the whole 30 yards

my first morning's breakfast
my first morning’s breakfast

I’m not a dieter. Denying myself the delectable leads to intense cravings for said taboo items. I have done a few juice cleanses with varying degrees of success (and by success, I don’t mean weight loss but improved complexion, better sleep patterns and more energy). Mainly, I try to eat healthily, though I do have my weaknesses, namely cheese, wine, and half and half in my coffee.

But on the morning of my dear friend Lauren’s wedding, I woke up resembling the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. My face was so puffy my sunglasses left a deep imprint after I had them on for only a few minutes. My abdomen was so distended I could barely bend over to put on my shoes. And the worst part? The bridesmaid dress that fit fine a week before? Yeah, well I was so swollen that it took the might of the three other bridesmaids to get the zipper up. Then, I exhaled. And the zipper broke. Five minutes before the ceremony.

If I’d woken up like this any other day, I’d have visited the ER. I warn you now, never WebMD “water retention” because the causes range from too much salt, alcohol, sun exposure (all which I had in spades) to kidney failure, liver disease and congestive heart failure. I was pretty convinced I was dying, but I had a wedding to stand up in. I drank my weight in water, abstained from alcohol, and MacGyver’d the dress until I could change into something else. After the reception, I returned to my room, cried a bunch, and devised a plan for a reset.

I’d just read Wardrobe Oxygen‘s post on the Whole 30, and while I’ve been dismissive of Paleo-style food plans, I was inspired by Allie’s positive experience eating only whole, one-ingredient foods. I decided to give it a shot.

As it turns out, my Whole 30 shopping cart didn’t look that different from how it usually would, with a few notable exclusions. I’m on Day 5 and so far, I don’t miss anything. It hasn’t been torturous to watch my kids devour chips and salsa. I’ve been around wine without longing. After a bit of experimenting, I discovered coconut milk in my coffee does the trick. I did almost lick the Nutella off a knife the other night after I made Jack toast, but that was more reflex than desire. The bottom line is after a few days, I’m sleeping better, and I have energy after only one cup of coffee.

I suspect there will be challenging days ahead (please don’t flaunt your pimento grilled cheese sandwich from Cheesetique) but nothing could be worse than how I felt on that morning when I could have lumbered through the town of Sonoma and caused more damage than the recent Napa earthquake.

 

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the day after

Kaitlan is married. The bride was beautiful; the ceremony, heartfelt. Her groom was not highly intoxicated, as was the groom from the 2:00 ceremony, whom we all witnessed make a fool of himself and his bride as they proceeded through the Arch of Sabers while we waited patiently (albeit awkwardly) to enter the Naval Academy Chapel.

They exchanged vows. They kissed. They walked elegantly through the aforementioned arch. And as the afternoon and evening proceeded, the clouds held their rain, and the wine flowed.

I wore the navy last-minute-purchase dress, which seems anti-climactic to write about now. It had, as my friend Sheila described it, a Judy Jetson neckline. It was fitted and sleeveless with this fantastic zipper up the front. And most importantly, I felt amazing in it.

But what fueled me the most (aside from the cosmos and the wine and the champagne and the wine and the beer and the champagne) was being approached by the mother of one of the bridesmaids and being asked when I’m going to write a book. There’s nothing like hearing that someone you don’t know enjoys your writing to make you want to write more. I need those two weeks of solitude to get a jump-start on said book, and I came back from Annapolis determined to find that time.

As Kaitlan and Adam begin this next chapter of their lives together, I will be inspired by new beginnings. I’ll review my 2012 goal board and keep the promises I made to myself and others.

And that is my solemn vow.

 

 

 

 

Operation Chelsea

Remember a year ago when Kaitlan got engaged under the cherry blossoms? Remember when I said I was going to be entirely focused on helping her find a dress but that I had plenty of time to find my own?

Yeah, well, that wedding is in two weeks, and I have nothing to wear.

With nothing appropriate in my closet (I swear) to wear to a wedding such as Kaitlan is throwing, a few weeks ago I started my on-line search for the perfect dress. Rather quickly, I identified a particular DVF as being “the dress.” I already own shoes that would work perfect with it. Within days, it went on sale at Bloomingdales, but by the time I tried to order it in my size, it was sold out. But luckily, it went on sale on the DVF retail site and was available in my size. I nabbed it.

But it was wrong. So very wrong.

Yesterday, I issued a call for help to my favorite DC “I’m a smart and savvy mom who loves style too” blogger, DC Celine. I tweeted her. She tweeted back. We took the conversation to email. Our messages were flying back and forth so quickly (yes, we have jobs, but we are great multitaskers) that I suggested g-chat. She asked if I’d be game to take the project one step further. Of course. I’m always up for a challenge. She advised that I needed to create a public board on Pinterest. Check. I immediately set up a new board, The great “guest of a wedding” dress search, and if you want to be part of the conversation, I can ordain you contributor privileges. We (and by “we” I mean she) created a few #hashtags for those who want to follow the discussion on Twitter (#guestofawedding #styledilemma). There will be Facebooking for those who do not tweet or pin. But most special to me of all, DC Celine wrote this post: Style Dilemma: Guest of a Wedding. I’ve never been anyone’s social media project before (at least not that I’ve been told).

She promised readers I’d post pictures (twitter fashion show anyone?) and I can’t let her public down. But I need to get on it. I need help. I need suggestions. I need a dress.

Help me rock Kaitlan’s wedding.

Then Kassie and the angels at SimplySoles can help me find the shoes.