Six Things Sunday

I just ate a super delicious dinner of ribs, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, and I’m lying in my bed thinking, “Hmm, what do I want to do with my Sunday night?” And then I heard this sad little voice call from the corner of my mind, “Blog! On lalalyssa!”. So here I be, regaling you all with exciting tales from my life. Or, six things on my mind this Sunday. Whatever works, right?!

1) You should enter to win a yummy little prize package of pot de creme and cookies from San Francisco based company Petit Pot! I’m hosting this on my other blog and believe me when I tell you these desserts are luxe and well worth every single “my jeans are tight” moment.

2) This meme made me LOL for real, not just in my head. It’s pretty much how I felt on Friday after a super busy week.

3) I’m seeing Radiohead on Thursday night! I somehow got lucky and was able to buy tickets in the lottery they held, and I can’t wait! I’ve never seen them before, and my dear sister is graciously watching our kiddo. If you haven’t heard any of the new Radiohead, here’s one of my favorite new songs. (The video is a little bit sinister, but it’s really cool claymation.)

4) I was one of the 215,000 people who bought an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker on Amazon Prime Day, and I am in love. I was skeptical before I hit the buy button and wondered if it would collect dust in the corner of my cabinet like the ill-fated panini press or even my industrial sized food processor, but this thing is magic. I made Spaghetti Squash in 8 minutes start to finish, sweet potatoes tonight in 7, Rice in 12 minutes, a bolognese pasta in 30 minutes (including meat), and a pot roast in 40 minutes. I’ll write a blog post later on about the full wizardry of this appliance, because despite initial fears about blowing up the house, this appliance deserves a spot in kitchens across the country. Thanks to What I Run Into for helping me make the decision to invest!

5) I had the opportunity to watch From Fat to Finish Line, and I was so happy to see a documentary about a team of people from all across America who lost a ton of weight running the Ragnar Relay together. (Side note: two of my blog friends have run the Ragnar, and it looks so fun! Maybe one day if I find enjoyment in running I’d consider doing it… today is not that day 🙂 )  I think what I loved most is that the group had two people on their team who were still in their “during” phase of weight loss, and they spoke candidly about how it felt to be on a fitness journey surrounded by “afters”. I found their stories to all be really inspiring when many obesity documentaries can come off too dramatic and sinister. The fact is obesity is a serious problem many of us are facing (yours truly) and while there’s no denying the health risks or dire state of emergency we’re in, I like it when a documentary or film can add some levity along with the overall “This is why you need to change” message. I’d highly recommend From Fat to Finish Line, especially if you’re into running!

Here's one of my favorite people from the doc, Carly.

Here’s one of my favorite people from the doc, Carly.

6) It took me an embarrassingly long time to find this cat. See if you can do any better.

Find a cat from pics


That’s all, folks. Happy Monday to ya!

Day by Day and Hour by Hour

“Just take it day by day.” We hear this phrase all the time as adults, and it applies to so many situations; stress, change, grief, relationships, medical problems, fitness, health, eating… It’s a helpful term, in some ways, because it reminds us that really, we don’t have control over everything, and sometimes we need to just wait until the next day to tackle a problem (or discover it wasn’t really a problem, after all).

In the past few years as I’ve explored my eating habits, I’ve heard this phrase uttered from all sorts of wellness professionals — nutritionists, doctors, therapists, personal trainers, yogis, serial dieters, trusted friends. It’s good advice, really, it is — but it doesn’t work for me. The relationship I have with food is complex. Everyone has a complex relationship with food (except for maybe one person who I used to work with who said that he’d rather take a pill each day than have to eat. But I guess that IS a complex relationship with food, in its own way, right?). Complex doesn’t necessarily mean conflicted, but most of us celebrate birthdays with cake and Fridays with bagels or doughnuts. And that’s exactly the type of thing that make foods complex; it’s not only a way to sustain your body — it’s a celebration, a reward, a fuel, a nourishment, a punishment, a ceremony, a rite. See what I’m saying?

hour by hour day by day new lalalyssa blog graphic double chin diary pancakes

Why doesn’t “Take it day by day” work for me in relationship to food? Because I can’t take it day by day. I have to take it hour by hour. I need more minutia, more detail, more irritating, annoying fastidious thought to the act of eating and the difference between satiating hunger and negotiating an emotion. I don’t think I’m alone here. A lot of my friends who have successfully lost weight or are losing weight also live on an hour by hour basis. I see it in the neatly arranged stacks of Tupperware filled with chicken breasts and brown rice, the shopping lists of Greek yogurt and baby carrots, the hidden baggie of pistachios and Diet Coke at the theatre.

I felt this frustration of having to live hour by hour with my diet tonight. I had planned on grilling up a turkey burger, baking sweet potato fries, and steaming broccoli. However, I got a random burst of motivation to clean, and I ended up reorganizing our silverware drawer, junk drawer, and two other drawers in the kitchen. It felt awesome to finish up a project I’ve been putting off for months, but at the end of it, I was tired and felt too lazy to cook. The husband came home and we decided to go out, him suggesting Vietnamese or Ramen, two things I’ve been craving the past month. The irritation of living hour by hour crept in when I weighed those cravings against my current eating plan (low carb, heavy veggie, moderate fat). Both of the dishes I like at Vietnamese and Ramen are very heavy with noodles; delicious, delicious noodles that are made purely of starch; the very stuff I’m trying to avoid. We ended up going to a Greek restaurant instead, where I had a delightful and satiating salad topped with feta cheese and cucumbers and parsley and chicken. To me, that was a clear example of not being able to live day by day when it comes to diet: I need to be thinking about my food choices and diet more actively, more often, and more frequently, because a day doesn’t usually go exactly as planned. Hopefully one day, it will become intuitive — less of a process, more of a natural inclination.

What does it feel like to not make choices about food on an hour by hour basis? What does it feel like to not plan, to not wonder, to not worry? I don’t know if anybody actually lives in that care-free state of mind when it comes to food, because I’m sure that even people who don’t have weight issues have some lingering thoughts about nutrition and wellness as it relates to food. We all know the difference between quinoa and Cap’n Crunch.

So, dieters of the world, don’t take it day by day if you can’t. Take it hour by hour. Let the overtime or the burst of cleaning or the mold on the bread or the laziness guide you, but not derail you. This very act of needing to be so finely-tuned when it comes to food choices is annoying, but I have to remember that nobody ever achieves their wildest dreams by staying in their comfort zone. As long as I demonstrate instead of anticipate, I can make peace with food; day by day, hour by hour.