Friday, December 24, 2010

Festivities Over

Well, it is after 10 pm on Christmas Eve, and we are home from the family festivities.  (Everyone goes early, because the host family this year has youngsters who are excitedly awaiting Santa's arrival.)  The parents, of course, still have things to do - after the kids were off to bed - to ready the place for the Big Guy's slide down the chimney. 

We'll be heading out in a few hours for midnight church service. 

So, how did I do?  Excellent!  I had ONE BOWL of vegetable soup, and some banana/pineapple for dessert, water, pomegranate juice, and a very fresh date stuffed with a pecan (YUM)!  Oh, and I had a thimble-sized bite of a sugarplum (yes, they are real). 

I did well!  But tomorrow is another story. 

One of my in-laws gave me a glorious box of Bateel Dates, straight from Dubai.  Folks, these are dates like you've never had them before.  They taste so fresh, as if picked off the tree yesterday!  They are sitting in my house now, eight wonderful dates, calling to me from their little box.  Aaaaaannnnnnn, oh, Annnnnnnnnn ....

I'm going to enjoy 3-4 tomorrow (I think), but first I need to check on the nutrition information of dates.  I think they are either the Naboot Seif or Sukari (variety) dates, but I need to double-check that.  Hey, at least they aren't chocolate-covered!  If you've never had truly fresh dates, like those from the Bateel company, you have no clue what they are supposed to taste like.  If I ever visit California, I'm including a visit to a date farm, just to shop some freshly picked dates!

Well, the family went CRAZY when they saw me!  Some haven't seen me in 4 months, so it was a shock I think, to see me about 50 lbs lighter.  It was great fun, but then got a little embarrassing, because it went on and on and on ... and of course the dreaded camera came out and the room was awash in flash bulbs. 

I'm not sure what to make of this one, but one of my sisters-in-law (who KNOWS I've been dieting), gave me two huge "organic" milk chocolate almond bars.  (HUGE candy bars, like 760 calories each or something insane like that.) That isn't even something I'd normally eat, before dieting.  She knows I like chocolate though. 

Why buy a dieter something like that?!  You think she would know better, because she is the family glamour girl, for heaven's sake. 

I'll pass the love on to someone who appreciates it more, before I am tempted to tear into one.  She also gave me a gift certificate to Starbucks "for lattes."  I plan on using it to buy a few water bottles or mugs or something.  No lattes for this dieter!

In all these years (decades), I've never had food-related gifts like I've had this year.  Sheesh!  It figures, right?

Tomorrow, we're eating at Dad's home.  Nothing special planned for the day (hanging out at Dad's).  It will basically be a day of noshing as the mood hits us, and lots of reading and/or TV.  That is, after taking Dad for his morning antibiotic infusion.  Yes, even on Christmas.

Allan dropped a comment, asking if I'm ready for the next phase of the challenge.  (Phase IV begins in January.)  The answer is NO. 

I am doing very well with the dieting thing, but exercise is a much, much tougher thing for me to master. 

I wish it wasn't so, but my past experiences with exercise were not good.  I've never warmed to it.  I've never been any good at it.  I've not even particularly gotten any joy out of it.  Well, that isn't entirely true.  I actually don't enjoy participating in it, but I'll watch an athlete with rapt attention and admiration.  Stick me in a football stadium, and I'm a happy camper. 

I don't think I'll ever be truly ready for exercise, but I am doing my very best to get my attitude properly adjusted for this challenge.  And I WILL give it 100% ... I'm determined to, actually. 

I know exercise is so important for good and sustained health.  It is a necessity, and I have to just make up my mind to embrace it and enjoy it.  Someone told me the key is to find something I enjoy.  I've been thinking about that.  I enjoy genealogy research.  I enjoy photography.  I enjoy reading.  I enjoy the occasional game of croquet (though not in winter).  These are not "activities" that are particularly active.  Therein lies my problem.  I do enjoy walking, but by that I mean strolling.  That doesn't cut it for cardiovascular health.  So, I am actually very much looking forward to this challenge. It will be the hardest (yet) for me.  I know this going in, but I am also determined (just as I've been with my diet), to make this work for me.  I'm going to apply the same level of attention to this challenge, but for the first time, I'm more than a little concerned about my basic ability.

We all have to start somewhere, right?  So, 2011 (Phase IV challenge) will be the start of my love affair with exercise. 

Attitude is everything, and I'm bringing my can-do best game to Phase IV.  You won't know, unless you try, right?  I'm really looking forward to finally dropping my couch potato ways.  I'm just not sure how to safely go about that, so I'm looking at this next challenge as an opportunity to learn to do just that.

While my doctor said moving would be a GOOD thing, his only advice on the exercise front has been to "start slow" and work my way into it.  (Whatever that means ...) 

I see the shaking weight stick things on TV, the ab sliding thing you are supposed to kneel on (can't do that with my not-so-good knee), and a thing with bows (like crossbows) all over it, wires everywhere ... everyone seems to know what these things do and how they work and how great they are, but it is all alien to me.  (I keep thinking, instead of buying a weight thingy that shakes, can't I just grab a can of crushed pineapple and shake away?)   I'm just not getting it.  I hope Allan's challenge, and his exercise consultant, can help me improve that neglected area of health - exercise!

Well, time to check out the postings out here in Blogland, before heading for church.  Merry Christmas! 


  1. Glad it went well for you. Ignore those dumb little treats!
    They are really tricks, but they are in a disguise.
    Any treat that is legit calls at a decent hour.
    NOT a behind the scenes "quickie!"
    Have a great Christmas, Ann.
    And the workout part - you'll do fine.

  2. I hope you are right, Anne !! I'm certainly going to give it my all.

    Happy Festivus to you!! hehehehe You crack me up! (Well, you, Kramer and Old Man Seinfeld)


  3. I'm right with you on the exercising!! I hate it! I keep hearing that it becomes "addicting" and you'll love how you'll feel and I just can't get that. Hopefully both of us can get over it and succeed! He did mention to me that it starts off fairly tame. No idea what this means but considering I am doing practically nothing, tame is good. We can do it!!

    Chuck the candy in the trash, no one needs a 760 calorie bar. :-)

  4. 1. The family and food thing... some people actually seem to be jealous when you loose weight. I remember, one year right before christmas I had dropped a size in clothing, and when I went to spend the christmas days with my mother, she had prepared incredible meals - like lasagna, topped with extra crème fraîche topped with extra cheese. All the meals were like that. She didn't eat any of it, and I had portions as small as possible, trying to be a polite guest. I asked for salad with the next meal, though. I am sure she didn't do it on purpose, but I know she has been trying to loose weight almost all her life, and she has been on a plateau (at half of her highest weight, after all!) for quite some time...

    2. I never enjoyed exercise, but I knew it was one of the easier ways for me to loose weight, since I am a pretty good cook and love cooking (and eating). And after 9 months of trying different kinds of exercises, I have found stuff I enjoy doing: Swimming (once a week with a colleague), running (outside, during the warmer months), weight lifting (at home, currently with 2x5lbs) and TaeBo for the days I need to power out. I exercise 3-7times a week, depending on schedule and energy level, and even while I am watching my diet, weight loss is twice as fast when I include exercises. Not to mention that it improves the mood, helps with certain medical conditions, improves the look of your skin (increased oxygen intake) and shapes your body up nicely. ^^

  5. Er, not sure what to say about the giant chocolate bars except get thee rid of them forthwith! Sabotage! Sabotage! Maybe not intentionally but maybe intentionally, people can be quite jealous of weight loss and all the attention that you are getting.

    How lovely that everyone doted on you for your success. Keep going, I'm concerned about the exercise but we can do it, I've just done a little "emergency" run today and I didn't die! Yay, a little Christmas Gift!

    Merry Christmas.

  6. In college I had a roommate from Kuwait who would return from holiday breaks with tons of dates in his suitcase ... I know just how addicting they can be!!!

    Merry Christmas, Ann!

  7. You SHOULD be so proud of what you've done! I am glad that your family celebrated you to embarrassment! Just think of it as admiration.

    Have a blessed day, my friend.

  8. October 2007.
    Me: 370 lbs
    Typical day: get up, go to work, score a breakfast plate from Taco Cabana, wolf down, work some, get a cheese burger and fries, work some, get 2 nutty butter bars and a chocolate milk for snack, work some, go home, order pizza and eat whole thing, wolf down half bag cookies or a pint of ice cream, go to bed.

    I was the girl that took a cab to work because she could not stand walking around the corner (not a whole block) to catch the bus.

    Now? 3.5 mi on a treadmill is nothing.
    Now? C25K is in progress.
    Now? Strength training is routine.

    You CAN do this. You are one hell of a lot thinner than I was when I started out walking 3 blocks, 3 times a week. Exercise is not scary. You just have to become friends with it. Then? It is wonderful and you miss it when you don't do it.

    Phase IV? Pfft! You've got this.

    Oh yeah, and fantastic job on rocking the low cal on Christmas Eve.

  9. After you've done it for a few days, you will be friendlier with the exercise. And after a couple of weeks, you will see changes in your body. THEN you will be hooked.