Tuesday, September 18th, Day Fourteen, Consistent

Tuesday, September 18th, Day Fourteen, Consistent





It has nearly been two weeks since the start of our journey.  I have lost 6.0 pounds.  I lost .2 pounds last night, so I am down to 118.7–not a big change, but anything in the right direction is welcome.  If I lose .2 pounds per day, it will take me 44 more days to reach my goal.   That would be nice if I can do it that quickly because that is more than one pound per week.
In contrast, if I were to gain that much, I would weigh 127.5 pounds in 44 days.  If I were to consistently gain that much for a whole year, I would weigh 191.7 pounds!  Small differences can compound into enormous changes over time.
You only need to gain .2 pounds for 5 days of the year for 30 years to effect a 30-pound weight gain.  This is so easy to do.  It can happen over Christmas vacation alone, and most of us gain more than one pound over the holidays.  Most people do gain at least 30 pounds in 30 years.  Because of this, weight loss is a skill virtually everyone must develop to offset those almost inevitable gains.
I was not feeling too good this morning.  I had some brown rice and almond milk, and that is reviving me.


I have written over 37,000 words in this travel log so far and over 1,100 paragraphs.   If I continue at the same rate for 44 days or so, this log will be about 165,000 words.   That may be okay.  I can publish it for the Kindle and my blog and not attempt to get it into paperback.  That way the size will not matter that much, and I can use as much white space as I choose.

I am a good writer, and I love to write.  When I pray for guidance about what I should do with my life, the answer is always to write.  I considered returning to software engineering, but after being out of the field for so long, it would be hard to compete.  I am glad I have computer skills however.  They serve me in whatever capacity I undertake to fill.


Finding a niche in society is a challenge for many.  I have been on disability for two decades.  I grieved the loss of my software career, but I have found other ways of using and developing my talents.  My husband says I have “talent oozing out of” me.  I cherish his recognition of my talents.  It is time for me to recognize my own talents.  I encourage you to do the same.  I read an interesting book not long ago titled Designing Your Life. Designing Your Life helped me figure out that blogging was my next step.


Once you venture along though, there are inevitable obstacles.  Soon afterwards, I read a book titled The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.  That book showed how overcoming obstacles is a necessary part of success.  The same is true of dieting.  It is never a smooth path.  Health challenges come along.  Other stresses crop up.  I have shared some that have crossed my path so far.  I am sure there will be further obstacles.
The goal is to transform those obstacles into stepping stones, and then step right over them, through them, or around them.  How do you do that?  My friend, that is what we humans do.  You see an obstacle and you do not think, “Oh no, I must now give up.”  Instead you say, “What can I learn from this?  What new skill can I acquire?  What new people can I meet?  Whom can I ask for help?”  “Where do I need to go next?”
I cannot say you can always defeat the obstacle, but you can make a way for yourself, even if you have to veer off in a different direction than you originally intended.  You may even need to make a U-turn.  Later you can correct your course.  Perhaps the new direction was the right one for you all along, you just did not know it.  The obstacles can become your way as they modify your path into the path of success.


I ordered some stew meat that I expected to be cut up.  It was not cut up.  That is one of the caveats of getting delivery food.  It is all thawed out now in the refrigerator.  I need to start a stew with it, and it is very bloody.  So, this is an obstacle.  How can I get a stew started without feeling squeamish?
There.  I started by cutting the potatoes with the waffle-cut blade on the Kutter.  Then I cut a part of a red onion and then a small yellow onion.  I chopped the onions with a knife, as the Kutter reduces onions to an oozing mess.  Then I cut broccoli:  the flowers by hand and the stems with the slicer on the Kutter.
Then I attacked the stew meat.  It was actually already partially cut up.  I cut each piece into approximately three pieces.  Then I cut white mushrooms with the Kutter, added filtered water, and seasoned the stew with mustard seed, oregano, basil, rosemary, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.  Then I set the crock pot on high to cook.
Now, having cleaned up most of the mess, I am feeling kind of nauseated.  I had fat for breakfast but less than normal.  Coconut oil can make me nauseated.  If I have eight grams or less, I am usually okay.  I had 26 grams of coconut.  That may have been enough to set me off.  I love coconut, and it appears that I may developing a sensitivity to it.  If you develop symptoms, examine your most frequently consumed foods, which may be causing you trouble.  Coconut is my most frequently consumed food, which I can determine from Cronometer.

Allergies and Sensitivities

I have not paid that much attention to food allergies and sensitivities in the past, but they are real.  They tend to be caused by over-exposure to a food.  Gluten and dairy sensitivities are common.  Peanut and corn are also common culprits.  It is impossible to get off of all possible allergens at once, as you can potentially be allergic to anything.  JJ Virgin, a popular health coach, advocates removing seven possible common allergens at once:  sugar, gluten, dairy, peanuts, corn, eggs, and soy.  Her cookbook shows that this is possible to do.  Her followers have had a lot of success with her diet.  Is it possible to reinstate foods after avoiding them for a time?  I think so.  Be watchful about what a food does to you.  Rotating foods is a possible option.
I think variety is one way to help prevent food allergies.  Especially if you are single, you may want to beware of a Costco-type diet.  At Costco, you must buy such a large quantity of each food that it limits the number of foods you consume.  I got into this rut myself.  I let go of my Costco membership for about a year to correct my diet.  Now I shop at Costco again, but not for my entire diet.  It also helps to have two in the family rather than one.


I ate some gluten-free crackers and cheese, and I feel a little better.  It is only 9:48 AM and my calories are already up to 637.  How did that happen?  I need to fast now or I will blow my goals for the day.  I can fast until 1:00 PM.  The soup will be ready about then.  It appears that in order to fast, I need to set an intention to fast until a specific time.  That does not always work, but if I do not set an intention, I will eat.

Frequent Snacking

Frequent snacking is the way for many of us.  Unfortunately, frequent snacking is what gets us into our weight problems to begin with.  I am dealing with my own tendency to snack frequently.  We may feel thirsty, hungry, angry, lonely, tired, nauseous, dizzy, stressed, anxious, worried, impatient, in pain, depressed, tense, contracted, celebratory, unsettled, off-balance, etc. and want to address it with a snack.  Let us talk about other ways to deal with these feelings.  Food should be consumed as fuel.  Let us not top off our fuel tanks so much they stink.


There.  I just completed a walking meditation called, The Settling Moment by Tom Foulstone in Insight Timer, a mobile phone app I highly recommend.  It is just over three minutes long, and it does a good job of settling me.


I am dealing with a chronic backache.  It has gotten worse since I have been helping my husband around the house.  I may have to get chiropractic attention for it. I am going to try some butterbur for the pain.  I have not used butterbur for a backache before, but it is worth a try.

JV Life Tracker

I want to do a better job of using my mobile phone app JV Life Tracker.  Yesterday I did not get to it.  I could try to piece together Sunday and then do Monday.  Is it worth it?  Let me do Monday first and then decide.
I scored both days:  1,111 points for Sunday, 917 for Monday.  If I can remember my day at all, it is worth it to score it in JV Life Tracker.  Having this travel log of each day serves to jog my memory.  I want to resume my consistency with JV Life Tracker.  I have done it every consecutive day for over a year before, twice.


“Today” is important.  Every day is important.  Each day builds on the next.  Building consistency is very important.  One day I was struggling with the values I had defined for myself.  I started to wonder if consistency was really that important.
My Higher Power led me through a little trip through the Internet.  I stopped at an article about the Coca-Cola brand.  It mentioned how Coca-Cola had consistently promoted its brand through the years.  Even though I do not think Coca-Cola is a healthy drink, I cannot deny the power of consistency in its company’s efforts to promote the brand.
What brand do we have to promote?  I am working on my Joyful Vibrance brand.  I confess, I am not as consistent with it as Coca-Cola.  I have been consistent for the past two weeks, writing this travel log.  Yesterday and the day before I did not post anything however.  So what is the key thing to be consistent with in dieting?
Two things seem to make a big difference for me:
1.        staying off sugar
2.        keeping a complete record of my food and supplements in Cronometer
These things may work for you, or you may have a different list.  Figure out the number one thing you will be consistent with.  Perhaps it is your exercise.  Determine your key activities.  Unfortunately, it is impossible to be 100% consistent with everything all the time, so start by getting consistent with what matters.


It is now 12:09 PM.  It is still almost one hour until the stew is done.  I realize that I forgot to put any oil in it.  Perhaps that is okay.  My body has been having trouble with fat.  Fat is important for weight loss though, so I may add some olive oil after it is done.
It is now 12:33 PM.  I have been doing some business with the residence and car.  My husband is sitting in his rocker, eager for the stew to finish.
Right now I am too hungry to get serious work done like posting my travel log to my blog.  It is tempting to go ahead and eat a snack, but that would spoil my appetite and reduce the number of calories I have left for the stew.  So, I am sticking with my resolve.  I do not know of any studies confirming this, but setting short-term intentions, such as, “I will fast until this or that time” may work.
There is a danger though.  If I get too hungry, I could binge.  How many times have binges spoiled your efforts in dieting?  Following the Zone diet since 1996 has almost entirely cured me of binge eating.  I recommend the work of Dr. Barry Sears, Ph.D.  I do not hear about the Zone diet as much anymore, as diets like the ketogenic diet have soared in popularity.  Dr. Sears, however, was one of the presenters at Institute for Integrative Nutrition.


Let me see if short-term intentions will work.  If you do not keep every one, do not beat yourself up about it.  Your intention could have been unrealistic.  Do your best to set realistic intentions.  If you have followed me since Wednesday, September 5th, Day One, you will notice that I have set a number of intentions, some of which I have kept, and others I have not.
Fasting is a skill you may or may not have developed.  A fast less than 24 hours will not be fatal, even though your body may tell you it is going to die.  I have not experimented much with fasts lasting longer than 24 hours, but they are possible too, though probably not necessary for dieting.
We waited until almost 1:00 PM for the stew.  I ate a bowl full, but it was barely edible.  We put the rest of the stew back on for a couple of hours.  I do not know if it is just my crock or what.  Did I miscalculate the time I put the stew on?
Even though the meat was tough and the potatoes were kind of crisp, I feel better after eating it.  If I had not eaten the stew, I would have needed something else to eat.  I was famished.  Perhaps I can eat some more of it in two hours.
I finally posted Day Four.  That was for September 8th.  Today is September 18th, so I am lagging by ten days.  That is probably okay.  There may come a day when I write nothing at all.  I think it is not necessary for me to write everyday to be successful in this journey.  For now though, I want to write every day because writing helps me.  It might help you too.




It is 4:59 PM.  My husband has just asked me to order from Garbanzo Mediterranean.  I did not talk him out of it this time.  I have 351 calories left in my budget.  I can try what I planned to do last time we ordered from there:  measure out 218 grams of food and just eat that.  I tapped on my limiting belief of having to clean my plate every time.  We will put that to the test.


We ordered a lamp from FirstStreet to light up our bedroom.  I set it up.  I just need to plug it in, turn it on, and see if it works.  However, my husband does not like it.   He wants me to send it back.  I am disappointed because I do not know where I will find a lamp I like better for the same price or less.

Low Mood

Today has been a less than average day.  My mood is low.  I did manage to swat a fly my husband was obsessed with.  I got it on the second try.  Yesterday, men worked on the building upstairs.  The building is normally locked 24 hours.  To facilitate their getting in, they propped the door open.  My husband was upset over their lack of concern for our security.  Besides that, they let flies in.
So what can I think of now that would bring up my mood?  I am thinking about lack of security, annoying flies, having to send a lamp back, stew that is too tough, and spending too much money on delivery food.  My back is feeling a bit better than earlier today, perhaps thanks to the butterbur.  My husband said he wants to be sure he does not make it any worse.  The scabs on my head are not too bad.  I need to get them checked, but I have had some of that crusting for months now.

The Power of I Am

So, let me think about what would give me Joyful Vibrance.  Joel Osteen gave many examples of what we can tell ourselves about ourselves.   I have heard his Power of I Am speech.  What can I tell myself about myself that is either true, becoming true, or has been true?
1.        I am enduring.
2.        I am kind.
3.        I am sweet.
4.        I am gentle.
5.        I am intelligent.
6.        I am talented.
7.        I am sexy.
8.        I am slender.
9.        I am fortunate.
10.        I am blessed.
11.        I am wealthy.
12.        I am smart.
13.        I am well-spoken.
14.        I am smart.
15.        I am a beautiful cook.  (That is how my husband puts it.)
16        I am a gorgeous cook.  (That is the other way he puts it.)
17.        I am trusted.
18.        I am spiritual.
19.        I am timely.
20.        I am consistent.
21.        I am creative.
22.        I am friendly.
23.        I am reliable.
24.        I am sober.
25.        I am loved.
26.        I am cherished.
27.        I am considerate.
28.        I am energetic.
29.        I am persistent.
30.        I am generous.
31.        I am fair.
32.        I am safe.
33.        I am a good writer.
34.        I am open.
35.        I am able to remember things.
36.        I am alluring.
37.        I am affectionate.
38.        I am attractive.
39.        I am beautiful.
36.        I am organized.
37.        I am helpful.
38.        I am a computer expert.
39.        I am flexible.
40.        I am curious.
41.        I am warm.
42.        I am loving.
43.        I am enthusiastic.
44.        I am healed.
45.        I am healthy.
46.        I am musical.
47.        I am scientific.
48.        I am mathematical.
49.        I am studious.
50.        I am happy.
51.        I am joyful.
52.        I am vibrant.
53.        I am passionate.
54.        I am excited.
55.        I am grateful.
56.        I am appreciative.
57.        I am determined.
58.        I am confident.
59.        I am cheerful.
60.        I am a contributor.
61.        I am nurturing.
62.        I am literate.
63.        I am mobile.
64.        I am capable.
65.        I am a team player.
66.        I am well-read.
67.        I am active.
68.        I am calculating.
69.        I am shrewd.
70.        I am thorough.
71.        I am prompt.
72.        I am of service.
73.        I am loyal.
74.        I am dedicated.
75.        I am thrifty.
76.        I am humble.  (You might not believe that by now.)
77.        I am mindful.
78.        I am balanced.
79.        I am soothing.
80.        I am a good wife.
81.        I am a good daughter.
82.        I am a good girl.
83.        I am believing.
84.        I am a good citizen.
85.        I am medically aware.
86.        I am a good record keeper.
87.        I am neat.
88.        I am clean.
89.        I am a good speaker.
90.        I am calm.
91.        I am peaceful.
92.        I am careful.
93.        I am a finisher.
94.        I am an initiator.
95.        I am motivated.
96.        I am prepared.
97.        I am good with knives.
98.        I am compassionate.
99.        I am a skillful communicator.
100.        I am skilled.
One hundred “I am’s” is enough for today.  Listing those served to pick me up.  Here I am, putting all of this effort into being more slender when there are 99 other qualities to be working on.  Have you found yourself in this list?  Perhaps you too are over-focused on being slender while you ignore other qualities that are very important–some of them even crucial.


It is 8:31 PM.  My husband called for a snack a while ago.  He has finished that now and is resting.  I got a call from Wal-Mart about his eyeglasses.  They are ready to pick up.  My husband is tired of being blind.  He is not totally blind, but he is very near-sighted.  He depends on his glasses.  I will go in the morning as soon as I get myself ready to go and am sure my husband is going to be okay while I am gone.


I am not sure whether you believe I am humble. Ben Franklin extolled humility as a virtue.  Even he said “… for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it [pride], I should probably be proud of my humility.”  We often knock ourselves down and think we are being humble.  This is a false humility.  I like Joel Osteen’s approach.  He believes we should think well of ourselves.  He believes that it is the Enemy that knocks us down.  He says, “Do not be an enemy to yourself.”  One definition of humility I like is being teachable.
I suppose it was not humility that kept me from sharing my story for so long.  I was self-conscious about having bipolar disorder.  I had been counseled to never reveal I had it.  However, over time, I told quite a few people about it.  Now I share my story because I believe what I have learned can be helpful to others.  My bipolar disorder is an integral part of my story, much like Helen Keller’s blindness and deafness was integral to her story.

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