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.