Friday, May 21, 2010

the oatmeal chronicles

it was brought to my attention by an old friend that i spend the vast majority of my facebook statuses and other public forums reflecting on food. things i eat, things i want to eat, things i really shouldn't have eaten. this is not exactly news to me; i've been very open and frank about the fact that all i think about and do all day is graze and then think about what i can shove in my face next. but before you go getting all judgmental on me, let me tell you a story.

in November of this year, my friend Ryan put me up to a challenge. see, he's a certified personal trainer, kettlebell instructor, and all-around way healthier than at least 95% of the general population of the United States, i'm pretty sure. and, as i'm learning now, when you've found the secret to success in making the food work for you, you get really evangelistic and want to make everyone hop on board with you. so for YEARS Ryan has been on our cases to make healthier choices. my husband and i being two folks who enjoy pizza, nachos and wine more than we really care for, say, carrots, this was a hard sell. but i had had it with my weight gain, my out-of-shapeness, and my general pestering feeling that Something Must Be Done. so i took him up on his challenge, started eating on a diet plan he had been working with, and ramped up my workouts to 3-4 nights a week at his studio. AND THE REST IS HISTORY. (i've always wanted to say that.)

so here's how the story ends, or in the case of this blog, begins: GUESS WHAT, THE SILLY DIET PLAN WORKED. because it wasn't really a diet, so much as it was a kick start to train my body to want healthier things and function more efficiently. and because that night as we watched Ryan shovel platefuls of salad, chicken fingers and enchiladas down his trap (and burn ALL the calories from that! right there in front of us!) and considered his offer for a better life, that night proved to be a life-changer for me.

people at work have started to comment on how i have lost quite a bit of weight. some of my Fat Day clothes stopped fitting, and then some of the more Regular Day clothes, and now i've gotten to the point where my clothes i desperately hung onto from College When I Was Thin, THOSE CLOTHES DON'T REALLY FIT ANYMORE EITHER. i still have a ways to go before i meet my goals, and refuse to buy any new clothes in the meantime, but i'm going to go ahead right now and say that whatever change Ryan has encouraged here is not so shabby.

and the compliments are nice, they're scary and uncomfortable and really exciting all at the same time. but as i've started to make changes in my own life and "get it," i've felt a great responsibility to all the people i love to spread The Gospel of Good Health. so i try to lead by example. i try to maintain my healthy eating habits even with friends and family whose eating habits are anything but good. i try to introduce new foods to them, and help them learn that healthy eating can taste good, make you feel good and overall be just as enjoyable as that giant pile of cinnamon rolls paired with spicy sausage. (mmm... spicy sausage.) and for a long time it has been a struggle. it's been a fight over every meal, usually inside my head, whether or not to stick to the plan or to indulge in a little harmless cheating just to get along with the inlaws (or whoever, for that matter. it seems every office pot luck and family get-together is clouded with ample opportunities to Screw This Up.)

And then the other day, it happened. After a trip to Michigan to visit my husband's parents for Mother's Day, he got his message from his mother via Skype:
Tell Erin she changed our lives! Dad grilled talipia and asparagus and we were too hungry to wait for her fries but we had a nuked sweet potato. wehad abottle of Riesling in your honor. It was wonderful1
from mom
You'll be kind enough to forgive her typos, she's still learning Technology. (they were too cute to leave out.)

But THIS, my friends, THIS makes all the hard work worth it. THIS is why Ryan worked so hard to wean us off our garbage diet and herd us, like stubborn cats, into a better way of living. i hope he's proud of his Little Projects. he really should be.

so in tribute to the people who have made such a difference in my life, and in celebration of My Temple and how i've finally learned to honor it, and to share with others my experience (successes and Total Fails, of course) i now, today, on the Twenty-First Day of May, 2010, dedicate this blog to these things as well.

i realized recently that my intention with this forum was first to advertise my tiny budding handbag "business," and then more broadly, to share in a community of Crafters and Sewers on the Internet. but then i never posted. anything. sometimes i didn't even make things! thus the total lack of posting. really, the blog turned out to be pretty representative of that area of my life, because NOTHING WAS GETTING DONE. and while that's changing and i'm starting to pick up more projects and actually complete them (shocking), i've had to admit recently that all i really ever do with my time is Work, Work Out and Eat. and if i'm going to have a blog based, even loosely, on my life, why not focus on the things that my life consists of? this was, of course, my husband's idea. i love that man. he smells good... but anyway, if this turns out to suck, take it up with him. did i mention he's 6'4"? and crazy. just sayin'.

so here's the plan: i write about what's going on. short (or sometimes very long) little reflections on Food, Fitness, Fashion or Fabric. but no things that start with letters other than F. ... ok, kidding! lots of things. i no longer plan on restricting this forum to Things That Might Make Me Seem Cooler, and instead just throw it all out there. i guarantee, it's not as salacious as it sounds. but if you're lucky, i might even toss in an entry from my food diary for you, to boot.


Meagan said...

WOooo Hoooooooo what an awesome blog! I am so proud of you and LOVE it even more how you are sharing your success. You should be very proud of yourself and what you have accomplished. Keep up the great work!


Ryan Toshner said...

I agree with Meagan. On everything.

And I'm glad that you and Adam and Adam's parents and whoever else has made changes because of the changes you've made is now at least a little bit (or a lotta bit) healthier.

Last but not least... I like your writing style. Very fun to read. :)