Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Three A's of Change

After my post yesterday afternoon about being on a slippery slope food wise and feeling myself caving in, I ended up having a sane and reasonable dinner despite having had walnuts and dried cranberries as part of an afternoon snack. Vickie, from Baby Steps V commented that she was surprised I could handle eating dried cranberries as they always have a lot of added sugar to make them palatable. Well, she was right. I did end up overeating last night, but not in binge fashion. I went to a meeting after dinner that turned out to be another anniversary celebration I wasn't aware of. They had cake. 'Nuff said. I ended up having 2 small pieces of the cake and then got out of dodge in a hurry so that more cake didn't enter the portal. When I got home, I had 2 more handfuls of the cranberries before I stopped in my tracks. No, Leslie, they aren't a healthy snack if they woo me into eating the whole Trader Joe's bag of them. So down the disposal they went, followed by lots of water and power grinding by the Insinkerator. That was the end of the eating, but obviously I didn't get through the evening unscathed as I'd hoped would happen after I took time out to write about it and tell on myself for the food thoughts (hopefully) before any crazy eating happened. Once again, progress, not perfection.

Exercise wise, I walked about 2 miles yesterday - the longest I've gone since the knee has been hurting. I certainly felt it, but it seems to be improving. I'm hoping to return to the gym this afternoon for a modified treadmill and elliptical workout, since I haven't been there in 10 days due to the knee. I feel the emotional effects of less exercise, and they're not good. I'm a little more sluggish; also antsy and irritable. Exercise is an excellent reliever and outlet of pent up body and mind energy; I see why it's so useful in helping manage depression.

Yesterday I noticed how several people make a list of goals for the week ahead; then report on the progress of achieving each goal over the course of the week. I haven't done that, but noticing it gave me a kick in the a$$ about tightening up my own program. I haven't binged for a week now despite having 2 days where I did eat more than I'd intended. But with my exercise limits of the last 10 days, not weighing myself in almost 2 weeks (maybe longer), and not writing down my food, I realize that I've gotten pretty loosey goosey about my "program". I think I'm doing pretty well because my clothes continue to loosen; some new jeans I bought less than a month ago are now baggy even fresh out of the dryer. That's a good indicator, but I think the sketchiness of my tracking isn't good.

For the next 10 days, until I leave for the Dominican Republic on November 2nd, I'm going to establish some goals as a means of helping me gauge the status of my body, mind and spirit each day. The thyroid issue had me mentally and emotionally distracted for the week or 2 leading up to the biopsy and I decided I could only "do so much" while silently obsessing over that. I don't say that to excuse slacking up on my program; rather to acknowledge it, accept it and move on. Awareness, acceptance, action - the three A's of change. Following is a list of goals my myself for the next 10 days - to be tracked daily. I may not post about each one every day, other than a check mark (which I don't know how to do on a computer); but I commit to daily self-monitoring and occasional reporting on the blog. Knowing how verbose I am, you'll probably hear about some aspect each day!

1. Follow food plan of my Healthy Inspirations program
2. Write down everything I eat, inc. amount, time, and mood if relevant
3. At least 30 minutes of cardio 6 days/week/ simple walking if knee pain persists
4. Strength training according to program given me by the trainer 2-3x/week
5. Post daily, even if only a couple of sentences, to stay accountable
6. Daily ball crunches - at least 2 reps of 15
7. Weigh myself Friday October 23, and the morning of November 2. Only those days.

I think that's enough for now. Just the writing down of food will take some discipline as that's one thing I'm resistant to because of the experience I had in OA once where a sponsor yelled at me for not doing it. YELLED. That kind of thing contributed to OA not being a good fit for me. I wonder, do you write down everything you eat? I've long read that this is a useful tool for weight loss, and have found it to be so. But it takes planning to have "the notebook" and pen at the ready, and so I tend to slack up. I'm really interested to hear other bloggers' experiences with this.

Off to write down my breakfast. I hope everyone has a healthy, sane and great day.


  1. Good Morning Leslie. I started logging my intake a week or so back and it has helped. I didnt realize how many carbs I was eating. I dont count points or calories, just try to stay away from fat and sugar. I also realized that I wasnt getting enough protein. I write my food down in a notebook and I write how I feel, how much swelling I have, etc. I want to see if what I eat affects how I feel.
    Congrats on making a list and also for getting rid of the cranberries. I threw away a piece of pecan pie the other night. No need to keep it around.
    I hope your day is good and your knee feels better.

  2. I feel I need to make weekly goals for myself to keep in check too.
    Great news on your biopsy's!!!!
    hope you have a great day :)

  3. I have never wrote down anything. I need to . When I was going to the doc. for headaches he wanted me to write down everything I ate to see what triggered my headaches . But I did not. To lazy. You are doing very well. Good luck and keep up the good work. You really are doing good. The lose jeans prove it. Congrats on good test results.

  4. Well done on staying in control with the cake... Goodness know, I can manage a tiny taste of my partner's 'naughty foods' every now and again, but I have to be careful...

    Hope your knee improves very soon. Well done with listing goals for the week. I've also noticed this on other people's blogs and I might try the same myself!

  5. Sounds like you're doing really well! Good goals too. I have to keep track or things start to sneak in :)

  6. Way to go on not given into the desire to binge. I know that because I do live alone I just don't keep enough food at home to really binge on. That way when I am tempted, I just don't have it around to eat.
    Your goals look pretty good as well. There manageable and realistic. I am sure you'll do great on all of them. just don't be to hard on yourself if you slip on them.
    I use to write down all that I eat and did that for about a year. it does work really well and helped me see what some of my bad habits are and if I did gain I could look back at my journal to see were I might have slipped a bit. I still think it's a good idea and wish you the best on this as well.

  7. Throwing those cranberries right down the disposal was a great idea. I've done that too!

    I like the idea of writing down goals each week to help you keep track of where you are going and where you want to be.

    It's similiar to keeping a "to do" list isn't it? Only the "to do" is all about accomplishments and health. Great job!

  8. everything that you suggested tracking sounds helpful to me. I have read blogs where the people have things that are not realistic noted and yours does NOT look like that.

    I would suggest tracking your SLEEP also - because I think that is a good indicator for most of us. It is one of the key things that my psychiatrist asks about each visit (I am down to twice a year now, but started with every coule weeks. . .)

    and maybe water if that is something that you have to push. Many people have a container that they empty each day or some other self enforcing/automatic method - perhaps you do too.

    READ FOOD LABELS. I love that you sounded matter of fact about having to ditch the cranberries. All of this has always been scientific to me - not personal - and taking it as a matter of fact makes it easier to DEAL.

  9. Oh, geez. The infamous food notebook! I've done it before ... trying to do it now ... and it DOES work because sometimes I didn't eat something simply because I didn't want to have to write it down, haha! It can also be helpful because my doctor pointed out to me that you just need to *average* your food goal; for example, if you are really good one day and are way under, then Friday night comes and you want to go out to eat for supper, go out! Just make sure that you keep up your month-to-date averages to stay on goal. This actually was very relieving to me ... and yes, I did lose weight!

    I have found it difficult to keep up with my busy lifestyle now, though. Perhaps I will try to pick it back up again, and we can struggle together, my friend! :)

  10. Hi Leslie. Glad you managed to cope OK with being home alone! I'm sure the blogging helped. Bad luck about there being yet another party though!

    Setting goals requires some sort of confidence that one can actually achieve them - so I think the fact that you've been able to do this shows that you are more confident about things at the moment. Which you should be of course given your success recently at moving things forward.

    Good luck with those goals!

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  11. Ball crunches are kickass. Setting goals is always good, I think. Hopefully they'll help you stick to your plan so you can keep being consistent with the losses.

  12. The first three months I wrote down everything because I didn't really know how much i was eating or the calorie content of the foods. I did it for three months and after that I could pretty well calculate how much I was eating. I still will do it on random scraps of paper if I get lost during the day....LIke I want an apple and I think, hold it...what did I eat so far? Then I write it down, and it really helps me determine whether or not to eat it. I think it's a great tool, especially just starting out.

  13. Thanks for your comment. I do appreciate your kind words and your visits. Hope your day foes well and keep that positive attitude. It will get you far.... :-) Be Well

  14. Hey girl!! I know, I suck, so behind on blog commenting!! I've got a cold this week so I'm all curled up in front of the computer trying to catch up on everyone.

    Just read this post and the last one....your baby Lou is just adorable....nothing like puppy love! And yes, I "write" down everything I eat. I use quotes because I actually type it into my nutrition tracker. The one I use is and it's super easy. You set up a profile for how much weight you want to lose...they ask your age, weight, height, goal weight, etc...and then they give you a range of calories to eat within. Mine is 1250-1550. You can look up all kinds of calories for all kinds of food. You can also enter foods that you buy at the grocery store that aren't listed on their site. It's a great tool, and it definitely helps to keep a running total all day of the calories you have left after you've eaten something. On the weekends that I don't track, because I've been lazy or eat too much crap, I always gain that week. So yes!! Definitely write it down or type it online! :)