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

Posts tagged ‘Weight Loss’

Here we grow again!

Well. Another new year is upon us. And a whole heap of weight is upon me. Damn. I’m fat again.

Of course, I’m mad at myself for allowing such weight gain in the past two years of my life, despite continuing to race. I feel as though I have failed; as the losing all the weight that I did really means nothing because I haven’t been able to keep it off.  Each time I log into MyFitnessPal – and am completely honest, re: weight – I feel like a loser (gainer?). Is anything really different this time? I thought it had been, because I’d finally learned that weight management is a process not an event. I thought that because I found an activity that I really enjoy that I would be able to maintain my weight loss within 5 to 10 pounds. It turns out that I am still not over my habit of using food as a way to cope with changes in my life. Marriage, stepchildren, moving. Two weddings (long story)!  It was a lot of business. Plus, food still tastes GREAT. Nevertheless, I still need to do something about my current weight, because I am not as healthy as I could be.

I think I should be thankful that I am in a place where I recognize that my problem is not so much the fact that I’ve regained weight that I’ve lost but the fact that it was easy for me to do so because of how I deal with change in my life. I also think I have issues with my body image that allow for me to be indifferent as to how I look. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I weigh 150 or 200; I seem to always see a fat person in the mirror. It is much easier to follow a plan and make more good choices than bad than it is to really zero in on what it is that causes me to feel this way. That just might be a beast that I will have to fight for all of my life. I hope my goals for the year are not incongruent; I would like to run 4 Half marathons and lose 40 pounds. 10 pounds per race. Ha. I will be writing more in the coming week about why I have chosen those particular goals, as well as how I feel I performed in 2016 and meeting those goals. 

Here’s to not completely screwing up 2017. Happy new year!

We all know it’s the same me. I just want to get her into my pants.

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. 

Day 55 of 42: The Real Challenge Continues

Welp. I finished the clean eating challenge.

The Good:

Down 9 pounds
Down 5 inches
Down 3% body fat
I find eating in this manner sustainable, even when I’m not working regular hours. Idle hands are a fatty’s workshop.

The Bad:

I still dislike my body.

The Ugly:

The fact that I still feel ugly.

I am upset with myself that my brain is the hardest part to change. I feel that the real challenge is learning to love myself, regardless of where I am physically. I suppose I should stop ignoring Blonde Oprah’s admonitions to think positively. I always read through the positivity crap she writes and think to myself, “Whatever. What am I ACTUALLY supposed to do?” What if that way of thinking is a means to lose more weight? What if viewing myself positively is correct because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made and not simply a means to an end?

My biggest takeaway is that it is much easier to eat well than it is to be well. I am strongly considering starting some foolishness where I affirm myself each morning when I start my new workout plan Monday. Self-loathing will always weigh more than fat.

Character Flaw 

I don’t see the point in making sacrifices unless I’m going to be, like, totally HAWT. 

It turns out that I’m not crazy for not liking what I’ve been seeing in the mirror. I tried to be kind to myself in my previous post regarding staying within a reasonable range of my weight loss, but the fact is I’m displeased. I weigh 15 pounds more than my lowest weight and I don’t like how I look OR feel. I finally donated all my big(ger) Joan clothes and the only reason I don’t regret it is because someone with much greater need is now using them. If you don’t believe that things are getting out of hand, look at what the girls did last week: 



Yeah. Bras aren’t supposed to do that. In guess it was begging for dear life and the girls busted free. RIP dear titty holder-backer – by the way, you don’t really realize how much you rely on a bra until you pop out of one in the middle of your workday. But I digress. 

I’ve not been eating out (except for that one time). I’ve been meeting my calorie goal set by Blonde Oprah the vast majority of the time. Coachie says I’m training well. What do I have to show for it since I started this year? 

ONE. LOST. POUND. 

Meanwhile, I feel like I have no life. I miss smaller races. I miss smaller Joan. I know, I know. “You weren’t training for the same distances last year!” I also was a lot happier with my progress. What’s the point of going a million miles in the water/on the bike/on my feet if I’m going to be a fatso finisher? It is hard to be proud of what I’m doing if I hate while I feel as I’m doing it and don’t feel good in my clothes the other 10 hours of the day that I’m not training. 

I either need to reevaluate my goals for this year or just be happy that I won’t be spending any money on race photos. 

Shoutout Series: Blonde Oprah

Here’s the thing – I’m a bit of a snob. If a lot of people like something or someone, I’m more likely to look upon it with suspicion than I am to check it out. Generally, I am of the opinion that people en masse aren’t too bright. “Popular opinion.” Gross.

Good thing God knows His cynical child Lady J and worked to order the events of the last two years of my life so I wouldn’t immediately balk and run in the other direction. The services of Blonde Oprah weren’t recommended to me by anyone; I just happened to stumble upon a Groupon for a 3 week belly blast. “Well.” I thought to myself. “It’s more than I’m doing now. How bad can it be? I can do something for 21 days.”

In January of 2013, my mother and I started this boot camp business. When we showed up at 6 in the morning, Blonde Oprah greeted us cheerily as we each stepped on the scale, then proceeded to take us through an hour of foolishness. Her smile, encouragement, and high-pitched voice unfailing, I noted how she seemed equally committed to everyone in the room. I lost 11 pounds in 3 weeks. Friggin sweet.

Of course, I left.

*insert facepalm*

No regrets. This was the time I tried Couch to 5k and fell in love with running. However, I get a call from Blonde Oprah in March, checking in. What is this about? What kind of gym owner checks in on clients? Unless it’s to get money, of course. She actually asked real questions that made it seem like she’s genuinely invested in Lady J. Personally. Whatever, she just wants money, but I can’t deny the progress I made with her. Plus, it’s the only time in my life I haven’t been bored with strength training. I returned to Blonde Oprah after a three month hiatus.

My 50 pound weight loss isn’t really the point here, even though that’s pretty neat. In the 20 months that I’ve known her, I’ve been more moved watching Blonde Oprah interact with others than her interaction with me. This is not to say that her impact on me personally hasn’t been significant. It’s simply that I’ve never seen ONE person do so much for so many people in such a personal way. I call her Blonde Oprah because this group damn near idolizes her. I even saw a cardboard cut-out of her on a trip she could not attend. Her support is kind of a big deal to a lot of people. She often says that she is assured that there is no point in time that she I’d not in at least one person’s thoughts, either cursing her for soreness or inspired by her words. You know what? I think she’s right.

Of all the shout outs I will write, Blonde Oprah’s is definitely the hardest. Not because I feel the least passionate about her, but because I feel like everyone is already on the “Praise Blonde Oprah” bandwagon and I. Loathe. Bandwagons. But that’s the thing about Blonde Oprah. She will read this without offense, shake her head and smile, and say something like, “That’s my Joan.” Stubborn as hell. Hard-headed. She knows me probably much better than she lets on because she is both disturbingly intuitive and knows that if she let me know how well she knows me, I might balk. Blonde Oprah meets people where they are – no matter where they are – and helps them to be brave. Sometimes without the person even realizing it until afterward. That’s something truly remarkable.

Dammit, Blonde Oprah. Thanks for helping Lady J do it.

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NB – bitstrip above stolen from some chick on Facebook. I don’t know you but clearly Blonde Oprah has touched your life as well. Thanks!

Peace, Expectations, and Ben and Jerry

As I dressed to go to the local Target recently, I threw on my shirt from St. Anthony’s. I frowned in the mirror. ‘This is something athletic people wear. What am I doing.’ Reminding myself that I had indeed completed the race, I sighed and went on my way.

Later that same week, I went to the doctor. As though the doctor isn’t the most miserable place in the world already, the nurse asked me to step on the scale. 164 pounds. Fantastic. 6 more pounds than it had been 4 days prior. Yes, it’s in the middle of the day when I’ve been eating and drinking water. Yes, I’m fully clothed. The thought of my needing to wear my Big Lady J clothes (which I am not quite confident enough to donate) still haunts me.

Every time I go to the gym, I look around and see all the fit people. Those assholes. People who regularly take the time out their of busy schedules to ensure that they keep their bodies nice both inside and out are to be admired, no? I often think to myself it would be nice to be in that club. You know, this one:

IMG_1462.JPG

I’ve had a protein shake before. That’s something.

Apparently, there is this way I think I am supposed to look. Or a number I am supposed to weigh. The tricky bit is that it seems to be a moving target. The only rule is that wherever I am is not good enough. I’ve been unhappy at 135. I’ve been unhappy at 215. I’m tired, but I am not sure what I can do to find peace. Occasionally, my good friends Ben and Jerry help me along the way. They are as consistent as my always falling short.

I’m familiar with guidelines of 80/20 or even 90/10 (those are Broccoli to Ben and Jerry nutrition ratios). If it’s less than 100% I suck. Do I know what it would be like to attain 100%? I probably still wouldn’t be satisfied because something else would be wrong.

I feel as though my body taunts me. “I can tell you work out” is one of the most torturous things I hear. I don’t feel I deserve it, though it’s probably fair to say I’m one of those gym assholes people fairly dedicated to regularly working out. I feel guilty because I could and should be stronger, or faster, or better looking, or whatever. Super stupid alert: my guilt is compounded by my being black. I swear some people assume my people are all fast and strong. I Brahms better than I bench press, sorry!

Why the hell am I apologizing?

For one, Brahms is AWESOME. Perhaps more importantly, maybe what anyone thinks isn’t so – well, important. 3M is always talking up those 4 agreements. “Don’t take anything personally,” she says. But what about what I think of myself? And these bloody moving targets?

Maybe true peace lies in accepting where you are and being okay with needing to grow at the same time. That, or I’ll find it at the bottom of the next carton of Ben and Jerry’s. Either way is fine.

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)

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