Friday, February 6, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

The New And Improved Chef E

I'm doing it, losing weight.

Some do not believe bariatric surgery, RNY, or by pass as some call it, is a real way to lose, because of the doctor's making your stomach into a pouch the size of an egg. It is though. Why? Because we, the patients have to maintain it and add exercise into our daily routine.

How did I get so fat, 338 lbs? It is a long story, but years ago I lost my precious daughter, then moved, twice, and tried to restart my catering business and chef career over, and over, and again. Eventually (little violins playing right about here) I honored my husbands wishes and promised not to start any other business up when my cafe closed, teaching jobs ran dry, not to mention other food related and poor economy sadness hit our area. It happened in Dallas ten years before we moved, and the reason why we moved to being with, hubs lost his job (technical IT work left the Dallas area).

I found myself home, bothered by some things, so I stuffed my face and locked myself in for about three years. I even slowed down on blogging (some may have noticed).

Well, I'm back, my new business (with the help of hubs) and career in publishing and writing has been only getting better. I still have straggler chef clients I work for here and there. I also do consulting work for the state of NJ. I'm happy.

I joined the gym again, and told by my nutritionist and dietitian to get out of the house more, I do. My traveling stuff began again, so that has me on the road, a lot this year.

My heaviest weight was 338 October 2013, and when I was told I have diabetes, officially. I saw a bariatric doctor in February, he set me up with the hoops you go through, but then I discovered there was an issue with Barrett's Esophagus, surgery was halted. Talk about "here we go again!" and depression. I rescheduled the endoscopy for six months, it had gotten better. My only option due to reflux and the chance of cancer in the stomach or throat, to do the bypass over the sleeve. So I gave in and went with it over no surgery and only more weight gain.

I woke up from surgery November 19th and said, "No regrets." The biggest battle is the eating. Right now I am limited, but I get what I need, a heavy protein diet. I'm consistently losing and in the gym. I am tired right now, but have heard it gets better. I feel young again. (photo above is me at 23, I didn't grow up over weight, was always fit).

The say the honeymoon period is over after two months with this surgery, but not for me! I had to fight and still am. I only wish this bragging came earlier. A reason I won't share, but it feels good to come back in full force. Not to mention my own book, My South By Southwest is doing really well.

Never give up! I really hadn't...

Me last week in VA at a writers conference. I read as well as my pub company sold books. I will show a full view of my body in a few months. I still  have middle body fat that needs to go. Hubs says I am still sexy, no matter, and he should know!

Peace everyone...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Just A Share

I learned today a former acquaintance passed away, not sure when or how. I have no feelings either way, not happy, which some might find rude if I was; nor sad, we did not have a good re-pore between us. He was a stalker towards me, and I had filed a restraining order against him (called the  police many times). He called me consistently on the phone over a course of three years, usually drinking late at night. I truly was in true fear of my safety. He was cruel, snarky, and plain mean in his actions. He often told people it was me, that I was a liar and a fake. That I took his actions wrong. Strong personalities like his are narcissistic in nature, bullies.

Sure I am a grown woman, but what most didn't understand is I had been robbed, raped, and attacked by two men like him. You are emotionally scared, some call it PTSD in today's terms. It never goes away.

There was a laugh when he suddenly added "Chef" to his name a few years ago, after he told me you had to earn it, as if I hadn't, when I worked in the business for 30 plus years, attended and worked for a culinary school, as well as worked as executive chef on several jobs.

He caught me on the tale end of my cafe and catering business, asking me for a job on the phone once. I was avoiding him on the fact of his strong personality, but the real truth was the economy hit hard here, and in my area no one hires you if they have not tasted your food. Many catering companies here have been a round for a long time, word of mouth, and many closed shortly afterwards. I worked as a personal chef for four years, on the side, but my clients daughter passed from the same illness my own daughter had eight years prior, I had to just call it quits, and re-invent myself. Things were just bad, but I had no work for him or anyone at that time.

I was happy to see him get into the business he wanted so badly, because it meant he might leave me alone. I had to remove comments from my food blog because of him, and added them back to this one. He tried to friend me on Facebook when I moved there, and I had to block him and the false names he used. I hoped he would give up.

Eventually he did stop bothering me. He stopped calling and coming over here to leave me comments. He did not run me off of the blogging world as he had wanted, I just found myself busy with my new business and writing. I do credit him for pushing me in that direction, I wanted to prove to him I was a good poet and writer, so thank you for that one old boy. I am sorry your son has to go it alone without you. I always felt his son deserved better.

Many of my foodie friends had no idea, one did, she was a great help to me during those times, and even agreed his personality was strong for my fears. I am grateful for her help and advise. I tried to move on, and did.

Being hateful all these years (since 07) wasn't me. I do not wish for anyone to fall prey to illness or even death. All I wanted for was for this person to stop being mean to others, he did not own the net, blogs, or even the food environment, and I did hear he did what he did to me often enough. Most thought he was such a nice guy, granted he did have some talent (was great at mimicking others, and often admitted it). I knew better.

Okay enough, I just had to say what was on my mind. I was taught to get it out in the open, and it is easier to move on.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My South By Southwest: A Cast Iron Tempo Recollection by Elizabeth Akin Stelling

The book is finished. The launch is beginning. I've got the beginnings of the road tour, started this past week. Things are just way busy, it is more like before I began blogging. I still work for a local Princeton family, cooking and helping with their three daughters. I still cook, write, am running the publishing company, and am having a darn good time at it all.

My book was edited by three different people over the course of last year til last month. I feel really good about what it holds, my new voice, and have decided to call myself an old western revivalist poet. Just seems to fit.

I mostly post on Facebook now, for private reasons, and it is better to talk one-on-one over there. I hope all of you are doing well. I hope you are living out your days in peace. I want the best for even the snarkiest of you. Seriously, it's how I roll.

Here are some reviews for my book-

I've never been to Texas but after reading Elizabeth Akin Stellings' fine book it seems like I have. It's better than a Lonely Planet Guide in that the poet marks every locale with personal references. You learn more about Texas than if you went there. It preserves the past without sinking into nostalgia. It's a gritty description of a poet's love of a place that is gone, except in her memory and images. She shows how the land intersects with her life. She has a visual sense, shifting from the personal to the landscape, like a city scene and a still life merged together. I've never read anything like it. She proves through her writing that borders are just a state of mind.

        -       Hal Sirowitz
                   Former Poet Laureate Queens, NY
1                 1994 Recipient of NEA Fellowship, Poetry

Elizabeth Akin Stelling’s My South by Southwest presents a childhood without fences − just yards and yards of Texas fields and skies.  Her language is dense and fresh and very moving − like the surprise of falling asleep on freshly washed sheets.

          -       Shelby Stephenson, Poet
                     Former Poetry Editor, Pembroke Magazine

To recall something is to remember something from the past, to find a special moment in time and grant new life to it. Elizabeth Akin Stelling’s My South by Southwest Recollection grants new life to all regions of Texas, with a final movement east to New Jersey. The collection begins with childhood memories of cowboy culture, of boots and stirrups, of cornbread and beans, and then it culminates in one woman’s recollection of her beloved past and all of its precious images.

Stelling chooses to define her own poetics in My South by Southwest Recollection. Rather than utilizing traditional poetic forms or mechanics, she writes in the style of the Beat Generation by breaking lines for sound and rhythmic emphasis. By doing this, Stelling mimics the musical, local cultures of Texas. 

By using Texan images, dialects, and music, Stelling writes a Western experience with an inspired voice.
                                       -       Andrew Jarvis, Poet & Editor

My South by Southwest: A Cast Iron Tempo Recollection  is a provocative collection that chronicles a special quietude inside thunderstorms that unsettle both earth and heart. Elizabeth Akin Stelling is a poet prospecting as storyteller.  She masterfully unearths emotional trapdoors, unexpected complexities, humor, and the resiliency of mature love. These poems celebrate triumph, fearless honesty, and the pursuit of grace. Elizabeth Akin Stelling drowns the page in red clay misery. Her two step small talk is the language of power needed for the price you pay to roam free in harsh country.

-       Jaki Shelton Green, Author, Breath of the Song
      Piedmont, NC Poet Laureate

Go here to purchase my book- My South By Southwest: A Cast Iron Tempo Recollection