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

Posts tagged ‘Food’

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


2. Wedding anniversary


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.


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.


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!

Fat and Happy? 

It’s February and I’m afraid to weigh myself. 

I hate to say that I’m one of those people, but I started the year really well on a detox. I lost my marathon weight and was feeling better. I won’t post all the details here, but I went to the doctor one day and left feeling fat and frustrated, so I’ve been slowly but surely returning to my habits. 

I am seeing that it isn’t so much the taste of unhealthy food that I crave, but I have allowed my life to become so busy that I prefer the “liberation” of not planning workouts or meals. Of course, the word of the Lord proves true for me – I am not at peace when I do not keep the law, or healthy living, in this case. 
I must say, however, that there is much hope in my most recent race performances. Shortly after the marathon, I was concerned that I was permanently slower than I have been. I see now that this is not the case. I am coming close to some of my best times – and I am fat. That is AWESOME. That means if I get it together and get my vision back, the best shape of my life could still be ahead of me. 

Some dilemma, no? I could be healthier and faster but I don’t feel like planning my meals and doing tough workouts right now. Joan. Seriously? What if Baby J comes on the scene in 2018 and it’s game over for the time being? What if life just happens and I get an injury that sets me back? I am happy that my body seems to have bounced back from my marathon, but Lord knows I will be truly happy only when I place some restraint on myself and work toward the best body I can. He gave it to me! Can’t have all the cupcakes! 

First Friday: Still Fat but Happier 

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


  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! 


It’s always the Mother’s fault: Lenten Tribulation

1. This one is the most important. I know whatever comes below will be executed imperfectly. I resolve to give myself the freedom to be imperfect without beating myself up.

“Hey, Mom,” I used to query, shamefully not too long ago. “I didn’t ask to be here, right?” “No, you didn’t,” she would reply. “Your father and I wanted to have you.” “So!” I said triumphantly. “If I do anything wrong, it’s YOUR fault, because I would not have done it had you not had me.” She would shake her head at me and I would laugh maniacally. I mean, it makes sense! I couldn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink if I didn’t exist to put them there! 

Of course, even then I understood such passing of the buck was terribly evasive. My conscience is generally as tender as my mind is sharp. I truly believe one of the reasons I don’t handle criticism very well is because I am constantly raking myself over coals. By the time another person tells me something that needs work, I’ve probably told myself the same a million times. If I make a bad decision, I likely know it is a bad one, ‘wretched Lady J that I am.’

I like to think I am spending the time between now and getting my glorified body (just think of how fast I’ll be able to run in Heaven!) becoming more like Christ – minimizing the bad decisions as much as humanly possible. This sanctification business is no joke, y’all. The Holy Spirit has a LOT of work to do in my life. Today’s shortcoming: how I treat my body. In an effort to do better for myself, I’ve given up eating out for Lent. It’s not just about eating better (though important) or even saving money (races aren’t free) but what’s required for me in order to not eat out.

I’ve got to plan. And I hate that. 

I could wax eloquently here about why I think this is the case, but I’m basically your garden variety, boundary hating sinner. I’ve had to adjust my bedtime. Cook more. Plan my shopping. I have met a fair amount of success, for I feel better physically and am learning valuable things about planning, not to mention praying for patience

Then there was the Mother. 

Not my dear mother. A mother. A longtime friend! She’s moving to Italy for a few years and I will not see her unless I see her tonight. We love to eat. Naturally, she suggests we meet for a meal. Dilemma. 

I agreed because of my initial reaction. I didn’t think, ooooo, opportunity to cheat! It was more like, hmm, should I really do this? I wasn’t looking forward to it, aside from seeing her. Moreover, I didn’t care to make her seeing me extra work for her, though I don’t think she and her family would have minded. I  am not out to make some point on how great a Lenter I am. 

My burger didn’t have enough cheese. 

I told my own mother about it later and she teased me. “What kind of sacrifice is that?! How can you say you are committed?” I’m sure she knew I had already asked myself that but couldn’t resist. You know how moms are. I don’t feel great physically or mentally, nor do I feel good about going back to real life tomorrow. I might if I felt healthier or skinnier but right now it’s as though eating out doesn’t really make a difference. My shirt didn’t look that great at 6 PM. It doesn’t look so hot at 9:50. What did I lose? I suppose that misses the point, though. Discipline is discipline and I know that even if I were to gain a billion pounds between now and Easter, I would have done so doing the right thing and committing to do better for my body. 

Not even the sweet potato fries I had earlier are as sweet as God’s grace.

Mardi Gras

Does anyone else find it terribly inconvenient to go buck wild on a school night?

Buck wild: (adj) – to go to bed past 9:30 PM, perhaps in conjunction with the enjoyment of a few slices of pizza.

My dictionary isn’t the most thrilling. But I digress.

Protestant Christian that I am, this former Catholic school girl has observed Lent for many years. This season in the Christian calendar is meant to commemorate the time
Christ spent in the wilderness being tempted. The sacrifice one makes, ideally, should force a person to lean on God more. For instance, I wouldn’t give up going to the movies because I never do that. However, choosing something to sacrifice that will take the wonder working power of the Holy Spirit to do will indeed prepare my heart to observe the awesomeness that is Christ’s resurrection.

Last year, I gave up negative self-talk. I realized I couldn’t do this alone by the day after Ash Wednesday, hah! It dawned on me that not loving myself was breaking the 2nd of Christ’s commandments as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew: love your neighbor as yourself. I learned I was treating my neighbors MUCH better than I was treating myself. It was kind of nice being nice to me. Of course, human that I am, I have relapsed, but I don’t think I am quite as bad as I was before I first started. I am more forgiving of the fact that I consistently need forgiveness.

This year, I am finding that I am having trouble putting the best fuel in my body. Not necessarily because I crave crap all of the time, but because I would rather eat poorly than do the planning it takes to give myself the best. I believe it is more of my negative attitude that is problematic than the actual eating poorly. Outwardly, I may be giving up eating out and junk food, but it is really going to require that I work on my resentment toward structure in order to make this happen. I’ve often wondered how doing something good for yourself can be termed “sacrificial” if you stand to reap great benefits from doing so. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that attitudes like that are part of what nailed Christ to the cross.

I’m embracing the opportunity to grow this Lenten season – toward Christ and others as I seek strength for this challenge. At least, now that I had some cake in the teacher’s lounge. Can’t win them all.


For when this belly business isn’t such a blast…

I’m challenging myself to 21 days of clean eating because –

1. I can do better for my body than I am right now.

2. I am anticipating the most active year of my life and am going to put my body under a lot of stress. The less weight I have on me, figuratively and literally, the better.

3. It is good for me to do things that I am not sure I can do.

4. Though this seems to conflict directly with #3, when I did this 2 years ago it worked really well.

5. My pants will feel better.

6. It will feel good to set a goal and achieve it. Even better than this French toast tastes right now. Barely, but every bit counts.

7. It will bring me closer to people who are working toward the same goal.

How I will define success:

Because I said previously that I will not weigh myself until the end of the month, I will define success by my following of the plan. If I do what it says and feel physically and mentally stronger, I win. If I don’t, I don’t.

My 5 Affirmations:

1 – 4: You do not have to be perfect. Spoken louder each time, perhaps sung by the final repetition.
5. You are not alone.

My Reward at the end of 3 weeks:

Three wishes from a genie. I don’t know!!


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