About yesterday's post...I forgot to mention...

While there was a lot of 'do's' in yesterday's post, I left out a few important things.

First, do what 'suits' your body's needs. I have ADD, so I need meds for that. On top of that, I'm prone to 'free-floating anxiety.' I have a savvy doctor who worked with me to find the right balance of Prozac and Concerta so I can become 'normal and average' - in other words, just like most people. A level playing field. Other than that, which would be part of my life anyway, I don't do diet pills of any kind. "Better living thru chemistry" - but make sure it's the right chemistry. Speed may speed you up, but the crash is, I'm told, horrible.

And have little goals. I was lucky enough to have been given a LOT of clothes in descending sizes by a lady who was moving to Florida and wanted to buy a whole new wardrobe. At 'new retail' prices, I got probably a couple of thousand dollars worth of clothes. I did fit into a couple of them right away, fit into still others around the 50 lb mark (now getting too big!), and I have a few waiting for the next 20 lbs. It's fun to try them on now and again to see how close I'm getting to actually wearing them. (I hate snug clothes, so while some technically 'fit', I won't wear them yet.) It's a great 'carrot' to work toward!

Another thing that works for me is avoiding nitrates/nitrites like the plague. They make me puffy; I can tell when I have inadvertently ingested some because my Berks become snug. No, it's not water-weight, I've been taking Lasix for decades, and I seldom salt anything. It's not easy to avoid nitrate/nitrite additives, and some occur naturally, but I can sometimes find hot dogs and sausage that specifically state that the product does not contain them. I never ever get frozen pizza or commercial meat products such as ham...and boy, do I miss it! But I can have fresh pork - it's definitely the additives that torture me.

I drink a LOT of water. Probably over 100 ounces each day. Not that I'm thirsty; if one waits for thirst, that means dehydration. I don't give dehydration a chance. Now, water can be FLAVORED, just not sugared or sweetened with anything caloric. I love unsweetened tea. Crystal lite is great, too. Oh, and when I get a craving for yogurt, I get a big tub of PLAIN (not vanilla, PLAIN) yogurt (some 'plain' has sugar added...watch out for that), put a glob into a glass or cup, and mix a little crystal lite into it. Tastes just like the high-calorie/sugar stuff and it's great for me. One benefit drinking a lot of fluid has - I'm rapidly approaching my seventh decade and I don't have any facial wrinkles. A few crinkles around my eyes from habitual laughing (at myself and others) but no wrinkles. Not that I WON'T, but not now. This is something that one can't start AFTER the little buggers appear, but hydration seems to keep them at bay if you've been a habitual 'fluidizer' all your life. Smokers can't count on that effect, though. You just have to look at pictures of Eunice Kennedy to see what smoking and too much sun does to a face.

Going cold-turkey off coffee and diet soda was, for some reason, very simple for me. I can't point to any particular benefit diet-wise, but it's been very healthy for my budget.

I cook at least one turkey each month. I package a lot of it for the freezer, but I leave a good-sized portion just for whittling. No stuffing, no gravy, just me, a knife, and the turkey. Since I don't do classic breakfast/lunch/dinner, grazing has suited me particularly well. I understand it would be very difficult for a couple or a family to live this way, but it works for me, and as the old saying goes, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'


Well, my kiln is sold... I loved the romance I had with it, but like a high-maintenance SO, it was too expensive to feed. I'm still crocheting, and I still love beads, so I'm on to making the two compatible in ways seldom thought of. (Sorry about the preposition...)

In the weight-loss area, I'VE LOST 75 LBS!! I'm not sure the months-long plateau has broken for good, but I keep on doing what I have been (more about that later). I think the magic moment was when I decided I didn't care if I lost weight or not, but I wanted to hunt down and destroy what was sabotaging my lifelong efforts. I won't go into it, since it bores even me, but I did find what buttons I was knee-jerk-pushing and how to leave them alone. It's a personal quest; everyone has to find their own path. No compass directions here, sorry.

That said, I do have some do's and don'ts... I shop for the month (being single that's easy), and there are certain aisles I just won't go down. No chips/dips or other 'snacks.' I'm still obsessive-compulsive about snacks...it's a 'clean your plate' mentality. If I must have a candy bar (haven't in several years), I know to get one regular bar, not the little pillow-packages of miniatures to put away for when I want one. There will be none left within the hour. So - I leave that aisle alone, and if I still need one when I get to checkout, there's always 'point of purchase' displays of anything I could want.

Popcorn. Couldn't do without it. Those convenience bags of microwave popcorn are killers in more ways than weight. I use my air-popper, and --ready?-- PAM. I get the butter flavored variety and spray it liberally on my air-popped popcorn, and there is more fiber than calories in each huge bowl. Maybe 300 calories in one huge salad-bowl sized 'helping' and if nothing else it feeds my compulsion.

I've only had one 'can't do without it' moment, and that was with pizza. The craving went on for days, and was causing me frustration and anxiety, so I ordered a large veggie thin-crust pizza, had it delivered around noon, and just grazed on it all day. It had light sauce and light cheese and was SO yummy! Lots of crystal-lite later, I was pizza-satiated and months later have not had a craving again. I think it was because I allowed myself to have it, and fit those calories into the day. At any rate, it wasn't going to put the skids on anything, and life went on.

I do that with 'eating out' also, although if I had a car I suspect that "75" wouldn't have happened. Learning to delay gratification is extremely difficult, and it's been tough to learn when to delay and when not to. Since I can't get to restaurants and fast-food joints at will now, I allow myself whatever I want when I go out with friends, which is not all that often. I even allow myself dessert - the last one was a banana-creme cake, and it was yummy. Not feeling guilty about it was crucial; it allowed me to not enter into a eat-in-frustration/guilt loop for a change.

Most important, I eat only what I like. Dieting and martyrdom don't mix. In fact, as you can see from the above, I don't consider myself 'dieting.' Just eating. If I 'need' quantity, I find what I like (for me it's kale) and dig in. I eat a whole bag of salad, maybe two, THEN have a portion of pot roast that I've cooked, portioned out, and frozen. A quick zap in the microwave AFTER I've had my fill of quantity-food... hey, maybe I don't really even want it now...

Plateaus? The pits. I've just come from one that lasted over a month. But since I've adopted the attitudes outlined above, I just learned to be philosophical about it. Where it would have put me into an 'I'm not losing so f***it' mode, I've learned to just keep on living life, one day at a time. Good slogan. Not original.


Stuff and Nonsense

A very pleasant pastime on the 'net these days seems to be watching a tiny hummingbird tend to the two eggs in her nest. Watching her is like cuddling a compliant kitten...it's hard to stay angry with one's day after a while. She's here.

I'm not particularly a bird-watcher; in fact, I've had negative experiences with more birds than I've enjoyed, such as the woodpecker who seemed to always know what part of the house I was relaxing in, and pounding its little brains out on the wood siding where, inside, my brains happened to be. Usually he was working on a knothole, and when he finally knocked the knothole out, he'd leave for another spot and a common grackle would move in and nest there between the inside and outside wall. Drove me nuts.

Another bird I had problems with was a mockingbird. In fact, the whole neighborhood (Cupertino, CA) had problems with it. It would fly to the top of a utility pole about 5am, and hold a ritual dance there... he'd fly straight up about 4-5 feet, 'saying' something that can only be described as 'doodle-ee-ooo' as loud as any bird could possibly vocalize. This would go on every 10 seconds or so for about two hours, then he would leave for the day. Back he would come, day after day... After a couple of months he suddenly was gone. I know for a fact at least 2 neighborhood BB/pellet guns were trained on him at one time or other... maybe someone got 'lucky.' I seldom wish an animal ill, but that damn bird was a sociopath.