Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


You have me reading your favorite astrologer too, he's quite good.

This is one of those times when we part company as "twins" - I don't like having to be overly conscious of what I eat. I am going to stay with the Flex plan, but adapt it my way - focus on getting my points from low-glycemic index veggies and lean meats. Most WW menus are interchangeable with South Beach, but I've found that if I avoid simple carbohydrates I lose weight a lot faster and more efficiently. I have to watch both - I think it's the way my body is programmed. I've lost very little just counting points, and I think it's because my body doesn't process too many carbs well.

By Blogger Catherine, at 8:34 AM  

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Sunday, February 05, 2006  


2006 is an exceptional year. It brings a long season of rare 'lunar standstills' during which we will all find ourselves having to stop, stand still for a while and rethink our idea about what is or isn't 'natural'.

How about that. Mr.Horoscope is uncannily on the money for me sometimes, but this message is for all. And wasn’t I just saying that this was the year I resolved to stop trundling along, look around, and maybe chose a new direction? Evidently we will all be given many opportunities to do this. Alas, specifically, for me, for this week, he says it’s going to be Glitch Week and I am to treat life like a game, because it’s going to be throwing pies at my face. Eh. Ok. So be it. I hope they are pumpkin. And he says there is still the possibility that we tenderhearted Virgos will win.

But back to that stop look and think stuff. I am finding it infusing my whole life. Happily I’m enjoying this, since I’m an old navel gazer from way back. I love to think about me, my life, where it’s going, where I want it to go, how to nudge it along, me, me, me, me, me. One area it’s being particularly useful, though, is in the whole Weight Watcher, diet, body arena. A couple of years ago I lost just about all of my Empty Nest fat cushion. There was rather a lot of it and it came off at a nice steady clip, all but the last 5 lbs, which left one ounce at a time. Alas, keeping it off proved to be much harder. At the half century mark, with 30 years of weight issues behind me, I’m fairly philosophical about not having a perfect body and quite able to pretend for long stretches at a time that I actually do have one. Or that, at least, I can move through the world as if I did. But truth does have its place in life and I would like for my imaginary perfect body to be a little closer to the one you see. Also - I would like to have more than one suit jacket that actually buttons.

So in January, WW and I renewed our vows. I do all the work. They can have all the credit. In addition to all the ceremonial recommitment stuff, I decided to actually cook from all the WW cookbooks I’d bought. Good For You cookbooks are like orchestra music. You don’t really practice from the second violin part of Stravinsky (I mean, how could you? There’s no melody?) and you don’t actually cook from the Good For You cookbooks, do you?

Yeah. Right.

I have about 6 of them, picked up in a fleeting hope that the information in them would transfer itself into my brain while I slept. You see, I stopped actually following recipes, hmmm, let’s see - we moved into the house in 1981. Baring a few cake or specialty recipes - I would guess just about then. 25 years ago. I’d already been cooking for 10 years and had most of my ideas about food down pat. But that was when I had the youthful body of the under 30 set, still had to walk half a mile through the woods to get to the car on rainy or snowy days, when the road washed out, and had child-in- school duties that kept me on the go. Fast forward to today and you can see that what I knew how to cook for that gal will not sit right on a more seasoned figure.

In addition to not being much of a recipe follower, I’m even worse at menu planning. How could I possibly know if I’d be hungry for chicken cutlets next Wednesday when I’m shopping for food on Friday? The idea of planning a week’s menus was so outside my circle of consciousness I usually skipped over any magazine article or WW pamphlet that mentioned the word planning. Serendipity for Me, thanks. Though spontaneity in cooking requires a lot of energy, I’d never found it any harder than disciplining myself to menu planning would have been. Until this past autumn, when a series of health issues sapped 97% of my energy and we sank to eating take-out bar-b-cue and three cheese crackers for dinner.

So the new regime for 2006 has been to eat only meals cooked from WW cookbooks and to shop only once a week for the food. The first week was excruciatingly difficult, both to think about what I would eat next Tuesday and to make up the grocery list so that I had everything in the kitchen. But I succeeded well enough and found it a little easier the second. I also realized that the way to streamline cooking from a cookbook was to use only one cookbook a week. After selecting 7 dinner recipes I write them all down on a sheet of paper along with the page # where each can be found and post it on the fridge. I’ll sort of decide what day I’ll cook them and note that beside the page number, but I’m not tied to that day. I can swap them around if I forgot to buy an essential ingredient or merely if I want to. The last step is to write out tonight’s dinner on a little magnetized dry erase board on the refrigerator. The board is prettily decorated, like the ones in trendy cafes, and it lists this week’s cookbook along with the day’s specialty (only-ty?).

So, now when I come home, I know what’s for dinner. I know I have the food in the kitchen. I’ve never eaten it before, so it can still be a bit of a surprise, and if we don’t like it we never have to eat it again. And now that I’ve shifted myself out of the old pattern of not thinking about food till I walk in the kitchen, I’m finding it fun and even easy; something to look forward to.

Which reminded me that whenever I have successfully lost weight I had to really care about food. Care about it. Think about it. Plan for it. Write it down. It had to matter. I am not successful with brainless thoughtless eating. That’s why diets like South Beach or WW Core, which sound like they’d be simple and easy - eat all the vegetables and lean meats you want, don’t eat (m)any starches - just don’t work for me. I have to be involved with my food. It has to be special. It has to matter. Food has been a big aphrodisiac in my marriage, since BD is an enthusiastic diner. Offering him food delights is an important part of my role, very much like the literary delights he constantly brings to me. I don’t want to be brain-dead when it comes to food. When I am, I sink to throwing sausage and grease at him and stuffing myself with cheese and bread and that is just not an option for either of us any more. Mr. & Mrs. Heart Attack do not want any more vacations at Regional Memorial Hospital.

Of course, this commitment of time to meal planning was only the first manifestation of the Lunar Standstill Effect. The other danger zone for this weight challenged Queen is mindless eating. Walking into the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon and picking through the contents for tidbits. Oh - mind - it’s not just okay to eat when you are hungry, it’s important. But to eat because you are something else is the first step through the door of Lane Bryant. Weekends are the toughest time for me when it comes to mindless eating because I don’t always drink enough water. I have a little routine at work to remember to drink water but I don’t have one for home - and really, I don’t want one. I want to be conscious enough to stop and ask myself, as the hand dips into the three cheese cracker box - “are you thirsty?” 9 times out of 10 I am and I can wash the three cheese crumbs off my hands after I have a drink.

But I hope you noticed the pivotal word up there - conscious. I suppose what I’m trying to do, what I’m longing and yearning and needing to do, is to be conscious of what’s going on in my life. To eat food that I really think about and taste. To really know if I’m thirsty and hydrate my parched body. To really know where the paperwork is and how much rust colored yarn I already have and to learn and delight in the texture of that angora fur that J gave me. To live all the life I have in active mode, not auto-pilot. If I am going to be here on this earth, by golly, I really want to Be Here.

Well. Hmmm. How about that. Who would have thought this is where my musing would go. Not I, for sure. The title was added afterwards. Nice to have it all out in the open, though. All part of the conscious life, no?

By the way, I am plying up the second batch of pretty wool/mohair blend. I have one skein drying in the bathroom and when I took one of the first skeins in to compare them I discovered I may have used a different brown wool. I have two that are identical in color and touch - but really are different. Evidently, the crimp in one is less than the other and there are noils in one that are not in the other. And I don’t know which is which, for they’ve been crammed, higgledy piggledy, in the chest in the den for years. I pick up one, then the other and I just can’t tell them apart. But as yarn, I fear one will be far springier than the other. It’s too early to tell for sure yet, since the second skein isn’t fully dry. And, of course, I’d never checked the rovings for crimp. I will now, though and bag them up and label them. Yessiree, by golly, I will.

And I found a grave error in the BSHP sweater and had to rip out the entire front chest part. It’s back on the needles, error repaired and 3 of the 7 inches needed, knit up. And if there is enough $ in the bank after reckoning day, [Thursday], I’ll buy that digital camera on sale at WalMart and introduce you to The Bishop.

Happy Sunday to you all.

posted by Bess | 7:48 AM