Thursday, February 25, 2016

Little Break

Hey Chickens!

I wanted to let my wonderful, faithful readers know I'm taking a little break from blogging and actively pursuing weight loss for a little while. I will continue to post little tips/tricks/ideas on this page and I will definitely return down the road but no posts for a while.

Thank you for understanding and I wish everyone on the journey to health continued luck with chubby love,

Meg

Thursday, February 11, 2016

For the Love of Sugar

My girl, Sara Giboney, from Sweet Success gave her second "Kick Your Sugar Cravings" workshop and for a second time I had to miss it! She's written a great post about sugar cravings before but I really wanted to see her in action! At least there's a clip of her from the Nebraska TV channel but I can't wait for her workshop and my schedule to align so I can soak up her knowledge!


Today, I have my own super simple tip to help you control your sweets intake. I learned this trick from a book I read a long time ago called French Women Don't Get Fat. This book taught me that the primary trick to not overdoing it on the sweets is to eat quality sweets.  It talked about how French women take time at their meals, including the dessert course, and enjoy every bite of their food and opt for high-quality, thoughtfully prepared foods.

I joke about eating Oreos by the row (and by "joke" I mean I've totally done this on multiple occassions). I can remember eating M&Ms by the handful or polishing off medium bags of caramel popcorn from Colby Ridge.

But I also remember savoring the best dessert I ever had in Kansas City when I was 16: an orange pot d'creme with pistachio dust at Lidia's. I also remember savoring these cupcakes in the photo when my husband brought them home for fun one evening and stopping after I started to feel full. I remember slowly sipping my cafe breve at The Coffee House downtown and enjoying every bit of my eight ounce cuppa.

There's something about cheap sweets that drive me to binge. Part of my brain tells me "well, it doesn't cost much so somehow it won't cost many calories either...or if it does, heck, at least I'll eat it all fast so it's not around to tempt me anymore."

I don't know where this bad behavior stemmed from, I just know that it's been with me as long as I can remember. These days, I splurge on $4 dark chocolate bars at Whole Foods instead of spending $0.99 on a king-size Kit Kat; the first can last me a full week, the other about forty seconds.

Jordan ordered us a decadent dessert set from Goldenrod Pastries this year for a Valentine's treat and I've been looking forward to it all week! Before, he would have likely bought me a box of chocolates which I would have polished off in a few days.

There are plenty of folks who don't have binging or abusive relationship with sweets but for those of us who do and know the guilt and stomach aches that follow, I hope this one tip is useful to you as it has been to me! I'll end with my modified French motto:


Happy Valentine's Day with chubby love from me!

By the way, I would LOVE to hear your tips for how you deal with sugar cravings! Comment below or hit me up on Facebook to share your wisdom.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Review: It Was Me All Along




I've been meaning to review Andie Mitchell's It Was Me All Along for some time but its release on
paperback recently reminded me just how long I'd put it off! So let me tell you now, this book is a treasure.

This is a book for ANYONE who had had an unhealthy relationship with food or struggled with being overweight. I won't bury the lead, one of the things I love most about Andie's memoir is that she perfectly balances on the line between being a victim to her weight issues and taking responsibility for her role in her unhealthy eating.

I did two things I rarely do when I read a book in private: I laughed to myself and cried quietly as I felt the author's frustrations and pain of being overweight and feeling powerless over her own journey. Here are some moments that jumped out at me as I read:

Relatable Moments

"Back at Kate's house...she always had Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, and for that, I worshipped her cupboard. Kate pulled two from the package, set them on a napkin, and ate them as slowly as she'd eaten breakfast. I pulled out two at first, but when I finished and noticed she still had one left to eat, I reached in the bag for two more." 
Uh, first of all, Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies were my FAVORITE growing up and I gasped as I read this. And YES I ate them a package at a time. In fact, I also consistently had the issue of visiting friends' houses and not understanding at all how little or infrequently they ate! I would gauge my portions based on my pal's but then watch where my friend's mom returned the package to the cupboard so if I really needed to I could go sneak some later. I never did but it made me feel less anxious just knowing where they were if I did. And of course, when I went home, I would quietly binge like crazy after my relative fast at a friend's house.

"I plunged the empty wrappers deep into the trash can, below a wad of paper towels so that Mom wouldn't find them and become as disappointed in me as I already was with myself. If she noticed the missing boxes, she never said anything."
I openly cried at this part; my mom also loved me too much to bring my shame to light when she discovered wrappers in my bedroom trash can or packages of cookies empty the day after we bought them. I still don't understand what drove me to that self-destructive behavior (the impulse still sometimes returns) but sneaking food was my most loved and most hated secret. It felt like control but it was actually the opposite.

On dress shopping as a high schooler "Mom wrote a check for the dress without even blinking. At $250 before significant alterations...When I hesitated at the register, swallowing the price like a handful of rocks, she took my face in her hands. 'You can't put a price on feeling beautiful.' I looked into her eyes, so loved and in love with her and smiled through tears."
There's no counting the number of painful shopping trips my mother and I embarked on. Mom would be a little too bright, too positive as we got in the car and headed out and if things ended well we were both on top of the entire world, if it ended badly, you can bet we had chocolate malts from Goodrich to take the edge off. She was trying to do the right thing; she was desperate to make things okay after a day when all the money in the world couldn't buy her daughter something pretty to wear. I'd be lying if I said it doesn't still make me emotional today to know how deeply she loved me and tried to make my world perfect despite my decidedly imperfect body.

Favorite Quotes and Moments of Truth
"When you've never been thin, never met normal numbers on the scale, you don't know that living in moderation is possible." 
This is the truest thing I've ever read about the prospect of losing weight when you've never had real success.

"There was a pleasurable quality in reporting to the journal, to myself, what I'd put into my body. A Tetris-like game was born. I found ways to fit healthy foods and treats perfectly side by side in the same day."

"I want to quit. I want to quit. I want to quit. And when I'm done quitting, I'd like to quit all over again."

"Chocolate wasn't 'bad,' carrots weren't 'good,' and Bavarian cream donuts alone didn't make me morbidly obese. I was the one who abused the food and gave it character."

These are just some pieces I pulled out of Andie's story but the whole is so much greater than the parts I've presented here. Please consider reading this lovely book if you've ever struggled with your weight and I hope you learn as much as I did from Andie. She embodies the "lifestyle"mentality of living healthily and I just adore her for sharing her heart with her readers. She has a cookbook coming out in March I can't wait to gobble up and here's her wildly inspiring blog if you'd like to learn more about her!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ripple Effect

When I was attending college at UNL, there was a guy I was vaguely aware of as I drifted on the periphery of the J-school (journalism) crowd. He was a big deal at the Daily Nebraskan and I always assumed he was a little too cool for me (honestly, I thought everyone at the DN was...if you knew me in college, you'll know I wasn't wrong). But way back when I must have friended him on Facebook and he's survived my periodic friending purges because he's a comedian and his posts always crack me up.

Recently, he shared a post that got my attention; he shared a piece he wrote called "What I Learned by Not Drinking for Two Years." I read it right away and was so impressed with his commitment to health and changing his habits. Over the next few weeks the thing went totally viral and he even appeared in a video by the Chicago Tribune:


I think he provides a really good example of how one dramatic life change (in his case, stopping drinking and choosing to work out more) can result in big pay off. I don't claim to know the guy at all but my chubby heart is proud of him for losing 75 pounds and finding more love for himself. Well done, Andy.

Hoping you find Andy's story as funny and inspiring as I did!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Inspiralized!

I do not own this image. Source: http://myowntimeoutcorner.blogspot.com/2015/06/safe-skins-spiral-slicer-recipe-ebook.html
So one of my lovely blog followers requested more information on spiralizing (this is for you MissDancyPants!) so let me just tell you how FREAKING AMAZING spiralizers are. I received the Paderno Spiralizer for Christmas as a very thoughtful present from my sweet dad and step-mom and I'll tell you what's so great about it:

1) It stores like a dream. My first thought when I got it was "uh oh, another kitchen accessory to store" but it's brilliantly designed to be really compact, easy to clean, and easy to set up. Hurrah for great design!

2) It's fast to use. I'm lazy, so the fact that it's super fast to make my own "zoodles" lickety split is a big bonus because eating healthy takes a lot more time and intention than eating crappy. This tool makes spiralizing fun and fast.

3) It doesn't taste like healthy crap. I really didn't think I'd ever like squash or zucchini noodles, I mean nothing tastes like chewy, carby, comforting starch straws but the nutrient and calorie count speaks for itself when you compare the two and I've always been a "sauce" girl anyway so put enough spaghetti sauce or teriyaki on my veggie noodles and I'm a happy girl.

Here's the recipe Jordo and I made together last night  (uh, which we loosely followed) and we had a lot of fun cooking together in the kitchen. I STRONGLY encourage you to try spiralizing for yourself and let me know what recipes you've tried and loved!








Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Health Resolutions











Fresh starts are my thing. Another birthday, another new year, a new season, I’ll use any excuse to start over. And being a perfectionist, I really know how to work hard and make things happen. I also know how to fail HARD and give up.

A Brief History of Januaries with Meg:
January 1: I have the drive of Jillian Michaels, the organization of Marie Kondo, and conviction of Oprah combined. My limbic brain screams “LET’S DO THIS” queuing Jock Jams in my head.
January 5: I conclude my “fresh start” by mumbling “good enough” through a mouthful of Oreos, as I snuggle deeper into a pile of unfolded laundry as I binge watched Felicity reruns on Netflix.*

First sugary latte of the year = diet game over.
First dust bunnies skipping along the tile = housekeeping duties failed.
First failure to call back a client in 24 hours = self-imposed quota ruined.

That was then.

Something has shifted since Jordan and I started the whole weight-loss thing. Jordan dragged my butt to Physician’s Weight Loss Center on April 4. APRIL, a total weirdo time to start anything by anyone’s standards and it wasn’t even the first of the month. To be honest, I was so sure I would fail that I didn’t even care.

But as you know, things started to happen and I lost weight. Along the way,
My perfectionism was and is ebbing away and it’s making my life more perfect. 

You’ve heard it before but if you’re like me you can’t hear it enough: one of the keys to success is being kind to yourself. When I deviate from the plan, I no longer allow my two halves to war with each other: the hunger monster that ruins my life versus the perfect me I want to be. Rather, I treat them like two friends—the half that likes to be a little naughty sometimes and seize the moment (or the chocoalte) and the voice of reason who creates balance. Instead of using hurtful, bullying words to myself I apply patience, perspective, and self-love to reason my way through the lapse.

So this year, I set health resolutions based on what I learned during my journey last year:
  1. Be kind to myself every step of the way.
  2. Explore and celebrate new foods—visit new spots in the grocery store and buy at least one whole food a month I’ve never prepared before.
  3. Enjoy the moment—I will eat cake, indulge in pizza with my husband, and try new, decadent foods when we travel.
  4. Pursue balance—indulgences will be countered with healthy choices and lazy weekends will give way to active weeks.
  5. Seize opportunities to be active—I will accept invitations to work out with friends and create opportunities for Jordan and I to share the outdoors and exercise together.
I would love to hear your new year’s resolutions, health-related or not. Comment below or post as a comment on Facebook!
Happy 2016 to you all and I can’t wait to spend another year with this amazing community and chubby love to you all!