Weighty Matters

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Feeling Pretty Good

on January 14, 2014

I managed to keep my inefficient worrying under control the last couple of days. I prepared as much as I could and let go of the rest. The meeting I anticipated might contain some uncomfortable conflict went smoothly. I facilitated well and received feedback that supported my self-assessment. It’s behind me now and so is any of the slight stress that I had retained.

Best of all, I did not lose sleep and I didn’t dive into food to manage the worry. That rates a double booyah as far as I’m concerned. I feel good, strong and positive. I actually said a strong, firm “no” to a sweet, sugary treat a couple of hours ago and reminded myself that I could enjoy a frozen fruit treat at home instead.

Did I tell you all about one of my Christmas gifts? One of my nephews gave me a Yonana machine. It takes frozen fruit and blends it into the consistency of frozen yogurt or frozen custard. No added sugar, other than what occurs naturally in the fruit. No fat, no junk, no nothing. After my evening commitment, I came home and thoroughly enjoyed the fruit snack with a small scattering of chopped walnuts on top. Yum.

Find that I still need to educate myself on portions. Even though it’s been almost two years since my surgery, I’m still retraining my brain. The instinct is often to prepare the same size portion as before. That would be fine if I could always trust myself to eat only a half or less of what I prepare. Even if I can only physically eat the smaller amount, if I have the rest in front of me, I’m sometimes tempted to keep going. Forcing the issue is not a good thing for many reasons. For one, eat too much and I not only feel wicked uncomfortable, but I’ll also need to throw up. Forcing larger portions too often over time could eventually stretch out the stomach pouch. If I increase my stomach capacity, I will lose the terrific tool that the smaller sleeve provides. Don’t want to go there, not one bit! Forcing the issue also doesn’t help me learn anything useful to encourage long term success.

Stopping before I serve myself helps me think it through, rather than just plopping too big a portion on my plate. “Stop before I serve” makes for a good mantra, I think. Like tonight. I had a change of plans today when a dinner date was rescheduled for Thursday. I thought about what starches I’d eaten during the day and realized that I had two plain saltine crackers with my soup at lunch. That was all. I didn’t have a lot of food in the house but thought that I could make a simple grilled cheese sandwich. I’ve learned to keep bread in the freezer so that I am not tempted to eat it frequently just because I think I’m hungry and it’s available. It takes more effort to pull a slice from the freezer, defrost it and then do something with it before eating.

While I was opening the bag to take out two slices, which would be the automatic portion in the past, I stopped and thought, “No. You don’t need that big a sandwich. Half is plenty.” That’s what I did. One slice of bread, split into two smaller pieces with some good quality cheddar, toasted in a non-stick pan coated with cooking spray.

It was delicious and satisfying. I reduced the fat, carbs and overall calories by stopping and thinking. It’s important to transfer this kind of behavior to as many food and eating situations as possible. Even when I go out to dinner, it’s good to separate the portions on my plate so that I don’t keep picking at the food in front of me and end up eating more than I want or need. I haven’t quite gotten to the point of getting a To-Go box right at the meal’s outset, although I’m sure if I try that a few times I won’t feel conspicuous — or at least won’t care if I am. In the interim, it’s easy enough to physically push some, often most, of the food to the side of the plate and focus solely on the appropriate size portion that remains. If I’m at a buffet, I need to remember that I can still sample a wide variety of dishes as long as I limit myself to dabs and not load up the spoon or stab a huge forkful.

In other things, I’ve noticed that if I do indulge in carbs a little, my body reacts. I might have mentioned this before but, honestly, after 500 plus posts I don’t always remember everything I’ve ever discussed. Back over Christmas week, I know that I ate more carbs on more days than I do in probably a month. My body reacted my putting on some water weight and bloated pounds. I almost want to call them fauxpounds. I know the math of calories. In order for me to gain five real pounds, I’d have to eat 18,000 more calories than I burn. Over a week, that would be more than 2500 calories more a day! Folks, I’d have to drink multiple milkshakes to consume that many more calories. Plus, I was also walking every day and keeping up with my 10K plus steps for calorie burn.

Even fauxpounds can be a little stubborn about giving up their grip on my body. It got to the point where getting on the scale in the morning started messing with my head. Even though I knew it was water weight, the number can upset me. I decided not to weight myself for a few days while I carefully stayed on track. This worked. I finally vanquished the fauxpounds. My body’s back to an authentic weight. I’m starting to see some additional definition (underneath the sagging skin that will only disappear with surgery) from the strength training routine with hand weights.

All in all, I feel pretty good!

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2 responses to “Feeling Pretty Good

  1. Skye says:

    Good that you triumphed over the inefficient worrying! Checking in with yourself before serving yourself seems like a great way to deal with portions, as long as you remember to do it. You have developed the habit and keep reinforcing it, making it stronger every time. That’s wonderful! I did such a check in tonight when I decided to have Greek yogurt for dinner. I wasn’t that hungry, but needed something and my stomach has been iffy for a couple of days now, so I decided yogurt would be good for my tummy. I wasn’t sure at first that I’d dished enough, but then I told myself that I could always have more if I needed to. For some reason, that’s easy to forget. I’m glad you are getting so good at remembering it!

  2. Triple booyah! I too am at work to curb useless worry, the 2 am variety. I can plan myriad details of handling a mountain that in morning light shows as a uncomplicated molehill.

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