Body Image aka Will My Butt Fit Into The Airplane Seat?

I took a trip last weekend, one I had planned for quite some time.  I was worried about the normal things, forgetting to pack certain things (and of course I did), but when I made my flight reservations, I actually harbored a fear that I’m not sure many people really think about.  I was worried about fitting into my seat.  I hate airline seats, they are small and too close together and I’m generally flying alone so the person next to me is a stranger.  Now, if you are reading this and thinking “my lord, how big is this woman?” it’s not like that.  The good news is I fit into the seat, with space left over and was fine.  I didn’t need an extender for my seat belt either and had quite a lot left at the end.  This is about how I perceive my body.

I will admit to walking into the party and immediately comparing my own body with many other women there.  Remember, I wore that black dress, the one that was sleeveless?  It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t the best I’ve ever looked.  I got through the night, but spent a lot of time thinking, “I wish I could have that body.”  I am no longer 20 and can’t dance away five pounds a night, I understand that.

I’m also happy to say that unlike my 20s where I obsessed about how I looked in everything, I don’t give it a lot of thought anymore.  There are times (like this past weekend), when I would have liked to have turned every head in the place, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t repulsive either.  The good news is that I’m more worried about being healthy – maybe that happens in your 40s when you hit a time in your life and hope you live a LOT longer?!  I think maybe it just evolves that way.

I’m looking to be healthy (and I am, even at this weight), but would like to be really healthy, strong and vibrant.  If I can have a killer body to go with that, it’s a bonus!  If I get the body where I don’t have to think too much about the size of my butt, even better.



Have you ever received an email like this?  When they first started circulating, I would take offense to having been singled out and received one.  After all, HOW did they know I was fat?  And when I really wasn’t overweight, it was even more offensive.  Even though part of me knew that it was part of a marketing ploy, I’d see if it was some great new diet that I should try.

The reality is – I know why I’m fat, thank you spam mail.  I like to eat too much and it’s easier after a long day of being in a stressful work situation, to just come home and eat in front of the TV.  I know it’s not necessarily healthy, but then again, forcing myself to go to the gym for an hour after work isn’t exactly fun either.  THIS sort of thinking is how I got fat.

Everyday I find myself in situations where I’m having to make better choices, and I’m really getting better at this – so I give myself credit for that.  Now, about the gym – I haven’t been for about a week, but I have a good reason!  I ended up with a very painful blister and had to switch out workout shoes.  In the midst of doing really well of going to the gym on a regular schedule, I ended up just not going.  But I feel the effects of that and will be back there soon!

Back to my choices.  For about the past five days, all I can think of is french fries.  GREAT french fries, the ones really bad for you – like from McD’s or Burger King or somewhere.  In my thought of fries, I’d think what I could have with it – something really great and fried – a HUGE order of fries and a fish sandwich.  Then I realized I couldn’t do that, it would really give me heartburn!  Last night, my craving for french fries was at an all time high and I had decided, YES DECIDED, I was going to let myself get some.  Somewhere on the way home though, I remembered that I’m going out of town, and I’ll be eating foods that aren’t necessarily great for me, so I went to the grocery store instead.  My choice instead of fries ended up being ready-to-eat sushi.  And I’ll tell you what – my fry craving is GONE!  I also wanted something sweet – like ice cream, it is summer, you know!  I found myself in the ice cream aisle, but again, asked myself if I really wanted to do that?  I didn’t.  I ended up buying italian ice instead, which I absolutely love.  And guess what, I think it’s better than any ice cream I would have bought myself.

I think we are too hard on ourselves sometimes.  We have to recognize the little steps it sometimes takes.  I’ve been beating myself up about the gym, but not giving myself credit for the good stuff – like making better choices.  Give yourself a pat on the back, it feels a lot better than beating yourself up.

Summertime….and the Eating’s Easy….

Well, maybe not so easy if you are trying to lose weight…

A really good friend of mine just had a 30th birthday party.  Because she has so many friends and her mom was putting on the party, she asked if I could make one of her favorite desserts.  They were expecting close to 100 people, so I doubled it and took two pans.  The recipe that I have for Mississippi Mud Cake is my go to recipe.  It’s quick, easy, simple and really delicious.  However, it’s not low fat and FAR from healthy!  One 8 x 11 pan contains 4 eggs, 2 cups of sugar and 2 sticks of butter alone!

I’d like to think that the reason summer is so hard food-wise is because of all of the cookouts.  That’s a big fat lie!  When someone has a party, I want to eat and be just like everyone else.  Realistically, I can do this – that means watching what I eat the rest of the day (earlier) and making sure to get a workout in.  I did manage not to have any of the Mississippi Mud Cake at the party (although I did taste beforehand to be sure it was okay), BUT of course, there were other desserts there I had never had and that’s what I had instead.  A buffet of desserts and I wasn’t walking away.

In the past I would feel guilty about what I ate – not so much anymore.  I do my best and focus on eating healthy things that will make my body strong.  Hey, if at the end of the day someone is going to show me something that is peanut and butter – I’m GOING to try it!   I think the bottom line, as I keep telling myself, is moderation.  I can eat anything I want, as long as I’m NOT doing it all the time.

And, for your viewing pleasure – a platter of the Mississippi Mud Cake before it got cut up and shipped off to the party.   And if you know me well enough to invite me over, and ask me to bring something, this could  land on your doorstep!  So be prepared…….

Independence Day

One of my favorite summer memories as a child was my mother making us BLTs for dinner.  I’m sure it had something to do with it being too hot and humid (and no air conditioning in our house) to be bent over a stove cooking.  I remember her making the sandwiches and letting us eat out on the patio.  I absolutely loved it.

Many, many years later and 22 years of being vegetarian, there are few meats that I really miss.  In fact, there are only two things I miss – one is a good BLT and the other is Mr. Hero’s philly cheese steak.  At one point, I used to go to Mr. Hero and ask for a vegetarian cheese steak, so I still got the taste of the onions, mushrooms and cheese on that great bun.  The BLT was harder to imitate until the last few years.  Twenty plus years ago when I first became vegetarian, there were no real meat “substitutes.”  Veggie burgers had not yet hit the markets in mass yet, or any of the great substitutes there are today.

Today, armed with my Morningstar Farms “Facon” as I like to call their bacon flavored soy meat, a tomato from a local farmer’s market and lettuce from my own backyard, I decided July 4th was the perfect day for a BLT.  Either I was extremely hungry, or it was just plain good!  I used whole wheat bread, toasted, of course, not the white bread my mother used to use.  It was an incredibly satisfying dinner.

I followed it up with a piece of very dark chocolate and may let myself have that fantastic nectarine I also got from the farmer’s market today.

On another note, I was back at the gym today and running.  It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten on the treadmill and run – and I haven’t gained any speed in all that time, but it felt really really good.  My weight lifting today was on point and I’m sore already, meaning I did something right!  Hey, I only have three weeks until that sleeveless dress – I’ve got to work out harder.

Anyway, on this Independence Day, I challenge you to do something that reminds of you “before,” make it your own with your own healthy changes and see if it doesn’t make you feel the same way it did years before – you might be surprised at how great it feels.  Happy 4th!

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  • Easy Crustless Quiche

    This is a fantastic recipe that is easily adapted to whatever you really love in your quiche.

    7 egg whites;
    1.5 C skim milk
    (for quiche shown)
    Add 1 C chopped vidalia onion (sauteed in oil first)
    1 chopped red pepper (sauteed with onion)
    1 10 oz. box of spinach (also sauteed)

    Heat oven to 450 and bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 375 for an additional 30 minutes. During the last 15 mins. add approximately 2 C of sharp cheddar cheese.

    This will yield approximately 6 large pieces, amounting to around 110 calories per piece.

  • Thought to Keep in Mind on the Journey

    Failure is merely a perception; with each effort, we get the ability to start over again.
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