Mission Statement

I will in general eat healthy, eat "normal" food, without gimmicks, pills, surgery, or trademarked diets. I will log all calories consumed and estimate calories burned on a daily basis. I will then be able to track my progress and estimate arrival time to my goals through My Food Log. I will also develop non-food rewards for reaching my goals knowing that reaching each goal is a reward in-and-of itself. I will not give up. I know that I will not be perfect but that I am making a permanent lifestyle change. The good days will out-number the bad days. I will not give up!


Eating Evolution

I want to share with you all the type of information I received during a series of free seminars given by a number of healthy living advocates in my area. Tonight I will begin with some weight loss reduction tips for evolving your eating habits.

Some of these will be obvious to most of you. But I find that these types of list usually stimulate my own thought process. They also help me think more broadly about other things I can do to be successful. Sometimes I even find a new and novel idea. I hope at least one of these seems like a fresh idea to you.

Eat slowly. Take time for a breath and for conversation between bites (but not with your mouth full ;-)

Chew well, you might even try chewing each bite a certain number of times. This helps you body digest, get all the nutrients out of the food, and will help you feel full faster... say that ten times fast.

Think about the food you are eating as you eat it. Don't just mindlessly gulp down food. Ask yourself if the food you are eating is the best choice for you. Think about alternatives to the food you are eating. If you have chosen a healthy food, think of different ways to prepare it.

Cut your food into small bites. Cut it into the smallest bites you can. Then remember to chew each bite well.

Drink water with your meals... ever been to Europe... wine or water with all meals. Water will help digestion and help fill you up.

Serve from the stove. This will make you have to do more than just reach if you decide you have to have seconds. I like this idea in particular and have started trying to incorporate it at family meal time.

Tell everyone close to you that you are dieting. Be accountable for your actions. If people are aware of your goals they may be less likely to tempt you.

Get a diet buddy, either a family member, friend, or co-worker who regularly eats with you.

Don't buy junk. It's harder to eat it if you don't have it. Also, don't make sweet treats to have at home. You will set out with the best of intentions for having one portion of the treat a day and end up eating half of what you made in one sitting.... I know this from personal experience.

Set realistic goals. Not meeting your goals could lead to you giving up all together. Set goals that may be a struggle but not goals that are unattainable. Break your long term goals into shorter sections and feel the sense of accomplishment after reaching each part of that short term goal.

Remember that little nibbles here and there count too. Try to avoid tasting or sampling food during preparation.

Don't give up! Realize how long it took you to put the pounds on. Realize that it may take just as long to get rid of them.

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When Green Suddenly Turns Red

When a good run of green days suddenly turns red... what do you do?*** Last week I was determined to get back on track with my diet after having had a few weeks of events and vacation. I incorporated the use of mini-goals. Instead of just striving for the large progress markers, I focused on the next few days. This was a tremendous success as I ended up with 5 days in a row with green results. But then...

I got busy again, had company come to stay for the weekend, a festival to attend, and an outdoor catering venue to work at. All of these events are out of the ordinary for me. I was completely off schedule. As a result I logged 3 red days in a row! It's like I take 2 steps forward and 2 steps back because on at least 2 of the red days I also consumed more than I burned... this equals weight gain. Actually overall, I have not seen a weight gain, even though I was over eating. I attribute this to the increase my level of activity. I normally have a sedentary day. I work at a computer/phone and I love watching TV. Over the weekend I did lots of walking, standing, lifting, and in general saw a huge increase in my activity level. But none of this explanation answers my question... what do you do when green suddenly turns red? I could try the mini-goal of 3 green days again. I could also concede slightly and strive for 5 days of yellow. I'm wondering if green day goals are putting too much pressure on me and therefore at the first change in schedule or activity I am more likely to fail. This weekend will also be filled with out of the ordinary events. I will be traveling to the Charleston area on Friday. Back home on Saturday. Then I have another outdoor catering event to work Sunday and Monday. Knowing that I may be setting myself up for failure, I am going to strive to have green days for the rest of the work week. Then I'm going to try hard to have yellow days (and I may push all the way up to 1800) all weekend. This is an obvious concession to my overall goal, but even at 1800 calories, I am still having some, albeit slower, forward progress. Should this idea not work out, I will be better prepared for next time, and I will have a better understanding of how to set those short term goals for stressful periods.

***If you're not familiar with my system, visit My Food Log for a better understanding. I color code my dieting success on a log of my daily calories. That way, when it's time to get on the scale, if the results that I'm expecting are not there, I can quickly scan back to my eating history and see why I was disappointed. Green days are days where I met my goal, currently 1200 calories per day (I still call it a green day if I was over the goal but by less than 50 calories). Yellow days are to represent days where I did not meet my goal, but I still was able to burn a significant amount of calories. Yellow days are from 1250 calories up to 1800. Anything over 1800 is a red day. Red days also cover days when I consumed more calories than I burned.

I am pleased to announce that I have had 3 official takers for my offer to develop free, personalized, diet plans. I am looking forward to hearing back from these folks. I am more anxious to see if I've actually helped. I still have 22 slots left for free plans. One aspect of creating these plans that I wasn't quite prepared to deal with is the time it takes away from my blog. My post rate has been low as of late because I have a limited amount of time each day to devote to internet/computer/blog work. So, I apologize for not having fun fresh material every day. I am working on ways to resolve this issue. I am currently "pre-writing" this article. I am hoping that this method will make it so I can get a good archive of articles that are relevant and ready to print while at the same time make my evening work hours more productive.

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