with Lynne and Leslie

Gwynnie Bee: A Weekly Box of Pretty.

by bride35

Lynne here.

This is long.

So, you know that Facebook shows you ads based on your interests and such, right? So, when I started getting ads for something called Gwynnie Bee that was geared towards plus-sized women, I felt embarrassed. How did they know that I had gained weight? Why were they throwing my insecurities in my face when I was just trying to see what my friends thought of whatever happened on “The Voice” the night before? But I came to this realization:

1. A lot of my clothes didn’t fit like I wanted.

2. Some of them that did were not flattering and were ill-fitting and made me look like I was hiding.

3. Hiding is boo.

So, I actually clicked on the link, and I saw that Gwynnie Bee was a rental clothes service for women size 10-32, and it’s like Netflix!! Based on the amount you pay a month, you get an outfit picked from your “closet” (your inbox of clothes that you pick from the site in the size you want) and they send it to you in a box, all clean and pressed, and you wear it and keep it for as long as you want! And when  you are done with it, you stick it back in the postage-paid Priority Mail envelope that they send you (you don’t even have to wash that thing!) and after they get it, you get another outfit!! For $35 a month, you get one outfit at a time, and the more you pay, the more outfits you can have at home. After seeing that most people on the 1-at-a-time plan were getting about 4 outfits a month if they wore them and sent them back at a good pace, I decided to check out the free month trial that  they give to new customers.

AND I LOVED IT. Here was my adventure…

1. I signed up for the service, filled my closet, and waited. And waited. And waited. Then I got an email from a customer service person that said that size 12-14 (the size of most of the things I wanted) was a very popular size (which makes sense because it is the size of the average American woman!) and that a lot of the things I wanted were out on loan, which is why my box was delayed. They asked me to add more things to my closet, so I did, and was told that something was going out for me as she typed. I was very impressed at their attention, and with the fact that they added a week to my free trial. YAY ,FREE!! And in 2 days, I received this gorgeous dress that I wore to my genius musician cousin’s high school graduation celebration. And I felt dang cute.

Flowers and cuteness.

2. I kept that dress for about a week, and sent it back and got a new box in a few days. Now, one thing about the service is that everything you get is from your list of things you liked, but you can’t pick the order that you get them in. So you should really pay attention to what you put in your closet, and you should really pick size according to the sizing chart (which takes bust and hips and such into account). If it says you are a size you didn’t think you were, who cares? Get something that fits. This was a good thing for me because I didn’t really take bust size into account when I ordered this next dress. Let’s say the girls were too much for it. Cute, but never made it out of the house…

 

Thought the tank top underneath might work, but it read “Can’t button it”.

I sent it right back and waited for another one!

3. ….And waited a few days. I finally called the customer service people at Gwynnie Bee and found out that because they had moved to a new location, they were a few days behind. I got that, and thought it would be a few days before I got anything else. But I checked again that night, and something was in the mail!! And it was this…

Now, yes, there is a toddler (mine) blocking the whole dress. But take my word for it. It was a really cute sleeveless flowered dress that I wore it to a baby shower and I felt really wonderful in it.

By this point I had decided that I was going to cancel my subscription after my trial was over. This had nothing at all to do with how much I liked the service. I loved getting pretty things in the mail. I just decided at this time in my life and our budget, I wasn’t able to justify the expense. Sadly. And I figured that I wouldn’t have time to get any more outfits before my trial period was over. But, as in all good plays, there was a surprise happy ending, and it is this.

4 & 5.

Because of the wait on the other outfits, Gwynnie Bee sent me out 2 extra outfits from my closet that I wasn’t expecting. Now, I choose not to show you dress #4. It was a cute, multicolored dress that I wore out to dinner and an outdoor concert with my son and husband. I felt awesome in it. But the picture we took of it is NOT flattering at all and made me feel gross. Not just big, because I acknowledge the pounds. But the pictures make me look what I can only describe as “eww”, so I choose not to share. But #5 made up for it…

I’m loving it! More than a Filet O’ Fish!

This was my absolute favorite. It is a houndstooth shift dress that was billed as perfect for an office job. I don’t have one of those, so I wore it to church. And I got all kinds of compliments. And I felt really, really great in it. And spunky. Spunky, y’all!!

That was the end of my trial on Gwynnie Bee, and like I said, I am not able to roll that into a subscription right now. But if I could afford it I would. And if YOU can, you should do it….

…if you spend at least $35 a month on clothes. Because for that amount you get to wear at least 3 or 4 different outfits and feel like a model because you don’t have to wear the same thing twice unless you want to keep it longer.

…if you don’t mind wearing things other people wore at home. I don’t. And they do a really good job of cleaning stuff, so it feels no creepier than trying on clothes in a store. You just get to wear this out!

…if you are a bit adventurous and don’t mind wearing stuff you don’t get to see in person. You are taking a chance that you might not like it at all, and you have to wait while you send stuff back to then get something else. But even when that happened to me, it was worth it because I liked most of the stuff I got.

…if, and this is the best IF, you are tired of waiting for what might happen, like when you lose the weight, or when you can get back into your clothes, or when you are the size you want to be before you go shopping again. Why can’t you look cute now? Why can’t you be Plus-sized and feel good about what you wear? Not passable. Not alright. GOOD. HOT. SEXY. Shoot, even if I lose the weight, my “normal” is a size 10, and Gwynnie Bee stocks those too. I love that Gwynnie Bee is making the average woman feel stellar. I am down with that.

 


The Blonde Vegan, honesty and why we need to get over ourselves

by bride35

Leslie here!

I admit that until this morning, I had never heard of The Blonde Vegan, (http://www.theblondevegan.com/2014/07/13/recovery-update-orthorexia-is-no-fun/#comments) but it’s an apparently popular Web site run by a lovely young lady named Jordan Younger. Apparently she embraced veganism in college and jumped into it wholeheartedly, launching this lifestyle blog and even a line of TBV merchandise. She was in turn embraced by other vegans eager to share in her recipes and advice.

That is, until she admitted recently that she had jumped so far into veganism that it triggered an eating disorder called orthorexia, which is a perceived obsession or preoccupation with eating foods considered unhealthy. Jordan bravely wrote that she had become terrified of violating the tenets of veganism, which eschews any kind of animal products, to the point where she couldn’t stop thinking about it. She had mad anxiety and even lost her period. She is in recovery for her issues and proposed to her readers that she wanted to now call her blog The Balanced Blonde, or The Blonde Vegetarian.

I do not use the word “brave” lightly, but it is truly courageous to not only admit that a lifestyle you have embraced so publicly and with so much authority is not working for you, and has become dangerous for you, but to do that in front of a community who has welcomed you into it. Jordan says that she expected a reaction. But she did not expect death threats.

DEATH THREATS. People who are committed to saving the lives and elimination the exploitation of animals would threaten to kill a human being who said that she could for the sake of her mental and physical health no longer participate.

WHAT THE HOLY HOLLY?

There are many things that I am, or have been, really into, including Jesus Christ (still) the music of Neil Finn (still) running (not as much as I should) and hobo-like men who live to suck my self esteem like the dignity vampires they are (not no more.) And I can see myself defending those things, even judgmentally, and wondering why people couldn’t see how cool those things are, even when it was none of my business.

You have to really check yourself, however, when your embrace of a philosophy is so great that you would threaten the life of someone who was no longer an adherent. Because that, my friend, is about you. It’s about your fear of control, maybe, and perhaps your own secret doubts about your belief. Because why else would you be so threatened by someone else’s choices? It’s not your business. This woman openly said “I miss veganism. I still believe in its tenets. I just can’t do it anymore” and they shamed her.

There was even a mostly supportive response from someone who said “I initially was mad at you for leaving veganism and thought you were faking this eating disorder because you couldn’t hack it, but I now see I was wrong.” To admit that you were so far up your own butt that you would attach that judgment to a stranger is really honest. We need to get over ourselves. This young woman needs love and support, not the lint in your own addled head.


Five Minute Friday: We “belong”, we belong together

by bride35

Leslie here!

Go.

I write about music, among other entertainment, for a living, so these “Five Minute Friday” prompts often shake off some automatic lyrical connection in my brain (and believe me, there are a lot of ridiculous ’80s songs living there among the cobwebs).

So this week’s, “belong,” immediately made the Pandora in my brain start singing Pat Benatar’s “We Belong,” a now 30-year-old song that featured a children’s choir in white, shot in a gauzy light, as Pat sang about spiritual, physical and emotional connectedness while wearing a white head wrap and gloves with little holes in them. (Holes=spiritual openness.)

At 13, I imagined that was the ultimate love song, about connecting in ways you haven’t even considered, as if the whole rhythm of the earth and sky had prescribed your meeting, as if you existed in accordance with the beating of the clock. That was something I was looking for, I know. It was also very melodramatic, and 13-year-olds bathe in that stuff.

I always wanted to believe that existed, even in college, when a paranoid and sweetly misguided guy in my Christian fellowship group told me that he’d loved the song until he’d really examined the lyrics and decided it was New Agey and demonic and asked you to belong to the thunder.

He meant well, but that’s not what Pat was talking about. Actually, if I could go back to college I’d tell Steven (I think that was his name) that the song could actually be very Christian – We believe God created the night, the thunder and all the elements Pat sings about, as well as our desire to connect to Him and to each other. He gave us the desire to want to be with other people, as friends and lovers, in a way that echoes the way that he loves us, that’s so natural that it’s like the sound of the thunder.

I am glad to say I’ve found that with my husband person. Pat would be proud.

Stop.


Poppin’ Fresh

by bride35

Lynne here!!

Almost 10 years ago, I had a co-worker who lived in the Capitol Hill section of DC, and one Monday, as people were recounting their weekends, he said that he had picked up his farm food in Dupont Circle. Now, if you are familiar with DC, you know that Dupont is in the middle of the city, and while there may be gardens, there is no room for cows. But then I found out that he was part of a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. People pay a membership fee, and get a box of produce fresh from local farmers, usually delivered to various set spots around your area. I was intrigued by the idea, as I love knowing where my food comes from, but I didn’t really move on it. A year later, a good friend of mine offered me the chance to go in on a share with her family, but I didn’t, and I figured that I was doing fine with the grocery store and my beloved Trader Joe’s.

Between then and now, I have become more aware of what’s in food, and I have moved more into eating fresher things. I say “more” and not “totally”, because my son thinks that the only thing that you should cook in the toaster oven is tater tots (he even calls the tray they go on “tots”). And I had tater tots for lunch today. So while I still enjoy some frozen treats from a plastic bag, I am changing the way that we eat as a whole (we don’t buy Splenda or margarine or vegetable oil; we eat organic sugar and butter and olive oil). And that can be expensive. So I decided to check out a local CSA called Friends and Farms, one that gives you meat. seafood and bread along with veggies and fruit, and after trying it out for a week, we signed up. AND I LOVE IT. The first few weeks, I wondered if we could eat all of the veggies we got without  them going bad. And it took up a big chunk of our food budget. But then I realized:

A.  If I actually ate produce at every meal, it wouldn’t go bad.

B. If I planned meals around what we had, I wouldn’t have to buy a bunch of other stuff.

Using what you have in front of you? Oh.

Not only has this been a great lesson in stewardship and being less wasteful, it has also really upped my food knowledge! I don’t eat any meat besides seafood, which makes me quasi-vegetarian, but although we bought a lot of fresh fruit before, my veggie consumption was mostly frozen. Which is fine. But there was no variety. And sometimes, I wouldn’t cry if the only vegetable I ate that night was a potato. But this CSA thing is happily forcing me to expand that. Here are some of the crazy things I have cooked with. Well, crazy to me because maybe you had cooked with them before. But here are some of my new friends….

RHUBARB

To me, this looked like celery that had a teenage rebellion and dyed it’s stalks. But it goes really well with strawberries, I found out, and I made both strawberry rhubarb pancakes, as well as a sauce that goes really well on top of ice cream!!

KOHLRABI


I had no idea. But my friends on Facebook said it was turnip-y, and tasted like a potato!!And I am down with potatoes, as you know. And I made oven fries from it, BUT I also made this delicious carrot/kohlrabi bake thing that I should have taken a picture of before we ate most of it. But you see it was good…

Yum.

And I made mussels for the first time (weird to do, but they were good) and have actually been enjoying salad (with salad dressing made from sweet onions we got), and tonight, I am actually making spring rolls with local cabbage (and an assist from the shredded carrots from Trader Joe’s). And I am very excited. I am at a place in my life where I need to take more responsibility for my life: what I spend, how I treat my family in all things, how use my gifts, and what I eat. This has been, so far, a really cool way to do some of those things, support local farmers and businesses, and to expand my horizons and taste buds. And to eat my veggies. And this is good.


Nothing To Worry About

by bride35

Lynne here.

And I am a worrier. I have written about this before. Thoughtfulness is good. Not running straightforward into crazy situations is admirable. But I, my friends, am an over-thinker. I will obsess about decisions. I can take a good thing and wring every last bit of enjoyment out of it because I have stressed myself out about the what-if’s. And that is the crazy thing. I am, at heart, a positive person, I am told. I try to find the bright side of things, and if you see me, I am probably smiling. And having a good time. But I have often checked worry at the door of wherever I am, and I pick it up on the way out, to accompany me back home. It’s not a good place to be. And the worst part is that I have gotten used to it, so much that peace feels weird. Isn’t that crazy?

But I am tired. Tired of wasting precious time on things I can’t control. Because trouble comes. It will, no matter how much we plan and pray and manage. God actually said that sometimes, things would suck. I am paraphrasing the Bible. But what hasn’t changed is that God loves me. He said He did. So I am down with that. And I have to trust that if I am working the life that He gave me, I can rest knowing that He’s got me. And that I can be happy in it. And that I don’t have to look over my shoulder for bad things to happen, Because they might. But I want to live in a way that bad stuff has to find me, and that if truly bad things happen, then I know that I have lived and taken care of the awesome things given to me. And when I am in this place, which I have been in lately, I feel the most amazing sense of rightness. As if this was the feeling that God created for me to have. And it was. But I can’t lie. Sometimes that peace feels uneasy, and having nothing to worry about feels foreign. And sometimes my mind then looks for a new thing to worry about. So I am practicing turning my stuff over to God. And being thankful. And breathing. And after awhile, the peace will feel like home, and worry like the intruder.

I will get there.


My hat goes off to: The nice lady who almost sideswiped me today

by bride35

Leslie here!

I do my share of griping about human frailties and failings in this blog (and in my job as a newspaper columnist), so I admit to mentally writing a headline the first five seconds after I steadied my car after a black minivan swerved into my lane on my way home from the gym this morning.

I am not the world’s best driver – ask my bridesmaids, who included that detail at my bridal shower/bachelorette/Dean Martin Roast – so when the vehicle suddenly jerked toward me, I immediately thought “Did I do something wrong?” But even a driver of suspect skills like myself can tell if I’m the only car in my lane, and I was. So as I took a deep breath and kept driving, I noticed that the minivan had slowed down and then switched into my lane.

Now, I don’t know where you are from, but I am from Baltimore. I learned to drive mostly in Miami, and honed this skills for more than another decade elsewhere in South Florida. None of these places are known for the courtesy and proficiency of their drivers, or for their…ummm….picket fence innocence and safety. Most of the time, even drivers who are in the absolute wrong still seemed justified to curse out the people they almost hit, because who asked your car to be in that lane? Jerk!

So when I saw the minivan not only suddenly next to me, but slowing down with the window down, my first reaction was to duck. Again, Baltimore Miami. But a half-a-second later, I saw the driver lean over to the window….

….and make a genuine-looking “I’m so sorry” face with her hand on her heart in contrition. I was stunned. She was wrong. And she admitted it. And made a point to tell me.

“She must not be from here,” a friend said, later, and while that might be true, I’d like to think that there live among us nice people who make mistakes but also admit to them. She drove away, and as I passed her once more I waved.

This will not be the last time I get almost-sideswiped. But I hope it’s not the last someone apologizes.

 


The Really Gross, Then Really Great Thing that Happened Tonight

by bride35

Lynne here!

Cute boy on swings. Image by me.

We live down the street from a playground, and the toddler and I go about once a day. We had family in town today, so we didn’t make it there this morning, so after dinner, I thought we would take a quick trip so he could get all of his energy out, and then fall into bed. Because a Mama can dream.

So the first thing I saw when we got there was that there were empty bottles everywhere, which I have noticed more since the older kids have been out of school. I don’t blame all older kids, but some specific ones who I saw leaving bottles last week. No, I love older kids, and one of them was about to do something really cool.

After going on my in my head rant about people not leaving things nice for other people, I decided to shut-up and clean-up, and I went around and tossed out all of the bottles I saw. “Okay”, I thought, “we can have a better time now”. Well, actually I could have a better time, since my son was not letting litter ruin his good time anyway.

At this point, a van pulled up, and out jumped several kids. There was 1 little boy who was about 2, a little girl of about 5, and like 3 older boys. They ran and dispersed, and it was all going well until I heard the little girl yell “EWW”. My kid was near her, so I wondered what he did. But it wasn’t something that he had done. She was staring at the bottom of one of the slides, and what she saw was worse than a million half-empty Deer Park bottles.

Somebody had thrown up on the slide and left it there.

Eww indeed.

I looked around and there was nothing to wipe it up with. I saw a label off of one of the water bottles and thought that would work but it wouldn’t have. So I asked one of the older boys if maybe he had napkins. He goes back to his dad’s van with a wad of napkins (yay), and I head over to wipe it up. I have a 2 year-old, and I clean up my share of bodily fluids. But I forgot something.

I have an issue with the bodily fluids of people who aren’t my kid.

So I am leaning over this puddle of puke, and I start to clean it, but I can’t help it. I start to gag, and I wind up puking a bit into the rest of the napkins.

As I run to the trash can to dump the dirty napkins muttering, ” I can’t deal with it”, one of the boys looks at me like, “Wow, that’s really sad.” And I didn’t know what to do. And I look over as my kid WALKS THROUGH THE REST OF THE PUKE AS HE WALKS UP THE SLIDE.

I am through.

But I wasn’t. Because here is the great thing.

The boy who brought the napkins comes back from the van a second time, and this time he is armed with not only paper towels, but in the other hand he has a spray bottle of cleaner. And he proceeds with great care to clean up every nasty crevice that the throw-up touched. With a smile. And then he backed away, and all of the little kids could now climb up/slide down the slide. Including my kid, who never cared. But his mother is grateful.

How wonderful that I had a chance to see true neighborliness and citizenship from that  kid. So the gross thing begat a great thing, and my faith was restored in that not everyone wants to trash stuff. Some of them care enough to actually get dirty, and can do it without throwing up. Faith, restored.


Mommies and Non-Mommies Both Get Tired.

by bride35

 

Lynne here.

I am a black woman in my 40′s, daughter of children of the 60′s and grandchild of those who lived in the 30′s and 40′s and saw their share of jacked-up stuff being done to black people, and they were sometimes those black people. And while things have gotten better in some ways in this nation, there is still rampant racism, but when you mention it, you get accused of being divisive. But is it wrong to talk about what’s true if it makes other people uncomfortable? I say no. But I say that we all need to put our dukes down and actually listen, and not try to win the “I’m Discrimimated Against” stakes.

And I feel the same about the whole mommy/non-mommy thing.
I had my son at 41, so I spent most of my adulthood as a non-parent. And I could have written those lists that tell you what not to say to non-parents, from how I didn’t know what real love is to how people didn’t know what I did with all of my time to why they couldn’t understand WHY I didn’t have kids yet. And now that I am a mom, I read those articles that say what not to say to a parent, like “I’m going to stop calling you because you can never go out” or “You should be living it up because you don’t have your kid with you”. And I see myself all over those lists, in things I said to people before I had kids, and in things said to me in both my pre- and post-mommy-becoming days. And I am really sorry that there were things that I didn’t understand before, because having been one who heard jacked-up stuff, I know that even if people didn’t intend those things to sting, they sometimes do, which is why it’s good to hear people’s honest reactions to things that have been said to them.
BUT, those lists sometimes spark comments, first of people sympathizing, then of people bashing whoever the article isn’t about. And people get all upset, and I start to wonder if maybe we should get rid of these lists because they get people all riled up. But, just like with racism, the Mommy/non-Mommy divide won’t go away just because we don’t talk about it. Because people will still rain their innocence/ignorance on you, and people will still say all kinds of crazypants stuff to you. So I think that what needs to happen is for the dialogue to change.
Here is what is true…..
Your path is your path. Whether you chose it, or it was chosen for you, it is where you are.
I hope you love that path, and that you are skipping all over it with joy.
I hope that you see that other people have chosen different paths that they are hopefully happy with.
And you can be happy with your path without making the different path-er’s feel bad because they are doing something different.
Maybe you can learn something from them, and they from you!
Or maybe not.
But you guys have one thing in common at least. You both get tired  You both get misunderstood. But comparing your tired to theirs and insisting that you win does nothing but make you more tired. And frustrated. Who wants to see the “Miss Tired” pageant?  Not me.
But guess what?
You could be admiring what makes them tick, while continuing to tick on your way. They don’t need to be where you are, and you don’t need to be where they are. That’s called security!
Talking about differences is good because it is your truth. And hearing what different people have to say is good, too, because maybe, if nothing else, it will teach you to listen. Or to just not say whatever it is you are about to say.
And that could be a start.

Making Room For the Good Stuff

by bride35

Hi!
Lynne here!!

So, my husband, son and I started going to this really, really cool church in the town where we live, and we are getting involved. One cool thing they are doing is offering a group for people who want to lead Bible studies, and it has been really eye-opening. I feel led to do a Bible study for parents who are at home during the day, and I am getting a lot from this leadership group. A few weeks ago, our assistant pastor taught a session on being like Christ, and that our lives as leaders should really reflect that we know Him. Awesome, right? So I went home and prayed, earnestly, that God would work in my life to make me more like Him, and that I would follow Him wherever He took me.

So.

A few days later, I started feeling some not good feelings. Like, I looked at someone’s Facebook posts and got really annoyed at them because I was jealous of their vacation. “Eww”, I thought. “I don’t like feeling like that. They are entitled to what they have.” Okay.

Then maybe the same day, I saw some young ladies walking down the street in short-shorts, and in my head, I almost went full- Church Lady on them. And it felt like I was being stabbed when I realized how judgmental I was being. I was wrong. Eww.

A couple of days later, my husband and I didn’t communicate clearly about who was going to actually be watching our son one weekend day while I had to go out. I said bye to my son, and my husband said, “Wait, he’s staying here?” And because my husband was actually remodeling and tearing down cabinets in the basement, the boy couldn’t stay here, so I took him with me. And I felt really annoyed, and I wanted the husband to apologize more than he did (and really, he did enough), and then I knew that I had to let it go.

And then it hit me. God was showing me that if I am going to be like Jesus (or as much like Him as we can, since we are still, well, people), I need to recognize all of the things in me that are very un-Jesus-y. And I then need to stop doing those things. But if I never face how petty and jealous and judgmental I can be, how can I deal with those things and make room for the forgiveness, and grace and humility? Huh? I can’t. Because Jesus knows our crap. All of it. He wants us to see it, but then not beat ourselves up over it and stay there, because who does that help? No, he wants us to see it, admit it, fix it, and roll the heck on doing the right thing. So, if you have been seeking to be a better people to people, and you find yourself realizing that you have work to do, be happy for the lesson. And don’t waste it. There is hope for us all.


Doing This For Real This Time

by bride35

Lynne here!!!

 

So, a few months ago, I wrote about how I was breaking up with Weight Watchers, my go-to for, gosh, over 10 years for getting back on track with weight loss. Because it never stays lost with me. It always comes back, and year after year, it comes back and brings its friends. When I wrote that post back in October, I had lost the weight I gained after giving birth the year before, but i was stagnating, and feeling like a failure. So a friend suggested that I read this book about mindful eating, called “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat”, by Dr. Michelle May. The idea is that if you learned to eat when your body was actually hungry, your weight would go to where it should, because you are naturally regulating what you eat based on what your body actually needs. I thought this sounded great! No counting! No points! I bought the book on my Kindle and started reading. And it all made sense.

Except I wasn’t actually doing it. Well, I thought about it some, then I would feel sad, and would want to eat. Then I would feel bad about that and give up and eat more. And I gained the weight back, about 15 pounds of it. And then this winter was full of injuries and sicknesses and other things that set me back from working out, and that didn’t help. And I had a moment recently when I looked at myself and wasn’t happy. I looked like someone with my face that ate me. And I thought about going back to Weight Watchers, but not because I wanted to, but because I felt hopeless. And I wrote my really smart friend who counsels people on weight issues, and I remembered that he was the one who suggested the mindful eating thing. And that the reason it wasn’t working was that I wasn’t following it.

So I bought the book again, this time in hard copy so I can make notes, and it is going well. I am learning that if you can pinpoint why you eat and really monitor and take stock of those reasons, you can decide if you are actually hungry. What I realize is that I have made food not about eating, or even enjoying it. I eat when I am tired. I eat when I am celebrating. I eat because other people are eating. I eat because I have extra money in my pocket. I eat because I think I deserve it. And when I eat too much, I feel bad about it, like I have failed. Not a good way to live.

So, I am still going through the book, and but I like the main point so far, which is that ultimately, we are in charge of our lives, and we make our own decisions, but that if we base them  on what we need, we will enjoy it more. We went out for my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago, and we ordered queso and chips. And I slowly ate my fill. And I LOVED EVERY CHEESY BITE. And when my meal came, I had it wrapped up to take home, because I was full. And I was fine with that decision. Now, I am eating more well-rounded meals than cheese and chips, but I am learning to take time and think about what I am doing and not letting the cookies control me. This is hard. I have to unlearn things. I still have days that I fall back on eating because it is there. But I am more aware now. I swear,  I went to the fridge the other to grab something but I realized that I wasn’t hungry. And I actually got angry, because I felt like I was supposed to eat. But I took a deep breath, and realize I was just avoiding cleaning my kitchen. So I did that. And I ate when I actually wanted food. And my sink was clear. And I actually enjoyed my yummy food and clean kitchen. And I think I can do this. Step by step. I am already feeling less bloated, have dropped a few pounds (I am also back working out), and I just feel like less of a mess. I am riding this to see where it goes. But I like it. And I will keep checking in so you guys can ask me how I am doing. Okay?


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