Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cinderella Never Had It So Good!

This is my absolute favorite wedding photo, I can't believe it has been 7 years. I am so thankful to have Rob as my husband and partner. He takes such good care of me and my happiness is his. I am not the easiest person to live with but he is patient with me and loves me, warts and all. Rob is my biggest fan and most enthusiastic cheerleader.
Happy anniversary, Bunny. I love you more than ever.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Weigh-In

I've indulged but I haven't over-indulged so I wasn't too disappointed to see I was up two pounds this morning (carbs make me retain water something fierce.) I'm back at 249 but we're just a few days from heading home where I can de-bloat and get back into fat burning mode. My pimple is healing, I've been getting in some physical activity and have only missed a couple of days of juice.

The important lesson that I've taken away from this holiday season is that I can still have a really good time, enjoy plenty of tasty food and wine without going all out and overboard. My attitude adjustment and new, healthy habits haven't gone out the window, in fact they've been whispering in my ear the entire time, keeping my demons and my waistline pretty much in check.

I finally have a few moments to myself today, I'm going to enjoy the quiet and do my nails. I hope you all have a fabulous and peaceful day!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Kind of Craving

So, did you have a great holiday or are you happy that it's over with for another year? For me, like every year, it's a little bit of both. We're still up here in Boston and having a very nice time, but I'm starting to get antsy about getting home. Not because I want to leave, because it's going to be so hard to leave my family but because I'm craving my routine.

To be honest, I'm crap without a routine. I'm already starting to feel the negative effects of being away from mine. I've been juicing every morning and portion control hasn't been much of an issue (very proud of this) but the food itself isn't what my body has become used to. Holiday food is definitely carb and sugar heavy. I'm retaining water, I feel food allergy symptoms setting in and don't get me started on the giant pimple on my chin.

It feels so much better to be in the healthy routine mode. I don't like worrying about getting sick and undoing all the good that I've done. No bite of food is worth that kind of stress.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Weigh-In

Let's see what two days trapped in a car and two days chained to a stove does to a person trying not to let her ass get any bigger. My sister's scale is a different model to mine, but it read 247 pounds this morning. That makes 30 pounds gone, not too shabby! I just worked out and will make my juice now, but many bottles of wine, lots of meals and a giant turkey stand between me and the scale next Monday. I admit, I'm a little scared.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We Made It

We made it to Boston on Friday after a long but uneventful drive. We've been snowed in ever since. As much as I miss my family, I don't miss the snow at all. My husband went outside to help my brother-in-law shovel and plow. I don't think he liked it. My nephew was having the time of his life running wild in the snow, I don't even think he noticed the cold. I sure have, I haven't stepped a foot outside since we arrived.
I've been chained to the stove, as I knew I would be. My sister is a fantastic sous chef cleaning behind me so when the feasts are ready, there isn't any mess to be seen. I've been keeping to my four golden rules and worked out yesterday but I'm still a little nervous about the weigh-in tomorrow. Not so much because of the amounts but the types of food and also the flowing wine that has been consumed for the past two evenings. But we are on vacation and I am having a hell of a good time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Congratulations to My Sister, Future Registered Nurse!

Today my little sister is graduating from nursing school. I'm so proud of her. She finished an intense program while caring for a little boy, taking off one semester to have a baby and getting right back and finishing in the top of her class. Congratulations Alyssa, you are a super star! Get the bubbly on ice, we'll be there soon to celebrate with you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Checks and Balances

Our trip is looming, we're leaving in just a couple of days. I'm both nervous and excited. I can't wait to be with my sister but I also feel fearful for my waistline. It's such a tricky time where, for most people who work hard all year look forward to lots of merry making, all bets are off. I plan on relaxing and having a good time, but the binge monster is getting a very short leash. Staying at 250 (or below) has to be my focus while we're away. I will be juicing daily, watching my portions and keeping up with my regular walking work-outs, this should offset the festive indulgences.

I've made great strides in leaving my "have to eat everything" mentality behind. A system of checks and balances is going to be practiced daily. For example, if there is a dessert that I'm going to want to eat, the main meal is going to be smaller portions, especially light on the heavier items. My sister and I have a delectable homemade dressing planned to go with the turkey that I'm so looking forward to, but I'll cut back or omit the mashed potatoes. While I'm Just Here for the Food is a great title for a book, I am mindful that spending time with my family and friends and savoring every moment with each one of them is the main reason for this trip.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Food

Nothing I love more than spending a cold, autumn weekend in the kitchen whipping up lovely, warming meals. Nothing I hate more than when one of those meals turns into an Epic Fail as it did Saturday night. Suffice it to say, the recipe called for a lot of salt, so much so that I cut it by a third, but the meal (a slow cooker Indian dish) was so salty that it was inedible. I had to make us a platter of cheese, apples, nuts and crackers to fill the void.

Sunday was redeeming. We spent a good amount of time putting together a Leek and Root Vegetable Gratin, but we cut the recipe by half. I should have agreed when my husband said "buy it" when I was eyeballing that mandolin in Costco. It did give me a good workout on my knife skills. I made pork to go with it. Center cut, bone-in chops pan seared with a quick sauce of apple brandy, beef stock, grainy mustard and a dribble of half and half. I highly recommend the gratin. It is worth every slice, every layer.

Heaven on a plate!

Monday Weigh-In

It's Monday again and I just don't know where these weeks get to. I still can't get over my newfangled enthusiasm for jumping out of bed on Monday mornings and hightailing it to the scale. Okay, down to business. Although I was hoping to take off 25 pounds before leaving on our trip, I didn't think I'd make 250 (even though I really wanted to.) I'm so thrilled to report that I've exceeded both goals...249, that's 4 pounds more, 28 pounds total!

I meeting my lovely friends for lunch this afternoon, I can't wait because time with them always leaves me with a smile. I hope your Monday brings you something to smile about.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Unexpected Squee-age

I was rooting around in the closet this afternoon, as you do when packing for a trip. I love jeans and have stacks of them in a wide range of sizes. Just for shits and giggles, I started pulling them down and trying them on. Imagine my surprise when I found that my fattest pair of mom jeans, ones that were snug when I put them away for summer, were so loose on me that I could almost pull them off without undoing the fly! Then I found two other pair that were too tight last winter and found them too baggy to wear. I can't express how good it felt to place those three pairs of size 26 jeans into a bin bag for donation. I then tried my favorite pair, one of my closet goals for early 2009, the size 20 lightweight wide legs that I wore when I first met my husband in 1999. They fit, a bit too snugly to wear just now, but not far off. And my lovely pair of size 22 Tommy Hilfiger's fit perfectly. I was jumping up and down and squee-ing so excitedly that Rob came charging up the stairs to see about the commotion. Days like these are just one of the reasons that I keep on keeping on.

Mmmm, Fruitcake!

I still don't understand how one of the loveliest holiday confections got such a maligned reputation. I never met a fruitcake I didn't like. I certainly never met one that was fit only for regifting or for use as a door stop. I usually make my own fruitcake this time of year, be it a traditional English Christmas Cake (soaking it with brandy for weeks before digging in) or my favorite, Panforte, which originates from Siena, Italy.

But because we are traveling for the holidays this year, I've purchased some famous local fruitcake to take along as gifts and to enjoy. A co-worker of mine was raving about the Claxton Fruitcake and said that they are wonderful soaked in rum for a few weeks before serving. I didn't purchase them in time, but I'm still really looking forward to trying it. Responsibly, of course. ;)

Even if you think you don't like fruitcake, give this recipe a try. You'll never look at the old doorstop the same way again.

Tuscan Panforte

Parchment paper
2 cups blanched, toasted nuts, almonds and hazelnuts are traditional.
1/2 cup candied citrus peel
1/2 cup chestnuts, chopped
1 cup mixed, dried fruit like dates, plums and figs, chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar plus additional for dusting
3/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment and grease well with baking spray. Do not skip this step, this cake is sticky as all get out.

Whisk flour and spices together and then toss with the fruit and nuts in a heatproof bowl.

Combine sugar and honey in deep saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes (mixture will bubble up.)

Pour hot honey/sugar mixture over the spiced fruits and nuts. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine.

Pour mixture into pan, spreading as evenly as possible. Bake for 30 minutes. Cake will be sticky but will harden as it cools.

Place pan on wire rack to cool completely. Remove from pan, peel away parchment. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into thin wedges before serving. The cake will last, freshness-wise, for a couple weeks. Good luck with that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's a Friend This Month

Got on my trusty scale late this afternoon to check my body fat %. The instructions say not to do it first thing in the morning because the scale gives a more accurate reading when the body is hydrated. The results are 48%, down 3% from a month ago. I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Count Your Blessings

Go on, count them! Get your favorite journal or a nice piece of paper and your favorite pen and make a list of all the wonderful things in your life. My friend Tracy, who is the most generous of souls, gave me a beautiful pink journal last month. I haven't had the heart to deface it with my messy scrawl until today. My list of all the things that are wonderful in my life made the perfect first page.

Fostering a grateful attitude is actually good for your health.
I get caught up in feeling sorry for myself sometimes and I really have no right to when I have so much. Now I have this list to turn to when I'm feeling less than grateful to help set my thinking on a positive track. I hope that it will do the same for you.

This blog is definitely one of my blessings. I want to thank each of you who takes the time to read my long winded, run-on and sometimes preachy posts. A special thanks to Lara, who gave me my very first comment. I was pretty psyched that day!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Weeknight Food

I am so excited for dinner tonight. I love to eat and there's no reason to stop enjoying food and cooking during my quest for vibrant health and fitness. Tonight I'm making Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom soup courtesy of Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine. What caught my eye about this recipe is that it's a lightened up variation on a traditional chicken and rice casserole. Instead of using that canned condensed crap, stodgy quick cooking rice and lots of chicken, this recipe uses fresh ingredients, wild rice and a small amount of chicken. I'm going to replace the heavy cream with organic half and half and the long grain and wild rice blend with a hearty brown rice blend. It's a steely gray and rainy day, this soup is going to be the perfect anti-dote.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Results Not Typical

Diets (prescribed weight loss programs/fads) don't work. If they did, there wouldn't be an obesity epidemic in this country nor would the weight loss industry keep pulling in billions of dollars. Diets by nature are band-aids, they aren't cures for obesity, they don't aim to find the root of the problem, they don't stress the importance of physical activity and most aren't practical for the long term. This is why you can lose "a ton of weight" (man, I hate that phrase) on a diet but how many people can say that they've been able to keep it off? I sure as hell can't.

I've lost countless pounds on just about every weight loss program that has come down the pike. I've seen behavioral therapists, jotted down every scrap of food that I put in my gob, counted calories, fat grams, fasted with medical shakes, did food combining, ate pineapples and grapefruit until I had canker sores the size of raisinettes. I risked my life with Fen-phen in 1998 and got down to my smallest size since the liquid diet 10 years before, 170 pounds. Then they took it off the market and I slowly but surely gained it all back. And then some.

Fast forward to 2004 and my highest weight ever of 310 pounds when I decided to count carbs with Dr. Atkins. What a great idea, I ate steak wrapped in bacon slathered in butter and took off 80 pounds. Atkins taught me nothing about fostering healthy eating and exercise habits and once I slipped back into my carb loving ways I gained 47 pounds back. Results not typical, indeed.

With a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and a huge pannus under my belt, I decided that I was going to make some changes. The first change was that I was never going on a diet again. Other works in progress...
  • Find the root cause of my overeating and self-defeating behaviors and work on finding healthy ways to deal.
  • Ditch the diet mentality. A healthy way of life isn't something that can be blown or something to go on or off. It's just that, a way for life. A healthy life.
  • Mastering one change at a time will have lasting benefits.
  • Make thoughtful and sensible choices concerning food and physical activity.
  • Be accountable for my actions. If I do something counter intuitive, like acting on negative feelings (I'm mad/sad/stressed/tired and therefore deserve this *insert any unhealthy behavior here*) realize I'm choosing it and lay the blame at no one's doorstep but my own.
  • Accept that while it will never be a size 6, my body needs physical activity, not just healthy food, to be the best it can be.
  • Questing for healthy habits is going to be a life long journey but the destination is right now.
I suppose that last one is my way of saying one day at a time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trigger was a Horse

Yesterday was one of those days. It started off really nice, I got lots of things done around the house and then I popped over to Lisa's. They returned from visiting family in England and she brought a few things back for us. When I returned home, I picked up the mail where there were some Christmas cards as there will be this time of year. One of them was from my Dad's wife. It was a Christmas card with the picture of horse (a horse? It's not like the horse was dressed up like a reindeer sitting under a hot, shirtless cowboy in a Santa hat. I could have understood that) with a handwritten message in a tone that reeks of, "we speak happily with each other on a regular basis." We don't. Ever. She likes to pretend that she's in my life. I like to pretend she doesn't exist. Not exactly healthy, but it is the best I can do at this juncture.

Normally this card would have sent me straight to the pantry where I would have gorged myself numb. I didn't hit the pantry, but I did have an anxiety attack about the possibility of my binge trigger being set off. I ripped the card up in little pieces and threw it away. I hid the lovely English biscuits that Lisa sent over in Rob's cookie tin. I then stopped for a moment and did my relaxation technique. This is my weapon against mad/sad/stressed/tired. It's what I do when I feel vulnerable or can't sleep, it's what I do to banish bad thoughts that threaten my well being.

I close my eyes and focus on taking slow, deep breaths. I imagine myself floating in a warm, fuzzy, pale blue bubble. In my head I conjure up a beautiful, soothing voice that says to me over and over, "Your mind and body are relaxed and calm." After a few minutes, whatever I'm feeling passes and I can get on with it. Or if I'm in bed, it knocks me out cold.

I got over my anxiety, I didn't binge and was able to enjoy one of those lovely English biscuits with a hot cup of gingerbread tea last evening. I have to remember that feelings are just feelings, they have no power over me. How I choose to react to them is what is going to make all the difference in my life.

For a Laugh

My husband snapped this picture before we set off on our Sunday morning walk. He had a good laugh about my sexy, matchy-matchy workout outfit. Hey, it was cold out!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Read the Labels

Although weight loss seems to be a main focus of this blog, it really is secondary to my quest for vibrant health. Eating clean and healthy (eating whole, unprocessed foods) is a critical strategy in achieving this goal. While I've drastically limited the amount of processed and packaged foods we eat we aren't living an organic vegan lifestyle. So, I have had to become an avid label reader.

High fructose corn syrup/corn syrup is one of the things I look for. It is an insidious poison designed to keep us fat and addicted to mass marketed junk foods, but it's also in places where you wouldn't expect to find it. I was shocked to see HFCS listed as an ingredient in many of the sandwich breads on supermarket shelves. I switched to Ezekiel bread, but I didn't want to force it on my husband, who adores sandwiches on fresh bread. Pepperidge Farm and Arnold are two companies that have stopped using HFCS in their bread so I feel confident buying bread from them. I was also amazed to see how many products claiming to be "fat-free" are loaded with HFCS. They have to make it taste good somehow, right?

Splenda, Nutra-Sweet and other mass marketed artificial sweeteners are also on the "avoid" list. If these chemicals were effective in reducing obesity and contributing to great health of the US population at large, the state of health and wellness affairs in this country would be a whole lot different, would it not?

I don't get caught up in counting calories or fat grams, but one thing I do look at is sodium content. Too much sodium makes me retain water like a cactus and my husband has a family history of hypertension so I make sure that the per serving sodium content isn't through the roof.

I tend to look for items with the shortest ingredient lists and if I can't pronounce it, I don't eat it. Reading labels has been an education for me and I highly recommend it to anyone who is on a quest for better health. Knowledge is power or in this case, knowledge is good health.

Monday Weigh-In

It's Monday again so let us get right to it. 253 pounds, 1.5 pounds lost, 24 pounds total. I doubt I will make the lovely round number of 250 before heading to my sister's for Festivus but I definitely plan on hitting the other lovely number of 25 pounds lost.

I'm just coming off three days at work and I should be beat, but I'm not. Eating right, exercising and getting enough good quality sleep seems to keep me fueled with energy when I used to have none. I have some vigorous house chores planned for today so I better get the juicer going and move my tush. Mark something off that to-do list today!

Friday, December 5, 2008

One Down, a Closet Full to Go

Remember that scene in The Holiday when Kate Winslet's Iris finally realizes that she's no longer in love with Jasper Bloom? She throws her arms in the air and squees freely with delight. That's how I feel right now because my first closet goal fits. My lovely blue scrub top fits! I can't wear it today because it needs to be laundered (I have a thing about washing new clothes before I wear them.) I'm going to wear it as soon as and I'll be sure to snap a photo and post it.

Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Veggie Fruit Fruit Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit

That was a song from Kitchen Kabaret, one of my favorite shows that used to be at Walt Disney World. It's a good mantra for healthy eating but putting it into practice can be tricky. Fresh juicing makes it easy. I already turned two of my friends and their husbands on to fresh juicing and that thrills me like you would not believe. I wish everyone would go out and buy themselves a juice extractor, keep a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables in the fridge and make themselves an enzyme and nutrient rich cocktail even just a few days a week.

Sure fresh juicing costs money and to steal a quote from my favorite movie, "It costs money, it costs money! Because it saves money!" Lisa says that the money she spends on produce is money she won't have to spend on medicine and hospital bills later. Exactly. It really doesn't take much time to make the juice and clean the juicer once it becomes part of the routine.

The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are no secret. Click on the link to read about them and find out how much fruits and vegetables you should be eating each day. I entered my age and amount of physical activity and it gave my personal results. Pretty cool.

You should eat about:

2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables every day based on your age ( 39 ), sex ( female ), and level of physical activity ( 30 to 60 minutes ).

With juicing plus some raw veggies or fruit for a snack and veggies with dinner I'm definitely making my quota. I know I'm sounding all preachy, but juicing is one of the few things that are definitely worth preaching about. If you're already making and exceeding your quota, well done! But if not, get yourself a juicer. You will not regret it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Super Grain of the Future*

When retooling one's eating habits it is vital to seek out a variety of satisfying foods that pack a nutritional punch as well as taste delicious. I'm always up for something new so I was excited to try some of the alternative grain products that my mother had sent me in a care package.

I had never tried quinoa before and it turns out that it is very nutritious, loaded with fiber, good for the cardiovascular system and makes one lovely cold morning breakfast. I can't stress enough the importance of eating a satisfying and healthy breakfast. I wouldn't have lasted one day without making sure my belly is full early in the day. I followed the basic cooking directions on the package as a guideline but then took it from there.

Hot Fruit n' Nut Quinoa
makes one breakfast serving
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
1/4 cup mixed dried fruit and raw nuts, chopped (I use the omega trex mix from Trader Joe's)
generous teaspoon of raw honey
pat of light butter

Rinse quinoa in water and put in saucepan with almond breeze. Bring to boil, turn down heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and nuts, cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and grains are tender. Stir in pat of butter and honey and serve warm.

I look forward to investigating more applications for this lovely grain.

*what the Quinoa corporation calls this grain

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Warning: Angry Fat Woman Ahead

I read on a blogging info site that you shouldn't rant at your readers. So here is fair warning.motz.gif

With unseasonably cold weather having hit the south and a trip to Boston looming later this month, I had to take inventory of my winter wardrobe. I was much fatter last winter so I don't have much in the way of fashionable and warm clothes and the few things I do have are starting to get loose. It's an awesome feeling to be shrinking. Awesome, that is, until I tried to buy a few things.

Is it really too much to ask for a nice cardigan to layer over a long sleeve tee paired with a pretty scarf? I want to know who these fat shops think they're designing for. Old Navy women's plus must be designing for giant, oddly shaped, ape women. Instead of what I wanted, I got long sleeved tees with arms and hem that came down to my bloody knees with fabric so thin I could see my lap-choly scar through it. The cardigan also came down to my knees and if I flapped the sleeves fast enough I could have probably taken flight. The scarf is lovely, but it's not practical to wear in the winter over just a bra. I'll have to ship the lot back tomorrow. Because Old Navy doesn't like fat women in their stores, we have to order our clothes online and hope for the best.

Lane Bryant is slightly better but they didn't have any long sleeve tees that didn't have some sort of bedazzler embellishment on it. I'm not going to bingo with the senior set, I'd like to look hip, not broken hip. I did manage to get one attractive top today (a size smaller, yay!) and I'll have to make do with what I have. I can't wait until I can go into a nice, normal shop and buy some nice, normal sized clothing off the rack.

Feels better to have that off my chest. I just hope it's not *that* cold in Boston.

Inactivity Hurts

As every person who has ever carried around a lot of extra poundage knows, fat hurts. It puts excess strain on the joints, muscles and bones which can lead to chronic pain in the low back, knees, ankles and feet. I've experienced these pains almost daily for years. Getting out of bed was a chore. I had to find a close parking space at the shops because my knees and ankles would hurt when I walked. Work was a killer. But it wasn't just the fat that was making my body hurt, but my inactivity. Our bodies were created for motion, not designed to sit behind a desk, in a car or on a couch for hours and hours at a time. And this is going to sound like a load of bollocks but exercise can relieve chronic pain.

I definitely experienced "morning after" pains during those first few days when I added walking to my routine. But after that subsided, I noticed many of my other aches and pains subsiding as well. My feet, knees and ankles started feeling better than they had in years. Even my low back didn't burn as much as it normally does. This was enough to keep me going back for more until I hit the snag of a pulled muscle and a cold which put me out of commission for a week.

That brings us to this morning when I noticed the first signs of inactivity pains returning. I never would have thought it but my body actually missed the workouts. My cold is nearly gone so I did a two-mile power walk early this morning. The pain was gone afterward and I had a burst of energy that has carried me through a busy day. I may feel a bit of post-workout discomfort tomorrow but I'll take it and then relieve it with another walk.

Monday, December 1, 2008

43 Things

I had bookmarked this website ages ago and forgot about it. Whilst tidying up my bookmarks this morning, I found it, signed up and started adding things. I only have eight things so far. I don't want to make a list of lofty, unattainable goals but things to remind me how much of how much life has to offer. Here is the link to the start of my 43 things. What's on your list?

Who Cares What the Scale Says?

I do, when the number keeps getting smaller, anyway. When I look in the mirror, I can't really see much of a difference so I have to take cues that I'm shrinking from other places. My arse is so big that the seat belt fastener would dig right me every time I got in my car. It's so embarrassing that I never told that to anyone before now. My butt must be shrinking because I noticed last week that it doesn't hurt to drive my car anymore. I'm so ashamed and upset by this one that I almost didn't post it; my beautiful engagement ring that I had sized down when I lost (and needless to say regained) a bunch of weight on Atkins in 2004 had gotten so tight that it was painful to wear. But my fingers have been desausagefied and my ring fits comfortably once again, barely leaving a mark when I slip it off at night. When my husband holds me, he tells me that I feel like I'm, "wasting away on him." Proof of progress if such a good motivator.

Monday Weigh-In

It's Monday after a long holiday weekend and I just did the walk of shame to my bathroom scale. Normally, I would never even attempt to approach the thing until after the first week of my "New Year Diet." Well times they are a-changing Bob Dylan because I lost another 2.5 pounds (insert happy dance here.) I'm sitting at 254.5 pounds with a total of 22.5 pounds gone, baby, gone!

I haven't exercised since last Monday. My back took a couple of days to get back to feeling better and this cold has kicked my ample backside. I'm still feeling pretty rough today, but tomorrow I'm thinking I should be well enough to do the first trial of my new Leslie Sansone dvd.

I'm not going to get into listing every bite of food that I took this weekend, that's not what this is about. Suffice it to say that I ate everything I wanted to in moderation, even dessert (homemade bread and butter pudding, yo!) Moderation, something that has eluded me for 39 years is what I'm trying to master. Being able to put it into practice during a minefield such as a long holiday weekend is totally liberating. It gives me hope for the future.