Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Hate My Body Moments

I'm not obese, but I'm not exactly Twiggy either. But sometimes, the fact that I am reminded of fat in all of the wrong places is evidenced by reminders as being unable to fully zipper my jeans or finding a really nice top or slacks and being unable to wear them well because of a few unsightly bulges here and there. These events are what prompt my I hate my body moments. I'm sure that I'm not the only one feeling this way. But the fact that I must deal with such moments is extremely annoying. I do, after all, have other and better things to worry about, the least of which should be body fat. So I try to deal with it as expeditiously as possible. First, I cut out a lot of processed foods and opt for real foods as fresh fruits and veggies. The biggest problem with doing this is that such fresh produce is not cheap. For example, a beg of regular oranges in many supermarkets costs close to five dollars a bag! And don't get me started on tomatoes, lettuce and potatoes. Secondly, I do my best to be more active. Lately, I've shoveled out my sidewalks and driveway, which are now totally free of snow and ice. I tend to walk more than drive and lug more heavy grocery bags than a lot of people I know. You would think that all of that would result in significant weight loss and a reduction of negative feelings about body image. But more and more, I am being slowly resigned to the fact that basically, my body will not change drastically very soon --- and the frustration of having to deal with zippering up a pair of jeans sized 14 will continue.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Would you include insects in your diet?

In a lot of countries around the world, people eat insects as part of their diet.  Personally, I don't care for insects and the sight of someone eating insects strikes me as revolting. Guess that I watched too many Survivor episodes, one of which featured participants eating maggots. Then out of curiosity, I did some research on types of bugs people eat, including ants, bees, wasps, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, fleas and flies.

Just reading that made me lose my appetite for real food. But an expert says that all of that revulsion is psychological. Many of us were bought up to feel repulsed eating bugs, when actually bugs are thought to be nutritious and good for us! They provide proteins, vitamins and minerals. They take much less room to cultivate and breed than livestock and poultry.

In spite of these advantages. I still could not bring myself to eat bugs. I'd rather swat, spray and step on them instead. Given a choice between eating those creatures and starving, I would opt for starving.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eat sweets and lose weight?

Sometimes, you just have to wonder what people are thinking, espccially when they want an article on double lollipops, aka blow pops, relating to calories and weight loss. Hello!

A sensible dieter would immediately think, Eating a blow pop will make me gain weight. Why, a single lollipop has 80 calories! And this is equivalent to a double lollipop. Whoever wrote anything about losing weight eating such crap has to be full of it. That's worse than a grapefruit diet!

Thought I'd bring that up and vent a little. Needless to say, I gave up on trying to write such an article, since I am also serious about losing weight. I enjoy sweets occasionally, but adding lollipops to my diet is never going to happen.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Skipping breakfast. Again.

Eating, rather than, neglecting breakfast is really good advice. My mom always insisted on everyone eating breakfast. To make her happy, I grudgingly prepared cold cereal and a cup of tea. I wasn't really hungry.....until 10 am, that is. All of a sudden, food tasted good and I was hungry....at 10 am.

That's my idea breakfast time. Toast, butter, jam, cereal, fruit, such as a fresh orange, are great. But not when I'm just getting done.

I'm still the same way, dietwise. Usually, I prepare something, even if it's only coffee.  The other reason is that there's very little that is available for morning breakfast, such as stale bread, applesauce, Cheerios, coffee. I just think about those foods. Ugh. Not this early in the morning, sorry!

So that's my excuse for not eating breakfast, namely, that I'm just not hungry at that time. I realize that I can lose a few pounds, but have to draw the line somewhere. But don't get me wrong. I can eat breakfast when traveling abroad, when a favorite food such as bacon is featured, and so on. But if breakfast means more of the same-old, same-old boring foods, count me (and breakfast out).                                

Monday, April 8, 2013

Little-known weight-loss secret -- customize your diet and exercises!

Lately, I've paged through a lot of dieting and exercise books whose authors claim that if you follow their advice, you're practically guaranteed to lose weight or fat. We know that isn't necessarily true, as we are not carbon copies of each other. Nor are our needs as far as losing weight are exactly the same.

But how many times do you happen to find really good ideas for healthy meals and exercise in various books and magazines and think, too bad that there wasn't more stuff like this. I'd borrow or buy the book or magazine.

The bad news is that there'll never be a book or video or whathaveyou that is perfectly right for you, ie., match your likes and dislikes, preferences, etc. But the good news is that with all of the variety of ideas, you have a neverending choice available at all times, whenever and however. Your only investment is taking the time to select what food combination and exercise moves are perfectly matched for you.

This is especially good news if you happen to be fussy about foods you'll eat, or at least sample. Ditto for exercises and other excuses to get you moving again. You can easily take advantage of the variety to put together combinations of favorite foods and exercise moves that will help you to lose weight faster and more efficiently.

For example, I happen to be a fussy eater who tends to avoid foods as fish, shrimp, broccoli, cheese, and spinach. Don't know why I don't like those foods --- just don't, that's why. And yet I find many recipes that feature such foods, so therefore take more time to put healthy combinations of foods that will work for me.

Ditto for exercise. A lot of what I've seen in books reminds me of those hated gym classes featuring exercises involving touching toes and jumping jacks. On the other hand, I can really get behind a good game of volleyball and cycling.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to sneak in more exercise around the house

Having to maintain a regular exercise regimen is boring, redundant and a pain in the neck! But there's no need to despair or resign yourself to becoming a couch potato. If anything, you will find way less boredom and more excitement in more informal movements, while increasing your movements and spending less time on the couch. Here are some of those ways:

. Clean floors every day, beginning with the one that is frequently used and soiled. When possible, wash them the old-fashioned way, on your hands and knees.

. Take care of chores that are easy to put off doing, such as changing dim light bulbs and/or smoke alarms.

. Handwash your car.

. Reposition some or all of the furniture in a living or dining room.

. Wash windows.

. If you have bookcases, remove books from one shelf, clean the shelf and replace the books.

. Clean out a cluttered closet. The motivation for doing this is that you may just discover stray change in pockets and on the floor.

. If possible, walk to the supermarket, buy what you need and lug the packages home.

. Do limited yardwork. For example, clean up leaves one day. Remove clutter the next. Limit yourself to a single yard project at a time.
.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Some of the worst excuses

Without realizing it, you may sabotage your efforts to lose weight! Here is a list of some of those ways:

. Procrastinating (I'll start tomorrow, next week, etc.)

. I'll never lose. What's the point of trying?

. I look horrible wearing lycra.

. A gym is too expensive and a waste of time and money.

. I hate fish!

. I don't have time during the week.

. My husband/boyfriend says that he likes big women and doesn't mind my being one of them.

. None of the diets I've tried work!

. I get tired just thinking about exercise!

. Exercise is boring.

. I only lost a teensy bit of weight after roughly 6 weeks of effort. What's the point?

. It's too hot/it's too cold/it/s too humid/it's too wet/it's too dry

Friday, March 22, 2013

Moving with music

Jogging, walking, running, cycling and dancing to music become easier to do than without music. Hearing a favorite song or tune motivates movement, such as little dance steps, longer and more intense pedaling and running.

I've managed to lose some weight as I jumped rope and listened to music in the house. Before starting, I was thinking, now how can that be? And is it even possible? So I decided to test my endurance by steadily jumping rope during an entire song. Boy, I nearly wore myself out, becoming winded before the song ended.

Same was true for pedaling my bike on a stationary stand in the garage. I barely got through half the song, actually one of Billy Joel's songs.

To sum up, my favorite songs/music motivated me to exercise longer and more intensely than I would have in complete silence....and I did lose some weight. What I should have also done was maintain a regular routine exercising this way.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

So much for the bathroom scale

I know that many people have bathroom scales and weigh themselves occasionally, maybe hourly or a few times daily. I'm not one of those people.

I don't own a bathroom scale. Never have and never will. I don't see the point of having one in the first place. It takes up space and detracts your focus from your need to use the toilet and/or shower to your wondering how much you weigh. This is especially true if the bathroom scale happens to be facing you as you are using the potty. Where should the emphasis be --- crapping or weighing? And how much emphasis or focus on each? Seriously, who cares? You had to use the facilities for one basic reason, so some time has to be spent on that basic reason, instead of miscellaneous, distracting thoughts about your weight gain or loss.

And what's more, that scale per se doesn't directly help you lose weight. If anything, it helps you to gain weight as you sit from your potty's perspective and stare at it, wondering if you should get on that scale and find out if you;re a few pounds lighter or not. Or just remove the scale and place it elsewhere, like in the kitchen or in the bedroom. Placing the scale in the kitchen may discourage you from enjoying your food too much and encourage you to cut down or for heaven's sake and lose weight once and for all.

So there you have it.  Use your bathroom scale at your own risk. Even better, discard it and buy something that you really want and need.

Friday, March 15, 2013

the joys of nibbling

When I'm working on something online ---- writing a story, post, filling an application, responding to a student's assignment ---- I want to nibble on a cracker, cookie, peanut, jelly bean, potato chip, banana, cake, donut, whatever. I have this need to eat as I work, which lessens the stress and fills in the blanks, sort of. That is, I can think better somehow.

If there's time or I'm really stressed, I'll actually cook something, like pasta, then devour it as I'm working, or make and eat at least one peanut butter sandwich.

Yet I didn't really gain weight from all of that nibbling, just probably satisfied a craving. You would think that my having a cup of coffee or tea or juice would be enough, but beverages don't satisfy me during stressful times as much as food, whatever food I can find and eat quickly in the kitchen, providing I want to eat it in the first place.

Once I feel full, I resume work with no further cravings or other interruptions. Of course, I eat a little food during the day, rather than traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner. I should be as fat as a house, but I'm not. The stress seems to devour whatever is left.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

a few reasons why group activities are good for you!

I've participated in group activities in cycling and enjoyed them very much. After each ride, I felt invigorated and satisfied. And in observing group activities at various gyms, I thought that I'd feel the same way.  The benefits are great as well, and some of them include:

. losing weight  I'm involved in the same activity, knowing that if I put in some honest effort and stay focused, I will begin to notice at least some weight loss.

. competing with others who are "in the same boat"  True, each group member has different goals and needs, although losing weight is the priority. At the same time, each member is competing with himself/herself along with other members. Not everyone will reach his or her goal simultaneously: some will meet their goals sooner than others, but that is fine.

. enjoying the experience and varying an otherwise boring routine  For example, cyclists don't always use the same route, and if they do, it's mainly to achieve a given goal, such as working on speed. In the meantime, all cyclists enjoy the warm weather, nature, and interacting with one another. All of these things make time go faster. For example, a 25-mile cycling tour feels more like 5 or 10 miles.

. savoring the knowledge that you can eat more Cycling burns up a lot of calories, especially if one rides fast, and moreover, requires that cyclists eat before they get too hungry and drink before they get thirsty.



Monday, March 4, 2013

Countering temptation to eat junk food

An important move involves willpower. Faced by that piece of cake or pie practically calling your name, and just saying or thinking no is difficult, especially when you're hungry. For me, it would be next to impossible, lol!

I think that the first thing I would do to counter temptation is mentally turning that cake or pie into something really disgusting --- baked vomit, cat waste, dog waste, peanut butter and fish --- the possibilities are endless. The only downside is associating other goodies in the same fashion, rendering hunger nonfunctional, at least for the time being.

Another difficult solution would be eating a banana or cracker instead. This is tricky because you know in your mind that the cake or pie seems more desirable and filling than a banana or cracker. But substituting another healthy food is worth a go all the same.

And finally, you could satisfy conditions before launching into that cake or pie, such as running two or three miles and back, bicycling, jumping rope or regular exercises at home. Once you've satisfied a given self-imposed condition, and only then, you may eat and enjoy that piece of cake or pie.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Visualizing a New You

Thinking yourself thin or thinner is often not enough. You visualize the new you for one or two days and that image is very clear in your mind. Then over time, it fades and reaches a point at which it no longer inspires you.

To maintain that visualized image, you'll need reinforcement. A photo or picture of a model or movie star matching your visualization should be perfect. Be careful, though, about clipping a picture featuring someone who is extremely thin, aka, anorexic. Instead, select a picture of a model or movie star whose height is most similar to yours and whose appearance is slim. Ideally, the picture will feature someone whose body image is similar to yours. The only difference is that the featured person will be slimmer.

If this is the type of slimness that matches your visualization, clip the picture.

Use it to reinforce the new you that you've visualized. Every time you look at it, see yourself as being just as slim and shapely. See it as the ultimate goal to work toward. And look at it every day. You'll think more positively and feel encouraged to eat healthy foods and exercise.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ever watch yourself eating?

Ok, so I tried a little experiment during my last visit to McDonald's. I sat facing their mirrored wall as I ate. I wanted to see if doing that would discourage me from hogging food down, as I was really, really hungry, and thought that the faster I could swallow that food, the more satisfied --and full--I'd become.

So I started hogging down the burger down, watching myself devour it in front of the mirror. One bite at a time. Chew, chew, lick lips, chew and finally swallow. yet didn't feel full. Not really. Next, I watched my image devour the small fries, two, three fries at a time. And by then, I was full. I'll tell you, eating in front of a mirrored wall is hard to do. You watch yourself chewing food in real time and it's an ugly sight, no matter how good-looking you are. Seeing your mouth move and occasionally, tongue licking your lips, is actually pretty disgusting when you think of it. Ugh.

Disgusting eating machine.

Chomp, chomp, swallow. All gone. Finally.

At last, my disgust in watching myself eating in front of a mirror did discourage me from hogging food down hungrily, but it was a disgusting experience that I'll not likely repeat.

Of course, I could, like Bart Simpson, ask someone if they wanted to see a train wreck, then open my mouth and display the disgusting wreck. But that would most likely discourage the observer from eating. Oh well.

sometimes a "final straw" is a critical factor in losing weight

Sometimes, it's the seemingly "little" things or moves that make a huge difference in losing weight. Many people don't realize this until something motivates them to get down to business. Such was the case for an overweight woman who became fed up because her obesity not only depressed her, but prevented her from keeping up with her young children. The straw that broke the camel's back was her son running away from her at the mall. Chasing him, she became winded and could not catch up to him because she was too heavy. It was also at that time that she decided that enough was enough and took steps on her own that enabled her to successfully lose weight.

Her efforts, summarized below, enabled her to lose 136 pounds!!!

She began by keeping a journal of everything she ate, then ate smaller meals all day, drank plenty of water and paid attention to what and how much she was eating. among other things. She also maintained her patience and resolve throughout, which had to be one of the hardest things to do.

I think that keeping a journal of single thing you eat during the day "brings it home", as you don't tend to realize how much and exactly what you've eaten until you begin recording it. At the same time, keeping such a journal takes effort, even if it is done every day for a week. Just promising yourself that you will do it doesn't work until you're really motivated.

And 99% of the time, that critical factor is what I call the "final straw." It is the mother of all good intentions and strong backbones and determination. Even more important, it's critical for success, as it was for that woman.
"

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Shoveling snow for a really good workout

Yesterday morning, I shoveled snow from 5:40 am to 8:30 am., until the wind cranked up, pushing more snow on once-clear sidewalks and driveway. So I went out to clear off that extra snow and didn't finish until 11:30 am. We had between 5 and 6 inches of snow, which was nothing compared to Connecticut and Massachusetts. And unlike many people in those states, there were no power outages here.

Taking advantage of opportunities as shoveling snow for a good workout is a great idea. Doing so forces movement as bending, walking, and lifting naturally. And combining that with walking as much as possible helps to keep weight down.

Yet in spite of these advantages, I found that I still had to force myself to get outside and shovel snow. I think that the state of inertia --- sitting comfortably in a warm house sipping tea or coffee --- is what tempts me to procrastinate and think that I will take care of everything "later." I also think that inertia is the root cause of my lack of motivation and have to deal with it gradually until ignorning it becomes a habit.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Getting paid for losing weight?

There's a certain radio commercial on weight-loss that intrigues me. The company claims that one can and will be "paid" for losing weight, that it's possible and it will pay people to do it. One requirement is specifying how many pounds one wants to lose and then getting paid for losing those pounds.

I know that this is all probably a scam and feel tempted to "bite." The troubling part of this scam is the catch involved and who really benefits from it in the end. I'm betting that it isn't the customer. Still, it's an interesting concept.

UPDATE:  I've googled "getting paid to loose weight" and nearly every entry mentions "scam". I haven't read entries closely yet, but will another time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm becoming a weight-loss book addict!

Don't believe that I can keep up with the latest diet books anymore. First one I recently borrowed from the library was The Manhattan Diet, which sort of explained why so many female New Yorkers seem to be so slim and trim, which is not so much about what they eat, but more about their walking.

And today, I found another one that combines eating and exercising tips. I can use all of the tips I can get just to stay motivated and keep using what works in keeping my weight down. I'm not really, really fat or even chubby, but have some places that could use less fat, such as the tummy. With a smaller tummy, it's easier to fit into and look great in clothes made of clingy-type fabrics, such as lycra shorts. Believe me, wearing lycra shorts just shows up every little fault, such as a fat tummy! No wonder why so many women wear larger tops to cover up that little flaw!

So far, walking is the exercise that works for me. I'd like to see if I can't jog well next and after that, who knows? The aspect of seeing what works and making a habit of using it goes a long way in slimming down. (And so does reading weight-loss books)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Moving it!

Another benefit of exercise is lessening the risk of dementia. Walking, running, jogging, cycling are all better than driving. Moving around gets the blood circulating, gets the muscles moving and working, reduces fat, among other things. A positive attitude helps as well.

In spite of all of these benefits, moving around isn't always easy. Can't even tell you how many times I didn't bother because I didn't feel like it. Seriously! Was way more comfortable in my present sitting position on a chair or reclining position in bed. To be sure, I've experienced benefits of cycling in the summer and walking in the fall.

Maybe if I lived in New York, I wouldn't need to feel so motivated to sit on my butt. I'd be too busy visiting bookstores and museums and interesting places in Manhattan, pretty much as I walked miles and miles exploring London. There was so much to see and too many places to visit. Same built-in motivation for me in exploring Vancouver. As a result of all of that moving around, I lost a good 20 pounds with practically no sweat, felt energetic, and fit into smaller sizes. The only problem was not being able to maintain that momentum. The trips didn't last long, but got more expensive over the years.

The whole point is that I moved constantly, walking or cycling. It was fun. It was invigorating. And it sure beat the aggravation and expense of driving.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Eat pizza sliders and lose some weight?

Pizza Hut will soon be offering smaller pies, measuring 3.5 inches across. These pizza sliders will be available in boxes of 9.

Will all of that encourage people to eat less pizza?

No. In my opinion, fans of Pizza Hut's products would likely eat more, with Pizza Hut reaping the profits. Or maybe not. I'm one of the few who would not opt for these sliders when I can easily order and eat one slice if I so choose.

After all, slider pizzas do not equal potato chips (bet you can't just eat one!) and more important, motivate Pizza Hut into charging more for sliders than a regular pizza eventually. It's a no-win situation for customers in terms of price and weight loss. But customers probably have and still can prepare their own pizza sliders at home using English muffins, cheese and tomato sauce. So why bother ordering such products from Pizza Hut when you can make them yourself for way less money?

(Steps down from soapbox)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Less sleep, more weight gain

In trying to  lose weight, I overlooked an important source, which is sleep. Researching this issue, I found that women who sleep less than 5 hours at night tended to gain more weight than those who slept for say, seven hours. Less sleep also causes release of the stress hormone, which in turn, triggers hunger.

It figures. I'm a night owl --- nothing more than I enjoy than sitting up at night with a good mystery, though I don't eat in bed. Doing that only means having to brush teeth again. But usually, I start reading around 8-8-thirty pm and by the time I glance at the clock again, it's something like 10 or 11 pm! Yet, there are nights that things like worry and/or a problem or anticipation of an event that prevent any sleep from happening. It's a terrible feeling. Whatever bothers you tends not to go away at bed time. It sort of lingers, making you toss and turn.

First thins for me is breaking the "night owl" habit. With advantages like total quiet, that habit probably helped to contribute to at least three-quarters of my weight gain, so I've got to stop it, probably by going cold turkey first.

But maybe not, as I read until words on the page of a book stop making sense, which is a sure sign of sleepiness, making me look forward to lying down and quickly drifting off to sleep, a long sleep with no interruptions, such as the cats jumping on the counter or the fridge and knocking stuff down or peeing on whatever they find.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Filling up with soup

I love soup, especially chicken, tomato and vegetable soup. Freshly made. My mom used to make those soups and my attempts to duplicate her efforts do not even come close. Nowadays, I tend to use canned soups, of which Campbell's is the best.

A lot of things can be done to make soup tastier and more satisfying, such as adding certain spices and ingredients. Caution is the watchword here, as using too much of one thing can easily ruin soup's flavor. Too, many recipes feature ingredients that I don't personally like or would eat, anyway, which is why I prefer not to use them.

So with canned soup, I tend to add macaroni or thin noodles, which add flavor but also make soup more filling. Bits of potato, carrots, celery can also be added, making the soup closer to a regular meal. After eating all of that, I'm easily satisfied and find that any hunger pangs have disappeared. Another plus is that soup is a great diet food that can easily be adapted to your own taste.

Melting away pounds no longer needs to be a big issue with soup as part of a diet.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Eat earlier and lose weight

Yesterday, there was an interesting segment on TV news. The main point was that eating earlier in the day does help you to lose weight. It seems that the body processes foods more efficiently earlier in the day than it would during afternoon (after 12 pm and later).

Certainly, more research is clearly needed on this claim.

Don't know if I could ever limit mealtimes to morning hours, though I suppose it can be done.Willpower and the ability to summon an appetite in the early hours are probably most important requisites.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Imperfections and weight loss

I think that many weight-loss and diet experts go wrong because a lot of them seem to operate on the assumption that everyone's body is exactly the same as everyone else's, with exactly the same needs and capabilities. But if you go to a gym or a sporting event, you notice right away that this assumption is false. And that operating on it leads to unnecessary misery and emptier wallets.

In an ideal perfect world, most, if not everyone, would be uniformly slim, tall and good-looking and tend to wear smaller sizes of clothing and eat like birds. But unfortunately, our world is imperfect, populations are imperfect and efforts to control imperfections and flaws will be likewise imperfect It is what it is. I'm also sure that such a perfect world would be frightening and downright boring. What would we do with and about all that perfection anyway?

Look for something to do and find it, for better or worse.

It's the little flaw here and the imperfection there that keep the world and us interesting. Before even thinking about losing weight, think about priorities and everything that matters to you. Make sure that you enjoy what the world has to offer and that includes food, which is meant to be enjoyed in the first place. It can always be worked off later on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If you want to eat, forget the guilt and just eat!

I eat between meals plenty of times, figuring that as long as I'm hungry, I should eat. I'll opt for eating some peanut butter if nothing else, such as crackers, is available. I need and want food that I not enjoy eating, but which will fill me up. For that reason, I don't always opt for fresh fruit, as it isn't filling unless a lot of it is eaten.

Ultimately, it all comes down to, what do I feel like eating?

Not always an easy question to answer, especially when the desired food is unavailable and you're forced to "make do" until the next time.

At other times, I'll try to ignore the hunger pangs or find an alternate food to eat, such as frosted flakes, pudding, rice, pasta, or soup. Do I feel guilty? No. I was hungry and satisfied that hunger.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Anxiety and eating

I rarely eat when I feel anxious, but when I do, it's usually food like crackers or cookies.

Fruit doesn't seem to fill the bill, though there are enough apples and oranges in the kitchen. If there's nothing else, I still crave food, real food, to the point at which I give in and get a McDouble and fries at McDonald's.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Should you leave some food on your plate?

Leaving a little food on your plate is probably a good idea. At least one expert mentioned doing that and reaping the benefits, (weight loss), and it sounds ok. But somehow, doing that goes against the grain.

After all, leaving a smidgen of food on your dish doesn't really amount to a lot of calories. Does it? Please let me know if I'm wrong. And the other thing about this is that if you're at a restaurant and happen to leave some food on your plate, you're leaving money as well. The cost of food has gone up everywhere, even if you limit yourself to preparing meals at home, you already know this from first-hand experience and all the tricks the supermarkets play. Last week, for example, a regular-sized jar of Hellmann's mayonnaise was on sale at that supermarket for $2.99 and this week that same jar costs $3.99. A competitor is selling it for $2.99 though.

Ok, food is more expensive, that much is established. So what else does a little left-over food on your plate show? It may indicate that you just couldn't finish all of it or happened not to like it or gave up eating it because it was cold.

All good reasons. If I enjoy eating something, you can believe I'm going to eat it all. Leaving a few morsels of it on my plate isn't going to help me or my weight loss efforts. Plus, whatever works for me may not work for someone else. After all, none of us are carbon copies of each other. To each his own.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

feeling intimidated at the gym

I'd long been considering joining a gym. And everything seems so straightforward in that you show up, register, sign one or more forms, place your things in a locker provided for you, and start using the equipment.

I was told that the trainer who could answer my questions was unavailable at the moment and that I was on my own. Looking around, I've seen exercise bikes, balls, treadmills, and other devices that probably were better suited for torture rather than exercise. Amazing. Even the platforms holding the equipment were high, intimidating to amateurs who still don't have the needed answers.

Then out of curiosity, I walked up to one of the exercise bikes and noticed that each one contained a small computer-like device in which a user could program time, length of exercise, flow of exercise and so on. I would have loved to have hopped on and begin using the bike, but there was no one nearby to ask. Geez. At least at home, all I had to do was get myself in the proper gear, wheel the bike out of the house, and take a ride through one town after another. Nothing to program. Nothing to adjust. Just hop on and start pedaling!

Disappointed, I kind of roamed around, still hoping that someone would be free to answer my questions and get me started in using the equipmrnt. Unfortunately, none of that happened. I was left to fend for myself. Everyone looked rather busy and no one even noticed me slipping out the door and walking away. Like they all really cared.

A little peanut butter satisfied my hunger pangs

I had a jar of peanut butter that hadn't been opened for a little while.

I happened to notice it during a shelf-cleaning session, which I tried ignore, as I was planning to eat something else for lunch. Still, I hadn't eaten peanut butter in a while. Temptation won and I finally opened the jar and scooped some out with a spoon.

Mmmm! Really good! Another scoop coming right up, and another.

After that, I was just dyng for a hot cup of tea and made some. Took time savoring the tea and found that my hunger pangs had disappeared.

I'm already tired of cookies, applesauce, cake and crackers. I've overdepended on them for the longest time and had enough of them for awhile.

I'm eating some peanut butter instead.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What might happen to processed foods in the future?

I have a few possible answers. Processed foods:

- Get recycled and sent to China.

- Get recycled and stored for "later"use.

- Get recycled and used in medicine.

- Get recycled into laughing gas.

- Get recycled into regular gasoline.

- Get placed in a garbage barge and get dumped near New Jersey. LOL!

- Get recycled into building materials.

- Get recycled as fertilizer.

- Get recycled into large islands and named as "paradises."

- Get recycled into space balls and are rocketed to outer space.

Microwaving an apple

I read somewhere that an apple can be microwaved as a treat.... Important details such as how long to microwave were not mentioned.

Still, this sounded interesting, especially since I love all things apple, including fresh McIntosh apples, apple pie, applesauce, candy apples and so on.  Just a quick side-note here. I know that there are different kinds of apples and having tried a few, I concluded that McIntosh apples had the best taste.

So today, I folded a paper napkin carefully in half, washed an apple and placed everything in the microwave for nearly four minutes. Had to keep reminding myself that this was an experiment. As the apple was being nuked, a fresh scent of applesauce soon wafted from the microwave. In the meantime, the apple itself had begun to come apart a little.

I stopped nuking it in roughly a little more than 3 minutes. It was time.

The apple was still hot to touch and taste, so I placed it on a dish, let it cool off for a minute or two, before probing it with a spoon. Believe it or not, the inside of the apple was rather warm, but I managed to scoop a little of it out and tasted it.

It tasted very much like unsweetened (commercial applesauce), yet naturally sweet. For me, however, its taste still needed some getting used to.

So in the end, I could say that the experiment was successful, though I might tweak it a little in the future, such as nuking an apple for about two or three minutes and seeing how that tastes.

Upcoming trend: vegetables for dessert!

And why not? For awhile, experts have argued that tomatoes, for example, are fruits to begin with. Want some dessert? Grab a tomato or two.

I like this trend, though right now, I'm having a problem embracing it fully.  Traditionally, I was taught that fruits and vegetables are separate items and to believe that stringbeans, for example, are strictly vegetables! That may be so. There may be a point in the future where it is no longer possible to specifically disregard fruits and veggies as belonging to separate groups or "classes."

Ultimately, salads will include both fruits and veggies, which doesn't sound like a bad idea. In fact, I am brainstorming ideas for various salad combinations!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A storm is coming, but no urge to panic shop

Generally, I tend to go panic shopping, especially close to the day for which a storm is predicted. There was a time when I did panic shop. Funny how when people were buying items like bread and milk, I bought things like crackers, cold cuts and maybe some bread and oranges. That was about it.

Then the storm arrived last fall and the power outages began. My power went out almost immediately. So of course there were casualties. The butter, mayonnaise, hot dogs and jelly all went bad and I had to discard them, which really hurt.

The power outage in my area lasted about two weeks, during which time, I ate a lot of fast food, crackers, bread and other junk food. Cooking was out of the question, as my microwave wasn't working (no power). So much for having a cup of tea.

I did buy some stuff before the storm arrived, like cheap batteries and containers and a few tomatoes.

I bought what I bought and was glad that I didn't buy anymore. I ate out a lot and never enjoyed coffee more, or hamburgers, for that matter. Diet? What diet? I was too busy panicking about the storm's consequences to even think about what I should eat for dinner.

"What's for lunch or dinner? Who knows?"

As much as I hate planning meals, I manage to do so at the last minute, usually when hunger pangs grow and I have to figure out (a) what to eat and (b) if I really want to eat it or not. Most of the time, I'll go ahead and make sure the necessary ingredients are already available at home and shop for the missing, necessary ones asap.

However, there are quite a few times when answering "a" and "b" is a challenge in that I have some idea of what I want to eat. For some reason, I'm not particularly fond of a given food at that moment or preparing it just seems to be too much trouble. At this point, I'll opt for what I really feel hungry for or a quick junk food snack such as potato chips which are easy to eat and filling if all the chips in a bag are eaten in a single go.

I can get away with minimum effort in planning meals, as I am single and don't live with anyone and don't have a family. My cats already have their canned and dry food, so it's just a matter of deciding which canned food flavor to offer them (and hope that they eat it). As for myself, I have a perennial choice of soup, pasta, frozen meal, sandwich, pizza, pie, cookie, applesauce, fresh orange, doughnut. I supplement those foods with fresh produce, different bread, salad, dessert, etc. But which food, when and why? That still has to be figured out and has for me become an aggravating factor in planning my next meal.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Just walking.....

Knowing that I can easily fit in size 12 jeans has given me a huge lift and more motivation to walk even more. Of course, I'm still paying attention to diet, with an eye toward eating more vegetables. I'm back to eating more fruits, such as fresh oranges. Last week, I priced small containers of blueberries and was disappointed to find that they are still rather expensive, like $3.99 per container.

But now, as far as exercise goes, I'm really "into" walking. This morning's single-digit temperatures didn't faze me. After all, if garbagemen can collect garbage in subfreezing temperatures at 5:30 in the morning, I'm sure that I can survive a 6-minute walk to the bus stop and wait at least 5 minutes for the bus to arrive.

In the meantime, my goal is getting down to a size 10, which is my sister's size. I know, her frame is smaller and more delicate than mine, and she walks her dogs a lot, but that's her. I'm following the beat of my own drummer, which is walking and finding more ways to have fun walking. Taking large steps, skipping, jogging in between steps will keep me active and ultimately, help me to drop a few more pounds.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How I went from a size 14 to size 12 in about three months

If you live in or near a big city like New York, you can forget about buying and using exercise equipment, signing up at a gym, or even taking up a new sport ---- yet lose weight fairly quickly. And none of what I'm saying is a scam. In fact, I proved it to myself.

Ok, here's what happened.

Late last September, I was accepted as a student at the Crime Fiction Academy in New York, with workshops beginning on October1st. Every Monday, I rode the bus from my town in New Jersey to the Port Authority, then walked from the Port Authority to the Academy.

At first, the walk seemed to be rather lengthy and time-consuming. Plus, I noticed that a lot of other people tended to walk rapidly, expertly weaving in and out of crowds without losing a beat. A lot of those rapid walkers were slim. I surmised that those slim people walked a lot every day of the week in all types of weather and survived.

Little by little, my walking pace picked up and I reached a point at which I could easily keep up or even surpass the rapid walkers. So I did, from November right through December, especially later on, in order to avoid missing the bus back home.

And it all paid off. I dropped a size from 14 to 12 in a few short months of constantly walking.

Monday, January 21, 2013

After losing weight, now what?

An interesting question occurred to me early this morning, and it was, "Suppose that you lost all of the weight necessary and you look and feel good. You've conquered the weight-loss battle and now what? Are you going to look for new fields to conquer or simply hang in and continue battling your weight?"

In other words, is there life after successful weight loss?

I never really thought about that one very much, mainly because I'm so focused on dropping a few more pounds here and there. But suppose I've accomplished all of that and am technically finished with the battle. What next?

I've started turning to the goodies, lots of goodies, including potato chips, marshmallows, cookies, hamburgers, cake, pie, ice cream....and you know what?
It feels good! The Big Mac I devoured today was particularly satisfying. I ate it, actually two of them, one of them free, and still feel full.

The best part is that I don't feel a tinge of guilt for eating any of that. Haven't given up on walking or eating stuff I haven't eaten for years, such as the tootsie-roll center lollipops.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Plain-Vanilla Wallking

When advised to walk more for exercise, many people tend to nod and agree, thinking, yes, I can stand to walk more, but don't --- and probably won't. After all, I really don't have reasons to walk around at home. And I'm not really motivated to walk a few blocks in the neighborhood, since I have no excuse!

And for awhile, that's exactly I thought about walking. Walking couldn't be more boring!

But that's not entirely true. You sort of have to be creative and invent excuses for walking.

One of the better excuses is getting and using a walking stick!  These sticks look like canes, but they expand possibilities for varying walking, including bending, stepping and moving. If you can't or won't use a walking stick, you can probably substitute a regular umbrella, not the fold-up kind).

Another way to motivate yourself to walk is planning a reward. For example, you can walk to the bank, take care of business there, and continue walking to a local pizza shop or bakery.

Still another way is to pretend that your local bus isn't running for some reason. Since the distance you ride isn't really all that lengthy, consider walking that distance instead, knowing that you can always board a bus and ride back home.

And as you walk, vary your pace. Walk really fast for a few blocks or a given time, say ten minutes. Another way to vary it is by stepping over each crack or stepping on each crack. Or see how slowly you can walk.

At home, set records for walking up and down stairs. For example,, how many times can you walk up and down the stairs of your home in five minutes?  Ten minutes?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Processed foods = weight gain

Having a ready-made frozen dinner, opening up a can of veggies, spaghetti and/or soup are quick ways to prepare a meal, but they all have one thing in common.

They can all make you gain weight.

Why? They're filled with chemicals and preservatives that add empty calories and cancer-causing chemicals. At the same time, they're hard to resist because they make food tastier, increasing cravings for that food and costing you money. Hard to believe? All you have to do is read the labels, where you'll readily find a number of chemicals with unfamiliar names that are hard to pronounce.

But even more important is that these convenience foods are not cheap. And have you also noticed that as their packages and contents decrease, their costs tend to increase or at least remain the same? They're literally killing your budget and worsening your weight-loss efforts!

The problem is that those foods are hard to resist when you're very hungry.