Step Away From the Chocolate!!

I promise I will restart my weekly ‘normal’ blogs next week. PROMISE.

This week I need to vent…well not really vent, I need to confess.

I cannot stop thinking about…chocolate.

Please for the love of all that is holy forbid me from it!  As the result of a ‘hormonal week’ (that’s about as nicely as I can put it) I am having sweet cravings out the wazoo.

This is so abnormal!! I’d give up sugar for 6 months to eat 1 french fry.  Dessert does nothing for me typically. I’d much rather be elbows deep in a bag of Lay’s any day of the week.  But this week….this week is just plain ridiculous.

I opted for dark chocolate after lunch today…it’s more nutritious, right?  I’m afraid to buy a large bag of M&M’s for fear I’ll tilt it into my mouth like a feed bag and eat them like a dog eats a biscuit.

Going to the grocery store earlier was a mistake…instead of focusing on dinner I found myself wandering down the ‘snack’ aisle staring at the 5lb bags of candy and wondering how many would fit in the basket. Thank goodness I’m gluten-free or Little Debbie would have promptly sent me a thank you card after the chunk of change I would have dropped on boxes of Swiss Cake Rolls.

The voice in my head loudly yelled, ‘Ma’am, step away from the chocolate’. I half expected to look up and see the grocery store employees coming at me with scanners drawn.

I feel like someone needs to call in A&E’s Intervention….yes, it’s that bad. It’s been two hours since the last M&M…I’m sweating and shaky. I’m conspiring on how I can score my next ‘hit’. I feel like a drug addict.

Want to know how bad it really is?! I went to the vet (ok I didn’t but Coco did and I took her) this morning with blue M&M stain on my bottom lip.  Yes, the handful of M&M’s  (from a small bag) I had for breakfast decided to really make me regret my decision.

I think it looked enough like a purple bruise that no one said anything. But they were looking. Thinking they were staring at the gargantuan bump on my chin (thanks for that too, hormones), I didn’t think anything of it.  I was mortified when I got back in the car and discovered the lovely blue dot on my kisser.  Great first impression at a new dog doctor, Hannah! I’m sure the notes added to the bottom of the chart where something like: ‘Owner must be having sordid relationship with blue ink pen’, ‘owner was in fight and lost’, or ‘owner is trying out new 80’s shade of purple-blue lipstick that is NOT working for her.’

It was chocolate karma! That’s what I get for indulging!!

I’ve gotta stop…the little progress I’ve made over the last few weeks is going to completely unravel with the calorie consumption I’ve had in the last few days.

I am happy to report that in addition to a tiny bit of weight loss, I did manage to get into a size 8 and am now the proud owner of a SMALL shirt! I never thought I’d fit in a medium much less a small! As if that wasn’t enough, exactly one year ago today I weighed 214…so proud. 🙂

Maybe I’ll think about that when the urge to stick my face in Cherry Garcia arises. I don’t know if my will-power is strong enough for the ‘curse’ force though…

Motivation to eat lettuce is so tough when Swedish Fish (ok not chocolate but damn delicious!) are sitting there looking all beautiful. They’re whispering…saying naughty things and taunting me…’Take a bite…I dare ya!’

I’ve got to resist…if I keep going like this the city council is going to have to approve an expansion plan in the region of my badonkadonk.

Don’t do it, Hannah. Fight it. Be strong.  (But it’s so tasty.)  Don’t do it. You don’t need that candy. (But I do.) You’re better than that Reese’s Cup.  (No I’m not.)  You’re sweet and wonderful without that Symphony bar. (Oh, shut it.)  Step away from the chocolate.  Step your ass far, far away.  The next town over should be far enough…the next state maybe. Candy is evil.  Remember that!  Say it with me now, everyone. Candy is…oh, nevermind. You heard me the first time.

If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.”

~ Catherine Aird
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You Might Be Gluten-Free If…..

Jeff Foxworthy did his redneck style. I do mine GF-style. Minds out of the gutter people!

I’m in a cheesy mood tonight…Not that it has anything to do with the amazing queso fresco I just ingested – but in a dorky, witty, joking mood. Perhaps it’s because it’s Monday…perhaps it’s because the new job has me a little frazzled, but regardless, you’re the lucky one that gets to enjoy light-heartedness this evening…

So without further ado ….You Might Be Gluten-Free If….

…your bar tab went up exponentially when you had to stop drinking beer and start drinking liquor.

…you keep at least 5 kinds of flour in the house and none of them start with ‘W’.

…you can’t eat at a buffet.

…the smell of freshly baked pizza makes you on the verge of postal.

…Five Guys sees you coming and instantly changes their gloves.

…you get stomach cramps walking through the bread aisle.

…you question your ‘Southern card’ since you can’t remember what fried chicken tastes like.

…you’ve ever deliberately slammed your shopping cart into the Wheat Thins display in a fit of rage.

…you spend more time reading ingredients than actually eating the food.

…your happiest moment this year was discovering GF bagels at the grocery store.

…someone could rob you with just a club sandwich and Doritos.

…you’ll hug people with a nasty cough but keep someone eating a cookie at an arm’s length or farther.

…you’re considering converting to the Aztec religion, so people will accept your corn-worshipping ways.

…you pack your own toaster to go on vacations.

…you have written “CONTAMINATED” on containers of cream cheese.

…you’ve considered strangling friends/relatives who say “It can’t hurt if you only eat a little, can it?”

…you can find hidden gluten on food labels in the blink of an eye and some people around you couldn’t find it if they had a magnifying glass, a dictionary and a Ph.D.

…you burn your toast and eat it anyway because those two tiny pieces of bread cost $1.50.

…during the holidays, visions of guar gum dance in your head.

…you are afraid of spices and in restaurants, ask for your food “naked.”

…people think you’re on a low-carb diet.

…you’ve ever asked for a bunless burger and been looked at like you have 3 heads.

…you kiss your date before dinner instead of after.

…you write a GF blog!

…you’re feeling better than you EVER have in your life and still losing weight! Go me!!!

 

 

Still chipping away at the pudge. And I do not miss it at all!!

I’m going to work on updating my ‘Goals’ page sometime this week – but wanted to let you know the two new ones that I have set for myself in the meantime.

1)      To lose an additional 50 lbs by my sister’s wedding. Wedding is May 19, 2012…that amounts to about 10 lbs a month. Completely attainable goal – although I’m a little off this week – my next goal should help me get there with more certainty…

2)      To start working out. The scary thing is that I really am itching to get active. I’m imagining myself doing physical things and yearning to get a good aerobic sweat in. I’ve never wanted to sweat before so I’m a little shocked that I feel guilty about not doing anything at this point.

Now that eating better is second nature, I can focus on my other arch nemesis: moving my behind. I certainly need to work on toning and firming up. Nothing sexy about excess jiggle. And there will certainly not be anything sexy about loose skin if I manage to lose (I’m sorry…WHEN I LOSE) 100 pounds. I commit to you, loyal followers, that by the time I post a blog next week, I will have started my workout regimen.

 

Before I sign off this week – I want to mention something I mentioned last week…There’s only one day left and the way it stood a few days ago, it will take an absolute miracle (or divine intervention) for me to come out on top…but I need votes! Please go to http://jovialfoods.com/blog/7362654553-2/ and vote for #13 (If mine is your favorite) and help send me on the GF/culinary trip of a lifetime. (See last week’s post for more details.)

I really appreciate all of you that have voted for me thus far and helped to spread the word. Voting ends tomorrow (12/20) at midnight and results will be announced on the 22nd. Keep your fingers crossed that the next time you hear from me, I’ll have to add renewing my passport to my to-do list! What an amazing Christmas present that would be!

 

I hope that each of you has a Merry Christmas…may Santa bring you everything you’ve asked for and more!

“Faith is believing that the outcome will be what it should be, no matter what it is.”  ~Colette Baron-Reid

Walk On Water

I’ve always been of the belief regardless of your specific spirituality that it is sometimes hard to deny that there is a divine power. A higher being of some sort watching over all of us.

Being a person that is so nerded out in the science world, having things happen that I can’t explain really throws my brain into a complete tizzy.  As much as I want to believe that there has to be a scientific explanation for everything, I know this isn’t always the case. While I might have a hard time wrapping my mind around it…I know there are many occurrences that can be explained only as something heavenly or godlike.

I had one of those Tim Tebow-esque interventions last week…

It was Tuesday afternoon. I was in my car, stuck in random mid-afternoon traffic, feeling the initial tinges of road rage creep up as I got frustrated with sitting through the same stop light one too many times.  The fear of my impending unemployment was extremely heavy on my mind.  Stressful thoughts were firing one after the other: Right now is a horrible time to be searching for a job.  What path do I take? What direction do I go? Is it time to go back to school? Do I follow my passion and pursue a medical career? Do I take a safe route? What about money? What about insurance? Will I lose my ground? Will I lose my faith in myself if I can’t find something right away?

A wave of emotion rushed over me as I sat there. I felt defeated. I felt myself going backwards 10 steps in that moment and didn’t know what else to do but sit there at that red light as my mascara started to creep down my face.

The radio had already been turned up…I was listening to K-LOVE. Partly because there had been commercials on all the local stations it seemed like and partly because I thought I’d explode if I heard another Katy Perry song that hour.  I wasn’t really paying attention to the songs that were on…my brain was too busy pumping me full of fear of the unknown.  But then a song came on that I’d never heard before, and my mind stopped running 100 miles an hour…so I listened.

I didn’t know who was singing the song or even the title of it…but the chorus hit me in the stomach like a ton of bricks:

When you take that first step into the unknown
You know that He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to alter you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

“Walk on Water” by Britt Nicole

Here’s the whole song in case you want to listen – the lyrics are on the video…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The song’s message and the moment it was played can be explained by nothing other than divine intervention.  I had to pull over I was so moved and blown away by what had just taken place. And when the song ended, I wiped my tears. Put a smile on my face, and drove away knowing that no matter what happens to me, I have faith in my ability to handle it, I have faith in my ability to face it, and I will no longer afraid to move.  This feeling that I’ve had about myself over the last few weeks (aside from my minor breakdown at the intersection) has been me walking on water.

I got home and my entire week turned around…which is purely coincidence I’m sure…

I got fantastic news that afternoon…I entered a contest a few months ago sponsored by Jovial Foods, makers of amazing GF pasta. Contestants were required to submit their favorite food memory. Entries would be narrowed down by Jovial the first week of December to 15 finalists, and then the ‘general public’ would vote on their favorite of those finalists. The person with the most votes after the voting closes on December 20th wins an all-expenses paid trip to Italy!!! And if that isn’t enough, there will be cooking lessons alongside my most favorite GF chef and author of all time: Gluten-Free Girl.   I wrote about my sweet Grandmommy and her swimming spaghetti, and found out after I got home that I’m one of the finalists!!! One of the 15!!!! Can you believe it?!   And so I need your help now! Please go to https://www.facebook.com/jovialfoods and ‘Like’ their page…then click on ‘Vote Now’ on the left-hand side – click the link to vote, and then scroll down to the bottom. Please vote!! If you deem my memory your favorite, please take a second and vote for me…I’ve got a lot of ground to make up and would thoroughly appreciate your help!

As if that news wasn’t amazing enough…it didn’t stop there…

My position was being eliminated because one of us was not needed in every single market. In lieu of 1 or more per market, the company was consolidating to 1 per region…my region being the Southeast.  I interviewed for this new regional position, hoping that there might be some chance that I wouldn’t have to be unemployed after all.  Well, my loyal blog followers, I am happy to say that after 2.5 years of hard work, I got the promotion, and got the regional job. Yay! I no longer have to stress (at least not right now) about all the things that I fret over at the stoplight. I am relieved. I am grateful. And most importantly, I am proud of myself and the name I’ve made for myself within the company thus far.

But no…that’s not it either…my week got even better this morning….

Pudge has a lot less pudge now!  I am officially down over 50 pounds!!!!!! 50 pounds – are you serious?! Me?! The girl that has failed at a million diets and attempts at weight loss in her lifetime? The girl who thought so little of herself that she didn’t feel like she deserved to be happy or healthy? The girl who refused to look at herself in the mirror for fear of taking her level of disgust to a new high?  The girl who so many times in her life didn’t feel like fighting anymore?

Yes, this girl. This girl is now happy. This girl is now on her way to being healthy. This girl now thinks she’s beautiful and amazing. This girl now can’t help but stare at herself in the mirror and admire how fantastic she’s beginning to look.  This girl has never been more in love with herself.  This girl has overcome the depths of hell. This girl has overcome her eating disorder. This girl has proved the naysayers wrong. This girl has conquered her fears and overcome her demons. This girl is walking on water.

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”  – Voltaire

I Put My Thing Down, Flip It, and Reverse It!

I will always be overweight
And I refuse to believe that
I can succeed at this weight loss
I realize that isn’t the way most people think but
“Eating to live instead of living to eat”
Making myself happy with food
Is more important than
Making myself healthy with food
And this much is true:
People are succeeding at losing weight every day
But I know in my heart this will not be the case for me
Right now it doesn’t seem possible
I can change my ways and be fit for the rest of my life
This is what I believe:
This journey is just too tough for me
It’s just a fact of life that
People like me are weak-willed and lazy
And it’s ridiculous to believe that
I will lose weight and be healthy

That’s how I used to feel…now I’ve changed my way of thinking and reversed my philosophy on this whole weight loss thing…So now read it from the bottom up to see how I currently feel.

 

And if that reversal wasn’t enough…how backwards is this: I managed to LOSE weight over Thanksgiving!!!

 

Who would have thought?!

 

Thanksgiving this year was undoubtedly different than previous years…

 

This year I only got one plate (which I didn’t finish).

This year it was more about spending time with my amazing family than obsessively focusing on how many bites of stuffing or potatoes I could fit in my mouth.

This year the whole family got to experience my gluten-free gravy – and liked it!

This year I felt beautiful and confident instead of feeling insecure and disgusting in my own skin.

This year I realized how blessed I am to have my family, and blown away at the incredible bond that we all have with each other.

This year I felt marvelous and on top of the world.

This year I was healthier than I have been in the past.

This year I gave immense thanks to what I stand for, what I am, and what I am starting to become.

This year I know for a fact that I am amazing.

This year is MY year.

 

“Something inside you emerges….an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness. It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence. It is what you had been looking for in the love object. It is yourself.”  – Eckhart Tolle

It’s Time for Some Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!  So much to be thankful for this year…so much that I’m not going to let a little (ok, so a lot of weight gain) get me down…

 

Damn you alcoholic beverages. Your empty calories sure know how to ruin a trip to the scale!

 

I’m not even going to pretend that it will be way lower next week. I’m not saying I’m going to stuff my face beyond the point of maximum gastric expansion, but I am saying that I plan to enjoy a fantastic meal. Well…fantastic meals. Having multiple families also means having multiple Thanksgivings.

At least I can safely steer clear of the dessert table this year – there will be no pumpkin pie or pecan pie being ingested for this girl! It’s all good…dessert is never my favorite part anyway. I’d rather have 4 helpings of brussell sprouts than a piece of pie any day.

We must avoid the food coma!!!

Need some additional tips for getting through the beaucoups of food this Thanksgiving…I’ve got you covered….Here are some phrases to help you say no to too much:

  • “Sorry, my tapeworm won’t allow me to eat pumpkin pie.”
  • “My religion forbids cranberry sauce.”
  • “No thanks. I happen to know that Cousin Marc licked all the rolls before dinner.”
  • “My doctor informed me that even one slice of pecan pie will make my spleen explode.”
  • “No thanks. I see dead people in gravy.”
  • “That stuffing looks delicious but it brings back hurtful memories of that sorority hazing incident that’s too painful for me to talk about…”
  • “I’m allergic to second helpings.”
  • “I don’t think so. Dad always buys his turkeys from some dude who sells them out of the trunk of his Grand Am along with bootleg DVDs…”
  • “I yam not gonna have any of those marshmallowy sweet potatoes, thank you very much.”
  • “I would have more, but you’re a terrible cook…”
  • “Do you have any diet wine?”
  • “No thanks… I had giblets for breakfast this morning.”
  • “No green bean casserole for me this year; I’m showing my support for the plight of Chilean green bean farmers.”
  • “No thanks. I saw Grandma spit into the mashed potatoes while she was making them.”
  • “I think that has gluten in it. Sorry, none for me!”

 

I’m going to just say no to over stuffing myself…but sure am thankful for how far I’ve come, how many of you have been here to support me, and how amazing I feel.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

 

“Thanksgiving: Not a good day to be my pants.” ~ Kevin James