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?
Tough ruck - Legs were tired as were the hips from everything; from the hard saturday workout to the entire weird week. It was decent for the first 9 laps then it got...