Monday, August 1, 2011

A Tale of Two Pizzas

So. I may or may not have gone on a carbohydrate bender (ice cream! cereal! BEER!) following my stomach flu.

Oh, and also Mexican food. Just rice/beans/tortillas--didn't want to ruin my meal with the dread protein or nasty vegetables.

And while, yes, my bender (whee!) was delicious, I also noticed something important. Following my pizza dinner on Friday (Pagliacci's Crostata: caramelized onions & gorgonzola. OMG!) I felt bad. Like, really pretty bad. Overfull. Fat. Remorseful.

Okay, but before I continue, you really have to SEE this pizza to appreciate what I'm talking about here. Did I mention the gorgonzola? And the caramelized onions? And the WHITE SAUCE?

**Picks self up off floor and continues with story**

I did some basic diet math and determined I enjoyed the pizza for 13 minutes. And then spent about two hours feeling stuffed and guilty.

It seems, then, like a much better equation to spend 13 minutes sort of wishing I was eating something bread-based and two hours feeling skinny and morally superior. Which was the case today when I had a salad for lunch.

But, if you're like me, you've probably thought something like, "No pizza EVER? Fuck that, man!" when considering a low-carb diet.

I have two answers to that. First, occasional treats are important. I would rather gauge out my own eyeball than live the remainder of my life sans coconut cake. I just can't eat the cake often.

And second, low-carb, superfast pizza! I won't fill your heads with lies and tell you it's JUST LIKE REAL PIZZA (don't you hate those people? if diet food tastes the same to them as real food why are they so fat?) but it's a reasonable approximation and a great quick lunch.

What you need:

One small low-carb whole wheat tortilla
Tomato sauce
Pizza fixins'

What you do:

Put a couple tablespoons of tomato sauce on your tortilla, go nuts with the toppings and put in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is all ooey gooey. Place under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp.

Eat and feel smug.

I ate this with leftover Greek pepper salad (peppers, feta, olives, onion, vinaigrette) and it was yum.

Go get you some.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My body has rejected the low carb lifestyle

Things you don't hope for following week one of a diet:

1. Weighing in to find yourself down a mere HALF POUND despite not eating even a BITE of ice cream or a goddamn cracker all week. And, for the record here, Lucy has been pushing crackers at me like she's selling, well, crack. It's all "Mama! Cracker!" around this house.

2. Coming down with the stomach flu. And then gaining back what you lost in water weight along with the half pound mentioned in item #1.

So, folks, not the most auspicious beginning ever, but I am NOT EVEN ONE BIT FATTER than I was when I started. I am clutching at that silver lining like grim death. And forging on to more cheese sans cracker.


Friday, July 22, 2011

How to Dress the Bigger Bum

One of the challenges about getting chunky is that CLOTHES ARE DESIGNED FOR SKINNY BITCHES.

Over the past year and a half, as I luxuriously added 25lbs to my frame, I also reduced about 80% of my wearable wardrobe. You know it's bad news when an Ann Taylor suit looks obscene.

There was some good news on the fashion front this year as tunics and leggings were all the rage. The bad news, of course, is that tunics and leggings look like crap on just about anyone who is not Gwynth Paltrow. Exhibit A (she even has the audacity to look amazing while just, like, walking around town with her kid. "I'm just a mom! Look at my incredible ass!"):

On the other side of the celebrity-in-spandex coin is the unfortunate Jessica Simpson, who, by most measures has a cute figure. You can see that tunic/legging "look" does the average gal few favors:

Okay. So this is all to say that I am not a proponent of leggings and tunics for people over a size 4. Unless you don't mind a kindly old woman complimenting you on your "nice kaftan" or commenting that "maternity clothes are so much nicer than they were back in my day." Ahem.

So, what to wear? I generally opt for The Dress. Why? It's easy to put it on(and look pulled together), it's forgiving (important!) and it's less likely to pinch the hell out of your poor suffering waistline than your favorite pair of fat pants.

So, this is a typical "work look" for me these days (dress by Boden USA):

More fabulous photography, am I right?


And what does this have to do with low-carbing? Admittedly, not much. But I am looking forward to tonight's diet friendly meal of lamb kabobs, shrimp skewers & Greek salad. Hopefully photos & recipes tomorrow. And last night I was tricked into eating a pork taco avec tortilla. Probably a skillion carbs. Full details to come.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This is hard!

No, the title of today's blog is not a comment on my diet. These were the words that came out of the mouth of Lucy's teacher at dance class this morning. As an aside, I look only slightly more fat in a leotard than Lucy does. It's the small victories, right?

Focus, Jen!

Okay, back to my story. The teacher said, "Wow! This is hard!" while she and seven other moms attempted to drag Lucy and me around the room on a parachute (please don't make me describe the specifics here, it's all fairly humiliating). This would be bad enough, but there was another mom on the parachute who weighed 103lbs on a fat day and her side of the parachute was whipping around while my ass served as a firm anchor for my side. This was all further enhanced by my choice to wear spandex (!!) capris to class (I did not know they had mirrors everywhere).

So, okay. That was the start of Day 3 (seriously, I have only been on this diet for three.fucking.days?) of my new eating plan. But I guess it's good to get those external affirmations that yes, losing weight is probably advisable and that no, you should never, ever wear spandex again. Ever.

You probably want to know what I ate today, right? This morning I had an apple and peanut butter (if someone makes a comment on this post about sucrose, so help me God I will find a way to bitch slap you through cyberspace) and then lunch was a Caprese salad, I snacked on veggies & cheese (I have been eating sort of an alarming amount of cheese, I think) and then dinner was veggies, prawns, nuts, cheese (again), salami and some other protein-rich snackables.

Ready for a recipe? Okay, so it's not really a recipe so much as a collection of things on a plate. But they are good things (just don't think about how much better they'd be all warm & melty on homemade pizza crust. Not that I was picturing that while having my lunch or anything.)

Okay, and obviously I am not a good photographer. You're just going to have to put up with fuzzy cell phone photos. Think of it as an abstract.

Jenny's Caprese Salad (skill level: remedial)

Fresh basil
Fresh tomatoes
Fresh whole milk mozzarella
Olive oil

Tear off basil leaves and arrange on plate. Top with slices of tomato and mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pretend that you're eating bread and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I feel great!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So. Today is day two of no carbs. Some highlights:

1. I weighed myself. I think part of my soul died when I saw the number on the scale. Some cold, hard facts: my BMI is 28.4, putting me at a solid 25lbs above a healthy weight. I am also a mere five pounds less than I was when I was 9 months pregnant with Lucy. Is there an emoticon depicting a little smiley face with a gun pointed to his temple? No? Well, someone needs to make one. It will be instrumental in my ability to blog effectively--words can only communicate so much.

2. I went out to dinner with Stephen and the baby. I ordered "carne asada." Carne asada is not as fabulous when you can't eat the beans, rice or tortillas that accompany it. That is like three of the four things that were on my plate. I sort of hated Lucy and Stephen a little as I gnawed on my piece of beef. Shit, I don't even really like beef. And Stephen had a beer. Bastard.

3. Lunch was leftover chicken sausage, pea salad and blueberries. Tasty! The author of my book (I am too stupid from carb deprivation to remember his name) says not to eat fruit, but he can go fuck himself.

4. I found out that a half bottle of red wine only has 10 grams of carbs. This is a critical piece of information.

Oh, and does anyone else sort of fast forward to your "skinny self" once you start a diet? As soon as I commit to eating better (like a "skinny person") I sort of feel like I have earned that skinny body. In my head, all of a sudden I am a size 6. I can feel how good my ass looks in my pants. But then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror am totally indignant that my body has the balls to look that bad given all my hard work over the past 41 hours.

Well, on to tomorrow. Whee!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Well, hello there.

I wish I could tell you that this blog was about carbs. As in, eating them. I could share photos of them, and photos of me enjoying them, and would include posts like "Best Seattle Restaurant for Carb Freaks"(osteria la spiga) and "Jen's Pick for Best Carb Ever" (pasta).

But no. This is not to be that kind of blog. This is, in fact, a blog about not eating carbs. I can tell you're gripped already.

You see, I have gotten a little bit...fat. And as I have to blame someone, I am going to blame the vicious carbohydrate. I am not alone in my finger pointing. I am reading Gary Taube's Why We Get Fat and the man makes some good points. His main argument: that our long-held idea that weight loss is a simple formula of burning more calories than you consume is wrong. That fat accumulation (and fat loss) is largely about the hormonal regulation of insulin. So, when we eat foods that cause our blood sugar to spike (carbs, lovely carbs), we get fat.

There's a lot of impressive science there, but for the purpose of this blog, all you really need to know is that carbs = thunder butt and the end to skinny jeans.

Most addicts talk about "hitting the bottom." I guess I expected that would happen to me. I'm not sure what I pictured exactly (me on the floor of my bathroom, sobbing while holding jeans that won't fit and an almost empty bowl of brownie batter?) but it hasn't really. I have continued to pile the weight on, a pound here and a pound there, and forged ahead. And when I started thinking about it too much, I just ate a cookie to shut my brain up.

So, instead of there being one big "OMG! Girl, you are FAAAAAAT!" moment of clarity, I had three smaller moments that made me think perhaps it's time for a change.

1. Photographic evidence that all is not well. Last week, Stephen and I were in Sonoma celebrating Stephen's 30th birthday and our fifth wedding anniversay. He took a picture of me that was not unlike a photo he took of me in Hawaii four years ago:

Notice the collar bone and the chin (singular).

Last week:

Shit. There's a lot wrong with this whole situation. I'm not going to catalog what those things are, but about 30 lbs separates the two photos. Maybe 35, I haven't weighed myself in the past few weeks. Crap.

2. What my brain spends time thinking about. It occurred to me that my present thinking pattern is likely less than ideal. A graph (click to enlarge):

What I hope my thought pattern will look like in six months:

3. This sweet face. I want Lucy, our precious 18 month old, to grow up free from the shackles of carbohydrate enslavement. We have some work to do as she began this morning by saying "Cracker!!! Now!!!"

So, welcome! I will be sharing what I eat (and don't eat), how much I weigh (yikes), recipes that work and evil thoughts I have about those bitches who can eat carbs and stay skinny.