Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beck Book - Day 7

Arrange Your Environment

Out of Sight, Out of Mind. When I set something aside to do later, it tends gets buried under other things. Before long I have forgotten about it. Hopefully, I don’t do that with too many bills. But the fact is that when I don’t see something, I forget I needed to do it or wanted it. The same goes with food. Previously, if I put cookies on the top shelf, I would forget about them--unfortunately, not until I had eaten most of them. After a while, I would ask my DH to hide the candy or cookies from me. Then we would both forget about it. I need to learn a couple of lessons. One: I need to control my response to food. To help myself succeed at that I need to put those foods that are not healthy for me out of sight. Placing healthy foods in plain sight will help me remember to partake of those and in turn succeed getting to my goal.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Beck Book - Day 6

Find a Diet Coach

Diet Coach = Support. A diet coach will be there for me when I have trouble being there for myself. A diet coach will keep me on target.

I am blessed amazing support. My husband has supported me every step of the way. He isn’t effusive with praise or advice. He will offer advice or direction when asked, but doesn’t offer it. I can talk about an issue or a problem and he doesn’t try to fix it. A lesson learned over the years. When I am told what I should do, I tend to do the opposite. I also have fantastic support from two of my sisters. Although both were skeptical of Medifast, they supported my decision. During my journey, they have cheered for me and with me. I know that I can tell them anything and they will not judge me. If I am headed down the wrong path, they will “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:13) If they are pleased with an outcome, they will not hesitate to say that.

The last few days, I have wondered if that support is enough. As I get closer to my goal and look toward transitioning my diet, I wondered if I needed more support with the knowledge of Medifast and the nuances of transition and maintenance. I came to the conclusion that having a diet coach could really offer me the support I need with the niggling questions that arise. I decided that having someone other than family could be very helpful in the days ahead. So, now I have an “official” diet coach, in additions to the amazing support I receive from those I love.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hanging with the Sisters!

Beck Book - Day 5

Eat Slowly and Mindfully

I don’t know why it is, but I am really resistant to eating slowly. Every time I hear that my brain shuts down and says, “Yada, yada yada, whatever.” In sitting back and thinking about why that is I have come to a couple of conclusions. The first is growing up in a big family. As the 6th of 7 kids, you ate fast or you didn’t eat. I had two older brothers that loved to eat. If they got the dishes first, you could be in trouble. And they had better not want seconds before you did or you were out of luck. I think I learned to eat fast as self preservation. Changing those learned behaviors is difficult, but not impossible. Secondly, I am always thinking about what I need to do next. It is no different when I eat. I am either doing something or thinking about doing something. So eating quickly gets me on to the next task I want to accomplish.

The third conclusion I came to makes no sense in a logical way. However, it makes great sense to my deluded thinking. Here goes: Eating too much is BAD; therefore, eating is BAD. When I eat really fast I am BAD for a shorter amount of time before I can be good again. Whew! Even writing that down is weird. This kind of thinking is what sent me into clinical depression nearly 15 years ago. These thinking patterns are formed for illogical and emotional purposes and follow us into every aspect of our lives. Hopefully, by recognizing the flaw in the reasoning, I can change my thinking.

I just sit here looking at what I have written and it strikes me how many areas of my life have been affected by past experiences. Even how I eat is affected by a situation that had nothing to do with food, but changed my psyche to believe that I was bad and needed to do everything I could to be good. How sad to live my life like that. How sad to waste years believing that. It is time to change my attitude about eating. Eating is a good and healthy thing. If I eat too much, I am not bad. My next meal is in 30 minutes. I will sit down with no distractions and eat slowly and mindfully. With each bite, I will remind myself that eating is good and healthy. I will give myself credit for each bite I think enjoy. I will do this every meal until it becomes second nature and I do not have to consciously think about it anymore.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Beck Book - Day 4

Give Yourself Credit

When I was in Junior High, I was very sensitive about being a “good” person. I tried to be the perfect Christian, daughter, friend. Basically, I felt if I wasn’t perfect it wasn’t worth it. To help myself feel better, I would give myself credit for little things that I did do. One morning, I walked into our Sunday school room and on the black board was written, “Juanita is a braggart.” I knew who had written it from the handwriting and I never took much of what she said about me to heart, but this was a crushing blow. I didn’t think I bragged about myself, but apparently she did. From that day forward, anytime I gave myself credit for accomplishing something, I felt guilty. After all, I was a braggart.

Fortunately, over the years, I have passed that strong guilt. However, sometimes it still creeps into my mind and causes me to doubt myself. I always wondered at what point does being proud of myself for accomplishing something and sharing it become bragging. I figure that bragging has an arrogance to it that reveling in one’s accomplishments doesn’t have. Bragging to me is taunting—saying, “Look what I did and you can’t do it!”

So, starting today, I will give myself credit for the things I accomplish without guilt. I will allow myself to feel pride when I finish what I set out to do. Not because I think someone else cannot, but because I did. By giving myself credit, I will build my self confidence and reinforce my self control. Each time I tell myself that I did a good job, I remind myself that I can achieve my goals. This type of positive self talk is not new to me; I have practiced it in the past and have improved. It is easy to get out of the habit though and revert back to chiding myself for not doing something perfect.

I need to remind myself to congratulate myself like I would a friend. When a friend has a rocky spot, I don’t say, “That was stupid. You can’t do anything right.” Yet that is how I treat myself. Instead, I would tell my friend, “Okay, so you stumbled. You can do this. Learn from it, get back up and try again.” I am kind to a friend and I need to be as kind to myself. When a friend does something great, I would give them a hug and tell them how proud I was of the accomplishment. I must realize that it is important to do the same for myself. I need to practice it until it is automatic. I need to keep doing it until it happens without me realizing that I gave myself credit. Doing this will not only make dieting and maintenance easier, it will make everyday life easier. I will be willing to try something new, because I won’t degrade myself if I am not perfect. I can do this and I will do this. Right now, I give myself credit for taking the time to write out my thoughts and share them with others. There—that wasn’t so hard.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beck Book - Day 3

Eat Sitting Down

This is a tough one for my life. I am often feeding others while I eat my meals. I walk from one person to another and eat as I am going between. I get interrupted when having snack when someone needs assistance in some way. At first, I thought I can’t do this; I need to find another way. But, as I read further, I realized the difference it could make in the long term. I began to understand why it is so important to make the change to always sitting every time I eat. The reason behind this is to become more aware of everything I put in my mouth.

Think about all the opportunities I have to eat standing up. There are samples in the grocery store, snacking while cooking, parties, etc. That is a lot of opportunity to put calories in my mouth without being mindful of what I am actually eating. BLTs (bites, licks, tastes) happen most when I am standing. What I am learning is that it all matters. Every BLT has calories and the potential to sabotage my success.

Normally when I eat standing up it is impulsive eating. “Just one quick bite and then I will do something else.” It never occurred to me before that this thought process sabotaged my efforts at losing weight. When I eat sitting down, it signifies to me that I am planning to eat and I have a plan about what I am going to eat. Sitting during eating implies that I made a choice to eat. Seeing the food spread in front of me gives a satisfaction of seeing what I am about to eat and in turn I feel more satisfied. If I am standing as I eat, I do not see the amount of food I am eating and do not feel as satisfied as I do not feel I have eaten as much even if I have eaten the same amount or more.

By making this a lifelong habit, I can continue to be aware of what I am eating and not add extra calories in here and there. This is one more step on the journey to mindful eating. I will always need to be aware of how I fuel my body or I will be back where I started.

I will work on making it a habit to sit down every time I eat. When I am walking through Costco and the samples are on every side, I will have to think before I try one. I will need to decide if I really want to have the bite and where am I going to sit to eat it. That may seem far fetched, but the more I consider it, the more I believe that this is an important step in changing my attitude toward food for my lifetime.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beck Book - Day 2

Choosing a Diet

My therapist of several years and I discussed the idea that I was ready to lose weight and that I was ready to maintain it after the loss. We discussed my mindset during the weight loss phase, but more importantly about how I would view myself after I had gotten to my goal. So many people lose weight and when they get to the goal, they are not sure how to view themselves as thin and cannot maintain the weight. Before I began to diet, I needed to set my mind to a healthy attitude and body image. I needed to understand that how I related to myself and those around me would change. This was a new concept. After all, I am who I am, how would being thinner change my core self. I am so glad that he really opened my eyes to the concept. I have not arrived at my goal, but already I am a different person. My thinking has changed about myself and my ability to succeed. My attitude toward food is different. And I really am relating to others differently. I do not feel as though I am less worthy of attention or blessing. I am so grateful to him for preparing me for some of the changes I would face. I haven’t had an appointment since I started Medifast. I see him next week and he doesn’t know that I have even started a diet. I made this appointment for two reasons. First, I am getting close to my goal and I need to further prepare myself for transition and maintenance. Second, I want him to be proud of me for what I have already accomplished.

Specific diets weren’t discussed, but several were mentioned in passing during our session. Let me share some of the reasons I choose Medifast over other diets. I wanted something that didn’t offer me a lot of confusing choices. I needed something simple. I don’t have the focus or time to plan for weeks at a time and study everything I put in my mouth. I had success a few years ago losing some weight by eating three smaller meals a day with 2 snacks. I enjoyed that because I never felt hungry. There were two coworkers about 5 years ago that were on Medifast. Both lost a significant amount of weight in a short time. At the time, I thought it was a poor choice with the very low calories and few choices for food. After further research into Medifast, I realized it is a well balanced, sound diet plan even with the very low calories. I decided that it was the diet that would help me succeed. And it has, far beyond my wildest expectations!

On a side not, the one coworker I saw recently had regained the weight and more. It is a scary thought to me, but I will learn from her. She did not follow the transition guide and slowly reintroduce other foods into her diet. When she reached her goal, she was done with “dieting” and went back to her previous eating habits. I believe that following the transition and maintenance guide is crucial to success.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beck Book - Day 1

Advantage Response Card (ARC)

Now is the time to put into words why am I doing taking this journey into weight loss. Time to explain to myself why I want to make a change. List the reasons that I want to lose weight—the reasons I want to be thin. The list may be long or short. It may not make sense to everyone. It is my list and my motivations. By creating a list of my reasons and motivations, I remind myself why I am doing this. Not for others, but for myself. I will read these at least twice daily. I will post them where I cannot go through my daily routine without seeing them. These are the reasons I am traveling this path.

  1. To Honor God in ALL that I do—I am not honoring Him with my choices, with my body. I am a glutton and I will change that.
  2. To be in control of myself and my actions—By controlling myself, I give God the glory for the blessings He has given me. This way others can see a change in me and I can share the true reason that I can change.
  3. To be comfortable with myself and doing the things I enjoy—I love to sit on the floor; I love to play with my dogs and my nieces and nephews. I love to be outdoors and active. Being thin will allow me to do those things I love and be comfortable doing them.
  4. To feel confident & less inhibited about doing every day activities and trying new things—I will not allow myself to not do something because of my weight.
  5. To recognize my own success—I want to succeed. I want to be able to look at myself and be proud of what I accomplished.
  6. To age healthy and enjoy it—In caring for seniors, I see the worst that can happen. I want better for myself. Being at a healthy weight can help make that happen.
  7. To feel pretty—Maybe it is shallow, but I want to feel pretty. I want to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see.

My list of reasons may grow and change, but for now this is it. These are the reasons I have made the choice to lose weight. And these are the reasons I will succeed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Beck Diet Solution

I started reading the Beck Diet Solution yesterday and want to share what I learn along the journey. This will help me be accountable to myself and to others. And just maybe it will inspire someone else in their weight loss journey. The Beck Book is based on changing one's congnitive behavior to make a lasting change. In this case making a mindset change to lose and maintain weight loss.

The Opening Chapters

There are two muscles to exercise—the resistance muscle and the giving-in muscle. As with all muscles the one I exercise most becomes the strongest. Each time I resist I prepare myself to resist more easily the next time. Each time I give in I make it easier to give in the next time. To learn to maintain my weight I must continue to exercise my resistance muscles. The stronger they become throughout the weight loss process, the better I will be able to resist temptation and regain the weight.

When moving from a trigger to eating, there are 4 steps. First is the trigger—what is it that causes me to want to eat. Then is the thought—that looks good or I really want that. Next is the decision—do I eat it or not. Last is the act that results from the decision. In every encounter, there is a decision. In every encounter, there is a choice. That is the moment that control happens. That decision is mine and mine alone. No one can make the choice for me. A choice must be made before the action. The action in turn strengthens either my resistance muscle or my giving-in muscle. The decision is mine.

A brand new concept for me—there is a difference between actual hunger and a desire to eat. Huh? Not really, if I want to eat, I must be hungry, right? No. Just because I want to eat does not mean I am hungry. Again I can make a choice to eat or not to eat. I just need to listen to my body and decide if the feeling is actual hunger or another need that I am trying to fill. Then choose accordingly.

Over and over it is reiterated that it is a choice. The decisions I make will define me in the long term. The decisions I make at this moment will define my success in maintaining my weight loss. This is an amazing journey, but I do not want to travel this road again.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tears of Joy!

I thought I would scream or shout or laugh, but I didn't. I stood in the bright florescent lights of the dressing room with my hand over my mouth and cried. I have started taking a size smaller than I think I can possible fit into with me to the dressing room. Today I really didn't want to try that size on first, but I told myself that it was for motivation. I hadn't bought an new pair of jeans since June and was excited then to get into a 12. I did it I tried on the smaller size and proceeded to cry tears of joy. Today, I bought a size 6. To be honest, they are a tad tight--slight muffin top, you know. I did try the 8, but they were really too big. I also bought what I really went to the store to get--workout shorts--in a small.

I, who am notorious for starting something and not finishing, am finishing what I set out to do and succeeding at it. I have made conscious decisions to go off plan on vacations or special events. But I thought through the consequenses of each decision and how I was going to get back On Plan. Letting myself be flexible has been key for me. When I say "I can't do that," I want toeven more. If I say "I can if I really want to," I can let it go. I have learned so much about myself and will continue to learn as I get to goal and move into transition and maintenence. I do know above all is that I did not do this alone. God blessed me with the grace to see this through. And He blessed me with angels to help me along the way--friends and family.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 100

It has been a while since I have blogged about my weight loss. I started with a team and some challenges so I got busy on the discussion boards. But today is special. Today I have been doing Medifast for 100 days. I don't know what I expected, but it has been a great experience. One hundred days ago, I was tired and discouraged. I thought I would never lose the weight and so I wasn't even sure I wanted to try. But I am so glad I tried one more thing and that the one thing was MF. I have lost more than 40 pounds! But even better I feel fantastic and have hope. My confidence has increased to where I feel comfortable doing things that I was self conscious about before. I danced at my niece’s wedding without concern of what I looked like or what other thought of me. I laugh at my self more easily. I now know that I can finish what I start not only with dieting, but in transitioning and maintaining. I know that I can do anything I set my mind to do. I feel comfortable with myself, who I am and how I look again. I am ready to take on the world in so many ways again. Being thin is so much better now than it was when I was young as I have the wisdom and experience to go with it. This hasn’t been just a diet; this is a change to my mindset and attitude about food. I hated the saying “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” Now I agree with it. I am now headed into the home stretch and I am nervous that the last pounds won’t come off as quickly as the first. However, I know that I will not stop until I get to goal. I know that I will be one of the 5% that keep off the weight!.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Misc. California Trip

Jeff is always open to smores--even raw ones. All the fire rings were taken--what's a guy to do...

Pen Pals--Rachel & Me

Sarah had made arrangements for a little pampering. The flower girl loved the pedicure and manicure. The Mother of the Bride enjoyed it, too. It's just that she's sensitive about getting her feet touched. At least she didn't kick the technician. It was fun to watch her turn red and laugh.

Jeff & I took a little time out for a date on Friday evening. We played a round of Mini Golf, had dinner and took a walk in the hills. Jeff did get a Hole-in-One on that shot throught the skull's mouth.

The last night we went up in the hills around Janelle and Ralph's and watched the sunset.

A Day at the Beach

The day after the wedding we headed to the beach in the afternoon. Janelle & I enjoyed a walk in the surf and watching all the others play in the water. Mary helped Rachel boogie board after taking a few rides on her own. Jacob had a ball riding the waves. The next day he spent his own money on a board for himself.

Jeff rode a custom beach bike made by Janelle's nephew--Troy and Sylvia's son.

All in all, a very good day!

Sarah's Wedding

Something OLD--Mom's wedding set

The day Dad was waiting for--watching Ralph give away one of his girls...

Jacob escorted his mom down the aisle

Best Cousins

Janelle & her girls

The happy couple

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