Because living in Europe is not perfect

I know that living over here in Europe and car hiking through grown up Disneyland is amazing. I love it, really I do. We are moving in two months and part of me is heartbroken. The villages and castles and locals and all the things that make this such an amazing experience.

But man am I fat.

I have got to get out of this place, it is officially killing me probably with heart disease which I think comes from eating too much. If I eat one more brat or frikkadel or frikken anything I’m pretty sure I will explode. At least my pants will explode. Oh whatever, I only wear elastic waist these days anyway.

I can’t bring myself to tell you what the post-England vacation scale told me this morning because the number was so bad I almost barfed, and not from bulimia. I really need a diet friend so I’m going to get chummy with myfitnesspal and get skinny before I move to Vegas where people don’t wear any clothing. Because there aren’t enough clothes to hide all this.

The worst part is the up and down I’ve experienced over here. It looks something like this: Go on vacation, gain 8 pounds. Come home, lose 6 pounds. Go on vacation, gain 8 pounds, come home, lose 6 pounds. If you take 12 vacations over the course of 3 years…you can do the math. It’s so depressing. And yes, I’m a big whiny baby who has nothing to complain about except, I kind of do. Dieting is not easy when you go someplace and they have something amazing to eat that you know you’ll never try again…so you eat 3 helpings of it. One for you, one for your mother, and the one your kid refused to touch because it was “foreign.”

Have I mentioned that we still have two vacations to go on? Stupid vacations.

To any friends or family members who wish they lived here, let me make you feel better. It comes with a price. No one speaks the language and if they do, they drive on the wrong side of the road. Recycling is awesome but I have four garbage cans in my kitchen. They only collect our one little “real” trash can twice a month.

When my husband is in Japan on business and the neighborhood internet goes down there is no one to call and I can’t ask our neighbors because they don’t speak English.

With security checks and base traffic, I have to drive half an hour to get to a post office.

I have to drive half an hour to pick the kids up from school.

I have to drive an hour and a half to spend two hours with my girl Christy, then drive an hour and a half home to get the kids off the bus. And I do.

In order to get the car oil changed in my German wonder car I have to drive 45 minutes to an auto parts store, use sign language and tears until I can get someone to help me find and buy the correct filter, drive another 15 minutes to wait in line for an hour (engine off no matter how hot or cold), and then, when I’m ready to run someone over, I finally get my turn in the waiting room. Last time it took them over an hour.

I get to do that today.

So yes, living here is awesome. And yes, I will move back to the states and be happy for my skinny, easy access, English speaking, large roadway, Jiffy Lube American way of life.

And just for the record, Europeans aren’t skinny. They’re just not obese. Kind of like me right now.


The Salami Way of Thinking

After much chatter and speculation, I am about to come clean on the Salami Diet. This is deep, deep stuff. But I feel it is only fair that I share my Skinny Secrets with the world and beyond (in case anyone from another galaxy would like to wear a size 6).

Let me just say something. I have not always been skinny. I mean, I was once, then I got married and I wasn’t. Then I got pregnant, then I got even more not skinny, then I got skinny, then I got pregnant again and skinny again, then I moved and got fat and got pregnant and fatter and had the baby and have been getting skinny ever since. Got it?

Now I can share with you how I have found eternal skinny-ness. There are two parts to the Salami Way of Thinking. First is the eating and second is the mind power.

Part I – How to Eat Salami

The eating is simple. I eat half (sometimes a fourth) of what I used to for meals, and fill in the snack gaps with power foods like salami. Salami is fantastic because it’s high protein and high fat. They say when you hit a diet plateau it’s smart to up the fat intake so your body thinks it’s getting something great. That’s where the salami comes into play. As long as I continue to eat it on a regular basis, my body seems to think we’re not really dieting. See the smartness here? All that fat went right to my brain and tricked it good like. Besides, I don’t feel like I’m dieting. I’m just eating salami and I love it.

Breakfasts consist of either a protein shake that I find repulsive but choke down anyway because it is actually quite filling, or a few bites of whatever my kids are eating. When I say a “few” I mean a “few”. Not two pancakes. I chase brreakfast with a jug of water and promptly forget about food for the next few hours. (You have to work your portions down slowly, by the way. Otherwise your body gets mad.)

Salami at 10:00. Or a handful of Wassabi Clean Out The System nuts, or a piece of California Roll with brown rice (piece? slice?). I just make sure to limit my calorie intake and still eat something that has a punch of flavor and protein. And fat. Gotta have the fat.

Lunch is usually a salad or something comparable, whatever I have time for. Just don’t think too much about it. Another snack, a lean cuisine for dinner (or a salad or soup), and a few sugar free candies thrown in throughout the day when I need something sweet. In case you’re wondering, I don’t hit the carbs very often. Think 80/20. Carbs and sugars only 20% of the time. Never after 3 pm.

Oh yeah, Diet Coke. Not everyday, but now and then. Or caffeine free Diet Dr. Pepper.

Part II – Salami Mind Power

Your brain has three parts (according to my sister Jenny). The first is our conscious brain, the second is our subconscious brain. You’ve all heard about the importance of using your conscious brain to tell your subconscious brain what you want it to hear, right? Like saying to yourself, “I am skinny and hot. I am a size seven. I am a zombie talking in front of the mirror like an idiot”.

The problem with this is that most people don’t access the third part of their brain: Mr. Emotion Man. If you don’t throw a real honest to goodness positive emotion into the equation, nothing happens. So, when I decided that I was tired of being periodically fat, I started to access this third chunk of brain power. I’ve been doing this for eight months now. How? I NEVER talk about how much weight I want to lose or how fat I am. I NEVER talk about my weight stalling. Heck, I try not to talk about my weight at all unless it’s to say something like, “Well, I just love it when I weigh 130 pounds, yep, I’m so happy there.” Then I change the subject. Or I say something like, “It’s so easy to be skinny, my body just wants to be 130, what can I do?” In fact, 130 is the only number I ever use in casual conversation.

While these phrases started out as figments of my conscious imagination, they have successfully worked and tricked my body into total body belief. December 3, 2007 I weighed 196 (the day before Junie came). This morning I was 132. Go ahead, tell me the Salami Diet doesn’t work.

The last thing you have to know is this: You have to pretend you’re an actress. You must stop at every mirror in your house regularly and say out loud, “Man, I look so hot today! I can’t believe how skinny I’m getting!” Suck in, tuck your pelvis under (as my sister Koni would say) and stroll over to the fridge for some salami. Do this repeatedly all day.

In a few weeks you won’t have to do it anymore, your body will be a believer. Have a friend who doesn’t care that you call and brag about how skinny you are (thanks Tricia). Even if it isn’t true, you must attach that excitement to the words. The happy, joyful, I love my body excitement. Only then will your subconscious mind believe.

And then you’ll get skinny.

And that, my friends, is the Salami Way of Thinking.