Like a fat kid loves cake….

I have talked at length about my food issues here, and I’m going to do it a little more right now, so if you’re into schadenfreude, read on (and if neurotic women make you squirm, see you another day, no worries).

It’s been a bumpy week.  I’m struggling in a few different areas in my life, and trying to concentrate on those that I have some control over, like work, writing, and doing more knitting (the last will reap emotional and psychological benefits now, and monetary benefits later, fingers crossed). Food-wise, the holidays weren’t kind to me, and although it wasn’t much, I did go up a little bit on the scale, and so I’m in the familiar position of re-adjusting my diet.  So much goes into maintaining weight loss, and this year will be three years that I have kept the weight off (minus five pounds). This is an achievement for me, and something that I have not ever been able to do before; usually by this time, I’m back in Weight Watchers, starting the plan all over again.

So it’s the middle of January, I’m counting calories, refraining from eating too much bread (sticks like Elmer’s), eating more protein, fruit (not too much fruit, it also sticks like glue), vegetables, and working out more (the workouts also suffered over the holidays – wouldn’t it be nice if you could work out to a certain level, and your body could bookmark that level, so when you got back to regular workouts, it would say, “Here you are, Julie!” like you never left.)

It’s a life-long battle for me, not only with food, but with body image issues that started at 14, and rage on today. I don’t have a lot of funny things to say about this – it’s a constant in my life, and what’s hard about it is that I can’t just walk away from the negativity, as I would if it were coming from someone else and directed at me. When you have believed something about yourself for almost your entire life, it takes a little more than, “Oh, just get over it!” to change your thoughts.  It’s damned hard work, and I’m nowhere near finished; the best I can do is act “as if,” and maybe all that acting will pay off one day, and I will really feel different.  To all of you who don’t have any idea what I’m saying, in the words of the great Napoleon Dynamite: “Lucky!!” (Now hand over your tots…)

Who’s your edamame?

For dinner tonight, I had a veggie burger patty and two microwave pancakes with syrup; made a yum sandwich, I did.  Not sure if I mentioned it here, but I stopped eating meat a few months ago.  I still eat eggs and cheese, and a little milk in the coffee (Milk makes me say,”blech,” except if it’s in coffee), and I’m working on eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains. Here’s the vegetarian food pyramid:

I am a bit lazy when it comes to nutrition, and I know that I need to drill down a bit for more fruits and vegetables, but it’s a process (and by “it’s a process,” pretty sure I mean, “I don’t really like doing it, but I’ll get to it when I can.”)

This is the second time I’ve done this in about five years, and it’s mainly for health reasons; Mom had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and triple bypass surgery, as well as peripheral vascular disease.  None of this sounds like anything that I want to experience, so I’m looking at my diet as a way to avoid all of it if possible.

I know this will be terribly incorrect of me to say, but I always seem to live for disapproval, so here goes: I love animals, and I really miss eating them.  Some days I don’t think about it at all, and then there are days like the one I had this week – while in the office in the middle of the day, I said to no one in particular: ” I  have a craving for horseradish.” This statement received a few funny looks, until I added, “mixed with sour cream and on top of a center cut of prime rib.” Sigh.

I also have driven by KFC and wondered how I could make tofu taste like original recipe, but then I forget about it (at least, until I write about it, that is; my sense of smell seems to have been heightened since giving up meat – weird little side observation).  It is easier to forget about eating meat when I’m having fantastic mushroom and zucchini tacos at Lola’s on 4th street in Long Beach, or a hand-made veggie burger at the Alcove in Los Angeles. I think it’s time for a proper good-bye, although it does tear at my heart a bit:

Dear Meat –

I’m sorry it had to end this way.  We had a long relationship, but it’s time for me to say goodbye.  It’s not you – I just need to concentrate on myself for a while.  You are wonderful, and deserve to be with someone who will treat you with tenderness and warmth, and give you the flavor that you need.  I will miss you every day, and will always remember the good times – mushroom gravy over pot roast, lemon chicken with capers, sirloin burgers with red onion and tomatoes, and pasta with sweet Italian sausage. I love you, and I will never forget you.

Au revoir,

Julie

(P.S.  And if I ever have to eat my words, I will start with these: “Bacon-wrapped hot dogs, please.”)

Weighty issues

I found a pair of jeans with a giant ripped hole in the knee that I forgot I had – I love when that happens:

Time to start journaling my food intake again – not proud to say that I’ve gained five pounds in the last month, and I have to stop the madness, or else I won’t be able to go work. I refuse to buy any larger sizes, so if I can’t fit into my clothes, I’ll just have to quit my job, lie on the couch all day, eating Ding Dongs and watching bad TV, and only wear Hawaiian muumuus with white gym socks and black Chucks.  (No need to thank me for that image – my holiday gift to you.)

I wasn’t going to write about it, or even talk about it, but I realize that talking about it makes it real, and takes away the shame, so I can concentrate on the process without beating myself up about the slip.  So I’ve started with my paper blank book (yes, paper, kids; this is the only way for me, and also makes it real) and listed my breakfast, along with the calorie count and the point count, from when I was still in Weight Watchers. I figure that if I bump up the workouts from two or three times a week to four or five a week, this little hiccup should be history in no time. Stay tuned, campers…

9-5-11: One day down, forever to go….

Weekend leftovers

It's Mashed Potato Time

Image via Wikipedia

On Friday night I had a chocolate sundae with sliced banana for dinner, and kugel for dessert. (This particular kugel was made with noodles, eggs, mayonnaise, onions, and garlic; it was my first try with this kugel recipe, and next time, I need to make it with schmaltz, instead of oil.) I would like to blame my friend Kim, who confessed on Facebook that she had eaten chili dogs with jelly; I think that thinking of the combination of sweet and salty was too much for me to resist, and I just went for it.  Can’t blame Kim – I have a history…what? You’d like to hear about it? Ok,then…

Growing up, I remember that my mother would eat cold mashed potato and baked bean sandwiches made with leftovers (and now you know a little more about why I’m a four-time Weight Watcher, and three-time Jenny Craig-er).  Also, regarding food, I can tell my own “I was so poor” story, although this story had to do less with how much money I made at the time, and more with how I used to give it away to this guy that somehow talked me into believing that he deserved it, when I was the one who was waiting tables to earn it. (Not his fault he was a supercilious hypocrite, mine for not being strong enough to realize that I deserved better – but that’s a story for a different campfire.)

It goes like this: I was so poor when I was in college, at one point in my life, I would have an apple fritter from Granny’s Donuts for breakfast, and nothing for lunch except coffee and whatever condiments I could scrounge from the food court. Relish, mustard, and sugar packets kept me going at school all day, until it was time to go to work.

Working at Polly’s Pies at the time was helpful, because if you had no money, you could have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the house when you were on the clock; sometimes I would score a free pie at the end of the night, and would end up eating pie (not just one piece, that was for amateurs; I’m talking about chowing down the entire pie) on my way home at 11:30. The Dysfunctional Relationship diet – worked like a charm.  I was nice and thin, and a nervous wreck until I finally lost 160 pounds by dumping my knight in tarnished armor.

I think men with food issues somehow were attracted to me – the issues ranged from not wanting to share: “Why don’t you get your own?” (actual quote) to not being able to eat a second item (mashed potatoes) until the first item (broccoli) was finished.  I know I have many issues in my life, but I would never be able to think of a long-term relationship with someone who couldn’t share their food with me, or couldn’t have any of the food on their plate touching any of the other food on their plate (not making it up, honest).

*****

My big life lesson from this? Got me; want a bite of my banberry pie?

Dreaming of matzo ball soup (and other Saturday thoughts)

I have a little cold, so I’m debating whether to go out or not – it’s a warm southern California day in December, and I’m behind on my Christmas shopping (of course, I am always behind on shopping, so technically, I’m right on schedule), so I’m waiting for the DayQuil to take effect.  While I wait, here are a few items for you that have nothing to do with each other, except that they happened to me:

I think the good people of the U.S. Postal Service have all but given up hope; being an employee in an industry for which taps has been played several times in the past few years, I can understand their frustration and discouragement.  However, this is no reason for the incompetence and inconsistent customer service that I experienced yesterday.  The short version is that my mother’s mail was halted without any notice; I found out yesterday that if a mail carrier sees that a house is empty, it is perfectly appropriate for them to put a block on the mail without putting any kind of notice in the mailbox, even though the mail has been picked up for months. I understand this policy; what made me mental yesterday was the utter lack of consideration and inconsistent information given to me – I was told that I needed to bring back a copy of the trust to show that I was the successor trustee before the mail would be forwarded to my house, and that there was no mail for me, even though the mail had been stopped for two weeks.

When I came back after making a copy of the trust, the employee (a different one from the woman who I had been talking to that morning) looked through it, then gave it back to me.  “You don’t need to keep a copy?” “No, we don’t.”  I asked again about the mail, and she came back with the electric bill (under my dad’s name) ; apparently the first two times I asked, they didn’t check the address or the last name, only the first name (!?!!?).  And there were no apologies, even though I was clearly angry – I took down the name of the person who runs the branch, and I will be writing a letter to him, and to his boss (and maybe his boss as well). “Mess with the bull, and you get the horns…” (Yes, I have a movie quote for everything in my life; comes with growing up inside of a movie theater.)

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is on; I think Alfred Molina is the guy with Harrison Ford in the first few scenes – he takes the gold statue from him and says “Adios, senor,” and then gets impaled. “Raiders” is one of those movies that I loved in the first five minutes –

So I’m on my second bowl of soup – the first one was Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato Bisque, and now I’m into Trader Joe’s Low-Fat Chicken Noodle.  What I would love is matzo ball soup from my old restaurant, Katella Deli  – I waited tables there for 12 years, the last two years part-time on the weekends while also working at CSULB.  Working two jobs wasn’t my idea of a good time, but I have some terrific memories of the deli and of the people there.

I think the DayQuil is finally working its pharmaceutical properties on my system, so I will take my leave and head out for adventures in retail – and just remember, there may be no pattern to this post, but random is a pattern in math (at least, that’s what I’ve been told) —