Tag Archives: holiday

Anxiety to Perfection

So, there I am…standing in a virtual sea of chocolate, marshmallow, candy coating, cookie bits, and more.  I can feel my anxiety rising and I begin the whole internal discussion:

“Why am I feeling *so* much anxiety right now?  This is *so* much more stressful than Halloween was – and I hadn’t made this much progress then.  It should be easier now, right?”

“Hello!  We didn’t have to *buy* candy for Halloween, remember?  So, we never had to *stand* in the candy aisle and stare at all the yummy, delicious, gooey, caramel-filled…”

“Hey!  Wait!  Aren’t you supposed to be talking me *out* of this anxiety?!”

“Nope.  I’m just here so you don’t have to be alone when you’re anxious.”

“Great.”

So, I am pacing the aisle and feeling absolutely ridiculous.  Then what happens?  A woman walks by and leans into my shoulder with a simple whisper:

“None of this is on your diet, girl.”

I look up to find another of Denise’s clients standing there with a giant smile on her face.  What a way to bring me out of that funk, right?!  I thanked her (sincerely) and told her what crazy madness my head had cooking when she rescued me.  The whole situation reminded me a *lot* of Andie’s waitress rescue story.  Thank goodness for small pushes right when you need them, right?

Let me clear…I was *not* going to “cheat” with some cheap, funky Hershey chocolate.  I was starting to rationalize buying some more expensive, upper tier dark chocolate, though.  That, my friends, is a slippery slope.  I am *so* very thankful for that little pick-me-up when I least expected it!

This is such a rare occurance for me that I felt compelled to share with you all.  I rarely feel temptation knocking so hard.  I rarely find it difficult to say, “No thanks,” when sweets make an appearance somehow.  I am far too focused to waver every single time something creeps into my sight.  I would have failed long ago if that were the case.  However, every so often I do find weakness.  Luckily enough I often have someone (or something) to break through it without regret or shame waiting at the end.  For this I am also thankful.

After all, I am 4.8 pounds away from 100 pounds lost, folks.  No chocolate could possibly taste *that* good, right?  😉

How are you coping with Easter?  Are you going to allow yourself some wiggle room or stay firm in your resolve?

-Erica

Cryptically Malicious?

…and that is nothing like “magically delicious.”

Christmas is coming…which we all knew already, right?  Christmas, aside from the gift giving and celebration, is laden with food.  Especially desserts.  Lots of desserts.

I have read an abundance of posts from fellow bloggers about their holiday eating plans, and about the ridiculous amounts of food and desserts available throughout this season.  How does one stay focused and on track with so much temptation lurking around?

I was really quite relaxed about the whole thing until…

Each year we head to my mother’s parents’ house for Christmas.  The adults exchange gifts (which actually just migrated into an absurd exchange of gift certificates several years ago) while the children are corralled into a small space in the elegant home of my mother’s parents.  They, of course, are unable to actually touch anything since the pristine home is museum-like in many ways.  It is an uncomfortable gathering, and it has been for many years.  In light of this unbearably tense environment, everyone in the family stays pretty focused on eating/grazing.  After all, if you constantly have food in your mouth, no one can expect to have a conversation.

Traditionally, the entire family is divided by sisters (my mother and her four sisters) as far as food goes.  Their parents would provide the meat (usually a deli tray), and the rest of the meal gets divided up between the five sisters and brought in like a bizarre potluck.  This year is no different, with one tiny exception…

My mother and I are in charge of bringing dessert.  When she told me the news I about jumped through the roof.  Seriously.  My face immediately went red hot and I was saying all sorts of colorful words I will not share here.  Dessert.  Now, the whole family is well aware that I have lost 60+ pounds.  So, why ask *me* to bring dessert?  Is that being somewhat passive agressive?  I think so, personally.  Hence my cryptically malicious title.  I am livid.

In all the flustered chaos in my head, though, I am pretty sure I have developed a cryptically malicious counter attack.  Bring fruit…and nothing else.  So, this year the family will be gathered around the “buffet” on my mother’s parents counter top…in that crazy “picture perfect” kitchen where everyone is afraid to touch or use anything…with fruit as the “grand finale.”  They will be angry (and I am sure that is an understatement) and I will probably get asked at least two dozens times, “Where’s the *real* dessert?”  That is fine with me.

I bet I will not be in charge of dessert next year.

How are you planning to make it through the holiday food season?  Are you going to stick to your regularly scheduled programming or let things slide and have a free-for-all?

-Erica

My Thanksgiving {victory}

This picture gives you an idea of how previous Thanksgiving went for me…really my whole family.  This year; however, was a *total* 180-degree change.  I am so very proud to tell you that I did not stuff myself…not even to the point of “mildly uncomfortable.”

Things I did differently this year:

First, and one of the biggest, I changed my mentality.  That is a *huge* step to any recovery (after all, I *am* a recovering food addict) process.  I did not let my *whole* week leading up to Thanksgiving revolve around the food.  I did not let my *whole* morning/day revolve around food.  I went about my week/day just like it was any other week/day.  Food was not in the forefront of my mind.

Second, probably the second biggest, I changed the food – including the quantity.  I did not serve cornbread, rolls, mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing (except one box for my mother and ex- who *insisted* it be on the table for them), etc.  I filled the table with healthy choices – even the desserts were not “wreck your day/week” kind of desserts.

Third, and this ties in with “second,” I started with a big and beautiful artisan salad with pears and pecans (and homemade vinaigrette).  It was *amazing* and I savored every single bite.  The rest of the family was digging into everything else, but I sat there quietly enjoying my salad.  Come to think of it, other than my chicklets, no one else even put salad on their plate.  Go figure.

Fourth, I actually let my food (dinner) settle before digging into dessert.  In previous years we all went running for the dessert the very moment we cleaned our plates.  Talk about stuffing ourselves to the max, right?  My chicklets were having some sort of mild panic attack around an hour after eating dinner because there was no dessert in front of them yet.  They remember that we *always* eat pumpkin and apple pie *right* after dinner, so they were a little concerned that maybe there was no dessert.  I served myself a super small amount of pumpkin custard and apple confit on a *tiny* plate (smaller than my children use, actually)…probably less than 1/4 cup of each dessert.  I enjoyed the dessert – bite by bite – slowly.  They were delicious.

I know this was (by far) the healthiest, most nutritionally dense Thanksgiving I have ever had.  Do you know how I know?  When I weighed this morning (just because it was going to kill me, you know) I was down 1.2 pounds from Thursday morning.  Yes, 1.2 whole pounds *right* after eating Thanksgiving dinner…and dessert.  That is awesome.

How was your Thanksgiving?

-Erica

My {proposed} Thanksgiving “Feast”

So, since I came to the revelation that I needed (badly) to develop a plan for Thanksgiving dinner this year the wheels have been spinning…

I appreciate the input and advice from all of you.  I probably would not have come up with this fine “feast” without you!

First up – salad:

Fall Harvest Salad

To be honest, I usually do not prepare a salad for Thanksgiving dinner. This year; however, I will…and I am actually excited to try this one (because it looks/sounds delicious!). I will be using artisan lettuce instead of “plain old” lettuce, though. Also I will not be making such a large amount of the vinaigrette – my family is not big on dressings anyway.

Next comes the turkey:

Roasted Citrus & Herb Turkey

This is a bit different than my usual seasoning for the turkey, but I am excited to try something new with the turkey. You know, shake things up a bit (or a whole lot…as it might be).

Moving on to the mashed potatoes:

Faux Ta Toes

This is maybe where things start to get more interesting. I have been brainstorming ways to “change out” the mashed potatoes with all of their white starchy evilness (yes, I am aware that is not really a word). At first I switched straight to sweet potatoes, but that was an “I-may-lose-my-life-serving-it” kind of plan. So, I thought “faux” potatoes, or cauliflower. I will not follow the recipe above entirely, but this is the general idea. Instead of serving 100% mashed potatoes, I am going to switch out majority of the potatoes for cauliflower. I also usually use light sour cream instead of cream cheese. Additionally, I will be adding some herbs and spices to keep the flavor up (without adding extra calories/fat).

Now, I am not sure about anyone else out there, but when I have mashed potatoes (or even a knock off) I *have* to have corn.  So, I found this delightfully scrumptious recipe a while back:

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Lime Butter

I am hoping I will be able to find corn on the cob in the grocery today. If not, I will have to come up with something else. Maybe a variation of this recipe that does not start “on the cob?” We shall see.

The stuffing:

Wild Rice Stuffing

The last dinner item I will be serving is broccoli:

Broccoli (no special recipe)

I did not pick out a “special” recipe for broccoli because I do not really think I need one. I cook broccoli often (because I love it) and I think the way I usually prepare it is just fine (steamed with some garlic).

On to dessert.  As I mentioned before, we have always been a “multi-dessert” kind of family.  That is mostly because I *love* pumpkin and my mother hates it.  I refuse to skip pumpkin *something* on Thanksgiving, and my mother feels the same way about apple *something.*  So, here is my plan:

Apple Confit

Per the reviews on the recipe, I will be significantly reducing the sugar in the recipe. I will also likely increase the cinnamon and maybe a dash of something extra. It sounds absolutely amazing, though.

…and the pumpkin dessert:

Light Pumpkin Custard

I will be making smaller quantities this year (so I may end up halving some of the larger recipes listed above), so that it decreases the amount of food on the table (and in my fridge afterward). All in all, though, I feel as though this is a decent menu with very little room for “disaster” in the way of my weight loss path. I also believe that my family will not be too terribly upset about this menu, so that is another positive.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Will you be allowing yourself a “free” day, or will you be mentally preparing to curb poor eating habits?

-Erica

It Just Occurred To Me…

Despite nearly everyone else discussing the upcoming “gorge fest” holiday, I seem to have let it drift very far from my mind.  I suppose in some small corner of this crazy, disorganized subconscious of mine, I just assumed I would make “the usual” for Thanksgiving.  The problem?  There are so many!

First of all, the sheer quantity of food I usually prepare is astounding (and ridiculous for only five people).  So, that is something I must change this year.  Second, I usually load the table down with all sorts of carbs (mashed potatoes, stuffing, yeast rolls, cornbread, and more).  Most (if not all) of those things are on my “no-no” list.  Third, dessert is usually a main attraction at my house.  I. Love. Pumpkin. Pie. (with tons of whipped cream)

So, apparently, I need to develop a plan.  My family will be fine with the reduction in quantity (because they will not have a choice).  However, if I serve *no* stuffing, *no* potatoes, *no* rolls, and *no* dessert…I may not live to see another day.  Really.  What in the world do I do now?

I ran the idea of having mashed sweet potatoes (instead of the white potatoes) and I got the stare that said, “Is she really serious behind that face?  This has to be some sort of joke because she would *never* mess with the f*&$ing mashed potatoes.  Right?”  That, I suppose, is not going to fly.

Now that I am actively thinking about the upcoming holiday, I am entering a stage of panic.  What in the world am I to do?  Do any of you have suggestions for recipes that will not make my family murder me…but that I will be able to eat and enjoy?  Help!  (tee hee…but seriously)

-Erica