Friday, December 30, 2011

Weight Loss Challenges

Weight loss bloggers: How does one go about getting accepted into a weight loss challenge? I applied to one but did not get accepted.

And that hurt my feelers. >:(

I know that there are a lot of challenges out there. How do I find them?

Or better yet, how to I make one of my own?

Ideas? Guidance? Help? Invitation?

I like the idea of participating in a challenge.


Stupid Justification To Overeat #9, 452, 775

It's amazing the lies I can tell myself. AND BELIEVE!

Today, Nina and I checked into a hotel where we were quoted the rate of $76.00 a night. However, when I got the receipt, the charge was $99 plus taxes, making the total $114.

We were in a hurry - had to be at dinner with friends in less than an hour. I chose not to question the difference in the room charge.


I decided to eat $20 worth at the hotel's free "happy hour" that was occurring when we checked in. While Nina took our bag up to the room, I went to the common area and filled a bowl with a weenie, chili, baked beans, and ketchup. I brought the bowl up to the room and sat here eating it, actually thinking that I needed to get my money's worth of the hotel.

Fifteen minutes later when we left the hotel for dinner, Nina stopped at the front desk and assertively requested that we be given the hotel rate that we were quoted. The desk clerk said, "Of Course!" and gave us a refund. I, however, couldn't give a refund of the weenie,

I really showed them, didn't I?

And isn't it interesting sick that, instead of taking care of the extra charge by TALKING ABOUT IT or DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT or STANDING UP FOR MYSELF (like Nina did), I ATE the problem.

My actual solution as a fat person, was to EAT MORE, so we would not lose out on anything we paid for.

Jeeeezzz... Sometimes I am astounded by how far my head is actually up my own butt.

At least, I didn't eat the bun and the chips and the slaw and the cheese. Thank God for small favors.

New Year's Resolutions Revisited

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve!

Happy Day Before The Day Before January 1, 2012!

Happy Friday!

I’m still Texas road-tripping and am now somewhere between Munday and Amarillo. Mexican food at Abuelo’s Restaurant is awaiting me.

I’m not scared. I feel strong. This morning, I weighed 222. Three pounds more than my lowest weight, but two pounds less than my “I-refuse-to-let-the-holidays-get-me-above-this-weight weight of 224.

Tomorrow, we will get home in time for me to start cooking the black-eyed peas that a true Texan HAS to eat on New Year’s Day in order to have good luck in the coming year. I can’t think of any New Year’s Day in my life that I haven’t eaten black-eyed peas. My poor New Mexican son and Russian daughter have grown up hating them and swallowing a few like pills under duress on New Year’s Day.

I plan for this year to be no different. They don’t know what’s good for them.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I REALLY want for 2012. What I REALLY, REALLY want is good health for me and my children and all the people I love; Tyler to be absolutely blown away by the love of a girl - so much that he finds himself; Nina to feel secure in knowing who she is and who she plans to become; Elisa to experience true happiness; and world peace.

I sound like a Miss America contestant, don't I?

I don’t have control over any of those since they all are – SURPRISE! – under God’s control, not Jenny’s.

So, what DO I have control over?

1. Actively take the steps to move out of Los Alamos, to Albuquerque or even possibly to the Dallas area.
2. Exercise: Initially three times a week, with the goal being daily.
3. Improve my communication skills with my relatives – my aunts and my cousins. They are my history and I want to nourish those relationships, not lose them from neglect.
4. Go on another cruise.

Oh...... and maybe I should also add:
5. Take care of my own business and leave the rest to God.

Happy Nearly New Year's!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dieter Does Dallas................I mean, Dallas Does IN Dieter

Road Trip status: Fatter

I've been wearing my Remember bracelet but it doesn't seem to be working.

Here's the haps...
This is boring. Don't read if you can find ANYTHING ELSE TO DO! If this is all that's left in your world, then it's worth the time to read. (Or if you're marooned on a deserted island with only your lap top that will only pick up this one internet site.)

Weight: 221 - Traveled from Los Alamos to Clovis with a car filled with healthy stuff. Had Subway for dinner in the hotel room.

Weight: 220.5 - In Lubbock. Had burrito at freeb!rds where you choose what goes in it. I had a small whole wheat tortilla with pinto beans, chicken, and pico de gallo. Good choice. For dinner, we had Dickens, Texas BBQ with pinto beans. The good thing about this was that I didn't make it into a sandwich. The bad thing about this is that I ate a huge amount. And I snuck in some potato chips.

Weight: 222 - Went to Dallas. Ate fruit, veggies, and hummus on the way. Had a bowl of pinto beans at Shawnna's. So far, so good.
We went to the dine-in movie theater where I tried, I really tried!

I ordered a "veggie trio" that was celery, carrots, jicama, and hummus. OH, WAIT.... There was also ranch dressing and these little triangles of bread.

I ate it all. I mean, I ATE IT ALL.

Shawnna and Nina shared popcorn so I ate what was probably considered an appetizer plate to be shared between three or four people.

So, with my belly full and my pants unzipped, Shawnna, Nina, and I then went to a restaurant called Love And War In Texas.

Shawnna and me in front of the restaurant. And, no.... I don't have a bra on over my shirt.

At the restaurant, I shared Brisket Enchiladas and refried beans with Nina.

But I also ate the WHOLE STATE OF TEXAS IN CORNBREAD with honey butter.
And I ate the panhandle of another one!

Later, after my jeans came off and my body expanded like a airplane life vest, I ate one piece of chocolate mint fudge and THREE pieces of peanut butter fudge.

Remember, I don't like sweets. Especially fudge. Except for this fudge.

Thursday (today)
Weight 225!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O.M.G.!!!
For lunch in Dallas, we went to a place called Smash Burger where I ate a grilled chicken sandwich with avocado and "flash fried" asparagus and green beans.

The good thing, I only ate half the bun. The bad thing, I ate.

For dinner, Rosie shared a cheese omelet with me. I also had half the order of hash browns and half a piece of toast.

Tomorrow, we'll be in Amarillo.

I'm just going to duct tape my mouth closed.


I mean Jenny.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Have Scale, Will Travel


I made it through my Christmas Eve/Christmas Day eating extravaganza with only a two pound gain.

Now, we're on our way to Texas.

Texas trips can be big food fiascoes. But they don't have to be.

My most out-of-control Texas behavior includes packing massive amounts of Jennyland road food - including bags of popcorn (my favorite is teasingly called "Smart Food"), cans of spicy hot bean dip (which I have been known to eat with my fingers), Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Chex Mix, Corn Nuts, and Diet Coke.

This trip, our car is packed with sugar snap peas, ham sandwiches (that we already ate), carrots, broccoli, hummus, oranges, apples, cheese, and Diet Coke.

Pretty different.

I've learned (and try to remember) that, once I've eaten and my tummy is full, it doesn't matter if I've filled it with calorie-laden food or healthy food.

My tummy doesn't know the difference between cheesy Mexican food and cauliflower. If it's satisfied, it's satisfied.

I've especially learned this about my craving for spiciness. After living in northern New Mexico for 28 years, I am addicted to green chili. And red chili. And jalapenos. And salsa. But my tummy doesn't know if the spicy satisfaction comes from green chili on top of sour cream chicken enchiladas or from salsa eaten with a spoon.

This is such a good lesson for me because it means that I can satisfy my cravings without stuffing myself with a million calories. It also teaches me that WHAT I eat isn't what gives me satisfaction as much as the fact that I've eaten.

Hmmmm.... As I write that, I realize that it points to emotional eating. It's not my taste buds that I need to satisfy. It's having the sense of well-being that comes from having a full tummy.

I know that, to truly recover from being a compulsive over-eater, I need to address the emotional needs that I feed. But right now, my focus is getting through a week-long Texas trip without falling into old "Texas-trip" behaviors.

Stuffing the car with crap food isn't my only out-of-control Texas behavior. When I go to Lubbock, the city where I grew up, I usually entertain myself by going to my favorite food haunts.

Furr's Cafeteria, 50th Street Caboose, El Chico's, Abuelo's, Taco Villa, Bahama Bucks, Sheridan's Ice Cream, Orlando's........ I usually have to drag whoever I'm with to all of them!

Nina and I are just spending one night in Lubbock on our way to Munday and we're getting off so late that I probably won't even be able to go out to eat there.

That makes it so much safer.

After a very impulsive spontaneous afternoon with many furrowed eyebrows and "MOM, YOU'RE DRIVING ME CRAZY!" statements, we have ended up spending the night in Clovis, New Mexico.

This has really been a 'Jenny-and-Nina' road trip. Here's the downlow:
12:15 - left our house for Texas
12:25 - went back to our house to get computer
12;26 - left our house for Texas
12:40 - went back to our house to get knee ice pack
12:41 - left our house for Texas
12:50 - went to Barb's house to borrow swimsuit since it was closer than going back to my house
12:51 - left Barb's house for Texas
1:15 - finally left the Los Alamos city limits
2:15 - Nina accidentally passed the turn-off to Clines' Corners so we decide to keep going a different way
3:00 - spontaneously decide to not spend the night in Lubbock and spend the night in Amarillo instead!
3:05 - text Damon and tell him we're spending the night in Amarillo
3:25 - decide that Lubbock is closer and we'll spend the night there
3:26 - text Damon and tell him we're spending the night in Lubbock
7:00 - end up spending the night in Clovis

Right now, we're eating Subway in the hotel room and are about to hang out at the hot tub.

I have packed my scale. I've gotten into the habit of weighing every day. If I don't weigh, I feel like I'm closing my eyes to reality.

And, I'm wearing my dorky REMEMBER bracelet that I made so I wouldn't have to write the word on my hand with a Sharpie again.

I'm prepared to stay conscious and vigilant in Texas.

Happy Trails,

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I Ate My Way Through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Oh, I wish I had seen that earlier.

I am rushed to go to a movie with my family but I have to quickly blog in order to pull myself out of this food free-fall that I am in.

Yesterday was a wonderful Christmas Eve - and I stayed conscious and vigilant throughout the day. Last night, we went to a wonderful restaurant off the Plaza in Santa Fe where I ate half of my salmon dish and half of Donna's pork tenderloin dish.

Even that was OK.

After dinner, my niece brought over desserts for us to eat while opening gifts.

Remember that since September 19th, as far as sweets are concerned, I've had some jolly ranchers and one peppermint Joe-Joe.

Nicole made peanut butter pie and Tres Leches Cake. They were both J.U.S.T. A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

And I ate two pieces of EACH. And drank a fairly copious amount of wine.

This morning, I weighed 222 - up from 219 for the last three days.

I made a breakfast casserole in the crock pot last night for us to eat this morning. I had two helpings of the eggs/sausage/cheese/potatoes casserole.

And as of right now, 3:00pm, I've also had two ham and gouda cheese sandwiches and Ruffles potato chips. And, when I make a ham sandwich, it's a HAM sandwich with the ham piled high like Dagwood.

Now, we're getting ready to go to the movie.

I don't HAVE to eat more tonight. I can stop now.

I will stop now.

Merry Christmas! I hope you're eating is going better than mine!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Work Of Christmas

This poem is by Howard Thurman.

Today, as I sit by my Christmas tree, I'm filled with such gratitude for my family and friends.

But, at one time in my life, Christmas was a sad, lonely time. I was "the lost", "the broken".

May I never forget that.

When the song of angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
Then...the Work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to give hope to sisters,
to bring peace among brothers,
to make music in the heart

-- Howard Thurman

God help me let this poem guide my actions and my thoughts throughout the coming year.

Merry, Merry Christmas....


Friday, December 23, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I'm a believer in resolutions. To me, they are a growth guide. They are me THINKING about who and what and how I want to become.

Me making plans.

Me not being a wishy-washy, spontaneous, lazy Gemini with a bad case of Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).

That's good.

Its not good for someone like me to live their life like a Doris Day song. Especially a Doris Day song from a scary Alfred Hitchcock movie!

Pinterest has the same benefits. Looking at Pinterest gives you a sense of ownership about those things that express YOU - either the you now or the you you want to become.

On my Pinterest, I have boards about what I believe, what I want to own, what I want to eat (I AM an overeater, remember), and my bucket list. It helps me define who I am and who I want to become.

If you aren't familiar with Pinterest, look it up. If you want to be a member, let me know and I'll send you an invite.

Right now, my New Year's Resolutions are still in the planning stages, but I want to share with you where they're headed:

1. Continue to work on becoming a conscious, vigilant eater who is focused on health, not feeding my feelings.

2. Actively explore the possibility of getting a job and housing in Albuquerque. Take specific steps like pursue job opportunities with Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo schools, explore feasibility of selling my horribly over-priced house, look at renting in Albuquerque.

3. Focus on exercise now. The 25 pounds I've lost has done wonders for my knee. I was able to shop today with minimal pain FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TWO YEARS! I felt in charge of my body. And free! There are many things that interest me: hiking, swimming, doing the Couch25K program, walking on the treadmill while watching tv, Zumba....... I need to do it all.

4. Continue to blog. The benefits of starting this blog have been immense. Weight loss, insight, self-awareness, improved self-esteem.....

Whoever thought that transparancy would do that.

And that brings me to resolution #5 -- of which I am embarrassed about. I feel that it ages me and I don't want people to know.

But, in my case, I've learned that I'm as sick as my secrets. If there is something I want to hide, I most likely need to bring it into the light.

5. (Cringe) Get hearing aids.

There. I said it. I'm aware that I need the TV louder than other people and that I miss out on parts of conversations.

I associate hearing aids with "old".

Well, I need to start revamping that association. (I could handle it if I associated them with middle age.)

OR...I need to start accepting the fact that I'm old!


I'm not old. I'm not going there yet.

So, this list of 5 is going to become my 2012 To Do List. You'll hear more about it later because, one thing I've learned in 2011 is that I get more accomplished if I put it out there for EVERYONE to know.

There are benefits from having no filter and minimal boundaries.

What are your New Year's Resolutions?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Nearly The One Year Anniversary Of My Infamous Cousins Cruise. I'm Ready For The Next One.

It's nearly been a year since my first and only cruise. I went with my cousins and had a TOTAL BLAST. I wrote this last year and posted it on my Facebook notes. Tonight, I read it and it brought back all the wonderful memories!

I want to share it on my blog. Plus I'm lazy.

I've got to document this stuff somewhere before I get "hardenin' of the arteries" like our grandma and start doing my eyebrows with a blue ballpoint pen like she did.

My cousin cruise was SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!! However, I need to clarify the fact that it was really a Graham sibling cruise with a Graham-wanna-be (me) thrown in. The Grahams (my cousins J Tom, Samantha, Doak, and Timi) are my mom's older sister's kids. They were a huge part of my childhood. Kathryn (J Tom's wife) shoulda been born a Graham. But that would have been wrong.

J Tom is 12 years older than me, Samantha is 10 years older, Doak is two years younger, and Timi is four years younger. J Tom worked for my dad at the newspaper office. He REMEMBERS my dad. That's always important to me because I don't really have many memories of my dad (he died when I was 8).

Samantha - well, what can I say - she was there for me during the most fucked up, horrible time in my life - my teenage years when my mom's drinking was at its worst, my mom's alcoholic convulsions and hospitalization, and the first months of my mom's sobriety. She lived with us for awhile both before and after my mom got sober while Samantha's husband was in Viet Nam. She was my rock. She took me to my first Alateen meeting.

Doak and Timi were my best friends from the time I was 8 until - well, until we all grew up and went our separate ways. From the time that my dad died when I was 8 until I essentially became an adult, I spent every other weekend with Doak and Timi. To be really honest, they were the bright spots in an otherwise fairly scary, lonely childhood.

Doak has always been one of my favorite forms of entertainment. He entertains me just by breathing! And Tyler has always reminded me of Doak - from the time that Ty was a little kid.

Timi thinks that she was just a hanger on. She doesn't know how important she was to me. Timi knows stuff about me that no one else knows.

Favorite (INSANE) memories of the cruise:
I haven't really spent much time around Doak since we were in our early 20's (over 30 years ago). And he was my ROOMMATE on the cruise. It was like being 11 again. I felt joyful, free, skinny and I laughed my ass off (I wish!).

This is what I mean about it being like I was 11......

One night at one of the elegant dinners in the dining room, Doak was sitting next to "Norma" a very proper lady that we met on the cruise. I JOKINGLY told Doak that I would give him $200 if he'd give me the bread off Norma's bread plate. Like a mature 54-year-old man, he grumbled "no". So, I upped the offer to $300. Again, jokingly. The next thing I know, I am watching Norma's piece of french bread arch over my dinner plate and land on my bread plate. Doak had waited until she turned her head the other way and then had stolen her bread. He and I started laughing. And picture a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old at the proper dinner table with a bunch of grownups. The more we tried not to laugh, the more hysterical things got. I think that Timi finally told us that we needed to leave the dining room. (She has always been more mature than me.) We weren't able to go back in and finish our meals because we never could get ourselves under control. I don't know if Norma ever realized that her bread was literally stolen from underneath her nose.

I always tired out before Doak and went to bed while he was still out making friends with everyone on the ship. After being in bed a couple of hours, Doak would always come in and badger me until I got up, changed out of my jammies into some clothes, and went to the smoking deck with him. One night, I just changed into a dress that I had been using as a swimsuit cover up - nothing on underneath. As we walked out of our room, I suggested that I knock on J Tom's door and see if he wanted to go with us. Doak said, "No, he and Kathryn are sleeping. Just knock on a random door." So, of course....... I did.

And then I hysterically RAN to the elevator, laughing all the way, pee running down my leg to the floor. It was like being an 11-year-old with a 56-year-old bladder. I laugh too much, I lose control! Plus, in my head, I was an 11-year-old running, not a 56-year-old fat woman.
I still chuckle when I think about the bread or the pee.

I really want to save money to go on another Cousins Cruise. And this time, I'll be skinnier. And able to run and pee FASTER.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Of Course, THAT Would Be The Place I'm Losing Weight

I carry my weight like a pregnant person. In my belly. I've always wished that, if my lot in life was to be fat, that I would be that kind of person who had a big butt.

That's not to say that my butt is little. It's just that....... well....... for sticking out parts, my belly wins. Hands down.

As of today, I've lost 23 pounds.

And, I swear to God, it's all been....




I. HAVE. CHICKEN. NECK. !!!!!!!!!

It gives me the creeps!

I pride myself on (usually) not looking fifty-seven. I don't think my face looks fifty-seven when I have on lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara. Which....those of you who know me.....know that I can't live without.

But now, all anyone has to do to know that I'm fifty-seven is look about five inches below my face.

My neck looks every bit of the fifty-seven years it's been around.

I'm going to have to become a scarf person.
Which means I'm never going to match because I only have two scarves.

But it will give me license to look more silly.

Or I could wear this thing all the time.

Which I think is supposed to go on my head.

But that looks even more weird.

I'm screwed.

Chicken Jenny

Monday, December 19, 2011

Safe Places

With addiction recovery, you need to identify your safe, and unsafe, places.

When my mom first was in AA, they talked a lot about "slippery" places where you were likely to lose your focus, your motivation, and your willpower.

Since my mom wasn't a bar drinker, her primary slippery place was when she was with her siblings in Knox City. They would all sit around and drink while arguing politics and playing Password.

It was really hard for her to be with her siblings and sit around, arguing politics, playing Password - WITHOUT drinking.

The week before Christmas was also a slippery "place" for my mom. She had a thing about "Christmas Fruitcake Cookies" that had cooking sherry in the recipe. One year, she made countless Christmas Fruitcake Cookies and went through even more bottles of cookie sherry.

When I quit smoking, my safe and unsafe places were really obvious to me.

* Alone at my house.
* Driving in the car.
* After a meal.
* Being with other smokers.
* Grocery shopping - because the urge to buy a pack of cigarettes was unbearable.
* Drinking iced tea. It was years before I could drink iced tea again.

* The bathtub.

That's it. In 1985 when I quit smoking, you could smoke everywhere else - your office, restaurants, college classes.....

The ONLY place I didn't smoke was the bathtub.

So, I took bath after bath after bath.......

It was the only time I felt safe from my compulsion to smoke.

I haven't done as good of a job identifying my safe and unsafe places when it comes to overeating. I really need to work on that. Here's what I know right now:

* Potlucks (Duh).
* Restaurants without a lot of planning.
* Bunco or other parties where there is a lot of finger food around.
* And the state of disappointment.

That's where I got to tonight. I was all psyched to go to a movie with Nina. I'd already given myself the lecture about no popcorn. Then she got called into work at the vet's office.

Normally, my house is a pretty safe place for me because I tend to not overeat when I'm alone. But tonight after Nina left for work, I found myself prowling through the frig and the pantry. I had already eaten a sandwich and wasn't hungry - but I was bored and disappointed. If I hadn't of caught myself, I would have grazed on Doritos and cheese and crackers. That was what was calling me.

Luckily, I SAW myself. Possibly because of reading the fat-hater's blog that I mentioned in my previous post tonight. I D.O. N.O.T. WANT TO BE PERCEIVED LIKE SHE PERCEIVES OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE.

Of course, I have no control over how other people see me. But I do have control when I am graced with those glimpses of myself actively in my addiction.

So, I came to the ONLY SAFE PLACE I KNOW in my struggle to be a conscious eater.

My bed.

I've never been a person who snacks in bed. I don't associate my bed with food.

So, even though it wasn't quite 7:00pm, I came here.

I feel safe.

Global Teeth - And Other Unfair Judgments

I have a teeth issue. Unfortunately, not with my own teeth, but with the teeth of others.

I think it started during a horrifying blind date when I was in high school. Due to the trauma, my memory of that night is fuzzy. But what I remember is being in a Volkswagen mini-bus (had to have been Junior's) with a guy that some so-called friend had set me up with. My date was missing three top front teeth and one bottom front tooth. No telling what there was (or wasn't) in the back of his mouth.

Being a judgmental teenager I had a real problem with this. Being a well-mannered (chicken) Southern girl, I wouldn't dare say anything to him about the fact that I found him utterly unattractive.

So, my toothless date spent the evening trying to kiss me. I spent the evening chewing on a plastic spoon.

And.... that night became a defining moment in my perception of what made someone attractive to me. They had to have teeth. Not necessarily their own teeth, but some sort of teeth in all their teeth holes.

Now, there are two things weird about this:

First of all, I don't have all my teeth. I am forever embarrassed by this --
--but it doesn't keep me from judging others' (read: men's) lack of teeth.

Second of all, my perception of whether or not someone is toothless has now gone WAY BEYOND having anything to do with teeth!

When Barb pointed out a man to me and said "You can go out with him", my response was "He's toothless". This particular man very likely had all his teeth. He just wasn't my type. But, I immediately pigeon-holed him. Under the heading "toothless"?

I am so shallow. And fat. Whatever gave me the idea that I could judge.

I read a wonderful blog called Two Years To Happy Weight After. She wrote about (and linked to) a blog by someone who was obviously a fat hater. (I don't know how to link so check out the blog, Two Years To Happy Weight After, and read the link. The writer's hate for fat people is disturbing.)

I made some comment about how judgmental the fat hater was - without any self-awareness about how judgmental I am.

Oooh, I hate that.

While I'm losing things like weight, I'd like to lose the part of me that judges others.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I saw this kitty cat on a shelf at the Hallmark store. I'm hoping it will still be there when their "Going Out Of Business" sale starts in February.


I like this word. I wish it was so ingrained into my thought processes that it flowed into my consciousness on a daily basis - like the words Tyler, Nina, food, lipstick, and ketchup do.

And please note the new poll. Your vote will be put in a hat. The winner will receive a gift certificate to the winning sandwich shop.

To vote, add your number to the poll on the right side of my blog. Add your name and address in the comments section under this post.

See, I'm gonna be like the big girl bloggers who have contests! And I'm already a BIG GIRL!!!

Vigilant Jenny

Boring Running Log Of What I've Eaten-------------------Read Only If You Are Seriously On The Verge Of Hanging Yourself From Boredom - Part 2

Weekend: Done.

Many parties. Gained a bottle of Boone's Farm sangria and a pretty mirror at last night's gift exchange, and a new purse at today's purse party, and three pounds.

But, I met my goal of staying at or under 224 and I ate both of today's meals at Subway and it's less popular (in my mind) sister, Quizno's. Where I feel safe.

And at today's purse party, I was able to stay away from Barb's famous corn dip.
OK. I ate two bites. But otherwise, I stuck with carrots and sweet peas. Thank you, Barb, for filling my plate.

But, last night....... Let me tell you about last night! It was just like I expected - full of good food, good drinks, gifts exchanges with friends, and laughter until I peed my pants. What fun it was!

Here was the appetizer I shared with Donna. She ate the guacamole and I ate the salsa with a spoon. I also drank the margarita.

I kept getting refills on the salsa. So many refills that, this morning, my rings were tight from all the water retention.

I ordered chicken fajitas without any of the sides. No one would share with me. But... don't worry.... I took care of the extra food by stuffing it all into my mouth. It was greasy but, ohhhhhhhhh, so worth it.

And, yes, I ate the fajitas with ketchup.

Next time I'm going to have the Margarita Chicken that you can see across the table from my fajitas. It was a lot less oily.

And here's all of us after about four margaritas each.

Fun, fun!

But now, I'm ready for the next three days of work before the next food hurdle of Christmas.

And, after Christmas, we're going to Texas. That's when things are REALLY GOING TO GET TOUGH!!!!!

Partied-out Jenn

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Boring Running Log Of What I've Eaten-------------------Read Only If You Are Seriously On The Verge Of Hanging Yourself From Boredom - Part 1

Oh, I'm sorry you're so bored..... Is there anything I can do for you? Maybe you need to EAT!

It's 2:30. I still have my gown on. I've spent the morning wrapping Christmas presents, chatting with Donna and Nina, and generally being lazy. I haven't put my pedometer on yet because ------ well, because it clips to my bra.

And I normally don't wear a bra under my nightie.

Obviously, we didn't go out for brunch. I made a ham and cheese sandwich and ate it with a yellow bell pepper and 100-calorie Pringles.

Just now, when Donna made popcorn, I got out a string cheese and another 100-calorie Pringles.

But after I started eating it, I realized I wasn't really hungry. It was just the smell of the popcorn getting to me.

So I gave half the cheese to the dogs (shhhh, don't tell Nina) and I threw away the rest of the chips.

Part 2 will come after Chili's chicken fajitas, wine, gifts, and laughing until I pee.

Hopefully, I'll be able to type.


Party Planning

I'm laying in bed at nearly 11 in the morning feeling hungry and knowing two things:
1. I need to get out of bed and off my butt.
2. I need to make some plans for the weekend if I'm going to remain accountable.

I have had three parties in the last two days and I have three more between now and Monday morning.

My weight has been down. My weight has been up. This morning it was 223 -- up from 221.5.

That's not horrible. But I am most motivated when my weight is the lowest. Even with the gain of one and a half pounds, I can hear the faint refrains of my favorite fat song "What The Fuck, Just Give Up" playing in the background.

Here's what my weekend is looking like. In parenthesis is how I plan to be accountable and make it work.)
1. Out to brunch with Donna and Nina. Donna will want to go to Viola's. I'll have two eggs, green chili, and one piece of dry toast.
2. Helping Donna put up her Christmas tree, wrapping presents, cleaning house. I'll wear my pedometer (which really makes me move more) and focus on drinking water.
3. Saturday Christmas Party #1 at 5:30. I can only stay there an hour so my goal is for it to just be a drop by/say "hi" affair. No food, no alcohol.
4. Saturday Christmas Party #2 at 6:45. Meeting really fun people at Chili's for dinner, drinks, and gift exchange. I'll eat my Chili's standby, Chicken Fajitas, and hopefully, someone will share it with me. I'll drink three glasses of wine. I can do it.
5. Tomorrow, I'll weigh and it will be up because of the eating out and the wine. I've got to let that be OK. IT'S OK, JENN! NO REASON TO GIVE UP! Nina and I will have lunch at Subway and take a walk on the canyon rim.
6. Barb's purse party tomorrow afternoon. I can do without the snacks. That shouldn't be a problem.
7. Tomorrow night, Nina and I will drive around looking at Christmas lights. I'll want hot chocolate, but I'll do hot tea instead.
8. I'll support Nina on whatever she wants for dinner tomorrow night, but I think that for me, it should be a Subway-two-meals-in-a-roll-kind-of-day. That feels safest.

Other strategies to use?
1. Should I tell myself that any weight under 224 between now and Christmas is OK? That would give me "room" to not get down on myself while maintaining a loss of 20 pounds since September.
2. Will it help me keep accountable if I take a picture of everything I eat with the plan of posting it on my blog? I think I'll try that.
3. Should I just give up my Christmas playful self that loves to party and laugh and hole up in my bedroom? NAH....... Even I know the answer to that one.

I'm going to grab life by the horns and have fun.

Just with accountability rather than abandon.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dealing With A Holiday Potluck By Sitting In My Office And Blogging

Oh, don't get me wrong. I've already been in there. Here are some pictures of what it was like:

But I did OK. I had some pot roast, some baked chicken with cheese and green chili, three little pieces of cheese, salad, and half a cup of Texas chili. And ketchup.

But then I had to get out of there. I still have one more party today, two tomorrow, two Saturday, and one on Sunday.

This morning I weighed

That's the least I've weighed in at least five years.

I'd like to somehow weigh the same or less on Monday morning.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

After Discovering "The World Of Fat Clothes", I Now Want It To Collide With A Small Planet

I remember when I found out about the World of Plus Size Clothing.

Before age thirty, I really thought that a person was shit out of luck if they couldn't get into a size 18 - because there was nothing beyond that.

I didn't know that after size 18, the X's start - 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X and beyond.

After I quit smoking and was growinggrowinggrowing, I had nothing to wear when my friends from Idaho visited. I went to the two local clothing stores and NOTHING FIT ME!

I ended up at the variety store, TG&Y (anyone remember that?), where I bought a size 18 pair of "robin eggs" blue corduroy pants and matching blue HORIZONTAL STRIPED long-sleeved shirt that somehow fit. Thank God I can't find any pictures!

I wore it for the next three months.

I'm serious. I really didn't know about plus size clothing shops. I must have had a very small world. My grandma was fat but I assumed she made all her clothes herself.

It sounds funny, but it's really very scary when you think that you've now become too big to fit in any clothes sold in any stores. It's a lonely, hopeless, out-of-control feeling.

The next assumption is that you're going have to learn to sew and invest in a fabric company.

Wouldn't it have been nice if thinking that there were no larger clothes for me in the world had made me stop "growing"?

What was I thinking? That I'd just go naked??

I soon discovered Lane Bryant. It was like a WHOLE NEW WORLD opened up to me. I think that must be how walking into Lane Bryant for the first time feels to all overweight women. EVERYTHING in there is for Y.O.U.

And only YOU. If you're skinny, you can't shop there because everything is just TOO BIG. See how that feels?

Over the years, I've found that all big department stores have "Women's" sections where they sell plus size clothing.

As compared to the Ladies' section where they sell regular sized clothing.

Am I a woman, and no longer a lady, because I'm fat?

"Woman" sounds much more suggestive, lewd, and..... trollop-y... than a proper, virtuous "lady".

........................................................A WOMAN..............

..........................................................A LADY..............

Really, it's just the opposite. I've become a much less sexual being as I've gained weight.

I also discovered Fashion Bug - where ONE-HALF of the store is plus size. Walking in the front door is literally a fork in the road where you must veer left if you're skinny, veer right if you're fat.

-----------------------------------------I just had to do that.--------------------

I went shopping last weekend. Just at Ross where you search over the department store prairie for the little "Women's" sign.

I tried on a 4X top and IT WAS TOO BIG! I tried a 3X top and IT WAS TOO BIG! I tried on 2X top and IT WAS JUST RIGHT!

That made me happy.

But I really want to get to the point where I don't have to go to plus size stores or search for the women's sections. I want to get to the point where I don't remember who Lane Bryant was. I want to get to the point that I can veer left in Fashion Bug.

That's my goal.

Jenny 2X Neil

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weight Loss and Pigging Out - All In One Day

This morning, I weighed 223. A loss of twenty-one pounds.

But, by having a day of minimum planning and maximum impulsivity, I've ended the evening by being mad at myself rather than proud of myself.

First Problem: No groceries.
So, I took an orange to work for breakfast and, for lunch, I took.........
* a can of tomato soup
* a can of Ro-tel tomatoes
* a can of french-style green beans
.................with the bizarre plan of mixing them all together and eating it.

Even I couldn't stomach that, so I ended up buying a breakfast burrito from the school cafeteria for lunch.

I live in New Mexico - the hub of breakfast burritos. Let me tell you, the school cafeteria is not the best place to get one.

Second Problem: The grocery store.
Here is how I screw around with myself: I went to the grocery store primarily to get the ingredients to make chicken tortellini soup for our staff potluck on Thursday.

While at the grocery store, I decided that chicken tortellini soup was too hard so I'd just get frozen shrimp for the staff potluck.

While still at the grocery store, I decided that I didn't have room in my freezer for the shrimp...

So I left the grocery store with just crap for myself, including:
6 frozen dinners
4 "red velvet cake" yogurts
3 bags of frozen veggies
2 pomegranates
1 onion
and a bottle of chipotle mustard

Sounds like "The Twelve Days Of Christmas", huh?

Third Problem: I didn't get what I was craving:
I left the grocery store and, with grocery bags in the car, went to meet my friend, Cathy, for dinner at a restaurant.

I'd been craving a sushi roll that I'D SWEAR was salmon, crab, and avocado last time I had it. Well, this time.... the closest I could find was salmon, CREAM CHEESE, and avocado. AND IT WAS FRIED. But that didn't stop me.

And after I finished all eight pieces, I had about a third of Cathy's "Kick-Ass Chicken Salad" - which is called "Kick-Ass" because it includes cranberries, sugared pecans, cheese, and a really yummy dressing.

Then I came home to my house that smells of dog poop that neither Tyler nor I have been able to find. Hidden dog poop is the worst.

Now I'm laying in my bed. Grumpy. Disappointed in myself. Whiny.

I wasn't going to blog but then I thought that was one step closer to not being accountable. And I do believe that accountability is one of the important keys of recovery. At least for me.

So here I am. And there you have it.

Thanks for being there.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Uh-oh. Bunco Night Again.

Not only is it Bunco night, but it's Bunco/Christmas Party night! I'm expecting lots of fun, lots of laughter, lots of food, and lots of wine.

And it's happening on a low energy, sleepy, achy, crabby, hungry, snowy, cold Monday.

It's one of those days that I would like to be curled up under my electric blanket with my dogs, cat, pillows, fan, phone, computer, and lip gloss.

Instead, I'm entertaining myself while waiting for my chiropractor appointment by blogging and whining. I'm


Two hours later......

Is staying on my food plan worth God's intervention?

I feel like He intervened today. I was so set up for failure. Remember H.A.L.T? That's how I was today -- too hungry, too aggravated, too lonely, too tired, too achy, too grumpy, too cold, too sleepy -- to make good choices tonight.

The decisions were taken out of my hand because Bunco got rescheduled due of the snow. I came home and made tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for myself. Nice cold weather comfort food.

And now, I'm going to curl up under my electric blanket.

Thank you, God, for taking care of me today.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I Took A Wrong Turn And Have Found Myself Back In Jennyland

I'm trying to think of cliches for how I'm feeling right now. I'm hanging by a thread. I'm sitting on my resolve. My motivation is stuck in my butt crack.

Obviously, I'm having a hard time thinking of the right cliche.

So, here's the facts:
* I have been playing and partying all week.
* I've been eating out even more than usual. That's hard to imagine because I eat out most of the time.
* It's Dianne's last night before she flies back to Boston.
* I'm sad that Dianne is leaving.
* I'm tired.
* My house is all trashed.
* My clothes are all dirty.
* I weighed 227 this morning - two pounds more than yesterday and four pounds more than the lowest I've weighed in awhile (223 earlier in the week).

All this adds up to me being close to reaching the point of "screw it" mentality.

I think the weight gain is really bothering me even though I didn't overeat last night. I ordered chicken tacos without the tacos which meant getting a bowl with shredded chicken, lettuce, tomato, and a little bit of cheese. What put on the pounds was the pint of salsa and the three Bloody Marys. OK, four.

Today, we met friends at a restaurant in Espanola. I shared a grilled veggie burrito with Di. I hate to admit it but this was my part after we shared.

"Sharing" with someone who has recently had weight loss surgery means getting much more than half.

Looking back on lunch two hours later, I realize that I happily ate lunch in a Jennyland daze (denial) where I really saw myself "sharing" the burrito with Dianne. Like half-a-portion-sharing. The real kind. Not eating 7/8ths of a humongous helping of beans and oily veggies wrapped in a flour tortilla and smothered with cheese, green chili, and ketchup.

Gross. When you describe food for what it is, it's kinda less appetizing, isn't it?

Tonight, we're meeting friends at Gabriel's, the home of wonderful guacamole and margaritas. And fajitas. And carnitas. And sangria. And enchiladas. And tamales. And burritos. And flan. And fried ice cream.

I really don't know how I'm going to do. I'm gonna try to eat consciously but..... how to say this........ I have a feeling I'm going to intentionally close my eyes to myself.

I'm already feeling the need to focus on forgiveness of myself for what I think I'm going eat and drink tonight.

That's not good, is it?

Whatever happens tonight, I know that tomorrow life will get back to normal. I will clean my house and do my laundry and get in bed at a decent time and watch Sons of Anarchy under the cover.

I may escape into Jennyland tonight where I am a skinny princess and can do whatever and however much I want. But I don't have to live there.

More later........

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thank You For The Gesture Of Good Will. Let Me Just Staple These Baked Goods To My Hips.

I love working for the public schools. For reals. I love my job. I love my kids. I love my co-workers. I love my boss. I love my families.

Those of you who work for schools know how generous parents get around the holiday season.
And you know how good they bake.
And you know how I can't say "NO THANK YOU!!!!!!!"

Thank God I have a son who works in a pizza joint with a bunch of other hungry guys.
They are going to be my salvation during this holiday season.

Last year, I didn't have a salvation. I am currently wearing last season's baked goods. And casseroles. And candy. And eggnog.

Today, the Let-Me-Give-You-Baked-Goods season started.

Here's today's haul.

OK, OK.... So the rolls were a gift and the two braided bread packages are things I bought. But it was to help a child!!

I really appreciate parents' generosity. I was never that considerate or giving when my kids were in school.

But this year, on this day that the goodies started rolling in, I am making a public commitment to give mine to other people. In the holiday spirit, of course.

Tyler and Dex won't mind if I just sit here and stare at them while they eat these rolls, will they?

There are some things that I said "no, thank you" to today. There was banana bread (THAT I LOVE!) in the front office. And there was a crock pot full of cornbread casserole (THAT I LOVE!) in the bookkeeper's office.

I said 'no' to both.

Yay, me!

The Baked-Goods-Regifting-Queen

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pomegranates and Christmas Cookie Codependency - Part 2

OK. Here was the deal.

Tonight, Dianne and I went out to dinner at DeColores. We halved a veggie burger.

Everything's okey-dokey so far....right?

Then, the waitress brought over a little plate of rum cake and biscochitos that she had made.

The waitress is very nice. It was nice of her to make holiday sweets to bring to her work. It was nice of her to share with Dianne and me.

Nice, nice, nice.

I had to be nice back.

Dianne has had weight loss surgery. She CAN'T eat rum cake or biscochitos.

So......... you know the rest of the story.

Dum-da-dum! Jenny to the rescue!!

I cleaned the plate.

I don't even like biscochitos. I don't really like sweets!

It really was codependent of me to eat them.

On the way home, Dianne and I talked about the things that I coulda/shoulda/woulda done.

* I could have said "no, thank you".
* I could have eaten my share and let Dianne say "no, thank you".
* I could have lied and said that I was allergic to sugar like I lie at other restaurants and say I'm allergic to corn so they'll bring me a spoon to eat my salsa with!

I ate for Dianne - just as I was afraid of doing during her visit. But it wasn't her fault. I did it because, like the waitress, I am just so effing NICE.

I have been taught that, when it comes to food, you accept what's offered.
I have been taught that, when it comes to food, you clean your plate.

I have been taught to say 'no' to drugs, sex, peer pressure, flirty men, used car salesmen, strangers at my door, phone solicitors, religious missionaries, and my children.

But I have not been taught to say 'no' to food.

Pomegranates and Christmas Cookie Codependency - Part 1

OK. So my blog title is disjointed.

Today has been a disjointed day. I have two blog subjects and one blog.

I ate my first pomegranate today. On Facebook, I said "my first raw pomegranate". Then I got a bunch of comments asking about cooked ones. I MEANT that I'd never had pomegranate other than in juice form.

* I didn't know how to cut it.
* I didn't know that it was actually seeds that you ate though I did know it was the red part and obviously you were supposed to do more than suck the juice off the seeds.
* I didn't know that it would squirt all over my sweater, computer, phone, desk, and floor. I'm still looking at my laptop screen through little red dots.
* I didn't know that it's hard to do anything else (like work) while eating a pomegranate because the pomegranate takes all your concentration and both your hands.

I started eating my pomegranate in the teachers' lounge at lunch but took it to my office after lunch because --- by this time --- I was obsessed with it and with getting the little seeds out.

Between writing up functional behavior assessments and squirting pomegranate juice all over my office, I decided to google how to eat them. That was when my principal walked in and sat down. I inanely said, "I'm trying to learn how to eat pomegranates."

You know how sometimes the truth just sounds so stupid?

I hate it when I get caught not working.

But................ I'm really excited about discovering pomegranates in fruit form. I think it will be the perfect thing to have with me when I'm doing my hand-to-mouth routine like at Bunco, parties, and all the other times that I compulsively feel the need to keep putting something in my mouth (besides my foot).

It takes a LOOONNNGGG time to eat a pomegranate!

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Wanted To Eat Yellow Snow Because I Know That It's Calorie Free

Growing up in Texas in the 60's, we didn't have snow every often - and never very much - but my mother and my grandmother were really big on snow ice cream. But the times they made it, it was FULL of calories - cream, sugar, spices, vanilla, and sometimes eggs. It was yummy.

My mom would send me out to get the snow. I had snow boots on but she would always make me put empty bread bags over my snow boots and secure them to my legs with rubber bands. I remember bread bags not having any traction.

To get the snow, mom would give me a mixing bowl and a 1/2 cup scooper. Since there wasn't much snow, I was to skim the half cup over the top of the snow, trying not to get grass or dirt in it. I mean, I'm talking a half inch to an inch of snow. To get enough snow for enough ice cream, I'd have to leave these little cup tracks all over the front yard.

After my momma or my grandma added all the good stuff to it (including the calories), it was HEAVEN! I'd still be wanting momma to make more days after the last snow fall when it was difficult to find any snow that was still white. But, I'd search.

I didn't want any snow ice cream on our first snow day this year. If I can't have it with the vanilla, cream, and sugar...... I don't really want it.

But I still had fun on my snow day.
Here was my agenda:
*Coffee Shop for 4 hours and lots of visiting
*Grocery Store for MORE Christmas lights

And I stayed conscious and aware of my eating today. An omelet with only a little cheese for breakfast (with one piece of dry toast) and, tonight, a bowl of beans, some cheese, and lots of tomatoes.

Now, I'm in the safety and warmth of my bed far, far, away from the kitchen.
I'm about to relax with Sons Of Anarchy and dream of men young enough to be my children.

Jenn, the cradle robber (in her dreams!)

Going To Eat The Middle Of An Omelet And Other Plans For Today

IT'S A SNOW DAY!!!!!!!



But, after my hand-to-mouth routine last night, I was back up to 225.5 this morning. Of course, the massive quantity of home made salsa (with lots of salt) probably didn't help that.

Di and I are off to a local hang-out, the Coffee Booth, for omelet middles (me), a tiny bite of omelet (her), coffee, hot tea, and free wi-fi. And lots of visiting as I'm sure there will be many other Los Alamosites there. The socializing is the best part.

I don't know what the rest of the day holds.

Probably not a very good thing, huh.

I know I'll eat beans because I made them yesterday. That will be safe and good.

What else could I p-p-pa-ppa-PLAN to do today? (Could hardly get that P word out!)

A walk? Probably not. I'm not a snow bunny.
Hanging up the rest of my Christmas lights outside? Hmmmmm. Yes.
Drink water? OK..... If you insist...... A glass for every cup of tea.
Go sledding? I wish I could get up my nerve.
Go to the Y? Nah.....
Squeeze my butt muscles while visiting with my friends? NOW, YOU'RE TALKING!

Pictures to follow. But not any of me squeezing my butt muscles.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Lost Consciousness

My bad.

I wish I really had lost consciousness and passed out on the floor because then I couldn't have had chronic hand-to-mouth-ism.

I'm not sure what happened.... Today was the third day of Dianne's visit. I felt headachy and low energy, but about halfway through the day, I spontaneously decided to invite people over for a wine and cheese party so they could get to visit with Di. That meant I had to frantically clean my house.

At 4:30, I went to the grocery store to get cheese and crackers (and olives and marinated mushrooms and tomatoes and MORE Christmas lights). I stopped by Subway and ate, thinking that would keep me from eating when people were over.

But once people got to my house at 6:00, I got all hyped-up. I decided to make salsa with my new food processor that I had just taken out of the box.

Remember that I don't know how to make salsa. I know what's in it but not how much of anything. With four other people standing in my kitchen "supervising", I started cutting up tomatoes, garlic, bell peppers, cilantro, onion, and jalapenos and dumping them into the food processor.

It took three of us to even figure out how to make the food processor turn on. At one point, I was stuffing more veggies into the little "hole" but couldn't make them go all the way into the food processor. I finally figured out that I was stuffing them into the "food pusher" than you use to make the food go down into the processor.
I can't decide if I look like a domestic goddess in this picture, or if I look clueless. I'm betting on clueless.

I really was hyper. Frantic. It was like I have to have this experience of making this salsa and I have to have it now and, no, I don't need or want to read the directions and no, I don't need anyone to give me a recipe, I will just do it. Wheeze....

So, after I made the salsa, we all sat around a table piled with jalapeno cheese (and other kinds that I didn't try because I couldn't stop eating the jalapeno cheese), crackers, pretzel crackers, grapes, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, salsa, and wine.

I really did have hand-to-mouth-ism. I think I ate the whole block of jalapeno cheese by myself.

I finally came out of my "emotional dead faint" and realized that I had to remove myself from the table. Which I did.

So, in the "after game replay and analysis", I'd say that these are the things I did wrong:
1. I got into a balloon frame of mind - deciding at the last minute to have the party, working myself up into a state of entertainment mania.
2. I had no plan to make the salsa at all tonight - that added to my mania.
3. Emotionally going to sleep/passing out - whatever I did that made me temporarily lose my way on my path of conscious eating - was a sign of not being calm and emotionally grounded (the only way I can stay on top of the eating).
4. I didn't use a plate. I put all these pretty little Christmas paper plates out for people to put food on but I was eating out of the cracker/cheese/veggie serving bowls. Using my fingers. I was back in caveman-eater mode.

Oooooh, that just sounds wrong! I really don't eat cavemen. It should be "eating-like-a-caveman" mode.

It was definitely being a balloon person kind of day. I stayed in the frantic, hyper mood throughout the evening. Even to the point of pouring out people's wine and washing the glasses before they were through. Dianne said, "Where's my wine? Did you already wash my glass?"

I mean, what was THAT deal? As Donna would say, I was being "Susie-fucking-homemaker" trying to clean up my kitchen.

OH, AND THAT REMINDS ME. In the middle of all this, Tyler and Marissa came home with a "cake pop maker" that Tyler had bought at K-Mart. They proceeded to make "cake balls" in the kitchen with all this other stuff going on.

So, YES, I WAS cleaning my kitchen.

Also in the middle of everything, the purse I ordered at last week's "purse party" got delivered so I had to immediately transfer everything from my old purse to my new purse. While entertaining. And stuffing my face.

What I did right:
1. Eating at Subway before people came over. I'm sure the damage would have been much worse if I hadn't.
2. "Coming to" and making myself move from the table.
3. Blogging about it.

Tomorrow is another day. Please.

Caveman-Eater Extraordinaire

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Eating The Middle

Today was Day 2 of Dianne's visit and IT WAS SUCCESSFUL!

I also learned a technique for eating less that (embarrassingly) fits my personality. But, it works.

I've told you about my friend, Barb, who always gets a take-home box at restaurants before she even starts eating. She halves her food and takes one half of it home to her husband. (Who never gets to go out and only gets to eat the leftover half of other people's food).

No really, its a very generous, considerate thing that Barb does and I've always been impressed, but not able to do it. I'm too much of a glutton and too selfish.

Today, I came up with my own technique.
Please pay no attention to all the salsa and ketchup but notice that I just ate the middle of my omelet. I can also do this with burritos, sandwiches, and burgers.

It differs from what Barb does because, being a only-child-princess, I take the best part and I don't give a shit who (if anyone) gets the sides.
(Me in my Princess Santa hat)

Maybe the restaurant sends my leftover omelet sides to the poor children in China.

You know...... those poor children that our mothers told us about when we were growing up if we didn't clean our plates. The reasoning behind it never made much sense to me.

Your mother never told you about those kids? Well, my mom must have had some inside information because she talked about them all the time...

The conversation between my mother and me would be:

"Jenny, you eat all that spaghetti on your plate right now or we're going to have to send it to the poor starving children in China".

"Well, if they're hungry, maybe we should send them this food. I don't mind."

"No! Your eyes were bigger than your stomach, young lady, so you have to clean that plate right now or we'll send it to the poor starving children in China! Now, stop talking and EAT!"

"But I want to help them!"

"Jennifer Jean Branch, you close your mouth and eat every last bite on that plate. NOW!"

I think this may have something to do with me being an overweight, bleeding-heart, left-wing social worker.

But it is one more tool to add to my ever-growing toolbox to use in my quest to be a skinny eater.

Princess Santa

Friday, December 2, 2011


I'm SOOOOOO excited because one of best friends in arriving this afternoon to visit until December 12th!

It's Dianne, my balloon buddy, overeating buddy, laughter buddy, just-plain-over-the-top buddy. She's been gone for nearly two years and I HAVE MISSED HER!!!!!

I would be going on one looonnngg binge as soon as she gets here except for one HUGE saving grace. Dianne had weight loss surgery last September, has lost an exceptional amount of weight, and is strictly limited on what she can tolerate eating and drinking.

That SHOULD be a saving grace to me, right?

Only if I let it.

And, oh God! That is so scary!!

Di and I are meeting a bunch of friends tonight at our local bar where two years ago, she would have had quite a few Blue Moons and I would have had wine and we would have shared a big order of nachos and an order of chili con queso. She would probably have ordered a veggie quesadilla as the evening wore on and I would have had something with a lot of ketchup.

Life has got to be different tonight - for both of us.

Dianne HAS to make different choices. Her body won't let her do otherwise. Her emotional motivation is strengthened by her inability to put as much food and drink inside her as she used to.

My different choices have to come from a different place. And they're not very strong. My tummy is still huge and could hold a medium-sized dog (if I ate dogs - WHICH I DON'T)!

I feel like I need to put on some type of emotional armor to protect myself - from myself.

One of the things that I've noticed about my friends who have had weight loss surgery is that they frequently order what they've always ordered and then, by necessity, only eaten a couple of bites.

My fear is that Dianne will do that (which is perfectly fine!) --- as long as I don't take on the role of being her human garbage disposal. I have been known to do that. I'm a cleaner-upper of plates.

I also know that Dianne is so excited about having a Blue Moon with her friends. But, I imagine that one beer is going to last her all night. She will physically not be able to do it any other way.

I am able to drink a lot more wine than one glass. But am I willing to stop at one when I'm out with this group of fun people?

No. Honestly.... I'm not. Just leaving that as an esoteric question is a set-up for me to deceive you - and myself.

I need to be honest and say that no, I won't stop at one. I will drink three glasses of wine. That's what I do. Less than that, I can't feel the buzz. More than that, I feel too much buzz.

Ugh. I know I'm not making any sense but this is how the thoughts are coming out of my fingers. Bear with me.....

1. It's important that I not EAT FOR DIANNE. She doesn't need me to, but I worry about my subconscious ways of playing games with myself. If she buys something and only eats a bite of it, I need to keep my fucking hands away from it. And my fucking mouth!!!!!!! NO, NO, JENNY! STOP!

2. Today, I was a strong 224 pounds (meaning I couldn't move around on the scales and make it go up to 225). I need to remember the 20 pounds that I have stayed conscious in order to lose. I really can't say I "worked hard" for it, but since September 19th, I have stayed with my feelings, focused on my goals, and remembered who it is that I want to be. That's what the loss of the 20 pounds is.


3. Though Dianne and I are both balloon people, I don't need to go laughingly
drifting off into Jennyland with her. I need to STAY GROUNDED.

4. I need to take it one day at a time. Tonight's plan: A bowl of beans, salsa, ketchup, and three glasses of wine.

5. And I just impulsively wrote this on my arm.
The bad thing is that I'm blogging during my lunch time at work. I still have to get through the afternoon - including an IEP meeting - now with Sharpie writing on me.

Please give me ideas of how to go into that dangerous place for me - OBLIVION!

What just popped into my head when I typed that was a line from the Lord's Prayer - changed to fit the situation.

"Lord, lead me not into oblivion..."

Then I had to say the whole prayer to remember the right line of "lead me not into temptation...."

Funny how, in my life, they are the same thing.

Thursday, December 1, 2011



Gotcha to read again!

Not THAT kind of orgasm!

I had my lunch made by someone I consider a gourmet cook. And, knowing that I'm trying to lose weight, she made an amazing healthy lunch. And I TOOK PICTURES because she was doing things I've been never seen before. And they weren't sexual!

Now, first you have to know about Jilli. She is a basket weaver, potter, seamstress, and general crafty person. She is one of those people who can really and truly do anything.

I, a person who had to ask someone how to put the Thanksgiving turkey in the pan, eats at Subway at least five times a week, and puts ketchup on everything -- don't get to see gourmet cooks in action very often.

I had never seen pasta home made before.

I had never seen these cute little pastas from Trader Joe's. They look like little evening bags!

I had never had brussel sprouts sauteed with cinnamon apples, butternut squash, edamame, and fresh spinach.

I'd never been close to a food orgasm - especially not involving ketchup.

It was amazingly delicious. I ate two helpings of everything. Yikes.

And, the meal was topped off with homemade pumpkin cake (made from 'Cinderella pumpkins') with icing that I would have liked to squirt in my mouth.

Jilli only let me have a little bit.

And the entertainment was watching Trenton (age 1), Cricket (a dog), and Taryn (age 21) in the play tunnel.

I promised not to post the picture where Taryn was actually stuck.

It was a wonderful afternoon! Thank you so much Jilli, Taryn, and Jordan for sharing your home and your lives with me.

Tomorrow, it's back to Lean Cuisine and Subway.