Sunday, February 21, 2010


Thanks to the blogosphere, I now know a lot of truly amazing folks.

They do what many people dream of, but don't often achieve: they change their lives.

One of these blog-o-meisters is somebody who has lost (at last count) just over 130 pounds.

This person's journey is so great -- and blogged about with much frankness and humor -- that I feel like I need to stop for a second and recognize their progress.

Of course I'm talking about Beej! The wonderman at Journey to Sanctification. It seems like just yesterday I was posting a congratulatory note to Beej for hitting the 100-lb mark. Then I blinked, and he was at 130!

It's like, wow..when did that happen?

The immensity of Beej's achievement hit me the other day, when he posted an incredibly thought-provoking blog update about the 2-Degree Difference.

First, it's a great concept to internalize. Yes, a lot of this journey is learning to accept small changes gradually. It's only much later, when you look back, that you can see that slowly and steadily you've been charting a whole new course for yourself.

But it also got me thinking. What are the small changes I've made -- and am I still making them as religiously as I once did?

I hauled out my Beck book last week for some reconditioning. And I sorely needed it. There are a lot of Beck techniques I once embraced. Where have they gone?

It's time for an honest assessment of what I am still doing that's good, and what I need to work on. So here, in the spirit of Beej, is my list of 2-degree differences.

Good Changes That I Still Stick To:

1)No eating from the snack table at work. With I think maybe three exceptions (whenever someone put out McWheatie's digestive biscuits), I have stuck to my rule to simply walk past this table at all times without stopping, glancing at it, or allowing myself to dwell on what's on offer.

2)No salad dressing, or just lemon juice or a viniagrette. No more mayo - ever - on sandwiches or in food. I wish I could really pat myself on the back for that one, but truthfully I'm not a big mayo fan. However, it's hard for me to give up salad dressing, so I'll give myself credit for that (Beck technique at work).

3) I still eat off my 9-inch plate at home. BUT....see below for more.

4) I don't touch the breadbasket when I'm eating out. I will also call a waiter over and ask them to take it away if I have to. I'm really glad about this one -- I don't know where that decision came from, just one day I started doing it and it's stayed that way since.

5) I'm far more inclined when eating out to either just get an appetizer, or collude with the BF to get one app and one entree and we split them both.

6) Skim milk only in my coffee, no sugar.

These are a few of the things that have become habit for me now, that I don't even stop to think about as I go about my day (most of the time anyway).

But now we get to:
Good Changes that I Have Let Slide

1) Number one thing has got to be portion control. At dinner, specifically. I still use my 9-inch plate, but how often of late have I gone back for more, rationalizing that I haven't really had that much, or that it's "just" beans and veggies? Ouch -- that truth hurts.

2) Eating past fullness. Yes, I have let this insidious little monster back into my life. I do not eat as much as I routinely used to, and I still get full much earlier than I have in the past. I stop while eating and assess my fullness? And do I always stop when I'm full, or just about full? No, to both questions.

3) Eating too fast. Aaargh. I seriously could win speed eating competitions. Is there a gulper's triathalon? Sign me up. When I first started Beck I took that 20-minutes a meal (minimum) rule very seriously. Why? Because it helped me avoid numbers 1 and 2 on this list! see the pattern here?

4) No eating while standing up. Mixed results on this. This rule helps me zip past the snack table at work. But do I nibble in the kitchen while making dinner? Yep. And that's breaking this rule. No good.

5)No excuses. As I write this, I have that hinky feeling that comes right before someone rips a gummy band-aid off your skin. This one hurts even more than number 1. Yes, I have lifted the ban on excuses -- and I have paid for it.

Instead of telling myself the truth (Look, you're tired and hungry and you just saw a candy bar and now you want that candy bar, and if you really want it go ahead and eat it, but do you truly, truly want/need it?) I've trotted out some pretty pathetic cliches and looked the other way. (I'm on vacation, there's nothing left to eat, I don't care right now, etc etc etc).

So, there's some good, some bad for me to look over. I will say that being able to move easily and freely is a total pleasure for me, and I often walk miles around the city now without thinking about it. Last weekend a friend wanted to meet at the MoMA for a Gabriel Orozco exhibit and I automatically glanced at the clock and realized I had just enough time to walk there (over 60 blocks). And it was an easy walk for me -- nothing I could have done a year ago.

Regular readers will know I've had scale avoidance issues. I think it's time to make friends with the Scales of Doom, to borrow Peridot's term. I won't go crazy and weigh myself four times a day. But I think I need to start using the scale as a tool.

So -- meet the newest addition to our household.

Every morning, at least for a while, this little cutie and I are going to meet.

Andrew at Andrew is Getting Fit suggested I try logging my weight online at I'm going to give it a shot.


  1. Yay Beej! He is just the best isn't he?

    Great work on writing down what has been working and what needs to be reworked.

    60 blocks??? Wow! I am impressed by that. As soon as I get better I have to get crack-a-lack-in on my cardio as I am doing a 5K in April...yes, I am afraid.

  2. I think I could have written this post!

    You have to be so vigilant or next thing you know you are back into your old habits!

  3. Very wise! Is it over-confidence or laziness that makes me lose my grip on my hard-earned habits? It's so good to check in with yourself and keep it all on track.

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  5. Thanks for the nasal tips. I think I would harm myself somehow if I tried anything you mentioned. I was checking out neti pots and how to use them online. I am sure I would end up with water in my brain.

    Don't worry about putting me off the Caribbean. I have been a few times already, but now I think more about injustice, inequality and the sheer unfairness of the difference between the have and the have-nots. That is what the difference would be to me. The next time I am down that way I will have a better awareness of what I can do to help when I am there.

    Hope you enjoyed the curry!

  6. Oh, man, I'm honored by your kind words! And I love your lists, too! Great learnings to be gleaned from it!