Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time for a Tune Up...

OKAY…so I didn’t hide under that rock…I decided to stay and face music! But how well did I do???

I mean...REALLY??? The thought has crossed my mind on more than once ...when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance...
"Do I really have what it takes to get the job done and keep it from happening again???"

Let's face it. There is always going to be a reason to eat! There will always be an upcoming holiday, a reason to celebrate...or a friend coming in town??? How does one retrain their thinking, so that celebrations don't always center totally around food? How can one strengthen their willpower to resist temptation? How does one achieve bliss in the land of weight loss heaven???


A very dear friend came down for a visit. I absolutely adore this man, and we've shared a most endearing camaraderie for almost 15 years. We've been through a lot together...but despite it all, the one constant that has always been present ... OUR LOVE FOR THE FINEST GASTRONOMY! We love to FEED each other... and after all, that is how we (and most) show our appreciation or affection for one another...isn't it??? I've been known to cook dinner for him on occasion, and he loves to treat me to the latest and greatest eateries in his neck of the woods. So in preparation for his visit, I took the liberty of researching all of "THE BEST" Texas Barbeque, Authentic Mexican Cuisine and Margaritas, this town would have to offer... knowing this would be something that he would certainly enjoy. I have always been adorned with the title of "GRACIOUS HOST" ... and while my quest to not disappoint was always forefront, I managed to successfully retain my illustrious title during his visit.

Being once again, struck by my “Pleasure Principle,” at no time during the weekend did I stop to think about caloric content, or even fat grams. My version of making a smart food choice was choosing between chicken or beef; anejo or reposado tequila. Did I make good food choices? Probably not always…but they sure were YUMMMMMMY! And for the commrade also agrees that "IRON CACTUS" has the best margaritas on the "Riverwalk!"

The truth is...if it's not "Fiesta" or "Christmas" or " Pick a day to CELEBRATE and I will give you a REASON to EAT" day... Do I REALLY have what it takes to make this work and create the body I want as well as the lifestyle to maintain my desire???

I guess maybe the better question to ask is… how much am I willing to sacrifice to get what I want? How badly do I really want it? How do I resist all of the food temptations out there so that I can be totally focused on achieving my goal?

This isn't the first time a friend has come to visit...and be rest assured, this probably isn't going to be the last. The visits seem to be a quandry that I battle almost monthly... and yet I toil daily with that quest to achieve the perfect balance between my love for food and my desire to be thinner. There are days…weeks even, where I manage to do well. There are probably an equal number of days where my “Pleasure Principle” seems to override what little discipline I seem to acquire. This engine doesn't seem to be performing the way it should be. There seems to be a definite disconnect between thoughts and actions. It is painfully obvious that all spark plugs are not firing equally and consistently, and this can certainly affect the performance of this vehicle.

Looks like its probably time for a tune up… before this vehicle BREAKS DOWN!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's FIESTA Time

Who knew that it would be such a challenge to stay focused while trying to lose weight???

Food is EVERYWHERE in this town…it’s no wonder why San Antonio appeared as #3 on the top ten fattest cities in the US. After living in this city for over 6 months…I can easily see how and why it reached such a lofty status on this disparaging list. And make no mistake about it…Fiesta plays its part in this cities #3 ranking for sure!

What originally began as a commemoration to honor the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jancito, has grown into a Texas-sized celebration that is only matched by the spirit of its people. This 11 day, 107 event gala attracts 3.5 million people and generates more than $285 million dollars annually. It has now grown into a celebration of this cities’ rich heritage, and this year, Fiesta marks its’ 118th anniversary. While this city-wide celebration hosts plenty of parades, exhibits, athletic activities, and live music with dancing, you better believe that there will be plenty of FOOD, FOOD, FOOD!

Starting with “Oyster-Bake” on opening weekend (yes, that’s right…an entire festival featuring oysters! Like’em fried, raw, baked, steamed or barbequed...doesn’t matter one bit!), and going on to the "Champagne and Diamonds Brunch, A Taste of New Orleans, Fiesta Nueva, A Taste of the North Side, The Chips & Salsa Event, Ole’ Luncheon," and finally what I am sure will become a personal favorite, " A Fiesta Taste of Texas Wine Country!" All of this is BEFORE attending the "Battle of the Flowers, Night in Old San Antonio," or any of the other activities that will have on hand, your typical festival foods like ice cream, funnel cake, turkey legs, corn dogs and cotton candy. Oh, and of course, this IS Texas, so you know there will be plenty of chalupas, flauntas, BBQ tacos, and armadillo eggs for the tasting. Now keeping in mind that there are over 100 events featuring these culinary delicacies…there’s a stomachache coming on, just thinking about all of the food to be consumed.

Now I would love to hide under a rock for two weeks, until Fiesta blows over, but I don’t think that I’d have a job to come back to when it’s all said and done. I have asked before and I ask the question AGAIN…how does one remain focused in the face of temptation??? I suppose I could eat before I go…or try to make healthy food choices and avoid the fried stuff. I could allow myself a little indulgence and make time to work off the extra calories, or I could just take myself out of my misery and hide under that rock!

My first reaction is usually the correct one…

I’ll talk with you again in two weeks!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

GOD gave his ONLY Begotten SON...

... Jesus came that I might have life,and have it more abundantly. ~John 10:10 NKJ

He came ...So that I could have pizza and carrot cake??? In a sense...Well, YES, I'd say so!

Clearly, I don't think that GOD intended for me to use his words in this example...but I think it applies here! This week was Holy Week. In essence, It commemorates the last week of the earthly life of Jesus Christ culminating his crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

For all intensive purposes, it was an exceptionally good week for me...
And as it pertains to our discussion regarding my obsession with food…
it was a manageable week of no regrets. That, my friends, is a good week!

What I mean by that is, that I did as I was supposed to do on most days of the week. I ate right, and got in a decent amount of activity. I probably could have done more, but I think I did enough to not see any plus signs on the scale this week.

Sunday happened to be exceptionally focused day. Got up and went for a walk around the neighborhood before sitting down to a breakfast of apple cinnamon oatmeal, a cup of freshly sliced strawberries and blueberries, a whole wheat english muffin, with a dab of mango-peach fruit spread, a cup of coffee and my Sunday paper. Working down my “to –do” list I inadvertently lost track of time. Realizing that it’s Easter Sunday…surely there is a nice café that is open for what should have been brunch, but is now almost dinner time at 4:00 pm…you think???

I get in my car and drive across town to discover a quaint little café, located near a golf course, and with an adorable, but decent sized outdoor patio, which would allow me to enjoy this fabulous Easter Sunday. After reviewing the menu choices and realizing that I have behaved decently all week… I opt for the single serving sized goat cheese, sun dried tomato & cilantro pizza…and pair it with a fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon! Not only is it a fabulous pairing…but John (my server) volunteers that for dessert… the “14 Karat Cake” with homemade cream cheese icing and a drizzle of caramel over the top... is to die for. They make it fresh daily…and today’s batch was exceptional. Well, I am not much for sweets usually, and will forgo them, lieu of a fabulous glass of noble nectar. But when John shares that they also have a pretty damn good port, that pairs fabulously with this luxurious treat … I am all in!

After my sweet extravagance…my fear was that I had blown an entire week of decent success for one afternoon of indulgence. Probably not what GOD had in mind when HE gave HIS only begotten Son… and I know HE is up there in heaven, just shaking HIS head at what HE'S created in his child here on earth. I know HE’S not surprised or even amazed…and probably thinks it’s pretty funny, but HE knows HIS child…and knows that HE created a “Foodie- Monster!”

Guess I’ll get up in the morning and do my best to work off the damage…or at least, I hope so!

Happy Easter~

Sunday, April 5, 2009

An Enchanting Week End???

I am not ashamed to tell you when I've let me just start right off by saying...I FAILED BIG-TIME!!!

Friday night I decided to visit my friends at my favorite sushi restaurant, Osaka's. I don't think I am wrong when I say that this place is my 2009 version of "CHEERS!" It holds a special place in my heart because, being new to a city and having the entire restaurant staff befriend you...well that makes it pretty darn special. Needless to say, these were in fact, my first (non-work related) friends in Texas.

I digress for a moment to share with you, research shows on average that a person stops at a fast food drive thru, or orders take out, 3-4 times per week. Since I consider version of fast food... My friends at Osaka's can usually count on seeing me at least 1-2 times per week. With the stresses of work, I had not visited my beloved restaurant in over two weeks. And while I can say that it's nice to be's probably not good during LENT OBSERVANCE!!! Hugs, kisses & smiles are usually considered standard practice for long absences...please know for future reference that at Osaka's, they do all that...and send you SAKE ON THE HOUSE!!! For those who remember that I gave up alcohol for Lent, sending me sake was probably not the best gift one could receive. To top it all of the bartenders was experimenting, and apparently was awaiting my arrival, so that I could try his version of a “Sake-Rita.”

How could I possibly say “NO” to the man who loves to feed me...and the man who loves to serve me??? Saying “NO” seems like a slap in the face for those who so affectionately professed their love for me...RIGHT??? (Ok...I realize that was a bit of a stretch, but I think you get the picture!!!)

Feeling guilty about my collapse...the next morning, (after apologizing to GOD for not holding up my promise, less than 2 weeks before Easter) I got up and started my trek to Austin. My Texas Girlfriend and I were in compliance when we mutually agreed to partake in activities that involved more than just moving a fork or a glass. This Saturday, we would climb "Enchanted Rock!" It is second in size to Georgia's Stone Mountain, and Indian Legend has it that this rock is haunted. But the actual truth is, when it cools at night, it makes a creaking noise. Although it takes the better part of an hour, this pink mountain of granite ascends 500 feet up to its summit, where climbers are rewarded with magnificent vistas of Texas Hill Country.More than half way up the steep terrain, sweaty, hot and completely out of breath, I managed to musty up enough air to jokingly complain to my girlfriend...

"Are we there yet???"

Much to my surprise, she manages the energy to turn completely around...and re-works her ventilation to respond...

"But just look at how far we've come!"

Right then and there, I knew that there was a lesson to be had...but I was too sweaty & out of breathe to figure out what it was...but I hoped that once I got to the top, I could figure it out! Since I had 250 feet still left to climb...I figured that was plenty of time!

Well we got there … and were pretty damn proud that we made it to the peak…our zenith, our pinnacle!

It wasn’t until my Sunday drive home that I realized…”When it comes to weight loss…I’ve still got a long way to go!”

Sure I’ve had some ups and some downs…some challenges and some successes. This is my life. There are always going to be obstacles. There will always be a temptation, a set back, a joy or a pain. There will always be a fork in the wheel.

I think that is the way it was meant to be. After all, how will we ever know how strong we are? Can we appreciate the ups of life…if we haven’t experienced the downs? I believe that our level of happiness can be directly proportionate to the level of disappointment or failures we face. This was the first Lent Observance in which I didn’t accomplish what I sent out to do…and yet it was the most eye opening experience yet! Why??? It wasn’t about the alcohol as much as it was that I was looking for clarity…I needed answers! Despite my failure…I set an expectation…and in return, I got just what I needed, even when I didn’t deserve it!

Go Figure?!?

I guess it was an “Enchanted Week End” after all, huh???