Tag Archives: unhealthy

Team Treat Party

A Special Guest Blog By:

Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

It was 9AM on a Tuesday and the workday had just begun. I started sifting through my emails and came upon one of the most difficult tasks I was going to have to fulfill at work.

The email read:

Happy Tuesday,

Just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow, Wednesday is our first TEAM TREAT PARTY on the 3rd floor.

Everyone will bring in their favorite treat/nosh/baked item..etc. of their choice to share with the team and we can munch all day!

Did I just read, “TREAT PARTY”? Cookies, candy, donuts, home made cupcakes…Oh my… I was screwed.

I’d been watching what I’d been eating and steering clear of said sweets.  I was quite proud of myself for having the ability to choose healthier foods. My current diet was comparable to the D.A.R.E program back in the 80’s; when it came to the cravings of my sweet tooth, I just said “no”.

Monday night felt like the dress rehearsal to Wednesday’s Greatest Show on Earth… entitled “Courtney’s Will Power.”

Cut to Wednesday- I walked in with home made cookies to at least contribute to the party  I was dreading.  Hey, I’m still a team player.   I end up placing my cookies next to a table filled with treats. It was like the land of the unhealthy, and I have visited that land quite a few times…

Worst of all, this table was set right next to my desk.

The smells of deliciousness were haunting.

The sights of icing, chocolate chips, and sprinkles were daunting.

The odds of making healthy choices were not in my favor but my determination stayed strong. As each co-worker walked up to the table-o-treats raving about every flavor they tasted, I found myself tuning out and turning their praises of one another’s baked goods into my own white noise.  I simply turned my head the opposite way. I kept calm and carried on.  I just said “no”.

As enticing as Wednesday’s Team Treat Party was, my will power surpassed my cravings. I was at peace with myself without eating a piece of a treat. Sure it would’ve been enjoyable to join in on taste-testing like the rest, but I had a change of heart. Having a moment of euphoric sweetness couldn’t outweigh the moments of euphoria from a healthy lifestyle.

I started this journey and I intend on it being a never-ending adventure. I’ll have my treats from time to time, sure. But now I have proven to myself that I can just say no.

And that is a treat in of itself.

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Cele-cake.

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

Another milestone happened in my life; Sunday I turned 25 years old. My quarter life crisis. Naturally I celebrated the entire Memorial Day weekend surrounded by friends and family. The parties varied with the people, location, and overall birthday feel, but there was one particular element that was present in every event… cake.

For me, it’s not a birthday until there’s birthday cake. The birthday song followed by making a wish while blowing out the candles inevitably turns into slicing into the first (and biggest) piece of cake to devour. It’s part of the tradition, it’s the birthday food, it’s the celebratory meal.

And regardless of the caloric count, we always justify our poor food choices “because it’s a special occasion”.

Valentine’s Day chocolate, summer barbeques, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving stuffing, and Christmas… a little-or a lotta- bit of everything. Food is a part of our journey and the unhealthy choices is the highway we use to take.

Food is not only part of our culture, but it is often a reward.

Get a promotion at work? Go out to dinner.

Breakup with a boyfriend? Put your face in a pint of ice cream.

Turn a year older? Let ’em eat cake.

While I don’t think giving your sweetheart Tofu candy is going to be the up and coming tradition, I do think better or (gasp) healthier choices can be made when celebrating.

Make your health “a special occasion” everyday.

Ronald McDonald Is Getting Fired

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

When I was little, my best friend and I would rollerblade to our local McDonalds once a week.  Every week we shakily crossed the busiest street in town, rolling with determination towards our favorite meal.  We didn’t mind the threat of speeding traffic, we didn’t consider our journey to be exercise, we just focused on the payoff: Chicken McNuggets, french fries, and hot fudge sundaes.  The golden arches beckoned us closer. The red and yellow colors were as bright as the vegas strip to two hungry 10 year olds.  Fast, hot, greasy food was the jackpot.  As my best friend and I enjoyed our happy meals, we were joined by another friend: Ronald McDonald.

The enemy?

This May, an open letter was sent to McDonalds CEO Jim Skinner from more that 1000 health professionals.  They urged McDonalds to stop marketing fast food to children, implying that Ronald McDonald was a tool of manipulation to to entice children.

They want to fire Ronald McDonald.

Personally, the clown was never really a draw for me. Granted he’s a clown, so he’s automatically interesting to kids.  He also comes with french fries, which makes him more appealing to the terrified-of-clowns-set. Sporting his red and white overalls, giant red clown shoes, and the classic red nose, Ronald McDonald is as recognizable as Santa Claus. But his mechanically waving hand from the parking lot didn’t spur me into a feeding frenzy. It was the smell. It was the taste. It was the immediate satisfaction of greasy delight.

Still is.

I was never there to visit Ronald, I was there to satisfy my hunger.  And there’s something so comforting about ritualized eating.

It would be nice if McDonalds continued to evolve their menus.  It would be nice if McDonalds needs to promote healthy eating. It would be even nicer if we could take the responsibility to lay off the fried foods altogether.

Parents can get out of the drive-thru line and choose another place for a healthier meal. They can even (gasp!) cook a meal at home.  Kids can be taught better eating habits. Americans can even pick healthier choices on McDonalds growing and health-friendly menu.

So why blame the man in the clown shoes for what is ultimately our decision?

Making My Way Back From Diet Despair

I had been battling a flu bug for a month now that has finally given out and allowed me to be feel well again. Not much energy though.

The problem is that the weight I may have gained from not exercising and giving into those food temptations really made me feel like a failure.

It is so very hard not to blame yourself when you get sick and make certain wrong food decisions.

Trying to get it back together has not been a quick fix for me. I should know better after all the traveling and fantastic experts that have been in the film preaching the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

There is no magic bullet or quick fix for taking off weight. It is effort and exercise that will bring me back little by little.

After all, a little bit adds to a lot after a while.

So I am going to learn to stop blaming myself and instead concentrate on the positive. I find that it is only a mistake if you fail to correct it.

Discipline

Today, I wrote down exactly what I ate and kept track of calorie counts and quantity. For 3 days in a row I have been keeping a log of my food intake. I began to be followed by a doctor almost a month ago so it sounds weird to only have 3 days on record.

What happened is that, I didn’t care about what I was eating as long as I estimated that it wasn’t bad for me.  And whatever I ate that was unhealthy or things I binged on, I literally erased them from my memory and didn’t keep track of it.

I am finally going along with the concept of “discipline”. I hate that word, can’t stand it. Probably reminds me of some bad childhood memories or jobs I didn’t keep or didn’t like. I hate the sound of it so much that we refer it as “getting your sh…t together” on the Finding Thin team.

Before the “getting your sh…it together” era, I would leave the office from time to time to go eat something without my team knowing about it. I would buy ice cream at the same time I’d go buy my medication. I would sneak in biscuits and cookies… I’d order pizza and hide the boxes not to get caught. I actually got busted a couple of times.

I went shopping two days ago and didn’t buy the snack food or ice cream I would usually get. Since I was at my favorite store and there is so much to find there, I did get boxes of my favorite 100-calorie chocolate covered peanut butter snack bars… but before I even touched them, I gave them away so I wouldn’t get tempted.

Next time I go shopping, I will go with a list of healthy things to buy and a plan on how not to get attracted to the usual microwavable and frozen meals… I also plan on learning how to cook and enjoy it. I will not go shopping on my own anymore until I am strong enough not to buy things I shouldn’t eat.

Am I on the right path?