Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Today's Lesson- There are Ways to Sneak in the Healthy at a Party

There are times when we all get down on ourselves.  The best party, however, is seldom the pity party we throw for ourselves.  Yes - you have guessed it, I have been in a self loathing mood for the last few days.  I think it is because I don't feel well, but I must remember the promise (or resolution...I suppose) I made in the New Year - No More Self Loathing!  So, I have had to lift my chin off of my sore knees and have had to move on. 

So - moving on......

I am throwing a big Italian dinner at my house at the end of February.  We are celebrating the success of a very good friend.  The challenge - keeping it healthy.  Italians are not known for health - we eat something like 17 courses during a traditional dinner.  I have been dreaming and planning about all of the yummy food I am going to make.  Okay, I lied.  I have actually been thinking with my stomach and dreaming about all the yummy food I am going to eat.  Recognizing this has forced me to put together an action plan.

Enter if you dare my dream list of food -
Fried Eggplant (aka - heaven)
Chicken Parm (aka - fried dreaminess)
Homemade Garlic Bread (aka - butter's delight)
Lasagna (aka - a ton of fun and gooiness)
Pasta with White Clam Sauce (aka - makes me smile)
Meatballs and Sauce (aka - keep your hands off my balls...YES, I went there!)
Stuffed Italian Bread (aka - the happiest heart attack you could have)
Cannolis (aka - hit me baby one more time.... I warned you of my Britney obsession!) 

Anyone salvating yet?  I know I am.  I know what some might be asking - Where's the healthy?  Well, it starts with a plan.  Step one, take a page out of "The Book de Dim Sum" and "The Book de Tapas" and make your servings smaller.  With all of the food being served there is no need for a full serving of each menu item.  Not only cut the portions, but cut the actual sizes of the food too.  Cut the chicken cutlets up! Step Two, do not set the table - allow people to remain standing and mingling.  The more you talk the less you eat.  Step Three, don't put all of the food out at once, keep it coming at a consistent, but slower, speed.  Knowing another round is on its way allows people to keep tasting, but not devouring.  Step Four, use small plates.  Smaller plates tricks the mind into thinking it is getting more than it is.  Step Five, replace butter and unhealthy oils with healthier choices.  Step Six, remember - it is still a party and it is okay to eat and not feel guilty.  So.... celebrate, congratulate, and most of all - have fun!   


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Have you ever walked into a store and just felt out of place?  I hate it when it happens.  I have learned to recognize this feeling, take a step back, and remind myself that it is all a state of mind.  I had to practice this mantra when I decided to just pop into Fleet Feet last Saturday.  Note to self:  There is no popping into Fleet Feet.

Fleet Feet for those of you who are not familiar is a store, nay -  a community if you will - of runners and for runners.  People are constantly meeting there for runs and trainings.  They sell everything you need for running too.  So, when I decided that my skippies from Target weren't cutting it on my runs anymore I decided to hit Fleet Feet for some new sneakers.  Now, you don't just pop into Fleet Feet as I learned because there is a whole method to the madness that is buying running sneakers.  Who knew, right!  I certainly didn't.

Imagine with me walking into a runner's haven, on a Saturday, as tons of real runners arrive back from their million mile run.  Everyone is exhausted, sweating, and looking genuinely happy that they just beat the crap out of the snowy pavement.  Now, I am in jeans and my long Sunday wool coat - I am feeling and looking out of place.  Note #2 to self:  Do not wear jeans when going to Fleet Feet - dress as though you are planning on running a freaking marathon.  I go up to the one Fleet Feet employee who is NOT with a customer and tell him I need to be fitted for a new pair of sneakers.  The man gets a look of panic on his face and turns to the only girl standing remotely near to me and with the sound of sheer terror states, "Um, I think she really needs my help!" and goes running off with her in toe.  This long and lanky man is now, and will forever be, known as the Douchebag of Fleet Feet.

So, off ran the Douchebag of Fleet Feet and I am left looking bewildered and lost.  And.... here comes a lady.... to rescue me....I hope.  Yes, thank god.  I learn that I will not only be stripping my feet bare, but will need to get on the treadmill and run.....and be taped from behind while doing so.  Maybe the skippies were fine to run in after all?  Screw it - I can do it, but first, I need a little change in wardrobe.  The nice lady gets me a pair of  Ladies XL running pants and points me to the fitting room.  Ladies XL?  Really?  Is she freaking nuts?  I believe she forgot the other "X"....  And, the pants go on.  I exit the fitting room to a congratulatory, "Wow!  They fit, alright!" Time for the treadmill and the taping of the behind.  Note #3 to self:  It is only a state of mind - Get it done.

There was a time in my life I would have walked right out of Fleet Feet, or another store, for being treated like I did not belong there.  Not everyone knows my story.  They do not know where I have been or where I am going.  It is my right to share my story with who I want to share it with.  I will not use my story to garner sympathy for my "condition" or even to garner pride.  There are few whose pride in me really matters, but no one person's pride in me is greater than the pride I must have for myself. 

So, when you get that yucky feeling or another person tries to make you feel as though you don't belong - Remember - It is only a state of mind and only you have control over you.