Posts Tagged With: self esteem

Releasing My Inner Swan

swanI received a most beautiful gift in the mail, a pewter swan. The following note was attached, “A gift from one who lives in Swanton, home of the Swanton Swans. Also symbolic of my favorite story and how the ‘ugly duckling’ became a ‘very fine swan indeed!’ As you have done!”

Step back for a second and flash back over the past few years of my life. In January, 2011, if you’ve been following the blog (and if you haven’t…start at the beginning!!), was when I started my weight loss journey into Onederland. By July 2012, after a rocky bit with my inner ear conundrum, I made it to goal.  Honestly, I thought reaching goal and getting my weight down would be a “cure-all” for so many things in my life.

I was confused when it wasn’t.

While a lot of people were very supportive, many people close to me were not.
I’ve come to bristle at the thought of dating anymore. Guys that knew me when I was bigger, complain that I’m “too skinny” and look too different. I’ve been called “boney” and “wasting away”. I’m not. I’m SO not.  Guys that have only known me since I’ve reached goal couldn’t understand the disdain for the way they joked about “fat chicks”. When I explained my situation, they’d say, “But that’s not you, so it’s ok to say that.” No… it’s not. I honestly thought dating would be easier. It’s not, for me.

I’ve had to pull back from the center of friends I’ve always had. There’s nobody in that group that can relate to what has happened to me physically, mentally, emotionally. They think the journey is “done now” and I can “eat normal”. It’s not done and their normal is not my normal.

So I had to dig deeper and tackle those core issues that needed fixing. Like needing other people’s approval. Like needing to be part of a “couple” – you know, being in a relationship and using it like a trophy or a measure of “making it”. Doesn’t matter if it’s bad or good. Well, I’d rather be alone than be with someone that doesn’t treat me with respect or love me for who I fully am. Let’s not forget bad self-esteem. Or needing to be liked by everyone. Being angry at others for flaws in my own self. I did journaling. Lots of journalling, meditating, walking while thinking, talking it out. Lots of positive self talk. Looking in the mirror every morning and saying, “Good morning, Beautiful.” And looking in the mirror at night and saying, “Good Night, Sweetie, pleasant dreams, you ROCK!”   I’m not perfectly fixed, but I’m perfectly flawed like Otep would sing. Cracks in antiques give them character, right? I don’t think we’re ever totally fixed, but I’m working on it and it’s made it easier!

On the up-side, I have found many friends online and in person through the Kim Bensen Weight Loss Center and through this blog.  I have found many kindred souls that have been through the same experiences, the same heartaches, the same victories.

And I have found my voice and my confidence. Albeit, not a roar, but it’s a flame getting bigger all the time. I’m not afraid to ask for what I need, to stand up for myself, to speak up when confronted. But I don’t need the drama of those around me. I’m recognizing the dynamic and the sickening soup that I’ve allowed myself to be cooking in because I felt an obligation imposed on me out of “loyalty”. There are times when we have to look at those close to us and recognize their relationship as being toxic and unhealthy.  So we have to find the courage to pull ourselves up out of the quicksand and climb hard into higher ground. For our health.

I was presented with two career opportunities that required my courage, strength and dedication. But it requires me to say good bye to so much that has been familiar and my safety net. It requires me to relocate into another state. Several states away.  It requires me to rely on a network of newfound friends that are incredibly supportive. It requires me to enter a very corporate job market at “almost 50”, as my Dad pointed out. It requires me to learn more about my profession using my high school education and experience through doing. I never went to college and was mocked by people throughout my life for not going. I’ve learned a LOT by doing it.  It requires me to take a leap of Faith and cannonball into the waters of Life.

A few years back, I don’t think I could have CONSIDERED doing such a thing. It would give me an anxiety attack. I would make excuses about why I could not do it. I would rationalize that it would be impossible to do this.  But after losing 150 pounds, it made me feel like I could DO ANYTHING.

But not everyone around me feels the same enthusiasm as I do. They point out my age. They point out the hard work. They point out that there are people who need me where I am now. They call me selfish. They call me foolish and crazy. And only a couple asked me, “Would it make you happy?” I look into my daughter’s eyes and she is excited and says that I am a role model for her and girls everywhere no matter the size. Tall order.

My story has really started to have that fairy tale kind of feeling. I thought it was Cinderella, but the only time I’m losing my shoe after midnight is when I’m just too tired from pulling too many hours awake, there’s no Prince Charming, no pumpkin car. It really is the story of the Ugly Duckling who became a swan and finally found where she belonged after all.  I even looked up the story by Hans Christian Andersen and I cried as I read it. It was way too bittersweet and familiar to me.

Sometimes where you’re born isn’t where you end up.
Sometimes, those closest to you can hurt you the most.
Sometimes not fitting in is a blessing in disguise, it makes leaving easier.
Sometimes break ups are the best thing that can happen to you.
Sometimes you need to break away from what you’re told to do and find what you WANT to do.
Sometimes the ones that claim to need you the most are avoiding doing for themselves.
Sometimes those late blooms in life are the most spectacular!
Sometimes you have to find the courage and strength to do something big (like get to goal), to show you just how powerful you really are.

And sometimes you have wonderful friends, like my Susan, to remind you of a child’s story that helps you cannonball into the next part of your life so much easier.

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Categories: Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Emotional Dermatillomania…. Or Picking Our Mental Scabs

blog socially awkwardBeing a teenager is tough. No doubt. Being a fat teenager was extremely hard for me. I was very shy and hated being in rooms full of people I didn’t know. I was not social. It affects some of my behaviors today. There are routines and patterns that have been worn into my head like convoluted hiking paths down to my inner core. blog rocky pathThey are worn down so heavily, so many times, with rocks protruding up to make me stumble as I try to get to my inner most thoughts at times. These familiar paths and patterns hold me back from going forward other times. Take, for instance, the scenario of me being in a room full of people I don’t know. When I was much younger, it could bring on panic attacks for me. I’d hear a whisper, laughter, a “certain” tone of voice, and assume it was a negative attack on me. There were times it was true and I was the butt of some ill-based jokes. But so many times it was MY ASSUMPTION that I was being mocked. It was a Pavlov’s Dog reaction to being exposed to bullying, snide remarks and such as a result of my weight and my attitude that developed along the way.

Those insults and negative behaviors created a very large wound in my self esteem.

scraped kneeLet’s look at what happens when a part of our body gets physically wounded. I’m outside, walking and say I fall and scrape my knee open. Blood rushes to the surface.   As air hits it, over the next few days, it becomes hardened and the wound is encased in a scab. So I’m sitting outside. Bored. Looking at my knee and start picking at it. I wince because it hurts and it’s not quite healed. But I can’t stop picking at it. I flick away the scabs and watch as more blood comes to the surface. I say to my daughter, “Hey, look at this cut, doesn’t this look nasty?” She agrees and I get attention for it. Another day goes by and it has scabbed up again. I’m at work stressing over an issue and subconsciously start picking at the scab. It starts to bleed, a little heavier because I’ve broken new skin with my fingernails.  I clean it up and it starts the healing process over. Now, what if I keep picking and picking and tearing open that scab? Well, the skin around it will inflame and if enough dirt falls into it from my fingernails, it could become infected and then I have an even bigger problem. Now, being adults, you’re going to look at me and say, “Pam, would just stop picking at your damn knee and it will get better!”

You see, that’s what I did with the wound on my self-esteem and my thoughts for many years. There’s probably a thousand little insults I’ve heard in my whole life. If I keep going back over and over in my mind, and pull up all those times I was embarrassed, tormented, made fun of, bullied, stood up, dumped, etc….it’s like ripping the scab off that wound of bad self esteem everytime I do it. I’m never going to get over it and be able to move forward if I keep picking at that scab. I’m going to become a slave to constantly ripping that scab open to avoid getting over it. To give me a reason to be upset. And hey, it gives me attention to have that “injury” and wound to cry about.  To give me a “right” to be righteous about those who judge based on looks and size. I can point the finger and say it’s THEIR fault I feel this way, my father, my mother, my siblings, my ex-boyfriends, my ex-husband, the kids I went to school with, the public school kids on the bus who made fun of my parochial education, strangers in public, teachers that humiliated me, people I didn’t get along with, strangers in the clothing store, people in restaurants I thought were watching what I was eating, and how many other people I could blame!

Bottom line… it’s MY fault I feel bad because I keep thinking about it. I keep pulling up those bad feelings and continuing them.

It’s time to let the past pains scab over and heal. It takes soul-searching, journaling and some good quiet time to come to peace with these things. If you can’t do it on your own or without hurting loved ones, then it’s time to get professional assistance in this. Talk to a third party like a counselor who won’t take it personal when you need to get angry, but has the professional training to guide you in letting it all go.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. You’re never going to be truly happy and successful until you let go of all this ugly scabby damage.

I garden outside in the warm weather. I get scores of scratches, cuts and little wounds, it comes with the territory. But I wrap them up, protect them and then expose them to air and they get better, most times without a scar.

What happens when you pick at a scab repeatedly?

The area becomes scarred, mangled and the skin has scar tissue and is never the same.

That’s what happens when we keep picking at our emotional scabs. We become scarred, hardened, harsher and generally tough to manage. It gets in the way of living and happiness. You see that scar and you remember the injury and it makes you unhappy and the cycle starts again. blog gold appleYou can be the prettiest person, thin and healthy but your negativity can make you very ugly to yourself and others.

I am 48 years old. It doesn’t matter what a group of boys said to me back when I was 16.  I am not that scared lonely girl anymore. Time to let it go.  But what if I still am that scared lonely girl inside? Time to let her go. If repeated bad behaviors have made us feel crappy, lethargic, even suicidal at times…. Then repeated GOOD behaviors should do the opposite. I’m doing that.

We cannot stop people from talking about us, confronting us, trying to include us in their drama, or listening to the silly diary-like statuses on Facebook that annoy the snot out of me. And it annoys me MORE when they come from ME!!! That’s when I stop myself, unplug from the computer, back the hell away from Facebook and all that social media bullshit and go outside and get some fresh air!

We_Can_Do_It!But we CAN stand up for ourselves. We can be our own bodyguard. We don’t have to wait for a super hero to come along. We are our OWN hero! It’s never too late to stop the cycle. It’s never too late to adopt new patterns. It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to correct the path on our journey!

It’s time for healing. Trust me, it makes the journey healthier, happier and easier.

rearviewmirror1Like I told my son years ago in the Rear View Mirror post… the rear view mirror is a reference to the past, it is NOT where we are going. If we keep looking in it, we are doomed to crash. However, if we look forward and have a positive attitude, I feel anything is possible! Not JUST weight loss, but with anything we set our minds to!

Now…. Stop picking those scabs, it’s time to heal!

Hey! If this helped you, inspired you, pissed you off, cheered you up, gave you that weird feeling in your stomach that you know it hit you right where it counts…then pin it, share it, email it, share the love!!!

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Categories: Anger, Dealing with Sabotage, Emotional, Growing Up Fat, Psychological, Relationships, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Preplanning Your Mind for the Holidays Part 1

Decorations and trees have been in the stores since Halloween. Christmas music has been playing in the stores since Thanksgiving. The holiday is HERE!

Kim Bensen has taught me the valuable lesson of preplanning daily menus and preplanning big days such as holidays.

But let’s step back just a second. Before we can preplan our food, we need to preplan our MINDS. We need to get on-board, on program, and enthusiastic about our choices before it’s shoved in our faces.

The holiday is all about sensory overload and all five senses are included.

Sight: Lights, decorations, trees, costumes, huge lighted displays galore, crazy decorated cookies and foods you don’t see any other time of the year!
ChristmasVacay-543x320Sound: Christmas and holiday music is everywhere, the sounds of laughter, Christmas carols, concerts, parties, etc.
Smell: Pine & balsam, snow (yes kinda like rain, snowfall has a beautiful smell outside), flowers and ALL THOSE COOKIES, dinners, foods!,
Taste: Of course taste and food are involved. There’s peppermint, chocolate, cookies, turkeys and hams, seafood dinners, decadent desserts, libations and all sorts of tasty treats.
Touch: Pretty papers, bows, cards, ornaments, presents and gifts.

The holiday just throws our senses into a WOW state! It’s no wonder we feel like a little kid, a little crazy and nutty, a little silly.

What’s one of the things we think about when we think about Christmas?

crazy-christmasPresents and gifts.
(I know you may be saying “food” but we’ll get to that in a bit…)

In this digital day and age, so much is centered around the gifts. So while we’re in the middle of the frenzy of the holidays – shopping, and all that. We want to give OURSELVES a gift. We want to give up the diet for the season. We want to be “nice” and make it easier on ourselves. Because, hey, who wants to think about the diet or the preplanning during the holiday? We want a break. We want that little gift.

It’s NOT a gift.

It’s the first step of sabotage to ourselves.

It’s the “gift” that’s an illusion. It’s the yummy poison that makes us a slave to our food addictions even more. Before we know it, we’ve packed on 10 pounds or more over the holiday and wonder where the heck it came from.

I’ll tell ya where it came from… it was that “gift” you gave to yourself.

It’s really so much easier to stay true to our plan whether it’s Xchanges by Kim Bensen, Weight Watchers, counting calories, carbs or WHATEVER we’re doing. If you go off NOW… you may not come back right away if at all.


When we stay true and preplan – it makes it ONE less sense to make sense of during that sensory overload… make sense?

But seriously… when we ‘plan’ to go off program, we’re only ‘planning’ for failure.

So how do we preplan our head during this crazy time?

On the days leading up to Christmas – KNOW that you’re going to stay OP (on program). VOW to stay on program. Not “try”. DO.

If you’re going to the mall shopping, do some extra laps around the mall, park farther away (like you have a choice sometimes?), take steps instead of the escalator or elevator.

Do things to keep your hands busy – writing out holiday cards, decorating the tree, cleaning and decorating the house, outside decorating.

If you MUST make cookies – some of us just love to cook – keep only a small portion and give away the rest to a church, daycare, hospital, local food bank, someone who doesn’t have time to cook (like me…only kidding), a neighbor, etc.

Remember ONE thing… our holiday doesn’t have to be centered around FOOD. Let’s start switching up our holiday traditions. Who says you MUST have a big Christmas dinner? Why not find something ELSE to do with your time? Yup, I can see your faces looking at me like “Are you kidding me? We ALWAYS do this.” Well time to switch it up.

There’s plenty to do on Christmas day besides sit around and look at food. Not EVERYONE celebrates Christmas or celebrates it in the same way we do!

There are concerts and events you can attend.
For some movies like Les Miserables… it’s the opening day! Go see a movie!
Go walk through a botanical gardens like Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania
Go for a hike
Go volunteer at a veterans’ hospital, convalesence home, or other non-profit.
Help with a non-profit that drops off meals for less fortunate
christmas houseDriving around and looking at Christmas lights – some houses REALLY do it up!
Caroling (walking and singing burns calories!)
Got snow? Go outside and play in it, make a snowman, have a snowball fight, PLAY!
Go skiiing, snowboarding, camping etc
Schedule a trip out of town if you can. A good reason to visit family in another part of the country.

And if you are forced to either cook for the family or spend time around a dinner how about:

–        Go out to eat (no clean up, no left overs,)

–        Take up someone’s invitation and eat at someone else’s house and not take any leftovers

–        Plan foods that are both on-program and yummy (or a portion of the foods that YOU want)

–         If going to someone else’s place, take a dish that you can eat and share and is on program!

In the past day, I tripped across a way to help keep me OP. Maybe you’ve heard of the “Elf on the Shelf”. Basically, it’s this elf that’s used to keep kids in line. You tell them that the elf can see them and tells Santa everything they do. I took this a step midge in the fridgefurther. I have a ceramic elf (yes, he’s an ELF, not a gnome) and put him in my fridge with a sign that says, “Pam, have you PREplanned what you’re looking in here for?” To be honest, it’s really made me rethink my nibble more than once. So he’s my “Midge in the Fridge”. I’m going to the thrift shop to get more. I’m putting a Pixie in my Pantry, an Elf on the Shelf (of the cupboard), a Faun in the Freezer (with the icecream), ANYWHERE there’s nibble food… I’m putting an elf with a sign!

Stay tuned for my next installment on this topic…
this is just the beginning on PREPLANNING THE MIND!!!

Categories: Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving…My Way.

Well, here it is again. Thanksgiving. A lot has changed since the last time I wrote about Thanksgiving in my blogpost last year called Taking the Gobble Out of Thanksgiving

In fact, I look back at it in wonder and think… really, has it only been a year? I wrote a line in there that said my life is filled with craziness and busy-ness. (chuckle)… yes, now more than ever it seems. (sigh)

It also seems that here in America, we have this NEED to devote whole days around food. Especially Thanksgiving. While other holidays like Christmas have a central theme that food plays into, Thanksgiving is simply a food-fest. There’s no other purpose! This is supposed to be a feast of gratitude and I guess it started out as a harvest celebration in the early days of America.

Quite frankly, the only way most of us are “harvesting” is by standing in line at the check-out at the grocery store after we’ve knocked over 3 old ladies, a soccer mom and some guy in a motorized scooter on our way to get the biggest, fattest turkey they’ve put on sale.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve cashed in at the store all those free rewards to get my free turkey breast too. But this year, I really am playing it differently. I’m going to kick back and defrag, recharge, relax, organize, write and get into what I want to do. And it’s going to feel exhilaratingly nice…hopefully.

People can’t handle it when you want to get away from the food on Thanksgiving. Something must be “wrong” with you. Are you ok, are you feeling well, are you depressed, what’s wrong, we’re worried about you, you mustn’t be alone, you must come to dinner, you must be around people. I realize it’s all done with the best of intentions, but… I am going to truly enjoy the quiet.

It made me think, once again, about we turn a whole day into an event centered around food as though it’s a sport or this huge competition. We spend the days before Thanksgiving gathering our ingredients like the coach of this inanimate team who’s out to score the ultimate culinary touchdown. Some people will order foods through the Internet and on shopping channels. They acquire that “gotta have” ingredient to make the day memorable. They spend hours prepping and cooking and creating.  In my case, I spend the day making the kitchen look like it’s been in a food fight only to sit down with the family and have it be basically annihilated within about ten minutes. Then there’s round two with seconds, or thirds or more. Then there’s the dessert tray with Grandma’s pies and those interesting little cookies that Auntie Jane will never disclose how they’re made although we beg her year after year and ice cream. In some houses there’s cocktails, glasses of wine, beer and other beverages. It makes me almost sick to the stomach to think about it…because I’ve eaten myself privately sick other years. Gone back for seconds when nobody’s looking, shoved an extra roll in my mouth when I went to the buffet table when nobody else was standing there.

There’s no RULE that says I have to participate in this. It’s one of the few days of the year I don’t have to work and I should be able to enjoy it the way I see fit. My daughter is with her father, my son has some odd jobs to attend to and I don’t have a “better half” to impress with my culinary skills.

My son and I will do what we want to do and cap it off with a modest dinner out at the Asian buffet he likes so he can get his crab leg addiction fed.

I eat turkey throughout the year. I eat crustless pumpkin pie throughout the year. I don’t devote certain foods to one day a year or one season a year. Maybe that’s how I can take the gobble out of my Thanksgiving pretty easily. If we have a food issue, let’s not feel obligated to court that vampire. There’s no crime in finding something different to do for the day that makes us feel relaxed or alive. A concert. A movie. A walk through a botanical garden (we did that for Christmas last year). A project we haven’t had time to get into. Time for US. There’s nothing wrong with that.

I do realize it’s inescapable for some of us. There’s many ways to minimize damage when you must be exposed to “the dinner” (read my blog from last year for some tips). But just remember… there’s no rule or law that says we must participate in this.

My mother almost insisted I spend Thanksgiving with them this year. Now, you have to understand. I live 2 doors down the street from my parents and I work with my parents almost every day of the year. I see them every day. One day is NOT going to kill them that I have time to myself. I found my voice this year and said, “No. I really don’t want to be around the food all day and I have things I want to do.” It felt…. good. Let me tell ya, my mother asked me more than once or twice and it was becoming a sore subject for the past month. But I stuck to my guns. She said, “You need to be around people.” When I looked her in the eye and said, “Mom, I’m around people every every day. I need a break.” She finally got it. She didn’t like it. But she realized I’m not Howard Hughes (I sure as crap don’t have his money) and I’m not sitting in the dark growing my nails to ungodly lengths and getting crazy. I simply need some refueling that doesn’t involve food.

Last year, at Thanksgiving, I wasn’t at goal yet. I prepped food and took it with me to someone else’s house and weighed and measured everything. If I was doing a big dinner… I would still be doing that. It never STOPS. These habits you are forging now to LOSE weight do not instantly stop once you reach goal. Please remember that. Goal is simply a turn down another street in our journey. It’s NOT the final stop. Do I feel it’s easier? Yes. Not everyone feels that way. But the more you stick to your guns now while you’re losing weight and make those habits rock solid, it’s easier. Our diet, our lifestyle is NOT a punishment. On Thanksgiving, this day of thanks and gratefulness… be thankful you took the time to get your health back. It’s worth it.

Find your voice. Be brave. Write your own story, don’t let the world control you. Don’t let anyone tell you what you MUST eat on a particular day of the year. Don’t let the world bully you. Be happy in your journey. When you lose weight, you tend to find YOURSELF… your voice, your style, your personality. Not everyone will like it, but you aren’t put on this planet to please everyone…just yourself.

Categories: Cooking, Dealing with Sabotage, Emotional, Psychological, Support, Victory, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weighing Our Words Again

One of my first blog posts was called Weighing Our Words

I talked about how we spoke in regard to ourselves; our body types, our size, our beauty or self-imposed lack of it. I talked about how others hear our words and it affects their behaviors, how they speak and what they eat….but I never addressed the biggest issue.

How we talk about FOOD.


Have you ever really looked at your Foodese, your foodspeak, your language of food?

How many times have you said:

1. “I just LOVE  <insert food here> .”
2. “You can’t go to <insert place here> and NOT have the <insert really good food here> …you just CAN’T!”
3. “Grandma’s cheesecake IS TO DIE FOR.”
4. “That cookie is calling my name.”
5. “It jumped into my mouth and I ate it before I knew it.”

….and let’s not even talk about the movie “American Pie”…. (‘nuf said)

In our house, my daughter, Katie can tell you, we’ve corrected our language.

Let’s look at
#1. Love. That has got to be the most abused word. And people have even taken the word love and reduced it to a symbol. The heart. They “heart” this and that. People and things. Actions and everything. Sad. You love PEOPLE, not things, or actions, or rock bands, or restaurants …or food. Watch how many times you hear that phrase “I love ______” and see how many times it’s about a PERSON and how many times it is not. When we say we LOVE a food item, we have given it the same role as a person. But food cannot love us back. Food will never reciprocate those feelings.

Number 2. This is a myth. “You cannot go to X without eating Y.” It’s fuzzy math that isn’t true. I live a couple hours away from Hershey, PA. When I was married, this was a “pilgrimage” because my husband went to school in Hershey, actually at the Milton Hershey School for orphans. So this was a place we went often. Yes, the lamp posts have huge Hershey kisses on them. Yes, the town is painted in more shades of chocolate than I knew existed and I’ve been through Chocolate World so many times I could guide the tour. But I can go into a town like Hershey and not buy an ounce of chocolate (or lick a lamp post). Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy chocolate, but food is not the focus of my life anymore. When we went to Hershey, it was to meet up with people and enjoy doing things…not sit and eat chocolate. I can do THAT at home. A bigger challenge, for me, is going to Red Robin and not eating the tower of onion rings. I used to devour those things like a mother lion on an antelope! Not kidding. But I can now go to that restaurant and have a salad (although they don’t offer much else I choose to eat now) without dressing (I bring my own) and I’m good.

Number 3. Let’s just settle something here. No food is worth DYING for…not even Grandma’s cheesecake. Seriously. If you’re going to use that phrase of being a true martyr, would you do it for FOOD? I can understand dying for Faith. Dying for kids, spouse, loved ones. Jumping in front of a car to save someone you love. But for food? If you’re going to run in the street because there’s an icecream cone about to get hit by a car…please… get professional help.

Number 4. There is no food that calls your name. It reminds me of those videos on YouTube of the Annoying Orange sitting there saying “Hey, Apple. Hey, Apple.” I’m sorry, you’d have to see it to believe it. My guilty pleasure. Again, we’re giving food this property it doesn’t have. It’s not a person, it can’t talk and we can’t love it. It cannot talk to you. It’s sitting there minding its own business while your brain is imagining it’s calling out to you. Hide it, put it away, throw it away, give it away, flush it, do whatever you have to do. The only thing REMOTELY close to food talking to you is the Chiquita stickers on the bananas…which I do love to stick on various parts of my body as I grocery shop.

Number 5. There is no food that’s literally going to run on its little legs and crawl into your mouth unless you’re eating bugs and creepy crawlies on the show Survivor. Again, we’re taking away our own responsibility and transferring it onto the food. It’s the food’s “fault”. We didn’t do it. We were just minding our own business and the darn food literally jumped right into our mouth and demanded to be eaten. Right now! Without chewing!

Let’s start minding our P’s and Q’s with how we TALK about our food.

We are so eager to give food human qualities. Certain people won’t eat anything that “has a face”… but you’ll let it speak to you? To give it this POWER that it simply does not have! Maybe it’s because it takes away the responsibility of saying we stumbled and ate something. We need to start looking at our food quite honestly and taking away all those “magical” abilities we gave it.

Food is nutrition.
Food is fuel.
Food is NOT an event.
Food is NOT a person.
It won’t love us back.
It cannot convey emotion or confirm our “love” for it.
It won’t do ANYTHING for us except sustain us and give us nutrients.
It is not magic.
It cannot talk to us, scream at us, condemn us or compliment us.
It gets in our mouth by our little fingers and no other way (unless you’re faceplanting into your plate)

Let’s start changing the way we talk about food.
Start becoming aware of how we talk about our food.
Proper nutrition helps us think better, helps us focus.
Let’s change our minds for the better.

Change your mind…change your life.

Categories: Binge Eating, Cooking, Dealing with Sabotage, Emotional, Psychological, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Can’t “Go Mama Hamster” etc etc.

I’m having one of “those days” which started with my checking account plummeting into the red and bouncing checks like beach balls at a rave. Thank goodness it’s Friday and I’m at least getting a paycheck to shove in there. While I’m on the online checking bank website, my boss a.k.a. Dad is questioning me about a piece of equipment that got messed up yesterday under my watch. I’m on my failing iPhone that needs replacing, texting my son that I’m about ready to go “Mama Hamster” on him and eat him whole because of a situation… I wasn’t joking. At the same time, my father is confirming that I will, indeed, be at my other job at his store to be on hand for the dance party the store is hosting with dueling DJ’s, dueling bartenders (non-alcoholic drinks)… I can tell already this is going to be a long, grueling day from Hell and the last thing I want to do is be dancing tonight.

Oh, sign me up, Dad. I’m just so in the mood to work 8 hours selling industrial metals, make sure the landscaping is getting done and then… go sell jewelry and DANCE in my spare time with customers for another 6 hours. No, I’m not selling dances for a dime, but I’m seriously considering it to pay for a replacement iPhone!

I have 8 levels of Dante’s Inferno breaking loose all around me and the more I’m discussing it with my father, I can feel my eyes welling up and my voice starting to crack. I’m stressed. My personal, business and private worlds are all on a collision course to smack right into my face…and my stomach.

I’m tired already just thinking about it.

And I need to eat something.


Did I just say that?

No, I just need to chew something, what do I have here?

I have a 14 hr work day today which means I have ALL MY FOOD packed WITH me for the day. I’m a stress eater. I’m like a Labrador Retriever with a weekend’s bowl of chow in front of me. If it’s there and visible…I just might eat it. So I took the insulated bag, put it in my car. My lunch and any daytime snacks are OUT IN THE CAR, not at my fingertips.

Yes, even with this garbage breaking loose, I’m able to step back and say, “Hey, you know, it’s just not healthy for this food to be sitting this close to me.” I’m not looking for a pat on the back. I want you to recognize those days and those circumstances in your own lives.

It’s easy to eat my whole day’s worth of calories right here and now and sit here with a stomach ache, crying about my messed up checkbook, broken equipment, bitchy customers, long work hours etc. etc. yadda. Yadda freaking. Yadda. Then 5:00 is going to roll around when I’m at the jewelry store and I’m going to get hungry again. I won’t have my allotted food and I’ll end up hitting the convenience store up the street or one of the bistro’s in town…which are NOT… good options (sorry guys, but you’re not!) So the choice is mine.

I can get my “food bowl” put away and out of view and at least get ONE aspect of this stupid day under control.  I did that. And I texted my girlfriend in Jersey that always makes me feel better.Then I put some of my favorite dance music in my ear (Deadmau5) and it helped ease the stress. Figured out the checkbook, got the bank and those nasty overdraft charges taken care of…and now it’s just a matter of keeping a smile and controlling what I can. I can’t control these insane working hours

I still have my dinner intact for over at my other job.

I haven’t eaten my son in a fit of fury… because quite frankly it would be consuming far too many calories and Xchanges.

And I’m starting to smile.

So later, I will maybe even feel like dancing. And I bet I will. And I might even post pics on the Facebook page for the blog to prove my point.

See?  It’s all about taking control of a crappy day and turning it around. We just gotta WANT to take control instead of letting it take control of us.

There are so many things we can’t control…I’ve been through every emotion today and I haven’t had a period in 7 years… but there are some thing we can.

Focus on the things we CAN control and the rest will follow.

And please… don’t email me the caloric content of a young man… I don’t want to have to factor it in my day.

Categories: Anger, Binge Eating, Emotional, Psychological, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving the Monster a Manicure

Franklin Roosevelt was right. The only thing to fear is fear itself.
WHY does fear paralyze us so? WHAT is it about fear?
Fear is an illusion.
Fear is a lie.
Fear is the mind’s way of preventing us from physically doing something that will hurt us…or that we THINK will hurt us. Fear makes us think of things as larger than life, bigger than they really are, scarier than it really is, it’s incredibly overwhelming. It’s an anticipation of something dreadfully gone wrong. It spins it out of control so we stop in our tracks and shut down.  It can make us sick in the stomach, give us a headache. It consumes us, it becomes the only thing on our minds, we can’t help NOT to think about it. Fear distracts our focus from things we really don’t want to do!

–        Whether it’s about jobs/money/career, bill we gotta pay, bills we can’t pay, emergency bills that pop up
–        Or our kids/family/loved ones and THAT whole ball of wax!
–        Our romance life/significant other/spouse, etc  …or lack there of
–        Things from our past that come head on in our faces
–        Fear of the unknown, (we like to control things in our lives)
–        Fear of other people’s opinions
–        Fear of other people’s lack of approval
–        Fear of being mocked
–        Fear of being the center of attention in a bad way
–        Fear of looking silly
–        Fear of looking old
–        Fear of getting old
–        Fear of being wrong
–        Fear of getting lost
–        Fear of going out of our comfort zone
–       Fear of being alone
–        Fear of “losing it”
 –      Fear of being out of control

–        Fear of failing

….. so many things we’re afraid of… isn’t it sad?

On the other hand, let’s look at a very similar emotion…excitement and enthusiasm.

Think of the child that’s waiting for Christmas. Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun from A Christmas Story. He’s got himself practically whipped up into a frenzy thinking about how he can beg, bribe, con, practically sell his soul in order to have this freaking toy! It consumes his very essence! He dreams about it. He makes Freudian slips about it. It’s on his brain constantly. He can’t sleep! He’s planning, contriving and doing anything he can to make it happen. But he’s EXCITED and happy and proactive.

The idea of being “on a diet” and changing our lifestyle with eating and exercise can be scary. It can be full of so much emotion. It can be that monkey on our back, monster in the closet, the elephant in the room…that huge thing that’s always there and we don’t want to address. And let’s not forget all the new things we’re going to do. Eat differently, cook differently, pack lunch differently, shop differently, move differently…oh my God, you’re overwhelming me and it’s SCARY!!

Well let’s look that MF in the eye. (Monumental Fear…what did you THINK I meant?)

Instead of cowering in the corner, letting it disable us and turn us into a quivering mass of jelly… let’s look it in the eye and MAKE FRIENDS WITH IT. Take every emotion you’re feeling with fear, look it in the eye and turn it into the excitement of Christmas! Look at your monster with enthusiasm and run toward it to greet it!

Yeah, you heard me right. It makes me think of an old Bugs Bunny cartoon. If you haven’t seen it in a while… or ever (in case you’re a fetus, aka younger than me) here’s the link:

Bugs is running, trying to get away from his monster when he abruptly turns…and gives it a manicure. He sits, flatters it, caters to it, makes friends with it and then… well, you’ll  see, he takes control and gets the upper hand.

When I started losing weight, it was a monster I was ready to take on and fight. I was making headway and it felt GREAT to be in control after so many years of letting it control me . People starting putting fear into mind. They said things like,
“Everytime you lose weight you have to buy even more clothing, it gets so expensive.”
“What if you give away all those clothes and then gain back the weight?”
“What if you lose all that weight and have excess skin hanging off you?”
“You know I had a friend of a cousin of a neighbor of a mailman that lost weight and she ended up looking older and her wrinkles showed up in her face more.”
“I knew someone that lost so much weight they ended up getting sick and in the hospital.”
“I knew someone that lost weight and they didn’t even look like the same person.”
“Why do you even bother? You’ve always been fat and always will be, you’ll never be ‘skinny’.”

From that point, my ONE monster turned into about TEN monsters that I let people fabricate in my mind. So instead of just that one vague fear of “being fat”, it’s turned into about ten different fears about losing weight. It overwhelmed me, panicked me. I ALMOST believed what they were saying. It reminds me of a scene from the movie, “The Matrix” where Neo is surrounded by many copies of Agent Smith and it seems an endless fight with the same monster over and over and over. But he kept at it until they were all GONE.

And that’s when I looked at all my incarnations of fear in regard to losing weight and rationally thought them all out.

Ok, I’m going to buy clothing whether I’m losing weight, gaining weight or STAYING the same.
I chose to give away and get rid of clothing that got too big for me. Every other time that I held onto it, it only served as a safety net so it was “ok” to gain weight back. I chose to give it away.
Do I have some excess skin? Yes. So what. I’m working at toning up. I’d rather have some excess skin and weigh 159 lbs than have excess skin AND fat and weigh in at 300 lbs.
Do I have some wrinkles? Hell, I’m 47 years old, who am I kidding? I have some crow’s feet, I have some laugh lines and that shows I’ve lived some LIFE! SO WHAT? I have a few lines on my face, I’m not going to gain back 150 pounds as a beauty treatment for wrinkles!
Let’s look at the “getting sick” one…I had a whole list of medical issues at 300 pounds. I had years of fertility problems including PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), hyperinsulemia, arthritis, sleep apnea, incontinence, snoring, scores of back aches, constant knee and foot pain, depression, anxiety and probably a few more I can’t think of right now. All I know is right now, my aches and pains are a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the most severe pain. My blood pressure is 116/65. I am, according to my doctors, healthier than I’ve ever been in my LIFE. I’m not getting hospitalized for losing weight.
I will never forget when that person told me I “would always be” fat and I should just give up. Actually a few said that. It’s their problem. Their own fear of never achieving. Misery loves company. I’m here to say, “Don’t listen to that crap! Follow your dream, you CAN do this!”

And no. I don’t look the same. Even my family tells me that I look so different in the face and body. Like an onion, layers and layers slowly dissolved over the past year and a half. I have a different build than I ever imagined. A slightly different body shape than I thought I had. A different facial structure. I got more bones than when I started, at least it feels like it!  I’m just different looking. I’m still Pam, just a slightly different version. It’s Pam version 2.0, new and improved. A few more laugh lines are showing up because I’m LAUGHING and smiling more. I’m not married anymore and not seeing anyone (and not really LOOKING to right now) so I haven’t received an opinion one way or another that way. But it’s not my big priority right now. I’m happy reconstructing and reinventing ME right now. It’s like what an artist goes through at times. It’s like taking a huge lump of clay and saying, “There’s a sculpture in there, I just don’t know what it is yet” and carving out something … not really knowing what you’re going to end up with when you’re done… and it’s a work of art!

Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Take that leap of faith, dive into the deep end, do a cannonball into the lake of your fear, grab that monster by the hand and…. give it a manicure. Show it you’re unafraid of it…or ANYTHING. You’re braver than you think. Trust me.

When people tell you, “Why do you want a BB gun (or insert your dream here), you’ll shoot your eye out!” Look at them and say, “I guess it’s up to me to find that out.” Give your journey the feel of Christmas, rather than the fear. Because you’ll be giving yourself a HUGE present that will give back SO much to your life. C’mon, Ralphie, we can do this thing!

Hey, if you liked this post, feel free to share it with your friends and whoever needs a dose of motivation! Pin it, post it, email it!

And soon… I’ll be unleashing on the world! The site is up but under construction, stay tuned! I’ll have a spot where you can look up the recipes at a glance and all kinds of stuff! So “Go forward without fear” and manicure that monster!

Categories: Anger, Dealing with Sabotage, Emotional, Growing Up Fat, Psychological, Support, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

POWER: Jim Thorpe, A Lesson in NEVER Giving Up!

The Eureka POWER challenge is on! Remember, POWER is Pam’s Online Walk to Eureka Rally! While I’m sure there’s many people who put in many more steps a day than I do, it’s not about killing myself to get there, it’s about getting there. It’s all about not giving up. I put in 25.87 miles this week and that virtually puts me in the Jim Thorpe, PA area.

This is beautiful country in Jim Thorpe and when I can I like to head up this way to the intense greenery, trees and peace of the mountain area. How appropriate to make a pit-stop in Jim Thorpe.

Jim Thorpe, a true lesson in “Never ever give up”

Thorpe was born in Oklahoma and was of mixed ancestry. His mother was of Native American heritage  from the Potawatomi tribe. Jim actually had an Indian name (something I do in my house is give people Indian names…that’s another topic). Jim’s Indian name was Wa-Tho-Huk, translated as “path lit by great flash of lightning” or, more simply, “Bright Path”.  And a name was never more true. Coming from humble beginnings, Jim became known as the greatest athlete of the 20th century and some even say of all time. He truly never ever gave up and put his ALL into everything.

It’s almost exhausting to read what all Jim did! In college, in Carlisle, PA, he was in track and field, football, baseball, lacrosse and even ballroom dancing which he won a championship for as well! Then came the 1912 Olympics.  To just say “he won a gold medal in decathalon” would be a disservice. He busted his ass so much and he even had his running shoes stolen. He dug around in a dumpster and found MISMATCHED shoes and won and received his medal in 2 different shoes! He didn’t let ANYTHING stop him! This Olympics was held in Sweden.  Several sources recount that, when awarding Thorpe his prize, King Gustav said, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world,” to which Thorpe replied, “Thanks, King.” Upon coming home, he excelled in baseball, football and there’s even records today about basketball.

To avoid sounding like an afternoon school special, you really need to look up Jim Thorpe on the Internet or in the library to read about his trials and tribulations and how he still succeeded no matter what was thrown at him, who protested and tried to strip him of his accomplishments, he led a hugely fulfilling and satisfying life…because he NEVER gave up.

Our journey into ONEderland is in many ways a “path lit by great flashes of lightening”. There are the good ones of inspiration and motivation, but there’s many that are not. There’s things that distract us, pull us away, get us off focus and pull us off the path. Keep moving forward on your journey into ONEderland. Don’t get hung up looking in the rear view mirror of your mistakes and keep looking forward.  You’ll see many travelers in your journey. Some are faster and some are slower. Don’t let the faster ones discourage you. Everyone has their different rate of speed and routes to get there. Just keep going forward. Don’t let the slower ones guilt you into lagging behind for their benefit. Be there for support but don’t sabotage yourself just to make someone else feel better about themselves. By plowing forward on YOUR path, you just may end up being an inspiration to someone else. And by all means don’t just stand in the middle of your path and stop. Because quite frankly, you’re just waiting for a truck to come along and run you over. What do I mean by that? By stopping and becoming unfocused and undecided about what we are doing… we are throwing ourselves under the bus. We take our focus off our health and start going back to the old ways of eating because people can convince us that “your priority should be your job or your family or THEM!” Don’t be deterred from your path. Take a lesson from Jim Thorpe and never give up and never give in. JUST KEEP GOING!

Categories: Emotional, POW! Pam's Online Walk Across the USA!, Psychological, Support, Victory, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eureka! It’s Zucchini Torpedos!

Wow, a lot’s been going on this week! I came up with a great new recipe that uses those really huge zucchini in the garden. You know, those ginormous, man-eating Godzilla ones.  I’m not a big one for mushy cooked down zucchini, I like it raw, cooked just slightly or as muffins, but that mush in some recipes I could live without.

I present…

Stuffed Zucchini Torpedos

Don’t let that basil fool you, that’s some big basil I grew, and that’s a huge zucchini in the recipe!!

1.5 pound zucchini after coring out seeds
4 Pam’s Veggie Burgers (or 16 Pammiballs or 8 oz of Pam’s crumbles)
½ cup tomato paste
1.5 cups bean sprouts (not canned preferred)
2 cups chopped bell pepper, any color
4 pcs string cheese, reduced fat, shredded (or 4 oz fat free shredded mozarella)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large baking dish, spray some non stick spray such as PAM (you know I gotta push THAT)
Take a really large zucchini approx. 3”diameter and 10” long. Cut in half long-wise. Using a melon baller, core out all the seeds leaving a border around the edge of it (do not peel it)
Place in the baking dish and put it aside.
Put string cheese in a food processor or chop fine. I use a Ninja and pulse until it’s shredded.
In a bowl take the veggie burgers or veggie meatballs and smash them to be crumbles…or use the crumbles. Mix with the rest of the ingredients including the cheese. Combine well.
Put the mixture in the 2 zucchini “boats” and spread evenly.
Bake for approx. 50 minutes

The zucchini will be firm, not mushy. Bring out and let cool for a few minutes. This can make either 4 huge servings…which I use as a dinner. Or as 8 servings that you can use with a salad or other sides. Now the stats are so low on this, you can even put a thin piece of provolone on top (that’s not factored in, so figure that in your day) if you want to, that’s what Katie and I did!
I would have called this recipe Zucchini Boats, but these are so powerpacked with veggies that they are the BOMB…so I call them Zucchini Torpedos
Nutritionals as 4 servings:
Each serving has 257 calories
For Xchanges: 4.75 veggies, 1.5 protein, .6 dairy, .25 carb

Nutritionals as 8 servings:
Each serving has 128 calories
For Xchanges: 2.5 veggies, .75 protein, .3 dairy, .125 carb (hardly any)

Amazing! I’m sure you can use something like ground turkey in that, I haven’t factored that in yet to know the calorie difference. I’ve been kinda busy. But, this is how we ate it and it’s so much more for your caloric buck with the veggie burger mix that I make from scratch.

NOW… if you checked out my blog post about POWER Pam’s Online Walk to Eureka Rally, the first update is in. I have 16.56  miles in. I’m virtually in the area of Pennsburg, PA, workin’ my way north. I spent a lot of time in Pennsburg since we lived there for about 8 years. Back in the day, there were two chocolate factories in town… Blommer’s – which is still there and Cherrydale, which is no longer in business. But I remember coming outside in the early mornings getting ready to leave for work and you could smell the chocolate thick in the air. I loved it, it was like breathing a candy bar. Some people hated it and I think there are worse smells you could take in! But surprisingly it didn’t make me crave chocolate more than I usually did. Actually, I think I ate less chocolate during that time because I could smell it so often. But that’s just me. I was still pretty big during that time, so obviously I was eating something other than chocolate. But that made me think of the past and speaking of the past…. my latest motivational video talks about lessons from the past. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! My ONEderland series of videos are unscripted. I simply think of a topic I want to discuss – yeah sometimes I have props – but you never know what will come out of my mouth next! I certainly don’t! So check out my latest one called Scars are Memory Tattoos

As usual, share the love! I love to inspire and motivate! Pin it, share it on Facebook, send it in an email, do what you gotta do to spread the word!

Categories: Growing Up Fat, POW! Pam's Online Walk Across the USA!, Psychological, Recipe, Support, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Got the POWER!

Hey, you can’t get me down for long. People email me at times and ask me for a “butt kickin'”. I know how to give a much needed one to myself too. So I’m wearing my Nike shirt this evening to keep my spirits up and get me back in the heart of ONEderland. Before I put out the blogpost about my binge and not being bulletproof, I had planned on putting out a couple more light-hearted ones, … including this one.  If you’re a member of my blog’s Facebook page I mentioned this a few days ago, and if you’re not a member of that page… why aren’t ya? Get on over there and check it out! I have a blast keeping in touch with blog readers and talking about issues YOU find important in our journey. So without further ado,  I want to tell you…I GOT THE POWER!

I love to make my working out FUN.
I like to inspire.
I love to help motivate!
And boy, do I love a challenge and working toward goals!

With hitting my goal weight, I don’t have something to “work toward” besides staying at my goal weight. I still have to record my weekly weigh in at Kim Bensen’s Weight Loss Center. While I have seen that maintenance can have its own challenges… it just doesn’t have that ZING to keep me inspired to work out on a day to day basis. I mean, it does and it doesn’t… know what I mean?

So I’m going to go on a walk…to Eureka, California!

Ok, let me clarify. I’m going on a virtual walk to Eureka. I wear a pedometer every day to begin with so I can get all my steps in to get and stay healthy. So what I’m going to do is plot a course to Eureka, Ca. and record the number of miles I walk everyday. Once a week or so, I will create a blog post… a new category of blogs in ONEderland called POWER Posts.
Walk to

A “rally” is an organized effort to inspire and renew. That’s exactly what this is for me and I’m virtually bringing you with me. Every week, I’ll tell you how many miles I have down and “where I am.” I will try to find an interesting tidbit that’s relevant to our journey to and through ONEderland to coincide with where I am. Why Eureka? Because I’m in Telford, Pennsylvania. A little town just north of Philadelphia. Basically, I looked at a map, threw a ruler down to see what town was on the west coast in a straight line from Telford… and there was Eureka. Plus, when I finally make it, I’m going to yell, “Eureka!”

So join me as we walk to Eureka. This is going to take me a while but let’s enjoy it together!

I don’t have any fancy-dancy software to do this, I’m just using Google maps, my pedometer and a spreadsheet so I’m sort of winging this myself in a simple redneck kinda way. So strap on your walking shoes and let’s hit the road for Eureka. (Why do I hear the theme from the Beverly Hillbillies playing?)

Hey, let’s get everyone walking to Eureka! If you like what you read share it on your Facebook wall, forward it in your email, show it to a friend, pin it, stick it, whatever you like to do with it! I got all kinds of buttons down there to do with what you will! Let’s get the word out about our POWER… Pam’s Online Walk to Eureka Rally!

Categories: Exercise, POW! Pam's Online Walk Across the USA!, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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