Archive | November, 2011

What a relief…

29 Nov

I went to the Y for Zumba today and discovered I hadn’t gained anymore weight!  This felt like not only a huge relief, but a reprieve in a way – a little break to help get me back on track.  To help get my attitude adjusted.

I also accomplished my food plan for the day, AND managed to eat lunch at the counter instead of in front of the TV.

All in all, a successful day!  Yippee!

I’m getting tired of being accountable…

28 Nov

or perhaps it’s that I’m tired of posting things that feel like failures.  I think I’d be loving it if I were reporting weight loss every week, with no straying from the plan.  But, it’s not my reality.

I guess the shame is rearing it’s ugly head and I can’t hide it any longer.  I’ve gone public…spilled my guts and now I have to follow through.  I deserve to follow through and achieve my goal.

I realized today how easy it would be to fall right back into the old lifestyle.  In some ways I get that it seems easier somehow, but on the other hand, I’ve been eating good food on this journey.  Clearly, it has to do with more than what I’m putting in my mouth.  There’s a lot more there that is coming to the surface.  At this moment, I am unable to identify what ‘that’ is.

There seems to be some issue with caring for myself in a loving way, or treating myself the way I’d treat someone I cared for very much.  I’ve got to really believe I’m worth all of this change – that I’m worth the long haul of this journey.   I’ve been such a fan of instant gratification for a long time, so, this is a BIG change.

Or, is it being much more comfortable with what is familiar?  I certainly lived my life one way for a very long time.  I’m also feeling angry with myself for making commitments here that I didn’t keep.  Granted, I’ve kept way more than I haven’t.  But, I’m focused on the ‘didn’ts’ right now, and it feels pretty crappy.

I just knew that once I made a promise here and DIDN’T keep it, I’d feel like, ‘well, why would anyone (especially me) believe it when I made a new commitment?  I’ve clearly got some thinking to do surrounding these new feelings/realizations.

The last four days were not so great – Thanksgiving was pretty much caution to the wind, followed by food choices on Friday that were not the best.  Last night we hosted a dinner party, and the food was fairly healthy.  But, I’ve now had dessert 4 nights in a row.  Not good.

So, at the risk of feeling disgusted with myself for making another commitment, I’m going to say what my eating plan is for tomorrow.  I’d also like to make a short-term goal to lose 5 pounds over the next two weeks.  That could be a bit too high of a goal, but I’m aiming for it.  This means I need to weigh myself tomorrow to see if I’ve gained any more weight…sigh…

For now, here is my food plan for tomorrow…

Breakfast: yogurt, nuts, fruit and honey

Snack: (if needed) cashews and an apple

Lunch: turkey patty, brussels sprouts and fruit

Snack: celery with laughing cow cheese

Dinner: sandwich with carrots (or salad)  and fruit

I usually like to try and come up with some wonerful, pithy sign-off for these posts – but, tonight, I’m just not feeling it.  I hope tomorrow my outlook is better.

I’m still formulating my plan for Turkey day…

24 Nov

Like many of you, we are having quite the feast tomorrow…pork roast (okay, so not many of you are probably having THAT, but…), fig and apple chutney, my mother’s dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean salad, green salad and – two kinds of pie – pumpkin and apple cranberry.  Oh yeah, and wine!

We opted NOT to have appetizers because, really, who needs to eat some food right before you eat lots more food?  I’m tossing around several ideas for tomorrow: 1) fill up my plate mostly with salads, then smaller bits of the starchy stuff;  2) only eat one plate of food – no seconds; 3) don’t really worry too much, it’s Thanksgiving! 

The thing is, I don’t want to feel stuffed and miserable.  I also don’t want the 4-day-weekend to turn into a slippery slope of ‘let’s eat whatever we want – it’s a holiday.’  Another thought is, hmmm…two kinds of pie, wow!  I’m thinking a little slice of one on Thursday and keep a little slice of the other for Friday or Saturday night.  That way I don’t have my own personal pie frenzy in one night.

I think I need to commit to some pretty healthy and lean eating on Friday (with the exception of the slice of pie) so I don’t stray too far from the plan the day after the holiday.  I’ve been a bit stuck the last week and a half without any lost poundage, and I don’t want to get too discouraged.  I’m also planning a VERY low carb week next week to jumpstart my weight loss. 

It seems WAY too early for a plateau with all the weight I need to lose, and I don’t want to start any ‘stinkin’ thinkin” that will derail my efforts.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, I know I’ve been pushing the envelope of what I can get away with and still lose weight.  So, Monday will be the start of a more concerted effort. 

I’ve also committed to my therapist that Monday, I will eat my lunch away from the tv, and then knit while I watch a lunchtime show.  It’s good to have a plan, right?  I will report the outcome in a post late next week.  It’s kind of like research, right?

Gotta get the train rollin’ again…after all, mama needs a new (red) handbag!

Today, I am thankful for my husband…

19 Nov

for SO many reasons, but specifically, for wanting to go to the gym this morning.  Had he not, I probably would have skipped it – it’s easier to lay in bed, right?  I’m feeling really good for having sweated a bit, and am in a good frame of mind today.

I’m also thankful for these new jeans which are a size smaller – wearing them for the 1st time today!

Well, it was bound to happen at some point…

18 Nov

I gained a pound and a half this week.  With a combination of less exercise and a little more food, it’s not a big surprise, though I guess I was at least wishing for a ‘no loss’ week.

I think I’ve been pushing the envelope for awhile now to see what I can ‘get away with’ and still lose weight.  (It feels VERY much the teenager in me to test the situation – dare ya, dare ya, dare ya.)  So far, it’s worked…until now. 

Though I committed to no chips earlier this week, I wasn’t able to keep that promise.  It wasn’t as bad as it could have been – I had two 2 oz bags instead of a huge bag, and I didn’t feel gross afterwards, which is good.  BUT, I also noticed I didn’t feel any better after eating them either.  I still felt kind of emotionally yucky before AND after the chips.

It was one of those days where my craving was an itch that I so badly wanted to scratch…it truly felt like addictive behavior.  I tried some tactics to get me not to buy and eat them…I blogged, emailed with Tom, waited for a couple of hours.  But, I found myself in the store buying some things for dinner, and I grabbed the chips.  I would say, maybe the first 2 – 3 tasted really good, then I didn’t really taste them anymore.

I haven’t been in the best emotional space during the latter part of this week, and I’m not really sure why.  Nothing has happened.  The only thing I can think of that is different is – Ive been sick, and I didn’t get as much exercise as I had been in prior weeks. 

I am wondering if part of these feelings stem from the fact that I can no longer soothe myself with food anymore, which is kind of a loss in a way.  If I’m more aware in general, then I’m going to notice that the food isn’t working the way I used to believe it did.  It can’t make me feel better, or make anything go away.  So, perhaps I’m needing to find something else to do when I’m not having my best day.  AND, learn somehow to sit with feelings that aren’t so enjoyable or comfortable.  There’s really no magic relief button.

I’m feeling a bit of ‘healthy lifestyle’ fatigue.  But, I noticed that a couple of weeks ago, too, and things turned around.  So, I’m sure this time will be the same.  I just don’t want to find myself sliding down that bumpy carnival slippery slide on a burlap sack!  After all, most of my pants are smaller now!

Today feels a little tough, but that’s the way it is.  I can’t snap my fingers and change it.  For today, I have my eating plan, AND I just got a couple of healthy cookbooks from the library for inspiration.  This could be what I need for a turnaround in mood and enthusiasm – some new healthy recipes for next week…

For now, it’s time to roast up some Brussels sprouts! YUM…

I’m about to make an egg salad wrap…

16 Nov

on a whole grain tortilla – the egg salad is lite, primarily made with lite sour cream and a little mayo.  Lunch will be either leftover white chicken chilli, or braised lentils and an apple.  I’m having girlfriends over for dinner, and will make a Greek turkey meatloaf.

What I’d REALLY like to do right now is go buy a large bag of Wavy Lays and a carton of sour cream, sit in front of a good show and go to town…Of course, I’m trying to decide why I want to do this.  Here’s what I’m thinking…

I’ve had a cold for the last several days and and am feeling tired.  (One of my triggers to eat is feeling tired.)  The comfort of the ‘old routine’ sounds very inviting.  

Because of the cold, I have not been to the gym.   I’ve also not walked the dog – Monday, Tom walked him for me – yesterday was a combination of lots of running around and being tired from my cold – today, it’s supposed to rain pretty steadily all day. I know, people walk in the rain, but I just don’t like it.  (I may make myself at least go around the block a couple of times just to get back in the routine!)

So, along with the comfort factor, I’m thinking that NOT exercising for a few days feels reminiscent of the ‘pre-healthy’ lifestyle change.  (I hate to admit it, but, if I could get the same benefits from NOT exercising that I get from it, I’d probably choose not to exercise.)  You know – lounging, napping, zoning out in front of the TV, eating what I choose and not thinking about the consequences – doing whatever I want (or don’t want)!

My mind knows this food, or behavior won’t be good for me, and that it is an unhealthy choice.  Emotionally, I want the instant gratification of the chips – I’m even having a hard time concentrating while I write this because I want to tune out the good choice and go for my desire. 

It’s a pretty tried and true suggestion when giving up an addicition or old habit to write about it when the craving arises.  I think that’s why I’m having trouble focusing on this entry – I want to disconnect from the beneficial option and my decision to write.

I’m going to commit right now to NOT have what I’m craving, even though it’s making me angry to do so – to ‘have to’ give up what I want; the old source of comfort. 

Sometimes it goes beyond one day at a time, to one moment at a time…can you hear me gritting my teeth?


A recipe to share…

15 Nov

I made braised lentils last night and boy were they GOOD!  Tom and I were pleasantly surprised at the amount of flavor this dish had with a relatively small list of ingredients. 

I’d read recently in the Food Day about how we, as Americans, don’t eat as many lentils or legumes as other countries.  The article made me want some lentils.  So, here’s what I did!  Let me know what you think if you make it, too…

Braised Lentils (serves 2 with leftovers or 4 if served as a first course or with a salad)

Drizzle olive oil

1/3 – 1/2 pound chicken sausage*

1 cup lentils (French)

1 small white/yellow onion (small dice)

1 large carrot (small dice)

2 stalks celery (small dice)

1 bulb fennel (small dice)

1 TBs tomato paste

½ cup dry white wine

2 sprigs fresh time

1 tsp ground cumin

2 cups broth

1 ¾ cups water

Eggs (1 per person)

1 tsp white vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Rinse lentils and pick out any rocks or random beans.

Heat heavy bottom pan over medium heat, drizzle with oil and brown sausage, breaking into bite sized pieces. Once brown, take out and set on a plate with a paper towel to absorb some of the fat.

If your pan doesn’t have much fat/oil left in it, add another drizzle of oil and put in all of the diced vegetables.  Add salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 – 7 minutes until they become soft.  Add the thyme, cumin and tomato paste and stir with the vegetables for about a minute to incorporate the flavors and cook out the raw tomato flavor.  Add the wine, and reduce until nearly gone.  Then add in the broth, water and browned sausage and taste to see if you need more salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  As soon as it starts to boil, turn down to a simmer and put on the lid.  Simmer for 30 minutes. (You may need a few more minutes of cooking time if you use larger lentils.) 

In the meantime, warm a pan of water to prepare for poaching the eggs, but do NOT boil.  Just before putting the eggs in the water, add a teaspoon of vinegar (this helps the whites stay together).  Gently drop the eggs into the water and cook for at least a minute. 

To serve, ladle lentils into a bowl, top with a poached egg and shred a little parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!

*We used Andouille

NOTES:  This recipe would also be good without meat.  I also think a tablespoon or two of red or white wine vinegar in the lentils just before serving would be good.

Five more for the purse…

11 Nov

I’ve lost another 2.5 pounds for a grand total of 15!  And I’ve already got my eye on a little red number for my 20 pound reward.  (Ah, the vicarious thrill of ‘window-shopping’ online.)

This may not be the final choice, but my one requirement for the new handbag is – RED!

I’m thinking the slower weight loss has its ‘ads’ and ‘disads’ – the positives definitely outweighing (hah, unintended!) the negatives.  Actually, ‘negatives’ is too negative of a word for ‘them’. 

On the plus side – I’ve hardly felt deprived at all during these last eight weeks – with the exception of week one.  Yesterday, I had curry for lunch.  Last Friday I had a piece of flourless chocolate cake at a dinner party.  I have a small amount of some kind of cheese several days a week.

Another plus – the more slowly one loses weight, the more likely to keep it off.  Apparently, part of this is due to a rewiring of the pleasure centers of your brain – from going nutzy cuckoo at the anticipation of food (if it is the anticipation that results in pleasure, no amount of food you eat will surpass that feeling), to feeling pleasure by actually eating the food – resulting in less food intake.  I’m no scientist, but this is my understanding.  The other reason, I think, is that slow weight loss is more likely the result of a lifestyle change rather than a quick and dirty diet – and really, who can live the rest of their lives on grapefruit slices, pork rinds and cabbage soup – and not be the grouchiest guy on the block? 

The only downside I can really come up with is – it kind of messes with your mind, because you can feel like you’ve made no progress from one week to the next.  This week is the perfect example for me.  I was convinced the scale would show no difference today, and yet, another 2.5 pounds lost.  Can’t argue with the scale, right?  (Though I’m sure plenty of us have tried it on an ocassion or two!)

Yesterday, I broke down and bought a new pair of jeans – in a size smaller.  Woohoo!!!  I really didn’t want to spend money on new clothes at this early stage, but the jeans I have now are just too baggy to feel good in.  The new pair are too long, and I need to have them hemmed – just the thing I needed to get me to call my pal Jean, the seamstress, and have the old jeans taken in.  So, that’s one thing on the ‘to do’ list for next week.

Right now I’m looking forward to tonight’s dinner of steak, Brussels sprouts and red wine!  BUT, hopefully not looking tooooo forward…I don’t want confuse those pleasure centers…

I have found the magic bullet…

8 Nov

to slay my werewolf, and that bullet is called…audiobooks!

My hairy, toothy, monster is the 6:30 a.m. call to the gym which typically involves 30 minutes of mind-numbing treadmill time.  I loathe it!  It makes me spend all of my lucky penny, birthday candle and first-star-at-night wishes on wanting Zumba to be offered everyday at the Y (AND to only have about 15 students MAX in class – some classes are SO crowded you can barely move across the floor).  But, so far, that hasn’t worked.

I tried a good music mix, “F**k You” by Ceelo, “Bad Romance” by Gaga, etc. and that still didn’t work.  The seconds  d r i p p e d  by.  I’d been talking about downloading a book for weeks and just never got around to it.  Well, this, as it turns out is what I needed.

From iTunes I bought “The Kitchen House”, by Kathleen Grisson – recommended to me by my friend Gail.  It’s about a seven-year-old Irish orphan named Lavinia (in 1790) with no memory of her past who arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant with the kitchen house slaves. The story follows Lavinia as she becomes deeply bonded to her new family, and is also slowly accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. 

I let myself listen to the 1st chapter last night so I could get in to the story, and now I can only listen to it when I go to the gym!  Boy, did it make the time fly this morning.  I was in Lavinia, and Belle, and Mamma May’s world instead of at the Y.  The one problem is, part of the story I heard this morning was very moving, and I started to get teary on the leg press machine.  (Maybe people will think I’m working so hard my eyeballs are sweating.) But, a small price to pay for such wonderful entertainment.  It’s like being read to, which is so great.

To make the morning gym trips even easier to handle, I’ve also split up the workout into 15ish minutes of cardio, and then 15 of weight machines.  It’s really the treadmill that I find to be the big, hairy, drooling, stinky beast!

Woohoo! Can’t wait to hit the gym 6:30 Thursday morning!  Wow, did I, Kendall Leeper-Bassford, really just say that?

Danger, Will Robinson…

4 Nov

Yesterday, the cheese got the best of me.  Once again, I had a healthy breakfast – 1/2 whole grain roll with turkey and half a persimmon.  I knew going into the day I wanted cheese for lunch.  Thought about it often during the morning (this should have been a warning sign), and was excited at the prospect of the yummy, nutty, creamy dairy-ness that would be my lunch.

Bottom line…I ate too much cheese and too many crackers.  It was Cheetos behavior with better food!  I wanted to sit and watch Harry’s Law and eat during the whole show.  At this moment, I don’t really know why.  I was mildly grumpy, but nothing specific I can put my finger on.  Honeslty, I think part of it was a little “healthy lifestyle change-fatigue.”  A little rebellion about following new habits.

The good news is this – I’m posting the news here which, by virtue of writing about it helps me tame my behavior tremendously.  There are times when I THINK about eating certain things, but know I’m gonig to have to ‘confess’ on the blog, and so I choose not to have them.  This also leads to me declaring that today, I’m not having cheese and crackers.

The other good news is – today was ‘weigh day’ and I’ve lost two more pounds for a grand total now of 12.5.  Feeling good about that – about the fact that I’ve had a slip or two, and still the numbers are going down.  This means that, 95-ish% of the time I’m making the right choices – doing good things on my behalf!

That makes me feel pretty good about myself. 

Next up – a plan to have some of my pants altered as they are getting too baggy and make me feel sloppy – the opposite of how I’d like to feel as more and more of me disappears!