That thing that you do that you don’t realize you’re doing. And it’s making us eat more!

I have to admit I’ve been a little self conscious about things said in front of my daughter in regards to weight, food, certain words. I didn’t know this would happen but it was an innate reaction. Everyone loves fat babies. They are the cutest, they are the healthiest. And although I know this, I find myself flinching whenever anyone says she’s fat, even though it’s a compliment.  When I realized my natural reaction to that word it made me aware of other things people, including myself, say out loud.  With that being said, did you ever notice that we all narrate our food choices out loud? We broadcast to anyone within ear sight what we’re choosing to put in our mouths.

For example, we’re  at a party. We are seated at a table filled with all our high fattening favorites. We’re  a little self conscious about our over eating at this event so we speak our over-indulgent insecurities out loud. It sounds something like this, “I know I shouldn’t be having another cookie but I’m going to do it anyway” or “Well I’m completely off my diet so I might as well enjoy this pie.” or “I know this has too many calories but I am going to eat it anyway because it’s so good.” 

I found myself doing it this weekend. I was at a friends party and I showed up starving. I sat on the couch and in front of me was a bowl of Utz Party Mix. You know, the one with the Doritos and the Cheetos and the pretzels and tortilla chips, it comes in the big tub. I love that stuff.  I truly did enjoy eating this and I did feel like I had calories to spare for the day/weekend. However, I probably said out loud a minimum of 13 times to my friends around me things like this, “I’m literally eating this whole bowl” and “I cannot stop eating this.”

Well guess what, who cares. Literally no one cares what I’m eating and no one cares what you’re eating. No one is watching what anyone else is eating. I’m actually bringing more attention to myself. I’m reminding people that I’m eating like crap, when they probably didn’t even realize.

The truth is, we think people are judging us. But the reality is, we are just judging ourselves. No one is shaming us, we’re shaming ourselves. The judgement and shame we place on ourselves when we eat poorly makes us emotional, emotions make us eat. So stop judging yourself. Own your decision to eat what you want when you want. The judgement is weighing us down more than any calorie ever will.

Happy Monday!

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I’m just going to go ahead and eat two ice cream cones.

Ever wonder exactly what your ideal weight is supposed to be? It might not be what you think.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve designated a goal weight in your head and it’s been set in stone for as long as you can remember. I’ve literally had the same goal weight for 20 years. I haven’t been that weight since high school, yet, it’s still my goal weight. And every time I start a diet, the finish line is that number. In the rare case that I’ve been able to hit that number in my adult life, I stay there for roughly 6 seconds.

All of these things should be indications that this actually is NOT my ideal weight. But since I’ve built an irrational case for this number and settled on it. It actually haunts me. The same way any item on my to-do list haunts me. And since there is nothing more satisfying than checking something off our to-do list, if we could just check this off we’d feel more at ease. Accomplished.

Recently I really started to think about this number and I realized it was utterly arbitrary. It’s just a number that sounded good to me at one time in my life. But is it backed by anything? Is there any science to this number? Will I be any healthier at this number? Will my cravings suddenly dissipate at this number? Will all my emotional eating end at this number? Is there any guarantees for anything in life when I hit this number? Nope, Nope & Nope. So why does it exist? And what would happen if I changed that number to something higher. What would happen if instead of me trying to reach my goal, I let my goal reach me. Instead of me dictating what I should weigh, I let my body dictate that.

When we remind ourselves that we can do anything NOW that we can do at that number it takes the power away from the number. I can eat healthier at a higher weight, I can reach career goals at a higher weight, I can dress sexy and cute at a higher weight. I can be happy at a higher weight.

Think about this, you’re not a failure if you never hit that number. You’re a success if you rise above the number. Literally rise above. Pun actually intended.

Happy Monday!


✌🏽 peace out, “ideal weight”

I tried on 6 different pairs of jeans in the same size, here’s what happened.

We live in a small house in Jersey City. Although I love my little house, we’re busting at the seams.   Every one of my drawers is overflowing with clothes. Yet, I never have anything to wear. I have my staple articles of clothing and if they aren’t washed I feel completely lost. Right now I own about 9 pairs of jeans, I wear 3 pairs.

Yesterday happened to be a day when no laundry was done. Sean, my husband, and I usually go to 10:30 mass but we thought the 9 am would sync up better with Penelope’s nap so we were trying to get out the door to make 9 am mass. Therefore, it wasn’t ideal that I had nothing clean to wear.  After trying on 3 outfits I hated I settled on something that was “fine enough” and we made it to church by the homily. The worst part about having nothing to wear is the mess I make while finding what fits. Every article of clothing ends up flung onto the bed and floor.

Later that day, while thinking of the mess I made, I thought, why does this always happen? Why do I have so many clothes but nothing to wear?!  Why are the 6 pairs of jeans that don’t fit me even in my closet? As a life long Yo-Yo Dieter and emotional eater, some things fit, something’s don’t on any given day. But beyond that, I actually don’t even know what size I am because sizes are SO ambiguous these days.

That’s why I decided to do a little experiment. I laid out 6 pairs of jeans that I owned that were the exact same size. I tried them on, one by one. Here’s what happened.

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First up, American Eagle. This pair was big. It gets a thumbs up because they are so comfy that I can wear them comfortably.img_9900

Next up: Nordstrom generic brand. I couldn’t even button..Thumbs Down.img_9905

Next: 7 For All Mankind, buttoned, but as you can see, are so tight the pockets are sticking out. Thumbs Down.img_9914

Next, Abercrombie and Fitch, they fit. BUT JUST fit so I wouldn’t exactly consider them comfortable enough to wear.

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Next pair, Michael Kors, another pair that wouldn’t button.img_9911

And this pair, from Anthropologie, fit just right! Finally. img_9915

The fact that with 6 pairs, same size, one was too big, one was just right, and 4 were too tight, just proves size doesn’t matter. And this experiment is a good reminder for myself and anyone reading. But it’s more than that. It’s removing negativity from our lives. Like jeans that are too tight that haunt us daily. Any of these jeans that didn’t fit, I packed away neatly under my bed. Maybe I’ll wear them again one day or maybe I won’t. The point is; they don’t deserve my energy and I don’t need to see them everyday. I don’t need to try them on everyday.  In a perfect world, all jeans would fit exactly the same, we’d all be the size we want to be and we’d all be able to open our closets and wear any of our clothes on any given day. But that’s just not reality. When we own that reality, we remove the pressure we put on ourselves to look and be a certain size. Just like jeans come in all shapes and sizes, so do we. Own your number, own your style, live comfortably. Happy Monday!

And to buy the official shirt of Monday Dieter, pictured above, Click Here!!

NOTE: They run big when ordering:)

Justified Calories: Eat what you love and don’t apologize.

My parents have a regulation size bocce ball court in their backyard. I know, so Italian. For the past 4 years they have hosted a huge party that’s also a bocce tournament. {Shout out, my husband won this year.}  This past weekend was their event. Like most Italian family functions, it’s a small wedding of over 100 people. So, I walked into my parents house Saturday afternoon and of course, to feed over 100 people, there was an array of high fattening and amazing foods. I was immediately overwhelmed with excitement and fear.

Here’s my issue with daytime events, whether it be a BBQ, bridal or baby showers, ect. They are right smack in the middle of the day. So in anticipation of a high fat eating day, I barely eat breakfast, since I’m eating so soon.  I get to the event, eat the largest amount of food ever in one sitting and then go home. I get home and am  in this weird place of do I eat dinner? I ration that I shouldn’t because I ate so much at the event, but I should because I technically only ate one meal that day. The struggle is real.

On this day, I actually ate a nice breakfast so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed when I walked into the house. So I was already playing a little food defense. But I was still thinking about what I was going to dive into first. There were trays of those big chocolate chip cookies from Costco which I love. There was appetizer Sicilian pizza which I also love.  Trays of sausage and peppers. Just to name a few. As I was about to jump in, I noticed 4 loaves on Zucchini bread on the counter. Almost hidden. I literally hadn’t had that in 10 years and it used to be one of my favorite things ever. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s packed with sugar. My mom used to make it all the time. I got so excited. My heart filled up. I started there for the day and honestly didn’t deviate. I had a piece as my appetizer, a piece as my dessert and a piece to end the night. Because I loved that so much it was as if nothing else was even worth the calories that day. Store bought cookies and cakes didn’t compare to my Zucchini bread so I avoided them.

I made such a big deal of this bread, talked about it so much, that the next morning my little nephew referred to it as “Coco’s bread” I’m Coco, btw. And he’s my perfect little human who makes every word and phrase even more adorable than possible.

I didn’t even realize I was avoiding the other foods at the part until  the next day when all the leftovers were out to snack on during the Sunday football games. I naturally would have picked on the extra cookies and candy and chocolate  all over the house but knowing I had my leftover slice of zucchini bread, I didn’t want to ruin it with any calories not as special. I probably ate  a whole loaf of the 4 loaves by myself. In the past I would have been angry, mad and regretful. But I literally had zero regrets. I not only enjoyed it, I knew how special it was. AND it saved me from pointless calories.  I actually ate less because I ate more. Mind blowing.

We often justify eating certain timely delicacies. Candy Corn around the holidays. Girl Scout Cookies  when our co-workers come around with the sign up sheets once a year. Peeps at Easter. Pie at Thanksgiving. Cake at birthdays. Certain calories are justifiable. But certain aren’t. I think if we really take the time to internally analyze just how special certain calories are, we’ll eat a more mindfully, unapologetic and without regret. Now that’s living my friends!!

IMG_9828Penelope ready for her first Bocce Tournament.

LOSING 200 POUNDS AND COUNTING.

I’m in awe of any and all weight loss success stories. Anytime someone shows me a before and after photo of dramatic weight loss, I’m amazed. We see these stories online all the time. The pop up on the right side of our Facebook feed. They’re attached to every major diet promotional materials. We read about them in magazines like ‘People’ where they show people who’ve lost almost half their body weight. These photos solidify success.

I praise the dedication it took for these people to lose so much weight. And then after thinking about them, the selfish nature of humanity takes over and these stories make me think about myself.  This person can lose 200 pounds I think but I’ve had trouble dealing with the same 20 pounds my whole life. Insert the feeling of defeat.

Many of us have that number of pounds that we fluctuate with; 5, 10, 15, 20, 40, 60. We know the times in our life when those pounds have been off and the times in our lives when those pounds are on. Every time those pounds are hanging around, maybe even right now as you’re reading this, you’re feeling like you still haven’t lost the weight. You don’t feel like an amazing success stories like the amazing people you see.

But then I thought, I estimate I’ve lost 200 pounds in my life. The same 10 pounds, 20 times, in 20 years. Some of you maybe have lost 400 pounds in your life. The same 20 pounds, 20 times in 20 years. You’ve maybe lost even more!

If you’re reading this right now and feeling like you aren’t a success story, be your own success story. Don’t let what you look like right now be the judgement you bestow on yourself. Only we know ourselves, we know how we eat, we know what we do, how hard we try. The outside is a representation of the inside but it’s not the whole story. Many of us hide in the shadows of our success because on the outside we feel like we look like failures.

The way we look on the outside often doesn’t show the healthy sacrifices we make for our health everyday. Maybe you’re 20 pounds overweight right now but you’ve been walking everyday. Maybe you’re 40 pounds overweight right now but you always choose Whole Foods over packages or processed. Maybe you’re 5 pounds overweight but you’re fridge is filled with fruits and veggies. Every little sacrifice or decision we make when it comes to eating and our health matters and is something we can celebrate.

Since writing Monday Dieter I’ve had so many people stop me and tell me about their own journey.  They always lead with their flaws. “I’m 20 pounds overweight” for example. OR “I can’t stop eating dessert every night” or “I hate the way I look right now” They never lead with their successes. We fail to focus on the GOOD things we do.

I want us all to change the way we walk around. Change the height we hold our heads up when it comes to our health. We are all success stories, in our own special ways. And who cares if you don’t see a change in your before and after, you know everyday you become better than before 🙂

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who cares if your before and after picture looks the same year after year:) you’re a success story in your own!

Eat like crap this weekend?! Read this, you’ll feel better. I promise.

My husband and I host an event every year called “Sober Day at the Ballpark.” It’s an event at the Philadelphia Phillies stadium to honor his late brother who lost his life to addiction. And to raise money and awareness to support others in recovery, like he was for many many years. It’s one of the best days of the years for our family. We drink juice boxes, play tailgate games, win prizes and eat yummy breakfast sandwiches. We just don’t drink. We’ve been doing it for 6 years now and have raised over $20,000! I am thankful to every person and soul from near and far who support us every year in this.

This past Sunday was our event. One of my best friends flew in from her new home in South Carolina to help me and my husband prep the event. Her and I spent all day Saturday running errands. We like to play this game when we’re together that I call “impulse buy.” That’s when we just throw things in the cart that are too amazing to pass up and we call them impulse buys. I’m sure you play this too. Impulse buys on our day of errands Saturday happened to be all food related; they included a bag of animal crackers, a bag of Australian licorice, the cutest mini cake with sprinkles that you’ve ever seen in your life and a bag of organic gummy bears. Almost bought these animal heads, pictured below, BUT my husband put the kibosh on that. Anywho I ate all the food bought while playing “impulse buy.”

I was standing at the mirror in my husband’s childhood bedroom getting ready for the day and I was thinking about how I ate like crap the day before and then thinking about how I planned to eat like crap today, the day of the event. I had that brief moment of angst where I thought why did I eat like crap. Why do I always eat like crap on the weekends. I started to beat myself up. Quickly scanning my brain’s inventory of how to undo the damage. Deciding if I was going to continue to eat like crap or actually control myself today. And then I thought, SO WHAT?! So what?! Literally so what?! Like I couldn’t stress it enough, so what?! So what if I ate like crap this weekend! It changes NOTHING! My life is still the same. Everything of meaning is still absolutely the same. Why ruin an amazing day filled with so much gratitude with a meaningless worry of calories. So what if you’ve ate like crap this weekend. If you’re reading this post and you ate like crap this weekend SO WHAT?!

I’d honestly love to elaborate more on the topic but there isn’t anything else to say except SO WHAT! It’s a new day! A new week! A new beautiful day! A day that doesn’t care about what you ate this past weekend.

You ate like crap this weekend?! So what!

Happy Monday:) Enjoy the day!

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