Saw this ad with some graffiti on it in my neighborhood this week and had to snap a pic. It says “Every Body Happy” and someone wrote “All bodies are good bodies” and I couldn’t agree more! Even if we aren’t the smallest size we’ve ever been it’s still possible to love our body and be grateful for how strong it is. 

Here’s to the women getting back to the gym after having their first, second or third baby. Here’s to the men drinking their protein shakes and staying away from the BBQ wings during the football game. Here’s to the single folks prepping their food on the weekend for the week ahead. Here’s to the families getting outside together for exercise instead of watching TV. Here’s to all my clients and friends who make decisions everyday to move the needle towards healthy, happy acceptance and love for the only body you’ll ever have. All bodies are good bodies! #dailyreminder #loveyourself

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I can’t say that I’ve always been able to listen to my body.  This is a skill I am only just learning after 31 years on the planet. For a while, I didn’t know if my body was talking to me, so how did I know to listen?  I didn’t!

Last night after a long day of driving, swimming and running around with kids at the family BBQ I decided a half cup of coffee would help me get through the drive home.  A half cup! So I had it, didn’t really love the taste of it (coffee and I have a love-hate relationship), and then we left for our hour long drive home.

I got home, unpacked the bags, put the baby to bed, took a shower, and then I realized, its 12:45 and I’m still wide awake.  Not in a good way though – like in a bad, “I’m gonna have to watch Downton Abbey” to fall asleep kinda way.  Then I realized, “oh, maybe I shouldn’t have had that half of a cup of coffee at 10pm. Oops”.

At that point, I remembered a few days ago when I had trouble falling asleep that I had drank  some iced green tea before bed.  I realized then, I can’t drink iced green tea before bed without suffering from a caffeine high.

My body was telling me then, “Marie, you can’t handle caffeine before bed.”  I took a note about the green tea, but only when I was lying awake last night did I realize my body was talking to me again. “No caffeine before bed!”

I have to say that I fall asleep with no problem regularly, so this was a real eye opener for me.  I also don’t drink caffeinated drinks every day.  I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, craving more the heat of a hot cup of coffee or the cool of an iced one over the actual taste and caffeine buzz.

Mad Men's Bob Benson with his constant cup of coffee

Mad Men’s Bob Benson with his constant cup of coffee

 

 

Having this quick moment of conversation with my body was so important for me.  I have always struggled to know what was going on with my body, not because my body wasn’t telling me, but simply because I wasn’t listening.

The stomach aches, head aches, bad belly, and skin conditions are all symptoms my body is putting forth so I’ll do something about it.  How many times did I have to eat eggplant and then get a stomach ache to realize that I have to take digestive enzymes with eggplant otherwise I can’t enjoy it? (I’ll get back to you on how many servings of eggplant an Italian girl named Marie could eat in 30 years).  This was my body talking to me, all these years telling me secrets that I never heard.  I just couldn’t read the signals, couldn’t tap into my own body chemistry which is the most powerful thing we possess.

While I’m training to be a health coach, I am making every effort to listen to my body so I can get as healthy as possible.  You know I’ve tried every style of eating known to man to try and find my bliss.  It’s not so easy to listen to your body because we have so many distractions getting in the way on a daily basis.  The laundry that has to get done, dropping off your kid at daycare, work, cooking, walking the dog, listening to a co-worker complain – all of it was distracting me from listening, ear to the ground, to what my amazing body was telling me.

My body has served me very well these 31 years.  It is always there for me when I want to go dancing, run around the playground with Dylan, go to Bikram yoga, and eat too much.  Not to mention that it gave me my greatest gift – my son Dylan almost 2 years ago.  Is it really so hard for me to just LISTEN?

The answer is, yes, sometimes it is hard to listen.  So now I’m gonna clear a little extra space in the corners of my mind to leave room for my body to tell me what the heck is going on in there.  I’m also gonna take extra special care of my body because it always takes extra special care of me.

 

 

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Time for a frozen banana!

October 10, 2012

From skinnytaste.com – this was delish! 3pts+

Also, FUN to make!

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I just took a shower in preperation for bed time and had to slather half a bottle of body lotion on to calm my wintery dry skin.  It’s March 29th.  Shouldn’t “March” be acting a little less lioness and a bit more lamb-like at this point?  I never dreamt I’d still be wearing my winter coat and bundling up just to take Bamba for a walk on March 29th!  So I ask you, will this winter EVER end?

Isn’t it bad enough Snowpocalpse had us under mountains of dirty snow for over 2 months? Isn’t it bad enough, that the aforementioned snow kept me from wearing all my nice winter boots for fear of ruining them?  Isn’t it bad enough that I’ve been pregnant this whole time and haven’t been able to enoy one single Hot Totty?

Admittedly, I spent half of this winter cozy on the couch enjoying my new found food freedom (courtesy of Baby), and the other half dutifully cleaning out closets and re-organizing the apartment to make room for baby.  So I guess, the winter hasn’t been all that bad.  We can certainly say that we’ve accomplished something.  We started our major re-organization project in the kitchen which was probably the most difficult of all the rooms in the apartment because we had to start “living the life we live now”.  (Not the one we aspire to).  C’mon you know what I mean!  Oh, no?  You didn’t read last month’s “de-clutter” issue of O magazine?  Well, in that case, let me tell you: That bitch can sell anything.  Oprah sold me on throwing out stuff that I haven’t touched in a year and on “living the life I live now.” If you saw last week’s episode of “The Middle”, perhaps you get the idea.

In short, Oprah says, “Stop holding on to things that are not about who you are today.”  Things like (but not limited to): the treadmill you don’t use, the guitar you don’t play, the clothes you don’t wear, and the cooking stuff that just gathers dust while you order takeout.

Take a second and really think about the stuff (or shit, depends on your mood) that is taking up space in your home.  Mentally go through all the rooms, one by one, first the obvious ones, and then places like the closets, the garage, the storage unit, the storage unit you have at your mother’s house – all of it.  Can you identify at least 20% of crap you can safely say you have not touched or even thought about in the past year?  Throw it out, donate it to charity, leave it on your curb for someone else.  Just do it.  We did, and I have to say, I feel so much lighter and happier.  I wake up every morning with less clutter on my mind and in my heart.  It’s such a better to wake up and start your day, I promise.

Plus, you come to terms with who you are right now instead of always thinking about who we want to be. Let’s just be who we ARE and that will make us the happiest of all.

So, where did we net out?  Oreos are still in our cabinets, and healthy shakes have been thrown out.  But we also made space for all our lovely kitchen stuff that we’d like to use more often (if only we could remember where it is!).  Old clothes that don’t fit were donated and work out gear was safely stowed away for post-baby weight loss actitivities.  The shit in this apartment, is now a much better of picture of who Marie is today then it ever has been.  And knowing that, has made me calm and settled in a way I haven’t felt before.  Now that that’s outta the way, I can start thinking about the future.

 

Hello Everyone,

I’m working on a piece about my own experience buying and fitting into my wedding dress.  I’m seeking information from real women about their own experience with wedding or bridesmaid dresses.  If you have answers to any of the following questions, please email me your responses at affairwithcheese@hotmail.com.  All answers can be kept confidential.

Thank you in advance!

~Marie

Questions to consider:

Did your wedding dress fit you the way you wanted on the day of your wedding?

Were you horrified at the thought of buying a dress 2 sizes bigger than usual?

Did you argue with the seamstress?

If so, about what?

Did you crash diet before your wedding?

If so, which diet?  And, did it work?

Were you disappointed when you saw pictures of yourself after the big day?

Did you feel fat the day of your wedding?

When I was 14 I read Gone With the Wind.  I was so obsessed with it, that I didn’t even want to put it down during classes.  I would hide my tattered paperback copy under my desk and sneak it out when the teacher wasn’t looking.  I really couldn’t put the thing down!  When I decided to dig out my Scarlett O’Hara replica dress for Halloween (that’s a whole different post entirely) I started to get nostalgic for my love of GWTW.

I suppose it started this summer when Ran and I visited my cousin in Atlanta and went to the Margaret Mitchell House.  We went on a tour of the “dump” – a.k.a the apartment where Ms. Mitchell wrote GWTW in the 1920’s.  Then of course we had to exit the building through the gift shop (they are so clever!) where I delighted in all the memorabilia available to me!  I spent $100 on a Christmas ornament, a book mark for my mom, a framed portrait of a GWTW poster and a refrigerator magnet proclaiming, “In a weak moment I have written a book.” (Margaret Mitchell).

I promptly downloaded GWTW to my kindle and started devouring it with the excitement of a 14-year-old!  I couldn’t stop clicking “next page” over and over.  Every night I wanted to stay up late to read just ONE more chapter before bed.  I was surprised to see what a great book it still was, even though I’d already read it and basically have the film memorized.

Last week, I finished it.  And I went through that phase where you’re trying to read the last few chapters as slow as you can to make it last as long as possible.  It was marvelous.

Serendipity struck when I realized the Blu-Ray of GWTW was coming out on November 17th.  My old VHS copy is buried at my mother’s house, so I figured I was due for a new one.  It arrived in the mail on Saturday and Ran and I instantly plopped down on the couch for a GWTW-athon.  The technicolor was more rich than ever, Scarlett’s charm and green eyes dazzled, Rhett was handsome and cool.  Oh it was magnificent!

Now that’s only half the story.  I neglected to tell you about the spread of food Ran and I had to put out before we watched GWTW (Entenmann’s mini-donuts, Tim-Tams, Tostitos and Dip).   It was totally indulgent (and PMS fueled on my part) and completely unnecessary.

On Monday, when I vowed to count points (and I did!) we had our regular Monday meeting at work.  This time one of my co-workers brought his famous home-made carrot cake for Thanksgiving!  I ate very light on Monday mostly because I had no appetite from being sick.  But I definitely had an appetite for home-made carrot cake!  Oh, I had the smallest most “Hyman Roth” slice that there ever was.  I logged it in at 6 points.  I did not let it unravel my day though and that was the triumph.

Wednesday is my high school reunion.  It’s been a cause of some anxiety among my friends and for me too.  The last thing I want is to look fat.  Monday was really “do or die” for me.  I had to get back on track to have some confidence walking into my reunion and not to feel like a failure or just a plain old fatty.  Even if I didn’t lose an ounce between Monday and the party on Wednesday night, I didn’t care.  I just want to walk in knowing that I am in control of what I eat and what I weigh.

Tomorrow I get to rummage through my closet and find a dress to wear.  Let’s hope it’s not as bad as Reconstruction in Atlanta.

I’ll let you know how it turns out, because, in a weak moment, I have written a blog.

My friend Evan has a VERY successful blog of his own, www.swanfungus.com that is hyseterically funny and often has lots of pictures of food, which I love.  He did a great piece on the Gilroy Garlic Festival that really made me want to book my hotel for 2010 festival now!  Evan and I met up last weekend in NYC and we discussed among  many things, how to write a blog that people will read. 

Now, you know that I’m off facebook (see The Death of Facebook, scroll down) and that was usually my best way of promoting the blog.  I’ll continue to post it on Ran’s profile in the interim, but I’ve gotta find a way to survive without the ‘book.

So to follow Evan’s advice I’m going to post something new everyday.  Can’t promise what time it’ll happen, but I’m going to do it every 24 hour period.  I’m sure sometimes it’ll be brilliant, and other it will be crap.  But maybe this will finally make up for the fact that I didn’t do any of the exercises in “The Artist’s Way” in college.

If you want to stay connected you can also follow the blog on Twitter @affairwitcheese or become a fan of my facebook page “My Love Affair With Cheese.”

All in all, I can’t thank you enough for reading my little stories here.  It means so much to me to hear that you’re reading and enjoying it. 

Here’s a quote, “He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.”  ~Arabic Proverb

They cut down a tree on my block.  Not a particularly remarkable tree, just a tree that I used to park my car under.  I remember it, because whenever I parked my car there it would end up filthy!  Bird poo and buds from the tree were littered everywhere and I was always mad at myself for not remembering that parking spot was open for a reason!

Also, Mr Video closed.  Mr Video was a video rental place owned by a family friend of mine.  It was around the corner from my apartment and a constant in my life in Cobble Hill.  If I ever got locked out of my apartment or stuck in the rain I could always find refuge at Mr Video.  My husband even worked there for a year.  During that time, people thought I worked there too!  I was there all the time and even moonlighted there one night.  When they took down the sign last Saturday, the owner’s daughter was crying on the sidewalk.  I felt a twinge in my heart.  I wanted to cry too.  I didn’t want Mr Video to go.  Passing by the naked storefront all week made me sad and nostalgic.

Even our local homeless man, “Drummer”, is gone.  Some called him “Bum on Drums” because he was always drumming on trash cans and light poles on Court Street.  He would sing into an empty cup as if he was a ‘tween singing into a hairbrush at a slumber party.  Drummer was totally harmless and a fixture of life on Court Street.  I only saw him angry once when he knocked down all the newspaper stands (you know the kind where you stick a quarter in to get a paper) on my corner.  That scared me a little.  But where did he go?  I haven’t seen him in months.

Something about this time of year stirs things up within me, uncomfortable things, lonely things.  A crispness in the air brings me back to my childhood on Long Island.  The sun goes down early, I find I need a jacket, and I have no excuse to buy school supplies.  Oh and I start listening to sad music.  But why?  What is my problem?

For most of our lives this change of season leads us to a new school year.  I’ve been off the “school calendar” for 7 fall seasons now, and yet I still miss it.  I still want to go to Staples and pick out fresh paper and new designer pens.  I want a chance to reorganize my study habits and buy new color coded binders.  Maybe all I seek, is a fresh start.  No new school year, so no fresh start.

I just put new furniture in my bedroom and have been shopping wildly at Container Store (perhaps a stand in for Staples?) and organizing my many bottles of lotions and potions and jewelry and hair products I never use.  I think I tried to create my own fresh start by re-doing my bedroom.

All of this starting coming to my while I was walking along Court Street this evening.  I walked down to Barnes and Noble to buy a gift for a friend who is moving away…more change.

Have I changed?  Am I still the same silly girl buying protractors and pencils and blue binders for Social Studies class?  Or have I made some changes in my life since then?  Have I learned anything? Have you?

All this ruminating made me think- “Ohhhh let me eat something, that will feel familiar and good!”  But I didn’t want it.  I wasn’t hungry.  I didn’t have the urge for food as medicine.

I guess I’m still a girl looking for a fresh start, a chance for change, and a good fall jacket.  I’ve made changes.  I measure food now, I snack on dried fruit.  And yet I’m still the same.  Still working hard to keep those changes going – organize – and resist pasta and ‘smores.

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