November 7, 2010

Drop dead gorgeous

My positive sign for the week:

i think i love my face
My new mantra, and not just for the week.

Challenge start weight: 332
Current weight: 282

Four more pounds gone this week - which brings me to a total of 50 pounds lost while tracking my weight for this challenge! I can hardly believe it.

Progress on my DDGbG goals: The last of my original four goals was to tell my family and friends as often as possible that I love them. With everything going on with my mom, I've made sure to keep in touch even moreso than usual. For friends, though, this had been harder recently.

Today is Jill's birthday, and most people who usually read this blog probably have no idea who that is - the fact of which just adds to how painful it is for me. chicago 2007It's just amazing that I haven't mentioned her more in here. Jill is my best friend, my absolutely inseparable best friend with whom I went to college, and with whom I traveled to Paris for the first time, ... and with whom I have not spoken in several months. For some reason unknown to me, she just started ignoring my messages and my attempts to communicate. In the meantime, she has changed jobs and moved out into her first apartment, and I didn't even know her new address to send her a birthday card (which is a big deal, because we are intense letter writers and package senders - one summer, we sent about a hundred letters back and forth). I sent a card to her mother's address, noting that I was unsure of why we haven't spoken in so long, and letting her know that I hope she has a great birthday and I miss her very much. I'm not sure what will come of it, but it's going to be a difficult day nonetheless.

For my recipe this week, another soup - it got colder here in Chicago, so I wanted to make something warm, seasonal, and spicy!

omg yum
Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe
[Adapted from this recipe]

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 (15 oz) cans pumpkin purée
5 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of milk

1. Heat oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about four minutes. Add spices; stir for one minute.

2. Add pumpkin and chicken broth and mix. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan.

4. With the soup on low heat, slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add milk to cool it down.
Per usual, I made changes - I don't have a food processor or blender, so I just chopped the onions really tiny - I like a little texture here and there with my soups, so it wasn't bad. Also, in the original recipe, the author said it was too hot, so she added some cream and brown sugar. I omitted both and doubled the spice quantities that I listed here (some of which were already much more than what she said). I never used to be able to handle spicy food until I started to eat healthier - now I totally love it. I think it has something to do with becoming more aware of food as something delicious and nourishing, and not just something I eat quickly and indiscriminately because I am bored or stressed.

This recipe made eight servings, seven of which are in my freezer. I like cooking something big like this and putting some away for busy/lazy weeks - like this past week, when pretty much every dinner I ate was something I had taken out of the freezer. I usually spend one or two Sundays a month cooking up a storm and then loading up the freezer with little containers of soup, or spaghetti sauce and mini meatballs, or some sort of chicken and vegetable creation I thought was delicious but couldn't imagine eating leftovers of for days and days.

ONE thing that you are proud of for the week: I had a couple slices of pizza for dinner on Friday night - and I didn't binge and eat a whole five thousand calorie pizza pie in one sitting! In fact, I didn't freak out over calories at all, really - it was only a few more calories than I usually have at dinner, not so many that it would throw off my groove - plus, I knew I would be working hard the next day, so I let myself enjoy this little treat responsibly. And - it was incredibly delicious. Thin crust, spinach, tomato, and goat cheese. A-mazing. It was like I had never tasted pizza before in my life, and thinking about it, that might be true. I ate it mindfully and savored the whole experience, and felt very satisfied afterwards. It's a big preparatory step for going home at Christmas - enjoying food without getting carried away. It felt like a huge victory for me.

ONE thing that you can improve upon for the following week: Relaxing! This is going to be a stressful week (mostly due to my teaching observation on Thursday), so I need to make sure I take enough time to relax.


Anne H said...

I am so sorry about your dear friend Jill.
I know from experience how much that can hurt.
Probably more than it should - but it is what it is.
And it hurts.
May this be a good day for you, anyways!
Warm soupy hugs!

Anonymous Fat Girl said...

Congrats on your loss! I'm very impressed! :)

Anonymous said...

I hope that things work out with your friend. Maybe it is just a misunderstanding or a miscommunication. I have had my heart broken by friends twice...once when I was very young, like 20 (I'm 41 now). And once about six years ago by somebody who I totally considered a sister-friend. A best friend. It took me years not to think about her every day. So I know how hard it can be. But I'm hoping you guys patch it up, or you can at least find out what's going on.

Way to go on the weight loss this week and the pizza victory! I'm not feeling hot today, as I had a big birthday party all-girl sleep over last night at a friend's house, which involved lots of tequila, barfing, etc. Hopefully I'll be totally recovered tomorrow and back on the healthy bandwagon. Just have to live it up every now and then! And we had a blast, but I'm paying for it today.

Ann (-50 lbs in -60 lb challenge) said...

Congratulations on hitting the big 5-0 ... fantastic!! You worked hard for that loss, and I'm proud of you.

The soup looks good ... put a blender or food processor on your Christmas wish list. You'll wonder how you did with one (food processor). LOL

As for Jill, you did about the only thing you could do, and the rest is up to her. I hope it works out for you. Life is funny that way, bringing people into and out of our lives at various times. If she doesn't respond, you at least wished her well, and who knows ... she may pop back up later in life, looking to renew!!


Anonymous said...

Well, forgive me for being nosey, but this Jill thing kinda bothers me (and I don't even know her)! How could you be so close to someone and suddenly cut them out of your life? Did you have a fight? Did you two disagree on something? I mean, that's horrible and I'm so sorry you're going through this! I hope she gets your note and realizes that she has pushed away a very dear friend in her life and I hope that you two can reunite!

Your pumpkin soup recipe sounds fabulous! Totally going to try it!

You are doing your absolute best and you're doing it wonderfully!

Mary said...

Yeah, I wish I had a clue why she is doing this - I saw her in July when I was back East visiting family, and then when I got back to Chicago, she started ignoring my messages I sent her or deleting comments I left on her website (she started her own photography business last year, so [like all our friends] I would try to leave comments here and there). I remember one was asking what photography websites people liked - so really, it wasn't anything controversial or anger-inducing. I honestly have no idea why this is happening. Treating relationships like this is pretty petty and childish - we're 24, 25 years old, this isn't high school. I'm kind of coming to terms with the idea that in spite of our long friendship and all we've been through, I don't want people in my life who treat me like garbage.

It was right before I started this blog, actually, and to be honest, I think that's a lot of why I started blogging - I knew my real-life support was not what it used to be, and I wanted to take this opportunity to do some good for myself.

Jessica said...

I am sorry you are having to deal with friendship issuses. That is tough. I think people go in and out of our lives for a reason...when you least expect it your friendship may again emerge and be stronger than ever. Just keep an open heart.
Looks like you have a great week for your goals!

Sonya @ Eyes on the Hourglass said...

I'm so sorry you're having a hard time with your best friend. I'm having my own issues with mine right now (although I haven't spoken about it much on my blog). It's really hard and hurtful. Hopefully things will work themselves out in time for the both of us!

Congrats on 50 pounds lost. That is AMAZING!!!!! I really hope I'll be able to say the same in time!