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But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking JeansNot sure how it happened, but I'll take it:

I'm down 1.8 from last week!

And not only did the scale show 1.8 lower than last week, but I forgot to step on the scale till 12:30 this afternoon, so this is not even my first-thing-in-the-morning weight! What a happy mid-day surprise!

It's a great weigh (haha, get it?!) to go into the new Sisterhood challenge with ~ mostly because it's lower than I thought my August 1 starting weight would be! I've decided not to participate on a team this time though, despite it being a team challenge. That strategy seems to bring out my self-destructive tendency more than any other, and I've hated myself for letting down my teams in the past. So I'm goin' this one alone, but true to my word from last week, I have decided on a plan and am starting to follow it already.

The plan is really pretty simple: make sure I get a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and veggies in each day. And they must be SOLID FOOD, not liquids!! The temptation is to run out and buy a bunch of V8 and V8-Splash type juices and just drink my vitamins, but what I'm going for here is not actually so much the vitamins, minerals, and fibre, but the feeling of a full stomach. You know, so there's not as much room for all the fat- and carb-laden stuff in my diet!

With fresh produce starting to come out of the garden, this should be relatively inexpensive right now, but once that's over, I think I'm going to do what I've been talking about doing for YEARS already and start buying prepared veggie platters at the grocery store each week. I've done it once or twice in the past, and then it always gets eaten. And yet if I pay a little less for whole veggies and bunches of veggies, almost invariably half of it ends up getting thrown out because it got neglected and went moldy. Blecgh.

So that's my marvelous plan. I just need to make myself up some cute little printed-out charts to keep track and make sure I'm doing what I promised to do! They'll be ready when the challenge starts on Sunday!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday: SDoS FINALE!

Sisterhood of the Shrinking JeansI'll admit it: I'm not happy with my results this week. Partly because I gained, but mostly because I don't really understand why. Coming off a week of TOM, getting plenty of exercise, watching how I ate....

I was expecting to see a loss of 1.4, not a gain.

So I end off this 8-week challenge with an overall loss of just 3 lbs. Blah.

I think it's time I admit I need to follow some kind of concrete PLAN again if I really want to see results. "Everything in moderation" is all fine and dandy, but I need more than just a general concept in my head. I need to know for certain BEFORE the food gets to my mouth how "moderation" is supposed to look! And I need to be able to evaluate each day, each meal, quantitatively and qualitatively, so I don't just think I've probably done poorly or "okay," but so that I know exactly where I did well and where I need to improve next meal.

So that will be my goal for the next week. Establishing a plan and, if necessary, making myself a little chart or journal to fill out each day.

I hereby vow to have a
battle-ready plan of attack
formulated by the time the
next challenge begins!


Friday, July 16, 2010


"Normal" is such a funny word isn't it?

Such a relative, subjective word. In a way, COMPLETELY meaningless, and yet we fully rely on it.

During my most successful weight-loss period (April to July, 2009 ~ lost 20 lbs in 15 weeks), I followed the Setting Captives Free eating plan. You know, the one I obviously can't decide if I'm going to follow ever again! I've sometimes had posted in my sidebar, but then I remove it because I'm not following it.... tsk, tsk.

Anyway, it's like this:

Monday ~ liquids only
Tuesday ~ half day
Wednesday ~ liquids only
Thursday ~ normal
Friday ~ fasting/liquids only
Saturday ~ normal
Sunday ~ half day

"Half days" are where you literally eat only half what you normally would. Fasting or liquids only days are pretty self-explanatory, but you still eat one light meal per day (I always ate supper). And "normal" days are when you eat like you normally would.

At the beginning, I often wondered what the Setting Captives Free people who thought up this eating plan meant by "normal." Both the "normal" and the "half" days DEPEND on knowing what they mean by NORMAL!!

Do they mean "normal," as in, what and how I have eaten until now? or do they mean "normal," as in, what I would like my normal to look like in the future?

For me, the temptation is to use those "normal" days as an excuse to fall into the comfort of bad habits and over-eating. Because that would be NORMAL. I believe, however, that that is NOT the idea behind "normal" days.

Ideally, these "normal" days are supposed to look like we'd like them to look ~ you know, like how they'll look when we're skinny! Eating anything in moderation, but never over-eating, certainly no routine fast foods or unhealthy snacking, and making sure it's our allowing our bodies letting us know when it's time to refuel rather than our habits and emotions.

I had a pretend conversation with someone as I walked one day ~ someone who, a few months down the road, of course, was commenting on how great I looked and asking whatever had been my secret. As I conversed and explained how I got to looking so fabulous, I realized that I was sharing a testimony. My testimony. My path out of slavery to gluttony, of taking up my cross and dying to self-indulgence, of kicking the devil and his lies to the curb, and giving my angels an excuse to party every day. To the point where the party ran non-stop.

I noticed, as I spoke, that my idea of "normal" eating in the future looks very different from the days I often have. And I realized, that continuing to allow "THOSE DAYS" will only delay ~ and most likely cancel ~ that future.

I'll never get to the point where "normal" for me is fruit and whole wheat toast for breakfast, homemade trailmix for a mid-morning snack, a bowl of vegetable soup or a salad for lunch, celery sticks with cheese for an afternoon snack, a small well-balanced supper, and a small yogurt for evening snack... That's NEVER gonna happen if I'm having a stack of pancakes in the afternoon, two greasy, deep-fried chicken breasts and fries smothered in gravy for supper, and wolfing it down like there's no tomorrow ~ simply because that WAS my normal!

I need a NEW normal.

How would YOU like your "normal" to look?

Let's you and me

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday: SDoS Wk 7

Sisterhood of the Shrinking JeansI can't believe there's only one week left! I started out this challenge strong, but have definitely slacked off. Oh sure, I could blame 3 weeks of illness and a couple weeks of TOM, but really, it's my own apathy.

I waffle between wanting to keep this up and wanting to "go it alone." I dream of being able to forget about THINKING constantly about eating, forget about weekly weigh-ins, forget about even stepping on the scale...

Ahhhh, the impossible dream.


I found the 0.2 I lost last week. It was TOM. I mowed lawn for an hour again (4 tough miles), did 10 miles of bike riding ~ 8 of them in ONE day!! ~ did one 2-mile run, and walked the same distance twice. A good week exercise-wise again, but I've been very lack-lustre with meals lately. I find myself just not really caring, not being very organized, and spending more on convenience-type foods than I normally do. Which means, of course, less healthy, well-balanced meals than I normally serve.

I'm gonna need a serious kick in the pants if I want to finish this challenge with a decent loss!! My original goal for these 8 weeks was 11 lbs. Then I shifted down to 8. Now I'll be really happy with just 6!

But that means I need to lose 1.6 lbs this coming week. It's not a lot, but considering how much I've been caring about losing weight lately, it seems like a formidable goal!!!

How are YOU doing with your goals for this challenge?


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Perseverance and Challenges

*This is a retooled post from last summer, but goodness knows, I need the reminder!!

Today I want to talk about perseverance. Something I'm quite unfamiliar with, actually.

Did you know perseverance means MORE than just hanging on?

Simply hanging on ~ which is more closely defined as endurance ~ is often little more than a fear of letting go or falling. True perseverance is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen.

Perseverance is the supreme effort of refusing to believe we might fail.

How many of you have thought about perseverance that way? (Okay, don't tell me -- I'd hate to find out I'm the only one who hasn't!!) I never once thought that perseverance could mean more than just "keepin' on keepin' on." I have certainly never refused to believe I might fail. Heck, I PLAN for failure! Just like a pre-nup agreement, there are always several "but if, then that" loop-holes when I'm setting goals for myself in the weight loss/healthy living department.

How awful and faithless to prepare oneself for the worst even before committing to the best!!

I need to make a concentrated, conscientious effort to switch from just hanging on (read: maintaining) to truly persevering.

I've gotten lazy. I've been content to just hang on. I've gotten out of the habit of following the eating plan on my sidebar, never really tried terribly hard to re-establish the habit, and as a result, my weight hasn't changed much since last summer. There are so many partly-it's-due-to's, but mostly it's my own apathy. I just haven't cared enough to persevere.

I want to start caring again.

And today is always the best day to start making changes for the better!!

I've got nine weeks of summer left and I'd really like that pesky middle digit in my weight to be one number lower by the time school starts again ~ a goal of another 8.5 lbs. There will definitely be challenges along the way, but what month doesn't have them?!

I've come to realize that where eating is concerned, self-control at each and every meal is a challenge, regardless of whether it's a normal, everyday routine meal or a potluck lunch or a weekend family gathering at the lake. The challenge is controlling myself around food, not where or why or what kind of food!

If I choose to persevere rather than simply endure, I should manage just fine whether at home or at the lake. Whether alone or surrounded by friends. And whether there's dessert or not!

How about you? Are you persevering or just hanging on?

Rock Climber

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday: SDoS Wk 6

Sisterhood of the Shrinking JeansWow, I can't believe we're at week SIX of this challenge already!! Partly because, where has the time gone??!! And partly because, dang it, my primary AND secondary goals for this challenge are now out of reach!!

Well, I'm still moving in a downward trend, so I guess I can't really complain. It's only 0.2 this week, but that's still FORWARD PROGRESS, despite the pace. At least I'm not reversing!

My in-laws were out from Thursday evening till Sunday afternoon and that always presents eating challenges. Not only do I cook differently when we've got company (we almost never have dessert after supper, but when there's company, we almost always do!), but invariably when the in-laws visit, there's treats. This time it was watermelon with rollkuchen a few times (which are bad enough by themselves, but we usually dip them in syrup!!), and a dozen Timmie's donuts, BOTH of which I have trouble controlling myself around!!

But, I also got in a fair bit more exercise this past week than I have in a long time.
  • Thursday: mowed through some seriously overgrown lawn for a good two hours in the sweltering mid-afternoon heat!
  • Saturday: went for a 2-mile walk with my father-in-law in the evening
  • Sunday: went for a 2-mile jog/walk after the in-laws left in the afternoon
  • Monday: mowed lawn for 2-1/2 hours (fortunately, it was a cloudy, breezy day this time!)
So that's roughly TWENTY MILES of exercise!

Yet I still only lost 0.2 lbs. Hmmmmm.

I guess THAT means....

...I definitely ate more than I should have!

Eat watermelon