I Promise, I’ll Keep Trying

Well, there goes all that hard work and those healthy initiatives from a few months back. Remember that? Remember when I thought I’d figured out the “secrets” to staying healthy and spoke like I knew something…anything about it.

IMG_4181

Look at me up there, all pompous and motivated and successful at losing weight. And sure, it doesn’t mean that the things I said weren’t true. The evidence is there. I really did lose that weight. I really was the healthiest I’d ever been. But as with most things…it was temporary. And as with other things… it takes daily maintenance and expended energy.

IMG_4260_

Enter moving. And stress. And boys. And family. And humidity. And travel. And Chick-fil-A. Darn you, Chick-fil-A. There weren’t any of you in New York when I was there, so there was no temptation to have you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I had blissfully forgotten how good you are! And ps…why is your lemonade so delicious? Is there crack in it? I sorta think there might be crack in it!! Don’t even get me started on you, waffle fries!!

I wish we didn’t need food for survival. Or better still, I wish all food tasted like a health supplement. You don’t want to take it, but you know it will be good for you. Sort of like how I imagine the food in the Matrix tastes. You know, once someone gets unplugged…that goopy, oatmeal looking stuff…the “bowls of snot?”  Yeah. That’s the stuff. Necessary for survival, but you don’t see anyone getting gluttonous with it.

God bless my parents. They did the best they could. And we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so we lived on a tasty array of fast foods and starches like macaroni and cheese, spaghetti (my mom makes the very best spaghetti!!) Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendy’s, etc, etc, carbs, etc, etc, sugars, etc, etc fats! It’s not their fault. And I’d don’t blame them. That junk is delicious. Plus, it’s how you did things back then especially if you didn’t have a lot of money.

Whole Foods was a blip in someone’s mind space and high fructose corn syrup is what made the world go around. Especially in small towns in the south. It was just the way of the world.

All that to say that I still have a problem with food. I don’t know when to say no sometimes. And dear Lord, help me! I cannot resist Publix chocolate chip cookies. Mainly because they too must be laced with crack!!

1428973665863

I hate to keep talking about the battles of my life. Because I have a lot of harvest moments in there. The fact that I can eat at all and have a home and a job and a family and a life. There are so many times of peace and prosperity in my own little corner, in my own little world. But it’s the battles that really make me feel a part of the human race.

So, I guess it’s time to reinvent my health… again. For the thousandth time. Being in California for the next 2 months is sure gonna be a good kick start!! And I can’t promise that I won’t be here again in 6 months lamenting the weight that I wish would permanently go away. In fact, I should probably go ahead and warn you that I’ll be here again, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a year. But my hope is that if I tell you lovely people about it, maybe one of these days it will stick. Up there in the cockles of my dusty brain. And I’ll be free from the chains that keep me running to food for comforts instead of to what I should be running to. I promise you, I will keep trying!!

Signed,

a nerd in progress…

Healthy is the New Sexy!

FrenchFriesAndHamburger-850x400
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

We have a big weight problem in this country. And it’s two fold. Obesity is an epidemic that continually plagues us. Big Mac, Extra Large, Super Sized. In America, our mantra is usually “Bigger is better.” This is not reflected in the media. As our movie stars get skinnier and skinnier, the rest of America embraces extra helpings, because, “Hell, we’ll never look like that anyways. So why not!”

But even someone as gorgeous as Cindy Crawford is the first to admit that she doesn’t even look like “Cindy Crawford” in the privacy of her own home. It’s a myth. An illusion. (Read her article from Redbook Magazine 2009: Click here)

62a8742c6fe34aa0b230d78cf0f566f4
Photo Credit: Vogue Magazine 1988

And to be honest with you, I bought into it early on and have continued to struggle with it ever since.  6 years ago when I was working at a certain famous New York bridal salon, it was worse than it ever had been or would be.

The fashion industry is brutal for a chubby, Southern girl with a deep love of apple pie and Coke slurpees. The pressure can get the best of you and definitely got the best of me. Now, it could have been a whole lot worse, but it was bad enough to require an intervention from my friends at the salon.

The truth is, I felt fat. All the time. There was a constant stream of food always available to us. And “bad” food like chocolate cake, cheesy fries, and an endless supply of gummy bears. When you’re going as fast as we went, you’ll eat whatever is in front of you.

My weight hit an all time high at 198 pounds. So I decided to try an “herbal” remedy I’d seen a commercial for. It was called Hoodia. It’s an African cactus and it promises to “trick your brain into thinking you’re full.”

Yes. It curbed my hunger, but it also had me going about 100 miles an minute and my heart constantly felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. But it was working. I lost weight. And inevitably, everyone around me kept telling me how great I looked. So I chalked it up a success!

At one point I think I was taking 6 or 7 pills a day. If that wasn’t enough, I also did that lemon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup cleanse for a full 10 days. And I lost another 15 pounds. Triumph!

For all I could tell I was doing something that was working and was garnering the desired effect. People noticed the difference and were pleased with the skinnier, unhealthier, “sexier” me. I couldn’t see that I had developed an eating disorder!

Thank God for great friends, who saw what was happening and told me it had to stop. I got off it, promptly gained all the weight back and then went about trying to lose it the healthy way. With exercise and eating better. (What a revelation!)

The sad fact is that every time I get the flu or food poisoning or something, I’m secretly grateful for the little extra weight loss. The feeling of my hip bones sticking out a little more than usual. It’s a battle I fight constantly and probably always will. But now it’s one I feel like I’m winning. And the majority of the time when I look in the mirror I see someone who looks healthy. Not fat or skinny! I have strong legs that carry me all over this beautiful city. I have a body proportionate to the size of my head (I looked like a bobble head when I lost all that weight.) And I am proud of my body and what I can do with it! Finally.

And I’m happy to say that my goals reflect a much more balanced viewpoint.

Photo Credit: Tacfit
Photo Credit: Tacfit

Stay tuned for more from this Avenger in Training!

And share your thoughts below. I’m not the only one who deals with this. Don’t struggle in silence.