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Everything In Moderation: Surviving A Cookie Swap

A couple weeks ago I was invited to attend a “cookie swap.” I accepted without fully understanding what that meant… For those of you who have never heard of these before, a “cookie swap” is a social get-together where everyone brings a batch of cookies, and you leave with a mix-and-match batch of all the other types of cookies that were brought. Like a pot luck, but with cookies! So essentially, you bring cookies, and you leave with cookies. In between, you eat the cookies!

I can almost hear the shock and horror now. You’re screaming at your screen:

“Oh my God! What the fuck is she doing??? She’s lost over 70 pounds, doesn’t she know that cookies are sooooooo unhealthy!!! Why is she doing this to herself???”
Yea, I hear ya! Attending a cookie swap might seem like an insane thing to do while trying to lose weight, and I don’t blame anyone for having that initial thought. A table FILLED with cookies, basically an all-you-can-eat-cookie-buffet, sounds like a recipe for disaster. But it isn’t, let me explain why. This just might change your life!

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Tales From The Scale

Today’s Tales from the Scale was inspired by the phenomenon of attention after losing a lot of weight. Depending on your social network of friends and relatives, people may react to your weight loss differently. Some may be overly excited and happy, others might be jealous, and others might remain totally oblivious. Then there are the people who won’t recognize you at all! After losing or gaining a lot of weight, we might feel as if we look the same (or close enough), but

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Secrets of the Naturally Thin!

For those of us who have spent any amount of time overweight or obese, we eventually find ourselves wondering how those skinny people eat whatever they want and stay thin! I mean, come on, Jennifer ate a whole pizza and wears a size 6! What the hell? After losing 70 pounds, I have cracked the code and I’m going to share it with you right now! It has nothing to do with superhuman metabolisms or purging behind closed doors, it is because of their THOUGHTS!!! Here’s how to start thinking like a naturally thin person:

Absolve yourself of shame and guilt over what is “healthy food” and what isn’t.

The “Clean eating” rhetoric, although well-intentioned, promotes shame, and I won’t promote anything that promotes us to feel shame. We have an epidemic of shame in this country and shame prevents us from fully living “wholeheartedly” as Brené Brown puts it [in her awesome ted talk about shame and vulnerability, highly recommended watching!]. The dichotomy of “clean vs. dirty” promotes the black-and-white thinking that naturally thin people just don’t have! Food isn’t clean or dirty; it’s just food. Some food is enjoyable, some is less enjoyable, some has more nutrients than others. Food just is what it is. It’s time to divorce the morality judgement from our food, starting right now!

Think about it this way:

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Unexpected Consequences

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]

-From Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse, 1786

Obviously I’m not the first idiot in the world to lock myself out of my own apartment, but in the moment, it sure feels like it. It all started on Sunday night, when I decided that I needed to give up netflix and television completely for a trial of 30 days. I had become a little too zombie-fied in frequent binge-watching frenzies and it was interfering with my motivation to work of my thesis. So I took drastic steps to fix the problem; namely moving my netflix watching 24′ desktop screen to the back of my closet. And I cancelled my netflix and hulu accounts. (I hear you gasping in horror at the thought…) I like to conduct social psychological experiments on myself, what can I say?

So I woke up earlier than I normally would on Monday morning, fresh and excited about what I was going to do with all the extra time I was getting back from Netflix! I was super optimistic and in a really fantastic mood. I drank my earl grey tea latte leisurely, and read some papers for upcoming grad school classes. After lunchtime, I started getting ready to leave for an afternoon class. I got fully dressed and put shoes on (thankfully) and thought to myself, “I’ll just set my trash bag outside my door so I can take it downstairs on my way to class! Wow, look at me adulting and multitasking!” As I metaphorically patted myself on the back for my wise foresight, the front door shut behind me, leaving me alone in the hallway with a bag of trash to ponder my plans gone awry. I reached down to my jean pockets where my phone and keys would have been, but alas, they were not there. For a split second, I considered somehow breaking the door open… but then quickly realized that was crazy. I had 30 minutes to get to my class; a 15 minute walk/subway ride to campus. Shit!

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