One year ago, today I started teaching cooking classes at Chuck’s Produce & Street Market. Last night, along with 28 food enthusiasts — family included, I celebrated my one year anniversary and the release of my NEW cookbook Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box. To commemorate the special night I wore the same apron I wore the first class and created the same delicious Asian & Mediterranean inspired Lettuce Wraps (recipe in cookbook).
Thanks to the foodies who have come out time and time again to support me, my family — for your love, and to the staff of Chuck’s for allowing me to use your beautiful kitchen to share my love of good food with the community.
Photos by Cassie Hill
I am a product – and now a survivor – of childhood obesity. As a child, my family always told me that my extra weight was merely baby fat and I’d eventually grow out of it. I never did. Instead, my childhood is filled with memories of not being able to ride a bike, flattening its training wheels from being over the recommended weight, and avoiding P.E. classes by any means necessary. For years, I wore my fatness like a wounded soldier wears a Purple Heart - with pride. I owned the look. I dressed it up. I worked the room. There wasn't a skinny girl who intimidated me. I made sure my hair was laid just right. Nails polished. Outfits coordinated to the tee. Accessories to compliment every outfit. But everyone has a breaking point, and mine came in the spring of 2004 when I tipped the scale at nearly 400 pounds 388 to be exact. I was MISERABLE trapped inside of that body. I no longer wore my Purple Heart with pride. Rather, I was ashamed and frightened. Ashamed that I had allowed food to become my everything – frightened I would die because of it. Drastic times called for drastic measures...
Today, I’m bound and determined to live a better, healthier, active lifestyle. I realize I’m no longer a passenger in my life, I’m the driver. I’m overcoming my inhibitions and I’m slowly but surely saying farewell to my old childhood nemesis, obesity. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!