What makes my story, my cook book any different from the 1,000’s of others that are spilling out of the over crowded shelves at the increasingly rare bookstores? I am just a girl, with a story to share, who has been there, 278lbs. done that, lost 110 lbs, and maintained it for nearly four years now, while becoming the manager of a cafe and the head chef for a company that hosts international seminars. My life literally revolves around food, from my relationship with it, to working with it to supplement my family’s income.
I want to share my story in the hopes that it will help and encourage you to be exactly who God intended you to be. I also want to share some recipes along the way.
I come from the same beginnings as most of the people in my generation, divorced parents. I was dropped off here and there, both parents remarried and I became lost in the shuffle of new families, new children. Some of my earliest memories of when my parents were actually together are horrible to me now, although at the time, I didn’t know any different. It was my reality. I can see in my mind’s eye, my mother on her knees before the toilette with her finger down her throat, I can remember trying to immitate her too, when I was maybe 4 or 5 yrs. old. Alarm bells should be ringing now, here’s the first negative body-image influence I experienced. I can remember a car chase of sorts, where after a particularly violent fight between my mom and dad, mom grabbed me, tossed me into her 56 Chevy Nomad and we raced away while my dad jumped in his truck to follow us. I remember my mom pounding on her sister’s door to let us in quick and then sitting inside on the couch listening to my dad pound and yell on the otherside of the door. I remember wking up in that house to the used “bongs” that were scattered in the living room and my cousins and I putting our mouths on them like the grown ups did the night before. I have recollections of my mom chasing my dad around our tiny two bedroom house with the claw end of a hammer, and someone throwing guns through the plate glass window in their bedroom. Then came the divorce. I lived with my mom, she remarried a drugged-out, epiletic with a son of his own. We lived in his parents’ garage for a bit, until a house on the corner came available for rent . I remember being dropped off from spending the weekend with my dad and crying like it was the last day I would ever see him again, and my mother threatening me with the belt for whipping and the verbal threat of not getting to go with him the next time. I remember spending what seemed like hours in the car in the parking lot of our apartment complex while my mom hid from that crazy man of a step-dad, because he told his dad he was going to kill us, and his dad had called to warn my mom. I can remember running next door, in the same apartment complex begging for help, because he was beating my mom in the head while she laid on the couch, 7 or 8 months pregnant. Eventually she left and divorced him too. Then she married one more time, when I was in junior high, and living with my dad and his new wife. I was a messed up kid. Dad and step-mom had children together, mom left me and moved to Idaho with my little brother, then remarried a man with two kids of his own. Where did I belong? Who was mine? No one. Things were very bad with my step mom and myself and therefore my dad and I didn’t have much of a relationship either. He has his other three new girls, he doesn’t need me. My mom’s final marriage (Third for those keeping track) ended in a mess as was par for the course. They fought, violently. The kind of fights that cause the neighbors to call the police. Ten years into the marriage and nearly one year after I married and moved out at the ripe old age of 18, mom had a mental breakdown and has been in and out of the state mental ward 5 or 6 times since. We (my mom and I) don’t have a relationship anymore.I haven’t spoke with my real father in over 20 years. I got tired of feeling unwanted, so I quit trying to communicate with him.
Thankfully, the Lord had His eye on me and I married my high school sweet heart. When we were first married things were rough. My husband has an amazing amount of love and patience. He had to deal with my insecurities and fears about being abandoned. While we were beginning our life together, he became a “roofer.” To get the “good” money, he took a lot of “out of town” jobs, which left me home alone. I was lonely and insecure. I found food. I occupied my time by going to college and cooking my way through cookbooks. I became the happy-homemaker, the Martha Stewart wannabe. I went from being a high-schooler with a yard chores and a barn to clean daly, to a sedintary wife and student. I also became 278lbs heavy! During my childhood, I also turned to food for comfort. Feeling left out, forgotten, used. I recall being left home to baby-sit half-siblings and as soon as my parent’s car was out the drive way, I hit the fridge. A favorite was a warmed flour tortilla with butter slathered all over it. So, naturally, when I was feeling low and lonely as a newlywed, I again turned to food. White food. White bread, white rice, mashed potatoes with butter, sour cream etc. The menu I grew up with. Cheap food.
We’ll skip the sordid details of the very justifiable reasons I put n so much weight, and jump ahead to how I lost it. That’s what everyone wants to know anyway. There came a time in my life when I reached that, “enough is enough” moment. I was burnt on my job of cooking, I didn’t enjoy it anymore, I was feeling used and unappreciated at work. I was the mother to three amazing children and my mom was in and out of the mental ward and I was the only one left who still communicated with her, which meant I was the one she verbally abused. My husband, bless him, was always my rock. Always believed in me. Always listened to my woes. I can remember the day everything changed, as if it were yesterday. I was at dinner with some girl friends. I was the fat-friend. I was the biggest at the table. I sat quietly and listened to them tell stories of how their trainer tortured them that day at the gym. I listened as they spoke of another lady they all knew and how well she did with a weight-loss program, how good she looked. I listened as they ordered their steamed fish and veggies. I had nothing to contrbute the conversation. They were very unintentional in making me feel so out of place. They were a very loving and caring group of lady friends. I just realized that day that we were in two different realities. I left the restaurant that night with a determination that someday they would be talking about me, like they did that unknown lady, saying how successful I’d been, how good I looked etc. I detremined that I was going to change.
- 19th wedding anniversary and christmas party. appetizers baby shower bacon barbecued dinner body image bon appetite bone marrow books bread baking brie brown sauce brown stock butter cafe cheddar chicken Chinese stuffed cabbage rolls choux pastry christie clarified butter consomme cook books cooking cooking school Coq Au Vin critcism croquet culinary culinary arts dieting falafel recipe fat flavors fly swatter food food psychology food world garlic goat cheese God grilled mushrooms home cooking housekeeping skills Le Cordon Bleu love marathon training martha stewart meatballs! menu muffin top! mushrooms on cooking personal attack in the cafe pesto pizza potatoes president pumpkin muffins recipes risotto rudeness salmon sauce self educated chef split pea soup squash strength training swiss steak taft thanksgiving dinner veloute venison whole grain bread