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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

These things are AMAZING!!!



I bought a couple boxes at Target to try them out after having loved the Del Monte Chillers fruit sorbet cups that I bought earlier. At $2.45 for a whole box of these (8 in a box), I 'bout died and gone to heaven. These are PURE fruit, only 55 calories a piece and pack a bunch of potassium and vitamin C in such a little pop! They're way more filling than a regular sugar-water popsicle, and I like knowing that my frozen treats are benefiting me rather than filling me with fake substitutes (even though I do love 40-calorie fudge bars, no matter how fake they are!)

Also - since they're a shelf product that you can take home and freeze later, you don't have to worry about them melting in the car on the way home :)

Right now they come in 2 flavours - Grape Berry Blizzard and Strawberry Snow Storm.

Yum!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDYBRUNO 7/3/2010 5:32PM

    They sound heavenly. I will have to go to Target and pick some up. Both flavors sound good. Thanks for sharing.

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 7/3/2010 11:30AM

    Ooo, I love your profile pic! You look so pretty!

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NANASAMM 7/3/2010 11:08AM

    Thanks for sharing they look delicious and definitely worth a try.

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LADYOFTHEHOUSE6 7/1/2010 8:43AM

    Ooo - they sound good! I'll have to give them a try!!

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FATROCKSTAR 6/30/2010 7:14PM

    Sound's great-I'll have to check out the carbs on it! Have a great day!

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SPARK-A-LICIOUS 6/30/2010 4:54PM

    oohh i buy them too but I have a small hint/tip ... you can get a coupon for $1 off a box. not two, just ONE box... and walmart has them at their store (here in MN) for $1.89 a box, so a box of 8 costs less than a dollar. I think in the last month I was able to print that coupon 4 times. :)

I got the coupon from www.coupons.com and they send me coupons to print whichever i want whenever.

YUM is right, strawberry is much better than grape though. Grape tastes kinda weird. IMO

Comment edited on: 6/30/2010 4:55:43 PM

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GARYO12 6/30/2010 3:01PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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MAMMA_MIA1 6/30/2010 2:58PM

    I'll have to check them out! Thanks!

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JENJESS48 6/30/2010 2:09PM

    Great find! Thanks for sharing!

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STUFFNEARTABOR 6/30/2010 1:53PM

    I'll check 'em out, thanks for the healthy recommendation!

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KARVY09 6/30/2010 1:52PM

    I've had the little cups, but I gues they come in tubes now. Definitely very yummy!

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 6/30/2010 1:52PM

    Very cool!!

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Tackling Mt. Washmore

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I hate laundry.

I hate laundry so much that I have not made a concerted effort to really do all of it since January. Want to know how I know that? I JUST finished a load that contained the black top I wore on New Year's Eve. You know - this one:



So after 2 days and 9 FULL loads worth - I'm finally done! Hallelujah! Who on this earth owns that many clothes??? I own over 12 bras, 30 pairs of underwear (yes, I can go a full month without having to wash a darn thing), and about half of the local Lane Bryant's spring, summer, fall & winter lines for the past 4 years in a variety of colours. It's ridiculous.

You see, weight hasn't been my only issue in life. I also used to be addicted to shopping.

It's another unhealthy habit that was a symptom of my obesity. I used spending money as a way to make myself feel better about life. I like pretty things and have expensive taste, so I used shopping the same way I used food to feed the pain of loneliness or boredom or frustration. If I had a bad week, then a nice new shirt or necklace or pair of shoes would be just the thing I needed to make me feel better. I got a high from wearing my new threads. The smell of new clothes, breaking the tags off, the crisp way they feel on the body. I would buy things just to buy. As long as they fit (sort of) then that was good enough for me. I'd have good shopping days and bad shopping days. On the bad, I'd leave with nothing, fueling my depression because "nothing ever seemed to fit" and "I'm so fat and ugly". But on the good days I would walk out of the store, laden with bags, bursting at the seams to get home and re-try on my purchases. The problem was, the bigger I got, the bigger the clothes got, and the more expensive. A shopping trip to a plus store would easily rack up bills of $200 or more per trip, and I kept needing more and more to make me happy. My credit card bills were out of control and I was sinking fast - which was only making the depression worse.

A couple of years ago I had sunk to a new low. I swallowed every last ounce of pride I had and called my parents to help me co-sign on a bank loan to consolidate my credit card debt. At first, they denied my request. Since I live so far away and they would like nothing better than to see me move closer to home, they used the fact that I needed their assistance as an ultimatum - move home and they would help me. I was devastated. I couldn't move home - my life was now in Chicago. My job, my friends and my therapy were all in this city. There was no way that I knew how to start all over again after everything that I had been through to build a life here. So I stood my ground and told them that wasn't an option and feared the worst when they told me I'd just have to figure it out some other way.

I waited a week and then asked again. This time they agreed. They didn't like the terms, but they had talked it over and understood the importance and gravity of the situation. And with that, I was relieved of all my credit cards and handed a $10,000 bank loan with a 3 year repayment term. All I could think was "Oh God - what have I done?"

That was exactly 2 years ago in August - and I am incredibly proud to say that as of this August, I will have repaid that entire loan - one year ahead of schedule! I currently do not own ANY credit cards. I pay for everything up front - and if I don't have the money for it, it stays in the store.

Getting real with myself and my budget and spending habits was one of the hardest things I have had to do so far in my adult life. But I have to say now that it was doing that that lead me to believe that I could do this too. I am taking control of my out-of-control habits and lifestyle and turning them into something manageable and maintainable one day at a time. Counting calories is like spending money. Sometimes you have to borrow a little from tomorrow to pay today, but at the end of the week everything needs to line up to be that much closer to your goal. I am paying off big amounts in money and in pounds. And I couldn't be more proud of myself and how far I've come. Financial freedom is within my reach and so is a new and fit body!

Doing those 9 loads of laundry all weekend was an exercise in reflection for me. As I folded every top, every sweater, every pair of jeans, I thought about when I bought them, what I felt like then, how much money I spent to buy them. Most of the things I'm wearing now are from at least 2 years ago and from my one big shopping trip last year before I took my vacation to Paris. As I folded some of the sweaters I got just 6 months ago for Christmas and my birthday it was a little bitter-sweet knowing that they received so little wear this year and that I won't ever get to wear them again because already they're too big for me. I am officially DONE being that size forever. I've paid off that part of my "loan" and I will never have to do it again. For what I have lost I have gained 10-fold in knowledge and security and happiness.

I don't buy clothes anymore to make me happy. I buy clothes now because I need to (I'm shrinking!) and that's a whole different kind of happy than the one I was achieving before. I am actually looking forward to shedding my closet almost as much as I'm looking forward to shedding the weight. Since the clothing I own now ranges in sizes from 12-26, I am awaiting the day when it will all be one uniform size and I can reach in and pull out anything I want and have it fit and look beautiful on me. No more waiting to wear something until I'm that size. No more hanging on to certain pieces because I'm not sure if I'll need them again. No way. I'm not going back this time. And unless I can find someone here who is one step behind me and wants my hand-me-downs, I know I'm about to make a local homeless shelter very, very happy this year. I'll pay it forward any way I can.

And just for the record - here's that New Year's Eve number now...25 (almost) pounds lighter!



My first side-by-side!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMOOCHIEFACE 6/29/2010 1:27PM

    You are looking great!!!!

And Mt. Washmore aside, you are so lucky to be able to go that long without HAVING to do laundry.

I have so few clothes, if I went a week without doing it, I'd have to go to work in the buff!!! And NOBODY wants to see that!!!!

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 6/29/2010 1:20PM

    You're looking fabulous! This was another great post. I am so amazed and impressed that you were able to conquer that credit card debt so quickly. What positive changes your'e making in your life!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 6/29/2010 11:32AM

    I loved this blog! Congrats to you and your great accomplishments! Keep going and stay positive!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/28/2010 1:25PM

    Great blog. Thank you for sharing you!

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ADYLEIGH 6/28/2010 11:29AM

    Congratulations on all your accomplishments and totally rocking that shirt!

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WYND10 6/28/2010 11:21AM

    Hehe. Glad to hear you've finished all of your laundry :). I have not, it's slow going, but it's getting there. I still have a lot to get done. Laundry aside, you've come so far.

And I love your first side by side, you look beautiful.

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PAULIGAL 6/28/2010 1:52AM

    You gorgeous girl! So many things for you to be proud of...your weight loss and healthy lifestyle, your early payment of your loan, and tackling Mt. Washmore! (at my house we call it Mt. Kenmore 'cause I have Kenmore washer/dryer...ha ha) It's so funny but I hang onto certain items of clothing not because they fit but because of the memory attached to them. Just the other day I finally got rid of the shirt I was wearing the day my dad died. It was so weird donating it but I felt crappy every time I would wear that shirt. So yes, grasshopper, laundry has deep meaning!

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KRISKECK 6/27/2010 10:43PM

    It's all part and parcel of the same thing, isn't it? Congrats on your discipline and huge progress towards your goals...and my dear, you look beautiful! Just radiant with pride and happiness!

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BEHMOM 6/27/2010 10:38PM

  You look so beautiful at your new weight, and you will look even more beautiful as you continue this journey.
Congratulations on your experience with money management. You must be so proud of yourself, and your parents must also be very proud of you.
Keep up the good work!

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If L'Oreal Says It, It Must Be True

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm worth it.

Repeat after me - I'M WORTH IT!!!

Now by a show of hands, how many of you actually, really, truly believe what you just said? I'll tell you honestly, I've struggled my whole life with my own self worth. Only recently am I starting to come out of the dark cloud of not feeling good enough that has followed me around since I started gaining weight as a 4 year old child.

I'm behind on my watching of this latest season of Biggest Loser. I already know who wins - but I haven't yet seen all the episodes leading up to the Finale. So I was watching Episode 13 last night - just after Vicki (Blue Team) finally gets her chance on the ranch after the other contestants have already been battling it out for 12 weeks. As Jillian notes, she's obviously behind everyone else, both physically and mentally. While the other contestants have had the opportunity to break through tough moments, Vicki is still wondering WHY she got so big and is struggling with the "menial" task (according to Jillian) of running sprints. Don't we all at some point? Finally she breaks down into tears and offers up that she can't do the exercise and is doubting her progress and achievements because she has never felt good enough. That her parents should have had a more beautiful daughter. That she wasn't smart enough, skinny enough, popular enough. It is for these moments that I watch this show. I think this will be my last season of watching though. Because on my own personal road to healing and recovery, I have chosen a very different path than much of what that show lauds and stands for and there have been so many times this past season that I am physically revolted by what those people are made to do and believe in order to lose weight. How different from just a year ago when I couldn't get enough of it and spent my days dreaming about how I was going to be on the next Biggest Loser season. Now I wouldn't wish it upon my best friend. But alas, I digress. I was talking about the emotional moments. The true and honest reflections of ourselves in these contestants that we can all relate to at one point or another. That's good television. There's a reason that the producers show us these poignant and touching moments - complete with melodramatic score in the background. Because they are so real. And because all we "fatties" can relate. I related wholeheartedly to Vicki's plight. I too have felt "not good enough".

Welcome to the paradox of being fat. I am fat because I don't feel like I'm good enough, and I don't feel like I'm good enough because I'm fat. So how the heck does one begin to talk themselves out of that conundrum? It's a cyclical, never-ending (to some), downward spiral that is so familiar to most of us, it makes you want to spit just reading it and saying it. I for one was angry with it. I wanted to throw stuff at that paradox and call IT names! And then I wanted to cry about it and throw my hands in the air, call it impossible, and eat a bag of Cheetos to make it go away because it's too hard to beat so I let it beat me. And it beat me over and over and over again until I was worn down, binging and too fat to care.

But when I was done being angry at a situation that looked like it couldn't fixed - after I had let the dust settle a little on my last infuriating binge, I agreed to open it up and look at it again, to slowly break it apart and separate the pieces of it so that there was just enough room to insert my Spark dynamite and blow it up!!!

The aftermath is messy. But the good thing about blowing up a paradox is that you can see all the little, individual pieces for what they are instead of just being part of the larger problem. You can start to clean up the mess - to re-assemble the whole person from the pieces. You can keep what is shiny and good, and throw out what is dingy and bad. This is the stage I am currently in and I love it. I'm finally beginning to organize my life. I've dumped everything out of the big container and I've bought new, pretty containers to put everything back in.

Unfortunately, I can't break down 5 years of therapy in one blog. But hopefully I can offer a little insight to my journey and what I have discovered about my own personal self worth and the conundrum that so many of us find ourselves in when we arrive here.

I've talked a bit in previous blogs about the role food was playing in my life - substituting for relationships, filling the void, making me feel full in more ways than just physical - but I know now that it was a fake full. And we've all heard people say that they lose weight when they find out how to really "meet their needs" without the use of food. But that is a long and painful process that you can't just come up with overnight. Hold a chocolate bar next to your face and ask yourself what you really need and you're going to think you need the chocolate bar - it's that simple. And food is always there. Food is dependable. Food doesn't break up with you. Food doesn't call you fat...it just makes you fat. It's sneaky like that. Personally, if I found out my best friend was sneaking around behind my back to sabotage me, I wouldn't be very happy about it. But this is exactly what happened with my relationship with food.

The problem with letting it go though is that I needed it. I needed it desperately. Not just for the whole "you need food to live" thing, but because I needed it to stay fat.

WHAT? But aren't you trying to lose weight?

Sure - I was trying to lose weight. Diet after diet, I would give it my "all", my "best shot" and then fail. And I would use that failure, and the subsequent re-gaining of the weight to prove to myself just how unworthy I was in life. Unworthy of healthiness, unworthy of happiness, unworthy of love. It fit the mold I had made. I grew to expect this of myself - and thus grew my reluctance to try anything new. Why would I try? I'm just going to fail again. I set myself up to be unworthy because my unworthiness allowed me to eat. Allowed me to go on gaining weight and ignoring my problems. It was my perfect excuse for every failure in life. I can't because I'm fat...I'm fat because I can't. I needed to be fat because that is how I validated myself. The act of eating itself - the contribution to my ever increasing weight-gain - was a validation and it made me feel full and loved and like I was giving myself something positive. Even though it was really negative, it was a positive validation. Being fat gave me a reason to live - but in a very, very negative way.

Meanwhile - in every other area of my life I was growing and achieving and proving my intelligence and worth every single day. I graduated at the top of my class in a double major honours program. I landed a job in my field fresh out of school. I moved up the ranks quickly, proving to myself and everyone else every step of the way that I could do WHATEVER I put my mind to. Everything except my one deep, dark, dirty little secret. I wasn't good enough to lose weight. A glaring blemish on my otherwise fabulous resume of life. She's really great at all of these things - but have you seen the size of her ass?

At one point in my teenage years, my mother actually told me that my father believed that fat people were stupid, because if they were truly smart, they could figure out how to lose the weight. She somehow thought that this would give me the motivation I needed to get skinny. It did just the opposite. After her little confession, I packed on about 50 pounds. Now, I don't believe that that's what my father actually said or believes since he has been an avid supporter of mine for my whole life - but the reason I'm sharing this horrific tale is because it only worked to solidify my own idea that I was "less than" - if my father thought that I was stupid because I was fat, then how could I possibly think any better of myself? And as twisted as it sounds, this was also a validation for me. Even though it was as negative a response to what I put out to the world as the name calling of school kids or trying on a pair of jeans and realizing you need the next size up yet again - it was, nevertheless, a validation that as long as I was fat, I was allowed to fail, because it was expected of me.

I have now learned to detach the failure from the fat. And on the flip side - the success from the skinny. That's what happens when you blow up your ideas about how things work and rip apart that downward spiraling paradox. I know now that I am allowed to try, and to succeed and to fail. And that NONE of that has anything to do with my weight, or with my personal value to the rest of the world. People will not like me less because I have my own opinion. Just because I binge on occasion doesn't mean I'm a failure. I can't just give up because I have a bad day. THAT is not what is expected of me. Because I expect so much better from myself now. I am worth working for. I am worth trying out. I am worthy of health, and happiness and love. And when you convince yourself that you are worth something, doing things for yourself becomes easier. Yes, I will cook myself that healthy dinner I've been meaning to try - because I'm worth it. Yes, I will stay outside to watch the sunset a little longer - because I'm worth it. Yes, I will run that extra mile and push myself as far as I can go today - because I'm worth it. I am done feeding myself validation. I am done seeking positive validation from negative reactions and opinions. I am done accepting the excuse that I can't when I know that I can.

Now repeat after me again - I'M WORTH IT. And this time - believe it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEFFIROCKSIT 8/9/2011 6:40AM

    Just GREAT!!! emoticon

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TANSHAN1 7/2/2010 2:58AM

    Thank you for a wonderful blog. Words aren't enough to convey how true it is. Thank you again.

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AMBERAMA76 6/29/2010 1:38PM

    Absolutely fab blog. It has given me A LOT to think about.

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REENIT 6/26/2010 9:22PM

    Wow - what an amazing blog. So insightful - you have given me a lot to think about and yes, I am worth it !!

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PAULIGAL 6/25/2010 5:17PM

    You have written an amazing blog. Thank you for words so well put!! Separating the "failure from the fat" and the "success from the skinny". You've given me something to think about today.

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TYCA41458 6/25/2010 4:31PM

    What an absolutely FANTASTIC blog! Thank you so much for sharing. I can relate to almost everything you said. Go for it! you deserve only the best! emoticon

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SALMONINTHEBEAK 6/25/2010 3:18PM

    I laughed (the fat ass part was funny, I heard my sister say it while I read it, and it was funny), I cringed. I related.

Well written! Thank you for sharing!!!

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STARINTHESKY 6/25/2010 2:52PM

    WHOA! That spoke to me on so many levels!!!! Detach the failure from the fat..wow. I can't tell you how many times I used to stare at myself in the mirror and think "You failed!" because I had gained so much weight. My whole life has been like that. Validation through weight loss and compliments on my *looks*; never about my compliments about my achievements or my successes! The only success I knew was weight loss! Thank you for this beautifully written blog post!

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POET730 6/25/2010 2:47PM

    Beautiful!
Yes, I am, we all are, worth it.

I am sitting @ work with tears in my eyes from your honesty and your truth. You speak of things that my heart knows about and I thiank you for these beautiful words.
I wish you much continued success on your journey. You are inspiring and awesome & I just wanted to tell you that.

Have a great weekend!!!
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~MISS_TEA~ 6/25/2010 2:38PM

    Your words are so powerful. They are also so true. You are so worth all the beauty that you already possess!

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TEENY_BIKINI 6/25/2010 2:19PM

    You are definitely worthy, gorgeous. Sussing out all of the little pieces is messy work but it is worth. You are doing a courageous job of which you can and should be proud.

I'm proud of ya and I don't even know ya.

You are simply adorable to me. Let's rock this crazy mess to the core. XO

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JMYATES57 6/25/2010 10:19AM

    Beautiful blog! I couldn't have said it better. YOU ARE WORTH IT!! (AND SO AM I!) :)

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CAROLYN1213 6/25/2010 10:08AM

    You have very eloquently spoken the truth that so many of us (me included) have lived and not had the words to articulate. Thank you for speaking from the beauty and pain of your lovely heart. You are worth it! Learning my value and worth healed me last year and has allowed me to continue to grow and learn more about how to overcome those voices and lies in my head that sabotage me and whisper to me that it is hopeless. I now know the truth and am no easily convinced. I now know, that I am worth it! I am precious, priceless and irreplaceable. And those qualities have nothing to do with food. Food cannot fill it, replace it or nullify it!

This is the best blog I have EVER read!

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WYND10 6/25/2010 9:22AM

    When I see that you've written a blog I want to grab a nice cup of coffee and settle in reading it. You've got great insight, and Jenn, you are worth it :). Love this blog. I hope I can get to the "I'm worth it" state of mind soon.


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BETHNE 6/24/2010 6:54PM

    beautifully said

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Monday Musings

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alas, I promised a blog and a blog ye shall get. Unfortunately though, I'm not feeling particularly brilliant tonight, so I'm throwing together a hodge-podge of things that I'm thinking that may or may not have any relation to each other, but that I find interesting nonetheless.

I was hoping to be able to write a blog today entitled "Surviving the Conference 101" but quite honestly, I don't think I made any great finds that are particularly Spark friendly over the past weekend, and I did well just to make it out of there without any significant damage - consumption of a WHOLE Vosges chocolate bar (2.5 servings worth - yikes!) on Friday night aside. I had many good intentions - I left my house on Thursday morning with my water bottle in tow, a baggie of almonds, cherries, carrots and a couple of low-cal pumpkin muffins to keep me on track since I knew we weren't being given a lot of time for lunch and dinner was going to consist of hors d'oeuvres and beer. But when I went to eat my snacks I discovered my muffins were moldy - ick - and quite a few of the cherries had gone bad as well. So much for that plan. So I ventured out to Corner Bakery for lunch and chose what I thought would be a healthy option - a vegetarian panini - only to find out later that it was one of the highest calorie and fat options on the menu. Ugh - just because it's veggie, does NOT mean it's healthy. For the record, I could have gotten a chicken salad sandwich, mayonnaise and all, for fewer calories than this bad boy. Dinner was as I suspected - fried hors d'oeuvres and an open bar - and since they had really given us no break time during the day we were all starving. Down the hatch with mini sliders, egg rolls, dumplings, potstickers, and home made potato chips that were to die for. But I wrote everything down and tracked it all and at the end of the night only ended up going over by a couple hundred calories...I think. Eating out is always so hard to track! But I was enjoying the company, the fabulous views of the Chicago skyline from Navy Pier and the fantastic entertainment for the evening provided by some of my local theatre friends. All in all, not a bad day.

Friday, I vowed to be a little more successful at staying on track than I had been on Thursday, but this was going to be tough since all meals on Friday were provided by the conference which meant I didn't have much control over what was served. But I DID have control over what I chose. Fruit salad and a bagel with light cream cheese for breakfast. Not too bad, except that on a second pass of the table I grabbed a mini chocolate scone - it was calling my name...seriously. You should have heard it! Lunch was at a local Mexican restaurant at which I selected a salad topped with skirt steak. A great choice, with a nice honey mustard vinaigrette option to top. Too bad I also bowed to the power of the chip basket. Doh! And then there was dinner...it was supposed to be another night of food and wine on board a cruise boat on the lake, however, at about 4pm the skies opened up and the apocalypse happened in downtown Chicago so I decided that maybe the boat would be better saved for another time. I grabbed an apple and a power bar from the snack buffet and made my way to a show at my theatre. By the time the show was over, my stomach was growling again. I caught the bus home, thinking of what was in my fridge that I could throw together quickly for dinner. As I rounded the corner to my house I noticed that the neighbourhood looked strange - this eerie light cast over everything. And the bank parking lot lights beside my house were out - hmmm, must drop by the bank tomorrow to tell them that's unsafe. I opened the door to my place, flipped the light switch on - nothing. Flipped it up and down a number of times (like it was going to change the outcome) - nothing. Ugh. The storm had knocked out my power. I lit a candle and sat on the couch. Now what? Besides peanut butter and bread I didn't have anything that didn't require cooking. Foiled again. So I sat in the dark and ate the chocolate bar - a gift in our conference swag bags that also came with a huge bag of jelly beans and Frango Mints. After calling my boyfriend to have him log into Spark and spin the wheel for me (I couldn't break my streak!!!) I flopped into bed early and decided to call it a night. Who knows how much damage I did?

Saturday was the final day of the conference - I knew we were getting breakfast and lunch on them so again I braced myself for a day of making tough decisions. The continental breakfast buffet had an assortment of fruit - yes! but nothing else besides calorie laden muffins (not a whole grain or bran in sight) and those dreaded croissants (why are you the bane of my existence, you sweet, buttery, flaky goodness). Thankfully they were all mini, so I grabbed the healthiest looking mini-muffin, ONE mini-croissant and a banana and made my way to the first talk of the day. Lunch was a choice of assorted pre-prepped bagged lunches, so I opted for the Pesto Chicken wrap. To my dismay, even the veggie salad option was served with chips and a cookie and no fruit. I ate what was put in front of me, cookie and all, because breakfast had left me a good hour and a half ago and I was starving. Where were my cherries and almonds when I needed them? At least I still had my trusty water bottle and made good use of the new one they gave all of us in our swag-bag. I was definitely thankful for something!

By the end of the conference I was craving hot dogs because of all the junk I had consumed over the 3 days, but I pushed aside the craving and ate the last helping of chicken ceasar salad that I had in my fridge. It tasted good. And healthy - even with the dressing.

So there's my Conference Survival Kit in a nutshell. You know you're going to be put in positions where you have to decide. You also know you're going to be thrown off your normal eating schedule and will likely be hungry by the time you eat. You could say the same thing for vacations, or trips home, or any other day of the week that doesn't look "normal". I made the best decisions I could for what I was given and I feel a sense of accomplishment for that. All in all, I didn't end up going over on Friday or Saturday, even WITH the chocolate bar. But I was definitely happy to get groceries on Sunday and prep my lunches for this week. "Back on track" as they say, although I don't think I was ever really "off-track" - just removed slightly from the path I wanted to take. Still moving forward though. And realizing that every decision I make, in whatever situation I end up in, is still me moving forward with this journey. So maybe I take what I said earlier back - maybe I DID make some great Spark-friendly finds this weekend. I found my ability to stick to this through the paninis, and croissants and tortilla chips. And after all - isn't that what we're all really here to do?

And here are a few things I've noticed that will serve as a commemoration of where I am right now, today:

- I have a problem in that my pants are falling down and I don't own a belt. It's a GREAT problem to have.
- I walked home today even though it was threatening rain and 83 degree heat with a humidity rating of high 90s.
- Two months ago I couldn't do this:


or this:


or even this:


because my stomach was too big and my legs and arms were too short and fat to reach - but I can do all of them now with ease!
- I am marveling at my interactions now with people I don't know and really starting to see a difference in how much more confident I am when I talk to them, when before I would look at the ground and mumble.
- My energy is higher, my mood is better, and my brain is clearer to accomplish the things I need to get done in a day.

Even though I have taken a bit of a break this week from the vigorous exercise of the past two weekends, I can't feel bad about that. I'm settling into my 20 pound (so far) weight loss for a little while. I think mentally I need some time to catch up. I'm not expecting the scale to move much this week - and maybe it shouldn't. I'm half way already to the most weight I have ever lost on a "diet" and I will admit that that freaks me out a little bit. I need to be in the right place mentally once I get there to shatter that record and keep on keeping on. Because once you really start changing in this incredibly positive way, you really can never go back to the way it was before. And this weekend, I proved that to myself!

I guess I made more sense out of this that I thought I was going to :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REENIT 6/26/2010 9:15PM

    Woo hooo - nicely done

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TEENY_BIKINI 6/26/2010 7:57PM

    I love that your pants are falling down, you don't own a belt, you chose fruit salad and you can now successfully bend yourself into a human pretzel.

All in all - pretty fantabulous!!!

emoticon

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 6/23/2010 1:30PM

    Oh, don't you hate it when you think you're making a sacrifice and choosing something "healthy" instead of what you really want... and then you find out that what you picked was a terrible choice? ARGH!

I think it's so cute that your boyfriend spun the sparkwheel for you. Some-body -- loves -- you! emoticon

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56_PICKLES 6/23/2010 12:46AM

    You are doing great!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/23/2010 12:46:08 AM

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RABIDHAMSTER87 6/22/2010 6:47PM

    Good choices! :)

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WYND10 6/22/2010 4:49PM

    Non-scale victories are win! And look you're having scale victories too!! You made the best choices you could, I am if I may be, proud of you :).



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CAROLYN1213 6/22/2010 3:25PM

    Congratulations on your progress!!! I love the droopy pants to show the progress you are making!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/22/2010 1:05PM

    You are fabulous and doing fabulous!

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JENJESS48 6/22/2010 12:09PM

    Have I told you lately how amazing you are? Your attitude and insights are exemplary.

My philosophy is that if you're going to indulge, it should be worth the calories. Vosges bars definitely fit the bill! I keep some of their salty/sweet ones and Ben and Jerry's Phish food around during TOM just for that purpose. emoticon Oh well, ya gotta do what you gotta do - and Hershey's just isn't worth the calories, lol.

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DIASTER 6/22/2010 5:20AM

  You are learning so much, not only learning but putting into practice what you have learned. Sounds like a very interesting and fun weekend. Amazing what happens after some weight loss, not only your reactions but others toward you. Is it we appear more outgoing and friendly, maybe we smile more, or maybe the fact that we are no longer hiding behind our weight? Maybe it is just attitude but have you noticed everything looks brighter, people are friendlier, and the world is one fantastic place, we are so lucky to be here.

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Go Get Your Own!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I am not a food sharer. I really, seriously suck at sharing anything on my plate. I'm like Joey on Friends (ah, Friends - I miss that show) when he goes out on a date with a pretty girl and has to dump her because she took one of his french fries. You take my food - it's just not gonna work out between us.

This bad behaviour is especially difficult when you're in a relationship. And I'm in a relationship with a fellow foodie. We love going out to dinner at new places, ethnic restaurants, hidden gems of culinary delight...mmm. And while one little bite off each others' plates is fine and kinda cute (because I certainly don't mind digging into someone else's dish), any more than that and you might hear me omit a small, but audible, growl, moving my plate away from the wandering fork and hoarding it like Gollum. My Precious!

I have realized lately though, that this behaviour is also closely linked to my Clean Plate Syndrome and that by NOT sharing my food, I am more likely to eat more since I haven't quite mastered the "save half for later" skill. So what's a food hoarder to do but open up and offer some to the fellow diner? I shudder at the thought.

I guess it's no big secret anymore that I'm a secretive eater. I have used food for years for a variety of purposes, but one big one is so that I can have something all of my very own that no one else knows about. Those of us who have lacked enough privacy early on in our personal lives (read: loving but intrusive mother) need SOMETHING that is off-limits to everyone else, and food just happened to be my thing. In my youth I became the master of eating five Oreos - one out of each row - and putting the bag back EXACTLY where I found it so as not to arouse suspicion. I also ate random items like baking supplies (nuts, chocolate chips, etc.) that were in large enough containers a small handful here and there wouldn't be noticed. I ate things out of the downstairs pantry that had been put away for later, so that by the time someone noticed stuff was missing it was months later. Or conveniently for me, I could easily blame the theft on my two growing brothers and their never-ending appetites. I even snuck food during family dinners, right in front of everyone sitting at the table. I'd help myself to an extra serving here and there when I thought no one was looking, hoping no one ever questioned me about how much I was eating. The serving dish never made it by my place setting without just one more little bit ending up on my plate. I learned to binge on really bizarre food combos like Saltines and butter because they were always available, and because no one usually looked in the Saltines box unless someone in the family got sick. And I did all of this while no one was looking, while mom was at work, or while I was home alone. My little secret. Something that's all mine.

It's because this food is MINE, MINE, ALL MINE, (and has been for years) that I can't conceivably justify letting it go without somehow letting go a little piece of myself with it. If you eat off my plate, you may as well be taking a bite out of my arm, or my leg - or deeper down, my soul. I have needed my food to make me into a whole being - a woman with turkey legs, and pork shoulders and beef ribs and a mashed potato stomach - and sweets and treats on the brain all the time.

But just as I've been building myself up with food, I've also been building my wall to keep other people out - "You can't have a taste of my food, and you sure as heck can't have a piece of me." Until suddenly you wake up to the reality of the situation and realize that although you may have the love of food, you don't have a single, solid relationship with another human being that is worth as much to you as an evening at home with your couch and a bag of potato chips. This happened to me, quite recently. And when it did, I got very depressed and just wanted more potato chips.

Thankfully, my relationship with my stellar therapist was on track at the time and we got to sorting out this issue, and quick. Social eating is the LAST possible behaviour to be "fixed" in food addicts. EVERYONE - skinny, fat, athlete, couch potato - has social anxiety around eating. Everyone. No one is alone in this category. Everyone at the BBQ is wondering if so and so is watching what they put on their plate. Everyone at the birthday party is wondering whether or not they should really have a 2nd piece of cake. Everyone has issues with Thanksgiving and Christmas and sometimes Easter. We are only human. And oddly enough as humans, we are utterly and completely fascinated by each other and what we all eat.

As I've been working my way through this issue in my therapy and in my life, I have managed to loosen up a bit. SparkPeople has absolutely helped as well, but I'm finally learning to share. I'm learning to share not only my food, but my life as well. I'm working on breaking down my walls and getting closer to people - and letting people get closer to me. And when I'm full, I give what's left on my plate to my boyfriend - He of the iron stomach and the enviable metabolism. Not only does it help me stay in my calorie range, but it also helps me leave the table feeling good about myself and what I have accomplished.

I won't lie - I'm still mourning the loss of half a plate's worth of my breakfast burrito yesterday morning, but I'm moving on. I've got half a plate's worth of my Chicken Shwarma and Fattoush Salad waiting for me in the fridge for dinner! And tonight - it's MINE, MINE....ALL MINE...but really, if you want a bite, I'd be willing to let you try.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEC1974 6/19/2010 4:17AM

    Oh my gosh! I see so much of myself in this blog post. Come near my plate and I will stab you with my fork!
Isn't therapy awesome!
Have a fantastic weekend!


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MGWIFE 6/18/2010 1:35PM

    Wow, you could have written this for me.

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FISHKNEES 6/18/2010 11:21AM

    Wow...I always thought I was the only one who did this!!
I know about butter and crackers and no one noticing...
This was serious but it made me laugh and remember myself doing it...we grow we learn and it is never to late... emoticon

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EMBRACEINSPIRE 6/18/2010 10:59AM

    Fantastic Read! Thank you for 'sharing' emoticon

I am trying to 'evaluate' my binging and I think that sometimes I feel so "empty" that I just try to fill myself up with food. Does that even make sense? I thought I had it all figured out, but those really bad days happen.

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KARENE10 6/18/2010 9:49AM

    I'll let you have some food from my plate,but I totally get the weird food combos(saltines and butter),the eating baking supplies(choc.chips,nuts etc),and making the bag of cookies look like it hasn't been touched:) Great blog,and I think everyone DOES watch what everyone else is eating emoticon emoticon

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JENJENSKSF 6/18/2010 9:19AM

    Awesome blog!! I totally relate to your food sneaking... I remember as a kid when I would sneak into the kitchen when my parents were watching TV. And I knew just exactly how to open the cookie jar without making a sound, all to get those extra few cookies a night that no one would know about. Thanks for taking a look at what makes us do these food hoarding games.
emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 6/18/2010 9:03AM

    Girl - you are so cute. I hear you about secretive eating - for sure. But I don't like people putting their stinky, grubby hands in my food because it's annoying, unsanitary and generally rude. I'm just sayin' - I think this might thoroughly reasonable behavior.

It's your french fry, cutie. Keep on being fabulous and have a fab weekend.

Woot!

emoticon

PS _ I am lovin' your blogs or maybe I am just lovin' you. Note to self: Stop by more often....

Comment edited on: 6/18/2010 9:08:56 AM

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EMPOWERED2DAY 6/17/2010 7:37PM

    Wow that was wonderful! I thought I am that lady she is talking about. emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/17/2010 12:06PM

    I've read this blog four times now and I know in my heart of hearts I will read it again. The little girl in me, who generally sits quietly, started to talk after I read this the first time. I won't get too deep into this but your blog has awakened something inside and I realized I must do some mental cleaning and then healing.
In reality; I too am like Joey (love that show by the way) when it comes to food and I am a secret eater since childhood.
Thank you for sharing and giving my "little girl" the voice she needs so we can work through this together. It's time the madness ends .... someway, somehow.

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 6/16/2010 9:02PM

    Oh my heavens, what a writer you are! You should seriously consider submitting this as an article to magazines. It's easy to relate to, your prose is right on, and your descriptions and details make it memorable. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading this.

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IMAPENGUINSMOM 6/15/2010 7:46PM

  Great blog!

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WYND10 6/15/2010 10:32AM

    Great blog. I know what you mean about not wanting to share...but it's MINE! I am getting better with it too, but there is always that moment when my food is going toward their mouth that I just want to snatch it back. I hope that goes away in time.

You should totally be a writer. :D

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SANDYBRUNO 6/14/2010 10:59PM

    I'll let you have it but good for you for offering. Thanks!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 6/14/2010 8:45PM

    Love the blog and I couldn't agree more.... everyone has issues with eating in front of people. When eating your cookies alone no one is there to judge how many you ate....

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CHARLENERAE12 6/14/2010 8:34PM

    Oh yeah, I was pretty masterful at eating but making it look like nothing was missing. Great blog.

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ADYLEIGH 6/14/2010 8:09PM

    Rome wasn't built in a day! As they say. It sounds like you are making great strides and I'm glad to hear that you have sought professional help, a lot of people are too embarrassed to seek such help, but it can only be beneficial. Your self discovery, not only very articulately put, is also very inspiring. Keep up the good work on all fronts. emoticon

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KARVY09 6/14/2010 8:01PM

    This is incredibly honest and thanks for sharing with us. We've all been there. I used to eat food from the pan before I divvied it out so I felt like I got "more." It takes awhile, but once you get over that feeling of hoarding food, it is such a good feeling!

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CHARLIE2213 6/14/2010 7:54PM

    oh my god your description of your secretive eating is TOTALLY on point with my own. it's inspiring that you seem to be making progress with this, because this is definitely my biggest problem. i eat normal/small amounts around everyone else, and then secretly snack on everything in my house...in the same manner as you did. taking bits here and there, hiding wrappers in the trash, "skimming off the top" so nobody would notice...

good luck to you in your journey, and i believe in you with sharing your food! i bet you will even find it enjoyable in the near future!

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