My mom's side of the family had a reunion a couple of weeks ago (during Hurricane Irene, in fact!). Due to the entire city shutting down, only the real hardcore (ie. my not-so-far-extended family) made it to my uncle's apartment for a makeshift potluck. The restaurant we had planned to attend shut down.
My immediate family, of course, has been a witness to my whole journey. And sometimes an overly-active participant. My extended family, I see at large family events (weddings, funerals, births, bar/bat mitzvahs). The last time I saw them was in Brazil in May 2010 at my uncle's wedding. In fact, the "Before" picture of me on the right is from that trip. One of my uncles came to pick me up from my apartment and he hardly recognized me. My aunts all gushed and gushed about how brilliant I looked. We talked about losing weight and mommy-issues and everything that ensued.
I felt more on the spot than anything else, but I am always reassured to learn that EVERYONE has weight issues.
One of my aunts pulled me aside and said, "Anna, seriously, what is your secret?" I have an answer that I use to get out of situations like this. Most people don't actually want the long winded answer. I replied "I eat less." She was unsatisfied. "I mean, there's gotta be something you're doing that's not just eating carrots and rice cakes." And I wasn't quite sure how to answer. I laid out my diet plan in excruciating detail in the first post I ever made on this blog. I hardly follow that to a T. And, actually, I think the success I had is just knowing how much I can eat, what is the better choice of food and knowing when I eat a lot so I can compensate in other ways.
The trick is to not punish myself, but just acknowledge and move forward. The trick is to plan. The trick is to love yourself. The trick is to get to a place where losing weight is what you want. I don't even know the transformation that has to have happened in me in order for this go-around to be successful. I don't have words for it, or enough self-awareness to totally understand it. But it must have happened, and as I keep going will probably clarify itself and change and grow inside of me.
How do you explain something you don't even understand? How did I do it? I decided to.
This reunion was tricky in other ways. I was struggling through my first big, overwhelming, seemingly never-ending plateau. Christine doesn't really believe in plateaus. I'm not sure I disagree with her. I think that during my unemployment, my eating changed. Food became a large part of my day. I lost routine. I lost balance. I lost money and options. To have everyone flipping out over how good I looked when I felt like I'd lost my footing was hard. I've come a long way, the end is in sight, but I still have a ways to go. It's hard to get so much positive feedback when you feel so lost.
I'm back though. I'm preparing lunches, I'm cooking dinners. I joined the gym. I'm planning snacks for when I know I'm going to need them. I feel like I know what I'm doing again. And, lo and behold, have started losing weight again.
Christine even asked me if we should only see each other every other week. I'm not quite ready to release my grip on my safety blanket just yet, but it felt good to know that she thought I was ready to graduate.
That said, I am looking for recipes that freeze well that I can bring for lunches at work. Any suggestions? That chicken chili was great but I don't know that just making that every week is a lasting solution! Or quick lunches that are easy to make/bring to work. I really don't have time for elaborate fixings in the morning, but I feel like bringing lunch is the cheap/healthy thing to do. Help!