Yesterday I talked weight, exercise, motivation and what’s been working for me for a while now. My goal is no longer the number on the scale, in fact I very rarely weigh myself. (I stopped bothering when the numbers held their place but my clothing was fitting better and even getting loose. And let’s not forget: muscle mass is denser and heavier than fat. ‘Nough said.) It’s keeping up this lifestyle of exercise and moderate eating for the rest of my life, one workout at a time. The second I decide I’ve “arrived”, I may as well toss my sneakers, weights and music. That’s the moment all I’ve done so far is doomed.
My other big change came in my attitude toward eating. (Mindshift, remember?) Let me state for the record I’d do pretty much anything to be one of those people who can eat whatever s/he wants. (And I’ll even come clean and state that cravings took over the other night and I packed away a lot more sesame sticks than I should have while watching my nasal girl.) I’ve found that by cutting out a lot of white flour—I can live w/o bread (but not cake :)) and cutting back on starchy foods in general, I seem to have happened on a balance. And since I’d rather eat kettle chips every day, I keep a bag in the car and stick to a lunch of salad and half a sandwich, a smaller portion of something left over from the previous night’s dinner, etc. and eat those chips mid-afternoon. (I also break them into little pieces so that I can reach into the bag more often.)
I divide meals. Two years ago, I’d start the day with PBJ on two slices. By making it open-faced, I’d get two pieces out of one slice of bread for breakfast. If I’m still hungry a couple of hours later, I’d just make the second half. Adding fruit helps curb the appetite, as does milk or some other source of protein. Eggs rock. And my absolute best trick of all? Whenever possible, BRUSH YOUR TEETH AS SOON AS YOU CAN ONCE YOU’RE DONE EATING. (Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse.) That changes the taste in your mouth and signals the brain in a most definite manner that food is done for now.
Back to mindshifts: Valerie Bertinelli, actor and Jenny Craig spokesperson, who lost at least forty pounds and so far seems to have kept it off stated in an article: “There are no bad foods, just bad food behaviors.” That freed me. Cake, cookies and chips aren’t necessarily bad but eating three to four portions at once ain’t my best choice now, is it? Splitting up those choices and eating them over three to four days in another thing entirely. Now I literally get to have my cake and eat it too—right?
Then there is self-talk. A couple of years ago, I attended a workshop on sensory integration. Did this occupational therapist know the mouth is a center of arousal (as in alertness)? And in school, what do we use to get kids more awake and aware? Crunchy foods. BING!!! Suddenly, a puzzle piece falls into place. I, who would forego sleep in a heartbeat to gain more hours in a day, am chowing down on Cheez-Its at night to stay awake longer—now there’s a revelation! The self-talk part? At night when I do the wash-up routine I know if I brush my teeth I’m done eating for the night. Know how many times I’ve said aloud, “This is a choice,” when wavering about sticking that toothbrush in my mouth?
Anyway, those are some ideas sparked by Riley’s post. (Thanks, Riley! Can you imagine me posting all this in a comment at your blog, lol?) What works for you? (And I’d love to hear from those of you lovely lurkers who are always in the background being supportive—always MUCH, MUCH appreciated—but never make yourselves known. Use a pseudonym :)!)
Until next time!
Joanna (and Screwball, aka, Kitty)