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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Low Carb Connoisseur
    December 18, 2003    PAGE 4       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

Featured Articles
 Photographs: Proof of Life?
 The Perfect Gift
 A Homemade Christmas
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Snapshot: Ruby Tuesday
 Baking Up Holiday Sweets
 Wrench That Stole Christmas
 But For The Grace of God
 Travel: Memories of Madrid
 Party Food!
 Cooking with Jarret Hughes
 Holiday Treats or Traps?



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              What a Difference a Year Makes by Jo Cordi Sica
                                                "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 year.

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 season.

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 finished product.

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 for Santa.

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 and Training

Copyright © December 2003  Jo Cordi Sica and Low Carb Luxury

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