Monday, October 15, 2012

Step Away From The Buffet......NOT!!

I wrote this blog post a week ago and posted it at one of my other sites. It received such a great response from people that I though I would share it here too. Since Mondays are all about health and fitness. I hope you enjoy this post as much as others here it is.

I ate Chinese buffet this weekend, whoohoo! I ate a lot of Chinese buffet this weekend and ate until I was stuffed ......And you know what? I didn't ruin my healthy eating plan.

Doesn't eating out sound like a great idea, no cooking, no cleanup.....just good food and great conversation. Someone says....."hey, let's do chinese buffet." and everyone else likes that idea.....except you. But you don't want to ruin everybody elses good time so you groan inwardly, put on a big ol' smile and say..."Yeah, that sounds great."

On the way there, you mentally go over what a typical Chinese buffet looks like. Fried rice, fried wantons, sweet and sour chicken.....oh, things look bleak and you just know you're going to absolutely kill your diet today. All that fat and sodium, just thinking about it makes you feel bloated.

As you enter the restaurant, all the scents of stir fried foods hit your nostrils. You begin to sweat....well you could always eat just steamed rice and drink water with lemon and hot tea....Yes, that would work! (Groan)

Suddenly you see a Chinese chef at a large flat top grill. And surrounding this grill are tons of fresh veggies and lean meats. As your hostess seats you and your friends at a table you order lemon water and hot far so good.

As the rest of your table heads for the buffet of fried rice and sweet and sour pork, you meander toward the grill. You look over the sea of veggies and fresh meats and seafood. The chef sees uncertainty in your eyes, but allows you a moment longer to survey the situation. "What would you like today?" He finally asks. "I'm not sure how to do this." You humbly reply. Then you proceed to tell him that you are trying to eat healthier and could these veggies and meats be cooked with minimal oil. You chef just smiles and says. " What would you like for lunch today.

You choose several of your favorite veggies and paper thin sliced chicken, and of course to make it authentic chinese you add some bean sprouts and water chestnuts. The chef ask you if you would like spicy oil, garlic oil or plain oil. You choose spicy.

Now with the utmost care and faster than you can say fried rice, the chef whips up a stir fry that will be the envy of all your friends. Beautifully prepared, wonderfully seasoned, and a plate that is so full, there isn't room for steamed rice.....which you really didn't want anyhow. You tip the chef and return the smile he sends your way as he hands you your lunch. You return to your table with your head held high.

As you sit back down at your table, your friends just stare in amazement. "Are you going to eat ALL that." They inquire. "Aren't you on a diet?" They say almost in unison. "Absolutely, and absolutely." Is your answer as you put the first fork full of this wonderful low fat, high fiber, within your calorie range, stir fry into your mouth... and just smile as you savor each bite.

It is possible to eat Chinese buffet.....or any buffet for that matter if you just make healthy choices. Most Chinese buffets have a chef who will cook your food to order and help you make your healthy choices. Many steak house buffets now have a very nice salad bar. Our local steak house has one of the most awesome salad bars I've ever seen. It's full of mixed baby greens and dozens of fresh veggies from tomatoes to peas. It also has sunflower seeds and other nuts to top your salad with. I always use the large plate for my salads when we go there, because this will be my meal. I don't even look at the hot bar because it's mostly oily, high fat processed foods. Oh, and the price for this steak house buffet for lunch with a big glass of lemon water....$5.49 plus tax. How much is a value meal with a burger, french fries and a drink at a local fast food chain?

See with a little homework it is possible to eat at a buffet and not destroy your diet. Just make sensible choices and yes, sometimes you need to step away from the HOT, TRADITIONAL buffet in order to do that.

Me, step away from the buffet.....Never.      

Monday, October 8, 2012

Finish What You Started

My friend San did a post today that really got me to thinking. You can read her post here You can also see my reply to here post and this is actually a continuation of my reply.....because I really needed to put this in writing.

I am a quitter.....I am a person who never finishes.....And I don't know why. Or maybe I do.

I do my dishes, but don't finish washing the silverware. I wipe the table, counters, stove, fridge and do everything else but don't wash all the silverware. Why? I don't know.

I do laundry, I sort it, wash it, dry it, fold it......but I don't get it put away. It just sort of piles up on top of the dryer or on top of the dresser.......Why? I don't know.

I go on a diet and lose 20, 30 even 40 pounds....then quit and gain back twice as much. I quit working out, I quit eating right and I watch the pounds creep back on and just sit back and allow it to happen. Why? Why? Why?

Okay, there's the background for this blog.....and it's true. What is it about some of us that just doesn't work right. Seriously! Many men and women who are overweight just seem to have this switch that turns off when we are doing so well. It's self sabotage and it's oh so hard to fix.

You should see all the craft projects that are almost, but not quite done. Several needlepoint projects that are 75%  finished. Crochet afghans that have all the squares completed they just need to be joined together. A quilt that I started for my husband.....7 years ago and all I need to do to finish it is to finish the quilting. Maybe another 15 hours of work. All these things are beautiful......or they will be once their finished. Right now you can see the beauty in all these unfinished works of art, but they are still rough around the edges and of no use to anyone. And they will continue to be of no use to anyone until they are finished,

Is this how I see myself? Now that I put those words on the page.....yes, I would have to say....yes, this is how I feel about myself. Now please don't worry about me....I know what's wrong and I know how to fix it. Putting your feelings into words is a powerful healing medium. And sharing these words with the entire world makes it more important to deal with and fix any problems you have, because your audience is waiting to see the end of the play.

From this day forward, I will FINISH what I start. From putting my clean clothes away....where they belong to doing all my dishes and not leaving anything in the sink. These may sound like little trivial things.....but their not. I guess I could describe it as OCD in reverse....not that I'm comparing it to OCD so please don't take offence. But people with OCD have to have everything in order, my life is more like organized chaos. I know where everything just might take a while to find it.

I know why I sabotage myself, somehow I just don't feel worthy enough to be what I want to be. Oh, don't get me wrong. I've traveled all over the US while I worked in the equine industry. But I quit a job I loved.....for no real reason, other than I just quit. I became an accomplished chef and worked at some very fine restaurants.....but I quit those jobs too. I taught myself to can, bake, quilt, do needlepoint and cross stitch and just a host of other things. I can talk to the guys about rebuilding a 350 Chevy motor or I can tell you all about herbal teas and wild craft foraging. I've done a lot in my 50 years on this earth and I will do a lot more. But the one thing that just keeps falling from my grasp is the ability to finish.....finish anything.

I have to finish something....anything. Finish this blog post and post it....without deleting it and thinking nobody really wants to read this stuff anyway. Because I know you do want to read it. Maybe there are only a couple of you who read it, but I know you want to read it so I will publish it. I have to finish anything and everything I start. I can't keep starting and not finishing. I have to quit sabotaging myself and force myself to complete what I started. I have to train myself that yes, I am worth it. I have done this for the better part of the past 50 years and I don't want to continue doing it for the next 50.

Well good friends, I have to leave you for now because I have to go finish my dishes, put my clean laundry away, and do my exercises for today. I don't want to do these things......but I have to. I have to finish what I started and quit making excuses for why I didn't get things done. I can lie to all of you and you wouldn't know any different, but the one thing I can't do is lie to myself. So off I go to get some things done and begin something that I started a long time ago.....and really need to finish. Until next time have a wonderful day.....and go finish something you started. It's good for the soul.

The Real Happy Homemaker

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Walking Girl

I'm one of the walking girls. There are a group of us who are doing a virtual walk....for the month of September I walked 67 miles. Not too bad for a 50 year old, out of shape, overweight woman. That averages about 2 miles a day. You can read a little more about us here. I'm glad my friend is keeping track of my miles, because I'm simply not organized enough to do it. Some of these girls may be joining me on my Appalachian Trail hike, I hope so.

My goal for this month is to build up to 5 miles a day and to lose at least another 10 pounds, which is how much I lost in September. As some of you already know, I'm planning a hike on the Appalachian Trail starting next June. I already have some friends who I have never met, except on Facebook, who are going to try to meet me somewhere along the trail. I'm excited!

I bumped up my workout today, I now incorporate some at home strength training along with my cardio walking workout. I know I'm going to have to get to a gym and find a trainer soon. I really need to start using a stair stepper and elliptical to help build my legs and help strengthen my knees. But because of finances and some family matters that may not happen as soon as I had hoped.

It's a good thing I live in the mountains of Pennsylvania. I can hike anytime I want, and the nearest trail is only about a mile from my house. The trails are part of a State trail and not quite as rugged as the AT can be in places, but there is a lot of up and down hiking, and a lot of rocks. I can actually walk a loop that's about 10 miles long. Up the mountain, along the ridge and then back down the mountain. You end up back where you started but never walk on the same spot twice. And there is a really cool fire tower at the top of the mountain and you can see for miles from up there. In another week or so the mountains should be on fire with the beauty of fall as the leaves are turning. Maybe I can get up there and take some pictures. The fire tower is about 5 miles up the trail, I think. I've never actually checked the mileage on driving up there, but I will. Maybe this weekend. Maybe I'll try to walk it with my trusty pedometer. Yes, maybe I'll give that a try.

I need to come up with a trail name, and I know that will come with time. I have one in mind but need to talk to my family first. I have a name I would like to use in memory of my brother in law who passed away of a heart attack at the young age of 46. I really miss him.

I worked out extra hard today and hope not to be too sore come morning. Honey, one of my cats decided to help me with my crunches. She thought it would help if she jumped from the window to my belly while I was lying on my back, talk about tightening your abs. Wow, she only weighs about 8 pounds, but it was enough to make me tighten my abs really tight before she landed. She's such a good kitty. Then she proceeded to sit on my belly as I finished the other eight crunches, just staring intently into my eyes forcing me to give all I could without knocking her off balance. It was quite the workout, if I do say so myself. I hope she doesn't decide to help train me everyday.

If I can keep up this pace, I should be able to lose at least 90 pounds in the next 9 months. I'm hoping for more, but we'll see. That would take me to about 170 pounds before I hit the trail, I would really like to be at 150 when I start and down to around 135 when I finish. This is my long term goal and I truly believe it is an achievable goal. I just have to go and make it come true.

 Well friends, until next week, keep your spirits high, and your dreams even higher. And remember.....Always shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you'll still land among the stars.

The Real Happy Homemaker