Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ponder This

my little stick tree
I'm just going to come right out and say it.

I know y'all are thinking it.
I do declare this the most depressing blog ever as it applies to Christmas.

Barefoot Contessa's Chicken Chili
Have I posted one delicious Christmas recipe?

Pinned Image
from Pinterest - I actually did this with holiday soap from Target!
Have I shared one fabulous decorating idea?
Have I shared any great gift ideas?
In fact - stopping by here, you might think I'm anti-Christmas - but you'd be so wrong -
cause my heart is just bursting at the seams with the Spirit of it all.

No baking.
No shopping.
Minimal decorating, and last minute at that.
The final pumpkin was found and discarded just today.
My 50 Random Acts of Kindness are in full swing, and it's the best gift I've ever given myself.
I'm absolutely stress-less.

I ofttimes feel that I live in a fantasy world - a bubble almost - of goodness and light, and happiness and sunshine - where everyday is Christmas, and everyone I meet has the same naive spirit as I do.
So far - living like this has worked for me.
I've got no plans of changing.

The last year has been a journey indeed.
A journey of weight loss, a journey of personal growth, a journey of learning to let peace lead, to let go of control, to end worry, and a journey to live simply.
I haven't been perfect, but I've done stinkin' good.

This morning I awoke pondering this -
Would I indeed be able to celebrate the birth of our Saviour without confection?
Without eggnog.
Spiced nuts.

Would I?

You must know that I've food issues.
For me - one cookie would turn into one hundred.
Surely you wouldn't tell your recovering alcoholic Uncle Fred to have just 'one drink' for Christmas?
Surely, you wouldn't encourage your crack addicted cousin Susie to just 'do a little' cause it's the Holidays.

Would you?

While doing the morning dishes, I began pondering again. Sometimes I think I ponder too much, and it's something I'm working on - but some pondering is quite necessary when going through a major transformation. I'm trying to learn to boil things down. To get to the root of things as quickly as I can - and move on. Sometimes I do pretty well - other times, I get stuck - and thoughts are like a broken record in my head.

I'm pondering the no bake Christmas again this year. I know. It probably seems so silly to some of you - but for me - it was my identity I suppose. I don't think I truly realized how much time and energy I put into Christmas baking. Recipes were searched out months in advance, ingredients were bought weeks ahead - I practically worked full time for two weeks baking. I was good at it. People liked it - it validated me in some way - and also fed my addiction as of course I had to taste everything, and not only taste - I'm sure I ate half of it all - and that's why I had to make SO much!

What has me pondering this again is two things:

Today my brother-in-law and nephew are coming for a visit. I know what they expect. They expect a visit to Mrs. Claus' house. They expect cookies, confection, cocoa and joy. I can give them the joy - but they will get a fruit plate and some unsweetened tea. I have a scared feeling in my stomach because of it.

The second reason is my beloved nephew Aaron, The BoyChild - who is my heartbeat, my joy and like my very own son. I feel the responsibility of giving him everything that "I" feel that Christmas is - and it involves food.

I'm trying to boil this down. Why would I feel scared over this? Why would I feel the burden of 'making some one's Christmas'? I'm reckoning that it's boiling down to needing to be liked, needing to be loved, needing to feel good at something. If the very thing I THOUGHT people liked me for - I no longer do - my mind tells me that they will no longer like me. Is that really that big of a deal? Obviously, to me it is. If someone no longer likes me because I don't bake cookies - well, it's a pretty good indication that they never liked ME in the first place....

I started my period today - just interjecting that right here right now....LOL

The small part of my brain that is logical - tells me that all of this is poppycock. Come by for a visit, have some great orange slices and move on. It's not my 'job' to make you happy, it's not my 'job' to make you cookies. Like the new me or move on.

The large part of my brain that is emotional cries out 'love me' and wants to get the sugar and flour out.

Lord have mercy.
And you thought the whole process of weight loss was eat less, move more, didn't you?


  1. Aaron will always love you, anyone who KNOWS you will always love you ...whether you bake for them or not!

    Merry Christmas, Jayme!

  2. All makes sense to me but I am like addict, the baking, candy making, eating, losing, gaining...I am very happy you are at the place you are. I'll start my diet in January. ;)

  3. You gotta do what you gotta do! DON'T BAKE!!! Aaron will love that he gets to enjoy extra years with you.
    I get what you are saying....I have 2 little girlies who have yet to figure out what Christmas is all about & I must set the tone. Do I want them to remember with sadness 'my Mom never baked'?
    I'm still recovering from those dang blasted m&m's from the wedding....dang it! I've 9 pounds to relose...dang it again! Bought 4 more pounds of turkey to make today!

    Also, you looked great in that pic with your coaches.....hang in there!

  4. I totally agree with everything you said. Especially the part that if someone does not like you because you do not make cookies anymore, then they did not really like you to begin with. I too have a hard time with not thinking it is my job to make everyone else have n enjoyable experience. Everyone is responsible for themselves. Period. But easier said than practiced I know. One day at a time, one minute at a time.

  5. Personally, I would love a Christmas fruit plate :) You can still make festive treats without the buttery-baking fiasco. This year I'm working on unconventional treats that we can travel home with for our dear ones:herb infused olive oils, homemade sauces and tapenades, seasoning mixes, and my favorite from last year: mulling spice saches for the home! You can fill your home and heart with the pleasures of the season without compromising your goals. It will be simply lovely :)

  6. jayme
    everyone will love you that already have loved you. if that is all they wanted of you was christmas confections shame on them. i feel you need to start new traditions and maybe making new memories of new traditions will help with the loss you are feeling now. you have come so far and you can't allow yourself to cave because people expect you to stay the way you have been. we grow, we change and that keeps us alive and vibrant. stop trying to beat yourself up and accept you are winning the battle with yourself and love yourself and people will continue to love the beautiful, lovely, friendly, joyful, and generous jayme you have always been. may blessings flow over and through you and be joyful within.

  7. Jayme girl...I'm with ya...When I bake...I am SO tempted...and I am very very cautious to KNOW my limits...the line I should draw and NOT cross over. I figure the ONLY way I can bake for others right now is to be doing it for a function. That way it is Bake, Take, and DON'T bring back any leftovers...or alas, I will sneak bites...just happened with a chocolate sheet cake I made for Kam...his favorite...If it's not around, I won't eat it. And that proves to me I am not titanium steel in my willpower yet! so I have to take extra measures right about now at Christmas time, the BUSIEST time of the year for me (usually) in making GOBS of wicked high caloried goodies. It seems sad because I want to make trays for my vet, mailman, ups, neighbors, school, church, etc...but I need to stay on track - feeling the need to NOT bake this year...and so...I shan't!
    (sweet things anyway!) Glad I checked in here to read your post. It encourages me. Hugs to you girl, keep on...keep on....keep on. xoxoxo

  8. My Grandmother, who was a cookie-baking, candy-making later years after struggling with her weight all her life finally lost weight. She kept in her pantry, just for company the finest cookies, candies and confections that you could buy. No one ever left her house without feeling that they were the most special person on Earth! Two words, Harry&David... or is that three words?

  9. Your Canadian friendDecember 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Jayms, your logical self knows the truth, but I totally relate with your emotional self. If only it were as easy as baking for others and not eating, but we both know that's often not possible. You need to make the choices that are best for you, and work for your new lifestyle and as everyone else has already said, those who love you will continue to love you- cookies and pies be damned.

    Love you girl- Merry Christmas xox


  10. Jayme, I know it's not easy honey. But be strong. I am sure your family loves you without cookies. Just give them sweet hugs and kisses instead of candies. Smiles, Susie

  11. Put away the flour, Cousin Susie. There's so much to love about you w/o it.

  12. You are beaming with joy, light and happiness! Your transformation is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. You don't need to feed people cookies! Just being around you is a treat in itself! Quit worrying and enjoy this glorious time of the year!

  13. Aaron will always love you. As the saying goes: "To know you is to love you." Rejoice in the new you. I haven't baked candy or cookies in years. That's just the way it is. My daughter baked cookies on Monday. I have not touched them. Of course my downfall is dips! Cream cheese anything!! I am trying to live by the motto...."in moderation". I'll let you know how that goes for me!!
    By the way....will you be sharing your ideas for your 50 things? Your very cool!!

  14. People may "like" us for what we do for them, but that definitely isn't love. Will those around you miss the great treats that you have made for them in the past, yes, but will it change how your loved ones and true friends feel about you, no! I have so much fun just reading your blog and can imagine that it is twice as fun to be with you in person. Just enjoy your company and they will enjoy you!

  15. When you lose weight you get a whole new perspective on life as you change, this is what you are going through and will continue to for some time to come. But don't forget the simple joys of just making someone feel special by doing something for them.... in the end you too get that warm feeling.

    I am baking garlic/onion rolls and cookies for my brother that is coming for a visit, I know it will make him feel special that I went through the trouble. He said I do not have to, but it just makes me feel good doing it for him. Yes the house smells yummy and I know how good they taste. Do I want them, NO... I am finally happy knowing that I know they taste good but I do not need them to feel happy. I will smile as he moans with delight eating them, I will get much more pleasure from that than a few extra calories in my system.

    GOD bless you and your journey, Its quite a trip huh?

  16. You alredy know that Aaron loves you no matter what. And the new BIL has to know the journey you've been on this past year. Just tell them that as much as you'd love to smother them with sugary confections, it just can't happen for your own sanity and salvation. I'm sure they'll tell you that they'd be appalled if you fell off the wagon on their behalf.

    You've done good this year, Jayme. Hang on.

  17. Food is definitely an addiction. It's my go-to when I'm at an emotional low. I get it totally. So no, I wouldn't tell my alcoholic cousin to serve drinks at his party because everyone ELSE would like a drink. It's too much to ask. Serve up the fruit platters.. stay away from the sugar, girl. You've come WAAAY TOOO FAR to tempt yourself in such a big way now.

  18. Too many people in America "love" their families into obesity!

  19. For this very reason I no longer bake...the baking thing was part of mother and father both baked at Christmas! Young adult thinks Christmas is partly about baking...cookies, pies, cakes, bread...much older adult is tired of losing the same weight over and over and over again. So like you I've shifted my problem over to those who used to expect me to my son bakes and is just a "TAD" overweight! Wow look at me I passed the baking/weight issue right on down the line!

  20. You don't need to bake because you ARE the sweet in that house. amen.

  21. I would say you have the spirt of true christmas. It is not about the decorations, cookies,, or gifts bought. I am talking about the love with out the extras. the 50 random acts of kindness. Wishing you the joy in your heart you are giving to others.

  22. I got an unexpected jump start on my weight loss after our house was broken into. Always one to take advantage of stress dieting, I used my new shrunken tummy to embark on healthier eating. I'm doing pretty well, but I do wish I could bake up a batch of cookies. But, I won't. Hold fast. Get a little fun bling (it doesn't have to be jewelry--bling is different for each person!) and just enjoy people. Above all, be true to yourself. I like that I can actually bend over without the belly getting in the way!! LOL
    Blessings and hugs!

  23. I'm admitting right here and now that I've repinned photos from your blog onto my Pinterest! People really like your Missouri photos!

  24. I struggle with the same thoughts when having friends or family over for a visit. We try to eat wholesome foods and have no 'junk' in the house. So why do I feel like I need to purchase sodas and 'junk' when having company because if it's not all eaten before the company leaves, guess who's eating it? But, like you, I want to make everyone happy and like me.

    You made an excellent point though, about it not being our job to make others happy! Especially by contributing to bad eating habits.

    Look at the no-bake Christmas this way... you'll have more time for your Random Acts of Kindness and more to time relax and enjoy your family and the BoyChild rather than spending it in the kitchen!

  25. Your friends and family want to be with you because of who you are not because of what you bake. The "who" you are is a caring, generous, loving person with a zest for life... someone who wants to share the good in life. Be you! Be happy! Merry Christmas!

  26. I haven't baked a cookie. I feel obligated for the sake of my kids, but I haven't done it. Instead, I've been burning candles called "Grandma's Cookies" and "Pumpkin Spice" and you know what? My house smells Christmasy and my kids are happy because I'm sitting on the floor playing Uno. So don't worry about the baking. Just give folks your time and your smile. Cookies? What cookies? I'm letting my sister do the baking. I had a couple. They were yummy. But I'm not going to make them because I'll just eat them. And that's half the battle won, in my book. P.S. You look FABULOUS. Merry, merry Christmas!!

  27. Darn it...

    You had me at the first word of your title. PONDER. And now I'm going to be doing just that all day tomorrow as I WAS planning to be baking all day.

    Cookies or no cookies - you're still the best...I'm sure of it.

    One question. So, can you say in your "about me" (on the sidebar) section that you (still) live in your apron? Cuz if not...I'll wear mine tomorrow and think of you.

    Have a Blessed Christmas, my friend. BTW: I love your skinny tree.

  28. Here is my take on it. I am exactly in the same place as you. I cannot be around sweets, period. If I bake cookies, I always eat one batch myself bake another to serve. I read your blog because I feel that we are walking the same path and you encourage me daily.

    As a homemaker, cooking and baking is how we show our love. I was the mom that baked Christmas cutout cookies for weeks, freezing, decorating, and delivering. We made it a December tradition. I would bake breads, cookies, cakes, and candy daily and give as gifts. A few years ago, after gaining 30 pounds, I decided that I would stop baking. It is hard on the family but believe me, we don’t need the extra calories. I find now that I get my worth by other things, like decorating the house and garden. If the kids needed a treat, I would take the kids out for sweets and make a date of it. If someone came over with a plate of cookies, I would graciously thank them and as soon as they left, I would toss the cookies in the garbage outside (not in the house, too tempting). It is like you said, would you give an alcoholic a bottle of booze for Christmas? I think not.

    Anyway, thanks for the daily encouragement. I look forward to it. And, keep up the good fight. It has paid off. You are more than a plate of cookies..

    Sending you much love and happiness.

  29. I hesitate to write this....but I love you and and I know you love me (even though I've been a hair less than loveable lately), so I'll just say it.

    All the stuff you said there at the end, THAT is why I think I can't lose weight. Why I've never kept weight off when my body used to lose weight fairly easily. It sounds like you're still in bondage to FOOD. My goal has been to not be in bondage or live in fear of food. The only person I've found who's done that is Geneen Roth, and if I can't do it like she did/does, I just plain out refuse to do it.

    I know all the science behind why we should and shouldn't eat what-have-you...but for me, peace will only come when I make peace with myself and food. I can't just say 'no cookies' or 'salad everyday for lunch'. I want to ask my body what it needs and wants, and give that to it as a loving mama to her child. To savor and eat slowly enough to be aware when my body says "all done now".

    I want to eat like a skinny person eats...or as someone who doesn't have issues with food. I don't want to live in fear of eating the wrong thing, too much, or not enough. I want to eat deliciously, decadently, and only what my body wants. The wee little bit I did do that, 25 pounds dropped off me without trying. I exercised 15-30 minutes a day and ate whatever my heart desired. Mostly. :)

    After a while it didn't work because of medical issues, and I got too busy getting into my head instead of staying tuned to my body's voice. Too much striving, too much beating myself up for not losing fast enough. Trying too hard. Not living in the present enough.

    Anyway, I'm wicked proud of you, but my heart lurches when I recognize the same thought patterns you're having. I think you're right to ask yourself hard questions about your identity as 'Mrs. Claus', but the longing I hear for sweets or pizza, the resignation I hear when you can't eat pizza, I don't just doesn't sound like a place I want to go back to. That means I'll either stay fat and lethargic or I'll somehow learn to love myself enough to listen intently to what my body really wants, and listen to when it says 'not this, it makes me feel yukky', listen to when it says 'organic chocolate would be divine', listen to when it says 'now I'm done'...even after just one bite. This has actually happened in the last year, fleetingly, but it did happen, and I'm determined to learn to listen and honor this human frame that's bore me six healthy kids and is cherished by my hubs.

    HOpe I've not offended. You know how much I love love love you.


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