Posted by: cmittermeier | November 3, 2016

One holiday I doubt I’ll be able to swap out…

This year is about changing the way I do things, finding a new “thin” lifestyle that I will be happy to repeat. My hubby and I have decided that I will do a full year with the nutritionist so that, among other things, I cover all the holidays.  Thanksgiving, my birthday, Easter have all been easy to adapt or work around.  Smaller dessert portions, removing grains for a few days after the big meal, and occasionally swapping out a dessert for a similar, but healthier, option have generally done the trick.  This week I ran into a holiday that I don’t think I will be able to swap out.

Trick or treat, smell my feet, giving me something good to eat… considering we hand out some of the worst foods their bodies will have to digest, I think we would be better off smelling their feet!  Yes, All Hallows’ Eve, which was originally designed to prepare the villages for All Saint’s day  (All Hallowed means all holy) is not a holiday I will be able to redeem.  I have a few more years before my youngest stops going around the neighbourhood and bringing it back home.  Then, provided my teenagers or husband will hand out the poison, I will be good.  Till then, other strategies will have to be explored because once he is home with that big bag of candy, as I have mentioned before, once sugary foods enter, I’m a goner.  As my nutritionist put it, like many, there is no middle ground for me.

Sigh.  Thank goodness it is only one day! 

To deal with impossible cravings, I’m back on a cleanse to clear out the system and reset the temptation fuses.  Day two over and though it has been hard, it has been doable.  The cravings for Kit Kats and Smarties have all but disappeared.  It should go without saying that it started with a prayer to God and St. Michael.  I know when I’m in over my head, and when I am weak He is strong.

Like the post wedding, I’ve had to recognize that sugar and I are not friends.  Naturally occurring sugars in fruit and maple syrup do not seem to trigger quite the same response as the super refined ones, which is why I could have the pumpkin custard at Thanksgiving, or the black bean and chia seed brownies without loosing control.  But I can’t swap out a healthier treat, because this holiday is no longer about homemade treats (yes folks, I’m old enough to remember my neighbours candied apples, before the razor blade scares).  On so many levels this holiday really has gone to the enemy… but that is a post for another day.

Changing my life is about a lot more than just new recipes, its also about ways to undo mistakes.  Monday night and Tuesday morning were mistakes, and I’m glad it happened.  I need to practice this now, because it is unrealistic to say I will never have those nights when I’m at some goal weight.  The cleanse removes all grains for five days, cuts back on fruit somewhat, and adds in a few good things like chlorophyll and lemon water to start the day.  It is a very minor fast, but because it is used after a large caloric flub-up, well, it feels like a major fast (at least at first).  And so the circle back to my faith is complete – this is a minor penitential fast.  

I wish I could go all new agey on you and say it increases my personal power and its all me, but it doesn’t.  It humbles me and connects me back to the real power.  I doubt I could do this without the graces that God chose to answer my prayers with.  A penitential fast reminds me of how merciful God is in helping me because I don’t deserve it.  I just ate x number of mini candy bars in one shot, and then kept on munching in the morning!  I am not conquering my cravings, God is the one resetting the fuses.  He is the one to bolster me in those while knuckle moments.  I have prayed more in the last few days than I had the week prior.  This brought me to my knees.  Confession, daily mass, an extra rosary, its all needed.  

Yes, I do my part, I am the one choosing to stay away from grains (though I am certainly tempted to leave off early, after all I’m no longer sneaking and gorging on candy…).  This is not to say God is doing it all – but He is with me everytime my stomach growls to remind me He designed me to be able to survive this.  He is there to remind me He went through it too.  He is also there to give me hope for the future.  Everytime we do penance, we accept the grace of the sacrament and are made stronger against tempatation. Its why regular confession helps with addictions in a way simply telling someone else does.  This is the road that will lead to a permanent change, not because its perfect, but because it shows me how to strive to be perfect.  So yeah, next year doesn’t scare me.  Likely, I’ll do better, and if I don’t He’s got a plan out of it.

Oh, and folks, it takes a while for a binge to show up on the scale, so God-incidentally my weight in was my lowest weight yet.  With the penitential cleanse I may never see the impact of that binge, that’s one cool coincidence, don’t ya think? He’s got my back, and yours too.

Posted by: cmittermeier | October 31, 2016

A weekend away is still as sweet, with less of the sweets

You know how in many recipes we can use only a small portion the sugar and not even notice a difference?  Well, I just had a weekend at a homeschool conference and guess what? The same principle applied.  

Our old selves would have started the trip with a number of donuts, which I will leave to your imagination.  We would have then followed it up with a bag of chips to nibble on in the car till we reached the lunch stop.  What do you think we would have had for lunch?  Fast-food combo of course!  Pop, fries, and a grilled chicken burger to be “healthy”.  More car snacks till … well, are you getting the picture? And yes, dinner had to have dessert, right?

Now, every journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step and above I did list my first “healthy” step.  Along the way, we have encorporated many others, but not all at once.  We changed out the car chips for cut up veggies, fruit and pre-measured nuts, cheese and crackers during longer trips.  Lunches were next, it was easy to pack our regular healthy lunch and take it with us.  I had cut out pop years ago, but that took longer for my husband.  We did not feel deprived because we were still having dinner out and the starting donut run.  I have been able to forgo the starting donuts, my husband is quite content with a single donut to go with his coffee.  My dinners have become healthier, but, honestly I’m still working on the evening hotel night snack.  

This weekend was not perfect. Most of our food was provided by the conference and the home made goodies were tasty, but they were well proportioned and very reasonable.  Only one decadent dessert on Saturday and for all the sweets the quantities were small (but reasonable).  Their meals were excellent!  Healthy, well proportioned, and surprisingly easy for me to stay totally on track.  Our bed and breakfast had large amounts of food, but it was easy to pick just the right amount and stay within program.  Now, I did enjoy a second decadent dessert on Sunday when I got home, and the evenings did have some munchies (popcorn on Friday and two granola bars on Saturday).  So, while not the ideal, knowing where we were ten years ago, the progress is amazing.  Even the one roadside lunch I had to buy was fine – chicken soup and a small chili (no bun or crackers).    

Do we still have changes to make?  Yes, my hubby still enjoyed his fast food a bit on that last lunch, but there were no fries or pop, so slowly even his changes are adding up (or should I say, subtracting down).  I need to work more on those hotel nights, and going down to one decadent dessert, not two in a week.  All things will come.  

What is important to focus on was that the enjoyment of the moments was not compromised by a lack of food treats.  What made it special was never just about the food I injested, but the people we shared it with, the lessons learned, and the inspiration it provided.  This is not to say the food was unimportant.  No matter what the event is, we can change the food to be healthy and special.  Food is part of events for a reason, a shared meal is a great thing and there are ways to make a meal a feast without making it bad for us.  The organizers did this beautifully, with colourful meals full of variety.  You felt as if you’d stepped back in to Grandma’s kitchen, just without the pressure to “eat! Eat!”.

So as you look ahead to the last half of fall and the onslaught of events, I hope this has inspired you to plan your eating a little differently.

Posted by: cmittermeier | October 24, 2016

Lord I believe, help my unbelief 

Today, no matter where you are in your journey to healthy living I want you to write that title down. Stick it somewhere like your wallet, or put it as the wallpaper on your phone.  Why?

Because there is going to be a moment when you want to give up on the idea you can be that healthy person, wherre you look at all that needs to change and hang your head thinking it just can’t be done and need it. If we were alone, or new age, it might break you because your I can do anything mantra has hit the road and is suddenly devoid of magic power. Thank goodness we don’t think that way, but we forget to power up and that’s why I want you to write that simple phrase and store it away for an emergency time.

We believe God can transform us, but, being human we limit things and our belief wanes thin. When it happens, pray the above till you start to remember God can change you.  Oh, and don’t thank me for this tip. Thank my guardian angel who reminded me of it, a common shortening of Mark 9:24.

Posted by: cmittermeier | September 4, 2016

Letting Go of Old Clothes… Part two: the purple sweater

Ah, my purple sweater!  If you’re overweight, you will have one, a perfect top that hides our imperfections.  For me, it was my purple sweater. They are cherished friends, always there to comfort when things are not going great weight wise.  When we went through my closet and I put it on, my niece did not know the significance of the item and stated it rather bluntly, “you have a purple potatoe sack!”.

When I turned and looked in the mirror, my perfect purple top was no longer so perfect.  The shoulders drooped so far off my shoulder I wondered if it had been stretched.  Having always been a bit roomy, it was no surprise that my niece could have stood inside it with me.  Being a knitted design, it should not have been so surprising that after all these years the fabric was worn and fuzzy.  It looked like something… An old woman would wear.  It was obvious camoflage.

For weeks I have been thinking about new clothes, though I do not have a full blown sense of style, I am starting to make decisions about what I like and don’t like.  Sausage casing tops have never been my thing, but when I had one, just pull on the purple sweater and I was fine. I don’t like tops that accentuate how when I sit down my bulk compacts.  My purple top had been my camoflage for just such moments.   If I eat the wrong things and bloat up, my purple top was there to hide my shame.  It was my shield, in the same way a throw pillow is when I sit down on a couch.  Looking ahead, I have to ask… In my new style, my new wardrobe… Will there be another purple sweater? Should there be another purple sweater?

This weekend was awful.  Instead of fasting on Friday, once again I found myself binging in private.  Though Saturday had an amazing hike with a bunch of the boys and my brother-in-law, in the evening I turned the graces down and enjoyed 6 cups of cheese popcorn and a really scrumptious chocolate cupcake.  Note the point of turned down graces, we’ll talk about it later… I had a troubled sleep and so it’s no surprise that from the get go things have been hard.  3 cups of BBQ chips does not an afternoon snack make!  A Beer with dinner… Ice cream and Chicago style popcorn for dessert??? 

And guess what?  Through it all, I found myself finding any excuse to wear… BA BA BA… The purple hoodie!

Yes folks, purple is my favourite colour.

Sigh.  I’m back to having that comfortable piece of clothing to “hide” in.  Put your hands in the front pockets and voila! No one knows what’s really behind.  So many times in my life I have turned to mama Mary, and tonight is no different.  I may be a unique person, but my problems aren’t.  I am not the first, nor the last, she will comfort over body issues.  

I highly doubt the wedding at Cana was the very first time she uttered those now famous words, “do whatever he tells you”, though I admit they were the first time they were written down.  She knows how to fix problems, and sometimes, like tonight, she didn’t whisper the answers to the person, but to those around them.  My sister-in-law made sure the tallest-bottomless-pit of a boy took home the rest of the cake, after making sure all the other kids ate up as much as they could.  She suggested the Chicago style popcorn, not sure she knew that very soon the potatoe chips and Doritos would be coming out, but they did.  Pretty sure the nutrition labels differ a great deal between those options, and, thankfully she had already eaten a lot from the relatively small bag.  

I wish this blog were just the shining examples of how living a righteous life led to great stuff, but I’m human.  I fall.  This Friday was the second Friday where my “fast” because a binge, I knew that something deeper was going on.  I am fasting for a purpose, it’s not my health.  Spiritual attacks come at weak points, and my gluttony is a weak point.  I prayed, and begged, for help to not let this be the place where the damn bursts. Saturday was so totally different… The graces were seriously through the roof.  It was amazing, I got to go hiking (and my kids loved it!), Mass was great, dinner was even reasonable (and trust me, dinner to suit three families, with dietary issues in a small tourist town during a long weekend can be quite the challenge).  But then… Slowly… things started to go wrong.  Oh, how I wish I had only one weak spot!  I have much to discuss with Mama Mary and my Lord.

As I sit and ponder my new purple hoodie, I realize it’s not such a bad thing.  This weekend has shown me a great many things, and I am thankful for the falls.  If it had been a single weak spot, I doubt I’d feel this way.  I have a long road ahead of me, there is still a lot of healing ahead and I will need a physical comfort zone for a while yet.  Knowing its there gives me a place to go for comfort that is not food.  It is a gift from Him, hidden in plain sight.  It’s not a crutch (as I feared), it’s a recharge station, like the confessional, where I can admit my faults and still find the love and strength to try again. Giggle, guess I gave away why my favourite colour is purple.

Posted by: cmittermeier | September 1, 2016

Ugh! Trying to beat temptation

There is a huge temptation to eat ice cream and cookies. Actually, if I’m honest the temptations don’t end there… I’m being tempted to buy a whole whack load of stuff I don’t need. Time to pray and ponder!

Some of it is to numb myself, school is about to start and that means I’ve got a lot to think about.  Am I ready? Did I plan well? Are we ready? The answer to these is at least a partial no as there are at least three things I can list that are undone… Oh, make that four… Five… The list is growing.

It is very easy to get caught up in it all, but the truth is worrying won’t change any of it and in fact makes it harder to deal with the to do list.  If I can step out of the worry, there is less need to numb.  It’s just not that easy to do.  Reviewing the to do list might help…

  • Install Rosetta Stone on the boys computers – this can be done in Collingwood during the weekend, worry abated
  • Review new writing textbook comes AFTER I pick it up from the friend who brought it back from the states for me… Hmm, this one could be harder to fix
  • Install struts in the van back door… Might need to be moved to another to do list
  • Install whiteboard anchors in Mikes room 
  • Print off and fill out first week lesson planner (this I’ve done mentally, it’s just a matter of doing the physical)
  • Do the tomatoes from the garden next step (boil and crush them)
  • Arrange boys desks as school desks – best done Monday night
  • Send in legal letter to school board after signing, has to be tonight

Some hold more anxiety than others, so I’ll try to tackle them first.  If I can remove the source than hopefully the need to numb will go down, along with it all the bad coping mechanisms like eating and shopping with it.

I’ll also pray my prayer for addicted persons. And, pray for you in the hopes you’ll pray for me.  Now, back to that to do list…

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