10.29.10

So here I am. Sick as a dog. Okay, I’m exaggerating. I was worse earlier in the week. But I digress.

But I’m not looking like a movie star, that’s for certain. Hair is in a messy ponytail, wearing jeans and an old work t-shirt with my birkenstocks. Comfy.

I walk into Meghan’s school this morning. She brought in cheese for the Halloween party today. We even got her the kind that come in cool shapes. She was all excited and insisted on carrying it into the classroom to hand to her teacher.

So we go into her classroom and she hands the teacher her cheese. Another one of her little friends is there with her mom, also dropping off their goodies. She made apples in the shape of bats with raisin eyes and marshmallow features, etc.

She looks me up and down. I let out a half-hearted, “Hey” to which she stares at me in the eye and says nothing. She looks good. I’d say she’s lost a good 30 pounds since the last time I’ve seen her. She’s wearing a trendy dress that looks good on her newly toned body and cute sandals to go with it. Her hair is trendy and you can tell she gets haircuts and highlights on a regular basis.

And then there’s me. Meg’s teacher takes one look at me and utters in disbelief, “You are sick AGAIN?”, as though I come in weekly with the plague or something.

I picked up my girl and hugged her so tightly. Partly because she’s my girl and I love her more than anything in this world, but also because I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want her to see how sad I was and that I was comparing myself to this very together woman. I didn’t want to let go because I want her to stay innocent for as long as possible and not feel the way that I did at that moment. Inadequate. Defeated. Sucky. Pretty much sums it up.

I know that we can’t compare ourselves to other people. I’ve been sick, running a fever and out of work all week because of it. Just the fact that I remembered to pick up her cheese was an accomplishment this week. As was getting out of bed this morning and dragging my tired bones to work. Which I did.

Way to kick me when I’m down.

But the silver lining? I weighed in at 186.2 this week. So down only 4 ounces, but I’m actually proud of that given I haven’t tracked my food, ate only what sounded good because I don’t feel well and I did nothing but sleep and watch re-runs of America’s Next Top Model and Police Women of Memphis. Talk about two worlds…

Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this other than I just needed to get it out.

I have decided that one of the reasons I eat to comfort myself is to numb emotions that I don’t want to feel. I push them down with food. Not today. Today, I will just allow myself to feel the strong emotions that I felt and then move on. Food will not help.

It’s a small step, but a step nonetheless.

Power

Food is a powerful thing to me.

I think about it constantly and almost always give in. When  I don’t, I feel bad, anxious.

I hestitate to write about these things on my blog. I want to be reflected as a person who is strong and in charge, but the truth is that food is my weakness.

I come from a family of many addictions and addictive behavior, unfortunately. Thankfully my addiction is food and nothing more serious that is chemically addictive, but I struggle and fight every day against my enemy.

In some ways, I think it would be easier to be addicted to a substance. That sounds even more ridiculous written down than in my head, but I have reasoning. See, an addict has to stay away from their drug. Totally stay away. Don’t be around it, don’t be associated with people who do it, etc.

But I can’t escape food. It’s everywhere and you have to eat. You can’t survive without it. And I don’t think I would want to. I love food.

The problem with that is I feel like it takes over my life and has the power to control me. And in ways, that makes me sad and feels defeating. How can I let an inanimate substance, an object, particles of nothing more than sustainance control me? It’s humiliating.

I am okay admitting that I went to a meeting at Overeater’s Anonymous last year. I won’t elaborate on it to protect the meeting place, people and ideals, but I will say that it just wasn’t for me. I think it has its place and I know it has saved many people from harming themselves with food and obesity, but it just wasn’t for me. It’s a very personal thing.

I feel like I’ve done everything I can: meditation, therapy, every diet known to man, over exercising to compensate, meetings, you name it. I’ve tried it.

I think that at 30 it’s time for me to admit to myself that this is my demon and it always will be. But what to do about it?

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

I just finished reading The End of Overeating and I identified with everything in that book. Oh my gosh, I felt like I was reading about myself. For once, it felt good to know that I’m not the only one alone out there who is like this. I don’t have an eating disorder – in many ways, if I did, this would be easier.

But being obsessed with food and unable to control the way you eat all the time is not a disorder. Not by psychological standards. So every therapist I’ve been to doesn’t really know what to do with it. And if you don’t understand the power it has over me and my thoughts, you can’t begin to “treat” it. I even had one person just ask me why I don’t have some willpower and be done with it.

Um. If I had “willpower”, this wouldn’t even be an issue. Moron.

Anyway, this book suggests ways to re-think about food and change the way you frame it in your mind. It seems reasonable but it’s not easy and it’s not going to be easy. In fact, just thinking about cutting out sugar (which is my major downfall) has made me go on a major binge in the last two days: ice cream, chocolate, sonic blasts, snickers, 3 musketeers, etc. Yep, just the THOUGHT of not eating these things, makes me eat them beyond control already.

I need help.

Aloha from Sickville

So, it’s official. We are all sick. Too much going on and not enough rest + lots of germs = our house.

My poor girl has been running a fever all weekend (though you wouldn’t know it with the way she’s bouncing off the walls) and the doctor declared she has an ear infection and a bad sinus infection this morning. 😦

So I’m at work while the hubs is home and I wish I was cuddled up in bed napping with my family right now since I feel like crap too.

But alas, it’s not meant to be. At least not today.

Onto the eats –

My weekend was actually pretty decent considering that none of us were feeling well.

I made a quiche out of eggs, broccoli and cheddar that we ate off of all weekend and we ordered in Chinese food on Saturday night but I just wasn’t feeling it.

Yesterday featured a veggie sandwich with hummus, avocado, sprouts, tomato, spinach, onion and lettuce. YUM.

For dinner, I made the following and it turned out delish. It’s inspired from a recipe I saw Giada De Laurentiis make on Everyday Italian yesterday:

Smashed Pea Pasta

1 lb. whole wheat fettucine noodles

1 package frozen peas, thawed

a bunch of fresh broccoli

1 cup part skim ricotta

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

3 garlic cloves

salt

pepper

fennel seeds**

Boil noodles in salted water. Towards the end of  cooking, throw in some fresh broccoli to cook to al dente.

While that’s going on, saute some crushed garlic cloves in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and add peas. Using back of your spoon, smash them. Good for aggression. Don’t smash them all though – leave some whole for texture.

Put broccoli and cooked pasta into your pea mixture. Dump in the ricotta, fennel seeds, parmesan, salt and pepper. Use two ladels of the pasta cooking liquid to thin out the sauce.

EAT. YUM.

**Note: I added fennel seeds because her recipe used sausage and I don’t eat meat. But sausage usually has fennel and I thought this lended nice flavor that might have otherwise been missing.

I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch today!

10.20.10

I’m so GLAD that my fundraiser ends tomorrow. These long days and crazy schedule are just killing me. I’m so tired.

Want some cheese with that whine? YES PLEASE.

Anyway, now that my pity party is over, I can move on to the awesome news that this week’s weigh-in has me at 186.6! That’s almost a pound loss! Yay!

I usually weigh in on Friday mornings, but I have to be to work at 6:30am tomorrow for the last day of fundraiser madness and there’s no way I need another thing to deal with. So today is it. Good – then I feel like I can have some wine tonight and not affect my weigh in. Alcohol does that to me.

But I digress…

Here’s what went down yesterday:

Jalapeno and cheese bagel from Einstein with cream cheese, banana

Enchilada casserole with light sour cream, organic fruit rope

Edamame, a few dried cherries

Dinner was wierd – just wasn’t feeling it. I made baked “fries” which i ate a few of, baked cod (which I had about three bites of), roasted okra (YUM, I mostly at this) and some fresh guacamole that I topped the fish with – avocado, cilantro, jalapeno, onion, tomato (only had two bites). I did have wine though. So basically wine and okra. Dinner of champions.

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On a totally random note, I did some thinking yesterday. Always dangerous, but I’m a very analytical person. Too much so.

And I was looking inward, wondering why it is that I focus on food so much. I wish I knew the answer to this. I feel anxious about food and I think about it all the time.

I wish I was one of those people who sees food as fuel and nothing more. Not love, not entertainment, not social – just fuel. But alas, that’s just not who I am. And I love good food. I think it’s one of the most simple, best joys in life. So is wine. 🙂

Thing is, after breakfast, I’m counting down to lunch. And after lunch, I’m counting down to snacks and dinner. Why? I wish I could just be like – Oh my gosh, it’s 8pm and I haven’t eaten yet! (Quel horror!)

I don’t think that’s EVER happened. Ever.

I think that maybe one of the reasons that I’m like this is because it’s the one thing in my day that gives me real joy. How sad is that? It’s also the one thing that varies day to day.

See, real life…it’s boring. Day in, day out, same thing, different day. That’s pretty much how I feel about it.

My job is okay. It pays the bills and the people are pretty nice. Am I stimulated and feel like I’m doing what I was meant to? Um, NO. Not by a long shot.

I would LOVE to spend time going to a yoga studio, working out, stretching, etc. because I love those things. But instead of being a source of joy, it’s a source of stress to fit it into my already jam-packed schedule. And I’m tired. That doesn’t help.

There’s always cleaning to do, always bills to paid, always errands that need to be run – it’s real life. That’s just how it. But it has this sameness that bores me to tears.

Even family – my daughter, who is the center of my world is tired when she gets home from school and just wants to veg too. I do engage her in games, reading, etc. but I feel like I’m not making the most of my time with her because in my head, there are a million things I could be doing to be productive instead of playing with Barbies. I want to be able to fully engage with her and not worry about anything else. I think that perhaps this is what makes me the most sad.

Thankfully, I have a very understanding and devoted husband because I’m so exhausted by the time we get Meghan in bed that I just have nothing left in me. I have to sleep. I literally can’t even keep my eyes open. I wish I had more to give him.

Food fills that gap for me. Not only do I absolutely LOVE cooking, but I love feeding others and feeling like I made a difference in their day with my meal. It’s a source of love, entertainment, hobby, creativity (which I so am, but have no creative outlets I have time for). I feel like it makes up for all of the shortcomings.

I realize this may sound sad or pathetic and it might be…but it’s just the way things are.

I’m really trying to understand my connection to food and why it is that my mind always goes there…I think I may be on to something.

(As a total side note, when I was a freshman in college and took Intro to Psychology, I was so smitten that I pulled my professor aside and told him that I wanted to major in psychology. My professor, Dr. Entenmann, who was about 150 years old, looked at me and said, “Jenn, people who major in psychology are always trying to figure themselves out. Can you handle that?” I thought so at the time, all 18 years old that I was. Now at 30, I’m not so sure anymore…)

10.19.10

Where is October going? Time flies by so fast these days. I sound like I’m 80 or something!

Anyway, yesterday was pretty good. I was happy to get home early and have some time to myself to watch Cake Boss. I love this show and I was so excited when Buddy’s wife Lisa said that she was pregnant – pretty easy to see that one coming though.

As a side note, I DVR all my shows that like to watch because I’m an “early to bed” kind of person AND I don’t like watching TV at night because I’d rather spend time with my daughter. So I’m always a little behind on what happened on any given show.

But I digress. Here’s what my day looked like yesterday:

Organic steel cut oats, raisins, a little cream (definitely a splurge but oh so decadent), banana.

Couscous with roasted veggies and garlic, Fritos (ugh), organic twisted fruit rope (love these!).

Edamame snack

Enchilada casserole with sour cream and avocado.

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Speaking of enchilada casserole, it’s just about one of my favorite things in the whole world to eat. It’s my own recipe, but I’m sure there are a million just like it (or maybe not):

Enchilada Casserole

Serves 8

15 oz. kidney beans

15 oz. black beans

2 cups frozen corn (or fresh if you have it)

15 oz. vegetarian, fat free refried beans ( I use organic)

15 oz. enchilada sauce (green or red – both are yummy)

1 can spicy Rotel tomatoes, juice and all

6 Ezekial sprouted grain wraps

2 cups cheese (I’ve used Mexican queso blanco and sharp cheddar – both are yummy)

1 whole red onion, chopped

1 whole green, red or yellow pepper, chopped

Optional for serving – cilantro, light sour cream/greek yogurt, jalapeno, avocado, etc.

I mix together all the ingredients except cheese, enchilada sauce and wraps in a big bowl.

Then in a 9×13 casserole dish, layer two wraps then half of the filling. Top with half of the cheese. Put two more wraps down and then top with the remainder of the filling. This time, top with two more wraps, then the remainder of the cheese and top the whole thing with enchilada sauce. Spread it so that it covers evenly.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

The nice thing about this dish is that it travels well, freezes and reheats well, can be modified based on the ingredients you have for the filling, and can be made ahead and thrown in the oven later.

10.18.10

Yesterday = a step back.

But that’s okay because today can be a step forward, right?

One step at a time.

It’s not that it was SO BAD at all – I just ate when I wasn’t hungry and caved in to things that I said I wouldn’t.

Edamame, Ezekial cinnamon raisin bread, Smart Balance light (wierd combo for breakfast, I know).

Baked potato topped with veggie chili, cheese, avocado, sour cream.

Trail mix (that I swore I was going to stay away from).

Greek pasta with an olive salad (it was delicious but I wasn’t planning on eating food from my fundraiser).

Sun Drops

So overall, my day was 1497 calories, which certainly is fine, but the fat intake was 79 grams which is too much. Thankfully it was from “good” fats – nuts, avocado, olive oil, etc.

I just lost some focus yesterday because I’m tired and I have a sore throat still – with three full 12 hour fundraising days left. I’m so over it.

But enough negative nelly, it’s time to re-focus. Especially since I’m not working out this week. Obviously my body needs a break with all the running around and stress.

I swear, I’m trying to WILL my body NOT to be sick. I think that half of being sick is frame of mind. So I have my vitamins, hot tea and a determination not to be sick. Good luck. 🙂

10.17.10

I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday. I know I’ve been pushing myself too hard. I woke up with a sore throat and decided that resting would be on the agenda.

We did go visit my mom in her new house and had a picnic outside in the glorious weather on their waterfront lawn. But that was relaxing so it counts, right?

I was very proud of myself yesterday for keeping it pretty clean and healthy – and only taking in 1491 calories! On a weekend?? SHUT. UP. 🙂

Anyway, here’s what went down:

Three Sisters grain sweetened all natural whole grain cereal with marshmallow puffs, milk, dried cherries

Roasted red pepper and feta dip with sugar snap peas, focaccia bread, a few chips, a beer, and a couple bites of pasta salad

Whole wheat crackers with Dubliner cheese, edamame, cherry tomatoes and hummus

Grain sweeted Sun Drops with dried cherries

Overall, pretty good – especially for a weekend. No formal exercise because I wasn’t feeling well but according to FitBit, I burned 2592 calories and took 9,682 steps.

I’ll take it.

Hoping for a good, fast week. We end fundraising on Thursday night and our numbers aren’t looking so great right now. Just want this to be over with!

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