Monday, February 28, 2011

On being full

The unanswered voices begging for help at the Weight Watchers meeting continue to shout in my head; "I don't know when I'm full, I don't know when I'm full!"  I hear them when I am quiet and they continue to disrupt my silence because I understand the problem and felt the frustration when the statement was ignored.  I have to DO something to try to quiet them and so I will do my best to tell you what I have learned and maybe it will help you.  I certainly hope it will quiet the voices.

  • Being full is feeling satisfied but in order to feel satisfied or even able to tell if you are satisfied you have to be aware of what you are eating.  You sit at the table and eat one bite at a time and you put your fork down between bites and you chew more than twice before you swallow, and you smell the food, and you feel the food in your mouth, you notice the texture and the temperature and the flavors, you really taste the food and then you swallow.  You don't reload and shovel the food in and have your meal completed in 10 minutes.
  • "Satisfied" is not an emotion any more than full is but it can be influenced by your emotions and why you are eating what you are eating.
  • If you went to the kitchen cabinets or the refrigerator more than once before you picked something to eat and it is not meal time you are eating for a reason other than hunger.  Take a walk or call a friend or write a blog  :)  You will not get full from this kind of eating.  You will eat way too much and you will still be hungry because food was not what you were looking for.
  • You will NEVER feel full if the reason you are eating is not from the physical need to nourish your body.  You will be medicated with your drug of choice; the "friend" who never asks questions that start with, "Are you physically hungry?"  If you had stopped and called a friend and talked you might find you were no longer hungry and the feelings that were causing you to look for something to eat will probably be gone.
  • To understand what full feels like you need to get to know the feelings that arise not only in your stomach, but also in your head, your heart, and your body.
  • If food was such a wonderful friend ask yourself why your friend would let you do this to your body.  A true friend would not help you dig your grave with your spoon and fork.  A true friend would say;  I value you.  You matter to me.  You are amazing just the way you are.  How can I help you?  I love you!
I hope this helps you grasp what full is.  Full is knowing you ate a healthy meal in realistic portions and even if you aren't certain how full feels you will trust that you are and that will be enough.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two people just asked for help but the Weight Watchers leader went right on

I sat in my usual Weight Watcher’s meeting this morning and looked around at all of the new faces.  These folks were all brave enough to walk into a meeting and admit they needed to do something about their weight.  As I looked at their faces, I remembered my very first meeting.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I had heard about Weight Watchers but for some reason had never talked to anyone who had been a member.  I wondered what concerns were going through their minds.  Were they excited, nervous, determined?  Perhaps they were there because their family had urged them to do “something” about their weight.  Doctors may have sent some and others may have had the same revelation I had when I saw the scale creep closer to the 400 lb. mark.  I knew I needed to change my life if I wanted to continue living my life.  Here we all were in the same meeting.  We all have issues with food!

Today’s topic was portion control.  I smiled when I typed that because if we didn’t have issues with portion control we wouldn’t need to be at a Weight Watcher’s meeting.  We talked about how we manage portions and were given an index card and a crayon to score how well we do on a daily basis.  On a 1-10 scale, I wrote down an 8.  This surprised some folks who know how long I have been a member and how well I have done but I was being honest.  There are days and/or some foods that still cause me to have portion control problems.  Here is just a sampling of the foods I have problems with: homemade chocolate chip cookies still warm from the oven, Baskin Robins Rocky Road ice cream, a pound bag of peanut M&Ms, a full size bag of potato chips, HOT McDonald’s french fries, movie theater buttered popcorn, and pizza!  Do I know what a portion of these foods are, absolutely, but portion control is still, and probably always will be an issue for me when dealing with these foods.  Do I over indulge in them because I am hungry?  Nope!  I LOVE them and so I find myself eating them with reckless abandon until I find myself uncomfortable from eating far too much.  So you might ask, Didn’t you realize you were full?  Hmm, did I notice I was getting full; that I was full?

This is where today’s Weight Watcher’s meeting failed at least two of its members.  You see on two different occasions two different members said the exact same words; “I don’t know when I am full.”  The leader went right on with her class.  She didn't even pause.  I was sitting in my chair silently screaming, “I understand.  Me too!”-she kept going.  I have a theory as to why this happened.  My leader earned her Lifetime after losing 30 pounds.  Thirty pounds is a nice bit of weight but doesn’t compare to the weight the two who spoke up have to lose, that I had to lose.  I think she went on because she didn’t understand how someone can’t know they are full.  Tonight I want to say to those members who sat silently in that meeting feeling ignored that I heard you and I understand.  I am sorry I didn’t speak up in class and tell you that, so I am saying it now.  I am just like you.  Even after reaching my goal there are still days when I don’t know I am full until I am so full I feel sick.  Next time I will not be silent.  Next time maybe I will be the leader and we will stop and talk about it and I will understand.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What does love mean?

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1Corinthians 13)

He was 16 and she was 15 when they met that July and yet something deep inside her told her this boy was different, special, worth getting to know.  She didn't have a lot of time to get to know him because he was getting ready to go to Sweden as a Rotary International exchange student for the year and yet they had enough time.  They wrote letters back and forth once, sometimes twice a week, and he called her on Christmas Day, something that had to be prearranged in those days.  They talked for just a few minutes yet it was enough.  He returned home at the end of his school year abroad and they spent the summer together and the next year until he graduated from high school and immediately headed off to college.  They continued to date and when he was home you rarely saw one without the other.  She had a moment of doubt her freshman year in college and broke off their relationship despite the fact they had already picked out an engagement ring.  Her mother was furious with her.  He was brokenhearted.  He returned the ring.  She dated other boys often calling them by "his" name.  By Christmas she realized her mistake and called him hoping to re-establish a relationship, begging for forgiveness; he was dating someone else but they talked and before long they were together again.  They married, had 2 children (a girl and a boy) and have battled the ups and downs that come with any relationship; the good times outweighing the difficult ones.  It is now 40 years since they met.  They have been married 35 years.  She has been with him for more than 70 percent of her life and yet she still loves him with her heart and soul.  Yesterday was Valentine's Day and the card she gave him could not begin to express the depth of her love for him and so she is sharing this on her blog but writing it for him.  

To my loving husband, Jay, who I love more than words can ever express.  Thank you for sharing your love and your life with me.  You continue to show me what love is in everything you do.  I am blessed to have found you but know without a shadow of a doubt that God arranged our meeting at that church paper drive 40 years ago.

Here are some profound answers from children when asked; "What does love mean?" 

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.  So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
Rebecca- age 8

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' 
Terri - age 4

Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'
Bobby - age 7

My favorite is a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry'   

I know the answer to what does love mean.  I hope you do too! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The answer isn't in there

I am an elementary school nurse.  Today I got home from work two hours later than I normally do because my "kids" are coming to me in groups of two, three and even four all with similar complaints; fever, headache, and sore throat.  I believe I can say with certainty we are in the midst of the "funk."  The time it takes to document their visits is what caused me to be at school later than usual today.  I am tired!!  I walked in the door at home, played with my dog and then opened the kitchen cabinet and started looking for what I could find to eat.  Am I hungry?

When you see as many children as I did today you grab lunch when you can get it and that usually follows the first chance you have had to go to the bathroom. I chose going to the bathroom first today only because if I  waited another second my super bladder would have burst!  I ate lunch at 2:40 PM.  My breakfast this morning was at 6:30 AM.  I know that is too long to go without food or a snack but that is what happened.  

I stood looking in the kitchen cabinets, moved on to the refrigerator and then back to the cabinets when somewhere a small voice inside my head asks, "Are you hungry?"  I stopped looking.  I am not hungry; after
all I didn't eat lunch until 2:40 and it is only  a few minutes past 5.  So what am I doing in the kitchen, looking for something to eat?  I am tired.  It has been an exhausting day.  I am spent but I am not hungry.  I am looking for something to make it all better.  FOOD preferably something chocolate would cure all that is wrong with me or would it....

I stopped myself from eating something I didn't need because I wasn't hungry.  Today was the first time in a REALLY long time I was able to recognize what was happening before I ate only to feel guilty later.  So what did I do to "make it all better?"  I sat down at the keyboard and wrote this post.  :)

Oh, and the next time this happens (probably tomorrow) I hope I can remember the answer isn't in there and get out of the kitchen fast!!