In which our heroine picks up the pieces of her broken heart after receiving the devastating news that she won't be headed for a career in food super stardom on the Food Network show Recipe to Riches...
Click here to begin reading previous installments of our ongoing BlogDrama.
The next day I awoke, still battered and bruised, but with the slightest glimmer of hope that maybe this wasn’t the end to all my dreams after all; and as I foraged in the refrigerator looking for something to eat for breakfast, I began to formulate a new plan.
When I was given my golden ticket in Vancouver, the judges advised me to come up with a marketing plan for my Gobblers, and in the two weeks since, I had spent a lot of time researching food and nutrition with the niggling feeling that perhaps I could be putting my money where my mouth was health wise - after all, who was going to buy "the next big thing in healthy snacking" from someone who got out of breath tying her shoes?
With that in mind, I decided to turn my disappointment into opportunity by embarking on a weight loss plan!
I envisioned myself returning to audition for the show next year, this time branding myself as “The Determined Dieter” - wowing the judges with my new found physique, incredible resilience, and fabulously healthy recipes - and as the brilliance of my plan began to take shape, I could slowly feel the hope seep back into my being. Although I had been on every diet known to the Western Hemisphere, including one that involved an unfortunate incident with Chinese Detox tea and a swimming pool, this time was going to be it! I was grabbing the brass ring to my own happiness and was about to set sail by launching the Determined Dieter as a series of videos that would ultimately chronicle my road back to fitness and health.
The first video debuted on The Kitchen Witch, on March 20, 2011. Wearing a tight fitting white spandex suit, running shoes, and a sporty hair do I, the Determined Dieter, appeared on camera and effusively announced to the world that this time I was going to succeed.
Dieters everywhere know this as the “euphoria stage” of a weight loss plan. The brain, in a calorie deprived and somewhat addled state, cannot figure out what the big deal with weight loss was ever about. We cheer for Jenny Craig as Valerie Bertinelli walks across pool decks on our television screen in a tiny bikini, and become suddenly judgmental toward the weak minded masses and their ice cream sundaes, smug in our new found disdain for sugar, salt, and fat.
Euphoria lasts approximately two to three weeks and usually comes to its unfortunate end during barbecue season, major holidays, or when your significant other goes shopping - which is what happened to me. Three weeks into determined dieting, the man I married bought an economy sized bag of Thunder Crunch chips and tried to hide them, sneaking into our bedroom like a covert spy, the offending bag stashed under the covers, quietly crunching under the guise of watching the news. But I knew better. Armed with olfactory senses that border on paranormal when I’m hungry, I caught him red handed - not only eating Thunder Crunch chips in our bed, but dipping them into my favourite, creamy dill!
I had now officially moved into the “What the hell am I doing stage” of the health plan. Recognized as detente by determined dieters the world over, in “what the hell am I doing” the brain begins to generate thoughts like “Life is too short,” and “I’d rather be fat and happy” while we once again change the channel and mutter “Bitch” under our breath when the Jenny Craig commercials come on.
In the meantime, though, I was still video documenting my struggle and with only three weeks in, it seemed a little premature to throw in the towel. I had set goals, after all, and despite food cravings that would drive a lesser dieter insane, I had begun a jogging program and had slowly started to notice increments of success.
During the first few times out I could only run for about a minute at a time interspersing incredibly slow jogging with even slower power walking, but here at the tail end of my first three weeks, I was able to slow jog for ten minutes straight and was quite amazed by my body’s ability to bounce back and recreate itself. Somewhere in the ethers of my soul I sensed a metaphor – that if the body could bounce back so completely, perhaps a life could too and so I ignored those voices urging me to quit, continuing on as The Determined Dieter so that by the beginning of week four I had lost ten pounds.
And that was when everything changed. After writing an inspirational blog about my ten pound weight loss, I arrived home from work to find a comment from my blogging friend Brenda at Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen informing me of a brand new food related contest called The Real Women of Philadelphia. It encouraged home cooks to create recipes with Philadelphia Cream Cheese and feature them in home videos! Better still, it was set up as a community! Not only would home cooks with a passion for video have the opportunity to display their culinary fabulosity to the world at large, they would be among and supported by their own kind.
Despite my initial excitement, though, two questions emerged: Could I cook with cream cheese and remain true to myself as the Determined Dieter? And could I stand another disappointment if it didn’t go my way? In the end I made the decision to take a chance and go for it. The world of cream cheese needed a determined dieter as its spokesperson and who better than me to fulfill the job?
Click HERE for part 5 of our continuing saga!