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

Posts tagged ‘Diet’

How Joanie got her groove back

It’s Saturday and I skipped my weigh-in. First skip of 2018. Rut roh.

I was recently having a venting fest with a good friend and she was lamenting that it was difficult for her to get motivated to take healthful steps in her life. I opined that I think momentum often brings about motivation and not the reverse and am currently experiencing that phenomenon myself. You know whose fault it is? My Grandma. And husband. And the school district.

1. Grandma’s birthday party

Cake.

2. Wedding anniversary

Meat.

3. Spring Break

I suppose that the term “Spring Break” isn’t short for “Spring Break from your meal plan” but it may as well be, amirite?

Understanding the problem here is key, y’all –

There. Is. No. Problem.

It is tempting to view these things as interruptions, but all of them are wonderful. Celebrating my Grandma’s long life (and may God bless her with many more!), my short (thus far) marriage, and an entirely too short break from y’alls children are all blessings. However, with the break in my routine has come a break in my momentum. Without the momentum, it is difficult to adjust my vision to see all the good things happening, and thus I become unmotivated. Even after only a week, getting back into my groove feels like a heavy lift.

I am proud of myself. I ran yesterday and have a work out planned for today. I’m at a conference and I have brought meals with me. I promise to report my weight next Saturday because I want to monitor my progress wholly. I don’t expect any loss until the end of the month because of where I am in my cycle, but I am determined to love myself and celebrate making good choices for my body.

My not always steady beat is groovy again. Thanks be to God.

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I put the “A**” in Assessment

Part of my job description includes recording grades for students. I must say – love to assess, hate to record. It’s just a mark of progress at a point in time and doesn’t define a person’s ability. I hate to think that I have students who see grades less than an A and think to themselves, “Meh, music isn’t for me.” That’s not even taking their parents into consideration, who may see grades and start to close doors for their children. Ugh.

My disdain for recording applies to my personal life as well. While I understand that stepping on the scale doesn’t define me, I find that I, too, am tempted to think, “Meh, healthful living isn’t for me.” Nevertheless, she is persisting…

I shall proceed to grade myself in 3 parts, like I do my students – the strict assessment based on data, a comment on my progress, and a citizenship grade.

1. Grade: A

I have lost 18 pounds in 9 weeks. I have done so with the help of portion controlled meals. My running feels much easier than it did and my clothes are fitting more comfortably. It is difficult to argue with such obvious results.

2. Comments

My attitude is heavily dependent on my perception of my progress. Going from 175 pounds to 172 pounds means I had a wonderful week. Staying at 172 means I had a terrible week and I do not look forward to assessing my progress in the same way. I hate that the 172 pound person is attractive in the mirror only if I am making weight loss progress. While it is positive that my self-perception isn’t based on a particular number, progress is not linear and such extreme fluctuations in how I see myself can’t be healthy.

3. Citizenship: Satisfactory

I can be that person who will bring down the room if I don’t feel I am doing well. This week, for instance, since I didn’t lose any weight I have not been putting in the same effort with my exercise and eating – despite having an amazing race just 10 days ago. It is quite a challenge to be a good citizen with such a myopic perspective.

The capstone of next quarter will be another 5k, in which I hope to be 12 pounds lighter and be considerably more flexible. I wish I knew how to detach my perception from however my week went. Hopefully I will have better comments for next time!

The New Testament Diet

This summer, I grappled with the ethics of so-called ‘cheating‘ on a diet. Since then, I’ve gotten to a healthier weight but still struggle to eat in a way that doesn’t constantly make me feel guilty. I don’t believe that it is good for me to think about food in the way that I do. I’m looking for some freedom. I was reminded that there was this guy who wrote a lot about the freedom that I have in Christ about 2000 years ago:  

 One can hardly surmise how the Apostle Paul wrote 1/3 of the New Testament without even a snack on his desk. Wonder-working power, indeed. 

“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭NASB‬

This. I believe that much of the time, we balk at the idea of limits. I must come to terms with the fact that any restrictions I may follow are self-imposed. I am free to eat as I please, but is it really best for me? I wrote before that I know I cannot be perfect, but I should eat in a way that is profitable for that which I am trying to achieve. I want to keep my colon shiny, right? I want to be able to race, free of inflammation and injuries. How does one measure how little unprofitable food she should eat and stay in the black? Blonde Oprah says two or three times a week, and I GUESS I should trust her, eh? 

Eating is a spiritual matter. Think of the words we often use to describe it. ‘Sinful.’ ‘Decadent.’ ‘Guilt-free.’ Quite frankly, few decisions that we make are NOT spiritual, whether we choose them as such. I feel comfortable when I say that abusing my body with unhealthy food is sin. The question becomes, what constitutes abuse? I don’t think it is imperfection. I suppose I just have to A) find out what my boundaries are and B) get accustomed to changing them as my body changes. 

“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:14-15‬ ‭NASB‬‬

It’s almost as though Paul felt the need to say the same thing over and over because people need to hear the same lessons in a million different ways. Hmm. 

I am free to eat as I please. At 30, it is easy to pretend that sinful eating does not have consequences. I consider my past obesity to be a blessing, because I have been able to learn some valuable lessons while being blessed with a body young enough to bounce back from my sins. I know firsthand how sin brings forth death in this instance. 

I must die to myself daily. I must admit, it feels weird to say grace before I eat and thank God for a meal that I KNOW is crap. I am thankful for the means to get the food, regardless of its quality. “Allow me to use the energy to glorify you.” Oh, dear. Let’s not eat things that aren’t aimed toward this end. 

Fourth Friday: How to Cheat and Get Away With It

It can’t be done. Short post. 

Since I decided to care about how I eat, I’ve struggled with the concept of the so-called “cheat meal.” While the pragmatist in me appreciates these regularly scheduled moments of debauchery, the perfectionist laments that A) I need them in the first place and B) protests that if it’s bad for your body, why should you do it at all? Even the terminology troubles me. “Cheat.” Cheating is bad! What else could we call it? “Treat,” perhaps, but that is no less needy. “Congratulate yourself for eating well most of the time by eating badly!” I am not my students; I shouldn’t have to bribe myself with candy (my apologies to parents and dentists). 

Have you really thought about it, though? Why is it impossible to eat well 100% of the time? Why would you want to do anything bad to the body that gets you around and more? Moreover, as a Christian I think to myself, “Well, Christ is living here so I want my blood vessels to be like, pristine and stuff.” I want to keep the place nice! Being a little bad is better than being bad most of the time, I suppose, but that doesn’t make it good. Is it merely because we are surrounded by crap and love people who eat crap that we must make room for crap in our diets? 

I suppose that the numbers dropping on the scale indicate that I am, indeed, getting away with cheating, but it still makes me uncomfortable. This is how fattest Lady J ate. Just 100% of the time as opposed to 3 out of 35 weekly meals. Plus, I still don’t like my body. C’est la vie!

  

Third Friday: A Bit Less Large and In Charge, Or “How to Get in the Mood”

There inevitably comes a time in any one of Blonde Oprah’s challenges lasting at least 4 weeks that a woman of child-bearing age must face one of discipline’s greatest foes. I am pleased to report that despite my quick temper and current uncertainty regarding of the meaning of life, I have adhered to the meal plan and have deviated only when scheduled. Truthfully, deviating has been a problem this week. I had to actually convince myself to do it the first time. Then, as you may know – it gets easier. Heh. 

Seriously, though – I am finding that I need to be in the mood in order to actually enjoy a so-called cheat meal. Otherwise, it simply feels like poor decision making.  

 

I found myself wrestling with the idea of eating a fun meal because I am feeling like I can eat well forever. Why eat poorly when I can eat healthy food? Hardly a new feeling, that one, and yet here I am again! Trying to reclaim good habits. In the end, I decided to eat my cheese fries and ravioli accompanied by a mojito to embrace my imperfection. It may sound like a copout, but it’s true. I know that any clean eating high, even one that can’t be penetrated by my hormones, is doomed to end eventually. Better to practice being excellent and human than to be surprised later when I am imperfect and then fall into regular poor habits. 

Still – I’m not having my meal when I’m not feeling that great. Thankfully, good sleep and exercise promote the good vibes that are conducive to occasionally ridiculously indulgent meals. Who would have thought that eating well makes eating badly even better? 

Three weeks to go! 

First Friday: Still Fat but Happier 

Apparently, if you’re trying to make a permanent life change, reflection is a good idea. 

Thoughts: 

  1. I’ve never eaten so much fat in my life. Well, on purpose. Well, healthy fats on purpose. 
  2. It always amazes me how quickly my cravings go away when I spend quality time with one of Blonde Oprah’s meal plans.
  3. I like how I look better in the mirror. I am not sure if the way I look is different or if the way I look is different. Because of how I am eating.
  4. It is pretty easy for me to resist crap food if I plan properly. It’s like I worked too hard to prepare it to blow it on some stupid ass free lunch in the teachers’ lounge. 
  5. I love cooking healthy food for my family. It is fun partnering with Momsy to make meals happen for us. 
  6. I think the joy comes less from how I see myself in the mirror than from knowing I’m doing the best I can for my body. 

Bring on the next week! 

  

Just because correlation isn’t causation doesn’t mean I should keep eating these delicious chips

For the record, I am tempted more by salty foods than sweet foods. Just so you know the next time you want to bring me a smile via snack. However, there is a notable exception… 

I do love peanut butter m&ms. 
I was doing pretty well with my eating at the beginning of April, once I had decided that Ironman was off of my itinerary. I ran with my boo and was feeling good about my progress. There was a family party later that evening, but I had planned for the debauchery accordingly. Then I made plans with my mother to start a six-week long contest to get hot for summer. Clearly, that must mean that I can do whatever I want in the three weeks between a 5k and a contest. Right? 

Of course it’s right. Joan is grown, dammit. But I paid for it. I gained 7 pounds in 3 weeks. I told you, I do it big. I was expecting to gain weight, of course. Donuts + pizza + minimal workouts aren’t exactly the best way to sculpt one’s body. What caught me off guard was how messy my room became. 

  
Until a few weeks ago, I had been doing really well with my resolution to clean up my act. When I decided to go buck wild with my eating, I realized I was caring less about how my room looked. I think that food is such a big part of my life that when I throw caution to the wind in my diet, I am simply less disciplined in general. I realize now that eating so poorly also leaves me with little energy to do more than get through my day, so I simply leave a bit of mess here or there. 

Today was day 1 of 42 of our challenge. Frankly, I’m relieved to be eating better. Not just because I will lose the weight again, but because it feels good to be good to my body. I am coping with the fact that life happens and depending on where I am mentally, I’m just not going to fight Teacher Appreciation Week, my birthday, and Mother’s Day. I’m thankful for another chance to do better and am optimistic for positive results from this plan. I sucked at it last year, but hey. I’m older, a *tad* wiser, and am hopeful that I will remember how good eating well makes me feel when I do it consistently. Real talk – I’m left with no choice but to clean up my act inside and out – who can afford a maid service with all this damn organic food? 

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