Thursday, November 17, 2011
This is a subject that I have never seen discussed, but I know that (unfortunately) many of you can identify with.
Let's set the scene:
It's Friday night. I missed my workout in the morning since the power went out the night prior, and I forgot that the emergency back up battery probably needed to be replaced about 2 years ago. Oopsies.
Work was crazy, and I wasn't feeling so great anyway (missing those much needed endorphins from that missed workout).
The heater seemed to be on full blast in the office since the tiniest little woman down the hall complained about being cold the day prior (and building management over-corrected the issue it seemed). I was debating on using my chapstick on my eyelids, since I swear I could feel my face literally cracking. And hooey, I smelled from sweating in my own chair, while doing nothing aerobic. Ewe...
I wasn't looking forward to my lunch, which instantly dictated that everyone around me walk around my desk with Friday's cafeteria special = grilled cheese and french fries. Fantastic.
I stabbed at my healthy lunch and ate it with disdain. Boo.
I remembered that we were out of healthy food, so I managed to stop at the store on the way home. I had to practically fight some kid for the fresh lettuce as the crew member from Trader Joe's told us that we had better grab what we could, since they were not going to be getting any more lettuce until after the weekend. I grabbed!
I really wanted to put something nice together for our dinner, but instead popped a microwave dinner in the nuke box and went to change my clothes.
You know the ones: the soft, baggy pants with the drawstrings, and a faded out old T-shirt of my husband's. I grabbed the remote control and a large pillow as I 'nested' into the sofa. And that pretty much sealed the deal.
I swear I looked up form the remote control, and all of those cute plastic tubs of sweet and salty-ness from Trader Joe's were stationed around me instantly. Who did that??
I didn't care about a healthy dinner anymore. I just wanted to tell myself that I deserved a better evening to make up for the day so far.
No, it didn't work, but that didn't stop me.
Later on, it occurred to me: If I was to throw out those extra baggy pants and roomy T-shirt, would it have made a difference?
If I zipped up a formal gown, swabbed on sparkly gloss, and made myself flammable with hairspray as if I were going out on a date, or to a premier of something (insert your favorite fancy event here), would it have brought the action of putting hand to mouth to a screeching halt (with brake fumes behind me)? Well, I'm not sure. I guess I will need to test out this hypothesis right?
I've decided that I am going to trash my 'binge outfit'.
That T-shirt is going buh-bye.
And it's time to trash the pants too.
Time to trash the mentality behind the pants.
Come on, who's with me?!?
Because being cozy to be truly comfortable and relaxed is one thing, but to 'dress' for a binge is quite another, and quite destructive, no?
Tomorrow is Friday, right? I think I just might need to find a dress and some shiny shoes to put on in preparation. This means I will (ideally) avoid a binge if I feel one coming on, AND look like a cutie-patootie in the process.
Bonus: my husband will think I dressed up for him, which would lead to creative conversation, snuggles, and lingering kisses, and other things much sweeter than any sugary confection...
Sunday, November 06, 2011
I think if my experience with SparkPeople as if it were riding a bike with training wheels.
See, I already had the bike, but over the years, I seem to have forgotten to ride it; my balance was off.
My balance in life was off.
I knew that I didn't want the extra weight that I packed on, but was needing that 'push' to get that cycle of life moving. I am sure you can relate.
Do you want to know what I LOVE about SparkPeople? I came into Sparkly Land as a newbie, who, well, was lacking that light in one, or, let's be honest, ALL areas.
Not long after joining, I got 'hooked' and reeled in from other Spark member's fishing lines (if there was such a thing).
I dusted off that bike, put some air in the tires, and strapped on my helmet. I felt motivated again and it was awesome. The next thing you know, I was setting goals. Participating in teams. Challenging myself. Losing weight!
It was a welcome feeling to know that I was not the only one struggling with balance; still needing those training wheels. Spark friends encouraged me. And riding that bike actually looked like a challenge I was ready to pedal through.
My pace was slow at first. I had a hard time looking ahead of me, and kept looking behind to make sure that those training wheels would keep me steady. When I came up against hurdles in my path, most times I would come to Spark for resources and find ways to crash through those boundaries. My pace and my Spark increased even more...
I am now at a place where I can say that I no longer want to look behind me; only ahead. Those training wheels might still be there. I don't really know. I'm pedaling too quickly to notice, and beaming with a genuine smile. Balance is something I strive for every day, but I am already reaping the rewards of my effort, and the support I receive here.
Would it be silly to still keep the handlebar streamers? I swear they make me go faster.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
"Hello, can I help you find something?", the employee at the clothing store said to me recently. In my mind I was thinking, 'wait, I know you. I have been coming to buy stuff here (i.e. from YOU) for a long time, and yet you act like I am a real person now. I used to wander the freshly waxed floors down every aisle, asking aloud for help and you guys would continue your conversation, practically hiding from me.
Why do you approach me now? Was I invisible before when I was 30 lbs heavier? Was I not worthy of customer service?!?
Why do you make me feel like a freshly painted watercolor scene now, yet you made me feel like a blank canvas when I was heavier; void of life and color?
I didn't get some magically transforming hairstyle when I reached my goal weight, or spray tan myself into an orange frenzy (gooped up with layers of lip gloss perched on 6"platform heels). My point is that I was still the same ol' me. I had on jeans, a T-shirt, and my converse sneakers. There was nothing calling attention to me (or my body). I actually looked behind me to see if the salesperson was speaking to someone else. Nope, it was me.
The paranoid side of me wondered if this woman's manager was nearby (or perhaps freshly installed video cameras?), and that was the reason behind that ear to ear smile. It made me uncomfortable, so I left.
The guy at the farmer's market was a lot nicer to me than our last encounter months ago too. I bought the same items, but there seemed to be something different about his behavior towards me. Did I pick up on a genuine smile and sense of humor, when in the past I felt like I was wasting his time by asking if there was any more fennel? What's that about? Once again, no special bosom revealing outfit on my person, just casual stuff I threw on and my sneakers. These converse sneakers aren't magical - are they?
I should be proud of my weight loss; allowing myself that little extra shimmy when I walk, and flash my smile when I talk, but I found that these encounters actually made me more sensitive about my weight loss, and honestly, a bit angry.
Maybe I was having flashbacks of junior high school (since I was a huge goofball), and the cute boys didn't really see themselves with a girl who was a raging vegetarian and literally wore something with cow print on my body every single day. I know, strange right? Ha!
I had a 'heart to heart' discussion with my inner protester, and had her call off the picket lines against those who treat me differently than they did when I was heavier. After all, what would that prove, other than the fact that I clearly had let these people make me feel insecure about something I should be screaming from the rooftops with joy - I reached my weight goal with the help of SparkPeople!
I'll be going back to that clothing store and trying on clothes soon - 3 sizes smaller now - and enjoying my new / old body looking back at me in the changing room mirror.
Just don't get me started on how horrible fluorescent lighting can make ANYONE look though. If store owners want to sell their merchandise, perhaps they should stop designing changing rooms like a miniature hospital waiting room. E-gads!
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.
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