Han-Chiladas

Hannah’s Enchiladas…or as we like to call them, Han-Chiladas!

After posting a picture of my (delicious) dinner tonight, I had a few requests for the recipe. Wanted to post here so you could print it, or pin it, or use it as your desktop photo, or whatever. 🙂

If something isn’t clear or if you have any questions feel free to comment/ask.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did!!

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Ingredients:

Meat (See below for more on this)

Rice (Mexican rice, saffron rice, etc), prepared

Black Beans

Greek/Plain Regular yogurt (A cup size is more than enough.)

Enchilada Sauce of your choice (If you are buying the tiny cans, get 2 just in case.)

Corn Tortillas (this could be done with flour, but corn is better and gluten-free)

Shredded Cheese (sharp or mexican or whatever you’d like)

 

Meat…

For the ones above I used pulled pork that I had made the night before. (Recipe for this at the bottom.) I often use rotisserie chicken (one of the ones from the grocery store), a leftover Tropi-Chop from Pollo Tropical (if you know what I’m talking about you understand its awesomeness) or whatever else I have on hand. Anything would work here…ground beef, steak, sauteed chicken, etc.

Measurements…

Yes, I know I don’t have measurements for anything above. That’s because I make this on the fly every time and almost always seem to roll these differently. Sometimes I end up with leftover filling (which makes a killer nacho topping – FYI) and sometimes I just add it to the ‘casserole’. Just eye-ball it. Each enchilada gets about a 1/4 of a cup of filling so how much you need will depend on how big your pan is.

Han-Chiladas How-To...

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

If your tortillas are a little dry, microwave a stack of them wrapped in a damp paper towel to make them a bit more pliable.

In a shallow pie plate or plate with a little depth, add a bit of your enchilada sauce (this will be for dipping the tortillas). Also add a bit (1/4 cup or so) to the bottom of your casserole dish and spread around. (This will help keep the enchiladas from sticking.)

In a separate bowl – mix your meat (if using rotisserie chicken make sure to shred or cut in bite-size pieces…no bones of course), rice, beans, 3 tbsp enchilada sauce and 3 tbsp yogurt. You can use as much or as little of these as you want. If you hate beans, leave them out. If you want to add sauteed spinach or other spices (my pork and rice had a lot so I didn’t need it), go ahead. If you want to put some fritos in, don’t. This concoction will now be affectionately known as your filling.

Get your assembly station ready…

From left to right:

Soft tortillas…pie plate with sauce…yogurt…bowl of filling…casserole dish.

This next part is messy…but worth it.

Take a tortilla, dip in the pie plate and flip over so both sides are coated in enchilada sauce (not drenched…just moistened – ugh…I hate that word).

Once ‘sauced’, put a teaspoon or 2 of the yogurt on one side and smear around. (I know this sounds weird…but it works and adds a ton of punch without having to add cheese to the filling. Lower calorie tip! Woot!)

Add filling to the the left (or right) third of the sauced and yogurt-ed tortilla and roll. (This is why pliable tortillas are important!) As long as you’ve put the filling to one side, your should be able to place the filled tortillas seam side down so they stay closed.

Repeat this process until your casserole dish is full.

Pour more enchilada sauce over the top to moisten (ugh…that word again) the tortillas again. You don’t necessarily need them swimming, but you want some saucy substance to your casserole.

Top with shredded cheese (amount and type are up to you) and pop in the oven.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top. (Be sure to watch it around the 20 minute mark to check for burning.)

Take out of the oven…let cool for a few and then stuff your face!

 

**Crockpot Pulled Pork

This is what I used for my filling.

1 2-4lb pork loin, shoulder, butt…whatever you can get at a good price. (I wouldn’t recommend tenderloin.)

1 onion, thinly sliced

Coke or Ginger Ale…I’ve used both and like both equally

Seasonings (taco seasoning, greek seasoning, salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.)

Season pork with whatever you choose. (For this I used all things listed above.)

Put layer of onion on bottom of crock pot.

Rest pork on top of onion.

Pour in can of ginger ale or coke.

Top pork with the rest of the onions and let the slow cooking begin.

My crockpot runs hot so it took about 6 hours on low for a 2.5lb piece of pork. It’s tough to overcook here so just watch it. When it’s starting to fall apart (and easy to shred) it’s ready. Just pull out, drain the liquid, shred with a fork, and devour.

 

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All I Want For Christmas

No…I’m not about belt out  a Mariah Carey song! Your ears will thank you!

Apologies for the post coming a day late. The last week has been a whirlwind of emotion and stress and crazy decisions.  But that’s neither here nor there….

Happy Christmakwanzakah to you and yours!

If you’re still shopping around for things to get me (I kid, I kid) there are a few things on my list…

All I Want For Christmas is….

1)   To be closer to my family. – I’ve loved living in Florida. I love what it has meant for my health, for my love, for my worldliness. (Yes…worldliness…if you’ve ever been to Miami, you know what I mean.) What I haven’t loved is the distance between me and my people…My friends…my family…my new family. I miss the impromptu brunches, the holiday celebrations, the birthdays, the Sunday afternoon cookouts. Call me a homebody…call me a wuss…call me whatever you want, but I adore my family in the most amazing way.

I am happy to report that this Christmas wish will be a reality in the next 7 days as we move 8.5 hours north of Tampa. A new start, and new beginning, new jobs, a new home, and much, much closer to the ones we love in a city that both Allen and I adore. Nice going, Mr. Claus!

2)   For Allen to know how much I love him. – I’m not saying that he doesn’t. I’m not saying that I lack affection or act like a frozen hermit crab when we’re together but I have been quite impatient and testy lately. A lot of things had been up in the air with regards to our move and I certainly wasn’t the most peaceful person about it. Allen, as usual, was the ever cool, ever calm, ever collected partner. His stress doesn’t show…his love and his affection, never waivers.

This man has been an incredible gift in my life. One that I will spend the rest of my life cherishing and being in complete and total awe of.  I cannot wait to call him my husband. I cannot wait to be forever bound by the sacrament of marriage.

I am a different person because of the way he is with me. I’m proud of him every day. I proud of the man he is, the woman he makes me, and the life we’ve created together.  He takes my breath away every single day and I am so grateful that he is mine.

My wish is for him to never, for one second, doubt the devotion and the love I feel for him. My best friend…my life partner…my soulmate.

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       Photo courtesy of Hayley Juliet Photography

3)   A new job. – Following my company’s buyout, both Allen and I were laid off in September. Don’t feel pity for us…if it was not for that, we would not be able to complete the number 1 wish on this list. He’s found a amazing opportunity for him to showcase his undeniable skills, but I’m still looking. I’ve had 2 great interviews and hope to know something in the next week or two but nothing solid yet. I want nothing more than to be a financial contributor to my family. Please keep your fingers crossed for good news on the employment front in the near future!

4)   My own food. – We were supposed to move last week…but a few wrenches got thrown in the mix so we got delayed. For some absurd reason, I opted to pack our kitchen stuff first. The pots, the pans, the stuff in the pantry…the fridge was cleaned out and the freezer emptied. All that remains in our culinary mecca is a bulk warehouse sized container of garlic powder, a jar of chow chow, mayo, capers, butter and frozen broccoli. All of which are a little tough to create lunch and dinner out of. So aside from the ham and GF bread we picked up at the store, we’ve been eating out…a lot. Not only is it denting the wallet, but it’s making my insides feel like a war zone. I hate eating out frequently. I hate paying for something that I know I could make 10 times better and 10 times cheaper. I am definitely ready to have my own kitchen again…soon, Han…soon.

5)   For people to stop celeb-obsessing. – Between the Duck Dynasty BS, the Kardashian divorce drama, the McGraw-Hill relationship rumors, Paul Walker’s accident, etc., etc., I am so OVER people posting about it and talking about it and seeing it plastered all over magazines. I can’t stand to watch the news and I despise the entertainment ‘news’ shows for their half-truth speculations. Enough already!

The world has more important problems than the 8 pounds one movie star gained, or the plastic surgery another had, or the divorce filings of the rich and famous. There are starving children, abused animals, crooked politicians…this country has more disgusting, indescribable crimes than a Patricia Cornwell novel. Instead of worrying about making it better for our children and our children’s children, we’re more involved in discussing Miley Cyrus’ twerking or Justin Bieber’s partying habits.  Let’s not indulge these over-paid, under-qualified attention whores and focus on what really matters in the world: our families…our health…the love and well-being of those around us. Let’s take this holiday season to stop fighting about who got the last Xbox or flat-screen TV and take the opportunity to spend time with others instead of playing video games or watching the tube for hours.

Life is short…You will not be remembered for your money, your electronics or your cell phones. You won’t be remembered for your luxury automobiles or your gossip magazines and the ability to spout off the most expensive celebrity divorces in history. You won’t be remembered for your designer purses or your red-soled shoes. Your integrity and your legacy is what matters…you WILL be remembered for your love, your kindness, your way with others and your goodness. Enough with the stuff that doesn’t matter…leave a lasting mark on mankind, and the world will be a better place for it.

6)   For others to pay it forward. – I experienced the rush of this for the first time tonight and it was amazing. Allen and I ate an early dinner (out of course) at a nearby steakhouse chain. About halfway through our meal, I noticed an elderly gentleman (approximately 80-85 years old) who came in alone. He was walking with the assistance of a cane and struggled to keep up with the hostess who was hurriedly ushering him to his seat. When she approached the booth she intended to sit him in, he asked to sit at the back where it was quieter. She obliged and seated him in the back at the very last table.

Seeing him made me sad. I absolutely HATE to see people eating alone. Even if they look like they’re just shooting in for a quick lunch break, I hate seeing it. I feel pain for them even though there may not be any pain involved regarding their reason to be eating by themselves.

Something about this man struck me harder than normal and I’m not sure why.  When I got up to use the restroom, I passed his table and watched him as I approached the hallway next to his table. He looked so at peace…eating his meal and enjoying his beer with a grin on his face. For all I know he could be an escaped serial killer but the sight of him there with no one to chat with pulled at my heartstrings, and I decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do.

I approached my waitress afterwards and told her I wanted to pay for his meal. She grabbed the man’s waiter who looked as if I’d just told him that his whole life had been a lie and his biological father was the lochness monster. Clearly no one had ever requested a total stranger’s tab before. “You want to pay for his dinner?” The waiter said. “Yes, all of it. The entire tab,” I replied. “Uhh…do you know him?” the waiter still seemed totally dumbfounded. “Not at all. I just want to do something nice for a complete stranger” I said as I signed the tab.  As I turned to walk away, the waiter asked me what I wanted him to say when the man asked for his tab. “Just tell him Happy Holidays and to return the favor by doing something nice for an unsuspecting stranger.”

As I walked out of the restaurant, a wave of emotion overcame me. Of all the pointless money I’ve spent on things I don’t need…things that I’ve bought to feel good or make me feel better after a stressful day. All this time I should have been doing this. Please…if nothing else this holiday season, try this. I’m not suggesting that you pay for a man’s steak, but do it somehow…You will feel amazing.

7)   To lose 100 pounds. – Last but not least, for Christmas I’d like to reach the century mark. Despite the eating out and the crazy hustle and bustle, Santa only has to deliver on an additional 1.4 pounds!!

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Under 150…I don’t even know what to say! I must admit, I still struggle daily with my self-image. I see that I’m wearing smaller clothes…I know that my size 8’s are too big and the scale number is dropping. I see the shock when I run into people I haven’t seen in a while, but I don’t see the change in myself. I still see the wide, flabby overweight girl when I look in the mirror. Maybe it’s all the loose skin that has me disillusioned, maybe it’s that I can’t see what’s really in front of me. I logically know there is a change when I think about having lost 98 pounds now…I’m just ready to really see it. Feel it. Believe it.

Maybe I’ll buy myself a pair of size 20 pants…maybe I should get a cardboard cutout of old me (Add that to the list too!)…or maybe I’ll stop acting absurd and focus less on the physical morphing. I’m still the same blonde, crazy, witty, dog-obsessed, pink loving, makeup zealous, sweet, Southern girl I’ve always been…just in a slightly smaller package this year. And you know what they say…good things…the best things…come in small(er) packages.

Wishing you all the merriest of holidays!

Victorious!

Happy weekend, my faithful followers!

I have 2 major victories to share…

First victory…I now only have 4 pounds to go to hit my century mark. (Huge relief not to have gained this week.)

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Now for the second…

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have long struggled with a Compulsive Overeating Disorder. The initial stages took hold my junior year in college, and a few episodes have still managed to crop up every few years.

I’ve gotten control over the worst binges and truly believe that having to eat gluten free has assisted with that.  I can no longer indulge in 3 value meals at McD’s and after reading a few articles on the chemicals in microwave popcorn, I no longer eat 6 bags at a time. As many times as I did it and with as much crap as there was in the weird powdery butter (Extra Butter flavor was my poison) I’m surprised I haven’t sprouted an extra limb or suffered from major cognitive impairment. (The popcorn binge is my most vivid memory as it happened over and over again.)

Please don’t get me wrong. I still have my moments, and I most definitely have my triggers.

My ‘episodes’, as I’ll call them, never started out with the intent to eat ridiculous amounts. Typically I’d see a commercial or a sign or smell something that made me think of a particular food I wanted. The second that desire for that food popped into my mind, it became an absolute obsession.  I’d snack on something else, still focused on that original craving…I’d watch TV, still focused on that original craving…I’d go eat a full-fledged meal with others, still focused on that original craving. The only way to make the focus stop was to give in and get whatever it was I couldn’t stop thinking about. And relieving that obsession always turned into an uncontrollable binge.

In the past, I could get away with my calorie marathons because I could hide them. I lived alone or was in the car alone with time to dispose of the evidence. Fortunately, since Allen didn’t travel much for work, and especially since he and I were laid off, we are together 100% of the day which I love for a number of reasons…1) I hate being apart, 2) I’m a worry wart and run thru a myriad of worst-case scenarios when we’re not together (you can thank the driving ineptitude of Florida residents for that), 3) Being together and dining together means I don’t have my binge/hide opportunities.

Sure it sounds childish for me to feel like I have a chaperone on my eating excursions…but I’m not at a point where I totally trust myself.

I boredom eat, I emotional eat, I stress eat, I happy eat, I hungry eat, I looks-like-it’s-close-to-lunchtime-so-I-should-eat eat and I unfortunately still over eat.

The last few weeks have been full of stress. We are moving in 3-4 days and the thought of packing up everything and hauling it and 2 cars 8.5 hours north is doing a number on my anxiety level.  Couple that with moving to a new city (although I couldn’t be more excited about living there), trying to find a new job, Allen trying to find a new job, Christmas-time, trying to find a house, and trying to maintain the weight I’ve lost, and I just about want to declare myself temporarily insane.

So naturally…well, not naturally, but historically speaking, I want to eat. And eat some more.  Thank goodness for my trusty sidekick for keeping me in line.

But this morning…I was alone…in the car…and the thought of Chick-Fil-A fries entered my mind. And I wanted them.

I’d thought about them when I got in the car. Went to get my nails done…with the yelling and whispering of a language I cannot comprehend all around me while I sat their being pampered, I thought about them some more. I decided to make a trip to Home Depot for trash bags, but the smell of sawdust and paint did little to curb my hunger.  All I could do was focus on that waffle-y goodness.

I tried to see if Allen was done with his appointment…called a few people…tried to create some type of diversion, some type of sign that would make me let the urge go. Nothing was working.

I knew I was in trouble…I knew this meant 2 things. That I was giving in to that uncontrollable, suffocating urge that I’ve fought so long to cope with…and that I was getting ready to potentially eat this and act as if I hadn’t, planning to have lunch with my better half soon after. Binging and hiding it…I was headed down a slippery slope.

So I drove 4.5 miles out of the way to give in to my desire. I pulled in the parking lot…it was 11:30, which typically means that Chick-Fil-A is a chaotic mess of soccer moms and hungry workers on their lunch break. I made a silent deal with myself that if the line was long, I would go home…It wasn’t. I think I picked the 4-second window of time in the history of this location that a wrap-around line was not present. Shit…what was I going to do now?

I pulled behind the 2 cars that were waiting and prepared to order something. Damn I was hungry…and my brain proceeded to run a thousand miles a minute: Could I mask the grease smell if I ate them in the car? Would one order be enough? Surely I’d need 2 to make sure the craving was satisfied. What kind of sauce do I want? Will they be salty enough? Is there anything else I need to order? Wait…what was that sound?

As I was close to my time to order, I heard a weird noise. A strange metal dragging on the ground noise. Was it my car? Crap. What should I do? Fear ran through my whole body…what if I break down in the drive-thru line…at CFA…at lunch hour! How would I explain to Allen that I was sitting there deciding between BBQ and Polynesian sauce when the automobile crapped-out.  (Turns out it was the bizarre music choice of the car behind me that was causing my panic.)

And it was at that moment that I felt like I woke up from a dream. Like the hypnosis had worn off and I was ‘present’ again.

What the hell was I doing in the drive-thru lane? Two orders of French fries aren’t going to get me to my 100-lb weight loss goal by the end of the year and giving in to the worst part of myself was not the way to overcome my most embarrassing struggle.

So I simply drove away and the fanatical desire ceased….completely.

With no French fries came no guilt…no disgust…no sadness…no anger at myself for giving in…no standing in the mirror crying because I knew I’d certainly gain weight after eating 2 lunches (though claiming to have had 1)…no hiding…no binging…no embarrassment.

It may have been a struggle…it may have been fought till the 11th hour (thank goodness for overly loud dubstep)…but a win in the final minute is still a win.

I finally had a ‘W’ in my win column. I emerged victorious over the ‘obsessive thoughts lead to binge’ battle for the first time EVER… And while I know many battles make up a war, I am incredibly proud of my buzzer beater.

 

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” ~ Margaret Thatcher

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Okra

Thanksgiving got in the way of this post for the last 2 weeks but hoping to get this back on track….maybe you’ll even get an extra ROTW this week! Yay!!

Ok…now to the goodies…literally.

I am a true Southern girl through and through. Aside from the fact that I ought to have my SG card revoked for hating sweet tea, I adore all other things Southern. I love the traditions, I love the front porches, I love the hospitality, I love the weather, and most importantly…I love am obsessed with Southern food.

Cornbread…hoppin’ john…fried green tomatoes…chow chow…limas…mac & cheese…black-eyed peas…country ham…the list goes on and on.

If there is one staple that I can absolutely not live without, it’s okra. Yes, okra. And yes I adore it in EVERY way….fried okra, stewed okra, pickled okra, slimy okra, raw okra…(I sound like Bubba Gump)…but my most favorite of all is roasted okra.

O(kra)MG!!!

I make it all the time…I actually try to make it at least once a week if I can find it.

Roasting any vegetable is amazing. I swear. If you haven’t tried roasting different veggies…you need to. It will change your life. Seriously.

Roasted okra is incredible and if you’ve never had it before….stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and go to the store. I promise you’ll be in love!

The taste of it is tough to describe…not because it’s weird…but because it’s so complex. It’s like the deliciousness of fried (without the mess and the oil and the breading) with a hint of caramelized, charred sweetness and the crisp freshness of a green vegetable. So freaking good.

It could not be easier…and could not be more wonderful! So do your Southern food lovin’ heart a favor and roast some okra for yourself!! Once you go roasted…you’ll never go back!

Roasted Okra Ingredients:

 1 lb. fresh okra, cleaned

2.5 tbsp olive oil

Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

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1)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)   Cut the tops off your okra and split in half. (If they are really small…like pinky-size I typically leave them whole.)

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3)   Put cut okra in a large bowl and add 2.5 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix with a large spoon and place in single layer on baking sheet.

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4)   Roast for 20-30 minutes depending on how charred you like them.  (I typically move them around about halfway through to ensure they get browned on all sides.)

5)   Remove from oven and dive in!!

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That’s it…it’s seriously that simple. And if you don’t like okra (heathen)…you can use this same roasting process for a gazillion other vegetables. You’ll never eat anything boiled ever again if you try this method! I guarantee!!

A few tips and tricks…

–      I used a pound of okra for 2 people. The amount you use depends on how much your eaters love vegetables. I could seriously eat a pound or more by myself but for the sake of those around you that share your airspace, I don’t recommend it! 🙂

–       To clean the okra, I wet a paper towel and wipe them down like I do a mushroom. I’m sure rinsing in a colander works, but doesn’t seem as effective to me and just waterlogs them.

–       I always use fresh okra because it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to find here at farmers markets. I have tried this once with frozen, whole okra and it tasted so-so. Definitely didn’t caramelize the same way the fresh okra does.

–       You can use whatever type of oil you prefer…I like the taste of the olive oil especially since I’m not cooking it on a super high temperature. Feel free to experiment with whatever works best for you…coconut oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, etc.

–       Why do I mix in a bowl instead of directly on the baking sheet? Well…I used to. To save myself an extra thing to wash I used to skip the bowl but found I was using 2-3 times (and sometimes more) oil than I actually needed. Mixing in the bowl first allows you to get everything evenly coated and allows you to control the amount of oil you’re using.

–       You don’t have to cook this on 350 degrees to make it work. I’ve done it on 415…I’ve done it on 375….anything technically will work, especially if you’ve got other things in the oven that don’t cook at 350. Just make sure you watch the food to prevent it from incinerating. As little as the sweet little stalks become when they’re cooking, it’s really easy to look away and ruin the entire thing.

Would I Change Anything? Only to have more of it! P.S. The cold leftovers are delicious too! (Ok…I am officially weird.)

Would I Make It Again? Every night if I had an unlimited supply of okra. This is 100% my green vegetable go-to.

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I hope you’ll try this out! Let me know how it goes!!

Live Love Eat

UNC vs. Me…A Similar Conundrum

First off…I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday!

Now to the good stuff…

If you know anything about me, you know I’m a die-hard UNC Tarheels fan. Much to the dismay of my dad and many of my other (crazy Blue Devil) friends, I bleed Carolina Blue.

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Football has been hit or miss over the years, (I once owned a shirt that said “UNC: A drinking school with a football problem.”) but basketball on the other hand…that’s where it’s at for me. (Wow…what a grammatical nightmare that sentence was!)

So in true frustrate the hell out of an avid sports fan form, my sweet team has been slightly irritating this year.  When they’re playing an unranked, no player over 6 feet tall, should be able to beat them with the UNC walk-ons blindfolded and tied to each other type of teams…we lose. When we’re playing the protégé, definitely going to be in the Final Four, top 3, ridiculous skill type of teams…we win.

When it is absolutely and logically impossible for us to walk away with a defeat…it happens. When it is absolutely and logically impossible for us to lose…we can’t make a damn shot and sport a big ‘L’ on the forehead on the bus home.

So what does this have to do with me or my weight loss?

Well…the week that it is absolutely and logically impossible for me to lose an ounce of weight…

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And I do!

This marks the 3rd year in a row that I’ve lost weight during Thanksgiving week.

Trust me…I’m not complaining. It just makes absolutely NO sense.

I stuffed my face last week…and when I say stuff my face, I mean I ate everything in sight…turkey, figgy piggy (Thanks Sarah!), gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, sweet potatoes, quinoa and butternut squash casserole, broccoli and cauliflower, hashbrown casserole, curried onions, swiss chard, sausage balls, cake balls (it was year of the balls apparently), pumpkin pie, a thousand batches of gingersnaps, gummy worms (I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things)…and all of that was just on Thanksgiving day! (And yes, everything I ate was gluten free.)

I wanted to care what I was eating that day…but decided not to fret and that I’d catch up later in the week. After all…how often do you get to enjoy beaucoups of homemade deliciousness with your family?!

My catch-up never happened and I didn’t exactly eat well this week either…traveling plus hotel plus no scale to gauge my progress (or regress) leaves me in a world of confusion, French fries and chocolate.

This pattern of thinking it’s one way and it’s actually another is not new to me. There are often days or weeks that I feel incredible…I feel thinner, I feel flatter and more defined. Those are the times I get on the scale only to see that I’ve gone up. I know I should base the way I feel about myself on the way I truly feel (vs. on what a digital number is yelling at me), but that’s tough for me. My weight loss has more or less defined me mentally for the last 2 years. My panic over waking up to have it all packed back on leads me to get slightly obsessed about the daily ups and downs. Being so close to a major weight loss milestone only makes things worse.

Hopefully some of this stress and worry of overnight failure will subside a bit once I reach that 100-pound mark. For some (screwed up) reason…99 pounds is not an accomplishment but 100 is. If I can make it to that mark, I will have done something that I had convinced myself for 15 years of struggle with my weight that I could never ever do. Then again…I never truly believed I could make it to a 94.4-pound weight loss mark either!

So this week, even though I lost a decent amount of weight, I feel horrible. I feel like I didn’t lose or that it’s just some sick game that the scale is playing. I should have been ecstatic when I stepped on the scale this morning but I wasn’t. It might of well have shown a 2 pound gain. It never occurred to me until now that perhaps my body is finally rejecting all this crappy, processed stuff. All I can think about right now is diving into a big bowl of kale salad (no lie) and a year ago all I could think about was fried potatoes. (I clearly have a thing for french fries…I think I’ve mentioned them in almost every blog.) I don’t want to eat bad anymore which I know is a step in the right direction.

Nevertheless, the mind-boggling weight loss for the week means one of two things…

1)   The more calories I ingest the more weight I lose. In other words, if I spend the next 2 weeks eating nachos and sausage then I’ll be less than 150 pounds in no time!

2)   That the weight is waiting in the wings to pack on this week so I need to be extra careful.

Yeah…I’m thinking it’s not likely to be option number 1…unfortunately. 🙂

I have no scientific knowledge of how calories really work and how long excess calories ‘stick around’…all I have in my brain is the basic premise that if you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose. I seem to have defied all the laws of nutrition last week, which leaves me a little panicked about this week.

Does the poundage wait until you least expect it to totally depress you when you get on the scale? How is it humanly possible to lose when I ate as much as I did? Do cheat weeks lead to a faster metabolism (I’ve read that a cheat day is in fact beneficial to metabolism) to this degree? Does it catch back up with you eventually?

I honestly don’t know….

But here’s what I do know…

I am thankful for an incredible Thanksgiving weekend.

I am thankful for the food on my plate and the roof over my head.

I am thankful for my family and the bond that we share.

I am thankful for weight loss.

I am thankful for the way my body has transformed.

I am thankful for smaller sizes and larger confidence.

I am thankful for good health and a clear mind.

I am thankful for this blog.

And of course, I am thankful that the Heels defeated Louisville and Michigan State.

“If the odds are a million to one against something occurring, chances are 50-50 it will.”