Monday, October 17, 2011
One of my treasured Sparkly pals and I commiserated about how much food had been on our mind this past week - how it seems to be weighing on us. But I feel like food is LITERALLY on my brain, on my mind. Squishing down on me more so than usual. Can anyone else relate?
The food that is 'on my mind' seems to be very delicately arranged too; not spilling all over the place, the way too much salad dressing does on a small bed of lettuce...
We're talking a massive ice-cold silver platter, with all of my favorite food on display, complete with curly parsley garnish:
Double fried french fries, pasta carbonara, a miniature pyramid made form the darkest chocolate 'bricks'. Rum and banana's with a dollop of gooey nutella... and the food porn continues...
What does that food 'on your mind' translate to, and how do you push back against it to keep your healthy lifestyle in check?
Are some of you trying to balance an entire catering table filled with sterno heated troughs of beef and broccoli on one side and carrot cake on the other, like some Las Vegas all night buffet gone awry?
Perhaps a Medieval Times themed setting of food? A pewter platter piled high with turkey legs (ripped off the bird in a savage fashion) and herbed potatoes in between mountains of BBQ ribs, practically thrown in top of your mind - don't forget the ale!
How about a rustic Italian wooden platter with mounds of tortellini and ravioli oozing with prosciutto and parmesan. Fried calamari bits rolling into the gold colored lava of fresh polenta poured out from a huge pot high above. And don't forget the pizza's stacked high like a thick roll of quarters.
Honestly, I'd like this food on my mind to all be packed up To-Go.
As in, go away, go somewhere else far far away.
Wrap it up in a huge sheet of tin foil (shaped like a swan) and send it packing!
But then I think about how this road to my best-ever health is not an easy one, and that anything great is worth fighting for.
I'm also finally able to see AND acknowledge that I created the wonky-wired mindset that food is the enemy. I was not born with this, I did it to myself.
I created and nurtured a twisted vine-like relationship with food over the years, until I ended up jailing myself behind the overgrown thorns.
I have to keep reminding myself that I can overcome these things in time, but not overnight. And that's where all of you come on. Spark People continues to be an invaluable source of information, support and friendship.
I can share the ugly truth about the food on my mind, and Sparklers seem to come out of the woodwork to help me heave that figurative platter off into the distance, so I can focus on better things; the TRULY sweet things in life, right?
Friday, October 07, 2011
I've got this hare-brained theory that most of the healthy foods I try to incorporate into my meals tinkle / piddle / pee on my plate like my new puppy Olive.
For example, scrambled eggs are a fantastic source of lean protein - for about 60 seconds after being cooked. After that, I feel like they get upset from being neglected, and then morph into a bumpy mass, sitting in it's own pee. Yummm....?
I think that eggs need some 'produce sized' pull ups diapers.
My tofu seems to sit in its own tofu tinkle at all times too. I drain it, and it goes again (and again and again).
Tomatoes wizz all the time, and can ruin a pretty platter of caprese salad if not drained for a bit. Bring a spoon!
Pineapple really dumps it's produce puddle into the bowl, don't you think?
Watermelons dribble and spritz no matter which way you cut into them - and can be a disaster on a white dress shirt (I'm speaking from experience here).
Eggplant is practically all water, yet omits a funny Ghostbusters-like-slime soon after cooking (boy am I showing my age here, aren't I! ) Same thing with okra.
Is that slimy substance still considered a produce potty break? Hmm...
Mushrooms - There is good reason why some people call them mushies - oh wait, maybe that's just me : ). They omit a grey waterfall when cooked, and simply must be drained.
Kiwi Fruit - There is always a friendly puddle left behind from their little bladders. But they probably pee the cutest in my opinion, since they look like giant furry bear toes from the outside.
Maybe we need a 'sweaty produce' list. That would include sliced figs, mangoes and papaya's. They don't seem to do much but glisten and sweat, but would still need a little pat dry on their foreheads (if you will), from the condensation.
I'm not sure where to put onions in my zany theory, since they do sweat (and smell like sweat), but they make us sob more so than the onions, as we fend off our own tears!
Sometimes my husband will tell me after he's finished a fattening meal that he feels "like a solid".
This makes me think of other food items that are fattening, and, well...solid, to back up my claims.
Butter, lard, brie, frosting, full fat cream cheese, veleveeta, gravy, and anything deep fried, etc.
Forgive me for the the food porn. I am sure you get my point!
I definitely would avoid lumping certain items into the 'solid' category though, like dark chocolate and nut butters, since those delicacies have health benefits (Thank GOD!).
In conclusion, my theory is that fresh healthy food certainly MUST be alive. since it has a bladder, and a lot of times, and eagerness to prove it - on my meals.
I should hit up one of those fancy schmancy culinary stores sometimes and pick up multiple sizes and shapes of colanders, since I have vowed to keep the contents of my belly as clean as possible, which means I wont be ditching the wet stuff any time soon.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
My underarms still wave back at me. Not much has changed in that vicinity of my body since posting that blog months ago.
And now my legs seem to 'keep walking' once I stop.
Let's just say that I have great hesitation to jump up and down right now..... Hrrruuummph!
When does the skin catch up to the pound-age lost?
Is this because I am 37? Is that the magical age when gravity gives out? When does 'droopy' kick in?
Did I miss something?
I refuse to think of this as permanent (please NOOOO!)
But I need a time line here; a goal to keep me from using my underarm skin to wipe the tears from my eyes - and perhaps some bungee cords to keep everything strapped down and sane (my brain mostly).
I work out 6 days a week, even though I am quite limited at what I can do these days. I am not back to running yet, or up for the long walks. But even if I was able to run, I'm not sure that I could endure the deflated droopy wiggly slapping sound of my largest organ (my skin) doing some sort of Bionic Woman time delay move to catch up with it's contents (muscle and bones).
Please go away and don't come back. Your time lag moves are not graceful.
I am spending hard earned $ on firming creams that don't seem to touch this dilemma. Self tanning creams work for about a day, but I tend to look silly (and smell like sourdough bread). Me no like-y...
I could certainly fix this problem by gaining all the weight back, but I won't entertain that thought!
So now what?
Do I hide rolled up dollar bills into the folds of my skin, and then wave my arms in the air on the street corner; turning myself into a real live money tree?
Will I be an even slower swimmer due to drag in the water from my excess skin acting as rudders?
Perhaps I could use my body as a literal canvas, and write secret messages on my knees, so that when I sit down, the people in front of me will get a nice surprise? Hmm, that reminds me of the back page of those old Mad Magazines from the past!
I vow to keep my head high, and not dwell on the flap-age (for the rest of today anyway).
Keeping my head high also prevents me from being able to see the droopy bits. : )
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Some of us Sparkers seem to have uber awesome qualities that we should properly recognize and reward.
We all need motivation to not only get to our goal weight and lifestyle, but also to maintain it amidst our zany daily lives, right?
I vote for Spark Badges! Something that can be shown off or traded like baseball cards. OK, so I’ve never actually even owned baseball cards, but I am drawing a blank here on other items to trade aside from earrings…
All you need to start off with is a proper ‘Miss America’ style sash on your torso, and you’ve got the canvas for the colorful collection of badges to earn.
Strength Training Badge: Only for the hardcore (literally!). You work so hard, pressing and pulling, and it shows! This one is made of steel, since you are too! Now drop and give me 20!
Team Leader Badge (complete with megaphone and pom poms): Have you started up a team? Are you inclined to shepherd the flock; to nurture and encourage all who cross your path? This one’s for you.
The Fisherman (err, woman? Whatever!): You never let another friend fall, and you constantly cast your line into the water to fish for anyone struggling. I was ‘hooked’ right after joining Spark, since I was hanging out with the bottom dwellers and silty muck. Once I was reeled in, my Sparky Fisherman didn’t club me (ha!), but motivated me to succeed! Rather than allocating a sardine smelling badge for this, I vote for a goldfish cracker.
Weight Goal Badge: Congratulations!!! This badge is as light as a Forrest Gump-like feather, so as not to upset the scale by even a hair. Wear it with pride and tell everyone how Spark helped you reach your goal!
Healthy Food Badge: For some of us, the crossover from overly processed fast food to fresh produce and better choices was not an easy one. You’ve been experimenting with produce that was void in your life for too long and are enjoying the journey. This badge is made out of dried mango to further the point that good food IS yummy too! Just please don’t eat the badge…
Super Parent Badge: This badge is actually a locket. There is a photo of your kiddo(s) on the inside, and an engraving of you on the outside, with multiple arms, juggling it all! Oh, and maybe the super parents should also get a bonus cape. I mean really, you all NEED the cape too!
The Zzz’s Badge: Have you gotten enough sleep to ensure that the day starts off right? Well if so, then pin this fluffy 850 thread count mini pillow badge to your sash. We sacrifice sleep too often when the to-do list is overflowing. It takes skill and the courage to say “no” to protect that time.
Do we really need a Knot Badge? Like the merit badge of the Boy Scouts? I am not sure. I mean, unless you are tying a knot around something and then dragging it around for weight resistance… oh wait! Cannie50 – I remember that you actually DID do that once as a reminder of the weight you lost (and continue to lose). OK then, decision made. We can use a piece of rope for this Knot Badge – for dragging weight around…or small suitcases, and/or small creepy critters….no alligators!
Food Allergy Badge: This badge is made of anti-microbial, sugar-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, nut-free, pollen-free WATER. You see, this is a ‘wet badge’. You pretty much just get dunked. We can’t have your badge contaminating anything (like my DH did once when he accidentally double dipped his knife back into the peanut butter after using it on his gluten-filled bread. D’Oh!) Preparing food for the ones you love (or even yourself) can be a constant challenge. Lots of details to remember; from purchasing a simple can of soup (sneaky and confusing labels!), through serving (no cross contamination!). A well deserved badge.
Chronic Pain ---- Badge: This badge cannot actually be worn I am sorry to say. It is a shoulder to lean on (or cry on) for those of you who battle pain daily (like myself). Since Western / Eastern / Traditional (and non) treatments have not alleviated your ailment(s), some days you just need that shoulder...
Golden Grilled Cheese Badge: OK, so I threw this one in for me. So what!? For those gifted with the talent to wield their griddle pan into creating that perfect yin yang balance of a crispy outside and gooey cheddar center. This badge has an imprint of the spatula you used to create that gooey-ness. And the spatula is melted on one corner like your own spatula likely is at home! : ))
I know there are many more Spark Badges to be added. Any ideas?
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Well, I guess that would be me in my black workout capri pants and top : )
I've whimpered and whined enough for all who read this to know that I hurt a lot, every day.
Chronic pain has crawled into my lap like an ugly dirty monster and burrows through my days, igniting a fire in my veins and muscles; increasing as the hours pass. My new nerve condition now co-habitating with my existing monster causes my already inflicted arms and legs to turn dark purple and leave all normal feeling obsolete; just buzzing and jerking with deep pain that you can feel through to your gut.
My 'low pain' portion of the day is in the morning. I read that it has something to do with the longer my heart is over my appendages = more pressure and swelling from my disease, yadda yadda yadda. Let's just say that I can sit upright just fine in the mornings. I can (usually) type my emails and do my job. But by 2:00 p.m., I am just wasted, and counting the minutes until I get home and try to elevate my legs. And it's downhill from there baby.
And it's been really tough these past 2 weeks for some reason. My bag of tricks didn't seem to be working: ice packs under my desk on my legs, consuming only cold liquids (I miss my non fat latte's!), A/C cranked at work while others around complained in their sweaters... The monster just wouldn't let up, and I was exhausted.
Plus I wiggle a lot to distract myself from the pain, so it can be unnerving to people around me.
My husband and I were basically ordered to see a counselor who specialized in 'couples dealing with chronic pain'. I cannot tell you how valuable that was. My husband now knows what to do when I hurt so much that I start to talk like Yoda -"Fire all over. It feels like"- and how to react when I just weep in pain and can't pick up my fork to eat dinner - on't get mad. Don't take it personally. Eat your dinner and let me re-group.
I decided to share some pictures of my current state, which literally snaps back and forth dozens of times per day until the evenings, when the burning just takes over everything. Since I wear tights daily to cover my legs and bury my hands in my pockets when we leave the house, this was a VERY tough step for me to take.
But I owe it to you awesome Sparkers. After all, you share your feelings and fears so openly in this forum.
This is what my hands often look like. Purple from the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome with red areas of Erythromelalgia fire. Until the fury of EM takes over my hands later.
When my monster takes over, and the tabasco like fire fuels my arms and legs, I look like this:
When my CPRS first attacked on Memorial Weekend, my left foot felt like it would pop. This photo is not nearly as bad as it was the day prior to when I took this:
A photo of my hands when touched. They seem to 'hang on to' the imprint of whatever touches my hands:
I have to remind myself to not be so self centered; to recognize that others suffer from things far worse than my ailments. Millions of people are forced to cope with chronic pain. And we all need relief. Being attacked by your own body is a whole lot of no fun.
I jokingly refer to low pain time as my Cinderella time. When it fades and I descend into the pit of fire-like pain, I've turned back into a pumpkin, like the fairy tale. I guess it lightens the mood a bit.
In the meantime, I thought that it would be nice to scold my monsters with proper names so I can curse them directly, don't you think?
Who can say "Bad Erythromelalgia!" or "Stop it Complex Regional Pain Syndrome!" quickly?
My four letter words certainly won't work in public (insert grin here).
Do you have any names you'd like to suggest?
Mmmmm Latte...... : )
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