The Wait is Over/The Weight is Under

October 20, 2008

I know, that title sounds like something straight out of my Post-Modern Literary Criticism class (oooh, I shudder just re-thinking it!).  But both bits of news cheered me so much that I wanted to share them in the same post!

The Wait is Over:

Just when I thought I could wait no longer, I received my prize, as one of the winners in Shellyfish’s great 100th Post (Felty Love) contest!  Those of you who’ve read about this here will recall that I’m not the luckiest person when it comes to randomly selected contest winners (another way to say I could buy 50 tickets for the [1-in-3 chances to win] the Heart and Stroke Lottery, and still not win–then again, I suppose that means I’ll probably never be struck by lightning, either).  So this prize was doubly delightful:  not only was it a first-ever win for me, it was also awarded by one of my favorite bloggers, Shellyfish of Musings from the Fishbowl!  I received my prize package in the mail on Friday.  And what a package it was! 

I ripped the parcel open and was immediately touched by the remarkable care and attention to detail taken in choosing the items, packaging them, and mailing them (all the way from France to Canada!). 

Hey, have a look!

[Top row (left to right): Postcard of the Château de Fontainbleau; Felty Love pouch; hand-crafted card emblazoned with maple leaf and ladybugs. Bottom row (left to right): box that contained vegan chocolates, from Chocolaterie Bruyerre–from Belgium; dark truffle square; dark liqueur-infused (I think) round truffle; dark mocha truffle square.]

First, the main prize: a sleek, fuzzy and cozy, handcrafted azure felt change (or whatever else you choose to put in it) pouch.  I loved the hand-embroidered leaf motif when I first saw it on Shelly’s blog, and it was even more impressive (and cute!) in person.  But the finishing touches tickled me the most; to wit, the ribbon trim, the whimsical orange and white lining and–the pièce de résistance–the little custom “shellyfish” tag sewn into the seam!  Now I will remember the source every time I use this sweet little change purse. 

[Just look at that adorable tag!]

Shellyfish also sent along a box of vegan Belgian chocolates! (she really knows how to steal a gal’s heart).  Now, I do love me some chocolate, and have even been known to munch on it daily for extended periods of time. . . .well, let me tell you, these were exquisite.  Each one contained a velvety truffle filling coated with rich, smooth and glossy bittersweet chocolate.  I knew I’d devour the whole set myself and so offered a bite of each to the HH, who noted that they were the best chocolates he’d ever eaten.  And–miracle of miracles–they made it across the ocean intact!  Not even a scratch. I’m planning a vacation to France at this very moment, just so I can sample some more of those babies.

In addition to the pouch and chocolate were a hand-made card with the cutest little ladybugs and maple leaf imprint (thanks for the nod to Canada, Shelly), as well as a postcard of the Chateau Fontainbleau, a lyrical castle in Shelly’s neighborhood, where she lives alongside snippets of history every day (lucky duck!).  

All in all, it was a perfect way to end the week, or start the weekend, and flooded me with memories of my own long-ago stay in Bandol as a teenager. It also made me long for another visit now, as an adult!

Thanks so much, Shelly.  I will treasure my pouch and the cards. . . and my memories of that insanely rich-tasting chocolate! 🙂


The Weight is Under

And what about the “weight is under,” you wonder? (No poem intended, there, though I created one nonetheless–must be that literary influence again).  Well, I haven’t written a blog entry related to the “Diet” portion of my blog’s title in quite some time.  Partly, I’ve felt there was no sense in rehashing old news (I mean, how many times can one re-start a weight loss plan?).  About three months ago, I gave up tracking my weight on a weekly basis, and decided that, given the achingly slow progress of my quest, I’d post an entry no more than once a month.  Well, in the interim, something seems to have shifted.

What’s the best way to stop craving sweets all the time?  Write a dessert cookbook, that’s how, and bake three or four test items perforce each day! 

Have you ever walked into an ice cream parlor, or chocolate shop, or patisserie, and marvelled at how slim the counter folk were?  Countless times in my  life, I’ve asked the shop person, “How do you stop yourself from eating everything in sight?”  I’d usually add, sheepishly, “If I worked here, I’d weigh 300 pounds in no time.” 

“No, no, you wouldn’t,” they’d inevitably respond.  “If you work with it all day, you just get sick of it.”  Well, sorry to say, when I ran my little bakery, I was surrounded by baked goods for 16 hours a day–for two years.  My taste for sweets never waned during that time, and my weight began its ugly ascent during those years as well. 

This time, however, something is different.  I’m testing recipes in my home; I’m basically forced to eat at least a mouthful of each one (to ensure quality, you understand); and somewhere along the line, I became indifferent to the piles of bars, cookies, cakes, tarts and whatever else positions itself alluringly on the counter.  Now, don’t get me wrong; I’ve retained a desire to taste everything, and I’ve definitely indulged.  But for some unknown reason, the impetus to keep going even after the first two or three tastes (or two or three brownies, cookies, slices of cake, etc.) has more or less vanished. 

Why has this miracle from heaven been bestowed upon me?  I have no idea.  How can I ensure that this state of affairs never changes?  Again, I’m stumped.  Will I manage to stay the course this time and keep losing weight?  Beats me.  All I know is, I am unspeakably grateful, I embrace this current reality, and I am ecstatic to be experiencing it. The greatest mystery of my life so far seems to be, “why have I been able to exercise “willpower” and lose weight at certain periods of my life, but not others?”  And so far, like the secret location of Atlantis, like the methods of building the pyramids, like where Sasquatch is really hiding–like the reason for Julia Roberts’s popularity–the answer has eluded me (and all of civilized humanity).

If anyone out there has insight into this particular conundrum, please do let me know.

Mum, it’s easy to exercise willpower when someone else feeds you.  Just get an owner to dole out the food. Oh, and it helps if you learn to raise a paw when asked.”


23 Responses to “The Wait is Over/The Weight is Under”

  1. VeggieGirl Says:

    We were BOTH lucky recipients of Shel’s amazing goodies 🙂

    Hang in there, Ricki!! You HAVE the willpower!!

    Isn’t your birthday coming up soon??

  2. ttfn300 Says:

    what a lovely box of goodies!! umm, i’m thinking i should try and right a dessert cookbook… 🙂 i’ve never worked on the dessert end, but at a bowling alley that had a pizza hut. yup, never again. not even do i view it as a once-in-a-while splurge. i view it as disgusting… i know it’s only pizza hut, but i’m guessing the same would be true anywhere else!

  3. Andrea Says:

    Congratulations on everything—the lovely prize package, being a talented baker surrounded by gorgeous goodies, the new-found will power and the weight loss. Enjoy it all! And give my best to “the girls.” They’re lucky, too!

  4. Lucy Says:

    Good on you, my friend!

    I’m doing a small dance around the office because I KNOW how hard it is to shift those kilos (pounds, whatever we all call ’em) and I KNOW how much it’s meant to you.

    So pleased. Shall raise a glass to your efforts this evening!

  5. shellyfish Says:

    Two happy pieces of news, indeed! When you’re trying to get your weight down & write a dessert cookbook at the same time, well, you’ve either got will of steel or you’re nuts – or both! I think in your case you’ve got that perfect amount of zany to make it work, and I’m thrilled for you!
    And look at those super-chocolates! You sure did a great job describing them! Dare I say you sound like a connaisseuse? I’m still thrilled that you were one of my winners – because you *are* one of my favorite bloggers!

  6. Celine Says:

    hooray for you, Ricki! on both accounts, most definitely. ♥

  7. holler Says:

    You are now officially lucky! The purse is so sweet!

  8. johanna Says:

    well deserved luck! Someone once told me that when riding a bike if there is a rock in the middle of the road the most certain way to hit it is to focus on it – funny how sometimes the things you want so much happen when you turn your back! It’s a mystery to me too but I am sure there is a pun in there about having your cake and eating it too 🙂

  9. Megan Says:

    That is awesome. Good for you.

  10. claire Says:

    yes, i too have noticed that when you really pay attention to what sweet thing you eat, after the first bite, nothing else tastes as good. That observation has helped a lot- especially when offered something. “Nothing tastes as good as the first bite,” I’ll say to myself, and my pants are a bit looser.

  11. Ricki Says:

    Aww, thanks so much, guys!

    Andrea, I’m not sure The Girls would see it that way, but I always enjoy THEIR company 😉

    Lucy, cheers! Have one on me 🙂

    If eating chocolate on a regular basis for one’s entire lifetime counts as a connaiseuse, then yes!

    “You don’t have to weight for your cake”? Bleh–I’ll work on it!

    Thanks for the comment–and the great advice! (and congrats on your own looser pants–my goal!) 🙂

  12. veganhomemade Says:

    That IS an interesting observation. But hey, if it’s working for you then keep it up!

  13. Lisa Castle Says:

    My first job was at a donut shop. One whiff of the back (all that sugar) and I was off donuts for a loooong time (and there are still varieties that I will not *ever* eat, but that’s another story).

    And yay, congrats on the win and the loss!

  14. Lizzie Says:

    What a beautiful set of gifts! Hearing about the chocolate makes me want to hop the pond to France too.

    I know as a tester for your recipes I’ve managed to finish everything I’ve made of yours within 24 hours. Pass on that “only take a few bites” karma over here! 🙂

  15. Courtney Says:

    Wow–good for you! I wish your willpower would carry over to your testers…I think I am going to gain 10 lbs testing your delicious recipes! I cannot stay out of them! Hopefully your discipline will reach me soon…


  16. congrats on the contest and weight loss!
    interesting philosophical question.

  17. Diann Says:

    See? You ARE lucky! Congratulations on winning and losing! I would have definitely traded my chocolates for yours!

  18. Vegan_noodle Says:

    Oh what a lucky win on that contest… shellyfish is so awesome!

    I’m not sure I’d ever get tired of sampling your baking!

  19. Oh, but you are so lucky! Shellyfish makes the most adorable things, and those chocolates sure sound amazing!
    Thank you so much for your super sweet comment on my blog! 🙂

  20. Wow, sounds like a banner week for you, Miss Lucky Ricki!

  21. I NEVER eat the stuff I bake for work because I’m just so G.D. sick of smelling it & it reminds me of drudgery. Maybe you should just keep cranking out cookbooks forever? That would make everyone happy!

  22. Vegyogini Says:

    Congratulations on both your win and the weight loss. 🙂

  23. Kim Straton Says:

    That is great! Good for you!

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