Monthly Archives: October 2011

I don’t have to be perfect.

I can be perfectly human instead. I have these perfect chocolate truffles in my office. I savor them. I share them with my colleagues. I log every bite.

This evening I got hungry while working late. So I ate a second serving, which was one more than I had planned. I thoroughly enjoyed them. I didn’t feel guilty. I thought about it and decided I didn’t want a fake chocolate protein shake. I would rather a fabulous moment of real food. I am really enjoying the taste of every one of these morsels. They’re smaller than the tip of my thumb and the taste is melt-in-your-mouth sublime. I think it’s the first and last bites that we really taste anyway. So perhaps that’s a good strategy. A two-bite rule. And if I go overboard, well then, you-turns are permitted

I didn’t keep eating the whole box however. I saved some for tomorrow!

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Nourishing my spirit

Today I used a long run on the beach to nourish my spirit. I ran some and walked some. I let go of worries. I connected with my breath. I didn’t push my pace. I felt the need to restore rather than build anew.

Odie frolicked in the water and played with other dogs. I thought about the ways we create joy in our lives. Breathing deeply. Laughter. Flowers. Sunrises and sunsets. Long bike rides. Playing games. Cooking good meals and sharing them. A hot soak in the tub. Clean sheets and a soft pillow. A good book. These things are pleasure. I want real joy. I want to go deeper.

catching the thoughts that mislead

Success starts with a thought. So does eating. Trigger => thought => action.

Triggers for me are seeing a food I like, feeling a little hungry, wanting to relax and enjoy myself. Thought? I deserve this. I want that. It doesn’t matter.

Strategy: observe and interrupt the thought with another one, perhaps one that I’ve practiced ahead of time.

This strategy worked today. When you order a cup of coffee in Holland, chances are high you’ll get a cookie on the side. This morning I found myself at the basketball hall watching my son’s game. My carefully-prepared Thermos full of coffee was still on the dining room table. I said no thanks to the cookie that came with each coffee. Not on my plan. Wheat, sugar, carbs. I want success more than a little vanilla sugar cookie in a package. Even my friend’s daughter turned down the cookie. And as far as I could tell, she wasn’t dieting. Who knew? I can say no to cookies. I can say yes to success.

So far, so good. I can do this.

Mindfulness

I’m committed to nourishing myself and enjoying what I eat. One strategy is to eat sitting down. It’s harder than you think. I found myself getting up and walking down the hall with my mouth full, despite having started the meal with the idea to eat with attention.

I am also trying not to do anything else while eating. Not reading, especially. Maybe I should just focus on sitting down. Progress, not perfection.

And I’m proud of myself for saying no thanks to pizza. I made myself dinner instead. After all I’m still wearing last week’s pizzas.

the power of choice

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I budgeted three pieces of dark cocoa Belgian truffles***. I stopped what I was doing and savored every morsel. I stayed within my carb/calorie targets. I said No to cookies, offered several times during a meeting. I told myself I would be eating lunch afterwards and that I was determined to lose the weight I had gained over vacation.

Every choice that takes me towards my goals builds my confidence. Strengthening the No Thanks muscle pays off. I used my reminder system today to keep focused on taking care of my health, here and now.

***okay to be perfectly honest, the 200 calories in the budget were initially ear-marked for some ready-to-eat tuna fish in a packet. Intentionally choosing and savoring these truffles was terrific.

This time it will be different

How many times have we said that to ourselves? Well, if you’ve joined a 30-day Paleo Challenge, you have the know-how, but will you follow through on the behaviors? Are you willing to commit the time and energy required to take care of yourself? Have you lined up some social support?

What will it take to break the cycle of lose-only-to-regain? Are we weak-willed? Not sufficiently motivated? Are our bodies broken? We just can’t lose weight no matter what we try? Well, I think we should stop blaming ourselves. I think we can train our brains into a new way of thinking that will ensure success and a lasting transformation.

Actions and feelings follow thoughts. If we can identify thoughts that lead us away from our goal and interrupt them, we can stay on track. Weight loss will be easier. We can plan ahead for rough patches and face challenges with confidence.

Today was a +1. I made good choices. I didn’t eat food that was outside my plan. I felt fully committed to success. I read my reminder about why I want to "eat lean." I reminded myself I am following a healthy eating plan and I stuck to this decision.

And I came back to share my enthusiasm here. Public accountability is positive pressure. At least my friends are reading! What’s your strategy for success?

My plan is to post daily for the next six weeks as I re-train my brain and improve my health by getting leaner.

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Okay. It’s now.

My October challenge was a bust. Just as soon as I stopped drinking coffee, I went to a training program that included machines in the meeting room that dispensed freshly-brewed cappuccino for free. I confess I was a push-button junkie for a week. I also had a week’s vacation with family and I thoroughly enjoyed their company and the cookies.

So rather than thinking about a challenge for November, my plan is to focus on today. Right now. The only moment where I can exercise the power of choice.

Today was the first day (again) of moving myself towards my lean-n-healthy goal. I made my numbers. I planned every meal to include vegetables – zucchini with my eggs this morning, a big salad at lunch and sauteed cabbage and some yellow pepper strips with dinner.

Fitness today: drive to the airport. walk the dog.

My goal is to lose at least 8 lbs by my birthday on 1 December. And to re-train my brain.

1. Why change what I eat and get leaner?

  • reduce my risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • run a faster half-marathon (run a faster marathon?) (out-run the grim reaper, or at least the course sweeper)
  • continue to be able to play hard and keep up with my sons
  • feel comfortable in my own skin. My clothes fit well. They’re not too tight.
  • I can say I DID IT! I REACHED MY GOAL.
  • I will move from (perpetual) "dieting" to "maintenance" and stop renting so much space in my head to this particular goal. Enough already.

2. What’s going to be my reminder system?

I put a reminder in Rootein. And put this list in my calendar.

When I continually remind myself
of all the reasons I want to lose weight,
dieting will be easier.

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