Thursday, February 10, 2011

Riding the Peachwave

I had my own little reason to celebrate today.  Last night, I found out that I've certifiably lost 20 pounds.  It was something that had seemed impossible, and I gave a million excuses ("I'm just getting older and changing," "my clothes shrunk…somehow…in the closet" and of course "I'll take care of it when I'm out of school in like two years").  There were a couple of pinpoint moments when I decided that, no, all of that wasn't good enough and I needed to take control of the situation right.  NOW.  For the love of all things Ann Taylor. 

This was the first, a clip from our company's charity event that was filmed by a local news crew.  Somehow I was caught as the screenshot for the video.  Ouch.
Then there was the trip to Burgerville with a few co-workers, where I ordered onion rings alongside my veggie burger (like ordering a Meat Lover's Personal Pan Pizza and a Diet Coke).  One of them started talking about his 70-pound weight loss, and I suddenly realized, of course I've gained so much weight, when ordering a freaking onion ring basked with lunch is the new normal.  Slowly, nibble by nibble, my portion control and healthy eating choices had gone out the window.  I was trading house salad for hollandaise and scoop-sizes to shovel-size.  Although it tasted good, the other 23.80 hours of the day after those bites felt pretty crappy. 

After trying so hard to be disciplined and healthy for several months, though being far from perfect (I still can't work exercise into school and writing, work, talking to my husband a little and my friends hardly at all - I probably COULD if I tried HARD enough, but I sort of draw the line when I'm already falling asleep on books and steering wheels), I felt a treat to mark the milestone was more than appropriate.  My first thoughts were of my old-school favorites I hadn't tasted since I started on "the program":

a.  Red Robin's Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Wrap with bottomless steak fries (and obviously taking advantage of the word bottomless; they're free, after all!)

b.  A Papa Murphy's Deep Dish Stuffed Pizza

c.  Pad Thai... and yes, the whole plate.

d.  Sweet & Sour chicken from Rice Time in Canby.... absolutely the whole plate.

But rewarding myself for losing weight with the food and portions I've been working so hard to get away from seemed a little like building your dream home and then kicking down the front porch railings in jubilation.  Just that Red Robin meal alone, my standard order every time we used to visit (which used to be in the 1-2 times a month plus range) runs 41 points when I'm supposed to keep it to 34 a day--and that's not including the onion rings I would always steal off of Matt's plate. 
So instead of going extravagant, I decided to keep it simple and sweet.  I went to Bridgeport's Peachwave on my lunch break, one of the many self-serve Asian-themed frozen yogurt boutiques that have been sprouting around Portland like evil, invasive blackberries (sorry, I'm writing an essay on canning-I'm a little jam-centric at the moment).  The yogurt is primarily fat and/or sugar free, but tastes sweet and airy and authentic to its namesake flavors.  To top it off--literally, ha ha! there is a ginormous bar of toppings that curls around the counter, starting with a plethora of fresh fruit.  Nothing canned, cocktailed or otherwise syrupy, just truly-sliced fruits and berries that bring your dessert to life.  Then there's the crushed candy bars, little pieces of cheesecake and fudgy, caramel-y sauces that you can go crazy-decadent with, but if you want to be healthy you still can get out of there without sabotaging your diet day.  But at the same time, I could take Matt along and he'd be happy too, since he wouldn't be stuck eating the sauerkraut chocolate cake that was in my last Weight Watchers brochure.

Please do not read this as negative will toward sauerkraut in chocolate cake.  I bet it's actually freakishly good, like sour cream additions.  I'd just never get a bite into him if he saw what was in it.
If I stopped in here every lunch break, I'd probably look this happy in my office every afternoon.  There's also something very deviant-feeling about eating frozen yogurt at work.  Where did you get it?  You can't bring it in a bag.  It's not typical takeout.  Where were you?  And put that away, it looks like way too much fun for an office.

Tonight I got a surprise surprise... I went to the opening of H&M at Washington Square, and was able to get into sizes that I haven't attempted in several years.  Like, was still Tabitha Jensen years.  Like, Mehitabel wasn't the poster child for kitten-hood obesity years.  It kind of softened the blow of running through Jack in the Box for take-out and not getting the delightful curly fries and fantastic-looking crispy chicken sandwich, but the grilled salad with light dressing applied at home. 

You can't always have it all.  I can't eat all of the stuff I love and still love myself as much.  It's all a psychotic balancing act:  sacrifice and indulgence, work and school, not enough cumin and way too much cumin.  Right now I'm feeling slightly more graceful in the ballet of it all, but that's always temporary.  A ball inevitably falls.  When it does, apply frozen yogurt rigorously.  Top with more crumbled Heath bars if necessary.


  1. Oh, Tabitha! Congratulations! You are more dedicated than me... I lost 20 pounds, too, but I keep yo-yo-ing and plateau-ing (I'd blame the holidays and starting school, but that's just a cop-out). You are an inspiration to get back on track!

  2. ...AND YOU LOOK GREAT! I can definitely see the difference between your pictures now and the ones from before.

  3. Congratulations! I am so proud of you; you look great and so happy! I hope that I can follow in your footsteps soon! :)

  4. Thanks! :) Josie, you were part of my original inspiration too. Hearing about how happy you were to wear your favorite dresses again... I missed my favorite dresses, too! We should just perpetuate a cycle of inspiration, because you sure don't always have it on your own.

  5. I'm getting back on Weight Watchers, and now YOU are MY inspiration! While I won't fit into most of my dresses ever again (it's not the weight, but the shape of my body after having a baby), I now have a kiddo to be the other part of my inspiration (AND I can make her new dresses out of my old ones).