A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Monday, February 28, 2011

Post-Detox Reflection

I made it through (well, almost) two days of low sugar intake more or less unscathed. Fortunately my husband, son and cat have all survived as well.

Friday wasn’t too bad, though I was excessively grouchy and whiney Friday night. Saturday was much the same. I think the grouchiness stemmed from being really hungry the whole time.

Saturday night was the most difficult. Dinner at my in-laws included take out food, and sitting around a table watching a group of people all much skinnier than me dine on French fries, pizza, onion rings, cheese steaks and hoagies while I enjoyed a Greek salad was really tough. Not that there was anything wrong with my salad, it was good, but it’s not deep fat fried onion rings.

By the time I got home I was ravenous and morose, so I finally broke and had some pretzels. Man did they taste great after two days without any bread. Afterward I felt like a failure though, which spurned an interesting conversation with my husband.

Ted pointed out that I’m miserable while restricting my food intake and miserable being fat – so how can I be happy? He wondered if my particular genetic makeup just isn’t suited to skinny no matter what I do or try. He wondered if repeatedly subjecting myself to science experiments to try to find the right combination that will make me something I’m not meant to be could jeopardize the good health that I already enjoy. He wondered why his fervent belief that I’m a beautiful goddess of a woman is never enough to convince me that I’m okay as I am.

And I (while throwing wooden spoons about the kitchen) railed at him in anger for being able to eat a dinner of cheese steak and French fries without ever gaining a single pound. I asked (okay, screamed) at him if he had any idea what it felt like watching people around me consume fried chicken while I had to be satisfied with fruit and lettuce leaves.

We were both angry and both yelling, but not at each other. It wasn’t a fight it was just an intense moment.

So here I am on the other side of detox. So what’s the plan?

Here ‘tis…


Avoid the following:

High fructose corn syrup.

Bleached, chemically treated flour.

Meat (particularly red meat).

Do the following:

Be active every day, at least a little.

Enjoy as many fruits, vegetables, healthy grains and beans as I like.

The Key:

Don’t eat when not hungry, and don’t stuff myself full.


And that’s it. It’s pretty simple really, easy to remember and does not involve having to record, calculate and remember every bite of food I eat.

I’ve started buying fresh, home made bread from my friend Melissa. It’s made with unbleached, good quality flour and contains very little regular cane sugar. It’s also delicious, I had some for dinner last night and again for breakfast today. Since it has no preservatives it will go bad quicker than store bought bread, but keeping my spare loaves in the freezer solves that problem simply enough.

The key in my key is to learn to listen to my body. I’ve been fighting against it and out of touch with it for so long that it’s virtually a stranger to me. To that end, if I desperately want a piece of chocolate or steak then that’s what I’m going to have because I believe those cravings come to us for a reason. However I’m not blowing it on cruddy foods that just leave me unsatisfied anyway, I want to make every calorie I consume count either for nutrition, enjoyment, or to satisfy something I’m longing for. In a few months, I’ll get on the scale and see what’s going on.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Detox - Day 1 (Evening)

It's official. I'm grouchy.

I just warned Ted over the phone that he might want to sleep at a friend's house tonight rather than coming home.

His response? "Bring it on."

He then told me I need to go eat a piece of fruit.

Detox - Day 1

I feel fine.

Although honestly it's only been about fourteen hours since I last had sugar so I wasn't really expecting to freak out just yet.

This is harder than you may think. I mostly can't have bread, it's almost all made with sugar. That means snacks like crackers are also out. For example tomorrow night I'm going to my in-laws for dinner and they'll probably serve something like pizza, which I can't have because both pizza dough and pizza sauce contain sugar.

I'm letting myself have meat though because two days with zero bread and zero meat seemed too difficult to navigate nutritionally speaking, so I had a small piece of roast and a large serving of steamed vegetables for lunch. Hopefully the meat won't make me sick again. For dinner I'm going to make up a big serving of sauteed vegetables and crack two eggs over top - I call it a veggie scramble.

Mostly I'm just longing for a piece of fruit right now. Under normal circumstances I eat two to three servings of fruit per day, and I really miss it. I can have fruit come Sunday though, so knowing the end is in sight makes it a bit easier.

I'm also drinking a lot of water. It's the best way I know of to clear something out of your system.

I probably should have weighed myself before beginning detox but I weigh myself so infrequently I unfortunately just didn't think of it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Epic!

Last night while Gleeking out to a previously taped episode of Glee, I was fascinated by the song in the end of the episode and proceeded directly to my computer afterward to discover its source.

What I found was the song “Sing” by My Chemical Romance.

I am in deep song love (and video love). Go listen and watch immediately. This is EPIC!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTgnDLWeeaM

The whole album is actually pretty fun, it’s a themed album like a Sci Fi action movie. Worth checking out!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feline Insanity

Cats are strange creatures, which is part of why I love them so much. They're warm, furry, cute balls of randomness with teeth and claws. That just really appeals to me.

My cat Wish, however, is downright insane. He's apparently taken it into his head that a five by two inch rectangle of heavy paper (aka my bookmark) is the source of all evil in the universe.

I've been used to him fighting evil in his own unique way for years. For example as his former owner told me when he moved in: "Wish believes that verticality is the mark of the devil." As such, vertical soda cans, ketchup bottles, table decorations, basically anything that stood upright needed to be made perpendicular as soon as possible.

Also whenever I move a piece of furniture he feels the need to go and stand in for it's absence, which is inconvenient when I moved it because I intend to put something else in it's place and I am holding that something else at the moment which happens to be HEAVY.

At any rate I was so thoroughly puzzled by his bookmark obsession that I gave him the one in question to see what exactly it was that he wanted to do with it.

He ate it.

Not the whole thing. For awhile he just jumped up and down and pawed on it, which seeing as it's a flat object didn't do much. So he focused instead on prying an edge of it up off the floor, getting it in his teeth, and rip. Tore a piece off, chewed and swallowed.

Since as I've mentioned before that the bookmark (a whole set of them in fact) were a Christmas stocking stuffer from Ted, my husband was not well pleased when he found out I'd let the cat have his way with one of them. I explained that it was, "for science!"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sugar Addict

This whole sugar detox thing is proving a more daunting task then I first realized it would be. Every time I begin planning for it I realize I’ve got some upcoming event that’s going to get in my way. This weekend for instance is my mother-in-law’s birthday party. Saying ‘no’ to a piece of cake isn’t a big deal, but what I am afraid of is that I’m going to be a basket case by Saturday night and being a basket case in front of my in-laws isn’t really an option I’d like to explore.

Still, I NEED to do this, I need to get it done. So for those of you who have been kind enough to inquire, I will be eating no sugar whatsoever beginning this Friday morning and lasting until Sunday morning. Into the abyss my friends, into the abyss.

Oh, and if an incoherent and slightly manic seeming blog post appears here at any time Friday or Saturday could someone please come to the house and rescue Ted and Kyle? Thanks.

Since this is a detox it includes all forms of sugar, including the natural fructose found in fruit. Don’t panic, it’s only for two days to get it out of my system and see what happens. A friend of mine suggested trying it and I’m curious as to whether or not a sugar addiction may be contributing to binge eating behaviors, so here we go.

The other goal is to purge high fructose corn syrup from my life permanently so once the detox is over I’ll be adding back in naturally occurring sugar only. As I sit here eating a handful of jelly beans it seems a daunting task. Jellybeans were previously a decent snack because a small handful is only around a hundred calories and they contain no fat, but this little bag is going to be my last little bag if I remove HFCS from my diet.

The most shocking place I discovered HFCS is in bread, so I’ve also located a friend who is willing to sell me her home made bread since I’m too lazy to make it myself, which she also makes with unbleached natural flour. It’s also delicious, so yay. Sara Lee makes an HFCS free bread, but it uses bleached flour (yet another thing I’m trying to avoid). Still, it’ll work in a pinch. What I can’t have anymore are those convenient little 100 calorie bread rounds so popular with dieters at the moment. Bummer.

In the interest of consuming actual food rather than chemicals I should probably also stop drinking diet soda. But since the very idea of that makes me want to openly weep, we’ll conquer that task later.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Living With Carnivores

Ted and Kyle have adapted to my Flexitarian lifestyle with a minimum of complaining. But since I don’t seek out meat to eat, that means I also don’t cook it much. After enough mournful sighs over this fact I finally broke down and purchased a roast on Saturday and then on Sunday I slow cooked it all day in broth and garlic for dinner that evening.

It smelled wonderful, but I still debated on whether to actually eat any of it. However come Sunday night I just didn’t feel like making a separate entrée for myself, so I had a small serving along with my potato and vegetable.

Apparently when you don’t eat red meat for awhile, your system adapts to this little change so that when you do indulgently consume a hunk of it which has been slow cooking in it’s own fat all day it can throw your system into a bit of an uproar.

In short, by late Sunday evening I had indigestion fairly bad. So bad that when my husband gave me a playful look and invited me upstairs I think I whimpered in response, which is absolutely not my norm.

After I’d managed to fall asleep I was awakened at nearly 5AM by spitting up sour in my sleep. As a person with various and sundry sleep disorders I’ve woken up a myriad of bad ways over the years. I guarantee you, this one made the top five.

I staggered into the bathroom and my cat, as usual, followed me. I do not think I’ve used the facilities in my home without feline escort for a few years now. I brushed my teeth and then decided to read a page or two while waiting for my stomach to settle. Upon sitting a bookmark I was using on the sink, my cat promptly snatched it to the floor and began jumping up and down on it as though he believed it to be possessed by Nazis. It’s just a bookmark, but my husband had gotten it for me as a stocking stuffer this past Christmas and I rather like it, so I reached down to push the cat away and rescue it. Now Wish is playful, but not malicious, so when he took a parting shot at the offending bookmark and accidentally tore a patch of skin off of one of my fingers I know it wasn’t his intention.

Still… OUCH.

Since neither Ted nor Kyle experienced any ill effects of meat consumption whatsoever (to the contrary they were just about ecstatic over the prospect of cooked cow in the house) I can’t blame the roast. It was just me, reacting to the roast.

This morning I still don’t feel great, and I’m still tasting meat despite having brushed my teeth three times since then.

I may be living with carnivores, but I think it’s clear that I’m no longer one of them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Planning Ahead

I can buy a bunch of celery and carrots and other fresh, snackable vegetables every week and it does me very little good if they just sit un-prepared in my fridge until they become mushy and evil. So I’ve been trying to do meal preparation and pre-planning on the weekends. To that end, I finally checked out the shiny new Produce Junction near my house this morning.

The place is crowded and fast paced, you go to the counter and you have to know what you want and be prepared or you start annoying the people in line behind you. But the prices are good and the fruits and vegetables are varied and fresh.

So I acquired a nice selection for the week, cleaned, cut and prepped everything ready to go in snack bags and made some fresh hummus with roasted red pepper as dip. Very nom.

The big peppers are in the shot just because they’re pretty.

Additionally, although it’s not the best season for grapes, but I’ve been buying them anyway because I discovered that even sub-standard ones taste amazing when you put them in the freezer for a few hours. My taste buds honestly can’t tell the difference between them and grape flavored sorbet. Great dessert option.

Lastly, I’ve been known to say that avocadoes are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. The cute little yellow fruit pictured below is further evidence to this belief.

They’re called “Champagne Mangoes” and they’re related to their better known green and rosy pink cousins, albeit slightly smaller and more succulent. And the taste? The taste is like the first kiss of warm, spring sunlight on your skin after suffering through a dark, cold winter. If you can find them, buy as many as you can. Eat them all. Do not share.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Video Girls

As a devotee of what we used to call “pop-metal” or “hair bands” back in the late 80’s through early 90’s I’m well acquainted with bands such as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Skid Row, Whitesnake, Europe, Winger, Great White, Warrant, Poison, Aerosmith… the list goes on and on but those are a few of my former favorites.

The music videos these guys would produce generally involved things like very scantily clad models rolling around on the oiled up hoods of cars (I’m looking at you, Tawny Kitaen). Women were gleefully objectified.

I don’t particularly remember this screwing me up much as a kid, I knew I looked nothing like the girls these guys liked and never would. But since I was never meeting any of them either it didn’t really matter. And rolling around on the hood of a car while simultaneously trying not to fall off and look pouty at the same time didn’t look very comfortable anyway. Also, as I recently noticed, in my life I’ve never actually wanted for the attention of real men when I desired it.

To be honest we girls objectified those guys right back. My bedroom walls were decorated with pictures of their lip glossed faces, huge fluffy hair and fabulous abs, not their lyrics. I fully admit, I was and am still guilty. Men are pretty and I like looking at them.

However these days in music videos they push the pornographic envelope even further: girls in cages, girls wearing neutral colored sparkle covered leotards to give the illusion of nudity, girls in latex, girls in nothing at all. Some music videos (and mostly its female artists doing this) are starting to look more and more like BDSM tutorials.

The only shift I’ve really seen is it’s no longer Motley Crue’s videos that have all the naked chicks rolling around in jell-o, its Christina Aguilera’s. It’s fallen out of fashion for male rock stars to fill their music videos with female flesh, but INTO fashion for female musicians to show as much of themselves in compromising positions as possible.

Is this empowerment now because they’re the artists, not video extras anymore? Is it all just business as usual in the music industry? Was Madonna way ahead of the trend by taking her clothes off at the drop of a hat fifteen years ago? I’m confused.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Steam-Hawk?

What do you get when you combine:

1. Crazy young musician

2: An overabundance of creativity

3. Being in Tokyo, Japan

A Steampunk, guitar-amp-tube Mohawk, obviously. What else?



Rock on, Dude. ROCK ON.

I wonder if Ted would let me do this to his hair for the next time we go to Dorian’s Parlor..?

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre: A Tutorial

I do not, in fact, like Valentine’s Day very much. I’m in the camp that believes it’s a goofball made up Hallmark holiday with the purpose of selling you stuff you don’t need.

Furthermore, it makes my husband, who treats me like a Princess 365 days out of the year, feel inadequate on one of them because he didn’t buy me flowers that are going to die and / or chocolate that will stick annoyingly to my butt.

When I was single it made me feel lonely and irritated, and now that I’m married it just makes me feel irritated.

Call me the Valentine’s Day Grinch.

And so in protest I give you: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Although I am no longer qualified to carry out this tradition I hope others will bear the torch for me on this, one of the most irksome of American holidays.


You will need:

1) A slasher / horror movie – The gorier the better. Remember that blood is red, and red is the color of love.

2) Disgusting food – Don’t confuse this with tasting disgusting, it just has to look disgusting. Like a cake shaped like a heart that oozes red, viscous liquid when you cut into it or dirt dessert that looks like mud from your backyard and is filled with gummy worms. A friend of mine once made a sugary confection served in a litter pan with tootsie rolls to serve as cat poo, and that would work just fine. The point is to get sugar, fat and calories in great quantity while making everything look as vile as possible.

3) Some single friends.

4) Alcohol.

Combine these four, simple ingredients and preferably pick a night you don’t have to get up early the next morning. Commiserate on love, lousy ex-boyfriends / girlfriends and the overall meaning of life. Laugh, cry, and enjoy!



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Love Men

This is ultimately a rejection of the disgusting things I found in the below article about the top ten craziest posts on a rather scary Feminazi blog called Feministing:

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2011/02/06/the-top-10-craziest-posts-at-feministing/

Read it if you want to be horrified. As for me, my response is a love letter to the men I’ve known in my life.

*****************************

To my father who protected and cherished me so much that he taught me from the very beginning of life how extremely valuable I always was just for being me.

To my brother for sitting up late with a dorky sister six years younger and watching the Headbangers Ball, and who to this day comes to me for my opinion on things like what to name his band – because despite the fact that he can create beautiful, original music and I can’t, he’s convinced that I’m the smart and creative one.

To the boy who reached out to be my best friend when I was ten and the only girl in my entire school class. Who invited me to his house where we played space explorers, conquering knights and terrifying monsters, and much to my dismay never tried to kiss me.

To the beautiful teenager who I thought was so out of my nerdy league, who didn’t flinch while we were playing spin the bottle and he wound up with me, but instead gave me the sweetest of kisses and made me realize for the first time that I could be desirable.

To my first real date at seventeen years old, who wore a suit and smelled amazing and brought me to an expensive restaurant downtown. And even though we went off to separate colleges and didn’t see each other again I will always have that wonderful first date sitting warm in my memory because of him.

To my first real boyfriend and all the joy and sadness we had together.

To the ones that hurt me but in doing so made me grow and learn.

To the friends who give warm, loving hugs and words of encouragement at each turn because they want me to see myself the way they see me. Who ask me my opinions and genuinely listen to the response because my mind is different from theirs, and they desire to know and value it. Who come to my home and are made happy when I do something as simple as cook for them.

To the ones who can make me laugh so hard I snarf things out of my nose.

To the guys who open doors and offer a hand without even thinking about it. Yes, some of us still adore you for that.

To the beautiful, fierce male creatures that I will never know, but just can’t stop staring at (sometimes obsessively).

To the husband and best friend; the imaginative, playful and thrilling lover to my body and spirit who will live in my heart and soul long after our flesh has passed to dust. The loyal and fierce wolf who would fight any battle for me, at any cost. Who never rests. You astound me every day.

To the men who would take a bullet for me, who would go to war for me, because they believe I and every woman like me is worth that much.

I love you. All of you.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Stew

Moving away from my moroseness of yesterday, here's a yummy new vegetarian recipe from my guest blogger, Joanna. Note: I have no clue what a cranberry bean is.

Reading over yesterday's comments (thank you for all of them) I realized that I want to try a twenty four hour sugar detox like Rick suggested just to see how I feel. This is going to require some pre-planning as I realized I do not even have any portable breakfast foods that contain no sugar. I also may extend it to forty eight hours instead of twenty four. I'll probably do it over a weekend so that my co-workers are not exposed to me if I turn into a raving psycho.

I'll get back to everyone later on how the experiment goes.

In the meantime, look - stew!

***************

Back in October I roasted a pumpkin. Some of that pumpkin ended up in pumpkin bread, but most went straight to the freezer for another day. ‘Another day’ was yesterday.

This is a recipe I saw on one of the few food blogs I follow, Broke Foodie. Her recipe can be found here: http://newbrokefoodie.blogspot.com/2011/01/cranberry-bean-pumpkin-and-sweet-corn.html. I didn’t have any cranberry beans, but white beans are easy to come by and I had the afore mentioned roasted pumpkin in the freezer.

This made about 6 servings, nearly all of which went into the bellies of my gaming group last night. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the stew. This recipe only used half my roasted pumpkin. I think the rest may have to be cooked into another batch of this stew. I need more for myself.

White Bean, Roasted Pumpkin and Corn Stew

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, c
hopped
3 medium tomat
oes, chopped (I used 6 canned whole tomatoes – didn’t bother chopping, just squished them through my fingers and into the pot)
paprika, salt and pepper
3 15oz cans white
beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups roasted pumpkin

Veggie broth
2 cups frozen corn

Fresh basil, chopped

Cayenne pepper (I used that chipotle chili power I’m obsessed with)

Sauté the onion
in the oil until soft, add garlic and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes or so (until the tomatoes start to break down). Add the seasonings, beans and pumpkin. Add enough broth to float the whole thing, and cook on medium for 15-20 minutes. Add the corn toward the end and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Garnish with fresh basil and cayenne.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No Answers

I think I could tell you what it feels like to be an alcoholic.

An alcoholic is drinking, they can feel themselves getting buzzed. Instead of putting down whatever they’re drinking they go right on doing it until they’re sick because they like the way it feels to drink and seem to lack the self control to say ‘no’.

This happens with food. I’m eating, I feel full – but I enjoy eating so I keep on doing it. Then I feel overfull and sick but it’s too late to take it back. There’s even a next day hangover that kind of feels like I’ve been socked in the gut. Not to mention the emotional self hatred that swiftly comes in it’s wake.

Why can some people enjoy the occasional beer while others have to stay away unless they want to turn up drunk in a gutter somewhere?

Why is it so hard to say: ‘I’m full’ and just stop?

Why do I seem to lack the strength to do that when other people seem to have been born with it and do it effortlessly?

What’s wrong with me?

Questions questions questions… no answers.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Obesogenic

Definition:

“A strange-looking word, it comes from obese plus the ending -genic, something tending to generate or create. It refers to conditions that lead people to become excessively fat — a worrying trend in developed countries, especially among young people, who are eating too much of the wrong things and not taking enough exercise. The problem is variously put down to social causes (too many sedentary pursuits available; fear that the outdoors in cities is dangerous, leading to less cycling, walking and running about) or to the results of our consumer lifestyle (eating pre-prepared meals that contain excessive sugar and fats). The term seems to have appeared in the last decade (the first example I can find is from a British newspaper in 1996) and is not as yet mainstream, though it is increasingly turning up in newspapers and medical journals. Its opposite is not often called for, but if you need it, it’s leptogenic, leading to weight loss, from Greek leptos, thin, fine or delicate.”***

Politicians have found a new fun buzzword. It’s so new that it caused my spell checker to briefly seize up when I typed it out. Basically, as you can see above, it just refers to conditions that cause people to be portly.

Unfortunately the lifestyle of modern man has shifted quicker than the species evolutionary capacity to keep up.

(Before anybody freaks, yes I’m a Christian and I’m mentioning evolution. Species do evolve, its part of our survival mechanism. Explaining how my acknowledgement of this fact functions along with my faith is a whole other discussion I’m not getting into right now.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, from an evolutionary standpoint the lifestyle of the human animal has changed with almost blinding speed. Within the past five hundred years or so we’ve gone from having to hunt or make everything we eat to being able to buy it all and instead we expend our hunter / gatherer energy sitting at desks. All of the salty, fatty, sugary foods that were rare before have suddenly become the easiest prey. Our bodies just haven’t been able to keep up with the radical shift.

Oh sure, if we gave ourselves another thousand years or so I’m sure we’d become fat processing whiz machines, and maybe we will. But that doesn’t help those of us stuck with a metabolism that wants to cling to fat as a famine product right now, does it?

On top of that, we crave fat, salt and sugar for exactly the same reason – it’s supposed to be hard to come by so we gorge on it when it’s available. And right now it’s available all the danged time.

Solution? Er, yeah there’s the stick – I don’t really have one. Other than possibly moving into the Canadian wilds and hunting Moose.

***World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion