Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | October 20, 2011

variations on a theme

This is what met me when I got home from yoga today. The doors and windows for the sun room were delivered. And see how neatly they stacked them up against the garage doors to keep anyone from being able to open said doors without having the windows and doors smash to the ground. They were supposed to be stored INSIDE the garage to keep them dry and clean and safe for the untold amount of time before they can actually be installed. Fortunately John the Builder sent over two of his minions to do the heavy lifting and we managed to get them stored inside the garage. For one brief shining night (last night) the Man was able to park in the garage, but that will not happen again, perhaps in our lifetime.

Today’s challenge was to eat a serving of whole grains. Really? That’s it? I had done it before I even read it with my totally healthy breakfast cereal. I’d like a fun challenge again, something I haven’t thought of doing. Perhaps tomorrow they’ll have something more interesting.

So, to continue a trend of asking for help, like Megan and Lora, plus putting my mental skeletons out on display to make them not loom so large, like Kate, I’m confessing before you all and asking for help. I started this blog as a way to keep myself living a healthier life and to write about it as a way of holding myself accountable. You may have noticed that I have wandered rather far afield from those aspirations. Why yes, Karen, we have noticed. While I’m good with the wandering, because I found blogging solely about my exercise to be really boring, I’m not really holding myself accountable. And I’m still not confessing. *deep breath* Okay, here goes: I’ve been pretty good about exercising, but really not good about eating. Mostly I eat healthy foods, it is the quantities that are a problem. I will snack mindlessly, as in one small handful of peanuts are fine, but five or six? not so good; I will have cookies (yes, more than one or two), saying just for today and then tomorrow eating them again; I will buy a double chocolate muffin at the grocery store; and so on. I have very little self control. Anybody else struggle with this? Any ideas on how to get myself turned around? I really like eating. When I think of cutting out sweets or snacks or dieting (oh, evil word!) in any way, I get really anxious and find I can think ONLY of food. I eat when I’m happy – it’s a celebration! I eat when I’m sad – there, there make yourself feel better. I eat when I’m nervous. Whatever the emotion, food can help. I’ve never said or written this before and now I’m feeling really naked here.

Moving on, although I do believe I will be back to that, I need help in another area. Recommend some books, please! My concentration has been shot lately so deep thought is not working, light but not mindless is what I’m looking for – Jennie Crusie or Lani Diane Rich kind of stuff. Any ideas?

Check back tomorrow because I’m going on a field trip! My own, not school or kid related. *off to hide under the covers*



  1. You know what I did food wise, about a month ago? I switched to gluten-free. I was feeling yucky, a little wheezy, lots of allergies, nothing bad enough to see the Doc for, just not healthy.
    It has only been a month, but I’m feeling tons better. I’ve lost a little weight but of more importance to me, my abdomen doesn’t get bloated like it used to do. I’ve always had a good healthy diet, low on sugar, lots of fresh fruit and veges, but I’d never paid attention to the wheat. I was going by the grains are good for you theory. Then I read a book called Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight (or something like that. ; ) I downloaded a sample to my Kindle and haven’t finished the book cause I got the gist from the sample. Might go buy it and finish it up. Thanks for the reminder.

    • I’d have to re-think breakfast and lunch to go wheat free. Hmmm. I’ll look into it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. I know you said not deep, but it’s the kind of deep that is really easy to read and sneaks up on you, and it’s really short, so it might be good anyway. I found Women Food and God by Geneen Roth to be fascinating.

    On a more fun note, I’ve been enjoying The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.

    • I’ve read articles by Geneen Roth and really like her approach to food and one’s body. I wonder if the library has it . . .

  3. I get really anxious and find I can think ONLY of food. I eat when I’m happy – it’s a celebration! I eat when I’m sad – there, there make yourself feel better. I eat when I’m nervous. Whatever the emotion, food can help. Did YOU type this, or did I? Cuz that’s me all over the damn place! And gawd, how in-tune are we lately? TODAY I thought: no more snacks dammit, meals, stick to meals!

    I SO wish we lived closer, we could totally non-diet together. 😦

    Oh, yeah books. Let me go forage around; on my place tonight I am recommending the ones you already love, so no help there. Check some of Judy’s archives, she’s had some great suggestions. Barbara Samuel O’Neal, have you read those?

  4. Oh yes, Judy,Judy,Judy’s site should be good–she reviews the kinds of authors I think you’re thinking of. And only the ones she loves. With quotes!

    Thanks for sharing all this brave-a-tude. It’s hard for me to say “here’s what I do” because I’m vegan. Though I’ve gained weight over time (I’m 38), I don’t exercise, so I suspect the lack of things like cheese, dessert-when-out, too much meat etc. might be what keeps my weight down. I do try to eat less processed food too, but that varies with how stressed or depressed I am ( aka energy to cook.)

    Mark Bittman does (he’s one of these back-to-natural-eating types) does “vegan til supper” — that might be one way to combine the Geneen Roth stuff with a regular diet.

    Or I’ve heard of some people who give themselves a “free for all” day, once a week, which is when they eat their sweets etc.

    I don’t advocate completely cutting out any one thing (even if it’s super junky processed!) Moderation in all things. 😉

    Along the “less processed foods” line, Michael Pollan writes really entertaining books.

    Fokker also wrote a bunch of posts awhile back on weight loss that you might find encouraging, if you haven’t read them. She brings in a lot of studies that show (and there’s new ones all the time) weight is a very poor measure of how healthy you are. No matter what most doctors still say. !!


    • Thanks. I’ll look into the vegan thing although I love and adore cheese so that may be difficult for me to cut back on. I did do the free day one day a week and counted calories the rest – food diary and all – and it did work really well, it’s just so much work keeping up with it. And that much obsessing over food isn’t good for me either I don’t think. Love the Michael Pollan books!

      • I canNOT do the counting calories thing, too much work. 🙂 Glad you’ve read Pollan too!

  5. Anybody else struggle with this?

    Oh, yes. Right there with you. Julie and I have been e-mailing about this. I think it especially a problem for women *of a certain age*. It’s hard to learn to cut back as much as you need to cut back to make up for slowed metabolism.

    Have you read any Loretta Chase? She is one of my favorites. Strong characters and witty dialogue. If you don’t mind historical– I know some people do. I’d start with the Carsington Brothers series. The first one is Miss Wonderful, but the brothers only rarely appear in each other’s stories, so it wouldn’t hurt to read them out of order (the rest are Mr. Impossible, Lord Perfect, Not quite a Lady).

    • Oh, wait! if you haven’t read Lord of Scoundrels, start with that one! I saw it at the top of a “100 Best Romance Novels of all time” list over the weekend.

      • I have read her books and loved them. They are totally fun. I’m kind of a book slut – I’ll read just about anything. Except horror. It’s just that I seem to be in “lite” mode for reading recently.

        p.s. I don’t want to cut back. I want to cut loose!!

      • good point (about cutting back), but I’ve reached the stage where if I don’t cut back, I’ll just keep steadily packing on the pounds. It’s a choice. Do I want to be reasonably healthy and cut out some of the junk, or do I want to just eat whatever I want and weigh 180 or more? (which was where I was headed before I started this last campaign). I haven’t lost much, but at least I have stopped the upward climb– I was gaining a couple of pounds a month, for almost a year. You are probably considerably younger than me (50), but not everybody goes through this, so maybe you won’t have to.

      • Considerably younger? I don’t think 2 years really counts as considerable! 🙂 I really do have that same choice – I just am having trouble facing it. *sigh*

  6. I write myself signs, but after a while I ignore them. You know, “Five pounds,” etc. to motivate me to STAY AWAY FROM THE PANTRY!”

    It’s a weird mix for me of emotion and food. I’m not a stress eater, but I have to be in a good place to start losing weight/eating better/ exercising, which makes me feel better, which further motivates me…But, if I’m sort of down, it’s hard to start that healthy cycle. I’m screwed. But don’t give up! Remember that every time you make a good choice, it has a benefit. Hopefully, you make more good than bad ones, and then you’re in the plus column!

    • Oh man, the signs. My rebellious side totally kicks in with “you can’t tell ME what to do!” And I do get on those cycles, both good and bad. My yoga teacher was talking about how her husband does BTN workouts sometimes. As in, Better Than Nothing. So I’m trying for better than nothing with more good choices than bad.

      • I like that you rebel against your own signs. That’s pretty hard core.

        I like BTN, that’s cute. And true.

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