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Archive for the tag “weight loss”

Can One Picture Ruin Great Conversation?

As usual, I’m feeling some kind of way.

I’ve finally accepted that in the online dating world, men assume you are a fat ogre if you don’t post more than four photos on your profile and if most of them are shots of your smiling face, you are by default, the mom from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

I do have one full body photo on my profile, which I felt is a sufficient representation of me, my size and my body type. I was feeling confident and my outfit was cute.

But I noticed that when I was talking to a fitness model/personal trainer who talked about his fitness regimen non stop, who seemed to be interested, everything came to a screeching halt when he asked me to send a full body photo of myself while I was at a New Year’s Eve party.

So, I took it, hit send. There wasn’t really a response. And then there weren’t any responses. He started fading me out politely with fewer and fewer messages, hellos, good mornings and how’s your day texts. I know that trick. I use that trick.

Deep down I knew I didn’t want a man who was that obsessed with the gym. I knew he was going to have unrealistic expectations of me and even if he found me attractive, he’d feel like I wasn’t working hard enough to improve myself. Because he’d ask me questions about what I was eating and if I had worked out. So I didn’t need that kind of pressure. I didn’t want a man that bad. And when I go to the gym, I want to do it for me. No one else. To make me feel good about myself.

But truth be told, I could use a little more help in that area. And it seems these days men who are in shape explicitly and implicitly say through words, and actions that the woman in their life should be as fit as they are. Not sure if it’s a fair standard, but people like what they like and want what they want.

This isn’t where the story ends though. I have been sending messages back and forth with a really cool guy who happens to do a lot of business on the West Coast. Last night, we talked on the phone into the wee hours of the morning. Which was a terrific sign to me. He was funny, he was charming, he was passionate about things and opinionated. Twice in the conversation he made jokes about me “beating the house” by meeting him and that I could call my family because he is the dude.

Keep in mind, I’ve heard this stuff before, but it was refreshing coming from him. So the discussion turned to why I only had two photos on the dating site. I told him I had more but I started to take them down slowly because I was considering giving up online dating for a nice long while. But I told him I didn’t have any problem sending him a few photos.

So I sent my cutest ones. And most are selfies from the chest up. He mentioned that I didn’t send a full body pic, so I went for broke, I sent the same New Year’s Photo that seemingly scared away Mr. Fitness Model. I took a deep breath, and hoped that on the strength of the nearly three-hour conversation we had and the several texts we shared throughout the day, he’d see something that Mr. Fitness Model didn’t.

He commented as I sent the previous photos. He mentioned my beautiful natural hair. I told him I was heading to bed, and sent the last.

Radio silence. So I stayed up with the sheets up to my neck and I waited 10, even 20 minutes to get a response.  A nice, a beautiful anything positive. And nothing.

So I wondered and wondered if one, it wasn’t a very flattering photo or these men don’t like my body type.

I told myself that I am attractive and beautiful and no one should need that much convincing.

I told myself that I did say I was going to bed, so maybe he would reserve his comments until the next day, when he said earlier he would indeed talk to me.

But did that change after that one photo? There’s the three-hour time difference. Surely he’ll say hello by lunch time east coast time.

I won’t be insecure. I won’t even ask him if he liked the photo or not. Didn’t he enjoy our conversation?

How did I end up in such a war with myself approaching 32? There are so many ways that I feel powerful and sexy and good about myself, and then in other ways I am so aware and it feels like my insecurities share my apartment and space like mooching roommates.

My cousin tells me I tend to think of the worst possible scenario and that I am not patient. So, I’m going to wait it out. And I may even post the one photo of myself that seems to be at the root of my rejection on the online site to see the reactions and if I’m nuts.

Welp, he’s online now. And hasn’t said anything. That might be my answer…

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Am I 20 Pounds Away From Mr. Right?

I had a startling thought as a handsome guy on Plenty of Fish straight up told me I wasn’t his type.

The first thought was damn homie.

The second thought was in some kind of way or another, I’ve rejected others just as harshly, despite trying my best to let them down as humanely as possible. I’ve hurt others who didn’t fit into my box and I justified it.

A friend told me online dating is an exercise in the superficial.

He’s right.

But it really made me think about my package and presentation. I think I’m a good-looking person, but in recent years I’ve struggled with my weight. As I get older, and as we use online dating more and more and people focus on photos as a hook, even though I get compliments from men I don’t find attractive, I’m getting fewer compliments from the ones I do.

In my college years and early years in the workforce when I was constantly on the run, I could hardly go anywhere without getting some attention. Now, it’s almost like I’m invisible.

I told a friend that I’d be really pissed if I drop a few pounds all of a sudden the wall will lift, the levees will break and here come the men. That would upset me deeply, because inside, I’d still have the same sense of humor, the same passion, the same smarts, accomplishments, same eyes.

Let’s get it right. I don’t want to lose weight for what I think may be a better pick of men who would be attracted to me. I do want to lose weight to look better, feel better and boost my confidence and wear what the hell I want without having to think twice about my stomach or thighs.

I’ve noticed I don’t take a lot of photos of myself these days, because I feel like most of them are unflattering. It’s interesting to see how things connect.

I’m hoping that going back to grad school will also help me lose weight from stress and just being busy and having to really compartmentalize my schedule and force me to prioritize. Isn’t that terrible?

But just like going back to school and not wanting to take the GRE but having to do it anyway, that example reminds me of getting back on a better fitness and eating regimen. I don’t want to do it, but I have to do it and I have to be consistent to get the things I want.

I think about how I used to be and how I fought for things.

There was a certain point in time I’d either get comfortable or tired and I stopped fighting. Then came the weight, then came the lower self-esteem. Then came the not taking care of myself and finding it easier to do nothing than to fight off that urge to do nothing and do something.

My life is on me. Period. What’s on the outside does count. What I’m doing to feel good and feel productive matters.

What Goes Down Better Back Come Up

I was in a dreadful funk, yesterday. I can admit that.

I let life and it’s challenges get me down.

I feel better today.

And I joined like two new meetups and I’m going to actually go and meet people.

I’ve gone to a number of events for one meet up group, ended up inviting someone and not really hanging out with the meetup group people.

But now that I’ve told the universe I’m tired of dating and particularly tired of online dating, I’ve got to meet my man the good old fashioned-not from behind a computer screen in the comfort of my own home kind of way.

I’m going without a net folks.

So for the month of March, I’ve already planned a few activities and I’m going to go. Boom. Period. I’m going to go.

I’m going to look nice, smile, be open and go.

I also took some control over my part of planning for a gals trip to Essencefest in New Orleans in July.

The room has been booked now, just got to get the plane tickets and the person in charge of getting our groups tickets has to get those tickets, and we are all set to go. Whooo hoo!

Sundresses, sandals, great music, hurricanes and hand grenades and benignets, it don’t get no better than that.

So now I have something to look forward to and something to work towards in terms of not looking crazy. My goal.

Lose 15 pounds by July for Essencefest.

That’s it. I will not get caught up in trying to lose 30 pounds. Just lose 15. Slowly but surely. Make good choices, keep it moving.

I may make a vision board of New Orleans and good fitness, eating and health to get me motivated.

Actually, I may do that tonight.

I tend to do things better when I make a plan, and map it out.

I’m excited now. Whoo hoo. I’ve got something to look forward to.

Size Ain’t Nothing But A Number, and Other Random Weight-Related Rants

I was feeling all kinds of warm and fuzzy.

I’d been inspiring folks to replace negative behavior with positive ones.

I was trying to stick to my own, when this morning, I just stayed in bed.

No A.M. workout.

No breakfast.

I’d been embracing my natural curly hair, and last night I decided to straighten it to get an idea of how much its grown and to clip some ends.

Guess what?

Hated it. Didn’t feel like myself. After watching a few videos on youtube, seems like a lot of women who go natural go through this.

They aren’t as excited about their straight hair as they thought, and if it weren’t for all the work they put in, they’d wet it and just go back. Some actually did right after they straightened it.

Didn’t want to waste the two hours I put in, so I just slicked it all back and stuck a straight pony tail hair piece on and wrapped it in a bun. I’m still not enthused.

So anyway, I try to put on pants and all of them are hell to put on. I know that I ate over my birthday weekend, but really? So none of my workouts during the week helped the cause??? Nothing?

Ok, fine. So here I am in the office, feeling all kinds of ways about myself. Even unattractive. After feeling pretty great about myself on Monday. How can it flip soooo fast???

Because I feel like I’m a thick girl, I decided to take a look at plus-sized models on Pinterest.

I’m not quite plus-sized, but I hover around a 10-12 in most of my clothes. (This is supposed to actually be the average weight of an American woman)

One thing I always admire about plus-sized models is, they weigh more than me, and they are gorgeous. Like put them side-by-side with me, and they wipe the floor with me. Why? Because they are still professional models! Models of any size are still more fly and amazing because they are friggin models. So people who think they can roll out of bed and assume they are hotter than a plus-sized model because they are a size four? You just played yourself. That size 16 Lane Bryant model is going to look better than you in her underwear. She’s still a model. Just saying.

They have confidence out the butt-crack, and they always wear clothes that fit.

I think the key to life and confidence, is wearing damn clothes that fit. Period. Take your award and exit stage left.

Even if it’s a short skirt, or tight pants, or even in some cases midriff tops, Plus-sized models’ clothes frigging fit. Some don’t have flat stomachs, but their clothes fit properly and give that illusion.

What are the rest of us doing wrong? If it’s just that simple? Someone tell me please.

They understand the importance of great undergarments and their hair and make up and shoes and accessories are always on point.

So ok, it may take me awhile to lose the 20-30 pounds I want to lose. But even on the days I can’t seem to fit my pants, I need to rock the ones that fit properly with attitude.

I’ve discussed this in a previous blog, that people will wear unflattering clothes, especially pants and skirts because if they move up a size they are surrendering to the larger weight.

If you think wearing ill-fitting pants like an albatross or a scarlet F for fat is supposed to shame you into going to the gym and losing the weight, it’s not. You are going to look like a muffin-top, sausage casing of hot mess. That’s what’s going to happen.

Now you feel even more self-conscious.

Oh hell no.

Do I want to wear more size 12 pants? No! But I’ve also noticed that it’s not so much size, it’s cut. Sometimes we can’t read so much into the NUMBER.

So yes, some days I can wear size 8 clothes. Or mediums.. Some days 10s, 12’s and there might even be a size 13 jean. But hey, I’ve got bootie and thighs and thicker legs anyway.

Today, my muses are plus-sized models. I should love myself at every step of the way and actually look like it via my clothing choices and focus on my health and getting in shape. The weight will come off.

Here are some links and stories about the it girls of plus-sized fashion blogging:

http://jezebel.com/5958726/plus+size-lady-bloggers-look-fly-make-us-want-to-go-shopping

The chick who is murdering the game is Nadia Aboulhosn. Most articles that mention plus-sized bloggers always mention her! http://nadiaaboulhosn.com/

Another young lady I absolutely adore is is gabifresh. This chick is also everything. I love her looks, I love her confidence. She is rocking a middriff on her blog and it freaking works. Inspiration. Sigh. Gangsta. Sigh.

No matter what your size, if you’ve never checked out a plus-sized fashion blog, they still have great tips for everyone. You may be inspired, like me!

I’m about to go buy some sturdier bras…

Today’s lesson. Whatever size you are. Wear what fits. You’ll feel better. Wearing something a size too small or wearing clothes that are too big serves no one.

My Five Negative Actions, My Five Positive Actions to Replace Them

Hey everyone! 

I have a number of items to tackle in today’s post, so let’s get to it!

On my last post, I challenged myself and extended the offer to you fine folks to…

Write down five negative habits or things you do, and then write down five things to cancel out that negative behavior and do it for a week. I believe there was some experiment about habits, and that if you do something over a certain period of time, you will have trained your brain to just do it. So, I’m hoping if I exchange my negative behavior for one positive behavior to address the issue for a week, it will start the programming process. 

So let me share my list with you.

1. Not eating breakfast everyday.

Action: Eat some kind of breakfast every day.

2. Not working out everyday including weekends.

Action: Got to work out at least an hour everyday, and Saturday and Sunday too. Can’t take a break. Got to find that one hour.

3. Not obsess about my scale and get upset about lack of progress if I have a setback.

Action: Only look at the scale once a week. Move my scale to the closet and out of the bathroom.

4. Cut down on eating out. 

Action: Bring my own lunch. Go to the grocery store and COOK!!! Narrow eating down to three times a week including weekends. Argh. 

5. Not praying enough

Action: Morning prayer when I get up. Night prayer when I go to sleep. 

I appreciate the folks who reached out to me and said they will be challenging themselves to replace some negative habits for at least one week. I am so motivated to take this seriously, because others took what I said to heart. Thank you soooo much! Folks listen to me!!! 🙂 I truly hope whatever it is you’ve chosen, when the week is up, you feel proud of yourself and you continue to stick with the better, more positive replacement action!!! And hey, for those of you looking from the outside in. You don’t even have to do five! Please pick just one thing! Just one! I’m so sure that you’ll feel so good that you were able to stick to that one change in your life. Even if it’s to smile more, or smile at three people each day. Maybe you don’t keep in contact with people. Pick seven people and decide to call them, or write them a letter and put it in the mail for each day of the week or call a person a day. Have a conversation and tell them what they mean to you. I’m telling you, it will make a difference in not only your life, but theirs!!! A lot of my stuff is weight and food and health-centered, because frankly, that has been the main thing on my brain. But you can pick anything that’s negative in your life. How do you respond to people? Do you think you are lazy sometimes? I know I do. I wonder if I don’t smile enough, especially at work. So pick ANYTHING! Keep me posted. 

You did something! 

Making A Promise Week, By Week

This morning I got up and I did a Zumba DVD.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person.

In my opinion, I don’t like speaking in full sentences until after 10 a.m. and no one should even be mad at that. The world should just accept it.

After eating like a stupid person the past couple of weeks, the scale has not been kind.

It’s been pretty mean.

So mean, that I’m officially the most I’ve ever weighed in life and it was a ridiculous wake up call.

I’ve had wake up calls before, but last night I prayed to God to remove the spirit of laziness and to please let me get up in the morning without a whole lot of moaning and groaning and ignoring, and at least do one 20 min Zumba rush DVD.

I got up and I did it. Then I made one egg for breakfast. I’m bad about eating breakfast.

I also decided to make another promise to myself and say another prayer to not be lazy and to not get discouraged quickly.

For one week, the only liquid I want to drink is water. Not even diet Snapple. Just water.

For one week, I want to go vegetarian. No meat. I may keep fish on the menu, but generally, I think I’d like to go straight veggie for just this one week.

The next promise I made to myself for just this one week, is to do two-a-days of exercise. One quick exercise in the morning, like the 20 min rush, or a yoga dvd or my new pilates reformer bar and then a more hard-core workout video when I get home from work in the evening for one hour.

Then I found myself deciding that I’d like to lose 30 pounds by April, and if I do, I get to take myself on a vacation somewhere awesome.

Do I want to join a gym? Eventually. But I’d rather wait until March when the rush dies down. I refuse to join a gym in January. It’s the worst. And I’d like to see if I can push myself at home. I have too many different types of dvds and I would get bored with them. I actually think I can create my own program by just mixing them all up so I don’t get bored with trying to stick with one plan. I just want to move.

I am also strongly considering buying a jump rope to use at work in one of the stair wells for a ten minute break.

I don’t have a husband, I don’t have kids. Nothing is consuming my time to the point where I shouldn’t be able to take an hour to exercise. But it’s so hard to make up your mind, shut yourself up and just do it.

There is a quote from Mark Twain that I really like and have spent the last few years trying to really apply to my life, but I get lazy.

“Do something everyday that you don’t want to do. This is  the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

So whoop there it is.

This is one song that pumps me up in my ipod for working out. It’s called “You Can Do It.” No Doubt. Yes, this is old school.

Inch By Inch: I See It, Sort Of…

I don’t know if I’m going crazy or not, but since I’ve started doing Zumba twice a week for basically two months now, I haven’t dropped serious weight, but certain pairs of pants are not cutting off my circulation anymore. One pair of pants actually looked baggy yesterday.

Pants I normally wouldn’t wear because I couldn’t button them, I can button if I hold my breath.

Certain shirts don’t make me look like a boxy, shapeless blob.

One of the warning signs that I was gaining weight was the fact that there wasn’t a defining separation between my boobs and my stomach when wearing a tight shirt. It was just a square blob.

One of the warning signs that my health was being threatened by my horribly inactive lifestyle was a bad pain shooting up and down my left arm and shoulder. That was the moment I said enough was enough, and that I need to do something. Truth be told. It scared me.

Since I’ve been doing Zumba, I haven’t felt that pain since.

I’ve been trying to eat better, (but that’s been the most difficult part for me) so I know that’s part of  why I’m not dropping significant amounts of weight yet. And I know I need to kick it up one more notch and either add another day of Zumba or add another day of doing some other form of exercise and then kick it up from there to see for real results on the scale.

The funny thing is, I’m not going nuts over the fact that I may have only lost about 3 pounds in the process, I even looked it up because while my weight has been holding steady, I feel better and I think I look better. I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and she said that I look fantastic and I look more in shape. So that’s good.

Well, this article helped explain what’s going on with that. I was encouraged to read that sometimes this happens because as you are losing fat, you are gaining muscle. The article said if you are losing inches, that’s a good sign you are heading in the right direction.

The author concludes with this : “Now that you understand the different characteristics of fat and muscle, you are probably likely to reconsider your weight loss goals. Losing inches doesn’t seem bad at all. Believe your clothes; only they will tell you the truth first. (check) Second, believe your mirror; it never lies. (check) Third, believe what your BCA indicates. Fourth, your friends and relatives. (check) Fifth, your weighing scale.”

Looking at the scale last, I think is a really great idea. My goal is to just keep moving, and keep working on feeling good and not out of breath. That’s another thing, I was able to run with luggage to catch a bus and I’m so proud of myself. I didn’t feel as tired or out of breath as I would have a few months ago just from walking up a few flights of steps. And I see a difference when I get out of the shower. I’m starting to see the difference between boobs and boxy blob (thank you God). So I feel the little differences! Whoo hoo!

I’m dog tired from traveling (and my period), but I’m going to go to class today anyway. I can’t regress from my progress. Just wanted to check in and give an update! Go me!

Does anyone else have that issue where they can see and feel positive differences in their body, but the scale isn’t moving?

I Had a Veggie Burger and I Liked It

MorningstarFarms.com

Well, it’s two weeks after my master cleanse, and because I am loving that my stomach isn’t hanging out of my pants nearly as much as they used to, and I can fit old clothes, and there’s not an unsightly bulge when I wear form- fitting shirts, I have a very real fear of incorporating meat back into my diet for awhile.

Seems silly doesn’t it? But I think meat and fast food was my slippery slope to being 20 pounds overweight in the first place.

I’m not quite sure if I want to go all the way vegetarian, but now that I’ve been three weeks meat free (I do eat seafood), not having as much meat as I used to seems to be a good look for the long haul.

I’m not a big steak person so giving up beef isn’t that big a deal. I converted to turkey burgers a long time ago, only eating beef burgers from time to time. I eat pork a couple of times a year, usually ham for holidays and my family recipie of chopped North Carolina Style bbq (also known as pulled pork). I make that like once in the summer. Once again, I happily replaced pork bacon with turkey bacon in my diet.

The only problem I have is with chicken. I seriously think that I could probably eat chicken every day of the week, and I probably have sometimes. I’m glad the master cleanse has given me so much discipline over the way I eat. I really think about it now. Which brings me to trying the veggie burger. My friends keep telling me, there’s no reason to fear chicken. Just don’t fry it all the time, and don’t go nuts at Popeyes. They are probably right, but I’ll decide on meat after I go to a wedding and wear an awesome dress next week. I may even push it to Thanksgiving so I can show my mother my progress and she can stop asking me if “I’m in the family way.”

The real test was if I could actually like Burger King’s veggie burger which is made by Morningstar (which would also let me know if it was worth buying a few patties to make at home). I know, I just mentioned I had a fast food problem… some would say why is this a good test? But that’s what I decided to do. I was lazy. I forgive myself.

I went after work for my dinner. It was actually good. I had lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup on it, even though I did ask for cheese and I wanted pickles too. But it took so long to make (other vegetarian blogs warned about this), I didn’t get snobby.

I got home and took a bite. It wasn’t bad. It actually had a taste to it. I was pleased. This could be something else to work into my new diet.

I had to laugh because I’ve had two vegetarian boyfriends in my lifetime, one of whom wanted me to like veggie burgers and bbq tofu so bad, and I was unmoved. I actually texted him to tell him I haven’t eaten meat in three weeks. He probably didn’t recognize my number, lol.

Either way, much to my surprise. I had a veggie burger and I liked it.

Fortunately it didn’t taste like a tire. And unlike Katy Perry’s hit song “I Kissed a Girl (and I Liked It)” it didn’t taste like cherry chapstick either.

Wonder if I can really lose 30 by 30… 10 down 20 to go… Now to find the right exercise regimen that I won’t get bored with or stop doing…

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