Thursday, February 10, 2011

Habits and other Perversions

Habits are queer and perverse things.  No sooner do I begin to blog and think about changing habits then my mind begins to crave candy, cookies, cake, pie, chips, and all other manner of bad for me delights.  I believe conquering the mind is more difficult than conquering the body because one has to win the mind over first!  And to add insult to injury, as the saying goes, the weather has been overcast and depressing with temps in the negatives.  I thrive on sunshine!  And fresh air!  I NEED to walk outside and can do so for far longer than I can trudge on a treadmill.  My daughter and I have gone over to the hospital several times to do the treadmill thing and while it is better than nothing it is only barely better than nothing.  My husband thinks that we should just keep going and we'll overcome our aversion to the darn things and make good progress.  But he is of the "do as I say, not as I do" persuasion, and I don't see him over there exercising.  I've hinted and asked outright for a bicycle for my birthday and I think he is getting me one.  I hope, I hope!  A friend of mine back in Washington (state) began to ride a bike after her husband died and she lost a ton of weight (not literally) and looked fantastic.  I like to think that being out in the fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for my mind first and then my body. 

It's as if my mind goes into a reverse psychology mode whenever I decide to get healthy and lose weight.  Okay, I'm going to eat more vegetables (which I honestly like and enjoy eating) and less sugary things like candy and cookies (which I also enjoy eating, but not the effect they have on me) and my mind says, as if hypnotizing me, "Body, you are craving candy, you must have chocolate, you will die without something salty and crunchy."   Seriously!  A long time ago I told my children that I couldn't have candy anymore, that I was allergic to it.  Yes, honestly, it makes my hips swell something awful.  I pretend I'm diabetic and can't have sugar or refined carbs.  Ha ha, my mind knows differently and I fall into temptation and embrace the goodies like long lost friends. 

This is a struggle to conquer the natural (wo)man.  I want to, I know I need to, and I believe I can be successful.  I have grandparents who lived well into their nineties.  My parents are mid-eighties and healthy.  I went in for a complete physical last week.  The good news is that I am basically healthy.  Blood pressure is 110/70, pulse 58, temp 96.4 (it was a cold day outside and the examining room was freezing); all the lab work came back normal, except! my triglyceride level is elevated slightly.  Too much sugar and refined carbs in my diet.  Oh really?  Overall cholesterol is good and my HDL is 50, which is good.  So there is laboratory proof that I need, repeat NEED to cut down, if not eliminate sugar from my diet.  I can do it for a meal at a time, a day at a time, but then, BAM, somebody (usually a loving husband or son or daughter) will offer to share their treat with me and I succumb.  Will you stop tempting me? Please, stop tempting me!

Reader's Digest published a diet book that I thought approached things the right way.  It was called "Change One"  and used the premise that changing everything all at once was too hard and people were prone to failure.  So they advocated changing one thing at a time and when the one new thing became a habit, move on to the next thing.  They began with breakfast, then lunch, snacks, dinner, eating out, shopping for food, exercise, etc.  I can't remember all twelve things from the book.  (I had the book but gave it to a co-worker who needed it more than I did.) 

I'm going to begin again and change one thing at a time.  Breakfast:  I usually make a big breakfast to feed the men in my family.  They like meat (bacon or sausage) and eggs, or french toast, or pancakes (which I like too) or their favorite "Skillet Breakfast" which combines meat, potatoes and eggs in a tasty and filling meal.  BUT, those meaty kinds of breakfasts are too fattening for me.  I knew a woman in Maryland who was very thin and she said "I eat three times a day, but my metabolism eats five."  (I was always very envious of her and coveted her metabolism.) My situation is opposite: I eat three times a day and my metabolism eats about three times a week.  I just do not burn off as many calories as I take in.  So here's my plan:  I'll continue to make breakfast for the guys (and my daughter who is young and has a good metabolism) and I'll make myself a different breakfast.  I know that is more work but one of my favorite breakfasts is one that I can prepare ahead and just heat briefly in the microwave.  That is brown rice.  I love brown rice and it is filling and when I eat it I don't get hungry until lunchtime.  Another good for me breakfast is cracked wheat which can be cooking on the stove while I prepare the other stuff. So here's to my first CHANGE. (Everyone lift a toast with a glass of water!)

My goal for the week:  Change what I eat for breakfast. 
Second goal is to blog more frequently.  (Will be more specific when I get a rhythm going. I find that living a full life doesn't always include writing about it, but I'll do better.)

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