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

Posts tagged ‘Nutrition’

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.

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!

Slight Misunderestimation (sic. And sick!): Race Report

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.

Effect: Fifth Friday Comes on a Saturday

Cause: 5 pineapple Martinis and a glass of ouzo on Thursday. 

#BlameAdonis

I suppose that I drink so rarely that when I do, I go kind of hard. Still classy, of course, but a bit more candid. I might not have had to pay for the dranks but I am still paying for it physically! I am blogging live from my long run that turned into a short run that turned into a short walk two days later. What had happened was – I felt so gross on Friday that I didn’t eat very much and am inadequately fueled. Fat and slow today! No Bueno! 

I would totally regret it if I didn’t get some fun haiku writing out of the evening. Ask 3M. 

  

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! 

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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Throwback Thursday: Temptation Edition

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So, it’s summer. Not just any summer, but teacher summer. Single, childless, teacher summer. Hard to beat. I prance through the mall, singing to myself, “La, la, I’m not responsible for these children!” Not even kidding. When I’m not prancing, I’m either at the gym or at the piano, of course.

Problem(s).

Often, on nutritional regimens, people will say that during the week they are fine but on the weekend, there is a tendency to go buck wild. I’ve found that as long as I plan for the weekend in a way that I plan for the week, I’m good. But, uh – I kind of have a 70 day weekend. I’m not THAT good. Also, playing the piano as much as I am now hearkens back to my days of college and graduate school, where I relied on food to cope with all the negative emotions I had . Even when as I practice happily I think to myself, ooh, food reward! Damn.

Then, today, I had my piano lesson. The kind where I’m taking it instead of dishing it out. I can’t say that it was bad, as my perspective has changed, but it didn’t go how I would like. Quite frankly, I lost my appetite – for everything. No thought of any food excites me at the moment. Feel a tap on your shoulder? Is it Jesus? Yeah, that’s rare. However, I’m starting to realize that this food battle is here with me to stay, so I’m not too concerned about it as long as I don’t eat like I’m a depressed grad student any longer.

What’s more alarming is how tempted I am to give up despite a setback. I arrived home not wanting to eat, but also not wanting to practice. I feel discouraged because it didn’t go perfectly. The spark I’ve had recently is – not dead, but dimming, for sure. No one can reignite it except me. That’s a lot of freaking responsibility. Especially now, because, whereas in school I had the motivation to NOT FAIL, there is nothing outward that can scare me into getting it back.

Good news, though – I am listening to the inner voice that says it is worth getting it back to see how much I can accomplish. I am not like those annoying people who pretend they are never sad; like they are never let down. I don’t have the energy today to try again. But Lord willing, I will see another day, and I plan on trying again tomorrow – to play with joy, to eat with purpose, and to live in a way that glorifies God. How else would I show Him I’m appreciative of all He’s given me?

Ecclesiastes 11:9 (KJV)

Ecclesiastes 11:9 (KJV)

Apparently, I’m a Total Bitch. Workout Edition

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Overheard at the gym:

(Spoken in most valley voice possible)
Chick: Oh. My. Gawd. This is, like, really hard. I can’t even, like, run a mile.

Now, as I work out, I’m pretty focused on what I’m doing. However, this chick’s voice KINDA grated on my ears. So I did what any normal woman would do. I checked her out.

Tiny waist. Big titties. Booty with personality. Long, flowing hair. Aside from her lack of running stamina, I know NOTHING about this woman. She could be very lovely. Or she could be as annoying as I found her voice to be. I don’t know, and honestly, that’s not really the point. But I am ashamed of what went through my head next.

“This heffa can’t even run a mile and she has that body? Lucky. BITCH.”

I have been blessed with many things. Not among my collection of blessings is the ability to not run a mile and still be hot. I’ve got to work hard as hell not to be a chocolate blob. Granted, everyone loves chocolate, but still. It feels like I can’t rest and there are people who walk this earth who can.

Of course, they can’t really. The “overweight” person who can run a mile is better off than the shapely, socially acceptably shaped person who cannot. What’s really scary is how pervasive these perceptions are – that it is better to be cute than healthy. They almost got me too, man. You really never know what someone is going through or has been through. This is my clarion call – do what you can to uplift those around you. Even the luckiest bitches.

So, to the chick at the gym – I am sorry I called you a bitch in my head! Keep coming and I’m sure you will be able to run that mile very soon! You will be better for it. Perhaps not as witty as I am, but hey, you can’t have everything.

11:59 PM

I may have to turn in my chick card for this, but unless it’s for working out or lingerie, I really dislike shopping for clothes. “Maybe she only likes shopping for activities for which she displays her mind-blowing physical prowess,” you think to yourself. Alas, this is not the case.

I hate:

1. Going to the rack for something that may catch my eye
2. If I find it, praying that it’s in my size
3. Figuring out what the hell my size may be in a particular clothing line
4. Undressing and seeing all my imperfections in that bloody mirror
5. Inevitably getting it wrong and having to put on my original clothes and try again
6. Seeking someone other than the sales chick for an opinion because she’s just trying to make a living

The list continues. However, none of those is the principal reason that I have been incredibly uncomfortable at the mall in recent months. As I’ve lost weight, I’ve been forced to purchase new clothes a few times. I am happy that I’m healthy, but I am not immune from the idiotic size foolishness. “Smaller is better than bigger.” Is it really? Is an 8 inherently better than a 12? Yeah, smaller Joan is better off than bigger Joan because she’s healthier. Yet I still am panicked when I choose an article of clothing, to the point where I’ll choose something that I think may be too big so I can be relieved instead of disappointed. Unless stores start charging less money because you are paying for less material, ladies, we need to cut this size obsession business out.

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But, here I am. The healthiest I have ever been in my adult life. And I’m freaking terrified. Students, parents, friends, family – I keep getting encouraged and praised for my progress and it’s very difficult for me not to view that as pressure. Especially when people ask me for guidance as though I’m someone to look up to. Dammit, this ain’t work, this is life!

It is completely surreal to me that I am doing fit people things. I have become
one of those weirdos who feels like a
slacker when I get in only one workout a day. I once ate poorly fairly regularly – now, when I do I look forward to eating better and thus feeling better. When I happen to be indulging with others, it is often remarked that it is no problem for me because I’m “going to run a billion miles in the morning.” I hear that and I think, “this is not good fuel for that billion mile run but I want it anyway!” A reply like that generally would cause eyes to glaze over, so I leave it alone. I am – so not used to being this person. This life is so wonderful and liberating but it feels like a fairy tale. We are often told that all good things must come to an end and I can’t help but wonder when my carriage is going to turn back into a pumpkin. No mind that as soon as I typed “pumpkin,” I thought that I should work pumpkin seeds into my regular diet. This feels way too good to be true.

The fitting room is a much too tangible reminder of all I have gained and am at risk of losing. But what can I do? Maybe a move to a nudist colony is in order.

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