The post about how much I respect you.

by Andie Mitchell on October 8, 2012

When I began this blog two and a half years ago, it was essentially to be a journal of my life

in and around and

through and

by way of

food.

When I lost half of my body weight- 135 long and labored and sometimes loved pounds- I was asked, almost as a curious tag along to, ‘how did you do it?,’

‘so…what do you eat?’

Can You Stay for Dinner? was, and is,

my long winded answer.

I’ve never wanted to be, nor enjoyed being, a health zealot. Meaning, I’ve never once felt so self righteous as to prescribe my path, my lifestyle, to another.

It seems impractical and impersonal. It feels distasteful. It sounds high and mighty. And I’m not Oprah, unfortunately.

So the blog was created with the sole intention to show rather than tell. Simply to be an illustration of me, painted colorfully in food. And, the hope, I guess

was that you’d learn all you wanted to know about me and Little Debbie and our journey together and apart, all on your own. You’d come to your own conclusions. You’d begin to put together the parts I’ve chosen to show you and maybe you’d like the whole of it, or maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you’d want to hang out, maybe you’d rather not stick around, maybe you’d think I’m a wild narcissist, maybe you’d be turned off by my fancifying of language, maybe it’d be something where you just don’t dig my eats. That. is. all. okay.

But perhaps I still have a bit of a grandiose belief that what I share- my reflections and recipes- could mean something to others. From what I lost, others could gain- an understanding of how I love food and eating and even even even those little jiggly bits I rock on my thighs.

Until now, I’ve tried rather hard to avoid discussing the nitty gritty of what I choose to put into my mouth each day, the tally of calories I’ve collected, the topics associated with actually dieting. I’ve long shied away from sharing the details on carbs and calories and plateaus and scales because I don’t like how I feel when it seems as though I’m preaching. I also know how deeply personal these topics can be, how sacred eating can be, how defensive we as people can be when we feel our beliefs about our bodies are being challenged. And I completely respect that.

I’m of the mind that none of it- not the diet plan we choose, not the amount we exercise, not the grams of carbs we consume- matters in the grander scheme of weight loss. None of it can exist or be sustained without reverence for the emotional sides of our bodies, our weight. It’s the inside work that changes the outside. It’s the emotional part that I want to spotlight. It always will be.

The reason I write this post is because I know I have friends and readers who prefer I stick to what I’ve always done. They love the emotional writing, the more abstract discussions of weight and food acceptance, and the posts I put up lately that seem very ‘diet-y’ (on calorie counting, weighing yourself, etc) make them uncomfortable. I absolutely, one hundred percent, understand where these readers are coming from. I respect it to no end.

But then, there are my other friends and readers. There are folks who read the blog who are just beginning their journeys, perhaps they’re in the weeds of weight loss, perhaps they’re starting to heal a long and troubled relationship with food, or perhaps they’re just curious and conscious about health, and they want me to consider writing about the things I’ve avoided discussing here on CYSFD.

And maybe they’re asking me to cover these topics doesn’t always come from a desire to hear about them from me and my perspective; maybe they’d just like to read the comments of others. Maybe they dig the discussion that can be fostered from me throwing out a topic and all of us weighing in on it. If this is the case, that is just. so. awesome. The sometimes sense of community here fulfills me to the point of overflowing.

I’m not a Registered Dietitian, not a licensed therapist, not aware of the complexity of you, your body, and your life (even if I’d like to be), and most glaringly- I’m not even that good at turning down a cupcake. I am simply one [hot mess of a] person who happens to have lots of history and personal experience with dieting, losing weight, and learning to love her whole self. That is all, and I’m hoping it’s enough for many of you.

As impossible as this sounds, I don’t want this blog to be entirely one sided. I don’t want to publish with the lone focus being on me and what I think and care about, though I imagine that’s what it may seem as though I do. I care deeply about you who come here. I read each and every email, every question, every request, even if I don’t always reply. I aim to blog with a regard for your feelings and choices, while still respecting my own. I believe that each post will somehow speak to at least one reader, and that’s really all I could ask for.

I hope you understand that the post styles and topics and tones may change, but my intentions remain the same.  As always, I hope this post reads in the manner I hoped it to, with love and respect.

Thanks for sticking with me, even when I’m all over the place.

All the good things,

Andie

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Theresa October 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Watching Bridget Jones……

You’re perfect just the way you are. ;-)

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Kate October 9, 2012 at 7:58 am

Beautifully written….point well taken. On spot!

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Olivia October 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I absolutely love this blog JUST THE WAY IT IS! I think you balance the emotional side of eating (which, trust me, I know how emotional food and eating is) with a more knowledgeable side, beautifully. Your beautiful, honest words make me feel not so alone in my feelings and battles with food.

Please, please, PLEASE don’t change a single thing!

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Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! October 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I love your writing style and I will pretty much read anything that you post :)
I’ll be happy as long as you keep posting.

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Jennifer October 9, 2012 at 5:55 am

I feel the exact same way as Bailey. I think you are fantastic, and I would read anything you write!

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Saree October 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm

You . are . awesome – end.

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Amber October 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I love your blog. I love the way you write and I love how much you address the emotional side of weight loss. It is my biggest hang up. I’m not sure how to get to the place to be completely committed to losing weight and not giving up because of discouragement/depression/lack of ‘desired’ results/etc… I know my connection is emotional. I know I self medicate with food because it works for awhile which is better than nothing. I want to know more about how you learned to just sit in your emotions, anxiety, depression, etc… I don’t know if I can do that. I don’t know how to do that. I’m scared. It’s easier to eat something delicious instead. I’m inspired and comforted by your honesty, humility, wisdom, kindness, and courage to put yourself out there. Just keep posting. I’m going to keep reading. And someday I will hopefully get to the place I need to be to lose the extra weight I’ve been carrying around.

Wishing you all the best.

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Kristen October 9, 2012 at 9:50 am

This is exactly how I feel. I will keep reading and finding inspiration and strength through your posts until I find that happy place. My parents are both extremely overweight – much worse than I am. Unlike them, I’ve always had the desire to find inspiration, I just haven’t found the strength that should accompany that inspiration to get to where I want to be. I am hoping some day I will find it so that I can try to help answer these questions for my own family. Keep on doing what you’re doing. I can say that in my opinion, your blog is the most real, honest, substantial blog that i have found to support people on their journey to become healthier.

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T October 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I’ve enjoyed everything you’ve done so far. Ultimately, your blog is for YOU – don’t hold yourself back because your readers have enjoyed one particular aspect of your blog. Experiment and explore. I’ve been a loyal reader for over a year and my conception of food has changed and grown in positive ways. Thanks very much for all that you do – you mean more to your readers than you know.

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T October 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm

And if you wanted to give an update on how your appointment went with your new therapist back in the middle of summer, well, that would be more than fine with me :)

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Tim October 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Thanks for the inspiration!

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Rachael October 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I currently read/visit about 30 blogs a day and most of the time I just check it out and leave because their recipes are too “something” to appeal to me. I read each of your posts, completely through. Every time.

Keep on keepin’ on Andie :)

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Michelle in N. Cal October 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Yes, Andie, keep doin’ what your doin’. It’s why we read your blog and adore you so … {{Hugs!}}

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Laura October 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I love the way you think and I love the way you write and I am totally in the weeds and mystified (even after 14 months of therapy) as to why I am still just shy of 300 pounds when I know better and people come to me for nutritional advice.

Seems the older I get the diet fatigue has taken over even more. I want the will to persevere, I want the emotional strength to overcome the short term comfort, I want to be able to blow the deep bouts of sadness and disappointment with myself away like a cool breeze. But I’m not there yet apparently. Sigh. In fact, in truth, it nearly feels completely hopeless at age 52…

So I come here because there is something about you I feel understands me. You don’t know me but you get me. Personally I would love to know everything, both emotionally and physical of how you not only did it but maintain it. I want that balance that you have so much with no crazy extremes. I wonder the caloric level you were at, how you emotionally dealt with things. I love that you still love good food (I’m a foodie!) but but can balance it in harmony. I am so curious about so many things.

And yet, if you never answered any of that I would come here just to read your singularly personal and amazing writing and because you are a fellow sojourner on a similar path that I recognize.

Cheers to you,

Laura

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Shelley B October 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I want to echo the other commenters: I will read anything you post! Keep on doing what you’re doing.

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Alice October 9, 2012 at 12:01 am

I think our sentiments in this comment section will sound very similar, and hopefully that will show you that we, the readers who are delighted when their Blackberry beeps at a certain time (7.30am for me) because it’s only ever you, are in love with you. Only my amazing sister and off-the-scale phenomenal mother give advice and insight as good as yours.

I don’t know quite how long I’ve been reading for, but I know I have had times when I was happy with my own weight, times when I was eating a small baby in confectionery every day and losing my mind, and times, like now, when I am in a fairly disciplined losing phase. In fact, with ten years of various eating disorders under my belt it is in part down to you that I am gaining a bit of perspective on my current position and giving myself 52 weeks to lose the weight I put on in just 2 months earlier this year. I finally get this ‘lifestyle change’ thing, only I realise it’s not a lifestyle change, it’s a mental change.

So all I am in grateful that you write, whatever it is that you write, because those words are among many other things inspiring, empowering, empathetic, kind, funny and thoughtful. So please just keep being yourself. And if you ever come to England (do a book tour date in London, please!) then I will take you for afternoon tea as a simple thank you for all you have given me.

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Michelle Walker October 9, 2012 at 12:17 am

Andie, you have such an eloquent way with words, no matter what you write. Often times I find myself reading your posts for the sheer enjoyment of your command of language and writing, and wittiness!! You rock, no matter what the topic and my inbox is always happy to ‘see’ you!!
:) Michelle

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Allison Day October 9, 2012 at 2:46 am

I adore you, I adore your blog, and there’s something about the way your write that really touches me. In other words, write whatever you’d like, because I’ll happily read pretty much anything you write. ^_^

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Megan October 9, 2012 at 4:26 am

Isn’t it strange how much we can love people we’ve never met? How we can be nodding our heads to the words of a stranger who writes as if she IS your best friend and familiar with the inner dialogue of your very own brain? YOU, Andi, are a gifted, talented, sensitive, wise woman and, although I have a few years on you, you speak words that always minister to my mind, like the advice of a thoughtful, well worn, world traveled, life-experienced Grandmother (who just happens to be beautiful and ageless :))

Love you Andi girl…I am inspired by your bravery, your conscientious blogging, your personal roller coaster that is so identifiable…anything you choose to share about is something I will read!

God bless you! xoxo

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Heather@SugarDish(Me) October 9, 2012 at 4:36 am

I visit here often- for advice, for recipes, for inspiration. I loved the posts that broke down daily calories with gorgeous photos. I loved the summer writing sabbatical posts with your dear friend. I love the self-exploration, the honesty, and above all the way you knit those words together. Sooooo many of us are in the same place in our minds and hearts as you are, and as you were. It’s comforting to know we aren’t alone. I love the recent posts that encourage interaction and reflection on things like the scale. I still love the meth cupcakes. Thank you thank you for all you do. Variety is the spice of life, right? I think the lot of your readers will basically consume anything you write very very happily.

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Cindy October 9, 2012 at 4:37 am

Love you blog. I learn something from most of your posts. They encourage me. Thank you.

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Michelle October 9, 2012 at 5:22 am

What I love most is that you speak to us like a friend. You show us that you also have your ups and downs and no one is perfect.

Just keep writing your thoughts. Then I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way :)

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Lisa October 9, 2012 at 5:32 am

Keep doing what you’re doing, Andie. To thine own self be true.

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Morgan October 9, 2012 at 6:01 am

Keep doing what you’re doing girl….its working!
Always enjoy reading….all of it!

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Bridget October 9, 2012 at 6:14 am

You are amazing… and I am not just saying that because you are my closest connection to anyone who has met Leonardo DiCaprio! XOXOX Keep on rocking your blog Andie!

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TJ October 9, 2012 at 7:01 am

YOU Rock!!! I love your way with words. I have found your blog to be incredible. You have inspired me and helped me through my weight loss journey. I Thank you for that.

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Terra October 9, 2012 at 7:19 am

I’m anxious to read your book. I think you’re on to something big, and it totally resonates with me. Keep doing this! It’s your destiny.

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Stacy October 9, 2012 at 7:43 am

Andie,
Whether you are having a nitty-gritty day, a reflective day or a dreamy day I will happily read your blog. What I like about your blog is what I think you strive for in your life: a healthy balance.
Thanks for everything!

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Sarah W. October 9, 2012 at 8:18 am

Love your blog and love the content!

I can’t remember how I stumbled across your blog but I love seeing there is a new post from you. Your travel posts {oh how I wish I could do the same} are fun and witty. Your food posts are honest and real.

Keep on keepin on. :)

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Cinnamon Vogue October 9, 2012 at 8:52 am

Andie keep the emotional side. That’s what makes you interesting. There are hundreds of how to articles which are just boring, devoid of all emotion. I was attracted to the site by the Cinnamon Muffins you made. Then reading further, you became quite interesting. The writing style came from the heart and it was deeply personal. So keep up the good work.

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DianeKay October 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

I enjoy reading your blog and trying your recipes . I, too, am on the same journey.
Keep up the great work.

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Lori G. October 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Thank you for being a “real” inspiration Andie! I adore your blog and am grateful that you exist in my virtual heart. Keep up the great work, I love it!

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Lindsay October 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm

You are wonderful. Truly. Look forward to reading your posts. I consider you a good friend and your post great conversation. ( in a non creepy way.). Thank goodness you don’t write the same posts all the time, it means you are human, have questions, and hold opinions.

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Joyce October 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I LOVE your blog and I have been so, so inspired by you. Your courage and honesty is so refreshing. When I found your blog about a year ago my husband and I had decided to shape up and start eating healthier and you provided so many tips and encouragement. He lost 20 and I lost 15 pounds- and our dog lost 10. :) And, we have all kept it off.

I went back to your very first post one afternoon and got lost in your journey. You are adorable! I like how you mix up practical posts with the emotional ones. You do a very good job and I hope that you continue to share your life with all of us.
God Bless!

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Mikayla Jayne October 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I appreciate the personal side to something that can be very clinical.

You wrote a post a week or two ago about counting calories, about how food should be intuitive, but let’s be honest… for those of us who intuitively want to eat an entire bag of chips and dip that’s not the case.

I’ve always felt like counting calories would actually make you hate food. Glorious steak and potatoes shouldn’t be a number. However, by listening to your feelings about, and success with, counting calories I feel that it’s about control, and it gave me a new way to think about what I’m eating, and how it’s affecting me. So I thank you for that. Please don’t change. Your insight is positive motivation for a journey I’ve been trying to start for a while.

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Johnny October 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I Love You just the way you are. DON’T CHANGE A THING!!! It is like I said before, reading you is like curling up with a great book, a warm cup of tea and a very sweet snack! :)

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Jentacular October 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Beautiful. You are awesome, Andrea. Your blog is awesome. People change, writers and their writing change. I love every post you’ve written. Thank you for sharing your exeriences, your reflections, and yourself with all of us.

I look forward to all the adventures and insights that you will write.

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Jentacular October 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

And I can’t wait for your book to come out!

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Tuesdi-Jo October 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I will be honest with you: I do not read the posts you blog about calorie counting and scales and other “diet-y” things, but I have no problem with you posting those. I do realize that I am not the only subscriber out there and that this is your blog, and, while I may personally may not read every post, I come back every time I get an e-mail because, if nothing else, it means you are still posting. That is the big thing. I want you to keep posting because I love reading your posts. I love your writing style and your recipes and your perspective of the things you write about. I am just not interested in the “diet-y” stuff, but either way, I am happy to know you’re out there, and I am one person – not the entire population – so I do not have to be interested in each individual post. I guess what I am trying to say is: Keep up the good work, and thank you for staying committed to the blog for us because I just love it so much. :)

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Leah October 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I am very new to your blog, just found it this week when a Google search for “healthy buffalo chicken” brought me to your (delicious! made it last night!) egg roll recipe. I read a few more posts and felt a great connection with the way you talk about having a healthy lifestyle and maintaining the changes that you worked to achieve with your body. I particularly enjoyed your post that talked about why counting calories works for you, and doesn’t mean you’re a type A control freak. I have a very similar approach and attitude to my own food and exercise logging.

So it sounds like the kinds of posts you might start writing more of, based on what you’ve said in today’s, are exactly the kind of thing I would love to read! The universe must have brought me here at just the right time, through the magic of buffalo chicken :)

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Jane October 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Andie,
You have one of the most genuine voices I’ve ever heard. Just keep on keepin’ it real, as you always have. It is a consistent delight and an inspiration to read your words–whatever it is you choose to post about on any given day.

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Marie-Sophie October 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Awesome post! I’ve noticed the shift in topics and I wondered a bit … I guess I am not enjoying these posts in the same way as the other, more emotional, posts. But I read them, I feel my opinions about the topics come up and, Andie, I think you’re really right in that some people are also really interested in the comments! Because that way, you get sooo many perspectives! And that’s just what you want sometimes! Because it might bring you closer to understanding your own personal experience better! While seeing and respecting others!

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Elise October 10, 2012 at 7:24 am

Andie,
Your blog is absolutely without a doubt one of the most inspirational and uplifting blogs I have ever read (and I read a lot of them!) You have such an honest, true, and friendly voice! I love checking in, and you always help me with my mindset on my own journey to figure out what I want to put in my mouth-and how I feel about it. You should write about whatever you want to write about, it’s working great thus far:)
Thanks for writing!

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Trish October 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

I just LOVE reading anything you have to say. You’re loving, funny, caring, genuine and just a good soul. You motivate others and give us a place to come and be one.

Here’s to you Andie :) Keep on keeping on!

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andrea @ my kinda perfect October 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Oh Andie! I (seriously) love each and every post you publish.

I love your (brutal) honesty…I love your (positive) outlook…and I really really love how you’ve inspired me. I joined a gym and am working to lose weight (lost 6 in the past few weeks, looking at probably 75ish pounds to go) because I want to live. I want to be healthy because there is so much deliciousness out there to enjoy.

Your blog is so refreshing because you’re not preaching. You’re sharing your journey and your life…and frankly, those close-to-the-heart posts are generally my favorite. They make me remember that the bloggers I follow daily (practically obsessively) are real people (just like me). You’re a real person. You had real weight to lose and you lost it. You’ve had real journeys around the world. You eat real food. You’ve learned so many things along the way that are so valuable – they must be shared.

I commend you for each and every pound you lost and every post you’ve published, those close-to-the-heart ones, the recipe ones, all of them…I truly love them all. Every time I visit CYSFD, I feel like I’m visiting a friend. =)

Keep up the great writing.

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Anne B October 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Like your writing. Like your honesty. Good for you. And wish I could reach out and talk to Laura (comment above). She is so not alone. As a friend told me 40 years ago, ‘We’ve all got problems…it’s just a difference in degree.’

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Kristin Murdock October 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm

LOVE YOU Andie. You inspire me every time I read your work. Keep doing your thing, girl. :)

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Rebecca S October 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm

PLEASE keep doing exactly what you are doing! The emotional posts are what kept me reading, but your take on the practical stuff is helping me so much. I felt like even your “how to” type posts are shared gently like a friend. I usually get defensive about any “diet” info because of long held emotional issues. For the first time in my 31 years I feel like I have made peace with food and my body thanks to your blog. Reading about your feelings almost always rings true in a way that I didn’t even realize. The posts with the calorie count information somehow triggered me to make a huge healthy, positive, loving change in my life. It has not felt restrictive and instead has felt completely relaxed and like I’ve been set free of guilt. I know this is long winded, but please feel free to post whatever your heart desires because this is your blog and you are helping so many of us. I truly believe that I stumbled here for a reason like so many others. Many thanks!

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Becky W. October 23, 2012 at 7:20 am

Andie, I LOVE your blog no matter what you are writing about! I have been on a weight loss / self-discovery journey for the past year and I have lost 39 pounds with at least that much to go. I love how you keep the journey “real”. I don’t feel alone when I read your posts (no matter the topic). Thank you so much for putting yourself “out there” for the world to see and learn from!
~Becky

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tiffany @ dynamics of happy November 27, 2012 at 4:35 am

hi Andie,

I just discovered your blog a little while back and have been meaning to write to you about how much i LOVE reading it. I have been reading healthy lifestyle fitness blogs for awhile but realize i’m wasting too much time doing it when i should be studying in medical school, so i’ve narrowed down my reading to maybe 3 blogs, yours being an absolute favorite :)

yes, i appreciate that you have insightful thoughts about your relationship with food and weight loss journey and you talk about those things often, but to me, you and your blog is SO much more than that.

i appreciate your clever and creative wit! i read aloud so many of your posts to my bf verbatim because they’re so funny! you are SO clever with your jokes!!

I appreciate how smart and insightful you are- this really shines through to me!

i. LOVE. your writing! it touches me in a very deep emotional way- though never overweight, i have struggled with food recently. also, I was clinically diagnosed with major depression last year. furthermore, i, too am usually the outgoing happy social person -but sad deep down…THUS there are so many posts of yours that resonated with me and brought tears to my eyes whilst reading.

there are SO many food blogs that have no description whatsoever of the food and it really irks me!!!! because it doesn’t help when someone just says “it tastes good, try it.” i appreciate that you DESCRIBE the food! believe it or not, i don’t find many food bloggers who do this, maybe i had been reading the wrong ones in the past…

hahaha my bf and best friend tell me that i’m the pickiest person they’ve ever met, including about food. though i’m not snobby about it and will eat whatever and not complain about it, if you ASK for my opinion about it, i’ll usually find something wrong with it lol. anyway, but even as a picky person, i can definitely put a lot of weight and trust in your opinion of things! the fact that many of the foods you post are from cooks illustrated, and that rao’s is your fav pasta sauce are just 2 reasons why i trust your opinion.

so to sum it all up, i think i’m in love with you and can we please be BFF’s. i have started reading your blog from the first post, sorry i hope that’s not creepy lol.

and besides reading, i can’t wait to try a lot more of your recipes!

thanks and keep up the great work!!!!!!

warmly,
tiffany

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Renny January 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

I myself have known a 10 year struggle of compulsive overeating. I have seen food as my best friend, my enemy and now as fuel for my body. I love your blog and respect the wisdom and honesty behind your words.

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Sam January 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I just found your blog on Pinterest and have only read some of your posts so far but I’ve already found myself thinking “yes, I know exactly what she’s talking about.” I will definitely be visiting your blog again!

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Celia February 18, 2013 at 12:02 am

Thank you Andie. I just discovered your blog and am truly inspired. Thank you for just being here and being you. Your words have found me at an optimal time.

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