I don’t remember this, but apparently sometime last week I changed my name to Shawna, moved to Austin, Texas, and became a spokesmodel for a resveratrol weight-loss product.
No wonder I’ve been so tired.
This is the third time (that I’m aware of) that a “weight-loss company” has stolen a photo from my website and used my image to sell their crazy products. The first time, a “lose belly fat by obeying one rule” scam cropped a photo of my (fully clothed) stomach. I was appalled and flattered at the same time, like I’d been whistled at by construction workers. The second time, a weight-loss “blog” selling acai berry pills included a link to my website, inferring that I used their product to lose weight. Of course anyone who clicked on the link would soon learn that I didn’t use a product to lose weight, but I was still bothered by the reference. (I wrote about it in January. Click here to view.)
This time, the before/after shots from the homepage of my original website, Lynn’s Journey, are being used to sell something called ResV. I know I shouldn’t “promote” the site by giving out the address here, but I want you to see just how ballsy these folks are. Click here to see the site. Scroll down…you’ll see me halfway down on the right. Honestly, I’m not sure what offends me more: that they’re using my image to sell a product I would never use or endorse, or that the “testimonial” they attribute to me is so poorly written. The image is clearly me, but the writing? Not so much.
I’m not as ticked this time as I was the first two times. First of all, there’s little I can do to have my images removed from these fake sites. I tried, ad nauseum, in the past to contact someone, but all they want is your credit card number. Second, I’ve come to accept that it’s just my photo, not my story or real name. I know who I am. I know my story. My image is nothing without my story. Besides, if someone is buying ResV or acai berries or belly fat weight-loss products to lose weight, my story of losing weight through a healthy diet and NO supplements won’t interest them much.
I’m also posting this blog on Refuse to Regain because I’d like to reach as many readers as I can for feedback. The Internet is, in many ways, a free-for-all for cheaters, scammers and plagiarists. I’d like to know: 1) If you have a website, has your image been stolen to promote a product you did not endorse; and 2) How did you handle the situation (or how would you handle it if it were to happen)? As always, leave a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now on to the carb love. Whitney Houston’s voice was in my head last Sunday morning, as she is every time I anticipate lunch with my oldest daughter at our favorite western PA restaurant: North Country Brewing Company. Thank god Slippery Rock is no longer a “dry” town because this place serves up some mighty fine beer and PA wine. (The new Rosabella Pinot Grigio from Narcisi Winery is to die for, and I’m not usually a sweetish kind of wine lover.)
But I don’t love North Country for the drink. Oh no, my friends. I love North Country for the pita and hummus and field green salad with feta, walnuts, artichokes and green beans.
The salad is self-explanatory…and secondary, actually. It’s the hummus and pita….oh my….that make me so happy and have me singing my version of a Whitney Houston song.
Their chef makes a new hummus every day and every one I’ve had is gooooood (said in my best Elaine Benes accent). And I don’t know if it’s homemade, but the pita they serve with it is gooooooood, too. I mean “worth-every-carb-calorie” good.
The chef isn’t afraid to combine hot with mellow and savory with sweet. His hummus is always a taste explosion. And the pita is thick and white, grilled and a little sweet. It fills you up real quick, but it’s worth saving every last calorie you allot for the day just to savor more than a quick sample.
Carbs like this have become a once-in-awhile treat, unlike when I was obese and didn’t give carbs a second thought. I ate them regularly – and often primarily – as though they were a right. I bought whole wheat bagels and whole wheat English muffins and whole wheat pizza dough thinking I was eating “healthy,” but they were wreaking havoc with my body. It was only when I broke down my food intake into food groups (something I did months after I’d reached goal, not while I was losing weight), that I saw and felt the affects of carbohydrates on my body. Too many breads, crackers, cereals or fruits and I bloat up and gain weight. That’s why they’ve become once-in-awhile or tightly controlled foods. And that’s what makes the pita and hummus so special.
With my apologies to Ms. Houston, here’s the song (my adaptation) that goes through my head every time I anticipate the hummus and pita at North Country – a place, I assure you, I only eat at once a month at the most. It would be too dangerous otherwise.
Savin’ All My Carbs For You (aka Savin’ All My Love For You)
A few stolen moments is all that we share
You’ve got your calories, and they feel like air
Though I try to resist, I put you on my list
Cause no other carb’s gonna do
So I’m saving all my carbs for you
No other woman, is gonna love you more
Cause this lunch is the lunch, that I’m ready to munch
We’ll be eating carbs the whole hour through
So I’m saving all my carbs
Yeah I’m saving all my carbin’
Yes I’m saving all my carbs for you
For you, for you