Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sometimes you need to remind yourself why

I rolled out of bed this morning after another night of drinking with friends and some late night pizza.  I walked slowly to the mirror and carefully glanced up.

My heart felt heavy.

I wished I were smaller. 

I could be smaller.  I know how to do it. 

But as I stared into the mirror I hushed my inner critic and asked myself "why?" Why should I try to look any different?

Do I have some extra meat on my thighs?  Yes.

Do I have a curve to my belly?  Yes.

Am I healthy? Yes

Am I happy? More than ever.

Am I surrounded by people who love me? Yes.

So why?  Why do I need to change my shape?

I don't.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Conquering Boston and Cheesy Eggs

Just returned from a great weekend trip to Boston.  I have a few friends up there, so me and my DC friend, Alexis, took a short flight up for the weekend. We started off right with cocktails and dinner at a great restaurant in Harvard Square called Russell House Tavern.   It was great dishing with friends – discussing the superiority of full fat cheese, how many dates are too many for one week, institutionalized racism in America.  All important topics, perhaps some more than others ;)

Got to see my friend Caitlin from Cait Plus Ate!  Was so good to catch up in person, texting and blog comments are not quite as fulfilling.  It was also nice to share drinks since we have similar obsessions with brown drinks and IPAs.

After a boozy night, I needed a hearty breakfast.  That’s where the cheese eggs came in.  This is an everything bagel with cream cheese topped by probably about eight eggs and loads of cheddar.  I first considered a lighter menu item out of habit, but changed my order because shit like this doesn’t scare me anymore and it sounded delicious.  I completely trust myself to eat what I want and stop when I am full – leaving the meal extremely satisfied, with all food groups met (carbs, fats, proteins), and no cravings later in the day.  Win win.

Two years ago I never would have ordered this, it had loads of cheese, it wasn't just egg whites, and all of this on top a carby bagel, no way!  If I had ordered it back then, I would have felt too full and then guilty. To be honest, I probably would have way overdone it, because my body was starving and it wouldn't have been able to stop me from continuing to eat when I was full.  This just isn't a problem when your body is getting what it needs - food becomes just food.

After brunch we wandered around Harvard with my friend Hayley who is a grad student there.  She is so smart, and I felt proud exploring her new home beside her.

Then went inside to warm up with some tea and cookies at a local bakery.  It was perfect.

Later that day we got decked out to participate in another friend's birthday pub crawl “Yellow is the new Pink.”  Don’t ask because all I know is that she loves those colors and it’s her birthday so we do what she says :)

We asked someone to take our picture at the bar and after taking a quick look I said "WOW we look great!"  Then my friends pointed out that I was only looking at myself - which I realized was true... please tell me I am not the only one guilty of this?   I doubt they let me live it down.

Take two!

The first one was better from my perspective.

After the plane ride home to DC and a weekend of drinking, I craved a big bowl of this when I got home on Sunday night (a picture from last weekend).

But I had spent a lot of money in Boston and decided I should cook in.  I tried to replicate this meal by making miso soup, shrimp and frozen Trader Joe's potstickers, it did the job.

Nice to be home, but grateful to have spent quality time with close friends.  There is nothing like being with people who understand you completely and accept you wholeheartedly as you are. Sadly, I won't be going back soon, I love my friends, but it's too effing cold up there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I REALLY Ate Wednesday

Many of us who peruse the healthy-living blogosphere (sp? is that a word?) are familiar with a special Wednesday event.  On Wednesday's I look forward to snooping into people's daily eats thought their What I Ate Wednesday (aka WIAW) posts.

However, I often find myself playing the comparison game.  Thinking I ate more than that today, or I should make healthier choices like this person.  But the truth is, I am sick of comparing myself to any one else.  And the even sadder, partially-related truth is... I still sometimes question and worry about what I eat and how much I eat.

Today I was inspired to participate in WIAW because I thought it would be a fun challenge to try to picture EVERYTHING I eat in a day and address how I feel about it.  Not to dwell on it or draw attention to some of these lingering issues, but to confront them and acknowledge that there is still progress to be made in my effort to escape the diet and food-rule mentality.

Here it goes!

I woke up at 6:30am and had a snack before heading to the gym.  I ate a piece of Trader Joe's 10 Grain Toast with extra crunchy peanut butter, I wondered if it was unnecessary considering I was planning a quick sweat session, but decided that if I didn't eat it, I would be starving later so it was the right thing to do.

Whoops almost forgot to take the pic!

Went down to Average Joe's (the little basement gym in our apartment building), where I did a 40 minute walk/jog session.  I wondered if I should be pushing harder.  Then I decided I was enough ;)

Stay Hydrated Folks.

Glad to be home to get ready instead of getting ready at the actual gym, as I do some mornings.  Lovely Fall morning.

Then there was breakfast at 8:30.  My favorite.  One egg and egg beaters on an English muffin.  I know, I know, egg beaters probably aren't the best, but I love the way they taste when you make them really thin.  No emotions here, just enjoyed by favorite breakfast in pure bliss.

Needed something sweet because I always need something sweet after my meals, even breakfast.  A handful of Honeynut O's did the trick.

Lovely walk to work.  Ahhh I miss California.  Luckily I live near California Street.  Also paused here to appreciate the veterans on Veteran's day.

Great view of the Washington Monument!

Morning snack around 11.  I was really hungry already, so I had a banana in yogurt with some peanut butter.  Yes yes, I love peanut butter.

At 12:30, I had a lunch with one of my favorite people at work.  She is our talented marketing copywriter, but also is writing a novel - I love sharing stories with her.  I did worry about how much more I would probably eat going out rather than packing my usual sandwich, but I reminded myself that it was about the company.  Lunch was about my friendship with Angie.  Not the food.

Though the food ended up being awesome!  
Grilled fish platter, from Grillfish DC plus some un-pictured bread and butter from the bread basket.

Went for an afternoon walk later in the day to escape the craziness of the office and to enjoy the freakishly nice November weather.

By 4:30 I was ready for a snack.


I knew that amount of popcorn would not be enough.  I needed a coffee-filter's worth...? Whatever works!

Walked home from work in the dark, so sorry, no pictures.

Noshed on some carrots while I preheated the oven and browsed Pinterest for boutineer ideas :)

Dinner was awesome.  We just went to Trader Joe's yesterday and I brought a precooked Turkey Pot Pie.  It was so good!  All you do is pop it in the oven for 20 mins.  Roasted some broccoli to go with it.  Don't judge me... yes, I put ranch dressing on my broccoli.  I have become pretty tired of certain vegetables because I overdid it on them back when I was obnoxiously, obsessively healthy.  Now I like them with ranch dressing - so eff it.

Did I think to myself I should have a salad or a chicken breast to be "healthier"?  Yes.  But then I reminded myself that this pot pie had fat which would keep me full, lots of root vegetables and turkey for protein.  And there couldn't have been a better fall day for it.  I cleared my plate (as I pretty much always do).

And dessert of course.  A Mini Ice Cream Sandwich.

My sweet tooth was still not completely satisfied.  When I saw my favorite treat in the fridge, I wanted a bite, but I worried that eating more would be overdoing it because I fairly full.  I decided to have a few blissful bites of this Coconut Milk yogurt  anyway (another Trader Joe's must).  That definitely did the trick - I will have the rest tomorrow.

This was a pretty typical day for me.  I hope you don't compare your food choices to mine, because I honestly don't know where they fall in the spectrum of "good" versus "bad."  I don't know if this is considered what people refer to as the 80/20 plan, and I don't think this meal plan would be featured in fitness magazines anytime soon. This is just what works for me.

I do hope this helps me figure out why I still sometimes attach emotions to my food, and how to stop questioning and over thinking my choices.   I also feel like this serves me as reminder of how far I have come in my journey to escape a weight-loss mentality.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Take a Breath

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

I believe I have always had some social anxiety.  I analyze a lot of the things I say, I question whether I deserve what I have been given, I am easily intimidated by smart, successful people. I think this has to do with the fact that I am a highly sensitive person.

I am not one to hide my thoughts or feelings, I live a very open life and I don't have any big secrets anymore.  While it is freeing, it also leaves me feeling very vulnerable quite often - it is scary. 

When the anxiety begins to surface..."I shouldn't have said that", "they must think I am crazy", "I am obnoxious", "I should have done better", "I am not smart enough".... I shut it down.

I think of the people who love me.  I think of the love I give others.  I use the skills I learned to fight back against my disordered eating.  I self-sooth.  I change the conversation.  I show myself the same compassion I show others.  

Just know that whatever you say or do, and whatever mistakes you make or regrets you have.  They are all part of the always-evolving journey toward figuring this life out.

Give yourself a break, mix a cocktail, and take breath.