Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Do you ever sit at your desk at work and dream about all the foods you want to eat? No, just me? Yesterday, it was Krispy Kreme donuts. I could actually taste one in my mouth. I haven’t eaten a Krispy Kreme in like 5 years but for some reason my taste buds really wanted one yesterday. My friend Michelle, who is also on her own weight loss journey and doing amazing, and I work down the hall from each other and will randomly e-mail or yell names or types of foods at each other that we want. The other day after I typed, “Boneless teriyaki wings DRENCHED in ranch w/ seasoned fries,” I asked her, “Do you ever think about the stuff you used to eat and get jealous of your fat self?” What I can’t figure out is if I’m jealous of what she was eating or just jealous that she didn’t have to think about it. Yes, fat Sarah definitely thought about the food that was going into her mouth and how she shouldn’t be eating it but she did it anyway. I am so sick and tired of thinking about food. I analyze when I eat too much or too little. I worry about making everything fit into my macros or calories for the day. I plan my meals out, sometimes days in advance, and grocery shop every 4-5 days. I just wish my life wasn’t consumed by food all the time. Yeah, even on vacations when I take a break and eat what I want, in the back of my brain is the worry about how much weight I’ll gain or how long it’ll take to get back to pre-vacation weight. Unfortunately, when God was designing Sarah he gave her humor and good hair but didn’t want to make her too perfect so he gave her a less than optimum metabolism (and a sweet tooth). We have to play the cards we’re dealt and my whole life will be a battle against my weight.

I can equate the hate to how adults feel about young people. I thought life at 16 was so freaking hard. Girl, hard is paying bills, having a job, and overcoming debt. We always think that life is so difficult in the moment we’re in. I would give anything to be a carefree 18 year old with no bills or responsibilities. Yes, life was EXTREMELY hard as the fat girl but proving that I’m no longer her by battling her inner demons and working my ass off is SO much harder. The trick is remembering that it’s all worth it. I have to remember how great I feel, how I can fit in cute clothes and how heavy I look in old photos. When I dream about eating pizza, calzones, garlic knots, French fries, cheeseburgers, subs, cookies, and on and on and on, I have to focus not on the food of my past life but on how much happier I am in present life. Something will appear one day (kids, family, mortgage payments) and be harder than life is right now and future me will hate current me. Although, it’s super hard for me to imagine that anything will ever be harder than turning down a donut.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Are You Gonna Eat That?

They kept us corralled in the dining hall after breakfast while the gates were opened. Parents, siblings and friends were all filing into camp not only to see their kids after 4 long weeks but to witness the incredible transformations they had. Leaving the dining hall, was a giant (I’m talking giant) hill you had to climb in order to get back up to camp. We always joked that it was punishment for the food we’d just consumed. Today, we all took it at a sprint. I remember running to my bunk with exceptional speed to get to my parents a little bit faster. My mom was standing in the center with our U-shaped community of bunks around her and she was crying. I ran toward her and gave her the biggest hug and both her and my dad were in awe of the weight I lost. Parent’s Day meant off-camp time to eat whatever we wanted and do whatever we wanted. Nutrition class after nutrition class, we were supposedly prepared to live life on the outside of camp’s walls. That day, we went to Friday’s for lunch and I remember ordering a side salad with ranch (on the side), chicken fingers (fried, duh) and French fries. I talked non-stop about camp and all the fun things I was doing and we caught up about stuff I was missing at home. I was so distracted by conversation that I looked down and all my food was gone. I remember wondering if I had let my parents down. They spent so much money to send me to camp and had I learned nothing? Was this just a pre-warning that old habits would settle back in once I returned home? I vividly remember being embarrassed. Embarrassed and ashamed that nothing had changed. Yeah, my clothes were baggy but I was the same.

We followed up lunch with shopping and some new clothes. Saying goodbye was hard but my 6 weeks were almost up and I’d be home in no time. Later that night in the bunk we all showed off our shopping finds from the day and talked about all the food we ate. In our next nutrition class, they asked how it went and several of us confessed that we sort of blew the day out. The nutritionist told us that it was okay because we had that plan going into the day. It’s not like we planned to eat right and then were tempted by something and went off the rails. We knew going into Parent’s Day that we were going to cheat and that dinner back on camp was going to be back to healthy ways.

Food shaming is extremely real, kids. I don’t know anyone overweight who doesn’t feel like everyone is staring at them when they order something unhealthy and dig in. It’s a good thing fast food places have drive thrus because they allow for a sense of anonymity. I can’t tell you how many meals I’ve eaten and then hidden the evidence of. Burying stuff in the bottom of the garbage or finishing McDonald’s before I reached my destination and stopped at a random trash can to throw it out. Yep, been there multiple times! I’ve even taken food to go because I was “too full to finish it” but then just went home and ate it immediately. I prefer to sit in booths while dining out because they’re usually off to the sides and hidden away. Tables are too exposed—the food you ordered in site of everyone walking by, your muffin top isn’t hidden by the high-back booth wall, etc. Heck, I’ve even been ashamed to order certain things or multiple courses for fear of judgement from the server. I wish I were kidding but these are all REAL thoughts and feelings.

Overcoming food shame and the embarrassment of eating out is a slow process and I’m still not out of the woods. So if we’re ever out to eat together and they ask, “Booth or a table?” Let’s say table and order cheesecake just to prove that the opinions of others don’t bother us.

Who am I kidding? It’ll be booth, please, and I’ll have the salad.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Once It Hits Your Lips It's So Good

You loyal readers might remember that my “last supper” was McDonald's. I drove to it immediately following my first appointment at my weight-loss clinic and ate a Big Mac, fries and diet coke. That was January 16, 2014. I didn’t eat McDonald's again until May 31, 2015 and it was out of convenience. In the beginning, I cut out fast food entirely. Along the way, I would grab a drive-thru meal only when desperate and I intentionally avoided McDonald's in order to prove to myself I could make it through life without. In 6 weeks, I’ve eaten McDonald's 3 times. The first was breakfast while on a Disney vacay: egg white delight and a hash brown. The second was a crispy snack wrap while on a work road trip. The third was a 10 piece nugget meal and French fry because I was feeling weak. Yep, that happened. Obviously, McDonald's is my gateway drug. I actually CRAVE it. When I get it in my mind, I have to have it and I can’t think of eating anything else to pass the thoughts. So, my beloved arches, I’m done. It’s nothing personal, I just cannot resist your greasy goodness.

Let’s review my life’s history with that other redhead, Ronald McDonald. Papadopolous ran a McDonald's back in the early '80s. He was even the recipient of a Golden Spatula Award (you go, Pops). This was during the time we refer to in my family as BS (before Sarah, of course). McDonald's is just one of those ever-present experiences in your life as a kid. Slamming down some nuggets before running into the Play Place where you’d climb through tubes, slide down slides and face plant into a giant pit of plastic balls. I can remember singing the Big Mac song—yeah, there’s a song—with my mom as we ate them. “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” Feel free to call me if you need me to sing the jingle to get the full effect. There was time in 7th grade when we sneaked out of my friend’s house and walked to McDonald's to get fries. It was about 2-3 miles away, along a major road and dark out but we were rebels I tell ya’. I remember that honey was a sauce option for nuggets (it tasted better on the fries), they used to have McDonaldland cookies (like animal crackers but with a hint of lemon flavor) in shapes of characters like Grimace, Mayor McCheese and the Hamburglar, and Happy Meals used to come in a box.

McDonald's was a normal occurrence throughout my life and, weirdly, holds a lot of memories. Unfortunately, I cannot be trusted and once the golden arch gateway is opened I go ham (burger).

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


June 2013                                June 2015
If y’all don’t know it yet, my parents are freaking awesome. They celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in June and treated our family to a cruise vacay. Yeah, they reach a milestone and bring their kids with them to celebrate—life is SO hard. I haven’t been on a cruise since our big family trip two years ago to Greece, Venice and Croatia to celebrate mom’s retirement (again, a nod to their awesomeness and love of me/us). The photos that are my permanent memories of that vacation were a huge factor in realizing that I had a problem. I can vividly remember scrolling through the photos on Facebook that I was tagged in and being embarrassed. I couldn’t believe how BIG I was. I have a love/hate of these pictures. I love to see how far I’ve come and I loved that trip but I hate that the once-in-a-lifetime vacation was clouded by my fat ass. Looking back now, I don’t remember being that overweight. Sitting in a too small airplane seat for hours, being out of breath walking around the gorgeous cities I visited and just being so damned uncomfortable all the time. Tight pants, tight shirts, tight seat belts, tightness all around me. What I can’t figure out is how I fit in the shower. I am 90 lbs. lighter and smaller by 5 sizes and I could BARELY fit in the shower on this most recent cruise. Also, all the stairs! Waiting for an elevator can be tortuous so you end up walking up flights upon flights of stairs. How did fat Sarah make it to dinner every night? Yeah right, like she’d ever miss a meal. Can we talk about all the food on a cruise? Serve yourself ice cream, buffets open all the time, dessert for days and as many dinners as you want! Most nights, I ate two desserts and I didn’t give a rats. Life is about enjoying myself and my vacations. However, if I bit a cookie and it wasn’t good it went into the trash because it’s just not worth the calories. I can tell you that the bread pudding WAS worth every last drop. I died. Let’s just say, I had a great time.

I promised myself that the cruise was the last hurrah and I would get my act together once back on dry land. False.  Life has been ice cream, donuts, bagels, french fries, chips and salsa, and fast food.  As you can tell from my last post, I’m dating someone and life has been really hard. Juggling a new relationship, gym time, work, Oliver, my friends, family, etc. is proving to be really difficult and I deal with difficult things by eating foods I shouldn’t. I know what you’re thinking and he isn’t the problem—he’s disgustingly healthy and tracks macros just like I (attempt) to do. I had such bad anxiety when we first started dating that I lost a bunch of weight and was ½ a pound from making 100 lbs. lost. Well, that ended REAL QUICK. So, dear reader, I am shipwrecked. I’m stranded on a food island that I can’t manage to get off of. I just imagined myself fashioning a raft out of Twinkies and Twizzlers with a Fruit Roll Up sail, and a Twix for an oar.  Another let's get serious, I'd eat it all before making it to shore.  Low point.  Needless to say, I've gained some pounds and am determined to get back to that new relationship weight. Today marks day 1 of starting over and I’m serious this time. I realigned some goals and am putting it out there for you guys to see so that I am accountable. I say it all the time but it still rings true, it’s not about getting knocked down but in how you get back up. I recognize my problems and getting my butt in gear. Here we go, AGAIN…

September 10th: 110 lb. goal (avg. 2 lbs. per week)

December 3rd: 120 lb. goal (avg. 1.5 lbs. per week)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Unexpected Sundays

On my 3rd day of being on the online dating app POF, he messaged me. He was funny, cute and had an extremely honest profile, which is where he openly admitted to loving Disney. We exchanged a few messages and then he was gone. “Well, that was a fun few hours,” I thought. The next day, a Sunday, at 6:45 p.m., I get a message from him, “Sarah! What are you up to?” I told him that I was cleaning and doing housework and he said he was doing the same. He said we should blow it off and go get drinks. It’s a work night. I’m in sweatpants and haven’t showered yet for the day. It takes me all of 2 seconds to ponder what my response is. “I can be ready in an hour!” 

We plan the place, I shower and put on my favorite skinny jeans, and text my friends to let them know what’s going on. You never know with these online dates…I could end up as a skin suit! Also, it’s required that I send them a photo of my outfit before I head out the door. He calls me as I’m pulling in to the restaurant to let me know that he’s there. I park and he’s standing on the sidewalk, grinning from ear to ear. Cue the butterflies. I get out of the car and walk toward him when he excitedly pulls me in for a big hug. Here we go.

That was 11 weeks ago.

Let’s go back to those 2 seconds when I decided what to respond when he asked me out. There in my room, I thought about all the times I sat on the sidelines waiting for life to finally start. I thought about how long it would take me to get ready, how I didn’t have anything to wear and how terrified I was (remember, dating was SUPER new). I could come up with at least 10 excuses of why I should turn him down and get a raincheck. Instead, I grabbed that girl, the one sick and tired of waiting, and told her, “Fucking go! Don’t be afraid. Don’t turn this down. Have fun, Sarah! CHOOSE HAPPY.

I did. I do. I will.
Blissfully, unequivocally, incredibly, stupidly, amazingly, excitedly, just plain ol’