Celebrating Eating Healthy - Week 8 - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 278360

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating Eating Healthy - Week 8 
Jun. 28, 2012 8:07 am 
Updated: Jul. 4, 2012 8:56 pm

How do you fit a "normal" life into your life when you are really watching calories and trying to lose weight? 

It never fails, as soon as I start trying to lose weight, "events" come up that involve food. And quite frankly, I'm no good at "just saying no" or at eating salads every time I go out to a restaurant. And if you've noticed, I'm not breaking any records losing the pounds. So, for what it's worth, here are my ideas and how I'm dealing with it:

I eat out every Sunday after church. My husband especially enjoys it and we go out with friends. So I'm not going to go home and eat there just for this time while I'm losing weight. Here are some things I do: 

~My husband is so sweet and splits the meal with me.

~If he's not along, I split it before I eat it and put it in a to-go box.

~I choose a grilled entree.

~I choose mixed veggies over anything fried, with a sauce, or with butter.

~I choose an interesting salad but ask them to omit things like croutons and cheese. I ask for a lighter dressing or vinaigrette and try to use very little.

~I choose a smaller portion appetizer. (Or a smaller portion dessert like the kiddie size frosty at Wendy's)

~I choose something that isn't that great calorie-wise (like the spinach and feta quiche on a recent girls outing) and compensate at breakfast and dinner.

~I avoid the bread...(Such a hard thing for me to do)...or have just one piece.

~I exercise a little more (not so easy with my boot on, but when this boot comes off...)

~I realize that this is a lifestyle and every day is not an occasion to eat. In fact, most days aren't. So I really try to watch portion size, which has been my biggest downfall in the past. Well, that and sweets. 

Speaking of sweets. You have probably noticed that I don't usually show you on the blog any desserts I've tried. That's because I'm doing my best to avoid them. Sweets are my addiction. Not drugs or alcohol. Sweets! I can handle things that are sweet like my morning coffee with Splenda or a smoothie with fruit or Splenda in it, or a Fiber One Bar. I just can't have a whole cake or pie or cookies in my house. I have no willpower and will just keep on eating. I've also noticed that when I pig out on sweets, my joints hurt and I feel terrible. I also will wake up with a headache. I have felt so much better in the last 8 weeks! And I have to remember it's partly due to the fact that I have cut sweets out of my diet.

When the grands come over, they expect some kind of "treat" after dinner at Granna's house. So far, I have gotten by with frozen yogurt popsicles (see last week's blog), regular popsicles (1 PP), and marshmallows. Yes, these kids love marshmallows, and I can definitely say no to marshmallows!

Now, what do I do when I go to a birthday party with cake and ice cream or a church event with food and desserts galore? I eat. I just try to choose wisely and watch portion control. I admit, these times are the hardest for me. But I have to remember, I have 49 extra points a week on Weight Watchers, so I can use them for my special occasions.

Wouldn't life be boring if all I got to eat was celery and broccoli? One of the reasons I love Allrecipes is because of the variety I can get here! This watching my weight is going to be for a lifetime...a long one, I hope, with good health (something I think about more and more the older I get). So I may as well enjoy the journey. And if I lose slowly, so be it. These last two weeks have been extremely hard due to extra occasions that involved food. It seems this week I was gone from home and ate out quite a bit. I know I haven't lost any weight and just hate to pay out the money for someone to tell me that, so I didn't go for my weigh-in today. 

On a brighter note, I got my boot off!!!!!! The doctor told me to start back walking 1/2 mile a day for a week and then to increase by 1/2 mile each week. Not to rush it. I am so glad to be able to start back walking now and can't wait to get back to my 4-mile routine! Maybe the weight will come off more easily now.

Be sure to let me know in the comments section how you deal with special occasions.

Since I've already written a lot, I'll just post the pictures of what I tried this week. You can read my reviews to see what I thought of them. 

Cool Summer Cucumber and Tomato Toss  7 PP for entire recipe

Frosted Grapes (The Grands call them Glitter Grapes) - 0 PP

Spinach Ziti (5 PP)

Bisquick Blueberry Muffins (4 PP)

Groovy Green Smoothie (2 PP for entire recipe)

Healthier Golden Pork Chops (5 PP)

So...how do you deal with special occasions or constant busyness and being unable to cook right?

Jun. 28, 2012 8:35 am
I was thinking of you this morning, mostly because I really couldn't think of anything else good to share with you. Your blog today reminded me of something though. My sister used to dip the very tip of her fork into her salad dressing and then have a bite of salad. That worked for her to cut back on calories. Sweets, for me, I use that French lady's(saw her on Oprah) rule of thumb-"Eat whatever you want but throughly savor & enjoy it and you can do this in 3 bites." I'm not a sweetaholic so that does work for me.
Jun. 28, 2012 8:43 am
Hello Paula. I bet you are so happy to get the boot off. Now, you can put walking back in your routine. I am not much of a sweet eater. Cookies and cakes can be in the house and I won't eat them. However, I love chocolate. I can't have a bag of M & M peanuts in my house or I will eat them until the candy is gone. When I go somewhere where there is tempting food, I always look for the salads and fill my plate up with salad. I also take my own salad dressing with me. Do you ever have this problem-someone like Aunt Donna who insists you eat the calorie loaded dessert?
Jun. 28, 2012 10:03 am
Cat Hill, good idea about the salad dressing. I also heard once (and tried it successfully) that you can add an equal amount of water to honey mustard dressing to cut calories when you're at a restaurant. Hmmm, I wonder if I could really savor 3 bites of dessert. I don't know. If I could throw the rest in the garbage, it might work. But if there's more on the table, I would probably just go back for more :(
Jun. 28, 2012 10:07 am
Oh, Lela, yes, I have an Aunt Donna, but she is called Mother in my family! My mother loves serving people food and watches what they eat. She's always saying, "Don't you want some more? Here, have another helping. No? Are you sure?" It's usually easier just to give in rather than argue with her.
Jun. 28, 2012 11:47 am
Well, I just wrote a post and then the internet connection got screwed up, so forgive my shortened version :) With special occasions, I’ve stopped eating anything that wasn’t homemade. I am no longer tempted by store-bought cake or cookies or packaged snacks/junk food/candy. I already know what it tastes like and I’m just not excited about them! It’s okay to say “no thank you!” If someone spent the time to make homemade goodies, I am generally more curious cuz I may want to take the recipe home with me! If I do eat it and don’t love it, I stop eating it. –As for things in the house, if I really want that darn brownie, I’ve learned I just need to eat it to satisfy the craving. Otherwise, I eat everything BUT the brownie. And I still want the brownie. And I usually end up eating it anyways!
Jun. 28, 2012 11:52 am
Oh, as far as the Aunt Donna’s of the world… firm but kind no’s and then hold to it. Every time! Just like trying to teach kids, right?! :D And if she’s pushy, take it, eat a bit if you feel it’s necessary, then push the rest away. Cover it up with a napkin. Forget about it by doing something else: strike up a conversation with someone else. Get up and go away from it. Whatever it takes. :) My mom is usually like Aunt Donna and it drove my brother-in-laws CRAZY. Their firm but kind No thank you's work every time. :) Or say no thanks not now... and if you want to you could say "I'm full, but I'd take some home if you'd like me to." Then if you want to, eat it. Or toss it. :) I hate being wasteful but it's either that or it's going on the waist...
Jun. 28, 2012 12:48 pm
And another thing :) I've been reading this more lately about putting treats/snacks off until "later." Don't say you'll let yourself eat the brownie at 3, just tell yourself you can eat it later. What some studies apparently found was you may lose interest (not if it's a brownie!!) or you may not have the intense urge to devour the entire thing. Kind of like delayed gratification. i do find it helps me eat less... because if I cave now and eat some yummy chocolate chips, I'll probably have another desire to eat more choc chips later, so better to cave just the one time... hopefully that makes sense. :) I'm always up for trying new techniques. You are SO right about this basically being the new "normal." :) Kudos to you for CELEBRATING it!
Jun. 28, 2012 1:12 pm
FNChef, you said, "As for things in the house, if I really want that darn brownie, I’ve learned I just need to eat it to satisfy the craving. Otherwise, I eat everything BUT the brownie. And I still want the brownie. And I usually end up eating it anyways! " OH. MY. YES. SO. TRUE!!!!!! Drives me nuts trying to avoid that kind of thing. I love the suggestions of things to say to the Aunt Donnas of the world. I'm going to try those. Thanks for responding today.
Jun. 28, 2012 7:20 pm
Thanks for you kind words on my blog the other day... and Cat Hill beat me to the dip you fork in the dressing on the side thing. I ask for this at my first meal out since the start of my new way of eatting and could not belive how much dressing was left after I finished my salad. My way of not eatting what Aunt Donna pushes at me ... Oh my I couldn't eat another bite your meal was so awsome I ate too much. I'll just have to pass this time. Keep up the fight. Luck to you also.
Jun. 28, 2012 7:48 pm
Ahhh, it wasn't my idea at all but something my sister learned and I watched her do with success. I still am struggling with the 3 bites on really good homemade potato chips, that's my weakness!
Jun. 28, 2012 8:43 pm
Good thing to remember to say to Aunt Donna, robograndma. Complimentary, true, AND gets me out of eating any more :)
Jun. 28, 2012 9:13 pm
It's hard to need to cut back on food. As soon as I think I need to watch it, I constantly think of food and eat more and so gain a little around the midsection. When I allow myself to get involved in something else, I forget about it and get back to normal. Good luck with that foot. Please do take it easy.
Jun. 29, 2012 5:38 am
Good morning Paula. Eating out is the hardest for us. Splitting a meal is a great idea and works for my brother and sister in law but doesn't work for us. We have very different tastes. June has been a hard month for weight loss around here. Between graduations & birthdays.... geez! NB Papa hasn't lost much weight but he hasn't gained any back either. Portion control & eating slower are the biggest help there. Like Marianne said, it he thinks about his 'diet' then he craves all the things he shouldn't have. Old habits die hard.
Jun. 29, 2012 6:29 am
Marianne, how I agree with you. When I am really busy, I don't think about food. And I am taking it easy with the foot. I sure don't want to have to go back in the boot!
Jun. 29, 2012 6:32 am
I'm in there with NB Papa. I haven't been gaining, but I'm not losing either. I've begun the new weight loss week with a new resolve - to really watch what I eat, to not eat after dinner, and to exercise consistently. I've been so busy it's cut into my exercise. I hate that much busyness!
Jun. 29, 2012 12:27 pm
Hi Paula, I hear ya! My postpartum baby weight is NOT coming off like I hoped it would. I too have a rabid sweet tooth, mostly for my weakness-chocolate! I am trying to eat more lean protein and cut back on sugar and carbs. I am usually too busy or tired to workout but remember things like housework count. Scrubbing, vacuuming, etc. burns a significant amount of calories and the best part is having a clean house! :) Maintaining a healthy weight is a lifestyle not just a diet. So even though you haven't lost as much as you hoped, you are making progress in establishing new healthier habits. Plus, slow weight loss is more sustainable and keeps your metabolism up.
Jun. 29, 2012 5:05 pm
Thanks for all your encouragment, cicischwartz! I feel like you are my personal cheerleader :)
Jun. 30, 2012 8:30 am
I, too, would like to congratulate you on your efforts. I've actually been working on eating more healthy for about the same amount of time as you, so I easily can relate to your blog. One thing I read about weight loss recently was that when people start trying to lose weight, they concentrate so much on fruits and veggies that they don't take into consideration eating enough carbs and protein. WW is very good about a balanced diet, but for the rest of us "going our own", it is something to think about. I have been making an effort to include both when planning my meals (carbs and protein help tide you over to the next meal--helps you to keep from STARVING). As far as how to handle social situations, I pretty have much been doing the same as you--loading up on fruits and veggies first, splitting a meal BEFORE I start, etc. My office is one huge mine field for people losing weight. We've been extremely busy, so the office has decided to try to kill us with kindness by buying pizza, cookies, ice cream, doughnuts, bagels, etc. One day, it was so bad, I finally mentioned to our office manager that fruits, veggies, nuts, etc., will get eaten, too. So, they simply ADDED to what is offered. It's tough. Mainly, I try to go for the "good stuff" and stay away from the rest. I know, finally, that if I have one, there's a good possibility I'll have way too many more, so I try to avoid. Trying to keep in mind what I've accomplished so far does help, but sometimes it doesn't. At any rate, continued GOOD LUCK to you, and keep fighting the fight! I'll be right beside you.
Jun. 30, 2012 4:43 pm
Thanks, N~n~P. I used to work at a school that always had food in the workroom. It was really hard to pass it up, so I can empathize with your situation at work. I wish you the best on your weight loss journey.
Jul. 1, 2012 2:12 pm
just a tip if you crave sweets... eat protein (nuts, meat, eggs, cheese) at every meal, and snacks. And if you do indulge, eat some form of protein along with it. I crave carbs, but am noticing that protein helps with hunger, and I don't crave sugar quite as much. I do love sugar!
Jul. 1, 2012 2:14 pm
that's not to say that carbs are bad... not at all! But pure sugar isn't the right kind of carbs, and since they are more calorie-laden, it's better to try not to indulge all the time. but my point is, try protein! It works!
Jul. 2, 2012 10:44 pm
i was always naturally thin,so when i quit smoking and gained alot of weight i had no idea what to do.i had never had to diet before.it didn't take me long to figure out that depriving myself of the foods i like or starving myself wasn't going to work.so,instead i told myself i could eat whatever i wanted,but it had to all fit on a saucer instead of a dinner plate and i wouldn't eat until my stomach started to growl.i ate probably 6 times a day in the beginning but eventually only needed 3 aday.it took about a month before i saw much loss but then it came off quickly.i have no idea if this is a healthy way,but sure worked and i could still eat mashed potatoes and gravy,my big weakness.good luck.the walking will def.help
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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