We have this saying among bloggers that goes something like this:
“Don’t work for the blog, make the blog work for you.”
Meaning, essentially, for a food blogger to not make things for the sole purpose of blogging them. Try to make things that you normally make and eat for your family on a daily basis anyway, thus minimizing your work load. This way you’re not making food for your family AND for the blog.
I TOTALLY work for the blog. Because, believe it or not, the desserts I post are not what we would normally be eating on a daily basis. Now, don’t get me wrong, I really LOVE working for my blog. It’s a great employer. I love being up to my eyeballs in desserts and dessert photos all day, every day! That’s something I’m completely passionate about and feel so blessed to get to enjoy in my life. But the desserts I make are often specifically crafted with my readers and my own creative whimsy in mind, not necessarily based on our daily meal plan (thank Heavens!).
So my blog does not actually work for ME. And, really, I’m more than ok with that.
But lately, I’ve been thinking that there’s something I’d like to do to make the blog work for ME a little more. Enter: Skinny Saturdays.
Or it may be Skinny ‘Sundays’ on some weeks. I’m determined to not let this be a source of additional stress, so I’m not really putting a strict deadline on myself for this weekly post. Both weekend days start with ‘S’ so either day will do. I’m a flexible boss ;) .
Anyway, the point of Skinny Weekends is to force myself to create at least one weight-loss conscious dessert recipe per week and share it with you.
And………….. to weigh in.
I’ve decided to start weighing in on my blog every week. I desperately need some social pressure to lose weight, and apparently reporting the number to my husband isn’t enough motivation anymore. So I’m getting a little drastic up in here, and reporting my weight to YOU every week.
So here’s a little bit of my story before we get to the recipe and the, uh… number.
Overall, I’ve been pretty healthy my entire life. I was active enough in high school– played sports, worked as a life guard, you know. The normal stuff. But I always carried just a little bit of weight on me, because I really, really, love to eat. And I’ve always found it’s not very difficult to out-eat what I manage to burn off.
So I joined Weight Watchers my senior year, lost a pretty good chunk of weight, and went off to college at 160 lbs (a good weight for me!) feeling all skinny and pretty. As was no real surprise, I quickly gained the standard 15-20 lbs during my freshman year at BYU. But most of my friends had done the same thing, and I was still pretty active, so I saw no real need for concern. Plus, I dropped the weight pretty easily a couple of months before my (now) husband came home from his LDS Mission at the end of my Sophomore year. No harm, no foul there.
The weight crept back on during our engagement and continued on through the first few years of being married (I hit 185 lbs somewhere in here), and really felt horribly uncomfortable most of the time. I had just started to drop the pounds (down to 177 lbs) when I found out I was pregnant with Emma. Due to a few different factors (some out of my control, some within) I gained about 50 lbs during my pregnancy. For about 2 years post-pregnancy, I fluctuated between 177 lbs – 185 lbs. And it really, really did not feel good.
In the spring of 2012, two important things happened: 1) I started having really horrible stomach pains any time I ate anything fattening (and I mean anything that had roughly 3g of fat or more. So…. LOTS of food), and I felt pretty confident it was a gallbladder issue, and 2) I started running.
Between my adjusted diet (excruciating stomach pain is an incredible good diet motivator), and my new exercise regimen (friends who ran with me kept me consistent), the weight melted off. I didn’t even really feel like I was trying. And before I knew it, I felt SO good and was looking the best I’ve ever looked in my life. I just remember thinking, “this is incredible! I feel so COMFORTABLE all. the. time.” That was the most impressive thing to me– the 24/7 comfort, no matter which outfit I was in. My pants didn’t pinch me, and my range of movement was whatever I wanted it to me. I felt SO GOOD. This was at about 165 lbs. I know that sounds heavy to some of you, but I feel really great at 16o-165 lbs.
And then the fall hit. Which meant, school started for my husband (so I lost my “sitter” for runs), it started to stay dark later in the mornings (making is SO much harder to get out of bed), we moved (total disruption of routine), Online BlogCon happened (COUNTLESS hours sitting on my butt in front of the laptop), and my blog started to really take off (meaning: lots MORE butt-time in front of the lap top). And my stomach had stopped hurting, which made me a lot less motivated to eat well.
Everything combined was just a lethal combination. And I wasn’t strong enough in my new healthy lifestyle to face all of those challenges at once. And week by week, the pounds came back on. I won’t give you a play-by-play of the last 5 months, but suffice it to say: it’s all back. Nothing I own is comfortable to wear, I don’t recognize my face anymore, and my eyes are starting to do that weird squint-y disappearing thing when I smile. I’m slow and lethargic, tired all the time. And I’m weighing in at a robust 183.6 lbs as of yesterday.
And if you’re wondering, my stomach feels fine. No pain at all, so I’m totally without that motivation that was SO useful before!
That’s me. ALL of me. Totally out there.
I know what you’re dying to say: “desserts! Desserts! It’s all the desserts!”
And sure, yes. 5 new desserts a week is a bit of an occupational health hazard. But might I just point out that I was making 5 desserts a week last summer during that brief weight loss journey? And somehow I still managed. Which mean: I can still do what I love (making lots and lots of treats), if I can find a way to dig deep and find that self control that surfaced miraculously last year.
I don’t want to change my blog. I LOVE desserts. I love REAL desserts. Desserts that use real butter and real chocolate. I think dripping caramel is beautiful, and I’m inspired by a stack of pancakes. It’s art to me, and I don’t want this part of my life to change.
But I want to have this one day a week to share some of my struggles with you, and show you how I’m still going to embrace sweets in a healthy lifestyle. I obviously don’t know everything about weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but I do know that a lifestyle of deprivation won’t be successful. And I know that I won’t be successful if I don’t allow myself dessert.
I think that’s it! Everything I had to say is out there :) .
All I have left is a favor: please be kind in your comments and feedback. I think we can all agree that weight loss is a bit of an emotional subject, and even a little constructive criticism can feel hurtful if unsolicited. And, at the moment, constructive criticism is DEFINITELY not being solicited here.
Ready to hear about this cobbler???
It’s really fab. And practically sugar free (the only sugar comes from the natural sugars in the fruit)! It tastes delicious, just like your Mom always made for you. And if you’re a bit of a calorie daredevil (like me), make it a la mode with 1/4 cup of light ice cream. And I added some fat free caramel sauce too– but mostly for the pictures. It’s perfectly amazing without the sauce.
And it’s totally a Skinny recipe. Really! I clock it in at 5 WW+ (plus an additional point for 1/4 cup fat free vanilla ice cream), and it’s a BIG serving!
Notes about this recipe:
- This will taste really good microwaved. But, as can be expected, the best taste will yield from baking it. I’ve found that the long baking time really isn’t a big deal for me, since I’m usually making this as an after dinner/blog-time treat. I pop it in the oven, write my post, and it’s done int time for me to eat my dessert while I’m blog/pinterest/FB surfing.
- Fruit doesn’t have to be frozen, but adjust cooking time if using fresh fruit. I’d start with 90 seconds in the microwave, and with 20 minutes in the oven.
Disclaimer: Skinny Saturdays may feel like they’re written a little differently than the rest of my posts. That’s because they are! This is one post per week that I’ll be writing JUST FOR ME! Which means, all I want to do is share MY weight loss experience with you and some of the recipes I plan to enjoy along the way. Visit me each week to see how I’m doing and be a part of the journey!