Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Melted Bran Buds - yum!

I should seriously consider drinking coffee. How easy coffee drinkers have it. My friend smiles when she tells me that she heads to the ladies room 30 minutes after drinking her morning java. Me? Achieving regularity is no simple task. It's a crap shoot. And it certainly is an effort. Regularity is important; after all, if you ain't pooin' the scale ain't movin'.

I thought I had found the magic formula for regularity; eating quinoa early in the week to ensure an empty digestive system for the Wednesday morning weigh-in. However, as time went on, a few problems arose from using this strategy. The main issue is that quinoa was not always in the cupboard (or on the dinner menu) and in the end, it usually wasn't enough.

But then I saw the latest commercial for Bran Buds. The dude in the commercial suggested adding Bran Buds into all your foods. That's when I realized that I could start adding Bran Buds to my morning oatmeal. By the time I eat my oatmeal on the Go Train an hour later, the softened Bran Buds adds a surprisingly pleasant flavour to my morning meal. In the afternoon, I add another dose of Bran Buds to my afternoon yogurt snack.

Bran Buds sure gets the old bowels moving. But still, it is not always enough! So after much consideration and observation; I've figured out that this is what I need to do:

  • Eat quinoa as much as possible rather than rice (mmm quinoa);
  • Drink lots of water and/or peppermint tea;
  • Eat plenty of vegetables;
  • Eat grapes and blueberries over apples and bananas;
  • Add Bran Buds to oatmeal and yogurt; and
  • Avoid eating processed food.
So, there you have it; my new strategy for regularity, because eating quinoa on Monday and Tuesday just wasn't enough...

Do you add Bran Buds to any of your food?  


Monday, November 19, 2012

Plateau - still figuring out social eating

So, I'm climbing my way out of a plateau that has persisted since mid-July. Since then, my weight has basically gone up and down with a net loss of nothing. I'm not mystified or wondering why I continue to wallow in this maintain state. I know why this is happening; the problem is social eating. I haven't figured out how to handle eating at social occasions in a way that works for me.

Case in point; last Friday there was a pot luck breakfast at work. I don't like potluck meals - it's wasteful - I eat more than I would at a normal meal (I'm sure I'm not the only one) and so much of the food ends up in the trash bin. I attempt to temper (instead of adding to) the potluck carb-fest, by bringing a healthier (but less popular) options such as fruit or sandwiches. However, on this particular occasion  I was lured in by the variety of  tastes from donuts, cheese, muffins, bread pudding, quiche, samosas to name a few. I ate way too much food; to the point of discomfort and I didn't eat again until 2 pm.

Fortunately, potluck meals don't happen on a daily basis; the last one I attended was last Christmas. Then again, there is always some event to challenge weight loss progression: dinner parties, birthday parties, work conferences, dinner/lunch out, girls' cross-border shopping day, day out at the beach/park/conservation area etc. I'm not a particularly busy social butterfly nor do I have a large family; but there always seems to be some event to halt my effort.

I can handle the bulk of my eating for the week. I will lose weight if there are no special events during the week. But that isn't realistic; that isn't life. I want to learn to handle social eating in a better way, which is especially important since Christmas is only five weeks away. So, I'm heading back to therapy with the hope that my struggle with social eating will no longer be a struggle.

How are you planning on handling social eating this upcoming holiday season? Do you have any eating strategies for potluck meals or dinner parties?

Friday, November 9, 2012

A blog makeover story

 My blog was in desperate need of a makeover. I like design and designing things; I went to school for landscape architecture. I enjoy design projects at home and making my own announcement post cards and holiday cards and artwork. But for the life of me, I am unable to translate this design ability to the web. So, last Thusday, ask I skipped last Thursday's swim practice (I wasn't feeling well), I came across Tiana's website, the Blog Decorator.

Tiana specializes in premade blog templates that can be installed as is or you can buy additional customizations. I liked the idea of a customizable premade template since it provided a good visual and working starting point. Initially, I was drawn to the Dianna template, but the flower graphic didn't really match the subject of my blog. Tiana had many great ideas to customize the graphic for my blog, but she was also completely open to own ideas such as:

  • Replacing the leaves of the flowers with numbers; 
  • Changing the flower to an explosion of numbers of a scale (or numbers floating on top of fountain of water) - yes, this idea was a little out there. 
In the end I went with the Lauren template with a stylized graph image: wavy, intersecting lines starting high on the left and gradually decreasing and stabilizing to the right (see below - my drawing for Tiana. It's always fun to see an initial concept and the final design) with a new colour palette.
Next, Tiana sent me to Design Seeds to pick out a colour template. This was daunting at first, as I was drawn to every third colour palette or so. Eventually, I managed to get down to the final four colour templates: colour crop, salad hues, vegetable hues, and artichoke hues. From there, Tiana pulled together a colour palette from those final four palettes.

As she worked on the design, I finalized changes to my blog name, tag line and navigation menu; you know, shorten and sharpen and edit.

I shortened my blog name to "Thinking like a thin person" from "Can I learn to be a thin person" because I believe that I do think like a thin person. I decided on a shorter tag line "Changing how I think about food, dieting and weight loss" and it better describes the heart of my blog; because I have changed how I think about all those things.

I was amazed by how quickly Tiana works; once we figured out the customizations and the colour palette, she completed the design work and installed the template on blogger in a work day. A few more hours and she designed matching headers for my twitter, facebook and google plus pages.

So there you have it; the story of my blog makeover. If your blogger profile is in need of a new look, I highly recommend Tiana the Blog Decorator!