Not bad for a fat girl


Getting My Craft On

Today I had the opportunity to get a little crafty, and I went for it. The fantastic folks at Made By 2 Sisters organized a fund raising event unlike any other I’ve heard of. They created a giant drop-in pallet party to benefit a fellow school district employee who’s been undergoing cancer treatments.

What is a pallet party?

Good question. It’s an opportunity to make a unique sign for your home using easy techniques that guarantee even a novice will produce a great looking sign. Trust me, I’m no craft queen, but I’m pretty happy with my signs.

I’ve been watching this company from the start, and I’m pleased to have several of their signs. Some I’ve done myself, and others I purchased already made. The parties are so much fun, and the fundraising aspect is just further proof of how wonderful this company is.

Made this one today. I'll distress it more and add some twine and jingle bells to the bottom, I think.

Made this one today. I’ll distress it more and add some twine and jingle bells to the bottom, I think.

This one is also from today. It will look great with my Chanukah decorations.

This one is also from today. It will look great with my Hanukkah decorations.

This one marks my conversation to glitter (the word bonfires).

This one marks my conversation to glitter (the word bonfires).

I purchased this one as a fundraiser.

I purchased this one as a fundraiser for a different colleague a while back.

This was also a purchase. It hangs above my fireplace.

This was also a purchase. It hangs above my fireplace.

These sweet little ones sit on a bookshelf.

These sweet little ones sit on a bookshelf.

This one was custom made for me for Chanukah.

This one was custom made for me for Hanukkah.

I did this one last summer. It looks great in my kitchen.

I did this one last summer. It looks great in my kitchen.

I have a few others, but they’re packed away with the Halloween and Christmas decorations. These signs are so much fun, and I really love the look. I’m glad I had a chance to make more today, and to spend the time with friends. I hope the event raised a large sum to donate to our colleague’s cause.


Food Obsessed? Ask Yourself These Questions

skinny-healthyIf you’ve been with me for a while, you may recall that I’ve been working with a nutritionist since August. I got off to a great start, and lost ten pounds fairly quickly. Then the next ten came off, and I was delighted. After that, however, I hit a snag. I went to my hometown and celebrated a happy occasion with my family. I stayed with my mother and spent the entire weekend going from one event to another, with delicious food at every turn.

Now I didn’t pig out at those events. I ate sensibly (for the most part) and didn’t imbibe (too) much, so I was still seatbelt-extender free on the trip home. That came as a relief. The trip, however, seemed to be something of a turning point for me, and not in a good way.

From that point on, (it’s been two weeks) I just haven’t felt the same motivation to eat well and take good care of myself. I haven’t thrown in the towel completely, but my motivation has definitely taken a hit. Halloween was the tipping point. I don’t even know how many fun-sized candies I ate, along with some chips and dip and a delicious helping of Frito pie for dessert. Yeah. It was that bad.

Well, I visited the nutritionist, and asked to skip the scale. She agreed, and we chatted. I told her I felt stuck. I told her my motivation was waning. I told her I was not being successful. Her question to me?  WHY? 

Why what? Why was all of this happening? Why was I feeling this way? Or did I need to think about bigger questions? Yeah, I thought so. So I started asking myself the WHY questions.

WHY would I want to sabotage the work that I’ve done to get healthier?

WHY do I feel like it’s more difficult to eat a nutritious meal than one that is full of fat?

WHY is it that behaviors that were easy to do in August now feel difficult to do in November?

WHY don’t I accept the responsibility I have to take good care of myself?

WHY would I want to continue living in an unfit body rather than one that functions better?

WHY does my heart rebel agains what my head knows is the right thing to do? Or is it my mouth that rebels?

WHY am I so obsessed with food and eating in the first place?

My nutritionist feels strongly that if I take the time to dig through these questions and uncover some of their answers, I will have more success in my quest to improve my health though improving my body.  I imagine she’s right.tumblr_me8cl09qP41qfhcbno1_500

Until I do that difficult and scary work, though, I’m recommitting to making better choices, planning ahead, and avoiding some of the food traps that I know trip me up. The leftover Halloween candy is leaving the house tomorrow, and a menu plan is being developed for the rest of the week. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

Oh, and the scale that I asked not to go on at the beginning of the appointment? Well, by the end of the session I was ready to face the music. I took a breath, stepped on, and was astonished. I hadn’t gained an ounce, in fact I had actually lost a little bit. The relief was overwhelming. I hadn’t sabotaged myself completely after all. The work I’d been doing hadn’t been completely undone. I was so happy I left the appointment laughing.

I dodged a bullet this time, but I know I won’t be so lucky in the future. It’s time to step up my game.


A Peanut Free Halloween?

teal-pumpkin-660x330Did you all see the teal pumpkins this year? I saw quite a few on my Facebook feed, but none in my neighborhood. Maybe the word got out too late, after all, I only heard about it on the news the day before Halloween.

For those that missed it, there has been a move toward handing out treats that children with allergies and other food issues can enjoy, such as stickers, pencils, and small toys. Homes that have such treats display a teal pumpkin. I think this is a lovely idea, and provides a nice way for children who have various food issues to participate fully.

That being said, I still take issue with the anonymous mom who plastered her neighborhood with flyers pressuring her neighbors to give out only peanut-free treats, and provided a list of alternatives, including carrots and raisins. No kid wants carrots or raisins for Halloween, allergies or not. Kids want candy, and Halloween is the one night a year when they have the ability to go around scavenging for it. Presumably they put at least some effort into a costume, and they put in the effort to go door to door. Their reward is the candy, or other treat.

Yes, I know that some kids have allergies, sometimes even severe enough to be life-threatening. Those kids can’t eat certain candies, that’s a given. So parents, here’s where you come in. Do what works for your child, within the context of the holiday. Does it mean that your child has to stay home? No! It may mean that you have to be extremely careful about sorting candy, or that you don’t accept any candies that you know are a problem for your child. Maybe it means that you trade out the part of the stash that’s no good for your child. You can make this work, without trying to shame everyone else into passing out carrots and raisins.

Last night we had that exact scenario. A boy of about ten came clomping up the driveway, very awkwardly, in his scuba fins. His costume was entirely homemade, and certainly took a great deal of time and effort. His sister and mother were right there with him, and he requested any candy that we might have with no nuts. We had something for him, and he was delighted. He was friendly, confident, and very carefully watched by his equally friendly mother. I’m sure that if we had no candy for him, there wouldn’t have been pouting or tears. JackOLanternThis child knows he has an allergy, and he has to live with it. His mother is teaching him how.

I think that working with our kids to understand that sometimes things don’t work out exactly in their favor is doing them more of a service than trying to bully everyone around you into treating your child differently. I’m afraid that type of behavior can easily breed a victim mentality. Yes, people have different needs, but in the case of Halloween, those needs can be easily accommodated within the family.

The teal pumpkins are fine. They’re thoughtful and those families that provide something different should be thanked. I might even do it next year, but this year we gave out plain old candy, and lots of it. Halloween is about the fun, not about making a political statement. Yes, let your kids trick-or-treat, and then address the loot situation at home. I think flexible parents raise flexible kids who can learn to accept that fact that eating certain foods is a bad idea for them. In spite of it all, Halloween can still be a fun night for kids, even those with allergies.