I'll take my eggs without fungus, please?

Le sigh. Fungus is eww. (Source: stock.xchg)I walked into a little sandwich shop to order something for breakfast. They had some sort of breakfast quesadilla, which was healthy and looked good. The only downside was the mushrooms (a.k.a. fungus) that was sprinkled throughout the other ingredients.

I asked to have one without mushrooms because I don’t eat fungus.

The lady called out the order (really loudly to the cook standing 3 feet away) and the cook (very softly) said he couldn’t do it without mushrooms because they’re in the egg white mixture. She proceeded to yell to me - 2 feet away - that he couldn’t do it without mushrooms unless he left out the egg. I had actually heard that part.

I’ve run into this before. Much as I don’t like mushrooms, if there’s no other choice with a dish, I can still choke them down and it doesn’t bother me too much. So, I said I wanted everything on it.

She then said, “Are you sure?”

Yes.

And this - right here - is where it got weird.

“Are you allergic?”

Let’s just think about this for a second. Who knowingly, consciously chooses to order something they’re allergic to? I certainly don’t know anyone. My friends with allergies stay far, far away from food that even has the potential of containing something they’re allergic to. To me, that just didn’t make any sense, but perhaps she was just covering all the bases.

No, I’m not allergic. I just prefer my food without fungus. But it didn’t matter in the end. It was good even with the fungus.

I hate exercise. Well, maybe not completely.

This week we’re welcoming our eight brand-new bloggers over at Losing it in Ottawa (LIO). It’s an exciting time of growth for our little venture and the new group has generated an excitement and energy we haven’t felt since early on. I think we’ll all see some pretty fantastic things happen this year with the LIO crew. I hope you’ll stop by and say hello to our new bloggers - they really are a great bunch!

Since they’re all introducing themselves this week, the rest of us are on a blog break, though the Losing it is hopefully still going strong. But I wanted to share some things and since I’m not up to post again for two weeks, I thought I’d just say them here.

I’m excited right now about what I’m doing. When I say that the new group has re-energized us, I really mean it. It isn’t easy to share such a personal part of yourself every week. Weight issues are fraught with insecurities and apprehension. And when you’re trying to lose, you almost need ten successes for every slip.

My ratio has been flipped the other way around, but that’s primarily due to poor choices on my part. Lately, though, I feel the need to recommit and even take some extreme action. I’ve started my extreme action with my regular workouts. I’m spending the time I would normally spend on my elliptical, but taking the intensity up a few notches and then I’m doing several challenges - 200 Squats, 200 Situps and 100 Pushups. I’ve just started, but it’s going well.

I’ve finally narrowed down a major block for me when it comes to exercise. It’s the getting moving part. Whether it’s the morning just after I get out of bed or the evening after Brandon goes to bed, something in me just wants to go (back) to bed. And it’s very easy to convince myself that “I’ll just skip tonight and work out tomorrow instead” which is too often a lie. So lately I’m forcing myself to get moving. Just do it. Even if it means I’m not done with stretching until after 9:30pm, I’ve been getting my exercise in.

The best part is that I’m not focusing as much on how much I dislike exercise. My focus now is on how much I like the results of having exercised. Results like bouncing up a flight of difficult steps - the kind that make you feel like you’re wading through mud going uphill. Results like running full tilt to catch my bus - and not only making it but not wheezing to death in my seat. Results like picking up my son a knowing that it’s getting easier, even as his weight increases. And then there’s the opposite result that I’m noticing more and more - skip a workout and the bounce is gone and I can only run five feet. There’s no doubt about it - regular exercise just feels good.

I mentioned in my last post over at LIO that I was going to do a sugar fast. I haven’t started it yet, but life legitimately got in the way of my planning for this week. My goal is to be ready to go by the end of this weekend, cutting carbs and sugar for a few weeks to get my body off the sugar highs and lows it’s been experiencing for far too long.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m down 1.7lbs? And, yeah, that makes my total weight loss at an even 20LBS!!!! I was thrilled to hit that milestone and I can’t wait to make it to 25. And one day maybe I’ll finally figure out what I want to do for myself to commemorate the milestones I achieve.

I’m open to suggestions - anyone got any?

*****

PS - There’s lots of great introductory posts over on Losing it in Ottawa this week. I hope you’ll stop by and welcome our new bloggers.

Wednesday night supper

Sweet potatoes (with raisins - blech), beets and mushrooms, oh my!I have this really vivid memory of when I was about five years old and my family was out at church for Wednesday night supper (most of the good Southern Baptist churches have Wednesday night supper), which was never anything really magnificent. It was typically something (a bunch of canned foods) thrown together in mass quantities as quickly as possible by volunteers - eerily similar to school cafeteria lunches. On this particular Wednesday, my little five-year-old mind was looking at each pan of food with dread. There was the meat dish, which I was probably okay with. It was the vegetables that made me want to pitch a royal fit worthy of a two-year-old (but I was five and I knew better). 

Piles of orange, raisin-speckled sweet potatoes. (Gag!)

Great, big burgundy beet discs floating in a sea of…well, burgundy beet juice. (Double gag!)

There were rarely more than two vegetables on offer at Wednesday night supper (you know, because beets and sweet potatoes go so well together). I watched in horror as the volunteer on the other side of the counter spooned great heaping mounds of sweet potatoes onto the plate that was meant for me. Right beside it, she started to put beets on, but my mother knew that wasn’t going to happen, so I was spared.

We went to our table and sat as a family to eat our dinners. I ate everything but that pile of sweet potatoes (with raisins…gah!). When I was had finished everything else, I asked to get dessert, which usually consisted of something like cobbler or cake - desserts that are easy to prepare for the masses. 

My mom said no, I couldn’t have any until I finished my sweet potatoes. (Let me just say here and now that this was 100% Mom making decisions. I’m pretty sure my dad was on my side, but he decided to let her have free reign in the encouraging-kids-to-eat-vegetables department.)

I tentatively tried them, and vehemently hated them. And the raisins were just gross. I know I didn’t finish those potatoes and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get to eat dessert that night. My mom and I both learned things, though. My mom learned that when I don’t like a food, there was no power on earth that could persuade me to eat it. And I learned that there was no dessert in the world that was worth choking down sweet potatoes (with raisins - eww) to eat.

Fast forward 26 years later and I have a little boy who is 6 months old and ready for solids. And I’m determined to make every bit of it myself. I didn’t even cringe when I saw sweet potatoes come up as a first food. I figured, why not? Maybe Brandon would like them more than me. 

Daddy loved helping Brandon eat. And Brandon loved Daddy helping him eat. Apparently this meant a sweet potato mask was in order as well.

He didn’t just like them, he loved them. Especially when they were all over his face. And, in making them for him, I tried them again - sans raisins. And I liked them, too!

I’ve realized that my palate as an adult has broadened its horizons, branched out and discovered new tastes to enjoy from every food group. I’ve even eaten beets (at a fine dining establishment) that were really good. My mom would have been so impressed. 

In fact, when Mom and I worked together once upon a time, we used to go to lunch fairly regularly at Marie Livingston’s - a really awesome steakhouse in Tallahassee. It wasn’t the swankiest, finest steakhouse you’ve ever been to, but it’s really good food at amazing prices. Hello - 8oz. top sirloin, baked potato, salad and a yeast roll that melts in your mouth for $6.41 (incl. tax), um…well, okay, that was over 10 years ago. It was so good I remember how much we paid!

But, I digress. We used to go to Marie’s with our co-workers and sometimes a group of them would order the mushroom appetizer. I would proudly (or was it loudly) proclaim, “You can have mine. I don’t eat fungus.” That usually got me a lecture about what I was missing out on from one or two of the group that I called my 10 moms, since they were all roughly in the same age range. In another turn of events that the 10 moms would appreciate, my palate grew up a little bit again and I’ve begun to appreciate “fungus”. Sometimes.

With my newfound ability to choke down enjoy foods that previously made me give up dessert, my Wednesday night suppers are far more interesting and healthy. So, all you parents of picky eaters, my message to you is that there is still hope. Don’t give up!

And don’t put raisins in my sweet potatoes. THAT will still make me gag.