Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Wow. I can't even begin to thank you for all the kind words on my last post. I had no idea that my blog meant that much to some of you! Reading the feedback was actually very helpful, too. For example, I always used to think that writing a lot about my family was uninteresting to people who don't actually know us, so I tried not to stray too far off topic on my posts.

When I first started Runs for Cookies, I was basically just transferring over from another site (I used to write on Open Diary, a site that is no longer active, from 2000-2011). I had just lost 125 pounds, and I decided to start a new blog to help me with weight maintenance. I was so sure I was going to gain back the weight, as I had every time I tried to lose weight, that I wanted to have everything documented. That way, I could go back and see what went wrong.

Writing on Blogger was much easier than Open Diary, and I really enjoyed writing on my blog. I had been so used to just a handful of readers for years, I was caught off guard when I started getting a lot of traffic to my blog. It was kind of scary at first, because I shared so much of my life. I was getting a ton of questions about my weight loss, so I started responding to those as well as writing about my day-to-day life. And I was amazed at how many awesome people I've met (either in person or just via email) due to my blog.

For the past year or so, I've been feeling like I've already said everything I have to say, so I've been questioning whether it's time to close the blog. I feel like I'm writing the same things day after day. Reading all of your kind comments yesterday made me realize that some of you probably feel like you know me well from reading my blog, and if I were to just drop writing, it would feel like there was no conclusion.

Because my blog is called "Runs for Cookies", I guess I've always felt I should stay on topic (running, weight loss, maintenance, food, etc.) But the best part of having a blog is that it's MINE--I can write about whatever I want! ;)

Like I said, I don't plan to make any drastic changes. I just don't want to force myself to write something if I don't have anything to say that day. And I want to be more careful about what I post about my family (mainly the kids; Jerry doesn't mind being on the blog at all). So, I may write a little less frequently, or write shorter posts, but I'll still be here. My blog has changed quite a bit over the last five years, so this is just another subtle change.

Anyway, today is Fat Tuesday! I had never actually eaten a paczki before, because they are traditionally made with prune or jelly filling, which doesn't appeal to me. Jerry told me that Monica's had some with vanilla cream filling, so I decided to try one this morning (Monica's is a local bakery that has amazing doughnuts).

It was definitely different from a doughnut. I love Monica's doughnuts, but the paczki was just okay. The flavor of the dough was different, and denser than the traditional yeast doughnuts. I told Jerry that I liked it, but that I probably wouldn't eat one again. I'll just stick to doughnuts!

Speaking of doughnuts, Jerry and I discovered something kind of interesting this week. Jerry's favorite food in the world is doughnuts, and when he ate one a couple of weeks ago at work, he said he didn't even enjoy it because he felt so guilty for eating it (he is counting calories as well). He started counting calories when I did, but he hasn't been able to drop the 10 pounds that he's wanted to lose.

When he said that he felt guilty, I told him that he shouldn't feel guilty if he just plans the doughnut into his day. I even suggested that he buy a doughnut every single morning, count the calories in it, and enjoy every bite guilt-free. He obviously liked that idea, so that's what he's done all week. And you know what? He dropped four pounds!

Even if this is completely unscientific, I really believe that our feelings play a role in whether our body lets us lose weight. I notice that when I feel guilty for eating something, I have a hard time losing; but when I plan for it, enjoy it, and don't feel bad about it, the weight comes off much more easily. Since I started calorie counting, and I don't feel guilty for anything that I eat, I have had a fairly easy time losing the weight (I'm eight pounds under my goal weight, without even trying!). When I was on Weight Watchers, and I ate something that put me over my Points for the day, I would feel guilty about it.

Several people have asked me what I am doing differently since I started calorie counting. It's really not much! Other than what I wrote in the series about binge eating, the biggest difference is that I feel much better about myself and I don't feel bad about what I'm eating. Jerry agrees--this past week, his only change has been that he plans ahead for a doughnut every morning, and he eats it guilt-free.

I asked him why he thinks eating a doughnut helped him drop four pounds this week, and he said that the doughnut gives him something to look forward to, and it's something that he really wants. It has stopped him from eating a bunch of things he doesn't really want (he was snacking at work, trying to avoid eating something like doughnuts, when he would have been better off in the long run to just eat a doughnut and not snack).

He had been very doubtful when I suggested the doughnut idea to him, but he was surprised to see that it actually worked. He only buys one at a time, so he doesn't have a whole box staring at him all day. And he buys good quality, freshly made doughnuts from Monica's so it's satisfying to him. Feeling satisfied with his favorite food every day has made him stop eating compulsively throughout the day.

For Taste Test Tuesday this week, I made this recipe for Baked Spaghetti. The recipe said it serves 8-10, but I cut it into 12, and the portions were pretty big for being under 400 calories.

Jerry, Noah, and I all liked it a lot; Eli wasn't crazy about it, because he doesn't like Italian sausage (I used hot Italian turkey sausage, not the sweet Italian sausage the recipe called for). This tasted just like lasagna, only the spaghetti noodles are much easier to work with than lasagna noodles. I'll make it again--it was good!