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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Going Green 101

After spending probably 2 hours at the store (OK it was Wal-Mart) and going up and down every aisle in the grocery section; after wondering if that thing really was an avocado or a very bumpy lime; after watching the total go up...up...up, I'm wondering if there is a tax deduction for all the green I'm putting in my cart! There is (or at least there was) a tax deduction for going green and buying a hybrid car so I think there should be a tax deduction for the reduction of calories that's going to be taking place in my house come January 1st. My fridge is definitely going green!!

Do you feel this way too, or is it just me? The cost of eating right - eating healthy - is enough to cause heart palpitations when I swipe my debit card at the cashier stand. I didn't buy "diet" food, or diet brands, or diet programs...just vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. "Where's the macaroni and cheese?" my oldest daughter asks me in a panic? (She saw peas go into the cart earlier and about passed out.) I tell her that I will make it - homemade. She likes that. At least we're not as processed as I thought we were.

I did use my Christmas money at Wal-Mart to buy a juice extractor. (Sounds like something that little green martian from the Bugs Bunny cartoons would have on his ship: the GE 2000 juice extractor.) I used to have a smaller one a few years ago but it quit working. I found one - I mean THE last one - at Wal-Mart that was black, to match my kitchen appliances, and it seems easy enough to use and clean. The last thing I remember making with my juicer before was carrot juice and something else that had cucumbers in it. I am excited to use it because I know juicing is VERY good for you. If you are an experienced juicer, I would appreciate some recipes and tips on how to get the most out of my juicing experience! Also, let me know if you find a deduction for purchasing a juice extractor!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shake it Up, Baby!

I'm looking at this magazine about smart ways to live well and on the cover it says, "19 ways to shake stubborn fat." I look at my husband, chuckle and say, "I know how to do that," and begin jumping up and down. You know, all I have to do is stir batter in a bowl and that stubborn fat just jiggles away. Or how 'bout going down the stairs fast? There ya go...3 ways to shake stubborn fat and I didn't even have to read the article! At least I have a sense of humor, right?

We drove home from my in-laws today after visiting with them for Christmas and I began making menus and a grocery list in the car. I am really ready to make a change! Tomorrow I will go out and buy all the "good" food we should be eating anyway. And that's one of the things that draws me away from eating healthy...the expense. Do you notice how much it costs to eat healthy? And I'm not even shopping in the "organic" section, although studies earlier this year found that organic proved to be no different than what I buy regularly. As Dr. Phil is noted for saying, "So how's that workin' for ya?" Well, it's not. My cheap excuse of being cheap has not helped me or my family at all! I believe this healthy lifestyle change will have a great impact on us all not just in the weight department but in the behavior department.

I've noticed that my children's behavior changes when there are more processed foods being "processed" in our house! For my oldest daughter, who is high spirited and energetic, cutting the sugars and serving more protein and fiber, drinking more water instead of juice and moving more have helped her to concentrate better in school (we homeschool by the way).

In addition to the food altering behaviors, TV is another "diet" we are going on. Too much TV-in our house-causes more spats and lazy behaviors for everyone, even the parents! We are making TV coupons that the children will have to earn each day. Here's how they will work:

Children start with no TV at all and will have the opportunity to earn TV coupons as we go throughout the day. Each coupon is worth 30 minutes of TV time, or computer time, and they can earn a maximum of 4 each day (2 hours of TV total). They earn coupons when they have completed their chores, their schoolwork, or something I've asked them to do. When all our work is done, they have free time and they can cash in a TV coupon for TV or computer time, or play with their "toys" or read books or play outside. When 1 child cashes a TV coupon for Word Girl and another child wants to watch it, the 2nd child must turn in a coupon even though they did not pick the show. All coupons must be turned in at the end of the day even if they did not use them all. All good things have a price...if they break our house rules the coupons can be taken away, or not earned at all, and dad "explains" the house rules again. So, we're in the beginning stages if the TV coupons however cutting back on the TV and computer, I believe, will show them that there are more healthy and creative things to do besides watching mindless entertainment on a big screen.

So there will be a whole lotta shakin' goin' on around here - and it won't be that stubborn fat!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Feeling-Fat Days

In my opinion, bad hair days don't hold a candle to feeling-fat days. You open your eyes in the morning and feel sick to your stomach. Then you remember last night's dinner: fried onion rings, pizza with pepperoni and four kinds of cheese, and bread pudding with orange sauce for dessert. (Was there anything green on your plate? You can't recall.)

You sit up and gaze at your middle. A groundswell of flesh is drifting toward the fluffy area that used to be your stomach. You haul your legs out of bed, and as you waddle to the bathroom, your thighs rub together. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. Bad mistake! Your eyes are swollen, your wrinkles have procreated during the night, and your skin is lackluster from a lifetime of not drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Only 5 minutes have passed since you woke up, and you are already wondering if it's time to go back to bed.

Sound like you, too? When I read the above excerpt by Geneen Roth, I thought she snuck into my bathroom and caught me grumbling to myself over a fat-and-ugly attack. She says, "On bad-hair days you can wear a hat, but because body bags are not an option, on feeling-fat days you have to find an alternative way to put yourself together." Okay! I'm up for that so I read on. "Wear red and wear a belt, preferably at the same time." Huh? I mean, given the gravity of expanding flesh and thighs that seem to have taken on a life of their own, the LAST thing I want to wear is a belt.

On feeling-fat days (which are quite often) I want to hide. I want to cancel all my appointments (for you it may be calling in sick to work) and stay home. If I do venture outside, I will probably be wearing a muumuu-like article of clothing (or at least an oversized sweatshirt and elastic pants) that I think hides last night's eating escapades. But Geneen says that the best thing to wear on days like this is a belt!! She says a "belt reminds you that you have a body and that it actually has a shape." Ummmm.....yeah. I can SEE the shape it is!

Moving on to Geneen's advice to wearing red: Geneen says, "Red is a happy color. Red also evokes bravery and the ability to separate from what's keeping you stuck, which is important to do on a feeling-fat day. The truth is, feeling fat has less to do with last night's bread pudding than it does with your old beliefs about the connection between fat and self-worth, and between the size of your body and what you feel you are allowed to do or say or be." Hmmmm.....has she been reading my diary??

Red symbolizes bravery, strength and power and I know these are qualities I DO have. Time to get them out and put them on (does a red sweatshirt count?) and begin the journey of losing the four-month-pregnant-looking bulge in the middle of my body! As a dear lady said long ago, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." - my journey will unfold moment by moment, one step at a time beginning 01-01-10. I hope you will join me on my health goal journey - people who have some sort of partner lost twice as many pounds as those who tried it alone! Please share with me your weight loss stories, feelings, tips, advice, recipes, and most of all your encouragement!



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