Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Love Yourself Tuesday

For awhile now, I have been taking a few moments each tuesday to assess how I feel about myself. Am I honoring who I am? Am I paying attention to myself? Do I truly love myself? I am going to start posting my thoughts and feelings on this topic here in my blog. How do you feel about yourself?

Food & Exercise
9:00 Breakfast - 1 egg, scrambled, fruited oatmeal (1/2 c. quick oats, 1 apple, 8 oz. water, 1/4 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. allspice), coffee (16 oz. water, 1 T. instant coffee, 3 packets aspartame based sweetener)

2:30 Lunch - 1/2 c. shelled walnuts, 13.5 oz. canned spinach, 12 oz. vegetable juice

4:30 Snack - 1 piece strawberry pocky

4:45 Exercise - .5 milk walk, fast speed

6:30 Snack - 2 small pieces of gingerbread, 1/2 peanut butter sandwich (1 slice whole wheat bread, 2 T. crunch peanut butter)

8:30 Dinner - 2 sloppy joe rolls (homemade bread dough stuffed with sloppy joe filling and baked)

10:30 Snack - 16 oz. gingerbread spice tea with 3 packets of aspartame based sweetener, 1 piece of apple cake with caramel icing

Monday, February 23, 2009

Single-tasked to Handle Stress

We have been really busy in my family the last few days, and busy-ness often leads to stress for me. My mind is always constructing rules, and when I don't follow them (either because the rules are contradictory and impossible to follow or because I am so overwhelmed that following them becomes impossible), stress is the result. That is when I need to stop, and get out of my head and back into the moment.

Single-tasking is the weapon that I use to combat that stress. I do one thing and finish it, and then move onto the next. I don't expect anything more from myself. At my worst, I just go through the motions; at my best, I embrace each moment of each activity knowing and feeling what I am doing, where I am, how I am, those around me, etc.

This month, I have been concentrating on eliminating non-essential things from my life. This can be tricky. We are each different. Some things I might find essential might be trivial to you. As I pass through the last week of this month, I want to pursue this further. Up until now, I have used my intellect a lot. I have though about what things I need or want to spend my time on for various reasons looking at what I know about myself. Now, I want to feel. I think my method up until now has not produced optimal results. For example, I decided a few months back when I first started thinking about what was really essential that one activity was not essential. It has remained and even increased. I think it is actually more essential than I thought. At the same time, over the course of the last few days, there have been a few things that I think are essential that I have been questioning on a deep level.

I learned long ago that logic is only part of what is needed to make decisions and solve problems. This week, I will let more than logic seep into my decision making process as I ponder the essentiality of those things I choose to spend my time on.

Food & Exercise

11:00 breakfast - 1/2 oz. Swiss cheese, 1/2 oz. cheddar cheese, 1 Fiber One oats and chocolate granola bar, coffee (14 oz. water, 1 T. instant coffee, 1 oz. 2% milk, 3 packs aspartame based sweetener)

4:00 lunch - 1/2 peanut butter sandwich (1 slice thin white sandwich bread, 2 T. crunchy peanut butter), coffee (8 oz. water, 1 T. instant coffee, 2 oz. 2% milk, 2 packs aspartame based sweetener)

5:00 exercise - 30 minutes wading (sometimes swimming) through the snow around our trailer

5:45 snack - 1 mini-bag Orville Redenbacher Natural Lime and Salt popcorn (which I see at the website they don't make anymore which is too bad because it is absolutely delicious), 7 pecan halves

8:30 dinner - 2 oz. whole wheat spaghetti with meatsauce (4 oz. Great Value green pepper and mushroom spaghetti sauce & 2 oz. 80% lean ground beef), 8 oz. water

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Today turned out to be a lot busier than I anticipated. I can't remember what I ate for lunch! I do know that it was late. I also know that for breakfast I had 2 scrambled eggs and a whole wheat English muffin with a little butter and lemon curd. For dinner, which I just finished, I had 3 small pieces of fried fish with whole wheat coating and some rice pilaf with lots of vegetables.

Why was I busy? I have been trying to catch up on some backed up housework. I am exhausted from all of the exercise! I had fun though. I did housework drills with my girlfriend and my 20 year old daughter. We open a chatroom online for just the three of us and work for 15 minutes and then report back, continuing until no one wants to any more. We were drilling for many hours today!

Snow Creates Exercise Opportunity

Thursday night and Friday all day it snowed. We received over three feet of heavy white stuff. Snow removal has been the huge overwhelming priority the last couple of days! Of course, snow removal *is* most definitely exercise! Unfortunately the snow was so heavy and deep and wet that even my 16 year old son could only go about 15 minutes without a break!

I didn't manage to record my food those days.

Today, I am back to recording though. Let's see how it goes!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Too Soon for Spring?

I managed one long outside walk so far this week. It seems that playing wii sports is my most common form of exercise this month. I get my heart rate up with the wii, and it definitely leads to muscle development, but it doesn't feed my spiritual side the way that those outdoors walks do! I can feel spring in the air, but at the same time, it seems so far away! How are my readers doing with keeping up exercise routines this season?

Food & Exercise
10:30 breakfast - omelet (2 eggs, 1 c. chopped broccoli, 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms, 1 oz. ham, 1/2 oz. American cheese, 1/2 oz. cheddar cheese), 1/2 whole wheat English muffin with 1 t. butter and 1 t. lemon curd, 1 sausage patty

1:30 lunch - 1 c. lowfat cottage cheese, 2 baked chicken thighs, 1 clementine, 1 c. grapefruit juice

8:00 dinner - 1 c. baked pasta with veggies and mozzarella cheese

11:00 snack - 2 chocolate chip cookies, large mug herbal tea with 3 packets of aspartame based sweetener

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thoughts on Recording Food

So, I am recording my food, and I think it actually leads to me eating more. This is not perhaps so odd. When I record my food, I have to think about what I eat a lot, and this leads to me thinking about food more than I generally do, and that leads to me eating more.

This could be something that will pass, but I am going to contemplate on it some more. For now, I will keep recording, but I may be more casual about it.

Food & Exercise

9:00 snack - 1 small peach

10:30 breakfast - 1 oz. frosted flakes with 3 oz. 2% milk, coffee (14 oz. water, 1 T. instant coffee, 1 T. liquid creamer, 3 packets artificial sweetener), 1/2 whole wheat English muffin with 1 t. butter & 1 t. lemon curd, 1 oz. cheddar cheese

3:30 lunch - 3/4 c. lowfat cottage cheese, 2 grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, coffee made the same as above

6:00 snack - 6 pretzel crackers, 2 clementines, 12 oz. diet Dr. Thunder

9:00 dinner - 1 c. macaroni and cheese, 2 baked chicken thighs, 1 c. steamed green beans, 1 c. grapefruit juice

11:00 snack - 1 c. grapefruit juice

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hidden Food

Lots of times, I hear people say that they eat very little (often saying 900 calories or so) a day, and yet, they never lose weight. If you feel this way, keeping a food journal is a great idea to track what you really eat, but even a food journal might not be accurate.

Today, I decided to keep track of my food in a paper notebook writing down each item before I ate it, but I still missed some things. Below is what was written in my paper journal. For the most part it is accurate, but there were some things that I forgot to record. The first was at lunch time. My girl friend made a hot artichoke dip that she wanted my to try. I had some of the dip on a pretzel. Then she left one triscuit on her plate, and I had that too.

When I was making dinner, I sampled the filling for the chicken puffs a couple of times to make sure that it was right, and I took an extra puff at the end of the meal that wasn't on my list. Now, you could say that I just have exceptionally poor discipline, and you may be right. On the other hand, most people consider me an extreme rule follower. (That is the view I have of myself too.) Yet, I didn't record everything! I remember it this time, but I am sure I could make mistakes other times too. How often do you take something, try something, pop something in your mouth without really thinking about it? I am not saying that those aren't good things to do if they give you joy. I am saying that it is important to make sure that they are choices that you are aware of and not mindless things.

Another source of hidden food in your diet can be underestimating your portion sizes. Research studies have shown that even when people use measuring implements, they tend to heap them up a bit adding up to significantly more food over the course of a day than they think they have eaten. I don't think that it is necessary to accurately measure your food for life, but if you are unhappy with your weight, it might be a good idea to keep a journal for awhile. Just keep in mind that the most accurate way to measure is with a scale!

Food & Exercise

9:45 breakfast - coffee beverage (1 c. 2% milk, 3/4 c. water, 1 T. instant coffee, 3 packets aspartame based sweetener), fruited oatmeal (1 large apple, 1 medium banana, 1/2 c. oats, 3 packets aspartame based sweetener, 1/4 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. allspice, 1 c. water)

12:20 snack - coffee (2 c. water, 1 T. instant coffee, 3 packets aspartame based sweetener, 1 T. liquid nondairy creamer), 1 c. grapefruit juice, 1 c. water, 1/4 c. walnuts

2:15 walk - 1.4 miles, medium speed

3:15 lunch - banana, cajun turkey sandwich (2 thin slices of white sandwich bread, 3 oz. cajun turkey, 1/2 t. dijon mustard), 1 c. canned spinach, 1 c. water, 1 c. diet Dr. Thunder

9:00 dinner - 6 buffalo chicken puffs, medium size buffalo chicken salad, 1/4 of a large butternut squash with 1 T. butter

Monday, February 16, 2009

Food Update

Still really busy here!

Just a brief food journal entry to post today:

Breakfast: coffee, breakfast sandwich
Lunch: coleslaw, tossed salad with dressing and cottage cheese, chocolate coins (maybe 20)
Snack: 25 small gum drops
Dinner: 8 ounces grapefruit juice, 2 bowls chili (heavy on the veggies), one thin slice white bread with butter

Also assorted non-calorie drinks throughout the day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Food Update

I got up at around 10:00 and had a large mug of coffee. (I have measured it, and it holds 16 ounces, but I don't fill it that full with coffee so about 14 ounces is a more accurate measurement.) That was with three packets of aspartame based sweetener and about a teaspoon of liquid coconut flavored coffee creamer.

Breakfast was at about 11:15. It included 1/2 cup of quick oats prepared with a pinch of cinnamon, a couple of drops of vanilla, a chopped banana, and 3 packets of aspartame based sweetener. I also had a maple flavored sausage patty and another cup of coffee prepared the same way as the first one.

After that, the day got busy! Today was "fix computers" day! It was a draining task, and now at 11:20 p.m., I am still not done. I will have to do a very quick update of the rest of my food!

Lunch was 1/2 a medium heart-shaped pizza. Afternoon snack was a brownie. Dinner was 3 fish fingers (homemade with whole wheat batter), about a cup of baby brussel sprouts (yum!), about 3/4 cup of coleslaw, 3 small whole grain hush puppies, and another brownie.

Over the course of the day, I had several no calorie beverages that I no longer remember.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Food Update

I got up at around 9:00 and had a banana. At 10:15, I had a large mug of coffee with three packets of aspartame based sweetener and about a teaspoon of flavored liquid creamer. I followed this with four slices of toast, two with butter and two with lemon curd.

At 1:15, I had one slice each of deli ham and deli turkey, a tiny slice (think one inch square and only slightly thicker than a piece of paper) each of swiss and cheddar cheese, and one triscuit.

At about 5:00, I had several pretzels and 2 ounces of cheddar cheese.

We had a Valentine feast for dinner at around 8:00, and I had 1/2 a medium size heart shaped pizza, a large bowl of salad with shrimp and dressing on it, and about 32 ounces of diet cola. We played games after the feast, and I had about 8 ounces of red wine and another 8 ounces of diet cola.

It has been a long day, and I have been busy, so that is all!

Friday, February 13, 2009

What I Ate Today!

Today's post will be less precise than yesterday's because it has been a busy day.

I woke up at about 9:00 but didn't get out of bed until 10:30. I like to do my reading in the morning in bed, and I delayed extra because I am still having stomach problems most likely related to tension. Then I showered and got ready for the day so it was about 11:00 before I had breakfast which was hurried. I had 2 sliced of thin white sandwich bread, 4 small thin slices of peppered ham and about a teaspoon of salad dressing made into a sandwich of course! I think I actually forgot to drink something which may explain my dehydration later in the day.

We were out and about for most of the day, and I had my lunch at McDonalds. I had a dollar menu McDouble (double cheeseburger), one and a half small fries (maybe slightly less), a small diet Coke, and one small chicken select (just one small piece not a whole order.) That was at about three.

At about 4:00 while out shopping, I had about 16 oz. of grape flavored sparkling water, the kind that is sodium and calorie free. Then after I arrived home, I had 11 small spice gumdrops at around 6:00.

At 7:00, I realized that dinner was going to be quite late, and I was hungry so I had 1 banana and 1 pretzel. Dinner was a drawn out affair from about 8:00-9:30. During that time period, I had 3 grilled cheese sandwiches, one with tomatoes, one with ham, and one plain. I also had another 16 ounces of that grape flavored water.

At 10:30, I was very thirsty and had 8 ounces of water. Then I had another mug of that Candy Cane Lane tea with 3 packets of aspartame based sweetener and two brownies. That is all!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What Do I Really Eat?

When I first started this blog, one of my plans in the back of my mind was to record everything that I eat here. My favorite weight loss blogs have always been the most revealing and most honest. I like it when someone opens up both the good and the bad parts of themselves. "Bad" may not be the best choice of words there. It might be better to say that they show all the different sides of themselves including those imperfections that not many are willing to share.

I find that many people have this idea in their head that most other people are better than them. This is usually not based on fact although the things they see might support that view. The problem is that people don't show the things that they don't want you to see very often.

So today, I am going to start practicing what I preach and sharing what I eat with the rest of you. Now, because I am not perfect, this will not always be a perfect list, but I will do my best. Sometimes I will give more info and sometimes less, but at the least I will list estimates of every calorie containing food or beverage that I consume.

Today, I will start off properly by giving a bit more than that.

Today, I awoke late at around 10:30. I had had a hard night. First I was tense and couldn't fall asleep. Then I couldn't stay asleep because my stomach hurt (probably due to the tension.) I didn't actually get up out of bed until 11:30, and I made breakfast and coffee for my love before I made anything for myself. (She was having a heavy breakfast and due to a slightly off stomach I didn't want to join her.)

So at about noon I had 8 ounces of water and 1/2 cup of quick oats prepared in the microwave and mixed with 1 sliced banana, a pinch each of cinnamon and ginger, 2 packets of aspartame based sweetener, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Usually I have coffee in the morning, but I decided to hold off and see how my stomach was.

At 3:00, I was feeling hungry again so I made myself a big salad of 2/3 cup torn iceberg lettuce, 2/3 cup chopped cucumber, 2/3 cup chopped green pepper, 3/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. I also had 1/4 c. walnuts. Yum! After lunch I was thirsty, so at about 3:45, I had another 8 ounces of water.

At 6:00, I had a small apple to hold me over until dinnertime.

At 7:10, supper was finally done! I had 1 cup of Bush's Original Baked Beans that had been baked in the oven, 6 ounces of lean ham that had also been baked in the oven with a light glaze, and 14 boiled baby carrots with a pinch of salt. I also had 16 ounces of diet Dr. Thunder (Walmart version of Dr. Pepper) on ice.

After dinner at around 8:15, I had a large mug of Candy Cane Lane tea with three packs of aspartame based sweetener in it. I haven't measured the capacity of this mug so I am not sure how much it was. Candy Cane Lane is a tea put out by Celestial Seasonings that is primarily a mixture of decaffeinated green tea and peppermint leaves.

I am not an evening eater so this is probably it for me today so I will post this now!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What Should We Eat?

I have been feeling better physically the last few days, but I have found myself weepy with no apparent reason time and time again. I am not a fan of winter, and we are coming to the end of a difficult time, and I think that it has all just been too much for me! My girlfriend feels that my stomach problems have been mostly anxiety related, and I think that she might be right.

I have a lot of curiosity, and I tend to spend a lot of time reviewing research on various topics of interest to me. One of these topics is nutrition. I am curious about how food affects us, and what we should eat, or if it even matters what we eat. I recently read a few blogs where people were trying out radical diets so the last few days, I have once again been reviewing the research.

I did not find any hard evidence that any of the diets that I read about were better than the diet that I strive to eat now. (I admit that I am not terribly successful at the moment. I still wonder if there is something easier that is just as healthy. I highly doubt that one of these radical diets is it!)

What do I think the ideal diet is? I think that the bulk of the diet should be made up of minimally processed fruits and vegetables. Those fruits and vegetables that have lower concentrations of carbohydrates should be eaten in higher amounts than those with higher carbohydrate concentrations. This diet can be supplemented with legumes, whole grains, lowfat meats, lowfat dairy, nuts, seeds, and mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, but the fruits and veggies should make up the bulk of what you eat.

I am still open to some new discoveries, but for now, I will stick with this for my goal. It is hard enough to achieve in comparison to the typical American diet. After I master this plan, perhaps I will experiment with more changes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Continuing Illness

The past couple days, my sinus infection has been clearing up, but I have had stomach problems. I have been dealing as best as I can. There is a part of me that is angry at myself for being sick the last couple of months! I know that that is an irrational and unhelpful state in this situation. I will try to take proper care of myself and do what I can and see where that leads.

Yesterday, I did not get out for a walk, but I did play wii sports non-stop with much enthusiasm for an hour. It was fun, but I didn't get the same emotional benefits that going outside bestows upon me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A New Month

Here it is February, and I am full to the brim with positivity. I managed to make some money last month, not as much as I had hoped to, but more than I would have thought possible considering the fact that I was quite ill and could only put forth so much effort.

Exercise is still a struggle. The weather is cooperating today so I will hit the road with a new burst of fortitude to make my dreams a reality. I will be practicing mindfulness during my exercise period, and I will maybe mix some things up with some positive visualization.

My partner is beginning a journey of her own this month. She is also thinking about the months ahead and wants to make some changes in the way we eat. I will be thinking about that trying to figure out the direction that we should go. In our world, food is a social thing and making too much of a change can be very difficult unless you choose an isolation that we may not be ready for. It is something we need to discuss a lot I think to find our path.

What am I doing this month? I am eliminating! I am working on getting rid of the things that are non-essential to me. This will include actual "things" but mostly I will be focusing on activities. I don't do a lot of activities that I don't consider essential, but there are a few, and those are on the way out, or at the very least, they will be minimized!