Grilled cheese and gin and tonics

Now that I’m stepping on the scale a few times a week, I’m feeling very sheepish.

Like HOW IN THE WORLD DID THAT HAPPEN?!

One minute I was frolicking nude in my backyard, to devil with the neighbors, and the next minute I could barely stand to see myself naked.

Oh yeah, I know.

Curves.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But when did I get so CURVY?

You know when your kids are 16 and 18 you can no longer use the pregnancy weight excuse.

So I guess it’s all the grilled cheese sandwiches and gin and tonics I consumed.

I’m still plugging along on my diet.

In two weeks I’ve lost 6 pounds.

Which is an accomplishment, but is also frustrating me.

Like can’t this go ANY FASTER?

I’ve got bikinis to wear, and bodysuits to rave in, and lingerie to pose in, and photos to take!

And I just want to get to my destination AS FAST AS FUCKING POSSIBLE.

I suppose since it took me 10 years to get here I should have a little patience.

Working hard for something makes you value it ALL THE MORE.

And it will certainly deter me from ever eating an excess of grilled cheese sandwiches and gin and tonics.

Right?

Cheese Tooth

My first week on the diet went well.

MY first WEEKEND on the diet?

Not so well.

There’s something about the lack of structure to my weekends which makes keeping to a diet REALLY challenging.

I went to an AMAZING party on Saturday.

The kind of party you dream about attending – fabulous people, great entertainment, and lots and lots of food and drink!

The party had a Burning Man theme – specifically focusing on the principles of gifting and interactivity.

Everyone participated in the party.

Tejas gave away temporary tattoos, to great success.

Marina let people design their own jewelry then she assembled their selection into a pair of earrings.

Here’s mine:

My gift was a bowl of my famous French cheese fondue – a blend of brie, goat and blue cheese.

Absolutely delicious!

I know because I SAMPLED IT.

Quite a bit of it, actually.

I wanted to eat the fried chicken and pot stickers, but I restrained myself.

And when they passed around birthday cake, I was able to decline with a polite, “I don’t have a SWEET tooth, I have a CHEESE tooth.”

So, not surprisingly, when I drove with Tejas to Pescadero the next day to check out a potential retreat center for our regional precompression, I had to stop by Duarte’s Tavern and get a grilled cheese sandwich and their swirled cream of green chili and artichoke soup.

I might (or might not) have washed it all down with a gin and tonic.

Despite these setbacks, I’m actually proud of how I handled my weekend. I certainly WANTED to cheat more but I held back.

And in the end, I figure that the important thing is to do things right MORE OFTEN than you do things wrong and you’re on the right track.

So, here’s to a better week for me!

The diet, thus far

So you want to know how the diet is going?

It’s going.

Truth be told, I’m on a rather bland, mostly liquid, limited diet right now.

I miss flavor. Sauces.

God, I miss chewing!

I’m worried that I will not be successful on this diet on account of it’s so fricking BORING I feel like I’m jonesing for something tasty to eat.

A donut.

Garlic bread.

Macaroni and cheese.

I’d even be happy with a frozen pizza right now.

The trouble is, I’m pre-diabetic.

Which means I DON’T GET TO GIVE UP ON THIS DIET.

My health is at stake.

So I’ve somehow got to find the willpower to stick with the plan.

Originally, I was worried that giving up booze was going to be the hardest thing for me.

Now however, having been on the plan for two days, I must say booze is the LEAST of my worries.

And I was naïve to think that it would be.

By far the biggest impact to my daily diet isn’t the elimination of booze but the elimination of FLAVOR.

And that’s not easy to give up.

Not at all.

Time for some weight loss

Now that I’ve started this diet (more on that later), I’ve been thinking that I need to find a way to commemorate my body, as it is right now, pre-weight loss.

I mean sure, I took boudoir photos 3 years ago, but that was also 50 pounds ago.

The extremist in me thinks I need to post a bikini picture, but the realist in me is aware that is going JUST A BIT TOO FAR.

Plus, it’s probably something only I need to see, not the general internet masses.

So there will be no bikini pics.

Then, I thought perhaps I should post my weight.

You know, for accountability’s sake?

But that assumes that I’m not HORRIFIED by how much I weigh.

Honestly, I haven’t admitted my weight to a SINGLE SOUL.

Not even my MOTHER!

My driver’s license still says I weigh 160.

Such a lie!

I’m not sure how the DMV employees can put that on my driver’s license with a STRAIGHT FACE!

In the end, I think I’ve settled on posting a VIRTUAL model of my proposed weight loss via Model My Diet.

You input your current weight and dimensions and your weight loss goal (in my case a 130 pound difference) and it spits out a side-by-side comparison.

Pretty eye opening, isn’t it?

Definitely time for some weight loss, eh?

Giving up booze

I made every attempt to GAIN WEIGHT my last week before my diet started.

I ate grilled cheese and fondue and pasta.

And I enjoyed it all.

Did I succeed?

No.

I lost three pounds on account of I’ve been sick like a dog with a stupid respiratory virus.

When I open my mouth to speak, I bark.

The sad reality of being sick is that NOTHING TASTES GOOD.

I tried to make myself a gin and tonic and all I tasted was a faint sour flavor when I sampled it.

Being sick prevents me from DRINKING like I usually do.

Ironically, I think that the biggest challenge to my diet will not be the lack of food or calories.

No.

It’s going to be not drinking.

I already know this.

It’s not easy for me to cut back on drinking UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, let alone eliminating it from my diet completely.

Perhaps this is a sign of a problem.

I can’t help it.

One beer becomes a glass of wine which turns into a cocktail and before I know it, I’ve had two or three drinks in a night.

My cousin Jennifer once told me that doctors classify “binge drinking” as more than two glasses of alcohol a night, to which we both replied “then every one I know is a binge drinker!”

Tejas thinks I’m crazy but I’ve bought about 50 bottles of sparkling water to replace the alcohol (and soda) I used to drink.

I just don’t like water, is all.

Of course, it does occur to me that the WHOLE REASON I have to lose weight is too many cocktails.

So this will be good for me, right?

Farewell soft pillows of my body!

I’ve always imagined that I look peaceful and sweet when I sleep.

Like a dainty little goddess floating on a sea of pillows.

Of course that was before The Swede took a picture of me sleeping on New Year’s Day and shared it with me.

Furrowed brow.

Bundled in blankets.

Pouty lip.

Not exactly the picture of sweetness and light I was hoping for.

Lately, I’m unimpressed with all pictures of me.

There’s just a little too much round and not enough angles.

But that’s on remedy, since my Medical Weight Management program starts today.

Nothing like going on a 960 calories-a-day diet to make a person slim down post holiday season, eh?

Sadly, I am fearful I will lose my butt and my boobs in the process, but it’s something I must live with if I want to be healthy.

Farewell soft pillows of my body.

I’m gonna miss you!

Would you like SAUCE with that?

Something I noticed when I was in Sweden is that the Swedes like sauces on their foods.

Virtually everything I ate had some sort of accompanying sauces to go with it.

When I ate steak and mashed potatoes artfully arranged on a plank, there were several sauces to go with it.

My favorite?

Svamp sauce.

Yes, indeed.

SVAMP sauce.

Ok, so MAYBE it was mushroom sauce but I loved the name of the sauce.

The next morning, after eating SVAMP sauce with steak, I had breakfast and The Swede was kind enough to let me sample his favorite – a tube of pinkish caviar sauce which he squeezed like toothpaste ALL OVER HIS BREAKFAST.

I’d like to say “yum” but I believe my reaction to tasting it was to look for something that could replace the flavor in my mouth AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

After tasting the caviar paste, I was obsessed with it however.

So when I came across THIS display of tubes of sauce in the grocery store, I had to stop and examine them.

The tubes had a millions different flavors – shrimp, caviar, salmon. . .even DEER!

I was amused.

Then I walked around the corner and found EVEN MORE TUBES!

And that’s when I realized that The Swedes really do love their sauces.

Hollandaise, béarnaise, crème anglaise, beurre blanc – the French have NOTHING on the Swedes!

Smörgåsbord

The Swede and his daughter made room in their house for me during my visit to Sweden.

It was very thoughtful of them to accommodate me for a whole week while I immersed myself in all things Swedish.

As a thank you, I took them to the smörgåsbord at The Grand Hôtel in Stockholm – a beautiful waterfront hotel located in between the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan (Stockholm’s Old Town).

What can I possibly say about the smörgåsbord?

It was mind blowing.

First of all, there were lots of fish dishes, from gravlax (salmon) to poached cod to smoked sturgeon.

The only gross thing I ate was a slice of homemade sausage that tasted like armpit.

Everything else was scrumptious!

They made these little egg cups with caviar on top that were TO DIE FOR.

I think I ate three.

The Swede’s daughter ate four.

I washed all my food down with two glasses of champagne and the only downside to The Swede driving us into Stockholm is that he wasn’t able to enjoy champagne with me (the drunk driving BAC limit in Sweden is 0.02, a quarter of what it is in the US).

It was a pretty amazing night and a wonderful meal with outstanding company and I will treasure my memories of it always.

 

 

FIRE in the hole!

I’m not going to put any of this in perspective for you so that you can be as unsuspecting a victim as I was.

The Swede and his daughter took me to a market and they each proceeded to fill a bag with at least a kilo of sweets from the bulk candy bins.

They bought everything from chocolate to salted licorice to candy.

We got back to The Swede’s house and I was in the kitchen chopping onions when The Swede walked up to me and stretched out his hand.

In his palm was one glorious, chocolate truffle, dusted in even more choclate.

Mmmmmm.

I gobbled it up.

And that’s when I learned my lesson.

Because I wasn’t eating a chewy, delicious morsel of chocolate.

Oh no!

I was eating a Chili Kugler spicy chocolate.

On a spiciness scale of 1 – 15, this was rated a 15.

Now, you might think it was mean of The Swede to trick me like ths.

But actually he warned me about it earlier.

I just forgot in light of our recent trip to the candy aisle.

So there I am, slurping water from the kitchen faucet, begging The Swede for milk with drool pouring off my throbbing tongue.

The good news is that all was no lost.

The Swede and his daughter and  had a rip roaring time watching me slowly recover from my spicy adventure.

But let it be known that when The Swede says he has a spicy treat for you, HE MEANS IT!

Smörgåsbord!

I’m trying to talk The Swede into letting me take him and his daughter to the smörgåsbord in The Verandan at The Grand Hôtel in Stockholm.

It’s billed online as “the best smörgåsbord in Sweden.”

And it seems like a quintessential experience we should all have in Stockholm.

I can’t help but think of my foodie sister Lisa, and how much she would TOTALLY LOVE going to the smörgåsbord with me.

When we went to Scotland a decade ago, she practically LIVED at the restaurant The Ubiquitous Chip.

Some of her foodie ways have rubbed off on me.

I mean, I like eating street food and café food as much as the next person, but there’s something about having tables of colorful food options that just gets my blood pumping, and my juices flowing.

Check out some of these pictures:

The trick will be taking public transportation or a taxi to/from their home to The Grand Hôtel so that I can share a bottle of champagne or snaps with The Swede.  Sweden has some pretty strict drunk driving rules (BAC 0.02%) so we’ll have to plan for that.

What better way to thank The Swede and his daughter for accommodating me than to take them to The Grand Hotel?

I sure hope they like it!