Learning to Enjoy Food Again

Hi Friends,

I hope this Tuesday evening is treating you well.  I rushed home to make it to my training appointment on time only to be stood up by the trainer!  I don’t know what annoyed me the most, being stood up, the way management handled the situation or the fact that I would have used that time to head to Verizon to get my cell taken care of.  Ah, well.  I got a short cardio session in and then headed home.  I’m still not sure what happened with the trainer.  The girl behind the desk called and left a message for her, but never heard back.  Hopefully she’s ok.  Rob says I’m too nice, but you never know what could have happened.

I was able to get my cell on for just enough time to send the pictures I took last night to my e-mail.  At least I’ll be able to include them with this post.

As I was eating dinner last night it occured to me that I was actually enjoying what I ate.  For so long I was afraid of food.  So silly, but true.  Food should be a simple thing in all that goes on in our crazy, hectic daily lives.  For me it has been something of an obsession.  Something that no matter how much I tried not to let it get to me it seemed to always sneak into my thoughts.  No matter if I’m at McDonald’s or a 5 Star restaurant the thoughts in my head are the same.  They are always to find the least caloric thing on the menu and make sure it has some protein.  It seemed that the more I learned about nutrition the more food rules I ended up with and I couldn’t get them out of my head, no matter how hard I tried.  Eating a cupcake and not waking up 10lbs heavier than I was the day before.  Enjoying birthday cake to celebrate my loved ones’ years.  For a long time I couldn’t grasp the concept that I didn’t have to fear food.  Actually enjoying food and not fearing it was a foreign concept to me.

Growing up, the aroma of my mother’s cooking would drift down the hallway as I completed my homework.  My mom is a wonderful cook.  I don’t remember a meal that I didn’t like.  She always cooked balance meals.  I think that I always just ate more than I should.  Then, the dieting cycle began in elementary school and it’s a path I haven’t seemed to break free from since.  Sometimes I long for the days when I was a child and there wasn’t so much thought behind eating.  I didn’t check the time to make sure that 3 hours had passed from my last meal, I didn’t make sure that a meal was composed of a certain percentage of macronutrients, and I ate what I honestly felt like eating at that moment in time. 

Somewhere along my weight loss journey I began to fear food.  Calories were always on my mind and I would forgo my mom’s delicious meals. I still remember the first time I turned down my grandmother’s meatballs.  There was a hint of sadness in her eyes, because I know that they were made with love and allowing me to eat one was a way for her to show me that love.  I was working toward a goal though.  My goal was to lose weight and nothing was going to get in my way.  It soon became out of control.  For example, I remember going with a group of friends to Friendly’s one summer night.  I told myself that I was going to have the fat free ice cream.  That all changed when I realized they had given me regular Coke instead of diet.  I decided that since I had the Coke calories I could no longer have my planned treat.  I remember one of my friends saying, “Let me guess, you aren’t going to have the ice cream now.”  They all knew I had a problem, but I saw it as being strong-willed. 

I lost out on so much because of my obsession.  I lost friends because it was easier for me to remain at home instead of going out and feeling pressure from them to join in.  You’d think they were drinking or doing drugs, but it was food that I feared and being teased for not eating what they were or feeling like I was being watched made me withdraw even more.

For many years I ate very plain foods, so as I could calculate everything as closely as possible.  At first I felt deprived, but then it just became normal.  It was part of me.  My favorite meals growing up were lasagna and pancakes, both of which my mom would make for my birthday.  Eventually, I deprived my mom the joy of making me those meals.  She would have to do with giving me a yogurt for my birthday breakfast.  A single candle would stick out of a strawberry for me to blow out.  For dinner I would ask for chicken with veggies and instead of cake I had sugar-free jello with fat free cool whip on top.  Now, if that was what I was truly craving that would be fine, but that wasn’t the case.  Over time, I blocked out all of my cravings.  To this day I don’t really have cravings for specific foods.  Maybe that’s because it’s been ages since I’ve had so many things.

I can honestly say that living with Rob is helping me get through my fears.  Living alone I just ate what fit into my calculated macros for the day.  I still calculate, but now I’m creating or finding recipes that fit within my macros that I honestly enjoy.  Case in point, dinner last night.  I think I had a smile on my face the entire time I was chowing down. 

It isn’t Rob’s fault that I have this issue, but he is sensitive to my fears and never makes me feel bad or like my fears are ridiculous.  Not wanting to penalize him to eating dull dinners forced me to start making changes.  I didn’t want him to suffer because of my issues, just the way I wouldn’t want my future children to worry about something that shouldn’t be a worry. I don’t want my children to see my fears and think they are normal.  I don’t want to pass my obsessions on to them.  I want them to be normal, happy, healthy kids.  I want them to enjoy an ice cream cone on a hot summer day without worry.  I can guarantee that we will all be eating healthy the majority of the time, but I’m working on being able to add a lil fun into all of our diets.  (Look at me talking like my kids are already here.  You know what I mean though, right?)

There was a short period of time in my early 20s that I began to enjoy food, but somehow I resorted back to my old ways.  Every Saturday I was going out for a chicken parm dinner at a favorite restaurant of ours.  We followed it up with a trip to Dairy Queen where my heart was always set on getting a blizzard.  I figured out how to balance the meal (1/2 the chicken with most of the cheese scraped off, a small portion of pasta, DQ for dessert and I ate mostly healthy for the rest of the week.  This worked for me and I don’t quite remember what happened.  I think that I tried to get down to some ridiculous body fat by going low carb and all hell broke loose.  My mom told me to just go back to what I had been doing, but I was scared.

Years passed and here we are.  I’m still not completely recovered, but I’m so much better off than I was even a few months ago.  That’s major progress my friends. 🙂

So, what was this dinner that had me smiling from ear to ear?  Yesterday I posted that I was planning on making Chicken Cordon Bleu for dinner from a recipe I found on the Muscle & Fitness Hers site.  Let me tell ya, it’s a keeper.

Before Making It’s Way Into The Oven

In The Raw

Almost Ready…Look at the cheese!!

All I can say is Mmmmm….

I placed the chicken on top of Carba Nada noodles and chowed down.  It was SO GOOD.  The only thing I would do differently is add some veggies to the pasta.  I’m thinking some spinach.

Isn’t it funny where my mind went after enjoying this meal?  Want to know what’s funnier?  Rob’s comments afterwards and how different in depth they are from mine.

Comment #1: He gave this dinner 2 Thumbs Up

Comment #2: “I only have one request.  Next time, make it without these green things (aka rosemary & thyme).  They remind me of mint.”  LOL

See the "green things"?

Comment #3: “Take a picture of my snack to put on the blog.”

This was some sort of vodka and Gatorade creation and half a banana.  Haha.  I love him!  You should know that we later went on to snack on sugar free muffins.  My snack included some hot cocoa. 🙂

Ok, time to cuddle and watch White Collar.  Wishing you sweet dreams!


Chicken Florentine

Hey Guys!

It’s almost the weekend!  Anyone else as happy as I am?  🙂  Certain things at work were really annoying me today.  Things like, oh I don’t know, the copier breaking AGAIN (not my fault this time), multiple computers not doing what they should have been, continuously being interrupted during my lunch break….Oh well.  Taking 5 deep breaths and moving on.  It is almost the weekend and all.  I can get through one more day.  No prob!

Here’s the recipe for Chicken Florentine, which I mentioned in my last post.  I got it from the December 2009 issue of Oxygen Magazine.

Chicken Florentine

Makes 4 servings

* Ready in ~30 minutes


  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 4-4 oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 14 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes (I used homemade sauce)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil or 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil
  • 10 oz Fresh Spinach
  • 2 Tbsp Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and cook chicken until lightly browned on each side, approximately six minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the tomatoes, oregano & basil; place spinach on top of the chicken and cover tightly.
  3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, approximately 15 more minutes.
  4. Serve topped with a little Parmesan cheese.

Nutrients Per Serving (as calculated by Oxygen Mag):

Calories: 186, Total Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 336mg, Total Carbs: 9g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 30g, Iron: 3mg

There you have it.  Easy peasy, right?  You can eat this as is or serve with your choice of carb or extra veggies.  I chose to pair mine with some Carba-Nada noodles.  It was delish!

Balanced Dinner