Sunday, August 22, 2010

Regrets, part one.

Oh hey, where in God's name did summer go?

I don't know, but I really want to come back to blogging full-time.  The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, but maybe I can stick with this for a bit.

I thought yesterday about regret, because here I am after an entire summer, and my weight has remained the same.  I'm being checked for thyroid disease because of this and some other symptoms, but that doesn't mean I don't regret not losing weight.

Confession: The biggest regret I have is going through my life overweight. 

I've missed out on a lot of things because my weight held me back, even if in retrospect this holding was only in my mind.  Parties with friends, dating, playing sports for my school, swimming for All NH or a private team, fashionable pants and shirts, wearing jean shorts, athletic vacation events, hiking, wearing a bikini at the beach, running after other kids at recess, enjoying gym class, eating in the cafeteria (I was too embarrassed and would sneak off), etc.

I'm 21 and I feel like I wasted a lot of my life "being fat".

I'm sick of being heavy, and although my mental state is a bit better with age, I want to be healthier.  So I'm going to try to get into an accountability format here... we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Not just a river in Egypt anymore.

Denial - It's not just a river in Egypt anymore.

It is my current mental state, with regards to weight loss.

I have not tracked food on the Weight Watchers website, despite my membership, since May 2nd.  I have not tracked my own weight since then, either.

I could scream at myself.  Tomorrow will mark my 100th day belonging to the Double Dubs, and I have MAYBE lost ten pounds.


I know I should not beat on myself this way.  I know I should love myself, because that's my Manifesto - that I can love myself at any weight and still find my way to a healthy lifestyle.  But today I hate myself very much, because I should be maintaining now instead of losing.  I should be in smaller pants.  I should not have stress-ate my way through the LSATs this past week.  I should have kept tracking, even when I got stressed or tired or pressed for time.  I should be in a bikini this summer.

So what do I do?

Start tracking.  Weight myself.  Dust off the crumbs, and move on.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Let's all make paella.

Title says it all.  Let's all make a seafood paella, okay? Okay.  Didn't think there would be TOO much protesting, anyway.

My lovely Yiayia turned 75 on June 1st, so my family got together to celebrate.  We were originally thinking clambake or some kind of seafood grilling extravaganza, but cooler heads prevailed and my aunt suggested a seafood paella.  We didn't protest too much.

My uncles cookbook, and his go-to recipe for his famous paella.  He makes a variation of this paella valencia, which I know ya'll can't see because of the blurriness of the photo (I blame bad lighting).  My aunt generally has paella for her birthday, with the seafood and roasted chicken.  We did the complete seafood for my mother's birthday last year, and this is shaping up to be a family tradition on birthdays.

Did you know that my uncle won my aunt's heart with paella?  It's true.  They were going to a restaurant, and he had called a day in advance to order paella for their date.  It was evidently a winning moment for him :-D.

I showed up pretty late in the afternoon, so I missed an entire day of preparation.  But I did get some action shots!  These are some ingredients.

Oh look everyone, a BIG POT.  Wonder what's going in there?  All of dinner eventually.

Another ingredient, and some feet.  This little tin contains saffron.  It's totally expensive, and the tin is totally gorgeous.  And it makes paella unique and fragrant :-)

And one of the most important ingredients - Lobstah.  Oh my god, lobster.  I'm a New Englander through and through, and this color is as gorgeous as changing leaves, Sam Adams Boston Lager, and the Atlantic ocean.  I love lobster, and there was tons of it to be had!!  There were mussels and shrimp as well.

Look at these babies, waiting to be peeled and then enjoyed.

My poppa in an action shot, cleaning a tail under tap water.  Note the delicious carnage in the sink.

Pardon the blurry photo, but check out our appetizers :-)

In the meantime, while your dad is cleaning the lobster and the rice is cookin', take the puppy outside and play.  Ya'll, this is our cockapoo puppy, Ruger (named after Stern Ruger Firearms, of course).  He likes paella, but likes the outdoors more.

Take some gorgeous shot of your aunt's flowers, too, while you're outside.


This is one of two pictures I took, but the other was mad crap-pay.  Look how gorgeous this is.  And it tastes just as good as it looks.  Under the festive mussels and roasted red peppers, we find veggies, rice, chorizo, shrimp, lobster chunks, and deliciousness.

But wait guys.  We aren't done.  This is after all a birthday party, no?  And once all the zinn and paella has been had, it is time for CAKE.

But not just any cake....

Like, the most gorgeous cake I've ever seen.  From Frederick's Pastries, in Bedford, NH.  Chocolate cake, buttercream frosting, and sugar candy flowers.

So beautiful.  What a sweet way to spend a Sunday.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

quotent quotable.

"The best revenge I can think of for getting back at the people who try to take me down is to continue to live well."

-My aunt, Tina

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Richards Bistro, AKA Badly Lit Food Porn

 Weekly Weight - Can't find my college scale yet, and I prefer to use one scale generally.  My house one tends to reflect a different weight than my digital one.  Plus, I don't believe a weekly weight is essential to my loss.  I'll post one later in the week though, I promise!

Anyway - I ate well yesterday.  Are you ready for this shiz??

My Aunt's Company's General Manager, Jess, is having a baby.  And yesterday was her shower.  It's was a luncheon at a downtown Manchester restaurant, Richard's Bistro.  Lunch was three courses - Richard's freshly made bread, either a seafood chowder or one of four salad options, and a finishing course of a dessert dish.  Here's how it went down for this Chubb-o:

Please excuse the bad lighting in general - the function room of the teeny bistro was only lit by the dimmed wall sconces and the open windows directly against the table from me.  Hence, the problematic glare.

But I digress.

This was my bread choice from the passed basket - I am not sure what it was, embarrassingly.  It wasn't foccacia, I'm pretty sure it was dusted with parmesan.  But - it was excellent.  My mom had a bread with spinach and tomatoes baked in (no photo).  The little cactus-shaped thing were candles - party favors.  How cute is that???

The second course - My mom's choice, the Caesar salad with grilled shrimp added.  The croutons are polenta - how cool is that??  She said that the dressing had a kick to it, but I didn't test it.  My own salad was enough to fill me above and beyond capacity.

I am truly sorry this photo did not come out better.  My salad choice was Richard's Pear Salad - mixed greens, raspberries, blackberries, candied pecans, fried pears, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  I also added some grilled shrimp, I've had a very seafood-filled couple of days and have no regrets.  I practically licked the plate from this salad.  If I had made something similar for myself, I might have put a few less candied pecans on it.  They get old pretty fast.  But as it were, I gave a few to the Madre, so it worked out fine for me. 

It was at this point that I overheard one of the guests complaining about her salad and picking through it to eat the things she actually liked.  One of my pet peeves is finicky eaters, of all ages.  Granted, there are things that people do not actually like, and it can be hard to get kids especially to eat specific foods.  This is also hilarious, because my boyfriend is the pickiest eater on the planet.  HOWEVER, he will eat something presented to him, or try to order around the offending food.  He's polite about it, so I try not to be too concerned about it. 

I guess I generally have an issue with people being rude with food, or not even trying something.  My blog is about enjoying food and life, and trying to love my Chubbeh self in the journey to being healthier, and for me part of that is adventurous eating and joie de vivre.  I was raised to think that eating food at someone's house was a mark of politeness, despite how much you might not like it.

I'm guilty too, though, so don't think I'm without sin on this one.  I do not eat salmon, in any way, shape, or form.  Watching a kid pick through food at a restaurant because they don't like broccoli, or seeing an adult pick through their salad because they don't like fruit and veggies mixed together?  It just grates me a little.

Let's move to happier things - THERE WAS DESSERT AT RICHARD'S.

My mom's dessert choice - the creme brulee.  OMFG.  I love creme brulee like a fat kid loves chocolate cake (which...I also love...I'm a fat kid, remember?) and this was BY FAR the BEST creme brulee I have ever, ever had.  The crack was a perfect sound, and got my attention instantly.  I should have ordered it, because after the first crack, Madre was practically licking the dish clean.  I managed to sneak a taste, and god it was soooo good! 

I didn't pick this, as I said, because I have had creme brulees all over the world, and I was feeling more of the fruit vibe from the salad.  So I went with this:

The blueberry crepes with fresh cream - pretty damn good.  I have a secret crepe problem - it started my senior year with a trip to Quebec and Montreal, and a daily morning ritual of a walk to a creparie for crepes with fried apples and chocolat chaud.  These were pretty good, the cream was really something, but again - I wish I had gone with the creme brulee.

Richard's Bistro, overall, had a nice atmosphere.  Brightly lit (aside from our room, of course), nice colors, and plenty of artwork from local artists (it's a few blocks from New Hampshire Institute of Art).  It was a cute place, nice independent Bistro, cozy atmosphere, a delicious, aesthetic food.  I would hit it up for lunch again sometime.

Richard's Bistro

Friday, May 21, 2010

Did you miss me?

I've been gone awhile.  Did you miss me, Buttercups?

Well, I'm back with a vengeance.

So today, my lovely Aunt/Godmother took me out for lunch at one of my absolutely favorite places in my hometown - the Cotton lounge.  It's not too too pricey, but a bit more upscale from something I would buy for myself or a place I would take my poor college friends for an evening out.

This place is GORGEOUS.  The inside is vintage movie posters and travel advertisements, and I am a sucker for vintage prints.  The bar has a soft accent light around it, and the music is always a little on the swing side, lots of Sinatra and Dino being played.  If I were 21, I'd probably get some serious cocktail on here.

The outside deck was open for the gorgeous weather today, so we elected to do some lunching outside.  This place used to be called Cafe Pavone when I was a kid, and I remember doing fancy lunches here even as a young girl, under the grape vines and wooden beams.

A little bread and oil to start, iced tea for the table, and my uncle's wine glass.  Bread and oil, surprisingly, isn't European.  If you travel to Italy or elsewhere, don't expect it to be served.  Nevertheless, I do like my crispy bread and oil from time to time.

My lunch entree - pan-seared scallops with greens tossed with bleu cheese and pistachios.  An extra crab-cake on the side.  Their crabcakes are really fricken good, and are offered in several entrees and appetizers with Maryland sauce, as burger patties, or as I did, as an available salad addition.  Scallops weren't seasoned too heavily, and the greens were fresh and not overly doused in vinaigrette.  Some people shy away from seafood - the beauty of being raised Greek is an appreciation for seafood and vegetables.

Please ignore the fact that I tossed real sugar in my iced tea today, at least it's better than Splenda or Sweet N Low.  I love the sweet tea, ever since my freshman year trip to New Orleans.  I also learned to love crawdaddies, but that is another discussion.

After lunch, there was coffee (no photo - I get self-conscious being food paparazzi all the time).

Cotton is one of those places I really enjoy.  Atmosphere is pretty excellent.  Clientele tends to be a bit older than myself, the lunch crowd is usually local business people (It's located in the Millyards, and most mill buildings have been converted to office spaces) and owners.  Generally, the regulars such as my aunt and uncle, know the other guests and the staff, and are friendly.  Dinner crowd ranges all age groups, and entrees include awesome comfort-food fare like their supreme meatloaf dish, stellar burgers, Cuban sandwiches, salads, and seafood fare.  The wine list, which I'll be attacking come August, is pretty extensive for the fairly small restaurant that Cotton is.  And like I said, it wasn't exactly cheap, but not out of the price range for a fairly nice evening out.

I love, love, love Cotton. 

Cotton Restaurant

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Chart

Weekly Weight: 195.0 lbs

I lost again, yous guys!  Not only that, but I've lost the 5% of my original body weight total!! Woo Hoo!!

Last week, I clocked in at 199.0.  Somehow, it didn't feel right, but I only allow myself to weigh-in once a week.  If I did it every day, it would become compulsive, and that's generally not reflective of overall loss.  Once a week allows you to account for water weight during the week, eating badly on Tuesday and stepping up the workout Wednesday, etc.

I was glancing over my WW chart, trying to figure out why I had that stupid-ass gain (which, by the way, haunted me all week and made me want to get back on that scale).  This is how I've been since January:

It's kind of hard to see, but look at the peaks closely.  It appears that I tend to lose steadily for a few weeks, and then make some significant gain back, or an appearance of a gain.  And then right after the weird little gain, I drop pretty sharply.  Like this week, where I clocked a 4 lb weight loss.

But right now, I'm hankering for an egg white omelet with veggies and a cup of tea.  Off to breakfast! Studying! And enjoying my small victory.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Good morning, Buttercups.  I started my day off well:

This would be breakfast....About a cup of oatmeal, with raisins, brown sugar, and some cinnamon, three hardboiled eggs (I only eat the whites), and a cup of cooled coffee with skim milk, no sugar.  I like doing this to my oatmeal, because it reminds me of all the delicious oatmeal raisin cookies I have sworn off of.

So towards the end of May, I am up for lifeguard re certification for this summer.  I'm completely nervous about it, because when I first became a lifeguard, I was ten pounds lighter than I am now, and was a varsity swimmer.  I don't have much time in general, forget pool time.  So I'm completely shaken on this.  Yikes.

Anyway, I'll be mailing in the payment check for that sometime today or tomorrow, hopefully.  And I mean, I hope I can get into the course.  I've been holding off because of money issues, but it's getting to be Do or Die time, and I will lose my summer position if I don't get re certified.


Let's hope the rest of the day brings better news, yes?

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Asthma Valley

Weekly Weight: 199 lbs

Only a few minor setbacks so far this weigh-in on Sunday wasn't so hot.  It showed a 4 lb gain essentially, even though I ate correctly all week.  I'm not sure why that is the way it is, but it's on the page to continue to keep me accountable.

This week's been okay so far.  Just gearing up for finals and balancing work and play, per usual.  Kind of excited this semester is ending, because then I've got one year left! Ahhh!!! It's exciting and kind of nerve-wracking simultaneously.

So today, I started off with a coffee and DC breakfast sammich.  Not the best, I know, but it was essentially hangover food and kept me full until, get this, 2:20 pm.

Lunch was a Blue Wall taco salad, sans shell.  Lettuce, tomato, hot sauce, and pulled pork.  Omnom.  Completely nommable, and fairly healthy aside from the pork and the little bit of cheese I put on it.

Dinner was pretty hot too:

Oh Shit! A PHOTO!  That isn't Nelson Mandela or says "Fail" on it.

Ice green tea, a vegetarian sushi roll, some hot sauce for the sushi, and a small amount of cottage cheese with mandarin oranges and strawberries.

Other news:  I know why the Pioneer Valley is nicknamed "The Asthma Valley" now.  There's so many trees here that so many different people are allergic to, myself included.  It's stopped me from working out, because I take two Benadryl or something, and there's NO EFFECT.  It's hard to breathe walking around campus, and I break out in hives lately too.  With the nice weather, all the trees and flowers and shit are all confused.

I'm off and running, bitches.  Will probably either be a lazy bum around here until I head over to the boyfriend's later, or go to Barnes and Noble for study time first.

Friday, April 23, 2010

10 Flights of Stairs, and Bee-Attack 2010

Weekly Weight: 195.5 lbs

Today didn't start off so hot, I won't lie.  Slept over the boyfriend's place last night, and woke up to go out to breakfast before jetting back to campus.  We went to the Fifties Diner in Spfld, which isn't too too bad but I did manage to rack up a few calories.  Luckily, it counts for lunch too, because I have been full until this point.

I'm currently on a life-change program to get healthier.  And I like eating healthy.  What program, you ask?  Glad you did, I'm a Double-Dubs girl (Weight Watchers, WW, or Double-Dubs works).  And thank god that thus far, it has shrunk my stomach because that's the only thing that kept me from going hog-wild on the corned beef hash and fried eggs this morning.

Oh, and I had a candy bar this afternoon.  Mmm, chocolate.  Bad Chubs, Bad.

BUT, luckily tonight is sushi night at my nearest dining commons on campus.  Avocado, here I come.

Oh, so here's how I'll probably lay out these entries:  I'll post my weekly weight every day.  I like it.  It embarrasses me into action, in a way, but also reminds me where I stand.  I weigh myself on Sundays only, because otherwise I get all scale-happy and frustrated.  Deal?  Deal.  Then I'll probably post some hilarious picture or something, or make a few wise-cracks, and then maybe a photo or two of what I'm eating or promises on that, because my camera's broken and I'm in collich, so I'm po'.

So other than food, I racked up some wiggle room for food today with a workout.  Walked for 50 minutes, went to the campus library, and climbed 10 flights of stairs (our library is a tower with 26 floors).  Woo-Hoo!  Great success, feeling pretty worked-out right about now.

I did get hit in the chest with a Bee, though.  Like a massive bumble collided with me and knocked the wind out of me.  Totally bee-attack of the year so far.

Overall - Win.  Now a shower, going out, and then relaxxxxing.

The initial entry, gratuitous at best.

Starting weight: 195.5 lbs

Hi, everyone.  My name's Charlie, and I'm a Chubby Girl.

Hi, Charlie.

Uh, it's nice to be here at my first meeting of Chubbers Anonymous.  You see, I was always on the bulkier side of the weight spectrum, even as a kid.  Wasn't always overweight, but I was always muscled and larger than most of the kids in my age group.  I was never a fast runner either, and was always kind of nerdy.  It's paying off in the grades department, but on the playground, I wasn't good at much besides kickball.

In high school, I was probably at my most physically fit.  At one point, I switched from competitive kickboxing classes twice a week to three times a week varsity swimming.  Shit, right?  On top of that, I was a camp counselor, running and swimming with kids while getting a free tan.

But, as we age, so does our metabolism.  Mine's pretty touchy...I could eat an M&M, and tomorrow my jeans won't fit.

Combine that with the stress of being away from home for the first time, and a whole bunch of beer...Oh Hello Freshman Year of College, How are you?  Hanging off my thighs?  Thought so.

And so Junior Year, here we are.  I've had some mild successes with programs in the past.  And since last January, I've lost 10 lbs.  But I want to do better.  I miss fitting into skinny jeans and not Incredible-Hulking out of them (I shit you not, this happened, and I was very sad) and being able to swim miles at a time.

So here's to a chubby mission.  Nay-sayers, eat your hearts out.