I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

My Epiphany

One of my favorite things about joining the House of Adonis has been exploring Orthodoxy. I’ve enjoyed getting to know aspects of the Christian faith that aren’t typically emphasized in the Protestant tradition. Lol @ that oxymoron – Protestant tradition! I did that for you, Adonis. I had the most relaxing Christmas I have had in a long time, partly enabled by this devotional. I had never made the connection that the 12 days of Christmas are the time between Christmas and Epiphany. I guess for the past 32 years I’ve just been rocking out, figuring that the composer/lyricist thought that 12 was a good number to have. Heh. Anyway, it was an incredible relief to be reminded that Christmas is just the beginning of the celebration of Christ’s birth and not this incredible let down it has become in the world – party’s over, decorations down, family leaves. We’re doing it wrong, y’all. 

I was planning on doing something else wrong until my epiphany. Four years ago, I realized that the pursuit of a healthy weight is ongoing, but here I am again for the FOURTH time, despite all I discovered. I had been envisioning reaching a healthy weight again but completely denying it to anyone who asked. “Hey Joan, are you losing weight?” “No, but thanks!” It would be an effort to deny the fact that I messed up in the first place. It is embarrassing to me that I am here again. I can’t seem to get it together permanently. 

I had written that last time needed to be different than the other two times, and at first, I was mad because it seems like it wasn’t. After all, I gained weight in the same pattern – adjusting to a life transition. 1. College. 2. Grad School. 3. Full time work. Now 4. Marriage. The pattern may be the same but my wisdom is really different. I know I am not doing this because I hate how I look. I am doing this because I want my best life, and I can’t have my best life at an unhealthy weight. I have accepted that this may happen again, but each day I need to make good decisions for the body with which God has graced me. 

So, to anyone who asks – that’s right. I’m human and and I’m sexy and strong and wonderful RIGHT. NOW. Here’s to the blood work to match, sooner rather than later! 

Not gonna lie. “Gripping and intense” is how I feel waiting for my results. Gulp.

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Sweet and Savory

Have I mentioned that I like food? 

I understand that there are many ways to abuse food, whether it’s eating emotionally, mindlessly, or purely in excess. I must say, however, that I (most likely wrongly) feel that it must be easier for some people than others to resist poor food choices. I remember my umbrage 40 pounds ago when it was suggested that I must not like certain food in order to look the way I did at the time. Hell no! I do think it is possible that some people are not interested in exploring many different types of food, or their eating is not particularly culturally significant to them. That being said, a steak and potatoes lover has her fair share of temptation to resist as does this sweet potato pie/jerk chicken/spanakopita loving girl. My food temptation portfolio is diverse – and growing. That’s all I’m saying here.

What’s funny is that my taste for different foods didn’t really begin developing until my first round of weight loss, when I started cooking different things. My weight roller coaster has been one long food tour, and I’ve loved it. No tour would be complete without pictures, right? A cursory glance through my desktop or phone would produce highlights of the tour – food and me, naturally. 

The pictures of food and the pictures of me share a lot. There are many types of food. There are also many types of Joan. Skinny, fat, toned, everywhere in between. You know what I am finally deciding every picture is? DELICIOUS. Dammit, the food is fabulous, and I am, too, regardless of my size. I am tired of putting off buying clothes for myself because I don’t deserve clothes at whatever size or I shouldn’t be a particular weight. Don’t get it twisted, y’all – I fully understand that I shouldn’t be trying to make my BMI match my age. That no longer means that I have to beat myself up at any given time for not being where is best for me. The best for me is healthy, from the inside out. And look at this ‘out’ – 

New Year’s Eve with Adonis


Adonis is lucky as hell to come home to this. Okay, fine, I am fortunate as well, but this ain’t his blog. I am choosing to savor where I am at this very moment and simultaneously choosing to do better. 

That, truly – is sweet. 

Sometimes I hit the nail right on the bloody head without trying. 

I’ve been thinking about how little i wrote in 2017. This is not a reflection of the amount I’ve had to say about the year.  Please. I’m a newlywed and a Democrat. I’ve got thoughts. What I have not had is motivation, and not just about writing. I feel like I haven’t been able to get myself to commit and stick with much of anything. I walked out of the gym a few days ago and spoke aloud to myself, as I often do. 

I’m like Matilda when she went to high school. I lost my powers when I went to the advanced level. 

My commute has literally quintupled and I’ve chosen to take on more work because, well, I like making money. That being said, while I suppose anything is possible and I can do anything I put my mind to and insert third encouraging platitude here, my abilities are not limitless. Adjusting to my new life is sucking up my discipline. I do not want to plan meals. I don’t want learn recital programs. I don’t want to plan to PR a race. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish to eat healthily, play the piano, or run races. I simply need the space right now to do so in a more casual manner. 

Sometimes, that’s okay. 

It has to be, otherwise, I just suck. This is my story, and no one is the villain in her own story, right?

What isn’t okay, at any time, is choosing to give up. In a conversation with a close friend, the following exited my mouth – 

Eating is the new dating.

Only a statement like that could be more loaded than my average 2017 plate. Literal and figurative. Going straight to the drive through from the gym gives me a sick thrill. Spontaneous and rebellious.  I have to plan so many things. It’s nice to not to have everything written down, kinda like single Joan didn’t know how the next date was going to go!

Alas, sometimes, I should reckon with the fact that I am a grown ass adult. Anticipating how my blood work will be is not quite as thrilling as the drive through decision. My doctor has already told me I need to do better, and I’ve taken action the best way I feel I can right now. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am not in a place where I am willing to prep my food, so I’m trying a meal delivery service. It feels exorbitant, but let’s be real – so is eating out, as is buying vegetables that I don’t end up eating, not to mention the health care costs down the line if I don’t clean up my act. Someone is gonna get this cash – I may as well get the best results from it. 

Sometimes, you have to start over. 

Sometimes, you find an ideal quote for a post but hate that there is a comma splice. Sometimes, one must settle.

As you are fully aware, cancer sucks. The many volunteers behind One Step Closer to the Cure are tirelessly working so that no one else’s Auntie has to be taken prematurely by ovarian cancer. Collectively, my family did our part contributing about 100,000 literal steps. Here is how my 6,000 went:

1. 1-2,000

If you want to know how I think I’m going to do during a race, all you must do is check my playlist. Did I set it to shuffle? I’m just here for the cause. Perhaps I spent significant time carefully crafting both the sequence and length of the list. That means the next 33 (Lord willing) minutes are not a drill. When the horn sounds, I’m feeling great out of the gate, man. I’m gonna run this bad boy all the way through. Early on, I experienced the runner’s high that keeps me coming back. Seeing so many teams and friends coming together always helps to add to my gooey feelings. Everyone’s a champ so far, even me!

2. 2,001 – 4,000

It’s…it’s kind of hot out here. I wanted to push but – eh. I have noticed recently that there’s something about turning in races that is a mental drag for me. It used to exhilarate me, as I would focus on the fact that I am progressing, but right now I deem to be in a place where I think to myself “ugghhhh there’s more!” and my pace drops accordingly. I started running some, then walking some, but still trying to meet my goal. Plus, running whenever I saw my family.

3. 4,001 – finish

Okay so maybe my goal was a *tad* ambitious based on my current fitness level. I blame the stress and snacks that Hurricane Irma swept in! She was a big heffa, you ‘member? I was moving forward but “Imma own this!” had devolved into “Ugh let’s finish and get breakfast.” Then the most amazing thing happened.

“Hi Daphne! You’re beautiful! You’re doing great, keep going!”

Several different waves of emotion came over me. Thankfulness for being Daphne’s niece. Humbled by the fact that she can still touch lives, 7 years after her death. GUILT! For whining about a slow pace in a healthy body. This woman who God brought to me at just the right time was cheering ME on. I am complaining about fighting 3.1 miles and she is literally fighting for her life.  I learned later that she also serves on the board of the foundation that puts on the race. Man. I suck for thinking that I suck. I started running a bit more and digging until the end.

I need to pray for the spirit of people like that amazing lady and Auntie Daph to fill me, not just when I run but in my every day life. Every step God gives us is a blessing and it’s my prayer that I start to act like it!

Call me George

Remember when I was saying 2017 was gonna be about fitness and halves? Here’s the update as of the close of July: 

Weight lost: -1.5 lbs

Half-marathons completed: 0.5 

Pretty underwhelming, wouldn’t you say? Especially the pound of weight GAIN! Ugh. I get so tired of myself, to be frank. I suppose half of a half isn’t too bad, considering I have been running shorter distances, but as much as I enjoy the epic feeling of that distance, my brain and body are not allowing me to focus. I am not saying that as a cop-out, because Lord knows I hate that, but I am simply not there right now. Not only did I underestimate how long a 15k is, but I believe I did not take into account that I would want some time before really digging deep again after finishing my marathon in December. I always have a tough time with my health after life transitions. Who could have anticipated that it would be taxing to 

  1. Get married
  2. Move in with my husband
  3. Become a stepmom 

Tell me WHO could have seen that coming? 

I am at the point again where I need help and accountability to get fit again and it makes me so sad. Embarrassed. I should know better. I definitely didn’t spend my summer doing that and I could and should have. How many times can tomorrow be another day? Until there are no more tomorrows? It’s tiring. That being said, if I am to be obedient, I am to love myself, which means taking care of my body. THAT being said, it is difficult for me to be hopeful for the future. How can I get excited about going up when I’m just going to come down again? 

Four More Years! 

Happy Raceaversary to me, from me! 

That’s right. I’m the one (via God’s grace, naturalmente) who is the cause for the celebration! I have been running for FOUR years, like the consummate politician! So, since I’m the one who decides every day whether I am a runner, I shall outline here why I believe I should continue to support my racing and thus my overall well-being. 

1. There are fewer more glorious feelings than crossing a finish line. 

It doesn’t matter if I see a finish line and feel relief or triumph. I have never been disappointed when I reach it, even if I think I could have had a better day on the course. Every one means that I started something, committed to it, and saw it to fruition. 

2. I know how I can improve. 

While I am not at my peak of fitness currently, I know there is hope for me to become a better runner than I ever have been. I may not be a beginner, but I pray that I have just seen the beginning of my running career. I can learn to be both more disciplined in some areas and more forgiving in others. Let’s be real – there’s nothing else that motivates me to be physically healthy. 

3. It has made me a more open person. 

I have run (rimshot!) into people who have changed my life. Granted, I knew The Mentor before I started running, but I likely wouldn’t have started without her. I’ve gotten to know countless amazing people, like Blonde Oprah and 3M. Because of running, I am open to meeting more people and both learning from them and giving to them. 

Every step I take in a race is a gift from God. May He grant me at least another 4 more years! A vote for running is a vote for Joanie! 

I don’t think I’ve seen a truer race sign.

Evidently, training for a marathon has made me a stronger runner – who could have anticipated that, right? According to the same plan I used to train, I am now within striking distance of setting a half marathon PR. Obviously, that means I have to put in the time to make that happen. The training gods have set out a 9 mile long run for me on my 15 week path to glory. Me: “Let’s find a 15K! Free PR!” 
Having run a quarter marathon 3 weeks earlier and a full marathon 2 months ago, I thought to myself, ‘9 miles isn’t really that much! I’ll have a big bowl of oatmeal and I’ll hydrate along the course. I don’t need to take any gel with me!’ Sigh. I know you’re already shaking your head at me if you are an endurance athlete of any kind. Don’t get ahead of me, although I’ll be the first to admit that with insufficient fuel before and during the race that not getting ahead of me is no small feat. See what I did there? 

I showed up at the starting line feeling confident, nonetheless. The plan: an 11 minute mile pace. Approximately an hour and forty minutes of my life. No big deal. Within the first two miles of the race, I heard someone call my name. “Joanie?” I turned to see Sweetness, this cool chick who also comes to boot camp. I smiled as we caught and kept up with another (I did it again, see?). I told her I was trying to do an 11 minute mile, and she said that was cool. I groaned inwardly, not because running with Sweetness was lame but because I saw the 2 mile marker and was thinking, “Damn. It’s only been 2 miles?” Not a good sign. Hah! I wish I were as good at racing as I am at making witty puns. I digress. 

After about mile 4, I was tasting Sweetness’s candied dust. If only it had been caloric, because that was sure what I needed! As the race continued, my pace continued to slow. I had to switch to run/walk intervals, which I personally don’t frown upon as a matter of course, but I sure don’t like it when it’s a matter of poor planning! I am quite sure I looked like death because a man along the course saw me and said, “Keep going! You look great!” I needed it, though. I wasn’t actually dying, and let’s be real – I wasn’t getting back to my car unless I finished the race. 

I looked to my right and saw Tampa General Hospital. ‘I should check myself into the psych ward.’ I may be out of glycogen but dammit the wit is still here. I pressed on until I crossed the finish line, where Sweetness had been for God only knows how long. She thanked me for pacing her and I had to laugh. 

Finishing is always sweet.

Today’s lesson? 9.3 miles is not short, and it sure isn’t long enough to shed any weight. Eat up. 

Still booty-ful.

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