The fact that my last snack was two pickle spears and a vanilla protein shake should be sufficient proof that it's been an interesting day.
I took a break from blogging yesterday in order to dig into my new book, Think and Grown Thin by Charles D'Angelo. And now I am through it. The book is full of colorful photos and inspirational quotes, and a bit of basic information on which foods to eat and which to avoid. The foods are pretty much what you would expect, lean proteins, slow-digesting and nutritionally-packed carbs, and good fats. Not that much different from the South Beach Diet. It also focuses on overcoming the mental challenges that are keeping you from moving forward. For yo-yo dieters he uses the analogy of mountain climbing, where we keep climbing the same 100 ft of mountain and never reach the top. I am in this frustrating lot, by my own choices.
The book's main premise is that you need to change how you view yourself in order to change. He agrees with the philosophy that the man decides who they are and the universe conspires to keep making that so. So if you see yourself as fat, the universe will work to make that be so. If you see yourself as a fit person who is just carrying extra weight right now, the universe will help make that truth. Pretty hokey stuff, and I am a cynic for all of these The Secret-esque philosophies. However, it would be a logical conclusion that if I viewed myself as a fit person, I wouldn't eat unhealthy things because that's not what fit people do.
Maybe it's just my current mindset, and my stubborn German blood, or maybe it was the bit of spiritual fluff he tried to add to the book, but I didn't get much from this book. It is written for the beginner who has virtually no idea about healthy habits. The program that he designs for the reader to follow religiously, has no variety and not enough calories, including making the last snack of the night a sugar-free fruit pop. How is that supposed to keep anyone full for the next 7-8 hours and work to repair muscles while you sleep? And his exercise plan that goes with it, focuses only on cardio for the first 12 weeks! I was surprised that weight training was put in the end of the book as an after-thought, it is so vital to anyone wanting to tone up, loose weight and keep their bones healthy. Also, it revs up the metabolism way more effectively than cardio, and keeps your metabolism elevated for hours afterword, compared to cardio which elevates in for only a very short time after exertion. As far as healthy weight loss plans, I think the South Beach Diet (Supercharged!) is the most informative and helpful, and easy diet. And the cardiologist who designed it was smart enough to know to include strength training in the plan. I feel good knowing that between Oxygen magazine and SBD, I have a strong foundation of knowledge. Focus is the key, and I've been a little blurry lately.
Yesterday my spirits were soaring, but not because of weight-related issues. I have mentioned my Human Development of Adolescents class a few times in my blog, and forgive me if I have repeated myself. The professor I had for that class is someone I admire greatly. I grew so much, personally, from her course that often as I drove home after class, I would open up the darkest places in my past that have been begging for attention for years, and delve into healing/freeing those demons. All along I knew that when class was done, I would write her a thank you to let her know how much she meant to me and how impressed I am by her. She has started so many non-profit organizations that help people in our community and serves on several boards, along with teaching at the university and holding a full-time, very powerful position with the health corporation that I work for, and she is a life coach in her "free time". In my letter I opened up about my past, and about one of the things I had worked through as a result of taking her class, and the way she asked questions that prompted me to go to those dark places. It choked me up writing it. And I got a really nice card to put my letter in, then sent it via inter-office courier to her. She e-mailed me yesterday to say that she was tearing up the whole time she read it, and that I made her year. I don't know if we'll stay in touch, due to her busy schedule, but it meant so much to me to connect to her and share those thoughts, and to hear that it touched her. I was in a great place all day.
Then came my lunch. Turkey burger no bun, and a spinach salad with tomatoes, green onions and lightly dressed with olive oil and cracked pepper. The salad was delish, but the burger had so many not-chewable parts to it that I ended up having to throw half of it away. I always get to this point eventually, where meat absolutely disgusts me, then I go on tofu for a few weeks and get sick of the texture too, and I am stuck. So my diet is in transition right now. Can't fathom eating ground turkey right now, and chicken sounds horrible to me too. I am thinking quinoa might be high enough in protein to substitute it for meat, and make a veggie stir fry. It shouldn't have to be this hard. I was raised on this stuff, but as I got older, and my mom went back to college, I ended up delighting in ramen noodles and frozen burritos. Those things do not generally gross me out. The problem is, that a lot of healthy things do, because of the inconsistency of flavor and texture. Cottage cheese is a good example. The same brand can have very different taste and texture from one tub to the next. That makes me a little queasy. Right now, there isn't anything I truly love to eat, so designing a diet to help keep me on track is going to be tricky. My lunch today is greek yogurt. Not very nutritionally sound as a meal, but it's something I will eat without problem. And the reason I was having pickels and protein shake for a snack? My metabolism is so revved up this week that the once serving of sunflower kernels I had less than 2 hours prior, didn't keep me full until my planned lunch, so I had to come up with something to get me by. The pickles were left over from a catered lunch we had yesterday, I was able to stay away from the yummy-looking subs that accompanied, but the pickles had to happen today, they were making my mouth water!
That being said, I am not giving up. This week has been a great success. I did some low-intensity dancing yesterday, to my surprise, it bothered my knee a little bit. Today I slept in, but will get a strength session in this evening, when I have more energy due the fats and carbs I have consumed throughout the day. I will get to the grocery store and invest in some quinoa, extra eggs and cod as protein sources I can continue with for now. All I can do is keep moving forward, and keep learning as I go.
I will leave you with some of the quotes I liked from the book. Have a great Thursday!
"Many of life's failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Thomas Edison
"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. " Elbert Hubbard
"Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. " Carl Jung
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein
"The person who uses the word 'but' all the time usually has a big one!" Tony Robbins.