November 20, 2010

Happy New Year

I have never been the kind of girl who was interested in going out for New Year's Eve. Partly because of weight-related shyness, partly because I'm not really a big drinker. But I think mostly it's because even though January 1st is the beginning of a new calendar year, most of my life has been based around other annual rhythms. The school year, for example, usually brings new opportunities - new beginnings as well as new notebooks and new pens. A new school maybe, or new classes and new teachers - and always, the promises I make to myself to be a better student - or at least, less of a procrastinator.

I've also paid special attention to my birthday for the same reason, making plans of things I'd like to get accomplished in my next year. Like most New Year's resolutions, I have always devoted myself one hundred ten percent for the first day or so, and then my efforts taper off. No time, no motivation, no whatever - it seems I'm always short of everything but excuses.

my sweet little sign
My plans for November 20, 2009 to 2010:
1 - Lose weight.
2 - Read 10 "classic" novels I somehow missed in high school/college.
3 - Stress adequately over MA exams and PhD or job searching.
4 - Stop talking to Scott.
5 - Do wonderful things for other people as often as possible.
Unfortunately, I'm still no closer to reading "The Odyssey" than I was last November, but I'm more than satisfied with my progress on the other four.

Doing nice things for other people has felt just as rewarding as I thought it would - of course, it's something I already try to do in my daily life, but being extra conscious of it for a year has made me more aware of just how many people I interact with every day. I say hello to every bus driver and grocery store clerk, I leave change in the tip jar of the café every morning when I buy my cup of ice for ice water, I smile at kids, and I try to be there for anyone who might need help or someone to talk to.

Cutting off contact with Scott (a painful person from my past who needs an entry all his own to explain) was fairly difficult, but I'm happy that I've done it. I'm a year older, a year wiser, and in a completely different emotional place than I was last November. He is not good for my heart, and he is not good for my head. And I am very glad that I am maturing enough to recognize that.

It's so strange to think back to a year ago, with my impending exams, and recall how completely stressed out I was. They were already seven months ago! And after my oral defense, when they called me Master and told me I had passed, it was both exciting and terrifying - like most things in my life lately, I guess! It meant I would get my graduate degree, but also, that I would need to find a job. I was so lucky to get a full-time university lecturer job, and I'm so grateful for everything that has come with this opportunity - working with great faculty and staff, educating students, staying in Chicago, and making enough money to support myself *and* have a little fun sometimes.

And then, finally, there's the weight loss. Even when I wrote out my to-do list, I thought this year was going to be like every year - great intentions, but little to no action. Yet, as of yesterday's weigh in, I have lost 72 pounds so far this year. This is still so unbelievable to me. I haven't binged in months. I routinely choose cooking for myself over takeout. I've done a stair race. I've been doing 5k walks. Today, I'm going to run for two miles, which is two miles more than I could do last year; in about a month and half, I'll be running a 5k. This is, hands down, the best gift I have ever received.

And speaking of amazing presents, I cannot give enough thanks to everyone who sent me their birthday messages!

anne takes the most amazing day trips - so jealous!
Anne


lesley takes incredibly scenic walks - and she's overseas! luckyyy
Lesley


ellen has made it to goal - such an inspiration
Ellen


haha yeah the scorpio thing explains a lot...
Amy


caroline is another blogger who has 'made it' - her wisdom is invaluable to me
Caroline


one of my very first blog friends - loretta is strong and brave and i admire her greatly
Loretta


You ladies are amazing - creative, supportive, funny, and just all around awesome! I am so lucky to have such an strong community here. This is, without a doubt, my best birthday ever; this will be, without a doubt, my best year ever.

So, here's to my twenty-fourth year, and all the chances and opportunities I have in front of me. Happy New Year! Tchin-tchin!

November 19, 2010

Roses and thorns

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I usually close my roses and thorns entry with my weigh-in information, so this time, I will lead off with it. I'm down three pounds this week, and I am very happy with that, especially considering I had seen a gain earlier in the week. I barely exercised (or even moved) all last weekend, and my sad attitude had me snacking out of boredom instead of hunger. Not the way I want to be anymore!

But I pulled it together and I am ending up in a good place. A three pound loss for the records, putting me at 273. Which means I also hit two landmarks this week: over 70 pounds lost, and reaching my fifth goal (275). I'll take it!

I had a lot of really great moments this week that made up for the unsavory ones last weekend. For example, teaching went really well this week. The students are registering for classes for next semester, and my three courses are the level after two of the classes I am teaching this semester, so a lot of my students have enrolled to have me again in the spring. In fact, my three classes make up half of the sections being offered at this level - the other three are only half enrolled or less, but my three sections are completely full. It's such a great feeling to know that they enjoy my class enough to want to spend another sixteen weeks with me!

But still, to try and regulate the numbers, I asked some of my students yesterday to consider signing up for the other sections. I admitted to them that the other three teachers were much better at speaking French than I am. And then, one of my students gave me the best compliment ever: "Mademoiselle, it's not just about that. The best musicians aren't always the best singers. You've got stage presence!" Even now, I'm grinning just thinking about it. I absolutely love my job, and these are the kind of moments that make the tough days worth it!

I got a package from my family for my birthday (and Halloween - they're a little slow with mailing things!). The birthday cards need to wait until tomorrow, but my brother wrote me the greatest Halloween letter and sent only two treats because I am losing weight and he is so proud of me - some Charlie Brown cocoa mix (we both love Charlie Brown!) and a packet of Pop Rocks. I miss him *so* much - I can't wait to see him soon and give him the biggest hug ever!

And speaking of seeing my family, I got paid this week, so I bought my ticket for going back to Connecticut for Christmas. A huge NSV for me: I'm flying home! I'm really looking forward to a two hour flight instead of a 24-hour train ride. That's exciting enough, but I also found a 5k race in another shoreline town on New Years Day, so I registered for it! And I'm going to run!

I had originally planned for my first 5k run to be the Disney Royal Family 5k in the end of February. But my reasons for changing my mind on this were many. First, knowing I have a January 1st goal of running 3.1 miles means that while I am in CT, I am going to HAVE TO stick to eating well and running/exercising regularly - so in registering, I have bought myself a little insurance. Second, if I ran in Florida, it would be nice, but I would be alone. Racing in Connecticut means my family will be there to cheer me on, and that means so much to me. While it's no Epcot, I do so love the Connecticut shoreline, so running along the harbor and around the historical green will be totally meaningful still. And third, the race at Disney would be a very big expense (flight, hotel, race entry, etc.) for one night alone. I can take the money I save and finally buy a new pair of glasses, since mine have been held together with Crazy Glue for about a year now! (Maybe I'll even get some cute fancy ones to go with my new slimmer face!)

I keep a small notebook next to my bed for thoughts I get in the middle of the night or upon waking - they don't always make sense when I go back and read them again, but usually the thoughts are very honest and untainted by my chronic overthinking of things. The morning after I had registered for the race in Connecticut, this was my waking thought - I'm not sure if "reappropriating" is the right word, but it was my first thought of the morning! Maybe "readjusting" would be better. In any case, I wholeheartedly believe it. I'm not sad or upset about my first run being in Connecticut instead of Florida - in fact, just the opposite. This is perfect for what I need in my life right now, and that's what matters.

November 18, 2010

Fortune cookie

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If you go into the majority of bakeries in Chinatown, you can find giant bags of fortune cookies for only a few dollars. I am not a huge fan of the cookies, but I most certainly love the fortunes. When I used to make collage art projects, I would often use fortunes, which can be anywhere from very silly to very wise. Like the fortune that read "Progress always involves risk," which I attached to an Amelia Earhart piece.

amelia earhart flew a lot of airplanes, 'cept for that one time she didn't come back
This summer, upon returning to Chicago after a long visit with my family back in Connecticut, I had a sickeningly big binge. I was so upset about so many things - I was cranky after spending twenty-four hours on a train to avoid the embarrassment of being morbidly obese and flying, I was sad that I looked so big in the pictures my friends and family had taken, I felt uncomfortable when I tried to walk or even sleep, and my heart would race even as I laid in bed. So, of course, I turned to my only solution: enough Chinese takeout to feed a small family. (Seriously - when it was delivered, there were four or five forks in the bag.)

After eating myself sick, I sat there on the living room floor, dizzy and high. It hadn't made me happy, or closer to where I ideally wanted to be with my life. I laid down on the couch and, in typical post-binge fashion, I nursed my sore mouth and overfilled stomach with a very long nap.

When I woke up, I groggily went to the fridge for a giant glass of water, and went back to the couch to sit and think. This sucks, I thought. I'm 23 years old and I'm almost at the point of being unable to take care of myself. I'd gained about twenty pounds since January - a mix of poor diet and inactivity due to preparing for/taking my MA exams and visiting my family for nearly a month. Here, I was wearing the same cotton sundress I had worn for days, one of the only things that still fit me, as I was bursting out of my jeans (any of the ones that would close, that is) and all my shirts were tight. Walking to the bathroom or my home office - about ten feet either way from my bedroom - had me breathing heavy.

isolating yourself from others will not prevent you from getting hurt
I was devastated. What I had always been "proud" of was the fact that even though I was a big girl, I could still dress nice if I wanted to - and I could walk without waddling. That was not the case anymore, and I was so ashamed. What would my co-workers think when they saw me again? Are my new students not going to respect me because of this? And for that matter, could I even handle standing for three hours a day while teaching? Enough was enough. I put on my sneakers and went for a walk. About a mile and a half of walking took me about 45 minutes, but it was a start. I walked every day, and gradually I got faster. Then I could go farther. Then I had lost enough weight to use the Wii Fit my parents had bought me, so I could get even more exercise. And from then, I've been truly unstoppable.

Until this week.

Eating hasn't been as big of a problem as I thought it would be - the beginning was tough, but eventually the urge to binge mellowed from "thinking about it constantly, and acting on it frequently" to "thinking about it every two or three weeks when the stress gets really bad, and never acting on it." Exercising has been remarkably great - from walking and Wii Fit, I did the stair race, then started going to the gym to use machines and do C25k training. When I walk 5k races now, I can do 3.1 miles in about as much time as it used to take me to do 1.5.

It appears that my biggest roadblock is my mind.

Losing weight terrifies me, because it means I am going to have to get out there and live. Don't get me wrong - I want this. I want to wear "normal" clothes and fly on airplanes and ride rollercoasters and swim in public and go out on dates with guys who don't treat me like garbage because I'm so big that I must just be grateful someone is taking me out in the first place. Believe me, I want it more than anything. But even though I know the health benefits are great and my self-esteem is already at a record high, I still find myself stalling.

A few weeks after I started eating well and walking, I was rummaging through my cabinets and I found one of the fortune cookies that came with my last Chinese binge. I cracked it open:

Remember three months from this date. Good things are in store for you.

That was August 18. That future date is now today. And this is my one-hundredth blog entry.

this was one of jill's
I have come so far in these three months. This is already a new life for me - a life I have never experienced as an adult. Every time I have tried to lose weight, the lowest I have gotten is 275. The first time I weighed 275 (on the way up, so to speak) was around my sophomore year of high school; the last time I got that low was in between my freshman and sophomore years of college. As a 345 pound young adult (and for most of my life, really), all I really enjoyed was being alone. Now that I'm becoming a "normal" adult, I'm afraid that I've perfected my hobby to the point where it's the only way I know how to exist.

This is, for me, an unknown territory. I don't quite know what I'm venturing into, but that doesn't mean I don't want to check it out. Like any smart person on an expedition, I'm not exploring alone. I'm keeping a record of the things I see and experience, even when they are not positive. And I'm drinking plenty of water. This strange new world is both full of amazing opportunities, and incredibly frightening. I'm not going to quit - I can't get a third of the way to my goal and then just settle! I fully intend on seeing this thing completely through.

November 17, 2010

Technology

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Last night when I got to the gym, my favorite treadmill was taken. It's the one nomadic one at the end of a random hallway, which I like because it's isolated. Likewise, my favorite elliptical machine is located on the walking track above the basketball courts - nowhere near the area with the weights, running track, and dozens of other machines. I just like being able to go off and do my own thing without others around - partly because of old fears of people being mean, but also, I don't want to feel pressured to do more because the guy next to me is. I am doing what is right for me right now.

I've only recently begun using the treadmill. Maybe it's because it's right before Thanksgiving, but lately, the running track at the gym has been kind of crowded - there are 15 laps to the mile on that track, so I think six people running on it at a time is a bit much, especially when so many of them are so fast. Since C25k still has me walking at points, I don't want to get trampled or cursed at, so the past three C25k days, I've worked on the treadmill. It's a totally different experience - I feel like I sweat a lot more on the treadmill than I do with "actual" running. I need to get more practice on the track, I think, since that's physically pushing my body forward. Though with the treadmill, I can easily monitor speed and distance. I'm torn. (What are your thoughts on/experiences with treadmill vs. "real" running?)

Anyway, I wandered into "the main room" of the gym, and I looked for an open machine. Most of those were full too, and as I walked towards one that looked like the same model as in the little hallway, some lady hurried up and jumped on it before me! I looked around, and there was one more open. I walked over, and saw that it was a super fancy high tech new one, complete with the Nike+iPod training system.

What a coincidence, then, that I very recently upgraded to a fancy schmancy iPod with fitness capabilities!

The little voice in the back of my head that's been kicking and screaming and resisting change as much as possible? Totally pacified. This thing was so cool! I plugged in my iPod, chose a playlist, and it showed the song info on the treadmill screen! (Admittedly, this would have been much cooler if I were listening to actual songs and not a C25k playlist.) The coolest thing, though, was that while I ran, it recorded all my workout info and stored it on my iPod!

so flippin' cool
My internet connection at home was not working last night, so tonight when I get home, I will have to check out the online component to it. How cool is that, though?! I know you're probably tired of my iPod metaphors, so just one last one: keeping records on a treadmill (or even working on a treadmill!) is something my old chunky iPod could never do...

November 16, 2010

Honesty

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A few days ago, Amy gave me an award on her blog. honest scrap award It's for honest blogs, and I'm very grateful for receiving this award.

I'd like to pass it on to Jess (whose honesty I admired greatly when she decided to stop posting her weight with her DDGbD updates, saying it took the focus away from her fitness progress), Lesley (who is amazingly honest with describing her struggles with binge eating), Jayme (whose Fat Jayme/Fit Jayme conversations I can completely relate to), and Tim (who talks about his experiences at the gym with incredible ... detail, let's just say that).

And so, here are ten honest things about me and my life:

(1) I am always completely honest in this blog. Which may not sound like much, but in my real life, if you met me on the street and asked what my name is, you're likely to get any of a thousand responses not including Mary.

I do this because (2) I hate feeling exposed and vulnerable. Saying my name is Helen or Judy allows me to feel an odd sense of protection.

And that's one of the reasons why I think I have hit this emotional wall this week - (3) now that I'm losing weight, I am starting to feel unsafe. Not necessarily physically unsafe, but more mentally and emotionally. I'm losing the physical shield that I've used for so long to make myself "invisible." People are starting to talk to me, to sit next to me on the bus. And that scares me.

(4) For the longest time, I believed that my obesity was going to kill me, likely before I turned 30. At 23, I was in the winter of my life. And now that my terminal sentence has been overturned and it appears that I'm going to live, there are new things I am going to have to deal with. I'm no longer a hopeless fat depressed person - I'm taking control of the fat part - which leaves me with the depression I've ignored for so long.

So, (5) yesterday I called and made an appointment to talk to a therapist. I already feel a little better knowing I have a plan and that I'm going to talk to someone who specialises in exactly what I'm dealing with.

I haven't seen a therapist in years. We used to go after my parents got divorced, and then (6) I was required to go to therapy my freshman year in college because of a very deep depression. I did *not* attempt suicide, though I spent a night in the hospital getting observed. I was just really swamped with all the new changes in my life - going to college, living away from home, meeting new people, etc. - and it was too much for me to handle. I'm alright with one change at a time, but too many can get me feeling overwhelmed.

I'm really glad I got help then, and that I am going to get help now. I can't do this on my own just now, and I want to take care of things before they get more serious. (7) There is a history of serious mental illness in my family, including an uncle who got so overwhelmed with stress that he had a mental breakdown and became schizophrenic. I'm very aware of these genetic strikes against me, and so usually when stress gets to me, I have become very good at recognizing that I need to step back and take care of myself for a while. This time, with my weight loss, it is a bigger problem than I can handle on my own, and it will be an issue for a long time, so I am calling in some reinforcement.

My appointment is next Monday, and so to tide me over until then, I got a little notebook and started taking notes about things I'd like to bring up. For example, any specific weights I remember from growing up - specifically (8) the 100-lb. gain in the two years after my parents got divorced, which was the birthplace of my problems with binge eating disorder.

I'm very hopeful about therapy, and I'm really looking forward to posting some good news here again. (9) Writing in this blog has been crucial to my success so far - so many times I have given up because the task seemed so daunting and I felt so alone on my journey. I didn't think I was strong enough to go it alone. The incredible support I get from my blog community has helped me see that this is not only something I can do, but that I am never alone through this. I love your advice, your critiques, your empathetic stories, and even just your readership.

These have been some pretty heavy honest things, I admit. So, lastly, a silly one. (10) I was once on the Disney Channel. When I was in middle school, I was part of a puppeteer troupe that taught third graders about AIDS (nothing heavy since they were so young, mostly stuff like "you can't catch it by holding hands"), and we were filmed as part of a Disney-produced documentary about AIDS. I'm on screen for a total of about three seconds, but still, it's my favorite thing to stump people with when playing Two Truths and A Lie.

November 15, 2010

Changes

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Shortly after 1pm on Saturday afternoon, I was in Lincoln Park. It was raining, and I was standing next to the fountain in the middle of the plaza between the North/Clybourn El station and the new Apple store. from flickr : zolkAnd I was sobbing. Weeping. Bawling, even.

Let's backtrack.

On Friday, my iPod stopped working - sort of. It appeared to be playing fine, but no sound would come out of it. Sure, I've had it for a few years, but up until the night before, it had been working perfectly. I was a little frustrated, but I figured it would fix itself when I got home and put it on the charger for a few hours - usually when something seems off, a good charge heals it. The only problem was that I was scheduled to run the last day of the fourth week of C25k after work, but that was minimal - I just wrote out what times I needed to walk/run at on a piece of paper.

There weren't any problems with keeping track of time, but I really missed having music to work out to. When I don't have something to distract my thoughts, my mind wanders - and lately, my mind hasn't been the loveliest place to be. There are so many stressors on my plate right now, and so I really look forward to going to the gym, putting on some music, and just zoning out for a little while. After running, I headed over to the elliptical machine, but with all my thoughts racing around in my head (plus the sound of a couple dozen basketball players on the two courts below me), I could only manage to do about half the time that I usually do.

I knew my sister Katie got an iPod about a year or so ago, so I called her on Saturday morning to see how much it cost. My mom interfered and said it didn't matter the cost, she would order me one for my birthday. I told her that (a) I didn't need her spending money on me, especially since she's temporarily out of work because of her surgery and (b) I would need one right away since I need it for C25k and working out. I was on the bus headed downtown for a meeting when I got a text message from my sister Lisa that said Mom had deposited money in my bank account and to just accept it (instead of my usual mail-it-back).

It wasn't about the money - I had already taken the $150 I had been saving out of its secret hiding place. Something else had my stomach in a knot over the idea of getting a new iPod. Hopefully the Apple "geniuses" would be able to just fix the problem and I would walk out happy.

Shortly after walking into the store, a young man asked me if I needed help. When I showed the guy my iPod, you'd think I had reached into my purse and produced a dinosaur or a unicorn. to chicago, feb. 2007"Is this even a Nano?!" No, Sir. It's a Mini. I got it ... um, maybe eight years ago? He set me up with an appointment to talk to a specialist, and about ten minutes later, another young man was testing to see if there was a problem with the iPod itself or the listening components - if it was with the earphone part, I was tough out of luck, but anything else and it could be fixed. (I wonder if that was code for "None of this really matters, we're gonna try and sell you something new.")

And of course, it was the earphone part.

The guy told me that they could order a refurbished Mini for fairly cheap, but it would take about a week, week and a half. I asked what my other options were, in terms of buying new. So we walked around the store looking at all the new models. It was incredibly intimidating. Everything is fancy, touch-screen, and super small. I was so conflicted: wait for what I truly love, or get something new now and just roll with it. In my awkward nervousness, I made a joke about Mr. Right vs. Mr. Right Now. The guy was very kind and patient - he laughed at my stupid joke, and he didn't say anything while I looked visibly upset. sofa king tinyAnd so, I chose a green iPod Nano, which is about a sixth the size of my old blue Mini but holds twice as much music and has a ton of new features like a touch-screen, pedometer, and photo album.

The guy said that if I "recycled" my Mini, they would take ten percent off the price of the Nano. There was a form to fill out, but they didn't have any on hand, so he went to print one, and I stood at the register with the Mini in one hand and the Nano in the other. My stomach ached. I bit my lip. I thought about handing the Nano to one of the other cashiers and hurrying out. I wasn't sure why, but I just didn't think I could do it. It seemed silly even to me, which is why I felt incredibly strange as my throat started to tense up and my eyes welled up with tears.

The guy came back with the forms, and even as I filled them out, I thought about tearing them up and fleeing. But I signed it, he took the papers, and then he rang me up. I took the little plastic case and slid the old iPod towards the cashier, tears silently streaming down my face as I walked out the door. I'm pretty sure everyone in the area thought I was crazy - it's just a piece of metal and plastic, lady, get over it!

But it was worth so much more than the sum of its parts.

I've had this iPod for years - and I used it so much that it's hard to recall not having it. It came with me to Paris - twice. paris 2008 - picture by roy templeIt visited Chicago with me, and it came with me when I eventually moved here. It was with me through endless sleepless nights cramming for exams in college and working on my MA research in grad school. I had this iPod the first time I kissed a boy and the first time I got my heart broken. Yeah, it was big and bulky, but it was mine, and I loved it. It was solid, sturdy, simple, and seemingly hard to break - this new thing is adorable but so tiny, and it has a ton of new features that I'm going to have to learn to use.

At which point I realized: Am I still talking about the iPod?

The crying turned to sobbing, and I just stood in the plaza getting rained on. I moved the station lobby for a few minutes and just let it happen. I didn't care who saw. I could barely move.

So many big things are changing in my world. Getting rid of seventy pounds sounds amazing, but there are drawbacks. I feel uncomfortable in that my body feels so different, and I feel trapped in a strange place that I cannot get out of. I can't wear my favorite shirt because it's too big - in fact, most of my clothes are. I can't binge to comfort myself because it will make me feel sick and it will make me further away from my goals. All of the little familiarities that have made up my life for the longest time are slipping away from me. The iPod? Not a big thing. But it was the little straw that broke my emotional camel's back. Another seemingly little insignificant constant in my life that I can't have anymore. Nothing is familiar these days, and so even a seventy pound weight loss feels surprisingly depressing. I am truly hurting.

I knew getting into this that I would have to deal with these emotions, I just thought it would happen later rather than sooner. I'm wondering if this emotional wall that I've hit is because my loss is so fast, or simply because it is more of a loss than I have ever experienced. If it's the former, I can slow down - work out every other day, or work out less intensely, or slightly raise my calorie intake. But if it's the latter, I don't quite know what to do.

November 14, 2010

Drop dead gorgeous

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My positive sign for the week:

pennies nickels dimes quarters
I've been having a really hard time accepting this, and for some reason, this past week was especially difficult.

Challenge start weight: 332
Current weight: 276

Of the 69 pounds I have lost so far, 56 have been during this challenge!

Progress on my DDGbG goals: To be honest, this week was kind of a failure in terms of my goals. Something came up, and I had to use all of the money I had put aside so far. And I usually spend Saturday night making my weekly recipes, but I was so knocked out yesterday by my emotionally heavy day (details tomorrow), I just went home and ate some soup I had made a few months ago and frozen. It had been the first time I made that soup, though, so I'll share the recipe here anyway!

look at that swirl! italian peasant heaven.
Pasta e fagioli is total comfort food for me since I grew up with my mom and grandmother making it often. (In fact, this is my mother's personal recipe!) Ditalini pasta, cannellini beans, and hardly anything else - it's basic, simple to make, and even better reheated.

Heat up 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped garlic (to taste - I prefer lots!) and cook until the garlic is just light brown. Add about half a cup of chopped fresh parsley leaves and a 46-oz. can of V8 or tomato juice. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken slightly. While that simmers, parboil 8-12 oz. of ditalini (or any other small pasta shape) for 5 minutes. After the 10-15 minutes of simmering, add pasta and one 15-oz. can drained cannellini beans to the tomato mixture. Let it all cook on low for about 15-20 minutes to cook through (pasta should be tender). Serve with grated cheese.

It makes about eight servings, and this was the last container of my frozen servings. The next time I make it, I think I will stop cooking before the pasta is done, then set aside a portion to keep cooking for that night while I freeze the rest. My reheated pasta left much to be desired - still delicious, but really lacking aesthetically.

ONE thing that you are proud of for the week: Not bingeing, no matter how down I felt.

ONE thing that you can improve upon for the following week: Even though blogging is a great source of help and advice, my goal for this week is to find someone in "real life" to talk to about my emotional ups and downs - even if it's just writing a letter to my mom. She's out of work for a few weeks because of her surgery, maybe she'll write me back!