant rants about how expensive groceries were. Additional nasty stuff was often added to the boxes of nasty stuff so the meal would go further.  Enough said - you get the point!

My first recollection of tasting really good food was when I began going to friend's homes for sleep-overs.  I am often so embarrassed now to remember that I must have eaten everything they had because it tasted so good.  Fast forward to the day I turned 16 and got my first job.  All of a sudden, I had money and could BUY the good stuff.  Thus began the cycle of buying my own food and hiding it in the house.  This also began the cycle of losing and gaining weight. I've examined those memories many times, but only recently have I begun to see a possible connection between those circumstances and my inability to "rest" until all of something is gone.  Once it's gone - I'm fine.  Could it be that, subconsciously, I still believe if something really "good" is in front of me and I don't eat it all right now, I'll never be able to have it again?  If I'd lived the first 18 years of my life in an atmosphere where "good" food was purchased and served in appropriate portions and no mention was ever made (while we were eating it) about how much it cost, would I have incorporated those philosophies into my eating habits throughout adulthood?  Would I be a "normal" eater?

I've even wondered if this same thing plays into the way I binge eat?   I can go on a tear with the best of you, but mine have always been different.  I've never gone throughout the grocery store or several drive-thrus purchasing a gazillion things to take home and eat in a food fest.  No, my binges never include more than two or three items with the most common being potato chips and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.   Bags and boxes of them at one sitting, but only those two items.  Coincidentally (or NOT!), both of these are food items I only discovered after going to friend's homes as a teen.  I don't recall EVER having them at our house.

So, am I on to something?   Are my control issues along with a deep-seeded fear that I might not ever be able to have "good" food again if I don't eat it all right NOW, the reason I continue to struggle with my weight?  Are those same issues the reason I can lose weight, but not maintain my loss?  If I could once and for all, move past these things, would I finally have a chance at becoming a "normal" eater? I'd like your feedback before I weigh in tomorrow on some thoughts about how to move past this once and for all.   Your "issues" will be different from mine, but does any of this resonate with thoughts you've had regarding your own hang-ups?  How do you think I can best move past this permanently?  

To end on a humorous note and show you that, with Mr. B's help, I've learned to just laugh when my mom comes out with her ridiculous remarks, here's how breakfast ended yesterday morning.  Our server brought the ticket, handed it to my dad and my mom promptly grabbed it from him to look it over.  Her first remark was, "they didn't deduct the coupon, this is way too expensive."  Mr. B calmly took it from her and pointed out where the coupon had been deducted.  Then she said, "and it's still THAT much."  This conversation is always going to happen, so I learned a long time ago not to let it detract from the enjoyment of my birthday "treat!"  Hey, we've actually come a long way.  In year's past, they "treated" the birthday person, but the other had to pay for their own.  LOL!  What can I say??? Parents, gotta love em!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Help, I'm A Control Freak!

Along the Riverwalk in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
May, 2009

It seems as if we are all struggling with our relationship with food right now.  We want to eat like "normal" people.  We want to have more than five minutes pass without thinking of food.  We want to wake up in the morning and have our first thoughts be about something other than what we can eat today.  We want to attend social events without fear that we will go off-plan and ruin that week's efforts.  We want to enjoy trips to Sam's or Costco without giving the Demon Sample Pushers a second glance.  Mostly, we just want to scream, "stop, stop, stop" to the continuous video in our head that says, "you'll never be better. I am food and I will always taunt you." 

My MIL cooked my birthday lunch yesterday - food she knows I love. I did o.k., but still ate more than I should have of all the wrong things.  Unfortunately, there were really no good choices - everything was either fried or swimming in grease. I passed up the corn bread (believe me, that didn't go unnoticed), but went back for seconds of most everything making sure there were no leftovers.  I was stuffed and that feeling is no longer acceptable to me.  So please explain to me why, not 30 minutes after we got home, did I have a BAG of almonds in my hands eating mindlessly from it?  Sure, almonds are nutritionally better than potato chips, but my gosh, the calories.  And the whole point is, I was NOT hungry.  An hour later, I was eating a large bowl of yogurt with blueberries and granola mixed in.  Again, it wasn't a bowl of ice cream, but I was NOT hungry.  But the compulsion to eat was there.  It was all I could think about.  Why?  

Fast forward to my birthday breakfast this morning with MY parents.  I did manage to manipulate (whoops, I mean lovingly persuade) them to take me to Mimi's Cafe instead of IHOP.  With my mom, it's always all about the money (don't forget this!!), so when I mentioned I had a coupon for a free entree, Mimi's it was.  Mimi's publishes comprehensive nutrition information on their website, so I was able to plan in advance and choose a yummy breakfast dish that didn't involve sugar.  I stuck with my plan, ordered quiche lorraine with fruit instead of potatoes, ate half of it and brought the rest home.  I've stayed faithful to plan the rest of today with no problems whatsoever.  Why?  What was different between Sunday lunch and Monday breakfast?

For years, I've spent so much time and energy analyzing the "why" of this.  I can say that things have improved, but could go backwards as quickly as they progress slowly!  Sunday afternoon could easily have become a binge fest.  There were Triscuits in the pantry!  It didn't, but neither was my behavior "normal."  Hunger did not play a role - it was something else.

I think, for me, the answer has something to do with control.  I am a self-admitted control freak.  Put me in any situation where I have zero control and watch me self destruct.  I don't have to control all situations, I just have to know I have a choice.  I had NO control over yesterday's lunch.  In addition to the fact that nothing was served that was in my eating plan, I knew I was being watched and inventory taken of how much I ate or didn't eat.  A remark was made that "surely you aren't going to pass up hot, buttered cornbread on your birthday."  And then later, "what in the world am I going to do with all this cornbread?" No control at all!  So when I got home, I ate again just because I could eat whatever I wanted as much as I wanted.  But it was my decision and I was back in control.  At breakfast this morning, the decisions were all mine and I did just fine.

This is rambling and may make no sense at all, but I was just curious if anything resonates with ANYONE who's struggling with the why of what we do what we do.  Sometimes, the way I react or respond to a food situation seems so random.  Like you, I just want to be a "normal" person who eats to live and then doesn't think about food again until her STOMACH tells her it's time.

Part 2 of this ramble is tomorrow.  What does the fact that, for my mother, it's ALWAYS all about the money, have to do with my food issues?  Plenty, I think.................................

Monday, August 2, 2010

Freedom Challenge Final Results & Summer Diet Buddies Goals

The Battery - Charleston, South Carolina
May, 2010
We took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Charleston in very early May taking advantage of a highly unusual cool snap.  We took our bicycles and rode for hours on end during the four days we were there.  I cannot wait for the weather to break to we can begin riding again.  It rarely gets so hot that we are unable to ride at all in the summer.  This summer has just been an exception. We traditionally find a Rails to Trails path to conquer during Mr. B's four day fall break in October.  I need to get started planning that and am open to suggestions!  

I have loved being a part of the Freedom Challenge for the past four weeks and am so grateful to Deb for sponsoring it.  Striving for goals has been motivating, but the new friends I have found far surpasses that.  Now if my powers of persuasion can just get Kenna (Deb's granddaughter) to pick my name for the prize........I'd really like to have one of those books that's part of the package.  

Here are my results for the week:

1) Walking is my form of exercise. Since 2006, I have worn a pedometer, kept a log and averaged 10,000 steps per week. I'd like to increase that goal to 12,000 steps per week.  Done!  Although I didn't get 12,000 steps every day, the average over seven days was 12, 368. 

2) I want to begin planning menus in advance. I will plan menus three days this week and increase it by one day each week, so that by the end of the challenge, I'll be planning a week in advance.  I believe this goal will probably be my most beneficial because I did it faithfully, found a time each week to work on menus and feel as if it might have become a habit.

3) Along with goal #2, I will find and try at least one new recipe each week and post a picture of it on my blog. Eliminated this goal a couple of weeks ago.

4) July 30th is my birthday. I will eat nothing with white sugar in it until that day (and maybe not then). I am happy to say that I met this goal totally.  Ate no white sugar last week including my birthday. 

5) This is a "just for fun" goal since you asked that our goals be unrelated to weight loss.  I'd like to weigh 155 or less by my birthday. This is my 55th birthday (EEK!!) and I think it would be cool to be at or below 155 on my 55th birthday. I'm already very close, so this should be a easy no-brainer  I was sweating this one, but did reach 155 on July 29th.

Thanks again, Deb!

Here are last week's results and this week's goals for Diet Buddy Daily's challenge:

1)  As close to 1200 calories per day as I can get.  Got off track on Sunday.  Other than that, was within 100 calories of 1200 all week. 
2)  No white sugar or white flour.   Done - passed with flying colors!

3)  No food or drink after 6 p.m.  

4)  Lose at least one pound per week during challenge. Done

5)  Send a card or note of encouragement to at least one friend or relative who I know is struggling to lose weight.  Done

I joined this challenge late and only had a partial week to meet these goals, so I'm going to keep the same ones for next week except to add that I will send at least TWO notes of encouragement.  One to someone struggling to lose weight and the other to someone I know that needs encouraging for any reason.  

Yesterday's birthday lunch didn't go well from an eating standpoint, but could have been a lot worse.  This morning's birthday breakfast went much better.  These two scenarios raised some questions for me about "normal" eating which I'm also hearing from many of you, so think I'll save that for tomorrow's post.
Birthday's over, "awesome" August has arrived, autumn is just around the corner!