My Story

The Hungry Glutton is a play on words because a glutton is never hungry.  We don't allow ourselves to be.  I remember when my weight was rapidly spiraling out of control.  I would eat because it tasted good, because I was bored, because everyone else was, because I was happy, because I was sad, because it was going to go to waste if I didn't, but RARELY because I was hungry. As much as we hungry gluttons would like to "take control of our lives" and "stick to a healthy diet"..........diets scare the s#!% out of us! When we hear the word diet a few key words come to mind: bird and/or rabbit food, spending all day in the kitchen, denying our sweet tooth of its natural rights, and the WORST one of all....being hungry.

I developed an innate love of food from an early age.  My father's side of the family was Italian and my mother's family is as Southern as they come.  I was surrounded by a plethora of food-loving cultures.  Pasta, sausage, lasagna, and bread on my father's side and fried chicken, pig roasts, and casseroles made from things I didn't even know could be made into casseroles on my mom's side.
My grandma's pantry was like a trip to Toy 'R' Us for me...
there was always something fun for me to get into.
Just look at that guilty chocolate-covered face
From the age of 10 I was aware of, and struggled with, my weight.  I remember feeling insecure and reclusive.  Kids can be mean. At lunch, my skinny friends would whip out their pizza, chips, Lunchables, Kid Cuisines, and sandwiches oozing with real mayo and cheese, sigh.  They would look, all disgusted-like, at my lunch of a hard-boiled egg, raw carrots, and an apple and sneer "Ugh! What is that?!" I became so embarrassed that I actually stopped eating lunch at school.  I tried everything: Atkins, Quick Weight Loss, Scarsdale, Body for Life, etc but the pounds kept coming back with a vengeance.
It didn't help that I lived in the hospital for bladder and kidney problems and wasn't very active.  I had to have numerous surgeries until the age of 13 (T&A, carrier of strep for a year, mono, asthma, shots for allergies, bilateral reimplants of both ureters, eye patch to correct vision, bladder augmentation, emergency abscess removal.....long story short I was a sick kid).  I soon discovered that the mere mention of abdominal or lower back pain to my mother would guarantee a note to my gym teacher  excusing me from (insert specific unwanted form of physical exertion here) and I took full advantage of that.
When I was 16, my parents paid for me to have liposuction.  I know I will get some hateful, condescending response from this admission, but they saw I was miserable and trying as hard as anyone could to lose the weight and they took pity on me.  A month after the surgery, however, I still weighed and looked the same.  I was crushed, I returned to the plastic surgeon with tears in my eyes and he said he could put me on a steroid and diuretic and see if that helped the surgery swelling at all.  Every day the pounds kept falling off.  I went from 150 lbs to 115 lbs in a month! The doctor was even baffled, the only thing we could link this phenomenon to is the fact that I had severe kidney problems that weren't diagnosed til I was 5, and that maybe my kidneys didn't excrete fluid the way a normal person's should.

I still felt fat though...I remember running to the bathroom in between classes and looking in the mirror to make sure.  When you lose a lot of weight that quickly, it takes a while for your brain to catch up to your body.  It didn't really hit me until one day when I offered up a slice of pizza to one of my friends and she said "I can't eat that...we can't all eat whatever we want and be bone skinny Amanda!" I had arrived...I was finally one of those girls that people looked at and thought that I gave no thought to what I ate.  Truth was, I couldn't even smell a cookie without gaining 5 lbs and I was actually counting every calorie in that oh-so-rare slice of pizza and thinking "it'll be a salad sans dressing for you tonight" lol.
A newly skinny and blonde me
Senior Spring Break 2003
Senior Prom
The problem with finding out that I retained an ungodly amount of fluid is that I began to think "what if I AM one of those people that can eat whatever they want and not gain weight?!" I mean, all these years of trying and struggling just to find out I was actually skinny under all that fluid retention, maybe I didn't have to try as hard as I had been trying my whole life..... I graduated from high school and went to UGA and that is when the experimenting began.  Most people, when they go to college, experiment with drugs, sex, and alcohol, but I could have cared less about those things.  My drug of choice was a little thing called carbohydrates and my parents didn't have to worry about me getting pregnant.  If they popped into my apartment, the only thing they would catch me in bed with was a bowl of Ramen and potato chip crumbs.

The food plan is dangerous at big Universities.  I could get whatever my heart desired any time it desired it and what my heart desired was gallons of sweet tea, pizza, ice cream, pasta, hamburgers, and french fries (and yes, sometimes it desired all of these things at once).  These were things that I had deprived myself of my whole life and I released the kraken so to speak. Freshmen 15 turned into freshman 20, 25, 30... I stopped getting on the scale, which is the worst thing you can do once you reach your goal weight.  Before I knew it I went from size 2, 115 pounds to a size 13, 190 pounds.  Unlike insecure, reclusive chubby me in middle school, however, fat college me had blossomed into the funny outgoing fat girl.  I would cut up and poke fun at my weight and act like I didn't care, but I did.

I started watching what I ate again, but after a couple months when I would get on the scale, realize I had "only" lost 10 lbs, do the math, become overwhelmed with the long road ahead, and quit.  There was always a good reason to "start tomorrow." A birthday party, a girls night out, a holiday, anniversary, the need for a quick fix at McDonalds, whatever! After years of thinking "Man! If I had started 12 months ago I would be there now" :-( I couldn't take it anymore.  I found myself online looking at fat camps, but the ones for adults were so unnecessarily extravagant (aka expensive).  I didn't need a getaway, spa, health retreat with horseback riding...I needed a boot camp that doled out small rations of food for a good 6 months.

Then I found it! Lap Band.  It was too expensive in the states, but in good ol' Mexico, you can have em slap a band on you for about $5,000.  I called up the hospital and began asking questions and they presented me with another option called a gastric sleeve (also called total gastric vertical plication).  Unlike a gastric bypass, the sleeve is far less invasive and there are far less possible complications and, unlike the Lap Band, the sleeve won't slip and your body won't reject it.  After some research I thought it was the perfect solution (I know I'm going to get some flack for saying that as well).  It was scary.  I LOVED food.  I loved to COOK IT.  I loved to EAT IT.  I loved to TALK ABOUT IT.  What if my relationship with food changed? I was very attached to that relationship.  I had been cultivating it for years! Then it hit me, an unhealthy relationship HAD to change.  I would have a different relationship with food, but it would be a healthy one.

I still love food, I still talk about it all the time, read about it, cook it, eat it, but now I eat healthy food and channel my energy more toward the planning side of what I'm going to eat and when, than my prior impulse eating habits.  I write down everything I eat! That is the key to keeping off the weight...consciousness, awareness.

The purpose of my blog is to teach you what I have learned the hard way through years and years and years of dieting and share with you tips and recipes to help you in your journey.  I still haven't reached my goal yet, 25 lbs to go! So, selfishly, I want to share the last part of my journey with you as well and sharing it with others who are struggling kinda makes me feel like I'm not the only one with an egg, carrots, and an apple at the middle school lunch table :-)

But enough about me already.  Let's talk about you and the things you can do in order to NOT do the things that I've done........


  1. You are AMAZING!!! Way to go on this new blog and I KNOW you will be an inspiration to sooooo many, girlfriend. LOVE YOU!

  2. By the way, you're an inspiration to ME!

  3. Unbelievable honesty! That is what you will get from Amanda. I should know because I am her father. As I read this blog I just knew she couldn't mention her lipo, but she did. Then I thought she can't mention the gastric surgery, but once again she did. Opening herself up for the world to judge. The only reason one would open up like this is to help others. That's my Amanda and I am so proud of her!! You Go Girl!
    Oh by the way. Try her recipes. They are amazing!!

  4. It was so nice to meet you Saturday. I love your blog! Thanks for telling me about it. I can't wait to try some of your recipes, yummy!