Tuesday, December 20, 2011


My niece came for a visit today.  My all-grown-up-and-married, amazingly compassionate, gorgeous, heart of gold niece.  She would never deliberately dangle my Waterloo in front of my nose.  She's much too considerate to do that.  But she did it - by being kind and generous - with the delectable plate of Christmas baking that she brought with her!

I managed to resist until after supper, then 2 melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies slid down my throat... so good. It's a good thing I allow myself a treat a day if I want it, so those little morsels of delight will be for today and yesterday :)

I realized today that that empty gnawing in the pit of my stomach is gone!!  Praise the Lord!  I'm not sure exactly when it happened, I'm just thankful that it's passed.  I guess that means that I'm 'sugar-free'!  ...except for those 2 cookies I suppose...

Monday, December 19, 2011

2 weeks in

Still no movement on the questionable scale since those first 3 pounds.  It's easy to get discouraged at this point; I've never had so much trouble shedding the pounds at the beginning of trying to lose weight.  I guess I've also never started working out seriously at the beginning either, usually that came later.  It makes my eye twitch a little.  I guess I won't fit into my little black dress this Christmas either! ;)  But I am feeling good!

So I'm clicking around on my blog interface, and checked out the stats, which lets me know how many people have poked around on my site and where they are from.  Apparently I have quite a few readers in Russia!  While I'm really doubtful that that's actually true, a big Merry Christmas to Russia if it is!  I think it's more likely that somebody's computer's internet either routes through Russia or somebody has hacked your computer and is re-routing all your info for their nefarious purposes!!! *evil cackle*  :)

Since having children, I have a memory like a rabbit's tail - short and fuzzy.  It frustrates me to no end to get to the end of a wonderful book and already have forgotten the beginning!  I worked through a few books this past year and while I know they were helpful, I find it necessary to continually review and remind myself of the lessons I've learned!

One book is called Hope, Help & Healing for Eating Disorders, another one called She's Gonna Blow, Real help for Moms dealing with Anger, and yet another called One Thousand Gifts, a dare to live fully right where you are.  I RECOMMEND ALL THREE!!  It was amazing how all three punctuated what the other author was saying, and created a symbiosis of ideas and practical plans to deal with the issues at hand.  I read snippets of each in a random rotation, and allowed them to digest before digging in deeper, and found myself in a place I hate to be - in the presence of the discovery that I am NOT perfect, contrary to popular belief!

I'm continuing to review these lessons and am likely to bombard you, my Russian readership, with tidbits and thoughts!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Home at last!

This weekend has been and especially stressful one, with my husband on the icy roads since Friday morning, returning this afternoon.  He says they were some of the longest days of his life, with only about 5 hours of sleep total, very bad roads, and included the most frightening experiences of his driving career.

I don't deal well knowing that he is in dangerous situations, so as a result, I too had some very short nights, distracted and rather emotional days, and the desire to find comfort in food really came back in full force.  I thank the Lord for the strength to overcome that temptation and the gentle reminder I received to trust... rest in the assurance that he is in control and my anxiety will not accomplish anything but forming an ulcer.

My husband had a only a half hour at home to clean up before we headed out for the company Christmas dinner.  Prime rib, potatoes, 3 salads, gravy... mmmm... it was good.  I finished the meal with a satisfied but not stuffed feeling, and could enjoy the coffee and oh-so-worth-it yummy dessert later!

I felt good about the food.  It's not my enemy.  I chose and ate what was good and delicious, and dessert was without guilt.  I'm looking forward to Christmas and choosing the best, practicing self-control!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Prep, prep, prep

Today's success depends on yesterday's preparation.  It starts with a good shopping list, quality time in a good grocery store, and final preparation at home. 

Today's grocery shopping trip was not great.  I hadn't had time yesterday to prep a complete shopping list, so I had to do a lot of thinking and menu planning in the store which takes extra time and, with 3 raucous kids in the cart, is difficult to do.  I had not brought enough snacks, drinks, activities and drugs to keep them calm and quiet, so by the end of it my goal was to get out of the store without breaking anything expensive.  And without buying anything that would comfort me in this wearying situation.  Trying to make the best economical and health choices at this point is ambitious!

The veggie choices were not great today, the romaine lettuce was $2 for a scrawny black-edged head, and all the frugality in me rebels against extortion like that but I did buy one to tide me over until I get to a different store.  When shopping with an entourage, sometimes sacrifices like that just have to be made!

Now for some quality time to prep some of the stuff!  I like to have a container of ready-made basic salad in the fridge that can be added to for each meal, and a tray of ready-to-eat carrot & celery sticks, cauliflower, etc.  When I'm hungry, it's so easy to grab what is ready to eat, and if something good isn't there, it will be something bad :(

I'm going to make a big fruit salad too; I made one last week and it was so delicious!  I have individually frozen raspberries, cherries, mangoes, and saskatoon berries in my freezer, so I used some of them and added home-canned peaches, fresh apple, cantaloupe, and kiwi.  The banana doesn't keep well in the salad, so I added it with each bowl.  So good!  The kids loved it too!

Today was my work's Christmas Open House, and the desserts looked so good... I really should have put it down after the first bite because it looked way better than it tasted.  The thought didn't occur to me until later... here's me trying not to waste food again!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just keep swimming

You know that cartoon where the lady is laying on her back with her feet in the air with a weigh scale resting on top of the soles of her feet, and the caption says something like, "The correct way to weigh yourself"?  I've felt like doing that here too!

After 10 days, I am feeling good, I'm able to go through my workout easier and push myself further, and I imagine my clothes are fitting better.  But the scale hasn't moved.  I should have measured all my inches so I had another measurement by which to gauge my success, because it's hard to go on when I'm expecting progress and not seeing it.

My wonderful husband comforts me with the fact that I'm building muscle and it weighs more than fat, and once I have a good muscle tone, it will start burning those fat cells quickly.  He's so good to me!  I know this in my head but it would be nice to just have some results!

It was after the kids went to bed that I got my workout in today, and it sure is tough going with food in my stomach!  And I was tired after a full day, it was tough slugging getting through it!

I am currently using the Leslie Sansone's Walk away the Pounds DVD, a living room walking program that includes some weights and upper body strengthening as well.  I quite like it, it's good for my out-of-shape body.  The DVD has two 1 mile programs, and two 2 mile, as well as a Pilates workout.  I've been doing the 2 mile programs over the past 10 days except for Tuesday when I did a 1 mile, I could tell my fitness level was increasing because I didn't even crack a sweat.  It was rather disappointing!

I think I'm going to get more of her DVDs, it does get a bit boring doing the same thing day after day!  I'm intrigued by T-Tapp as well, and while Gillian Michaels looks good, I think I'd hurt myself doing her routine, maybe when I'm leaner.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

When all conspires against

There are days like today when every cell within me screams, "EAT!!  EAT!!"  If there was ever a day for burying myself in chocolate, sweets, and a load of bread, today would be that day.  Every eating trigger was pressed; inadequacy, frustration, guilt.   I have to look closely to find the hope in days like this, the hope of overcoming both the need for comfort in food and the hope that practicing self-control will someday become as natural to me as breathing.  Practice makes perfect, but it's still practice, there will be mistakes.

The food aspect was fine today, the character and attitude lacked endurance.  My frustration became evident more than once.  Self-control was lost.  I didn't get my workout in, despite my best efforts.

Tomorrow's a new day, I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cynically experienced

If you found your way here, congratulations!  I decided to stop posting the links to facebook, anyone who is interested in reading my daily babblings should know where to find me by now!

I am an experienced dieter.  I have struggled with my weight all my remembered life, and have lost hundreds of pounds over the years.  My first diet was instigated when I was given a calorie counting booklet at quite a young age and I started making extensive lists of all the things I ate and how many calories were in them.  Then there was the starvation diets of high school, the "I'm not going to eat all day so I can wear that dress tonight" diet that found me voraciously eating anything in sight by mid-afternoon as my belly button started scraping my spine.  Remember the cabbage soup diet?  I can hardly eat cabbage borsht to this day because of that diet!

As I got older and had money, I began to go on "programs", I lost 35 pounds with Herbal Life, a shake and supplement diet. After my oldest daughter was born, I went to Herbal Magic, the food system and accountability there was good, the required supplements were expensive, unproven and a bit hokey.  I went without them for quite some time because I was breastfeeding and lost weight, they were all so surprised!  Altogether I think I lost close to 40 lbs.  After my son's birth, I joined Curves and started working out 3 times a week.  I loved it, it was great to get out of the house and exercise.  I took their weight loss classes too, and got with the program and lost about 10 pounds.  It was a good program, real food based and sustainable.  I didn't have the discipline to carry on after the first pounds came off, so I started on Isagenix, another shake and cleansing based program and lost another 15 pounds.  I loved the cleansing aspect of it, I felt so good after a 2 day cleanse!

My problem with programs was that as soon as they're over and I'm supposed to go back to 'normal' eating, I gain, usually gain it all back, sometimes with a few more pounds on top for good measure.

I've learned a few things over the years, what works for me and what doesn't. I have a lot of head knowledge of the science of losing weight, the reasons why I should do it, I know how much better I would feel if I did.  I am a great dieter in my head, and can maintain it too!

The problem is the 12 inches.  Those darned 12 inches between the head and the heart.  In order to commit myself to this, I had to be more than convinced, I had to be convicted.  Emotional eating is more than a physical craving, it's a deap-seated issue with a lot of history.  In order to effectively lose the pounds and keep them off, those issues have to be dealt with.  It's not just physical, there are definite spiritual and emotional facets as well.

So now here I am.  Life is the program.  Forgiveness has been granted.  Startling revelations have come out of the inspection of issues.  Healing has begun.  Making the food behave has never worked for me.  I need to be the one who's behavior changes, a lifelong purposeful habit that won't end when the weight is lost,  rather continued on with a few adjustments.


Monday, December 12, 2011

1 week already?

So here's a comment (or some variant of it) I've heard repeated in the past week:

"So, wow!  Good for you!  Going public with this is very... brave!"

I sometimes get the feeling that that last word could easily be replaced with stupid, frightening, exhibitionist, etc.! 

Thank-you to all those who have encouraged me and prayed for me this past week, I think that the beginning is one of the toughest parts in weight loss, and it has actually been a pretty good week.

It's amazing how once you abstain from eating something, you realize how much you actually ate of it previously.  And want to eat it.  I wish I could say that the cravings for sugar are gone.  They've lessened since the beginning and I don't have the headache anymore, but I still have that hollow feeling, the gnawing sensation that will only go away with a good load of carbohydrates.

I'm not actually getting enough food at this point, I'm having 1-2 servings of starches daily, 3 protein, 1 dairy, 3-4 fruits and I should be having at least 4 servings of vegetables as well, but I'm only getting about 2 in.   Veggies and me have never had a very good relationship, but I need to LEARN to love them in order to keep my body going.

It takes 3 weeks to make a habit, right?  1/3 of the way there!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Seeking Freedom

"If you set out to seek freedom,
then learn above all things to govern your soul and your senses...
Only through discipline may a man learn to be free."
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A friend had posted this quote as her facebook status quite some time ago and I wrote it out and placed it on my fridge as a reminder to have discipline in my eating habits.  I've read it so many times, but the digestion of the meaning is slow, and I am still scraping the bowl and finding more icing clinging to the sides.  

I am seeking freedom.  Freedom from the destructive emotional eating that has plagued me for years.  Freedom from the out-of-control feeling and the resulting anger that clouds my judgment and causes a lot of unhappiness.  I find it so interesting that Mr. Bonhoeffer states that I must LEARN to be free through discipline.  So what is discipline?

Merriam Webster has this to say:

Definition of DISCIPLINE

2 obsolete : instruction
3: a field of study
4: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
5 a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order  
   b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior  
   c : self-control
6 : a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity 

This definition sounds like developing a plan and sticking to it to prevent chaos. Hmmm.  So what does the Bible have to say?

"But the fruit of the Spirit is
against such things there is no law.

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
~Galatians 5:22-24

Self-control is fruit.  Fruit is a result of a healthy tree, a branch connected to the vine.  If I am living in Christ, I will kill the natural passion and desire for comfort through food and replace it with a behavior that is enforceable and beneficial.


It's time for some fruit.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

23 and 1/2 hours

I stepped on the scale again this morning - 3 pounds DOWN from my beginning weight! WOOHOO!! Unfortunately, after being lied to 2 mornings ago, I'm not sure if I should believe it or not!

I saw this video today and it was an encouragement to me to keep on with my living room calisthenics. It's tough to get a half-hour routine into my day sometimes so this was a real boost to keep going and it will make a difference! Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

What goes in...

I've been trying to formulate a plan in my mind, a roadmap of what the next 5 months will look: what I will eat and not eat, what physical torture - I mean exercise - will I put my body through, what will I read, what will I write...  While I don't have anything written in stone, I am developing a few ideas.

Food is uppermost on my mind today.  It was a tough day, you could say I 'hit the wall' when it came to the initial energy that's come with the decision to start losing it.  It was really tough not to lose myself in bread with honey or those chocolate covered cookies sitting in my pantry.  It was a draggy day, difficult from the moment I woke.  Physically sore and tired, demanding children, cluttered house, backlog of work, did I mention difficult children?

I thought about food a lot.  It's amazing how habitual it is to just pop that extra corner of bread into my mouth, or clean up the kids leftovers.  I thought a lot of a quote I heard somewhere, "...it can either go to waste, or your waist."  I've got to quit being the garburator of the house, and choose the best instead.  Besides, nothing goes to waste at our house, whatever it is, the goats, chickens, dogs or compost pile will make use of it!

God created food for us, all manner of good and delicious things.  And while I know sacrifices will have to be made, I need to make choices that will satisfy my nutritional needs and taste good.  I enjoy food and I'm not sacrificing the pleasure I receive from a beneficial thing.  In my daily menu, I am choosing the freshest and best food possible, meat and vegetables grown here on our own farm, dairy from our goat and eggs from our chickens.  Fruit is a bit more difficult, most of the fruit I've preserved over the summer is in a sugar syrup, something I am attempting to avoid.  I'll be freezing more fruit or drying it next year!  I'll fill the gaps from the grocery store.  I really wish it was summer so I could eat my own salad goods :(   Processed, tin canned, and fast food are on the black list, and I'm trying to avoid wheat, yeast, and sugar in an attempt to rid my body of the nasty yeasts it's accumulated in the past while and that have made themselves evident time and again.  I have been drinking a cup of tea or coffee everyday, with cream... I've also decided to allow myself one treat item a day of my choice, a reward of sorts for being a 'good girl' :)

I watched a documentary on Netflix tonight that really brought into focus what my husband and I are attempting to do here on our little farm.  'Food, Inc.' was a very interesting unfolding of the behind the scenes of the food industry in America and how the demand for uniform and cheap food from the fast food industry has reduced the quality of food even in our grocery stores to fast-food standards.  A revealing documentary for any of you that are interested in the real food movement.  It made me very thankful for those six roosters that found their way into our freezer yesterday, and for the hours I spent preserving food this summer so we could enjoy it all winter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lies & Tomfoolery

My scale lies.  That's all there's to it.  After 2 whole days of eating like a bird and exerting myself more-or-less in sync with the ladies on the screen, I figured I should be at least a couple of pounds towards my goal.  I was actually looking forward to getting on the scale, I was feeling good and, in my mind's eye, beginning to look a bit like Cindy Crawford.  With this expectation, I was more than a little surprised to find myself betrayed by that dial that said I was UP 3 POUNDS!!  Lies!!  I'll be picking up a new scale next time I'm in town. 

It was a pretty good day, the afternoon got busy and by necessity, my husband got supper together for us, spring rolls and spanakopita from the freezer.  The chinese/greek combo didn't do much for me but the time was short and the stomach hungry.  Supper got chased down by one of the kid's candy canes. The mint helped cut the grease from the spring rolls.  Tomorrow will be better...

I've discovered a miracle cure for appetite: transferring chickens from the coop to the freezer.  Six of our young roosters found their way into our freezer today, and I mysteriously had no cravings for anything during that time and a while after.  It's not really a long-term solution though, we've got only 3 more to 'transfer'.

Tomorrow's distraction will be Christmas decorating :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On the wagon

I realized today that Christmas is coming.  Yes, it's not a real surprise considering that my shopping is done and the calendar states the date quite clearly.  What I hadn't considered was how hard this is going to be during the season-of-many-feasts.  Candy canes, sugar cookies, shortbread, chocolates, appetizers loaded with bread and cheese... these are a few of my favorite things!!  I've just succeeded in making my stomach growl and I'm not even exposed to the temptation yet!  I'm going to have to develop some iron-clad willpower before the festivities commence!

I managed to stay away from all yeast, sugar, and wheat today.  In fact, it was a really good day thanks to the fact that I knew I was going to have to get on here and confess if it wasn't, and even if nobody reads this, I still have to confess!!  My headache was present again today, a niggling one that seemed to echo the dull gnawing hunger in my stomach.  A friend suggested probiotics to help with the cravings.  I hunted around in my fridge and found some with a best before date of 2009, so I took some extra in case they've lost their potency.

My kids watched while I sweated along to my 'extra-size movie'.  I encouraged them to join in, and they did a bit of arm waving and leg manipulation, but then sat back on the couch and snuggled in under a blanket to watch the stick-thin ladies on the screen perform the program in perfect unison.  Occasionally they would glance my way to see if I was managing to work it like the ladies on the screen, and to contribute by way of constructive criticism.  I'd like to think I received it well.

I'm thankful for a good day.  I may celebrate with a small piece of dark chocolate.  For medicinal purposes.  :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 1 - Humble beginnings

Check out the "My Story" tab above to read about what's going on!

It's going to be a long 5 months!!  It might be time to take up a hobby or lifestyle that keeps me out of the kitchen!!  Baking bread, cupcakes, and cinnamon buns today kept my thoughts revolving around food...food...food, and wow, it's pretty hard to keep things out of my mouth when I'm working with it.  Licking my butter and sugar covered fingers just about put me over the edge!!

Today included a headache - very likely sugar withdrawal.  I had eggs & an orange for breakfast, beet borscht and boiled egg and an apple for lunch, sausages, potatoes with cream gravy (might not be a bad thing to cut out :)), green salad with dressing, and a fresh cinnamon bun for dessert.  Then another cinnamon bun after dessert.  Oh yeah, there may have been a chocolate zucchini cupcake in there too.  Sigh.  It wasn't a perfect day, but it was a start.  Every failure is evidence that an attempt was made, right?

I have no desire to count calories.  I've done it and it's so time consuming.  I think I'm going to stick with the same basic meal for breakfast and lunch and have a sensible meal with my family for supper.  Now to get it to stick :)

Join me!  Whether you want to just lose a few pounds before Christmas or you want to take the big challenge and lose big, partner with me so we can encourage each other!!