Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A NEW PUZZLE!

Nothing I like better than a PUZZLE to solve, especially one that involves mental exercise, sort of like my experiences with Odyssey of the Mind, of which I have written earlier [See STOP THIS BUS NOW!, A SCENIC NOCTURNAL DRIVE ON HIGHWAY 7, and THE GREAT BISCUIT AIR FRESHENER.]

As those who surf by my blog know, I am a 'now and then dieter', largely unsuccessful. However, two years ago I lost 30 pounds and only gained 5 pounds back which has nearly all been lost again. The weight loss diet I followed was Weight Watchers.

Today my favorite diet program, Weight Watchers (WW), has introduced a thoroughly renovated diet program-- I mean top to bottom, even though they have retained their infamous Point program, renamed PointsPlus (P+). 

The Points+  are now defined by fat, protein, fiber and carbohydrates, no calories. All fruits and vegetables, minus starches (mainly potatoes), have zero P+.

This is a very limited description because there is far more to any diet than the food, like exercise and habit changing.

I became a life WW member in late '70s. Each time I circle through the program, I usually wipe out one bad habit. My first small step in the '70s was switched permanently to sugar free beverages. I shuddered when told an average size regular carbonated drink had 1 full cup of sugar in it!

My next circle through the program I eliminated carbonated beverages altogether, partially because by then I had kidney cancer surgery. In this time I also restricted salt at the table, but was allowed to used it in cooking; these were my physcian's instructions. I also learned to eat less starches unless they were a part of a  high fiber product.

My next circle through did not last very long as I had to drive at night.  I now subscribe to WW on-line as I would otherwise have to still drive 30 miles round trip to a meeting. I prefer meetings because of the lecture and group therapy.

As you may guess from the above paragraphs I have NOT conquered sweets. Sometimes I have fair to good control, sometimes absolutely no control. Maybe this time. As of this moment (who knows what tomorrow will bring) I am not diabetic, or even close.

 But I am really concentrating on more salt elimination, trying to keep it in the neighborhood of 1200 mg, very low.

If there is anything outside of swallowing pills and surgery, that will help my atrial fibrillation, it is losing weight. The exercise is a problem because my Silver Sneakers class was canceled and the other class is an inconvenient time.

I say all this to say I will need time to convert my personal choice foods and recipes (a very long list due to my long-time partipation} to the new system so may not be writing any humorous stories for a bit.

But I will read and comment. Maybe a shorter post--who knows?

Sunday Luckie stole and ate another loaf of bread off the table which we forgot to put on a high shelf. Not only did I have to watch her for 'bloat.' I withdrew water, and food for 24 hours.

 She had numerous trips outside all night, I hope eliminating, both regurgitating and defecating. Believe me, I did not go out to check. I simply kept feeling her belly to see if it seemed hard. She did not eat the plastic wrapper and quite generously left us 4 slices!

I think Santa may pass her by this year.

Tonight I have to wear a new gizmo (I love gizmos) that is like a pulse oximeter used in exercise and by physicians in conjunction with blood pressure and oxygen. However, this gizmo is connected to a recording device to see what my heart and breathing are doing while I sleep. It surely will beat a sleep study! Most of my A-Fib attacks have occurred between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.

I had a sleep study once--slept 4 hours--which resulted in messy goo in my hair from a multitude of electrode leads and too few incidences; therefore the proverbial non-diagnostic result.

Believe it or not, our so-called Christmas routine we adopted last year is nearly completed. The rest will be a breeze. And Christmas dinner may be the same as last year which was  "to-go" containers from  local VFW.

Part of the Christmas spending we provide through our Life Group is a complete Christmas dinner packaged by area local grocery chain named Harps Food Market. It is precooked and frozen with full directions for heating and serving. We always buy one more box than we think is needed, because a need usually comes up at the last minute.

If one box is left, I'll attempt not to burn it [see previous post-Burnt to a Crisp-Think Black] and share with friends and neighbors. It supposedly serves 6-10.

Our Life Group adopted three families with children (one happened to be a member of our group and wrote a letter to Christmas Wish sponsored by the Baxter Bulletin). This family wanted a bicycle which was outside the funds we had. Since we adopted the family we hoped to provide everything requested.

Sometimes it pays to know the right person. We knew a local man who renovated bikes all year and gave them to Christmas Wish. My husband (H) paid him a visit and he sold us a bike awaiting his attention for the humble sum of $10. H replaced a tire, seat and brake; I think he had more fun with that bike than he has had in a long time.

Despite the 6% increase in crowds on Black Friday, I was not among the throngs. Many moons ago Best Friend and I was in 4 a.m. lines at WalMart. I cannot speak for BF, but years later I realized at least half, if not all, of what I bought was selfishly for ourselves, not even gifts.

 If you can find a little book entitled The First Church's Christmas Barrel by Caroline Abbot Stanley (1912), you will be blessed with the spirit of Christmas and a little sardonic humor toward the end. It may be in some libraries. I found it listed at Alibris (about $8) in used condition.

I found this 71-page jewel among my Mother's books; it was given to her by one of the aunts who raised her. The theme is age-old, both morally and scripturally. It took me a long time to completely adopt  the theme, but I have, although I slip now and then.

I have 3 personal Christmas traditions (1) read the passage of Holy Scripture concerning the birth of Jesus; (2) Read the abovementioned book; (3) watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation staring Chevy Chase. I guess this reading is from sublime to ridicuous, but thus is life.

I will take this opportunity to encourage all who pass my way to relax and enjoy this Season, whether it is religious to you, or whether it is simply a joyous occasion to enjoy and express good-will to friends, family and the less fortunate, of which we can find many this year.

And if you feel BAH! HUMBUG!, Take a deep breath, sit back, relax and observe life for awhile; then you may become creative and try something different. You might just catch the SPIRIT!

13 comments:

lakeviewer said...

Yes, I might catch the spirit only if I don't fret over it. Somehow, this season weighs me down. I shall look beyond my own needs to those in the community who really need a hand.

Lorna said...

Wow! this is a full post! The WW program sounds like the Fat and Fibre program that I followed a few years ago and lost 30 lbs. And it was actually quite easy.

You seem to be looking forward to Christmas---I'm not there yet, but it's not bah humbugish, it's just busyness.

Arkansas Patti said...

Big believer in WW but need the personal touch and there is none available for at least an hours drive. Tried the Net version but I was a real slacker. Good luck.
I periodically abstain from sweets for months at a time then I go off the wagon like a sloppy drunk. Never learned moderation.
Hope you keep posting and have fun with your Christmas preparations.

faye said...

I am sure Luckie felt terrible
enough about taking the bread.
Hope Santa forgives and fills
her bowl with all the doggie
treats she wants and deserves.

This has been such a sad year,
I can't seem to get into the
spirit.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Poor Luckie! I think she was punished enough for eating the bread.
I don't know anything about Weight Watchers, but have heard people say it worked for them.
How wonderful that you were able to get a bicycle for that child. Sounds like you have a good attitude toward Christmas.

CHERI said...

Another great post:) The holidays really get me when it comes to weight. I'm not terribly over-weight but I have a sugar addiction that just runs rampant from Halloween through Christmas!!! Then I have to work all spring trying to take it off...which is NO fun. Dieting is a curse word to me. I just can't really diet but do try to walk when the weather cooperates. Tried WW once but it took me a year to lose 10 lbs (I cheated very little) so I quit! I just need to leave off so much sugar and not nibble between meals and then I'd be fine...easier said than done. Please forgive LUCKIE...maybe he learned his lesson. Sure hope Santa doesn't abandon him all together. Christmas is a love/hate relationship with me. I hate how much money it costs and how we all get so tired, frustrated, and stressed....but I love remembering Christ's birth, seeing the excitement of the grandkids, the beautiful decorations, and reading by a fire with the Christmas tree lights glowing. We always try to help someone needy in some way...tonight hubby is putting together bicycles for needy children. You take care and enjoy the holidays! Continue to write these wonderfully enjoyable posts.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hello, my friend!! Just wanted to stop by to say "hello!" And what a terrific post I find here! So glad I didn't miss this! So interesting and such fun!! Oh, but poor Luckie!! What a naughty girl! So glad she is okay. And I think your traditions sound wonderful! Love you! Janine XO

Abraham Lincoln said...

A big post. Interesting too. Christmas is just around the corner. I hope we both make it.

I don't mind the oxygen on all night but it does sometimes take some getting used to.

I put a different version of the dog on the abrahamlincolsblog so you could see it. It is the same one. If i take it off the dashboard and allow Blogger to post it for me, then some people can't see it, and that is what I did. So I went to Flickr and used the same picture stored there so you can see it now.

Abraham Lincoln's Blog

Kat said...

I heard something on TV about Weight Watchers new program and wondered how hard it might be for those who follow that plan. I've had quite a few friends who have lost a bunch on their program. Good for you for losing weight and keeping it off and making lifestyle changes.

Sure hope Luckie is okay.

Merry Christmas sweet friend,
Kat

Dimple said...

I'm not to Christmas yet. I've been dragging my heels, no kids at home, and no grandchildren so far. So we send checks. I do love the lights and remembering my Savior, even though I know He could not have been born in December.
I'm with those who hope you will forgive Luckie!
I understand about decluttering, I sometimes go on a binge of it myself, but so far I haven't sworn off accumulating!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

good morning Honey.
Wanted to check on you and see how you are doing.
I am seriously going to have to loose weight after the holidays because since my accident and not working I have slowly been adding on the pounds. Pounds that were very much not wanted or needed.
Weight Watchers is high on my list of choices and after reading this I am really leaning that direction.
Hopefully starting in January I will have a extra page on my site for loosing weight. It is easier to do with support.
Happy Holidays
Maggie

Nezzy said...

We get so dang busy we forget to live life and enjoy the season don't we???

Good luck at WW, a girls just gotta find what works for her. Evey body is different.

God bless ya and enjoy the spirit of the season sweetie!!!

jeannette said...

Have you looked into the Suzanne Summers diet? (her books with recipes are in local libraries.)

It's actually not a true diet, but more a change of food combinations -but this one really helped me make aware of my food choices - according to her, if you you eat the prescribed choices, you may eat big portions (for example not protein and carbs at the same time -that one really helped me lose weight!).