Thursday, May 13, 2010

900 Calorie Artificial Love

I admit it. I eat when I am happy. I also eat when I am nervous. I eat when I am bored. I eat when I am lonely. I don't eat when I am depressed. But that's only when I am really depressed.Like listen to Death Cab for Cutie plus black eyeliner depressed. This can be a problem when one doesn't listen to fullness signals. I don't really care that Im full. I use food to create something I feel I need, usually missing affection or attention.

It occurs to me that food provides a very shallow level of comfort. I'm not saying nourishing food has no place, and we need food for our body to run properly. But would we put water in our car? Or expect the lawn mower to run if we filled it with fruit punch? It's kind of similar to the way myself and alot of people treat food. Yes twinkies are delicious! Chocolate is yummy, but we can't expect our bodies to run properly if all that is going in them.

When I work a nine hour shift at work, I get three breaks, two fifteens and a thirty minute. Every time I have a break, I am in the habit of eating something. This is not so bad in itself. The problem lies with what I get. I mean first break happy hour at Starbucks. Frappacinos are half off so I get the mocha frappacino lite no whip. 140 calories , not so bad. At dinner, I opt for ham on whole wheat and apple slices. Again, so far so good. Then I hit the 8:30 and the poo hits the ceiling fan.

I am craving chocolate. I grab a candy bar that is about the size of a coaster. That doesn't sound too bad. I also because I don't drink soda at home, grab an orange bottle of fanta from the vending machine.

I know the candy bar of choice isn't the best for me. I also know that a bar has 600 calories. I stop myself at half and give the rest away. Well that's a positive step but I just ate like a whole lean cuisine worth of calories...I glance at the soda. It has two servings, so the entire bottle is 270 calories. If I had eaten the entire bar and gulped the entire soda it would have been almost 900 calories, about half of what I'm supposed to be taking in for an entire day.Would that snack sustain me? Was I hungry fifteen minutes later? I think you know the answer to those questions.

The way we treat food also applies to the way we handle life too. I've had releationships where there wasn't any true nourishment of my soul. I went for the pretty packaging instead of someone who cared about me and my well being. Junk food doesn't do anything for me in the long run. It makes me hungry later. It fills my body with empty calories. We should nourish our bodies the same way we nourish the other relationships in our lives. Relationships should be caring. Love shouldn't have to hurt. My love of food shouldn't have to hurt either. The foods I put into my body cause me pain. I am heavy so sometimes it takes longer for me to do things. I can't play with my kids as much as I should and they suffer.

Love yourself no matter what your size. You are beautiful in your life just where you are, but understand that health is a big issue.When I eat dessert I need to ask myself what that food is doing for me and my body. Will it sustain me? That 900 calorie snack was artificial love. It did nothing for me in the long run. I will try to make more conscious decision to love my body more than that. Oh btw that orange soda went down the sink. I celebrate the small victories.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Add Don't Subtract

I've been trying to lost the same fifty pounds for about seven years. I am blessed with a fairly large rack and a curvy derriere so when I tell people what I weigh they are shocked. OK, they are either shocked or Academy Award worthy acting. I prefer to believe the former.I told myself for years that it was "metabolism" but after having my thyroid checked, that simply isn't true.

It occurs and has occured to me that when people say "diet" they think of it terms of the taking away of the things we enjoy to eat the most. I prefer not to say diet. I also am trying to see it in terms of adding more good things to what I eat. Replace what is bad with good. Add more wholesome good things to your life to reap benefits. I need to think in terms of addition. I'm not losing out on things I love I'm winning by putting more healthful things into my body.

Most people know that egg whites have alot less calories than eggs. Substitute two egg whites for one egg in alot of recipes can save you upwards of seventy calories. This morning I made a boo boo. I meant to put in a yolk and two egg whites for my scrambled eggs. I looked down into the bowl and all there were were egg whites. I decided to have yolkless eggs today. I mixed them with my bacon and spinach. You know what? Im not any hungrier than normal....

I'm guilty of gulping sweet tea with abandon. Today I have green tea which is a little better but high still. An 8 ounce serving has seventy calories. I can easily drink eight servings. That's about 560 calories!!!! Instead of thinking in terms of subtraction think in terms of addition. Well subtraction then addition. If I have 4 servings of tea and add 4 servings of water I will have saved 280 calories. Eventually I can try to make sweet tea a once in a while indulgence.

I can't quit food cold turkey I just can't . If you can eat 1500 calories a day, take your spinning class and drink a gallon of water a day good for you!!!! Water is a big obstacle for me. For something that tastes like nothing, I sure don't like it much.....

My goal for this week is to add a serving of veggies to each meal . This is as easy as tossing some frozen veggies into pasta. My stipulation is that the veggie can't be corn or white potatoes.They have their place, but not in my little experiment.It is my hope to add more fruit and vegetables to my life. I will also hope to add energy, add vitality, add more years to my life. I'll let you know how it works out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I'll be the first to admit that I'm definitely not the best mother in the world. I try and honestly sometimes I wish I were the cut the crust off bread, apron wearing , lysol smelling icon of perfection I aspire to be. My goal each day is to do and be better.Sometimes I am too hard on myself and sometimes I don't think I try hard enough. I need to find a balance.

I have many models of motherhood to look up to to help me on my way. My mother in law Susan who is my model of cleanliness. Once she refused to let my son play on the floor because the floor was "dirty". After putting on my lab coat and using a microscope I just didnt't see anything but I'll take her word. She also had a copy of a famous poem on her wall. You know the one that praises little evidences of kids in the home that take away perfection and cleanliness. How one would rather be a mother than spend thirty four hours cleaning? In my twelve years of knowing her, Ive rarely seen her without a sponge or broom. She is my aspiration to cleanliness.

She has also been unfailingly generous over the years, and is always watching my kids and giving me a break when she can. She always brings us snacks, and is very frequently slipping me 20 dollars to spend on myself because she knows how it is.

My mother Barb who is the opposite of stage mom. Her main goal in for us was to raise decent nice kids. She didn't care if we became lawyers or made a the Dean's list. She taught us to have faith in God above all. She also taught me that you don't need a fortune to be rich or be generous. She makes less than 500 dollars a week, and really years ago she made much less. She manages to pay a mortgage, bills and every few years buy her own car cash. She also as I said in an earlier post can give up something as miniscule as a cookie a day to help pay for a tropical vacation. There isn't such a thing as "I can't afford it." When us kids were little even when we didn't have money she never complained. She taught us to be happy with what we had. When I needed something I got a job and paid for it. She is an inspiration.

Last year we my gramma, also Barbara, went to be with God. In a way I was happy for her because Alzheimer's had taken her memories and now I know that she has them back. I miss her so much. She had a very quick temper and could be very impatient like me. But she also was quick to say sorry, and didn't stay mad, also like me. She is where my mom learned to be generous from. My gramma had a weird quirk which looking back at I miss and love. When my mom was growing up she didn't have much money. My grampa Joe was an alcoholic who died very young not even fifty.We lost my Uncle Joe when he was thirteen. He had skipped school and fell through ice while fishing. She had suffered alot but she managed to remain strong and resilient.

As some of you know, I'm a nervous driver who has yet to pass a Driver's test. My gramma passed her test at fifty years old. For twelve years after that she worked extra shifts at her job at AT&T saving money. She went on trips to Spain and Greece. She was active in a bowling league and a group called Friendly seniors. It would have been easy for her to just give up and be miserable but she took action and made a great life for herself. She was unfailingly generous and never expected payback.One of my most vivid memories of her when I was a child was her buying us whatever we wanted for a holiday. It didn't matter how big or small. One kid asked for a ninety dollar jacket another asks for a five dollar doll we both got it. There was no equality lol. If I had known that I would have asked for the pony....

My dad's mom Georgette taught me about Joy. I hardly ever saw this woman unhappy. She always sang to us as children. She often took all four of us to her and my Grampa Bill's house on the lake. She taught me how to tell what berries were safe to eat and always gave us bread for the ducks. When her five grandchildren visited the house if she had two pieces of gum she divided it up with a knife for us. Also Blue Octagon soap was dish, laundry and bubble making soap. She's another angel in heaven who God gave back her memories.

As I write this post I realize with gratitude that I have so many women in my life to show gratitude to. So many examples I could go on all day about. My Aunt Kate, Auntie Joann, Aunty, Marilyn, Aunt Betty, Aunt Deb, etc etc. This could go on all day. Today I am so grateful to everyone who helped shape me into the person I am today. Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Does It help?

When I tell people I'm a morning person, that does not mean I am a three o'clock in the morning person. Having a ninteen month old son means sometimes I have to be. My husband is a kind of wake up at nine or ten in the morning person generally if he had his choice, so typically it is my job to wake up with baby even if I have worked until 11:30 pm at night the night before.

I'll admit I am a bit of a complainer when it comes to this. I've tried asking nicely, and when that doesn't work I turn sarcastic. Call me old fashioned, but it would be nice for him to fix a sippy cup and me to rest once in awhile. It's also my job to get the daughter up and dressed for school in the morning, and generally I help her with homework assignments and lunch money etc. etc., well you get the picture.

I'll admit this makes me grumpy sometimes. I stomp through the apartment at times muttering under my breath, but honestly does it really help? It just pisses my husband off.
what do I think I'm accomplishing? What do I expect? Do I really expect him to immediately rise from the bed take care of everything then fix me a balanced and nutritious breakfast?

This morning I made a conscious choice to not complain. When the baby started crying, I simply made the conscious choice to rise up from the bed, put on my clothing and take care of what needed to be done. I did not raise my voice or run around like a madwoman. Something weird happened. Weird and totally awesome that is!

My daughter got off to school, my son got his diaper change and breakfast, and my husband is now offering to go pick up breakfast! So that is my baby goal for the day. I am going to try and not complain about anything for twenty four hours. Does it help?

I'm not saying be a doormat. I am not saying that if you are dissatified with something not to speak up in a constructive way, I'm just saying in my current situation, what I've been doing isn't working. If complaining a hundred other times didn't work, why would it help today?

In her book "God Never Blinks" author Regina Brett tells the story of a friend who doesn't use the words "have to" in his sentences. He uses the words "get to". I get to do alot of things others don't. I have my health and I can walk, move, breathe, sing, dance,talk, or do any number of things others can't. I need to be grateful and do things in life that actually help my situation.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Can't Afford To

Right now I'm at a crossroads in my life. I am not really sure where I am going to wind up and where I am going to be. I know I want to raise my kids right. I know I want to get healthier both in my mind and my body, and I know no matter what happens with my current situation, I want to be loved and accepted for who I am, which I have never really felt except when my children were babies. Well my son is still kind of a baby.

Money is a big problem for me right now, but I need to be honest with myself.Am I creating a block to my own happiness? Am I not doing everything I can to succeed in my choice to live a healthier lifestyle in terms of my eating and exercise choices? Each little purchase we make to provide us with a moment of empty temporary satisfaction may be hindering our longterm health.

Each day at work I spend five dollars or more on snacks and drinks. I usually work three to four shifts a week. I'd say I spend at least twenty dollars on things that if anything for the most part discourage me and make me feel bad about myself because it is usually empty calories that aren't doing my body any good.

If I took that money and saved it in five weeks I would have a hundred dollars. That's enough to buy me a day of shopping. If I saved a year I would have over a thousand dollars. Three years I could take my kids to Disney World for a week! Little things add up.

I have never smoked in my life, but many people I care about do. With cigarettes up to seven dollars or more a pack, smokers now have even more incentive to quit. In addition to the very important health benefits, smokers could save thousands of dollars a year by quitting. Imagine being able to take that Carribean cruise next year because you gave up that one pack of cigarettes a day!

I am a a fan of the baby step. Cold turkey doesn't work for me, I know it takes time. This week my fitness goal is to drink more plain water. I was finding that I was drinking over half my daily calories in ice tea,lemonade and coffee a day. If I had to choose between eating a meal and drinking sweet tea, I'd choose a sandwich any day.No I am not perfect. Yes I will make poor decisions, but every good choice I make is a step in the right direction.

My next goal is to buy a lunchbox. I will get a cool one perhaps with Wonder Woman or Hello Kitty on it. I will bring waters to work spending four dollars for twenty four instead of two fifty for two waters. It's a no brainer. I've said I can't afford the things I want in life, but the truth is I can, and so can you.

My mother has been a constent source of inspiration on this subject. She has a beautiful home, a nice car, and goes on a great vacation every few years. She does this all on about five hundred dollars a week. She hopes to go to the Dominican Republic next year for her fifty fifth birthday. She told me that she would have a cookie every day at work, but decided that she would save the money about four dollars a week towards her trip. It doesn't sound like much, but thats about two hundred dollars a year and the trip will cost her about a thousand.

The truth is I can afford to have a better life and so can you. Each day I strive to do a little bit better. I will celebrate the little victories in my life. I will no longer say I can't afford to, but I can't afford not to.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Lately I've been pondering about the idea of enough. Do I have enough food, enough money, enough things to make me feel like I am successful in my life? This is what I've come to think, when people get "enough" myself included, generally we are disatisfied with what we have and want more.

I think it's honorable to want to live your best life. I think it's a good thing to want to reach for the stars and realize that any dream no matter how large is always attainable. I have long envied the perpetual optmists, people who always seem to see the glass as half full, or to put the water in a smaller glass so it is always full. That being said , I think its important to realize that we are enough the way we are. We don't need big houses or swimming pools or enough jewelry to wear that we walk around like Quasimodo. I want to dream big, I want to affect change in people, but I also want to help as many people as I can .

This year I want to do something about my body. It's about average size for a US woman., every day I see perfectly happy women with husbands that are my size and bigger, but I am concerned with my health, and I feel better when my body is smaller, it's a personal choice. Every day I see bigger women more attractive than me, but it's my choice to want to be smaller.

I was looking back to my size six days. What did I do that was so different? I seemed to eat the same foods, but this is where the brutal honesty comes in. When did two slices of toast become four? When did a small become a medium then a large? It's taking more to be enough at this size.

I once had a slim friend tell me to move because fat can't hit a moving target. The thought of an hour a day is daunting so I need to break it down. Five minutes walking is five minutes more I did to help my body. That's a problem myself and others have. We want instant results, we want instant gratification. We want to be enough and do enough to become instantly fit. Not only that, we want to be instantly promoted at work.

So I get all gung ho and set the bar high for myself. I remove everything that made me heavy from my life. Then I start a food journal and an exercise one. I get my hair cut, I wax my brows, maybe get some new clothes. I set myself up for failure again.

Some people can do it that way. I had an online friend that lost fifty pounds in five months. Last I knew she was training for a half marathon. Good for her. I am going by a new strategy. Im changing at least one thing for the better each week. This doesn't make me any less serious about my goals. Speed isnt the key. Perseverance is.

I'm starting a new journey in my life. I don't know where I'll be next year, but I'm making the first step to improving my life whatever comes. Don't ask me about my life in a year, ask me next week, and this time next week, I'm going to tell you where I am.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Brutal Honesty

I don't consider myself a very good liar, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Plenty of people are very good at it. I like to say I hate lying in all forms, but what I call brutal honesty can make my very sensitive self react in a very unbecoming fashion.

In my early twenties I was alot thinner. I realize that stuff happens and as you age you put on a few. I was lamenting about the extra poundage, but as I was doing that I was lifting a whopper to my lips. A coworker commented and I let him have it! I was absolutely furious and that relationship was completely ruined. Now that I am older I realized he was right. What right do I have to complain that I am not making my goals for a healthier self if I am not treating my body well and feeding it right?

I am setting a personal goal for myself to not complain about something if I am doing everything in my power to self sabotage my goals. Instead of sitting on my butt complaining about the messy house, I should do something about it. Instead of complaining about my weight, stop shoveling crap into my body.

In the third grade I had a teacher named Mrs. Digiannaro. We kids called her Dangerous D because in the warmer months she would drive her motorcycle to school. In the third grade I started to struggle and fell behind in school. I told her one day that I thought I would do ten pages of homework to get caught up. She told me "Don't think. Do." That seemed a little bit harsh to my eight year old self, but it makes sense. It is one thing to say what we want and express a desire to do and feel better, but unless we take action to accomplish our goals, all we have are unfulfilled wishes. It's time time to be brutally honest with myself.