Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Tenth Step

We have all heard of the Twelve Steps, which are the foundation of many self-help programs for those dealing with addictions. They have been instrumental in helping millions of people deal with the temptations they encounter as they overcome their addiction.

The tenth step is especially important to me this week: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. Ouch. Doing the right thing and being responsible. Admitting our imperfections is something we know we have to do and yet are loathe to vocalize. Almost as though, if we keep silent, it didn't happen. It wasn't real.

There's a number that appeared unto me this morning that proved that yes, indeed, it did happen. It was what it was. I didn't like it but it was very real. So dear reader, here is my admission for this week: I did not track as I should. I overate. I ate the wrong things, and most often at night. I had 2 holiday parties this week at which I indulged. Even with exercise (two days at the gym, two days of walking the dog), I have gained weight -- the wages of my sins.

What did me in? What didn't nab me is more like it. Tuesday night was caroling and a party afterwards. Was it the N Family's bark (this OMG candy thing) or the H Family's pumpkin dip (that does remind me, I really do want the recipe for that) that was my bete noir? No, offhand, I'd say it was my 2nd or 3rd serving of them. On Wednesday was choir practice and the follow-up snack time. Again, it wasn't the re-serving of those things (same people... HA!), but my re-taking AGAIN of them. And again. Now, I probably overestimated points (had I tracked them) on some items and underestimated others.... But that makes no difference.

I didn't do what I encourage others to do. It was a failing on my part. And all that is left to do is start afresh. Which I have today. I've been using the online tracker (eTools) lately because it's been easier during work hours to log on during a quick lunch break and type it in rather than write it down. I've been going back and writing down later (on weekends), because I like seeing the pen & ink. It makes it more "real" (so to speak).

Even knowing that I have slipped up this week, at the same time I am not going to beat myself up or go on a guilt trip. It is in the past, and I cannot change it no matter what. All I can do is move forward. And so I am. Today is the start of the rest of the journey. I have 10 days (roughly) until weigh-in. So that's 10 days to get myself in gear and drop down to a reasonable level. I'm not all that far above where I can be (the upper limit) but I'd like to be below that. So I will follow the good health guidelines, get in my exercise, and do all that I know is possible to get myself back to my acceptable level.

Who's on board with me?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Update on the gift exchange

In my last post, I mentioned that I was doing some baking for my department's gift exchange. The only requirement was that the gift had to be handmade/homemade.

If there's a craft to be done, chances are I've done it, tried it, and probably still have materials for it. Except for woodburning and pottery.... but I'm interested in pottery. I have a buttload of scrapping/cardmaking materials. I still have acrylics from my woodpainting days. And I still have quite a few things from my cross-stitching days. I still enjoy cross-stitching, just no time to do it. About the only thing that I can contribute these days? Food.

So I decided that if I were going to do some baking, it would be as tasty and as healthy as possible. I chose Hungry Girl's Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes -- easy to make, very tasty, and 2 points apiece. My coworkers have all figured that if I make food, it's going to be on the healthier side, and so bless their souls, they don't complain. But they were sweet enough to wonder, "Ooh. What if A gets one of our gifts?" Almost every last one of us -- my boss included -- baked, made candy, or did some other food gift. All but one...........

And God, fate, the universe, The Force, whatever is out there was smiling upon me on Thursday morning. I drew the number of the lone non-food gift!!!!!!!!! I got a glass block with lights. These are so cool, and I've seen them at craft fairs everywhere.... I have a colleague in a sister company who makes them and sells them as well. She also does them with wine bottles as well. At any rate, I was totally thrilled with this -- not that I was worried about the food thing either. I figured if I got some food, I'd just take it home and let the family scarf it down. I was thrilled with my gift, and we all seemed to be pretty happy with what we got.

I also made a great recipe I found on for crustless quiches made in muffin tins. I had to improvise -- my fresh mushrooms turned out to be less-than-fresh. Less-than enough to toss them post-haste. So I used broccoli instead and they were good. I plan to do a little more baking this week -- nothing too extravagant, and all as healthy as possible.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

With apologies to Karen Carpenter

It isn't rainy days and Mondays that get me off track; try holiday parties, baking for gifts, etc. I love to bake and do things in the kitchen -- and in the last year or so I have enjoyed the culinary experience so much. But right now, it is my bugaboo.

Okay, first, the holiday parties................ Last Saturday evening was our company's Christmas dinner. Let me just say that I am so glad to (a) be working and (b) work for a company that does nice things like this. We had a blast. There was a cheese and cracker station..... a good Brie is just irresistible. Add some cranberries, walnuts, pecans, and other cheeses and fig preserves and pear jam........ Oh my. I sampled -- since after all, I do have 35 points to use. Then I couldn't decide between the pasta station or the carving station. I love good pasta. But I love good roast beef too. I chose to forgo the pasta and enjoy a good salad, a slab of roast beef and even some potatoes au gratin. Yeah, I know: that's one of the restaurant "watchwords." Well, I watched a small spoonful go onto my plate, then onto my fork, and into my mouth. They were indeed tasty, and I didn't regret choosing that over the pasta.

Then Satan appeared -- in the form of a dessert table. And for the first time in quite a long time, I indulged. I had a slice of this OMGTDF chocolate cheesecake. And about 90 minutes later I went back for a slab of yule log dessert. In the meantime, I also drank water like a camel and had 4 cups of coffee. One of the lessons learned is that I can't eat the rich stuff that I used to eat. HOO BOY. It was like my stomach said, "Well, I hope you enjoyed your little adventure into Rich Food Land. I want to make sure you remember what this kind of stuff does to me......"

One of my leaders defined hunger-satisfaction-stuffing as this: "Hunger is a dried up balloon that's forty days old and all run over, it's puny. Satisfaction is the Wal-Mart smiley face balloon. Stuffing is when you feel you can now be part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade." She was dead on with that. I was somewhere in between Wal-Mart and Macy's (ha... just like my wallet). Only my stomach was closer to Macy's, whereas my wallet is almost always closer to Wal-Mart.

Sunday -- no time for anything. Church, home, lunch.... oh yeah. Lunch. We went to Beef O'Brady's for a quick meal before our choral concert. Instead of my usual salad, I ordered the grilled chicken dinner, with broccoli and mashed potatoes. I knew I'd take part of the chicken home with me, and I figured part of the mashed potatoes. Uh.... I took home a piece of chicken. The broccoli was no trouble, but I had no intention of eating all the potatoes. You know what they say about intentions and the road to hell, don'tcha? I also had a cup of their vegetable beef -- good and tasty but WAY too salty. After lunch, it was my choir concert and a little gathering afterwards. A couple of cookies were the damage there. Dinner that night at home was vegetable soup and grilled cheese. I even used reduced fat cheddar. So I'm betting the damage wasn't as bad as it might have been.

Why the guesswork on that? Because I didn't properly track either day. For me, that is highly unusual. Lately, I've been using Weight Watcher's e-Tools to track and later going back to put my foods in pen and ink, I just didn't track at all for Saturday night or all day Sunday. That ended Monday morning; I have to track or it doesn't work. None of us really enjoy seeing the wages of our sins, but sometimes we have to know the cost.

What did it cost me? About an extra 3 pounds that I'm working off. I know some of that is water retention, but some was the "just don't care" attitude. I have 15 days until the next weigh-in phase begins (on January 2). I really have about another 5 beyond that, but I don't like playing with the calendar that way.

So what did I learn from all this?
1. Enjoy the occasional indulgence but be prepared to pay.
2. Track anyway. It's honesty.
3. Keep practicing healthy habits. I was proud of myself for getting up early and making time for some good workouts. I could have rolled over and hit that snooze bar (and this week it would have been ALL too easy!). I still got in my healthy foods along with the not-so-good choices.

And sorry for the delays in the posting: a little shopping Monday night, more shopping and baking Tuesday, choir practice last night...... I swanney, I need either 4 more hours in the day just for ME ..... or a Guy Friday to do my bidding. Ooh. Why not both? :D

The rest of the week has gone fairly well. I even made healthier foods for our gift exchange. Of course, everyone has brought in cookies and stuff. I am trying really hard to stay "good."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Running a bit behind.....

Hello faithful readers -- I haven't forgotten to do a post for this week. The weekend was pretty busy .... but as usual, there's lots to say. Look for something either tonight or tomorrow morning -- and we thank you for your support! :-D (Hey, how many of you are old enough to remember which commercial campaign that phrase came from?)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

If you heard the sound of a rushing wind....

this morning around 7:55 AM, that would have been me. I was exhaling for all I was worth, standing on a scale at the WW center where I fill in as receptionist on occasion, waiting on the verdict.

Maintained. Exact same weight from last month's weigh-in. Thank you, thank you, thank you, sweet little 8-pound 6-ounce Jesus baby in the manger.

It also hit me at the meeting that even with being well-hydrated, I had also been relying this week on prepackaged frozen meals. I didn't have much time to cook last weekend, so I decided to use what was already in my cabinet and freezer. Guess what I will be doing tomorrow -- yeah, that's right: cooking my own stuff and being in more control of the seasonings.

That's one bad thing about processed foods, or some ethnic foods -- just slap full of sodium. When I was 15 years old or so, I stopped using salt on my food. It's a long story, but basically I realized I didn't really need it, I was just doing so because we always had. What amazes me is how sodium is so prevalent in canned foods, processed meats, frozen meals and so many other things. I know it occurs naturally, and I realize that I have no control over that, and that I still need some in my diet. But I was shocked to discover one day that my full cup of green beans had over 750 mg of sodium in them. I mean, really ...... do green beans need that much sodium in the canned liquid? Unless you're a survivalist stocking your underground bunker for Armageddon, you really don't need that level of preservatives in your food. I don't want a can of green beans or corn to last for that long. I fully intend to eat it much sooner.

So I am rinsing all my canned vegetables, buying the "no salt added" varieties whenever I can, and trying not to eat so many processed items. It's hard to do, especially on a budget (both time and money). But is my health worth it? Yes.


It's the holiday (eating) season. Don't forget that as much as we don't want them to..... BLT's (bites, licks & tastes) do count. Le sigh. Nibbles count too. So does the glass of wine at a holiday party. Choose your battles and your points wisely. Listen, I don't plan to abstain from a glass of wine or two during the season, but I also know to draw the line at one drink per event, mainly because of the empty calories.

So how are you planning to handle this season of festivities, fetes, food and fun?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

My December Weigh-In.....

will take place Saturday morning. I stepped on tonight and it was up, and enough to not be within my allotted range for Lifetime. Whaaaaa!!! What's that all about? It was within range this morning! I got up early to work out. I had a PT session today which usually (um) helps move fluids out. I made sure I drank my water.

I had thought about weighing tomorrow morning, but that would be getting up even earlier than usual for a workout (so that I could leave earlier to run by for a weigh-in). Nor do I really want to postpone breakfast for 2 hours later than usual. Instead, I will workout tomorrow night, giving my legs a few extra hours of recuperation, and also give me more strength training time. Maybe get 2 sets in, instead of just one. That's the one bad thing about early morning workouts -- I have so little time in the mornings as it is.

So tomorrow, I will be sure to keep drinking my water, watch my sodium as much as possible, and hope for the best on Saturday!