I’m not fat, I’m just a descendant of the vikings.

I fit right in!

Many, many years ago, my ancestors from Scandinavia raided, traded, explored and settled in the desirable parts of Europe – parts of Europe that were laden with plump, juicy rabbits, fruitful rivers jumping with fat fish, and green, grassy pastures, the better to fatten their cows for a juicy steak dinner.

In my many years of complaining about my weight, I often was quick to blame my obesity on my genetics. It’s true that on both sides of the family we are stocky, thick people, as tall as we are wide. We all have blonde hair and white skin that turns ruddy from the slightest heat or smallest sip of beer. Genetically, our bodies stored fat like polar bears in the winter. The long, cold winters spent dashing over icebergs required a thick pelt of blubber to keep us warm; and our stunning fur capes and shields looked much better with some curves behind them, thank you very much.

We needed these bodies for winters spent at sea, preparing the pillage and plunder the next unexpecting nation’s refrigerators. Maybe all this history about vikings being raging, blood-thirsty people is missing one key fact – maybe, we were just hungry.

My horned helmet is a crock of viking voodoo!

In honor of my people, I must dispel three key falsehoods about our ancestors:

1) We did not wear horned hats. The familiar “It’s not over till the fat lady sings” image of a big blonde Bertha wearing a silver hat with horns is manufactured, some smart fellow’s marketing move to paint the Vikings as horn-helmeted brutes. Take it straight from the internet horse’s mouth (Wikipedia) “Apart from two or three representations of (ritual) helmets – with protrusions that may be either stylised ravens, snakes or horns – no depiction of Viking Age warriors’ helmets, and no preserved helmet, has horns. In fact, the formal close-quarters style of Viking combat (either in shield walls or aboard “ship islands”) would have made horned helmets cumbersome and hazardous to the warrior’s own side.”

2) We did not drink from the skulls of those we had slain. The only skull I plan to slay is that of a ripe coconut, the better to hold my pina colada as I tan my blubbery backside in Thailand. Apparently, my ancestors didn’t use skulls as tumblers for their Diet Coke, either.”The use of human skulls as drinking vessels—another common motif in popular pictorial representations of the Vikings—is also ahistorical. The rise of this legend can be traced to Ole Worm‘s Runer seu Danica literatura antiquissima (1636), in which Danish warriors drinking ór bjúgviðum hausa [from the curved branches of skulls, i.e., from horns] were rendered as drinking ex craniis eorum quos ceciderunt [from the skulls of those whom they had slain].”

Dirty, blood-thirsty brute!

3) We were not all dirty, barbaric brutes with bugs in our beards. Historical accounts actually prove that the Vikings were among the cleanest civilization in this period’s time. “The Anglo-Danes were considered excessively clean by their Anglo-Saxon neighbours, due to their custom of bathing every Saturday and combing their hair often.[citation needed] To this day, Saturday is referred to as laugardagur / laurdag / lørdag / lördag, “washing day” in the Scandinavian languages. Icelanders were known to use natural hot springs as baths, and there is a strong sauna/bathing culture in Scandinavia to this day.[citation needed]” No wonder I can’t stand a day without washing my hair. There will be no pit-sniffing among my ancestors, thank you very much.

After dispensing this undebatable history to you, I think we can all agree that my obesity is not in any way, shape or form, due to error of my own part. It is clear from these readings that I’m not fat, I’m just a descendant of the Vikings.

(Despite three small, concrete facts…

1. I can’t stand seafood. Vikings ate a lot of it.

2) I can barely hurt a fly. Blood-thirsty? I’m more like Tea-thirsty.

3) I am not a pure viking, as my mom’s side gave me the artistic bohemian heritage from Czechslovakia and Austria. )

So clearly. I’m not fat, I’m just a descendant of the vikings. My weight has nothing to do with college dinners of oil-popped popcorn and guacamole, nor the fact that my biggest form of exercise from the age 13 – 25 was trying to zip up my jeans. I will not take credit for this malady of adiposity – truly, really, thankfully – I’m not fat, I’m just a descendant of the Vikings.

Wednesday Woohoos!

Hello everybody! So sorry I missed a Thailand Tuesday yesterday. Since the holiday break I have been getting back into the swing of things with work and getting ready for our trip! Woohoo! So – all day yesterday, it never occurred to me to step on the scale. My weight was just… not really on my mind. Other than sweating it out at Zumba, I didn’t want my mood to change based on three numbers. So I gave myself a pass. You know how in Weight Watchers you could pick a week to not weigh in? Yep, I’m using my “Thailand Tuesday Pass” pass. I don’t even necessarily think my weigh in would have been “bad” – but after last week’s frustration, I want to take away the focus on the NUMBER and instead focus on how my life is changing. Let’s begin! (PS I so want to write about Thanksgiving, but I refuse to do it without pictures and my new card reader comes tomorrow!).

Yummy Erewhon Strawberry Cereal!

Before I started my weight-loss journey, I never ate breakfast. I would roll out of bed, shower and basically starve myself until lunch time, when I would pig out. Once I stated meeting with a dietitian, I realized how important it is to fuel your body in the morning. Lately I’ve been loving cereal with ice cold milk – like this super delicious Erewhon Strawberry Crisp cereal. I’m in love with Special K Red Berries but when I found out Erewhon makes a gluten-free, organic, non-GMO option, I had to convert. The lovely folks at Erewhon/Attune sent me a box to try and I’m in looove. My favorite way to have it is with a sliced banana. Woohoo for a healthy, delicious breakfast!

Feeling great after a six mile hike!

Like I wrote last week, I feel like I’m making new progress with fitness. I’m learning to make the gym less of a “Should I” and more of an “I Will”. Yesterday after my allergy shots I felt kind of blah and was pretty much going to blow off my zumba class. My friend texted me that she’d be there, and I threw on my clothes and rushed out the door. Afterwards, I felt so good – and we even stayed after class to do 30 sit ups each. My attitude is starting to change from fitness as an option when it’s convenient to more of a “prescription” for my good health and mood. This makes me happy! Woohoo for fitness!

Last week when my sister and friend Melody and I did our 10k Turkey Trot, I had some of those feelings of “I’m the only fat person out here, I shouldn’t be here.”. And then as I climbed that mountain, and huffed, and puffed, and almost felt like I was having a heart attack, I broke through. I stomped those thoughts out and powered on, until the only thing left behind me was my self doubt. Fitness is one size fits all. You do not need to be thin, muscular or gorgeous to be fit. I saw this picture on George Takei’s Facebook post and I loved it. Woohoo for healthy habits at ANY size!

So that’s all I got for today! I promise I’ll be back soon with posts all about my Thanksgiving and Turkey Trot and a super special hard apple cider recipe. :) Have a great week! Woohoo!

My letter to Paula Deen

 

Oh, Paula. I remember the first time I watched your show. How delightful it was to see an apple-cheeked granny, someone who looked like my own Nana, flit around the kitchen with hands full of flour and butter and dough. I loved that you wore your wedding rings while you cooked, and I loved it even more when you’d say, “I’m not your doctor, I’m your cook.” And oh, how I loved watching rings of dough fry in glittering canola oil, or how pats of butter melted into sweet yellow pools on top of vegetables gone bad, like green beans braised in bacon grease. Your food reminded me of home – of all that’s good about Southern food – the richness, the heritage, the rib-stickingness, the warmth that comes from a freshly-baked biscuit or a slice of gooey pecan pie.

I don’t know how to feel about your recent announcement. Nobody is surprised, frankly, but guess what – many of us, including the author of this post, are obese. So it’s not fair to blame this just on your weight, because there’s so many things that are factors to diabetes – smoking, genetics, heredity, stress…. It’s likely that your weight was a big contributor to your diagnosis, but it might not be the only thing. However, I’m irritated that your Diabetes is a bigger deal than SOPA, a bill that threatens the free speech of the internet that allows me to write things like this post. I’m also irritated that because you’re a woman, the story is gigantic, more gigantic than it would be if Mario Batali or Emeril was diagnosed with diabetes. Your gender makes everything more controversial, like the Lindsays and Britneys and Madonnas who get so much press coverage, yet the Charlies, Mels and Ashtons get a day or two in the press and are then freed from the scrutinizing public eye. (Don’t get me going on media discourse. It’s scary.)

How do I feel about the fact that you’re signed up as a spokesperson for a diabetes medication? Are you “selling out” like everybody thinks? Guess what, Paula… you’ve been selling table cloths and body lotions and pots and pans for way longer than you’ve been hawking pharmaceuticals, so I say go girl. Make some more money out of that diagnosis, and give some of it away, maybe to healthy school lunch programs, or to sponsor urban gardens.

Many people have suggested that now that your diagnosis is out in the open, you should re-work your recipes and opt for a leaner, lighter presence on TV. This is the one area where I’m going to say I hope you stick to your guns, and keep doling out the butter. I’m a strong believer in everything in moderation, and I believe you once famously said, “I don’t want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole. That hole was made for pies.” Your sons are already re-working your genius recipes into lighter, leaner versions of the fat bombs we all know and love, so your TV presence should stay the same – because that’s you. I’m no famous TV personality, but even when I lose all my extra weight, I’m still going to eat popcorn with butter on it, because that’s what I love. It’s part of who I am!

Keep walking on your treadmill, and cut down on the splurges. But for the love of God, Paula, keep your cooking show the same. Your TV presence is just what I want to see when I’ve got 5 points left to eat for dinner and all I want to do is bathe in mayonnaise. You’re not Jamie Oliver, You’re not Giada DeLaurentis (she’s impossibly perfect looking), You’re not Anthony Bourdain.

You’re Paula Deen.

You’re the house that butter built, and nobody can take that away from you.

Not even Diabetes.

Candy Crazy

We’ve been over my weakness before- crunchy, munchy salty deliciousness. I’ve never had a big sweet tooth. Will I turn down a slice of gooey chocolate cake if you put it in front of me? Of course not. But if you put a piece of cake next to a bowl of tortilla chips… I’m going for the chips! However, this week has marked a strange occurence in my craving habits. It’s been Easter time and I’ve been lusting for SUGAR!!!

Peeps? Oh, let me squish their delightfully spongey little bodies into my mouth, one at a time, rejoicing at the gritty, grainy texture of technicolor sugar and melty mallow. I prefer the bunnies, because you can bite their ears off one at a time, the outside just slightly firmer than their mushy belly. Lots of people hate peeps. But I love ‘em. Cheap, colorful, festive and total sugar bombs – what’s not to love? I brought two packages to work and they were all gone within a few hours, proving that lots of people love these sandy little snacks.

Where my peeps at?

I also love me some reeses – and when “Reester” bunnies were marked down to $1.25 at Target, I just had to get them. I put them in freezer for the ultimate chilly-cool peanut butter experience… and then savor each bite with a frosty glass of milk. Mmmmm. But reeses and peeps don’t hold a candle to my ultimate candy crack: CADBURY EGGS. No, not these kind, these are Cadbury CREME eggs… (Yes – I do have these in my house. Yes, I am a bad weight loss blogger. Let me just change my title to “Weight Gain Blogger” this week).

I’m talking about Mini Cadbury Eggs – the original! The malty, hard candy coated pastel eggs dotted with delightful freckles and speckles, filled with creamy milk chocolate. The kind that you pop in the freezer and then pop in your mouth, rejoicing  the crackle of the candy shell on your teeth and then the creamy cool sensation of rich, milky cocoa. It’s amazing, and just one reason why Cadbury seriously rocks! Here you can see my current crack – and in true fiending manner, I’ve stashed ‘em in a ziplock bag, just like a junkie would store their meth.

So there you have it – your carbo-crazy gal has gone coo-coo for candy! Anyways else experiencing the holiday candy craziness? What’s your fave? (Somebody say jelly beans!)