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Archive for August, 2007

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Everything seemed intuitive today. I slept well, then got up for some quiet time before DH awakes. My normal habit is to drink a couple of glasses of hot water, but I wasn’t thirsty, so I waited until later. Food wasn’t on my mind either, so I promised myself I’d eat whenever I got hungry.

DH got up and went to work, and I decided to work at home, so I decided to walk while listening to the news.  Halfway during the walk I craved apple butter, so I started a batch.

Apple butter is amazingly easy! I cored an apple, sliced it, and put it in a pan with some water and a splash of raspberry vinegar. Then I cooked it, peel and all, til it was pulp. Then I added a couple of spoons of homemade caramel, some cinnamon and some allspice. That cooked all morning. When it had reduced to apple butter consistency, I ate a couple of spoonfuls, and look forward to more tomorrow.

Mid-morning I wanted a coffee, so I discovered that homemade caramel made a delicious latte. Hunger didn’t come til lunchtime, when I ate a sandwich and a few chips.

Late in the afternoon, when work had ended, I began to get curious about the caramel again. This caramel was a miracle for me, because it’s the first time I ever manage to actually cook caramel without burning it. Now I’m learning how to use it and use it up.

I wondered if caramel could be recooked until it was crunchy. The answer is yes. Then I got the idea in my head to make caramel corn and see if that would work. So I popped some corn, then heated some pecans. After melting some caramel and bringing it to a boil, I poured it over the nuts and popcorn, then popped the whole thing in a low oven for 20 minutes. That was dinner.

Every moment today, I did what was intuitively right, fulfilling responsibilities as well as meeting my needs.

Feels good.

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Goal Period: approximately Aug 7 – Aug 24
Write one or more lists of shoulds and energy-draining activities
Take 1-10 positive actions daily
Eat and taste consciously every eating experience   

After my first week on these goals, I find that I’ve forgotten to taste my food nearly every time. I do think about shoulds and energy-draining activities, but I’m not writing them down. I am taking positive actions every day, which is at least the key to change.

Hmm. I’d like to do this better, so I think I’ll start writing these things every day rather than just doing them.

Thursday

  • Shoulds: I should lose weight every day
  • Energy-draining activities: feeling that my life is bad and not wanting to do my chores
  • Positive actions (these are often just affirmations):
    • Remind myself that I can’t lose weight on command, I only control what I eat and what activity I do
    • Remind myself about all of the good things in my life and how good and easy my chores actually are
    • Took actual pleasure in my chores
    • Exercised with leg lifts and weight training
    • Went out to dinner with DH and enjoyed a couple of cocktails without remorse

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Feeling good about myself is the most important tool I have to keep working on my goals. Not a false, denial, happy-bunny kind of feel-good, but a rational, I-know-who-I-am feel-good.

Looking at my photos the other day and not seeing any change on the scale kinda brought me down. Then I started looking for ways that my life sucked. It doesn’t suck, by any reasonable standard, but I kept convincing myself it did. Even my hubby was in the same emotional place.

Today I decided that I control very few things, but I do control them:

  • What I put into my head
  • What I put into my mouth
  • What I do with my body

Then I decided that I would:

  • enjoy my work more
  • get stronger
  • do more things that make me feel good

Today I:

  • ate a small but delicious breakfast
  • made a list of things I really like about my job
  • chose to look at upcoming tasks to find the pleasure in them
  • rested in bed for a little while longer
  • planned my afternoon’s work in such a way to look forward to it
  • listened to a motivational podcast

It’s made a big change in my mood from just 2 hours ago. Yay!

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Yesterday I took action towards my new habits. After not being able to figure out why I got stuck on the sofa last night, I decided that it didn’t matter much why, but it matters if I take action, so I did.

When I got home, I was sleepy, due to a short night, so I napped a bit, but I was determined to not waste away the rest of the evening. Tasks included:

  • Ordering some clothes for myself
  • Cleaning up my hard drive from some pictures
  • Really looking at pictures of myself (sort of mirror work)
  • Sewing a sachet with lavender I bought in Provence

Reviewing the pictures of myself was the most disturbing. It really brought me into reality, showing me how old I really am, that my skin shows my age, no airbrushed fantasies here. I accept who I am and love that I can look at myself calmly without binge eating.

I’m not going to take this any more. I’m tired of molly-coddling myself and want to do more, create more, be more.

This morning when I awoke, I wanted to exercise, so I combined that with another passion, getting my house in order. Instead of jogging or aerobics, I chose to clean the kitchen floor, first on my knees (way too hard on them), then aggressively with a brush, soapy water and drying it afterward. Now I feel that it’s really clean. And I finished, breathing hard with a nicely raised pulse. Good workout, good clean floor. Two birds with one stone.

My positives:

  1. This energy is a new feeling and I like it
  2. I’m thrilled that the photo work didn’t send me off into a bout of self-criticism
  3. I’m happy that the floor is clean, and that I did it myself
  4. I love the feeling of power this gives me
  5. I like the combination of activities I did last night

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Last night I was drained of energy. After my first day back at work following vacation, I came home tired. During work, I had my usual 3 p.m. low, which I generally counter by eating. This time I tried not eating. At 2 p.m., I had a piece of candy (Red Hots by Schimpff’s in Indiana – a delicious treasure), but instead of eating between 3 and 4, I just drank a cup of coffee. Didn’t do much for me, and at 5 p.m. just before walking out the door, I gulped down a half dozen dark M&M’s.

When I got home, I gave myself some time to rest, because I believe arsenic hour is simply a cry to rest. I napped for half an hour, but got stuck. I didn’t do anything else the whole evening. My energy was gone, and I couldn’t think of anything to get it back. Finally I went to bed at 9:30 and slept til I woke up. Now my brain is going strong.

So what was the energy-draining activity? The nap? The work? Skipping the snack? I’m not sure. I do know that I didn’t eat to compensate, which is good. I did have a larger than normal dinner, maybe.

Maybe I could focus on creating an energy-giving activity rather than over-analyzing the drain. I might have gone for a 5 minute walk and felt better after the nap. Hmmm. No answers today.

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It’s not about food. This principle I’m taking very seriously this week. Therefore, my eating goals will not change from eating consciously and intuitively, but my other goals will follow a new path.

Das Abenteuer Motivation is a self-improvement program from a German Psychologist, Nicole Fritze. You can read more about her program, if you read German, here. She advocates using the following process to improve  habits:

  1. Write a list of things that cost you energy, that you tolerate in spite of the load it puts on you
  2. Write a list of your “shoulds” that don’t serve any purpose or bring you fown
  3. Replace the shoulds with a list of things you are actually willing to do
  4. Take ten positive actions daily toward your new habits

That’s not quite what I want to do, since I’ve already done quite a lot of work on shoulds and removing irrational thoughts from my life. Therefore my goals for August 26 to Sept 15 will become:

Thinking Goals

  1. Write one or more lists of shoulds and energy-draining activities

Activity Goals

  1. Take 1-10 positive actions daily

Eating goals

  1. Eat and taste consciously every eating experience

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Goal Check-In

Results from my Goal Period: approximately Aug 7 – Aug 24
Thinking Goals
Choose every day to do things that make me feel happy. Did a good job of both doing things and reminding myself to do things that make me happy.
Spend half an hour alone in contemplation. Maybe only 1-5 times did I do this specifically, but I did have lots of quiet time.
Activity Goals
Walk, walk, walk. Did this a lot, but less than I hoped, due to the heat.
Keep my vacation focus on fun, not achieving 71 cities in 14 days. Yes!!
Eating Goals
Make a deliberate taste experience at every eating experience. Yes. I’m quite good at this now.
Choose foods that will satisfy me both emotionally and physically every day. Yes, especially during vacation.

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