Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Picture Pages

 trunk or treat:

Sock Hop at school:

Trick or Treating:

the harder you try to lose weight...

This is a fascinating concept that HAES introduced me too. I had already gathered on my own that dieting doesn't work and it will be depressing when Kristie Alley gains the weight back, or Oprah does, Or your friend, or yourself. It will take different amounts of time for the weight to come back for different people. But it almost always comes back. Except for the few who have adopted full on disordered eating - and then they are thin, but their regimen, diet, exercise, calories is ALL they can talk/think about. And they dont' seem to enjoy social situations especially if food is involved because they have become afraid of food. Visit on online forum for weight loss and bathe in the sadness of eating disorders and false pride. but I digress again...

**Study shows why its hard to keep the weight off.


hopefully not. I am.  (a recovering one.)

You would think being a restrained eater is a good thing. Someone who controls their cravings and appetite and has adopted moderation in all things.

But in the context of intuitive eating unrestrained eaters have a healthy relationship with food.

An unrestrained eater, listens to their body's cues and are sensitive to hunger and satiety need. They eat when hungry and stop when full. They naturally guide themselves toward healthy foods without caring about calories. They listen to their bodies and work with it instead of against it.
Years of self hate and attempts to lose weight can break these internal signals.

Have you spent time learning and counting the calories of all types of food - or their POINTS value?
Do you spend weekends telling yourself on  Monday. ON MONDAY you will start eating "healthy" and you mean it this time!!!

Have you signed up for weight watchers, Paleo, clean eating, south beach, Jenny Craig, Atkins, cabbage soup diet, body for life, Dr. Phil, HCG (that one is a special version of scary) etc. Giving your cues for food choices and fullness over to someone's opinion or system?

When you ignore your own body's cues, it starts to damage your relationship with food.

Some symptoms of restrained eaters:

*I generally count calories before deciding if something is OK to eat.
*I am often frustrated with my body size and wish that I could control it better.
*I am often on a diet or seriously considering one.
*I usually feel like a failure when I eat more than I should.
*I often feel physically weak and or hungry because I am trying to control my weight.
*I often turn to food when stressed out or sad.
*I am afraid to be around some foods because I don't want to be tempted.
*I feel safest if I have a plan or diet to guide my eating.
*I worry more about how fattening a food might be than how nutritious it is.
*I equate guilt with eating.
*Its hard to resist something good if it is around me even if I am not hungry.

Food is food. Don't let it make you feel guilty.  Your body is not wrong don't let it make you feel bad.  Listen to it.

"What is the danger in restrained eating habits? If you are a restrained eater, you try to control your body weight and don't trust your body to do it for you. You're likely to be gaining weight or at the very least frustrated in your efforts to lose.
Why? Because attempts to control your food intake through willpower and control require that you drown out the internal signals leaving you much more vulnerable to external signals. This approach is a problem because unless you lock yourself in a closet, there's no way to control the constant exposure to food we face in our world."

"Emotions such as depression, anxiety, anger, fear and excitement or dis-inhibitors such as alcohol or medication, cause a restrained eater to overeat. Conversely they turn off the appetite of an unrestrained eater to overeat. As long as things go well, the restrained eater can maintain control. But if anything gets in the way of changes, he/she can't maintain that control. The reason is clear: Restrained eaters don't rely on the normal signals of fullness to regulate their eating, so there are no brakes in place."
All from Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon.

Want to be an unrestrained eater?

Read up on intuitive eating. Of course this is a good place to start.
Start listening to your body not magazines or the Today show or people at work about how to eat.

Eat delicious, nutritious foods. (Whole foods are great place to start)
Pay attention when you eat, Enjoy the food. Taste the food.
Satisfy your hunger.
Stop when you are full.

here is a wonderful synopsis from Golda Poretsky:

1) Get Clarity – Take a moment to write down all of the diet rules that still haunt you.  They may be conflicting, nonsensical, or sometimes sort of sensible.  Whatever they are, get them all out on paper.  Then decide if any are worth keeping.  Only keep the ones that really honor your body and itschangeability – such as getting adequate water, avoiding allergenic foods, stuff like that.  Throw out any rules that limit the types of foods you can eat (unless you have allergies or other health concerns) and definitely toss the calorie and carb counting.
2) Listen To Yourself – We all have a voice within us that tells us what foods nourish us and advises us as to our hunger and fullness.  Note, we ALL have this voice.  Sometimes this voice has been stifled by pushy parents or diet rules or our emotional torment, but trust me, it is there.  Take steps to actively listen for this voice.  Honor it no matter how quietly it speaks.  If you think you heard it and turned out to be wrong, listen for it again tomorrow.  Trust me that it is safe to trust yourself.
3) Pay Attention – Notice which foods feel best to you.  Do you like a muffin and coffee in the morning or an apple and almond butter and tea?  Does it depend on how much sleep you got, how much stress you’re under?  What time of year it is?  Are comfort foods comforting sometimes and sometimes not so much?  Notice the effects on your energy levels.  Notice comfort and discomfort.
Continually repeat the above to get better and better at tuning in.
In truth, the only rule is that there are no rules.  You make the rules.  It’s okay to be heady with that power as long as you let your body lead the way.

PS. Have you signed the HAES pledge yet? PLEASE, please, please, please do.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Farm Field trip

Its funny to see the progression of my little ones as we've been going here over the years.

 Its easy to tell Maiya is well loved by the kids in her class. Ever since she was little she is shy but still manages to make many friends. I remember when I was taking care of my mom during chemo/radiation watching her on the daycare webcam - she wasn't talking yet but she still managed to take charge of the situation. 
During one reading time she got up and started taking books off the bookshelf - in record time the teacher lost control over all the kids and every single book was off the shelf.

she's a quiet leader.

I am going to have lots of pumpkins to bake and puree after halloween - Since I started this frugal trick I haven't had to buy canned pumpkin and its so much better tasting too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


In a podcast I linked up to the other day, wait give me a minute to find it  - here it is.
Linda Bacon discussed why the weight loss industry is so profitable and persuasive. If you are convinced that your body shape is wrong you'll do most anything to "fix" it.  That's how something is sold daily that has a 95% failure rate. Its how people are signing up for a surgery with an outstandingly stupid crazy death rate and hasn't been proven to improve health even when it doesn't manage to kill you.

Health doesn't sell like fat hate does. Health at every size is hard to catch on because there is not really anyone to profit but you and your own instinct.

Then she discussed mascara. To sell you mascara the beauty product industry needs to sell you the idea that your natural lashes aren't good enough.

That thought and my recent addiction to Mad Men on netflix got me to thinking. How often are we sold the idea that we aren't good enough just. the. way. we. are. Just to buy something someone is peddling to us.

One look at women's magazines and you'd think the American woman's mission in life is flat tummy and pleasing him in bed.  And if you could lose that much weight in one month why do you keep selling these magazines with the same goal? I think Woman's day has done nothing but regurgitate the latest diet fad for the last 30 years.

It also made me think about natural childbirth. Birth in this country has become another HUGE industry. Women have become so afraid of the birth process that just mention homebirth and you get the 'wow that's crazy or you are so brave" comments. Our bodies were made to birth. We don't need IV's, pitocin, surgery except in true emergencies, But its hard to tell what a true emergency is at a hospital because they've convinced us that its so freaking dangerous we might as well just get those things from the start.  I don't think I did any thing special by birthing without drugs. When I beat the natural childbirth drum its not to say Look at what I did! I did it better than you. I am saying I wish women knew how amazing this process is when unmessed with! I think you can do it!!! I bet you could do it BETTER than I did!

I've already said I think this is a full on attack from the Adversary. And I think he's winning. Four out of five women are dissatisfied with the way they look.

Dissatisfied women have the potential to raise daughters with body image issues. There is an excellent post here about changing the tide for the next generation from Allison Dickson:

 I sat her down last night and I told her that the path I took at her age, the one where I noticed for the first time (with help from others) that I was "fat," was blocked. That she would not go the way I did. She wouldn't be the one searching desperately for a solution, no matter how destructive, to a problem that doesn't exist. A non-existent problem that only becomes a problem when we try to solve it. I told her that I would not allow her to be driven by shame and loathing, from herself or others.

I know that I have done this to her, and it is perhaps my greatest failure as a parent. But I didn't realize then the damage I was doing. That hating myself in front of her was teaching her to hate herself.

It's not too late to fix it, though. Of this, I am sure. My intelligent, generous, loving, artistic, funny, compassionate, animal-loving (and, yes, beautiful) daughter will know how very precious she is. I will teach her the habits I should have had at her age. That to live, love, sing, dance, run, swim, laugh, cry, and eat is all part of being a human, and that her long legs, her wide hips, the pooch of her belly -- however they may grow or change shape as she ages or bears children someday -- are a lovely vehicle in which to do all of those things, and she should cherish it and nurture it and love it. Not starve it or cut it or deny it or hate it.

When we start looking outside ourselves for reasons to like ourselves, our worth all of sudden exists in the external.

I do it, even when I wrote about liking yourself right now just the way you are, I talked about makeup and hair.
This is dangerous.

We can start to care more about what we weigh, what we wear, where we live, what we drive, how our house is decorated, how exercising will make us look not how it will make us feel.  And the thing is none of that will make us happy.

Since my mascara a-ha moment I've looked at my daily practices and the root cause of them. I still love makeup and fixing my hair. But I also don't mind leaving the house without those. I try to remember the Young Woman's theme more than commercial rhetoric.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love him.

that's what its all about.

I don't need mascara.
I don't need designer clothes.
What I wear places is not as important as what I DO when I get there.
My home is a home with or without decorations or hardwood floors.
Driving a minivan isn't embarrassing. Its a car that gets me and my family from A to B, A porsche would do the same thing.
A refurbed laptop does what I need as well as the latest Ipad.
Thrift store clothes on my kids are just as good as clothes from the mall.
etc. etc. etc. (King and I anyone?)

** Its funny to me that Allergan the maker of  LabBand also is the company behind Botox and Latisse the eyelash growing goo - that may or may not give you racoon eyes for life.

Monday, October 24, 2011

the big texan.

Last stop in Amarillo - the Big Texan
Free gigantic steak if you can eat it all, and a baked potato, and a shrimp coctail and salad and roll. 
$72 bucks if you can't finish it
oh and you have to sit at a big table in front of everyone and be on webcam.

we didn't try - though I teased Kyle incessantly to...

That's all folks - we made this trip to Amarillo instead of doing the State fair like we did last year.
not to knock the State fair because it was its own special breed of awesomeness, but we did this little road trip for only a little more dough and had a blast!!

(and I can't help but wonder if my mom of oz tag has been painted over yet...)

My tips for road tripping with a large family:

1. I know lots of people like the lots of "stuff" method but I start to lose my mind with lots of stuff and electronics and snacks. I like a book on CD that will entertain most. Three snacks that will occupy most and  juice boxes - the box from those becomes the trashcan.

2. Van is somewhat reorganized at every stop.

3. You HAVE to have one of these little potty's  Your kids might need it way past its age appropriateness.

4. Sometimes mom has to sit in the back with the kids. The lack of adult conversation will be offset with the lack of fighting.

5. The alphabet game never gets old and my husband is uber competitive. And talking can be better than the radio and sometimes we do the NO TALKING, LOOK OUT THE WINDOW or we are leaving you behind at the next stop. Don't double dog dare us to.

6. Stopping to get bread and a little jar of mayo and lunch meat (get a lone knife at the salad bar) is way cheaper for a family of seven though we didn't do that this trip. And we reserve doing some more expensive things on trips like vending machines that I usually say NO WAY to, can be there own little adventure.

7. an actual paper map with a marker to check off distance traveled slows the "are we there yets?"

8. Find out a little bit of the history of where you are going because your kids will be a little disappointed that when were are actually  "there" Amarillo just looks like Plano. America's kind of turned into one vast wasteland of all the same billboards and restaurants off the interstate.

9. A hotel with an indoor pool and a hot breakfast bar is worth it. Need a good deal on travel go here: Abundant Travel.

10. Oh yeah - your jacket is your pillow and your blanket. 

the end.