I am in my fifties. I have been out of high school for a long time, but I remember my history lessons. In high school, college, in books, we learn about the lives of humans and how they lived in the past; the good and the bad.
The awful lessons of history always seem so long ago. We often tell ourselves never again. We often ask ourselves, “How could this happen?”. The atrocities of the past were committed by horrible people, and we could not possibly be so unenlightened that it would happen again.
I will add to this by saying that we know that awful things happen today. We have instantaneous news. However, those dreadful things seem to happen far away. Oppression, extremism, slavery, none of those exist in our clean and whitewashed world. Right?
In a free and civilized world, slavery will never happen again. The Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, Witches being burned, the Crusades, and the list goes on for as long as man has walked the earth. We are far too evolved for this. Right?
I never thought I would see it or say it, but it is happening, and it is happening where I live. Liberals often say that Conservatives do not care unless it happens to them, I would say that could be said of just about every human. You could argue with me, and probably come up with many examples, but I could probably counter with twice as many for my point. I am just saying that I am watching something I never thought I would live to see; the dismantling of my country.
We are quickly rolling downhill and picking up hate and extremism, and distrust, and government oppression as we go. All of those things from my history lessons, everything from far across the world, all of those horrors are now here.
I said to a very liberal friend the other day that idealism is a loser. I do not want it to be, but it is. It causes division and inaction. If you do not believe and support everything that I do, then I do not want you to win. If the real enemy wins, too bad, we deserve it because you did not think of everything for everyone. It is paralyzing. Our country is being lost to the opposite of idealism; it is being lost to extremists. Extremists are people who will band together under one banner of hate and certainty that they are right.
I do not have the answer for the way out of this, but I believe that many more people will start to react and stand to oppose the extremism consuming our country. Many of you will finally respond when it happens on your street, to someone who looks like you or worships like you. Then, maybe then we will all pour into the streets. But then, it will be too late. There will be millions who have already been fighting with hate, and lies, and oppression. Millions more that already won.
On this journey, I have enlisted the help of Weight Watchers. It seems like a reasonable way to get help. All it asks you to do is pay attention to what you eat and exercise. Since this is what I am trying to do, and the online price has come down considerably, I am giving it a try. (PS – I am not paid by them, although maybe I could be?).
Anyway, wine is four points for five ounces; you get about 30-points a day. Who only drinks five ounces of wine? No, that is not okay. In addition to the points per day, you get weekly points. Having points for wine helps you realize that drinking wine every day is probably bad. So, you need to figure out how you use those weekly points, just for wine, maybe, four days a week.
I have to do math for this, I do not like math. Thankfully! Weight Watchers has a calculator that does math for you! If I keep my food to the daily points, I can use my weekly to consume wine! Want to know the truth? I came up with this as I am writing this, and it is brilliant! Enough exclamation points, I will calm down now.
This is important, so let’s do the math now to figure out the wine. Four days a week, and you get 42-weekly points. This is not a whole number, so let’s use 40 points, four days a week for wine. That is 10-points per day, and two points left over for like a Hershey Kiss or something.
Five ounces of wine is four points, ten points a day, four days a week is 12.5 ounces of wine, four days a week! That seems reasonable, right? Geez. That actually sounds like a lot. Guess I am going to survive this weight loss thing after all :).
Down eight pounds so far. Have a great week everyone!
Here I am again, thinking about all of the healthy meals I could prepare and eat to help me lose weight. However, I HATE cooking. To lose weight, I need to eat well and exercise. The exercise, no problem. Eating well, that is the hard part. Not because healthy options are not available, but because healthy options require prep.
I know that whining about cooking is ridiculous. But, I want you to think of the thing that you like doing the least, more than anything else. That is how much I dislike cooking.
There are a lot of prepared low-calorie foods available. However, these foods do not satiate. Also, I have Celiac disease, so many of these foods are off limits to me anyway. This leaves me with whole food, requiring prep option. This is the best way to eat, right?
Any suggestions for a good ingredients list out there that is healthy and easy to use to prepare meals? What should I keep in my kitchen that I can throw together for a quick, healthy meal or snack? You should know for the record that salads make me sad sometimes, so I do not want to eat just salads. Whine over.
Back at the fitness and weight loss thing again. I have put on weight that I lost a few years ago. This irritates me, but of course, I have no one to blame but myself.
I am finding it is not enough to know how to lose weight; you have to want to make the commitment. Then, once you make it, you have to want to stick to it. I shared the other day that I am now thinking about weight loss as I thought about giving up smoking. I have to want to do, for the right reasons.
Beyond wanting to do something, I have to work on wanting to maintain it. I have not smoked for five years; this does not mean that I do not ever want a cigarette. I just work through the feeling when I do want to smoke, and it passes, until it comes again, then I do the same. I repeated this time and time again for the past five years. I have stayed smoke-free.
I am now in weight loss mode now. Like before, when I lost 50-pounds, I know how to lose the weight. If I eat right and exercise, the weight will come off, steadily. The problem the last time is that unlike with smoking, I did not fight through my cravings every time they happened. I slowly started giving in to them until they just became a habit again. So, here I am all of the weight gained back.
I am in my second week; I started with Weight Watchers again. The first week, I did not lose any weight, I simply started tracking and did not change anything. This week, I have done better; I walked several days this week, and I ate better. I do know that I am down at least a few pounds.
Here is the tricky part. Unlike smoking, I cannot just stop eating cold turkey; I still have to eat, I just have to eat better. There are ways to stop eating certain foods cold turkey. Some say that this is a good way to diet, detox your body and all of that. I am considering that just not there quite yet.
Let’s just say, so far, so good. But taking it in steps. Step one, lose the weight, step two keep it off by working through each desire to slide back to old habits.
This is Alfred. Alfred LOVES mashed potatoes. I also love mashed potatoes. If I give Alfred potatoes on a small plate and make it easy for him to eat the potatoes, he gobbles them and will eat them all. (Do not worry, I do not do this often or give him too much).
Last night I gave him a small container, with just a little bit of mashed potatoes in the bottom. He did not want to stick his head in and eat them, so he stuck his paw in the small bowl and scooped them out a little at a time. As he was doing this, the bowl kept moving. After just a few dips of his paw, he gave up and walked away.
I am thinking that my new diet strategy might be to serve my food in ways that are challenging. For example, if I want ice cream, I have to eat it with a fork standing up on one foot.
Five years ago yesterday I quit smoking; this was a significant life event for me. I started smoking when I was seventeen; I was forty-eight when I quit. I had stopped a few other times in my life but always went back to smoking within a year. Hitting my five-year quit anniversary is exciting! Quitting is not easy and maintaining it is hard work; it does get easier over time but is still difficult.
Right around the time I quit smoking I also started eating better and exercising; starting this healthier lifestyle, I lost nearly 50-pounds. It is the first time in my life I lost that much weight without the assistance of weight loss medications or a frozen food plan program. I simply changed my eating habits and started to exercise. Like anyone who has been on this journey I was excited and convinced that this was it, I would never gain the weight back. Looking back on my five-year quit smoking anniversary, I realize that I was very wrong.
I did lose a lot of weight, and I did it the correct way, using food and exercise. I maintained the weight for maybe a year, and then it slowly started to creep up again. I am now at the same weight I was before my first journey. This is disheartening and hard to accept. I mean I can take it because the scale tells me that I have to accept, but it makes me sad. Today I was reflecting on being a non-smoker and how happy that makes me. That is when it clicked, weight loss, like smoking cessation may not be a one-time journey. I have to try again. I have to look back on what I did right and where I failed and begin again.
Also, I have to be ready. I was ready to quit smoking. I was not just stopping because it was expensive, or because of my health. I wanted to stop because it was annoying to me, it was getting in the way of what I wanted to do. I wanted to stop smelling; I wanted to exercise more, I wanted to feel better, I wanted to have more time in my day, and so many other things.
Now, I am ready to lose weight. Just because I failed once, it does not mean that I will fail this time. If I do fail this time, it does not mean that I will fail the next. We have to continue to try; we have to find THAT time, the time that is right for us. I believe that this time exists and that this is the time for me.