Friday, February 17, 2006

Ten Years Of Pasta (or Processed Flour Is NOT My Friend!)

I'm not really sure how it started.

I used to love cooking.

Anyone who really loves to cook knows how exciting it is to have someone to cook for and I had found a man who not only loved me but actually seemed to enjoy my cooking. It didn't even matter that he was an omnivore and I had been a vegetarian for almost a decade.

At least, I didn't think it did. But I began to notice that he would head to the kitchen for something more to eat only an hour after dinner. So, I tried coming up with more and more substantial vegetarian fare.

Eventually, I settled on pasta.

And, for the next ten years, we had pasta in one form or another for supper almost every night. I cooked pasta. He cooked pasta. When we dined out we'd still often end up eating pasta.There is something very calming about pasta. No matter how stressful the day, pasta has an almost sedative effect.

The same might be said for toast.

A couple of slices with coffee around mid-morning, a cheese sandwich at lunch and herbed toast with a glass of wine before bed.

For a decade I ate like this. I was counting calories but my weight crept up and I went from a size 14 to a 16. (In case you're wondering, those are the ready-to-wear sizes and not pattern sizes. By this point I had largely given up even trying to sew my own clothes.)

Figuring that my metabolism was slowing down due to age, I stepped up my workouts and managed to celebrate my fortieth birthday as a size 14.

It turned out to be a short celebration. I took a job that had me stuck behind a register and soon landed me behind a desk. My weight began to climb and I began shopping for elastic-waist pants on the Size 18/20 rack at J C Penney.

It's probably not mere coincidence that I also started to injure my back with alarming frequency and was unable to sleep without ibuprofen

I was stressed and exhausted and, by the time I turned forty-four, I was a wreck.

Next time: Back On My Feet Again

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

To My Valentine

Thank you for being my Valentine 24/7 and 365!

Monday, February 13, 2006

From Size 18 To Size 6

As I've said before, there's nothing more boring than reading about someone else's weightloss.
Still, millions are spent each year on books that are really no more than just that.
Well, here's a chance to learn a little bit about my own story and I won't charge you a dime.

Over the next few weeks, I'll open up a little about the process up to this point.

Part 1: "Little Jenny On The High Wire"*

According to my eDiets progress page, I started out on June 25, 2000 at 193lbs. What it doesn't say is that I had reached 200 lbs a year earlier and had struggled to lose that seven pounds. It also doesn't say is that I had struggled all along the way up to that point.

I used to be a dancer. I began studying ballet as a child and did not stop until my sophomore year of university. I was never a great dancer and probably wasn't even a good one. But I loved dance. It didn't matter that I was not great. It didn't matter that I was not a sylph. It didn't matter that I was "too tall" to be a classical ballerina.

The summer after my freshman year, I tripped in a hole in my parents' front yard and heard my ankle snap before I blacked out. It wasn't broken but what the doctor called "a bad sprain" never healed right. I had had trouble with my feet since birth so I assumed that I would be able to train around the injury but it didn't work out that way.

Despite giving up ballet, I remained very active all through my twenties. I loved discos, walked everywhere and usually had a job where I was on my feet. Recovery from a back injury got me interested in weight training. The spring that I met TonyP, I was tending bar at night and working landscaping during the day.

I also sewed all of my clothes (except for jeans!), so I knew my proportions down to a quarter of an inch. So when it came time, the following Spring, to sew my wedding dress, I was shocked to discover that I had gone up about two sizes from the year before!

That was twenty years ago. Over the years I have battled a sedentary lifestyle, further injuries and the metabolic changes of peri- and post-menopause. I also had difficulty learning to manage stress.

And I did this while trying to live on pasta and toast.

(Check back for the next installment: "Ten Years Of Pasta")

* Any of you brave enough to guess the song title, the album and artist? Be aware that your ability to answer this without Google will probably betray your age.