Modus Vivindi…a practical compromise

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I heard once that if you have something about yourself that you want to change,you must do that thing the new way 7 times for every time you have done it the old way. That is staggering! When I thought about how many times I chose to disregard good common sense about food, it’s a bit overwhelming. I’m telling you this so you understand where I was 17 months ago. At that time I was searching for information for my friend about carbohydrates. I knew very little about carbs. 29 years ago when I became a diabetic you avoided “sugar” and counted calories. As I found sites with good directions about eating carbs, I was learning as I passed it on to her. Site after site, I gathered and one of the sites caught my eye. The site was Spark People ( When I was done, I went back to check it out. It’s free so I started the registration process. I put in all the normal info you give out to register and then the medical and physical questions started. It was a little intimidating. It was taking me places I didn’t even want to think about. They ask for my weight and height and they ask me to take my measurements. This was definitely not a place I wanted to go.

Weight has always been something I struggled with… or not. By that I mean that there were times I didn’t care what size I was. I just wanted to be happy and have fun. After trying every diet known to man or woman, beating myself up mentally, and dealing with depression for longer than is good for anyone, I had decided I wasn’t beating myself up anymore because I liked myself except for my weight. The debate had to end. And I was in that state till I started with Spark People.

My background  is southern barely. I am from West Virginia and my family excelled at cooking and every event in our lives was punctuated with food. I don’t think any of it was ever low-fat, low carb, or low anything else. I didn’t hear anyone discussing health in connection with nutrition. If you liked it and it made you feel good, you ate it.

My Dad loved to eat. In my family eating was an event, a celebration, the fun you looked forward to. Now I know this is strange but then I thought it was normal. In the summer, my dad would get a cantaloupe, cut it in half, take the seeds out and fill the hole in the middle with ice cream. He would eat the ice cream and the cantaloupe bowl it is in. I’m sure I was trying to keep up with him. Anything to do with a special meal was enormous. There was lots of food around. As I grew up I was always plump but close to somewhat reasonable.  There was a 15 year period that would expose my modus vivendi though. The family teaching and experiences growing up, along with my lack of enough knowledge or discipline, caught up with me when I got married and started my own family.

Not long after I married, I became diabetic.  I was immature and unprepared for everything that I faced. As the onslaught of battles came my way, all the internal demons involving diabetes and my weight raised “its ugly head”. My depression increased and five years into this struggle I decided I would be happy with myself no matter what size I was.. Featured Motivator, December 2... Featured Motivator

After Spark People gathered the basic information, they told me how to use the site to track all that would help me to change my life. They set my calorie amount based on my current weight not based on what a women of my age and height should be. They didn’t want me to jump off a cliff but to just start developing some healthy habits. After a time you can alter the amount of calories, etc. You list everything you eat and it tells you what it provides for you nutritionally and tells you the calories, carbs, fats, and proteins. But the focus isn’t on the calories or the carbs, They just want you to be honest with yourself. Put down everything you eat, good and bad. Then they start sending the information that is needed for you to decide you want to have a life-style change.  They don’t want you on a diet. They want you to change you life in the easiest way possible with all the support they can give. The site sends you informative and encouraging articles constantly. Today they sent me one called,

“9 Simple Tricks to Eat Less.

1. Enjoy every bite!   “mmmm~ummm” my quote not theirs

2. Use smaller plates, cups and bowls.

4. Know your pitfalls.

3. Pre-portion your food.

5. Keep a food journal.

6. Use the proper plate method

7. Pack in the protein

8. Doggie bag it

9. Eat Breakfast

I must have been using my brain for a hat rack, since these are basically common sense. What was I thinking. These tools are so excellent in helping you fight the things that stand between you and success. Just 2 things from the list will guarantee some weight loss. Use a smaller plate and use the proper plate method. Go and read the whole thing though because the list isn’t good till you read it all.

Exercise is required to see a change. I believe that but I am physically not able to exercise like a normal person. When I went to the section they had to help you set up a schedule of chosen exercises, I figured I was tough out of luck, In the search line, I typed seated exercises and it pulled up a full section with things I could do. They showed me after I viewed a normal week of eating, how to set my intake amount so that even without activity, I could lose weight. I was reassured that what I was committing myself to was actually possible.

What is really amazing about this article is that 17 months ago, I didn’t knew a lot about what to eat.  I thought I knew but it was a scattered cosmic clutter in my brain. Now when I read an article all of the pieces are in place. The knowledge is there, the desire is there, and the encouragement is there. In 14 months I lost 60 pounds and have kept them off. In the last 8 months I have had 3 eye surgeries. I can see out of one eye not bad and at this time I’m blind in the other eye, only seeing light and contrast. There is the possibility I can have surgery this summer and improve that some. I am looking forward to many things and one of them is to be able to walk some so I can start taking off more weight. It is … I can’t even tell you how wonderful it feels to succeed after 30 years..  I feel like a different person

The reason I’m encouraged, is that I have changed my life-style and my whole thought process and in so doing, even though I’m a foodie,  I know that this can be a permanent change. That seems diametrically opposed! But it’s not. The YoYo scenario from the past that was so dangerous physically and mentally, is not the established norm now. I feel in my heart that I will, in a very slow, healthy way, take the amount of weight off that is needed. In the end, I may not weigh 100 pounds because I will continue on this exploration till I find the spot where I am contented, healthy  and happy. I don’t have a modus vivendi because the opposing things that pulled me in two different direction have now made peace. I can lose weight, be healthy and still love food. If this describes you, then come with me down my garden path. If you every have a question or you have information you want to share, please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you. I know we can learn from one another.

Thanks for stopping by,


Journey Along the Garden Path

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