Saturday, September 10, 2011

You cannot imagine my despair when I reached the age of eleven and realized that I am a muggle.

You mean I really can't do magic?!  Dagnabit.

I'm a sucker for funny sayings that have wonderfully profound meaning.  Or maybe I just try to attach profound meaning to funny sayings so I feel more justified and mature about using them in casual conversation.  Whatever.  Point is:  I haven't got a drop of magical blood in my veins.  And what does that have to do with weight loss, you ask?  It means that I, and you, can't use magic to fix our problems.  Pills, potions, spells don't actually work in our world.  Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans are just Jelly Bellys with nasty flavors.  Sigh.

Okay, that's my wise, deep thought for today.  Now, back to work.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Minor Lifestyle Tweaks

Once again, I apologize for the lengthy pause between posts.  That being said, from now on I'm not going to apologize every time.  Not because I'm not sorry, but because doing something over and over again, and continuing to apologize for it starts to sound a little bit insincere.  So.  Just take it for granted that I feel bad, but I'm not letting it ruin my life.  Okey dokey.  Moving on.  :)

I'm still loving exercise classes.  I have been going regularly, twice a week, since my kids started school.  Yay me.  I have discovered muscles that I never knew I had- discovered in rather painful ways.  Being sore is painful, but I find a perverse satisfaction in it.  For me, it's kind of like being exhausted after a really hard day's work.  Physically you feel like you've been run over by a truck, but mentally you know that you feel that way because you did something worthwhile.  Here's to worthwhile pain.

Part of the reason I haven't posted in a while is because I have been trying to figure out where I want to go, nutritionally speaking.  My weight has stayed pretty steady since my last post.  That's a good thing, it's a whole heck of a lot better than my weight increasing.  I tried going back to Weight Watchers.  I found motivation there, but I also have found some wisdom.  The wisdom part is realizing that I do not, and never will, want to get motivation from an outside source for long-term.  If I am to be successfully healthy, I need to be able to produce my own motivation.  So, I have decided to start with what I know.  I know myself so much better now than I did even six months ago.  I know that I do not like change.  I know that I get tired of fighting my habits.  I also know that I takes me a lot longer than six weeks (or whatever time the "average" human takes) to change a habit.  Actually, I have never succeeded at consciously changing a habit.  The habits I have developed or gotten rid of seemed to be a natural process.  So, if I want to change the way I eat, I need to go about it completely differently than I have so far.  Instead of shooting for a major lifestyle change, I need to make minor lifestyle tweaks.  I need to learn to be okay with the fact that I may never prefer fruit over chocolate cookies.  I will quit beating myself up over my Diet Dr. Pepper habit.  I will quit (or try to quit) obsessing over getting to weight X by date Z.  Instead, I will choose to continue to workout regularly, and teach myself to order the Whataburger Jr. rather than the full size, and add lettuce and tomato.  I can have pizza, I will just have two slices instead of four.  In other words I will stick to the foods I normally eat, and just make little, almost invisible, changes here and there.  I will learn to be me, every bit of me, and be cool with that.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I have made a discovery.  I love, repeat, love fitness classes.  Who knew?  I come out of an hour-long workout thinking "You know, there is no way in heck I would have stuck with that workout for that long if I had been on my own".  About twenty minutes in I would be done.  I love that having other people there, sweating with me, not giving up, makes me keep going.  Nothing like a little peer pressure.  :)
So far I have been to The Ultimate Workout, and Mat Pilates.  Both of which ate my lunch.  Big time.  After the first Ultimate Workout class my quads (the front of my thighs, for those not into anatomical terms) were so sore that I couldn't walk right for about three days.  After that I learned that I don't have to do all the repetitions of all the exercises in class, and I still get a fabulous workout.  I'm still sore, but not to the point where I'm incapacitated. 
I'm working up to going to an hour-long class three times a week. Right now I'm up to twice a week.  My poor, out-of-shape body is slowly adjusting.

Much as I love the classes, it is kind of hard not to get a complex watching the instructors- I've never spent a lot of time around such obviously buff, built people.  It makes me feel extra soft.  But so far that just motivates me to keep going.   

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fleur grew

What's Newton's law again? An object in motion wants to stay in motion?  Yeah.  Something like that.  Well, Fleur's law seems to be that a woman who eats tends to want to keep eating.  And eating.  And eating some more.  

I've been gone from the world-o'-blog for a while, you may have noticed.  :)  I don't have a great excuse.  We didn't move, or have a baby, or lose a close family member (thank goodness to all of that).  My excuse is that I fell off the wagon.  Hard.  And, up until now, I have been ashamed to admit it.  Even to myself.  But I finally stepped onto the scale this morning and forced myself to admit the truth.  I have gained back 30 pounds since January.  "Hi, my name is Fleur.  Hi, Fleur. And I am once again overweight." 
Now, I know that I am the only person in the world to have ever had this problem. wink wink  So, I decided to tell you about it so that if, by some strange coincidence, you might have had, or ever will have this problem, maybe you won't feel quite so alone.  That's what this blog is all about, after all.  Informing the world that not everyone's life is as perfect and easy as you may think.  I have decided to "man up" and not only admit my failure, but also do something about it.  Next week I am going back to Weight Watchers.  I know that the program didn't actually solve my underlying eating problems, but until I get my weight manageable, I am too overwhelmed to try to get to the root of my over-eating.  I will go back to my old meeting, hat in hand, and start over. sigh

This time I want to do it better.  I want to learn to enjoy fruits and veggies as a normal part of life.  I want to snack on healthy things, instead of WW 1 point snack bars that are made from who-knows-what.  I bought a gym membership last week.  I want to use it to build muscle and actually get in shape. 
This is me and my mom at my brother's wedding two weeks ago.  My mom has done fabulous at maintaining her weight loss.  I'm so proud of her!  Doesn't she look great!?  I need to get my inspiration from her. 

In my new spirit of transparency and honesty and accountability, here are my current stats:

30 years old
185 pounds (up from my goal weight of 155)
5' 6"
36% body fat (as measured by my fitness evaluation at the gym)

Bleah.  I can do better than that.  Here's to do-overs.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Modifying Expectations

I didn't want to call this post "lowering" expectations, because that sounds too negative.  And, according to my spell check, "realisticizing" isn't actually a word.  So, "modifying" it is. 
I loved reaching my goal weight.   But, I have found it very difficult to maintain that weight at this point in my life.  And beating myself over the head with every pound gained back wasn't healthy, or helpful.  So, I have to accept the fact that for right now, I'm going to have to live with what I've got.  Which, really, isn't bad.  I'm still a lot smaller than I was when I started out.  Lifestyle habits (exercise, food intake) I am healthier than I ever have been.  I had never been able to run a mile before- now, I can do that and more.  So I shouldn't worry too much about a small spare-tire around my middle, or flabby arms.  Right?  I can, once again, learn to love the body that I have, and not focus on the body I would like to have. 
This picture was taken yesterday at my daughter's class Mother's Day Tea party.  It's not the most flattering picture of me, but I was pleased to see that I don't look as fat as I feel.  :)  Again, it's amazing to me how distorted our self-images can become.  Maybe I'll put this one on my fridge, as a reminder.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

for the love of strawberries

I've never been a huge fan of fruits and veggies.  I like them, I'll eat them, but they're usually not something I crave.  But, lately there are a few that I just can't seem to get enough of.  One of those is sauteed zucchini.  Yum!  Especially with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  The other is fresh strawberries.  They're in season now, which means that every grocery store I go to has huge displays and great prices for the berries.  My kids will occasionally eat them, plus they're super good for you.  The only problem I have had is buying too much, then trying to figure out what to do with the excess.  I have found a solution to that problem:

Strawberry Sauce  from!  Can I just say Y.U.M!  This stuff knocked my socks off.  I must have eaten five or six spoonfuls before I could get it put away.  I seriously wanted to pour it in a bowl and eat it like soup.  It's simple, quick and easy to make.  You could make it with Splenda instead of sugar and it would be incredibly diet-friendly.  I made it with sugar.  I'm totally at peace with that.  :)  I have great plans for strawberry shortcake, pancakes, ice cream sundaes, maybe even soup.  Why not? 

You can follow the link to , (though I warn you, stay away if you're watching your calories).  It is my favorite recipe site of all time- everything I have tried from it has turned out fabulous.  Or, if you don't want to end up spending hours drooling over recipes, here's the Strawberry Sauce:

Strawberry Sauce
1 pint strawberries
1/3 c. white sugar
1 tsp. almond extract (my favorite) or vanilla extract
Wash strawberries and remove stems. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can roughly chop the berries, but I say you’re already feeling ambitious enough by making your own strawberry sauce. So don’t sweat it.
Combine berries, sugar, and extract in medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for five minutes, stirring/breaking strawberries up with a wooden spoon constantly.

After five minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly (if you have a glass blender jar) and a lot (if you have a plastic blender jar). When cool enough, transfer mixture to blender and pulse until desired consistency is reached. 

I used a potato masher to squash the berries while they were simmering- that seemed to make it easier for the blender to process the sauce quickly, without making it too frothy.   Mine turned out thick and smooth, perfect.  I froze some of it, and put the rest in the fridge.  Seriously, if you even kind of like strawberries, try it. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Failure is not defeat until you stop trying.

I'm still here, still fighting the good fight.  I apologize for the lengthy pause between posts.  Sometimes inspiration comes frequently, sometimes not.  And, sometimes inspiration comes all the time, I just don't have time to actually get on the computer and blog about it.  Ya know- three kids, massage school, homework, substitute teaching, hubby, dirty bathrooms, dog, etc.  (Side note:  I like substitute teaching, but I have a really hard time actually using the word "substitute" ever since my six-year-old daughter pointed out that it has the word "toot" in it.  She then spent the next ten minutes saying "substitoot!" and laughing uproariously.  Classy little lady, she is. :)

I am proud to report that for the last few weeks I have gotten out to run at least three times each week.  I am averaging about a mile and a half per run, and working on going longer.  But, the real reason I feel inspired to post today was this article on the Runner's World website:

Wingspan by Kristin Armstrong  

I read her new article every week.  I don't really consider myself a "runner" (I suppose I probably should, since I do, in fact, run.)  But, her articles aren't really about running, they're about living.  And I love the perspective she has on life.  Here's my favorite part:

One night this week I took my kids out for Thai food and this was my fortune:
Failure is not defeat until you stop trying.
I smiled when I read it, shoving the cookie in my mouth and the tiny slip of paper into my wallet.  This one was a keeper.
How awesome is the idea that we are never defeated if we never stop trying.  We may stop and start again.  We may change our goal midway and soldier on.  We may retire and later re-enter the ring.  We may fail miserably and muster up the courage for a do-over.  We may let one dream go in order to make room for another, better dream.  Or we may realize that the dream we've held close all along matters now more than ever – and we approach it with renewed vigor.  We may take time to heal and then laugh again, trust again, love again, run again, start again.
If defeat is for quitters, then the victory remains in the try.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yep. I'm human.

So.  I have given up on giving up soft drinks.  For now.  It's not so much that I couldn't live without the cokes, more that everything else I'm striving for went to pieces while I struggled with that one thing.   Sigh.  I guess I will go back to trying to cut down on them, and drinking more water. 

I really hesitated to publish this because it's a tad embarrassing.  But, then I realized that it's not motivating to watch someone be perfect.  It's motivating to watch someone struggle and overcome.  Not that I intend to air all my dirty laundry.  I will keep some amount of dignity.  :) 

*Oh, and I wanted to say thank you to the lovely lady who brought me a loaf of banana bread last week.  (You know who you are.  I didn't know if you would rather keep things private- but I wanted to make sure you knew that I am grateful!)  It was delicious, and I shared half of it with my kids. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I am not my weight

I admit that my weight is rather closely linked to my confidence on any given day.  However, my weight has nothing to do with who I am.  I find that I am liking myself more and more as I age; and while my weight rises and dips, my sense of who I am and what I can accomplish steadily increases.  Why is this?  I think it's because the more I try, the more I learn about myself.  I have tried many things.  Some have been a success, some an utter failure, but each time I find I understand myself better. 

"There are a number of very important irreversibles to be discovered in our universe.  One of them is that every time you make an experiment you learn more;  quite literally, you cannot learn less."
Buckminster Fuller

  I just read an article in Runner's World magazine (A Thin Line by Peter Sagal) about a guy who was fat as a kid, and still feels fat now, even though he is a marathoner.  One of the most compelling parts of the article is this:

The obsession with weight—far, far more common than you might suppose among amateur athletes—is a curse. "I run to eat," we say, but we're not so much taking pleasure in the food our running earns us but in the immunity it grants us. We hit the box of doughnuts at work or the side of fries with lunch, telling ourselves, "I did my six this morning," and we feel, for a moment, that we are Normal People, able to indulge in sweets and fats without suffering the kind of inner guilt and recrimination usually reserved for embezzlers.

I think we tend to look at skinny people, athletes in particular, and think that they never have to worry about what they eat.   It looks so effortless for them, and we wonder why we can't just flip a switch and be like that.  After all my reading and research on this topic, I conclude that there are actually only about five people in the world who don't struggle with their weight in some way.  We're all in the same boat, people.  That thought brings me a great deal of comfort.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Remind me, again, why I'm doing this?

Four days without Diet DP.  I have a mild headache, which is my body's way of saying "something's missing here.  Shouldn't we usually have about 40 milligrams of caffeine in here by now?"  (40 milligrams just sounded good, I actually have no idea how much caffeine is in the average soft drink).  The headache I can deal with.  The cravings are driving me crazy.  I like water, but I'm not sure how much more of it I can take right now.  So I have been drinking lemonade and milk.  Can we say "calories"?  Arrgh.  Which makes me really start to question the wisdom of going off soft drinks at all.  I know they're not good for me, but gaining back thirty pounds isn't going to be good for me either.  Neither is eating half a package of Chips Ahoy cookies and a glass of milk.  (Ahem.  Monday night.)  I don't know if I can handle eating fewer treats/snacks AND giving up my DP.  I feel like I can only really focus on changing one thing at a time.   If I have to have a vice, wouldn't a non-caloric one be better?  Should I keep going and see if it gets better?  Should I fall off the wagon in favor of focusing on another health issue?   I really don't know what to do here.  I'm open to any and all opinions and advice.   

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Saying Good-bye to an Old Friend

No, nobody died.  Just clearing that up right away.

Have you seen the movie "Mr. Mom"?  The little kid has a security blanket that he calls his "woobie".  I have had many "woobies" in my life, but none so consistent as Dr. Pepper.  You may laugh, I give permission, but hear me out as well.  I'm not sure when I started drinking DP on a regular basis, but I know I was probably a teenager when it became my woobie.  Anytime I was sad, lonely, depressed, whatever, a cold, sweet, fizzy cup of happiness was just a drive-through away.  Even when I was on Weight Watchers I found I could switch to Diet and still keep my woobie.  (I actually think it helped keep me on track, because it was the only thing left, that I loved, that I could still partake of with reckless abandon.)

Well, the time has come to finally grow up and burn the woobie.  Sigh.  I have stuck with Diet since WW, so it's not directly contributing to my weight issues.  But.  I know it is sooo not good for me.  Especially the Diet stuff.  There's nothing in it that hasn't been chemically created in a lab.  I have tried many, many times to cut back.  I have tried only having X amount per day, I have tried drinking a glass of water for every Diet DP, I have tried giving it up for a week.  All of those work for a little while, then I'm right back onto drinking nothing but the fizzy stuff.  I'm afraid nothing but cold turkey is gonna cut it.

You may ask "why?" or at least "why now?"  It's been a long time coming.  I'm trying really hard now to focus on developing habits that will help me be healthy for the long term, not just to get some poundage off.  This major hurdle feels like a huge step in the right direction.  Plus, I find that a fresh, cold Diet DP goes just perfectly with a snack.  If I don't have the DP, I don't crave the snack as much.  Funny how that works, huh?
This is, officially, day THREE of no woobie (or any soft drinks whatsoever).  I don't know how long it will take until I don't crave it anymore, we'll just have to take it one day at a time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

After a While

I realize this poem was not written about weight loss.  Nevertheless, it applies to just about anything we're struggling with.  I'm not sure when it came to me, or where it came from, but I love it.  It speaks to my soul when I'm down.

After a While
by Veronica Shoffstau

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand
and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn't
mean leaning
and company doesn't
always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and eyes ahead
with the grace of a woman
not the grief of a child.
And you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground
is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way
of falling down in mid flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting
for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn
that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth.
And you learn
And you learn
with every good-bye, you learn.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The siren song of not caring

Cut loose.  Relax.  Chill out.  Loosen up.  We humans just love to let our hair down, throw caution to the winds and let it all hang out.  It feels so good to say "who cares?" and just do what we want.  And, why is this a bad thing?  I don't think it always is.  Sometimes we need a little down time.  But, I find that the more my hair is down, the less content and satisfied I am.  We thrive on structure.  We need boundaries, if only to have something to push against.

I did so great this morning.  My hubby was working from home today, and at about 9:00 I decided to go out anr run some errands, and bring him home some breakfast (in the form of a greasy, buttery honey chicken biscuit from Whataburger).  I had already had my breakfast (two pieces of whole wheat toast with blackberry jam), so I didn't get myself anything to eat.  It made me feel so confident and powerful to not eat when I had the chance.  Fast forward to this evening, after an extremely stressful afternoon consisting (among other things) of our babysitter canceling so we didn't get to go on our date, my nine-year old failing yet another math test, and the same nine-year-old not turning in a month long project that was due today.  Add to that the sink full of dirty dishes, the huge fort of blankets in the living room and the fact that I have gained yet another two pounds (now 12 pounds above my goal weight), and what did I feel like doing?  That's right- giving up and eating two apple pies from McDonalds.  That doesn't sound like much, but after doing so well this morning, thinking that maybe, finally, I'm getting it again, two apple pies feels like a major defeat.

The question is:  what am I going to do now?  I've eaten the pies, I can't change that.  I'm still depressed and stressed, eating didn't help that.  Well, I guess the only thing to do is try again.  And again.  And again.  I will go to bed and try to make better decisions tomorrow.  I need to remember that as wonderful as it sounds to just let go, it really doesn't make life better.  No matter how much I try to not care, eventually caring happens.  Then, I wish I had cared.  Just a little.   

Friday, February 11, 2011

What if I do it wrong?

One of my very favorite books is Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale.  It's about a ladies' maid who gets locked, with her lady, in a tower for seven years.  In one of my favorite parts, the maid decides to teach her lady how to cook.  The rest goes like this:

She said, "I don't know how, Dashti."
"That's why I'll teach you."
"I'll do it wrong."
"Of course you will, everyone does wrong when learning something new."
Then she started to cry.  "But I'll do it wrong."

Confession:  I hate getting things wrong.  I like to be good at things, and if I'm not good at them almost right away, I quit.  This tendency has kept me from many experiences that would have been very good for me.  So, I am working on overcoming this.  I am currently in Massage Therapy school.  I have loved it so far, but I had my first major check the other day.  I was practicing on my hubby's shoulders, and I twisted his head to the side a little too fast and gave him a cramp in one muscle.  I felt the all-too-familiar despair (maybe I can't do this after all, what if I screw up like that for real?  etc).  I refuse to give in to those thoughts this time.  I will try again, I will learn, and I will get better.
Everyone does wrong when trying something new.  Don't be afraid of being wrong.  The only way to fail is to not try at all.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

Learning to eat only when you're hungry is HARD.  I knew this before.  I'm sure many of you know this.  But, I feel the need to say it again:  eating only when you're hungry is HARD.   Okay, I'm better now.

That being said, I actually think I did fairly well this week.  Remember, I'm developing a habit that I plan to keep the rest of my life.  And, I'm breaking habits that I have had for the past 30 years.   So I don't expect to have it down anytime soon. I don't ever expect to be perfect with this.  I'm simply shooting for "more often than not".

I managed to put down my fork and be done before the food was gone many times.  I have discovered I have a bad habit of piling waaay too much onto my plate, then I feel the need to finish everything in front of me.  Have to work on that one.  I'm not sure if I want to start using smaller plates, or teaching myself to get smaller portions.  I think I'll go with the smaller portions.  Using smaller plates would just be a temporary measure, it wouldn't teach me anything about true portion size.  And how many restaurants/grandma's houses are going to serve you your dinner on a saucer?  Exactly. 

I did my weekly weigh-in yesterday and I was down by about half a pound.  I'm not focusing on the numbers, but it does help to know that I am on the right track.  I also went running a couple of times this week.  (Before the bottom dropped out of our weather; anybody ever gone running in -15 degree wind chills?  Me neither.)  It felt soo good to run again.  I have lost my pedometer somewhere, so I couldn't use the stopwatch on it to keep track of my time.  And, you know what?  I enjoyed my runs so much better when I wasn't able to care how fast I was going!  I didn't worry about distance.  I didn't worry about time.  I don't really care if I ever get faster or able to go longer, I just enjoy the run!  How liberating.   So that is my message to you this week:  enjoy the journey.  Don't worry about how far you will go, or how long it will take you to get there.  Learn to love yourself and learn to love the journey!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Current specific goals

I need specific goals/guidelines to follow if I'm going to get anywhere in life.   So, I have set some for myself.  I am going to take the next month or so and work on eating only when I'm hungry (more often than not, anyway), and stopping when I'm satisfied.  I'm not going to worry right now about what I'm eating- I'm only focusing on when and how much.  If, at the end of next month, my weight hasn't started dropping to my satisfaction, then I will worry more about what I'm eating.  But the when and how much is the true key to learning to eat for life.  Ideally, I should be able to eat whatever I want, as long as I'm eating when I'm hungry and not eating more than I need. 

I have decided I want to drop about 20 pounds from where I am now (10 below my goal weight, and the 10 that I have gained back in the last two months).  I weigh myself every Thursday, so I will post each weeks' results on this blog.  That way, I have someone/thing to be accountable to. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm learning to listen to my body

Okay, I haven't made the blueberry-maple muffins yet.  I admit, I didn't read the recipe very closely before I printed it out.  Turns out it requires, among other things, 1/5 cup flaxseeds, ground.  I have no problem with flaxseeds, but grinding them myself?  And, who in the heck came up with a 1/5 measurement?  Who owns a 1/5 cup measure?  Good grief.  I'm not sure I want to put forth that much effort for something that may or may not end up tasting like plywood.  However, I have managed to eat much more vegetables this week.  Yay, me. 

I got the book I ordered, finally.  It's called Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat by Michelle May, M.D.  It's not the only resource out there for learning to eat intuitively, but it was the one that caught my eye.  The basic premise is that you already have the ability to eat as much as your body needs, but you have to learn to really listen to your body, and heed what it is telling you.  Think about it.  If you ate just when you were hungry, and ate just enough to satisfy you, your body wouldn't have to store any extra.  I, personally, wouldn't have started this process before I lost most of the weight I wanted to, because it's going to take some significant patience, and I can't focus on quick weight loss.  The focus has to be on giving my body what it needs, not what my mind wants.  The good news is that my body gets hungry (like, stomach growling, real hunger- not cravings) about four or five times a day.  And, food tastes so much better when I'm really hungry.  The trick for me is going to be learning to eat just enough to satisfy me. 

So, my goal for the next few weeks is to learn to eat when I'm hungry, try not to eat when I'm not, and only eat as much as will satisfy me.  I do not expect perfection, this is a learning process.   Anyone want to join me?  

(If you have a hard time know when you are actually hungry- there are many, many articles on the web that can help you out.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More fruit and veggies

I have resolved to include more fruits and veggies in my diet. My hubby is very supportive of this particular resolution- he loves fruit and vegetables. Yesterday we were having a salad and pizza for lunch. My kids love salad, as long as it is covered with ranch dressing (doesn't bother me, as long as they eat the veggies rather than just licking the ranch off). I was very skeptical, though, when their daddy handed them each a cherry tomato and told them to try it. They all looked at me as if to say "he's serious? Mom, do we have to?" I covered each tomato in some ranch and told them to eat up. And, lo and behold, they did! Even the very picky eater, who tends to gag and sputter every time we make her eat her one spoonful of peas. I don't think any of the kids really enjoyed the tomatoes, but they ate them without complaining. Progress! See if I doubt my husband's culinary wisdom again. (Oh, I ate a cherry tomato, too. They're not my fave, but I know they're good for me.)

I love finding new recipes, and my family loves blueberries, so I will be giving this one a shot soon:

Blueberry-Maple Muffins

I'll let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Intro to intuitive eating

"Sometimes your tongue wants more and more, but you got to listen to your tummy, because he says 'I'm full'"

I borrowed this quote from my cousin Emily's running blog:
She got it from her four-year-old niece. I thought it was a perfect introduction to what intuitive eating is all about.

I believe we are all born with the innate ability to regulate our eating- until human desires, environment and habits get in the way. Intuitive eating is simply an effort to learn, or re-learn, how to really listen to our bodies. I want to learn to eat when I really need to, and to really enjoy what I am eating. I find that when I am eating what I love, if I pay attention to it (eating mindfully), I can eat less and feel more satisfied. Example: I love chocolate. My current habit is to pop chocolates in my mouth, one after another, while reading a book. Then, I am surprised and disappointed when I have eaten it all. I don't feel satisfied, I want more. Eating mindfully would be if I put the book down, take the same chocolate, unwrap one piece, smell it, eat it slowly, letting it melt in my mouth. I pay attention to the taste, the texture, the feel of the chocolate. Usually by the second or third piece I realize that I am satisfied.

Have you ever eaten something just because it was there? Have you sat watching a movie and eaten an entire bowl of popcorn without realizing it? I have. Many times. Those experiences aren't satisfying for me. I end up full but disgruntled. Then I end up fat. Dang. This is not the way I want to live.

I asked for a book on intuitive eating for Christmas. Unfortunately, (sorry Reed) I gave my hubby the wrong author, so he got me the wrong book. Now I have ordered the right book from Hastings and I expect it within a week or two. I plan to share what I learn on here, but if you would like to look into it sooner, here is the website:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Enjoying the Journey

I quit Weight Watchers. There. I said it. I'm trying not to think of myself as a quitter- I didn't sign up to follow WW for the rest of my life. I met my goals with them, now I want to try something else.
So, even though I am at my goal weight, my journey is not done. I still have many habits that need changing. Of course, isn't that life? Don't we all spend our lives trying to improve ourselves? My current health-related goals have to do with intuitive-eating. I know it kind of sounds all new-age-y and strange, but I promise it's not and I plan to blog more about it later.

Right now I want to talk about why I like to eat. No matter my size, I will always like to eat. I like to eat for a number of reasons- it tastes good, it feels good, etc. Everybody needs to eat, and we are supposed to be able to enjoy it. Right? But, I have discovered- what with trying to be more aware- that after about five Oreos, the taste kind of peters out. No matter how good something is, once I cross the line between enough and too much, it doesn't taste as good. I keep eating it because I want it to taste good. I know it used to, and I'm hoping it will come back.

Also, I have discovered that I love the idea of abandoning control. I find tremendous pleasure in the idea of being allowed to sit down and eat an entire package of Milano's in one sitting if I want to. We fight for control over so much of our lives. We have to go to work, we have to go to school, we can't sleep all day, we don't get to drive as fast as we want, etc. I find it extremely liberating to lose control over food. Except that then I have to deal with the consequences. And, one of the consequences is that losing control over food one time is not enough. That felt good, I want to do it again. It's kind of like a drug sometimes. The more we have, the more we find ourselves wanting.
Never fear, there is hope. I found that balancing out control and the loss thereof is the key. It's not a bad thing to eat with total abandon- once in a while. It gives me that feeling of euphoria, just like occasionally sleeping in. But, then I think logically about whether more will really keep that feeling going, or whether eating (or sleeping) more will actually make me feel worse. Realizing that it will probably make me feel worse gives me the power to stop.