DAY 7! Made it a WEEK!


Yes, we made it a week!  Friday last week was a test for us… both Joe and I wanted to say screw it and get fast food for lunch and/or dinner.  But we didn’t.  We managed to hold off, perhaps because neither of us wanted to leave the house, but regardless, we made it.

Joe made a homemade lasagne on Sunday and it was fantastic.  He used whole grain lasagne noodles, which to me, does make a difference in the taste, but one I can live with.  He used light ricotta, fresh spinach, and our favorite jarred sauce.  Yes, jarred sauce.  He usually makes his own sauce, but this was a rush job and required immediate saucing.  Our favorite sauce:  Classico Sausage and Peppers.  It’s rich with the teeniest bite and has big chunks of green and red peppers.  (And I’m not a fan of green peppers!)  The great thing is that because we are a family of 3, this lasagne will last for several days unless we freeze it.  We are serving a 3×3 inch square piece and we had a huge salad with it, complete with romaine, tomatoes, and shredded mozzarella with light Italian.  YUM!

We decided the other day that Joe will continue to do the grocery shopping, at least for a few more weeks, if not longer.  I’ve never been a great grocery shopper when it comes to buying from a list.  Sure, I can get what’s on the list… but I ALWAYS end up with more than I find on the list, especially snack foods.  Joe is a very disciplined grocery shopper.  RARELY does he get anything not on the list, and if he does, it’s ONE loaf of bakery bread because it was freshly baked or ONE frozen meal that looked interesting and tasty or ONE cut of meat that is on sale… you get the idea.  Me, I usually get home with 2 bags of Cheetos because we haven’t had them in awhile or 2 bags of M&Ms because they’ll look good in the cut crystal candy dish or a dozen donuts because tomorrow is Friday.  Who’s with me?

I figured out one thing about myself so far.  My appetite is a spoiled toddler.  We’ve all known someone who has a toddler who is so incredibly spoiled, the parent gives in and gives her every little tiny thing she whines for just so she will STOP MAKING NOISE!  It’s just easier to give in than to deal with the main issue… saying NO and dealing with the consequences.

My appetite is that spoiled todder.  I’ve spent DECADES giving into everything she wants.  Candy?  Sure.  Donuts?  Why not.  Cookies?  They’re fresh.  Mac and cheese?  Who doesn’t like seeing a little kid enjoying their mac and cheese?  The alternative is to listen to her whine endlessly… by way of hunger pangs, headaches, shakiness and blurred vision.  Sometimes, the hunger can be like a panic attack.  There’s this feeling that if I don’t consume exactly what that damned brat wants, I’ll pass out.  So, I’ve spent many many years spoiling her and giving here whatever she wants whenever she wants it.

And Joe has been my incredibly supportive enabler, giving in to the voracious little beast… um… brat… whenever she whines to him.  He makes such wonderful cookies and breads!  He missed his calling as a baker, quite frankly.  He’s made bagels, donuts, english muffins, cheesecakes, pumpkin spice cakes, drop cookies, chocolate this and yummy, heavenly that.  Hence, my spoiled little hunger monster claps her hands with delight and devours whatever he makes.  It’s a win-win(-win) because she gets to eat, I feel satisfied because she’s not bitching at me anymore, and he gets a happy, satisfied wife.

Right now, at 8:36 at night, 2 hours post lasagne, my little food mongrel is whining.  She wants something sweeeeeettt to end the day.  I have two choices:  We have enough grapes for my breakfast so I don’t want to eat those.  So choice #1:  I can ignore her and the teeny headache I’m developing (despite pain relievers) will throb into a monster migraine-like pain.  Or choice #2:  I can grab 2 (and ONLY 2) Stickos and make them last awhile.  It is an hour after the Plan states I can have an evening snack, but a headache will only make things that much worse to the point that I give in to my toddler and give her the entire can of Stickos.  (These are cookies that are similar to Pirouette cookies by Pepperidge Farms, except the tube part is lighter and the filling is soft.  We get them at the Asian market Uwajamaya.  4 of them is a serving, so 2 is a nice snack.)

Will she EVER grow up?  Will she ever just let me eat what I need to and not DEMAND that I give in to her childish demands to run amok in the bakery or candy store?  I wish I could just stick a sock in her ever-widening mouth so she’d at least shut up and let me get on with my life.  Perhaps someday, if I’m successful with the Plan, she will finally grow up and be satisfied with what I’ve always lovingly called “adult food.” 

I am an incredibly lucky woman, though.  I was heavy when my husband fell in love with me.  We met over the computer, pre-Web, and I sent him a picture of me.  Not only did he not disappear (like a few guys I’d met online before him had), but he actually still expressed interest in meeting me!  He is notoriously anti-photo, so when we met, all I had to go on was barrel-chested, dark hair, dark eyes, and tall.  He never led me to believe he was built or handsome; he was honest, as was I.  But when he finally did lay eyes on me, he hugged me and said, “You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.”  <swoon>

Despite trying diets, surgery, and eating healthy, my weight has fluctuated tremendously.  But Joe has NEVER said a word other than he wants me to be healthy so we can be together for a long time.  He prefers a rounded woman with curves and flesh, so he’s quite happy with what he sees and feels.  <blush>  And I love him even more for accepting me for who and what I am, regardless how others might see me.  He’s working on adapting some of those tasty treats he makes to be whole grain (whole wheat is NOT good enough), low or no sugar, and low fat.  I know they are still not calorie-free, but at least my toddler will be satisfied with a touch of sweet occasionally that is otherwise mostly healthy.

Okay, enough of my philosophizing for one night.  I actually typed through my craving for something sweet!  Woohoo!

Off to bed.  Night!

Day 4 – Another 5 Things About Me


Well, I made it to day 4… and my cravings are kicking in BIG time.  There are so many things I wish I could just scarf down right here, right now.  Crackers, pretzels, toast, popcorn (the buttery microwave kind, not that healthy wanna-be popcorn), a stack of cheese slices, and CHOCOLATE!  The only thing close to that last item in the house is a cut-glass candy jar with 3-year-old Hershey kisses that I must have purchased in the spring because they are prettily wrapped in baby blue, pink, gold, and silver.  Even *I* am not willing to even try those.  Other than that, nothing snacky in the house.  Well, we do have some of the low-salt Lay’s but those are for lunch.

I’m a prisoner to these cravings.  They overwhelm me, like those intense labor pains that mean the kid is just about to pop out.  You know if you can just hang on a few minutes longer, it will go away and you can get on with your life again.  But just like having a baby, it doesn’t end.  The cravings will be there tomorrow, like the shrieking infant you brought home and will never be satisfied.

Where the hell did THAT come from? 

Anyway, enough of the life changes for now.  I thought I’d share with you a few things you may or may not know about me.  If you’re not into that kinda thing, you should stop now.  I’m really not that interesting… but it’s late and it’s just me and the cats right now.

1… I was in band in 7th grade but never really played at any event.  I did march on the side of the road for one major parade and I ended up going up to get the trophy when we won because the rest of the band either ate something bad or suffered from heat stroke because they were all huddled up by the buses, puking their guts out.  But there I was, all uniformed up and no place to go.  The director grabbed me and took me into the auditorium where they were doing awards.  I have no memory of WHAT we won, but I remember carrying that trophy.  I played tenor sax for the marching band and was trying to learn the oboe for concert band.  It didn’t work out… while I adore music, I just wasn’t cut out to read music and play at the same time.

2… I tested into the gifted program at our elementary school when I was in the fifth grade.  In 1974 in California, they called the program MGM (Mentally Gifted Minors).  Never understood that… how the heck did they come up with that?  Anyway, that year at our school, they started having us go from room to room for classes, like in high school… except for the MGM kids.  We stayed in one classroom all day and each week we would do a report or presentation on a subject we’d vote on.  One week was weather and I did a presentation on clouds.  Another week, it was creative writing and I wrote a story about a girl dying from cancer.  It was surreal.

3… I was a wedding singer!  I spent a few years singing at weddings.  Yup, all by myself or with an accompanist… in public.  And for money, too. 

4… Once I hit 25 or so, I gave up on ever meeting Mr. Right.  And in a very sad way, if Joe’s dad hadn’t died, I might still be alone.  Why is that, I hear you wondering?  (You were, right?)  His dad died from an injury he suffered at his job as a meat cutter.  No, he didn’t cut anything off.  He had a little tussle with a forklift and the forklift won by twisting his hip.  He was in the hospital recuperating and everything was fine, but there was something else going on in the hip joint, something the doctors should have been able to easily catch, but they didn’t and he passed away.  A lawyer got involved, and long story short, his mom got a settlement and as a result, Joe got a computer.  Did I mention that Joe lived in Ohio and I was WAY OVER on the west coast, in California?  Anyway, in 1992, I took the plunge and bought my first computer, an 80386DX with 512 MB of RAM.  Can you even imagine that now?  This was still a few years from the Web being World Wide but there was a little proprietary network called The Sierra Network.  Get the software, log into a local Sprint number, and you TOO can spend $7 an hour to play graphical games online with a few hundred people.  I became a Sysop on this network and shortly thereafter, in November 1992, I met Joe who was using the computer purchased with settlement money.

5… I don’t cook.  Yeah, I know, most of you know that in some manner, but you’d be surprised to know that I’m not just being modest.  I truly DO NOT cook unless I absolutely have to.  If I concentrate very hard, I can make my mom’s Clam Chowder recipe.  And I make a mean boxed mac and cheese or pancake mix.  Just about any other recipe I’ve ever been able to make, I’ve shared with Joe… and he’s made them better.  Oatmeal cookies, chili… um… actually, that’s about it.  Joe and I approach cooking with very differing outlooks.  He LOVES to cook.  To be in a well-stocked kitchen, surrounded with his kitchen tools and the appropriate ingredients, creates a calm in him that is quite Zen.  He moves around the kitchen like a very purposeful bee, gather this ingredient here, that tool there, and VOILA, yummy tasty treats.  He made bagels and english muffins from scratch… we even made 14 dozen bagels for my work one year.  He made the most heavenly beef wellington for Chrismas one year (then the following year, he made it again for my parents).  And he found an recipe for old fashioned fruit cake… the kind that has rum in the recipe and then you put it in a sealed container and spritz it with more rum over a week.  One 1/4-inch slice of that fruit cake made my arms numb!  His lasagne would make an Italian mama cry. 

5… cont’d:  Me, on the other hand… I fall apart when faced with cooking.  More than 2 steps and I’m useless.   Some of my scrapbooking buddies can attest to that fact.  We go to a friend’s beach house a few times a year, and we each choose a meal to contribute.  I figured I couldn’t go wrong with hors d’ovres… sausage cheese balls and cream cheese sausage puffs.  Mix, shape, bake.  A few ladies came into the kitchen while I was cooking to ask how it was going, and I was wild-eyed and panting heavily with anxiety.  They had the nerve to LAUGH at me.  I admit… it was probably very funny for these kitchen-savvy moms who provide well-cooked, lovingly made meals on a daily basis.  With my son, I make sandwiches with a chunk of cheese and fruit on the side.  Tomorrow morning, my loving son has requested pancakes for his Friday morning off before he gets to his chores and I go to work.  Luckily, we have some Snoqualmie Falls pancake mix up in the cupboard… water and mix, MY way of cooking.

On a side note about the pancakes… the last time I made pancakes, Bren was requesting Bisquick pancakes.  When I pulled out the much easier box of Snoqualmie Falls, he said, “No, REAL pancakes, like with BISQUICK!”  Somewhere out there, my father was spinning in his grave.  He was a wiz in the kitchen himself, my old man.  Saturday or Sunday mornings would find him in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of homemade pancakes, or more likely, waffles.  Or my other favorite:  Rice.  A bowl of the white fluffy rice with sweetener, cinnamon, raisins and a dab of butter, mixed up and a dribble of milk.  YUM!  He also made the best chicken and dumplings I’ve ever had (or will again… I can’t even imagine ever eating chicken and dumplings again since he passed).

Okay, no sad thoughts here… only positive.

It’s time for bed.  I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me.  If you find some insight into my character, please share.  It can only help me on my journey.  🙂

Day 3 – How did this happen?


To paraphrase Bob and Doug McKenzie:  “And welcome to Day 3.”

So far, so good.  Same breakfast as yesterday, and last night, we had the same dinner as the night before.  Gotta love leftovers.  The kid is doing a great job… he had broccoli and half a PB&J in his lunch yesterday.  And last night, he ate half of the lasagne he was served as well as the entire salad.  Of all the carbs he loves, he’s not a fan of pasta.  Strange, that.

So I’ve been pondering the “how did I get here” question.  I’ve seen pictures of myself as a child, and I was no bigger than most kids.  I grew up in Massachusetts on an Air Force base.  There were a number of kids on our block in base housing, and most of them were my friends.  We played outside a LOT, climbing trees, playing with our Barbies and GI Joes, playing in the sandbox (when there wasn’t cat poo in it), playing tag and freeze tag.  I was quite active.  But I loved to eat.

My mom is an excellent cook.  She made homemade noodles, cobblers, and bread.  We always had dessert.  We always sampled what was cooking, tasting from the pot or bowl.  “Finish your dinner” was a standard phrase.  I can’t remember if they pulled out the “kids are starving in <3rd world nation>” or not, but it was close.  And while we were putting away leftovers, we always had those last few bites.  She also made plenty of things I didn’t like, such as liver or stuffed peppers (I don’t care what anyone says… scoop out the stuffing and it tastes like peppers!).  When she made things I didn’t like or when we had a babysitter, I’d get my favorite:  Kraft macaroni and cheese.  Yum!

When I was 10, we moved to California.  Ah, land of sunshine and fruit!  Peaches fresh off the tree!  Grapes nearly year-round!  I loved fruit… and I ate a LOT of it.  I’d have 4 peaches in a sitting… yum!  But that’s just fruit, I hear you saying.  Here is an interesting site regarding sugar in fruits: Sugar Stacks.  There is a lot of sugar in fruits.  Granted, it’s a more natural sugar than candy and there are many good things in fruits as well, but at the volume I consumed fruit and the other snacks my mom had on hand, I started to gain weight.

I was lonely.  We had moved all the way across the country.  There was no email or iPhone or internet in 1973 so I was effectively cut off from anything or anyone I had known.  I was teased at school for being a little chunky when we moved to California and it just got worse.  I made a few friends but I always felt like I was a little on the outside.  Food was my constant friend.  It didn’t tease me or say it didn’t want to go with me.  Being tested as “gifted” at age 11 didn’t help matters much either. 

Kids can be cruel.  Food is always friendly.

Exercise makes me uncomfortable.  Always has, always will.  So even as a preteen, I avoided exercise when I could.  I loved riding my bike, though I didn’t really see that as “exercise.”  It was a means of freedom.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a great home life.  I just wanted to do what I wanted to do.  Maybe it’s because I was an only child.  Maybe it’s because it was the 70s.  Or maybe it was just me wanting to spread my wings.

Dad was in the Air Force and worked quite a bit.  Mom was (and still is) a church musician and choir director, and when I was in my early teens, she was also going to school at night.  Dad joined her at night classes for awhile, leaving me alone at home.  I’d make a pot of spaghetti (at least 2 servings worth), put parmesan on it, and I’d eat that while watching TV.  And this was AFTER dinner.  I think back to that and cringe.  I was obsessed with food, with feeling satisfied, with carbs.

Carbs, carbs, carbs… I’ve rarely met a carb I didn’t instantly bond with.  Cupcakes, cookies, chips, crackers… yum.  Just saltines and ice tea, a favorite snack.  Cake, bread, doughnuts, pastries, pasta.  <sigh>  I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture.  Oh, I love fruit, too… a diet of fruit and bread would be my idea of heaven.  The hell with proteins… gimme carbs!!

So I can see it goes WAY back.  I don’t remember much about my diet before the age of 10 or so.  Does that mean that food wasn’t my focus before then?  I know I ate cereal.  I told my mom when I was 3 that I didn’t need a mom because I could get my own breakfast.  Yeah, she wasn’t happy to hear that either. 

Okay, enough meandering down memory lane.  Not an entirely bad experience on the lane today, but there’s still more delving to do later.

Enjoy your day, dear reader… I’m nearly done with my breakfast and the MT plate is, indeed, empty.  C’mon people… DICTATE already!  🙂

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