Too Soon

Last year when my husband and I decided to delve into eating as healthy as possible, we assumed we would have at least 3 months until we would need to have a get together with family. As it turns out we have family that love to proclaim the healthy life style but when they all get together their love for each other is often expressed with food. Unfortunately my family often is the ones left taking any unwanted food home. We’ve put our foot down before and insisted that we also don’t want all the left over pies, but many times the fight isn’t worth it. One would think we could just toss those calorie ridden, carby crappers right into the trash, but as it turns out my husband and I both hate throwing good things away. We often joke that we were somehow born in the depression era as we find value in things others would toss out. It is both a blessing and a curse.

When once again we began this healthy journey after taking the summer off, which rolled into fall and a little winter, we thought, again, we would have until Easter before a family gathering would be required. We were wrong. Yesterday we were invited once again to Holland to have a gathering with my husband’s immediate family (just like Christmas) but this time grandma’s twin sister’s family came too. It was a cousins gathering. As much as we love seeing the cousins I knew this would be a dieting nightmare.

The first thing I did to prepare for this day was make sure the dishes I brought were something I could eat. I chose spinach artichoke dip with cut up celery and sausage stuffed mushrooms. My husband and I love these dishes and they are on our low carb yes list.

The second thing I did, or at least wanted to do was make sure I didn’t go there hungry. I failed at this. That morning I also had to work and make a trip to see my aunts. Time was tight. I forgot to eat breakfast and lunch. Not good. So right before we left to travel to Holland I threw a handful of known okay foods into a dish to munch on the way. IMG_1190This was exactly what I needed!

And I was right. When we got there my sister in law had created these brilliant masterpiece cake balls. Like these:

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only her’s were twice this size and pink and chocolate and covered in sprinkles. I love eating colorful food. I love cake balls. Sprinkles are for winners, right? I think I found myself staring at these things at least 20 times throughout the day. I even had to help serve them to the kids, meaning I had to touch them! However, I was good. Not one sweet thing was consumed by me the entire time. I stuck with my foods, some vegetables and a few things that didn’t have high carb counts. The only thing outside of my desired food was homemade cabbage rolls and my husband and I split one.

It was really nice being able to avoid tempting foods, literally right in my face. It was even better waking up this morning and finding that I had lost 3.2 pounds since yesterday morning! This takes my seven day total weight loss to 4.2. This makes me very happy. I hope my second week is just as fulfilling.

 

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Be My Valentine

aaIMG_3905I am probably the worse person to have to celebrate Valentine’s Day with. Despite being incredibly romantic I come at it in a nontraditional way. Early in my relationship with Pat I mentioned that I don’t like to receive flowers because I feel bad that they sit in a vase and die. That always made me sad. So for years (decades) I never received flowers from Pat. Even though this was per my request Pat always came out looking like a loser. There have been a couple of years where Pat bought me roses for Valentine’s Day and I must admit I did like it. It’s flattering to have the delivery person come to the house, carrying the made up bouquet and the cute little card. But after a week they wilt and the water turns green and it makes me sad. I try to keep the buds by letting them dry but there’s not a whole lot you can do with them. This year I again told Pat I didn’t want any roses. There are a couple of reasons. First of all we haven’t fully plowed our very long driveway and any delivery people park out on the road and walk in. It’s quite dangerous. Secondly there’s the whole dead flower thing again. Finally I can think of a lot better ways to spend $58, like putting it towards a new camera that I’ve been eyeing on line. So yesterday while out getting groceries together Pat asked if he could buy me flowers. I said no. But he insisted. So I said, how about buying me a rose plant. And he did. It’s just a mini, but it’s pretty cute. I am hoping I don’t kill it before we can plant it outside.

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The next “must have” Valentine gift is chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate. However, many years ago, when we were trying to actively lose weight we found that there were certain times of the year that always got us. We came to name them the “Candy Holidays”: Halloween, Christmas and Easter. These would get us so bad that we vowed to stop the crazy and back away from the candy. And we did great, until we got hit by the secondary “candy holidays”: New Years, Valentine’s Day, our Anniversary (March 7), Fat Tuesday (those crazy Paczki) and St. Patrick’s Day (we’re an Irish Family). This set got us even worse than the original Candy Holidays. I think because they come in the dead of winter and you would do anything to feel better, it’s like the perfect food craving storm. Each year it was good for at least a 10 pound weight gain. I realized that I really don’t like when I get told what I should eat based on a holiday! It’s some odd domineering  force telling me I have to eat chocolates right now because it’s Valentine’s Day! What makes it even more frustrating is that for over a week I’ve been trying to eat healthy with food like this:

aaIMG_0326and was doing a pretty good job.

Now I’m told if I don’t eat this,

aaIMG_0342I’m not loved. How manipulative! It’s a psychological mess, really.

I don’t think I really have the answer. If I fall under the holiday spell I have dead flowers and a 5 pound weight gain. If I don’t I have no flowers, no chocolate and feel like I am giving up on my marriage. What a scam!! This year we bought the rose plant and shared a box of chocolates (although I am pretty sure I ate more than Pat). We also plan on having a nice lunch out while the twins are at school.

I don’t know what I would consider to be the perfect Valentine’s. I guess knowing that I have so many loves in my life that wish me a happy Valentine’s Day first thing in the morning and are willing to keep trying to get it right with me is all anyone could ask for.

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