Saturday, August 3, 2013

Enjoying Life (without more candied nuts)

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It was late afternoon and I'd forgotten to pack a snack. I was hungry but with no time to buy something. Someone offered me some candied nuts and I decided it was better than nothing. I had two small handfuls - a decent sized snack. As I was leaving the meeting I was offered more, "no thanks, I've had enough." In trying to convince me to take the rest with me I was told, "You need to learn to enjoy life, Michelle."

The issue of well-intentioned food sharers aside, this comment really struck a chord with me. I took a mental pause and considered my responses...I am enjoying life. In fact, I'm enjoying the heck out of my life. What does another handful of candied nuts have to do with my enjoyment of life? Was he assuming I truly wanted them but was purposelessly denying myself? Was he assuming that portioning my food means I'm missing out on some enjoyment of life? This is just the kind of distorted thinking that many of us fall into. And when you get out of that thinking, you see it more clearly for what it is, false. The other thing was I really liked the candied nuts, eating more than I needed, which would lead to negative feelings, would only diminish that enjoyment.

Besides, I enjoy life more now because I portion my food, because I don't mindlessly eat more than I need and because I don't confuse over-indulging in food with enjoyment of life. In the end I said nothing in response to his comment, thanked him for the snack and went on with my afternoon, grateful I didn't have to starve for the next couple of hours until dinner. And even more grateful that I know how to enjoy life just fine without having a third, fourth or even fifth handful of candied nuts.

I'm doing well on the exercise front too. Thursday was a gym day. I had to go early in the morning as my afternoon was booked solid. I rode the bike for 25 minutes and then did chest/triceps/PT exercises. I don't know if it was because of the early hour but my workout was particularly tough. But I pushed myself and felt better for it when I started my day. Friday was an afternoon gym day and it was again tough. I ran for 3 miles on the treadmill and pushed myself just to get through it. After that I did legs/shoulders/PT exercises. Not sure why my workouts were harder than usual but I'm happy for a rest day today.

Weigh-in Friday morning... 141.6 pounds. Up by a couple, but not surprising after last weekend's camping trip. I know I'll get back to my body's ideal weight by staying on track this week and getting in all my exercise.

Last night I went to a mom friend's house for a get-together. I had dinner at home beforehand - red beans, rice, avocado and pico de gallo - and was successful in sticking to one glass of wine, a handful of almonds and grapes at her house. I thanked the hostess for having grapes out with all the other snacks, "I was thinking of you Michelle." Yay! Thank you Erica. Food helpers are awesome!

Afterward my buddy Michelle and I stopped by Finnegan's for another drink; we weren't quite ready to call it a night. I had a cocktail there and a big glass of water. Back home and Miguel was playing poker with some buddies. I might have had a bunch of chips from their bowl. And someone had gone to fast food and there was a pile of $1 chicken burgers on the table. Normally I wouldn't eat such things but I might have also had one of those. Alright fine, I ate a bunch of chips and a $1 chicken burger. I remember wondering what on earth must be in a chicken burger that's only $1. Then I decided it's better not to know. At least the one piece of lettuce looked legit.

But it's all fine, I have no other social plans this weekend so if that's all the indulging I do, I'll be in good shape come Monday.

Last backpacking buddy Heidi sent me a picture of a heart she came across recently. For whatever reason I'm all about the signs these days. "A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart."

Watch for signs
I am a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice offering Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for weight loss and maintenance. I have an office in Marin County, CA and I'm also available to see clients via Skype. I started this practice after finding CBT techniques to be the most effective interventions for my own weight loss journey. To learn more please visit my professional website at


  1. I just listened to your old interview from "Half-Size Me" and this post reflects the attitude that you had then, that you are making the choices that feel right for you and get you where you want to go.

    If we took advantage of every chance to "enjoy life" by having more food, we would all be super-overweight, since food is everywhere.

    I try to remember that some of these comments are just lame attempts at humor -- they really may not care that much what you eat or don't eat. And if they do, so what?

    1. Thanks Jen! I did another Half-Size me interview and need to post the link to that one too. It was the post-goal interview. Anyway, it's nice to know I'm consistent. And you're right about where people are coming from when they do the food pushing - it's often from a place of caring, in some form or another, which can make declining a challenge, but it's what we have to do sometimes to take care of ourselves. And I bet you're right; he probably didn't think another thought about it after I walked out of the room.

  2. Hi Michelle! Glad to have stumbled upon your blog! I was wondering if you feature guest postings. Thanks and have a great day!

    1. Thanks Hannah! The only guest posting I've considered would be another person like me who wanted to share their story (assuming it weren't about extreme dieting, etc). So far I haven't had a guest writer. Feel free to email me at to let me know what you had in mind. Thanks again!


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