Posts Tagged ‘a healthy life’

I choose me..

 

I read this today (if you want to click on the link to see the image, you can do that of course) but the content of this struck me (I will share it here):

 

“Most of my life has been spent trying to shrink myself. Trying to become smaller. Quieter. Less sensitive. Less opinionated. Less needy. Because I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t want to be too much or push people away.
I wanted people to like me. I wanted to be cared for and valued. I wanted to be wanted. So for years, I sacrificed myself for the sake of making other people happy. And for years, I suffered. But I’m tired of suffering, and I’m done shrinking. It’s not my job to change who I am in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. I am worthwhile. Not because other people think I am, but because I exist, and therefore I matter. My thoughts matter. My feelings matter. My voice matters. And with or without anyone’s permission or approval, I will continue to be who I am and speak my truth. Even if it makes people angry. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if they choose to leave. I refuse to shrink. I choose to take up space. I choose honor my feelings. I choose to give myself permission to get my needs met. I choose me”
~Daniel Keopke.

I thought this was profound when I read it. As a nice former (key word) people pleaser who was raised on self sacrifice, generosity and giving of myself too often I forgot myself in that equation. When I reviewed my life I realized this as I was losing weight this past year.

I think that being giving, caring, loving and even a level of self sacrifice is good and even noble and a spiritual virtue but not at the cost of losing myself and who and what I am to myself. If I can’t do what I need for self care and self love I cannot love another truly. And if my goal is to love fully, deeply richly I have to rethink this I found. Too many times I overate in resentment because I was over extending my own limits and boundaries of what I truly wished to do (even with my generous heart) to the point of and almost toxic unhappiness. I stuffed it all down with sweets for the sweetness I really needed to give myself instead of the junk and sugars.

 

“To thine own self be true.” There is some truth in that.

To be true to myself (and thus to others) I have to give myself permission to explore my life, to exercise and to have and make the time to do that, to walk away from housework and not be perfect at the menial or unimportant details that clogged my days because I thought that was what I “THOUGHT” I was supposed to do. To insist with those who don’t find the temptations of high carb, high fat, sugar laden, wasted junk food calories an issue to understand I can’t have these things around me and I won’t. I won’t.

Respect is what I had to insist on to feel I deserved it and to reap the rewards. I have a husband I love dearly but he is thin, healthy as can be and can eat anything. He means well and did not realize fully what an impact certain foods had on me when they surrounded me each night. Chocolates, ice creams, popcorn, chips, sweets, etc etc until it added up to yet another 20 pounds on my frame. One night I looked him in the eye and said, “Do you want me to live?” and of course he said, “yes” but he balked at the idea of not having these things each night. I struck a compromise that did not compromise me. I told him there was a long list of snack foods that he liked (but I did not) that I had no problem with and that he could eat anything in his shop or somewhere where I didn’t see him at any time. He mentioned the word, “will power” and at that point I was sure it was going to be war (but one I would mount for my life and my well being). After all, wouldn’t I fight hard for someone I love (even if I didn’t know her well yet?). I told him this. (I hate to fight.) Somehow when I insisted it mattered.

I felt in this small step and the hundreds since then (over 118 pounds ago) that I have more worth, more happiness, more love, more giving and more joy in the quality of my own life.  It’s richness has increased and I am sure those around me feel it. But even if they didn’t….

I choose me. I choose me.

 

 

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/dining/mindful-eating-as-food-for-thought.html?pagewanted=all

I wanted to write about Mindful Eating and ran into the article in The New York Times that says so much to me and thought I would share…

 

So what is “mindful eating”? It is a zen/buddhist or like zen practice of being fully away of eat bite of food you eat. Chewing slowly, savoring the bite and having little distractions while you do so(except soft music or maybe a light conversation).

Anyways, it has been on my mind for about a few months to write on this topic. I have been in a lifelong struggle with good eating habits. I am not alone as it seems like there are more books out there on diets than there are on topics like this that support maintenance and healthy nutritional eating habits.

 

In the old days and when I relapse into bad behaviors and choices, this is one that rears its head for me. (Watching TV and eating dinner or any other meal for that matter. Ever sit in front of the TV munching away and are not even aware of how much you have eaten? Me too, or used to be me…)

When I sit down at the table, eat slowly and taste things with relish as opposed to gulping it down in a hurry because I am on the run or worse, because I have waited to long to eat and “feel” like I am starving, I overeat. Always always make bad choices. When I savor the food, actually chew it, enjoy it and relish it for its taste and nutritional beauty as nourishment for my body, I do much better with weight loss and weight maintenance. I was often not aware of what I ate, how it tasted or how MUCH I ate because I barely even chewed it.

I am down 109 pounds now, that’s a lot and this is one of those things that made me NOT feel like I was starving. When I grab something on the go, shove it down my throat as quickly as possible while talking on the phone, or driving or 100 thousand other things, especially television, am I indeed nourishing ALL my senses and feeding my being? No, I am not and suspect if you are reading this and nodding your head (and trying to find inspiration on how NOT to regain weight, how to be successful and to not feel like you are deprived), this is probably and issue with you too.

I want to add something for GREAT TIPS  I read on Huffington Post written by Jenni Grover at the  Mother Nature Network. The link is here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/mindful-eating-tips_n_3941528.html and this is a great excerpt from that article on Five Tips to Eat Mindfully:

Here are some of my favorite tips to introduce mindfulness to mealtimes in an easy, accessible fashion.

Eat slower
Eating slowly doesn’t have to mean taking it to extremes. Still, it’s a good idea to remind yourself, and your family, that eating is not a race. Taking the time to savor and enjoy your food is one of the healthiest things you can do. You are more likely to notice when you are full, you’ll chew your food more and hence digest it more easily, and you’ll probably find yourself noticing flavors you might otherwise have missed. If you have young children, why not try making a game of it — who can chew their food the longest? Or you could introduce eating with chopsticks as a fun way to slow things down.

Savor the silence
Yes, eating in complete silence may be impossible for a family with children, but you might still encourage some quiet time and reflection. Again, try introducing the idea as a game — “let’s see if we can eat for two minutes without talking” — or suggesting that one meal a week be enjoyed in relative silence. If the family mealtime is too important an opportunity for conversation to pass up, then consider introducing a quiet meal or snack time into your day when you can enjoy it alone. The NYT article, for example, noted that one dietitian simply savors a few sips of tea in complete silence when she is too busy for a complete mindful meal.

Silence the phone. Shut off the TV.
Our daily lives are full of distractions, and it’s not uncommon for families to eat with the TV blaring or one family member or other fiddling with their iPhone. Consider making family mealtime, which should, of course, be eaten together, an electronics-free zone. I’m not saying you should never eat pizza in front of the TV, but that too should be a conscious choice that marks the exception, not the norm.

Pay attention to flavor
The tanginess of a lemon, the spicyness of arugula, the crunch of a pizza crust — paying attention to the details of our food can be a great way to start eating mindfully. After all, when you eat on the go or wolf down your meals in five minutes, it can be hard to notice what you are even eating, let alone truly savor all the different sensations of eating it. If you are trying to introduce mindful eating to your family, consider talking more about the flavors and textures of food. Ask your kids what the avocado tastes like, or how the hummus feels. And be sure to share your own observations and opinions too. (Yes, this goes against the eating in silence piece, but you don’t have to do everything at once.)

Know your food
Mindfulness is really about rekindling a relationship with our food. From planting a veggie garden through baking bread to visiting a farmers market, many of the things we locavores have been preaching about for years are not just ways to cut our carbon foodprint, but also connect with the story behind our food. Even when you have no idea where the food you are eating has come from, try asking yourself some questions about the possibilities: Who grew this? How? Where did it come from? How did it get here? Chances are, you’ll not only gain a deeper appreciation for your food, but you’ll find your shopping habits changing in the process too.

Like I say, mindful eating does not have to be an exercise in super-human concentration, but rather a simple commitment to appreciating, respecting and, above all, enjoying the food you eat every day. It can be practiced with salad or ice cream, donuts or tofu, and you can introduce it at home, at work, or even as you snack on the go (though you may find yourself doing this less often).

And while the focus becomes how you eat, not what you eat, you may find your notions of what you want to eat shifting dramatically for the better too.

Thought I would share this today and to remind ME when I need it, what worked for me……

 

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One this in true I think, it is HARD (sometimes feels TOO hard) to get started. I am glad I did. It is almost a year since I had weight loss surgery. I have lost 20 inches on my waist alone and over 107 pounds. What a life changer that is but taking the first steps and following them with more little important steps and so on could feel overwhelming, especially in the beginning. Was it scary and hard, of course it was! BUT this blog is NOT about weight loss surgery it IS about reclaiming and claiming something of mine (or yours) that I want for my life! The surgery was just one of my little steps. An important one yes, but it was only a step. I have more weight to lose, fitness goals and life goals and then there is maintenance as a healthy eating individual. It isn’t about the surgery, it IS about life.

Does it matter if you are having surgery of this type or starting a weight loss regime of your own, or a gym/workout regime or whatever. The first step is the hardest! Following it up with other steps is the next hardest….

One of my favorite sayings is this:

“A journey of three thousand miles is begun with a single step.”

If the goal seems far far away it can be even more daunting. For me in the beginning it was – 1) go to the seminar

2) go the doctor and check him/her out

3) go to the free support groups and see how people did

4) find out all I could about it online

5) do my pre-op stuff (lots of doctors appointment and lab work)

6) get insurance approval

7) make SURE I had the right stuff in the house like protein drinks and vitamins

8) read “Weight loss surgery for Dummies” 🙂

and so on up until the day of the surgery.

That day I took one single tiny step and showed up, trusted them (it was scary) and just did it.

Then in the hospital postop I did what they said.

Same when I got home.

I added walking many times a week and from a coach potato I walk no less than 8 miles a week (usually much much more than that). It is the MENTAL part of this that is the hardest thing I think. Just taking that step mentally and following by action. But you only have to do ONE step and follow it with another, then another and so on.

And on and on. All things together in my mind would have seemed impossible. It is not. I am not that special (well sort of but you know what I mean, ordinary human person) but I decided I was NOT going to ask myself this-

IN A YEAR would I look back and wonder where I would be that day if I had taken the steps I wanted to get to my goals in life a year before or would I still be looking at the starting point?

What are your goals? What do YOU personally want to do?

  • Do you want to climb a mountain but need to train?
  • Do you want to run the Boston Marathon but can only walk a block?
  • Do you want to lose weight to get into that cute bikini but need to make the decision?
  • Do you want to hike the Appalachian Trail from Canada to the end but have to take the training to get this done?
  • Do you want to go to college and get another or your first degree?
  • Do you want to travel abroad but need to save the money to be able to go?
  • Do you want to sail around the USA and eventually around the world in your sailboat but need to figure out everything to be able to take that year off and pursue your dream?
  • Do you want to go to Rome and see every sight and learn the language?
  • Do you want to go to a real yoga retreat in India but know there is much you need to do in preparation?
  • Do you want to walk a mile a day but are so sedentary you are only on the sofa watching TV?
  • Do you want to become and artist but have to take lessons?
  • Do you want to do things you have only dreamed about but have been procrastinating for 20 years?
  • Do you want to be a bodybuilder but only go to the gym now and then and keep putting it off?

 

THE TIME HAS COME TODAY!

Make it happen for yourself and don’t get discouraged. Others are falling down and getting up again everywhere around the world all the time! Just do it, take that first simple tiny step. Make those steps little, tiny and manageable and build on that. If you have a bad day or week just dust yourself off and just go for it again!

 

I do this in so many places in my life each and every day and the steps are getting stronger and bolder and easier each day!

It is my one and only life and I want to make it count (don’t you?) so I am taking that journey.

I know in one year I will look back happy. I won’t be on my sofa watching reruns wondering where my life went. I will have reclaimed my life and people if I can do it I have no doubt you can!

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I did a lot of thinking this week about this blog and what I wanted to write here.

I decided to write on the above subject line but also write a bit about WHAT has keep me on track, best tips, most successful things I have done.

 

So here goes!

1. I walk, not everyday but I walk. (no less than 3 times a week but usually four or five) I try to do it in the sunshine. Know why? In the olden days, the days that weren’t so good I would become a virtual recluse. I got seriously, and I mean seriously VITAMIN D deficient. This is not the case anymore for two reasons: a) I take a supplement and make sure it has me taking at least 1500 MG of Calcium Citrate (not carbonate) each day and it won’t work without Vit D. and b) I get it from the sun! Free and cheap! NOTE here though, USE SUNBLOCKS!! I used a pedometer everywhere. (Mine is a FitBit but others I know have a Nike band or another type. Get something that works for YOU! it IS motivational, walking is free too!)

If you can walk every day, do it! Even if in the beginning it is only a block!

 

2. I take in no less and I mean NO LESS than 70 grams of protein a day, staggered out!

My favorite sources now that I am off of most protein supplements (my favorites of those are Atkins cuz of low carb and Unjury cuz it takes great, is low carb AND low calorie!) it is usually one of these. IF I fail here I will lose it all. I have to shop and make sure I have these in my fridge each week!

a.- Greek Yogurt – (note watch out for secret sugar counts by checking the calorie and carbohydrate counts on the side of the container! If it is over 100 calories or has over 9-10 grams of carbohydrate it is probably packed with at least SOME sugar). My favorite is light and fit Greek yogurt. I eat probably two a day every day!

b. eggs (cheap and great source of protein)

c. String cheese – the lowest fat I can bear. I like Frigo cheeseheads brand. The light version is pretty good.

d. Almond milk – unsweetened, tastes fabulous and if you are counting carbs this has none vs. real milk!

e. I eat meat once a day and not all meats are the same – I like chicken a lot. Boneless skinless chicken thighs cooked in broth with thyme, Knorr reduced sodium stock, celery, green onions, (you don’t need salt with this stock and broth) pepper and reduced sodium broth and a little white wine. I add a bit of cooking sherry but that is optional. Put a tsp of poultry seasoning if you want and bring to a boil, simmer for an hour covered on low or medium) Delicious! I bag up the leftovers and use them for a few days and put the remainder in the freezer after Day 3 so I can throw it into homemade soup on another day.

NEWLY POST-OP ie. under 6-9 months ignore this part: I also take chicken with skin on (a splurge and not for immediate post op or gastric by pass patients because of the fat) and dry it off after rinsing it and toweling it off. I brush lightly with olive oil (and I mean lightly!) I salt with tons of light salt and pepper a little poultry seasoning, some rosemary and/or a bunch of thyme. Bake at 375 for about one hour or until I put a thermometer in and it says 165 degrees at the thickest part of the meat. It should be golden crispy on the outside. I don’t eat the skin EVER, it has about 100 fat calories per inch! I don’t like that! My partner in all things loves that I make this for him though!

Beef is super high in protein but has a lot of fat, I limit to once a week. I have pork once a week. I saute in broth or bake. I do NOT fry ever! 100 calories a teaspoon of fat sucks! I don’t want to record that you know?

 

3.  I take my vitamins EVERY DAY! I want to live without a damage bone structure, damaged nerves from deficiencies and all the havoc that passing out and getting in a car accident could cost. It is part of my duty to myself to have this personal accountability here! I don’t like feeling tired all the time! I take Unjury chewable multiple vitamins, Bariatric Advantage calcium chews (caramel is best), Wellesse B complex liquid just to boost my energy if it ebbs low and as directed a sublingual B12 and/or injection of B12 as directed. I don’t miss any one of those things EVER!

4.  If you are post gastric sleeve I would suggest Miralax EVERY DAY or you will regret it! Tiny stomach, all protein diet, low fiber count and you get backed up. I mix mine with vitamin water zero orange and it’s great!

5. I hydrate, I keep water beside my bed at night and I keep a bottle of Vitamin Water zero at my side always! I drink ALL the time. I didn’t before and I felt slugish, tired, run down, my skin looked bad. Since most of my being in this corporal body I walk around in is WATER I need it and I need it a lot! Kidney stones stink!

When I walk I have a bottle, if I go to the movie theater that’s what I drink usually (more on that topic of movies and going on later)

WATER=LIFE!!!

6. I record EVERY and I mean EVERY BITE that goes in my mouth! Every one! I don’t miss a day EVER! I use Myplate at http://www.livestrong.com/myplate. It is free and when I do this historically, I SUCCEED at maintenance after weight loss, when I don’t I start gaining and losing track of what I am doing. (this also has an APP too for you smart phone users though it’s not as good as the computer version)

Every single weight regain I have EVER had (and there has been a few of these times in my life sadly) it is because I have failed to do so! EVERY TIME! “Just Do IT!” as Nike says! (My favorite all-time inspirational saying!) Don’t miss a day … ever or plan to fail.

Which brings me to………

7. If I fail to plan I plan to fail, also historically true! Plan you grocery lists, your cooking, your food for each day, your protein counts (make sure you get it all in), your exercise, your liquids (beer and alcohol doesn’t count! lol), walking and your time. I have my set list ready in my purse. I check during the week to make sure I have enough for the next day or week. Every day, every week. IF I FAIL TO PLAN, I PLAN TO FAIL!

8. Recreate, get out among other humans. Not sure how and in what? Check out http://www.meetup.com for any extreme number of shared interested (including staying motivated with whatever you are dealing with or want to do) but recreate! I am 3 groups there now. I attend my weight loss support as often as I can. Why? Because I need to see them and they need to see me for the same reasons. Newbies remind me where I was, older people are kept on track see how others are doing and I think it is important to share this journey. It is important. For you it might be weight watchers, or a support group in a 12 step group like AA, NA or OA. All help but we need to give and get support I think. Having something fun to do and places to go to are pretty important especially if you are single.

THERE are FREE exercise groups in Meetup all the time to add to point number 1 about walking. If you can’t afford a gym yet (I bet you will in time) these are usually quite free. IF there isn’t one for your area, START ONE!

9. I had to stop making excuses and get with it!

10. Weigh on a regular basis to keep on track. I do it every am before I eat or drink anything on an electronic scale. Some people have eating disorders made worse by this. With your dietician or whomever is helping you with this by having you weight backwards.

I hope this helps someone but I am certain from time to time I am going to need to come back to this and read it over and over again! Check out the poll!

 

 

LAUGH much and often!

 

  1. Walk (always the best thing)!
  2. Write here..
  3. Plan meals – healthy meals
  4. Shop for these healthy nutritious meals and snacks – especially in fresh food markets!
  5. Write long and meaningful letters to loved ones (real handwritten ones would be cool or of course e-mails) or send cards to those I care about
  6. Do volunteer work, rewarding, changes the world a little bit to a better place, meaningful and helpful (and is good for the heart and soul)
  7. Listen to music, write music, be someone’s muse, orchestrate music, learn and instrument, organize long IPod (or other mp3) uploads for when I do #1.
  8. Paint, draw, (I am an artist), use collage to (cut out magazine images/words and glue to poster board) show my journal of my journey kind of list a visual diary. Color in color books, anything creative, you don’t have to be an artist (I am one).
  9. Journal (here, in writing on my patio, at a park or in my backyard)
  10. Commune with nature
  11. Go the pool and swim (easy on the joints, great for weight loss – wonderful on the muscles and good for the heart).
  12. Go fishing if you like that or camping if that is your thing or hiking anywhere (see #1)
  13. Go to the park and just hang out.
  14. Read (anything) – like this blog maybe? Read a good good book, get involved in reading and/or listen to audiobooks. do it outside if you can. I have and E-reader and love it! Download books
  15. Movies (I LOVE them but do avoid the sitting in front of the TV all day trap)
  16. Be involved in a support group in person or online – again being supportive gets my nose out of my navel (and helps me in the process).
  17. Be involved in an interest group. Hunt through your area’s “Meetup” groups (see http://www.meetup.com to find some). If you like gaming, it’s there, if you like discussing books, movies, culture, board games, playing cards, it’s probably there and go! IF there are none where you are, start one! Weight loss support groups are super cool.
  18. Sewing, crafts, woodworking, leather work or any other hobbies that truly interest you.
  19. Clean, anything, spring clean, wash laundry, make beds but make sure you open the windows and get fresh air all preferably while listening to music you love.
  20. Organize your world. A cluttered home is a cluttered mind/body and soul. Get rid of things you haven’t used for a year and donate it. (Again good for the heart and soul those less fortunate than you!)
  21. LEARN something/anything new! Take a class, join a discussion group where you learn things, go to lectures (they are usually free) at a University or a library,  read Wikipedia, subscribe to education RSS feeds/blogs or newsletters. Helps the mind grow, it’s interesting and learning is a wonderful thing!
  22. Watch the news, keep up with current events and be part of the world and your community. Reconnect, it’s so important to be connected with others. Stop the isolation! Image