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Who Wears Short Shorts?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Um, I do! :)

I was out for breakfast a few weeks ago with a friend of mine. She's about 30 years my senior, but also a big girl, and we have a fun camaraderie together. She's totally kooky like me and we seem to really get each other. I showed up for breakfast in one of my favorite summer shirts - a black and white, cap sleeve, printed v-neck. I was feeling particularly pretty that day. The sun was shining, I looked great, and I had the use of the car (which always makes for a good day). I was feeling very "Carrie" in my own City - all 280+ pounds of me.

"How cute are you?" she exclaimed as I walked to the table. "You look GORGEOUS!!!" and then "You're just so brave to show your arms like that...I could never do that".

I shrugged. I have always shown my arms. And legs. I stop at the belly because I won't go around wearing a midriff-bearing top with my multitude of rolls, but the rest of me is pretty fair game within reason. I buy nice, good clothing that FITS, and otherwise I have always felt that as long as I feel good in something, there's no reason to be ashamed. I'm a big girl. I have been for the majority of my life. I don't feel like covering up my fat and floppy arms with a t-shirt or long sleeved top on a HOT day in the middle of the summer is hiding much. The sweat from being too hot in my "too many layers for the weather" clothing would eventually give me away anyway!

I guess you can see it in one of two ways. Either I have continually showed my skin because I've been in denial for so long about how big I really am, or that it doesn't matter how big I am, I'm confident with the woman I put out in the world. Both are true, and depending on how I feel in front of the mirror every morning, I honestly do lean toward either one or the other.

A couple of years ago I was getting ready for a pretty big interview at work. My boss at the time had set up the interview (my position with her company was ending and she was trying to help me secure a new title with the new company) - but she was also one of those women who couldn't keep her opinions to herself and felt it necessary to make occasional comments about my chunky appearance. I was wearing my favorite red tank (the one I just took the photo in the other day) and was feeling very confident in myself and my abilities as a future employee of my now, current company. She gave me a look from head to toe and said quite emphatically "I hope you brought a jacket to wear over that." Now, I HAD brought a jacket (the voices of my mother and grandmother in my head wouldn't let me out of the house without one that day) - but what business it was of hers to question my fashion sense I have no idea. Yes, my arms were large (larger then than they are now for sure), but I was in enough denial about how my fat arms might look to a future employer and confident enough in my own ability to wow my future boss by my credentials alone that I left that conversation bruised. Why couldn't I get a job because of my weight? What did my being BIG have to do with my abilities as an employee? I had never let my weight get in the way of any of my job tasks with her in the past, so why should she care so much? Wasn't she the same woman who had marveled at my ability to run up and down a ladder to the roof to check out a problem with the HVAC just a few weeks ago? (Yes, she made a comment about that too from the bottom of the ladder - I may be big, but I've always been relatively fit). I was angry. Though other bosses had danced around the "issue" before, she was the first of my employers to actually ever call me out on my physical appearance. And it wasn't until that very moment that I realized that it actually COULD matter when it came to getting a new job.

Well - I nailed the interview, got the job, and sanctioned a 20% raise. But that didn't stop me from the realization that were it a different type of person interviewing me that day, were it the type of person that she was, my fat arms may have lost me that job.

I still feel the sting of her words when I catch a glimpse of my visible fat in a store window or hallway mirror. I still have a momentary flash of terror whenever I suit up at the pool and have to stand there with my saddle bags hanging out of my one piece with the gaggle of skinny girls waiting for the lifeguards to unlock the doors to the pool deck. But once I'm gliding through that water, once I'm breathing in rhythm with my fat-arm strokes, the fear goes away. And not ONE of those girls would dare make comment on my rolls when I show them who's boss in the water. I don't mess around during my swims and I think I have surprised more people than I have offended with my cellulite. And the same goes for my job. I'm smart. I'm capable. And I don't let the fat hold me back.

Today I'm sitting at my desk in an adorable blue halter top (the turquoise colour of the water in my background image to be exact) and short shorts. And I feel great. I wouldn't wear this outfit to an interview, but for a hot, summer day in Chicago, it's a perfectly acceptable outfit for a day at the office. (I DO love working in a casual atmosphere every day!)

At the end of the day - it's not about what you're wearing (as long as it's tasteful). It's about how much of the real YOU you allow people to see. I choose not to hide. I think it's disrespectful to the fabulous person I am inside. So what if my arms flap a little in the breeze, or if my thighs rub together - I'm growing more comfortable every day in my skin and that's something the whole world should see!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALESHABEE 8/8/2010 3:00PM

    Awesome blog...you exude confidence!!

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SOON2BEMCKEE 8/6/2010 4:02PM

  Awesome Blog!!!

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CHARLIE2213 8/3/2010 7:20PM

    you are awesome, i so envy your confidence!!! as wynd10 said-- share with me??

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APATRICIAO521 8/3/2010 12:59PM

    awesome blog! You do what you are comfortable in! You are so right. Keep doing what you are! You rock!

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TANSHAN1 8/3/2010 12:50PM

    I so totally agree..I can & DO pull off most of my fashion (or not) choices by sheer attitude & confidence.

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LOSING107 8/2/2010 10:32PM

    I totally agree, that just b/c a person is overweight doesn't mean they should hide their body. I hate my arms right now, and it's a big deal for me to wear stuff with really short sleeves. You're an inspiration. emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/2/2010 9:44PM

    Wow. What a fantastic blog. I know this is ancient history now - but how dare she. I just love when people have comments about things that are simply none of their beeswax. I am sure you look/ed fabulous. I get the looks up and down all the time before I lost weight and now - I have no idea what the heck they are lookin' at but I just don't care anymore. I just try to look my best and I do strut like crazy - LOL. Us divas gotta strut and that's all. I had to grow into where you are now - but what a beautiful freedom that we are so worth.

I am so glad you are you and you showing that beautiful skin in all its glory. Go gorgeous go.

PS - I just love my turquoise. Betcha looked hot :)

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SANDYBRUNO 8/2/2010 5:44PM

    I have to agree with you. I have always worn swimming suits, tank tops and shorts. I've had some casual jobs where I wore sleeveless shirts and shorts. You sound confident. That is a good thing. I don't think it is so much denial as it is confidence. You can't be too confident.

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OREOSMILE 8/2/2010 5:28PM

    well said!

I don't quite have your confidence with baring my fleshy bits (although this summer my arms are starting to make an appearance at work), but I aspire to get there. I'm starting to move from buying clothes that skim to buying clothes that fit and show off my curves a little more.

very inspiring blog post!

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MUSTANGMISSY 8/2/2010 4:33PM

    You've hit the nail on the head! It's not about your size, it's about how you feel about yourself that matters, regardless of what you're wearing. I love your attitude and confidence. THAT is what makes a beautiful person. Not the size of their arms or the shape of their legs. You go girl!

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WYND10 8/2/2010 3:28PM

    This is a wonderful wonderful blog and a fantastic message. You're amazing, so glad you let it shine through. Can I borrow some of your self esteem please? :)


Also, why aren't you a SparkPeople Motivator yet??? GET ON IT PEOPLE.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/2/2010 3:18PM

    Simply ... BRILLIANT! You go girl, I feel the same way. If we wear it with confidence and it fits it just works!

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The "D" Word

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Lord help me, I've become Domesticated.

The scientist has now moved in with me (for 3 weeks, until his flight leaves for Germany). I'm not sure how exactly I feel about the whole thing, but quite honestly I haven't had much time to think about it this weekend. Between grocery shopping (ok - not shopping exactly so much as delivery, but it did take me about an hour to select what we needed online), laundry and cooking up a storm, I have no idea what has happened to the Laissez-Faire Lady. She has been replaced by the Kitchen Nazi and now my feet hurt.

Yesterday I attended my regular Saturday morning Zumba class. It was hard. Our instructor (god love her) made up for an easier class last week by kicking our asses with non-stop Merengue beats. But my regular Saturday afternoon nap time was hijacked by the need to get the man out of his place and a table that I had claimed for myself back to my house. Since the table wouldn't fit in the car, I needed to carry it home on the bus. 2 hours later, I finally wrestled the thing into my basement for the time being and collapsed on my couch with the computer to order groceries. Dinner was put together with a bunch of leftovers to clean out the fridge and we called it a night.

When the groceries arrived this morning, I quickly realized that I was in a "my eyes were bigger than my stomach" situation since there was no way I was fitting everything I had ordered into my fridge/freezer. So I started cooking. More muffin tin quiches, mini meatloaves for lunches and a dinner of pork & lamb kebabs with rice and a salad. It's easy writing it all out in a sentence, but it took me ALL afternoon between loads of laundry (which, thankfully I was helped with by the scientist running up and down the stairs a few times for me). The worst part about cooking is of course the dishes. I think I dirtied almost every dish in my house...twice. I'll have dishpan hands for the next week, but my tummy will be happy! I actually had to do one load of dishes before I even started cooking just to clear the sink - all of the dinners I've sent home with the scientist over the past 2 years finally made it back to me in a sink FULL of tupperware that all just got returned...clean, but dusty enough that it was a better idea to wash it again. It came in handy though as it's all now full again and back in the fridge for the week. I keep telling him he's going to have to learn to cook for himself. He's learning. Slowly. He's going to get very tired of Bratwurst & pretzel bread!

Anyway - I think it's finally bed time for me. The laundry is folded and put away, the dishes are done, the living room is tidy, and I have clean sheets on the bed. Monday awaits.

Here's to entering August with a clean slate (literally). Best wishes to all for a fantastic month!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 8/2/2010 9:45PM

    Amen to a clean slate. Let's do this.

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KLASSIE 8/2/2010 5:11PM

    You have a lot of energy, and you're organized so that's a plus. I can just see me leaving the dishes in the sink until the next day. If you're comfortable with your pace, then keep it up. Nothing's wrong with it. I'm going to read your page to see if I can figure out how the scientist fits into the picture. Good luck on your journey.

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TWOTIMESS 8/2/2010 4:44PM

    emoticon
I'm exhausted. I also love to cook in advance and then freeze meals ahead - it makes for very balanced eating.

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FATROCKSTAR 8/2/2010 3:04PM

    Wheh, you're making me tired! Time to regroup! lol! Normandy

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WYND10 8/2/2010 8:55AM

    It sounds like you had a VERY productive weekend. And your meals sound nomnomnom. I am jealous. I hope you and the scientist enjoy these last few weeks before he leaves.

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HARTINGL52 8/2/2010 8:32AM

    You did so much to be set for the week but you did get there. Just reading your blog made me tired. You have lots of energy which I appreciate. You are one heck of a friend. Kudos to you!!!! emoticon emoticon

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MUSTANGMISSY 8/2/2010 7:53AM

    Good for you! Sounds like you're set for the week!

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SANDYBRUNO 8/2/2010 2:25AM

    It sounds like you had a very busy weekend. I hope things work out for you and your boyfriend during the 3 weeks he is there.

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Not According to Plan

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try or how much we plan, we have one of those days where things just don't go exactly the way we expected.

Take today for example. This morning, I gave half of my lunch to a homeless man. Little did he know, I'm sure, just how important my lunch was to me. I don't even have to go into my "interesting" relationship with food - the fact that I somehow equate the items in my lunches to small pieces of my soul - to know that giving up anything out of that bag hurt just a little bit. It also hurt my plans for my day - my lunch items all carefully counted out to ensure that I meet my daily nutrient requirements and calorie intake. But he clearly needed the food, as he took it from me and immediately rushed away to stuff his mouth with my Frigo Light String Cheese. Not exactly what I had planned for my day, but not to worry because I still know I'm on track for breakfast.

Every Thursday I get a ham, egg & cheese breakfast sandwich and fresh brewed iced tea from Starbucks. I have dreams about this sandwich. I can taste it the minute I roll out of bed with it's doughy, Brioche bun and sweet, salty ham and cheese. My friendly, neighbourhood Starbucks has been out of these little babies all week. Their regular morning order has been hijacked this week and none of the supervisors can figure out what's going on (I get the daily dish from them every morning). But today - TODAY, they were sure that their order was arriving as planned. Not the case. They were out of sandwiches. ALL sandwiches. I couldn't even switch up my order and get an egg and sausage muffin. I about cried at the counter...I hadn't eaten before I left home, so now I was forced to make a decision between going somewhere else (McDonald's is about the only other breakfast option in my neighbourhood) or ordering something else from that glass case of ooey, gooey, decadent, sugary DEATH to my daily nutrition tracker. I opted for a plain bagel (they didn't have any multigrain left) and cream cheese (regular, because they no longer carry light). Ugh. This day is for the dogs. Not enough protein this morning and an hour after my bagel, my stomach is rumbling for the half of the lunch that I have left.

Can I hold out hope that dinner might be fairly normal? Not a chance. I got a last minute "change of plans" email yesterday from the director of my new show. We're meeting the cast at the Art Institute tonight to spend some quality time with the painting on which our musical is based (we're doing 'Sunday In The Park With George' which is loosely based on the life of the painter Georges Seurat while he painted his pointillist masterpiece "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte"). Afterward - drinks and dinner at some place downtown. Oh joy, oh bliss - an unexpected weekly expense for my pocketbook AND my meal plan. It's just not in the cards - today I am not going to win.

But I'm not giving up! I'm only one meal in to my day. I still have half a lunch. And the extra calories saved from my donation to the poor this morning will allow me a beverage with dinner if I so choose. I'll opt for whatever is healthy on the menu and all will not be lost. I can save this pimple of a day! It's just going to take a little cover-up action and no one will ever know. So it wasn't part of the plan, but this is just how I'm gonna have to roll. And I can dig that.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADEBYMARZIPAN 7/30/2010 8:52PM

    So maybe it wasn't such a great day food-wise. But you showed kindness to another human being, and you should feel really good about yourself and the choice you made. Life is about so much more than just food, and today you nourished your soul--and someone else's. Good for you!

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PAULIGAL 7/30/2010 12:32AM

    If every day went according to plan, life just wouldn't be interesting, would it? Tomorrow is another day, grasshopper! You are very gracious and kind to have shared with someone who clearly needed help. And dinner out tonight? I'm SURE you came through with flying colors...let us know how things went!

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SANDYBRUNO 7/29/2010 10:46PM

    I'm sorry your morning went so bad but you did a good thing for the homeless man. I can't believe such a name brand chain could have so many problems with menu items. One thing being a Spark person teaches you is to move on to the next plan.

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MAPETERSON42 7/29/2010 6:38PM

    Today is not lost, ya know. The knowledge you've gained can be used. Set up a Plan B in case Starbucks never figures out how to get their sandwiches. As an aside,I don't get some restaurants, the Subway in my town last summer ran out of bread on Sunday and had a sign posted "We will have some again on Wednesday".

Drink water if you can (and want to). (Yeah I understand the social thing)



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WYND10 7/29/2010 4:53PM

    Sharing with a homeless person is admirable. I have no doubt you are going to come through today, despite the setbacks, with flying colors. Remember, you are a Rock Star! You can do it!

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MUSTANGMISSY 7/29/2010 4:06PM

    You did a good thing for someone else. It'll all come back to you. I heard that Starbucks has oatmeal with walnuts and cinnamon mixed in that supposed to be pretty good nutritionally. I've never been to Starbucks so haven't tried it myself.

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 7/29/2010 3:53PM

    That's wonderful that you shared your lunch... that has it's own rewards!! For that you go have that drink.... and enjoy it for me lol :)

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ADYLEIGH 7/29/2010 2:59PM

    It's just one day, tomorrows another one!

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FATROCKSTAR 7/29/2010 12:51PM

    God bless you for helping a poor homeless person out with your meal-that is so much kinder than alot of people would have done! That says to me that you are the kind of person who always puts others first, and as hard as it was for you, you will be better because of it! We can do this, and even if the road is not straight and predictable, we will stay on track and prevail! Normandy

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KT-NICHOLS-13 7/29/2010 12:36PM

    You are fabulous! I love that you shared your lunch with a person who was in need - not many folks would do that. I can't wait to hear how the day ends ... your positive attitude and won't give up attitude will carry you further than letting the day's bumps in the road defeat you.

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EDRAHS 7/29/2010 12:18PM

    Stay Strong! It wont be easy, I can relate to feeling like your lunch is little parts of your soul I often feel that way about all the food that I buy and have to remind myself when my partner eats the protein bar that was in the cupboard it wasnt just mine. Good for you for sharing your lunch with someone who needed it. Keep up the good work.

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Closet Purging & Pretty Days

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Despite the scale's attempts to conspire against me today, I'm having a very "I feel thin and pretty day" - so I thought I'd share:



I love that you can see my little witch behind me on my shoulder in this picture. She's belonged to my Grandmother for as long as I can remember and throughout the years of my grandparents moving to new houses and new towns, she was always a constant in the rec room. When my grandparents made their most recent move to a retirement home after my grandma's heart surgery, my mom asked me if there was anything from the house that I wanted, and I immediately asked for the witch. When she brought it to me she said "I have no idea why you'd want this thing - she's the ugliest little woman I've ever seen" - but to me she's not ugly. She reminds me of my inner child and playing in my grandparent's basement on visits, watching the CBC broadcast of "Pirates of Penzance" on repeat and singing at the top of my lungs.

You can also see one of my other little "secrets of success" - my Starbucks reusable cold cup with straw. It's a 16 ouncer, so I know it's 2 cups of water every time I fill it. It goes to work with me every morning and home with me every night and has seen gallons of water pass through it since I bought it. I was told yesterday by one of my favorite Starbucks baristas that I was lucky to have one seeing as they sold out of them early in the summer and you can't even get one online anymore in some places.

Last night at 11pm (otherwise known as bedtime in my house) I got the urge to purge. I had just finished a load of laundry and realized that many of the items I was folding didn't even fit any more, so I hauled out a couple of bags and started filling them. I'm pretty sure my "I feel pretty" day today is because I know now that I have emptied my closet of all items that are either Size 26 or 3x!!! I actually also set aside a bunch of winter items that were still lingering in my closet that are Size 22/24, but that I know won't fit by the time the weather turns again. I tossed some items that I have literally been hanging onto for YEARS and could never bring myself to get rid of and it feels so good to finally be free of those things that never did quite fit the way they should have - which actually had little to do with my body and more to do with the shape of the garment. For whatever reason I kept them around thinking that if I changed enough they might somehow fit. And now I just say - good riddance! By the time I actually get around to wondering where they went the next time I think about them, I'll be too small to fit into them properly anyway!

I feel lighter, my closet feels lighter (I can actually fit almost everything I own into it now), and by this time next week I'm sure that I will officially be down 10% of my starting weight (31lbs). On to the next 10% and my quest for Size 18!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

READINESSISALL 7/26/2010 9:32PM

  Beautiful picture! :)

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MARYROSEHICKOX 7/23/2010 7:42PM

    I need to get rid of some of my clothes that I don't wear anymore too. Good job on finally getting that done! Clothes that are too big and must be tossed are very exciting! Don't let the scale get to you! Keep it up! emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/23/2010 3:10PM

    I simply love this picture of you. You look absolutely beautiful - like beaming. It's gorgeous. I am glad you saved the witchy poo - I love those things that make me feel like a kid again.

You are awesomesauce.

XO

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WYND10 7/22/2010 12:05AM

    I love the story of the witch. I have a ceramic rooster. It's the ugliest thing ever, but it's mine gosh darnnit.

Love love love this picture of you.

You look pretty! Oh so pretty!

And for the record, that isn't a backhanded compliment because you have and will always be pretty, but this picture really highlights it.

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OREOSMILE 7/21/2010 8:50PM

    Good job purging that closet! I too made the decision not to hang onto things that didn't fit and/or I didn't feel great in. I now keep a pile ready to go to the charity bin - every day when I get undressed, I ask myself if I felt good wearing that today. And when things are too baggy/frumpy/just not feeling good, they get washed and then put in that pile. The shirt I'm wearing today is going to be added. I bought it in January when I'd lost the first bit and now it's just too baggy - does nothing for me at all (make me look preggers). No more not feeling my best!

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MUSTANGMISSY 7/21/2010 7:48PM

    Love those pretty days! you look awesome! Keep it up!

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SANDYBRUNO 7/21/2010 7:35PM

    You are doing a great job. It is always fun to get rid of clothes that are too big. Keep up the good work.

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NANASAMM 7/21/2010 6:03PM

    Since today is kinda cloudy out that's what I decided to do. De-clutter, purge or lighten things up around here. It does feel good to get rid of stuff.

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TANSHAN1 7/21/2010 5:25PM

    You go Girl!!! Great job with ALL you are doing!

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ADYLEIGH 7/21/2010 3:37PM

    You look Fabulous! and congrats on the closet purge!

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FATROCKSTAR 7/21/2010 3:09PM

    You are doing so good! Normandy

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TUBLADY 7/21/2010 2:15PM

    Good memories are always nice to keep. The closet purge is great. Don't you feel lighter? I did when I gave all my 3X and 4X to the women shelter. I kept one pair of my biggest just for compare pictures when I get to my goal. Then I will have a bonfire celebration and burn it. It was old not something to give away. I can't destroy good clothes someone else could use.
My frugal Scotch ancestry. Smile.
Have a good day, emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/21/2010 2:16:59 PM

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KARVY09 7/21/2010 2:02PM

    You are glowing and look amazing!!!!

The witch is such a cool keepsake. I have a ton of these things that people just don't understand.

Congrats on the closet purge. I always feel great after I do that!

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Food Makes Me Happy! - And Why That's a GOOD Thing

Monday, July 19, 2010

After reading the recent Spark Article about "picky eaters" www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=whe
n_picky_eating_becomes_a_health_problem
it occurred to me just how lucky I am that I LOVE FOOD!

So often we berate ourselves for our desire to eat, our "healthy" appetites and our inability to control ourselves in a grocery store - but after reading the article I realize that I would far much rather have it that way than to never have experienced the pure BLISS of fresh-caught lobster dipped in garlic butter, or a plump, sweet, juicy, ripe-red strawberry still hot from the sun in the field, or as KARVY09 recently blogged about - a fresh fig.

I LOVE FOOD - and that is nothing to be ashamed about. I have also been spending a lot of time recently rediscovering my love of making food - cooking, baking, blending and the like - if it happens in my kitchen, chances are it's a sacred love of mine. I read cookbooks and magazines, drooling over the colourful photos of food plated in the most delicious-looking of ways, though you will rarely find me actually using a recipe. I love studying the gastronomical field to get ideas, but my kitchen is my canvas, and I'm most certainly adventurous when it comes to the art I create. Sure I've had a few flops - but more than enough I find new and exciting tastes that just GO together that I never would have thought of before. If I could wallpaper my kitchen with photos from those magazines I would. I most certainly eat with my eyes and my nose before my mouth, and I think I can certainly credit my "super-spidey-senses" as my boyfriend calls them to my absolute love and desire for all things yummy. I'm one of those people who can tell you what's on the BBQ just my smelling it. It's one of my favorite things about summer - walking around the neighbourhood at about 6pm and just taking in all of the different menu options for the evening - pork chops, steak, hamburgers, chicken, corn - each have their own distinct and delicious char-grilled smell. I'm making myself hungry just writing this.

So why would I want to give any of that up? Why would I want to go on a "diet" and limit myself so much that I deny myself of one of my real, true loves? My inability to "break up" with food is what derailed me before in my attempts to lose weight. It is the most loyal and beautiful and delicious lover that I have ever had - so it is not a wonder that in the past I chose it over the deprivation diet. You don't even have to read that twice to know which one is more appealing. But in a "lifestyle change" there is still room for food. In fact, not only is there ROOM for food, but there's an acceptance of food and the relationship I have with it. There's also room and a new-found love for exercise, which in fact strengthens and makes MORE room for my relationship with food. There's room for head and heart and health - the trifecta of well being, which I will be honest is what has surprised me the most about this journey so far. Previous attempts saw me trying to cut out pieces of who I am to have what I always wanted - and isn't that a backwards way of thinking? To feel like you can't be WHOLE to be the person you want to be. It never once occurred to me that to be the person I want to be, I have to in fact ADD to myself instead of subtract from. I have to embrace my love of food, and find a love of exercise, and grow my ability to plan for myself, and expand on my current abilities to organize my life. I have to MAKE MYSELF FULL, not continue to empty myself of my loves. Because when we are FULL of life, we are also full of food, and the need to feed gradually goes away.

Yesterday morning I made some very yummy Ham & Cheese Quiche Muffins and some Oatmeal Pancake Muffins. For 25 minutes the smell in my kitchen as they baked was to die for. And when I pulled the trays from the oven and saw those puffy, golden brown, cheese-crusted tops, expanding from the pan, I was literally overcome with joy. I love it when things come out looking as pretty as they smell. I really should have grabbed my camera and snapped some pictures - but my boyfriend already thinks I'm crazy and I fear the photos wouldn't have done their beauty justice. Plus - we were hungry! I savoured every single bite. Delicious and healthy - and made by me. It makes me feel warm and tingly inside - and it wasn't just because the oven on a sweltering day in Chicago made my kitchen about 2000 degrees!

I am allowed to love food. In fact, I am expected to love food. I come from a foodie family - all just as adventurous as the next in terms of what we will try. My love of food feels like home. And in terms of my therapy and my process, there have been times that that has been a help and other times that it has been a hindrance. Eating has been and will continue to be an emotional experience for me. But EATING is helping me heal. Learning to love food all over again - this time with added knowledge of what I'm putting in my body - is an ongoing process. But it's an experience that I will never deny myself ever again. Because sometimes there is just nothing in this world that can replace the feeling of fresh-picked blueberries bursting on your tongue, or the taste of a medium rare NY strip steak with a side of baked potato.

It will be a while yet before I no longer feel like I have to eat to feel "full". But for the time being, I'm re-cultivating my gastronomy muscles. I'm the opposite of a picky eater, so I wouldn't mind actually becoming a little bit of a food snob. It just means that I care more about what I put in my mouth and what I will spend time eating. Saying no to things that I don't particularly like still isn't an easy task - but I'm sure I can hone my trash bin skills in the near future. When I am surrounded by the fresh fruits and vegetables of the summer, there's really no reason to eat less than the absolute freshest and best. And it is certainly the best time of the year to try something new, or retry something you dismissed before.

Alas - my lunch calls! So I'm going to go ENJOY it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNANN63 7/25/2010 2:56PM

    Years ago I realized that a lot of the food I was eating was really not all that good. I started then to eliminate foods that really were not good enough. I felt that if I was going to be fat, I was at least going to be fat from eating things I loved. It was amazing how many things I stopped eating.

I don't think the average overweight person is overweight from eating great food, they are just addicted to the fat, sugar and white flower that abounds in our society.

I applaud your interest in healthy, high quality, great tasting, food. Good for you.

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BOURNBABE 7/25/2010 2:50PM

    Great blog!

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/25/2010 2:25PM

    Wow. What a great blog.

The idea that food is not the problem or even championing the idea that food is a beautiful thing is commendable and refreshing. I always knew how I used the food was the problem - not that I liked/loved it.

That is really great insight and how you describe that lobster almost makes me want to use my kitchen place too - almost.

emoticon

Rock on, boo. XO

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DIASTER 7/20/2010 9:58AM

  Oh yum.
Also love the smell of something baking and enjoy the beautiful photos of food. But how do you control the one more bite urge?, or just one more slice of that cake?
Even recipes cut in half make too much.
Going to go get the cookbooks out, just for the pictures, off to the vegetable stand,thanks.

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 7/20/2010 9:29AM

    I love your blogs! Please tell me you'll consider submitting some of these to health and nutrition magazines... more people should hear what you have to say!

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JENJESS48 7/19/2010 9:18PM

    Profound as always, Jenn. emoticon I find summer the best time to cook and eat, too. I also found that getting back to my roots (I grew up on what was a working dairy farm not too far north of you) helps a lot: Cheeseheads are all about simple ingredients prepared simply but deliciously. Cutting out all the processed junk and getting back to the fresh-from-the-garden stuff has definitely helped me shed some pounds. I just have to avoid all the fat that my dairy-farming family loves, lol.

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MUSTANGMISSY 7/19/2010 9:05PM

    Love your take on the food! I know exactly what you mean! And I'm definitely going to be trying out your recipes this week, already saved in my cookbook.

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SANDYBRUNO 7/19/2010 7:47PM

    You have every right to enjoy your food. I enjoy food too. There is room for food enjoyment and eating healthy. There is a happy medium. You are slowly finding it. We all are.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 7/19/2010 6:06PM

    Cooking is my passion and creating and trying new delicious dishes in my kitchen is a calming experience. Enjoy the adventure!

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WYND10 7/19/2010 4:38PM

    Mmm....food! Great blog! Also, can I come over to eat soon? :D

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BPELTONEN 7/19/2010 4:30PM

    There absolutely is room for food!

What's great too is when you find your palate expanding emoticon

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FATROCKSTAR 7/19/2010 4:25PM

    You remind me of myself-I also love to cook and love to eat! Normandy

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