Comments: BETTER U: Cholesterol is Disgusting

Well, I am not following along with you, except in spirit, but I understand what you mean about the all or nothing eating! I am trying to ask myself why I want to eat that. I find that is working better than I had expected. Sometimes I can get myself so wound up in why do I wan to eat, and what do I want to eat, that I find I don't have time to eat before my empty stomach bedtime pills. And do you know what? I am doing okay!!! I have not fallen off the face of the earth, or anything!!

Posted by Judy at July 14, 2009 8:24 AM

I have had the same problem, exacerbated by depression, bereavement, retiring!
I think the trick is to forgive yourself and begin anew the next day. In improving yourself and your health each new day is your chance to start.
I have been exercising each day for 30 min., but still gaining weight. I either have to eat less (menopause is a horrible life-changing thing for my body) or work out more. I have begun to do 40 minutes per day and really feel better for it. It really is tough, isn't it?
Best of luck.

Posted by Jenn Jilks at July 14, 2009 8:29 AM

AUGH! I sent you my addy!! Right away! Along with a very nice note. I will send it again but PLEASE do not resubmit me to the gods of random. I don't think they would favor me twice, since I've been a bit remiss with the offerings of bowls of rice and lit candles.

And you have inspired me towards oatmeal too.

Posted by edj at July 14, 2009 8:40 AM

I not necessarily BetterU-ing it, but I am making an active committment to becoming healthier and in better shape. I've lost 7.5 lbs since the beginning of June. I've been going to water aerobics twice a week and taking the dog on longer walks than usual and Wii-Fitting and now Wii EA Sports Active-ing (which I LOVE by the way and heartily recommend to anyone like me who can somehow wrap her head around exercise better if it's in the form of a video game). I'm trying to find someone brave enough to go try indoor rock climbing with me (the husband's terrified of heights, so he emphatically says no) and also to convince my husband to go play tennis once or twice a week. And I'm track, track, tracking my calorie burning during exercising (via my new Polar heart rate monitor, which even works in the water so I can wear it to water aerobics) and tracking my nutritional intake for calories, fat, protein, carbs, calcium, vit. D, iron, fiber, sodium and cholesterol. I have learned that I absolutely HAVE to track my food intake and measure things or I end up off the charts in consumption and that's why I gain weight.

That said...I totally get derailed in exactly the same way. We had birthday cake at work last week, a yummy moist carrot cake with PILES of delicious cream cheese frosting. And I ate a whole slab, and then the rest of the day was kind of like, screw it, I already messed up big time so let's go ahead and eat a metric ton of every other junk food in a 50 mile radius. I do it with exercise too, and that's actually harder for me - with food, at least I reset for the next day and gird my loins to be healthy again. With exercise, it's way too easy to miss a few days (usually because I'm either out of town or I've injured myself because I'm a huge klutz) and then just...never go back to exercising. Because I mentally self-defeat myself.

NO MORE! Let's be strong and beat the bad stuff in our brains that does that to us! And love ourselves even when we eat an entire jar of Nutella!

Posted by Jen A at July 14, 2009 8:47 AM

I struggle with the all or nothing, I'll tell you what.

Something that really stuck with me, though, was the idea that just because you've dinged your fender doesn't mean you should trash the whole car. That, coupled with the determination that I'm not the girl who always says, 'oh well I'll start again tomorrow' has helped me stay on track.

Good luck! And remember that the Cap'n is a cruel task master and not to be trusted!

Posted by Califia at July 14, 2009 9:01 AM

Yes, I was impressed by the self-sabotage reminders, too. I don't do it so much with the food, but negative self-talk about things in general do NOT help me stay on track.

I have to remind myself that each action is an opportunity (as Lois McMaster Bujold said in one of her Miles Vorkosigan books) to "Choose again and change!". We are not stuck on paths of evil because we chose wrongly once.

All the negative press on cholesterol does tend to obscure its essential-ness. The waxy part is important. It helps to stabilize your cell membranes: plants don't have it because they tend not to exist at such high temperatures as we warm-blooded types do. Without cholesterol, all of our cell contents would basically run out. Making life, um, impossible. Which is way ickier than a little wax.

Posted by Diane (TT) at July 14, 2009 2:25 PM

Oh, and I've been keeping up with the diet and exercise, but I tend to forget the food journal stuff on the weekend, and forgot to re-start yesterday. Oops. I'll try to get back into that.

Posted by Diane (TT) at July 14, 2009 2:26 PM

Dang. I'd just poured an extra big extra glass of wine (whine??) tonight and sat down and got a reality check.

Guilty as charged.

Apparently Edj is claiming her prize, but if Planet Nomad doesn't show up, I'll re-think sitting out, since the excercise mat is really pretty. ;)

(Hi Diane TT -- have "Young Miles" on the TBR pile)

Posted by JulieB at July 14, 2009 8:17 PM

My getting-healthier track is a bit different from yours because it involves needles and testing strips and a pretty purple device, but the rules of change are pretty much the same.

What I tell myself is

1. Baby steps. And babies fall while they're learning to walk.

2. Sometimes you just have to be naughty. A treat is just that, a treat, and it should be savored and enjoyed. Guilt is no part of treats.

3. Once in a while, treats gang up. Do whatever you can to beat them back, and as time goes on, it'll become easier.

4. That being said, once in a while they win, and after a love-fest with everything yummy-bad, resolve to push harder next time and move on. It's over. Stop obsessing.

5. Remember, it's baby steps.

It helps me, anyway.

Posted by Fran at July 15, 2009 12:50 AM

I've definitely improved my exercise--30-45 minutes almost every day. When I started, I could barely run 5 minutes, now I can run an 11-minute mile (yay, me). I know that's not much for some people, but I've never been a runner. Not doing great on decreasing my food intake though.

Like you, Jenn J., I'm not losing--just bouncing up and down 2 lbs, hovering at a BMI of 25. This darn 40-something body is clinging desperately to its unattractive padding. I'll try to track this week.

Posted by Marjorie at July 15, 2009 11:21 AM

Ooh, I love Fran's statement: "Guilt is no part of treats."

I am WAY WAY behind on Better-U-ing in terms of weeks (my weeks are a little long, that's all!). Part of it is that I am working on addressing some bothersome little issues like poor sleep quality (I will be wired into a sleep lab on the 24th!), IBS, etc. Also, I am working on fixing a bathroom floor in my condo that was in desperate need. Truly, taking up linoleum, prepping the subflooring, applying waterproof membrane, and cutting and installing tile SHOULD count as exercise, whether the Experts say it is or not. And,while I am working on IMPROVING the condo, the Evil Cat-Beast has developed the habit of wandering into the closest room that has W-W carpeting and casually throwing up somewhere I am likely to step, and the Sweetest of All Possible Sweet Dogs has had further developments in his neurological condition (or maybe it was the meds he takes for it), and so has been sorrowfully and apologetically PEEING where I am most likely to step.

So, what with the chronically damp feet and all, my most serious BetterU commitment has been to my eating habits. I have been scrupulously recording all that I eat or drink that has calories and fat, and keeping the goal of 1400-1600 calories and 31-35 grams of fat per day. Sometimes it's difficult to keep the fat grams low and get enough calories, which means--AHA! more veggies. A near-potato-chip-disaster changed to a major accomplishment when I checked my fat grams for the day and GORGED myself on raw cauliflower instead. (mmmm--crunchy...)

Anyway, I know me, and I do not eat only virtuous veggies all the time. So I build in my treats. (And, seriously, a fat-free quiescently frozen "dessert" of mashed-up carrots or whatever is NOT a treat in my book!!) Each day I keep my running totals, and I am getting better at picking where I want to "spend" my calories and fat grams and choose some real treats. Sans guilt! I am allowed!

Since May, my totals lost are 13 pounds and 6 inches. When I am a little less distracted and can add my regular exercise back in, I am hoping to shrink and get healthier a little more quickly...


Posted by JMixx at July 15, 2009 1:13 PM

Well, I _was_ at a 15-year-low weight, right before last week's trip to California that involved many lovely restaurants, wonderful red wines, and a delightful wedding reception. I scrupulously wrote down everything I ate, though, figuring, what the heck, I don't have to confess it out loud in front of a crowd of hecklers. Right?

I'm now home and the truthy scale says I've gained back 4 pounds, which seems really extreme for the amount I ate. I mean, come on! I didn't pig out at all. I've gotten pretty good at portion control, and I don't indulge so much in crappy snacks any more. Although I do think it was the road trip snacks between Seattle and Sacramento that did me in...

So we're back to what I term "little no's" -- when my inner glutton tells me to stop for a giant soda fountain drink or chocolate bar for that looong commute home, or to have something ridiculous while I'm fixing dinner, I gently tell myself, that's a little no - it's not worth the weight and guilt. This is a big improvement over the self-flogging and mental screaming I used to do to myself. And it seems to work better.
Of course, keeping cut up veggies and fruit waiting in the fridge at all times helps too, for when I actually am ravenous and no amount of arguing will make my stomach stop rumbling.

And, yay, my back feels better so I can get back to the gym and maybe running too. I've missed that for the last 4 weeks. So, I'm hopeful that I'll be back on track to lose those next 10 to 15 pounds reasonably soon.

But I am a little worried about the next wedding we're going to - in California again, in August....

Posted by Lulu at July 15, 2009 5:26 PM

Ugg, failure to the third power. One word, ok, 4 words say it all...Fat Matt's Rib Shack. The center of cholesterol heaven and the best ribs, hands down, in Atlanta. I figure if I've got to fail, I should fail in a spectacular way, covering the too fattening, too much cholesterol, too much of everything in one lovely delectable ribby package. I'll jump back on the "right way to eat and exercise wagon" tomorrow, for today, I eat ribs, heh. Off to get paper towels.

Posted by LaurieB at July 15, 2009 5:35 PM

Forgot to add, I have a good report, too. I've been eating wondrous organic veggies from my front yard garden. I call it the Anarchy Garden because nothing stayed where it was supposed to be and the lemon cucumber has overrun everything else. Still, there's just the right amount of lovely Japanese eggplant, string beans, 'maters, okra and some squash. It's fun and it'll be neater next year!

Posted by LaurieB at July 15, 2009 5:41 PM

I pinky swears I've sent you my snail addy twice...Pwease let me know if you gotz it yet because I WANT MY PRIZE and will be sad if you give it away again, mk?

Posted by Emily at July 15, 2009 9:42 PM

So many bodily substances sound horrible to me. Like gray matter- which "has a brownish gray color". Sounds like something I want in my brain, right? And those bacteria in your intestines- seriously, who is comforted by the fact that flora are inside their body doing stuff? That is creepy. And cholesterol sounds disgusting.

I am the last person who should ever go to medical school, but I think dissecting a cadaver would disgust me completely. And not because they guy is dead, but because I would see all the gross things and then think about them in my body. It would be extremely disturbing.

Anyway, you cheered up my day with your lovely sense of humor, as always! And here's to no waxy substances in our bodies!

Posted by Haley at July 16, 2009 10:13 AM