Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why I'm a Lousy Vegan #62

Milika:  " of my kids brought me a Spider-Man band-aid..."

Me: (thinking) "...I'm a lousy vegan.  I have Band-Aids that look like bacon strips..."

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Following Conversation Actually Took Place...

Jess:  "...and he's bringing me deer sticks.  He's going hunting tomorrow for the season opener.  Oh, I probably shouldn't tell you that since you're a vegan."

Me: "Oh, please. I'm on a strict diet. It's not like I'm doing it for the merit badge."

(I feel compelled to point out some embrace the logic that deer are also vegan, so anything related to deer must be OK.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Recipe: Baked Ziti

Making a sad-looking little salad for yourself and a creamy, cheesy meal for everyone else is the ultimate unavoidable temptation for most would-be dieters. 

Low-fat vegan dieters following the McDougall Plan or Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live diet are really up for a challenge.  How can you not feel sorry for yourself and justify "just a little taste" when you're grilling a juicy New York strip for another person and a freezer-burned Boca burger for yourself?

I'm going to start sharing all my tasty recipes that make a healthy, diet-friendly meal for me, then use the same ingredients- plus a few extras- to make a normal but healthy meal for my darling husband. 

Starting with tonight!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Look Out, World

I really don't understand the group brainwashing of American women.  Ask them if they'd like to be thin and every single one will say, "yes."  Ask them if they'd like to lose weight and the overwhelming majority will deliver some  I'm-OK-you're-OK bullshit that rapidly devolves into model bashing and undeniably insane rationalizations.  Of course, that's after they've ripped your head off an chucked it down the street for suggesting they need to lose weight.

In the past when I've said I needed to lose weight, people dismissed my comments at best or flat-out told me I'm crazy at worst.

135 and Size 4/6:

After a twenty-pound weight gain with my first few desk jobs, I worked out and dieted my way down ten pounds to 135.  Friends and family insisted I wasn't eating enough and still reference that weight today as "the time I was too thin." 

When I pointed out that I was in the normal range for my BMI (22.5 in a range of 18.5–24.9), I listened to how BMI is a useless indicator and how it's all about how you feel.  When I said I felt great, the conversation just went back to negative comments about how thin I looked.

Looking at pictures from that time, I looked healthy and normal.  The people around me were the ones with the weight problems.

I was constantly hounded by snotty and unsolicited comments from acquaintances and strangers about "how ridiculously thin" I was, even when there were thinner people around.  It was like the fat kid club had voted to make me the target of their angst.  At 135.  That's pounds, people.  I was hardly heroin chic, even for dairy-loving Wisconsin.

For all we hear about discrimination against fat people, I can't believe the mean, hurtful, spiteful things people will say to a thin person: 

"Some people are just naturally thin."

There was nothing "natural" about it.  I worked out three times a week, walked to and from work whenever the weather allowed, walked every errand except grocery shopping, and ate small, healthy meals. 

Don't dismiss my efforts to get thin and stay thin.

Would you walk up to me today and say, "Some people are just naturally fat?"

"Some people can just eat anything."

All people can eat anything.  I didn't eat high fat, high calorie crap and expect to stay thin.  Not a one.  The world/genetics/McDonalds is not conspiring against fat people.  They are making their own choices and choosing with every bite a junk food to be fat, no matter what they're telling themselves. 

Don't dismiss my efforts to avoid eating junk eliminate.

Would you walk up to me today and say, "Some people just eat anything?"

"I could be thin, too, if I starved myself."

I limited portion sizes for everything, especially any junk food.  I still ate burgers and fries, just not every day or even every week.

Don't dismiss my health-conscious efforts to stay thin as an eating disorder. 

Would you walk up to me today and say, "I could be fat, too, if I ate like you?"

145 and Size 6/8:

At 145, I had a BMI of 24.1 and felt like I needed to drop 10 pounds.  I was dating the world's greatest foodie and eating every other meal on the go.  The need to drop 10 pounds wasn't enough of an incentive to change my ways.  Plus, most people stopped making snotty comments so I felt emotionally normal even if I felt physically chubby.  I still listened to constant comments about how thin I was, but no one actually accused me of having an eating disorder.

Looking back at pictures from that time, I looked healthy but you can clearly see I was carrying too much weight around my middle.

155 and Size 8/10:

At 155, I was just over the threshold for the overweight range for my BMI (25.8 in a range of 25–29.9).  The pictures are not flattering.  My 20 extra pounds show up in every one.  Unfortunately, they're my wedding pictures. 

180 and Size 12/14:

Then, there was the year and a half during which I made the huge jump from 155 to my present weight, which I shudder to share.  I worked constantly, skipping breakfast and lunch, then wolfing down a late drive-thru dinner.  As a new wife, I cleaned and did laundry when I wasn't working.  When I did sit to "relax," I ate in front of the TV or went to a restaurant with my husband.  There are pictures from that uphill climb.  I would rather there weren't.

This past year, I have taught myself to cook anything and everything.  The discovery that one can use a kitchen to make really, really good food has not exactly helped, although I have managed through random dieting to hold the line.

I also quit smoking.  Yay, lungs and heart!  Boo, scale! 

The Dreaded Plateau:

For this past year and despite the entire month I worked with a personal trainer three times a week, my BMI has been 30.  (Obesity is considered 30 or greater.) 

Thanks to age, recovering from two major abdominal surgeries and medications, I've had a really hard time taking the weight off.  It was unbelievably demoralizing to stick to a strict diet and workout schedule for the entire month of May, only to gain two pounds.  For those of you who claim that was muscle, I also gained inches around my waist.  I just couldn't motivate myself to get back to the gym after that.

Just recently, I've switched up my "cocktail" and resorted to a strict lowfat vegan diet, but I've been slipping up regularly.   I'm starting back at the gym this week.

A few people I've shared this with have claimed I don't need to lose weight.  My doctor is not one of them.

Guess what comments are back?

"Oh, you were too thin."

"Oh, you don't need to lose that much."

As lousy as I felt when I was thin and people were making snotty comments, it's ten billion times worse to have to assure people I AM fat. 

I'm 5'5".  Average women's clothing size be damned.  After a particularly horrid series of pictures, I spent this past summer hiding from cameras.  The fact that every phone has a camera is my personal nightmare.  That fact that every single picture is on facebook is like some bizarre fat kid penance.

Regardless of how I look, I feel tired all the time.  The sight of myself in a full-length mirror is depressing.  I involuntarily say, "Oof!" when I bend over to tie my shoes.  I almost burst into tears in a fitting room last week.  That's right.  Me.  I don't cry for anything if I can help it.

I fully acknowledge I eat waaaay too much and all of the wrong things.  Even though I can't use the "I don't have time" excuse, I still frequently skip breakfast, grab something quick for lunch and eat from the time my husband comes home from work until bedtime.  I'll eat a full portion of something to "try it," regardless of whether I'm actually hungry. 

It speaks to my nonexistent exercise level that my dog prefers car rides to walks.  I have all the time in the world to get to the gym.  I've just found new excuses. 

I need to lose weight for my health, for my appearance, and for my sanity. 

I'm going to lose weight and start living a healthier lifestyle in general.  A big part of that will be dismissing anyone who says any of the above comments to me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The following conversation actually took place...

Husband:  "He asked what my favorite red was."

Me: "Did you say 'Killian's?'"

Husband:  "That would have been good.  What's your favorite red?"

Me: "Johnnie Walker."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The following conversation actually took place...

Me: Our hostas are so large, they look like hedges! Husband: Host-edges? Me:  Nice.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Recipe: Simple Tsatsiki Dressing

Kefir makes this a thinner sauce than traditional tsatsiki.  You can use it as a dressing for a simple sliced cucumber salad, or as a dip for pita bread or to pair with grilled chicken gyros... actually, I think it's good on just about anything!

Mise en Place:

1½ c lowfat plain kefir

½ c grated cucumber (not needed if used as a sauce for sliced cucumber salad)

Can add more to taste:
¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

This one is pretty straight forward.  Mix all the ingredients and give the flavors a chance to marry while you cook the rest of your meal. 

To "grate" the cucumber, I used a vegetable peeler, then chopped it finer with knife- I happen to like my knuckles just the way they are, thanks.

You can make this ahead of time, but remember to use less seasoning and taste test before serving.  The quanitities of the seasonings will vary depending not only on your personal preference, but also on the time of year.

Auntie Jeanne's Germany

When my nephew was learning about where people live, he was a little confused by the fact that my sister lived in Germany.  In his mind, just as some people lived in houses and others lived in apartments, Auntie Jeanne lived in Germany. 

We tried to explain that he lived in America, etc., but his concept of Germany remained intact: Germany was where Auntie Jeanne lived and therefore one could only conclude that Germany belonged to Auntie Jeanne.

The kid had a point.

Germany was thereafter legally recognized by our family as "Auntie Jeanne's Germany," Bundesrepublik Deutschland be damned. 

my nephew eating at a bar

A few years ago, Auntie Jeanne brought home her German boyfriend.  He spoke some English, but lacked the confidence that comes from actually speaking a language outside of a classroom.  I initially admired his courage- native speakers have been overwhelmed by my gregarious family- but soon concluded he really didn't know what he was in for.

Upon first meeting him, my nephew plunked down next to him on the living room couch, studied him intently for a thirty seconds and asked, "Do you have toilets in your Germany?" 

Unsolicited, my nephew calmly explained to him that, "According to logic, you should wash your face before you wash your butt."

However belatedly recognized, the kid had a point.

Gott sei dank, that boyfriend has been an ex- for almost a year.

Future Auntie Jeanne boyfriends beware!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The following conversation actually took place...

Jeanne:  I worked on my sculpture.  It needs something, though.

Me: More cowbell?

Jeanne: Yeah.  Yeah, that's what it needs.

Happy Birthday to the World's Coolest Little Sister!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The following conversation actually took place....

Me: Strider didn't clean up like I asked him to. Really, the whole "dog as maid" thing isn't working out for me.

Husband: My primary concern with the dog-as-maid approach is the clear breach of my rule* against putting outfits on the dog.

*This rule is the direct result of my intense desire to buy this costume in a XXXXXLT and dress Strider up as "Dogdor."

For my mom and anyone else who has been deprived of the legend that is Trogdor: