Monday, March 26, 2007

where I rant about food....

One would assume, given that I run a fledging baking business, that I love food. And you'd be correct. I do love it - not just the eating, but the preparing, the planning, and feeding others. To me, food is love. It is how I show love, affection, friendship or concern. It's how I offer my congratulations on the new baby ("I'll bring you a pie!") or condolences on the death of a loved one ("let me bring you a meal"). My mother came from a large Sicilian family where food and family were one in the same. They would sit down for a large family meal of pasta and sugo, and my Great grandmother would say "mangia, mangia!" Eat, eat! The sugo I make is the same as hers. Not a written recipe, one made by doing it again and again, under the direction of my mom, until you get the feel of it. Cooking and baking are an integral part of who I am. Baking is when I zen out. There is nothing as therapeutic, to me, as kneading dough or rolling out pie crust.

Now, try to imagine someone like me trying to diet. Are you done laughing? No? Ok, I'll wait.....

You see the problem? I have been attempting since Addie was born to get back into shape. She'll be 3 in August, I think my grace period of pleading "baby weight" is about to run out. I have been lucky enough, through the years, to be blessed with a rediculously fast metabolism. I have been asked, by many people over the years, how I do not weigh 500 pounds. I have never, ever had to watch what I eat. I could down pints of ice cream for breakfast and still be this tiny little thing with what my mom referred to as 'bird legs'. She would put half and half on my cereal when I was little to try and get me to gain weight. I was labeled 'clinically anorexic' when I was 11. Even after I had Tyler, at age 23, the weight fell off. I was skinnier than before, in fact. I found photos of me when he was about 9 months old, and I was amazed at how little I looked. Granted, that was 11 years ago, but still.

I started to notice a change around 29, after I had Henry. The weight all came off, but a lot slower. It took about 10 months to get it all off, but I never really felt like myself again. Before, I always had a lot of energy, and never needed much sleep, but after henry, I was always tired. And after Addie came along in 2004, well, I really just don't feel like myself at all. I carry pretty much all of the weight around my middle, along with extra skin from all 3 pregnancies. I had that after Tyler, but it wasn't too bad. Now it is. I have thin arms and legs, so I am able to give the illusion of being skinny. When I mention dieting or weight loss, people tell me I'm nuts and I look fine. Of course, most of the people telling me this are really overweight.

Since November, I've gotten a lot more serious about it. I exercise about 5 days a week. Cardio, strength training, running. After a few months, I wasn't seeing the results I wanted, so I started examining my food. I began counting calories, trying to be realistic. It was frustrating to see the scale not budge when you're doing everything right, so I backslid for a few weeks. Now I've tried to refocus and I have been reading a lot of blogs by trainers and people who have lost a lot of weight. I am inundated with different diet tips and secrets, and it all leaves me feeling confused. What works? What's the best? The healthiest? Zone? South Beach? Warrior? High fiber? I don't know.

It's not just a vanity thing, either. It's wanting to feel good again. It's wanting to be up before the alarm. I want to be able to run a small marathon. I want my kids to be able to be proud of me and look up to me for something besides my killer brownies (and they are unreal, I tell you).

So where do I go from here?


Tracy said...

Wow, you're a busy lady! How many blogs do you write on?

Just wanted to thank you for backing me up by your comment on my blog. I can see that you've added Shari's blog to your list, so if you've read any of her stuff you know that she had an agenda when she made her comments to me.

Anyway, I love reading your thoughts about your body and food. Refreshing to be reminded how "real" people think and feel.

I can totally identify with the feelings of being "uphip". Is it our age? (I think you're younger than me). But my kids are grown and I have alot more time to spend on myself. Since losing the weight and, more importantly, getting "in shape", it's been fun being able to wear practically anything I want to, and look good in it! Expensive, but fun! Can you imagine having to buy an entirely new wardrobe? Losing over 100lbs. I had absolutely nothing left that fit.

As far as the weight around your middle, join the club! The only reason I haven't gone in for abdominoplasty yet is because I don't want to take 2 months off of my training. No bikini photos of me! Although I do want to add, KB training has indeed re-shaped my body. I used to have more of a "pear" shape, now I can't believe how tiny my hips are. And I have absolutely no "back fat"!

I took my measurements for the first time just the other day and they were 34" 28" 36". Twenty-eight around the waist! A tummy tuck next year will take care of that!

Anyway, how do I get some of the chocolate brownies?

christine said...

I read her blog, but I felt her comment was uncalled for. Your honesty about food is refreshing - it gets tiresome reading about someone in perfect shape (and most likely has always been so) talking about staying on their diet like it's not big whoop, and dogging on people who 'eat too much' or don't eat the 'right' foods. When I get talked down to, I tend to want to give them the finger and flop down on the couch with some Hagen Daz (that'll show 'em!). I'm more motivated by honesty and reality: yes, sticking to eating right IS hard, being disciplined about exercise requires, well, discipline! Even after I've had a bad day (or two, or five) of eating, and I wake up filled with self-loathing, I read your blog and feel better, focused. I can point and say, yes, that's what I want. It's just getting there.

I am totally on board the tummy tuck train! I told Bryan I want to see what I can accomplish on my own, with diet and exercise, and then get rid of the mama belly. I don't want to use it as a 'quick fix' - more of a reward. And no back fat? Lucky! That's a new acquirement that I can blame on Addie. My muffin top is full of whole grain goodness. And just to give you an idea, I am 34-31- 37. Pear, much? Yeah.

My husband has asked if I put crack in my baked goods. I am the uber baker, it's how I plan on taking over the world. I have perfected the art of french baking - we're talking Pate Genoise and real buttercream. It takes a pound of butter and 6 egg yolks just for the frosting. If you go to the links on my page where it says 'Rachel and Gabe' you can go see photos of the coffin cake I made for Gabe's 30th b-day. it was the above cake with a coffee-kahlua buttercream, and a chocolate hazelnut ganache, covered in chocolate fondant. I could feel my arteries clogging. My next challange to conquer is puffed pastry - now that's some serious shit! You have to knead the butter in - a few tablespoons at a time- by hand!

Sigh. If only I could tackle exercising with such gusto and enthusiasm!

I'd like to pick your brain sometime on the whole diet thing. It really is making my head spin. I am trying something new today, just as an experiment, I had a turkey burger and stir fry for breakfast ( I had to choke it down, I am not a morning eater by nature) and I am, in effect, trying to reverse my meals. I am so sluggish all day, and then start eating later in the evening, and I 'come to life' and can't sleep. Up too late, up early with the kids, no food in the am, tired and sluggish... see the bad pattern? Anyhoo, this is just a thought I had this morning.