A New Situation

OK, I haven’t been weighing myself much lately. I feel like I’m getting closer to leaving the whole idea of weight loss behind me and embracing self-acceptance. I have come to a place where I want to be a body image activist, a positive role model for other women, more than I want to be thin. I want to feel my best much more than I want to look a certain way.

I don’t want to quit writing about topics related to body image and my relationship with food, but I am going to experiment with a shift in online venue. I’m moving to a once-a-month email publication that will cover my adventures in improving my own self-care. The last few months have been especially stressful–mostly positive, deadline-related stress–and the first thing that falls apart when stress sets in is self care.

When I think about all the things I need to do optimize my own performance and happiness as a human being and a writer, it can feel like a long list. There’s getting regular and restful sleep; daily or near-daily exercise; seeing enough of other people to ward off loneliness (but not too much); finding and doing writing work that rings my bell and pays my bills. There’s the shopping, cooking, and cleaning related to having mostly homemade food; meditation/mindfulness/yoga; making time for family, friends, and fun. There’s being married; reading and learning; trying to contribute to my community.

So my new monthly email will cover all things related to improving well being through self-care. I hope to pack each month’s email with ideas, resources, and recommendations that you will find useful, too. Basically I plan to tell my most dedicated readers what is working for me and what isn’t as well as how I’m feeling about all this stuff you’ve been listening to me talk about here and elsewhere for years. I may or may not tell you what I weigh. I’m not going archive these emails online. The only way you will get them is if you subscribe.

I’m not going to posting the sign up link on facebook or twitter or whatever, but if you know someone who you think is into this stuff, you can feel free to forward a letter to them and tell them to sign up the via the link there. I really don’t care if only a dozen people subscribe; my intention to make the intensely personal stuff I tend to write in this space somewhat more private, something that is between me and a handful of you.

OK, if you want to come with me on this little journey into newsletter land, sign up here. I plan to send one a month, on the third Sunday of the month, starting this Sunday.

(161.9) Happy New Year

I hope 2016 is off to a good start for everyone. For me, 2015 ended in a total blur of deadlines, holiday festivities, and family visiting. That doesn’t mean I didn’t spend time thinking over the year that passed, the year ahead, and, of course, my resolutions.

I decided to keep my actual resolutions concrete, measurable, and most importantly, under my control. Last year I resolved to lose 15 pounds, which is more like a wish than a goal. (And a pointless one–I weigh almost exactly the same as I did last year, and that is probably a very good thing!) I also made the specific goal of eating vegetables at both lunch and dinner, which I managed to do a majority of the time.

OK here are my few 2016 Resolutions: Continue reading →

(161.1) A One-Word Theme for 2016

Recently on her podcast and blog, Gretchen Rubin encouraged her fans to decide on a one-word theme for the upcoming year. I’ve been thinking about it since August (the traditional time in my family to start stressing about everything related to the holidays; in January our focus shifts immediately to beach travel) and it’s only in recent days that I’ve settled on my mantra.

At first I thought it should be “Philadelphia” or “Enjoy Philadelphia.” Particularly in the realm of my career, I experience a lot of frustration about being outside of what I see as the “inner circle” of food media, a network of writers and editors outside of which it is difficult to get noticed, get assignments, get ahead. This group of people, of course, lives and works in New York. And I have spent hours and days and weeks and months shaking my fist at the sky, convinced that opportunities that should rightfully be mine are being gobbled up by so many hungry, hungry hippos that just happen to be nearer the editorial action than I am.  Continue reading →

The 48 Things I Made for Dinner in 2015

I’m too scared to weigh in right now. I really am. I have been really struggling with eating and drinking these past few weeks. I think a lot of it has to do with the kind of “family feelings” that tend to crop up around the holidays.

A weird thing happened to my appetite in the days leading up to and right after Thanksgiving–I could barely stomach many of the staple, healthy foods I usually love. All I wanted was toast and butter, pasta and cheese, pizza and cookies. And that’s what I ate. Continue reading →

(158.4) Meal Plan Monday


All those chicken parts are for stock.

Shredded Tofu and Shiitake Stir-Fry
In a recent podcast recording session (the episode will post this week), I talked about how my verve for weeknight cooking has returned lately. After a long stretch of focusing on “paleo-ish” meat-plus-vegetable meals, I have found myself inspired by vegetarian dinners. I am a former vegetarian and vegetarian recipes still tend to be my favorite. This is a really fun one. Tonight I’m making it for the second time. Continue reading →

(159.3) Meal Plan Monday

I got so much done over the weekend. So much work, and plenty of housework too, as I powered through the cleaning of several rooms chanting “outer order contributes to inner calm” repeatedly.

You know what else contributes to inner calm? A meal plan–for me at least. After several of weeks of not having one, thanks to first the Pope’s visit (which locked us out of our grocery store) and then my travel, I was excited to go shopping on Sunday. Continue reading →

(158.5) Weekend Recommendations

I thought it was never going to be Friday. But now it is. I’m so glad. I’m ready for a weekend of sleep, catching up on work, and cleaning up my house! But before I do that I wanted to share some current objects of my affection.

Masters of Sex

I have heard that the third season drops off in quality, but I’m only in the beginning of season two and I’m really enjoying it. Clearly this show takes a lot of inspiration from Mad Men and makes up for it lacks in character development and storytelling with tons of sex.  Continue reading →

(159.3) A Fresh Start


This delicious burger from Pullman in Iowa City was just one of the many unusual-for-me things I ate while away.

I started to write this blog entry without having weighed myself in six days. But as I began writing, making excuses for not weighing in, I realized I was being crazy and doing the very thing that I started this blog to prevent–putting my head in the sand about my weight.

The reason I started this blog was to keep myself accountable to myself. So I walked away from the computer and jumped on the scale. In the middle of the day! Right after lunch! So let’s all assume I “really” weigh at least one pound less than this, OK?  Continue reading →