Tag Archives: dieting

Mindful Munching

3 Jun

I mentioned in a previous blog post I have committed to losing weight via the Weight Watchers’ method.  With more than a little grousing and grumbling I have been recording each morsel making its way into my mouth.  (At least the current system is not as grueling as earlier versions of Weight Watchers when you had to weigh everything ingested- see the Weight Watchers episode of Mad Men for a glimpse of how grim it used to be).  Every step I take, and every move I make is tracked via Weight Watchers e-tools.   There is great incentive to garner activity points.  These points enable you to swap them for food (and alcohol) points.  Slowly, steadily, I’ve shed pounds (although this feels like a bit like a “Tortoise vs Hare” endeavor with me being the tortoise in the dieting race).

My friend Billy has lost 35 pounds through a system similar to Weight Watchers. It’s easy to talk obsessively about the subject when you are dieting.  Billy, an illustrator (who has the coolest website- One swell illustrator.com) talked about eating more “mindfully”, paying attention and appreciating the forkfuls we bring to our mouths.  He mentioned how grabbing a bag of chips was his afternoon MO prior to entering the weight loss world.  Now he reaches for an apple or orange.  The ritual of slicing the fruit and its visual impact on the plate appeals to him.  He photographed the image on this page and captured the texture of the orange slices on red Fiestaware;  the juice and pulp lingering on the paring knife- a mouthwateringly beautiful image. (certainly more attractive than a bag of potato chips.)  

An essential ingredient of Be Brave. Lose the Beige (the name of this blog and my little company) is mindfulness.  It’s doing mundane, every day things in a novel way.   The more inventive we can be with most aspects of our lives, the richer, more fulfilled they will be.  And yes, that even applies to dieting. 

I have to admit I’ve actually enjoyed reading Cooking Light for tasty low cal recipes.  I like the menu makeovers for grilling healthy burgers.  I like discovering and trying out seemingly obscure recipes such as the Indonesian Vegetable salad.  I’m finding this process interesting; it appeals to my creative spirit.  So, whether it be dieting or some other potentially dreaded endeavor, approaching it with a spirit of mindfulness and creativity will not only make the endeavor more bearable, but actually life enriching.

 

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Be Brave. Lose the Beige meets Weight Watchers

30 Apr

Two weeks ago today I started on Weight Watchers.  I toyed with the online version of Weight Watchers a few years ago.  This time around I’m going to the meeting version of WW, the one with accountability built in- the weighing in front of other people kind of accountability. I’ve spent the past two weeks tracking every morsel I put in my mouth, and every step I take (ok so perhaps going to the mailbox should not count as “activity points” but, what the heck).

The meetings I’ve attended include motivational lectures with titles like, “Snacking Smarter” and “Produce Power”.   During my very first visit, the meeting leader distributed a brochure urging participants to “color up to your plate” as a dieting strategy.  The color comes in the form of orange carrots, red peppers, yellow squash, and green leafed lettuce.  All this rich, beautiful “color” costs the dieter 0 food points in the Weight Watchers World.

Hearing this I could not help but think of Be Brave. Lose the Beige (the name of my website and journal).   Color is a defining characteristic of BBLB.  While I am crazy about color (all colors, the more the better) the color component of Be Brave. Lose the Beige is really used to encourage people to think creatively about their lives and make interesting choices ( An interesting life is a choice after all).

I feel like Weight Watchers is a good choice for me.  Any system that uses color to achieve a successful outcome is the place for me.  

Resolve to Be It Resolved

14 Jan

I’ve been posting New Year’s resolutions blogs this month.  These posts have urged Lady Boomers to exercise their creative muscles, to infuse their lives with more color and fun, and even examine their purses for excess baggage they might be carrying around.

I obviously believe in resolutions.  Resolutions, New Years or otherwise, represent a commitment to yourself; a way of honoring yourself and your dreams.  That is why I read with interest an article in last Sunday’s New York Times entitled, Be It Resolved.  Author John Tierney made the following assertions about New Year’s resolutions in this article:

-Whatever you hope for this year, you are more likely to make improvements than someone who hasn’t made a formal resolution.  You are 10 times more likely to change by making a New Year’s resolution compared to non-resolvers with identical goals.

-If you make it through January, you have a good chance of lasting much longer.

He goes on to say most people are not going to keep their resolutions all year long.  They start out with the best of intentions, but by the end of January, a third will have broken their resolutions; by July, more than half will have lapsed.  (Pretty pessimistic stuff, huh?).  One of the secrets for keeping one’s resolve is establishing strategies for keeping them.  (maybe the word “secret” is at the heart of our failures to keep our resolves.  How can anyone be expected to follow through if it’s a well kept secret?)

Here are a few of their strategies:

 

1.  Set a single clear goal, like “I will lose a pound a week” rather than “I want to lose weight”.

2.  Make a formal contract with a friend on social media sites or on stick.k.com.  You can name a referee, enter a contest, institute a pre-paid penalty.

3.  Keep track- self monitoring is vital.

4.  Don’t panic over a relapse.

5.  Reward yourself often.  If your waistline shrinks, buy clothes.

Every little bit helps…

 

 

Zero Calorie, Zero Guilt Cupcakes

1 Feb

Modern society is weight obsessed. The business of losing weight in the United States has “ballooned” into a 30 billion dollar a year industry according to MSN Money. The cost of losing 30 pounds ranges anywhere from $300 to $5,000 depending upon the diet plan. What is your view of your body? Do you agonize over your weight? How can we resolve to be accepting of our body image on one hand and making good choices about our health on the other hand?

I sculpted a series of clay cupcakes entitled, “Zero Calorie, Zero Guilt Cupcakes”.  At least one of my five senses can enjoy the deliciousness of these tempting treats even if my tongue can’t.

Santa’s #7 Seasonal Tip-Eat Forbidden Food

30 Nov

 Day 7 in our “Santa’s 12 Tips for an Ideal Christmas” series is entitled, “Eat Forbidden Foods”. This art piece features Santa Claus gobbling up a plate full of Christmas cookies. Santa’s tip- Take a vacation from dieting during this holiday season. 

“Experts” admonish us to avoid fatty foods and to exercise several times a week. To our credit, we do our best to follow their well intentioned advice. But dieting all the time gets boring. If you find yourself craving a chocolate cringle, go ahead, indulge the urge. Soon enough you will be back in a dieting mode again. Santa’s tips in this series are about “ideally living”. Spend some time this season to define what “ideally living” means to you. Usually it’s about achieving balance in your life. In this instance it’s about finding the balance between over-indulgence and absolute denial. Happy eating… (to see more of Santa’s tips go to http://tinyurl.com/ydjde88.