Thursday, June 10, 2010
He told me I could have a cookie too. Drat! Now what? Do I want the cookie? - Yes. Can I afford the cookie (calorie wise)? - No. If I have it, I'll go over for the day. But it's there, and it's chewy and delicious and he offered it to me for free...
This is what's going through my head tonight at Roly Poly as I'm standing in line to get my dinner wrap. I had a Groupon for $10 and since I'm staying at the theatre late tonight to see a show, I figured it would make for a nice, healthy dinner. (Side Note* if you don't know about Groupon and you live in a fairly metropolitan area - you should. Google it right now!)
I selected my healthy wrap (a California Hummer with added chicken - yum) and a bag of Baked Lays. Perfect. Within my calorie range for dinner and a nice little treat since I haven't eaten out all week. And then comes the bad news...
"You can have a cookie with the $10 Groupon as well."
Oh Lord. I love their cookies. Fresh baked. Chocolate Chip, White Chip Macadamia, and the chewiest Oatmeal Raisin ever.
"Thanks!" I say, eyeballing the cookie pile. Get out - leave now, go far, far away. I retreat to the other side of the restaurant with my chips and my beverage to wait for my sandwich order. I opened my bag of chips and started to snack on the salty goodness. See? - there. You don't need a cookie. The chips are doing the trick. BAH! You SO want a cookie. Yes brain, you're right, I so want a cookie.
I finished my chips and paced, nervously. Finally my sandwich order was up. I saw the guy behind the counter, the one who made the cookie offer, look at me as I walked to the door. I thought he was going to yell after me - "You forgot your cookie!" But he didn't. He just waved goodbye as I walked out the door.
No - I didn't forget my cookie. This time, that cookie is staying in the basket.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Oh, Whole Foods...how I love thee.
On Thursday mornings, my weekly schedule brings me close to a Whole Foods Market. Since I'm on my way to work when I pass by, I usually can't stop for long or buy too much because I have to keep it with me at work all day. Sometimes I'll peruse the salad bar and pick up some tasty items for lunch. Other times I'll just swing in to say a quick hello to a friend of mine who works the early shift at the store.
This morning I was out of fruit to take in my lunch, so I decided to run in quick to pick up ONE nice piece of something. $32 later I exited with:
- 6 white peaches
- 1lb fresh cherries
- 4 can coconut water (been wanting to try this and my nutritionist actually recommended it this weekend)
- 2 pre-made Caesar salad kits - on sale for $2!!
- 1 box organic dark chocolate cookies
- 1 box organic sugar cookies
Now I absolutely needed all of these items - fruit for my breakfasts & lunches, salad kits for a couple of quick dinners (add grilled chicken and go), coconut water for replenishment after a workout, and the cookies for lunch snacks (I take them home and split them up into serving sizes immediately to avoid temptation and add them to my lunches for a treat - that way I also avoid wanting a dessert after dinner). But the reality is that I could have easily spent about $100 and done a lot more damage on the nutrition front.
Whole Foods - though wonderful, and seemingly healthy in that raw, nutritious, organic kinda way - can be deceiving. One - it's expensive compared to most grocery stores. And Two - just because it's organic doesn't exactly mean it's low cal. A differentiation that has been hard for me to learn and accept.
You see - I'm a food addict. And I love grocery stores. I think maybe part of this is because my grandfather and his brothers, and then aunt & uncle by succession were in the grocery business. Our family owned the one grocery store in town for about a 30 mile radius. Those are good odds. I have a lot of fond memories of that particular store (which has now been sold, but still remains where it always was). Heck - I have a lot of fond memories of food in general. But where I am going with all of this is that I'm a bit of a freak-nut when I walk into a place like Whole Foods and see the perfectly stacked fruits, and fresh herbs, and tantalizing seafood options, and bread...drool...don't even get me started on the bread. It's a feast for my eyes as well as my stomach. My senses are ablaze with the colours, and odors and organization of the pretty food stuffs. And they PLAN it that way, darn it! I am but a pawn in their little grocery store game, flitting about the store, absorbed by lovely isle after lovely isle. Plan or not, I ALWAYS end up buying more than I bargained for at a grocery store.
So this morning I tried my best to stick to my guns. I didn't have a list, so I knew I was venturing into the danger-zone without my battle weapons in the first place. Proceed with caution. Get the fruit you came in for - check. If you need to browse, stick to the items you know you need for lunches - check. Oh, but look at the... NOPE, not this time. Put it on the list for this weekend if you really want it. I figure if I give myself a couple of days to think about it, chances are the "I want, I need"s will go away. But I do know I'm going to venture back this weekend to buy some fresh herb planters that I do really want (and have for a few weeks).
All in all, I didn't do so poorly. I still spent more than I was bargaining for on the way in, but I consider it money well spent. And for those of you who haven't tried it yet - coconut water is...interesting. It's rich, a little bitter - maybe even salty tasting, though it only has 50mg of sodium per serving, with a slight hint of coconut. It's OK. Maybe a bit of an acquired taste - but with 690mg of potassium, it's definitely a healthy boost. I'll get through the four I bought, then make a decision as to if I'll buy more.
Until then, Happy Grocery Shopping!
Monday, June 07, 2010
Since joining SparkPeople I have started to look at the world differently.
There are the obvious ways - trying to figure out how to fit in more exercise, cooking new recipes, waking up every morning and walking myself through my day to make sure I'm doing everything as mindfully as I can to be healthy.
But the thing I wasn't really prepared for was how I am starting to look at other people in the world.
Maybe it's because I'm a DONE GIRL and have the most awesome support of the best team of ladies one could possibly ask for - but I am literally starting to see SparkPeople everywhere!
Now - most likely these people I'm seeing are not really Sparkies. I would assume in a lot of cases, these people I'm running into have never even heard of SparkPeople (oblivious to the Spark as I was 2 months ago). But I think something happens when you start doing things for yourself. You start looking at the people in the world around you and you begin to wonder if they know what you know. If they have experienced what you have experienced. And in the case of something good - like this is for me - you want to know why everyone doesn't know about this really terrific thing!
I was out and about all weekend long enjoying some pretty awesome weather (between thunder showers). And since most of what I was doing involved exercise, I started looking closely at the people who were also out walking, hiking and biking. I saw a lot of athletes. I saw a lot of runners and cyclists and fit people enjoying their workouts. But I also saw a lot of overweight people. Young mothers struggling with their 3 kids to climb a hill. Out of breath ladies pushing themselves to go one step further, climb one hill higher. Women whose feet were sore and swollen who had stopped to take a rest and whose thighs were surely rubbing together under those shorts.
I saw these people and I thought of Spark. Maybe these people were Sparkies too! Maybe they were tracking their miles, and drinking their water and giving it all they had to live a healthier lifestyle. I watched them, and I thought of SparkPeople and I got an instant boost of energy. Just imagine - fellow Sparkies - people who I've never even met, but who might be fighting their own battle, trudging along beside me. It was great!
And even if they aren't SparkPeople, even if they've never heard of this great site, and even if they aren't trying to lose weight, or live healthier - just their presence and the possibility that they were made me feel stronger.
Even when we can't be with each other, we are in spirit. To my fellow DONE GIRLS and other team members who have shown me endless support and love already in my journey - you are the BOMB! I take your energy and spirit with me wherever I go. And I see your smiling faces in the faces of people I meet on the road - cheering me on.
A world full of SparkPeople. Now that's a great world to live in!
Thursday, June 03, 2010
It was August 2006. I had just started a new job and was figuring myself a pretty big deal since this new position was in my field and finally paid more than poverty level in Chicago. I was working on my first big project that involved calling around for a bunch of quotes on some new equipment we were looking into purchasing and meeting with contractors who were coming out to pitch their latest and greatest models. That's when he walked into my life.
My back was to him when he actually walked in since I was busy on the phone, but when I turned around I was struck... love at first sight - I don't know what else to call it. It had never happened to me before and it hasn't happened again since. I tried to keep my palms from sweating and from batting my eyes at him as he described the equipment he was selling. Get yourself together woman - you're supposed to be a professional! Professional or not - I was done for. I would have bought ANYTHING from him right there and then.
Luckily for me, his company was also the least expensive, and a few days later he was back in my building, going over a proposal to install what we needed. It should have ended there and then. But for whatever reason, he thought I was fun to talk to and we sat in the theatre after talking about the proposal and chatted about everything from families to jobs to plans for the rest of the summer. I was melting into a puddle in front of him. Completely smitten.
Our conversations continued over that fall and to my surprise, he seemed to find excuses to call me to catch up, always asking about business first, but then cracking a joke, or slipping in a personal anecdote of some sort. Our emails and phone calls back and forth turned into breakfast meetings about once a month. There was no one else in the world I would get up that early in the morning for. It felt as though he was courting me...except when he would inevitably break into talking about a pending contract with my company, or when I would argue to pay the bill because he had picked up the last 3. "We" had our favorite breakfast places. I knew what he took in his coffee. My heart started to beat faster when I saw his name on my phone. Haha - It's doing it again as I write this. I wanted him with every fiber of my being.
He was the perfect guy for me. Tight with his family. Sporty, but down to earth. Cultured, but not anywhere close to the over-cultured, theatre-type I was used to dating. Wealthy, but frugal. Ruggedly handsome and boyishly cute all at the same time. We liked the same things, the same kinds of people. It would have been a match made in heaven as far as I was concerned.
But I was a 5'2", pushing 300 pounds, previously married & divorced woman with a ton of emotional baggage and an addiction to food. How could this perfect specimen of a man possibly love me?
So I stood back, and refrained from pursuing a romantic relationship with him because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed for me, but I was more embarrassed for him. Even if he did like me, I wouldn't subject him to being seen with me. His type did not date my type.
We continued to brunch and lunch (and sometimes dinner), and attend sports games, and hang out after work to grab a beer for two full years. Both of us single. The attraction (at least as far as I was concerned) inevitable. I met his family. His whole family. He introduced me to his grandmother unexpectedly one evening after work when he surprised me with a "what are you doing right now?" phone call. I loved all of them, and as far as I could tell, they loved me too. I became friends with his sister and her husband and started hanging out with her apart from him. I was SO in. But I was still so fat.
It was August 2008 when he called me to ask about my new relationship with my current boyfriend, as he'd heard I was dating someone. And it was then that he told me he'd met someone too. I'd had my suspicions. At our most recent breakfast date he'd ordered an extra meal to "take to someone". In the car on the way to a family cookout at his sister's place, he mentioned that he and "someone" had gone to see a particular show that I liked. And even though I had just gone FBO (Facebook Official) with my current beau, I was dreading this talk like no other. I knew it was the end. The end of the fantasy about what him and I could have been if only there were less of me. I congratulated him on his new lady-friend and then went home and cried for 2 hours.
For the past two years I've been negotiating my own relationship with a wonderful man who loves me for who I am. But for the past two years I've also been watching his relationship with the love of his life bloom and grow and solidify. I watched them contemplate moving in together, then buying a house, then getting a dog. I listened to her talk about the first time he told her he loved her. About the trips they were planning together. The life that they were building together. My heart breaking more at each meeting. I watched all of this because "they" are now my friends, not just him.
The last time we went out to eat together, she came too. He asked me first if it was ok - it's nice to know he still honours our little tradition. But I knew then that it was going to be him and her from here on out. If only I weren't such a coward. She's perfect for him - beautiful, active, tall & slender, kindhearted, and a doctor to boot. Everything I wish I were - but most of which I will never be, because that's just not who I am.
Yesterday, she flashed me the most beautiful diamond ring - designed by him, just for her. I shrieked with excitement. I'm really, seriously happy for them. I didn't realize it at the time, but I had helped him plan his engagement. On that most recent lunch outing with the two of them, they were asking me about travel destinations for their upcoming anniversary trip. I suggested a few, and they eventually decided on Portland, which I told them was simply breathtaking in beauty. And it was there, over this past weekend, that he proposed to her on bended knee during a hike behind a waterfall. A perfect proposal for two perfect people.
Someday I will have all those things. Someday I will be the person I know I am inside and out. Someday the love of my life will sweep me off my feet and we'll run off into the sunset!
But I know I still have a long way to go before I get there. Not only in body, but in spirit as well. I feel like this time I lost the perfect guy - but in all honesty, it's because I really wasn't ready for him anyway. None of us are really perfect - but I'm going to keep working on myself and plodding ahead on my journey for my own idea of perfection (which is really as imperfect as it gets). And next time when someone "perfect" comes along who really IS perfect for ME, I will be ready - with open arms!
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Ah, the ballad of the broken scale. Well, I don't think it's broken, but my house might be.
So I get up this morning and am dreading the weigh-in anyway. I know I'm likely going to be up because of the long weekend, and the food and the alcohol. However, I also rocked out a couple of really long walks, upped my swimming laps and exercised when I didn't plan on it this past week, so anything could happen, right? Essentially if I look at my week, I calorie cycled - I had a couple of really high days, and a couple of low days - so it should have all balanced out - theoretically.
I pulled out the scale (a digital WW model) and stepped on...297.6. OK - I'm up. Grrr. Totally disappointed in myself. But when I stepped off the scale I felt it rock a little on the feet. My bathroom floor is totally uneven and warped from old water damage, so I bent over and jiggled the scale a bit - sure enough, it only had 3 feet on the ground. Now I know it's supposed to auto correct, but the perfectionist in me couldn't handle a wonky weigh-in, so I moved the scale and stepped on again.
296.9 - OK - I'm still up, but that's a better number. I step off - it wobbles again. For the love of everything holy! Can I not find a sturdy spot in my whole bathroom? Apparently not. And just to prove my theory, I step on again - 299.2. Clearly this is not right. New place on the floor, off and on, off and on - every single time I'm getting a different number.
I finally give up on the bathroom and take the scale into the living room. It's carpeted. I know I shouldn't weigh-in on carpet because though all 4 feet rest on the ground properly, it most likely doesn't allow the scale to descend properly when I step on it (this is what I tell myself, but at this point I'm running late, I need to get in the shower, and I'm tired of getting on and off this darn thing). Oh well - it's Berber, so it's almost flat. And it's not like it's got a ton of padding under it. So on I go...
294.5. Wow. Uh, ok - now I can't believe it. So I get off and on again. 294.5. I try a third time. 294.5. Well three times the charm. I'll take it! That puts me at 15 pounds lost! I feel totally guilty. I feel like I cheated my week and I tricked the scale. So now I'm determined to do REALLY well this week to make up for it.
Next week though - I'm weighing in on the carpet first!
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