Month 11 Week 2

“You have to live in your shit” – Unknown

I have been a wreck for two week. Hell probably longer than that. I was actually thinking about ending the blog and stopping the weight loss journey. Now before you freak out every fat person goes through this, but I’m going to be brave enough to tell you about it.

It started when I was filling out my weekly journal. It asked me to list all the things I accomplished against all the things I didn’t. Well my list was amazing. I had family movie night, cooked dinner with my kids, spent time with God everyday, spent time meditating three times that week, passed a math test, wrote a paper, killed some work goals, and the list went on and on. I was thinking “look at you rockstar”. Then I had to list things I had not accomplished. Oh Lort. I didn’t drink water daily and I didn’t lose my one pound. What?

I then began to look at that list and told myself maybe I didn’t want to lose weight. Shouldn’t I be thankful for all that I have? I have my husband and my kids. I have a good job and we are able to take care of ourselves. We are not struggling and thank God no one in my family has contracted Covid or had to live with the devastation of the pandemic. I am able to work from home and I have the ability to provide for my family during this time. Let me add that for my economics class I had to watch a movie about women struggling to survive in Haiti. Yes I was comparing myself to a third world country. Now before you drag me please understand that these women seemed to have everything against them and through all odds they were determined to push forward. They were making pennies a day yet paying $12 a month to send their kids to school. The story had me in tears. With that, who was I to gripe about weight when there were people suffering?

There are times in my life when I realize how good I have it. There is also a twinge of shame when I have that feeling. Being an African American female I realize the deck is stacked against me in so many situation yet I’ve made it though it all. Not alone by any means, but I’ve made it though it all. Now lets go back to the weight. I have all this stuff and I dare to complain.

Then a weird thing happened. I ended up watching the Adele “One Night Only” special today and this women had me on the edge of my seat. I was supposed to watch it with friends when it came on, but I didn’t. I ended up watching it alone today. I am a firm believer that God does what he does for a reason. I was meant to watch this special today to get my mind right. Adele talked about lifting weight because she had all this time on her hands and she needed to kill her anxiety. WHAT!!! Even Oprah was shocked because Oprah said she ate. Amen Oprah. I’m eating right along with you.

I could write a whole post about that special and maybe I will, but let me say this. What I learned was there are other ways I need to handle my stress and anxiety. I also learned that you have to live in your shit and fix it. My shit right now is my weight. I can’t say I want to be healthy and not put in some work. I can’t say I want to be around for years to play with my grandkids yet not put in the work. I can’t complain about being fat while doing nothing to be skinny.

I’m going to take some time this week to live in my shit. I need to decide what I really want to do and if I really want to change. Don’t talk about it, be about it.

As I stated I did not lose my one pound. I snacked twice and honestly that was impressive considering I was snacking daily. Today I don’t want to stress about the two days I did snack. I’m going to have joy in the five that I didn’t. I need to work on my mindset because I’m getting on my own nerves. The depression is creeping in slowly. Right now my job is to fight like hell to get my mind right.

Month 11 Week 1- The Holidays

“We are a little extra this year” – Jackson Square Creative

This is the time of year where you blink and the year is over. The year starts off all optimistic as you make a million New Year’s resolutions. You typically throw them out the window by March but that’s ok because it’s Easter. Blink again and it’s 4th of July and time to embrace the summer. Turn your head and the kids are back in school and we are looking at the leaves fall from the trees. Now this can go one of two ways. You can be excited to begin celebrating the holidays or you can panic because you realize you haven’t done half the stuff you thought you would. Where do you fall?

I fall in the later category. I can’t believe the year is over. Not only have I not reached my weight goal but I have another set of stressors in my midst. I’m still dealing with the death of my uncle and we also learned my husband has to have a surgical procedure done. While I wanted to stay focused I did what I always do. I went to my trusty friends and decided to let them sooth me. Stop thinking that that’s a good idea. My friends were chips, ice cream, and candy.

They kind of came to visit out of the blue. First candy showed up. It came under the disguise as Halloween candy. I thought it would just be around for a few days and then it would leave. Six days later and it’s still here. Now the amount of candy is half of what it was, which is why I have the problem. I’m the one eating the candy.

To not feel alone ice cream came next. I started having these crazy ice cream cravings for a specific flavor from a particular brand and like an idiot I tried to eat around the craving. If I’ve learned anything I’ve learned when I have a craving just eat what I’m craving. I’ve probably eaten more stuff trying to avoid the craving and I still didn’t eat the thing I wanted.

So now random ice cream and candy are around and I need something to combat the sugar so chip come by. Yep its a horrible horrible rabbit hole that I didn’t realize I was in until it was too late. I discovered it as I sat eating a bag of chips while thinking they didn’t even taste that good. The light bulb went off.

Now I am not going to beat myself up because that would just cause me to eat more junk. I don’t need more depression on top of the depression. I’m going to accept that I ate crap and move forward. That did help me come up with my next challenge.

NO SNACKS!!!!

I’m pulling the plug. Nada. Now for clarity when I say no snacks I’m not even talking about “healthy” snacks. The reason is I’m eating and I’m not hungry which makes no sense. I simply need to stop snacking and pay attention to my hunger cues. If I’m hungry have a meal. Stop trying to have a snack and then wait to eat a meal. I’m just eating twice as much.

So what’s my plan for the holidays. I’m already going to plan on eating one desert which means I can only make one desert. I would lie if I told you I wasn’t going to eat my once a year homemade doughnuts or my cheesecake cookies. That’s the reason we bought the KitchenAid mixer. What I will promise is to not eat them everyday for a week. That’s my weakness. I will eat something everyday until it’s gone.

So now that I’ve confessed I need you all to watch me. I’ve got two months to finish the year strong. First I can’t believe I’ve been on this journey this long and I can’t believe I’ve blogged about it. If you’ve read from the beginning, THANK YOU. The fun is really about to start.

Bonus- You Are Loved

“All of me loves all of you” – John Legend

This week I have been struggling with what to blog about and I have also been battling being honest with myself. My uncle passed away this week and it hit me hard. It actually hit me much harder than I thought it would as I started to realize the impact the man had on my life. He drove my mother to the hospital when she went into labor. He purchased my first bike. He got me a set of school books so I wouldn’t have to carry my books back and forth to school. He let me read to him and listened to all my madness. He was honestly the first father figure I ever had. Correction. He was my father, the only one I had ever really known.

His passing brought up all those memories, all those memories that led me to the realization that I am 100% the person I am today because of this man. He along with my grandmother fostered my love of learning. He listened to me practice the violin and believe me in the beginning I was not good. He even listened to me practice the recorder. Ya’ll know how horrible that is.

So why am I writing here instead of telling my family about this. Simply put, it was stolen from me. The opportunity to tell others how much I love this man was stolen from me when my family decided not to have a service. Yes we are still in Covid times, but this could have been done safely and most of us are vaccinated. The pain and anger rushed in when I learned this news and immediately it took me back to my nephews passing. Yet another service my family and I were robbed from attending.

I could spend this whole blog talking about that, but I won’t. What I want to say is that no one has a right to dictate how you grieve. No one has the right to take away how you want to honor a person. I will not let them steal that right from me.

I loved these two people with all my heart and soul and God knows that. I want my uncles family and friends to know that he was loved. I loved him. I want him up in heaven to know that I love him. My nephew never saw his first birthday, but he should know I loved him. My husband and my kids loved him. He will always be honored in our home.

Please listen to this message if you don’t listen to anything else I say. Honor the people you love. Honor the people who mean the most to you. I’m not going to tell you to rush out and tell people you love them, because you know you should do that. This is for people who are gone that you need to make amends with. The one’s you never got to say goodbye to. Do it on your own terms. Create your own memorial, or like me write your own letter.

As you all have guessed I have wanted to eat everything under the sun. Emotional eaters raise your hands. Regardless of what I eat the pain is not going away but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to eat. What I really need is hugs. I need lots of hugs. There are very few times when I just want a person to sit and hug me. No words needed, no explanation. I just want a hug to feel safe. Safe enough to simply cry. One day I will get there, one day I will be ok. Today is not that day.

Month 10 Week 4 – It Keeps Happening

“ It keeps happening TO me. It keeps happening FOR me” – Kierra Sheard

I have a very eclectic music selection. My playlist goes from gospel to country to hip hop to classical. While this may stress a lot of people it actually works great for me. When I hit play I believe I am meant to hear a specific song at a specific time. Yes you can say my phone is listening or reading my searches (it probably is). What I can tell you is usually when a song plays its exactly what I needed to hear at that point in time.

On a particular rough day this week I hit play and Kierra Sheard “Keeps Happening” came on. If you are not familiar with the song the beginning has her stating that things keep happening To her. She eventually changes her language and says things keep happening For her. That key word change screams at me each time I hear it.

When I am dealing with a bunch of crap I immediately flash to “Why is this happening TO me”? That statement alone is suggesting that it’s out of my control and the things that are occurring are bad. Suffering from depression it’s easy to fall into this woe is me trap. My husband is having some health issues, my child is having some adulting issues, my baby is asking me a million questions, and my friends are dealing with madness. Why is this happening TO me? My job keeps putting more on me, my staff is overwhelmed, my team is one step away from losing it, we are all working 12+ hour days. Why is this happening TO me?

With one switch the entire situation changes. This keeps happening FOR me. It keeps happening FOR me to make me stronger. It keeps happening FOR me because there is clearly a blessing on the other side. It keeps happening FOR me because I have to pause and take care of those around me before I take care of myself right now. It keeps happening FOR me because I need to put my family ahead of my career at this moment. It keeps happening FOR me because my team is strong than I realize and they are going to solve these issues without my help. It keeps happening FOR me because God is saying sit down

My life is full of ups and downs right now. It will always be. It will not be perfect, but it will be what’s its meant to be. What I won’t do is question and complain. What I won’t do is not realize I’m being prepared for something bigger and better. A good friend of mine came over this week and we talked about patience when it comes to God. God works on his time, not mine. I simply need to take things day by day and let him do what he does.

Thank you God for allowing these things to happen FOR me. Thank you for allowing me to learn lessons daily and get better, be better, and do better. I know it’s not going to get easier, but I’m going to be patient and follow the process.

The lesson this week was simply to BE STILL. To not stress eat bags of chips but instead reach out to friends who say exactly what I need to hear. I did not lose a pound this week. Well actually I gained a pound and lost it the same week. I’m going to let that be a wash. I’ve got a lot of weight work to do but the personal work is taking center stage. This journey started about weight but has completely turned into something else. I have no idea where this is headed, but I’m glad at least one person is along for the ride.

Month 10 Week 3 – Tell Your Story

“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story” – Hamilton Musical

This weekend I got together with some friends. We were talking about life in general and one person mentioned she wanted to make sure everyone knew her side of the story. The crazy part is for the first time ever I paused. I have read enough books to know that if you don’t tell your story someone else will. There is nothing on the shelf that says “hey let someone else tell your story”. No they are very specific. Do the work and share your story. The problem is all that is a lie.

Follow Me.

I can write my autobiography. I can tell everyone what a great person I am and how fantastic I was to people. I could be a modern day Mother Theresa in my eyes. My book could sells millions and everyone would know my story. Six months later someone could release a book that is the total opposite of what I put out. They could tell the world I tripped them when I was in the second grade and all I did was spew hate towards people. They could say I did my best to make their lives hell.

Which story is true?

Disclaimer- I don’t remember tripping anyone in second grade and I haven’t spewed anything to my knowledge.

Back to my point.

Both stories may or may not be true. Both stories are out in the world and people get to decide which one they believe. I could have told my story and thought my job was done, but clearly my job would not be over. The world now has two stories and I have two options.

The first options is to run around trying to make sure people know my story and my version. I could scrub social media, write another book, go on tv, and spend my whole life trying to make sure MY version of MY story was told. The second option is simply to let it go. Yep you heard me, let it go.

There will always be someone talking about you. If your job is to make sure they know your version you are going to wear yourself out. I am praying you don’t have that kind of time in your life, and if you do do something great with it. Don’t waste that time clearing up stories about yourself. Spend that time writing more fantastic stories.

This week I laughed with people who know who I really am. They are not concerned with the story I put out in the world or the story I keep telling myself. They are the people who call me on my B.S.

I didn’t get to walk 10,000 steps with anyone this weekend, but I did laugh so hard I cried. All the laughter and crying apparently helped me lose a pound. I know that’s not the real reason, but I’m going to take a pound any way I can get it. Current Weight 269. Guess what I plan to keep doing, LAUGHING.

Month 10 Week 2 – FEMALES ONLY

“Periods are something you hate, but freak out if you don’t have one” -Unknown

I’m going to pause again to give men the option to click out of this post. You have been warned.

Now that I’ve cleared the air let’s talk about periods. This will not have details, but I wanted to talk about this gripe I have.

It feels like when I’m on my grind, all the pieces are falling into place and I feel like yelling I got this. I then get my period and realize I don’t have anything. I’m not telling women anything they don’t already know, but this whole cycle is driving me insane.

First the cravings, then the exhaustion, then the mood swings. It take all my efforts to simply do day to day stuff so resisting my craving for chocolate does not happen. after cravings win everything else quickly crumbles.

I want to add a disclaimer that I don’t have debilitating cramps that cause me to be bed ridden. I know people who have that and I’m sorry. I barely get cramps. My period just throws off my mojo and I feel like all the weight I’ve lost I can gain back in one week. Between eating and laying in the bed I don’t stand a chance.

There is no encouragement in this post, sorry. This is just a women upset that this monthly cycle causes me so much grief yet I haven’t mastered it. I know when it’s coming, I try to prepare, then BAM. Instantly workouts go down the drain and calorie intake goes up.

Clearly I’m not reporting weight loss this week. I just felt the need to tell all women that I understand. It’s not just you, and yes the world does feel like it’s against you at this moment. You can temporarily gripe and hate the world. I give you a pass. With that pass though comes the notion that we are going to grind it out the next 21 days. Yes this thing will be back.

Do you have any secrets that help you? Please share because I’ve ordered $35 worth of groceries just to get chocolate for free delivery. Yea I’m judging me too.

Month 10 Week 1 – Walk It Off

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” – Friedrich Nietzsche

This month I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do for a challenge. While usually something pops in my head this month I had nothing. What actually happened was I was at work and the day went from 0 to 100 and I needed to breathe. I hopped up from my chair, threw on my walking shoes and headed outside. I had previously tried to walk though issues by hopping on the treadmill but this time I needed to get out of my house I was so heated.

As usual I threw on some AirPods and started moving. Before I knew what happened the stress was starting to go away. I was at ease and thought how great this felt and how I needed to do this more often. In the midst of my excitement guess what? My phone rang. It was my job. I was immediately mad again and thought I had to figure something out. I needed to make this a challenge and figure out how to pull it off. I was going to have a heart attack at this rate.

I decided that I would walk at least 10,000 steps a day. I normally say something like I will walk a mile, or I will walk a 5K and while that has great results I can pull that off in one block of time. I knew if I was going to do 10,000 steps it was going to take some work. Now let me fill you in on something. This challenge for the first time was not about the 10,000 steps. This was about me knowing I would have to get my butt up several times per day and walk. It was about taking myself out of stressful situations and just moving. I was right.

First day I had to do two walks and got 8569 steps. Second day I walked three times and got 9042 steps. I told myself that I would just focus on walking more than the day before if I didn’t reach the 10K. I also made a promise that if I got 10K I would not decide 11K was the new goal. I’m crazy like that. Day 3 – 9823. Day 4 -11251. Day 5 – 7704.

What I liked about this challenge was that I felt good. It was hard, but I felt good afterwards. I started going to the park to walk for different scenery. Instead of being upset I had to take my son to school so early I decided since I was up I might as well walk and get it out of the way. After dinner I would think “its still light outside” and go for a walk. Walking didn’t require me to stress about anything except good socks and shoes. I love my Asics, yes this is a plug.

I want to tell you I’m not some walking pro. My whole body hurts which is still annoying me. I came home one day and whined to my husband how hard walking was. My feet were hurting so bad I didn’t think I could keep walking. He told me to just change my route. That morning I had decided to try some hills that I apparently was not ready for. I’m glad he gave me that piece of advice because I kept walking. I just took a flat path.

So this month I challenge you to walk. Yep just walk. Can you get 10,000 steps a day? Can you get more steps than you did the day before? I think you can. Throw on some shoes and enjoy this fall weather. I’m enjoying this so much I can see myself walking through the winter. Truth is I just can’t do the heat. I am miserable in the summer. Oh and I lost a pound. All that walking had me so tired I kept going to bed early. If I’m sleep I can’t eat. If you haven’t figured it out I will take my wins anyway I can get them.

Here are my last few days of walking. Today is Oct 2 and I have four more walkable hours so I’m killing it. I left a good chunk of info so you can see I really wasn’t moving at all. Yea not even trying. September 20th and 23rd I don’t know what was going on but I didn’t move at all. I wish I could tell you I was sick, but that would be a lie. Clearly a challenge I needed. Show me your numbers?

Nine Month Recap- Moving On

“I know my rear view can’t compare to what God will do with my life” Jonathan McReynolds

First let me say I can’t believe I have been on this journey this long and constantly blogging. As I finished my nine month on this journey I wanted to do some reflecting. Not to see if this was working, but to see if this was a journey I wanted to stay on. This is what I’ve learned.

  1. Posting a blog weekly is serious. There were so many weeks when I didn’t want to blog because honestly I failed. In the times that I failed I realized that I let life get in the way and prevent me from the plan I had created. It is so easy to come up with excuses but I should have come up with solutions.
  2. Blogging makes it easy to beat yourself up, or celebrate your success. You have to find a balance which often times can be hard. While I’m very good at finding the positive in other peoples situation I’m not so great at doing that for myself.
  3. Being true to yourself and who you are is the real win. I often had to call BS on so many things I was doing. I had to make real acknowledgments that I was full of it and simply trying to make a post look good. You don’t know how many times I would reread a post and delete it because it was so full of garbage. What you see on these pages is real. It’s the real struggle and sometimes the success, but it’s all real. Putting your life on a format for all to see has been eye opening. Irony is there were days I hoped no one would read it LOL.

Over the nine months I have done the following: Logged food, ate at the table, I was still, I moved, drank water, ate less fast food, created daily positive habits, practiced self care, and created a to don’t list. All of these things thus far have been fantastic. My issue was getting caught up in the next month that I forgot about the month before. That was one of the main reasons for this months reflection instead of going right into the next challenge.

As of today I weigh 270. I can say the 20 pounds lost still feels better than my starting weight. I can also say I feel like I’ve failed because following my challenge I should be 36 pounds lighter. A reasonable person would not beat themselves up over 16 pounds but if you’ve read anything I’ve written I’m a perfectionist. Basically I’m a hot mess.

I challenge anyone following this blog to do a week of reflection. What do you need to fix? What should you keep? What advice could you give to those struggling? If you are struggling how can you be helped?

I never thought this would be easy, but I swear I never thought it would be this hard. The plan moving forward is after pausing for a week I can now reset and figure out what really matters to me. Will I continue this journey, I don’t know. What I will do is decide to honestly assess what I want to do and stop lying to myself. The weight will not come off if I’m not going to work. I have to decide if I’m going to work.

Gardening #14 Playing In Dirt

“Play in dirt because life is too short to always have clean fingernails” – Unknown

My job has been a little stressful. Hell my life has been a little stressful. This year I decided to not do fall crops and begin prepping the garden for the winter. I have too much going on. This weeks tasks was to simply begin to take out all the old plants and start to prep the soil for winter.

After I got on my gardening gloves and grabbed my fancy garden tools I headed to the garden. When I started on my journey outside I had fifty thousand thoughts in my head regarding how my week has been going and what I needed to do. Even though I was listening to music to try to drown out my thoughts it wasn’t working and I will still running though check lists.

When I got in the garden and began tearing out plants and sifting dirt something odd happened. My mind went blank. I got in this rhythm. Take out the plant, sift the dirt, compost or don’t compost, make a trip to the trash can. It was such an easy flow to get into and I realized then how much I missed it. While dealing with all my stuff I didn’t go into the garden. When you make the decision to let the plants die there is no reason to go out there. No watering, no fertilizing or picking. I just watched the plants die from my office window.

What I was now doing was playing in dirt and letting all my issues fade. My husband jokes and asks me each time I come in the house if I’m done playing in dirt. I usually say yes and keep moving. Today something hit me. I am never upset when I’m in the garden. Even when things don’t go the way I want them to I’m never upset. If I need a break from reality I go to the garden. Being stressed and not gardening was a horrible plan.

I also thought about small children. Have you ever seen small children upset while playing in dirt? It’s impossible. Kids literally get to do something we always tell them not to do, get dirty. I think as adults we place too many negative images on playing in dirt. We think about pulling out weeds, cutting the grass, or trimming bushes. Chores instead of fun. I’ve decided I’m going to play in dirt a little more often and simply let it be what it is, fun.

If I’m pulling weeds, let’s get dirty and pull them. All yard work going forward as well as gardening just needs to be thought of as fun time with dirt. I always get amazed at what pops in my head when I simply just pause and stop making things more complicated than they are.

Month 9 Week 4

“Find time to love yourself, just the way you are” – M. Ross

I have started watching Fantasy Island. I know it’s crazy. I never watched the original but somehow I’ve gotten hooked on the remake. The episode this past week was about a heavyset woman who’s goal was to be thin. There was much more involved with the story but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who watches the show. Fast forward, she is able to get her fantasy of being thin but with consequences.

What I want to talk about this week is the back story. The woman was successful, wasn’t married, but otherwise had her shit together. She appeared by the words of her friends to really have her life in order. With all of that going for her she wanted to be thin (I promise you I’m leaving parts out). She was not as shallow as I’m making her sound.

Ironically, this made me think about myself. I’m married to a man that loves me, I have two amazing boys who are doing well in school, play sports, and have so many friends I can’t keep up. There is no talk of drugs, crazy girls, cyber bullying, and they appear to love their lives. I have a job I love and work with a team of people who love their job. I am able to travel and enjoy spur of the moment football games and family outings without worrying about what we can afford. My major stresses in life involve being able to get the world enough food. Remember I buy meat. We have money in the bank and my son is on a path to becoming the richest man in the world (his ambition is contagious). Looking at my life from the outside in looks fantastic. Guess what? Looking at my life from the inside it looks fantastic. This is my real life.

There is no show going on. My life is really this fantastic. And then there is that elephant in the room. I am unhappy with my weight. I’m not unhappy enough to get crazy about it, but I’m unhappy enough where I keep talking about it and keep trying to lose weight and change my outward appearance. I’m unhappy enough to build a gym and start a blog. I’m unhappy enough to feel like I’ve failed at this one thing. Why?

I have great skin, great hair, tiny wrists and ankles, great nails, and overall I’m healthy. I get my blood work done every six months and make sure I see my doctor often. Now I do have some issues that I’ve talked to you all about. Back pain, knee pain, and just some overall body aches from carrying this weight. This is why I want to lose the weight, but in the process I don’t want to lose myself. I don’t want to stop loving the person I am and the life I lead.

I believe as people try to lose weight they fear they may lose a little bit of themselves. I know I struggle with this. I struggle with balancing the great life I have and not feeling ungrateful that I want some things to change. I struggle knowing people would kill for what I have yet I’m looking to change myself. That fine line between gratitude and being selfish is one that for me gets thinner and thinner daily.

Who would have thought watching an episode of Fantasy Island would have me questioning so many things about my life. Kudos to the writers.

This is what I want to end the month with. I need to learn to love myself. I need to love the fat or the thin. I need to want to lose weight so I can spend more days with these kids and not to look some type of way. I speak a lot about healthy but I think a heathy mindset is what I need more than anything.

This month I lost four pounds. I lost those four pounds simply by trying to be better than yesterday. It was easy making a “To Don’t ” list since I’m always stressing about what I need to do. As I begin to enter the next phase on this journey I want everyone reading to know that today I realize I have to do this for myself. I have to find my thin line.

My thin line will not be your thin line. You have to find the strength within yourself to do what’s best for you. Ask yourself as you end the month what were you constantly telling yourself to not do? Did you build some better habits? I can’t eat after 7pm. I know it seems silly but for me I was struggling with that daily. My hunger is never ending and most likely all in my mind. Everything is always swirling in my mind.

I so hope this week was a winner for you. I hope this month was eye opening. I hope as always to see you next week. Remember, we’ve got this. One pound at a time.