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Monday, January 4, 2010

Partying like it's 1999!

I started this blog just under 3 months ago. Can you believe that? I can't. The response has been so overwhelming and in just 3 months, I've turned The Svelte Gourmet into a company, wrote a cookbook, and earned recognition from the media for this "unique idea." It seems that "personal training in the kitchen" is something that was missing, not only in this area, but everywhere. Trainers will tell you how to eat right, but not how to make it taste great. Cooking shows will tell you how to make food taste good, but it's rarely good for you. My goal is to merge the two.

Anyway, I digress. With a decade of marketing experience, I know a bit about how to get the word out. But what astounds me most is how the social networking phenomenon has thrown The Svelte Gourmet into overdrive. It was the response from fans -- many of whom I've known for years and new ones that I'm gaining each day from these sites -- that was the impetus to turn this blog into a business.

So thank you. Not only for your encouragement, but for showing back up in my life. High school and college friends I haven't talked to in a decade -- and sadly, may never have reconnected with if it weren't for Facebook and The Svelte Gourmet -- have become new fixtures in my life. I love that, as we muddle our way through adulthood, our common bond of school, sororities and parties has turned to careers, kids and cooking.

Sure, I'm getting a lot of encouragement and I'm gaining new fans everyday who don't know me, but who are interested in what I'm doing. What I find the most interesting, though, are the people who knew me "when," who are saying that I look great and I never needed to lose weight. I think maybe our memories are starting to fade as we get older. But boy, nothing brings back memories like a photograph.

This one came out of nowhere. My lovely friend Leah, who was once my daily confidant, is now at the other end of the country. I miss her. Every time I lost a little bit of weight, she would tell me I was looking "svelte." That, of course, was much needed encouragement, and has always stuck with me. So on New Year's Eve, just a couple of days ago, I was shocked and happy to hear from her. And equally as shocked looking at the picture she sent. I guess my memories have faded a bit, too! This picture is of Leah and me (I'm the one on the right!) on New Year's Eve 10 years ago. Partying like it was 1999. Ringing in the new millennium, I was 30 pounds heavier than I am now.

This was definitely a reality check for me. I went back and forth for a few days on whether or not I should share it with you. Then I decided that nothing tells my story of yo-yo dieting better than this picture. It was about a year after this photo was taken that I decided to get serious about losing weight. I was 24 and still in the mindset of "this was just my size." My roommate moved to Manhattan and I was completely on my own for the first time in DC. With no one to monitor me and no one to hide from, it was just me, the fridge and the scale. It was hard at first. I didn't know what to eat and I just started cooking and seeing how I could make the bland diet food taste better. I joined the gym, which started as a battle, but I learned to like the endorphin rush. Mostly, for me, it was the eating healthfully that enabled me to lose weight. The scale would go down 1/2 a pound or a pound every couple days. It was exhilarating! Every now and then it would go up, reminding me that I needed to be more careful. I went from a 12 to an 8 to a 6, 4, then 2...30 pounds gone.

The best part is that I've been able to keep it off for the better part of a decade. I changed my mindset. That was NOT my size. If only I'd figured it out sooner. Because you know what? It wasn't that hard. Anyone can do this. And that's why I started blogging.

Thank you for your encouragement and thank you to those who have reappeared in my life. I missed you!

The Svelte Gourmet Cookbook: A Month of Main Courses is available at www.thesveltegourmet.com/products.html.


Meg Albright Leibold said...

Hi,from one of those people who knew you when!
I would have never guessed from that photo that you were 30 lbs. heavier! Well, I know I am a bit heavier since our paths last crossed. I am getting your cookbook TODAY and added you as a weekly part of my routine when I can read your blog. So far, you have inspired me so much, and I am determined for 2010 to make this the year to take it off and keep it off. So, Jen, just keep doing what your doing, and I will, too!! xo Meg

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you posted this, Jen! You are absolutely right that exercize is important, but EATING HEALTHILY outranks working out by a bazillion... And it's NOT easy in our country and in this time to eat well. What you're doing is wonderful and I'm so glad you're sharing it with everyone.