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!!!!

Seeking a Healthy Weight

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I’ve recently signed up for membership in the Global Healthy Weight Registry at Cornell University, the ivy league school that sits a short distance from my back yard.

The registry seeks to track the ways and means by which people who weigh in at a normal range for body weight (and have all their lives), can help the rest of us adapt their behaviors, and by so doing get better together.

Woohoo!  I’m excited about joining this project.

I’m also thinking about signing up the Mr for the study.  He was skinny–skinny when I met him. I mean count his ribs both front and back skinny. After he married and his new bride started baking, cooking, and arranging meals for him he gained about 20 lbs, but that’s it, and he has maintained that weight for more years than I’d like to count.

I have noticed some differences in the way Mr and me eat.  He fasts more often then me. His portions are smaller than mine. He doesn’t resolve worry, or fear, or anger with food.  He doesn’t eat when he’s happy either, he laughs and jokes around with his friends, the way normal eaters do. He’s more active, more joyful, and more in touch with his true self than I am.  He balances me out many days.  I wish I were more like him. In some ways I am–because I’ve watched, learned and adapted his ways to some extent.

I need to do more.

A big “thank you” goes out to Dr. J at calorielab.com for writing about the Cornell project again (I take it he wrote the post earlier and brought it out of the archives for me to read).  Well, maybe not just for me to read, but you know what I mean.  Check out his post and if you’re interested, join the registry, like I did.  I expect good things to come of it in the future.

It’s always nice to get in on the ground floor with exceptionally bright people, and for a good cause.  Always!

How do you mimic the behaviors of others you deem healthier than you?  What one change have you made over the years that has brought long-lasting benefits to you?

Professional Affirmations

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Yesterday, I made a trip up north to see my dermatologist.  Being Nordic, I have fair skin that is prone to problems, so I’m good about getting annual check-ups.

Have you noticed that there is a shortage of skin doctors in your area?

There for sure is in NEPA.

I had to travel for an hour to be seen yesterday because the clinics closer to me aren’t scheduling appointments at this time, but it was sooooo worth it!  Not only did my doc not find any noteworthy problems with my derma, but she asked me about my weight loss journey.  She told me she thought I looked like I had lost weight since I saw her last.  I hadn’t.  I think what she was seeing was all the toning that has occurred because of the morning exercise I’ve religiously done the last few months.

Thank you, Three Goals Thursdays!

Honestly, I’ve been pretty bummed lately about my progress with the whole body image/weight loss/getting healthy process.  I read a lot about losing weight and exercising, and it seems like I’m falling behind the pack.

Like I’m losing ground and don’t have the energy or the mental fortitude to do more than I’m currently doing.

Sometimes I seriously think I could benefit from a stretch in food rehab; some place where I could get some one-on-one, tailored planning and counseling on food addiction.

Today was a breath of fresh air; a chance to chat with a professional who affirmed me in my efforts and hailed the progress I’ve made and how I’ve accomplished what I have.

Doc was excited by the amount of weight I’d lost and how I’d kept it off, and when I confessed that I’d struggled lately, she encouraged me.  She didn’t say, “Why haven’t you done more, or why have you quit?”

She did say, “Give yourself a break, you’re not a super hero. You’re a real human with a real life, and you’re doing great.”

Seriously, I could have cried…

I don’t know how many of you reading this are struggling with a goal you have for yourself and feeling defeated in the process.  I don’t know how many of you might feel like you’re going backward, instead of forward.  If you do feel that way, let me encourage you. You are you. You are human. You are loved, and you will get there!  You are not super human. You are mortal. Be kind to yourself today, and be okay with the progress you’ve already made. Celebrate what you’ve already done, as well as what you’ve attempted.  More successes are on the way, if you don’t give up.

Never give up!

I believe in You!

When have you felt defeated by a lack of progress?  Who needs to be encouraged by you today?

Goal No. 3

000counting calories

As you may have read on Thursday of last week, I posted new set of goals for myself that included counting calories for the next seven days.  It has not been easy, but I have been keeping a running tally of all foods eaten this week and the calorie counts associated with them.

Not easy, because I hate counting calories!!!

My favorite foods this week:  Baked Oatmeal with walnuts, Yum!  Star Bucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha Latte. Small, please.  Getting the latte was a treat for me and for hubs, who had not tried SPMLs before.  We were Christmas shopping and in need of something yummy to tide us over ’til dinner time, when we stopped for our drinks.  The lattes were delish, and the best news was that they were FREE!  Yep you heard me right, the computer at the SBs where we visited crashed after placing our order and the staff said it would take more than 15 minutes for it to reboot, so we were not charged for our drinks.

Sweeeet! 

I’m gonna get real brave here and count down for you what I have eaten this week, for those who care about this teeny, tiny goal of mine (posted on Monday afternoon for Tuesday publication, hence the lack of dinner count on Monday):

Friday, Dec 4:  1,978 calories eaten

Saturday, Dec 5:  1,556 calories eaten

Sunday, Dec 6: 1,224 calories eaten (popcorn for supper)

Monday, Dec 7: 593, so far (breakfast and lunch).

See how those daily numbers went lower with each passing day.  What I’m realizing as a result of counting calories this week is that you eat a whole lot more when you don’t make yourself write it down.

No surprise, right?

I’m also recognizing that I need to drink a lot more water than I am.

The Encouraging News: I have not felt ravenously hungry since setting these goals.

The Discouraging News: I have not lost any weight while doing this. In fact, I have seen an increase, albeit tiny, in my weight.  I think that last fact is the reason why I can’t stick with counting calories for very long. The instant gratification from the act is lacking with calorie counting, at least for me. I have to find a way to reward myself that is not food related, if I have any hope of sticking to this plan. I won’t abandon counting for this week, though, because by now I know…

Actions speak louder than words!!!

I will keep on doing what I’m doing and see what results it brings.  That’s what setting goals is all about–being true to me, and trusting the outcome to God.

Besides, achieving this goal of counting calories is more important to me than losing weight.  Don’t get me wrong, I would love to drop a pound or two this week because of my efforts, but more important to me is finding some grit and determination within, demonstrated by being able to “stick with the program” all week long.

Three more days of counting calories to go, and then I may do an experiment in portion control. We’ll see.

How are your efforts to be accountable working out for you these days?   Do you count calories?

Office Christmas Party

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Oh boy, here we go…

Today is the day we celebrate Christmas together in the office.  This year is a lil different than other years, but I can’t say why yet.  More on that later.

In actuality, there are two reasons why today’s Christmas luncheon/party is different from previous Christmas parties. The first reason I can’t talk about (see paragraph one). The second reason why today is different is because today begins my week-long challenge to count calories every day.

Will I be able to do it? 

I know I can, but will I?

We’ll see.

My promise to you:  Whatever I do, I will report on it.

I probably won’t bore you with what I ate today, but I will tell you my calorie count for the day, if I count those calories.

What do you think, will I count today and meet my goal,or give up and eat with abandon?  What are you counting, or counting on, today?

After party update (3:30pm): Things went well with the party. I watched my portions, counted calories as best I could, and did not overeat in any way.  No cookies, no red velvet cake, no sugar laden punch, lots of time on my feet, setting up and picking up.  I call that a win! 

Question:  How many calories is there in 3 ziti from a macaroni and cheese casserole?  😉

Meatless Monday

Hanni asked me to post the recipe for the Brownie Walnut Pie I baked for Thanksgiving Day this year, and I thought, “Why not do it on Monday and make it a Meatless Monday post?”

Why not, indeed!

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Below, is the recipe that I used to make this pie, courtesy of my Betty Crocker Cookbook at home.  The link provided above takes you to the Betty Crocker site, where the recipe is also provided, but I noticed that the ingredients and baking times are different there from what I have in my cookbook. Weird.  Well, maybe pie testers in the BC kitchen decided to tweak the recipe a bit.  Either way, with my old recipe or their new one, I think you will be happy with the results should you choose to bake this pie for a special occasion of your own.

Betty Crocker suggests you use a chocolate sauce as a drizzle for the topping, or some raspberry sauce. I think either would be heavenly, but we ate ours plain. It was rich, custardy, and full of chocolate flavor. I used Ghirardelli chocolate morsels instead of unsweetened chocolate in my pie. The morsels were bittersweet, but they worked fine.

More than fine! Yum!!!

There are two recommendations I would make when baking this pie for your family, and I don’t know if this would enhance the finished product or not, but I would do it next time.

1.  Put a pan of water in the oven while baking the pie. The pie top turned out more dry than I like, and I think this would help moisten it a bit.

2.  Put a clean dish towel on the pie while it is resting (but not until after 30-45 minutes out of the oven). Because the top crust was dry on my pie, it stayed puffed when it cooled, making for a crunchy topping when I would have rather have had it moist, like a brownie topping.  On a brownie, you want that lil bit of flakiness/crust, but without it being too dry.

This pie did what a lot of apple pies do when you use sugar crystals on the top crust before popping it into the oven.  That maneuver makes the crust stand stiff after the pie filling sinks into the bottom crust, leaving air between the pie filling and the raised, crunchy crust (which is oh, so good, but I want it resting on the pie filling when I cut into it with a fork).  That’s just me.  If you don’t mind the air between your filling and your crust, this step can be skipped.

Note: Do  not cover pie with dish towel right out of the oven.  It will make the pie sweat and wet the top, and nobody likes a wet brownie.

Moist, yes. Wet, no!

Other than these two tricks, that I think would help to make the completed pie even more luscious, I would make no alterations to either recipe.

This pie was very chocolate-y and definitely a recipe I would make again, but not until company comes over to share it with us. Too much pie for a man and his mate alone. Enjoy!Brownie Walnut Pie

Lunch

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Raw peppers, cukes, carrot stix, and grapes.

1/2 cup cottage cheese.

2 small pepperoni slices.

2 tbsp low fat caesar dressing.

Water to drink.

That was lunch.

This morning I had the first coffee I have had this week.  Had the first bite of bagel all week, too. Neither were all that satisfying, neither were finished.

I’m beginning to work out the hows and whys of doing what I am willing-but-not-wanting to do in my life. 

Met with a girlfriend last night. We talked about super foods, super carbs, exercise routines, eating on vacation, and the rationalizations that kick in whenever we try to regulate ourselves through fasting; fasting of any kind.

Habit is so powerful!

She is trying to fast regarding unnecessary buying. I am trying to fast regarding unnecessary carbs.  We did pretty well this week. She bought something (2 somethings) that were on sale, using birthday money (which doesn’t really count as budget money buying, right?).  I went a whole work week without my morning breakfast of carbs and coffee.  I fasted from any kind of food or drink during breakfast for three of those days.

I came home from last night’s get-together with a renewed energy regarding food planning and goal setting. I also came home with a rather large chart–THE chart she used to lose 30 lbs last year.  I haven’t decided where to hang it yet–its big–but I will hang it. I’m beginning to realize that I need more tangible proof of my efforts, and more of a consistent reminder that I have a goal, that I need to focus on that goal, and that I need to celebrate the milestones reached along the way.

This process is so, so, so humbling!

I don’t want to expand the waistline of this post too much, so I’ll leave it at that right now.  Have a great weekend everyone!

What tangible proof can you point to when assessing if you are moving closer to a goal you have set for yourself?  Who helps keep you motivated and honest along the way to your goal?