Damn, these are good. Just make sure you wear gloves or after you make them you will notice your hands are on fire!

I submitted this recipe to Hungry Girl and I really hope I win a t shirt! 🙂

Green Chili Tortilla Wraps

4 large mild tapered green peppers (I recommend Anaheim)
2 Crystal Farms (or any brand) cheddar cheese “Little Chunks” unwrapped (these should come prewrapped in a hanging bag in the cheese section). You can also use reduced fat cheddar cheese chunks if you can find them.
Four light or fat free flour tortillas

1. Wearing gloves, cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds by scraping the insides of the peppers with a sharp knife, making sure you keep the peppers intact.
2. Place the peppers on a non stick cookie sheet (or one sprayed with Pam) and roast under the broiler – turning once, until blistered and partially blackened on each side.
3. Turn off the oven, remove the peppers, and carefully place the peppers in a bowl covered with a plate to steam for five to ten minutes.
4. Remove the peppers from the bowl and peel off the blistered outer skin.
5. Cut each Little Chunk of cheddar cheese in half.
6. Place each pepper back on the cookie sheet and insert a half a cheese chunk into each pepper.
7. Place the peppers back in the warm oven to melt the cheese. Set the tortillas in the oven at the same time to warm.
8. After the cheese has melted, remove the peppers from the oven, wrap each one in a tortilla (soft taco style) and enjoy!

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Little Ray of Sunshine

Lately I’ve been thinking. Why assume the worst?

If I can CHOOSE to interpret people’s actions as good or as bad, why choose bad?
If I force myself interpret the actions of others as good, even if I’m wrong, I’ll still feel better.

What does it gain me to see everything that everyone else does in the worst possible light? How does it help me to assume that everyone is a shithead who is out to get me? It doesn’t help me at all.

It’s even kind of fun if you can think of it as a challenge. I’m challenging myself to see the bright side of every situation, instead of the dark. And in the end it benefits me.

So ask yourself: “Is there any way to interpret this person’s actions positively?”

I’m sure there is. No matter how ridiculous, it helps me believe that life is more than everyone else trying to screw me over.

Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na Na

Despite the vision of paradise that I’m sure our marriage presents to the outside world (kidding), Mr. E and I have our occasional disagreements. Although to be fair we’re much better than we used to be. No one’s called us The Bickersons (to our faces) for months now. Mostly we’re just sad no one bought us the Hulk Hands we registered for when we got married because sometimes it seems like a good wrestle would just clear some things up. I guess because we’re both kind of antagonistic. Me, in an in your face kind of way and Mr. E in a world record passive agressive kind of way. If we were dogs I’d be the kind that grabs onto your pants hem and yips incessantly while refusing to let go. Mr. E would be the kind of dog that lopes along doing whatever he wants and ignoring you no matter how much you yip at him. Despite all of this, the only thing that we really really deep down disagree on is music. We just can’t wrap our heads around the kind of music the other person wants to listen to.

Plus, I swear Mr. E uses music specifically to annoy the shit out of me. This morning while I was getting ready for work he played that craptacular Kylie Minogue song “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” THREE times. Jesus, that is a terrible terrible song. Why anyone would want to hear it twice, I can’t imagine. Three times is just cruel.

I suppose I should just be happy it wasn’t the maudlin tones of the latest fashionable indie rocker (Sufjan, I’m talking to you) committing audible suicide in the name of “music”. I still have nightmares over the lengthy Bjork 107 Steps incident of 2000-2001. Wailing is not singing, people, it’s just not.

When Mr. E was in college his whole family thought he must be gay because he wouldn’t stop listening to Liz Phair. (hee) I didn’t realize this until after I asked (years later) why they were all so happy to meet me.

Mr. E doesn’t believe that I don’t like the Beatles. But really, I don’t. At all.

I prefer music that doesn’t jangle my delicate nerves. Soothing, quiet music that makes me feel happy, or at least calm. Music that’s not sung by someone who maybe stabbed themselves just to put themselves out of their misery. I’d be perfectly happy listening to “Brown Eyes Blue” by Crystal Gayle on repeat for the rest of my life. Maybe mix it up with some Prince once in awhile, and be done with it.

In other words,

I don’t care where we go
I don’t care what we do
I don’t care pretty baby
Just stop listening to Radiohead.

If you think that it should be called 30 below because it’s very cold in Antarctica, you’d be wrong.

I never cry at movies. I just don’t. The last time I cried at a movie was Million Dollar Baby, and even that was after the movie in the car on the way home, and I maintain that it was an exception anyway because it had Morgan Freeman doing a voice over AND I think I was about to get my period or something.

The point is that last weekend Mr. E and I went to go see Eight Below. You know, that Disney movie that just came out about the sled dogs trapped in Antarctica with Paul Walker – also known as the most amazing story of survival, friendship and adventure ever told? Yeah, that movie. I cried from start to finish. At one point I had to give myself a stern lecture and tell myself to pull it together – I was about to just curl up in my seat and sob openly.

Is it normal to cry for two hours in a movie about sled dogs when Brokeback Mountain moved you not at all? Perhaps not.

Regardless, the movie itself was pure Disney schlock, which is not to say it wasn’t well done (it was) and I loved every minute of it. I kind of want to see it again. Ok, I really want to see it again. I told Mr. E maybe we should just have some damn kids already, if we’re going to end up spending our Sundays at Disney movies anyway.

The Fattest Girl in the Room

I read somewhere recently that to lose weight, you need a lightning moment. You need one of those moments when the curtain of denial slips aside and you realize that you’re not just big boned and you’re not meant to be this size and that other people do see you as fat, and you can’t just go on the way you are because it’s not how it should be after all. Something has to push you of complacency and make you want to change things.

I had my moment standing in a dressing room trying on bridesmaids dresses for my sister in laws wedding two years ago. I’ve always felt really self conscious around my perfect perfect perfect sister in laws, and something about this day made me feel incredibly bad about myself, worse than I’d felt about myself, maybe ever. Maybe it was because all the dresses we tried on looked terrible on me, or because I had to hold the dresses up in the back with my arms twisted around me since they wouldn’t zip, or because a stranger told me it was nice to see how the dresses looked on a bigger girl. Maybe it was because we all went out to lunch afterwards and my sister in laws talked about how fat they were (they weren’t) and how fat all their friends were. Whatever the reason, I’ve never felt so much like the fattest girl in the room.

That was my day. That was my moment. What I wanted most of all was to never feel like that around those three women ever again. I had no more motivation than that, at the beginning, but that day made me feel so bad about myself that it made me powerful. Because even though I’d been overweight for a long time, somehow I hadn’t thought of myself as fat until that day.

When I went home this year at Christmas, I felt great. I felt proud as I ran a 5K in 10 degree weather. My neighbor told me I was “so skinny”. My mom gave me clothes that were too small for her. I felt perfect. I bought size four jeans at American Eagle when I was Christmas shopping with my brother and they felt like a guarantee – an iron clad promise that I was skinny, no matter what. After all, “fat” girls don’t wear size four American Eagle jeans.

The jeans weren’t enough. When we left and went to stay with Mr. E’s family for his birthday, all of a sudden, I was fat again. I felt rolls bulge over the waistband of those same jeans. I felt eyes watching what I ate. Mirrors made me cringe. I felt bloated, puffy, like the biggest girl in the room. I avoided having my picture taken, avoided talking about weight. I ate salads. I’d worked so hard. And still, I was right back there, again, the big girl in the yellow bridesmaids dress, arms twisted behind me, quiet and sad and fat.

I’m not sure when I realized this. I know it wasn’t a lightning moment. But I’m starting to think that maybe I could lose all the weight in the world, I could wear any size jeans, I could lose these last five pounds and be at my goal weight and more, and I wouldn’t ever feel skinny, or even ok, around my sister in laws. Maybe, those two years ago, I was wrong. Maybe, just maybe, losing weight won’t fix how I feel around the three women who make me most insecure in this world. Maybe there’s something else I need to fix.

Too Many Damn Carrot Sticks

I think having to be all hard core with what I eat all the time to try to lose these last stubborn 5-7 stupid pounds is making me have all kinds of weird cravings. My ww points just reset for the week which means now I can dream about all the bad for me food that I want to use my extra points on. And not in a good way. Normally I get a weird craving for a brownie or something and I wait and see if it passes and if it doesn’t I go out and eat a brownie and enjoy the shit out of it, and move on. This feels different though. I’m not sure why. Maybe if I list it all out I can pick the least terrible option and have that and just move on.

-McDonald’s because Mr. E went there last night (might have to get just a hamburger, not eat fries, count it, and move on).
-Panera soup because I haven’t been there in so long and I love it so much (this is ok because it’s not bad for you if you get the veggie soup not in a bread bowl).
-Chocolate muffins (WW has these so I’ll just those).
-IHOP pigs in a blanket (hmm, this one is tricky. I could get this and eat half. I’ve been craving sausage for two months, so maybe I should just eat it. I’ve tried veggie sausage and bacon and turkey sausage and low fat sausage and none of it did the trick).
-pizza (I can eat the Lean Cuisine version of this and be perfectly happy).
-I’m also jonesing for some of the awesome homemade soup at this restaurant in town. (It’s too cold to go here and they never take cash, so I’m gonna rule that one out).

That’s not TOO bad when you really think about it. We’ll see.
Note that most of this is fast food, which I never eat, so maybe I just need to cut myself some slack and have a damn hamburger and move on.

Love Yourself Today

I have a terrible memory – in certain ways. I can remember faces from years ago, even faces I’ve only seen once. But if you ask me how long I’ve worked somewhere, or how long I’ve been married, or how old I am, my mind comes up blank. So holidays are really useful for me to use as milestones, to remember certain things by. I guess it’s a way to look back.

I remember a Valentine’s Day my first year in college. It was early morning, a gorgeous morning, only possible in February in California. I was up early for some reason and I was standing out on the balcony of my dorm, looking down on campus, and I saw a boy walk by. A boy who had liked me a lot, and who I had not liked, at all, and whom I had rebuffed, several times. And he was carrying a huge armload of flowers. For someone else. I didn’t even want to be that someone else, his someone else. But in that moment, I knew that there was no one out there carrying a huge armload of flowers for me, and something dropped out of me, right out of my heart, in that second.

Two years ago I had just started Weight Watchers the week before Valentine’s Day, and naive little me was expecting big results. I had a closet full of fancy lovely clothes I hadn’t been able to fit into in ages, but I’d been doing Weight Watchers for A FULL WEEK. And working really hard at it. So surely something ought to fit. But no. Nothing fit. I threw on the same pair of crappy elastic waisted black Old Navy pants I’d been wearing for a year, and bitched my way out of the house. I still remember Mr. E asking me what was wrong, and after I told him, him telling me in the sweetest voice that he thought I looked really nice. Although to be honest it wasn’t WHAT he what he said that stuck with me. It was how he said it. So lovingly and so surprised, almost, that I would think so many bad things about myself, that I couldn’t see myself the way he saw me. It gave me hope.

And here we are, two years later. I’ve lost almost 60 pounds since then. I’m 4-5 pounds from my goal weight (115 pounds). I’m going to go stuff myself with sushi and be happy that I don’t have to do dishes tonight, and then I’m going to run three miles and think back on that girl who was disgusted with herself two years ago and I’m going to tell myself “Self, today is valentine’s day. Try to love yourself, today, just a little. You deserve it.”