Thursday, April 9, 2009

Final cookie diet report

Ok folks, my cookie diet trial has ended. I ended up staying on it for four weeks because the initial trial of two weeks did show a dramatic weight loss. The second two weeks? Not so much.

Here's the deal. I began the diet four weeks ago because I was planning on losing about 20 pounds and the opportunity came up to try to lose it this way. As I've said in previous posts, I'm really good about losing weight through a well-balanced diet like Weight Watchers, but I thought I'd give this a shot because it's so much in the public eye.

My first impression was the cookies were awful. They turned out not to be so bad at all. I liked the banana boca ones in particular. I lost 9 pounds in the first two and a half weeks. Then it took one and a half to lose a 1/2 pound for a total of 10 pounds.

The diet itself isn't difficult. The cookies, with a full glass of water after, do keep your hunger at bay until you have your sensible meal at supper time. But, it's the sensible meal that was my downfall. I don't mind eating lean chicken or white fish. I like them. But there are only so many ways you can prepare them. I made them with lots of veggies, I mixed them in with big bowls of salad, but sometimes, I wanted some of the rice, potatoes, pasta.

The thing is, I wouldn't have a lot of that forbidden food. I'd have a couple of mouthfuls to have the taste. I don't consider that to be cheating. I think that you can't deprive yourself of a bit of what you really like to eat throughout the whole course of a diet. That's when you fall off your wagon and end up really cheating, because you haven't had any of the food you enjoy and see others eating.

Unfortunately, just those few bites of forbidden foods would keep me from losing weight. To me, there's something not right about not being able to have a few tastes of something.

Ten days ago, I hit 152 pounds, 10 less than when I started. Most of the following 10 days, I didn't cheat at all (not even a few bites). I'd say maybe four of the days I had some tastes. Yet, 10 days later, I'm still at 152 pounds.

I'm not complaining about the weight loss itself. I think losing 10 pounds in four weeks is great and I'm grateful for the kick start it provided me. Helped me feel better about myself to be able to fit into some of my favourite clothes again. But I honestly can't see myself eating only white fish and chicken at night for another few weeks.

So, it's back to WW for me for that final 10 pounds. I have a few of their cookbooks and their recipes are so tasty that it'll be nice to enjoy my food again.

My recommendation: If you really need a kick start to weight loss, the cookie diet is a great idea. What it does is it shows you that you can lose the weight. But, beware of the extremely restrictive sensible meals.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Series on organ donation and transplantation

One thing that has been keeping me busy for the month of April was a challenge I'd given myself. April is National Donate Life month and I decided to do 30 articles on donations and transplant in 30 days. I know - slightly on the ambitious side. But, I've been talking to some very interesting and fabulous people so I'd like to share the first week's worth of articles. Some are informative, some are touching and one is downright heart breaking, but uplifting at the same time.

  1. Transplants happen to other people…

  2. The gift of sight - a cornea transplant

  3. Age is no barrier for kidney donation

  4. Caring for families after donations

  5. 2 heart transplants: 1 Golfer, Erik Compton

  6. An infant lost, another saved

  7. 10 organ donation myths

  8. Interesting blogs on organ transplants

So far so good. It's April 8 and that's 8 posts!

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Busy Syndrome

Have you ever noticed that it's a badge of honour to be too busy to do something? Someone says, "how are you?" and you respond "Busy!!" With that, you get a nod of approval or commiseration as your acquaintance starts to tell you how buy he or she is too.

Some people thrive on being too busy to do something or they accept to do something but they make sure you know that they really are too busy to do this. Are we all really that busy?

I was thinking about this because right now, I am very busy. While I don't like being bored, I also don't like being overwhelmed and that's how I feel when I get too busy.

My writing here has suffered because of the lack of time and, unfortunately, sometimes something has to give. Since my clients pay me for my writing and my new job (more on that in a bit) pays me, the non-paying stuff gets relegated a bit lower on the totem pole.

Unfortunately, the busy-ness also keeps me from doing things I enjoy, and that's not a healthy thing. We need to stop being busy and take that time. And, that time shouldn't be included in being busy, if that makes any sense.

I love to quilt. I love to design them and see them turn into beautiful and functional works of art. But being too busy takes me away from that outlet, from that joy I experience when I give someone a quilt I designed and made for them. My husband's niece is having a baby in June and I want - of course - to make a baby quilt for her. I've yet to start. That's not right. I don't want to be rushing it; I want it to be the way I see it in my mind. I want it to be as close to perfect as it can be.

So, how do I balance all this with my new job and my writing? I think I've found a way. I've been hired as a clinical resource nurse and I'm working with nurses and nursing staff become up-to-date with new policies and procedures so the patients and residents in our facility can and will get the best nursing care they can. I was originally hired to work 21 hours per week over a four-day period, but something came up and I was asked if I could do one full 8-hour day one day a week to, in a different area. I agreed to do that, but it's thrown a wrench in my carefully laid out plans.

Although my dream was to be a full-time freelance writer, and it was working out, things change. While the economic situation hasn't hit hard for me, the uncertainty of things worries me sometimes. So, when this job came up, I thought I could cut my writing to half time and do the job half time. I did. By finishing up some projects and not taking on any more, I think I was able to strike a good balance. But then, this extra day was thrown in. And that's what is keeping me so busy now. I know it will only be temporary, but I hate being one of those people who answers, "BUSY!" when I'm asked how I am.

What is being so busy going to do to us in the long run? Isn't *not* being busy important too? Isn't not being busy part of winding down, realizing that there's more to life than seeing how much we can cram into a day? I think it is.