Life, Nutrition

I love you, but I’m glad you are gone.

There are few real loves in my life.  My son, and my husband are at top of the list.  Of course my family and friends fall into the list too, but for all of December there has been another.  The Candy Cane Chill blizzard.  I know what you are thinking. What?  An ice cream?  Yes, but not just any ice cream.  I am generally not a huge flavored ice cream person.  it’s usually chocolate or vanilla.  Once in a while I feel really saucy and go for something with a topping, but in general I like the plain stuff and not a lot of it.  This blizzard is special.  You see at Christmas time, I really enjoy candy canes.  I usually sit down on the couch with a candy cane and glass of egg nog.  I can go through a box of them through the holidays.  They aren’t completely horrible when it comes to the amount of sugar in them, still not ideal, but hey it’s the holidays.  They are not really available after the new year, so I don’t carry forward eating them year round.

When we go to get ice cream, the boys always get elaborate blizzards.  There’s been the triple truffle, Darin’s favorite for a while, and the chocolate cake, D2’s go to for the last month or so.  There are some that are always available and there are others that are available for about a month or so and then something new comes out.  In early November, I tried the pumpkin pie.  I was sure it was going to be my undoing, but it just wasn’t for me.  It tasted great, but was far too rich for me.  It was sweeter than having an actual slice of the pie, and I preferred the real thing if I was going to go there.  I decided to give the candy can chill a try, figuring it would be another failed experiment to move on from.

Boy, was I wrong!  It was love at first bite.  It’s vanilla ice cream, with little chocolate slivers and candy cane bits mixed in.  It’s not too rich, it’s creamy and just the right amount of minty chocolate flavor.  We treat ourselves to ice cream once a week, and on occasion, I just sit and watch the boys enjoy theirs because I don’t really want it.  Not anymore!  I think I ask if we can get ice cream before D2 does lately!  There’s no way I would turn down the opportunity to have that yummy piece of heaven.  It’s shameful, I know, but the guys that work there know our orders.  I will at least say that I get the mini size, but I love it enough to probably eat a large one (I won’t try to test that theory).  It reminds me of the movie “Elf”, when Buddy the Elf runs into the office singing “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love! And I don’t care who knows it!”  That’s me with this blizzard.  Ah, but this was one love that was not meant to last.  It’s a seasonal item, only available for a short time.  Knowing this, I have attempted to go to Dairy Queen more times in the last few weeks than I probably have in my lifetime.

Knowing that at some point, some new treat would come along and take its place on the menu board, I have vowed that I will never try another blizzard again.  I don’t think my heart can take falling in love, only to say goodbye again so soon.  The other day, we went and something inside me knew, before I even opened the door, that it was over.  We went to the counter, hopeful that I would see those yummy candy cane pieces in the topping section, but alas… it was gone.  I asked to confirm, then held back the urge to throw myself into Darin’s arms or on the floor sobbing.  All I could muster in that moment was “Oh, then nothing for me, thanks.”  I mourned a loss while my boys felt guilty (but still very much enjoyed their ice cream) and figured it was all for the best.  So, while I do love you, Candy Cane Chill, I bid you goodbye and good riddance.  My heart will heal and my hips will shrink (hopefully)!

Life, Nutrition

Where’d my wagon go?

I fell off.  I don’t know exactly how, but I fell off my healthy eating wagon.  I had the hardest time figuring out how it happened.  I had been eating really well, for a very long time and it felt like I just woke up one day, looked around and realized I was eating crappy again.  I can’t say for 100% certainty, but I think it really happened during the hurricane.  We were amazingly prepared in certain areas, in others, not so much.  We knew we’d have family with us, and we knew we could be out of power for days or even weeks at any given moment.  We bought all the standard hurricane items.  You know, water and party food.  We had canned goods,  dry goods, chips, soda, and cookies.  I realized when we made our last shopping trip, that I didn’t have any healthy snacks.  I grabbed some grapes, apples and a couple other things and we battened down the hatches.

Usually, my son will glaze right over the grapes and apples in the refrigerator when he’s looking for something to munch on.  It’s like they are invisible, but the minute I sit down on the couch with a bowl for myself….that’s a different story.  All the sudden, the grapes are the best snack ever and he chows down!  Needless to say, the fruit went quick.  I guess it’s natural to snack around when you are sitting waiting for a hurricane.  Everyone is nervous,  trying to pass time by watching movies and playing board games, all things that go hand in hand with snacking.  One thing lead to another, and I was elbow deep in a bag of Doritos.  Soda is amazing with Doritos, so that was next.  Then at some point the cookies and milk came out.  We were locked in the house for about four days.  When the hurricane was over, I guess I just kept eating that way.  It’s like I forgot completely where I was.

Back when I was eating primarily healthy, it wasn’t completely clean.  I still wanted to enjoy certain foods, but it was limited.  I would have wings once a week and  once in a while, a little treat, like an ice cream cone.  After the hurricane, once a week turned into a couple of times a week and before I knew it, I was back to going ahead and having the free bread at Outback, and what the heck, fries instead of veggies.  Granted, I am not back at McDonald’s, but I got close enough and had Wendy’s chicken tenders on the way to Disney.

We got there and I was all about that hot chocolate and cookies at Mickey’s Christmas Party….and soda? Yes, please!  How else was I going to stay awake so late?  Oh yeah, better get myself a caramel frappuccino while I was at it.  It was day two of our trip when, I was waiting in line in the bathroom, confronted by those full body mirrors that I realized I had put on some weight.  Before anyone starts in on “oh, you’re not fat, blah blah blah”….stop it.  While I appreciate that people don’t necessarily look at me and think I’m heavy, I know when I am carrying too much weight to make me happy.  I realized I was carrying way more than I thought.  It really got me thinking about how I felt lately, too.  I can’t remember getting sick when I was eating healthy, and I have had a bad cold two times in a row in recent months.  My workout performances were stagnant.   Even worse, my attitude was slipping.  I felt grumpy at Disney, and not the cute dwarf kind of grumpy.  I’ve never been so compelled to make a change, yet so handicapped to do so.  Eating healthy on a trip like this is possible, but not so much without planning.  I knew if I tried to fix it on vacation, I’d ruin the trip for all of us, so I let it go (pun intended) and just enjoyed vacation.

Since we got back the day before Thanksgiving, and didn’t get home in time to shop, I decided not to stress about it.  I enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner and mad some minor changes the last few days of vacation.  I started by cutting the caffeine and extraneous sugar.  The first few days were horrible!  The headaches were insane and I had no energy.  I knew that I was on the right track.  For two things that seem so small to have such a handle over how I feel, how I act, is mind-boggling.  I don’t want food and cravings to control me.  I work too hard, training day in and day out, to ruin it with crappy fuel.  My attitude and outlook was far better when I ate cleaner, my good days always outnumbered the bad.  I’m about week into eating cleaner and on my way to being back to where I want to be.  I still plan to have our weekly wings session, and for the month of December, the candy cane chill mini blizzard…because candy canes.  So, I guess my wagon was right there all along, I just lost sight of it for a while.