I cannot believe it has been 4 weeks since I began the most amazing transformation of my life, which has been sponsored by Mamavation and The Mushroom Council (AD). The challenge was to replace or add mushrooms to at least 4 meals a week for 4 weeks. We were also asked to follow a workout routine courtesy of the amazing Mark Segedie and get in 10,000 steps each day. What began as a 30-Day weight loss challenge has morphed into less of a weight loss challenge and more of an attitude and lifestyle makeover.
I grew up in a home where we looked liked the perfect family from the outside, but inside was a different story. My mother was obsessed with how she looked, how much she weighed and what people thought about her. She passed this on to my sisters and I and I grew up believing if I was overweight and did not look perfect, people would not like me. We were constantly being patted on the bottom or pinched around the middle being told we could lose a few pounds. Both my sisters have always been thin like my mom while I have always been heavier. As irony would have it, food became a constant source of comfort and I gained more and more weight over the years.
By the time I was 45, I was at 235 pounds and my mom said she was “more disappointed in me than ever before.” I was looking though some old pictures and came across this picture of me at age 20. To prove how damaging negative talk, both from others as well as ourselves can be and how warped it can make our perception of ourselves, take a look at this picture. I am 20 years old in this picture and I am at a healthy weight of around 130. I bet I look “normal” to you but until about a month ago, I would have been embarrassed to show anyone this picture because of how “huge” I was convinced I was. It made me realize how women who have eating disorders can look at themselves so differently from how others see them.
With the help from two beautiful women, Leah Segedie from Mamavation and Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD, and a lot of inner work, I realized something profound from this 4 week challenge. I realized there is a lot more heaviness in my heart and in my spirit than I have around my waist, hips and thighs. For more than 40 years, I have told myself how stupid, fat, ugly and worthless I was and the only way I could redeem myself was to lose weight and be skinny like my sisters. Well, guess what? I refuse to allow myself to let a number on a scale or the size on a pair of pants dictate what kind of person I am or what kind of life I am going to live. My beautiful 15 and 26 year old daughters have always been told they are vivacious, intelligent, funny, inquisitive, colorful and talented women regardless of their weight. I always tried to keep my negative talk to myself and would build up my girls while inside I was doing quite the opposite to myself. Well, I was talking with my oldest daughter about these changes recently and she told me something that just blew me away and made me grin from ear to ear!
All the women in my family have thick legs. My sister is a size 2 and she has thick legs, I am a size 18 and I have thick legs and my daughters are both size 8-10, and guess what? Yep. Thick legs! I was joking with Chelsea and told her I have always been embarrassed about how big my legs were and I was working on loving myself just the way I am. She looked at me and said, “Mom! I LOVE my thick legs, don’t you? They make me who I am and I think they are fantastic!” Yeah, that is my girl! Now I have been shown all the positive talk and love I gave my girls has made a positive imapct on them and it is time to do the same thing for myself. I now begin and end each day listing all the things I am grateful for, what brings me joy and how I can bring joy to others. Included in that is to look at my body as the miraculous machine it is, treat it as such and remind myself when my mind and body are in tune, the weight will come off.
So, where am I on this 30 day challenge? I have lost 5 pounds and can almost zip up my size 16 pants. I can walk 2 miles without getting winded and I can lift a 3 pound weight above my head for the first time in a year. I would rather grab a banana, an apple or a Greek yogurt and a handful of almonds than a candy bar. We have committed to continuing to replace or add mushrooms into 4 meals a week and I drink water instead of diet soda. I cannot remember the last time I had anything fried, processed or full of sugar. I sleep better than I have in years, I laugh more, chase my kids around the yard and have been more affectionate with my husband than I have in months. Oh, and I have thrown away every pair of my big old granny panties and bought smaller and yes, sexier panties, much to the joy of my husband! Am I ever going to be a size 10 again? I could not begin to tell you! Do I care if I ever get to be a size 10 again? Could not care less! What I can tell you is as long as I feel healthy, am energized and am feeding my body, mind and spirit properly, the rest will fall into place. At some point, I will be the size I am meant to be and will be happy with whatever that is! With that said, here is what I had for my four meals this week and boy were they Deeee-licious!
Grilled Chicken with Marinated Grilled Vegetables:
Mushroom And Egg White Scramble
Mushroom And Black Bean Burrito
And I have saved my favorite recipe for last! My husband and I love this vegetarian calzone recipe and I wanted to share it with you! It is perfect on it’s own or with a salad of fresh greens.
- 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 packet of active dry yeast
- 1 cups warm water
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 2 cups diced artichokes
- 2 cups diced sun dried tomatoes
- 1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup low fat shredded cheese (I use a combination of Italian cheeses)
- For Dough: Mix all ingredients together, knead for 3-4 minutes, then allow the dough to “rest” for about 10 minutes. Use the dough to make 1 pizza or 8 calzones.
- For Calzone:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Split the dough into 8 portions and roll our like a small pizza.
- Fill each calzone with ¼ cup of each ingredient, beginning with the cheeses.
- Fold dough over and pinch closed. Cut 3 small openings to vent
- Bake on greased baking pan or pizza stone for 25 minutes or until golden brown
Mushroom Makeover Twitter Party
Join us for the #MushroomMakeover Twitter party Tuesday April 8, from 6-7:30 pm PST (9-10:30 pm EST). We will be sharing tips, recipes and there will lots of amazing prizes! Click here to RSVP and get all the details.
How will you incorporate mushrooms into your diet this week?