A Whole New Day

Eating Well is a Weighty Issue

These Many Gifts

If you had asked me ten years ago what the greatest gift was I might have said riches. I might have said love. Honestly I am not sure what I would have said other than it would not be health, which is my answer now.

Many people have pivotal moments in their lives. Perhaps the birth of a child, surviving a car wreck, or meeting the eyes of their future spouse from across a crowded room.  Mine came in May of 2008 and my life changed.

From that moment on my already tumultuous life became a roller coaster of epic proportions. Of having the will but not the strength. Of hating myself. Of hating everyone. Living in a dark world of self-pity, silent desperation and misunderstanding.

Thanks to many people , animals, and the Grace of God, I made it. But the biggest thanks goes to myself and my determination. I gave up once and was thrown back in the pond and I wasn’t doing it again though I was sorely tested.

So all of that has brought me to where I am now. The worst I can say is that I am fat. Not in scooter/special chair territory, but enough so that I don’t want to be fat anymore. I want my outside to reflect how I feel inside. After years of stormy weather the sun is now in my heart and I want to shine. I want to make up for lost time. I want to climb mountains. Or at least walk the easier hiking trails….

And that is why I say health is the greatest gift. A Kia and a Mercedes will both get you to the same place. A Wal-Mart purse and a Coach purse will carry the same things. A meal at Waffle House or at Peddler will both fill your stomach. But without health the will to do any of those things is gone. I would rather be the poorest healthy person than the richest sick person any day.

The second greatest gift is appreciation. Without my trials of the last few years I think I would still be focused more on what I don’t have versus what I do. Not to say I don’t covet – I do. I am human and have human failings. But what I do have is much more important and the things that matter have changed as well.

Every day that I wake up and can actually get out of bed I appreciate.

Every time I walk without back pain I appreciate.

Every time I smell my shampoo instead of cigarette smoke I appreciate.

Every time I think to myself “It is possible with time” I appreciate.

I still want things. I still like “stuff”. I still wish I could go to any store and be able to walk in and buy whatever I want. For years I did that and that’s how I ended out bankrupt. Though I wouldn’t say everyone should do that, Janis Joplin was kind of right when she said that freedom is another word for nothing left to lose.

I have no credit cards now. Everything I have is mine. Bought with cold hard cash. If I can’t afford it I don’t buy it and I wish to hell I would have done that from the time I was 18 but I am a stubborn fool and have to learn my lessons the hard way unfortunately.

The third thing I am thankful for is realization. In America we are inundated with fantasy. There is nothing wrong with escapism in small doses but all we see is the glitter and not the glue holding it in place. All those beautiful Hollywood bodies? They take a lot of work and none of us is going to get one by eating cheesesteaks and Little Debbies. Maybe in our 20’s but definitely not afterwards.

All those big television apartments rented by waitresses? That isn’t reality. Real people can’t live like that and you end out over extended if you try.

In short, you have to make your own reality and be PROUD of it. Own who you are. Why should you be ashamed that your rent or mortgage payment is affordable. That’s something to be proud of.

Why should you be ashamed that your clothes, bag, shoes, whatever was sold by Target and not Prada? You shouldn’t be – that’s what you can afford and you look damned sexy.

The other part of realization is understanding the albatross. What in your life weighs you down? Find it. Excise it. Move on. If you have people or situations in your life that don’t enrich it let them go. It may leave a scar and it may hurt but time wasted is time you will never get back. You are doing them a favor as well.

And the reverse of that is realizing when to hold on . I almost lost someone quite precious to me and I stepped down off my pride and said “I don’t want this to happen”. Every moment that goes by we as people change and though things will never be as they were they will be as they are and if we allow that – that isn’t all that bad.

The last thing I am thankful for is LAUGHTER. I thank God that even in my darkest moments I have been able to laugh. I know I use humor as escapism and I was once told I hide a lot of pain there but I am still glad for it. In the hospital, on the unemployment line, writing bad checks for groceries – I was always able to laugh. It was the cushion that kept me from hitting rock bottom. My life jacket. I always say if it scares you laugh at it and I will say that till the day I die. Nothing makes the big smaller than a joke at its expense.

Much love to all and many hopes for a successful 2012!




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It’s Pantry Time

About a year and a half ago when I first started battling with eating gluten free I remember being completely overwhelmed. Agar Agar? Potato Starch? Xanthan Gum? What?

It required a lot of books and internet research but it slowly became less scary and now I can actually read a recipe and think “I have all the ingredients to make that!”. It is exciting to have a stocked pantry.

I still have a hard time sticking to what I am supposed to do. The strange thing is that I actually feel better – significantly better – when I use “premium fuel”. Also, it tastes good. It just takes trial and error and time.

I read a quote once by Robert Downey Jr when he was talking about his addiction and he says something similar to “It is like I have a gun in my mouth and I like the taste of the metal”. Sometimes I feel that way. I know that this thing I am eating is going to bring me pain and yet I still eat it.

This weekend I am trying something new that was recommended to me. I am doing weekend cooking. I find that during the week it is entirely too easy to be tired and not do what I am supposed to. So instead of fighting my lazy exhaustion exhaustion excuse, me and my stocked up pantry are working to eliminate it’s legitimacy. It is also ideal because I have a three day weekend due to CHRISTMAS (yeay!).

I am going to plan out a a menu. I am going to freeze some little meals or at least get things premade where I just have to do the last couple of prep steps. I have a feeling that this will really help me stay on track.

I also need to make stock this weekend and I have organic cage free chickens to use. I am excited to see if there is a difference in the stock taste. I know there is a huge difference in the taste of organic versus regular beef. I am hoping for a super rich stock.

I am excited to start over and I feel good about my candida cleanse chances this time! Looking forward to my journey next week!

By the way, check out Ricki Heller’s site, www.dietdessetndogs.com, it is a wonderful resource for those who are embarking on any sort of gluten/yeast/dairy/egg/sugar free diet. There are recipes that cover the gambit of combinations – or all – of those categories. She also has a sale going on regarding her e-books (2 for $10.95) and they are really great.

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For Whom the Taco Bell Tolls…

Coming home from work is a dangerous trip. I pass a Burger King that emits a delightful beefy haze, I pass a Taco Bell with its purple neon, a Little Caesars, a greasy diner with great burgers and handcut fries, a pancake place, a Subway, two Chinese restaurants, two Greek/Italian places, a Mexican place, two Waffle Houses, and two grocery stores. If I am really desperate, six gas stations.

My name is Jennifer and I am a junk food addict.

I am going to have to start wearing blinders.

Like a plow horse 😦

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I Wish I were as Resistant to Fat as I am Change

I am not simply trying to lose weight. I am trying to change a lifetime of horrible ingrained dietary teachings.

I love food. Not only that – I love ALL food. I would be just as happy with escargot as I would a burger from NuWay.  I love chili dogs and sushi. I like reading about food, eating food, watching food tv, and cooking food. I have always dreamt of taking a BBQ tour of the south and a food tour of Asia.

To me it is a comforting, delicious, sensual, delightful, friendly thing.

That is making my ass huge.

I keep reminding myself that eating healthily doesn’t mean I will never have a burger again. it also doesn’t mean that the food I will be eating won’t be delicious.

It means that I won’t eat a burger every day or that my idea of burger may change over time.

Hopefully there will even come a time when McDonalds sounds disgusting instead of delicious.

But I have this sense of resistance and almost grief about the whole thing as well as a tiny bit of excitement to see how far and how long I can go. To see improvements and see what jean size I am in, and how great I feel, this time next year.

And then again I am afraid of failure and change. And frankly, I have gotten so used to being sick that I am not real sure how not to be the sick girl. It has kind of been my shield. Maybe that sounds ridiculous but it is the truth. Like if I am no longer sick I will have a whole new bar that I need to reach and I am afraid of failing to reach it.

I guess I have a lot of crap to sort through – LOL.

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