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Does This Make Sense To You?

I'm all for the reduction of unhealthy food sold in public places, but only if it makes sense.

I was at the local rec centre the other day with my son, waiting for my daughter's dance class to finish. I normally bring snacks with us but hadn't that day (whole other story!!), so I decided to buy him something from their concession stand.

He wanted french fries, and since they serve absolutely nothing that's healthy anyway, I agreed. Why not - there's no harm in the occasional treat if overall your diet is healthy.

The cashier told me that they're no longer allowed to sell french fries, because "they're not healthy". Oh! OK. Cleaning up our nutritional act? I'm all for that! What else have you got?

After french fries were removed from the menu for being too unhealthy, this is what they were still allowed to sell (I swear I'm not making this up):

  • hot dogs
  • nachos and (fake) cheese
  • potato chips
  • chocolate bars
  • pop
  • popcorn with (fake) butter
(are you kidding me?)

I could go on and on about how the ingredients in the list above are just as bad for us as the oil used to deep fry the french fries, but I think that's already obvious to most people. Instead I might contact the rec centre and offer them my opinion...

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How Can I Increase My Will Power?

It's simple, really. You just have to be aware when you reach that fork in the road, where one way is continuing on towards your goal, and the other way is heading away from it.

This is it, right here.

There's a difference between people who achieve their goals and people who don't, and that difference is the ability to continue on past the challenging spots. The ability to recognize the fork in the road, and to take the right path.

When you're having a really challenging moment, and you want that ice cream so badly you can already taste it, this is a fork in your road. This is when you step back and say "here it is, right here. The difference between people who succeed with their weight loss goal and people who don't. This is where I say NO if I am to succeed."

It's easy to say no if you're not hungry, or if it's food you don't like, or if it's the beginning of the day and you're freshly motivated. However the people who succeed are the ones who can say no when it's not easy.

So the next time your will power encounters a big test, see it as an opportunity to succeed. Recognize it as the fork in the road, the choice between the path towards your goal, or the path away from it. See it as the moment where you take matters into your own hands, and choose success.

This is it, right here.

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21 Days To Make Or Break A Habit

We've all heard it - it takes 21 days to make or break a habit.

I'm noticing now how true this is, in regards to my eating habits. I am a "recovering binger" (is that a real term? ;) I say this because after years of struggling with overeating, I'm beginning to acknowledge the fact that food addiction is real. There is a biochemical component (cravings) and a behavioral component as well (hence the title of this post).

This was my old habit:

I'd wake up every day, determined to turn my eating habits around. I'd do fairly well until mid-day, at which point the snacking would go a little overboard. I'd try and compensate at dinner with smaller portions, but then in the evening would be my downfall: my craving for ice cream, at about 11:30 pm. It was a craving so in control of me that I would simply not care about the health implications, and think to myself "I'll start my diet tomorrow".  I'd then wander into the kitchen and concoct a scrumptious, 700-800 calorie bowl filled with everything from ice cream to chocolate chips to peanut butter to caramel syrup... (omg Y.U.M.M.Y.)  Did I mention I have a sweet tooth? ;)

Here's how I changed it:

I started going to bed at about 10:00 pm. Isn't that funny? Such a simple thing. Just go to bed before you would normally eat the ice cream...

So far so good - I'm about 12 pounds lighter now. I had some ice cream last night, but it was the first time in about two months, and I had to talk myself into it. Why would I do that? Because I am determined to be in control of my eating impulses. I can indulge in a sweet treat once in awhile without letting it get out of hand.

I have a new habit now.

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My Own Cookie Diet

I called them 75 calories each (because really, my diet is calorie counting ;)  Most packaged cookies I've ever eaten average about 75, so I thought this was safe. They might be more, they might be less, but the important thing is that because I'm assigning a caloric value to them, I eat maybe one or two a day instead of ten. I was intrigued by the concept of the cookie diet - not as a meal replacement necessarily, but as a concept - eating cookies while you diet!! How cool.  The key would be that they would have to provide me with some health benefit, in order to be worth wasting precious calories on. Here's what I did. I took a recipe for pumpkin cookies and modified it:
  1. The first step was reducing the sugar. The recipe called for two cups (are you kidding me?) so I used one. (Btw, they tasted great).
  2. I then replaced half of the white flour with other stuff: wheat germ, quinoa, flax, oats, and coconut. I'm guessing the calories of these ingredients replaced the calories taken away when I reduced the sugar, but you know what? Healthy, so worth it.
  3. Just for fun, I added chocolate chips. (Hey, fun is an important component of health ;)
Delicious, nutritious, and somewhere around 75 cals each! The only problem now is that I've run out. Must do more baking...

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A Treat Trick

Halloween is over, and we have soooo many leftovers!! I don`t know how many calories I ate yesterday (in excess of 4,000 I think), but I`m back to counting today. Which means I have to deal with all the mini chocolate bars everywhere... so much temptation!!

Not a problem (you`re my witness ;)  I`ve bagged them according to caloric values, and will allow myself maybe one or two per day. I`m optimistic that I`ll do ok, since it`s almost noon and so far I`ve had only one: a 40 calorie mini Aero bar...

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