Monday, June 28, 2010


I learned about Notes From The Universe from Medicinal Marzipan (whose blog should be bookmarked by all!) and have been delighted at the little messages I receive in my inbox, usually upon waking. They've been forcing me to be mindful right out the gate. I'm a fan of fortune cookies and the occasional horoscope, but something about these emails seems infinitely more useful and insightful into my every day life than the typical novelties.

Today's note:
Believe it or not, Jenelle, of all the types of happy, "yeehaa!" and "whoohooo!" that exist, the greatest are those derived from truly helping others.

Especially when you help yourself along the way by choosing approaches that tickle you. It most certainly won't hurt if you have fun, crank up the music, shake-shake-shake, and scarf a new healthy body while you're at it. In fact, maybe we could use your healthy body as we help others....

The Universe

Today's note reminded me stop taking myself so seriously all the time. I can be goofy, but in recent weeks and months have seen that part of myself being overshadowed by the Jenelle who talks ad nauseum about her problems and various discontent. It's to the point where I feel like I'm picking out the negative aspects of most situations and discarding the things that would make me laugh under usual circumstances. Life is funny and beautiful and full of things to smile about. I need remember it.

To keep this on topic with my blog, I want to make mention that I'd like to use this approach towards how I exercise. I was complaining to my boyfriend yesterday of the "Sunday Blues" as I call them because weekends are usually so unpredictable, active, and joyful. Often, I feel like Monday begins a sequence routines. Planned meals, planned exercise, full days in a cubicle, straight to bed by eleven. Rinse, repeat. I tend to feel trapped in the cycle and lacking amusement. I think that in the future, I'd like to try taking some classes that push the usual limits of my schedule as well as my concept of exercise. Does anyone have any suggestions to shake-shake-shake things up?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Salmon Cakes

twentyten // 171 // salmon cakes

I've had a can of salmon in my cabinet for about three months. I've been in a bit of a cooking slump lately and attribute it to the ridiculously hot temperatures we've been dealing with in Philadelphia. On Monday, however, I decided to finally put the can of salmon to better use than just haphazardly throwing it on top of a salad. I found a ridiculously simple recipe for Salmon Cakes on epicurious (love this site and iPhone app) and played with it just a little bit. Here's what I came up with.

1 can (14.5 ounces) wild Alaskan salmon
1 1/2 scallions, chopped (divided)
1/4 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
Handful of fresh basil, chopped

Drain salmon & put in bowl. I used the kind that contains some skin/bones, so I also made sure to pick out any visible/inedible bones. Stir in egg, 1 scallion, breadcrumbs, curry, and basil until thoroughly combined. Form 8 small patties. Heat oil in medium pan over medium heat. Cook patties until light brown (3-4 minutes), flip and cook about 2 minutes more. I served these over fresh spinach tossed in balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkled the rest of the scallions on top.

south carolina // 2010 // aaahh
Summer Vacation: Mom & I excited about the shark in the water about ten feet from us. Really!

And just a little fitness update:
I've been pretty consistent on exercise this week, making it to the gym every day since Monday and adding in some additional at-home workouts. I NEEDED this after getting back from my little family vacation (see above). I tried Harley Pasternak's 5-Factor Fitness workout on ExerciseTV, and am intrigued. I've gotten a bit burnt out on the Shred and have shelved it for the time being. Lately, I've just been having fun trying new things and trying not to make working out feel like a job. Warm weather also tends to encourage me to hop on my bike more often, and I've been enjoying that as always. I got a new bike in May and LOVE riding it. It handles really well in the city and goes a little faster than my old Huffy (which I've lovingly passed down to my mother).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting Real


Truth: I've been avoiding my blog. I've been putting my focus inward because I'm still trying to make peace with my body and these sorts of things are hard to talk about with loved ones let alone the whole internet. But I'm at a point where I feel like perhaps broadcasting my issues might help someone shed some light on issues of their own. My weight loss journey has bred some disordered eating habits in my life. As much as I'd like to tell you all that I reached my goal weight and life was perfect and yours can be too, it just didn't happen that way.

When I started eating less and moving more I was morbidly obese and I found calorie restriction to be something that could potentially save my life. Getting the weight off took little effort and went fast because I was determined not to trip up for fear of slipping back into old unhealthy patterns. That chapter ended two years ago. Since then I've been struggling with life after weight loss. Once I hit my first goal weight, it wasn't enough. Five more pounds. And once I lost that, ten more pounds. Reflecting on how I was treating my body at that time where my weight was plummeting below goal frightens me, to be honest. I was eating far too little and exercising far too often and hit a point where my body just stopped losing. I was hungry for praise and attention for my weight loss and once it stopped I didn't know who I was.

Eventually I decided to learn to love food again. That's about the time I started this blog. I was relatively comfortable around food. I put some of the weight back on and have hovered around goal for some time now, however on bad days, weeks, months, I'd revert back to bouts restricted calories/over-exercise. These bouts were always met by a subsequent binge. The kind of eating where you feel like you can never get enough or there will never be enough. The kind of eating you save for times when you're alone and no one can see you because you've believed that eating was "bad" for so long.

With the binge eating and slight re-gain has come a slew of other issues, body image being one. Despite losing all of that weight, I learned that happiness could not be found in size 8 jeans and I would not learn to love myself just because I didn't have to shop in the plus-size section. I still look in the mirror and pinpoint my flaws rather than my successes.

It's a lot to share, but I guess I just want to stress to others on their weight loss journey to be gentle with themselves, for the consequences of setting your expectations too high or resorting to extremes can lead to a lot of troubles way worse than a few extra pounds. Learn to love your body as it is NOW and health should be easy to achieve. So many shame themselves thin instead of focusing on nourishing and strengthening their bodies. Every day I am working towards fixing my relationship with my body, mind, and (of course) food.

On a lighter note, I feel like this past weekend I've made some significant progress. I took my first dance class yesterday. On a whim, I signed up for a crash course in Argentine Tango. It consists of two 4-hour sessions in which you learn the basic moves of the social dance. Because I still struggle with said body issues and leftover shyness from my obese days, the idea of dancing with strangers had my stomach in knots. This first class took me way out of my comfort zone. Around the second hour I was about ready to give up, but I pushed through my discomfort and at one point a switch went off in my head. I can't explain how connected I felt to my body. There was a new awareness of my arms, my chest and my legs as the music echoed through the studio room. When following, we were encouraged to close our eyes as our partners led us around the dance floor. Once I let go, it felt kind of like I was gliding around. Weightless, even.