Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good-bye, Good Riddance and a Good Giveaway

This January has not been my favorite. I was not sad to rip its messy page off my calendar. In fact, I'm quite happy to see it crumpled up and in the can. Smack. Smack. Smack. That is the sound of me dusting the last crummy bits of January off my hands. I'm ready to embrace short, sweet, heart-shaped February with gusto.


The problem with the whole month-long drama was that it completely distracted me from my two favorite January activities: deep-cleaning and dieting. I mean, usually, at this point in a new year, I have scoured my way through a whole mess o'closets and have already lost a few Christmas pounds--enough to fall off the wagon and make sugar cookies or something.

This week, I finally mustered the strength to face the filth in my pantry. It took three hours. By the time I had finished, the kids were watching unapproved tv and the whole house was trashed, but all 40 cans of Campbell's soup were lined up like perfect little soldiers and I remembered the sheer joy of creating order from chaos.

As for the dieting...still not feeling it, folks. Why does it have to be so hard? I exercise religiously. I spin, I lift, I run, I crunch. My blood pressure is low and my heart is strong. Still, I am more Build-a-Bear than Barbie as far as body types go. I know my eating could use some editing...but I don't want it to be a full-time job.

This is where I need your help, friends. Will you please write in with your favorite diet/healthy eating tip? Easy, cheap, and reality-based would be appreciated. And if you are one of those don't-hate-me-I-just-have-a-fast-metabolism types, you can send in your favorite home-organization idea. I need those too.

All participants' names will be dropped into my empty cookie jar and three winners randomly selected at week's end. A little gab-love will be sent just in time for Valentines Day. Thanks in advance for your participation. Swimsuit, here I come.

38 comments:

Lindsey said...

Snack (good kinds) eat protein at every meal. I love Everyday food. Awesome high energy breakfast tips (my fav. yogurt, mini-wheats and fresh strawberrys, watch your portions though) They also have GREAT snack ideas for the same purpose.. High energy. Keep snacks to 100-200 cals. Meals to 300-400 depending on your goal. Drink hot herbal tea to curb cravings. I have to keep it fresh or I get bored eating the same snacks and meals over and over. I hear there is some "diet cookie" look into that!!! :) Oh, and half of a half batch of cookie dough when you just can't take it anymore. :)

Lindsey said...

Everyday Food Magazine that is.. Subscribe. Or get at the check out counter.

Paige said...

Abject starvation is the only thing that works for me at this point. I'm a gym rat too.

Lara said...

I am a weight watchers lifetime (lost 30 lbs) and this was THE biggest thing that changed in my diet: Portion sizing! Growing up my family ate a lot and so that was what I was use to. Not the right thing. So, measure everything - I know that can be tedious, but it REALLY helps.

Alayna said...

Hmm...hopefully I will glean a few good tips from these comments to help me on my weight loss goals. I too am a weight watcher's lifetimer - but that happened before I had kids and they also quit having meetings in my area. The biggest tips I learned/figured out from it are 1 - drink your water! And don't take in all those empty calories from soda and juice. 2 - when you crave something sweet, reach for a "low point" option. Good ones include fruit with fat free whipped topping. Angel food cake. And low fat pudding with whipped topping. Oh, and skinny cow ice cream bars
Another one I've been trying to recognize in myself since snacking is my biggest problem. Am I reaching for food because I'm hungry? Or is it more from habit, boredom, or some other kind of emotional eating?
Good luck!

Hollyween said...

I have several ideas, but you should first know that I think you look great.
1. Get braces, have them put ramps behind your two front teeth so you can't bite down on anything. Works for me. Kidding.
2. Serve yourself on a smaller plate and don't eat ANYTHING after 7:00 pm
3. I love soda but really didn't have THAT much. Maybe one a day. Diet even. I quit it and the inches literally fell OFF of me. Quit drinking ALL sodas.
4. Mix up your workouts. Add a few minutes, incline on the treadmill... something different.
5. There's some new flat belly diet by prevention magazine. It says to eat 6 small meals a day and at every meal, eat a tiny bit of healthy fat. Oil, avacado, coconut oil, raw nuts, dark chocolate. This is what I'm going to do now. My sister started it and has already lost a few pounds.

Bridget said...

I eat a BIG bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. It helps me stay full for a good 5-6 hours so I don't need to snack at all in the morning. I usually want something sweet right after lunch/dinner. I'll have a little something then when I want more I'll tell myself I can in 15 minutes. Then I get busy doing something else and I forget. Also after dinner I brush my teeth so I don't really want to eat anything else. Because who wants to eat when you have a fresh, minty mouth?

I love reading all these comments. I need more ideas. I have a stubborn 4 pounds I can NOT for the life of my lose.

♥Shally said...

This is old-fashioned, but I really believe in "everything in moderation." If you want a cookie--HAVE ONE, just don't have FIVE! :) I think if you deprive yourself of every food you love, you tend to spurge and have too much of it and then the guilt kicks in.

Also, stop eating when you are full. Unless you are at Cafe Rio, then eat until you are completely stuffed and can't move. :)

Annemarie said...

Increase your fiber (some at every meal), a lean protein at every meal (I swear by this one), chew sugar free gum when you want something you don't need, and water.
I don't think you need your own food or a ridiculous strategy, just portion your meals (make them lighter if you can), but when things are portioned correctly you can still use yout favorite recipes.
I have some good, family friendly, light recipes on my recipe blog. There are also some great ones on Weight Watchers sight for free.

Good luck!!

Jessica said...

You went to my blog, so you know...that's my tip.

Really, it's absolutely;

writing everything down...

no exceptions. I realized today, at the end of the day, that I was over my calories by 200, because I forgot to write down a piece of cornbread...do that everyday and that's an extra pound a week, you know?

And seriously...it isn't easy for me and I wish SO BAD it wasn't so much work. But it is. I have to think about it all the time. Boo.

andrea said...

i left a comment and it disappeared. how annoying. i think what i said was chew a lot of gum. also, use mental imagery with food. instead of looking at junk food as delicious, picture the grease in it as a solid mass sitting on your counter in 98 degree heat. imagine how disgusting it is, and soon you'll see it that way.

organization: have a routine. the most chaotic time of day is the hour after school. implement a strict routine and things seem to be much more organized. less mess, less fighting, etc. email me if you'd like to know ours... it seems to work pretty well most days.

diane said...

Try catching h-pylori intestinal infection...kidding. It was really awful.

I like the one bite rule. You can have one bite of anything but you must savor it.

My organizational tip is just wait until two of your kids have moved out. Your house will be clean all the time...and quiet and a little lonely.

Anne said...

This works for me on the dieting front ... I ask myself, "what would Kiera Knightly do?"

Sally said...

Andrea shared the same tip as me--about having a routine. I have analyzed the most stressful times in my day and found that I need a routine to get through those times more easily. For us that is before school, right after school, and right before bed. Along with creating the routine, I restructure all the gear we need so it is easily accessible for those times. An example is this: we moved all (yes, all) of the children's shoes to a nice new shelving rack in the garage. No up and down the stairs looking for shoes! wonderful.

Clair said...

My hubby and I are working on portion sizes at dinner. The abundance of leftovers is amazing! (and usually gets me out of cooking at least one day that week.)

Lauren in GA said...

I am so sorry...I am one of those ladies with a super fast metabolism.....bwah, hah, hah, *snort* *cough* *choke*....

Weight Watchers works really well for me (If I bother to do it). I love that technically I can eat whatever I want as long as I can stay in my points range. It actually encourages me to eat more wisely so I don't blow all of my points on junk and then starve all day long becasue I have used all of them up. The points are mental for me though...I love knowing I CAN eat something bad if I want to becasue notthing is a, "no, no" technically. Also, I agree with Jessica...WRITE it ALL down. I am always more successful when I write everything down. I write things down to make sure I stay within my points. Weight Watchers has several programs but I like the points one the best. I am not disciplined enough to do the other ones.

Christie said...

I've been on the cookie and cake diet lately. It's not looking pretty in the morning when I stand on the scale. Reading these tips with gusto.

Here's my tip: COOKIE DOUGH IS THE DEVIL.

Sorry, that's all I got. January has sucked for me, too.

Lisa-Marie said...

I know it's been said, but I agree....write everything down. I also think it helps to be accountable to someone. At least until the things you are working on become habit. Either it be Brad, or a friend or a stranger on Weight watechers.com just have someone who you "report" to. You can share your successes and struggles. It helps.

And everyone knows that Build a Bears are much more loveable than Barbie dolls!

marta said...

gab, you are the one i go to for things like this! seriously you were the first person on the planet eating that dog food / fiber plus cereal. wow. here is my tip. eat eggs in the morning. supposedly it keeps you full all day, less snacking.

i am a big believer in breakfast. so i made spinach quiche last week and have had a slice every day. it's delisch and i look forward to it. is quiche low fat? i don't know, but at least it's yummy.

healthy fruit smoothies help too.

lands end swimsuits here you come. wooohoo!

martha corinna said...

I think I have a fairly good metabolism, but, since I've been working really hard to prepare for my races, I've found that I don't consume as many calories as I thought and I burn more than I realized.
I do a lot of what has already been written. I agree with Bridget and Marta, I like steal cut oats. They are so good and so healthy. I alternate between those and eggs.
I agree with Andrea, I have a quick paced routine(what mom doesn't)that keeps me moving and the longer I stay away from processed food, the worse it looks to me.
I know different things work for different people. And I don't like people to tell me what to do(pride). But, my secret for staying thin is: moving, exercising, and most of all,subscribing to Micheal Pollan's(author of Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food)philosophy that "if your grandmother wouldn't recognize it, don't eat it". And "eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables". These are things I already believed, but his books really solidified my beliefs.

martha corinna said...

That was great-grandmother. My grandmother would recognize Wendy's and little debbies. Sorry.

polly said...

I have discovered low fat yogurt with granola for breakfast and lunch. (I always hated yogurt but for some reason acquired a taste for it.) The granola fills you up and is good for you. Then anything for dinner, but watch portions. Weight watcher peanut butter caramel candy bar is way good for those chocolate cravings and is only 100 calories for a snack.

Jenibelle said...

Umm.....


Ummm.......



Ummmm.......


Got nothing for you here but love.

(It's quite obvious that I need help in the dieting area myself. My problem is that there is just SO much to lose that it is overwhelming. I'd love to have a stubborn four pounds.)

Rochelleht said...

Um... The only thing I'm organized about is my food rotation. And I've blogged that, so you know where to go. And the other... Well, I'm just going to have to recuse myself while I go eat a giant Symphony bar (WHA!? I'm on my period...).

Ilene said...

Ah, the eternal struggle. Laziness and cheapness seem to help me. I'm too cheap to buy the Haagen Dazs ice cream bars (usually) and too lazy to bake cookies as often as I crave them. If I do bake, I try to spread the love and calories amongst friends. Or, I eat sweets around my husband. Vanity will keep me from eating 10 cookies.

It's not pretty when he is out of town...

Kara Jayne said...

LOTS of great tips here. One thing that REALLY helps me is that right when I get home from the store I don't just "put" the food away...I "prepare" my snacks. I get lots of good fresh fruits and veggies, wash them, cut them, and put them in accessible containers. It makes for an EASY and HEALTHY snack when I want to grab something. It also helps with healthy after school snacks for the kids.

I just need to say...AGAIN...that I love you, your blog, and your writing.

Lisa R.D. said...

A few tips that I am working on:
*Smaller plate sizes
*Don't be in the "Clean Plate Club" (leave some of your food uneaten on your plate)
*Healthy snacks throughout the day
*Drink LOTS of water. If you feel hungry, drink water and see if you were really just thirsty.
*If you bake, make sure to share at least half of what you make with a friend or neighbor.

Kat said...

I started crocheting and that has cut down on my snacking.

cami said...

I USED to be one of those "eat anything you want" sort of people. Unfortunately, My high metabolism has flown out the window.

So now, I'm looking for some tips of my own. I'm working on:

*drinking more water
*not eating late at night
*getting off my butt to exercise

I'm not a good source of organizational tips at the moment. Making room for 2 more children in a small house has caused a bit of a mess around here. I say, embrace the chaos!

Celia Fae said...

Here's my diet tip. It's obviously working:

Splenda. I put it in water with lemon. It satisfies my sweet tooth for a little while. Plus it probably gives me terrible diseases because of the chemicals, and then I will be super skinny.

Jenibelle said...

Me again...my co-workers say to take up smoking. That's the ticket.


are you giggling?

queenieweenie said...

deep-cleaning and dieting are WAY over-rated.

"if you ain't fat, you ain't living!"

Melissa-Mc said...

I am having such a hard time getting motivated this year! But, for me refined sugar and refined carbs are my huge problems. They don't satisfy and only leaving me hungrier for more. So I try to avoid sugar and have whole grains most of the time. I gave up sugar at the New Year and I am still in a really bad mood.

calibosmom said...

My biggest meal is breakfast or lunch-full of protein & fiber. WATER, WATER, WATER! I use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. Only make cookies for special occasions. I also highly recommend Prevention magazine-it is full of good stuff!!!

beckyV said...

I just had a baby and am seriously in need of these tips!! I have to cut our sweets all together. I buy snacks that don't exceed 100 calories (yogurt, granola bars, sugar free fudge-cicles :) and I let myself have ONE snack in between breakfast, lunch, and after dinner. If I want more to eat I go for fruits and veggies. I agree, it is easier if you have a schedule. It is sooo hard, I hate it because I love food, but I am definitely happier if I am in control of what I eat!!

Oh, and I watch "The Biggest Loser"...so inspirational!! Love the blog!

wenderful said...

Do as I say. Not as I do.

Don't eat after 7pm
Chew lots of gum
Brush your teeth continuously
Drink only water
eat a protein, complex carb and veggie at every meal
Download podcasts to listen to while you work out. (I have some recommendations if you need them.)
Say no to one thing every day.

As for cleaning tips, I just had a giveaway and got some great ideas for chore systems in my comments. Come take a look.

I should take my own advice. The scale isn't budging for me currently.

Missy said...

I had a friend who would hand over half of whatever sweet treat she was eating and say, "Better your butt than mine!" Makes you think... :)/

Dancin Queen said...

Wow--what great tips! How great to read all of these..

Yes I know I'm WAY behind on reading blogs, but better late than never! :)

Good luck on the baptism. I clicked over to Martas and the invitations are so cute!

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