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Posted on Nov 24, 2011 in Dear Diary | 6 comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I am thankful.

I am thankful for family.


Furry and otherwise.

Photo by Ben

I am thankful for good food.


For great friends.


Both old and new.


And for more than my fair share of guilty pleasures.

I am thankful for being able to conquer my fears and set new goals.


And for progress, no matter how slow it may be right now.

Gazebo 2<

Have a wonderful, love-filled, delicious Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for today?

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Posted on Nov 23, 2011 in Food | 24 comments


It’s happening! It’s finally here! Well, it will be here tomorrow, at any rate… THANKSGIVING!!

Who's the Turkey?
Thanksgiving 2009 – Photo by Ben

I love this holiday. Yes, Christmas still holds the #1 spot in my holiday-lovin’ heart, but Thanksgiving rings in at a close second. After all, it’s an entire day dedicated pretty much to food! And to being thankful… but also, FOOD!


Goodness knows I do love me some turkey (I’ve used Alton Brown’s Good Eats Turkey recipe for the past two years and it’s been a delicious hit each time!), but Thanksgiving dinner for me is really all about the sides.


This year’s feast will include smashed potatoes, green beans, roasted butternut squash, bacon & maple roasted brussels sprouts, homemade cranberry sauce, gravy, and maybe some sort of healthified stuffing.

Dessert doesn’t hurt either. Ania‘s got dessert covered for tomorrow, and this year’s celebration may be scaled down a bit in terms of size ’cause it’s just the two of us (or not! After all, it’s about the leftovers too!) but there will be no scaling down the flavor! Mmm, so much epic goodness, both for us and for these moochers, who will be getting a Thanksgiving Feast of their very own:

Day 297 - Guard Dogs
Photo by Ben

Okay, for realsies though. All talk of pumpkin pie and delicious side dishes aside, I do have a lot to be thankful for. I have a good life, great friends, amazing dogs, and I am about 300x healthier right now than I have been during any holiday season since the age of 10. Despite my lackluster month so far, things are getting better. I recognize that the holiday season tends to be a weight loser’s worst nightmare, but I’m just trying to keep it all in perspective and remind myself that a few pounds are never worth being miserable over.

December 2009

November 2011

I’m trying to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break, to need to take a step back and just breathe. That I’ve already come a long way, and even though I’m not “there” yet, it’s really only a matter of time. The weight loss will eventually progress, my goals will be met, and my heart will go on. Right now, though, I can just be. Call it my mental reboot, temporary and guilt-free. This doesn’t mean I’m charging into the holidays with reckless abandon, or that I’m going to backslide. It just means that I’m going to stop beating myself up for not wanting to try so hard right now. Hopefully, even if you are someone who doesn’t agree with that, you can respect it.

Clear Shot w/ Old LensRed
November 2009 vs. November 2011

Last Thanksgiving I ran my first 5K. It was the furthest distance I had run since… um, ever. I was still hovering around 220 lbs, and it was a feat I didn’t think I was capable of completing. Luckily, I (as usual) was wrong! I ran those 3.1 miles and here I am, only a year later, gearing up to conquer a 15K in a week. I’m not going to be able to run the entire thing, I know that. But I’m going to be able to say that I finished a 9.3 mile race and that I have lost 60 lbs and I am thankful for that.

What’s one thing on your Thanksgiving menu this year?

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Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in Dear Diary, Food | 0 comments

Thankful (Part 2)

Okay, okay, yes, I know. This post is long overdue. An entire weekend overdue, in fact. But hey! It’s been a holiday, which roughly translates into vacation most of the time, right? So, I vacated this blog for a few days. But I’m back! And here’s all the glorious stuff you’ve missed out on. 😉

First things first: Thanksgiving Dinner!!

It was delicious, amazing, and fabulous. As the Head Chef, I don’t think that’s bragging at all. Hehe. No, it really did turn out pretty wonderfully, and we made (mostly) healthy substitutions for everything we ate. The turkey was definitely the piece de la resistance, my pride & joy. Brining is the way to go, people! I’m never going back. Brine, brine, brine!

I was crazy busy between the 5K that morning, seeing Tangled with the fam, and then cooking up a storm so I didn’t think to take photos of everything we made, save for the Lemon Meringue Pie I made the night before:

I’ll admit, it was a pie-tastrophe. It was my first attempt! It looked great at first glance, and it tasted really good, even if it ended up more sauce than pie… oh well. Does anyone know if you’re supposed to fully bake the lemon part before you put the meringue part into the oven? Because the meringue would have been totally burnt to a crisp if I had left it in any longer, but the middle was soooo runny, it didn’t take shape at all!

On the table we’ve got the entire Thanksgiving menu that I detailed in an earlier post, and here are a couple close-ups of my plate (the salad with beets, arugula, red onion, dried cranberries, and my homemade honey mustard vinaigrette was especially scrumptious!!)

All in all, a grand success! And it was wonderful to be able to share the experience with my family, including my aunt and uncle who drove up from Roanoke, and my mom who was  able to come home from the hospital just the day before!

Other activities that occurred this weekend included festively decorating the house for the next holiday! Now that Thanksgiving is over we can finally start preparing for Christmas, my FAVORITE HOLIDAY EVER!!!!! We went tree shopping on the 26th, hehehe.

Our tree has since obtained a few more ornaments, and there are other decorations that will be going up soon, so be prepared for more photos. Consider this a mere sample of the Christmas-y joy yet to come. Also, please don’t think that I love Daxter more than Harry just because Harry doesn’t have a stocking up. Harry’s stocking is just still tucked away in my parents’ attic, so as soon as their Xmas boxes come down, his will be hung by the fire with care as well. Also, I’ll try to take better pictures once everything is all finished so that I can appropriately convey the splendiforousness to you all. (Maybe I can cajole my brother into letting me borrow his fancy-schmancy SLR camera…) 😀

Also, we had a homemade pizza night using the pizza dough you can buy from Trader Joe’s.

Mine was a whole wheat crust with half-Hawaiian toppings (ham and pineapple) and half-Mediterranean toppings (chicken sausage, mushrooms, olives, capers, and prosciutto).

Unfortunately, my crust got stuck to the tinfoil in the oven and didn’t get cooked all the way through anyway, so I ended up just scraping off all the toppings and picking at them, hehe. Ben’s, Taylor’s, and Steve’s turned out pretty good though!

Most of my, er, “pizza casserole” still in a container in the fridge though, because we snacked on hummus and pita chips so much while we were making the pizzas that I was full by the time they were done!

Okay, I guess that’s about it for now. I am definitely nervous about my weigh-in tomorrow, although I’m surprised that I’m not freaking out MORE. I just know that I’m anticipating a gain from this week. I mean, despite all my intentions to eat healthy for Thanksgiving, I still ate A LOT of food, healthy or not. And I haven’t really had any exercise since running the 5K Thursday morning, so that’s a lot of days for me to build back up on whatever calorie-deficit I might have had going for me. But whatever, it’s a special week, and the holidays are hard. Hopefully you guys won’t judge me too harshly, and hopefully this won’t have caused me to stray too far off-track.

Regardless, I am so thankful for how far I’ve come. I’m thankful for knowing I have such strong support even if tomorrow ends up going badly for me. And I’m thankful that I have the knowledge and the tools now to keep going. To persevere. To reach my goals. So, thank you.

And with that last bit of cheese, I’m out. <3

Oh wait, I forgot to mention the other thing that I spent the majority of my weekend doing: trolling Amazon.com for Black Friday lightning deals and spending an obscene amount of money on Christmas gifts. Just had to throw that in there. And tomorrow’s “Cyber Monday” so I’m sure there is more spending to be done. Don’t you just love this season?! 😀

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