Category Archives: Motivation

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!

Monday Morning Musings!

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Mondays are busy days for me. I do the laundry, I wash my very curly hair,
I have meetings in the afternoon, and today, I actually made an appointment
to have my teeth cleaned! Really? On a Monday? Well, I wasn’t thinking when
I made the appointment but it’s actually a good thing because it will motivate
me to putting a little more energy and less procrastinating into my morning.

I joined Weight Watchers last night so that I could start my week in a good way.
It is not my first time with WW but I am happy to say it is not my 10th either!
I believe I have accepted that I can’t/won’t go it alone. I need the accountability
and discipline that tracking food offers. It’s tough to accept that but going along
with that “mind game” of pretending to be invited to the Royal wedding in May
will have to be my incentive. I need to lose about 50 lbs. really but I am starting
with 30! 43 years ago I lost 35 lbs. in 4 months…probably won’t happen that
fast this time, but I am confident that I can do it.

My husband is away. We have talked about my desire to eat less (we eat pretty
healthily but overeat and snack heavily at night). He does not think it is necessary
but he is not the one who is out of breath from a short walk or have achy joints
every morning (well, maybe he is but he’s not sharing!).

I feel good, eager to see some creative recipes and learn the new “program”.

I hope for a good week. So far, I have eaten one banana (0 points), one cup of
black coffee (no sacrifice since I’ve been drinking my coffee black since 40 years
ago) and I have hard boiled half a dozen eggs to snack on as needed. On my
own, I can be and do enjoy being disciplined about food without being extreme.
The challenge will be when hubby comes back because he is such a great cook!

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A Royal Engagement!

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Ever since I was a little girl, I have tried to image what it would be like to have
been able to marry into the Royal Family! I was a child when the Beatles came
along and that fed into my fantasy in such a way that when people asked me who
I wanted to marry, my pat answer was always: “I want to marry an Englishman.”

Fast forward to Prince Charles and Diana’s engagement and I believe I couldn’t
shake the notion that she was getting into a marriage that wasn’t going to make her
very happy. A man so many years her senior and not very handsome at that, regardless
of his position, education and her prospects. But I suppose I was thinking of my own
situation back then. I had married a serious man many years my senior when I was in
the prime of my youth and very pretty, educated and with many more prospects. Only
I didn’t see myself as particularly pretty, educated or worth more than what I settled for.

So now many years later, Prince Harry has met and proposed to the love of his life: Meghan
Markle. I felt surprised at my own shock! Like Ms. Markle and Prince Harry really care
what I think! But today I realized what a great story it is, how Diana would have been so
proud of her son and that mostly, I wish them much happiness.  In fact, I am so inspired
by this story, I am going to pretend that I will be a guest. Since I would not like to be
photographed at my current weight in a dress that will look like a tent, I have become
very motivated to do something about that! Hey, who knows???

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Black Friday turns into Black weekend?

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Thanksgiving came and went. All those hours of preparing, all the traveling, all the
internal anguish about seeing that rude relative and perhaps being the object of their
lude and crude behavior, anticipating before eating how full and sleepy you’re going
to be has ended! Now of course, the marketers are out there and have turned what used
to be a relaxing Friday and weekend into a bizarre frenzy of shopping, shopping, and
more shopping!

As I get older I find that I am drawn to reminiscing about the first few Thanksgivings I
can remember. My very first one was when I was 9 years old because prior to that I lived
in a (developing) country.  We had no television and I was not aware that any other world
existed but the simple one I inhabited or the fantasy one that inhabited in me. Late 1963
my family moved to New York but it was December so we missed Thanksgiving that first
year. By 1964 we were armed with the ability to speak English, owned a television set and
worked hard to assimilate into our adopted country.

My mother was captivated by the many different holidays we never celebrated before. The
holidays (St. Patricks, Easter, Fourth of July and of course, Thanksgiving & Christmas)
took on different meanings and of all, Thanksgiving was my favorite. I figured out the
other day that it was not only about the whole day of gratitude or the wonderful aromas
wafting through the house. Rather, it was the fact that on this one special day, my mother’s
attention did not focus on what or how much I was eating. She concentrated on baking her
turkey, on making sure the table was set and ready for the many guests we would receive
year after year, and once the food was served and her speech was made, she relaxed and
enjoyed the day.

I have kept up the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving in a big way. I cook up a storm, I
bake, I invite many people to join us and I know myself blessed and grateful year after year.
Since our children are grown and live far away, my gatherings have become very reduced
but we still manage to relish the opportunity to put all negativity aside for a day and become
totally aware of the many gifts our life offers us.

This weekend will see madness all around me as people from my community brave the
traffic so they can spend their money buying the latest gadgets or begin doing the shopping
for Christmas. I am glad that I have never been much of a gift giver so no one expects any
gifts from me but the gift of my time (which is not nothing) and cakes and cookies that I
bake each year.  These are things I enjoy making and love to give away and share with my
loved ones. In the meantime, I can shop from the comfort of my home since I have become
very good at spotting good deals on the internet. Life is good, and I find that technology
used wisely, is a wonderful thing.

Have a great weekend!

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Pies Galore!

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I don’t remember ever eating pies in my early childhood. I think I started doing
so only when we arrived to New York and perhaps on the first or second Thanksgiving
in the mid 1960’s.

My mom was not a baker. She wasn’t really even a good cook but Thanksgiving got a hold
of her and she relished the holiday year after year because it gave her an excuse to gather
together the small number of family members we had in New York and the large number
of friends she and my dad had made over the years.

I remember Thanksgiving as always being special. The aromas, the large amounts of food
and most of all, the fact that Mom was not paying any attention to how much I was eating.
On this one day, she forgot all about my being overweight and was perhaps thankful for
everything she had, including her fat daughter!

It’s really odd. I always knew I was fat but I never really thought about it until or unless
someone commented. But I guess someone always did. My well-meaning aunts, my mom
who saw my “condition” as an physical reminder of my neediness…teachers, friends, etc.
The ironic thing is that I was never really that fat and if left alone the fat would probably
have disappeared naturally eventually.

By the time I was 14, I had a couple of close friends whose family celebrated Thanksgiving
in a big way, with lots of different foods from my own family.  It was not unusual for me to
partake of two other feasts after or before my family’s! I have nothing but wonderful memories
of this special holiday which remains my favorite till today!

When our children were old enough to help, they did so. Our daughter put together the
packages of flatware in their Thanksgiving napkins, our sons cut up broccoli and cauliflower
florets and trimmed the ends of the green beans. Everyone participated and the atmosphere
at our home was always positive and loving.

My children are all grown up now and they have been celebrating on their own, with their
friends and loved ones for several years. The distance between us (and the cost of travel at
this time) makes me miss them very much but I am grateful for today’s technology and what
it allows us to do in terms of communication.

I am about to start making my list for the small gathering I will host on Thursday. It will
include traditional and non traditional foods and of course, lots of pies.

Happy Thanksgiving to us all.

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Random musings…

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I am the eldest of the two middle children of a four sibling family. Does that make
sense? Of course it does, just take a little time to think it over if it doesn’t at first.

Being a middle child has many drawbacks but it also has a lot of advantages. The
first child is an experiment, the last child is, well, the last child. But middle children
are often benignly neglected because other things are going on. Middle children just
know instinctively how to act so as not to cause too much attention to be focused
on them and therefore, often become more successful than the bookends!

I have long been analyzing my personality and have come to the conclusion that
many of my deeply held habits and prejudices stem from my placement in the
family.  I observed how my older sibling behaved (usually rebellious and mean)
and the reaction my parents had (scolding, grounding, silent treatment, etc.) to
it and I decided I didn’t enjoy the chaos and yelling so I made sure my behavior
was as different as it could be. I did my chores (often mine and my siblings), got
decent grades, and generally got ignored except when it came time to go shopping
and my mother would despair over my being overweight but that is a blog for another
day.

The creators of Facebook had no real idea of how far their social media application
would come and that, again, is a subject for a future time. However, there are many
positive things that have come out of the social media giant, not the least of which
has been the way the regular folk are engaging in the issues of the day, including
politics and religion.

I use my account mainly to inform people of what is going on in our neighborhood
as part of the self-imposed activism I feel is required of anyone who is alive and part
of a community. Aside from that, I use it to connect with friends by commenting on
a picture they have posted, or by uploading my own pictures if I feel they are relevant
or want to share a particular event or part of my life.

In the years I have been using FB, I have been hacked once but it didn’t have any really
negative consequences and I have since learned to be more careful about passwords and
about who I befriend and what I share.  I am very wary about commenting on any odd
phrases a friend or family member has posted because I have been “conned” into games
or chain letters that really don’t fit with what I want to do with my time and are a very
embarrassing imposition on friends.

The last few weeks have had an activity on FB that I actually did like. It involved posting
“a black and white picture, no people, no explanation, of every day life for seven days and
challenging a different friend each day to do the same”. When I first saw this activity, I
wondered if anyone would think of me to “challenge” and was actually very happy when
a dear friend across the miles highlighted me!

This is where my being a middle child, and an efficiency aficionado comes in. I know that
I have hundreds of pictures that fit the requirement so when the challenge came in for me,
the first thing I did was to look through my pictures, pick out favorite every day things,
convert them to B&W, label them Day 1 through Day 7, put them in a file and go on with
my day. It didn’t take me longer than 10 minutes to do all that and I began to think about
the friends I would challenge, taking into account what I knew about their personalities.
Not everyone enjoys having a little fun and this is one activity where all that is required
is a tiny bit of motivation.

I was shocked then to see how people did or did not respond.  One person did it but had
people in every one of her pictures and an explanation of where picture was taken! Another
friend completely ignored me. A third one said “remind me because I am very busy”. One
challenged me back by asking me to guess where the pictures loaded had been taken (I have
not seen this person since grammar school!).

Tom Waits is credited with saying that the “way you do anything is the way you do everything”.
I have to say no truer words have ever been spoken and I find that as I get older, I have a
tendency to observe people and their behavior long before I ask them to do anything for me
or to become friendly with them. The FB activity that I engaged in just for fun has shown
me more about my friends and myself than if I had actually asked them to describe their
personalities. It was quite eye-opening and I am glad that I was asked to participate.

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A short story contest

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About a week ago, I noticed a short story writing contest was being held by one of
the local newspapers just in time for Halloween.  Although they offered a very modest
monetary prize, that was not my motivator when I sat before my computer and began
quickly writing the maximum 1200 words before the midnight deadline.  I wasn’t even
sure what I would write about, the topics were pretty broad and the rules rather loose.

I amazed myself by accomplishing more in that few hours than I have had the discipline
to do each day to get a bit further on my “novel”. This is NANOWRIMO and many of us
are in someway participating. I hope I can do a little bit more this year, I belong to a
tiny writers group though we have not been able to meet for a while and we don’t write
during any of our meetings anyway so it’s not like I’m going to advance there!

Anyway, I did not win the modest monetary prize but it was nice to see my name in
print and know that when the pressure is on, I actually can sit and write. My story was
not terrific, too many characteristics mirrored my life closely and I was somewhat worried
that my friends would see themselves reflected but from an editor’s point of view, it was
a good job.

Keep writing!

 

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A lovely Sunday

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I just received my first Social Security deposit! I feel like a completely different
person for some odd reason…like I am getting paid just for being alive…I never
had that kind of treatment before. I’ve always gotten paid for doing something
and I know that breathing is something but still…

It is hard to believe how quickly the years have gone. We all know how time seems
different (and to drag on) when we are children or when we are anticipating that
something is about to happen, etc. I was feeling like the three months preparation
time were dragging on but that month of October just flew by and when I saw the
deposit show up in my account, I actually took a picture of it, lest I forget.

I deserve it just like the millions of other people who actually do count on it to
live day to day. It overwhelms me to even begin to consider that it might not be
available for my children or grandchildren (if ever I have some!).

For all of us who still have some faith in politics and politicians, let’s hope that recent
world events make us pinch ourselves and get back on track.

Have a good Sunday.

 

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Musings…

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It’s almost five o’clock on Sunday afternoon. It turned into a very busy
weekend with activities early Saturday morning until just an hour ago.

I am a lifelong Yankees fan and while I realize the Yankees have a young
team again and we should feel optimistic about chances of World Series
winnings in the next few years, this year it is not to be. I am torn between
rooting for the American League Astros or the National League Dodgers
even though former Yankee Don Mattingly is no longer their manager. Wow,
these are truly superficial first-world problems and I am embarrassed to even
admit these thoughts to anyone but the anonymous internet!

I was at a birthday party today. My husband is away so I attended alone. It was
the celebration of a first birthday for the child of close friends of mine. I was without
a doubt the only non-family member present. Although I knew a lot of the people,
I still felt a bit odd about being there, yet not going was equally not acceptable.
The theme was Minnie Mouse, the decorations, costumes, piñata, cake, etc. were
wonderful. They even hired a DJ who did his utmost to get the audience to take
part in his many clever and fun games. As a writer, I am almost always comfortable
to observe behaviors but today I was a bit uncomfortable to note that the response
from the audience would have made any party planner quit midway in disgust. My
congratulations to the young man who never gave up, smiling through it all. Perhaps
because I am so used to directing events, I found it hard to just sit quietly and let
the event unfold. In any event, the food was good, the cake outstanding and I had
the chance to take many pictures of the happy family.

Tomorrow begins a new week. I have been reading a book called Diary of a Fat Girl
by Lisa Sargese. I am not sure how I found it, probably some pitch by Amazon or
other Kindle book providers who follow my interest in food/weight related reading.
I am really glad that I purchased the book, Ms. Sargese’s sharing of her story has
given me a desire to renew my commitment to maintaining my health while losing
a few pounds. I have always wondered if really heavy people (+400 lbs.) suffer
constant pain but I have never had the nerve to actually ask anyone. The reason it
is of interest to me is that at my current weight (about 185 lbs./short frame), for the
first time in my life, I find it difficult: to climb stairs, to walk without becoming short
of breath, to bounce in and out of chairs like I once did – even at 150 lbs. Ms. Sargese
is candid with her story and addresses things that have never occurred to me.  She
is very smart and hard working and has managed to lose quite a bit of weight in the
last ten years. I have found myself questioning whether I really want that second cookie,
that extra butter, those few nuts. At the end of the days in the last week, I have been
going to bed with a lovely cup of green tea and just the tiniest hint of hunger. I feel good.

Today, I dressed for the party in clothes that did not feel extremely tight and I ate the
food presented to me slowly, enjoying every morsel. I hope this trend continues, I know
that if I successfully lose just 30 of the 50 extra pounds my small frame carries, I will be
so much freer to continue to enjoy my life. I know that part of the reason I don’t feel so
compelled to lose the weight is because I am not keeping myself from doing things. I go
out, I volunteer, I write, I have my parents and children and a lovely selection of good
friends. Still, I would like to fit into some of the cute outfits I still hang in my closet, not
the size 6s but certainly the 12’s! When I look at pictures of me 30 lbs. ago, I long for
those days.

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