The Truth

I got an e-mail the other night with a question that made me think I am not necessarily giving the WHOLE picture of what my process is like at this current moment.

She asked how I am dealing with the weight gain because that is an aspect of her recovery that is proving to be a major challenge.

Honestly, the increased body size SUCKS.

Like it, f*cking sucks.

I use the F-word here because I don’t know if I can accurately convey to you how much I HATE the FEELINGS I have about my tummy pooch and an increased number on the scale.

And if I am going to completely confess where I am today, in this moment, I am not handling the poundage well.

My two past posts have been pretty positive, and that is because I was feeling great when I wrote them.

I am not feeling completely horrible or hopeless today, but last night I would be omitting a major truth if I did not tell you I actually pounded my fist on the floor in frustration because I felt like a lazy-ass for sitting around watching Christmas movies all day, and basically sleeping most of Saturday.

As Ryan looked at me with annoyance, because my progress is not nearly as fast as it should be, I kept telling him, “If only I could gain the weight healthily!!! I just want to have muscle and stop eating junk, and have nice arms, and look nice in clothing, and not have these rolls on my stomach, and….”

The list went on and he tried and tried to reframe but my mind was made up; I was a fat load and all I would ever want to eat was cookies.

Looking back I can be a little more rational and say I do like cookies, and I do have a cookie, or another sweet item (at least) once a day.

I like to end my meal with something delicious and dessert-y, probably because in 20 years of my life, I never did so.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and this does not mean my diet is only junk food.  In fact I made a pretty healthy, balanced and delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup last night for dinner, inspired by my favorite celebrity chef, Rocco Dispirito, but at the time I was having my little temper tantrum, cookies were all I could remember, and fat was all I could feel.

On a happier note these moments of irrationality are getting less and less frequent, but I still have way more pounds than I would like to admit to go and that means there are going to be some rough days.

Can I do it?

Yes.

Will I do it?

Yes, but kicking and screaming because my brain is still pretty warped by the ED mind-set.

I don’t really have an answer to the question of how to effectively deal with the weight-gain because I still struggle with that problem myself.  Talking to someone about it helps; someone you trust who will help remind you of all you are working for, but I can’t guarantee you will see the light at that very moment, just pray it will pass and keep doing the RIGHT, HEALTHY things, you know in your heart YOU NEED to get back on track.

I know it will be worth it, because the best things in life don’t come for free, but that does not make this process any easier and I totally get that, but for those of you out there in the same boat as me, or who are dealing with something else that is equally as challenging, remember you are not alone and support is literally, your best friend.

Happy Monday, loves.

Five and Fun For Friday!

The last few days at work have been INSANE. Between working on getting all the supply orders together for next year, preparing for graduation, counting over $10,000 that will soon be donated to the American Cancer Society (go Relay For Life), early morning meetings and a whole slew of other random interruptions, I have had minimal time to respond to e-mails, clean, or do a ton of personal stuff at night.

I like being busy, but I am definitely looking forward to a weekend with hopefully good weather, and my family.

But since it is Friday, and I would like to end the work week on a more fun note, I welcome you to 5 Things Friday.

Some of my favorite blogs do renditions of this and I always enjoy learning some random things about the people behind the screen, so I figured today I would also try my hand at a whimsical post.

Here goes…

5 Songs I am LOVING Right Now:

1. Payphone (Maroon Five and Whiz Khalifa)

2. Something for the DJ’s (Pitbull)

3. Dance Again (Pitbull and J. LO)—I seriously hope they don’t overplay this on the radio…they always do that!!!

4. Repeat (David Guetta and Jessie J.)

5. Back In Time (Pitbull)

…obviously I like Pitbull….

I have a lot of songs I really enjoy for relaxation, and actually listen to a lot of country, but these I play in the morning as I am getting ready for school to give me a little pep. The David Guetta and Zumba stations on my Pandora radio are also major staples in my life.

5 Places I Want To Travel:

1. Germany (I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to do a river cruise down the Rhine…hello castles!!)

2. London (Who wouldn’t love to be there for the Olympics this year!?)

3. California (I have been to LA, but would love to drive the coast)

4. Canada (I want to go in every season because the skiing looks fabulous and the scenery is gorgeous!!!)

5. Does it count if I say all of Europe? I am not the kind of girl who wants to backpack and stay in hostels, but there are so many amazing things to see!!

5 Things I Wish I Could Improve:

1. Recovery (duh?!)

2. Making Time For the People I Love (I have a brother I should probably call…and an Aunt and Uncle I see way less than I would like!)

3. Putting Laundry Away (Anyone else live out of a basket?)

4. DE-STRESSING!!!

5. Letting Go

5 Things I Want To Do This Weekend:

1. See the Gettysburg Battlefields!!! Definitely my plan on Saturday if the weather is as nice as they predict…

2. See my cousin play Lacrosse.

3. Take my mother in-law and grandma B. to brunch Sunday for an early Mother’s Day!

4. Clean and get ready for our upcoming yard sale.

5. CATCH UP ON SLEEP!

Yes, all those things sound really nice 🙂

5 Totally Bizarre Things You May Not Know About Me:

1. I count sheep to go to bed…(After I say my prayers, if I have trouble falling asleep, I try to envision the little animals jumping a fence and I literally count them one by one….sounds totally silly but its better than counting calories!!!!)

2. I volunteer to chaperone almost every school dance….and I am definitely the weird faculty member dancing in the corner…

3. I was starstruck three times in my life…When Mark Whalberg stood literally a foot away from me at a hotel lounge in LA…when I met Rocco Dispirato at the Food Network Festival 2 years ago…I am still in awe every time I see him!….and when Cameron Diaz sat next to me at a restaurant. FYI she ordered a burger, fries and milkshake! LOVE HER!!!

4. I am finishing up the Hunger Games right now and I am totally loving them…third book starts a little slow but I seriously need the second two movies to come out ASAP!

5. My real name is Catharine Jennifer but barely anyone ever calls me that…I had a professor in college who refused to call me CJ, and for most of the semester I didn’t answer…initially because I wasn’t paying a ton of attention (boring elective) and I am not used to hearing that name…and later because it annoyed me she wouldn’t call me the name I asked her to use. Stubborn lady!

Now it is your turn!!! Pick one or ALL of the categories and help me learn something new about YOU!

Happy Friday!!!

Family, Food, Fun And A Favorite Chef

So I may have mentioned I love Rocco Dispirito

Last year he was one of the major reasons we attended The NYC Food and Wine Festival, so it was not even a question that we were going to be in the audience of his cooking demonstration again.

Being the amazing husband he is, Ryan hung out 45 minutes before Rocco even came on stage so we could get great seats, and great seats we had….right up front…perfect place to get to interact with one of my favorite chefs!

I told you Ryan got to go up on stage last year to taste Rocco’s low-calorie ribs, and that we got a free signed cook book, but this year he got to try THREE things, and I got another signed book, that just debut last week!!!

But the best part….

Unfortunately I only snapped a picture of his super-healthy, reduced guilt gnudi, but we also got to sample his madeover lasagna (seriously the best lasagna ever) and pasta pomodoro. 

The recipes will be featured in his newest cookbook, coming to a store near you this spring.  I cannot wait to get my hands on it because although the gnudi contained less than half the calories of a restaurant or traditional variety, it tasted out of this world!  I am seriously tempted to recreate it one of these cool fall nights, with or without the official ingredient list and preparation instructions. 

My husband even confirmed he couldn’t tell a difference between Rocco’s version and the unhealthified original!

So definitely check out Rocco’s facebook page, twitter him up, or get the book a few months from now, because if you are an italian lover, but unable to keep those restaurant portions in check (hello, I am totally guilty of this which is why I avoid restaurants like the plague) make these awesome eats at home!!!

I can’t wait until next year, and my next Rocco encounter. 

Who is your favorite celebrity chef? 

Any recipe makeovers to share?

Family, Food and Fun Grand Tasting Edition

Words cannot express how much fun Ryan, my mom and I had the last three days. 

Oh my gosh I wish I could re-cap it all in one post, but throughout the week, I will be giving you some highlites on our experiences, meetings, NEW FANTASTICALLY AMAZING DELICIOUS PRODUCTS (this could be a very exciting What I Ate Wednesday 🙂 ) and overall incredible time we had in three, very short days.

I will spare you the details from our shopping trip Friday, aside from saying you MUST visit Woodbury Commons if you are ever around the Mid-Atlantic States. 

I have pretty much been obsessed with Lulu Lemon clothes ever since I bought my first pair of pants when I was in ED inpatient at Princeton hospital (stretch pants are essential when your waist is expanding pretty much every day) and I still tend to live in their Groove variety every day when I come home from school. 

The problem is, their product is wicked expensive!!!

There is no doubt that it lasts, meaning the quality is superb, BUT I still have a hard time shelling out around $100 per pant every time I want a new pair.  So I was ecstatic when I saw they had an outlet store, only an hour away from my mom….hence our trip to Woodbury Commons

There were also other high-end retailers that I never even thought would have discount sales centers, but trust me, it is totally worth a trip if you are in the vicinity. 

I am now the proud owner of 1 new pair of pants, 2 new capris, an awesome jacket and a sporty little top that I will definitely be wearing to Zumba this week.  Bright Purple 🙂

Anyway…

Friday we kept the evening pretty low-key and cooked at my mom’s house since we knew the next day would be LONG and full of tasty treats…

I will let you be the judge 🙂

 

There were a ton of booths, featuring local restaurants, vineyards from all over the world, companies that are private but ship nationally (look for a few of those later this week!!! omg sea salt cookies!) and international vendors that we all know and love but were either promoting new products or introducing creative ways to incorporate their stuff in yummy meals or snacks. 

And you see that green bag in the center a few rows up….

Yup, that baby (plus my mom and Ryan’s) were FULL of free samples I cannot wait to dig into! I even grabbed some extra stuff to share at school this week!

But aside from the food, it was awesome to spend time with my mom and Ryan, just the three of us. 

Ry and I lived at my mom’s old house (where I currently reside now) with her and my sister when we were hunting for a residence and finishing up school.  In that time we traveled together, played games, watched movies, and genuinely just enjoyed each other’s company.

I am really blessed that my husband and mom get along so well, and this weekend was no exception.  Between shopping, cooking at home, the Grand Tasting, him getting harassed by Rocco Dispirito, again (Oh, yes, that requires a post all on its own!) and my favorite Top Chef, Fabio, the parties with Morimoto and Debie Mazar, and dinner at Craft, it really was a blast to be with my two favorite people.

It actually felt like the old me was starting to emerge at times, when I wasn’t concerned and consumed by negative self-talk, horrific body image, and the desire to avoid all social situations. 

It truly was a weekend full of family, food and fun!

More to come later 🙂

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!!! ❤

Meeting One of My Idols and Food Network’s NYC Food and Wine Festival

It is Friday at 7:30 a.m. and I am not sitting at my desk, patiently waiting for my students. Instead I have my weekend bag packed; the car all gased up, workout complete and I am heading to New Jersey to spend a few days with my mom.

I am excited about this trip for many reasons, but first and foremost because no matter how old I get, my mom is still a very essential force in my life. I need her, probably now more than ever, and I am so not ashamed to admit that.

Growing up it was just Lindsay, my mom and I living under one roof, and we pretty much spent all our time together.

As you may have gathered from my post the other day including Friday night board games, family is the most important thing in my world, and in the last few months, since my mom has moved, we found out my sister’s life is about to undergo some serious changes, and I’m trying to repair the relationships I destroyed by my reliance on an ED,I have realized that my life means nothing without those I love.

Last year, when I was very sick, I would have tried to say that I didn’t need anyone other than ED. My unhealthy behaviors were the only way I felt I could survive and since my family tried everything they could to prevent me from killing myself by using such poor coping mechanisms, I pretty much kicked them out of my life, or at least pushed them away to the furthest point possible.

When they finally responded the way I thought I wanted them to, and decided to back off, I realized how alone I felt and that I needed to do everything I could to make them return. Although the process is slowly occurring, I know it is still hard for my mom to see me struggle.

This weekend is going to one of great difficulty, but it will also give me a chance to challenge myself, and show her I am serious about my journey toward recovery. Why? Because we are going to one of the most awesome, ginormous, extravagant food events in the entire world; The Food Network Food and Wine Festival in NYC.

If you haven’t attended this amazing exhibition, please do. You will not be disappointed and it really does support a great cause; No Kid Hungry.

Last year my mom, Ryan and I heard about NYCFWF when we were watching Chopped. Since I am such a curious person I decided to google it and discovered that it was to be held just a few weeks later! After scrolling through some of the options I found that Rocco Dispirito was having a FREE cooking demonstration and show, on a first come first serve basis.

OMG! Are you kidding me?! I could potentially be in the audience witnessing Rocco’s genius in the kitchen?!

If you don’t already know, I have LOVED Rocco since his show The Restaurant. We started watching it in one of my business classes when I was in high school. Then I bought his cook books, watched him as a guest star on Rachel Ray, the Today Show…

I just thought he was awesome! So of course I bought his book, “Now Eat This!” when it first debut on Amazon, not knowing that this purchase would lead me to an amazing adventure in NYC…

We took the train to the city early Saturday morning, assuming we would need to be in line as soon as we could to see Rocco. While we were standing there, amidst a sea of people who were obviously not as inexperienced as we were to festival knowledge, were conversing about all the awesome activities that happened the day before and later that night. The buzz seemed to be about something called a Grand Tasting Party.

Hmm…what was that?

So finally they shuffle us into a very small venue where we get third row seats. PERFECT for a view of the stage and one of my very favorite chefs. When he comes out and starts talking I was literally peeing my pants with excitement, and I don’t know what come over me but when he asked a question, “What makes his chocolate chip cookies so moist and delicious, but still so low calorie?” I couldn’t help but shout out “I KNOW! IT’S WHITE BEANS!”

“Who said that?!” He called out. And again I stood, jumping up and down like a 13 year old girl at a Backstreet Boys Concert, and yelled, “It was me!!!”

He asked how I knew his secret…and of course I told him I had the book literally the first day I could.

“Darnit! Because I just happen to have an autographed copy for you…how about the book anyway, and a hug!”

He seriously hugged me. And then turned to Ryan and asked how my husband enjoyed the lightened up recipes from Rocco’s cookbook. The conversation continued for at least 5 minutes AND THEN he called Ryan up on stage to taste his ribs!

Holy shmoly was this seriously happening?!

When he encouraged the audience to come to his meet and greet later, we knew we had to go, so we made the trek a few blocks away and not only found my chef but a ticket booth where they were advertising the few tickets they had left for this Grand Tasting Party we heard about before…

Well of course Rocco remembered us (of course haha) and we asked him about the party because I was totally wondering if he was going to be there too.

Unfortunately he had gone to the previous party and was headed straight to a flight for his next event, but encouraged us to check it out if we had time.

Why not?! Our train didn’t leave until an hour after the party ended, and everyone seemed to be talking about it, so why not snag up some of the remaining tickets.

I cant even describe to you how amazing Grand Tasting is. There are hundred of vendors, celebrity chefs, major companies, all displayed along the waterfront offering all the free food, products, alcohol, and other beverages you could possibly desire.

I left with 4 bags full of swag, met a dozen top chefs or Food Network personalities, and swore I would return this year.

I am sad that I was not blogging or photographing things back then because I wish I could have documented my first experience better than a few measly words, BUT…

Tomorrow I will be again making my way into the city for not only the Grand Tasting Party but also Morimoto’s Sushi after party…and you better believe I have my camera.

So although I may not be posting tomorrow. I hope you check back later this weekend, or Monday for a recap.

Enjoy your weekends!

I know I will because before FNFWF, we are headed to Woodbury Commons (just take a peak at some of the amazing stores this outlet center has to offer!!!)

See you Sunday with a full belly, a lighter wallet and a big old smile!