Friday, November 30, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 29

Resist food pushers.

I don't really have a problem with this. I don't mind being firm with people and I've never really had anyone push me to eat; and if they did, I'd just push right back. Nope, I can't blame my ass on pushers, that problem is all mine.

Progress Report:

Weigh in.

Oh, well.

I was asked to do desert for my widowed friend's wedding rehearsal dinner tonight. Actually, she asked me to do a cake - and I think only because she knew I do the odd cake for friends' events. And I made a practice cake and hated it. So I really couldn't work up any enthusiasm for baking and decorating a cake. And besides, they will have plenty of cake at their wedding - both a bride's and groom's cake done by a local baker. Plus, cakes sometimes stress me out - and like the pumpkin bread from yesterday's story - I know that I will eat it. So, I decided to bake brownies instead and decorate and serve them individually - sort of like petit fours, but with some serious chocolate and heft. So I did that. I made just enough and I did have a very small taste to see if they were acceptable- and then she told me yesterday that the guest list dropped. Guess who had brownies for desert last night? Oh, well. They turned out very good and are very cute and I hope she isn't disappointed, but I think the individual desert will make it easier for the 20 or so guests at tonight's dinner to take them home and enjoy them later if they so desire. I know that I will NOT be bringing home the extras.

Dining on Ego Biscuits

"You were awesome. I've never seen you run so fast. You were faster than women half your age. How come I've never seen you run this well?"

Dear Lord, do I love this man, or what.

I had a great run last night. It wasn't that long - a skosh under 3miles, but it felt glorious. I was felt strong and my legs felt light - and I felt like there was still a little more in the tank if I needed it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"because that's who I am"

I'm having a bit of a struggle this afternoon. I skipped noon workout to go see a friend's newly remodeled kitchen - because that's who I am. I came back to work and picked up my scheduled food to eat. Soup and salad. And was still hungry. More of that vaguely hungry - because that's who I am. So I made the decision to try to find some inspiration - just something to get me through the rest of the day, keep me distracted enough to keep me far away from the candy machine. For some reason, I'm craving sweets. So I started "surfing the urge" as they say. Followed link after weight-loss/fitness link until I happened upon The Pasta Queen.

I'd never been to her site before, never even heard of her, but in a recent entry she writes about baking pumpkin bread. She's supposed to bring pumpkin bread for something or someone. She has the pumpkin thawed out, she's borrowed the pans, she's got some/most/all of the ingredients and she's ready to bake. Except that she doesn't - and in writing that rings so true to me that it makes me want to cry - she makes the decision to not bake the pumpkin bread because she knows that even though she feels strong right then that tomorrow she will eat the pumpkin bread - "because that's who I am". And then she went for a run "because that's who I am".

And I'm going for a run tonight. I packed my gym bag this morning, not just with my gym clothes, but with my running clothes. I'm going to try to haul my ass back up on the treadmill for a slow, slow one half-hour jog. Wish me strength.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 28

Get ready to weigh in.

Dread. I don't want to weigh in tomorrow. Hell, I didn't want to weigh in today. The honest truth is that I'm struggling through the witching hour. And last night I faltered, again. The problems are two-fold, I think. We don't eat early enough to suit me. It's usually 6 o'clock when we get home from the gym. Last night, I started dinner pretty much as soon as I walked in the door, but it still wasn't ready until nearly 8pm. It had been 8 hours since I'd eaten. I was starving -um, no, I wasn't starving, but I was hungry and so when Bick ran to the store to get him some ice cream, I ate several handfuls of nuts, which until I actually weighed the last handful, I'd been grossly underestimating the calories. Sigh. So, looks like I've got a couple of problems to solve. I need to eat earlier, whether Bick wants to or not. I feel like some sort of failure because I want to eat before he does. Secondly, during the witching hour, which is when I am at my most vulnerable, I don't need to be alone in the kitchen because I won't snack in front of Bick - which says something, I'm sure.

The good stuff:

I got in a couple of workouts yesterday, so that's good.

I had no desire for Bick's ice cream.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 27

Master the Seven Question Technique.

I wonder sometimes how I managed to find my way to this point in life, given how illogical my thinking has been in the past. There are times that I wouldn't recognize what was real or true if it bit me on the ass. I've been my own worst enemy, failing just to get the hell out of my own way.

For me, getting real and appropriate is a process - a journey. For other people, it's just a way of being and it appears effortless. Take my friend Lyn, for example - you can always count on her for solid, sound and sane advice or ways of looking at situations. It's like she has the ability to zero in on the real stuff while I'm left floundering around in the Land of Rainbows and Unicorns. Using Beck's CBT-based seven questions should help me get real. I believe that I have the ability to recognize true and real when I hear it, it's just that I have a hard time winnowing it out for myself.

The Seven Question Technique:

1. What kind of thinking error could I be making?
2. What evidence is there that this thought might not be true or completely true?
3. Is there an alternative explanation or another way of viewing this?
4. What is the most realistic outcome of this situation?
5. What is the effect of my believing this thought and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
6. What would I tell Pebbles if she had this thought?
7. What should I do now?

I am going to spend some more time with this one - as this can help me with many, many areas of my life.

I'd like to spend a little time with item 6 - What would I tell Pebbles/friend/loved one if she had this thought? I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about our dieting woes and she was lamenting her weight creep and the accompanying self-loathing. She is this wonderful, caring, beautiful, smart and successful woman, but she is letting a few pounds, and I do mean a very few pounds (in her opinion - in mine, she looks fab) "weigh" her down. And I find myself doing the same thing. I'm battling with the desire to lose, as of today, eight pounds. And I sometimes feel really bad about myself because I'm not doing what I need to do to get this done and I have become very self-critical. So to counter this, I'm writing down a list of accomplishments of which I am proud and to show me that I can do this. Pardon the self-cheering.

Worked my way through college and grad school. It took me years and years, but I finished with an MBA and not one student loan.
Put Pebbles through college, including one year of on-campus dorm experience, plus a couple of study abroad semesters. She chose to get a small student loan to help fund her bonus study abroad semester (which I believe she has paid off) but essentially, she got through cash and carry.
I am sustaining a 102 pound weight loss. I lost the bulk of the weight in 1999 - 75 pounds or so and have (mostly) kept it off.
Quit smoking after nearly 30 years.
Got a divorce.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Recognize, acknowledge and celebrate your strengths.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 26

Recognize thinking mistakes.

I've battled depression off and on for years. I've come to believe that for me, the vast majority of my depression was caused more by my thinking mistakes than by any brain chemistry issues - or more acurately, that my bad thinking led to bad brain chemistry. It was only in my last round of talk therapy that we fully discussed my distorted thinking habits. And for me, a good deal of it is just a habit that grew out of coping mechanisms that I developed as a younger person.

I was actually thinking about this on the way in to work this morning - not realizing this would be today's Beck lesson. Honestly, I was berating myself a bit for not understanding this sooner and for making so many mistakes early in my life. "Why didn't someone tell me before this?" Perhaps they did and I just wasn't in a place to understand or accept it. So I am working on changing my thinking patterns - or at least trying to recognize when I'm falling into one of the patterns that Beck describes.

1. All or nothing thinking. In spades.
2. Negative fortune telling. "I'm not being negative, I'm just planning for the worst". Like your thoughts don't have any power.
3. Overly positive fortune telling. "I can eat just one cookie and then stop". Yea, only if it's the last damn cookie.
4. Emotional Reasoning. I think it, so of course it must be true.
5. Mind Reading. Check. Classic behavior of a co-dependent person.
6. Self-deluding thinking.
7. Unhelpful rules. Can't waste food. Frugal versus healthful.
8. Justification.
9. Exaggerated thinking.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Know thyself.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 25

Identify sabotaging thoughts.

Yea, well, hmm. According to Beck, you almost always tell yourself something before you eat unplanned food. If I had to pick the one that I think most it's "I don't care". For me, I don't care is probably made up mostly of rebellion. I said the other day that I didn't have an issue with fairness, but perhaps I do given the whole "f' it, I don't care" thoughts that I have. When I think about it, I really am acknowledging to myself that I know what I'm doing isn't good for me, but I am going to do it anyway. I don't care. But I do care and I just need to figure out how to stop myself and convince myself that I do care. That whatever I'm about it eat ISN'T going to make anything better.

I don't care is more a feeling than an actual logical thought. It's the emotional equivalent of a two year-old's tantrum.

Obviously, I'm not following my plan as well as I should be these days. Damn, it was just a few weeks ago I was telling Michele how "in the zone" I felt. In the zone, on top of everything and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Being in the zone gives me such a feeling of confidence and I was thinking yesterday about how far away and unattainable "the zone" feels. More of my maladaptive thinking, I think. The "zone" isn't far away and unattainable - I can begin to feel that way with about three days of appropriate behavior. Just three days - or really, not even three days - closer to three hours. Three hours, or one hour a day when staying on plan is especially difficult. Three witching hours - that one hour a day when I get home from work that is tough. And honestly, I've already got today's witching hour taken care of. I put dinner in the crockpot so it will practically take care of itself. All I need to do is steam some vegetables and through together a salad and dinner is done. The other danger zone is post dinner cleanup, and Bick is always a willing volunteer for wipedown and lunch packing. So the reality is that I am now just two hours away from the zone. Two hours. Find something else to do for those two hours. Distract myself - just like I would a toddler who wants something he or she shouldn't have.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. A feeling isn't always reality.


Good things I've done recently that I need credit for:

Rid the house of unfortunately leftovers and stuff that no one needs (ice cream, I'm looking at you)

Went to the gym on my day off

Spent some time organizing which always seems to help me regroup

Put together a crockpot dinner for tonight

Took the bread leftovers from fixing dinner for Sandy last night and made herbed breadcrumbs and threw them in the freezer.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Update

First let me say, I am mortgage free. The Mango Hut, in all it's modest glory is mine, all mine.

I still have a lot of debt and I know that my path isn't the traditional one, but I have always felt it was the best for me. That the best decision I could make for my future to stave off the whole bag-lady possibility was to have a paid-for home. It would have made more financial sense (perhaps) to use home equity to consolidate debt - but for me, that was trading unsecured debt for secured. If things went south financially, then I would have lost my home, too. So, as it stands, I made the decision to pay off the house and work on the other debt. Now with the house paid off, it is my hope that I will be debt free in two years. It may not be the the right choice for everyone, but for a middle-aged single woman, the finest gift I can give myself is a some real financial security.

Of course, who knows if I will ever live there again, but right now the Mango Hut is doing lovely things for me and my family. It is allowing me the opportunity to partially fund Mom's retirement for a couple of years while Bick and I get the rest of our obligations in order. The Mango Hut - something to be thankful for. Bick insisted that we celebrate my accomplishment last night - so in typical Roxie/Bick fashion - we donned our new matching robes (no, we really aren't that schmoopie - they only had one color and style), built a fire, stuffed everything we could find with cream cheese and threw it in the oven, put on Sinatra and danced. We then retired to the barge for the first time this fall to watch the fire and talk. Wonderful evening.

Our Thanksgiving was very, very nice. I hosted Pebbles and Guy (and their Dog), Bette (sister) and FarmerTed (her guy) and Mom. Bick went to Durant, OK to be with his family. We had a very nice time - everyone got along great and seemed to enjoy themselves - and while the whole ordeal left me very, very tired, there was no stress. Nice time.

Foodwise - it's been so-so. And although it is cold and rainy here, I am going to bundle up and get outside to get some exercise.

Monday will be back to your regularly scheduled Beck programming.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Tenacity will serve you well.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Obligatory Thanksgiving Post

Except that it's not obligatory. I do have a great deal to be thankful for. I am thankful for Pebbles, who always delights me and makes me proud at the same time. I wish many good things for her - she's a good kid and I admire her. I think that she is happier and more contented than I have ever known her to be. She's doing work she likes, living where she wants to live and is a loving, supportive relationship where she acts like an adult - at least some of the time. Guy is not my cup of tea, but he is hers and he's good to her and good for her and for that, I'll always respect him - and perhaps that really is the best thing for all of us.

And there's my relationship with Bick. When a big bundle of stress meets a little ball of fury. Sometimes what you think will happen doesn't. Somehow we soothe each other and support each other. I've never been in any relationship where I felt truly partnered - that I am a better person for being with him.

And my family - even with the issues we are facing now and will face in the future. As long as I can keep my new motto in mind and become like teflon, I can continue to see the goodness in all of them and try to let the brokeness roll off.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Give thanks.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 24

Dealing with disappointment.

Wow! What an interesting exercise today. Learning to deal with disappointment. Like many of the lessons here in Beck, very applicable to other areas of life, as well as dieting. Today's reading brought up something that I'd been thinking about for a couple of days. Perfectionism.

For me, perfectionism rears it's ugly head in my all-or-nothing thinking. Either I am perfect or I am crap. Either my day was great or it was horrible, diet-wise. The reality may be and probably is, that my day was okay, maybe even great for 15 and a half of my 16 waking hours. But I will focus on that half hour and it will color my view of the entire day. All or nothing thinking. Either it (or me) is perfect or worthless. Perfection versus failure. Either I am in training to be able to run a half-marathon or I am a unmotivated pig. Either I am skinny or I am fat. All or nothing.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find some middle ground.


Progress: missed the lunch workout yesterday due to attending a medicare seminar, but picked up a spin class at the Jesus Gym.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 23

Counter the Unfairness Syndrome.

Hmm. I don't know that unfairness enters into my (bad) decision making. I do know that some people have a huge problem with fairness in many areas - but I don't think this is one of my (many) character flaws. I'll continue to think about it some, in case I'm missing something.

Progress report: Lousy. Bad, bad Sunday for me. Ate like crap and didn't get one step of exercise over the weekend. This trend has got to change. Back to the basics - don't eat while standing up. Repeat. Don't eat while standing up.

Goals for today:

Go to meditation
Elliptical at lunch
treadmill with Bick at the Jesus Gym
Don't eat while standing up

Friday, November 16, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 22

Say, Oh, well, to disappointment.

Oh, well means I don't like it, but I'm going to accept it, Beck writes. I don't like it but I'm going to have to stop banging my head against the wall, tilting at windmills and trying to put lipstick on a pig. This strategy sort of dovetails into another philosophy that I'm trying to incorporate into my life - arte di non fare niente - the art of doing nothing.

So many times in my life, I've felt called into action. That I must do something. That it's up to me to solve/make better/fix/get inappropriately involved in someone else's pig farm. Now I'm trying to learn the fine art of doing nothing, arte di non fare niente - which is also Italian for "not my pig", but it sounds much classier. Right now, I'm trying to practice the fine art of doing nothing and I guess I need to apply some of Beck's techniques on this as well. I'm pretty much obsessing over Mom's situation and the fact that I think she'll be broke within two years and after watching Oprah's show yesterday on compulsive shoppers/hoarders trying to decide whether to talk to her about her problems. I need to learn to turn off these thoughts that keep me up at night - perhaps by using some distraction techniques or using arte di non fare niente as a mantra. I've pretty much decided that I can't - I can't fix this and she's totally not open to admitting she has an issue, so the consequences, however dire, will just have to be hers. Arte di non fare niente - the art of doing nothing.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Practice arte di non fare niente.


Progress report: Ate within program, got in some exercise at lunch, but no Jesus Gym due to traffic snarls for both Bick and me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Read this

Good stuff. Followed a link from Carol's website to Jen to a link she posted.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 21

Get ready to weigh in.

Beck writes if you step on the scale with the wrong mindset, it can erode motivation. Been there, done that. Tomorrow is weigh in, a week after officially beginning the diet which, for me, coincides with about the time I went off the rails, so I will show a gain. And it's not the end of the world. As I said yesterday, I just need to keep doing the things that I know are right and the other stuff will take care of itself. This is more about how I feel - and I feel better if I am managing my health and well-being and doing things that are good for me, rather than not.

Facing the scale becomes a matter of viewing it as a gauge - Beck likens it to a thermometer - and based upon the reading - you decide what is the best course of action. It is not a tool to measure self-worth or an implement intended to self-inflict wounds. It's a gauge, and it reflects what it reflects.

Progress reports: Back on track yesterday eating wise and got in some good exercise with Bick at the Jesus Gym. Bick's health and well-being is on the upswing. He says he's feeling better than he's felt in years and says it is evident in his demeanor. Said people at work are noticing and commenting about how much happier he seems to be. He really hit a down patch with all the blood pressure, high cholesterol and potential heart issues news earlier in the year. But he's taking action and it's helping, both physically and mentally and I'm very happy for him.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Work at it.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 20

Get Back on Track.

I certainly need this bit of advice. It appears that I've come off the rails here in the last ten days. I'm up five pounds as of this morning - first day I've had the nerve to even climb on the scales. The good news is that the conference did me some good -plus I got there without a cell chargers, so I spent a couple of days without much communication ability. Sometimes that is a good thing. I was able to focus on doing the right things and getting myself back on track.

I spent some time yesterday re-reading the entire first few chapters of the book and came up with some points to ponder. 1. I've been rushing through my Beck work. I've let other things (namely the whole situation with Mom) take priority. 2. Because of the other things going on in my life, I'm much less centered when doing my Beck work. I need to rededicate myself to spending the time - both clocktime and mental concentration time on the lessons in the book - which if you translate this into the big picture - I need to learn to keep my needs for good self-care in the forefront or I am no good to anyone else.

I also spent time re-reading all of my response cards and making some new ones to help me get back into the groove where I am getting good exercise and eating well. If I am doing those things, then I really am in a much better headspace to take on whatever challenges life throws at me.

Beck's advice for getting back on track:

Acknowledge your initial slip. I think mine was much more an Alice-in-Wonderland down the rabbit hole than I slip.

Recommit yourself to your diet. Time at conferences has always allowed me to regain control of my eating. There seems to be something about ordering every bit of food and knowing that it is going on an expense account that keeps me on track. I guess this is one of those situations where I am not in conflict with my frugal nature and I don't feel the need to "cheap" out. Something to think about, perhaps.

Draw a symbolic line. The ass stops here.

Give yourself credit for stopping - at any point.
I did finally stop. There is a very interesting graphic in the book about what constitutes a binge - and the accompanying calories and weight gain. The truth is, I haven't over-eaten 5 pounds worth. My body is just adjusting or readjusting to the change in sugars, calorie counts, etc. When I throw it one of these curves, it reacts by holding on to every ounce of water weight - like your basic camel.

Continue to eat normally. This is an important concept to me. If I do some unplanned eating, then my tendency is to try to compensate by doing without. Well, if I do without, I'm much more likely to overeat later. So, the message is - do the next right thing. If you have a slip, just pick up and eat the next scheduled meal or snack as if it didn't happen. Back about ten years ago, I was tracking my eating in very broad terms on a calendar. I had basically three grades - Perfect, Good enough and needs improvement. I found that as long as the good enoughs and perfects happened more often than the needs improvement, then I was in good shape and moving in the right direction.

Learn from this mistake. I've known for a while, but this exercise brings it back home to me that my issue isn't my weight, my issue is how I cope with anxiety. My goal is to practice enough self-care and reduce my stressors. I need to be able to recognize these situations as they arise and tell myself that I am entering dangerous territory and begin EXTREME self-care rather than find myself flailing about looking for some relief. Extreme self-care for me involves eating right, avoiding the white food group, getting exercise and plenty of it and finding the time to calm and center myself.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Practice extreme self-care.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Away on business

I'm away at a conference and will be until Thursday.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 19

Stop fooling yourself.

Ah, well, it seems this Dr. Beck knows of what she speaks. And she's got a pretty good handle on when people will hit the wall. And start fooling themselves. Actually, I haven't been fooling any one. I've been eating for reasons unrelated to hunger and today I am suffering the inevitable food hangover that comes from overeating off-program. Yuck. So, it's back on track. I'm not going to berate myself over this - I'm doing the best I can right now and my task is to do the next right thing.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be honest, but be gentle.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

judas goat

I feel like a judas goat. Yesterday I had to herd my Mom out of her office of twenty-one years. She is being retired, pretty much against her will, but for cause. Her last day was supposed to be last Friday but she just kept coming to work, which was in violation of her severance package. She said she was just packing up, but she was doing actual work (we work at the same place) and I finally had to go over there yesterday and pack up her stuff and tell her it was time for her to leave. I didn't want anyone else to have to do it, but goddamn, it was painful and pitiful.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Know when it's over.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 18

Change your definition of full.

I've often said that I have no brakes when it comes to eating. I'll eat until I founder. If the bag of chips is a single serving, that's what I'll eat. If the bag of chips is Costco-sized, well, I'll give that a go as well. For me, this overeating happens for one of two reasons - one is that I just like the taste and feel of eating certain foods, but the real killer is if I am eating for emotional reasons. To calm myself, so soothe myself, to numb myself, to fill that "hole" in my chest. Obviously, in those situations, I am applying food to a non-hunger problem again.

I do pretty well with following practical tips to help. We don't eat family style. We serve ourselves at the stove and then sit down at the table to eat, so eating seconds at the table is rarely an issue. I sometimes have a problem during kitchen clean-up, but most of the time Bick handles the clean up. If I'm having an especially difficult time, I'll specific ask before we even get up from the table if he will take care of kitchen clean up and he's happy to do so.

My overall strategy here is to eat and then get out of the kitchen to allow myself enough time to feel full. Seems to work for me.

Progress report: I haven't done one of these, but from time to time, I'll try to post some of my results.

I've lost 6 pounds since starting on Beck Diet Solution on October 15. I don't know that my weight has changed that much beginning the diet two weeks into the program - maybe a pound or so. I'm really trying not to focus so much on the weight loss aspect of this - more the habits. And the habit that I am struggling with is getting in enough exercise. I just blew off yesterday, so I haven't had any forced exercise since Friday. I have a spin class scheduled for today, but am feeling so beat down over my Mom's situation, that I just don't seem to have the full head of steam that I need to get through that class. I may decide just to do some treadmill or elliptical work today - plus, I do have a walk scheduled for tonight after work.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I thought that I had helped Mom come to some understanding and acceptance of the whole forced retirement issue. I thought we had worked out a viable and comfortable plan that would get us through at least until the house in WA sold. I was feeling pretty good about it. Thought everyone was okay with making the best of a bad situation. Except that she has decided to see an attorney and won't quit coming to work and by showing up today, I believe she has violated her severence package deal. Like she can afford to leave a years salary on the table. She's like the guy on Office Space who won't go home.

I've told her three times that I think she's in violation of the agreement she hasn't yet signed and she should go home. I understand her wanting to sue - it's like she can make this go away if only the institution were somehow proven wrong. In dealing with her on this, I can now see that they are trying to preserve her dignity as best they can. She's become far less than competent. She can't find anything. She files stuff and can't retrieve it. She can't remember how to do pretty basic tasks. I want her to just go and take the package and save herself the embarrassment of being vilified. I understand that she is hurt. It really sucks to have this happen, but she can't make it not have happened.

That being said, I did ask to go with her to see this attorney, since she's dead set on it. Our appointment is at 5:30 this afternoon. I'm not looking forward to this at all. I can't really decide how to go about this. I've tried to discourage this, but she's not buying it. I can't imagine that she has any sort of legal standing. Just because she doesn't it to happen doesn't mean it's against the law, and there's no age discrimination going on - every one of her co-workers is in her same protected class.

There is no easy way to deal with this. As Bick says, all I can do is give the best advice I can and let her deal with the consequences. And my sisters is of absolutely no help on this one - although I believe she's seeing some of this behavior as well, but just doesn't want to admit it.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 17

End overeating.

Today's exersize asks you to overload your plate with more food than you plan to eat or to include a food that is not on your meal plan. Purpose being to get in the habit of strengthening your resistance muscles when faced with situations where you are not in control over what goes on your plate. I plan to practice this exercise at dinner tonight. Sandy (who is in hot water with EVERYONE right now for a stupid stunt she pulled over the weekend) is coming over for dinner tonight and to talk with her Dad. We traditionally serve foods that I don't normally eat when she's there, so this will be my opportunity to perform this exercise.

My first thought when reading through this exercise was that it was probably a waste of time for me, but as I read through the session notes, I realized that this really is something that I need to work on. The session notes involve a discussion around too much food on a plate and how that made the patient nervous. "That's silly", I thought. Except that it doesn't made me nervous, in some cases, it makes me mad! So let's split the difference between nervous and mad, and realize that sometimes extra food on my plate makes me anxious when I am trying to eat on program. So anxious, in fact, that I find it hard to enjoy the rest of my meal. Case in point - Bick and I have a favorite breakfast place. As a matter of course, potatoes and bread come with every order and I always request that they don't serve them to me and about half the time, they don't. The bread is always served on the side, but when they serve me potatoes, it is on MY PLATE. It really irritates me to the point of me becoming annoying and whiny (to Bick) and I have to get the stuff off of my plate - so I end up putting them on his and I still fume about it. He, of course, eats what he wants and leaves the rest. No problem. It does create some tension for me - not at the waitstaff, or the kitchen staff, but internally. This will require further thought and response cards, no doubt.

What felt on the surface as a blow-off exercise, really does have some value when it comes to how I deal with these issues.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Let them eat cake....

Well, crap. I can't remember the last time I baked a cake - well, actually, I think it was almost exactly two years ago and I was doing a groom's cake for the son of a friend. If my memory serves, it was one day before I met Bick for the first time. Anyway, it appears that I have forgotten how to bake or something, because the cakes that I just pulled out of the oven aren't worth decorating. They stuck in the pan and all the edges are off. On both cakes. Grr. I guess I wasn't generous enough with the crisco/flour mixture during pan prep. Oh, well. I'll figure out something else to do tomorrow. Looks like I'll be forced into doing a cake from scratch, not that it's a big deal - this is really all about this new tasty (supposedly) fondant technique. I was so excited that I got up in the middle of the night to bake the cake and make the icing so it would have time to do whatever it is it needs to do.

In other news, to celebrate our almost two year annimeetary, we made our first joint purchase. We bought a new mattress. It was an interesting outing. We had decided that Bick would be our negotiator and then we would test beds together and separately without comment until we had tested all we were interested in - no foam, no pillowtop. We went to three stores and without fail, we each picked the same mattress in every store. Oh, another of our mattress buying tips was to remove the pillows on the bed - our thought was that they could distort our view of the mattress. So anyway, we found what we wanted, Bick dickered on the price and then we went to pick it up. I was all for having it delivered, but Mr.-I'm-not-going-to-sleep-on-that-bed-another-night couldn't wait. As we waded through traffic, he conceeded that he should have listened to me and just waited another day. As it stood, we wasted most of an afternoon - as we had gone shopping in Mitzi, but had to come all the way back home to pick up a truck. But it's home and it's wonderful and I think I'll go back to bed.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Time is money.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Substitute

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Beck blogging because, well, because after my little speech about always keeping my book and workbook with me, I left them at work yesterday. I'm working from home today due to race traffic. So this will be a substitute lesson plan. Let's just call it a review, as I still want to spend to time on the program each morning.

I feel the program has some very valuable insight into how to head off the pitfalls of dieting. And actually, I really hate the term dieting, but I also hate every other substitute as well - way of eating, program, whatever - I'm not ON a diet, I am just eating in a way that allows me to attain my goals in both mind and body.

As far as the eating goes, well, it's going okay. I had a midcourse adjustment yesterday when Pebbles called, said she was in town and wanted to do lunch, so I ended up swapping my lunch for dinner. I didn't eat exactly how I wanted to at lunch, but I did alright and then made some adjustments at dinner. Went to the gym with Bick last night and spent some time on the elliptical machine. I was highly stressed, so it was good to really work off some steam. A much better solution than polishing off the rest of the Halloween candy (of which I had none ) and which I promptly asked Bick to take over to the neighbor kids. Today, my planned exercise is going to be an absolute treat - I'm taking Miss SadieLou out to the park today for a long walk. The weather should be perfect and I'll be traveling in the opposite direction of the raceway. I wish I could take her to the park that Michele and I walk in, but it would be tough to get there and back today.

So, I've got my exercise planned and my food planned. I packed my lunch for today just as though I was going to work so I have NO CHOICE but to eat it. I'll read the response cards that I have tucked around here at home and I'm going to have a great day.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Have a plan.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.

Just let me say that I am glad that Sucktober is over. It did suck mightily. However, I believe that some decent things came out of it - both in the area of moving things forward with a workable plan for Mom and the personal growth that came from dealing with that situation. And Bick, well, he's been invaluable through all of this. He's spent a lot of time sitting at the kitchen table with me as I hashed and rehashed facts, figures and emotions. He offered sage advice, practical solutions and a shoulder when I needed it.

As it turns out, Mom did have some retirement money that she hadn't been able to access, so it was there. She is getting some severance, which is good and I presented her with some options that I think can work. I wanted a more interactive session, but I didn't get that, so I don't know that she actually bought in to any of it. I do know that I feel more positive - there is a viable option that can sustain her comfortably for a decent amount of time. Now of course her definition of comfort will probably differ from mine - but I feel like I have made the options available and tried to lay out the consequences as clearly as possible. And that is all I can do. The rest is up to her.

Of course, for now, this all hinges on living at the Mango Hut. Which, as Bick and I discussed, looks like it could be for a long time - so we've sort of resigned ourselves to look at some different options for us in the future - but we are both very, very grateful to have the Hut as an option for Mom right now. And I am very glad that the move was in play before the forced retirement situation came along. And despite my issues with Mom, that whole deal was a really unexpected, difficult and unwarranted, IMHO. So she deserves my sympathy and compassion on that issue. It's been rocky, but I am hopeful that we are through the worst of it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Fund your retirement.


Beck Diet Solution: Day 16

Prevent Unplanned Eating.

Make your decisions ahead of time. I know for me this is one of the biggest keys to success. Make the decision when it's easy, not when it is more difficult. This is one of those big life lessons for me - figuring out where I fail and then trying different strategies to make doing the good thing the easiest thing. Back in my twenties, I was a horrific housekeeper. Everything was always in chaos. I would walk in the door from work and start to take off my clothes and they would stay where they fell. I couldn't make it into the bedroom closet to hang up my clothes. I was spending a fortune in dry cleaning bills! I finally fixed this bad habit - I moved all of my work clothes to the front coat closet! It was right there when I walked into the house and I began to hang my stuff up religiously. A little unconventional, but it worked. I made it easy on myself to make better decisions.

The big lesson today is NO CHOICE - I have a food plan and I am going to follow it. The plan provides me with all the things I need - nutrition and nourishment for today and a pathway to achieve my goals for a fit and healthy body in the future. My plan is enough, I don't need any more.