Product Review: Ben & Jerry’s “Hannah Teter’s Maple Blondie”

Product Description: Maple Ice Cream with Blonde Brownie Chunks & a Maple Caramel Swirl

[Source]

I hope you know how difficult my life became as a result of your lack of voting; it is SO HARD choosing an ice cream for yourself, I don’t think you understand this. Regardless, I made it through the difficult times and ended up with neither one of the options I presented, and I instead picked Ben & Jerry’s Hannah Teter’s Maple Blondie for myself. It is a “Limited Edition” flavor, and I hope that by the time you read this review they are no longer selling it in your area as punishment for your non-voting offenses, you lazy bastard.

I’d like to say that I picked this pint up in an act of good will (part of the sales from this flavor go towards Hannah’s Gold, Teter’s charity, which helps fund projects in Africa), but really I just saw it and decided that it would be the best weapon against combatting my craving for something tooth-rottingly sweet.

When I ripped off the lid, I was greeted immediately by a generous maple caramel swirl and a significant blondie chunk (if you look closely at the picture below, you can see said chunk lurking just below the surface of the ice cream in the bottom right portion of the pint).

Mmmm, so inviting.

I dug in, and was pleasantly surprised to find that this did not taste excessively of syrup: The ice cream is maple flavored, but not in a cloyingly sweet, Mrs. Butterworth’s kind of way. Basically, imagine sweet cream ice cream flavored with the most delicate, high quality maple syrup you’ve ever had—that’s what this ice cream tastes like. And, as for the maple caramel swirl, itself, it too was not excessively sweet; instead, it tasted predominately of the maple I just described but with with subtle caramel undertones. I had been expecting caramel akin to that which you’d find in a cheap candy bar, so the flavor of the swirl was unexpected, but welcome.

My only gripe with this ice cream was with the blondie chunks. They were a bit chewy for my taste, and while they had a nice brown sugar flavor,  it was difficult to detect at times as the blondies, themselves, seemed to have absorbed the maple syrup essence. So, rather than providing a nice flavor contrast, they instead blended into the background, taste-wise.

Also, if you’ve been reading On Second Scoop or any of several other food blogs, lately, you may have noticed that some writers went to the Ben & Jerry’s factory recently and received the following tip: In order to mimic that “just off the line” flavor/texture, you should leave your pint of ice cream out for a few minutes before eating it. Well, seeing as how it takes me twenty minutes to walk from the grocery store to my dorm, I inadvertently did this today, and I must say, it made a HUGE difference. Usually, I get on Ben & Jerry’s back for having ice cream that isn’t as creamy as other premium ice creams, but I think it’s just a matter of temperature. When I indulged in this flavor today, it was the creamiest pint of Ben & Jerry’s I’ve ever had, and I apologize for my previous attacks on the quality of their ice cream’s texture. However, I will say that twenty minutes probably isn’t necessary to achieved the desired effect (my pint was a little too melty)—ten minutes will probably suffice.

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Choices, Choices

I love sugar. And, I would love to review more sugary products for you, so on Thursday I will probably venture out to get a pint of ice cream to soothe my final exam/essay oriented anxieties. But, there are two new products that I want to try that I can’t decide between, and I obviously can’t eat two pints of ice cream,* so instead I am going to let you choose. This way, I don’t have to put forth the immense amount of effort that would be required to choose which variety of ice cream to eat, and if I’m disappointed with said variety, then I can just blame my disappointment on the Internet. Yay!

POLL: OMG WHAT SHOULD I EAT?

Haagen-Daaz’s Pralines and Creme (This seems to be a flavor exclusive to the United Kingdom as it’s not featured on the U.S. website, but judging by the pint of said flavor that has mysteriously appeared in my local Walgreen’s freezer, I am guessing they are test driving it over here.)

OR

Ben & Jerry’s Milk and Cookies (Everyone and their brother seems to think this delicious. I WILL BELIEVE IT WHEN I TASTE IT.)

In conclusion: Leave a comment telling me what I should eat/review! I know you want to. Also, you are already on this blog and thus must have nothing better to do, you might as well just vote and humor me while you’re here.

* Well, technically I could; when I gained my “Freshman 15,” it was mostly as a result of my consuming two to three pints of Ben & Jerry’s in a day. Yeah, I know, right? Impressive.

Edit: Apparently, the Pralines and Creme is exclusive to Walgreen’s, and the U.S. version has caramel in it instead of toffee. Personally, I would prefer the toffee, but, whatevas. Also, no one is voting! Come on, help an indecisive lady out.

Intuitive Eating: A Pain in the Ass

The title of this blog is “A Woman’s Intuition,” and part of the reason I initially started it was to work through—once I was done losing weight—my food anxieties so that I could ultimately start eating intuitively. Well, I’m trying to do that now; I’m still counting calories, but I’m really trying to eat only when I’m hungry and to eat when I’m hungry even if I don’t have the calories. So far, I’ve been succeeding on the former point, but it’s proved to be moderately inconvenient.

My classes fall right after meal times, which was convenient during my “scheduled eating” dieting days because I’d eat my lunch at 12 p.m., regardless of hunger level, trot off to class and be back to my dorm by snack time. But, now that I’m trying to eat intuitively, things don’t go as smoothly. Take today, for instance:

“Hm, it’s noon. But, I don’t have a hunger. That’s OK! I’ll just do some work and maybe be hungry in a bit.”

“Hm, 12:30 … still not hungry. Oooh, Kotaku has a picture of the guy they based Mario from Super Mario Brothers on!”

“SHIT IT’S 1 P.M. I HAVE TO GET TO CLASS SHIT I HAVEN’T EATEN I NEED TO PACK A THING TO EAT GODDAMMIT”

Granted, I’m not complaining about not being hungry: It’s pretty cool just listening to your body and learning about how much you really need, but apparently intuitive eating means I need to be more … flexible/prepared when thinking about my meals for the day.

Regardless, like I said, I’ve been doing pretty well only eating when I’m hungry, but I’m not sure if there are days where I should make myself eat. Yesterday, for example, I only ate 1,350 calories (because that was all I was hungry for) and, after having eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner today, I’ve still only had 1,185 calories. Is this just part of intuitive eating and how people don’t gain weight? Or, is there a bare minimum of calories I should eat, regardless? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Also, I haven’t really come into a situation, yet, where I’ve been hungry and not had enough calories, and I feel like that’s where I’m going to struggle. But, I’ve been counting calories or Points for almost six years now, so I guess I shouldn’t expect to get over all my anxieties/attachments overnight.

P.S. – It is really annoying when, during final exam/essay season, your roommates think the best idea in the world is to play their music really loudly. It is like, this is what headphones are for, and just because you really like your music doesn’t mean I do, too. Personally, I’m one of those people who likes TOTAL SILENCE when working. Regardless, I should really tell her to turn it down or just shut up about it, but no one wants to be the complainer, you know?

The Binge Beat-down Post

First off, I feel the need to make a disclaimer: Although I have been without a binge for quite some time (four weeks, I think, and I’ve only binged twice in the past 13 weeks), I reckon I don’t really think I’ve “beat” binge eating. I don’t think that I’ll go without a binge ever again, but there is a big difference between bingeing every few months when you’re presented with delicious noms at the holidays or you just really want deliciousness and bingeing every week and feeling like you’re an emotional wreck afterwards. Everyone binges sometimes, and that’s OK, but the key word here is “sometimes.”

Anyway, if you don’t recall, before my blogging break I was bingeing about every one to two weeks. Part of this was because of stress, part of it was because of a mish-mash of other reasons, but regardless I know other people struggle with this, and I want to share some of the changes I made that allowed me to shake this, somewhat. I hope it helps, because I know how frustrating being a binge eater can be. Also, you’ve probably seen some of these tips before and are going to be like, “OMG I’VE READ THESE IDEAS ALREADY.” Yes, but have you tried them? Regardless, if I’m reiterating them here, it’s because they worked for me. Also, some of these tips may be more “don’t-binge-while-on-a-diet”-oriented then others, as I was trying to lose weight AND quash bingeing at the same time, so if you’re just trying to maintain your weight some of these may not apply to you.

a) You gotta want it. Or, you have to be ready. Honestly, I think for some time I didn’t really care if I continued binge eating. For me, I was in college, i.e. not the “real world,” and I could always just lose the weight next semester before I started my “new life.” Granted, impending graduation is what finally made me get my act together, but if you really don’t want to stop bingeing, then you’re not going to be able to. And, in this same vein …

b) Find an alternative motivation for wanting to lose weight/stop binge eating besides “being thin.” My primary motivation to stop binge eating was, as I just mentioned, not wanting to graduate and enter a new stage of my life as a binge eater. But, I was really helped through the first few weeks of trying to break the habit by two other motivations: The first was that I was thinking of joining the military at the time (and am actually still pondering this), and I kept telling myself “The lighter I am, the faster I’ll run at the physical exam.” My other motivation actually came from someone else’s blog post: A 50-something year old woman happened to comment on a post about how she had been a yo-yo dieter for the last 30 years. It hit me at that moment that if I didn’t put my foot down and stop binge eating, I could be that woman. I could be that person who avoids social events because they are constantly on a diet and spends their whole life obsessing over food. And I didn’t want to be that person—I wanted to be someone who, you know, actually enjoyed my life and wasn’t constantly worrying about my weight.

c) Make a pro and con list when you feel like bingeing. Alright, the frenzy is on you, IT IS HERE. What do you do? Personally, I trained myself to make a pro and con list relating to binge eating. Usually, my thought process went like this:

“OK, what are the pros to binge eating right now?”

“I’ll feel better for a little bit. Also food is tasty.”

“Anything else?”

“… No.”

“OK, what are the cons?”

“I’ll be disappointed with myself. I’ll feel terrible tomorrow. Excessive quantities of food are expensive. I’ll gain weight.”

“Then you shouldn’t do it, should you?”

“No.”

“OK, then.”

And that was that. Once you realize how irrational it is to binge eat, it becomes easier to get through the moment.

d) Distract your mind. OK, that list thing didn’t work. But, guess what? I found that if I could just get my mind off of it for about five minutes, the feeling would usually pass. So, what did I do?

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is about five minutes. Turn it on. Rock out.

Buy a coloring book so that when the frenzy strikes, you can color. No, really. I bought (or, my mom bought for me, because she is awesome) a coloring book entitled “Danger from the Deep.” It has pictures of Batman, and I found that when I took a crayon to that sonofabitch, I became so focused/lost in thought it was easy to get through those five minutes. Not in an area where you can color/at work/in a store? Bring your music player to the store/work and when you’re in a munchy-mood, take a “bathroom break” with your mp3 player or crank up the music while you’re cruising the aisles; I found if I was playing tunes that conjured up sexy gyrations, etc., I didn’t really want to overeat.

e) Distract your mouth. OK, you are still in a frenzy. Start drinking—tea, water, whatever. Pop a hard candy. You know Lifesavers? They should also be called Dietsavers; I was in the grocery store one day and was 90% sure I was going to binge when I spotted the sugar-free Lifesavers (One of my few exceptions to the “Minimal artificial sweeteners” tip below, so long as I only eat them when I’m in danger of bingeing). I tore that bitch open and popped a few right there, and the taste kept my mouth busy and lessened the binge-edge. And, if you’re worried about the cashier giving you the evil eye for eating a product in the store, trust me—They could care less. And, if they do care, screw them. In fact, right now, stop giving a shit about what everyone else thinks and just start caring about what you need to do to get over binge eating, because whatever that may be is way more important than the opinion of random check-out girl/guy.

f) Always be prepared. Remember those mints I just talked about? Keep some in your kitchen cabinet/purse/desk drawer for when the binge monster rears its ugly head. Always have a bottle of water on you. Keep a protein bar with you, unless you’re like me and can’t wait to eat it when you actually need it. Keep your music with you. Have distracting YouTube videos bookmarked so you can fire up something amusing right away. Be ready.

g) Take a look at your diet. As I mentioned in this post, integrating more healthy fats into my diet made a HUGE difference in my appetite. And, according to science, if you’re constantly craving food/always feel as though you could binge eat, you’re probably missing something important in your diet. It may be fat, it may not be, but regardless it might be a good idea to tally up the protein, iron, fat, fiber, etc. that you get on a normal eating day; you may be surprised to find you’re lacking an element in your diet that could easily be integrated into it.

h) Minimal artificial sweeteners. For a while, I’ve wondered if artificial sweeteners were wrecking havoc on my appetite. So, this time around, I pretty much cut them out altogether. Granted, I still pick up a Diet Snapple every once and awhile (because it is a tasty beverage), but I probably have a product that contains artificial sweeteners at most once a week.

i) Take a multivitamin every day. This is in line with the “take a look at your diet” idea. You may be missing out on some essential nutrients by dieting, so try and a pop a multivitamin so you are at least covering some of your bases.

j) Pretend you’re someone else. OK, this is the most ridiculous of the bunch, but just hang with me for a second. When I wanted to binge, I would sometimes think, “This is not behavior befitting a Naval Officer!” (’cause, you know, the military thing). And, the thing is, binge eating isn’t behavior becoming of anyone. So, the next time you’re thinking about bingeing, think about what future you/your trainer/someone else you think is rad or healthy would do.

k) Think about what you really want to chomp. Whenever I had a ravenous appetite, I would think, “OK, self, you can have one thing—what do you want?” If I couldn’t pinpoint one thing that I reallyyyyy wanted, I knew I was just looking to eat copious amounts of food. If I could name something, though, and I legitimately, seriously craved it, then I chomped it. Chances are, if you give yourself a break every once and a while, you’ll be less likely to binge in the future. BUT, I always made sure I only chomped that one thing, because Naval Officer-me would practice restraint like a dignified lady who eats normally.

l) White knuckle it—you’re forming a good habit. OK, you’re in the store, and you see all the treats you want to buy, but you can avoid a binge by just making ONE GOOD DECISION to not buy the chomps. The same goes when you’re at home and want to plow through cupboards. And, here’s the thing: Every time you make that one good decision, or every time you start to binge but put the breaks on, you’re forming a good habit. Basically, you’re building a “Good Choice Muscle,” as I like to call it. Every time you make a good decision, making good decisions in the future will come more easily to you, and the more good decisions you make and the longer you go without bingeing, the less you’ll want to go back to square one. Is it hard sometimes to make a good decision and outlast the frenzy? Yes, but just grit your teeth and bear it—If not eating is the worst experience you’ll ever have in your life, consider yourself lucky.

m) Integrate some yoga-time into your schedule. Yoga practitioners are more likely to practice mindful eating, too. Neat, no? And, it’s certainly proved true for me.

n) Know thyself, and stop keeping that junk food in your house. My hairdresser is stick thin, and it’s not because she doesn’t love sweets or hates food; in fact, she told me that she can’t keep packs of Hershey bars in her home, because she’ll eat them all. Bottom line: Non-binge eaters have portion control problems, too, but they just don’t keep certain trigger foods in their house.  Is that “value size” pack of candy on sale, and you know this time you won’t eat it all? YES, YES YOU WILL, STOP FOOLING YOURSELF. SERIOUSLY. I know if I buy a bag of Dove chocolate, I’ll eat the whole goddamn thing, so, guess what? I buy a single serving bar, instead. And, 90% of the time you can buy your favorite foods in single-serve portions. And, just because you can’t exercise portion control doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. Recognize that, learn from it, and put down the gallons of ice cream that are buy one, get one free, because if ice cream is your trigger food, you’re just putting yourself unnecessarily in a lair of temptation.

o) Don’t be afraid of hunger. One of the big things I see when I look at dieting tips is “Don’t let yourself get too hungry!”, which is, in fact, a good idea. But, I also think it has made people afraid of hunger when they don’t need to be. “HOLY GOD,” they think, “WHAT IF I GET HUNGRY AND I CAN’T EAT/DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CALORIES?! AHHH ANXIETY/AHHH FEAR OF FAILURE BINGE BINGE BINGE.” Whoah. Chillax. Think about the worst case scenario: OK, you get hungry. So what? The human body can go quite a while without food before it gives out. If you get hungry, you’re not going to starve to death. Hunger is not an emergency (unless you’ve been hungry for a week and you really are going to starve to death); it is uncomfortable, but you can tolerate a headache/being tired, right? Then you’re going to be OK if you become hungry. And if you’re out of calories for the day and you’re hungry, then have an apple/carrot—those 50 calories are only going to amount to 1/70 of a pound at the end of the day. Not hungry enough for an apple? Then chances are you just have an appetite and need to discract yourself.

p) Stay off the scale for a bit. I used to weigh myself every day. And, guess what? It made me bat-shit anxious. But, SCIENCE IS RIGHT: YOUR WEIGHT FLUCTUATES. Sometimes, on a Wednesday, I’ll be three pounds heavier than I will be on Friday. So, if you’re dieting, weigh yourself once a week, at most; otherwise, if you’re anything like me, the number will just make you crazy-anxious and you’ll try to remedy that anxiety through binge eating.

q) Brush your teeth. OK, this one is also pretty ridiculous. But, you know how you finish a meal sometimes, and you feel even “hungrier” after you’ve eaten than you did before having done so? Brush your teeth—it kind of works along the same lines as the mint-popping deal. Regardless, I can’t tell you how many times it kept me from having my meal turn into an afternoon snackfest.

Phew. Wall of text. I think that’s it, though. If you have any questions/want me to elaborate on anything, don’t hesitate to ask, and I hope this is helpful to someone, somewhere.

Chasing the Prize

Attention Dudes/Ladies:

Maria over at Chasing the Now is currently holding a CSN-oriented giveaway, which means that—if you win—you’ll be eligible to choose a product from one of CSN’s 200 Web sites. If you’d like to enter, just head on over to this post (CSN Giveaway) and leave a comment.

Whoo!

Weigh-In Day: Week of April 16th/Week One of Maintenance, Take Two

Last Week’s Weight: 129.1

This Week’s Weight: 127.9

Loss/Gain: 1.2 pounds

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1800

04/16: 5-mile walk + 40-minute weightlifting session
04/17: Yoga
04/18: 2-mile run + 1-hour weightlifting session
04/19: 7-mile run/walk
04/20: 30-minute elliptical session + 10-minute rowing machine session + 1.5-mile walk/run
04/21: 20-minute weightlifting session + 7-mile walk
04/22: 7-mile run/walk

LIST TIME OF NOTES/THOUGHTS YEAAAAAAH

a) First things first: In the interest of full disclosure, I definitely forced myself to pee so I could squeak into my 127s. Heh.

b) I am well pleased that I am now comfortably in my goal range and the lowest weight I’ve been in years. Kind of crazy, really. But, the latter point definitely makes me feel better about moving into maintenance.

c) I am NOT well pleased because … well … I kind of expected more. You see, the last two times I’ve had my cycle, I lost two and a half pounds or more, and one of those times I ate more bonus calories—enough bonus calories, in fact, to put my average daily caloric intake higher than this week’s 1800. So, what does this week’s 1.2 pound loss mean? Was I just not retaining that much water? Do I have a slow day-to-day metabolism, and my body can only handle more calories when they come in short bursts? DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE ACCORDING TO SCIENCE? Is my metabolism just taking its time to fire up? I have no idea!

d) I am also well pleased because this morning was the first time I weighed myself since last Friday. Yay, willpower!

SO MANY DEEP THOUGHTS. Anyway, despite what seems to be an apprehension on the part of my body to more calories, I’m going to up my calories an additional 50 this week and then another additional 50 next week, and I will weigh myself again on May 7th. Yes, that’s two weeks away. Yes, I know people who are maintaining their weight are supposed to weigh themselves MORE frequently, but the last time I started maintenance, I lost my shit/fell of the wagon as soon as I gained even a teeny-tiny bit of weight as a result of increasing my caloric intake. So, I’d rather just side-step that by not weighing myself for two weeks (unless I should have a big splurge in that time, in which case I’ll weigh myself sooner). Besides, I’m not worried about gaining a massive quantity of weight in those two weeks, seeing as how I’m only going from 1600 calories per day to 1650 to 1700, not from 1600 to 1800 or 2000. Make sense?

I also kind of want to stay away from the scale because I feel as though by doing so I’ll get a better grasp on intuitive eating; this week, while I did well with it on days that were far away from weigh day, I ate “diet style” the closer I got to weigh day, i.e., making sure all my bonus calories were gone by a certain point in the week so that I would just be eating my daily base calories near weigh-in day, eating when I wasn’t hungry to make sure I consumed all my daily calories, etc. So, yes. We’ll how this week goes.

RUN TIME!

Switching It Up

I’ve been feeling a bit like Bilbo Baggins, lately.

No, not in the sense that I feel like I’m going to attack my nephew in an attempt to take back My Precious, but rather because I feel “thin — sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” Part of this feeling I chalk up to stress and not eating enough, but I’m hoping that soon maintenance/chomping a bit more in the process will at least eliminate any lethargy brought about by the latter. However, I must wonder if my exercise schedule isn’t also somewhat to blame.

For the last several weeks, my exercise load has looked like the following:

35 miles per week

Strength-training 3 times per week

One active rest day per week (i.e., yoga)

I’ve been wondering if this isn’t a little much, so I wrote to Kelly over at the “My Revolution Bootcamp” blog for advice, and she was kind enough to answer my question in this post: “Give It a Rest.”

(But, wait!, you say. That letter is signed by someone named ‘Justine!’

That is because I write this blog under a pseudonym, mostly because a) only one member of my family knows I have an issue with binge eating, b) none of my friends know I have an issue with binge eating and c) I’d prefer my future employers not know I have an issue with binge eating. Anyway, the name attached to that letter is my legitimate first name. But, I digress.)

Long story short, I’ll be making the following changes to my exercise schedule:

1. I’ll be replacing one of my 7-mile runs with an hour-long, “free choice” cardio session, which will be rad as I have a HUGE collection of exercise tapes at home that I really enjoy doing (Yes, I enjoy exercise tapes. Apparently, some part of me just loves bad faux-dancing and being yelled at by petite, overly perky women.)

2. Every three weeks, I’ll have a “taper week” where I replace a second 7-mile run with another active rest day.

Granted, this means I’ll be burning 700 or so fewer calories per week, but I’d rather eat less (only about 100 calories per day less, really) then run my body into the ground. And, I think that now—i.e., this time period when I’m moving into the maintenance—is the best time to do it, since by cutting my exercise at this point in time I won’t have an opportunity to get used to a higher daily caloric intake for maintenance.

Anyway, I had my first “free choice” session this morning. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to any my beloved videos as they are all not in my dorm room (I could have totally gone for some kickboxing today, too), but fortunately I DO have access to a gym with some variety of exercise equipment. I ended up doing half an hour on the elliptical, ten minutes on the rowing machine and twenty minutes on the treadmill for lack of anything better to do. Technically, I could have used the stationary bike and gotten some more variety, but I just never feel like I get a good workout on those things.

Also, I’m kind of wigging out about choosing to start maintenance this week when I wasn’t technically at my “goal weight” of 128 pounds. You see, since I was due for my “lady times,”* I figured that would take care of the last pound and I could still bump up my calories a bit. But, that was probably a bad assumption to make. Ah, well. I guess I’ll see Friday if I have to scale back my intake, again. Man, I hope not. Blergh, why did I jump the gun!

* If there were any dudes still reading this blog, they have probably now stopped. Alas.

Grammar, Getting What You Want and Anita Diamant: A Story About Asking for Things and Being Mildly Insane

I’ve never really considered myself a person who gets “star struck”; to me, celebrities are just those stuck-up kids from my high school’s drama department, except now their arrogance is kind of justified by the fact that they have careers. Authors, however, are a different story.

“OMG … OMG ANITA DIAMANT IS COMING TO MY SCHOOL AH MY GAAAAAWD”

Yes … Anita Diamant, the author of my favorite novel (The Red Tent, a.k.a. “The Little Book That Could”) was coming to my school to speak about her newest work. Maybe she would even sign my copies of the book! This was going to be dreamy.

Then, my social anxiety kicked in and I started thinking about actually asking her for her autograph. What am I supposed to do, just waltz up to her and impose myself on her time? What if my school had a rule against asking authors to sign books? Oh, my God, I was going to be expelled from school. What would Anita Diamant think? She would probably never visit Brandeis again after that stupid girl (i.e., me) had the gall to ask her to sign not one, but two books. How dare I! This was terrible! So, I wrote an e-mail to the professor moderating the event regarding whether it would be alright to ask her for her signature. He said it was fine, and also that it would be “flattering.” I wasn’t convinced; an ex-boyfriend and I had had a class with this professor together several years ago, and the ex had been especially douche-baggish during this course—the professor probably remembered that I had associated with said ass and was trying to sabotage me, now, as revenge. I was on to him.

Regardless, on the night of the event I gathered up my multiple copies of The Red Tent for her to sign (maybe) and traveled over to the student center where the lecture was going to take place. On my way over there, however, my nerves twisted my simple hopes that she would sign my books into some kind of horrible, stalker-ish day dream:

Anita Diamant would be so impressed by my intellect, we would totally be best friends! She would love my life story so much (Apparently, at that point in time my mind was so demented that I thought my life story that was “impressive “) that she would base a character/novel on me. I bet we’ll going skiing together! I’ve never been skiing, before. This is going to be great!

So, I arrived, and I waited. Actually, “fretted” or “frothed in place” is probably a better word/phrase.

And then, she entered the room. Or, someone who I was pretty sure was her entered the room. I held up a book with her portrait and compared her face to the picture (thus already establishing myself as totally nuts), and became 90% sure that Anita Diamant had arrived.

Of course, rabid English-professors immediately descended on her, and probably some people who were her friends (“One day, one of those people will be, except I’ll arrive with her, and we’ll have had dinner right before and everyone will ask if we want any hors d’oeuvres and I’ll be all, “No, we just had dinner. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”) Slowly, a nervous inch at a time, I approached Anita Diamant and hovered, waiting to talk to her, like a creepy-ass vulture waiting to pick at a carcass or that mentally disabled hyena from “The Lion King.”

I almost bailed. “What are you doing! This isn’t a book signing event, she is socializing SIT DOWN.”

“NO! IT IS JUST A SIGNATURE ALSO HOW CAN SHE ASK ME TO GO SKIING WITH HER IF I DON’T INTRODUCE MYSELF.”

Apparently, in addition to an amazing life-story, I had something to prove.

I stood there, shadily looking over the shoulders of the people Anita Diamant was talking to. She spotted me and exclaimed, “You’re going to have me sign those right now, aren’t you!”

“I’M SORRY U R FAVORITE AUTHOR OF MY MOTHER AND MINE!”

Holy Christ, why are these words coming out of my mouth in a way that is horrible. My dreams of visiting Aspen with Anita Diamant were shattered as she looked at me as though I were the crazy person I actually am.

As she seated herself and took the pen I offered her, she asked which copy was my mine:

“THE FANCY HARDCOVER I AM GOING TO PUT IT ON A SHELF IN MY FUTURE LIBRARY.”

Obligingly, Anita Diamant signed this “fancy” copy and my mother’s edition, and I shuffled away after grinning at her like the aforementioned mildly retarded hyena. Then, I filled the time before the lecture began with shame.

However, in the aftermath of this humiliating ordeal, I realized I had learned several things from the incident that kind of balanced out having made an idiot of myself in front of Anita Diamant (except not really, I would never live this down):

1) I am horribly neurotic and should probably be institutionalized.

No, wait, I already knew that one. OK, I learned a couple of things from this:

1) If you want something, ask! It never hurts, and the worst that will happen is you’ll be told “No,” and if you hadn’t asked, you wouldn’t have gotten what you wanted, regardless.

2) Only talk to authors if you enjoy feeling stupid and would like fodder for FML.

P.S. – If people are interested in the content of the actual lecture, let me know and I will write a post about this as well.

A Letter, Part Two: THIS TIME IT IS SERIOUS

Dear Self,

Congratulations, you have made it to your goal range! Again.

No, that last part wasn’t meant to be sarcastic; even if you’ve accomplished this feat before, what you’ve done is still an accomplishment, especially since it took you a third less time than it did the last time. But, what I’m implying is that the easy part is over. You’ve lost the weight, but you already knew how to lose weight. The next part, maintenance, is the hard part, because I know in the back of your mind you’re thinking about bingeing.

Don’t lie to me, I can see it! I live in your head too, you know. Here’s the thing: You’re tired of dieting, and this could be the last time for a long while that you will have had to diet, but it’s all up to you. In the past, you’ve lost the weight, learned to eat healthy, but still binged along the way and then, once you reached your goal weight, you just let loose.

This time, you’ve lost the weight, you’ve learned to eat healthier and (here’s the big part) you’ve learned how to say “No” to bingeing. That’s a lifestyle change and a lesson that you cannot let go of if you don’t want to be a chronic dieter. The last few months without bingeing were not a temporary state; they were a foundation. Keep building on it, and you may be able to move past disordered eating.

I know you want to go out, and you can’t sit at home for the rest of your life in a diet-safe bubble, anyway.

I know you don’t want to eat so much that makes you physically ill, anymore.

I know you want to eat normally and be satisfied. But, you won’t have any of these things if you return to bingeing.

You’ve made a lot of progress; don’t fall back into old habits.

Now, I know it’s impossible to think that you’ll never binge again—no one is perfect. But, you can’t go forward with a mentality where you expect to binge again. Expect the best of yourself, instead, and have good intentions every day.

Love,

Elizabeth

P.S. – Can we have an ice cream I am mad hungry

Weigh-In Day: Week of April 9th

AHHHH SUSPENSE

Last Week’s Weight: 129.7

This Week’s Weight: 129.1

Loss/Gain: 0.6 pound

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1,750

Excercise:

04/09: 5-mile walk/run + 40-minute weightlifting session
04/10: Yoga
04/11: 1-hour weightlifting session + 2-mile run
04/12: 7-mile run
04/13: 7-mile walk/run
04/14: 7-mile walk + 20-minute weightlifting session
04/15: 7-mile walk/run

(Also, in case you were wondering, I did purposefully choose the Final Fantasy VI victory fanfare, ’cause that is my favorite Final Fantasy title. Yes.)

I am going to write a more introspective post on reaching my goal range later that you may or may not to read due to the level of cliché thoughts that it will contain, but, for now, here are some goals for the week:

1) Don’t go totally ape-shit bananas and overeat just because I’ve hit my maintenance range.

2) Eat only when I’m hungry. One of the terrible habits that comes with dieting—for me, personally—is just automatically eating every three hours or so to avoid getting “too hungry.” I’m going to continue counting calories for a bit (like I did the last time I start maintenance), but I’m going to start practicing some intuitive eating, too. And, in regards to that …

3) If I’m hungry, eat, even if I don’t have the “calories.”

4) Don’t step on the scale again before next Friday! Seriously, I drive myself crazy when I start weighing-in midweek, and half the time I end up stressing out over nothing.

5) Continue to be grateful everyday. Last week, I tried  to start each day with prayer, and as corny as it sounds, it set a nice tone for my day, and just trying to be grateful in general helped me be less negative.

I’m also going to bump my daily caloric intake up by an additional 50 calories this week (bringing my DCI to 1,600). I’m especially pleased about this loss this week, though, as I am *ahem* due for my “lady times.”*

And with that lovely thought, I am off to lift weights. HURGH MUSCLES.

* Sorry, again, dudes.

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