Nutritious Noshing: Avocados

Hey there!  It’s been a while.

What have you all been up to, since we last chatted?  Do you have your halloween costumes started yet (or probably more likely, finished)?!

I haven’t done halloween since I was in grade seven.  It’s never been a huge thing for me, even when I was little.  And when I was little it was literally only a huge thing because my Dad would buy me a costume, and I got to pick it every year.  I mean come on, if you could dress up as Pocahontas for a day, wouldn’t you get excited?!

Yeah, the whole candy thing was never the draw.  I’ve never been big on candy, and when I was little I pretty much hated chocolate.  I know, crazy right?!  My love of chocolate has only developed since puberty basically, and even then, my chocolate love is limited (see this post).  But it’s deep and dark and true.

So even when I was little, Halloween night would be the draw.  Often I went trick-or-treating with a good friend and her family, and I super looked forward to it, because we’d go to three times the amount of houses, which meant that I could wear my costume for three times as long!  And I’m from Canada right, so by October 31, it’s kind of chilly at night!  This friend’s mom was one of those wrap-my-kids-in-bubble-wrap types, so she’d always force her kids to wear their puffy coats OVERTOP of their costumes, but I wasn’t her kid!  So being as proud of my costume as I always was, I would refuse adamantly to wear my jacket and cover it up!  She wasn’t my Mom, so her hands were kind of tied.  I’d sit in the back seat of the van, teeth chattering, and she’d try to coax me into wearing my winter jacket, and I’d deny being cold until my cheeks were blue (as opposed to my lips, as I’m pretty sure those were probably already blue…).  I won, every year.  I can be determined when I want to be.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Yeah, so I’d come home with my haul of candy, and my poor mother would set out on the task of going through it and inspecting for tampering.  I was all like, “NOW!” because every kid wants SOME candy on halloween.  And I’d have like two chocolate bars, or something… and that was it.  Seriously.  Maybe, MAYBE, I’d take one or two to school for the next couple of days, but beyond that, the bag of candy went on the bottom shelf of my kitchen cupboard (the one that currently houses my vast array of graters and hand mixer), and it would sit there.  Literally, all year.  We’d go in there the next halloween to put the new bag of candy in, and we’d find the old, full bag pushed to the back.

I think at some point, my parents were all like, “Why don’t we give some of this candy away, or at least not bother to go through all the work of trying to inspect ALL of it for tampering.  I think I was pretty adamant every time about the necessity of keeping it all, and going through every piece.  Even then I was logical.  I mean, I worked hard for that candy!  There was a lot of shivering involved!  Plus, who knew which four candy bars out of the bag of a hundred or more I would want to eat!?  I needed my selection!

Yeah, your choice: logical, or crazy.

Anyways, back to my main point: I haven’t done Halloween for years.  I avoided it like the plague in high school, which is kind of sad now that I look back on it, considering I was on the student council and it was kind of important that we participated in all the school events we put on.  Nevertheless, I always refused to dress up.  The most they ever got out of me was a halfhearted witches hat thrown on strictly during lunch hour and removed the moment the bell rang.

When did the love die?

Probably the moment I realized that I didn’t really enjoy the chocolate enough to shiver for it… or the moment that I started having to pay for my own costume.

Anyways, I had my heart on ignoring it again this year.  Except at my new job, they value that kind of participation once again.  It’s not required to participate, but once I heard that you get a gift certificate just for showing up in costume… I figured maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing (insert winking emoji here).

So yesterday when I went to the city, I set about getting the materials I needed to make my costume.  I agree to participate, but I don’t agree to spend money on a costume.  I mean, do you realize that that money could buy like 2/3 of a cookbook? Or at least 4 or 5 kombucha teas?  Don’t get me started on the PSLs…

Priorities=check.

So I had a strict $15 cap.  And I was doing well, had everything I needed except the last component.  Cue, me walking into Michaels in the afternoon, going to the kids craft section, turning the corner, and…

They’re out of pompoms.

Either everyone has the exact same costume idea as me, or we all found this pin at the same time and were overcome by an intense need to create adorable fuzziness!

Anyways, by this point I was tired, hungry, and just wanted to be done.  So the choice became, spend the money on a whole bunch of little bags of pompoms, or rethink the whole costume after already spending money on the rest of the supplies.

I bit the bullet, spent $25 on tiny bags of pompoms, and bought a half sweet toasted graham cracker soy latte from Starbucks to nurse my sorrows. The struggle was real.

IMG_1810

Speaking of work, I got a huge volume of guacamole for free from work, because the question was literally, “Do you want all of this, or it’s going in the trash?”  And of course it’s an avocado, and not only do I hate wasting food, but I particularly hate wasting GOOD food.  AND, this is like literally the only store-bought guacamole I can eat, as I am allergic to peppers and raw garlic.  Buzzkill.  And looking at the ingredients list, it contains both jalapeños and garlic… I don’t even want to know what they do to it so that I don’t react.  Some things are better left unknown.

So needless to say, I was all like, “Guacamole!  Get in my mouth!”

And 6 months ago, that sentence would never have even crossed my mind.  Progress!

The problem with guacamole is you open the container, and you literally have a maximum 72 hours (if you don’t mind discolouration), but more like 24-48 to eat it.  Unless you have some amazing tips and tricks to keep your guacamole from turning?  If so, TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!

So my week has been full of guacamole, or rather, full of discovering all the things you can do with guacamole.  You know, beyond the tortilla chip route.  Some awesome things I discovered:

Burrito type bowls.  These two were a couple of favourites:

Freekeh Burrito Bowl

Freekeh and black beans, fried together with an egg and sautéed onions, topped with radishes, carrots, spinach, and tomato, greek yogurt, cilantro and guacamole. This one is the overall winner.

Sweet potato burrito bowl

Roasted sweet potato, topped with fried black beans, onions, chard, cheddar cheese, greek yogurt, guacamole, tomato, and cilantro.

The typical quesadilla:

Black beans, 4 year aged white cheddar!, fried onions, spinach and tomato, topped with greek yogurt and guacamole

Black beans, 4 year aged white cheddar!, fried onions, spinach and tomato, topped with greek yogurt and guacamole

And a new concoction that you seriously must try!! Tuna Salad Guacamole Wraps!  SO DELICIOUS! (at this point my aforementioned browning was starting to become an issue… don’t let it distract you from the AWESOMENESS!)

1/2 can tuna, 1/3 c guacamole, a squirt of lime juice, 1/2 green onion (all parts) cut up finely, and 3-4 cherry tomatoes. Mix it all up well and stuff it in a wrap, taco, or sandwich!

1/2 can tuna, 1/3 c guacamole, a squirt of lime juice, 1/2 green onion (all parts) cut up finely, and 3-4 cherry tomatoes. Mix it all up well and stuff it in a wrap, taco, or sandwich!

And after all of this guacamole eating, you’d think I would be begging for a change. Cue my realization: me + avocado = happy, delicious, love.  No guacamole or avocado hate in the picture for me.  Case in point: I went to Costco and bought a three pack yesterday because I had run out of the free stuff… I don’t learn.

Now, those of you who struggle with an eating disorder know that this kind of love is often forbidden.  It’s kind of like Romeo and Juliet, minus the Montagues, Capulets, poison, and overall death scenario.

Okay, maybe that means it’s not like Romeo and Juliet at all…

Point is, it’s forbidden.  Usually this has something to do with the fat content, and associated caloric content. Let’s get real here (according to the USDA):

1/4 of an average avocado clocks in at 80 calories, 1 g protein,   7.37 g fat,

3.4 g  total dietary fibre, 0.33 g sugar

Yeah, man.  That’s not a heck of a lot of avocado.  And for those of you who can do some math, you notice that that means that 83% of the calories in an avocado come from… FAT!

LET’S ALL RUN AWAY SCREAMING! (I think there’s an emoji for that…there’s probably an app for that too)

But wait, before you navigate away from this page, or chastise me for posting calorie counts and being “triggering”, or swear off avocado for life (this would be SAD!  Please don’t…), hear me out!  I post this info to make a point.

In modern society, we live in a fat phobic environment.  We have sworn off all forms of fat, and condemned them all as being “unhealthy”, “disgusting”, “the cause of disease”, “the cause of obesity”, and basically all the equivalent of drinking a vat of grease that they use to fry McDonalds french fries.  It’s easy to see this information about our friend the avocado, and automatically make it taboo.

But let’s get real: is there not a difference between eating an avocado, and scarfing down a whole family size A&W fries?

Side note:  I don’t actually have anything against french fries, and I do in fact believe they equally hold their place in a balanced diet.  Remember guys, no food rules!  It just helps illustrate my point to use an example that easily comes to mind.  Plus, I’m not actually a fan of french fries (unless they’re sweet potato <3!), taste and texture thing, not ED.  BUT, if you are like the vast majority of people that actually enjoy the things, GO FOR IT!  Seriously, don’t deprive yourself!  Everything in moderation is a healthy way to live and eat!

Let’s jump down a little bit on the nutritional label of an avocado and you’ll see what I mean.  Often times, we get a little stuck after we pass through calories.  Or if you get past calories, you get stuck at fat.  And if you get past fat (good job!), you get stuck at one of the other things you feel afraid of, or feel the need to count: protein, carbs, or sugars.  But guys!  THERE’S ANOTHER PART THAT COMES AFTER SUGARS!

Mind blown, I know.

It looks something like this:

1/4 of an average avocado gives you:

6 mg calcium, 15 mg magnesium, 26 mg phosphorus, 244 mg potassium, 41 mcg folate (B9), 10.6 mcg Vitamin K

Not to mention small amounts of other essential nutrients, and some good fat soluble (AKA you actually need that fat in order to utilize them) vitamins E and A (other fat solubles are D and K).

Point:  Avocado is a boss.

But, this is boring! You say.  What does that even mean?

Like I’ve mentioned before, what works wonders for me when I fear a food or a food group is looking at all the positives of that food (see my post on the goodness in cinnamon rolls– it does actually exist!).  Because there is no food that is completely devoid of good things for your body.  Take those babies that chew on dirt or cement (pica)… sometimes that is caused by nutrient deficiency (namely iron and zinc)!

Side note: I don’t mean it’s good to eat cement or dirt.  Pica is a serious disorder that needs medical attention.  My point is, they can get some nutrients even from these things!

So avocados?  What does all of this number and letter jargon actually mean?

The wonder of avocados:

  1. Monounsaturated Fats: Avocados are the only fruits (yes, it’s a fruit!  It has a pit!) that contain monounsaturated fats, which helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels (in simplified terms, although it’s not that simple, “bad cholesterol” levels.
  2. Fibre: Fibre helps not only to keep you regular, but also feeds all the bacteria present in your large intestine that help you to breakdown and utilize the nutrients found in food.  It also helps you to feel full longer, and helps keep your blood sugar levels in check.  So you know all those recipes that combine bananas, and avocados, and chocolate.  Yeah, it’s a good idea for that whole lack of sugar spike thing… plus it kind of tastes awesome.
  3. Fats:  Again, the fat thing!  Like I said, the fat in avocados is necessary to allow you to absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, present not only in the avocado itself but also in whatever you’re eating with your avocado.  Plus it helps you absorb other nutrients associated with the fat-soluble vitamins like the carotenes and lutein.  Plus, fats are necessary to produce sex hormones, maintain the flexibility of your cell membranes, and synthesize cholesterol (cholesterol is not all bad, it’s necessary too!).
  4. Actual Nutrients Present: Manganese, Iron, Magnesium, Alpha Carotene, Lutein, Potassium, B vitamins, Vitamin E: Manganese is necessary for enzymes to perform properly, allowing the use of  vitamin B1, C, and protein. Iron is important for red blood cell production, and thus energy levels, respiratory system, and circulatory system function. Magnesium is necessary for your heart and muscle health, your nervous system, and your stress levels. Alpha Carotene is helpful for inflammation and is a great antioxidant. Lutein is super important for eye health. Potassium is necessary for cardiovascular health (think lowering blood pressure!), and proper nervous system function. B Vitamins (there are too many!), are essential for so many things, not the least of which is immune function.  Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, and is awesome for skin health!

I could go on and on, because avocados contain over 20 vitamins and minerals. 20!  You could write a book!  Actually, I’m sure that’s been done…

So what’s the take home message?

Stick with the avocado love, calories be damned.  Eat your guacamole, and eat it often.  Slice it, dice it, cube it, and throw some lime juice on it!  Keep it in the fridge, covered tightly with plastic wrap once it’s cut, and with the pit in to prevent some browning.(Once again, if anyone has some avocado preserving tips other than lemon/limes, and keeping the pit in, tell me your ways!).

And when ED tells you it’s bad… when he tells you the numbers, when he says to go run it off afterwards, when he says it’s not what you need, when he tells you it’s too much, when he freaks out about the fat…

Think of your heart that’s pumping because of the potassium and magnesium. Because of the avocado.

Think of your skin that is red and rosy thanks to proper circulation from the iron, and glowing and healthy because of the vitamin E. Because of the avocado.

Think of your ability to reproduce and be a woman, because you have enough fats to produce sex hormones.  Because of the avocado.

Think of how you have energy, because of the iron, calories, and overall nutrient content.  YOU DESERVE TO HAVE ENERGY!  FATS AND FOOD AND CALORIES GIVE YOU ENERGY!  THEY ALLOW YOU TO LIVE YOUR LIFE, NOT JUST ADD MASS TO YOU (THEY MIGHT NOT EVEN ADD MASS UNLESS YOU NEED TO ADD IT!). Because of the avocado.

And as you taste that creamy deliciousness, enjoy it.  Because it’s good.  And that’s good enough.

Some serious avocado link love for you, if you want to hop on my bandwagon!  My top 5 avocado recipe loves written by others:

  1. The best smoothie of life.  Seriously my all time favourite! Banana Peanut Butter Green Smoothie via Pastry Affair.  You’ll have seen this guy a plethora of times on my instagram feed.IMG_5818
  2. Cheesy Sweet and Sour Thai Pomegranate Chicken Enchiladas via Half Baked Harvest.  Phew, that’s a mouthful to say. But it’s an even better mouthful to eat.  My version pictured, made up for the pepper thing by subbing in hoisin for the sweet chilli paste, mixed with some curry powder, and spiralized carrots for the red bell pepper.IMG_5663
  3. Autumn Avocado Toast with Gorgonzola, Pears, and Toasted Walnuts via How Sweet Eats.  Yes, it’s just avocado toast… but the combo is awesome!  That, plus avocado, goat cheese, balsamic, and strawberries.  Just saying.4.

4. Simple Roasted Squash via Deliciously Ella.  The avocado puree is to die for.  Literally.

5. Chocolate Avocado Smoothie via Texanerin.  This really is not a smoothie… it’s a pudding.  And it’s delicious topped with coconut chips, and made using dark chocolate almond milk.  Just saying.IMG_1622

Plus you can follow my Pinterest (in particular my avocado board), for more and constantly updated ideas!

I’m done with the plugging now.  I swear.

And of course, this post made me crave avocado.  So here’s a look at some more avocado love from my lunch I’m currently devouring as I hit publish:

Quinoa mixed with tamari, cherry balsamic, pomegranate arils, and green onions, along with roasted sweet potato, spinach, raspberries, pumpkin seeds, goats feta, and 1/4 of a mashed avocado

Quinoa mixed with tamari, cherry balsamic, hemp seeds, pomegranate arils, and green onions, along with roasted sweet potato, spinach, raspberries, pumpkin seeds, goats feta, and 1/4 of a mashed avocado

Information sources:

My own knowledge!

USDA

Nutrition Stripped

Staying Healthy With Nutrition by Elson M Haas, MD

Leibster Award Nomination

So I guess you can call me a blogging newbie.  Scratch that, you can definitely call me a blogging newbie, and while I do definitely have some blogs that I follow, my knowledge and scope of the blogsphere is small… hence when Sarah Margaret nominated me for the Liebster Award, I was like, “Huh, what is is this?  Is there a trophy?  Do I get some cool accolades?  Do I have to give a speech?”

Liebster 

Okay, maybe I wasn’t actually convinced that my nomination meant reaceiving tangible memorabilia, but I was curious… and once I saw it, it appeared to me reminiscent of a chain letter.  Take that as a positive, or as a negative.  Regardless, these things can still be fun, and a good push for people who tend to be more of a closed book (Hello!) to put themselves out there.

 

So even after I already had decided, hey why not participate, I had to look up this Liebster Award on the all-knowing Google.  Surprise, surprise, it’s not just an obscure thing someone came up with when they had nothing better to do on a Tuesday night.  Most bloggers have heard of it at some point… hence why I now feel particularly novice-like.  But now I can cross off one thing on my “Steps to Becoming an Accomplished and Known Blogger” checklist.  Liebster Award, check.

 

Does this list actually exist, because if it actually does I wouldn’t mind taking a peak at it…

 

But I digress…

 

The Liebster Award Rules:

1)  Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award

2)  Answer eleven questions the blogger gives you

3)  Give eleven random facts about yourself

4)  Nominate eleven bloggers that you think are deserving of the award, with less than two hundred followers

5)  Let the bloggers know you have nominated them

6)  Give them eleven questions to answer

 

So without further ado, I answer the questions!

 

1. What is the best thing about your life right now?

 

That I feel like I’ve hit the pause button.  You remember when you’re a little at a carnival and on the carosel?  Now, unless you’re a kid who is addicted to carosels (no judgement) there probably was at least once a point where you see everything around you spinning, and it’s constantly moving, and its uncomfortable.  You panic, you just want the ride to stop but it’s out of your control and everything just keeps spinning and spinning.  Then there’s this moment, that brief moment at the end of the ride where everything just stops.  It’s the moment between the spinning and the resumption of the world as we know it.  That moment, that pause, where everything is quiet and still and empty where you can for a second just realign yourself.  At the moment, I feel like I’m living in that pause.  And that space, that stillness, feels pretty great.

 

2. If you could have any question answered, what would it be?

 

“How do you learn to love yourself?”  Or at least, if not love yourself, be okay with yourself and respect yourself enough to have confidence and be okay with letting others in.   Either that, or “how do you stop caring about what everyone else thinks?”

 

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?

 

People who take their dogs for walks without leashes.  Seriously, though, it’s not just about you and your dog.  I don’t care if your dog is friendly, and I don’t care if he wouldn’t hurt a fly.  There are other people out their trying to walk their dogs too, and if your dog insists on coming up to my leashed dog who is leashed for a reason, and you have no control over your dog you make not only your dog’s life difficult, but mine, and my dog’s as well.  It’s quick, easy, and painless.  Let me walk my dog in peace, and leash yours.

Either this, or people that text, write emails, or even essays (I was a grade 12 provincial essay editor for the practice exams, and I saw some scary things)… actually just write in short form.  I.E: u versus you, brb instead of be right back… pretend that what you’re saying is important enough and deserves enough attention to at least write out the actual word!  AND, don’t expect an A on an exam paper that includes such shorthand, because… seriously?! 

5. If you could choose one character from a book to be your best friend, who would it be?

 

See, this is too hard because I’ve read too many books and can’t even think of characters because the only book I can clearly picture in a pinch is within the last five or so I’ve read!  And none of those characters seem to fit the bill.  Hmmm… I can’t think.  So I’ll think of a TV show instead.  You know doctor Maggie Pierce off of Grey’s Anatomy?  Yeah, I think she’d be my best friend, because she’s kind of a loner too, she loves crosswords, and her heart is so pure and honest.  She doesn’t have a hidden agenda and she’s so kind and appreciates quiet too.

 

6. What would you want your last words to be?

 

“I regret nothing.”  How cool would it be to be at the end of your life and be able to honestly say you were okay with every choice you made, and accepting of all associated ramifications.  Either that, or something like “That cookie dough was so delicious…” because if I’m dying I’d at least want to think that the last meal I remembered and tasted was my favorite.

 

7. Is there a story behind your name? If so, can you tell us?

 

Well, my parents had a bunch of possible names.  Jessica, Tamara, Stephanie… When I was born, my mom wanted to name me Tamara after my GRANDMA, but my Dad insisted I have my own name.  I was born really, really premature, so I only weighed 3 lbs 8 oz, and my parents had tried to have kids before and it resulted in miscarriages.  So I was thought of as their “miracle baby”, and the name Tiffany that my Dad picked out actually means “God’s incarnate”, or “manifestation of God”.  As for Irene (my middle name), that was my Aunt’s name, who had passed on a few years before I was born.

 

8. What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

  I’m not sure what’s scarier- developing an eating disorder or recovering from one.  I think the whole eating disorder package just falls into one colossal fear-filled three plus years of my life.  On a non-ED type thing though, I think the next one was the waterslides.  I’m still terrified of them, as I almost drowned when I was little and me+water= NO, just no… but you know they have this crazy idea in elementary school that the last day of school needs to be fun and take you to the waterslides every year.  Needless to say, I dreaded the last day of school like most people dreaded the first.

 

9. What two things do you consider yourself to be very good at?

 

Any word game/activity, like crosswords, scrabble, boggle… I have a pretty awesome vocabulary. 


Cooking.  I think I actually am a pretty good cook, so long as the eating disorder doesn’t get in the way.  And my artistic skills (I draw and play music too) really help with plating and the visual aspects of food.

 

10. What two things do you consider yourself to be very bad at?

Social situations, particularly those involving multiple people.  It’s odd really, because I’m pretty good at business-type interactions. I’m okay at interviews and I can do public speaking.  But if you get me in a laid back, hanging out with a group of people situation, I have the social skills of a constipated donkey.  Yep, a constipated donkey… it’s uncomfortable.

 

Sports, of any kind.  I manage to sprain things, or stab myself, or just fall flat on my face.  Either that or the ball goes one way and I go the other… this falls into two categories: both my horrible aim and hand-eye coordination, and my intense fear and hatred of feeling trapped, cornered or chased.  And what happens when you have the ball in a soccer game?  People trap you, corner you, and chase you… nope.  I’m going the other way.

 

11. If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?

I would hop on a plane, and fly to every place I could, because you know, you wouldn’t have to pay for the ticket.  AND if you planned it out right, you’d be able to prolong that day so that you’d hit different time zones and could see more places in the world because midnight would keep moving and you could hold off on the carriage turning back into a pumpkin.

And Eleven Random Facts about me:

1) I’m a tea junkie. Yes, that’s right, a tea junkie.  I converted an almost floor-to-ceiling bookcase into a tea wall… and it’s overflowing.  My favourite tea of all time is “The Spice is Right” by David’s Tea… I seriously have at least 3 cups a day and it never gets old.

2) I love chocolate, but I’m super selective.  Perhaps I’m a snob, but I won’t even touch a Hershey’s or a Kit Kat.  I like dark dark dark the best, at least 75%, but preferably 80-85%.  I’m warming slowly to white, but only if it’s really good quality white.  And with any of my chocolates, I love it only in really small doses.  I’m talking like 1/2 to 1 square.  It’s not even an ED thing.  As I said, I absolutely LOVE it, but any more than one square and it’s not near as satisfying or delicious.  That being said, if you feed me chocolate ganache or a really fudge brownie, I can eat it all and I’ll love you forever!

3) I’m afraid of water. Yep, it means no swimming for me.  I don’t know how.  Backstory to this is a near drowning incident when I was little, and now it just terrifies me.  Bucket list is to learn how to swim though, because I do enjoy being in water, if it’s not too deep, and I’d love to be able to dive and see coral reefs.  I could spend all day at an aquarium!

4) My favourite animal is an elephant.  Seriously, it’s a bit of a problem.  My room is literally COVERED in elephant related things. I don’t know why, but they’re just my favourite.  Plus, I’m a pretty family orientated person, and so are elephants as they stay in herds and nurse their young for FOREVER!  Side note:  Oddly, when I first went into residential treatment it was really nerve-wracking for obvious reasons, and I was of course really wound up and questioning everything.  I walked into my room, and right beside my bed just happened to be a HUGE poster of an elephant at sunset.  Totally coincidence, but I took it as a good sign that this was a place I was meant to be in at that point in time.

5) I love to knit. This was something I learned how to do when I was in the hospital for months, and had nothing to do but sit in a bed/couch.  A fellow inpatient taught me the basics, and from there I kind of just taught myself.  Now I knit all kinds of things, and one of the things I’m quite known for is, surprise, surprise:

IMG_0165

6) I can’t stand Lord of the Rings.  Perhaps now you’ll never read this blog again, and for that I’m sorry.  But if there was one series that ever bored me to tears, literally tears, this was it.  I love Harry Potter, I love Hunger Games, but that’s pretty much the extent of my sci-fi esque love.  And don’t talk about Lord of the Rings to me… I might actually walk away mid sentence.

7) I recently had my first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks in over two years.  I semi forgot how delicious they are, and it was a total victory on the ED front.  I even had the whipped cream. #happiness

8) I have an uncanny ability to injure myself.  I’ve had at least 4 or 5 sprains in my life, some of which were fairly legitimate (i.e.: I sprained my ankle at least twice running track), but most of which were ridiculous (i.e: I was dancing to Songza in my living room, tripped over my dog, and sprained my pinky toe.  MY PINKY TOE!).  And my first day of my current job, I managed within two hours of starting, to slice my hand open and take a weeks leave of absence after getting stitches.  Thankfully, they didn’t hold it against me.  I still get mocked ruthlessly though!

9) I HATE RUNNING!!! I just cannot believe that there are people who legitimately enjoy that torture.  And it’s so hard to admit, because for me, running=cardio=exersize=GOOD BEHAVIOUR FOR ALL THE WRONG ED REASONS.  And I want to vow to myself that I will never lace those running shoes to pound it out again… because I do hate it, and it consumed me for too long, and just… no.

10) If I could make any flavour of toothpaste, it would probably be banana.  But not like that gross, medicine fake banana flavour.  It would have to taste like an actual banana.

11) I was known for making awesome ice cream pairings at my old job. Yes, I used to work at an ice cream parlour.  And I was known for either coming up with awesome milkshake flavours, or two ice-cream pairings in bowls.  It was super fun.

And I nominate:

CassiesCookery

Well Fed Wanderer

The Surrendered Stomach

Breaking Seams

Your Midnight Blogger

Journey to a Balanced Life

The Journey Forward

The Wellbeing Project

Eilish Eats

Fuel for Freedom

Spoonfuls of Life

Here are your eleven, somewhat random questions:

1) If you could create any flavour of toothpaste, what would it be?

2) If you could relive any day of your life, what would it be and why?

3) What is your dream job?

4) If you could have any question answered what would it be?

5) What is the biggest problem you believe kids face nowadays?

6) If you could give one piece of advice to your 5-year-old self, what would it be and why?

7) If you could speak any language (other than your native tongue), what would it be and why?

8) What is your favourite type of tea?

9) What skill do you not have that you wish you possessed?

10) What do you think is your greatest strength?

11) If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do and why?

Mind the Gap

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not up on the A-list celebrity knowhow.  My television choices are limited in the first place because I watch very little tv, but when I do I tend to pick Grey’s Anatomy over Etalk, or Masterchef over Survivor.  Even on those days where you need to watch something completely inane (because we all have those days), you’ll find me watching a pointless TLC show (My Crazy Obsession, anyone?) instead of Jersey Shore.  And in terms of reading material, I don’t think anyone has ever seen me with a People or Vanity Fair, whereas nearly everyone has seen me with a Bon Appétit or Martha Stewart.  Actually, EVERYONE has seen me with a novel, or a book of New York Times Crosswords.  Yep, even my Bon Appétit-dom is limited.

So when my dietician gave me a homework assignment to write a roast, I was a little thrown.  I mean, if we talk about a pot roast, or a roast pork loin, I follow you.  I breathe you.  I eat you…

Sage.

Garlic.

Olive oil.

Moving on…

Needless to say, this wasn’t the roast she was talking about.  You know the kind?  The one where you make fun of something, or rather someone.  And she said to me, look up a roast on Youtube, and watch some of your favourite celebrities to get inspiration.

And cue an hour of my life last night, attempting to find a roast to watch online.  See, my logic is that something really is only going to be funny if you know enough about the thing they’re talking about to understand the jokes.  There are surprisingly few that I was able to find that fit the bill for me.  Actually, there were virtually none that fit the bill because this sums up my knowledge:

  1. Pamela Anderson:  Has boobs and was on Baywatch.
  2. Justin Bieber:  A dark period in Canadian history with a voice and song collection that makes my eyes and ears bleed
  3. Bob Saget: Full House Dad and AFV host.  This ALMOST got watched because I was an avid Full House-er… but still when you only know him as Danny Tanner the subtleties would get missed.
  4. Drew Carey: The most boring part of Whose Line is it Anyway?
  5. Charlie Sheen:  The reason I could never watch Two and a Half Men.  And he snorts Coke.
  6. Joan Rivers: So many plastic surgeries her face doesn’t even move when she talks.  But as to what she actually did, I have no idea.
  7. Hugh Hefner: Who is that?

Yep, that about sums it up.

So by the time I picked something, it was getting late, and I was tired and frustrated.  I settled on Donald Trump, mostly because he’s pretty current right now.  But, once again, my knowledge was limited.  I know he’s running for president, has (had?) a show called the Apprentice, has hair that moves in disturbing ways, and that he reminds me for some odd reason of an equally obnoxious version of Don Cherry minus the awful wardrobe.

Am I the only one that sees a resemblance?!

Side note: a line in the roast, which was from 2009, was that “it is pronounced I am delusional, not I am running for president“.  This one actually made me laugh.

Anyways, I got 20 minutes into the roast.  And I fell asleep.  Maybe the rest was funny… we’ll never know.  I woke up at some point during the night and Joan rivers was talking to someone.  Perhaps if I had woke up more than just enough to slam my laptop shut, I would have learned something about what she does.

Oh well, I guess I’ll never know that either.

So I’ve kind of given up on watching a roast, and I’ll stick to the edible kind.  Unless anyone can find one of Julia Child, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, or Joe Bastianich, because I might just know enough about that to get into it.  Side note: I didn’t even have to look up how to spell Bastianich.  Word.

On to MY roast.  And guess what I’m roasting?

That’s right. You guessed it.

My number one “fat” marker.

Even as I type that I’m ashamed… but not because I don’t have one.  Or at least that I pretty much don’t have one anymore.  Rather, I’m ashamed that I can say something so cruel, so blatantly.  If you don’t have a thigh gap, you’re fat.  If you don’t have a thigh gap, you don’t work out enough.  If you don’t have a thigh gap, you’re not skinny.  If you don’t have a thigh gap you’re unhealthy.  If you don’t have a thigh gap, you eat wrong.  If you don’t have a thigh gap, you’re wrong.  If you don’t have a thigh gap, you’re unworthy of love.  If you don’t have a thigh gap, you are worthless.  If you don’t have a thigh gap you’re not beautiful.  If you don’t have a thigh gap, you’re nothing.

It’s something I would never say to anyone else, yet something I say to myself day in and day out on a daily basis.  On a minute to minute basis.  On a mirror to mirror basis.  It’s something that is a mathematical equation in my head.  No thigh gap= fat.

And I try to combat it, as hard as I might, but it’s there.  That desire for that unattainable ideal is there.  Because let’s be clear I HAVE HAD the coveted crevice, on three occasions:

  1. When I was a kid, no where near close to puberty.
  2. When I was first admitted to hospital, severely malnourished, underweight, and near death.
  3. During relapse recently, when the doctor seriously threatened re-hospitalization if I didn’t turn things around.  AKA, I was almost, but not quite at the aforementioned point.

That’s it. I’ve come close a few times… yep, the circumference of my thighs begins to decrease and I almost, ALMOST, achieve the great divide and then…

I lose my period. Whoops.

Yep, I lose my period, my body’s definitive way of saying, “Hey you, I’m not healthy anymore so I’m going to turn off your ability to reproduce because it’s too dangerous to carry a child,” and I STILL don’t quite have a thigh gap.  You hear me, STILL HAVE TOUCHING THIGHS AND MY BODY ALREADY SAYS YOU’RE SICK!

The thigh gap is one of those things that seems to be making headlines on a daily basis. Just typing in “thigh gap” on Google, you come up with thousands of articles from “6 steps to a thigh gap”, to “the miracle thigh gap diet”. It is a feature in such high demand, that numerous “fitness experts” are making work out videos geared specifically towards achieving this oh-so-desirable chasm, and countless magazines tout it on their cover stories. It has become the definitive test to show whether you are a physically desirable woman, among women that is (because they’ve done surveys and apparently men don’t find this near as appealing as we do).

Is it a new phenomenon? Not really. It was something that existed in the modeling industry for years to determine whether or not you were a thin enough frame, but here’s the thing: like all crazy fashion epidemics, from bell bottoms to shoulder pads, it eventually spread to the general public. Now, everyone HAS to have one.

But the reality is: naturally, healthily, only a small percentage of the population can achieve this ideal. And these people are not anorexic, they’re not eating disordered, and they probably don’t think twice about it. It’s just part of their make up. They’re perfectly healthy individuals.

To have a thigh gap, naturally, you pretty much have to have a specific bone structure. AKA: you have to have wider hips, you have to have a specific angle created between the pelvis and the femur. Or you can look at whether you’re a mesomorph body type (tend to put on muscle), endomorph (tend to carry more muscle and have a higher body fat percentage naturally), or an ectomorph (have trouble putting on muscle or fat in general- aka most likely to have a natural thigh gap). Or, you can look at the muscles in your thighs themselves, whether your adductor muscles are located higher or lower on your thigh (http://www.jensinkler.com/close-thigh-gap/), or even how muscular you are in general. I mean, chances are, if you do a lot of lower body work and as such have really strong leg muscles, that muscle mass has to go somewhere. But would you tell that same person that they are unhealthy and fat because their thighs touch? To put it in perspective, another dietician once said to me, “You want a definitive way to get a thigh gap? Just develop Rickets!”

So, the obsession has to stop.  But how?

Honestly, I don’t know.

My thighs are my everyday reminder of my own imperfection, but not the human sort, the hideous unforgiveable sort. I will do whatever I can to avoid 360° mirrors and not have to face my backside. I walk up the street and scrutinize every woman’s thigh’s that I see, not so much to bring myself up, but to find a way to knock myself down and show myself that flawless thighs are a reality and an achievable one. I’m just not good enough, not disciplined enough, not worthy enough to achieve it. I breathe a sigh of relief when I pass a woman wearing baggy pants. The scrutiny is so automatic, so engrained, that I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I feel my self-esteem plummet. I can’t wear jeans because their inflexibility makes me feel like my legs are rubbing together more than normal and that I’m gaining fat and cellulite by the minute. I never have owned, though I’ve envied and admired them, a pair of shorts that are shorter than mid thigh, and even then feel unworthy and uncomfortable of even wearing those.

Apparently it’s not enough to fear the food, to fear the food, to fear the scale… now I’m literally afraid of the clothes in my closet too. Win.

Walking to work, even before the eating disorder, was hell because I almost walked into posts or people… I was never looking up but rather looking down at my thighs as I moved, trying to tell if they were jiggling slightly more, or slightly less than the day before. Now it’s a sin for them to jiggle at all. My thighs fuel my exercise addiction. I fear to add more bulk in muscle in the off chance that that might make my thighs touch more, or add on the pounds on the weigh scale, but I’m terrified to stop to only see more cellulite appear, or have my thighs get even closer together to mock me because, get this, it never was muscle build up in the first place. It was fat. It was cellulite. Surprise!

And while cellulite is my prime concern, it is rivaled (coming in a now perilously close second) only by the thigh gap. For me, this ideal didn’t even come into fruition until I was already so ensconced in my eating disorder and at my worst. Actually I don’t remember ever thinking about a thigh gap, or examining other women’s bodies for one until ironically I was in recovery and away at residential treatment. Not until I had reached a point where, after a considerable amount of time that I maintained a weight less than healthy, I suddenly became aware of the fact that my thighs were touching as I stood in the shower one morning. And I panicked, and I freaked out!

Is this normal?!

Did my thighs touch before the eating disorder? I can’t remember!

And if they did, why does it feel so uncomfortable now, so wrong, so… unhealthy?

And now I can’t escape that one either. I can try to quote my old therapist’s phrase that she coined when I erupted in our session that same day, saying “Your thighs aren’t touching… they’re embracing one another.” I can try to say that until the cows come home. They say that if you say something enough times, you eventually get to believe it.

Well… it has been pretty much 2.5 years since she said that, and I don’t believe it yet. Shall I keep telling myself?

No.  But what else do they say?  I heard somewhere that laughter is the best medicine.  Perhaps something becomes less serious, less overwhelming, less consuming, less foreboding if you poke fun at it.  If you roast it.

And I’m a perfectionist, so I’m of course all like: “I have to do this RIGHT!”  So… I googled. Yes I did:

screenshot

And one of the warnings was to consider the personality of the one you’re roasting, because you want to “poke fun, not mortally wound”… BUT, for us because the mortal wounding of the thigh gap wouldn’t be such a bad thing, we can be uncensored. WIN!

So here goes nothing:

So, thigh gap, we’ve been together a while, and now that you’re going I figured it was a good idea to look back on all the good times we’ve shared.  You know, all the times we’ve gone out, shared a pizza, picked up ice cream cones… Oh wait, we didn’t do any of that.  Your aversion to cheese, cream, and anything containing fat kind of put a damper on things.  But we did stand in front of a mirror and bend over to check the space between our legs.  That was a good time!  Totally just as good as a pizza…

Yeah, you’re kind of neurotic and all-consuming.  No, no, don’t get me wrong it’s a good thing!  I mean, we all need that refreshing burst of insanity to spice up our daily routine.  Your insanity actually took up a significant portion of my brain waves, and what else was I going to use that energy for?  Hanging out with friends?  Solving world hunger? Oh wait!  You already did that one, by elevating hunger to a celebrated state of being!  If only everyone was as smart as you we would have realized decades ago that famine isn’t actually a shortfall, it is a heroic circumstance that we should all strive for.  Yeah, it comes with a rather high mortality rate, but come on.  YOLO. Living on the edge!

Yeah, for such a daredevil, you are a bit high-maintenance.  I mean, who else starts their day with 200 lunges and 300 squats?!  Not to mention your expense. I mean I guess I could have gone the cheap route.  You’re one of those friends whose love I apparently can buy for 16.95 plus shipping and handling, in a moisturizing, firming lotion.  But you know me, I go all out.  That treadmill in the back room… yeah, that must have bought ALOT of love from you.

And your frugality… it’s something of legend.  With you, my budget looked great!  I mean when you can cut out 3 of 4 food groups, your grocery bill goes WAY down!  And you taught me to really appreciate the little things in life.  I mean REALLY appreciate the little things… because that’s all I ever had on my plate.  Little things.

But one quality I will always value about you is your honesty.  I always knew where I stood with you.  Somewhere between not good enough, pathetic, and dreadful, and you never were afraid to let me know it.  Sure, maybe it resulted in a few tears, and a few meltdowns, but that is true of any relationship, right?  And we always worked it out, and stayed together for the kids.  You know our daughters, Osteoporosis and Amenorrhea, and our son Bradycardia.  I remember when you suggested we try for a fourth, but we could never decide on a name so we never went there.  Yeah, I could never get on board with your pick of Suicide.

Anyways, the end has come.   I’m sad to see you leave, but my vagina is getting cold.  It’s been a slice.

Wow, that was a little inappropriate.  Ah well.  #sorryI’mnotsorry

And in other news, check out some awesome commentary on the thigh gap trend:

And on a slightly inappropriate, but equally true note:

Flexibility Part I: Fearing Change

Howdy! It’s been a while.

Have you ever had one of those spans of time where you’re just… blah?  It’s not for a particular reason, and it’s not that you’re angry, or sad, or depressed, or scared, or feeling any one particular emotion. You’re just… blah.

That’s been me the past few weeks.  In particular, that’s been me the last week.  And in some ways, I guess it has translated over to my writing too.  I haven’t wanted to write… and I certainly didn’t know even if I did WANT to write, what to write about.

I mean, I could do a post on a particular food.  Like dates, for example, or coconut.  And I could rave about why that particular food is totally awesome, taste-wise and nutrient-wise.  The date one could definitely have been a thing, as it’s been causing me, or rather the eating disordered part of me, endless vexation.  But I was uninspired.

And I could also have done a post on some incredible macronutrient that we all love to hate and hate to love.  You know the one… that big gooey one.  That deliciously fluffy yet smooth one that just sneaks its way even into the strictest of diet plans…

FAT!

I just realized those descriptions could have also described an undercooked muffin, brownie, or cookie… and hence CARBS!  But I was really thinking about fat…

And now I really want an undercooked cookie…

Moving on!

I could have written about fat.  I will write about fat.  But again, I was uninspired.

And I could have responded to a Liebster Award nomination… which I TECHNICALLY have, but have been unable to post because I’m having a heck of a time coming up with bloggers to nominate with less than 200 followers!! Hence my lack of technical skills rears its ugly head. (Side note:  if anyone can help me find WHERE to find how many followers a blog has, this would be super helpful!)

Anyways, as you can see, I was uninspired.  And I was unmotivated.  You see, because when you go through a good two years with a thigh gap (yes, I know this is an unrealistic and unhealthy ideal, but it’s an ed thing) and then suddenly it no longer exists, as much as you want to say it doesn’t matter, it does.  And it’s a grieving process, and an acceptance process, and a depressing process.  And it leaves you unmotivated.  I’m working through it.

On another note, mirrorless Monday is becoming easier on most fronts.  I’ve decided to totally cover my bedroom mirror with a curtain of sorts, which helps a lot when you wake up at 5 in the morning and forget what day it is.  Plus, the bedroom mirror is, at least for me the most unforgiving and the cruelest.  So actually, I’ve decided to keep the curtain up and closed on this one!  Now, when I want to use it, it actually gives me the space to stop and think first:

  1. Do I really NEED to look in the mirror right now? AKA, is there spinach in my teeth?
  2. Why am I looking in the mirror right now?
  3. Is it going to help me, or is it going to harm me to look in the mirror right now?

And when you have that space to ask yourself those questions, believe it or not I’d say 80 % of the time it results in me walking away from the mirror without having opened the curtain to check at all.  Except for this morning, even though it’s mirrorless Monday.  BUT, I think it’s a legitimate cause to look in the mirror when suddenly you have blood flowing down your face and you have no idea where it’s coming from…

Side note: I apparently picked a scab while I was impatiently waiting for my oatmeal to cook.  TMI probably, but just so you all know, I’m not dying!

So, what am I actually going to talk about?

Yesterday, and I guess today, if you think of the stat holiday as a holiday, was Canadian Thanksgiving!  Or, as one of my best friends puts it: “anxiety+family+food” day!  Which pretty much sums it up.

Thanksgiving is horrendously wonderful.  Turkey day even gets its own slot on the hunger/fullness scale, with 1 being dizzy and weak, and 10 being binge full (Thanksgiving full actually is 9, just in case you were wondering).  So in terms of notoriety, it’s kind of the Madonna or MJ of the food world.

I just had a vision of a turkey, wearing a white glove, and dancing the slide to dark or white (like dark meat/white meat, instead of black or white skin…).  You kinda had to be there.

Moving on.  As such, it is one of those holidays that people with eating disorders love to hate.  I mean, it’s a holiday that celebrates food in all its glory.  It’s a holiday where it actually is normal to eat past comfortably full.  It’s a holiday that delights in fear foods (gravy, creamed sauces, probably some nuts somewhere, dessert, pie, whipping cream, ice cream, pie, alcohol perhaps, CARBS, pie…).  It’s a time of family and friends, which even in the best relationships often gets stressful.  Whether it’s people interrogating you on where your life is going, who you’re dating, offering their unsolicited opinions on what you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T be doing.  Plus, house of 30 people, roasting hot oven= heat stroke, lack of space, lack of air, and irritability.  Or at least, that’s how it usually is in my family.

And believe it or not, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  This Thanksgiving for me… well I’ll be honest, it kind of sucked.  No, it really, really sucked.  And it wasn’t because I had to eat turkey, or gravy, or cream sauces, or deal with unending questions of how my life was going or whether I was living up to expectations.  It was because it DIDN’T have any of that.  For a girl who is used to being with family and going through the anxiety provoking yet necessary yearly rite of passage, it was a let-down.

I had to work.  AKA I had to pay bills, which means that I had to work.  Which means, that I didn’t get to drive out of town and spend the holiday with all my family.  It sucks, but it’s life.  It saved me from a lot of food anxiety, as it was a day like any other, and a lot of relationship anxiety, but it also made me feel quite down in the dumps most of the week, and especially yesterday.

I did buck up last night, get angry that I was doing NOTHING Thanksgiving-y, and decide to create a recipe for single-serving pumpkin pie.  It turned out quite tasty, but it was more of a cake because if you don’t have 6 hours to let a pumpkin pie set and cool before eating, you kind of have to go the cake route.  Plus the crust needs a bit of work… it’s not much of a looker either… basically it’s a work in progress.  And it did trigger a rather large ED meltdown afterwards.

Oh the joys of Thanksgiving!

But this Thanksgiving taught me a little lesson.  Actually this week taught me a little lesson: You have to be flexible.

Flexible.

Let’s see… the definition of flexible… ah here we go:

Flexible

  1. capable of being bent, usually without breaking (emphasis on the USUALLY for me)
  2. susceptible of modification or adaptation; adaptible
  3. willing or disposed to yield; pliable

Flexible.  It is one of those qualities that I really wish that I could add to my list of personality traits!  And it’s super funny, because on one hand I’m about as flexible as a piece of plywood, yet at the same time I am so frustrated by inflexibility (including my own) that I will go out of my way to avoid it or push against boundaries.  Hence, my tendency to change my hair quite frequently, or constant need for variety in my diet.

I’m a walking dialectical oxymoron.  Yes… I do use words like that in real life.

Side note: my dietician got a good laugh the other day.  Here I am, bearing my soul in peanut butter and chocolate, and she was stifling a laugh because I’m the first person she has heard actually use the word “whilst” in a sentence!

Double side note:  I’m not actually mad about this… it makes me happy when I amuse people.  Because I believe I am one of the most boring people ever so it shocks me when it happens.  Moving on.

Flexibility, or rather, inflexibility is a big issue in the eating disorder realm.  Our world is ruled by a set of guidelines that supposedly maintains the safety, structure, and certainty of our existence, of our diet, and most importantly of our weight, or weight loss.  We are completely convinced that if we do something the same way and it has always been safe then we will continue to stay safe doing things the same way.  I remember one therapist I once saw told me that one of the key personality traits for someone with anorexia is inflexibility/rigidity, along with high levels of harm avoidance.  So I mean it logically makes sense; why change something that isn’t broken?  Why do something differently if we don’t know what will happen when we do?  If there is a chance that we might get hurt, that the sky will fall, that the pain we fear will come to meet us?

Answer:  Because there has to be something MORE.

There has to be something more than doing the same thing over and over.  There has to be something more than eating the same meal over and over.  There has to be something more than not settling for something that you’re only kind of happy with, or maybe not happy with at all.  And maybe there isn’t something more.  Maybe there isn’t something better.  Sometimes we change something, only to find that it IS worse than before.

But guess what?  You can always go back.

Well maybe not ALWAYS.  This isn’t “Back to the Future”. But with a lot of things that we fear to change, we often forget that a change doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  It doesn’t mean switching one rut for another.  Just because you make a change does not mean you have to stick to it if it’s not working for you.  As I often have to remind myself, going backwards isn’t the same as quitting or giving up, it’s simply re-routing.

And sometimes, when we make a change, we find out that there was something MORE.  There was something BETTER.  And we luck out.  And we grow, we expand (in personality, in depth of character, not necessarily in waistline), and we become MORE than we were before.

Like when I first started with my new dietician, and I said, “I don’t want to try a new breakfast because I’m so scared that I’ll hate it and then I’ll have wasted my calories.” For someone who is starving themselves every little calorie you allow yourself to eat is precious.  You cherish it.  You plan for it.  You savour it.  Or at least I did, because I never knew when I would be able to have it again.

But if I hadn’t tried something new, I never would have discovered baked oatmeal, overnight oats, or the wonderful thing that happens when you blend an avocado into a smoothie, or slap some scrambled eggs on a waffle (if you haven’t tried either of these ideas, stop reading NOW, and go do it!  I can wait!  Preferably at the same time, because you can have a smoothie and a waffle and an egg (and cheese) at the same time (with some spinach and milk and banana and almond butter thrown in, hint hint), preferably for lunch, because there are NO RULES, and it is DELICIOUS!) And my body would never have learned how to digest food properly again.  Okay maybe that last part was more along the lines with just eating properly again and not just the breakfast shift, but you get the point.  The change was good!

Or this past week.  I had to go in for weigh in, but my doctor called me the day before and said that he had to move my appointment from 11 am to 1 pm.  And this was my face:

And I had to be flexible.  I had to adapt.  Why was this a big deal you ask?  Because I MUST get weighed at the same time of day, wearing the same clothes, after having eating at the same exact times I do every weigh in day!  It must be consistent or the world will END!  My weight won’t be accurate, I’ll blow up 10 extra pounds because I ate lunch first, I’ll retain some fluid…

So I planned to skip lunch… or rather not skip it, but wait until after 2 to eat.  At least, until my dietician reminded me not only how ridiculous my reasoning sounded, but how impractical this plan was since I still had a snack to fit in before dinner.  So I had to adapt, and I had to be okay with eating lunch before a weigh in.  I had to be okay with the possible water retention (that is NORMAL), and the possible fluctuation of weight (that is also NORMAL).  And I had to be okay when I finally decided to eat lunch on the way and what I was going to order had something I was allergic to in in and I had to pick something else in the spur of the moment.  Pressure + me = RUN!

IMG_1278

Except nothing happened.  Nothing.  The world didn’t end.  And assuming that no one is lying to me, my weight increased the same amount as usual… the same amount that it’s supposed to be increasing by.

I had to be flexible when I realized I couldn’t spend the holiday with my family.

I had to push my boundaries.  And yes, it created a ridiculous amount of anxiety!  Yes, I wanted to panic, yes I wanted to run away, yes I wanted to restrict, yes I wanted to jump on a treadmill, yes I wanted to physically cut the fat that suddenly seemed to appear when I did look in the mirror off my body.  Yes it was uncomfortable.  Yes it hurt.

Yes, there was something more.  Yes, I did survive.

And there will be more surviving.  This morning my meal plan changed, and needless to say I am terrified.  We went from avidly counting calories to food exchanges… and now that that has just turned into another set of rules like calories we have to switch it up again.  Once again, this lack of structure cued my face:

It’s more of a “flex plan”, that gives me room to play and try to identify my hunger and fullness cues.  There is a basic structure, but I have wiggle room.

In my mind, this could result in either massive restriction or me blowing up like a balloon.  Of course this is black or white (dark meat or white?), and completely illogical, but thats just how it feels.  But what is the alternative?  Staying the same.  And there has to be something MORE.

I want more.

So I have to be flexible.

And because this is getting long, I’ll call this part I, and end it here.  Actually no, I’ll end it here, because I’m all Thanksgiving-y and pumpkin-y and it’s necessary to have a killer oatmeal recipe in your arsenal for those mornings where you just can’t wait a half an hour for your breakfast to bake.  I might have made it this morning…

IMG_1357