Everything in Life is a Trade Off

000eatingYou want health, you have to give up eating crap.

You want wealth, you have to give up being lazy.

You want friendship, you have to give up isolation.

You want peace, you have to quit fighting.

You want success, you have to do something!

You want to not get pulled over by the cops on your way to the dentist in the morning, you have to either have an invisibility cloak or a be the luckiest bugger in the lane.

Oh, that final one probably didn’t belong in this list, did it?

You want coherent thought now, best look somewhere else!

I’m frustrated, embarrassed, and angry!!!

No off-track eating today, but yeah, I was tempted.

I was tempted!!!!

Its NOT a Dog’s life, just a way of life

Hubs had to go to town for dog food yesterday. He called me from the store for help.

Let me explain two things before I go further:

1. Our house is at least fifteen minutes away from any signs of recognizable civilization depending on the “trail” you take.   So, when I say hubs had to go to town for dog food, what I really mean is that if folks in our neighborhood want to procure anything other than sticks, stones (which we have aplenty on our property), or farm implements, we all have to travel to get it.  Due to our Pupper’s delicate tummy, we have to travel 45 minutes one-way to get his dog meal.

I know, I know, the things we do for our pets…

2. There has got to be at least six types of dog food flavors associated with our brand of dog food, and at least ten different brands on the store shelves where we shop.  This translates into gratitude on my part that hubs would volunteer for this job, because it is serious work to figure out what to buy when you’re not standing in front of the displays, and/or even harder if you are doing the shopping, but your better half (who usually does this chore), isn’t there with you.

Poor guy, he had to call for help. What else could he do, get the wrong thing?!

Noooooooooooooooo!

Now that I have explained the scenario we are dealing with at our hill top nob home, I will share with you the real reason for my post today.

My dog has to have a special food devoid of grains to be healthy!

There it is!

If Pupper does not have this grain-free food he itches.  He has an allergy to grains, especially cheap grain and/or sub-par grains that often go into dog meal.  When the allergy kicks up, he itches enough to make us crazy and make him sick.  The itching develops into an infection, and soon his hair is being scraped off his back and he is left with unsightly bare spots that look like mange, but are not.  Thankfully, we learned about how these allergies work early in our mini-schnauzer keeping legacy, so that current pup, Pupper No. 3, has not ever had to get to the bare spot place with his allergies and sensitivities.

This is the brand of dog food our dog eats, his favorite flavor is Chicken and Rice

I mention all this today to say that different people have different needs, and to point out how important it has been for me to realize and factor that into my eating program as I’ve worked to get better.

Some foods make me feel great.  Others make me feel lousy. 

Oatmeal in the morning energizes me.

Coffee makes me jittery.

Bagels feed my appetite, but not my body.

Fruit makes me feel virtuous.

Ice cream makes me feel guilty.

Eating beans, I’m reminded of how remarkable is our digestive system.

Don’t tell me feelings and food aren’t closely connected. They are, for this gal!

What does all this mean–this quandary of feelings and foods, and allergies, and itching, and winning and losing, and figuring out all this stuff so that I can see the forest for the trees?

I guess its about me wanting to better understand how food affects my thinking everyday, and to tip my hat to all those out there that are dealing with serious food allergies and sensitivities, and especially those who share my food compulsions and are trying to shut them down however they can.

What I know:  It can be done.

It will take work.

It will take education.

It will take time.

It can be done!!!  Start today.  Trust God, and begin.  You can do it!

First Day Frustrations and the Dirty Dozen Difficulties I encountered while trying to eat right

Yesterday was the first day of the October Unprocessed challenge, and this year I have signed the pledge. During October I will be avoiding processed foods as much as is humanly possible. Well, for me, that is.

Going into the challenge this year, I was confident. I have been eating this way most of the time for three years now, so I am accustomed to shopping, preparing meals, and eating in an unprocessed way. Still, there are some hold outs in my food plan; places where I take the road more often traveled by people who aren’t concerned with weight and health issues like I am. For me, keeping on top of the weight and the consumption of sugar and junk is literally a life and death decision. I have to eat right and exercise to keep the diabetes at bay, so I do, most of the time. Mornings, however, are rough for me. I work outside the home and I have a 40 minute commute. That means that in the morning, I’m rushing around like a chicken with no head from the time I force myself to leave my warm covers, until I pop in the door at work and settle in with my morning routine. In the morning, when it’s time to eat, I want easy!

Easy for me is spelled TAKE-OUT.

My usual is a breakfast wrap from the local coffee shop; a small tortilla, a half piece of sausage, an egg, and some cheese. I eat this with my morning coffee and I’m set until lunch. I’m not doing this during October Unprocessed.

Is there a bond between eating and emotional responses? For me, the answer is a definite YES. In the past, when I was hungry, angry, lonely, bored, happy, sad, frustrated, or pressed for time, I ate all the wrong things. I ate the wrong things, in the wrong amounts, with devastating results. I gained more and more weight, until I tipped the scale at 315 lbs. I was fat, unhappy, sick, and ignorant of all the things others knew about nutrition, whole foods, moderate exercise, and my responsibility to get and keep myself healthy.

I didn’t know.

That might seem like a cop-out or excuse to some. Make of it what you will, but I promise you, I didn’t know. I had been raised by an unhealthy, unorganized, and unhappy mother. I never learned what it was to live a healthy life. I didn’t have that life patterned for me, and no one, ever, stepped in to adjust what was going on. Well, I take that back. My fraternal grandmother tried, but you can imagine how that went over at home. My parents divorced when I was five.

My family history is long and complicated, but I don’t want to bore you with that, so I won’t go there. Suffice it to say, my relationship with food has definitely been emotionally charged for as long as I can remember, so when I have a day like I had yesterday, it’s a challenge for me. Even without the October Unprocessed pledge I made, but especially in light of that pledge to stay away from processed, easy, fast foods this month.

To give you some insight into my frustrations, I thought I’d share my dirty dozen mishaps from yesterday here; events that fueled emotional responses with food.

Note: I did not overeat yesterday, and I did not eat fast food or the other types of foods I had decided to abstain from during October.

My take-away from yesterday, as I reflect on the day this morning: I did it! I’m proud of myself for that. This morning, that temptation to get take out with my coffee was strong. My response was to forego the coffee shop and have hot tea with my breakfast.  I couldn’t trust myself in the coffee shop. Can you relate?

I’m slowly learning to break bad habits.

This was my day yesterday:
1. Flat tire at the coffee shop. My second in two weeks. Last winter I had three in one month. Ugh.

2. Can’t reach hubby on cell, and can’t change tire by myself.

3. Call co-worker to come get me. I will now have to make up 30 minutes at the end of the day.

4. Busy, busy, BUSY day at the office. I didn’t get everything done. A friend wants me to meet her after I get out of the office. Problem is, I have to work late, but meet her after that, anyway.

5. I have a meeting after work, a dinner meeting that I have to rush around to make by 6:15pm.

6. I get home to a house smelling of bleach. Oh, yeah, we bleached the water lines after installing a black light to help with contaminants from our well water. I had forgotten that was happening today.

7. I decide to shower before going to dinner, but no. The water in master bath commode looks like it’s been scooped out of a mud puddle. Hubby has left the water on too long when running the bleach out of the pipes.

8. I call to hubs, to discuss this with him, and find out how long the faucets have been running full-bore. Okay, so I’m ticked. Wouldn’t you be? I NEED to wash my hair.

9. A fight disagreement ensues, as I realize for the first time that a beeper is going off. We don’t know where the noise is coming from. It’s the black light in the cellar. We check it and the filters-two of them-are black with sediment from the well. Everything that has been done thus far to sanitize the drinking water is now for naught, because the water has run too long and the pipes are now full of dirty sludge. We will have to go through all this again in 4-5 days.

10. Numerous evil thoughts run through my mind concerning my husband, at the same time he bumps his head on beam down in the basement and leaves a huge goose egg. I’m late for dinner. As hubby heads out to figure out the water sitch with his pal, Maynard, our dog sneaks out the front door and takes off like bullet across the pasture field. After EIGHT WEEKS of training, he still refuses to come when he’s called.

11. We have to go out to the car, open the door and yell to dog to go for a ride, because it is the ONLY thing he responds to when he’s being naughty. Then, we must take him for a ride, because if we promise but don’t follow through, he will quickly lose interest in this too and become road pizza. And while I like pizza, and I do not like house pet pizza. Note: the ride was very short, as was my temper by this time.

12. Dog is finally caught, I am ready to leave, I open the door and out he shoots again, for round two of naughty dog antics that make masters into monsters. No joke! Today? Right now? When I’m hungry? Is someone taping this, because I think we could qualify for America’s Funniest Videos!!!

I finally left the house hungry, angry, lonely (why can’t anyone do what you ask them to do—these kinda questions create isolation), and completely frustrated, then had to eat a stinkin’ salad with soup for dinner. Really?!

Some days are like this. It’s life, on life’s terms.

Hoping today will be better.  I really want to be able to finish October Unprocessed clean.

August Action–EOW Report

It’s Friday–the end of another week and the chance for me to spend a few minutes writing about my experiences with my August Action challenge. I have taken action on a few things this week, but have fumbled on a few more.  Here, today, I will honestly tell you where I’m at with my action initiative this August.

What I was able to do:

1. I set up a group on Face Book of other like-minded individuals and we began sharing our action items for August. This group includes all those who said, “I’m in” when I made an offer to include them in this month challenge to take action on their personal goals. I have never set up a group in FB before, so that was new to me, and I was proud I figured out how to do it.

2. I declared some concrete goals for my August Action initiative, after listening to Diane Carbonell’s recent podcast. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to Diane’s podcast, you should do that today. Diane always shares lots of great ways to keep the motivation going when trying to lose weight. My goals this week were twofold–first, that I would not eat wheat (evaluating if I have a wheat allergy or not), and I also wanted to investigate the option of buying an exercise bike for use at home. I have completed the first goal, but I’m still working on no. 2.

3. I posted an encouragement to others in the FB August Action group, hoping to inspire them to remain consciously aware of their goals this week.

Things I did not do so well:

1. I have not moved as much as I would have liked in the first two weeks of this month.  What with having PF and minor surgery on the bottom of my foot last week (stitches don’t come out until next week), I have been slowed considerably in the exercise department. I have tried to move in other ways, but not a whole lot.  Not as much as I need to, let’s put it that way.

2. I have quit reporting my food to my friend. I think I did it only once this week. I need to get back at it. It helps me to stay focused and on track throughout the day and not give in to the urges to snack in the afternoon when I am bored.

The Good News:

The good news is that I still have the weekend ahead of me, and I have plenty of chances to get exercise through various means before we tuck this week into bed.  I’m headed north this weekend to see the kiddos, but its going to be a quick trip up and back.  The hubs would like to get himself a pair of biker boots, so we may etch out enough time to do that while we are with family.  The eating will be the challenge this weekend.  It always is when I’m with the fam, but it’s fun too.

I’ll check back in on Monday and share my weekend in retrospect.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend that you enjoy and that burns calories and keeps you healthy.  Until next time…

Make It Happen!

springWhat a beautiful day!  I’m lovin’ these spring temperatures and abundant sunshine in Pennsylvania. Doesn’t it feel good to see the trees and flowers in bloom?

Woohoo, God is good!

God is good, but what if you aren’t feeling good today?

What if you’re loaded down with troubles?

What if you don’t feel like you have the strength to make good food choices?

What if eating the way you’ve been eating has become a burden on your body too heavy for you to bear?

What if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired?

If your hope’s run out and your cup’s gone dry, if you can’t think anymore, if you can’t come up with any solutions that you think will solve the problem of problem food, I want to encourage you.

You know, it’s not wrong for you to be discouraged sometimes.

It’s not wrong to feel emotionally depleted.

It’s not wrong to wonder what the future holds.

What is wrong/unproductive/ineffective is giving up.

Feelings come and feelings go in life, and as humans we are not immune to them. We are affected by hard times, lean times, sick times and confusing times, and that’s okay, but what we need to understand is that food won’t erase hard times.

Overeating won’t make hard times better.

Overeating won’t fix relationships.

Overeating won’t clear up your complexion, fill you with energy, or tighten up those loose upper arms.

Overeating is a progressive problem that doesn’t get better on its own.

Cravings beget cravings, until we decide to make a change.

As long as nothing changes, nothing changes.  New habits with food have to be birthed by intention and design.

If we want things to change with our food/bodies/health/future, we have to be willing to do something, some small little something, some seemingly insignificant something different. What is that for you?

For me, it is a challenge to mix things up, change foods out, embrace new thought patterns…new habits, and start my day with something other than a bagel.

Rules are hard, but habits are easy.

Like falling off a log, we barely think about them until they work.  Then we rejoice over the weight that drops like flies on a chill autumn day.  It’s not effortless, I agree, but it’s not impossible either. 

Today, remember:  Food is fuel, God is love, and change is possible!