holidays

In my last post, I spoke of something that had changed since I was a child — I feel a little guilty about taking Christmas presents.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about that and I realized that something else has changed also.

I can no longer eat holiday food for days on end without a noticable food/sugar/over indulgence hangover.

As a kid and as an overweight adult, I was capable of eating and eating and eating. Sweets, rich food and all of the things that only come around during the holidays stood no chance around me. Despite the obscene amount of sweets that were presented to me as gifts or as items just left around the house or office, I would manage to eat through them all by New Year’s Day.

No joke.

That’s a lot of sugar consumption for 7 days….

Those days, are no more.

I have been feeling like I’ve been dying of a sugar overdose for days. I admit, despite being pretty “holiday’d out”, I still have been having a few cookies or pieces of candy a day. I was feeling pretty lousy about my lack of self-control, until I realized how far I’ve come.

A couple of weeks ago, I made this post, in which I showed half of the batch of Peppermint Mocha Fudge that I bid on during Tina’s bake sale fundraiser. I said that I had plans on freezing my half for later, as there were too many treats hanging about.

If this were 2006, I wouldn’t have frozen that fudge. I might’ve told you I was going to, out of embarrassment at the thought of you all thinking I was a fatty for eating it, but more than likely, I would’ve sat in my room eating it until I was sick.

But it isn’t 2006.

It’s 2010, and my half of the batch of fudge is safely in the freezer. I froze it with a few squares per Ziploc baggie, so that when I am ready to enjoy it again, I can just take out a small portion to enjoy. I did leave a few pieces on the counter to enjoy now. I still haven’t finished them all.

The day before that post I had made another post about all of the sweets that I was surrounded with.

In 2006, all of those TJ’s candy packages would’ve been long emptied and discarded. The Melty Kisses and most of those kit kats would’ve been gone too. The kitkats and Melty Kisses probably wouldn’t have made it to that photo shoot even.

But it isn’t 2006.

In 2010, I did eat a few more pieces of TJ’s candy, but all three of those partially eaten bags of candy are still in my desk drawer at work. There’s been so much food around, I haven’t been the least bit tempted to go back to them since that post. The Melty Kisses that I claimed wouldn’t make it to Christmas are still here. I didn’t eat another one after taking those pictures. I think I may’ve eaten ONE kitkat, but I think it was from the previous batch Maya had brought back in June.

That’s right. In 2006, there wouldn’t have been any kitkats from June to eat in December.

When I ran the Christmas Classic 5K on the 19th (recap is coming…waiting for my official time….it’s still not posted!! Grr!), they gave us Double Rainbow ice cream after the race and there were 4 See’s Truffles in our goodie bags.

If it were 2006, I would’ve eaten the ice cream AND all four truffles on the walk back home from the 5K.

Who am I kidding?  I wouldn’t have been RUNNING a 5K in 2006. Period!

9 days later and I still haven’t eaten the candy.

In addition, my Mom gave me a box of See’s in my Christmas stocking, as she always does. That would’ve easily been half gone by this point if it were 2006.

My See’s box is still in its plastic wrapping. The Swiss Miss and Kashi Cookies are unopened too.

So what does that all mean?

I’ve spent an amazing amount of time this year beating myself up because I put on 15+ pounds. Because there were some moments where I overindulged. A few times where I even ate an entire box of cookies or an entire pint of ice cream in one day. By myself. Are any of those things good? Of course not! But it’s life. Sometimes we do those things that are not good for us.

And after we’ve done them, it’s time to move on and look at the bigger picture.

I have come a long way, and while there still are bumps in the road, I feel good about all of the changes that have stuck.

Another fact:

In 2006, I would’ve been too ashamed to write this post. To tell you all about how I used to binge behind closed doors on chocolate and snacks.

Not in 2010. I’m not willing to waste one ounce of shame this holiday season on what has already been done. I suggest you not waste any either.

What changes have you made that have stuck?

I know all of you are busy catching up on all of the amazing Thanksgiving dinner posts that are out there.

I didn’t have Thanksgiving dinner.

(but they all look delicious and I am super jealous of you all.)

Since my family wasn’t really having a Thanksgiving dinner this year and because I didn’t have to work, I wound up having an untraditional holiday. My co-worker and I went to the race track.

The two of us are definitely gamblers at heart. We usually go to Nevada twice a year, but due to financial struggles, we missed out this fall. Whenever we pass Golden Gate Fields on our way back from Reno there is always a “We should go there sometime!” conversation, but as our work schedules conflict with race days, we’ve never been able to. Luckily, this year we both had Thanksgiving off and nothing to do. The plan was to get up and have him pick me up at my place at the same time we normally head for work.

Being tired and hungry when Thanksgiving morning came, we decided to stop off at a local 24 hour diner, The Lucky Penny, for breakfast before we headed across the bay.

coffee

I started off with coffee+cream. I don’t normally use cream in my coffee, but this cup wasn’t overly flavorful, so I indulged.

My friend Peter and I discussed what to have for breakfast. We both were in the mood for a typical eggs, pancakes and meat meal. There is one meal that comes with regular sized pancakes and another that comes with silver dollar sized ones. Recalling that the pancakes are normally the size of our heads, we opted to get the silver dollar sized meal. It wound up being gigantic.

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Why yes, I would like some food with my butter…..yikes….

With our bellies full of reasonably tasty diner food, we hopped onto the freeway and made our way towards the ponies.

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Once we got there, it was time to figure out how to make this outing a little “interesting”. Peter had been horse racing before, but it was my first time. He had planned to show me the ropes, but as it turned out, it had all become digitized since the last time he had been….he didn’t know any more than I did! I guess we’re dumb, or something, but it took us nearly an hour to figure out how to place bets using the machines. Aren’t we a sorry pair? Luckily, we did eventually figure it out. Heck, by the end, we were old pros.

bets2 bet

Don’t worry. In all of the other races, I was betting $2….I just got a little excited with that first race…cough…

Once our bets for the first race or two were in, we wandered around the various areas in the spectators sections of the track. It was a fairly nice day outside. Clear and crisp.

ggfields

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The problem was that it was also freezing. I don’t think it really got up past 45 degrees while we were there. After looking around a bit, we decided to get some coffee to warm up our hands.

cappuchino

I decided on a “cappuccino”. It came from a hot chocolate machine, cost $3.50 and tasted nothing like a cappuccino. It was warm though.

After putzing around, it was finally time for our race day to begin. I watched them set up the gates…large tractor like vehicles kept moving them around the track depending on what distance each individual race was. Interesting.

gates gates2

Eventually, there were horses.

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They sort of mill around and do a stroll around the track before it is time for them to enter the gates. I made many attempts to get pictures of the race, but it all happens so fast. Never really got a good shot. Did get a few nice pictures of horses though.

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Number 2 was the winner. Those people had “sponsored” that particular race and they got to take a professional picture with the winner.

At some point our greasy spoon breakfast started to wear off and we went in search of a snack. Our options were limited. There aren’t that many concessions choices, plus not all of them were even open due to the holiday and its low attendance. Peter really likes peanuts, so we wound up with a bag of those. We almost killed the whole bag.

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insidepeanuts    peanutshells

Then we resumed looking at the horses.

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Number 3 was my choice for a winner. Came in 3rd. Oops.

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Overall, I had a good time, but unfortunately, we learned that neither Peter nor I have the gift. We only won $2.60 a piece. We spent MUCH more than that. Fun is great, but I sure wish my wallet didn’t look like this:

emptywallet

Ouch.

What did you do for Thanksgiving? Ever been to the race track?

One thing I really hate about my job is not getting holidays off. While I do get “comp days” for every paid holiday that I work, I am still expected to drag myself into work like it were any other day. I don’t get bitter about weekends, but working holidays? That just isn’t fair.

Columbus Day (or is it Indigenous People’s Day? I forget how politically correct we’re being currently…) hasn’t started off particularly well. One of the hazards of living in a studio and spending all of your waking time as well as sleeping time in the same room is that sometimes you accidentally fall asleep when you mean to be awake. I do this way too often. So here I was at 5:30am, waking up with the television set and lamp on. Gross.

I couldn’t get right back to sleep, so I of course surfed online for a while. Around 6:30am, I got the urge to run….but it was pitch black outside. While I wait for daylight, here is what I had for dinner last night.

Apples, Onions and Cabbage

(a recipe by Amanda)

Add a diced apple and some chopped onion (I didn’t measure the amount, but maybe 1/4 – 1/3 of a cup) to a frying pan and saute until it starts to brown. Ignore tiny stove top splatter in lower right corner that you didn’t notice in the picture until the next morning.

Add shredded cabbage, salt, pepper, ginger and nutmeg. Stir until cabbage begins to wilt. Once slightly wilted, add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and allow to cook for another minute or two. Continue ignoring tiny stove top splatter. We know. It’s hard.

Place contents of pan into your Fiesta Ware (color choice strictly left up to you…) and eat promptly.

I had put out the request for cabbage recipes when I realized it was being delivered this week. I’ve never been a huge fan of cooked cabbage, but decided to make this anyway and it  did not disappoint. It would be excellent as a side dish, but I decided to have it be the main event.

I think I want to eat this every day for the rest of the week.

Well, daylight has arrived, so I think I will get up and go for my run now. If I hurry, there will be enough time to take a proper nap before work. I can’t wait!

Do you have to work on holidays?

Everywhere I look this morning I see people grumbling. “Oh it’s back to the grindstone…,” they say. Maybe they have a busy work week ahead of them, or maybe they have classes to attend. Whatever. The point is that these people have places to go and they are not happy about it in the least. I, however, can’t comment on how that feels anymore, as today is my “Saturday”.

I’ve worked for the same company for 10 years now. For someone in their 30s or 40s, that might not be very impressive (or maybe it would…hard to say these days!), but I am only 28 years old. I started work at said company 1 month after I turned 18 and graduated from high school. Now, I haven’t worked the same job, or anything. I’ve had several positions and am in a managerial position now (or trust me, I wouldn’t still be there!), but I haven’t left. The company is in the tourism trade, so our business is significantly busier on weekends, holidays and during the summer. Due to this fact, I have missed the last 10 years worth of my friend’s BBQ’s, birthday parties and weekend shenanigans.

When I was in college, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. College students run on a schedule that is far crazier than people working 9-5 jobs. I still did get excited for different holidays and days of the week though. I was always excited about Friday and devastated about Monday. It wasn’t for the same reasons as the other students, as I had to work all weekend anyway, but the energy and happiness that comes from knowing you survived another academic week and could cross it off your syllabus’ calendar (I really did this…marked off each week of the semester…winter/summer break countdown! Woo!) really did bring a smile.

Now college is 5 years in the rear view mirror (ohmygoshwhendidigetold), and the weekend and holidays essentially mean nothing to me, aside from the fact that work will be crazier. The tourists will be swarming, asking me how to get to Ghirardelli Square , how much the Cable Cars cost and where can they find those adorable sea lions? Now the days I look forward to are Tuesdays and Wednesdays…my weekend. Sure, there are no swinging parties to go to, but stores and other places are emptier. I can go to the gym in the middle of the work day when everyone else is at their desk, starting to get frazzled.

And when everyone else complains about heading back to work after a three day weekend, I can hug my coffee cup a little closer to me, smile and snuggle down under my comforter. I do believe I will stream some Leave it to Beaver from Netflix…oh that Beav….always getting into trouble!

Speaking of coffee:

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Colon, MI is the magic capital of the world. Betchya didn’t know that!

My exceptionally unphotogenic breakfast; ugly, but tasty!

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Steel Cut Oats w/banana and chia. I made a whole pot yesterday, so for the rest of the week, only toppings will vary.

Today, I mixed a bit of Nutella into my bowl of oats and then topped with 1 tbs of TJ’s Sunflower Seed Butter and 1tbs of Fage greek yogurt. Then, I crumbled one Biscoff cookie on top, because that’s how I roll!

Now to finish up some computer things and perhaps hit the gym. If I can get my lazy behind down to the Ferry Building before 2pm I can hit the lunch time farmer’s market…one of my favorite things!

Have an amazing Saturday Tuesday!