Monthly Archives: December 2017

A slow road ahead but doable!

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Today was my dad’s birthday. In his honor I made a wonderful lunch, gathered some
friends and family and went to his house armed with plastic plates, cutlery, etc. (to save
clean-up) and we had a blast. My niece took some lovely pictures which were later sent
to me…I have said it before, I cannot accept the person in those pictures as being me…
it is just bizzare. I feel like the normal weight person I was for so many years but pictures
reveal something else.

You know how so many people try to make one feel better by saying, Oh the camera adds
ten pounds, you’re not really that heavy
? Well, I look at everyone else in the picture and
can confirm that how they look in the picture is exactly how they look in “real” life…so it
stands to reason that what I look like in the picture is also how I look in real life.

After almost one month of pretty much tracking my food and staying on the program, I have
lost 4.4 lbs. This is wonderful news, I am not taking anything away from that, obviously I
am on the right track. There is no reason to believe I won’t continue to lose modestly but
lose just the same and that by this time next year, I will be that normal sized gal (or close
to it again. I now have to lose 31 lbs. instead of 35 lbs. and I think that’s great. If I lose
4 lbs. per month, I will do it in less than one year…and who knows, I might actually get
closer to what I really ought to be losing (about 50 lbs.) if I stay on track. As I said, there
is no reason I can’t stay on track, the WW Freedom plan is really just that.

Aside from the project weight loss (which is my priority), I also intend to really work on
two other priorities: making real advancement on my writing AND making a proper small
garden to replace the haphazard weed plot I currently have. I think these three priorities
for 2018 are feasible and I am eagerly anticipating being able to accomplish them. Right
now decluttering is also important but it is no longer my priority. I have lots of room and
feel great, one bag at a time to work on is marvelous and I will start with that.

My very best wishes for all of us for 2018.

 

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Sudden status quo change…

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The sudden rain that fell on our tropical paradise was a huge surprise to us all.
It was also a welcome respite from the heat that had been with us since early this
morning. I sat on my terrace and watched (and felt) the changes in the atmosphere,
concluding with the gathering and dispersing of a rather large flock of small, black
birds. It was fascinating to watch and reminded me that life is made of moments,
moments that can be similar but never identical.

My guitar teacher is in the hospital. The sudden onset of Guillain Barré syndrome has
taken hold of his body and he went from being an active husband, father, teacher to
lying in a bed being taken care of. This mysterious syndrome has changed his life and
the life of his family in a minute…hopefully for a short time perhaps for a long while.
I have great faith in natural healing but from what I have been able to read, treatment
should be swift and involves more than teas and ointments.

These kinds of situations always make me glad that for the most part, I tell people what
I need to tell them when I can. He has been more than a teacher for me, he is my friend,
and I know he feels my support even though I am not nearby.

Do what you can when you can where you can and this way you can sleep a good night.

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It’s Christmas Eve Eve

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Every once in a while I think of myself as a writer. I do write in one way or other every, single
day but because my name does not appear on any of the books I see every day on my bookshelves,
I know myself not to be a “known” author. I have writing materials (in the form of journals, books
on the craft, etc.) that go back to grammar and high school. It is what I have always wanted to do:
tell stories my way, because I am the only one who can tell a story my way. I am not sure why the
profession of journalism never occurred to me. There are some modestly famous musicians in my
family and a published writer or two but for some reason, making music and writing were never
really pushed on us as careers that would put food on the table or clothes on our back.

When our children were young, I pushed out of their minds any thoughts of becoming lawyers or
doctors. I reasoned there were too many doctors and lawyers, well we all know about lawyer jokes,
who wants their children to be the butt of those? Instead, I steered them into the arts: music,
painting, writing, photography. Now, I am not sure if I didn’t fall down on the job and should
have instead suggested they study technology or practical things like plumbing and construction!

My kids are doing okay. At this point in my life, when I have lived more years than are available
to me, I sit back and wonder what would have been my life if I had been more forceful as a child
and insisted on spending my “free” time doing the things I enjoyed instead of having to spend my
vacations and weekends doing chores and taking care of things that I had not signed up for. I hope
I am not sounding bitter, I am very grateful really for the kind of life all those lessons brought me
but today, on the eve of Christmas eve, I am feeling nostalgic for my children and hoping that they
are doing well in their lives at this moment.

Since they are all living in New York City, I haven’t decorated any tree, or hung any lights…and
since I am “dieting” there are no aromas of homemade cookies in the air or the fragrance of any
kind of cider…my husband is napping in our room while I busy myself getting extra rooms ready
for visitors we expect in a day or two. I have never had the luxury to sit and think my thoughts as
I do presently and I am having trouble just sitting with the feelings that not reaching for food is
bringing up. I feel like crying but at the same time, I feel joyful! Go figure.

 

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A mixed up morning!

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I love discipline. That is one of the reasons that a proper “diet” works for me and
allows me to get creative. Last night, I over-indulged my sweet tooth a tiny bit and
since I did it with a couple of Baileys’s liquor filled chocolates, this morning I woke
up with just the slightest bit of a headache. Of course, it could have been that my
morning became chaotic soon after I woke up which often throws my day into a
disconcerting disarray.

One would think that by the time they got to be my age, little hiccups in plans would
not disturb one; sadly that is not the case. Before I even get out of bed most mornings,
I peruse one or two news outlets to see what has happened of import in the night. I got
lots of “bad” news this morning and I think the tone was set. Then our cleaning lady,
who is not often early, called (late) to tell me that she was having car troubles and would
arrive as soon as possible…she did arrive about 45 minutes later but that meant her whole
schedule was equally messed up and she was unable to wash windows! Yes, some people
still wash windows, thank Heavens!

A friend and her family asked late last night if it would be okay to come visit us today to
spend the day in our tropical paradise and enjoy our pool! On a normal day, I would have
joined them and would have made every effort to be the great hostess, but instead I just
let them come over and enjoy time on their own while I did the many things required of me
on busy days. It was fine and I was proud that I felt no pressure or guilt about being unavailable
for socializing. In fact, I am proud of me for not adding to my already stressed day.

They are gone now, I have finished all my chores and although the windows don’t look as nice
as I’d like them to, I can still see pretty clearly!

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New perspectives

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When we first moved into the little town we live in, my only thoughts were of
living my life in peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city and definitely
enjoying the big change that this tropical jungle was from the cement jungle of
New York City in which I spent most of my childhood and adult life.

Now that I am following a more disciplined and healthy eating routine, I find
myself focusing on other things besides food. The food aspect is easy so far: I
plan my meals, track them and then get on with my days. I go to bed a little bit
hungry each night but it is manageable and I have not lost any sleep. However,
the fact that I am not grazing all day means that I am also not “stuffing” my
feelings with food, something I frankly never thought I did. Now, though, I have
come to the realization that maybe I have been doing that and for longer than I
thought.

Back to my original reason for bringing up my small town. We arrived here almost
16 years ago to a brand new modern home that took more than one year to build.
Almost instantaneously, I was introduced to a woman who would catapult me into
a position in town that I never sought or enjoyed but found difficult to extricate
myself from once I unwittingly committed to different projects. My plans to be just
another citizen enjoying the benefits of a rural existence and having time to make
jewelry, read, devote myself to writing, learn to embroider, etc. came to a halt because
I set myself up to have many, many responsibilities. I am one of those people who can
always be counted on to see a project to the end while the previously mentioned woman
was the “my way or the highway” sort of gal.

When I finally (after almost a decade) began to resent the constant interruptions in my
life, phone calls at all hours of the day or night, unreasonable demands on my time and
other resources, and started to respect myself enough to make boundaries, the woman
turned on me without hesitation. I had been unaware that we were not friends, that’s
how naive I was and how manipulative she was. The awakening was very hard for me to
face and now looking back, I wonder at myself and my capacity to have withstood all that
I did for so long.

But this is not a post about whining or feeling sorry for myself. Au contraire. I have
recently been approached to help someone achieve something they want, NOT something
I want. My initial response was an almost automatic “yes”…in other words me committing
to a project that did not originate with me…because I don’t want to let my “friend” down.
Not having food as a substitute is allowing me to think deeply about this “friend”. He
wants to ingratiate himself with a certain group in town that he believes I have influence
over, which is actually not true! I have been able to step back this time and ask myself
whether or not my time should not be spent on my writing, my family, my hobbies! Old
me would have asked him to elaborate on his idea so I could see a way to carry it out for
him. New me (or on the way to becoming New Me!) is busily trying to find out why I still
have the idea I need to curry favor with everyone. It is making interesting food for thought
with the added benefits of coming without any calories!

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The end of the year is upon us!

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Because the week is getting away from me and I probably won’t be able to write
very much until next week, I’d better get this done now.

I have been happily following along with my new WW program and I am delighted
to report that I actually do feel a little bit hungry. It is a good sensation that is causing
me to be a little more creative with just how I am going to spend my point. I have
become reacquainted with recipes that are delicious but healthy and I am hoping to
continue on this path. What’s to stop me? The scale is showing a decrease in the still
very large number and that is a motivator.

I am hoping for a great finish to the year and I am very excited to welcome 2018 with
lots of new projects that will hopefully be reachable.

My project of de-cluttering my body has evolved to include de-cluttering the many
clothes and magazines that I am no longer able to keep hoarding. Best wishes to me
as I continue on this path.

 

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I’ve only been doing the Freedom plan for two weeks and I feel great. Granted last week’s
weight loss (.8 lbs.) was very modest and I could feel a little disheartened until I talk a close
look at my food diary and could come up with very good reasons for the fact that the loss was
not more.

After my husband came home from his trip, there was a slight slip and instead of keeping very
close watch on the quantity of (my favorite) cognac, I had a double and counted it as a single.
Then there was the odd (extra) piece of bread, the chocolate, the tamal that is so in vogue at this
time of year. So when I jumped on the scale yesterday and didn’t see the expected loss, I became
an investigator. Yesterday I behaved very well, tracking everything and today when I stepped on
the scale, the number was more pleasing.

I know all about weight loss and weight gain. I have tried everything, from eating when and what
I want to keeping strict tabs. From not weighing myself for weeks and months, to weighing myself
every few hours.  I have come to realize that we are all different in our approach to weight, weight
loss/gain, and in the way our bodies work. For me, it is necessary to write things down, to become
excited about using new spices in different ways, to imagine myself wearing clothes I haven’t fit
into for years. I enjoy discipline and I am glad that there is so much freedom in this new plan.

Every now and then I feel the days are long, hunger is not a sensation I have felt for a long time
and I am feeling it now, but I also realize that I haven’t met too many +80 year olds who are
obese and know myself to be newly hopeful that I will live beyond 80 and will be at a good
normal weight. I admire people who have to lose more than 100 lbs. and are doing so, their
stories inspire me and their before and after pictures even more so.

 

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A good week of eating!

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It’s been about 2 weeks since I started on the Weight Watchers Freedom Plan. I
have to say I am having a great time. I know that my goal to lose the weight has to
go slowly or I won’t be successful and there is no reason to rush it really, I have no
weddings, showers, birthdays etc that I want to look good for. Heck, earlier this year
when I did have important events, I didn’t even give it a second thought (dieting!) but
something happened the last time I looked at a picture of me that I just couldn’t recon-
cile with! It’s wonderful to have photographers who are not looking to take a picture of
one with the “best angle” in mind. The picture was so unflattering (and yet accurate) that
I deleted it from the cloud and everywhere I could but it was the defining moment for me.

So far, I have lost probably 3 or 4 lbs. but since I have a scale that is in kilos rather than
pounds, it is difficult to determine to any exact figure. However, the proof is in the fact
that my clothes fit a tiny bit looser, after all, at my height, even 3 lbs. is quite significant.

I met a few writer friends for a small and lovely holiday celebration and I am happy to
say that despite eating (tiny portions) a variety of holiday foods, including marzipan
stollen, I was able to stay on track. It feels great to be back in control and I am confident
I can maintain the rhythm. My goal for 2018 is to be in good physical shape so that I can
go on television and see pictures of myself without asking “Who is that?”

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Community

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One of the reasons I think I will be successful with this weight-loss attempt is that
I have signed up and in to the online community and perused the many successful
and not so successful stories there. I uploaded my picture which is something I have
not wanted to do in the past. A few minutes ago, my daughter showed me a family
picture that goes back almost 4 years and I can see the difference between then and
now. Like I told her, I was fat there already but now I long to go back and fit into the
blouse I was wearing.

Earlier this year, when I was going through one of those periods of de-cluttering, I saw
that pretty fitted blouse and decided it was just taking up room in my closet and it was
pointless to keep it so I packed it up and (along with many other cute things) gave it
to one of my cousins who has lots of relatives and friends who could use it. I am a little
sad now, it was a lovely peach color that flattered my complexion and the style was very
unique. I am sure that my reasoning went something like this: Well, it’s never going to fit
me again, it’s taking up room, if I ever get down to that weight again, I can always go out
and buy a new one…I know you can identify with this if you are trying to keep from being
one of those people who has 3 different sizes in their closet. For the longest time, I was
always sure that from one year to the next, my size would be the same so I had a lot of
clothes. I still have way too many clothes (I love clothes at all sizes) but now it takes me
a long time before I’m ready each morning because I have to try and discard.

I feel good today. I went to bed a little bit hungry and I think it’s because I have not been
eating enough protein. I will be more diligent in the future because the worst thing that could
happen is for me to get sick when I’m trying to stay healthy. I will confess that one of the issues
that concern me is that I have never had to lose this much weight before and I don’t know what
I can do to go slowly and steadily and not have extra sagging skin everywhere. I will invest time
reading about firming up and toning up my body. I know this seems superficial (well, it is super-
ficial) but after seeing before and after pictures of some of the brave souls on WW who post them,
it is not a small thing to me.

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0 point foods!

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I weighed myself this morning even though my official weigh-in date is Mondays. I was very
pleased with the number…well not pleased with the number per se, but pleased that the number is
less than it was on Monday morning when I started the new plan.

I went to bed hungry last night. I haven’t felt hungry in a few years. I am shocked that I could
have let myself get this heavy, which I have mentioned previously and which I won’t really dwell
on. My husband returns on Tuesday. It is my intention and goal to set up menus for our meals
which will satisfy both of us. I know now that my downfall in the last three years has not been that
he is a great cook (although he is) but that I do pop the odd cookie and chocolate into my mouth
and forget that I ate it and repeat the process a few times a day. With this new weight watchers
freedom plan, it doesn’t make any sense to have one cookie for 2 or 3 points (my max is 23 points
per day) when I can have a hard boiled egg for 0 points or a fruit or a vegetable for the same 0!
Oprah is happy because she can eat bread! I don’t care about eating bread, I’d rather be able to
enjoy my nightly 1 1/2 oz of expensive excellent Hennessy cognac!

By this time next year, I hope to be back at my normal weight but I will be patient and go with the
flow not making anyone suffer because I am on a “d-i-e-t” and not making myself suffer when I
have a less-than-stellar eating day. I think about food and weight all the time. When I was normal
weight, I remember just being very matter of fact about it. I ate almost the same thing for breakfast,
lunch and dinner every day except Fridays when I would have two slices of sicilian pizza (hopefully
the corners) and a large helping of freshly steamed broccoli. I did that for years. Then the weekends
were more relaxed but did not include sweets, cake, or alcohol.

When our children were little, the house was replete with food. My feeling was that all food was
valid, nothing was bad, nothing was special. I was never “tempted” by anything. In childhood
our kids were normal weight (except one year when our son discovered McDonald’s and gained
a lot of weight) and candy and cookies would get stale and disgusting because they were not
enticing to them. Naturally, as they got older things have changed. They have discovered that
they like asparagus, lobster, and a whole bunch of other items they would never touch in their
younger years! I have discovered what they really like is the taste of butter, and bacon…as in
asparagus wrapped in bacon and lobster drenched in butter. Oh well, I did the best I could, now
they are adults and know what’s what.

I have had a good week. It went by very quickly. I learned how to make a few zero point meals
and have even been able to roll over some points to use on the weekend. I will be making chili
on Sunday and I intend to enjoy every bite of it. I have noticed that food really, really tastes
good when one has not been eating all day!