What does a thesis have to do with pizza?

Happier times with pizza!

On Friday, I overate. I knew what I was doing. I didn’t like what I was doing, but I was conscious of it. Most of you know from my frequent bitching and moaning that I’m in the process of writing a thesis. Grad school is only for masochists, people who like to whip themselves with the heavy lashings of 475 page articles and the horrors of APA style. In December, I’m supposed to be done with 2.5 years of my own personal torture – a torture I inflicted on myself in the pursuit of self-betterment and personal fulfillment. Despite my complaints, I really do love learning and school. I’m just getting kind of burnt out on it.

With all of the changes going on in my life, my thesis has taken the back seat. In addition, I had completed 36 pages of my first thesis topic when it was decided that my project wasn’t sustainable and I had to start over from scratch. This week, there’s been discussion about delaying my completion date to Spring 2013. In my heart, I know this is a better option, because it will mean less sacrifice – less sacrifice of quality, and less sacrifice of time and good health. Yet, it means I’ll be prolonging the stress of this gigantic 150-page baby I’ll eventually be birthing, paying for another semester, and having to wear the hat of full-time employee + grad student for another 5 months.

So, I ordered a pizza for Matt and I for dinner, and while I flitted around the house trying to pack (have I mentioned this is my fourth trip out of town in three weeks? Yikes) I ate one piece. Then I ate a second. Then I ate a third. And then I ate a fourth. And then I stopped – and realized what I was doing, something I hadn’t done in a long time. I was emotionally eating. I was upset about my thesis and my possible delayed graduation, and I decided to push away that feeling by eating pizza. (Why does emotional eating NEVER happen with celery?). My brain was craving dopamine – an instant reward – and so I gobbled down the pizza, hoping to fill that feeling of sadness with something else.

It’s a shitty realization that sometimes your way of dealing with problems is just adding another problem to your life.  However, there’s a bright side to every little cloud of doom and gloom, and this bright side is that today, I realized what I was doing. Before I started seeing my dietician, I never knew I emotionally ate. I think I knew it but I didn’t acknowledge it, didn’t know how to stop it. I’ll never forget the day one of my former bosses told me I was a disappointment – and how right after work, I drove to the grocery store, bought a bag of potato chips, and stuffed them into my mouth as I drove home. It was the only way I knew how to deal with that absolutely raw feeling of devastation. I’ve come a long way from this type of relationship with food, but tonight proved to me that I can’t ever fully cure myself of using food to pacify emotions. We live in a culture that encourages using food for feeling – the woman who just got dumped eats ice cream, the woman with PMS craves  chocolate. After a funeral, casseroles show up at your door, and with a new job comes celebratory dinners. Birthdays mean cake and weddings mean champagne (and more cake), Christmas means cookies and Thanksgiving means turkey. Food is feeling.

Tonight, it took me awhile to get there, but I finally made that mind-body connection and thought to myself, “Stop it. You’re not hungry, you’re upset – and those are two different feelings.” That alone is progress – one that may not fix me feeling sad about a delayed graduation, but one that in the long term, will help save my life.

 

 

 

“You’re Real! – In which I meet other bloggers I admire. FitBloggin’ Part 2

Me and Kenz!

One of my favorite things about being a drone of the internet webs (in day job and blog life!) is that you make some amazing connections online. I still remember the first time I met “blog friends” in real life – I was meeting up with Kenlie from All The Weigh and Alexa from The Curvy Nerd. I got lost on the way there and my frazzled nerves were all worried about “Will we have awkward silences? Will they judge me if I eat bread? What if I want seconds at the salad bar? Do you think I can reveal my sarcastic sense of humor?” Of course, once I met them and we eased into conversation, it was so much fun – and they were both exactly like the people they were online. No big sweat. I got to see Kenlie again at FitBloggin’ and she was her usual sparky and enigmatic self. Isn’t that a fabulous dress on her?!

Skinny Emmie and Double Chin Diary rock!

I also got the pleasure of meeting Skinny Emmie - a weight loss blogger who’s lost over 100 pounds and works in social media. She’s very charming in real life and has a sweet little Southern twang. Aren’t we cute? Emmie petted my shirt, claiming that she loves textiles. It is a nice shirt, if I do say so myself – soft, stretchy and flattering to those with large… erm.. parts.

 

 

Me and Tara from Media Remedial

I also met Tara, from Media Remedial on my first day at the conference. I was jet lagged and disoriented, and after I got my lunch, I felt like a grade-school student looking for a place to sit in the cafeteria. All around me people were busy having conversations and eating their quinoa with gusto, so I felt a little lost. Tara cleared off a seat for me, looked up at me with a big smile and invited me to sit down. She’s a genuinely warm person and I was so happy to get to meet her and hang out with her through out the weekend. (Bonus points: Like me, she’s also a crazy cat lady and harsh media critic. It was love at first sight.)

Alyssa and Fat Girl Vs World Duke It Out

I was also lucky enough to meet Robby, from Fat Girl Vs. World. Robby and I have been Twitter pals for quite some time, and I actually started following her because she did boxing. At the time when I started boxing for fitness, I felt like not many females did it, so it was fun to find somebody who shared my enthusiasm. She always provided me tips on posture and hand position, so that’s why we’re “duking it out” in this pic. As usual, my wrists decided to go back to flute-player style, so I’m workin’ on that. Robby was super nice and funny in person – just like her blog.

Alyssa, Shelly and Beth

Two more lovely ladies I met were Shelly, or “Egg Face“, and Beth, from Melting Mama. I also met Nikki from Bariatric Foodie, but I didn’t get a pic with her! I first met the awesomeness that are Shelly and Beth because I was live blogging a session and Beth referred to now-skinny people as “former fatties”. As someone who uses humor to blog daily, I found her sassiness refreshing, and like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to her! I’ve already conversed with all these gals several times since the conference, and they’re the perfect example of why I need to attend conferences like this. It’s all about finding people with common interests who can help you remember what’s important – and for me, that’s losing the weight in any way I can, even if it’s slooooow like molasses. I’ll get there! :)

How about you? Have you ever met blog or internet friends in real life? Would you? I still have a few on my “must meet” list,  one of them being KJ Pugs!

 

Want to win a free smart balance product? Pledge for a healthier heart!

Hi Friends! Smart Balance sent me a coupon for a free Smart Balance product, and I wanted to share it with you. This month is the Cholesterol Education Month. I’m lucky that I’ve never had problems with my cholesterol, but I know that this is a problem that’s widespread and common.

To keep my cholesterol down, I always try to eat 7-8 servings of veggies per day. Today I reached my quote with a yummy snack of carrots, celery and cauliflower with some fat free ranch. It was tasty! There’s a lot of things you can eat to keep your cholesterol down – like oatmeal, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These things will help keep your ticker tap-dancin’ away :)

Through the end of this month, if you “share” the Smart Balance Facebook “Heart Healthy” life pledge, you’re helping them reach their 5,000 share goal. Once they reach their goal they will donate $5,000 to Mended Heart, Inc., to support heart disease patients and their families. Because I have a cousin who’s recently had a lot of heart problems and surgeries, this cause is important to me! Please share if you’re able to, and then leave a comment letting me know the best thing you’ve done for your ticker today :) On Friday at 12 pm I’ll randomly pick one comment number to receive the coupon for a free smart balance product.

 

 

 

 

FitBloggin’ Recaps Day Two – Joyful Shimmy, Janet Ober, Hank Hannah and Jack Fit

The Gang's all here! FitBloggin 2012!

Hello everybody! I am home from Baltimore and slowly getting back into the routine. First things first – I’m lucky to be able to travel as much as I do, but MAN, do I miss cooking when I’m on the road! I just made a delicccccious wheat pasta with a charred broccoli and onion sauce, mixed with lean bacon bits and small mozarella pearls. Super tasty, fairly light (if I keep the serving right!) and homemade. Best of all, I managed to scrape that together before going to the grocery store. Whew!

Laura from Joyful Shimmy learned to love her body by getting naked!

Friday night at FitBloggin’, we had an ignite fitness keynote session. What this meant was instead of the usual boring 1 hour keynote, there was 15 speakers, each broken up into 5 minutes with 15 slides. It was fun, fast-paced and kept us entertained – especially with stories like those from Laura, of Joyful Shimmy, a recovered bulimic who learned to love her body through burlesque! I loved Laura because she was actually the first blogger I met while decorating my badge, and she was friendly, approachable and funny – a perfect introduction to my first fitbloggin’ ever.

Image from JanetOber.com. Click to read her story and buy her book.

There were also really moving stories, like Janet’s. Janet was hit by 5 semi trucks at a time – leaving her leg mangled and nearly destroyed. Despite crippling depression and the serious physical trauma, Janet overcame her struggle and now runs marathons. Her speech was EXACTLY what I wanted to get from FitBloggin’. I’m always the mayor of excuses village, and if Janet can overcome nearly losing her leg, suffering major depression… and then continue to run MARATHONS, I can lose this weight. Excuses are not valid. Janet is a powerful speaker, and her words shook me to the core – not with fear or pressure, but with complete inspiration and validation that if you work hard enough, anything is possible. (Except finding a comfortable bra. I have decided that is impossible.)

 

 

Hank was sick of being the fat guy - so he took charge and shed over 100 pounds.

There were also light and humorous presentations, like Hank’s, from the Business of Losing Weight. Hank has lost over 100 pounds, and to illustrate his points, he did each of his slides in paint. Check out this awesome artwork  – a valiant effort, right?! I don’t think I could do that in Paint!

 

 

 

Jack's No Flack Jump the Track Creative Smack Attack

One of the show stealers of the night was definitely (and not surprisingly) Jack Sh*t. Jack Sh*t is well known in the weight loss blogging community for his offbeat and hilarious blogging style. Jack put together a funny and random slide show with things like slides of iced tea, and things that spark his creativity… including Mentos. Towards the end of his presentation, he magically procured a 2-liter bottle of coke from behind the podium, and dumped in two mentos. It was awesome, and was like the Ozzy-Osbourne bat-eating event of FitBloggin’. I raise my hat to you, mr. gettin’ fit.

There were so many other amazing speakers this weekend, but if I keep going, my jet-lagged body will never have time to sleep! Stay tuned tomorrow to find out about my Twitter Community live blog, and also, which fantastic fitbloggin’ folks I met and chatted with.

 

Fitbloggin’ Day One: New Friends, Pop Chips and Stickers!

Hi everybody! I safely made it to Baltimore for FitBloggin’, and while I feel a little bit like a zombie after a brutal red eye flight and the three hour time difference, I had a great first day! I started out by decorating my badge. Notice the gray cat, watermelon slice, bumble bee, strawberry, seahorse and sugar snap pea. I was very impressed with the sticker selection!

Then, I attend some awesome sessions, where I got to meet weight loss blogger role models like the hilarious Jack Shit Gettin’ Fit (who later put mentos inside a bottle of coke as part of his speech on creativity – this guy is rad. Anyone who enjoys creating harmless artificial explosions is A-OK with me.)

Alyssa from DoubleChinDiary.com with Jack Shit Gettin' Fit

I also watched a great social media tutorial by Skinny Emmie. She’s super cute and funny, so it was neat to hear her present as a real person and not just through a computer! She has this adorable southern belle accent, too.

SkinnyEmmie.com at FitBloggin'

I definitely had to have a snack, so I was thrilled to try out PopChips new tortilla chips! The ranch flavor is super yummy, albeit a little stinky breath-ish (in a good way)! Can’t wait to try out more flavors tomorrow.

Thanks for sponsoring FitBloggin, PopChips!

I’ve also met all kinds of wonderful people – tomorrow I’ll snap some photos and share! I was a little camera shy today given that I’m running on one hour of sleep, but tomorrow after my morning Zumba workout with Mrs. FatAss, I’m sure I’ll be glowing.

Have you ever gone to an industry related or personal hobby convention? What was your favorite thing? (Not gonna lie – free stuff (schwag!) is awesome!)

My new jet setter life style

Hello everyone! I’m currently on my way back to Los Angeles after a week working on site in San Francisco. I’m sardine canned between two lovely people- one reading the wall street journal and the other snoring with his mouth hanging open. It’s exciting.

I get home for a couple hours to re-pack, grab my hubby, and then we’re both off to Baltimore for Fitbloggin, where I’ll be meeting up with people who’ve already completed their weight loss journey and those like me who are just starting. I can’t wait to sweat in the mini trampoline fitness class, try out my new shoes from Reebok, hear speakers like Skinny Emmie and enjoy evenings with my hubby, who will be exploring DC in the daytime.

Here’s a quick update for the week- my weight is holding steady at 11 pounds down, and while I didn’t exercise this week, I did make lots of solid lunch choices like these: salads, veggie tortilla-less burrito, veggie enchiladas, and fresh fruit for snacks.

Next week will calm down for a couple days and then it’s back on the road for a few days to celebrate hubby’s birthday. I’m looking forward to getting back into the gym routine next week and sleeping in my own bed! Watch for a new update tomorrow about Fitbloggin’!

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