Don’t ditch the scale; just get a happier one!

This scale doesn’t track your pounds.  Instead, it tracks your hotness.  Well, not really, but it sure makes you feel hot – with affirmations, rather than numbers, such as “ravishing”, “lovely”, “fine”, “perfect”, and “cute”.  And you can’t beat the fuzzy pink cover! 

Okay, in all seriousness, I will never give up my scale.  It’s too important to my long-term success.  But I might buy a “Yay! Scale” and park it alongside the legit weight tracker.  It would be nice to have the option to get a morale boost when I need it. 🙂


February 25, 2010 at 11:55 pm Leave a comment

Do it and then feel it

I was feeling glum, distinctly ho-hum.  I did NOT want to do my stairs. My stairs are only one component of my workout regimen, so I can get away with not doing them.  However, my Scale the Strat is coming up on March 13th, so it’s critical that I keep up my “training” for that event.

All of a sudden, the motto “Do it and then feel it” popped into my head. I got off my stability ball, changed out of my suit jacket, and proceeded to do 20 sets of stairs: 1520 up and 1520 down, for a lovely grand total of 3,040 stairs.

The endorphins are flowing, and I do, indeed, feel it now. Yay!

February 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm Leave a comment

Mindful Eating

‘Mindful Eating’ is another one of those diet buzzwords that sometimes frustrates me.  I alternately want to eat mindfully and don’t want to. Sometimes, I just want to eat without having to think about it. 

I think about eating and exercise all day long already:

  • am I eating too much?
  • am I eating enough veggies and, to a lesser extent, fruit? 
  • will I be able to control myself today?
  • will today be a “good” eating day or a “bad” one? 
  • will I get enough cardio in? 
  • does the cardio make a difference? 
  • is weight-lifting twice a week good enough?
  • is it really bad that I’m not doing yoga?

These are some of the thoughts that run through my head nearly every day, and there are times when I want a break from the constant noise.  I long to be one of “those people” who just do it right without consciously focusing on it.  Well, bottom line for me: no such luck.

So, when I recently found out that a local surgical weight loss center that was offering a series of Mindful Eating classes, I was a bit torn.  I was excited; maybe this would be the key to help me break through my current struggles.  I was also apprehensive.  Did I truly want to invest more time and money in this?  In the end, I decided to sign up.  And, I’m very glad I did.

I’ve only been able to make two of the 12 classes so far, but they’ve been great classes.  The first one discussed resetting our neural pathways, essentially reprogramming our brain’s reponse to food.  It is a variation on the “change your thoughts, change your life” philosophy, which works, but is much easier said than done.  I’ve been doing it… with some success.

It was last week’s class, though, that really resonated with me.  At first glance, there seemed to be nothing for me to learn from a mood-food connection class.  I was wrong about that.

  • There are approximately 3,000 to describe human emotions.  Nearly 2,000 of them are for negative emotions while only 1,000 are for positive emotions.  No wonder we are skewed toward negativity!
  • I always wondered why replacing eating with something else never worked… until our instructor informed us that it takes 3-5 replacement activities to equal the mood-altering effect of food.  Wow!  THREE to FIVE activities to replace ONE food experience.  First of all, that’s how powerful food can be.  And, secondly, now I understand why this ostensibly logical technique never worked for me.  I thought it was me; it wasn’t.  Good to know on a lot of levels.
  • I’ve always been additionally irritated by admonishments to replace eating with another activity – like reading a self-help book or taking a bath or getting a pedicure – because they are almost never practical . When I’m at work, wanting to chow down, I can’t simply run a bath.  Or, when the compulsion to eat hits me at 11:30 at night, the spa isn’t going to be open for a pedicure.  And, eating is about zoning out; reading a self-help book isn’t gonna do it because it’s the opposite of what I’m trying to achieve.  So… I raised the issue in my class, and voila… our instructor had the answer. Deep breathing!  There’s always time to stop and breathe deeply, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.  And, it works.

I’ll miss this week’s class, and I’m a bit bummed about it.   Thank goodness for next week.

February 22, 2010 at 9:40 pm 1 comment

Healthy Valentine Treats

Valentine’s Day is always a challenge.  How do you enjoy the holiday without overindulging?  This year, I gave my honey just two little chocolate treats, which he very nicely shared with me.

And, to feel more festive, I made myself these heart-shaped tea sandwiches.



  • Separate thins.
  • Spread cheese on one side and preserves on the other.
  • Reassemble and press down firmly.
  • Cut with heart-shaped cookie cutter.

February 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm 1 comment

“Clean” Banana Bread



  • 1/4 cup melted Smart Balance buttery spread
  • 1 cup ripe banana, smooshed or mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup Egg Beaters
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together Smart Balance, bananas, vanilla, Egg Beaters, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, soda, stevia, salt).
  • Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Fold in the nuts.
  • Pour into pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes to set, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

November 2, 2009 at 1:23 am Leave a comment

Soldiering On…

My Honey and I had a fabulous homecoming from his disappointing and scary motorcycle race, and my mum’s husband is out of the hospital and doing well.

I started an intense and highly selective leadership program, and we just returned from a very fun camping trip with friends… our first camping experience as a married couple and in the rain.  Nothin’ like snugglin’ up with your man while the thunder booms overhead and lightning flashes through the mesh windows.

I enjoyed the healthy stuff I brought for the trip, but I also indulged in some goodies brought by others: Oreos, Doritos and homemade s’mores, which we managed to cook over a damp fire in between rain showers.  I talked to my girlfriend a little about my weight gain and how I’ve been struggling for several months being 7 or so pounds up.  She said she couldn’t tell, which was nice… made even nicer by the fact that she’s extremely direct and would tell me straight up if she felt otherwise.  It was nice, along with being away from the computer and cell phone access, not to have a scale around and not to keep track of every morsel.  I felt free to just be me and do what I wanted to do with some moderating.

Returning to the real world this afternoon, I picked up the mail and found the latest issue of “More” magazine.  Candace Bushnell’s column really resonated.  Titled “Why I’m a beauty scrooge”, it details why she is against cosmetic surgery.  She relates a story in which, earlier in life, she’s offered a half-price boob job. Even with a huge discount, she couldn’t afford it, and she realized she was “…just going to have to soldier on” with her “…grossly imperfect body”.

That is EXACTLY how I feel on most days: that I am soldiering on with a grossly imperfect body.  It was wonderful to read that Candace Bushnell, an extremely successful writer and a “cougar” with a much younger boyfriend, has felt this way for years.  As she says, the message is “change your looks, and you can change your life”. 

Here’s the funny thing, though.  I have done that!  I have drastically changed my looks, and I have drastically changed my life.  It’s actually pretty darned amazing.  The life I’m living now is one I never even dreamed of.  It’s miraculous to me.  I am doing things personally and professionally that are exciting and challenging and notable.  I am making a difference in my community, and going on adventures, big and small, with my new husband.  My life has a surreal quality. 

Yet, I am still “soldiering on” when it comes to my looks.  There are days – after I see myself on TV or after I see a Facebook picture of a friend in a bikini who never let herself get fat and then had to fix it – that I am utterly devastated by what I see in the mirror… so much so that the urge to hide in the closet is nearly irresistible.  But, I soldier on, knowing that I cannot discount the love of my man by dissing what he sees as beautiful… knowing that my contribution to work is based on my skills and attitude, not my face or body shape… knowing that my support and appreciation of my friends and family has nothing to do with the size of my jeans. 

I hope to get past the soldiering.  It’s admirable but tiresome, and in my case, it’s wasteful of valuable energy.  It helps me live life fully, bringing me a kind of stubborn resolve to try that new thing “in spite of”, but it takes a toll at the same time, leeching joy and peace.

Instead, I hope to be able to truly embrace my transformation and appreciate its significance now… and what it will lead to in the future that I can’t yet see.  I guess I’ll keep soldiering on toward that goal.

September 21, 2009 at 4:10 am Leave a comment

Not a great night…

The wedding came and went a couple of weeks ago.  It was a great night… a fun, funky and relaxed event, just like we wanted it to be.  We also had tons of time with family in what could be a one-of-a-kind opportunity.

Now, though, I have to admit that I am missing not going on a honeymoon right away.  We didn’t get any time to celebrate our union, and I spent a lot of time taking care of other people for two weeks straight.  Then, my Honey had to leave town for work and then again for his motorcycle race team.

His racing event has not gone well, with some serious injuries and other less grievous mishaps, and I’ve been very supportive of him.  I’ve responded to every text, offered my sympathy and love, etc.  He, unfortunately, has not been able to return the favor when I tonight found out that my mum’s husband is in the hospital. Granted, he’s got a ton on his plate with this situation, but I have consistently been there as much I can while not being on site.

I’ve spent the last month making time for everyone else’s needs, actually spending very little time or attention on myself.  I did not have my hair done, or a massage, or my makeup or anything else.  I spent all my money and time on other people.  And then I’ve had to be flexible and understanding of my Honey’s time away.  These were all the right things to do, but tonight, I deserved some consideration in return, and I didn’t get it. I’m very hurt, and I’m angry.

I tried to explain to him gently and appropriately, but he still didn’t get it.  I hope he comes to understand because our relationship has to be built on mutual support… not one person’s troubles always taking priority over another’s. 

Naturally, when things like this come up, it makes me want to eat like crazy.  Considering that my weight is already up quite a bit from all the wedding antics and how hard I’ve been working to bring it down, this doesn’t help, and I resent that.  It’s not a great night.

September 1, 2009 at 6:03 am Leave a comment

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