Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How Do You Handle a Hungry Man?


Anyone over 40 probably remembers that back in the '60s Campbell's introduced a line of Hungry Man soups with that jingle, implying that a hungry man was a force to be reckoned with...and I have to agree!

When I began losing weight and exercising last September, Steve got on board, too.

However, my usual lunch of spring mix, a few pieces of roasted chicken, fruit, and balsamic dressing just doesn't fill him up.

By default, he landed back into the world of a couple of hot dogs for lunch, and since after all, he IS from Chicago, that's a pretty normal lunch...and filling...but not healthy.

So, we've had several conversations lately about what he could eat that would be filling, healthier, and not the same old, same old.

We drew a blank.

Then, my mother, in an effort to keep the kitchen cool, made some tuna salad for her nightly meal. So that gave me an idea.

Now...I have never, ever in my life tasted tuna. This is because I was diagnosed with a seafood/fish allergy when I was around 4.

So I have never made tuna salad, but since Steve loves it I decided to give it a whirl.

I turned to one of my favorite recipe sources, Taste of Home Healthy Cooking, which features recipe makeovers.

Sure enough, in the spring issue there was a tuna salad recipe.

Kroger had tuna on sale, so we snagged three cans and this morning we made tuna salad. I handled chopping the vegetables and adding the seasonings, and had Steve drain and flake the tuna and then mix it in so I would not have any sort of reaction.

He had two sandwiches at lunch, and loved it!

The recipe makes 5 sandwiches so that will hold him for another day.

Here's the recipe:

drain and flake 3 cans of water-packed tuna

chop 1/4 cups each of carrots and celery

add 1/2 tsp onion poweder and 1/2 tso garlic powder

add 1/4 tsp dill (I used some fresh dill I had bought at the Farmer's Market)

mix in 3/4 cup low-fat mayo (I used Hellman's low fat olive oil mayo

My mother makes what I guess is a more traditional tuna salad; she told me she uses celery, chopped apple, hard boiled egg, and little green onions + low fat mayo.

I feel good about either recipe since they contain plenty of veggies and in my mother's case, the egg adds extra protein and B vitamins and lutein, while the apple adds extra fiber as well as taste. I think I will try that next time.

My mother eats hers with iceberg lettuce, but Steve put his tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread.

How do you handle a hungry, wannabe healthy man at your house?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Being Seen, Part II

Well, the irony is not lost on me that I created a post called Being Seen, and then put a picture of a model wearing the top I bought this weekend, my first regular-sized top in about 8 years.

How much do I REALLY want to be seen?

Well...I did wear it to church yesterday, and I did wear my sundress on Saturday.

I always hate the way I look in photos.

More work to be done, as Jillian would say!

Being Seen

I have seriously neglected this blog and I will go ahead and be honest about why, instead of making up some BS excuses like The Flood, my mother’s many doctor’s appointments taking up time, the inside cat having fleas, the outdoor cat running away because it’s being bullied by another outside cat, and everything else that has been happening in my life.

The truth is, I neglected this blog for over two months for two reasons: a) remembering that when I had a “real” job and wrote for a living thousands of people read what I wrote each month instead of only a handful of people on this blog, and b) lack of confidence in my writing abilities.

OK…now…at first glance, those two reasons seem to be in direct opposition to each other. I mean, if I had thousands of people reading what I wrote each month, I should have confidence unlimited in my writing abilities, right?

But when I had thousands of people reading my stuff each month, I was writing about hardwood lumber production, or how many Fed Ex kits the developmentally disabled residents of the Baddour Center put together each month, or about an art show at the Senatobia Public Library, or how an aircraft supply company added a new employee.

That’s a lot different than “writing down my soul” as I do in this blog.

So I think because this blog represents one of the very few times I have been real, naked, and authentic with my writing, one some level I don’t want a lot of people to read it.

That’s why, in March, when I set a goal of upping my posts in April and getting on blogHER or another blogging site where I would have the opportunity of being read by hundreds if not thousands of people each month, I dropped off the radar.

What does this really have to do with my weight?

A lot.

I do a delicate balancing act between wanting to be seen, and not seen.

When I am overweight, esp as seriously overweight as I was this time a year ago, topping 275 lbs, I don’t want to be seen, and I think I am not being seen. But ironically, I was definitely being seen at that weight because I was usually the fattest person in the room. And bear in mind that I live in Tennessee, a state with a high level of obesity!

But maybe nobody really did “see” me at 275 lbs because I felt so badly about myself (translate: powerless) that I completely shut down. I would not talk, participate, make new friends, and often stayed home rather than put myself in new situations and risk once again being the fattest person in the room.

On the other hand, 20 years ago when I was thin, ie, my ideal weight, I was definitely seen. I had a fantastic figure and choose clothing that revealed my flair and personality rather than cleavage or overt sexuality. I was confident, because I felt powerful.

And I’m talking about powerful in a good way. Of just being who I am and reveling in it, experiencing the joy of living and sharing it with others.

I want to get back to that person. I want her back, and today I realized I can be that person again at 222 lbs instead of waiting until I am 128 again.

Several weeks ago, with hot weather being upon us, I went to Target and purchased a knit sundress. It’s coral, my favorite summer color. I was disappointed that I STILL had to buy a 3X, but tried to tell myself that Target’s sizes run funny, which is true. Still…I felt like Michael when he had his Biggest Loser meltdown because he still had to shop at the fat guy’s store while Daris and Koli were in regular sizes.

So…I bought a gauzy coral tunic with sleeves to wear over the sundress because I did not want my arms and upper body to be seen.

I wore it once that way, and it looked kinda dumb.

So today, knowing the temperature was topping 90 and knowing Steve and I would be walking around an outdoor farmer’s market and riding a couple hours in a car with minimal air conditioning and no tinted windows, I decided to wear the coral dress again…without the tunic!

I did wear a black mesh cami under it because I am not used to having so much of me exposed, but…my arms were exposed!

And I looked and felt great!!! It was wonderful, and so empowering. And normal. It felt great to just be me, instead of hiding and not wanting to be seen.

Later, we stopped at Wal-Mart and I purchased a cute little red top for $7, and guess what!!! It was a REGULAR extra large…yes, a few weeks ago I bought a top at Wal-Mart for running and it was still a 1X and again I felt like Michael…but today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yay me!!!!!! I’m back!!!! Do ya see me? And do ya feel my power, that comes from reaching deep inside myself and finding joy, even though the outer circumstances of my life are not as perfect as I’d like them to be?

Ps--this is not me in the photo, it's a Wal-Mart image of the top I bought Saturday, only as previously mentioned, mine is red! I wore it to church yesterday and it was sooo comfortable. I did not ask Steve to take a photo of me in it, so since I wanted to get this post up, this is next best.