Danger Zone

000cholsteralHubs got the results of his blood work in the mail yesterday.

Ought oh, his cholesterol is elevated; 208

He said: Guess I’ll be going on a diet.

I said: Uh hunh.

He said: What do I have to do to get my cholesterol level down?

I said: Eat more fresh fruit and veggies. Eat less Texas Hots. Eat more oatmeal and Farro, and other whole grains.  Eat less milkshakes and fish sandwiches from Mickey Ds.

He has access to wonderful, healthy, whole and home-made meals at home and is only occasionally asked to eat chinese take-out or subs (no mayo or oil, please), but until now he has fussed about giving up his junk food.

We’ll see how this goes…

Next up: My blood work, at end of month.  Hope its better than his.  :/

Do you keep track of your blood work while dieting?  What junk food do you hate to think about giving up?

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Guilty!

000cop-blowing-whistle-200x300I read police blotters.

There, I said it!

I, Lori, pour over the names of all those unfortunates who, by virtue of their bad behavior, have their names recorded in the section of the paper labeled : Court News. In this section of the paper I find people admitting to all manner of crime, including misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor harassment, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drugs, and assault with a deadly weapon.

In addition to these pleas, the Court News cites the names of individuals who were sentenced without having entered a guilty plea. These are those who refused to admit to wrongdoing, but were found guilty anyway. This second group was involved in indecent exposure cases, indecent assault cases, retail theft, obstructing administration of the law, driving under the influence, and criminal mischief, along with other less glamorous crimes. One might ask why these things interest me?

They interest me because:

1. I’ve done some things in my past, and they weren’t all laudable.
2. I have friends still living rough lives.
3. I want to know what my neighbors are up to, even if after-the-fact.
4. I want to be forewarned if trouble is headed my way.
5. I’m plain nosey.

While reading the Court News this week, two things occurred to me.

First, I’m shocked that the court still pays to advertise the outcome in criminal cases, what with the shocking regularity with which crimes are committed these days.

Secondly, I’ve noticed that crime is no respecter of age. Some of the individuals showing up in the police blotters are 54, 59, and 69 years of age. I guess a thief is a thief is a thief, no matter how many times he or she has blown out the candles on a birthday cake.

I’ve heard it said that to the pure of heart, all things are pure. Perhaps it’s true then that for the criminally inclined, there’s always a reason to skirt the law.

Why is any of this noteworthy, or fit fodder for today’s blog post? Only because as I was looking through the police blotter last night I realized, “If eating more than one needs to live were illegal, my name would be in the Court News section of the paper on a repeating basis.”

I need to do better.

I’m glad overeating is not yet illegal in my county!

Are you a repeat offender with junk food? What have you done to curb your urge to eat in nearly criminal ways?

The Experiment–7 Days Done

For the last week I have been conducting an experiment, The Experiment.  During The Experiment, I’ve been avoiding comfort foods, in an attempt to give myself a clearer understanding of how much I use food to sooth myself and what I would do if I had all those foods I consider comfort foods removed from my diet.  I know that my comfort foods are not the same as those others might identify, but I thought for the purpose of this post it would be good for me to list the kinds of foods I decided to avoid this week.

Defining The Experiment

During The Experiment I avoided the following comfort foods, and monitored my reaction to not having them as a part of my diet:

Coffee

Dairy Creamer, usually half and half

Chewing gum

Dark Chocolate, I don’t eat milk chocolate

Popcorn after dinner

Fast foods, including, but not limited to salads

You might look at this list and say, “Well, there you go, that’s her problem,” and it might be you’re right.  If there wasn’t anything that needed changing in my food plan, I probably wouldn’t have embarked upon The Experiment in the first place.  I assure you, though, that I do not eat fast food on a regular basis.  I eat almost no fast food, but included this category because I do eat out, probably more than I should, and some of the choices I make in restaurants could be classified as fast food, ie: grilled chicken salads at Wendy’s.

But I digress.

About The Experiment:

I had an epiphany when I was driving alone last week.  It had to do with my eating. It also had to do with my choice of foods. It had to do with how much I rely on food to sooth my ruffled feathers.  Yes, ladies and gents, it had to do with emotional eating.  It had to do with why I’m at a plateau with my weight AGAIN, and what I might do to figure out a different way to get to my goal weight.  My thought during this epiphany was that I use food in the wrong ways and to the wrong effect many times. I’ve known this piece of the puzzle was true of me for a while, but it became more apparent during my time in the car.  If I could just identify why I crave certain foods at certain times, I conjectured, I could make a plan and change a habit, and finally get the weight moving down again.

I also wanted to quit bowing down to my appetite.

As of today I have been doing this conscious comfort food monitoring for one week–seven days–and I have discovered a few things about myself in the process.

What I’ve discovered

1.  Foods that sooth remain a powerful presence in my life.

2.  I want to get to my goal weight and quit relying on foods to sooth me, but not enough to eliminate them from my diet completely.

3.  I cannot find a gentler, easier way to let go of foods that sooth other than the hard disciplines of self-sacrifice.

4.  I can quit eating foods that sooth for a time, but it takes real determination and focus to do it.

5.  My greatest struggle in resisting foods that sooth happens between the hours of 5:00 and 7:00pm, while I’m fixing dinner.

How it all shook out

I was able to abstain from coffee, half and half, artificial sugars, and chewing gum for 7 days.   That’s huge for me.

I ate noticably less foods that sooth, even when I did not completely abstain from eating them.

I was not able to abstain from eating dark chocolate, popcorn, or fast food salads during this time.  I ate grilled chicken salads at Wendy’s several times this week.

What I’ve discovered

Monitoring the foods in my diet that have a soothing affect on me has been profitable.  Just identifying them was a real lesson in self-awareness.  When I craved something, I would ask myself why, then make note of the answer.  I slept better the first few days I was off the coffee, but after that no discernible difference was observed in my sleep patterns.  I had one day when I didn’t ache as much, but I’m not sure if that was due to the food change, or to temperature and bariatric pressure changes in NEPA.  I ate less chocolate (dark chocolate is my go-to snack in the late afternoon, and holds me over until supper; one square does the trick), mostly because I was being mindful of cravings and noting them when they occurred.

I asked myself this question a number of times during the week:  Why do I feel I need to have that right now?  

I only had popcorn after dinner once.

All in all, I think The Experiment was a success.  I ate less, was more conscious of the things I did eat and why I ate them, and made it through a week I knew would be challenging before I began.  I feel stronger for having done that, and when tempted to chew a piece of gum yesterday (I’m a big gum chewer and definitely use it to sooth my appetite during the day), I passed on the offer.

I did not lose weight during The Experiment.

I think that if I were to employ The Experiment several times each month, I might, just through habit, begin to feel like I could exclude some of the foods in my life that sooth on a more permanent basis, and that would be a good, good thing.  For now, I’m happy to have experimented with food and cravings for one week, and I would be willing to do it again in the future.  I have journaled about it during the week, and feel that recording my thoughts here will help me, and might help someone else to give their own experiment a try.  That is my hope, anyway.

Have you ever experimented with removing certain foods from your diet for a period of time?  What was your reaction to not eating those foods?  Did you go back to them, or did you leave them out of your diet forever?

Game Plan Needed!!!

I need a new game plan.

This past weekend, the kiddos come down for a few days. That means 4 more people in the house, and on Saturday, we add another 4: That’s 8 in total for lunch on Saturday, in addition to our regulars. That’s a lot for this country gal who doesn’t do crowds, or feel confident as a hostess.

000pizza

Having that many additional mouths to feed at lunch time, I resorted to take out and ordered pizza and wings. I know, I know, not good. But I did not pig out on the stuff. I ate two small squares of pizza and two wings, and then called it a day. Rather, a meal. Still, this afternoon I am feeling defeated in my attempts to stay on track when others are in my home.

You can’t believe how quickly 32 pcs of pizza and 2 dozen wings can be inhaled!

I need a game plan that I can slip into place when these things happen. Any suggestions?

How do you stay on track when company comes and it’s mealtime? What do you do to balance out your eating when unexpected multitudes get added to the lunch time roster?

Got My Groove On–and I don’t mean Dancing

As I am writing this post, its Wednesday afternoon following my wild weekend: The weekend where I struggled with food and suggested some dishes for dinner that I never eat anymore–among them, pizza.  And wings.  Just thinking about that now makes me wonder how much damage can be done by one meal?  Especially for a recovering body that is trying to heal from more than one ailment.

I’m glad to mark a big X through that weekend and move on to other things.

When I was journaling food years ago, if I got through the day under goal for my calorie count I would draw a big smiley face on the page.  When I went over my goal, I used a pen to draw a big X there instead.  That way, I had an easy flip through resource for determining what worked and what didn’t work on any given day.  I lost a lot of weight that way.

I love easy.  I love simple.  I love uncomplicated methods.  I also love “getting it right”.  Unfortunately, I’m also someone who can potentially get lost in details and distractions pretty easily.  It’s just how my mind works.  I am a multitasker by nature, but there are times when that habit translates into me doing nothing really well.  On those days I am a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none.  Those were the days when I used to get the old red pen out and go to work crafting my giant X.  It worked for me.

Back to my purpose for this post…

I want to report that since Monday morning I have been on-task and in-the-zone with my eating.  Back to Basics has worked yet again.  I’m eating lots of veggies, some fruit, enough protein, and no junk.

No Junk July is still on, and I’m doing okay.

I could have gotten discouraged by the bump in the road that was last weekend and allowed that discouragement to stop all efforts to forego junk of any kind for the rest of July.  Back in the day, I would have–but no more.  I wanted to write today to report that I’m back doing what I know works–what I must do to recover from food addiction and the toll dangerous eating has taken on my life, a life I want to continue to live a little longer.

I’ve got my groove back, and I’m going gangbusters on this clean eating thing.  It feels good.

No Junk July is not awash in defeat–not yet.  It just looked that way for a while.  Today, I can see clearer what needs to be done, and with God’s help I’m doing it.  Yay!  I’m hoping to finish the month strong, because as you know I BELIEVE that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE!

Too Busy to Eat Right

woman eating sub    I could just scream today!

Its been a processed day all day long–Day Two of work without end, amen…busy schedules galore…and an over abundance of input from people who can’t do it themselves, but want others to get it done regardless and NOW.

Do you ever feel like you’re chasing your own tail?  I have felt that way for two days, and with no relief in sight.

Busyness is no excuse for abandoning healthy eating habits, I know that, but on days like this I can’t seem to find the energy or time to eat the right way.

I haven’t eaten terrible foods today, but I have eaten calorie-dense foods.

I haven’t eaten foods swimming in sauces or syrups today, but I have eaten foods that were shaped, stirred, flipped, fried and packaged at commercial food manufacturing plants.

ugh.

It’s discouraging.

Back in the day, I would have let this go on for months, maybe years.  Thankfully, now, I have this inner voice encouraging me to walk away from the junk and once more pick up those foods that constitute God’s bounty.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so they say.

I believe it.

My first stop after work today–the green grocer aisle at my local grocery store.  I am starving for something of substance.

Good food is good fuel, I know that, so my prayer tonight is that I can find some good fuel and happily “Fill ‘er up!”