Monday, October 29, 2012

Super favorites

Sorry for slacking last week, y'all. I was feeling a little under the weather.

I have a few favorites as of late, but not enough for a full favorites post this month. So I'll give you a couple faves (and a former fave gone wrong), along with a bonus picture. How's that? Good? Good.

Things I'm loving:


I received my Misto for Christmas last year, but have recently become addicted to it. You put in your oil, pump up the Misto, and it sprays like regular non-cooking spray. I love using pure oil, rather than the normal canned stuff for cooking. It just seems healthier. Plus, the Misto looks pretty enough to leave out on your counter.

Ezekiel bread
 I had often walked by the freezer of my grocery store's organic section and wondered about this bread. Was it holy bread? Only for religious people? I didn't know. So I looked it up. The bread is created based on a Scripture verse: "Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils and millet, and spelt and put them in one vessel…" Ezekiel 4:9®

It is made using six different grains and no flour. Sounds gross, right? I know! But it's not! I've often talked about my weakness for bread. Typically you will not find it in my house. If it can soak up butter or be made into a grilled cheese, I can't have it near me. The Ezekiel bread, though, is low on the glycemic index, so it doesn't spark major carb cravings. I keep it in my freezer and sometimes have it in the morning with my egg whites. I also love the cinnamon raisin flavor smeared with a bit of Laughing Cow.

A recent favorite gone wrong (cue the sad trombone)

My NutriBullet is dead, y'all. It just died one morning in the middle of making some juice. And then it wouldn't come off the base. It was just stuck there, full of spinach and apples and water. I finally got it disconnected and it worked again. I went a few days without using it, and when I tried again, it wouldn't even start. I'm really disappointed. I paid a decent amount of money for it and I REALLY loved it. But I can't really recommend it to my readers if it died after just a few weeks. Sad face.


I went to a few Halloween parties this weekend and had a "super" fun time (ba dum bum CHING!). Here's a picture from Friday (sorry FB friends who have already seen it!):

Have a great and healthy week, everyone!

P.S. Sending lots of love to all of you in Sandy's path. Stay safe, friends!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was fairly eventful--with lots of birthday celebrating and time with good friends. I didn't do much to dispel the the fat alcoholic rumors, however, as most of my calories were liquid ones. Alas.

Because you didn't get a Photo Phriday post, I'm giving you a bonus one for today. Here's a photo summary of my weekend.

Friday, celebrating my friend LaTonia's birthday:

With LaTonia

With my friend, Lindsey   

Saturday night I went to a surprise 40th birthday for my dear friend Wendy:

With the fabulous birthday girl

With my friend Heidi

Sunday I went to the movies with my sister-in-law and then went to meet my new four-legged nephew. I present Roscoe, who is a sweet love of a puppy:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

This and that

This has been a good week. Apparently my little dose of self-given tough love has made an impact. My food's been better than it's been in a long time. It makes me realize how much of a difference that makes in my emotional health. I feel sturdy. Grounded. Hopeful.

When I binge, or forgo my goals for instant edible gratification, I just feel so untethered and out of control.

Tuesday, I went with some friends to the local, weekly Food Truck Festival. Each week, the organizers post a list of the food trucks that will be there. I spent a while going through the menus and picking a few options so I'd be better prepared. I had fish tacos (that were super, amazingly delicious), and enjoyed time with my friends.

But on the way home, the desire to binge whispered in my ear. "You're still a little hungry, aren't you? Your friends went back for more food, but you didn't. No one will know if you just went to McDonald's. Besides, you weighed in today. You have all week to make up for it."

The truth was that I actually was still a little hungry. But not enough to justify a whole second meal. And not enough to justify how it would make me feel later. I thought back to the letter I wrote myself. And I drove home, had a stick of string cheese and went to bed. Boy, that felt good.

I've continued that all week. Ignoring the whispers. Remembering my words to myself. Keeping myself focused on how I feel after I've successfully overcome an urge to overeat. It's helped a lot.

I also did something this week I've never done before. I had a massage.

Some of my friends live for massages. It's so relaxing, they tell me. It's the best thing ever, they say. But not for me. I see it as just another opportunity to feel self-conscious. It's never appealed to me. I think when you literally build a wall around yourself with your own body, it's pretty hard to let someone that close--even when your wall is smaller.

But Tuesday I woke up and could barely move my neck. I was really in pain. I had a gift certificate for a free 15 minutes of massage here at work, so I made an appointment.

Luckily, I started small. There was no clothing removal except for my sweater (phew). And she really just worked on the areas that were causing pain.

I relaxed better than I thought I would--and I kind of understood why so many people love it so much. It could get addicting. Maybe one day, I'll splurge and have a real, take-it-all-off massage. Maybe.

Baby steps, friends. Baby steps.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dear you

Dearest, darlingest, screw-upiest Erika,

Look. I'm not going to coddle you. I know you. I knew you when you were more than 300 pounds and squeezing into a size 26. I knew you when you cried happy tears in the dressing room the first time you fit into those jeans you wanted. I knew you when you were sitting--actually, not even sitting, but just lying--on the couch, dipping your french fries into both mayonnaise and ketchup. I knew you when you stepped on the scale and raised your arms in triumph when you finally lost your 100 pounds. I knew you when you started this blog, scared to death to be vulnerable and honest with others, and mostly with yourself. I knew you when you couldn't walk up the stairs without breathing hard. I knew you when you finished your first and second months of boot camp. I knew you when you started dating. I knew you through your days of bliss and your days of heartbreak.


And I know you're better than this. Today, you gained again. Yeah, I know. It was .2. But it was a gain. Yesterday, you had to pass on an amazing opportunity for Weight Watchers because you haven't met your goal.


It doesn't matter that you're sad. It doesn't matter that you're tempted at the Ronald McDonald House. It doesn't matter that you're lonely. Or tired. Or bored. Or feeling hopeless. None of those excuses have helped you before. And none of those excuses justify what you are doing.

Nothing should be more important to you than your health. Can you imagine how it will feel to finally make your goal? Can you imagine what it will feel like to succeed again? Can you imagine what it will feel like to fit into single-digit sizes?

OK, maybe you can't. And maybe that's the problem.

You need to see yourself as a success. You kind of already are one, you know? You should start to believe that. Because the more you believe in yourself, the more likely you are to keep moving forward and not backward.

You can do this. You can. But quite frankly, you need to get your sh*t together.

It's time.

Much (tough) love,

The Erika who is seriously ready to get off this roller coaster.

P.S. Yes, you just had an entire conversation with yourself. Some of your readers may think you're a little crazy. It's OK. It's all part of the journey.

Friday, October 12, 2012

(PP) Ghosts of Halloweens past

Thanks to my sister-in-law, Beth, for the idea to post Halloween costumes. I wish I could scare (see what I did there?) up some pictures of my childhood costumes, but I just didn't have time to go through boxes. Just for the record, you would have seen at least four different Halloweens when I was a cheerleader.

For now, I only have pictures from the last few years. Despite what it seems, I didn't, in fact, decide to dress as a really, really overweight girl.

In 2007 with my friend Wendy's daughter, Vivi.

Halloween 2008 with my adorable friend Betty Draper (er, I mean, Laura).

I was a roller derby girl in 2009. This was definitely my heaviest. Gotta love a side view, no?

With my friend Paul in 2010. I had been doing Weight Watchers for about 10 months.

Last year with my friend Carla.  
Some of these pictures are pretty awful and embarrassing. It's always shocking to me to see how big I was. I don't think, even to this day, that I ever REALLY got it. But looking back now, wow.

Anyway, Halloween is fast approaching and I have no idea what to wear. Help me pick a costume! Any ideas?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm Erika and I'm a fat alcoholic

I posted on Facebook today that I'm feeling uninspired about writing. I got a few suggestions--none of which I'm using (ask my friends who give me love life advice--my not taking it is a pretty common theme). At least not today. But I very much appreciate your input and am filing your ideas away for another day.

Today, I wanted to introduce myself.

I'm Erika. I'm obese. And I have a drinking problem.

This is the time of the year when my company, like many others, requires the dreaded biometrics screening. Yesterday, I went to our health fair, where I was measured, poked, prodded and (gently) chastised.

Here are my basics:

Height: 5'5 1/4" (I swear at one point I was 5'6". Maybe I'm shrinking?)
Weight: HAHAHAHAHA. No. Not telling. But next year remind me not to sign up for an appointment after lunch, OK?
Blood pressure: 108/78 (Not bad--but then again, I've been fortunate to always have good blood pressure. Even at my heaviest)
Total cholesterol: 134 (Less than 200 is ideal. So, go me.)
HDL (good cholesterol): 47 (That's in the "better" category. More than 60 is ideal.)
HDL/LDL ratio: 2.9 (Less than 3.6 is best. So I'm good here.)
Glucose: 92 (Less than 140 is best.)

After our screenings we're required to answer questions about our overall physical and mental health. It asks you about how often you exercise, salt your food, eat sweets, smoke, etc. There are questions about whether you've felt down or sad in the past two weeks (who hasn't?). And it asks you if you've had five or more drinks in one sitting in the past six months.

I tell you, you go to one happy hour that gets a little crazy, and all of a sudden, you've got a problem.

Of course, not only was I high risk for alcohol abuse (I swear, it was just that one time!), but my BMI also puts me in the "obese" category.

I know that BMI is just a height/weight ratio that doesn't take into account muscle tone or anything else, but to see that glaring red high risk (I swear it's blinking at me) graph on my screen just kind of does a number on my self-esteem.

So there you go. You're reading the blog of an obese, alcoholic, emotionally distressed girl.

But at least my blood pressure is good.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Peaks and (death) valleys

I weighed today. I was up...more than 2 pounds (in two weeks, since I didn't weigh in last week). Dusting off and moving on. But first, let's talk a little bit about last week.

One lesson I learned: in addition to bread, crackers or chips of any kind, I can no longer keep olives or almonds in my house. Who knew? Well, I do now.

I had a few disappointments last week and I had to really fight not to eat over them. Some days I was more successful than others.


Friday after work I was feeling really down. While I was on my way home from work, I decided I was going to stop off at a take-out place for some yummy, guilt- and grease-laden food. I got off the exit, chastised myself and got right back on the highway. I went home, changed into workout clothes, texted a friend to make dinner plans and went to Zumba. Me: 1, Compulsive overeating: 0.

Saturday I went to a gala. It was full of pretty dresses, inspiring words and boring hotel food. Still, they fed us. I was full. But I walked out of that hotel with an overwhelming desire to go to McDonald's. I stopped myself--quite literally in the parking lot--and reminded myself of something I learned a long time ago: HALT. Did I want fast food because I was Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? I knew for sure it wasn't the first one. So I called a friend, told her I needed her to stop me from McDonald's and talked to her until I got home. Me: 2, Compulsive overeating: Still zilch.


Wednesday was an especially down day for me. I called a friend to tell her I wanted fast food, and she discouraged me from it. I told her that I would absolutely not get McDonald's. So I didn't. Instead, I stopped at the grocery store, got myself some other junk food, and ate until I didn't feel anything anymore. Except for more sadness. So, that didn't really do the trick, did it?

Sunday, after two days of overcoming binges, my "I don't care" attitude came back in full force. I drowned my sorrows in pizza and Ritz crackers.

Overall? Compulsive overeating won by about 6 to 2. And today the scale showed it.

You know, sometimes I think I'm going to be stuck in this pattern forever. Every day, I get up and try to make better choices. It just doesn't always end that way. But I'm still fighting.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Photo Phriday--'90s style

I'm takin' it back to the old school, 'cause I'm an old fool who's so cool...

This weekend is my 20th high school reunion. I know. I can't believe I'm that old, either. Why, thank you for saying I look so much younger. *cough*
Anyway. I was in high school during the days of pinch-rolled jeans, Keds, big hair and acid wash. People didn't have cell phones; we had to type our papers on (gasp!) typewriters; and I had not yet learned the necessity of highlights for a person whose natural hair color starts with the word "dirty" (or dishwater--take your pick).

Though I'm not going to my reunion, I thought I'd dedicate today's entry to some truly embarrassing photos of me. I must really, REALLY love you guys.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Senior year--football game.

Graduation day--my mom putting on the necklace I got as a gift.
Probably freshman year. No one tell my brother I put this up, OK?

Look, kids. We used to have these things called home phones. And they had CORDS. Weird, no?

Heidi, one of my best friends, and me. Guess what concert we were heading to that night?
Bonus pic--Heidi and me in January. We turned out pretty well, with only minimal aerosol damage.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bully me

I was going to talk about bridesmaid dress shopping. But I changed my mind.

A lot of you probably saw this video posted on Facebook and many other places. A quick recap: Jennifer Livingston is an anchor for a news station in Wisconsin. A male viewer sent her an email criticizing her appearance. As posted, the letter read:
“It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”
Jennifer's husband, also a news anchor, was furious. He posted something about it on his Facebook page and people started overwhelmingly supporting his wife. In the video I posted, Jennifer talks directly to the person who sent her the email. She is poised, eloquent and courageous. She's a rock star.

I had an immediate, intense reaction to this story--especially Jennifer's response. I watched it last night and bawled through all of it. It brought about so many feelings: admiration, inspiration, hope, sadness and regret. So much regret.

You see, I hate that I was never once able to stand up for myself the way Jennifer did. I won't say that I was terribly bullied in school. I had my group of friends who loved me and cocooned me from negativity. But I have definitely faced adversity because of my size. And never once did I speak up and say "This is wrong. I'm more than my weight."

You know why? Because I never believed it. In college when a guy who'd been hitting on me one night told my friend the next day that he couldn't get his arms around me when she told him to hug me, I believed him. When the girl who tortured me in eighth grade for not having name brand clothes mocked me for being too fat to get through the classroom door, I believed her. When another guy I'd briefly dated called me a year later and resorted to fat name-calling when I refused to go out with him, I believed his words. When people told me that if I just lost weight I'd find a relationship, because I had *such* a pretty face, I believed them.

I believed him. I believed her. I believed them. Where was that belief in myself?

It didn't exist. And you know what? Despite how far I've come, to this day, I bully myself far harsher than any of those people ever could. Sticks and stones and all that. But the truth is that words do hurt--especially when they come from your own mouth.

Jennifer Livingston is beautiful. Smart. Funny. She does a lot for her community. This viewer could only see her weight, and decided she wasn't fit to be a role model for younger girls. But Jennifer stood up for herself. Because she knows the truth. She knows that she's more than her weight.

I am, too. I'm pretty smart. Kind of funny. I should look in the mirror and see a girl who looks like her mom. A person committed to giving back to the others through volunteering in the community. A girl who knows the words to every lame dance rap song ever written. A woman who is really good at taking care of the people she loves. A person who plays a mean game of Trivial Pursuit. Someone who can talk to any stranger, anywhere.

But that's not what I see. I walk into a room and still look around to see if I'm the fattest. I assume my relationships end because I wasn't skinny enough. I compare myself to every girl I see and wonder why anyone would ever be attracted to me when there are thinner, more beautiful girls like her.

I'm the one who defines myself by my weight. How can I blame others for doing the same?

I'm in awe of Jennifer Livingston. I hope one day I have the courage to stand up for myself the way she did.

But when you are your own bully, sometimes that's the hardest thing in the world.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday report

Sadly my Weight Watchers meeting conflicted with a work meeting today, so no weigh-in for me. I'm going to try to find a meeting near me this week to make up for it. But I didn't want you to think I've fallen off the wagon.

Last week was eh for me. I didn't feel as strong as I did the week before, which just makes me mad. How can I go from feeling like a food superstar one week to being a little apathetic the next? Always a roller coaster with me.

I've decided that Tuesday will be my day to report my weight, tell you what I'm eating for the week and let you know what to expect from the blog. Does that work for everyone? Good.

I wanted to say a great big thank you to those of you who liked the Erika is losing it Facebook page. I get a little giddy every time I see a face I don't recognize. It's nice (and a pleasant surprise) to know that people besides just my friends and family are reading. Thank you for all your support. Join us if you haven't yet. We get to interact in a let's-sit-around-the-campfire way that only social media allows. I'll bring the marshmallows.

So! This week. I think I've told you guys that I try to make two recipes a week. Because I'm only cooking for one, that's normally plenty of food for dinner and lunches. I usually visit my favorite site, Skinnytaste, and pick out recipes. This week, I'm making Turkey Stuffed Peppers and Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella. Both are new recipes for me. I'm balancing that out with cauliflower soup, salads and other (mostly cauliflower-based--duh) sides.

In the blog this week, I'll talk about bridesmaid dress shopping (dun dun DUN), and, of course, feature some mad awesome pics for Photo Phriday.

Have a great week, everyone.