The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.

If You Give This Pig A Pancake

Posted · 23 Comments

As I suck down a pile of peanut butter coated, from scratch, pancakes…drizzled with real maple syrup and chug back a giant mug of cold milk, I peruse the list of challenges I’ve just signed up to follow for the next six weeks.

A health challenge, offered by our local health club here in Ninilchik, Alaska, has pointed me on the path to better living.  Though, I’m not sure how much better it could get than peanut butter coated pancakes.  IS there life after syrup?

I’ve lived my entire life commanded by food and my love of flavor, and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say…it’s been great.  My weight has fluctuated more than the economy and I’m currently at an all-time high.  Oh boy, what a winter of cold weather will do to the roller coaster of boredom eating…and my, oh my…have I been bored.

But if I must be honest, it’s not only about the weight…though it would be nice to be able to slip into the pile of jeans in my drawer and that last hole on my favorite turtle belt is stretching its limits.  The thick waistline is a contributing factor, yet it’s not the only reason I’m making some changes.

Just after Christmas, with the onset of chest pains that turned out to be stress induced, I made some severe decisions about lifestyle in order to eliminate impending death and doom.  It seemed like the thing to do since I’ve got all these kids to raise.  So, as I’d done a thousand times in my life, I swore off all things yummy.

And six hours later, I remembered that such an oath had never worked before.  Why set myself up for yet another failure?   I tossed back an Oreo and rethought my plan.

I tried a different approach.  I picked two things that I wanted to change.  Just two things. I left all else intact.  I decided I needed to quit drinking fancy-foo-foo coffees.  And I needed to up the water intake.  That is it. No coffee, more water. Seemed simple enough.

I may not be able to change my entire world overnight, but it is within my power to change just two things. 

I kept eating ice cream before bed.  I continued to eat heavy breakfasts.  I left hot chocolate in my evening ritual.  And I baked more bread than ever before.  But I also broke out the water jug to make sure I got my daily allowance and began to take it everywhere.  And I avoided the local coffee shop like it was on fire.

Now, a month later, I’ve decided to throw exercise into the mix, since this bitter cold winter has kept my ski’s in their rack and my butt on the couch.  A bit of cardio at the gym may not be the sole answer, but thrown on top of the high water intake and the discarded coffees, it is sure to make a positive difference, even if I do continue gorging on ice cream and slices of freshly buttered bread.  Because really…any improvement is just that.  An improvement.

And you know what? After a while, I didn’t even miss the coffees, and the water jug became a part of me.  It was that simple.  Habits…after all…are the key to both success and failure and it only takes about three weeks to change a concerted effort into a habitual part of life.  Two bad habits…changed…for good.

Two down, eight hundred sixty-four to go…

23 Responses to "If You Give This Pig A Pancake"
  1. God Family Food Politics says:

    Just a couple resources for you:
    Look up the Weston A. Price Foundation. Bacon and milk are good things!Read Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons. Not just for you, but for your children with the genetic background they have. She offers an easy step program for getting the bad stuff out of your diet.
    It took me several years from start to finish to polish up my diet (actually, I still have a couple things to do), but the results are well worth it! Good luck!

  2. Anne says:

    Keep going!!  You’re approach of one thing at a time is perfect.  And don’t think you can’t have flavor!  I love maple syrup!  REAL maple syrup is actually good for you.  And HONEY.  Look into using those natural sweeteners rather than artificial, refined sugars. 

    I started my “one day at a time” adventure back in August and I feel soooo much better; physically and mentally.

    Another good and sorta hard habit to break is wheat.  Like, refined and over processed wheat.  It’s hard to start, but after a while, you won’t miss it.    Oats are the way to go.  Steel cut oats are soooo tasty!  and you can grind ’em up in a blender to make into a crumby/flour consistency.  Seriously, research refined wheat and the negative effects it has on us.  You and your family can benefit in many ways by reducing your intake.

    I use coconut oil and butter in all my cooking.  I eat bacon and eggs for breakfast almost every day.  My cholest. levels are at an all time low.  My blood sugar is totally stabilized and my anxiety is under control.

    Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t have.  Celebrate the real good food that you CAN have and savor it!

    I love your blog!  You are inspiring! 

  3. Friday_lowrey says:

    I have removed soda, even diet soda from my world.  my amazing $2 steel water bottle from the thrift store is now my dear friend.  I already drank water before… I do live in south Texas.. but now it has taken first place on the request list. 

    I’m still having a hard time with when we go to the corner store for gas though.  The husband and wife always get a soda and I’m having to fight to stick with tea or water.  Hurmphh

  4. Lauren says:

    Good for you! Start well = goes better. Next up, HFCS and MSG. If you can kill those, you’re automatically “eating healthy”! Do not fear fat, as it will keep you full, and we all know that hunger leads to cookie binges (just me?). If that was real maple syrup and full-fat milk, I’d say add some bacon and you’re good to go!

  5. Laurel says:

    I’m 47.  I watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (very funny movie) and “Forks Over Knives.”  These movies changed my life.  I’m a 95% raw foodist now.  I also juice fresh fruit and veggies for the entire family.  I have more energy and stamina (out hiked my husband and son at Bryce Canyon – whoot!), I’m never hungry and I lost 35 pounds.  My borderline diabetese vanished.  I’m no longer anemic.  My fibroids are gone.  My menopause reversed.  I’m no longer constipated.
    My mom did the same thing and feels the same way.  She lost 25 pounds and is as thin as she was when she was 23 years old.  She’s very happy!  AND, her “elderly” aches and pains went away.  She stopped being afraid to die and looks forawrd to spending every day with her dog and hobbies.  She is also self employed and her business is now explanding.
    Wild times in our house!  LOL!

    • JessicaC says:

      Thanks for the post!  We are all trying to get healthier and it always helps to get some good resources!  I encourage everyone to check out the movie FatHead – you can watch it free online on hulu.  It is also pretty funny – the content is maybe not fully applicable to you personally – but it is amazing clear on how our body’s work and most will get a ton out of it.  Totally changed my view of foods and realized what sugar really is.  Congrats on your family’s amazing transformation!

  6. Elfie says:

    You, me, and FlyLady: a toast. Small changes offer the greatest control over our lives.

  7. Debbie Sercely says:

    This is my experience with dieting: swearing off everything that makes food worth eating will only last for a week, at most.  Then you just collapse into eating all sorts of delicious things, and probably in a greater quantity that you would have if you had just tried to scale it back a little.  Good for you, taking baby steps.  It’s the best way to SLOWLY change your habits and ensure that you actually CHANGE them, rather than just avoiding them for a few days.  Or hours.  🙂 
    Best of luck to you, my dear.  Thousands of us are rooting for you!  🙂

  8. Sam says:

    I have chose a similar path in my advancing age (30’s) and for similar reasons: I have a passel of kiddos to raise and I am tired of my increasing waistline. So I have been working on incorporating better food in my life and cutting back on “bad” stuff. I completely cut out soda for awhile but then went back to it to a lesser degree. My next step is to add exercise. The biggest obstacle seems to be an insane schedule of getting everyone where they need to be at the right time. So I asked Santa for a nanny to help out. He didn’t deliver, darn it!! I don’t care what the “gurus” say, you know your body and your on limitations better than anyone, and I think you are doing exactly the right thing for you to succeed! Good luck!

  9. Klpiep says:

    A year ago I was diagnosed with food allergies…dairy and yeast…which necessitated massive change. After a year of failure, I finally decided to do something radically different. I decided to be gentle and kind to myself and only make one change at a time rather than to expect myself to be perfect or to be suddenly always doing every thing I thought I had to do. That new attitude helped me to finally get my diet cleaned up (and my allergy diet is a doozy….literally just meat, veggies, most fruits, eggs and beans…the no-no list is frightening). After three months I’m taking the next baby step today and am going back to the gym…albeit a gentler program than any I’ve done before.

    The point is, I think you are absolutely right to focus on small, manageable changes. It may seem like baby steps….but honestly I think you’ll get there faster in the long run because you will be able to make them stick!

  10. Bbennett59 says:

    You go, girl! One more benefit is what you are teaching your kiddos; you can accomplish what you want by breaking it down to bite-sized pieces (pun intended), and NOT to lose the battle by defeating yourself when you can’t do it all at once. Any step forward is progress. Those of us on the good roller coaster with you, know how tough it is and applaud you!!!!

  11. And so this is how those new year resolutions get deep-sixed:  we decide to do it all at once and give up at the first slip or hardship.  I LOVE that you are taking it a baby step at a time–that’s the answer to any needed change in lifestyle–choose one or two things, work on them for a month, then add the next, until suddenly you find yourself living a healthy, balanced lifestyle with most of your bad habits replaced by healthy, self-caring habits and feeling GREAT!  You go, Keri! 

  12. Lks says:

    Way to go girlie!!  Any step in the right direction is GREAT!! 

  13. Kristy K. James says:

    I guess 2011 was the year for it, hmm?  I learned I have hypothyroidism, a very low vitamin D level, and likely have metabolic syndrome and PCOS (I disagree on the PCOS).  So it’s time for me to make some changes, too.  And I think I like the changes YOU have made.  In fact, I like them SO much, I think I’m adopting them as my own.  The only problem is, I don’t drink coffee, and I already drink mostly water (and have had for about two years). 

    Maybe I’ll give up liver and lima beans.  Oh wait!  I don’t eat them anyway.  Hmm.  What two things can I give up? 

    Much success with your goals, Keri!  It sounds like you’re on the right track.  Hopefully I’ll be joining you there soon.  🙂

  14. Laura says:

    One step, one day at a time 🙂  Keep on vigglin’!

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