Wednesday, November 4, 2009


PMS sucks.

PMS means that I am irritable, crabby, and bloated.

PMS means that I sometimes want to eat EVERYTHING in sight, and working in a restaurant, EVERYTHING is A LOT! (Luckily I'm still doing it in moderation, but eating more than I normally do).

PMS means that I am retaining water, and the scale isn't moving.

PMS means that I am obsessing over my weight, and hopping on the scale at least daily to see if it's moving in the right direction (it's not, but it's not going in the wrong direction, either, so I can't complain too much).

PMS means that when the Neighbor acts like an idiot or takes an hour to respond to a text, I want to walk to his door, knock & punch him when he opens it.

PMS means that when The Weasel (aka my boss) tells me that I don't have a brain in my head or have shit for brains & the only thing I have going for me are my big boobs, I want to beat the shit out of him and walk out. (okay, that has less to do with PMS and more to do with that just being flat out shitty and inappropriate. But the PMS makes it worse).

I have been PMSing for TWO WEEKS. Two very LOOOOONG weeks. I started early, probably because my roomie was PMSing, but my period is stubborn, and is sticking with cycling with the full moon. It's due any day now, and I just want it to show up so I can be over the bloating, the irritability, the munchies and KNOWING I'm being irrational about things. I don't like KNOWING I'm being irrational and not being able to do a damn thing about it!

I want to go back to my normal, easygoing, laid back self who isn't bloated, irrational, cranky, munchy or bitchy. After 2 weeks, I don't think that's too much to ask!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Men, Moving & Bronchitis!

Yikes! I've been horribly remiss in my blogging of late. Between the move (finally completed, but there is still a good deal of unpacking to be done!), adjusting to life with a roommate, starting a new job, coming down with bronchitis (mid move!), and a highly confusing love life, I've been absent from most online communication in the last few weeks, but my weight loss has been effortlessly successful!

Let's start from the beginning & work our way down the list...
The move:
Oof! What a comedy of errors it was! The truck I was supposed to have on Friday wasn't available until Saturday, and most of my volunteer movers found last minute fun things to do instead of helping me! One went to Orlando, one played softball, one was sick with swine flu, and one got called in to work. All big strong men. I was left with 2 gay men, one strong, one not, me & the new roomie who is as tiny as a blade of grass lol. We got it all done, but it was a bit of a fiasco as I own huge, solid, heavy furniture, and my new condo is on the 2nd floor. Luckily the outdoor staircase is fairly wide, and I'm deceptively strong! I wound up covered in bruises, but rallied & went straight from moving to the shower to a party.... where I saw a man I once liked immensely, & realized my crush of long ago might actually be mutual.

The roommate:
She's lovely - we've been friends since she moved into the complex almost a year ago, but between us we have a plethora of animals! She has 2 dogs, I have 1 dog and 3 cats, and her boyfriend brings his dog over here a few times a week! Luckily, she, her boyfriend & their dogs are rarely here, spending most of their time at his place instead, so it's only a crazy zoo a few days a week. She's one of the girls who has agreed to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon with me in March - I've really got to get back into running!

The Job:
Sometimes, when you're caught between a rock and a hard place financially, you take a job you hate. This is one of those times. I hate it, but it will pay the rent and bills, so I'll suck up the insanity that is having a Bulgarian boss with a Napoleon complex. At least until something better comes along!

The Bronchitis:
I was a bit tired the day of the furniture move, but thought it was from moving, so I went to a phenomenal party, ran into the aforementioned man, got very little sleep & woke up the next morning with a fever of 102.4 and bronchitis. Oof. I went straight to a friend who is an ER doc (the same one who patched up my now healed but permanently scarred fingers after the glass shattering injury), got meds & went on my merry way... to spend the day with a friend in town for the weekend followed by a full day in bed & 2 more days of moving (would have been 1, but I needed lots of naps!). Oof!

The Love Life:
This is a long & tricky one... I've been casually dating someone since January, but... the more I get to know him, the less I like him, and while he's a nice guy in general, he's not someone I want to be involved with any longer. I need to figure out a way to let him down gently as he can be a very angry, bitter & vengeful jerk. Not good (and one of the reasons I no longer want to be involved!).
A few months ago, I met a man (the one mentioned above), who I quite liked. We'll call him the Neighbor... but I didn't think he was interested in me, so I didn't pursue it. I met someone else - we'll call him the Diver (who lives in California & was visiting friends), hit it off with him & would likely be dating him if he lived in the area.

At the post moving birthday party, I saw the Neighbor & we hit it off. The previously perceived lack of interest? He thought I was a lesbian (we met at a gay bar, with a bunch of my gay friends lol)! Once he found out I was straight (at the party), he started flirting with me. We wound up spending the night together, talking & making out. He called me from a wedding the following weekend... we agreed that we didn't want the entire complex talking about us & to keep things fairly quiet.

He came over Monday night to fix my TV (the flat screen doesn't have a coaxial connector on it) - he figured out what it needs. Yay. He still needs to get me the print out of what I need though... We spent the rest of the night talking.

I ran into him walking the dog on Thursday night, we stood outside looking at the stars and talking for over an hour, chatted with another neighbor who came home while we were out there, and then he kissed me. I reminded him that if he didn't want the entire complex talking about us that it might not be a great idea to kiss in the parking lot, to which he responded that he didn't care if everyone knew - and kissed me again.

He managed to catch some sort of bug, so I took him some soup on my way out Saturday evening... about an hour later, he decided to meet me & a few friends (and neighbors) at my favorite little local bar. It seems he might like me a bit... he apparently told the bartender (also a dear friend of mine), the he'd be coming in a lot more often & then squeezed my shoulder... I missed the conversation as I was talking to someone else, but it's an encouraging sign!

The Neighbor manages to stimulate me emotionally, intellectually & physically. He makes me laugh, he's smart, funny, cute and nice, ridiculously conveniently located, is a great kisser, and we have crazy, palpable chemistry.

The downside? He lives 1 building away. If things go bad, I'll still run into him fairly regularly.

Another down side? He's making me wait. HE is making ME wait. I feel like I'm a kid again, only the roles are reversed - I'm the sexually frustrated boy who keeps making an attempt to get in his pants, and he's the virginal girl who wants to wait. I understand that it's a good thing, and that most successful relationships involved waiting - it's a great sign that he wants to go slow! I appreciate it! I want to fall in love & get married, and I don't want to rush into anything, but I'm also so sexually frustrated that I could scream.

Also, he's allergic to my kitties. No bueno! His allergies aren't so bad that he can't be around them, but they do make his eyes itch. Meh. That's what they make allergy meds for!

In other news, the Diver was offered a job here, and is giving serious consideration to moving to the area... if he does, he'll be moving in with mutual friends. Directly across from the Neighbor. Gotta love it.

The Weight loss:
I'm firmly in the 190s!!! Stress about moving, money & men is apparently a fantastic diet plan - I'm down to 194.2! Hurray! I honestly haven't been trying, I've just been so busy that food really is fuel, and I walk all the time - the dog, to work, etc. It's really kind of lovely! This is the way weight loss should be - natural & easy :)

To sum it all up... life is pretty good right now! It's a lil crazy, a lot of busy, and I don't think I'd want it any other way!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I haven't blogged in a little over a week - between packing, prepping to move, PMSing, meeting a new man, job hunting, and having a bottle shatter in my hand last Friday, I simply haven't had time (and am still having problems typing thanks to the cuts from the aforementioned bottle!).

This week I'm swamped - I need to finish packing, move everything into the new unit (around the corner from my current place - same complex, same building), and make a cake for a birthday party. Eek.

Things should return to normal next week, and I'll be back with bells & blogs on, and hopefully a new job to add to all of the excitement!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Confessions of a recovering binge eater

Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if I hadn't grown up with a mother who enjoyed seriously disordered eating. She bounced between anorexia, bulimia, binging without purging & compulsive exercise. Some weeks she wouldn't eat for days, others she would binge for days on end, trying to hide the purging. Then there were the diet pills and the refusal to take her meds (diagnosed bipolar - but she's fine. No really. She's fine! She doesn't need meds... she doesn't think so, anyway!). She would bounce from 100 pounds to 230 pounds in what felt like the blink of an eye.

It was a cycle, and that cycle of binging, purging, starvation & compulsive exercise colored my perceptions of what a healthy relationship with food was. Growing up, I thought the binge without the purge was healthy. I thought only anorexia & bulimia were eating disorders, and that everyone ate excessively when they weren't "dieting". I thought watching what I ate was the wrong thing to do, because if I did, I would be following in my mom's whacked out foot steps and I would be destined for an eating disorder & possible death.

Nearly every day, without fail, dinner was grilled chicken or fish with plain veggies with a salad starter (until the 2nd divorce & then it was whatever I made). There was never junk food in the house (which is another story entirely!), there were never sweets, or anything to snack on other than fruit. Food choices weren't the issue in that house, it was the portions.

I didn't realize until recently that I also had an unhealthy relationship with food. I modeled my relationship with food after her whacked out relationship with food. Or rather I rebelled against the anorexia & bulimia that almost killed her when I was a teenager (2 surgeries & 3 weeks in ICU), and picked up on her binge eating cycle... without the purging. (honesty check: I tried the purging, but couldn't bring myself to do it - I HATE throwing up & always have. Ick).

When I finally flew the coop, I still made meals large enough to feed a family of 4 with hungry, growing boys, and ate the vast majority of it for dinner that night. I would eat a huge bag of tortilla chips & salsa as a snack when I got home. There was ALWAYS junk, because I'd never been allowed it before. Veggies were eaten in public, but rarely at home, because it was HER kind of food & I wanted to be nothing like her. I managed to keep my weight kind of in check (170-190ish) for years, but when I moved to Florida, it spiraled out of control & I finally found myself standing on the scale, looking down at a number that scared the beejeebers out of me.

247.2 pounds. I weighed 247.2 pounds. That's more than some FOOTBALL PLAYERS! It scared me badly enough that I ordered NutriSystem the next day. I lost about 20lbs the first month & felt great about that, but the soy did bad things to me, so I eventually quit. I found a doctor supervised program locally & started the expensive & restrictive process (low carb, low cal, low fat - average of 500cals a day, and yet another story to be told!). I lost an additional 56lbs in 3 months, hit a fabulous 171.2lbs (size 10!), and felt like I could do anything. But the demons in my head were vicious, and I started binging again- 40lbs came back on in under 2 months - it felt like the blink of an eye!

I spent most of the last year and a half in a vicious cycle - exercise, binge, eat right, binge, binge, binge, binge, diet, exercise, binge.

It's just recently that I've realized how unhealthy my relationship with food has been, and that diets, in the traditional, restrictive sense, don't work for me. They make the binge monster growl, and I've finally figured out that I can keep him in check by simply allowing myself a little of whatever I want - no food is off limits, nothing is forbidden. I can eat chips or ice cream if I have a little craving. I even had a slice of pizza a few weeks ago. Just one slice (it was kind of big). In the past I would have eaten most, if not all of the pizza in one sitting, but because it wasn't a "forbidden food", I was satisfied with my one slice.

It's everything in moderation now, and I haven't had a binge in over a month. I'll never know what life might have been like growing up with a healthy relationship with food, but I'm learning what it's like as an adult. And I like what I see!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Corset Cake

Today is a combo lingerie/birthday party for a friend, and I agreed to make a boob cake for the occasion. Of course, I couldn't be satisfied with just any old boob cake & decided to do a corset cake, complete with homemade fondant. And all of this was decided LAST NIGHT!


This morning I wake up early & have my phone session with the FloridaQuit line people at 8am (yes, still struggling with cigarettes. Working on it!). Then I run to the store for supplies for everything from my healthy chocolate cake to the fondant & the not so healthy buttercream icing. Of course I also have to run to Michaels, because I can't find any of my pastry bags or tips. Where they went I haven't a clue!

At Michaels I encounter a very helpful lady who points out the various merits of different tips, and hands me a 40% off coupon. Love her!

I make it home with all of my goodies (this is an unexpectedly expensive cake, people!), start mixing my dry cake ingredients, glance at the fondant recipe, and realize I didn't buy enough marshmallows, as the recipe calls for 16oz & the bag is only 10.5oz. Pooh. Oven off, bowl of ingredients in the fridge (it's Florida!), and back to the store I go...

I find more mini marshmallows, race home & get started. Again.

I make a batch of my healthy chocolate cake & realize I need to make a 2nd batch. Alrighty... 2nd batch done, boob pan & 9x15" pans filled & into the oven they go! I make my buttercream while baking, pop it into the fridge & start cleaning. The timer goes off, I pull the cakes out & let them cool while taking a quick break.

Now.. time to start fondant. If you've never made it before, let me tell you that it is a messy job! Melted marshmallows plus powdered sugar, kneaded by hand with heavily greased hands... sticky & messy, but kind of fun, and really a neat process! I take a little hunk off & roll it out for the flesh like tops.
Oh crap... what am I going to put this giant cake ON?! I've been pondering this since last night & finally realize I have a giant baking sheet that SHOULD hold the whole thing... wrap it in aluminum foil as it's well seasoned & not so pretty to look at, and flip the sheet cake onto it. Success!

I pop the boobie cake on top of the sheet cake, cut & shape the sheet cake, lightly frost the whole thing with buttercream (to make the fondant stick), and add the tops of the boobies.

Then it's time to add the food coloring & I realize that I don't have any food grade plastic gloves... crap. I can't let it stop me, so I proceed with the knowledge that my hands WILL be stained for days to come. An ENTIRE bottle of red food dye is kneaded into the mix, and it still isn't enough to give me the burgundy color I wanted, but I add a smidge of black dye, knead that in, and I call it close enough! I roll the fondant out, lay it over the cake & voila! Almost there!

I dump the remainder of the jar of black dye into the remaining buttercream, add it to a piping bag (fitted with connector & tip, of course!), and it's time to DECORATE! WOOO! I with the "boning", and move on to the lacey bits. Of course, the black dye has gotten all over my hands, which are now looking decidedly mottled, but again, can't let that stop me! I pipe & pipe, adding lace here & there, and a heart necklace to the neckline, and finally I'm done!

I still feel like it's missing a little something, but this time, I'm leaving well enough alone! I'm off to clean my kitchen AGAIN (both the kitchen & I look like a whirlwind of flour & confectioners sugar struck), then it's time to take a power nap (a girl can hope for one after only 4hrs of sleep!), shower & get ready for the lingerie/birthday bash.

Now my only question is what to do with all the leftover black frosting... and how much to charge for the next boobie cake :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Judgey wudgey was a bear

Sometimes I think I grew up as a big girl (and have stayed a big girl, with the exception of a glorious 2 weeks in March 2007 when I hit a size 10 - I still saw myself as a manatee, but I was a size 10 - woohoo!), is because God knew I'd be a great big judgemental bitch if I hadn't experienced life growing up on the plus side, and I had to be taught a lesson.

I'm serious. I think I might have been a "mean girl" if I'd grown up with a perfectly taut, toned body.

I'm a genuinely nice person, but I do judge (admit it, you do too).

Don't get me wrong, I have a wonderful, eclectic group of friends I adore, but I judge. I see someone my size or bigger and wonder how they let themselves get there. I even judge myself for my size/weight. I have compassion, and don't let my judgements color my perceptions of people, but I judge. I judge based on a wide variety of factors, primarily fashion sense & size.

Often the fashion sense & size judgements go hand in hand. Please don't wear a red string bikini to the beach if your rolls hide the strings. It's not cute. It's not flattering. It's not appropriate. It teeters on the edge of horrific.

There is a multitude of flattering swimwear on the market, including bikinis, designed to flatter plus sized women. These suits cover the lumps & bumps, and make you look cute, even SEXY! Just because they make that string bikini in your size does NOT mean you should wear it! Buy it in your goal size & hang it as inspiration. Buy it to take your before pictures in. But please don't wear it to a public beach if the strings are hidden by the rolls of fat. Also?Please tell your husband/partner that if his belly hits bellow his privates, a speedo is just as inappropriate. Pretty please?

The same is true for low cut jeans & belly baring tops. If you are like me & have a jiggly belly that the Pillsbury Dough Boy would envy, for the love of all that is good, please keep it covered in public.

It's as if the people wearing these things are screaming for a fashion intervention, and I have a little something I'd like to share with them: PLUS SIZE FASHION HAS COME A LONG WAY!

No longer are we restricted to buying polyester mumus in crazy prints, or polyester anything for that matter! We can buy beautiful clothes in beautiful fabrics & prints that are FLATTERING to OUR bodies! No matter what our body type, we can find something to make us look and feel sexy for any occasion. Have a great hour glass figure? Play it up! Have a flat belly? Play it up! Love your boobs? Your legs? Your toned arms? PLAY THEM UP!

In other words, showcase the good stuff & minimize the exposure of the not so good.

If you don't, you run the risk of being judged, even by the nicest of people.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dessert isn't the enemy!

Yesterday evening, I was chatting with a dear friend of mine. She'd had a long day, her partner had to work until midnight, and she was starving, so I invited her over for my famous Chicken and dumplings. Of course, I didn't invite her until 530, dinner was set for 630, and I didn't have any leftover chicken in the fridge, so I was in a time crunch! Luckily my recipe is quick and easy even without using leftovers, and it's healthy to boot!

I pulled a ziplock of 2c chicken stock out & defrosted that while popping 3 chicken breasts into the oven to partially bake, coining 2 carrots & dicing half of an onion. A quick sautee of the carrots & onions, and I'm in business! Of course, I find myself with a little free time while waiting for the chicken to finish par cooking, and since the oven is hot anyway, I might as well make use of it, right? Right.

So out comes my trusty mandoline, and easy as 1-2-3, 3 apples are thinly sliced, and sprinkled with cinnamon & a bit of water in an ovensafe dish. A little butter, a smidge of virgin coconut oil, a touch more cinnamon, sugar & flour, and I have a crumble topping to die for. Dessert is handled, and at exactly the right time, as the chicken is ready to be replaced by Apple Crumble in the oven! (This is another simple, favorite standby of mine - I'm still working on making the crumble top healthier, though compared to most desserts, and even the original recipe, it isn't so bad!)

As the Apple Crumble bakes, my friend arrives. We say our hellos, laugh as my dog pounces on her dog, and then I head back into the kitchen to make a quick roux, add my homemade stock & get started on my dumplings while watching the stock thicken. After the stock is nice & thick, I add my diced par cooked chicken, frozen peas, and the carrots & onions I've sauteed. Stir & drop the dumpling mixture into the pot... cover & let cook for 15min.

While we're waiting, we have the salad she brought - if you've never had craisins in your salad, I highly recommend trying it! They add an unexpected & refreshing twist to a boring salad!

At this point, my house smells delicious - it smells like Grandma D's house always smelled when I was a kid & she was cooking for grandpa plus 10 kids, assorted significant others & kids, and she was doing it all from scratch, with no help from anyone - not because no one offered, but because she wanted to do it all herself... I think I get my kitchen possessiveness from her!

We're counting the seconds until the timer finally goes *ding*, and eventually our "patience" pay off!! The chicken & dumplings are done, and the crumble is ready to be pulled from the oven - which is perfect timing, as it means the crumble will be sufficiently cooled when we've finished the Chicken & dumplings! Yay!

Dinner was a success -simple tasty, nutritious, surprisingly healthy (healthy comfort food - I'm just that good! lol), and I ate proper portions while spending the evening laughing with one of my favorite people.

Since this is a blog about making my belly go away, and you're probably wondering what the hell any of the above had to do with anything "diet" related, I could feign guilt over eating dessert, but I realized recently that I think that's crap.

Dessert isn't the enemy, and neither is any other food!

OVER indulgence is enemy of the waist line, and quite frankly, it's wasteful, too! That extra serving you're having for dinner will be even more satisfying and tasty at lunch tomorrow, and you'll save money (and calories!) by not hitting the vending machine or McDonalds....

My new-ish philosophy is to enjoy ALL foods in moderation, be mindful of portions, and to be more active - simple, effective, and a million times more satisfying than depriving myself of the foods I enjoy for months on end until I can't take anymore & wind up binging on junk!

Will it take me a bit longer? Sure, maybe. But it keeps me satisfied & it is sustainable for a lifetime, which is more than I can say for any other "diet" plan I've been on! So I'll keep plugging along, trying not to obsess over the numbers on LeScale (he lies, you know!), eating delicious foods in proper portions, confident in the knowledge that when I hit goal, my reward won't be a binge or an obsession with cookies, cakes or chips (as it has been in the past).

Instead, my reward will be the knowledge that I am capable of sustaining my weight loss for the rest of my very happy, very healthy, and very long life... and I didn't have to diet to get there. :)