Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sifting out destructive thinking

Just a quick post here to say I'm still hanging in with tracking and such.  I've missed a couple of days of completing my logging from dinner and after in the last week.  No excuses, and I don't need scolding.  I know what I need to do and what is working well right now.  I'm enjoying tracking, and actually seeing how it continually impacts my choices, and also my exercise consistency.  I'm not perfect yet by any stretch, but I'm getting it slowly and surely.  I will admit that the two days I didn't complete tracking happened when I made a choice to indulge in something that would catapult me more than 300 calories over my daily allotment.  Again - I don't need scolding.  I know my BS factor kicks in and that's why I'm acknowledging it.  I want to clean this up to 100% of the time, but my overall ratio of "good" days to "less good" days has improved dramatically.  And I have certainly tracked on days when I'm over - but not too over.  I need to Sift Out the Leslie Factor (the title of my someday memoir!) in order to keep moving in the right direction.

We were extremely lucky with the storm - didn't lose power, and only lost cable for about 6 hours.  Directly across the street from us, the entire side of the street has been without power since Monday at midnight.  And it seems that the devastation at the Jersey Shore, New York, and other north east areas continues to unfold.  Prayers and thoughts to all who are coping with serious damage and vital outages.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MIA does not = Mojo Is Absent

How ridiculous is that post title??  Hahahaha - when I saw the title of my last post as I went to write today after being missing in action for a few days, my mind seized, trying to be clever.  It doesn't take much to entertain my 59 y/o addled brain.  I can't believe my chronological age, given that I'm so youthful and forward thinking...

Anyway - having not posted in no way indicates that I haven't been hanging in and enjoying that my mojo is still working!  I've now tracked 11 straight days (some kind of personal record) and only gone over my daily calorie allotments twice, once for less than 50 cals, and once for (I think) about 140.  I'm also really back in the swing of early morning exercise, though yesterday was raining and today I slept in because I got so hyped up watching the debate last night that I didn't get to sleep until after midnight.  Very rare for me these days.

I'm aware that I'm afraid to get on the scale, because I have to have lost a bit, but my expectations of how much, no matter how hard I try not to have them, can really mess with my mind.  This is a lifelong pattern, folks, and it isn't going away.  I definitely am fitting in to a couple pairs of long pants that I wouldn't have 2 months ago (didn't try then because it was too hot), so for now I'm going to trust my instincts and my self awareness and just smile at the scale each morning.  I contemplate it daily, and the thought quickens my heart rate and threads of anxiety begin to stir.  Crazy, yes.  It's part of my disordered relationship with and thinking about food and weight.

Following is a glimpse into destructive thinking patterns in myself I've known and hated:

      If I step on the scale and it says I've lost 2 pounds, I'll be majorly irritated because I think it will be more.        So it will derail me in some twisted way.  Or, if I've lost 5 pounds, it'll so inflate my sense of well being that I'll try to cut back my intake so as to hasten the process.  Of course it won't be long before I feel deprived (which I really haven't felt so far) and I'll eat an extra snack, or larger portions...which will result in me feeling guilty and disgusted with myself and then the ruinous snowballing back to bingeing is likely to ensue.  Or,  losing 5 pounds will make me think of taking a day off from tracking, choosing wisely...whatever, because "I can afford it for one day."

Yes - that is but a glimpse of the permutations and insanity that I've experienced over the years.  I know this, and I am finally accepting that I'll have these tendencies forever.  Like working with my alcoholism and finding lasting recovery, I know that getting better is possible and likely, but not if I forget who I am and what I'm dealing with having a disordered "thinker" when it comes to food and alcohol.

Well.  I intended to just say I'm still hanging in with MFP and tracking, but I guess I needed to say more!  This is a good place to be honest and get it out, so my head isn't swarming with unproductive or even destructive thoughts.  I'm feeling and optimistic.  Today.  That's enough.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Got my mojo workin'

Just a quickie...I'm still rolling along on the tracking, and I walked again this morning, though I only did 30 minutes because I went to my aa meeting too, and I have a play date this afternoon to walk with a friend, and we usually go at least 45 minutes.

I took tomorrow as a mental health day, so this is my Friday.  Woohoo!  Hubby comes home Saturday evening so I'm hoping I will keep up the morning walks without the dog, because he really can be a pill when I'm trying to bust a move.  Usually Tom runs with Wally every morning and I take him in the afternoons.  So for that alone I'm excited for his return!  I've missed him (Tom, not Waldo) - not sure I'd want to be a full time swinging single, because I'm not doing too much swinging these days, what with falling asleep by 8:30 most nights.  But I've really gotten my food and exercise act together while he was away, and I don't want to lose my mojo there.

Have a good pre-Friday all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Who am I??

For the first time in a couple of years, I got out before daylight and did a brisk walk for 40 minutes.  Back in the (leaner) day, I got up and was out running  (jogging), about 5 days out of 7 by 5:30 am.  I was a dialed down version of Helen!  That was when the kids were little, and it was such a great time to get out.  I've always found it intoxicating to be out before the sun comes up, the traffic hasn't started, and it's possible to walk or run in the very middle of even fairly busy roads where the pavement is most level!

I'm not sure what happened, but over time I started gradually moving up the scale, and despite always staying pretty active - the early morning up and out stopped in favor of after work exercise, which was never as earnest or satisfying.  Busyness with kids played a role, though when determined, I managed to find time.  Sporadically.  Some years back, I joined a gym (just before starting this blog) and got into going straight there immediately after I got off work at 2:30.  Lost a chunk of weight that obviously I've found again a couple of times.  Then my work hours were extended to 3:30 about 18 months ago, and when I'd get to the gym, it was a whole different crowd of folks - young, uber fit...and I lost my gym mojo.

Since then I've stayed pretty steady with walking and some exercise dvds, and would consider trying to get back into an early morning schedule of some exercise.  It hasn't happened...partly because I got very involved at a 7 a.m. AA mtg that meets every morning, and more than needing it desperately to stay sober, it's been a great way to start the day with a gathering of friends meeting for a common purpose - laughing our asses off (too bad not literally!) or sharing each others' pain, peace...whatever.

However, I've stepped back from going every day because it makes my mornings kind of crazy, between getting myself ready for work so I could go straight from the meeting, which necessitated having breakfast and lunch ready to go before 6:30.  Not going to the mtg. makes my mornings so much calmer and simple, so I usually only go 2 or 3 days a week.  Enter this morning - a no meeting day.

I didn't plan to do a long aerobic walk last night, but I woke up at 4:30 - threw some veggies in the oven to roast, and got ready to take the dog out.  When we set out down the driveway, I felt extra energetic, awake, and perky(!), and thought to myself that I could actually do a longer walk than the usual.  It just unfolded that I kept making direction choices that led me away from home rather than closer, about 45 minutes later, I was quite sweaty and invigorated, and delighted with myself!

It would be awesome to think I will do this all the time now, but at least I did it today, and I feel so great that I might do it another day.  And I know it wouldn't occur to me to do this if I wasn't inching my way back to a healthier and more purposeful and focused effort at weight loss with logging my food and exercise. 

By the way - I had another totally tracked day yesterday with 200+ calories left in the bag!  I'm working at it for sure, and it feels good.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hair affair

I had an excellent day yesterday.  Tracked every bite, came in 250 calories below daily allotment (a first), and felt good.  Why can't every day be like that?

Interestingly, one thing that helped me was looking on MFP at other people's food diaries.  I looked at about 6 different folks' for a day or so, and saw a variety of eating types and plans, but one thing I saw in all of them was that they all stayed below their daily allotments.  Now I'm sure plenty of times every person goes over, but seeing a random sampling of diaries as I did jolted me into thinking, "what the hell am I doing?"

Blogger and fellow MFP pal Tiffany has been extremely helpful since I started this tracking, helping me navigate the site and offering helpful suggestions.  In the beginning she suggested making my diary "public" as another means of being accountable and honest.  I think I'm gonna do it.  If someone else can see what I'm eating, it'll make me think twice before eating and having to log a bunch of junk or even simply bad choices.

In other news, I'm having a huge crisis...a woman's nemesis - hair drama.  I know, big whoop.  A friend I talked to this morning actually said, "Well, if that's your biggest problem, be grateful."  Puh-lease.  Of course I know this isn't on a par with world hunger or North Korean nuclear proliferation, but there's something about the status of a gal's hair that can make or break her mood at times.

Background - most of you know I stopped dying and let my hair go gray beginning last fall.  It took a long time for every bit of color to grow out, and the final result was a not too terrible color of silvery white. as can be seen here.  What is happening is that I've let it grow out just a little bit, (still quite short), and when I wear any color in the purple/lavender/lilac family, my hair takes on a purple-ish tone.  Subtle, but undeniable.  Since that beginning of my graying, I've sworn my friends to promising to tell me if it ever looks bluish or purply.  In the last couple of weeks, several times, always when I have on any shade in that family, people at work say "Oh - did you put a rinse on your hair to make it look a little purple?"  SCREAM!!!! 

Today was the icing on the cake.  I had on a lilac hued scrub top, walked into one of the classrooms, and the staff started oohing and ahhing over my hair because of it's purple "tint".  A purple haired little old lady am I! And I draw the line - I don't want that look.  Obviously I stop wearing anything in that color family.  But also, I'm going to find a good stylist or hairdresser and find out what I can do.  I can easily avoid purple, but I think I need to do something with my hair too.  It's very annoying, and a little depressing, because in the beginning I felt so good about the color my gray turned out to be.

Oh well, it isn't the end of the world, or even more than a minor blip on my otherwise fairly serene horizon.  But I'm not ready to be lumped in with the nursing home crowd yet!  Details to follow, if and when I come up with an anti-purple plan.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday report

I didn't post over the weekend, and the main reason is that I didn't complete my food diary on Friday.  I got through lunch and after work snack, then went out to dinner with friends and had a pasta dish, plus too much bread from the basket (arg - but it was homemade, hot and with ice cold butter), and when I tried to figure out how to log it all, I knew there was no way to be even close to accurate.  So I had about a cup of Edy's Slow Churned Pumpkin ice cream instead.  No bingeing, but I went well over my daily allotment.  I'm making no excuses - just stating fact.  And I want to add that I my lack of tracking wasn't because I went over my daily number - I've been a little over (75-100 cals) a couple days and am committed to tracking it all.  It was more the nature of what I ate at the restaurant (puttanesca, the italian bread - 3 pieces) - that I knew I couldn't come close to guesstimating, given the variety of ingredients and the olive oil that was clearly present - but God knows how much.  It really didn't serve me well to make the food choices I made that evening - but I love that dish and how it's prepared there.

Saturday and Sunday I logged every morsel again and feel solidly on track with the logging.  But as far as 21 straight days, I'm now 4 on, 1 off and 2 back on.  It occurs to me that instead of trying for 21, I'm going to try for a full week - 7 days - and hopefully move on from there.  This is much better and I'm more focused than I've been in months, so I'm not going to beat myself up.

I got in great exercise Saturday, but Sunday was a bit of a wash, as it was drizzly most of the day.  I did manage a 30 minute dog walk, but the dog was in the mood to linger over every blade of grass along the way, so I doubt it was more than a mini-bump in my metabolic activity.

Have I mentioned that Hubby has been away since last Saturday (9/29) and won't be home until this coming Saturday?  Now I usually love my bachelorette time, but 2 weeks is a bit much.  He's in Big Spring, Texas, working on a railroad development project, and when I talked to him last night he said he hoped he didn't end up having to extend his time, as they're having "issues".  One of his partners went for 2 weeks back in early September and ended up having to stay for 5!  I told Tom that had best NOT happen, and he agreed and thought it unlikely.  Funny thing is, once he's home for 24 hours or so, I'll be ready for my next round of singlehood!  Just kidding.  Not really.  Maybe a little.

Anyway, not having him there does simplify my food prep to some degree.  It's not that he requires or even requests any special fixins, but I tend to do more cooking out of a sense of wifely responsibility than when he's not there.  I made some marinated sauteed lite tofu to throw into salads and stuff - and that'll be a main protein source for my lunches this week.  Now he doesn't even like to know if there is tofu in the house - much less lurking in the fridge!

That's it for me .  Working on Day 3 (consecutive) as we speak.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Ooops - almost forgot about posting.  Logged day 4 without incident.  Stopped eating at 8 because dinner got a later start than usual due to after dinner errands.  Have a good w/e all.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Day 3 is in the can, and my last food was 1/4 cup (measured) of Trader Joe's 50% less salted roasted almonds finished at the stroke of 7:30.  I was 200 calories below my daily allotment, 120 of which was from a shortened exercise session due to rainy weather.

Interesting to note that I fell asleep before 8:30, so didn't see the debate, or even the end of what I was watching at 8.  Nor did I make any headway in the book I've barely started (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - excited to be starting it!), but I'm okay with early to bed...  Not quite as okay with crack of dawn to rise (4 a.m.) that the early to bed yields, but I didn't eat after 7:30!  I literally don't think that has happened in years. Wow.  Atta girl!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2 of 21

Completed my food log Tuesday.  Dinner was with a friend at Panera's, and I knew what I was having thanks to their excellent nutrition calculator.  I'm 2 days into my 21 day challenge. 

As always happens when I am being careful and conscious of what I eat (and aware of calorie totals throughout the day), I'm looking for ways to shave calories.  This can be a good thing, of course, but I feel my disordered eating/thinking stirring.  I am writing it here to be honest and stay accountable.  I'm aware of trying to leave myself a whole bunch of calories going into dinner so I have "enough" to allow after dinner intake given that is my hardest time of day.  Hard to admit that, and as I write this I realize I'm enabling myself and the bad habit of evening snacking.  I don't want to do that, but I also know I can't change everything at once.  At least if I stay at or under my daily calorie allotment (thanks to this all-important tracking), I'm doing better than when I'm just eating with reckless abandon.

I'd like to say that I'm going to stop eating after 7 p.m.  That's my intention.  But it's not part of my 21 day challenge right now.  I will stay accountable with this issue as well, and hopefully will find more success gradually with the 7 p.m. cut off.

So many more wacko food thoughts I could discuss, but I will save them for another post.  One craziness at a time.  And I'm feeling guardedly optimistic for today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Log rollin'

Hi guys - I'm humbled and delighted that Miz re-commented on my last post, saying simply, "checking on you...".  I really appreciate that, Carla.  And it never ceases to amaze me that you pop onto my blog ever, much less leave a comment.  Thanks for giving me a little nudge!

I haven't posted in a week, but things are going well.  I'm still logging my food on MFP daily, though over the weekend I didn't complete my logging.  I think I got a little bogged down with trying to accurately document what all went into a pot vegetarian chili I made Saturday, and so like any bona fide RESISTENT food fanatic/addict trying to get my act together, I just didn't do it Saturday night.  That made it easy to not do it Sunday, either.  Bad, bad, bad.  Typical.

Oh - another thing that seems strange to me about logging is that when I enter my exercise time into the diary, it immediately ups my calorie allotment for the day (according to whatever activity is logged), so I've eaten a few times more than I needed or would have had the calories not been upped because of the exercise.  I was feeling guilty about it until it dawned on me yesterday that just because I "earned" more calories for 45 minutes of fast walking, I didn't HAVE to eat more. So yesterday I was under my adjusted allotment for the day by 251 calories!  Last week when I figured out why I could eat more, I just did.  DOH!  It's nice to earn extra, but it certainly isn't a requirement to eat them.  BUT it's nice to know that if I'm really hungry (very rare), there is something available without going over my basic daily amount.

But I'm back with a vengeance, having started yesterday.  I am committing to daily for one week - no excuses, no bull sh*t.  Helen had noted in a comment when I started writing about logging on MFP that it takes 21 days to change a habit.  Yeah, yeah, thought I.  But obviously she knew of what she spoke.  The she had a great post today that referenced her earlier wisdom about the 21 days for habit change, and it jolted me right between the eyes.

I'm stating here, in front of all you grown ups, that I am going to log for 21 days.  I'll be accountable each day by posting here, even if it's only to report another day, though given my long winded-ness, it will likely be more than a one liner.  I've got one day in the can - 20 more to go.  As day at a time.