Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 41

Make a new plan.

I am rededicating myself to working Beck's. I've done a decent job over the holidays. I've done a good job of getting my exercise in - I've walked the dogs (or drove the mule team, depending upon your respective) at least once, sometimes twice a day so far. I think the grandpup goes home tomorrow.

On the eating front, well, I've done okay. Lord knows there are times when I've done much worse.

Bick and I made 12 doz cookies to give to neighbors and of those 12 dozen, I ate four over a period of three days. I thought that was pretty darned good, for me. My undoing came as no good deed goes unpunished as a cookie beneficiary brought us some fudge and divinity. I did partake of the fudge a bit too much.

Our holidays were good. Pebbles and Sandy came over and spent a lovely evening with us. I made French onion soup, which was good, but I don't know if it was THAT good. Oh, and the "Thrilla in Manilla" was settled amicably and then became moot. Bick's position is that my pan-frying a steak really does make the kitchen terribly smoky and since we have an eat in kitchen, would I consider cooking it on the propane-powered stove-top thingy outside? Sure. My position was that I thought he was trying to stop me from cooking something different for her and I wasn't buying that, at all. I can't say what's too smoky - that's subjective - and so I was fine with his proposed compromise - and as I was going to fix it, Pebbles said that it was too much trouble for me to go to and just throuw hers on the grill. The truth is that we were all too full after the date/toasted pecan/parmesan/Italian ham appetizers and the soup to give a crap about the steaks. We each decided to split one, so rather than four, Bick only grilled two and we all still left some of them.

Credit:

Didn't stuff myself with Christmas goodies. I did have some, but not a problematic amount. I got in exercise each day walking the dogs two at a time. I don't know that my ass is any smaller, but my arms are three inches longer.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Roxie's Guide to Relationships - yea, right.

I've said for sometime that the way to judge a relationship was by the two Fs - how well do you, well, you know what the one f stands for and how well do you fight. In the more recent past, I've come to believe that how a couple fights is really the most important thing in a relationship.

Fighting fair is a personal standard that I've adopted (or tried to). Respecting people and boundaries and being emotionally honest and mature is my goal. It's not I will if he will, it's I will, regardless. Fighting fair is a deal-breaker for me and it was equally important to Bick, so we've been setting up some ground rules as we go along, based on busted marriages and bad experiences that perhaps, could have been avoided.

1. No name-calling. This was mine. I have such a hard time ever getting over anything that is said to me, even in the heat of the moment. Once you've called someone some horrible name or said something with the intention of inflicting pain, it's really hard to unring that bell.

2. Keep to the point. This was Bick's. No wandering around looking back for things to bring up and fight about. Keep it in the here and now. Don't let resentments build up.

3. No yelling. This was mine. I can't deal with yelling.

4. The right to request a delay/time to talk about things. This was Bick's and it pissed me off the first time he used it - (we hadn't talked about it prior). He later explained to premise to me and it makes a bunch of sense and we've used this one a couple of times. The basics are this - if you don't feel like you are in a place where you can rationally discuss an issue, it will just escalate and end up being a fight about a bunch of crap. This option actually has two prongs - you can tell your partner that you have something you'd like to discuss and ask when would be a good time or if you are the askee, you can ask for a specific delay - "Can we talk about this tomorrow morning?" And then you just go about your business without being a brat. And the magic part of this is the "without being a brat" part. To me, it really shows committment to the relationship and partner - doing the good things, even when you're pissed.


So there they are. Are we perfect at it? No, but we both are committed to practicing these skills until we get them right. It's really more about good communication than actual fighting and this book
was very helpful in teaching some actual techniques when having tough conversations. I attended a day long workshop on this through my work about two years ago and I've been trying to work on this ever since. One of my character flaws is always being so defensive and I need to make it possible for a partner to tell me the tough stuff. And another flaw is that I can be very verbally aggressive - it's the fighting style I grew up around and it's a bad habit that I've been working hard to break.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get to the heart of the matter.

-Roxie

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 40

Enrich your life.

Ah, this is the good stuff. Adding things to your life that bring you beauty, peace, comfort and remove those things that don't (as much as you can). I think I'll adopt this as my goal for my holiday - to enrich my life. To make sure that I don't get so caught up in the goings on that I forget to do the important things.

I pulled up my big girl panties and crawled back on the scale this morning. Ended up that I weighed a pound less than I'd guestimated in my head. I reset my timeframe to meet my goal and have set a mini-goal to get some sort of exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) EVERY DAY of my vacation. Starting today through NYD. Every day. That's it - that's what I hope to accomplish. And if I can take care of that, then the other stuff just seems to fall into place.

Bick's attendance at the Jesus Gym has fallen off and that disappoints me, as I could use the support and he could use the exercise, but I cannot let his choices ruin mine. I've got to do this for me and my well-being. Carol's comment about finding something I love to do is right on. I just have to keep doing something until I can find what that is. I thought it was running, and I guess for a while, it was. Now I guess I'm just looking for the next thing that can hold my attention and make me look forward to it, rather than feel like I'm standing in line to take a beating.

So my plan for today is to get some house cleaning done until it gets light outside and then I think I'll take the dog for a long walk. I'm trying to get as much exercise outside as possible, as I do think that the sun exposure is a good thing in the wintertime.

Then it will be inside to clean up the house, with Bick's help, of course. I am very grateful that he feels just as much responsibility (probably more) to clean house and he is very willing to mop floors which I hate doing with a white hot passion. Our holidays will be pretty low key. I've got quite a bit of baking to do, but very little actual cooking.

I do have a fight scheduled with Bick today, unfortunately. Actually, I don't think it will be a fight, more a discussion and I understand that he is coming from a position of support for me and my tendency to overdo things, but to me, satisfying my daughter's specific dining request is something that I will do out of love. It's one of our "things". So she gets to have tiramisu, just like Sandy is getting her pumpkin pie, and Bick is getting his pecan pie and she gets to have her steak pan-fried by her Mama instead of having it grilled, because that's the way I have always fixed our steaks, and you will just need to live with a little bit of smoke in the kitchen. So, Bick, darling, I love you, but you really should be smart enough not to get between a mama and her cub, even if her cub is nearly 25 years old. Some things never change. So when this subject came up yesterday (after my hell-week at the office, and commute-from hell to get home) I knew that I was wearing the Sombrero of Hate and that to defer the discussion until I'd taken off my crankypants was a good thing.

Today I will be able to state my position in a clear and rational way without resorting to sarcasm or escalating behaviors. So I get a pat on the back for asking for a delay and he gets a pat on the back for agreeing so readily. Asking for a delay is one of our agreed upon options for conflict resolution- if either of us doesn't feel like we are in a position to continue a discussion in a positive manner for whatever reason, we can ask for a no more than 24 hour delay. We try not to sweep things under the rug, but sometimes sleeping on something is a good thing - oh, and no one gets to act like an ass during the time-out period. Being partnered with someone who fully buys into fighting fair is an amazing thing.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Fight fair.

-Roxie

Friday, December 21, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 39

Keep up exercise.

I'd give myself a solid C here. Work was just a monster yesterday and I didn't get to either gym. I don't know that I will go today, but my goal is to have twice a day exercise sessions during my vacation. I'm keeping Pebble's dog during the holiday, so there will be dog walking, with a dog for each of us, plus go to the gym. I'm going to try to expend a bit more energy during my workouts.

I'm just really, really bored with exercise. I think I will throw some money at the problem and bite the bullet and buy myself an iPod, as I can't seem to get Pebbles to donate her old one to her mother. I think that I would like to listen to podcasts or audio books or just something to better allow me to disassociate during exercise.

I also need to go back to classes at work, although they are down until mid-January. I need to do more strength training and I need more work on my flexibility. It just seems so hard to get back in the groove - I've exercised 12 times so far this month - not a stellar record. And I probably won't make it today.

I just need to readjust my priorities here. Exercise is another NO CHOICE item.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 38

Dealing with a plateau.

Obviously this isn't an issue for me right now - or perhaps it is. I've been avoiding the scales for quite some time until I can get myself back fully on track. If I can string together a few days on program, then I'll crawl back on, but for now, I'm just not ready to do it.

Giving credit where credit is due:

Went to the Jesus gym after work and got in a workout.
Fixed a good dinner.
Didn't overeat.
Ate sitting down.
Fixed and remembered to bring my breakfast and lunch today.
Drank 64 oz of water yesterday and I've downed 24 oz so far this morning. This is a pretty big deal for me, as I hate, hate water. Turns out I don't really hate water - I hate water that is too cold, I hate water that is too warm, and I hate water that has any chemical taste to it. But if I fill up my new naglene(sp?) container with water from my Brita that sits on the counter, it's just right. So maybe this will work this time.

Oh, and Suz, you are the funniest thing ever. You are so right - "I've got it around somewhere". Therein lies the problem, perhaps? Hee.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be consistent.

-Roxie

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Inspiration

What do you find inspiring? Is it a book? Movie? Picture?


I've been toying with this idea for a while now and I'm going to try to begin to bring it together over my holiday vacation. I'm going to create a box of inspiration, for lack of a better term. It will start out as just a cardboard box that sits on the bookshelf and contains things that either inspire, soothe or generally make me happy.

One of the first items that is going into the box is a postcard that I received from Sparkler from the Nike marathon. It has multiple pictures of women, all dressed in ATHLETE t-shirts. Sparkler included a note with this postcard, saying that looking at it always made her happy. I think it will make me happy as well.

I've been reading some great blogs lately and a couple of the essays have really spoken to me. I need to retrace my steps and print these out and place them in some sort of journal so they are accessible to me in 3D.

I'll include Working Girl, although I only have the vhs and no way to watch it. I'll put it in there anyway, if only to serve as a touch stone. For some crazy reason, I find that movie very inspiring. Cheesy, yes.

I'll include my copy of Eat, Pray, Love.

I need to find my book on simplifying my life. I know I've got it around somewhere.

And I need to finish this small room at the house that is the perfect space for meditating, practicing yoga and reading. All I need is the perfect chair.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 37

Reduce stress.

Actually, I think I'm doing so, so much better with this overall. I'm getting out of my own way and I'm not actively bringing on (much) of my own stress. It hasn't always been this way. I've spent a lot of my lifetime trying to control people and things and in many ways, I created my own hell. Created it, tended to it, and grew it - all from within. It took me years to recognize what I was really doing to myself and to also recognize this was a control-thing. I accepted too much responsibility, which had it's own rewards from those around me. But the bottom line is that I was really a controlling person. I was my own problem, not those around me. Because I could do it better, smarter, faster, and had little patience for others who couldn't, I just kept taking stuff on and resenting the holy hell out of it. I finally saw this side of me in my relationship with Mac. If nothing else came of that, I'm glad to finally develop this clearer picture of myself and to understand that I could actually do something about it, other than seethe.

Beck writes in today's lesson:

Recognize that you just don't have control over other people. The only one you have control over is yourself. You can change your thinking and your behavior and that's pretty much it.

One think that I'm not doing as well as I used to in my quest to reduce stress - physical exertion. I'm not running anymore and therefore, I'm not working as hard as I once was. There really is something fabulous about that tired that you get from a good workout. Oh, I'm getting exercise these days, but I'm just not working as hard as I used it and I really do miss that physical sensation and stress reduction. Something to consider for the new year.

I'm also considering purchasing some of Victoria Moran's books. There are a couple that sound interesting. Speaking of books, I just finished Eat, Pray, Love last night. I really enjoyed the spirituality aspect of the book - and something that I think I need to further address in my life. I need to increase my meditation practice to more than once a week and I need to increase my yoga practice as well. Again, something to consider in the new year.

Speaking of resolutions, I'm going to try to drink more water. I tend to go around under-hydrated most of the time and I've got to work on changing that. So I'm tracking my water intake these days at fitday and I'm doing so much better than I had been. Seriously, even one glass a day is a big positive.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Create a charmed life.

-Roxie

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend update

Hell week at work. Posessed by the chocolate monster - to which I am normally immune. Late nights. Blah.

Weekend was both great and not-so. Sandy came over to have dinner with us on Friday night. She was in a delightful mood and had her Dad just beaming. And then he asked about her grades and I think she was lying through her teeth to him about not knowing her password to look up her grades online. After she left, I said that I didn't think she did well grade-wise this semester. And Bick reacted to that. I did apologize for saying something that I don't KNOW for a fact to be true. But if I were a betting woman, I'd say that the results are going to be poor. And honestly, I don't completely fault her for that. She's very young, she's moved away from home for the first time and it takes many, many students some time to adjust to their newfound freedoms and college-level work. But from here on out, I will keep my thoughts to myself. This is not my pig. And even if I turn out to be right, it's certainly no victory.

I harvested our first cauliflower from the garden yesterday and I served it steamed up, along the first of over one hundred pounds of elk elk/mix smoked and breakfast sausage that arrived on Saturday.

Enough bitching. I'm tired and I can't wait for the holiday.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep your thoughts to yourself.

-Roxie

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 36

Believe it.

Today's work involves changing your belief system into believing that this time you have the skills you need to make changes that can last a lifetime.

I reread yesterday's entry and it sounded like I was giving up or somehow disappointed in my progress with this program and that is not true. Oh, it would be nice to somehow drop those few pounds, but I'm headed in the right direction, albeit slowly. It's the skills that I want to learn, to have those healthy choices be the ones that automatically come to mind when faced with food situations.

I rented You on a Diet and started watching it last night. Bick came in and watched part of it with me. We didnt' finish, but it was nice to have someone take some real interest in more healthful living. He'd already made the announcement earlier in the evening that he needs to cut out his late night snacking. He usually keeps nuts or chips or somesuch on hand for a snack around 9:30 pm. The crazy thing is that those snacks at that time never tempt me - oh, sometimes I'll have a handful of popcorn, but most of the time, it's just of no interest to me. Which, knowing me, is very interesting - there is rarely a time when food isn't of interest to me. Anyway, we were talking again about how we've let our meal planning slip some and we need to get back on track and he wants to drop five pounds that have somehow appeared in the last month or so.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Progres.

-Roxie

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 35

Get ready to weigh in.

One of Beck's suggestions is to always give yourself credit when you do something right. One of her suggestions is:

I deserve credit for weighing less than I did when I started this.

And that is true. I do weigh less than when I started this and that is a really good thing. I'm trying to figure out a balance in my life. How to attain and maintain a healthy weight and have it NOT be the only thing that I am about. I have been single-minded and completely focused. I've underate and overexercised. I've been a perfectionist in thought and deed and I'm ready to take things slower and easier and have a more full and complete life with time and energy to devote to other things, while still keeping me physically and emotionally fit and healthy. I know how to diet; what I need to learn how to do is live.

I'm in no way giving up, I'm just choosing to define success in different ways. I'd set a weight goal for myself for December 31, 2007. I'm not going to meet it, but my time with Beck has been educational and very, very worthwhile and it's about a good deal more than what the scale says.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Learn all you can.

-Roxie

Monday, December 10, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 34

Solve problems.

Today's exercise refers back to day 27 which gives the seven steps to identify a problem. Part of the real meat of the program:

1. What kind of thinking error could I be making?
2. What evidence is there that this thought might not be true or not 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 negative thought and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
6. What would I tell a friend if she were in this situation and had this same kind of thought?
7. What should I do now?

Beck's point is that to curb emotional eating, you solve what problems you can and let go of the rest - reads sort of like the 12 step program - change what you can and let go of the rest. This lesson - these 7 items - are timely for me this morning. I'm feeling a bit dramatic still today after bringing out my inner drama queen over the weekend and I'm having a bit of trouble stuffing her back in the box. I overreacted to a situation with Bick over something that happened two years ago that in no way affects my life today. Did he make an error in judgment then? Yes. Did he apologize for it? Yes. Did I climb upon my crazy horse and go for a nice long ride? Yes. Am I saddle-sore and wanting to eat to remove the anxiety? Yes. I was making the decision to eat my lunch for breakfast just as I was walking into the office. "I'll eat my lunch for breakfast, buy my normal breakfast and then buy more food for lunch". Like this behavior would some how help my situation. I cannot change what happened. He cannot change what happened. It's time to move on. There is no scenario in which failing to take good care of myself is the best answer.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 33

Eliminate emotional eating.

Were it only so easy. This is the crux of the issue for me. Emotional eating. Eating to comfort and self-soothe. I can remember doing this as a child, perhaps as young as 6 or so. By the time I was 10 or 11, it was a full-blown habit. One of the things that I've learned through the years is that you can put down those habits/strategies/coping mechanisms/comforts that you learned when you are younger because a. they don't serve you well anymore and b. you can learn new ones. Those habits do not always have to define you. I am also working on not labeling this habit or me as negative or bad or defective. This was an action I took when I didn't have the knowledge or the choices. I've got a different tool set now and it's time to use the new set. When all you've got is a hammer, everything look likes a nail.

I've also come to realize that I am far from through with Beck's. It will take me some time to rethink and retrain my habits and thinking patterns and that really is my goal here. Yes, I would love the scale to move downward, but more than that, I really want some peace and freedom in this area, so I will be repeating the Beck exercises when I get to the end. I want a new tool set.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Life is an amazing journey.

-Roxie

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How to boost your willpower

I just read an interesting article in the nyt on how to boost your willpower. The article asserts, as does Beck, that in order to have willpower, you have to start making small changes, making small decisions to strengthen your willpower muscle for those really big tasks.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 32

Prepare for travel.

The basic advice is to plan for one of three strategies on your next trip/vacation. For me travel for work makes it actually easier to stay on program. I can order someone to fix exactly what I need to eat and how I want it fixed. Plus, I have less distractions or things I think I need to do, like laundry or vacuum or some other something that I make up so that I am "too busy" to get in my exercise. I'm more apt to eat right and to exercise while I'm on the road for work.

Vacation travel, however, is a different story. If I'm traveling with Bick, well, it's much easier to eat with him. He's not into sweets, at all. He eats very healthfully and in moderation and much more regulary when on vacation. If I'm traveling with my Mom and Bette, well, then it can be a no-holds-barred kind of deal where it's much more difficult to turn down the food that's being sought.

Choose the travel strategy that best fits you:

1. Allow a hundred extra calories per day
2. Allow a couple of hundred calories on several days
3. Allow a one night feast, preferably on the last night.

Beck also discusses planning for how you will feel once you get home, which I think is important. But for me, the actual trip home is where I'm most likely to fall by the wayside. I'll be tired and anxious to get home, possibly bored, etc., and I find that I will eat the entire travel day home - especially if I'm traveling home from WA with my Mom and Sister. I usually feel the affects of this for several days. This will be something to watch for in the future.

Beck also suggests planning now for your next trip. Bick and I have been discussing taking a road trip to Taos sometime in January. I might throw in a couple of half-days of skiing, along with some relaxing. I hope we manage to follow-through, as it sounds like a nice time. It's a 10-12 hour drive from here, but if we left on afternoon/evening, spent the night in the Amarillo area and got up early the next day, we could have a late lunch in Taos.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. See the world.

-Roxie

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Beck Diet Solution: Day 31

Decide about drinking.

If given the choice, I'd much rather eat than drink, so for the most part from a pure caloric standpoint, I choose not to drink. Oh, I'm not above having a drink at times, but my alcohol comsumption has leveled off, after a spike after meeting Bick.

This is a very interesting subject to me, obviously. Bick is an active, high-functioning alcoholic. He's a heavy, daily, drinker. I knew this going into the relationship; he's very frank about his problems with alcohol and his fears about what it will mean to get and be sober. I consider myself, if not an addict (food) then someone who has used food in the past to self-medicate, so I have some level of understanding and compassion when it comes to addictions and recovery. Bick struggles, valiantly,I think, to understand me as I try to make peace with my maladaptive behaviors around food. He just doesn't get it - to him, food isn't a drug. You can't medicate with a drug, but I know that you can. I've been in enough food-induced states of unconsciousness to know it can be done. I've stuffed feelings down with food; I've comforted myself with food; I've done just about everything in the world you can do with food except use it for fuel only. I know this is where my demons live and it allows me to stand with him as he wrestles with making decisions about his.

Progress report:

It really is about progress, not perfection. Progress, not perfection.

Put in two exercise sessions yesterday and ate well.

One of the things I've been thinking about is how I handle challenges such as this. What I really want to happen is that I go on auto-pilot. That I don't have to think/obsess/make perfect decisions about this - that I can come up with a plan and it will just happen, over time. I'm seeing this work in my finances. There was a time that I spent hours and hours going over scenario after scenario, creating budget after budget. I would read countless get-out-of-debt blogs and spent all of my free time trying to squeeze every cent out of my dollar. I would agonize and beat myself up for having got myself into such a precarious financial position. And all it did was make me feel bad (perfectionism?) that I was in such a spot. So sometime back, I decided to implement a plan (snowball) to rid myself of debt and I don't really think about it anymore. I know what I need to do and I do it and I don't let the enormity of my debt make me feel bad about myself. Because, really, what good is that? I am not my debt and I am not my ass. I want to develop the same "set it and forget it" attitude about maintaining my weight.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Unhappy? Self-Critical? Maybe You're Just a Perfectionist

The www.nyt.com has a very interesting article on perfectionism. It touches on what I believe to be a truth that I tumbled to a while back - that my failures or perceived failures (thoughts) will lead me into a depression. I don't have a lot of time to fully flesh out my thoughts on this right now, but I do want to revisit it. Topics mentioned include abstinence versus moderation, eating disorders, overly critical of self and others, the difference between being driven and afraid to fail, etc. The comments were interesting as well.

The AARP tour comes to Dallas

And I've got tickets to this. I am so stinking excited that I can't stand it. It's my Christmas present to me/us - I've never ever spent this kind of money on a concert before and I still didn't get good seats, but what the hell. I just hope they can hold their shit together long enough to get to Big D.

Pebbles actually had to do the ticket wrangling for me, as I was tied up with the wedding stuff this past weekend. She's also providing Bick and I with the use of her swinging bachelorette pad for the night of the concert. So, we'll roll into Dallas, stash the car at Pebble's place and walk over to the venue area, have dinner and then stroll over to the show. Then after it's over, we can walk back to our abode away from home. I need to make sure that Pebbles has a coffee maker!

She was actually quite shocked that I was going. "Mom, that is so redneck. I thought Dad was the big VH fan?"

"Nope, Dad's big band from his youth is ZZTOP; I've always been the VH fan."

Bick knows I can develop a huge case of pre-buyer's remorse, so he had called Pebbles the day tickets went on sale to see if I'd backed out. His plan was to step in if I'd pulled the plug. But I didn't, so I saved him some green.

I've always been a huge fan of VH, well, the original VH, complete with Diamond Dave. And I've always thought that EVH is one of the guitar gods of my lifetime. I'm glad to see him rehabbed (at least temporarily) and back on stage with DLR. I do wonder, however, about VB's decision (if she had a say in it - to let the little one participate on the tour). If Wolfgang was mine, I'd be on that tour as well, keeping him out of harm's way. Of course, my sincere hope is that everyone is old enough to keep their own damn self out of harm's way.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Run with the Devil every now and then.

-Roxie

Beck Diet Solution: Day 30

Stay in control when eating out.

This is not a problem for me, for a variety of reasons- with the exception of dining at a Mexican food restaurants and chips are brought to the table. On good days, I can push these aside and only have a couple to sample the hot sauce. Most of the time, Bick applies extra salt to the chips, making them too salty to be palatable to me. And then there are times that I feel like I'm going to starve and scarf down chips and hot sauce like there's no tomorrow. Bread on the table at an Italian restaurant doesn't cause the same reaction.

Bick and I do a decent job of splitting entrees. We'll order an extra salad and split an entree or I'm prone to have an appetizer as my main meal. Dining out doesn't trip me up that much and I have absolutely no problem with the Meg-Ryan-in-When-Harry-Met-Sally ordering food strategy. On the side, with olive oil, no salt, whatever. Part of the entree splitting is an attempt to control the amount of food we eat and part of it is an attempt not to waste food, as Bick won't really eat leftovers. And I don't need the temptation of bringing them into the house.

And lastly, we rarely dine out. Bick and I both have this philosophy that we prefer higher-end restaurants or absolute dives - and actively avoid middle ground and chain restaurants. And the instances where we need/want to dine either high-end or greasy spoons are few and far between. And in most cases, we are usually disappointed with the food, service or value for our money, so we stay at home. We'll throw together a platter of finger foods, stuff a few things with cream cheese and cut of some fruit for an impromptu meal long before ever choosing the fast food option. It's not that we are really better than fast food (and Bick is better than me) but mostly, we are both cheap. We can do much better food for much less money at home.

No, my achilles heel continues to be snacking before dinner and weekends when I am home alone to cruise the cupboards. Restaurants aren't the problem.

The things I deserve credit for:

Good eating yesterday - all sitting down and all planned
Good workout at lunch
Good plan for today.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Split an entree.

-Roxie

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The economics of organic

I just spent the last two hours harvesting and preparing to freeze our fall crop of broccoli - all nine heads of it. The Garden Gods appear to be smiting us as our yield was a whopping 40 ounces of freezable produce. By my best guess - 4 bucks worth. Perhaps double that if I were to purchase it from the EarnestFoodUnitarianWholeReal FoodMarketPlace, as this was organic stuff. If I recall, I spent about 89 cents per plant and I can't remember if I set out 12, 15 or even 18 plants. We've spent several months watering and tending to the garden, only to have the unseasonably warm Texas fall cause the heads to be small and start to flower prematurely. Don't even get me started on the cauliflower, which hasn't even begun to head yet. The leaves are as big as a volkswagen, but nothing edible is even on the horizon. The kale is a lost cause, the turnip greens got big and bitter too quickly and the swiss chard appears to be staging a walkout. The brussel sprouts look straggly, with not a sprout in sight. Again, all of this at 89 cents a plant. The only real success we are seeing is in our romaine lettuce which is beautifully and dutifully giving us a lovely salad every night. And all of that from an 89 cent packet of seeds.