Thursday, September 29, 2011


Today was a very exciting day...I bought another Groupon to go skydiving!! A classmate and I decided to buy...and a couple other friends did it too. We're trying to convince a third classmate to make jump with us. We keep telling her what a life changing experience it is. I don't think she believes me. What I do know is that my perspective on my personal bravery is just a little different. A small but oh so noticeable shift. I've jumped out of an airplane, I believe that I can do anything. And that belief is half the work!

It's funny, making changes in our lives is just a little easier if we believe. If you're like me, you need some proof. I need proof that I can do something. I need to do it once to know that I can, and then I can work on perfection. Ok, maybe not perfection per se, but improvement. That's why great big giant goals aren't always the best way to stay focused. Yeah, BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) are great when we need vision, when we need to dream long term. We do need a destination point for whatever it is that we're doing, afterall. But those great big goals aren't going to stop me from eating cheesecake for lunch (no, I did not have cheesecake today).

What I need on a daily basis is to feel like I'm making progress toward my BHAG. My BHAG may be to lose 20 pounds, or 50 pounds, or 100 pounds! BUT, at the start of the race, on day 1 or 2 of healthy eating and exercise, that great big goal in the sky is overwhelming. Maybe so much so that I don't believe that I can make it, so I give up. When I give up, I don't just have one slice of cheesecake, I eat the whole damned cake! So how do I keep myself from giving up??

Belief. I've got to believe that I can accomplish my weightloss or fitness or eating goal. Without belief, without an emotional buy-in, I've got nothin'. So, how I do I attain belief? Well, for me, I've got to start with action. Right action leads to right thinking (belief in this case). If I take some right action, I'll start to see results...from the results, I'll start to believe. If I believe, I can jump any hurdle that the ice cream parlor chooses to put in my path.

Ham and cheese toasted sammy. I was short on was grab and go...I have no actual excuse.

A whole giant bunch of leftover veggies that I'm choosing to call a salad and what was labeled as eggplant parmesean with a few pieces of Italian sausage. Funny, how my eggplant was an awful lot like chicken.

I caved and got a slice of chocolate babka.

Breakfast at Panera! Never judge a sandwich by it's bread...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A moment on the lips

What do they say? A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips...well, my hips are gonna need some cardio after this week! You'll see what I mean, trust me. I've had a ton of fun this week, but haven't remotely stuck to the food plan. A few more days of celebrating and it's back to veggies, veggies, veggies! Life was just a little easier when I worked out all the time and could eat like this without worry.

Seriously, next week it's ON! I'll start having class twice per week which means it's time to really get serious about homework. I kinda blew off schoolwork this week. Oh well. Next week, right?


Cafe Polonia!!!!!
The Polish Plate--golubki, bigos, kielbasa and pierogi
 Mushroom soup
 Bread served with bacon fat

 Well-intentioned salad corrupted by pizza...
Normal, healthy lunch


Sorry about the blurry was dark and there's no flash on my food-setting...

Cheeseburger. There's a mixed greens salad off to the side too and that's seltzer with cranberry.
 There were more when he brought the food...waffle fries with buffalo sauce!
 Again with the pizza!!

Gotta love pineapple!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Excuses, excuses...

Mmmmm, birthday weeks make it hard to stay on a food plan. There's been many desserts and many occasions. I've got probably two more nights of eating crap...Geez! It sounds like I'm quitting smoking...I'll start/stop tomorrow...just this's just a little...We've got a million excuses. A million ways to rationalize. A million ways to wiggle out of the work it takes to meet our goals.

As for me, well, I'm going to make it through this week and get back on board with my eating and with the gym.


I hadn't had popcorn in weeks...and I went back to 1 little box of the 'bad stuff''s out of the house now and I even placed it back on the shelf at the grocery when I went to buy a second box.
 Yummy dinner salad with chicken
 Greek salad from The Globe
OK, this is an example of what NOT to eat for breakfast before boxing class...I couldn't do any running!


Don't you love how the cakes just glow?

And, no, I did not eat all of both.
 Salad, couscous and chicken
 Gi-normous slice of pizza and greek salad
 Raspberry turnover
Panera breakfast!


Really, it started out as a slice of cheesecake and a slice of gingerbread cake
 Potluck dinner....salad, pasta squash, and pork
 A little snack
 Lunch salad with an egg
Uncle Sam cereal, berries, milk and a hard-boiled egg

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Self worth

I'm going to break the last few days into a couple of's easier that way.

I've seen a few things in the news lately about obesity and weightloss and addiction. Yup, addiction. The first one was an article that upset me a little. It talked about how people who are overweight can't stop eating because they are biologically pre-disposed to do so. Scientists proved this by looking at chemical activity in the brain. OK. Sorry, but I'm not buying it. I'm not a scientist by any means, but I don't think that any of us overeat because of a biological pre-disposition. Of course, I'll probably contradict myself a little later...

Just my opinion and experience, but if I create a habit for myself, it's tough to stop. I know that if I eat popcorn every night, that I miss it when I don't have it. I miss the popcorn, I miss the motion of putting my hand to the bowl and then to my mouth. I know that I may desire to continue eating to fill the void left by the absent popcorn. I know that when I don't feel emotionally well, I'm more likely to use food to soothe myself. While these may very well be learned behaviors, I highly doubt that I'm biologically pre-disposed to overeat.

What I don't like about this new science, is this (and I'm not saying that the scientists are wrong, just that I don't like or agree with the findings as presented in the article that I read): What about our own individual responsibilities for own lives and what we eat?? Where and when does that become a factor?? By saying that someone is biologically pre-disposed to something implies that he or she has little to no choice but to follow along. It gives someone the permission to over eat and claim that it was beyond their control. We all have choices. It's a matter of whether we exercise our options. Just my humble opinion.

The other interesting news piece was on the Today Show the other morning. It's using similar experiments as the basis of the science. The piece is here. It talks about how the brains of overweight people react differently to food. How the pleasure centers of the brain 'light up' as a result of eating certain foods, namely highly processed foods. What is noticeably different though, is that the doctor notes that the brain's reaction is the result of us conditioning our brains, not a biological pre-disposition. She talks about how food can be addictive. The woman interviewed is a member of a 12 step group focused on how they use food.

It is interesting to note that I have met a woman who is a member of this 12 step group. She is very open about her membership and how her life has changed. From her, I've learned that members of this group weigh and measure all meals, basically eliminate carbs and do NOT eat between meals. I know that her food plan is much more restrictive than I want for my life...but she's very happy with it and talks about feeling 'alive', just like the woman interviewed on the Today Show.

My favorite part of the piece is where both the woman interviewed and the doctor agree that the most important piece of healthy eating and weight loss is self-worth. That is so important to remember. I'm worth it! I'm worthy of health and happiness. I'm worthy of feeling alive. I'm worthy of having the body I aspire to.

I also love how this loops back to the idea of the Rider and the Elephant. The rider can sit there and say, 'OK, we're eating like this now...' but when the elephant wants ice cream, look out! Having a food plan gives the rider clear direction. But knowing that 'I'm worth it!' engages the elephant. Any changes that we make in our lives, whether eating, exercise, or quitting a bad habit requires that we engage both our rider and our elephant. If both are not on board, our chances of success are much less. I know that I want success, I know that I'm worth it!


buffalo chicken pizza and greek salad w/ chicken...there was also a piece of pita bread

I think this was the day I forgot to photograph my lunch salad...I'm pretty sure that I did not skip lunch
eggs, sausage and yummy sweet fruit!


mixed veggies, potatoes (w/ ketchup!) and chicken
 Panera!!! roast turkey sandwich, greek salad and fruit cup
breakfast sandwich with sausage and an assortment of melons



Lamb chops with mashed potatoes and grilled veggies...and I ate it all!
 Greek peasant salad with feta, notice the fresh herbs??
 Appetizer assortment--fried calamari, watermelon with feta, pita with tsatziki and some bread
 I managed to eat lots of sugar in the morning and then nothing more all day...I had to eat something before I could go out to dinner.
Birthday donuts!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Short and sweet

Another day, another post! Very strange eating day today. I had a normal breakfast, but was hungry before noon for lunch! I ended up not eating until after 1:30, so it wasn't exactly a good day as eating and feeling physically well goes. It got better though! I went to the gym and then out for a birthday dinner with some friends. Happy Birthday to my friend, Pete!!

I'm always amazed at how food brings people together. Tonight was a great night with some pretty amazing people.

Anyhow, it's late and I'm just the photos tonight.

Carrot cake for dessert
 An assortment of Italian treats
 A few appetizers
 Yogurt snack before the gym

Carrots, squash, pulled pork and barley
Eggs, a few potatoes, oatmeal and fruit

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More powerful than an elephant

What a weekend!! I did so much and STILL managed to get my homework done.

On Saturday, I had a great conversation with a friend of mine. She struggles with eating sugar, kinda like me. She and I have different goals, but we have the same struggles. I was telling her about the Rider and the Elephant and how reading about them for school resonated with me in regards to my eating. I asked her how she dealt with sugar cravings and how she stayed away from sugar long term. The answer did not surprise me, but it may surprise you. Spirituality. Yup. She said that she asked for help from her God through both prayer and meditation.

Now, I'm not going to tell anyone to start praying for healthier eating or weight loss, but think about it for a minute. I know that my Rider gets exhausted and can no longer control my Elephant. I know that I need help that's stronger than me. Help that can keep me from emotional eating, help that can keep me from giving in and having that ice cream or that cake or that brownie or that cookie. I need something that can quiet my mind and put at me at ease when my Rider and Elephant are duking it out and are at odds with each other. I know that I can't do it all the time.

Someone once told me, if you think you're so powerful, then go out into the ocean and try to stop a wave. I don't know about you, but I know that I'm simply not able to stop a wave. And that's what it feels like when I'm having a sugar craving. It feels like I'm trying to stop the whole damned ocean. What if I just ask for help from whatever out there that is more powerful than me? What if that's you? Well, you are part of it anyway. When you tell me that you need help to avoid sugar, or carbs or fatty foods, or whatever, you're helping me. I know that I'm not alone. And I know that there's power in numbers. I know that together we are more powerful than my sugar craving.


Parmesean crusted tilapia with capers and lemon butter served over grilled saquash and zuccini
A 10 oz. lamb burger (a delicious lamb burger, I might add!) on a whole wheat bun...with fries. A feat of wonderfulness from Five Napkin Burger. I swear, everything that came of the kitchen looked good. A dish of mac and cheese actually turned both my head and my boxing instructor's!
A little mixed greens salad.
I was too late for actual breakfast....luckily I had bought that weird granola bar at Starbucks. It was actually quite good.


Frozen pasta with pesto and veggies from Trader Joe's with a side salad
Blueberry and lemon muffin. Damn my classmate for bringing yummy baked goods!!!
Real Panera Breakfast!!! It was the greatest, the guy who made it, even brought it to my table this morning. I love Panera.