The end of the last ten week plan in the Dare and Do Challenge was met with an atypically warm and bright unfolding fall season. The bright and sunny days in New England have given way to unseasonably warm and calm nights.
The pallet of colors has reached the peak, here, and the leaves-- rich in red, orange, and yellow hues-- have already begun to cover neglected lawns and fill storm drains. The smell of underlying crispy brown lawns and leaves is in the air, but coupled with enough of a reminder of summer to leave anyone confused as to the time of year. The pools, not so long ago a source of fun and laughter, are covered. Summer shorts have been put away, and tank tops and sandals (sans socks, of course) are no longer appropriate, even in these mild temperatures. Fall, however generous this year, has halted summer fun and still promises the gloomy and stark season to come.
I have found myself--whilst launching a new business and in the middle of a multitude of weddings, birthdays, unplanned for events-- cash strapped. I pulled out my wardrobe from two seasons ago, and stand proudly at how much I've accomplished...until my pants fall down around my ankles. I then immediately shrug down and pull my pants up to my chest. I place my belt on the last hole allowed for my then size, and contemplate punching a new hole.
We have had weather that demands a sweater or a coat; the heat has been on. I've worn these clothes just enough to be reminded that I don't have to look "good enough" with my shirt off again until May of next year (or whenever I take my next picture for the internet, you know, Friday). ;) I need a new wardrobe, but I'm not in the place to do anything about it just yet.
I have been away from the Dare and Do Challenge Group for the past week or so because I have been guilty. I have been guilty of not doing a crunch, a plank, a squat, a feathered peacock, a tricep dip, a push up, a lunge. I have not lifted a weight, a yoga mat, or thought of any of that in DAYS. I am equally guilty of indulging in pizza, cheese, potato chips, chocolate, ice cream, cheese, potato chips, potato chips, Doritos, Doritos with cheese and bacon. Good Lawd, I've have bacon several ways. And I'M NOT SORRY. Except, clearly, I totally am.
I hit my scale weight goal of 165 towards the end of the ten week challenge, but continued to increase my work outs for my non scale goals. I took the last two days of the challenge off, took my "after" pic (which then became my new "before" pic) and am reluctant to admit, felt disappointed. I am proud of everything I accomplished. I scoff at the 24 pounds lost and tell them not to come back. I love wearing my new shorts/short sleeve shirts that fit me. In the mirror, though, I thought I would be further along. I truly thought, after working my butt off since May, that I would be Jensen Channing, or whomever (is this getting old yet?), and could finally say "after." I am impressed with what I've done, but still have so much more to do before June (my goal for "after"). Grrr!
I am not sorry for not working out/eating like a glutton because after the two days off and the reality of the "after" pic, I got the flu. I got the kind of flu where you sleep for three days, and everything is a haze. I got the type of flu where you are ravenously hungry, and then can't tolerate the sight of food. I can never remember if you feed a cold or a fever, so I just always feed both. For me, that is part of healing...rest, fluids, tons of junk food, hours of bad television interspersed with healing sleep.
I am sorry because I started to feel better over the weekend, and I weighed myself, fearing the worst. I now weigh 164. My shorts are still falling off. I did nothing, ate what I wanted, and know that sweater weather is here. It was short lived, but it happened: I remembered, from the few other times I got "in shape," that I can eat whatever I want and do nothing in terms of exercise and maintain it for up to a year.
My wife, who stopped daring and doing, which also frustrates me because I first starting doing this to inspire her, was my saving grace. She looked at me, lovingly, and posed: "what if you lost one pound of muscle?" Food for thought.
I then thought of the Dare and Do group, and all of the inspiring people I have met there, and all of the amazing accomplishments they have reached. Yes, I can pull this off for a bit, but what happens, in that unseen, unfelt, unheard of moment, when I no longer maintain and pack it all back on? I do this EVERY year. I am in the best shape of my life, woo hoo! I have a lot more to "lose" here. How can I possibly contemplate failure and also co-run this group?
I beat myself up for a day or so, whilst catering a party with foods that included bacon, and bacon, and meatballs with half and half soaked Italian bread and, um, bacon. I woke up today, and it was like auto pilot. I did 4 miles on the bike at top resistance in 15 minutes. I did 500 crunches, I did 100 push ups. I did a 2 minute plank (more than that is a waste of time, imho). I lifted weights, and I ate extremely well. I am tired, but am reminded of the "journey not destination" part of what I've been talking about. I GOT THIS!!
My journey is specific, and I know that. I am trying to prevent a mid life crisis as I approach mid life. I think of others out there going through their journeys and felt the need to fess up. YES--WE WILL ALL FALL OFF THE WAGON, WE WILL ALL MESS UP...That's what the DARE AND DO GROUP is FOR! WE GOT THIS!!!
So, to my cursed, blessed DD group members, blah to you for the Doritos I will throw out because I CAN NOT eat them. And THANK YOU for how blessed I am for what we've all created. I am already back on track and moving forward. #thankyou!! --Brian
Friday, October 4, 2013
I have to toot my own horn on this recipe because it knocked the socks off of not only my entire family, but off of myself as well. It is hearty, rich, and DELICIOUS! As many of you know, I am currently writing two cooking memoirs: one about my time as a stay at home dad, and one about my lifelong journey towards health/wellness. I have been reserving my signature dishes for these books, and had I not been directly asked to develop this recipe, I would have reserved it for the health and wellness book. It was THAT good. You should try this recipe out, but don't tell anyone that it is "healthier." Enjoy watching their reactions when you tell them what's in it!
- 1 lb protein enriched pasta (the angel hair worked perfect)
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T corn starch
- 1 C skim milk
- 3/4 C nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 C Parmesan cheese
- 1 T "I'm shocked this low fat product contains no butter" (I can't list it by brand name, but you know what I mean)
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1-2 pinches of nutmeg (this is needed to balance the tartness of the yogurt)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large sauce pot.
- Add a liberal amount of salt and pasta.
- Cook pasta according to brand.
- In a large saute pan over medium high heat, combine corn starch and olive oil with a whisk,
- Slowly whisk in milk and reduce heat to low.
- Add 3-4 T of the heated mixture to the yogurt and stir to temper it (this will prevent the yogurt from curdling).
- Whisk in tempered yogurt, and add remaining ingredients.
- Drain pasta and add to sauce, ensuring to mix well.
- Garnish with parley and fresh basil leaves.
- Watch your family/friends literally freak out when you tell them this is a healthier version. Everyone was floored when I told them what was in it, and my kids licked the plate!!