Archive for the ‘cultural’ Category

What is the deal with sugar (and well intentioned gifters)?

Before I start pointing fingers, I am just as guilty as everyone else, so if you resemble any of the depictions in this post or if I actually cite you verbatim, don’t be offended. I’ve done it too. What I hope to do, by putting this in writing, is to stop doing it.

Let’s start at the beginning: a few weeks ago, my husband asked me why it is that people celebrate with things that they know are bad for them. In this case, I think this may have been on the eve of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, which was complete with cake (two cakes, actually, one of which was gluten-free [and gorgeous]), alcohol, bar-be-que and, generally, more food that you can shake a stick at.

However, it could have been in response to the Thanksgiving that most people in the U.S. celebrated just a few weeks before. Or it could have been in response to the literal trough of food that was brought into my office, starting in October, which involved cookies, candy, brownies, cakes, and chocolate. (I rue the day I told my administrator that I am gluten-intolerant, because now she makes gluten-free stuff that I actually feel compelled to eat – which is so totally messed up, it’s hard to go there….)

Regardless of the precipitating event, it’s a good question: why DO we stuff ourselves, not to mention those we love the most, with things that are bad for them? Namely, why in heaven’s name, did sugar become the celebratory drug of choice for most people?

It get’s better.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend of mine and she was telling me about the Great Cookie Caper that she engages in every Christmas. Essentially, she loves to bake (which, I admit, I do to) and every year she makes cookies and mails them out to family and delivers them to friends. And I’m not talking the simple sugar cookies that I used to decorate every Christmas with my mom, but serious, gourmet cookies with pistachios, real chocolate, almonds, walnuts, and about 10 lbs – when all is said in done – of pure, unadulterated butter.

And let’s, of course, not forget corresponding 10 – 15 lbs of sugar.

As she was telling me about her upcoming cookie making weekend, she relayed to me how her mother – her own mother – told her not to send them to her. She didn’t want them. She didn’t even want them in the house. Do. Not. Send. Them.

(Ironically, I was thinking something similar, albeit with an odd twist: 1) Thank God I’m gluten-intolerant and 2) I want to bake some cookies! Sick, Kathryn. Sick.)

My friend’s response: tough, that’s just what I do.

A few days ago, my friend (the same one) was telling me that she had made 17 types of cookies. The process had extended to a week, eating up the majority of her vacation time, and it looked like she was going to be spending the last two days of 2012 sending out her wares.

I figure, that’s cool, she loves to make cookies. Go her.

And then she said it: “You know, I never eat that stuff. I don’t like it. I don’t like it in my body. I don’t like the way it makes me feel, but you know what, I’ve been eating it and now I’m like completely…..” She may have said wired, she may have said jittery, she may have said that she was over it. She may have said that she felt better than she ever had in her entire life.

I truly have no idea, because at that point my brain had fitzed out – not because of all of the sugar (I’d been sugar-free for about ten days at that point), but because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

She doesn’t want it. She doesn’t eat it. She doesn’t like the way it makes her feel….

Yet, she gives it to everyone she loves, out of love.

And as I was sitting there pointing my finger at her (covertly of course), not to mention all of the people who left bags of homemade almond rocca in in my box at work, I realized that I do it too.

I didn’t make, but I bought, everyone in my office dark chocolate caramels with sea salt or (truth be told) the best damn caramels I’ve ever had in my entire life. When I go to the store, I buy my husband cinnamon buns and ice-cream. I usually don’t do it unless he asks, but sometimes I just do it to “be nice.”

The conversation with my friend (shortly on the heels of that relatively off-the-cuff question from with my husband) was an eye opener. Everyone I know struggles with their weight or their digestion in some way shape or form. No one in my life actually goes out of their way to eat more sugar. Even my husband, who has quite the sweet tooth, is trying to cut back. But there I am, buying sweets. Sweets that I don’t eat. Sweets that, if I could actually eat them without having debilitating stomach pains and a migraine, I wouldn’t even want in the house…. Sound familiar?

Next year, no baking for me, unless of course, I figure out a way to reduce the sugar, or to eliminate it all together. And next time I go to the store? Let’s just say Michael J is on his own when it comes to sugary treats.

Does that mean no gift-giving?

No, it means learning to celebrate in ways that don’t put other people’s goals and desires at risk or put my own (to be seen as nice or for the simple act of baking) in front of theirs (to be healthy, happy, and sugar-free).

Because after all, I wouldn’t give alcohol to an alcoholic would I?

Advertisements

Forgive my absence: I’m in love

Isn’t it funny how people always have plenty to say when things are going bad, but not a lot to say when things are going well?

It’s sort of like the news. If you just watched the news, you would assume that we’re pretty much living in hell, because all of the good things that go on in the world don’t seem “newsworthy.” It’s also like your friend who only has bad things to say about their partner/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife.

So we live in a society where bad news is newsworthy and we’d rather bitch about our lives than celebrate. Lovely.

Having given this topic some thought recently, I’ve come up with a couple of possible explanations of why this might be the case.

1) When life, love, diet, etc. are going well, we’re simply too busy enjoying life to whip off a blog post or call up a friend.

2) We’ve all been socialized not to brag – which, ironically, may have unintentionally sucked all of the celebration out of our lives.

3) We’re socially predisposed to not notice the good and only notice the bad.

4) We’ve been taught (there’s that socialization word again, different spelling) that bad news is the only news worth reporting. (What is that old saying: no news is good news?) And while that maybe true, how would it change our lives – if not the world – if we not only focused on the good, but also shared, reported, and celebrated it?

So, in the interest of experimentation: I’m in love!

Now, I’ve been in love with my partner, soon to be husband, for a while now and that has not changed, other than ripening with each passing day. However, I have recently discovered a new love – actually, three new loves. (I started to write, “It seems almost like an embarrassment of riches, doesn’t it?”, when I realized that was just me who’s been told – repeatedly by well intentioned people who had it told to them – too much of a good thing does not a good thing make or, better yet, no one likes a braggart!)

So, who are my new loves?

Love number one, hoop dance. About a month ago, I purchased a 3.5 pound fitness hoop on amazon. It was the first hula hoop I’d ever owned. I could barely get it around my waist once and I would only hoop when Michael was downstairs. Even though I’m sure he could hear it clattering against the hardwood floor, at least he wasn’t watching. Within a few weeks, I was hooping up to an hour a day and just recently, I’ve made the jump to dance. This is literally the most fun…ever. I’m not doing a lot of the fancy tricks yet, but I am exploring space and dancing. It’s fun. It’s feminine. It’s a killer workout. And when I used to sit down and whip off a blog about food or diet, I now go and pick up the hoop. And perhaps even more importantly, instead of putting something in my mouth, I’ll go pick up the hoop. And did I mention the number of inches I’ve lost, in just a month? I’ll be posting my hoop reviews shortly (as I now have quite the collection, in a host of colors).

Love number two: Brittany. Now, this may sound a little woo-woo, but bear with me. I’ve been working with a coach who specializes in inner child work (which, until I started doing it myself, I’d always assumed was a bunch of hooey; well, turns out, it’s not). For about a year, I’ve been aware of my inner child, Kathy Jo and I’ve cultivated a very good relationship with her. Bottom line, when I take care of her, my needs to “act out” in terms of drinking, over eating, binging, procrastinating, etc, really diminish. During a recent session with my coach, I closed my eyes and there was Kathy Jo: cool. But there was another child with her, slightly older, who was skinny (which was weird, because I don’t really think of any of the iterations of my past in those terms) and dressed somewhat like an orphan. It took a while, but eventually she told me her name: Brittany. Brittany is older than Kathy Jo and she is the part of me with abandonment issues. She is also the part of me who wants to be the center of attention. It took several days to finally get into relationship with Brittany, but now that we have, my entire life seems easier and I am much more at ease in my body and in the world. Because now that I have recognized her and am in relationship with her, it’s easier for me to just be and my desire for recognition (and security) seems much less persistent.

And finally, love number three: myself. I have finally fallen in love with myself! It’s taken 41 years, but it has finally happened. I can’t explain how or why, but it’s true and it’s fun and it’s a glorious place to be. I was actually afraid to say anything publicly, because I was afraid to jinx it. However, after a four week honeymoon, I think it’s pretty set. And, notably, the hooping, Brittany, and the body are all connected and are, in many – if not all – ways, mutually reinforcing.

So that’s me. I love my hoop, I love all of the previously cordoned off parts of me that appear to be making an appearance one by one, and I love myself. It really doesn’t get much better than this, which is – in and of itself – worth reporting.

Peeking Under The Hood: It’s Not Just Calories In, Calories Out

Over the last month or so, I have hired a personal coach. Ostensibly, the goal was to help me break through my unfortunate, not to mention unhealthy, addiction to stress eating. And I don’t just stress eat – I do it at night. And I do it with just about anything with the word butter in the title – peanut butter being my ultimate favorite, followed closely by almond butter, then tahini (which, you guessed it, is sesame butter)! I guess the only good news is that I don’t like, eat, or use real butter, so it could be worse!

Regardless….

I have hired this amazing coach, Steph, and every week we talk on the phone for about an hour – every fourth week it’s an hour and a half. And guess what? Never once have we actually talked about food.

According to Steph, my remaining issues with food – the stress eating, the over reliance on fat and salt as a coping mechanism – are all symptomatic of deeper, underlying issues, many of which have their origins in childhood, but were undoubtedly reinforced in adolescence as well as in adulthood.

Last week, Steph took me on a guided meditation using a lot of Native American symbolism and other shamanistic healing techniques. She asked me to imagine a wooded setting and just to let different animals appear to me and to guide me through to my destination.

Although I was skeptical at first – aren’t I always? – my subconscious mind presented me with different guides with very little prompting. One, I had always suspected was a guide for me – the Deer. The others – an Owl, a Woodchuck, and a Peacock – were a little more surprising.

After the call, I did a little google searching on animal spirit guides and here’s what I found:

The Deer: The deer as a totem serves as a bridge between the wild and the tame. This is because the deer will often be seen on the edges of the wilderness it calls home. Deer will also venture into our roadways and gardens. When deer appears you may want to ask yourself if there is a wild streak in you that desires taming. Or, have you been too cautious lately and desire to take a walk on the wild side? Deers have acute senses, they are always on alert to keep themselves from harms way. Deer totem may appear when danger is lurking, it also serves as a reminder to be watchful and alert to potential harm….”

The Owl: “The owl represents wisdom and higher education. Because of the owl’s keen eyesight it considered to be a great visionary. It also has superb hearing. As a totem it can reveal clairaudient and clairvoyant abilities. This nocturnal bird is called “The Keeper of Dark Secrets.” The owl totem has a connection to the dark side and the dead. The owl is associated with superstition and magical powers. Whenever an owl appears or you hear an owl screech in the night it may be that a secret will soon be revealed to you. Also, if a secret is shared with you in confidence, the owl serves as a reminder to honor that knowledge and keep the secret private.”

The Woodchuck (aka Groundhog): “The groundhog is symbolically known as being a trance dreamer because of its deep slumber while hibernating underground. If the groundhog is your personal animal totem or makes its appearance in your life it may indicate that messages are being given to you through your dreams. Because the groundhog is a territorial animal, you may be in need of setting up boundaries or guarding your personal space.”

The Peacock: “The peacock is a majestic and mystical totem symbolizing inner wisdom. Whenever the peacock visits it is an invitation to view higher aspects of yourself through the eye image displayed on its magnificent display of feather plumes. The eye is your gateway to higher knowledge. Ask yourself if you need to widen your perspective and look deeper regarding a situation. The iridescent hues of blues and greens in the feathers have an exotic look. Are you stuck in drab surroundings? Are you able to reflect light and deflect dark emotions? The peacock teaches us to stand upright and show others our talents with pride.”

This may not be that resonate with you, as my readers, but, trust me, it’s very resonate with what’s going on in my life at the moment as well as in the foreseeable future.

If you haven’t ever looked beneath your own hood – I highly recommend it. It’s interesting. It’s fun. And it’s surprisingly insightful.

If you’re interested in finding your animal guides, here are three steps taken from an article originally posted at ehow.com.

Step 1
Find your power animal pro-actively by asking the animal spirits for a dream. Then rest and let the power animal find you. Don’t dismiss smaller animals such as mice or even insects. Animals have their own unique strengths. You may want to keep a journal beside your bed and make note of recurring dreams in which an animal or some form of an animal appears again.

Step 2
Notice the things in nature that you are continually drawn to. Power animals may guide your senses and attention to certain elements, natural sites or geographical phenomena that are reminiscent of or peculiar to a certain animal. If you are repeatedly captivated by nests, burrows or snow, for example, let the animal world communicate itself to you.

Step 3
Take time during the day to relax, close your eyes and breathe. Power animals frequently make themselves known to us when we are conscious as well as when we are asleep. Be receptive to visions through meditation. In your calm state, imagine a situation where you move out of your personal space such as your home and enter into an unknown but unthreatening and quiet natural space such as a field or a cave.

Read more: How to Find Your Power Animal | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2202396_power-animal.html#ixzz0w1WxcSIj

For those of you who know me, you’re probably thinking: What?! Who are you and what have you done with KJ?!

Don’t worry, the staid, quiet academic you know and love is alive and well (well, when she needs to be), but this year has been a time of deep reflection and exploration for me. I’ve stepped away from strictly rational explanations – not that I am implying that there is anything irrational about spirit guides, mind you! I have also lessened my reliance on strict sociological explanations and have begun to include more psychological insights into my view of the world.

So, does this mean I’m flip-flopping or abandoning my roots? No, not at all. I prefer to think of it as growing. Of letting go of some of the rigidity of my youth and seeing the world and myself in different and multifaceted ways. And, hey, if by opening my mind to new possibilities means I can get rid of these stubborn couple inches of belly fat, all the better. Regardless of what happens with my waistline, I can tell you one thing – since I have been, as Peter Gabriel so eloquently put it – digging in the dirt – life has gotten so, so much easier on so many fronts, the least of which is food!

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Two On The Industrial Food Complex

If you’re at all interested in the politics behind where you get your food, you really can’t afford to miss these two videos! They’re not as graphic as Food, Inc. or King Corn, but they’re incredibly informative.

The first is Jamie Oliver at TED 2010 (21 min). And while I’m here, all of the TED talks are good. If you haven’t checked them out, you’re missing out. I’ve yet to watch one where I wasn’t completely blown away!

The second is Michael Pollen on Democracy Now (59 min). If you’re reading this blog, I assume that you know who he is, but if not, get more information about Pollen here!

I think that the thing that surprised me the most out of these two talks is their treatment of school food! Because I don’t have kids, I don’t think about school lunch programs; but if you have a kid, you can’t afford not to.

If you need an idea for Valentine’s Day….

…or just any old excuse to make chocolate, these may just be your answer!

I made these tonight and I must say that Michael J was particularly appreciative of my efforts in the kitchen.

If you don’t have heart shaped ice trays, they are available – as is everything else you could possibly ever imagine and then some – at Amazon.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for…Zucchini and Bananas?!

I made banana ice cream tonight, because I wanted something a little sweet. It was 99% fruit and vegetable and 1% all natural sweetener and spice.

The recipe (in case you’re interested):

1 cup of sliced frozen bananas
1/2 cup of sliced frozen zucchini
Some chocolate stevia (to taste, though dates would have worked as well)
and a dash (or two) of cinnamon
Enough water to blend (Add 1 tablespoon at a time)

Throw it all in the blender (scraping down the sides when necessary) and voila! It was to die for. And as the die-hard calorie counter in me thought: “Wow, this whole thing is only 139 calories and has absolutely no fat!”

Believe it or not, this blog post is not about the ice cream.

It’s about the fact that I’m just weeks away from forty and I never knew that you could make ice cream without dairy, without sugar, and without fat.

Seriously, what’s wrong with this picture?

How could I have gotten to forty – given all of the years I have struggled with my weight – and not known that you could eat this way?

Seriously, it boggles the mind.

Perhaps it has something to do that there’s no big business money to be made in selling raw food. Maybe it’s because the “food” industry – and I use the quotations meaningfully are more interested in creating “fat-free” and “low carb” options that can stay on the shelf for years than they are in educating people on how to eat!

I mean, for all of the years that I either ate ice cream (and felt bad about it) or didn’t eat it (and resented it) there was nothing stopping me from tossing a couple of bananas and some, er, squash, into a blender and making my own.

Nothing, that is, but knowledge and an unhealthy dose of cultural conditioning.

One of the things that I like about going raw is that it forces you to rethink just about everything that you’ve ever thought about cooking or food. It forces creativity, because if you don’t get creative – fast – you’re not going to succeed.

Today, I am going to make hummus, tabouli, and Pad Thai (all raw). Given that I use zucchini in my ice cream, I’ll let you just think on what today will bring.

By the way, if you’re more of a chocolate ice cream sort of person than a banana ice cream sort of person, you can add raw cacao (2 Tbs) and raw chocolate nibs (1 Tbs) to the base described above for a truly decadent treat! You might also want to change the banana:zucchini ratio to 1 cup of banana and 2 cups of zucchini.

If you try it, drop me a note and let me know what you think! Or better yet, if you make up your own version, let me know! One can never have enough healthy ice cream options!

I guess this means no more french fries at Elixir!

This is a sad commentary on our nation’s food supply – if you can even call it that anymore!

I particularly liked the quote from the potato farmer who wouldn’t touch the potatoes that he grows for public sale! Nice.

What have we, as a society, been reduced to in the name of big (agri-) business? It’s pathetic.

The irony is not lost that I spent my evening learning to make raw, vegan, organic cookies, while Michael J spent his looking in to buying shares in one of the local year-long CSAs (community supported agriculture)!

Better get that application in before anybody else sees this!

Bon App├ętit!

Top Ten Selling Grocery Items in the U.S.

Why am I not surprised? And why is anyone surprised that we are the fattest nation in the world?

I echo the question at the end of the post: “But does it really make sense for Coke to partner with the American Academy of Family Pediatrics to develop educational material promoting “healthy” soft drink consumption?”

P.S. And just so you know, the so-called U.S. Food Policy is as much to blame as any one individual walking down any given grocery isle in any given store on any given day.

Sad.

Men’s Health

Every year, MJ comes home with a “popular magazine” as his way of tuning into what’s going on in the world. Last year it was Cosmo (which we read together on the couch and laughed so hard we couldn’t take it anymore)! Thank God mother never let us have that in the house. Harlequin Romances, yes. Cosmo, no.

This year, it was Men’s Health, which, as it turns out, is the male version of Cosmo. Seriously, it was all about sex, nutrition, and exercise. And, more to the point, the headlines were almost identical: 125 Best Foods for Men, No-Diet Weight Loss Plan, 30 Red-Hot Sex Secrets, Strip Away Stress, 7 New Rules of Money & Women, Great Abs Made Easy, Melt Away Pounds! 15-Minute Fat Burners, Look Your Best Now! Interestingly, they also have a number of “Short Order Cook Recipes.” They’re obviously designed to impress a date, but they look pretty good. There are also a couple of other random tips in there that I may pass on later.

But the most interesting thing in there by far was an article — that looks like it be part of a series — called, It Works for Me: Master Your Domain.

This segment, or this month’s feature, was on actor Tyrese Gibson.

“Tyrese Gibson, star of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, gained weight and lost motivation. To right himself, he first had to change everything around him.”

On Maintenance:

“He lost his sense of consequence, he says. It’s easy to do: Accomplish something and your attitude can go from I’m working hard for this to This is mine. Do that and you’ve already failed. A boss doesn’t promote you because you did work hard. A woman doesn’t love you because you were devoted to her. They want you in the present and future tense. They expect you from here on in to work hard, to be devoted. Start coasting and you roll backward.”

On Modeling:

“We men have to put our pride and egos and just say, ‘You know what? I need help,'” Gibson says. “Bring something to the table. To somebody who has the keys to whatever door you’re trying to go through, say, ‘Look, man, I have five keys of my own, but I’m trying to figure out how to get these other keys.’

Think of of it this way: Every man is surrounded by better men. A man who’s more financially secure than you are can teach you something, and chances are he can learn something from you. So approach him. Collaborate. Successful men aren’t symbols of your inferiority; they’re examples worth engaging.”

On Upgrading Your Peer Group:

“The five people you spend most of your time with will dictate how far your life and career will go. Slobs will make you a slob. Gibson loved fried calamari, and he had friends who bought it for him all the time. But if you’re friends work hard and eat right, you’ll be embarrassed to eat fried anything around them.

It isn’t easy to switch friends. Gibson knows that. It took him months: less time with this person, more time with that one. Scoops of fried calamari gave way to scoops of tuna on lettuce, now his regular lunch. Guys at the gym taught him new exercises. He runs five miles a day on a treadmill. He lifts regularly.”

I liked this for a number of reasons. One, it reinforces things I already know, which is always good. But, two, this series also gives us a chance to model someone who has been there. As embarrassing at it may sound, something tells me that I may have to start spending more time at Borders lurking in the magazine section!

Jillian Michael’s Time Interview

Some interesting tips in here! Enjoy!

Finding Balance Between Friends and Food

In one of my classes, I spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about the emotional significance of food and how people tend to organize their social relations around food. You’d think that if I am teaching this stuff, that I’d know a way around it. But, alas, I do not.

The night I skipped my friend’s 60th birthday party at a local pub/restaurant in favor of going home and grabbing a salad, I realized that I have yet to find balance between friends and food. When I am not as serious about how I am fueling my body, it’s easy — I tend to spend more time eating with friends. Incidentally, however, those are the periods where I am also most likely to backslide on my goals. And, just so you know that I’m not the only one, research shows that people routinely eat a lot more calories –up to six times as many! — when they’re eating out and/or when eating with groups!

When I hunker down and get serious about diet, I tend to withdraw socially, as I have yet to find that balance between food and friends. One, I don’t often feel comfortable being grilled about my food choices — which consist, shockingly enough — of mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, legumes, and soy-based products. Two, I don’t feel comfortable by the way that friends all too often defend their choices to me, as if I am sitting there silently acting as judge and jury — which I am not. I don’t want to be judged for what I eat, so I am certainly not going to do it to anyone else! And, three, typically I meet friends and restaurants or at their homes, where I have less control of the ingredients used, amounts served, etc. And, again, a look at any restaurant menu that also provides nutritional information will tell you just how full of pitfalls eating out can be! Even something as seemingly innocuous as a weight management salad! Just as an aside, does this mean you can’t order one if you don’t need to manage your weight? What if you just happen to like salad? And, FYI, if you’re trying to limit your calories to 1200 (or even 1500) a day, seeing that the only thing on the menu that even resembles a real meal is “below 590 calories” is not reassuring!

Anyway, so what are my options — other than staying home? I suppose I could just go and not eat, but it feels strange sitting there drinking water while others are drinking margaritas and having dinner. To me, that seems even worse than not going. Do you go, touch base with everyone at the table, and then make excuses for why you’re not staying? Or do you just do your homework ahead of time (assuming that the nutritional information is available), pick the lesser of all evils, and live with the consequences?

And, for obvious reasons, having dinner at friends’ houses — where they are providing you a real offering — provides even more socio-emotional challenges, but more on that later!

This is something that I still struggle with — usually opting for food over friends. But this is not a sustainable answer to the problem. It’s certainly not a sustainable approach to friendship given the cultural weight we put on (no pun intended) “breaking bread.”

Anyway, I’d love to hear how other people handle it! How do you do it?

Easter Brunch

I typically hate family holidays. Not because I hate families or holidays, but because of the food. The endless, gluttonous parade of food. And people are funny about food–probably because of all the symbolism that gets packed into it. There has recently been a ton of sociological research on the social meaning of food and the types of emotion work that goes into feeding a family. Marjorie DeVault’s excellent book, Feeding the Family, is but just one example.

So when Michael’s family invited us for brunch, I was torn. Go? Not go?

Then I started thinking about it; the last time we ordered pizza at their house, Michael’s step-mom made herself a salad. And, in fact, I took a couple of serving of Lentil Soup, which his sister-in-law also enjoyed in lieu of a second slice of pizza! So why not take my own breakfast? The idea seemed shocking, on a couple of levels. First, it was breakfast that they had prepared, not takeout pizza from the Cornish General Store. Second, I didn’t have enough to share. Third, it was Easter!

Then it came down to go and not eat (which, in some ways, seemed worse), go and take my own food, or go and break my commitment to myself regarding my health and fitness goals. I packed up two Fiber One Whole Wheat English Muffins, 3 tablespoons of hommus, and some baby carrots. I washed all that down with a little ginger tea. Yum! It was tasty, I got to spend time with people I care about, and there was more monkey bread, french toast, bacon, and roasted vegetable quiche for them! It was a win-win for everyone.

But more importantly, I got to eat what I wanted, I wasn’t worried about my calorie intake for the day, and I enjoyed myself all the way around while still keeping my commitment to myself and my body.

The only weird moment was when someone started to razz me about not eating the quiche, but before I could utter a word, Michael’s step-mom stepped up and said: X, you do not get to make comments about anyone’s choices about food.

Right on, sister!

This might be worth lifting my ban on reality T.V.!

Tony Robbins takes to the airwaves! No matter what you think about the guy or how many infomercials you’ve seen, he gets the job done! If you’re not familiar with him, check out his recent TED talk! Who knows, you, too, might become a fan!

Releasing the Last Ten Pounds

Like many people, I have struggled with my weight my entire life. Sometimes those struggles were merely tussles; others were all out wars. Sometimes I lost. Sometimes I won. I am currently within ten pounds of my desired goal weight.

Ironically, when I mention that I’m still trying to lose ten pounds or pass on a dessert, I typically get responses such as, “But you look great!” “That’s too thin.” “You’re too skinny.” “You don’t need to lose another ten pounds.” “X% body fat is too low.”

Hmph. Thanks for noticing, but no thanks.

There are many so-called challenges to losing the last ten pounds, not the least of which are the well-meaning concerns of friends and family.

However, the bigger culprit may be the deeply held cultural belief that the last ten are the hardest. Are they really? And more importantly, do they have to be?

This blog is dedicated to my the last, final, wonderful weeks of being above my desired goal weight. I tend to experience them fully and fondly, as I never intend to be here again. It’s not going to be hard. It’s going to be what I make it. I plan to have fun, eat well, and exercise within my means. To do otherwise would set me up for failure and failure–this time–is no longer an option.

But more importantly, what I do these last few weeks will set me up–finally–for a lifetime of sustainable health, fitness, and vitality.

And just so there is no misconception, I am on the high end of normal weight by official recommendations and/or standards and will remain “normal” after the release of 10 pounds of excess fat.