Sunday, July 31, 2011

JULY 31st Ups n Downs & Regaining Focus

Good morning Journal & Friends,

This last week was one of highs and lows, ups and downs. I want to write about it... but don't have the liberty to give details. It's hard to make sense without specifics, ya know? But I also don't want anyone reading my blog to think "Oh, it's just so easy", and get the wrong impression. 

There ARE hard times. There ARE struggles. The big thing is: how do we handle them? How do I handle them??  

Last night I fell flat on my face, and ended up shoveling in LOTS of unplanned food. I have a dear friend who is doing the Carb Conquest Cruise with me, and I didn't WANT to email her with my days worth of calories and carbs. Not because I was embarrassed by the humongous numbers (which I was and they were)... but because I still wanted to eat more!!!!!

In the end, I did email her. And I did NOT continue eating. What good would it have done?? It wouldn't have helped the situation one bit. Only made me feel worse. And she understood, and said the most helpful and uplifting thing back to me, ever: 

"Tonight, we resist food.  Tomorrow, we'll pull back onto the highway and cruise on.  With Jesus."

Tomorrow is the first of the month weigh in. I don't know how other people feel, but I am always excited and hopeful that I'll get to post a loss. This time, I don't think I'll get to. Because last night I also looked back at the statistics I've been keeping all week, and realized that the numbers tell the brutal truth: I wasn't doing as well as I thought I had been. 

But if I hadn't been keeping track, I would weigh in tomorrow, and moan and groan and wonder pitifully "what happened?" Well, I KNOW what happened. I happened. My choices happened. So, that's the benefit of keeping track. I can face it, go back and analyze it, accept responsibility and go FORWARD. With BETTER choices this time, based on the truth. Hiding from the details is not useful. But keeping a record IS useful. I'm not afraid of the truth, even when it hurts. Because in the end, the truth brings freedom.

But... I let myself become distracted. I lost focus. Lots of reasons... but really, the specifics don't matter. Because we ALL have our reasons. Life keeps going on, even though sometimes I wish it would just LEAVE ME ALONE, let me have a little "vacation" from the stressful parts for awhile, so I could make lots of progress. I mean... I USED to ALWAYS dive into the food to get away from the stress and take a "vacation" from feeling it. Um... like I did last night!  I fell back into the old reactive response to stress.

I suppose this is another opportunity to get stronger and make progress in SPITE of circumstances. I had forgotten that. Time to put on my Big Girl Panties and get going again!

A couple of months ago I was grooming Joey on our front porch. I was tickled at how she was so serious and focused, and enjoying being brushed. So I grabbed my camera. Then, at the end, suddenly she lost focus because her favorite Chew Toy walked up... Vevie! 

And I have to laugh, because I seem to be like that, too. I think "Oh, I've got this, I'm all focused", and then something comes along that totally grabs my attention, and just like that, I'm off center! I'd love to say I was better at this, but I'm not... I'm still learning. 

So here it is...


Even though life will 
always offer distractions... 
learn to FOCUS! 

From Dr Phil's book: "Challenge your faulty thinking..."

My verse for today: "Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle."

My quote for today: "To see things in the seed, that is genius."  --Lao Tzu

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 714

Saturday, July 30, 2011

JULY 30th Short n Sweet! Still Alive n Kickin

Hi Journal & Friends,

I had a post all planned in my head... then my plans went out the window! 

See, Jim and Joey went camping and I was so excited to have "vacation" time... no chores, no noise, no cooking or cleaning... just lollygagging around and relaxing, reading, playing and in general, goofing off.

 "When the cat's away, the mice will play!"

 But... out of town loved ones are coming, so I am scrambling to get ready. :-}

Quickie update on the Carb Conquest Cruise... still going strong. I had an up and down week. Learning so much, had a "flat tire" a couple of days, but I'm feeling encouraged, am now flying down the highway once again.

I'll have to wait til next time to go into details. But bottomline... Progress. I am firmly convinced if we never stop, never quit, and keep trying and learning, we WILL make progress. Don't take No for an answer... even from yourself!

From Dr Phil's book: "Stay real and stay flexible..."

My verse for today: "But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."

My quote for today: "Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away."  --Charles Caleb Colton

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 713

Friday, July 22, 2011

JULY 22 The Product Review & The Hissy Fit

Howdy Journal & Friends,

For my Friday Favorites, I'd like to have some fun with a real, honest to goodness Product Review!! Oh, and a recipe I made up all on very own! I'm not a fancy schmancy cook or anything, but when I got wind of a new natural sweetener, I thought it would be a fun break from all this "serious" weight loss business to dink around with it. :-)

Recently, Lisa at 24/7 Low Carb Diner shared a recipe she created  (now, she IS a good cook!) using this new natural sweetener, called Z Sweet. It's made from stevia and erythritol, neither of which messes with blood sugar levels. Lisa gave a link to a sample. I wrote. I received said sample... yay!!

By the way, Lisa has been posting some wonderful summer recipes, all sugar free and low Orange Mint Iced Tea, Sparkling Lemonade, and Salad Sundae. 

In fact, I liked it so much, I bought MORE Z Sweet for myself, from Netrition (they have a great low carb section, and usually the best prices on the interwebs).  

First the low down on Z Sweet (Disclaimer: they sent me some samples for free, but this is MY honest opinion):

  •  I liked it! Straight erythritol has a sort of cooling effect in the mouth, kinda like mint. I don't like mint.  But combined with the stevia, Z Sweet didn't affect me that way. Thumbs up.
  •  It dissolved just fine in my batter. I used the granular, and it wasn't gritty or anything like that.
  •  It's not cheap, but since I don't eat a LOT of baked desserts anymore, that's not a problem. I spend less NOW than I did before when buying junk food. And Netrition has good prices. Don't know if you can find it locally or not. I didn't try.
  •  They offer Z Sweet in bulk granular, in little travel packets, and powdered. I really LIKE having the powdered... I have several recipes where that's the best version.
  •  You can use it just like sugar, measure for measure, so no annoying converting. And we all know Loretta doesn't like to be "annoyed". Okay, that's an inside joke... you have read my last post to get it...sorry 'bout dat.
  •  Did I mention zero calories, zero glycemic effect, and it doesn't promote tooth decay like sugar does?? Yep. All true. Oh, and for us low carbers... the package says less than 4 grams carbs per 1 teaspoon. But remember, erythritol isn't metabolized in our system like other sugar alcohols. AND... at least for me, doesn't have those dreaded rooty tooty gastrointestinal side-effects like maltitol and sorbitol does. :-D

Bottomline: Good stuff in my opinion. I'll be buying it again. :-)

And of course, I drafted MyGuy as the guinea, make that Test Pilot, to taste my creation, LoCarb HiProtein Pancakes. First, I'll show you the photos... gotta have photos, right? 

The verdict: MyGuy liked it!! 
It is now officially Husband Tested.

Okay, the recipe for Rettakat's LoCarb HiProtein Pancakes was SUPPOSED to be given here. Uh huh... remember that famous novel that refers to the "best laid plans of mice and men"?? 

I spent over 2 HOURS searching all over for my recipe!! Gone. Disappeared. Poof! I was sooo frustrated, I was tempted to throw a hissy fit!!! 

But, today I sound all mature and calm, ha ha ha... can't change it. I worked hard to perfect my little pancakes, and am soooo annoyed that if I want the recipe, I have to do it all over again. Well, sorry, not in the mood! 

So if anyone out there wants to get creative... I DO remember it had: eggs, ricotta cheese, whey protein powder, almond flour, oat bran, baking powder, sugar free daVinci syrup, chia seeds, the Z Sweet... and I used coconut oil in the pan. :-}

This must be proof I am NOT destined to be a fancy schmancy cook. Better go visit Lisa for that. :-) 

From Dr Phil's book: "Your food plan sustains your commitment in the absence of emotional energy."

My verse for today: "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

My quote for today: "Life is short and there will always be dirty dishes, so let's dance."  --James Howe

Enjoy the Journey and avoid hissy fits,


DAY 705

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

JULY 19th Cruisin & Willing to Change

Hi Journal & Friends,

About time for an update on this Carb Conquest Cruise!

I've been spending so much time counting, figuring, entering data, juggling numbers, etc etc, that by the time I'm done, I don't have the slightest interest in spending MORE time on the computer. That's the bad news. 

The good news is... it's going great!!

I joined Deb on the Carb Conquest Cruise a few days ago, and decided to once and for all learn to accurately count carbs. I've been dragging my feet for 2 years, resisting it. But after I finally gave in and started, I discovered that percentages counted, too. You know... how much of your food comes from where... from carbs, or fats, or proteins. I know this time-intense focus is temporary, but necessary. Kinda like learning to drive. You have to really focus for a bit, then it becomes second nature later.

Well, I used to concentrate on staying within a calorie range, and just pick all my choices from low carb foods. Meaning no sugar, or stuff that quickly turns to sugar in the body (grains, starches, potatoes, over doing the fruit, etc). That worked... for awhile.

Also along this Cruise, I've had to face some truths about myself. Ouch! 

What truths?? Well... that it's been EXTREMELY hard to let go of my night time eating habit! I was embarrassed to find it still had such a vise grip on me!! Even after all the progress I've made. 

I would hoard calories, and have a "legal" Munch-fest in the evening. After all, I still had calories left, and ate on-plan food... so I was being good... right??? Uh... no. Dress it up, decorate it however, give it a spin, call it whatever... but it's still a load of Junk! I was just justifying a fun behavior I didn't want to stop.

See... I deliberately PLANNED to have those extra 800 or so calories left for the night. Yep, I felt nervous if it fell under 500. :-} I had my categories of "legal" treats all planned out. My sugar free chocolate, my tea with cream, my homemade whatever-was-freshly made, and usually a low carb pseudo-food treat (ie, low carb junk food!). I did well all day, and have given up so much, don't I deserve these "legal" treats??? I have the calories, and am being Good. Riiiigggghhhhttt... just keep telling yourself that, Loretta.

And I did for 2 years, since March 2009. Then Deb started writing these "annoying" posts, with stuff like:  You heard it here first--Deb's Binge Monster Sanctuary and Overeating Preserve is in business.

It took me MONTHS of trying to ignore it... but there was something for me there. And I knew it. Because it kept annoying me! And one thing I have learned (much to my annoyance! ha ha ha) is that if something keeps annoying me, I'd better find out WHY. 

And that brings us to this Carb Conquest Cruise!!! Take a bow, Deb, it's all yer fault, ha ha ha... 

Seriously, I'm very thankful Deb DID talk about it. Because it was time. Time for me to face that I really did need to let go of my treasured "treat" of saving up calories and abusing food at night... for that's what it was for me. My way to unwind, treat myself, soothe after a hard day, whatever. I didn't NEED to look for a reason, there was always a reason. :-}

I've wound it down to my sugar free chocolate, and hot tea--no cream... IF I still have the calories in the budget. Or, one diet soda sweetened with splenda, or just herbal iced tea. Maybe some day I will get to the "nothing" stage. We'll see. :-) But for me, this is a HUGE change. Progress... progress.

If you are struggling with night time eating that is interfering with your progress, do yourself a favor, and go read these two "annoying" posts by Deb, Part 1 and Part 2. Go ahead... leave her an Annoyed comment. She won't mind... mwa ha ha ha. ;-)

From Dr Phil's book: "If you continue to eat the way you've always eaten, you will continue to stay the way you've always been."

My verse for today: "You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light."

My quote for today: "You change for one of two reasons: you learn enough to want to... OR... you've been hurt enough you have to." --Author unknown

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 703

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

JULY 12th A Hurt, A Story & God Stuff

Hello Journal & Friends,

Yesterday I allowed someone's words to wound me. I own my reaction. I also own that I did NOT eat over it. THAT IS PROGRESS. And I forgave that person, and felt my feelings instead of using The Food. If for no other reason, that right there makes me a Success. 

I am working to change a LIFETIME habit of using food as a drug of choice. I successfully chose NOT to turn to it this time. Progress, not perfection.

May I tell you a story??

There was once a Little Girl. She was born with a congenital defect, and spent her first 3 years in braces. Then, She learned to walk, and wore clunky corrective shoes for years. For comfort over all these years, She was given Food. For comfort, treats, reward, distraction, celebration, etc etc etc. The Food. 

And the fat little toddler grew into a fat adolescent. And learned that The Food made her feel better... at least temporarily. But it was hard growing up being made fun of... it was a struggle from the start. To scooch around with metal braces on her legs, then to walk, then to be made fun of for her walking AND for being fat. 

She was always last to be picked for any team, didn't have many friends, and kept to herself. She lost herself in her art instead... and The Food. There was always The Food.

She didn't have any huge trauma others have endured. Just the daily life of hurts, feeling different and rejected... and fat. Later, divorce hit the family, and produced anger, hurt, abandonment feelings, resentment, unforgiveness, rebellion. 

She grew a hard shell to protect herself... and ate The Food. She was independent, stubborn and rebellious. But She didn't really believe in herself, didn't dare to reach for her dreams and goals. She never received much in the way of encouragement in that area... that She could be more, do more. So She settled... and ate The Food. 

This became a lifetime way of "being". And over time She grew bigger and bigger. Ups and downs, and always the ups were higher than before. Never able to have children... pain... illness... shattered dreams.

She learned to be tough on the outside. To lie, cheat, steal, manipulate. To grow and sell drugs. To sleep around, looking for "love". All She really wanted was to be Wanted... to belong, to be truly loved for herself.

One day She got a job at a telephone answering service, eventually working alone on the night shift. And she was GOOD at it. No one could see her, they only heard her voice, and they liked her.

So, She hid. And ate The Food. And listened to the radio for company at work. After a while, She had a thought: Those talk shows were asking all the same questions, but had no answers.

One night She heard Peggy Lee singing: "Is That All There Is?"

And She wondered if this was all there was to HER life. So, She changed the radio station, searching for... something. She stumbled upon a station airing radio dramas, and was intrigued. The shows were theatrical and ended with Hope. They also played music that drew her, though She didn't know why.

Then Mr Radio Announcer would talk about this Jesus he knew... as though He were a real person and was involved in his daily life!

In time, it happened. One night at midnight, all alone at work, She surrendered. She wanted more, and reached out. And Jesus met her right where She was at... that hurt little girl that grew up to be angry, rebellious, dishonest, hopeless, mistrusting and feeling dirty... He came to her with His love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness.

And He WANTED her. She FELT wanted. And His love transformed her. She learned what forgiveness really looked like, and felt it's healing power.

Love is not mushy. It's powerful.
Forgiveness is not a feeling. It's powerful.
Compassion and kindness are not wimpy. They are powerful.

Obviously, this is My story. Yes, I was changed at midnight in July of 1975. But I still had a lifetime of Habit ingrained in my psyche to use The Food as a drug for emotional reasons, both good and bad. 

I have worked hard to change that. It's taken a long time to find all the missing pieces to this puzzle. I stumble often. But I get up and keep going. That is progress. 

No one can tell me I have nothing to show for my efforts. No one. They are wrong. They do not understand how far I've come. They only see numbers, and how far I have yet to go. 

I am changing on the INside. And the payoff will be change on the OUTside. That may not be the way others do it. But I've tried the fast "diet" approach. It didn't stick. I regained it and then some. This time, I am determined the changes will be permanent.

And yes, this Jesus I met 36 years ago is still my source of strength. Oh sure, I still have my stubborn streak. But my strength only takes me so far. HE is my Rock. And that is why I know I will succeed. 

From Dr Phil's book: "Impulse moments are critical for you to manage... you need a real strategy worked out in advance."

My verse for today: "The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be the God, the Rock, my Savior!"

My quote for today: "I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't--than to live my life as if there isn't a God, and die to find out there is." --Albert Camus

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 696

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