Tag Archives: health

New Blog Post – “Just like riding a bike”

I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot, and what it means to be a blogger. I decided early on that this wasn’t going to be a place for recipes or before and after photos, I thought this would keep me accountable. I assumed that with an audience present, I would stay focused on fat loss because I wouldn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of failure (which as we know is what happens with most diets). But as it turns out, I don’t need this blog to remain accountable. This task hasn’t kept me honest or prevented me from eating donuts. I EAT donuts, but I’ve also lost over 60 pounds since I joined Weight Watchers last December. I’ve done the work, with plenty of difficult, frustrating, and down right bad weeks, but I’ve done the work. So if the blog isn’t about accountability, what is it for?

I do not intend to post reviews of consumer products or other weight loss trends/fads. I’m not a doctor and can’t provide actual health recommendations. I’m just a story teller who can occasionally craft a meaningful (possibly heartfelt) narrative. I can rant and rave and share my point of view. I can yell down a well. So the truth is this blog may only be self-gratifying, a glorified journal of sorts. But it has been an important part of my journey. I’ve written and shared things that I needed to say out loud. I don’t know the responsibility of the blogger and I know there are a bazillion weight loss blogs, possibly of greater substance, but I like it here. So on with the show.

I feel compelled to share a few fears that have come to the forefront of my thoughts recently. The first is that I am afraid to ride a bike. I know HOW to ride, I’m just afraid to ride again. I learned to ride a bike when I was 7 or 8. I remember my parents got me a blue BMX for Christmas and the training wheels came off that same day as I obsessively tried again and again to hold myself upright on the bike. I most certainly lost hours of my childhood to dirt bike adventures and earned my share of scraped knees and punishments for unauthorized ventures beyond my two block riding radius. But now I think I’m just too fat and I won’t have the core strength to maintain my balance. I’m afraid to fall. I’m afraid to try. So what do you do when riding a bike isn’t “just like riding a bike”? What if I fail?

Number two fear – and this one may actually just be ridiculous – running. I am afraid to run. Again, I feel to heavy. Like what if I crush my little leg bones because of all this weight? What if my lungs burst from the burn of exertion? Or what if my heart rate just gets to high and I collapse? My rational self knows these are petty fears. I won’t crush my legs, hell they’ve been carrying me around for a long while now and didn’t cry mercy 60lbs ago, I think they are in it for the long haul. And here’s a really neat trick, if my lungs or heart or ankle or head hurts too much, I can STOP. I can go back to walking, or catch my breath, or text my mom 911.

So I’m actively trying to alleviate this fear. I have started Couch to 5k, and I’m still much closer to the couch than running a 5k, but I’m jogging is spurts and I’m not dead yet. So about this bike riding, I’m trying to imagine the worst that could reasonably happen. Say I fall from the oh so steep height of my bike (and yes I do actually own a bike), that’s only a mere 5 feet 4 inches (my wee little height). I won’t even humor the thought of auto accidents because well that wouldn’t be #winning.

So like when I was 7, what if I just committed to the task until I mastered it and then the figurative training wheels could come off. I think back to starting this blog because I thought I would fail without it, but turned out I didn’t need it for that. And for every bad day or week I’ve had trying to lose weight, I haven’t given in to the fear that I couldn’t ultimately get it done. So I’m prob not gonna drag my bike down a flight of stairs and hop on tonight, but hey I might. But certainly, very soon. The beauty in the revelation of these fears is that I have a desire to conquer them.

Thanks for reading.

I borrowed this from the mode knit blog (http://modeknit.com/2011/09/)

I borrowed this from the mode knit blog (http://modeknit.com/2011/09/)

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The Writing Diet

I can’t believe it has been three months since I have posted. That is absurd. I suppose that is what happens with some dieters, we lose our motivation, or life kicks in gear and focusing on the weight loss isn’t the number one priority. Well I am happy to report, that I am still going strong on my weight loss journey. Down a total of 53.8 pounds after 36 weeks on weight watchers. I am still writing down everything I eat. I am still cursing donuts, french fries, pizza, and ice cream (especially in the form of the oh so innocent milkshake). I’m still wearing two activity monitors all day everyday. But I’m not blogging as intended because honestly I thought I could lose the weight faster. I thought I would be immune to life hacks. I thought I was the rock star of weight loss. In the beginning I set all these arbitrary goals: lose x by this opening night, then x by summer, then another x by this friend’s wedding. And none of them happened.

When I couldn’t meet those little goals I had set for myself, the shame set in. Never mind that I have had 29 losses, because all 36 should have been losses. Never mind that my average weekly loss is 1.5lbs, because I should be miraculously losing 5lbs every week. I stopped blogging because I wanted to show off, and all I had to show was a real life up and down ordinary weight loss struggle-tale.

Struggle-tale, not fairy-tale. No I just ate less and exercised more and viola I am now super skinny and everyone adores me, but a this is the body I live in today and it’s kinda cool because it carried me from 298.2 to 244.4 and fits in a large t-shirt now and my thighs still kiss but I kinda think thighs are meant to kiss and hey there is some extra strap left over on this seat belt on the plane now and wait I think I actually feel full and who the heck knew kale tasted so good or this roasted red pepper humus dip type stuff that you couldn’t have paid me to taste just 38 weeks ago is like magic happening in my mouth kinda tale. An all this while living, working, parenting in three states and two time zones story. A writing, directing, teaching, loving, laughing, crying, starting new, saying good bye to old, losing and longing story. It is not about miracles, it is about possibles. And it is all mine to tell. Sorry to have kept you waiting. More sorry to have kept myself hiding.

So I am still working on a new body, just probably not by tomorrow. Not in time for your wedding or a cousin’s graduation. Not in time for our weekend get-away, or probably even when the next bikini season rolls around. But I’ll get there. In the time it takes.

I’ve started Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” again (many people know these pages are the key component to Cameron’s The Artist Way program for creative recovery, I am following her similar program called The Writing Diet), so I am writing everyday friends, and I plan to share here more often.

Thanks for reading.

This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine

I haven’t blogged in 3 weeks. Yikes! The upside is that my lack of posts has nothing to do with my stick-to-it-tivy. I’m still working my program and have lost over 40 pounds.

I haven’t blogged because I’ve been busy. Can you imagine? No time to sit and write a little creative non-fiction. At first I thought, “well clearly I haven’t blogged because I’m on top of my shit. I have no issues to unpack, and since I promised no asinine recipes or cray photos, the blog can wait.” Then this happened.

Now I am no where in this photo, but someone on an internet forum said the person on the left (an actor in costume) looked like me. Now that’s some bullshit. But the suggestion caused me to get real with myself about perception. How I perceive myself and to what extent I care how others perceive me.

A co-relative yet independent event happened. In the midst of some non-diet related diversity and inclusion training, I had a breakdown. Now I believe that breakdowns equal breakthroughs (work with me on this one), so I’m thankful.

We worked on this pie chart of privilege and I quickly realized that of race, age, gender, nationality, class, religion, ability, sexual orientation, I experience little privilege. Some, but little. We then did the good ole authority, power, and influence game during which I discovered that I play small.

That made me cry.

So back to the picture…I know I don’t look like the actor in that photo (who happens to be a 20 year old young man). But I often FEEL like I do. So I BEHAVE like I do. You know, the “so you think, so you feel, so you do” adage…

When I meet new people I’m a bit reserved. I tell people I’m shy, an introvert, and those that really know me are like “really?” I get it now, I play small. I try to make myself invisible until I have assessed a situation and ensured that it is “safe.” This safety resting in the ability of my humor, wit, or intelligence to outshine my fear, doubt, and inadequacies.

I don’t didn’t think I am was good enough. EVER. F that ish. Imma play like Viola Davis is in my ear telling me I’m kind and smart.

I hope to maybe blog about other more exciting things like the book recommendations I have received since I’ve started this journey. Or the impact I’ve had on a few friends who have started their own weight loss journeys on the WW plan.

French Fries are the Devil’s work

Ok. I know I’m behind on posting. My bad. So I am crawling toward a 40lb weight loss total. I want it so bad. Intellectually. There is some emotional barrier however that has me dancing w/ old habits. I’m a social eater. While everyone else is boozing it up, I’m ordering wings & things. Today it was French fries (which could have only been invented by a sadist). Last week FroYo and home baked cookies. But here’s the thing, for 3 months I did fine. I said no, or ordered water, or perhaps a salad. So the issue isn’t my will power or even determination. It’s fear.

I’m afraid to have the thing I want most. In large part it’s because I don’t believe I’ll ever be thin. I never have been. Don’t even know if its possible. What if I really am a rare breed – the last big boned girl around? So, if I stop in the middle of the road I don’t have to face the disappointment of getting to the other side and not liking what’s (who’s) there. I know how to be fat. I know how to dress fat, shop fat, eat fat, make jokes fat, be single fat, be career driven fat. I know who I am fat, how to behave in social settings, what others expect of me, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, I know that being fat renders me invisible in the most ironic of ways. And when invisible the stakes are low.

So the more people say to me “wow 40lbs,” the more I stand in the road. The more they see me, the more I am afraid. Afraid that once my amour (read fat) is gone, I still won’t be good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or talented enough. I also won’t have my golden ticket (read excuse) to ride the this is why my life sucks bus. So I’ve been stalled in the middle of the road. The thing is, the road isn’t a safe place to hang out, and I don’t want to be on fat street anymore. So I’m crossing, but it’s some scary shit. I don’t know if I’ll find myself on skinny street or if I’ll barely get out of the medically morbidly obese woods, but I imagine it’d be a joy to sit in a chair with my legs crossed. I figure my friends will appreciate that we can just go to the bar not need to search for the last open kitchen on earth on one of our after hour adventures. And if the truth is that I’m not something or the other enough, then it’s time I got to work on that narrative.

Thanks for reading

Fall Back, Spring Forward

A few years ago, the mysterious powers that be decided that the Daylight Savings period of the year should be longer. This sun worshipping California native with a thing for mood enhancing vitamin D was thrilled. I don’t much follow the science of it, but I know once a year we fall back and once a year we spring forward.

How apropos that tomorrow we spring forward, when this past week I felt like I fell back. I fell back into a few old habits, I fell back into pizza, mozzarella sticks, hot fudge topping, bread, and Malibu & pineapple juice.

Here’s the thing that will prompt your “ain’t nobody got time for that reflex,” last week I lost 1.4 pounds. On the program I’m on (weight watchers) it’s recommended that we lose between .5-2 pounds a week, so I’m at the higher end. Great! Also WW, being an accountability program, not necessarily a food restricted diet allows me to spend my daily & weekly points pretty much however I choose (the program operates on a point system blah blah blah). I did not end the week in the red. I still had a handful of spare points. But it felt like a close call. I felt like I failed.

All week I felt like I was fighting against myself. Temptation felt ever present and more than once I fell. The weight loss is good…who am I kidding, it’s frickin GREAT! And yeah I did it in a week when I had froyo, booze, fried cheese, and my arch nemesis pizza. That would have made a past version of me so happy, “I can still eat the foods I love…” But I don’t wanna love those foods anymore, I don’t wanna play Russian roulette with the shit that got me to this size in the first place. I just felt like I was somehow beating the system. Like I was cheating and if I didn’t reign it in I would spiral out of control.

I know people say everything in moderation, but for some of us that isn’t true. Some of us have to give up certain things, say goodbye to a vice maybe even a friend. So on my excel spreadsheet last week was a success, but emotionally I fell. It was scary, I was scared, standing in the quick sand of “if I order that second slice…”

I’m tired of feeling out of control or at the mercy of food. So that was my one fall back for the year (positive thinking people). Here’s to springing forward this week.

Thanks for reading

The I’m feelin some kinda way blog post…

On falling in love while fat…

So I’m a serial crusher. Like I’m always swooning over some gorgeous human being who probably got caught in my web because he/she/it/they kindly smiled in my direction. The math there is simple, if you’re nice to me I’ll probably fall in love with you.

NBD right? Well here’s the problem – the first problem – why do I think so low of myself that I’m gawking over someone because of their show of basic human kindness. A smile is nice, a friendly greeting, etc. but am I so unaccustomed to decency that when I encountered, I dive head first into attraction? I must be. That is just awful. That my expectation is that people will shun me, walk past without a greeting, or silently judge me because I take up more than my share of the sidewalk. And poor fellas that are just being nice guys can’t just be nice to me w/o me going gaga. Well I hope to change this.

Here’s how I am going to do that: I will not put my head down as I take up more than half of the sidewalk, because, well damn it, go around. I side step for your toy size puppies and untethered children. We’ll just have to negotiate the walk way together. I will also smile more, even if it means I’ll look like I have 7 chins. I am working daily on my jaw line exercises, and guess what? I have to do so many reps & sets of smiling. Mine as well throw it in someone’s direction.

Here is problem number two. Though I get all school girl crushy, I never have any expectation that my crush will reciprocate because I don’t didn’t think I was attractive. Now don’t get me wrong, I think I’m cool af. I would totally hang out with me. But I’m pretty sure I’d keep me in the friend zone cause, well, I’m not attracted to fat people.

I think I’ve been ashamed of my body for so long that I just assume no one finds me attractive because, here is the obvious, I don’t. So what am I to do? Wicked crush after wicked crush that only reaffirm my negative self talk. Oy vey.

And worse yet, I don’t know how to be thin. What if after I lose 113lbs (well less the 25 I’ve already loss, but medically I’ll still need to lose 40 more fuck it, back on topic), I resent people who find me attractive who wouldn’t look my way when I was fat?

What if the guiltiest of those is me?

So you see why the songs in my last blog aren’t helping.

Well here is the proposed solution…get over myself and get out the damn way. I’m cute! And yes I’m fat (today). But I am a whole host of other things too. I would hope that any deterrent my fat presents, my charm and wit, and loyalty, and passion, and bad taste in movies and music and trashy novels can overcome.

And so say I don’t find love until I’ve lost a bunch of weight…it is what it is…and I’ll take it.

Thanks for reading

I’ve lost 25 lbs, but that’s not what this blog post is about

So what is it about? Music and self esteem. So I’m real big into pop music, as in popular, as in R&B, hip-hop, bubble gum, boy band, American Idol winners type stuff etc etc.

Now my teenage sister and tween daughter have recently introduced me to One Direction, and thanks to a YouTube cover by my favorite actor on SMASH (Leslie Odom Jr. who plays Sam), I’ve now discovered Bruno Mars. So as I’m getting familiar with my new guys, and keeping my new, Christmas present to myself, Ne-Yo album on heavy iPod rotation I make a little discovery.

Someone thinks writing songs about low self esteem women is a good idea. Now I don’t wanna hate on my boys, but with lyrics that literally go “let me love you until you learn to love yourself,” “you don’t know you’re beautiful and that’s what makes you beautiful,” and “when I compliment her she won’t believe me…it’s so, sad to think that she don’t see what I see.” How can I not raise my brows in question. Yes, OF COURSE, I’ve rocked (popped?) out to these songs, doing red light aerobics like the best of them (you know dancing in the car like you’re on Solid Gold, and no one is watching). But here’s the truth, a woman with no or low self esteem is easy prey.

People treat us the way we allow them too. We set the standard for how we want to talked to, respected, held, loved. I don’t want someone else to decide that. I want to set the example. I want to demand excellence for myself same as I wish for my friends or demand of my students and colleagues. Why would I leave that decision to any other living being? Like Cleopatra in that Shakespeare play says, “I’ll set a bourn how far to be belov’d.” And while its nice to get a compliment, be told I’m pretty or amazing or super super cool and talented, especially on a day when I’m feeling like even the fat jeans are too snug, it’s more important to me that I be respected. That I be treated well, with kindness and compassion.

I know from experience, this can only happen if I treat myself that way first. So to all my low self esteemees, I wish I could “love you til you learn to love yourself,” but it just ain’t gonna happen. Like Sweet Brown say, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” It’s mildly complicated, I know, I’m in the struggle. But seriously, make the choice to love yourself, and each day give yourself a little bit more. Confidence is sexy. A woman on a mission is sexy. I offer you encouragement and positive vibes. Better yet I’ll try and lead by example.

Thanks for reading.