On Resolutions, Evolutions and Revolutions: Goodbye 2011!

Hey, that’s my mantra!

B’klyn<3, 2003.  I’d be heavier still by 2009.

Resolutions – A good place to start, since it is that time of year.  While I can’t say I invented it, I know for many years now I haven’t waited for the New Year to resolve anything, because I often found those type of resolutions do not work.  Not for me.  For me, resolving to do something on January 1st meant that a) I could procrastinate and even do the exact opposite of said thing up to the point of the New Year and b) If I even did try after January 1st, it’d often be dropped with a “Oh well, I tried.”

True fact:  I resolved to join WeightWatchers 3 consecutive New Year’s periods before I gave up  making resolutions entirely.  It may have been one of the prompting factors (I actually even coupled this with The Husband somehow taking charge and making us join together).  When I finally did resolve to join WeightWatchers, it was a normal day in June.  While mostly giving up on me, there was a bit that finally decided enough was enough: no waiting for January 1, The Husband, or a magical a-ha moment.  So it was random day in June 2009 that I joined.

My advice to the interwebs is this:  if you have a desire to make a change to yourself, in the world, don’t wait.  You’ll see it everywhere and you’ll see it here as well:  Every day, every hour and every minute is an opportunity to do those things you want to do.  Don’t let excuses or fear get in your way.  I know this is not an easy thing to do, by far easier to say than to do.  Trust me, as to this day it is something I work on:  As with WeightWatchers, there are other areas of my life I still avoid out of unrealistic fears.  Hyping up the January 1st can often lead to disappointment, so if you see a change you want to make, don’t wait.

Well, of course, if it happens to be 01/01 when you find your opportunity, certainly go for it! ­čÖé

Evolutions – People have likely thought it, and some have even said it to me;  gee, B’klyn<3, you’ve changed.

This, I cannot deny.

Today I find myself a person who looks in the mirror (the literal one as well as the spiritual one) and sometimes doesn’t recognize myself.  Dropping all of the weight over the course of two years has changed many aspects of my being, and likely more than even I anticipated.  Indeed, not just the weight, but simply growing up has changed me.  Just as a kid where I never used to eat anything that wasn’t pizza or somehow pizza related so long as it was served with pizza, when I got older (around university age) I started expanding my universe.  I had to:  I wasn’t in Brooklyn anymore and would likely starve since I didn’t feel any other place really had pizza so much as they had bread with sauce and cheese on top.  I also figured that I was at an age where I should likely eat my vegetables.

Little did I know that the future held a world where I would really be eating my vegetables.  Little less did I know that Congress would gently say, “Yes, B’klyn<3; You were eating your vegetables all along.”

So I find myself evolving into… well, I don’t know what.  In many ways, I’m still learning about me, and finding out what it is I truly want out of life.  It only took me 30 years or so, and likely will take longer still.  Some of my interests are the same, but some have waned and new ones have arisen.  What I’m trying to do is learn me, find out what it is I enjoy, and try to maximize on that.  I do have things in mind for where I want to be in a few years, so I’m dusting of Ye Olde SMART goals and plotting out how to get there (ah, resolutions in the evolutions eh?)

Like my sweater, I’ll ever be the WIP.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be done, but I’ll have fun trying!

Seriously, and seriously I mean this, I’m talking about me… I’ll finish that doggone sweater!  I’ll SMART it if I have to!

Revolutions – Revolutions are in progress!  They include two things, helpfully listed below!

B’klyn<3 2011.  I’ll never look cool running,
nor standing still.

real difference in scale activity.  The Husband brings it out once a week, I weigh, and then I live my life how I see fit.  Maybe that means a little more activity and a little less vegan candy, or maybe it doesn’t.  It’s time to stop using that number to be the definition and let my body be the definition.  I can feel it if I go to far, just as I can feel it when I’m doing right by it.  The number was the noise that prevented me from hearing that voice or feeling that waist in my jeans, and not my body.  Time for a new approach.  I still track my foods and activity.  I still go to meetings.  I think they are still very important to me; but as I’ve said before, all just indicators, and not the thing itself.  It feels good to finally live that.

A new blog site!  I’ve hinted at the past, and come 2012 I’ll be posting to a new site:  http://bklynheart.com/  It’s partially up with old posts, and will be updated over the course of [don’t forget to put the amount of time here, but yes, of course you will won’t you, as you haven’t resolved to when this will happen yet, did you? *winky face*], and I’ll be posting there.  I also have a Tumblr account where I mostly post my “food porn” and other things I find interesting and/or amusing.  No, I don’t know how to be a social media darling.  Not really my intent; at the end of the day, I just mean to present me.  Not a suggestion, not a demand, but simply that which the curious may want to know.

And so, I bid a fond farewell to 2011.  I’ll enjoy the final hours of the day cooking up some tasty vittles for myself, The Husband and my friends, running a race, working on goals for the future, and enjoying the heck out of life.  Most of those things I’d normally do anyway, and the last I will certainly do more often.  That I do resolve.

Take care, be safe, find your joy and love to you always!  -B’klyn<3

… Er, Hello December?

Ah, yes.  December.  When did you arrive?  And have already made yourself at home, yes?  Hmm.

Things seem darkest before the dawn…

We can venture to guess that my resolution was not to become a better blogger.  Unfortunately for me, my woes from slicing my palm open

One thing is for certain… I shall always run with bells on.

Granted, I do have a wonderful and varied list of excuses, but the predominate one was illness.  My stomach decided it would engage in a 72+ hour dance-a-long of Breakin’ 2:  Electric Boogaloo.  Many of those hours spanned along the very weekend I had decided (wisely?  foolishly?  B’klyn<3erly?) to run two races in a row:  Frosty’s 5K (part of Surf-n-Santa 10 Miler event) and Christmastown Dash 8K (to which all I can say is that I really wish I had this shirt to wear for the fools that Chick-fil-A are being… and my understanding is that this is not the first time).

I will never (ever) look cool while running.

In any case, running was accomplished and (once yet again) I am working on improving myself and improving my run.  This month’s goals include:
1) Work on the running.  I have magazines, I go to events… but am I really doing all of the analysis I see other people and bloggers and magazine writers doing?  No?  Playing it by ear like a piano.  Considering how into metrics I am in when it comes to the silly number, perhaps my efforts are better spent on analyzing the number known as pace.
2) To exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, and I mean every day.  Minimum.  No excuses.  Not even being sick.  Been a fun goal so far, thank you B’klyn<3 of the past who set it!
I felt best this day.  Until I learned we had to run up the
coaster that’s behind me.

3) To work on my I Hate Everything┬« attitude.  Which I had been… but need to do more.  Deeper and better.  A story about that to follow.

4) To lose the 4 pounds I gained during the past two weeks of Holiday Celebration, Palm Slashing Misery, Woe is Me-ism, Sickness (though most of those came right back out, so I don’t think they count), and Out of Townessness (where I ate not a lot due to illness, but there were a couple of high-ticket items certainly).

Right about here is where I break into a
Jennifer Hudson WeightWatchers Commercial

Forever the work in progress is me.  And that’s a fine thing.  I’d be bored otherwise.

Goodbye November…

A few odds and/or sods:

I got a prize for showing up!

The workout log kind of fell apart, but not the actual working out.  I have had 2 days of rest over the past 4 weeks, but have otherwise devoted at least a solid half-hour to exercise every day.  I plan to stick to this, though not blog endlessly about it.  You’re welcome.

My First Vegan Thanksgiving was a huge success!  Everything was gorgeous and beautiful.  I wasn’t so worried about me because I happen to love very much vegan food and food prepared by mine own hand, but I was worried for the family who also then happened to have their own first vegan Thanksgiving.  Fortunately, the evening surrounded by caring and loving family and the blessings that we have all had the past year did come accompanied with good food.  And the best vegan pumpkin cheesecake of all time ever.  Prepared by The Husband’s own hand.  After all, he is good at providing cheese.

A filled table is a happy one.  I love all of these people.

Self talk in all forms can be both helpful and harmful.  I joked about either cutting myself or burning myself over the holiday.  I laughed at my last weigh in that I’d gain 3 pounds over the holiday.  I tittered that there was no experience yet that would get me off the pizza.  In their own odd ways, all of these things came to pass.


The moral is to joke about those millions of dollars you bet will never come your way.

December goal, more this and less stitches.

So goodbye November.  I shall remember you mostly fondly.  Except for the upset stomach and the stitches and trying to lose that November holiday weight to make room for the December holiday weight.  I will remember sticking to my goals as I prepare to make new ones for December (become a better blogger maybe, or learn how to set a place setting, possibly proper knife usage!), enjoying some good times with my family and my The Husband, the Thank You card from my sister and the call from my mom to say she was proud of me:  for the Weight Watchers, for the Veganist lifestyle and for being me.

For all the bad and the three stitches I like to think of as 87… I am truly blessed.  And there are blessings yet to come.

I also hope more cheesecake.

No, I said cheesecake.  Not cheese.
Granted.  This is vegan cheese.

Irony Can Be Pretty Ironic Sometimes

Pray for me.

Friends, family, foodies, bloggers, Brooklynites and the owners of Mario’s and their ilk… pray for me.


I have true fear I have lost my taste for pizza.  For the first time.  Ever.

Stock footage from an earlier, happier time…

Off The Husband whisked me for an evening filled with Renaissance-style and heavily synthesized Christmas music (read: Mannheim Steamroller).  Don’t judge.  It was the music of my childhood.

As we drove off for an evening that I knew would involve again The Bellytimber Tavern, knowing full well there were a few vegan options I’d want to try but would ultimately get the vegan pizza because I am me, I mused to him aloud, “You know how the only thing Atkins did for me was cure me of my bacon obsession?”

“Hmmmmmm?” he said in that lazy voice of his that simultaneously meant “Yes, dear, I know that of which you speak.”, “What’s this now?”, “That guy in front of me is driving too slow.” and “Wonder if I can finish this Final Fantasy game before the next one comes out.”

“Well, it’s too bad there isn’t something like that for pizza,” I joked.  “I’ve been following that plan my entire life and it hasn’t worked yet!”

We shared some droll laughter and continued on my way.

Oh, stupid girl.  Stupid, stupid girl.

The last time we were at the tavern, it was crowed and entirely too loud for The Husband.  This time around, it was just loud.

He got a Greek (non-vegan) pie and I got a custom pie with what had become my favorite toppings at Pizza Fusion before they went away: Spinach, Artichoke and Garlic.

It was during Mannheim Steamroller during what may have been the creepiest video I’ve ever seen at a concern or otherwise that was vaguely related to Christmas when it happened.

I became distinctly aware of the exact size, shape and length of my lower intestine.  And it was doing the Batusi.

It became a distinctly uncomfortable Mannheim Steamroller experience.  And not for the creepy videos.

The end could not come fast enough, and to this morning I’m still feeling the ill effects of… well, I don’t know what or why this was brought on.

All I know is that it has a very strong association with that pizza I ate.  So much that the thought of pizza (any pizza) fills me with a slight nausia and cold dread.

Be careful what you wish for, even in jest?

Oh, please pray for me.  Let this pass, let me feel better.

Let me not wind up hating pizza…

Seconds!

So, what does a B’klynHeart following a plant based diet eat and/or serve on Thanksgiving?
I’d like to share with you the story of a girl who gained back 176 pounds in a single day*
Gardein Chicken Fillets (the alternative not-meat)
Thanksgiving Gravy a’la Happy Herbivore
The Husband‘s Stuffing 2.0 (The Vegan Version)
Perfect Brussels Sprouta’la V. K. Rees Photography, with added Fuji Apple,  Kabocha Squash and Cranberries
Five Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese a ‘la Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites
Yukon Gold And Sweet Potatoes a’la The Vegan Table
Looking back over these, I find the following B’klynHeart trends:
  • I make too much food.
  • I make entirely too much food.
  • Considering my stomach and my eye have drastically changed from 3 years ago (A pound of elbow macaroni?!  A pound?!?! Who am I feeding, Deleware?), I make entirely too much food.

A B’klynHeart first?  To add to yesterday’s questions, I am remarkably ahead of the game.
For this… I am incredibly grateful.
To all of you, please enjoy this day with your family and friends.  Be thankful for the wonderful blessings in your life.  Snuggle close with your loved ones and enjoy their company… and tell them that you love them and enjoy their company!  
Love from B’klynHeart and The Husband
Have a wonderful and blessed day.  And Thank You.
—–
* We all know this to be a lie, and this meal will produce 50 pounds at most.  The full 176 comes about when I go back to Brooklyn and visit all the vegan pizza spots in one day.

** Not-Turkey drama!  The original-original plan was to go with Gardein Stuffed Turk’y, but then I couldn’t find them (found them much later and have since purchased one for us to sample).  The next plan was Tofurky which was all well and fine… but we did wait and then could not find that.  So I briefly paniced before I forgot that I was B’klynHeart, so I came up with a plan… I was going to make a Seitanic roast… only Seitan could save me now!  So I’ll make this Ellen’s chef’s roast!  But then I’ll make it like Isa’s PPK roast!  But with The Husband’s stuffing!  And cranberries!…

and then I remembered again that I was very much a B’klynHeart, and to save myself from the ensuing crazy purchased a Field Roast, which I’m told by The Washington Post is quite tasty.

There will be Tofurky and Crazy B’klynHeart/The Husband Co-Production Seitanic Roast in the not-too-distant future however…

Firsts!

One first:  This would represent the most posts I have had in a month.  It may be due to my Work Out Log Challenge… but that will end soon, and the accountability has played a big part in my overall success I think.  Please bear with me; at least it hasn’t been every day.

So I think the prevailing crazy-voice in my head is the one going “La-la-laaaa!” in a very loud voice in an effort to calm the growing panic over the following facts:

1) This will be the first Thanksgiving that I’ve hosted at my house.
2) This will be the first Thanksgiving that I’ve cooked the entire menu.
3) This will be the first Thanksgiving where I’m at my goal weight and a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member (read: I want to stay at said weight).
4) This will be my first vegan Thanksgiving.
5) This will be the first time I’m cooking vegan food for the entire family.

Engage panic mode.

*panic mode engaged*

AAAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGHHH!

*ahem*

/panic mode

Frankly, what I’m worried about most is that somehow I feel like I’m not worried enough about these things.  Is that a funny way to feel?  I think so.  Though… maybe not.  I’m in love with my own cooking, so I run forward thinking that everyone else will be too… a strange and undeserved streak of confidence.  I’m also kind of surprised and stoked that the family were really into this (I was sure it’d be just me, The Husband and FiL).  To be able to share a meal that is compassionate and healthful (haha, not all exactly healthy except from certain perspectives) with those that I love most in the world… well, it’s a wonderful (if pressuring) opportunity.

Then again, part of their enthusiasm may have to do with the fact that they do not have to cook.

Really?  That’s just fine with me.  You know I love to cook.  Though if I need diced carrots… I better have started 3 days ago.

New traditions will begin at my house in just a few days, and you know what?  I need to just not worry about it.  It’ll be great, and they may like it, they may not… but the one tradition I intend to keep is the tradition of gathering with my family and being grateful.

1) I’m grateful that I can host Thanksgiving at my house this year.
2) I’m grateful that get to cook an entire menu of food (with assistance from the most wonderful The Husband in the world).
3) I’m grateful that I’m finally at a healthy weight for the first time in my life, and if I indulge a bit this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful that I know exactly how to get back to where I was (read: I’m grateful for Weight Watchers).
4) I’m grateful that the past year has shown me a better path for my life and a lifestyle I continue to grow into.
5) I’m grateful that I have a loving and open-minded/open-hearted family, and the opportunity once again to give folks more credit than I usually do.

The only worry I have is about the back-to-back races I have coming up in just two weeks than any of the things I’ve mentioned above!

… well, this is not true.  There is one thing Thanksgiving related that I do worry about.  A lot, given my recent trend.

Will the Thanksgiving ER visit be because a) I’ve sliced myself deeply, b) I’ve burned myself severely… or c) I’ve sliced myself deeply trying to put out the fire I’ve set myself on?*

—–
* Feel free to answer.  I personally think C myself.

Work Out Log Challenge – Day 22

Going through Day 28… at least. ­čÖé


A ‘la Oh She Glows


Date: 2011-11-20 (AKA, Day 22)

Type of workout/duration: Morning through Afternoon:  30 Minutes Abs, 30 Minutes Step, 15 Minutes Strength, 5 minutes Stretching.


Hours of sleep: 6 hours.  Would have been more, but work called…


My mood before/during/after exercise: Lazy, lazy, lazy.  For some reasons on Sundays I drag it all out.  There’s all this coffee and internet and television that occurs…


Exercise struggles:  Just getting it done… and I hated it today… but then I was done.


Exercise progress:  Felt great… 


How I felt the rest of the day: … but I wanted more sleep, so I went back to bed eventually!


Other things to note:  Getting plenty of rest, and tomorrow morning going to go strong!  And early!