"I prefer the folly of enthusiasm
to the indifference of wisdom."
— Anatole France
Jo Cordi Sica's work as a writer, trainer, and motivational speaker provides
her an impressive insight into human behavior. Throughout her life, she has overcome
great adversity and turned every challenge into an opportunity to grow both personally
and professionally. Today Jo travels throughout the country sharing her insights
to help others achieve success. Jo writes from her heart; sharing personal experiences,
challenges and victories.
This time last year, I was tackling my holiday baking. Let
me assure you, this is no small task. Five years ago, I made baskets
of homemade candy and baked goods for friends and relatives, starting
a tradition that everyone expects me to continue. To give you an idea,
each year I make 800 pieces of hand-dipped chocolate candy, 20 pound
cakes, 10 dozen cookies, 6 pies, and a triple chocolate mousse cake
enrobed in chocolate ganache and served with raspberry sauce. I began
in November in order to finish by Christmas. This project
has been, and always will be a labor of love. As I began the endeavor
this year, I realized how profoundly my life has changed in one short
Typically, as I made the candy, several pieces would find their way
into my mouth from each batch. After all, they had to be tested for
the sake of quality assurance. I knew I could afford this indulgence
since my baking outfit of oversize shirts and sweat pants still fit
comfortably. Maybe I had put on a pound or two, but I knew it wasn't
any more than that. Everyone gains a few holiday pounds; all will be
back to normal come January.
This delusion served me well until the Christmas party. Nothing in my
closet fit; I was in tears trying to get dressed. This was not a
matter of things simply being tight — my pants would not clear my
thighs! I finally found one pair of pants in the back of the closet
that were tight, but would zip and button. The expression
'self-loathing' does not begin to describe the way I felt about
myself. I was fat, and my wardrobe was forcing me out of denial.
When I lost over 50 pounds in 1998, I promised myself that I would
NEVER allow my weight to get that out of control again. Obviously,
I failed to keep that commitment to myself. We went to the party,
stayed the minimum respectable time, and dashed off with an excuse
about needing to be somewhere. I was consumed with the need to go
home and hide from the world.
In the interest of mental health and self-preservation, the next day
I headed for the mall to find something to wear for the holidays.
Not having the nerve to face numbered sizes, I looked for styles
featuring elastic waists and tunic tops in the S-M-L variety. Clearly,
they ran small, because I arrived home with two outfits in XL, one
red and one black.
Armed with apparel that fit, I continued to eat my way through the
The real problems began in January when I had to return to work.
That black velveteen ensemble looked lovely Christmas Eve; it looked
rather out of place at 8:00 AM on January 13. Finally, on the 20th
day of 2003, I found the resolve to begin a permanent low carb
lifestyle. In a grand symbolic gesture, I immediately purged those
despised XL elastic waisted demons from my closet. I would get back
into my clothes or I would be naked; the safety net was gone.
How will this year be different? Well, I'll still be doing all
that holiday baking and candy-making, I just won't be sampling any.
I think I can safely assume that after making 4000 pieces of candy,
I have the recipes down to a science and quality assurance is no
longer necessary. Besides, my darling husband does enough sampling
for both of us. I'll just have to trust his assessment of the
There will be no hiding in the house, no frustration, nor any
tears. I am in control, I feel good, and I am comfortable in
my body. Those three things are the best Christmas presents I
could ever have. The difference in my outlook this year is
astounding. I am one of those people who always get the holiday
blues. Every year there is an unexplained dark mood bubbling
just below the surface. I have always put on a happy face for
others and hidden the tears and sadness until everyone was gone
or sleeping. This year, I feel joyous and ready to celebrate.
Maybe it is the self-confidence from being in control, maybe it
is feeling better about my appearance, or maybe it is not dealing
with spiking and dropping blood sugar from all the high carb food.
I suspect it is all three. Whatever the case, I am looking forward
to the holidays with the same excitement as a small child waiting
I will still have to make that trip to the mall for something
to wear, because once again, nothing fits. Happily, the problem
this year is that everything is too big. I will be sticking to
fitted attire throughout the holidays, not risking the false
sense of security that I develop wearing baggy clothing.
When the crowds are gathered and the tables are filled with
chocolate, I will have two secret weapons to ward off temptation.
First, I'll make sure and have a few low carb treats around for
myself. I'll indulge guiltlessly in delights that won't undo
the progress I have made this year. If that doesn't ward off
temptation, I'll politely excuse myself for a few minutes to
go look at those huge pants from last year's party. I'll hold
the sides out and look in the mirror asking "Do you really
want to wear these again?" I think not!
Happy Holidays to all. May the season bring you peace, joy,
happiness, and love.
Please don't forget the needy this season, consider making
a donation to help the hungry.
Jo Cordi Sica,
SPHR Organizational Development
Copyright © December 2003 Jo Cordi Sica and Low Carb Luxury
Delivered Right To Your Door Nationwide!
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| "A rather splendid company called Home Bistro have put their
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— Low Carb Luxury Review :: December 3, 2002.
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