Category Archives: Weigh-In

I’m Different, Which Is Mostly Okay with Me

I started this blog almost six years ago, and life has changed so much since it began! I’ve experienced success, failure, heartbreak, loss, love, what I thought might be love, anger, growth, healing, fulfillment, and a lot of other things that have molded me into the person I am right now. I’ve talked about all of it at length here. I’ve shared the highs and lows, and as I moved into 2014 I was unsure about my presence here. I was quiet for more of December because I was happier not posting here, but over the last few days I’ve missed it.

My first post here was in 2009, but I wrote before that on a site that no longer exists. I’ve never found a blog name that sums up who I am, err, who I want to be as well as this one, but I’m different than I was when it started. My goals and priorities are different. My lifestyle is different. I miss parts of my former life, but I’m exponentially happier than I was.

I took this selfie today while singing hymns and waiting to fill up for $1.75 per gallon. I had to entertain myself for about 6 minutes.

After months of self-questioning and reflection regarding this blog, I was inspired by my friend, Kelly from NoThanksToCake, to write a new “About Me” page. I read what I had written some time ago with plans to change it, but the truth is that it still fits. It still sums up who I am, who I want to be, what I want…

In lieu of writing a new “About Me” Section, I’m just going to make a list of ways in which I’m different now. I’m going to continue to use this particular blog space because I love it more than any other space that’s available to me on the web.

So here we go…

  • In 2009 I was…focused on my health over everything else. I was a member of Weight Watchers, and I attended motivational weekly meetings to see my progress. I tracked consistently and almost always saw positive results. (If they ever bring back the Momentum plan, I’ll rejoin immediately.)
  • In 2014 I am…focused on all kinds of things, but my weight/health/consumption has not been a priority in ages. In fact, when I was asked to list the top five things that were most important to me, my health didn’t even make the list.
  • In 2009 I was…living in New York.
  • In 2014 I am…living in the heart of downtown New Orleans.
  • In 2009 I was…a weekly participant in Friend Makin’ Mondays.
  • In 2014 I am…no longer a participant in FMM. I became host and hosted every Monday until earlier this year when Sarah graciously agreed to take over. Now I’ll probably do something on Thursdays because that’s always been my favorite day to weigh-in, to blog, etc. I think it’s due to the anticipation of the upcoming weekend.
  • In 2009 I was…afraid to be myself, afraid that if people really knew me, they’d see that I was as worthless as I believed I was. I was closed off; I didn’t let anyone in because I hated who I was and was unable to admit it.
  • In 2014 I am…a pretty cool person who has a loving family, which I always had, and a cool set of friends (many of whom know every single awful thing I’ve ever done and still love me.)
  • In 2009 I was…determined to never attend church again. I was angry with God and angry with myself for not feeling worthy of the love that I forgot that He so freely gives.
  • In 2014 I am…a believer. I’ve been a part of NOLA Church for almost two years, and I have experienced more grace, love and healing that I ever could have imagined. God’s still working on me in major ways, but I’m new. I’m a part of God’s family, and I realize now (thanks for a very patient pastor, his beautiful wife and the community that I’m now a part of) that there’s nothing that can ever separate me from the love of God. (If you’re not convinced just take a moment to read Romans 8:31-39. You’re welcome.)
  • In 2009 I was…not a fan of coffee.
  • In 2014 I am…a fan of coffee. I never thought that Starbucks would become one of my favorite daily spots, but it is now. I do private tutoring there a few days a week, I’ve made friends with a handful of baristas at my preferred location, and I’m a gold card member. (Who doesn’t want a free drink once in a while?)
  • In 2009 I was…quietly singing karaoke in the comfort of my own home. I grew up singing in public and often.
  • In 2014 I am…on the worship team at NOLA Church and singing more powerfully than ever before. Our voices are instruments that need to be used, and it’s an awesome feeling.
  • In 2009 I was…nervous that I’d never figure out my place in life.
  • In 2014 I am…almost finished pursuing a degree at Tulane University. I still don’t know where I’ll end up, but my education should give me a firm foundation as I figure that out.
  • In 2009 I was…living with my boyfriend.
  • In 2014 I am…living alone in a cozy little apartment where I feel safe and content even without a boyfriend.
  • In 2009 I was…in a stellar exercise routine. My goal was to workout 1,000 minutes per month, and I logged it here.
  • In 2014 I am…less devoted to regular exercise than I have been in the last several years. I haven’t made it a priority, and as a result I feel lethargic when I think of hitting the gym. Sometimes I do it anyway, but I’m not consistent at all. It seems I’ve forgotten how good an endorphin rush can feel.
  • In 2009 I was…patient and consistent in cooking meals at home.
  • In 2014 I am…always on the go. I need to make more time to dine at home because a little planning goes a long way toward success.
  • In 2009 I was…determined to shed excess weight.
  • In 2014 I am…disappointed in myself for putting a significant amount of the weight I lost back on. I never got to my goal, nor have I regained all that I lost. I just haven’t done much at all for my physical health, and in all honesty, I’m beginning to feel it. I don’t like it one bit.
  • In 2009 I was…struggling daily to refrain from drinking Coke, Dr. Pepper and Sprite.
  • In 2014 I am…repulsed by soda. I haven’t had one since early 2009, and I’ll be fine with it if I never have one again.
  • In 2009 I was…so sure of myself. I believed that I could lose weight. I believed that if I worked at it and stayed consistent that it would work.
  • In 2014 I am…not even sure how I ever felt that. Sometimes it wasn’t easy, but I don’t remember it ever being as hard as it seems now. I guess the truth is that I’m afraid that I’m going to do all of the work again only to yo-yo again. I don’t want to fail anymore, and I’ve used that as a reason to not really try. I can’t be a failure if I’m not trying, right? (Wow, Kenlie…That’s just great. Way to suck a life, friend.)
  • In 2009 I was…Partying Off the Pounds with my favorite Richard Simmons DVD.
  • In 2014 I am…still in awe of the fact that I met my favorite fitness guru. I know him, and he knows me. He’s struggling right now, and it’s a reminder that even the greatest of us face difficult battles. He’s an incredible inspiration to me, and I hope to see him again sooner than later. I wrote about him recently for after fielding a lot of questions from other news outlets.
  • In 2009 I was…at the top of my game in this weight-loss thing. I didn’t care what CNN thought of me, and I didn’t get e-mails from reporters at various networks asking how much skinnier I had gotten since the beginning of the year.
  • In 2014 I am…an advocate for people of size because I believe that everyone deserves the same level of respect I no longer allow the opinions of people that I don’t know to affect how I feel about myself. In addition to being a founding board member at PlusInc, I also blog there pretty regularly.
  • In 2009 I was…an emotional wreck. I wasn’t depressed in a traditional sense. I just hated who I was.
  • In 2014 I am…emotionally healthy. I feel whatever I feel, then I let it go and move on.
  • In 2009 I was…afraid to be who I was.
  • In 2014 I am…actively loving myself even though I still have a lot of work to do to be insanely proud of myself.

I’m sure that I could list a myriad of other ways in which I’m different now than I was in 2009, but this is a good start. I’m different, but many of my desires are the same. I know that in order to lose weight I have to be active in trying, and over the last few months I’ve been doing more than I was. It’s been over three months since I’ve had a doughnut, and I’m hoping that at some point, I find them as disgusting as soft drinks.

I guess I said all of that to say this: I’m here. I may or may not check in everyday, and you may or may not like what I have to say. I’ll just be here to write when I want to write, and I’ll continue to strive to be the best version of myself.




I’m Thankful For My Fat Body

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a long time, and I stay connected through social media.  I constantly see motivational quotes plastered all over photos of women who are cut and airbrushed, making generalizations and promises even though they’ve never spent a day in my shoes.

I think it’s amazing when someone loses a substantial amount of weight, and I think it’s even more amazing when they keep off the weight that they lose for more than a year or two.  It’s hard….really hard.  I am constantly proud of myself even though I’d be a lot more pleased with myself if I could get back into a weight-loss groove and stay there.  Though I’m nowhere near my numbers goal, I’ve learned a few things throughout this process.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey…there will always be room for improvement.  I think it’s important to reflect on where we want to go, but it’s equally important to appreciate ourselves where we are.  (Seriously, Kenlie? Yep!)  If we never stop to appreciate everything that we do have, we’ll never be content, no matter how much we receive.

My body is *not* where it should be according to society, my doctor, Weight Watchers, etc.  I need to weigh less if I want to be considered healthy and beautiful.  I get it.  At the same time, I find it difficult to hate myself because, in my mind, I’ve come so far.  I love myself, and even though I’d like to wear a smaller size, I think it’s important to appreciate who I am and what I have right now.

I spend a lot of time being thankful for my life and the changes that have made it wonderful.  I thank GOD constantly for my family, my little home, my friends, my church, my travels, my things – all of it, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been as thankful for my body as I am today.

Nine Roses New Orleans

It’s easy to whine about why it’s so hard to lose the next hundred pounds.  I don’t want to have surgery, and even if I did, it’s not a realistic option for me.  Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising, and I rarely ever feel like restricting my food intake enough to lose weight.  Losing 250 pounds is tough, but I still don’t quite believe that it’s impossible.

Even though the weight I’ve lost feels like part of my past, I’m choosing to be thankful for my body today. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, my heart is strong and healthy…My legs allow me to walk up hundreds of steps, and they carry me everywhere that I need to go.  My smile is sincere and  bright, and I typically feel good about my eyes, lips, skin and finger nails.


I know a lot of people (who are much smaller than I am) who live with chronic pain and sickness, and I do not.  I’m blessed that my body is strong enough to do what I need it to do.  I remember what it was like to feel such intense pain in my feet that I struggles to walk, and I’m constantly thankful that I no longer feel that way.

I am more aware than anyone that there’s plenty of work to be done in order to be the best version of myself, but I’m also keenly aware of how lucky I am.  I’m not a size zero, but I’m happy and capable of change.  I’m strong, independent and active, and I’m thankful for who I am today – extra weight and all.


Baking, Bruises and Bouncing Back

Today is weigh-in day, but I’m out of town so I won’t officially weigh in until next week.  My scale at home told me that I was down almost two pounds, but I know that I can do more than I’m doing.  That will be my goal for the upcoming week.

My brain has been scattered this week, and I know that I need to get more sleep.  I know that my workouts will be longer and more effective if I’m not exhausted, and I won’t make mistakes like I did yesterday.  I’ve been taking the stairs to get to the roof of my tall building (where the gym is,) and my legs were feeling it yesterday.  I stepped onto the treadmill to do inclined intervals, and as I was stepping off, I twisted my ankle a little.  It’s not so bad that I can’t walk, but there’s a bruise just about my ankle bone that is screaming at me today.  I did manage to do some floor exercises too before heading back downstairs to shower and pack.


Today will be a rest day which should be okay because I’ve planned out my meals.  I’ve been dodging cupcakes more than usual this week, but that’s over for now.  I baked over 100 red velvet cupcakes Monday for a movie themed party (that I did not attend,) and I didn’t eat them.  I didn’t even taste them, but I did receive compliments on them which made me happy.



(Photos: Courtesy of Graceful Event Productions)

I whipped up a batch of tie dye cupcakes for game night at a friend’s house Tuesday too.  I tried those so I can tell you that they were good.  I didn’t take any with me when I left because I knew that if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t eat them.  As long as I can stick to that plan I should be okay.


Baking allows me to feel artistic, but it’s a complicated practice when you’re addicted to sweets.  I don’t eat them nearly as often as I talk about them, but I know that I have to be careful.  I like them too much.

I’m baking a little more often (and on a larger scale) lately, and I’ve given some serious thought to whether or not it’s something I can do.  I haven’t decided yet.  I thought about whether or not I should mention it here too.  I know that by discussing this I’ll be judged harshly by some, but I’m judged by them anyway so why not?   This blog is about my life, and it’s something that I’ve been doing lately.

I also shopped for dresses this week because I am seeing His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak Saturday, and I want to look my best.  I chose two dresses, and I’ll probably definitely post photos on Facebook and Twitter to ask which one I should wear.

It has been a good week, but it has also been long.  And it’s not over yet.  Is anyone else ready for the weekend?  What do you have planned?


Common Sense and Resentment

Last week I was talking with a friend about the quiet struggles I have faced as someone who needs to lose an incredible amount of weight.  It seems as though many of us reach that first giant milestone before allowing ourselves to hover around the same weight.  I’m not the only one in the world who has done this, and I’d like to delve into some of the reasons I’ve allowed myself to do it for so long.

I feel like I’m coming out of a tough place in which I have spent far too long being stagnant.  I’m a month into my new Weight Watchers meeting now, and the weight is coming off slowly again.  The most important part of the prior sentence is that it is coming off again, but some days, some weeks, I want food more than I want to see healthy results.  I experienced that earlier this week, and the only solution is to admit it and move on.

Anyone who has ever been overweight or been close to someone who has been overweight probably knows that emotions play a big role in the way that we consume food.  I don’t sit around and eat and eat and eat everyday.  I wouldn’t have kept off the majority of what I’ve lost if that were the case.  I’m not eating 2,000 calories a day more than I should, but I am eating a few hundred more than I should if I want to lose weight.  Period.

It’s easy to tell someone how to change it.  “Eat less. Move more.”  Those words make sense, of course, but we all know the obvious stuff already.  The note that I need on my cabinet would say something like, “The food will taste good for a few minutes, but think of how incredible you feel when you’re really in control.”

It’s so easy to forget that weight-loss is a mental challenge more than a physical one. I push myself hard at the gym, and these days Ron pushes me harder.


It’s an incredible feeling to accomplish things that seemed impossible before I did it.  Earlier this week, he walked in while I was working out on my own and asked me to jump.  He asked me to do a few more things, and before I knew it I was doing jumping jacks.  I’ve been modifying them for years, and now I can do them just like everyone else.  I felt so incredible, so normal, that I cried.

It’s hard to feel like I’ve come so far and still struggle so much with just eating a bit less on a regular basis.  I eat fruits and vegetables and lean protein, but I find myself struggling with my desire to eat extra, unhealthy things most evenings.

I fight feelings of resentment because friends who exercise can throw back a few beverages and an unhealthy meal and just work it off at the gym.  I also fight feelings of resentment when I think about how I’ve lost more weight than many people ever dream of losing, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg for me.  I get tired of hearing what I should be doing from people who haven’t accomplished as much as I have, and I get frustrated by those who assume that I sit around and eat Cheetos all day.  If I did that, I would have gained the weight that I lost back, plus some!

The last couple of months have opened my eyes to the fact that these feelings of resentment don’t solve the problem.  They don’t make me feel better about myself, and they don’t bring my closer to my goals.

I know that I have to accept that this is my life, my struggle and my journey.  I know that the opinions of others shouldn’t matter to me, and they don’t carry much weight as they used to.  Instead, I am focusing on the fact that I am making progress again.  It could be faster, but it’s better than being complacent.

Yesterday would have been weigh-in day, but for reasons that were out of my control, I didn’t weigh in today.  My plan is to go to a Weight Watchers meeting Monday since I’ll miss next Thursday, and I feel confident that I’ll see a loss.  I’m looking forward to heading out of town, but I plan to stay on track this week and while I’m gone as well.

This journey is not easy for me, but I am still working my way into a healthier place.  I’m going to try hard to make this a healthy week, and I’m going to do my best to squelch any negativity or feelings of complacency that try to creep into my mind.   My goal is to be consistent in making smart choices.

Do you ever struggle with resentment as you work to better yourself?



I Can, I will and I Am…

Before I talk about weighing in and other things, I’m going to share a picture of my new hair.  It’s hard to take a photo of myself that shows the caramel highlights, but you will see that I had about 6 inches cut off.  It’s long enough to put in a ponytail (which is imperative, of course,) but it’s also short enough to feel fresh.  Between a fresh hairdo and making some healthy decisions, I’m feeling pretty good about myself these days, and that’s a relief.


Yesterday was weigh-in day, and I’m so happy to report that I am down 2.4 pounds this week.  It’s nice to see the numbers moving in the right direction, and I’m continually reminding myself that it will work if I keep making the effort.


I track my food in WW e-tools, but I have had a good time playing with my daily calorie deficit on MyFitnessPal over the last few days.  A friend, Mr. Good Example, and I have spent a lot of time trying to increase our calorie deficits, and I’m excited to see what I can do in the upcoming week.

It’s been a month since I re-joined Weight Watchers, and the accountability seems to be working.  I think I’m just ready now, and I’m going to do my best to hold on to the knowledge that I can do this.

I lied to myself and others and made countless excuses  for a long, long time.  I’m sorry I did it, and I don’t do it anymore.  Weight-loss is possible for you, and it’s possible for me too.

1684_10201129935837160_1285231212_nI can do this. I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.




Workouts and Food

It’s almost weigh-in day, and I’m nervous because of my food choices over the weekend.  I made better choices than I have in years past, but I still ate things that weren’t healthy so it won’t be a surprise if I don’t see a loss.

Since coming home I have eaten more vegetables and protein, and I have continued doing intense workouts that include cardio and strength training.  I feel like I’m in control of my workouts and my food now so I hope to see some positive losses in the weeks to come. I’d like to see the scale move down at least a tad, but I know that I need to be more focused on healthy food choices regardless.

I trained with Ron today, and I was exhausted when we finished.  I don’t typically nap, but I strongly considered it around 7 pm.  I laid on my sofa as I talked on the phone and fought drowsiness, but in the end I didn’t sleep.  Instead, I did a few things around the house, then headed up to the gym for workout #2.


After an exhausting and session with my trainer, I felt motivated to go again (by someone I know who has been doing two-a-days lately) so I did it too.  I did cardio circuits for 45 minutes tonight, and I can safely say that I burned over 1,000 calories again yesterday.


I’m exhausted, and I’m ready for a solid night of sleep.  What happens on the scale will happen, but I’m going to keep working hard and reminding myself that it’s easier to skip unhealthy foods than it is to work them off.  I have trained hard today and tracked everything I ate.  I’m going to focus on making food choices that enhance the work I’m doing in the gym and continue to stay in control.

What are you doing to be healthy today?



Finding Balance

After reading comments from a few of you on my last post, I suppose I need to clear up a few things.  First, if you’re a regular here, then you already know that it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a boyfriend.  Yes…I’ve dated guys – some of whom I’ve mentioned on my blog, and some who have never been mentioned here.  I love talking about dating and things associated with that because it’s a fun topic, but I do hold back at times in which I think it’s appropriate.

I made a decision recently to not mention anything about dating for a while because a few folks felt it was necessary to share their opinions on my choices privately.  I appreciate the concerns that some of you have had at various times, but it also makes me feel uncomfortable in ways that it would not if I simply didn’t post.

As a blogger, it’s hard to find a balance between what I should and should not say because I feel so close to some of you.  I want to share every giddy detail, but experience has taught me that it’s not always a good idea.  My post yesterday was just something that has been on my mind at various points, but I’m not actively looking for a relationship now.  I do date, and if you’re friends with me on social media sites, you’re likely to hear about that once in a while.

My decision to refrain from discussing it here just happened organically when I realized that I’m not comfortable explaining what I like and don’t like when it comes to specific people.  I’ve dated a few great guys in the last year, and it is likely that I’ll continue to date.  I just don’t plan to discuss as freely here because there’s enough fuel for judgment already.  And to answer more directly, nothing horrible happened with Lance that made me never want to talk to him again or something.  I’m just content to keep our beeswax offline.

So many of you choose to believe in me even when I don’t believe in myself, and I don’t take that for granted.  Right now, my biggest focus (on and off of the web) is to lose weight.  I want to show you all that I can do it, and I really want to show myself that I can do it.   It is my top priority now.

Last week, I rejoined Weight Watchers, and I weighed 6.4 pounds less yesterday at weigh-in.  My new meeting leader made it clear that she will support and encourage me, and that she will not accept excuses. She’s said it’s not about perfection, but it is about consistency.   That’s the kind of accountability I need.  I just came in from another killer workout with my personal trainer, Ron, too, and I’m focusing on myself and my goals.

WW Week 2

Dating and love certainly play a role in my life and what I want in it, but for now, I’ll talk about that offline so I can focus on the things that I originally talked about here.  In September, I wrote a post called “Let’s Not Call This A Weight-Loss Blog Anymore” because I got tired of trying and failing, but guess what, folks.  Not facing my battles and continually fighting, failing, succeeding, falling again, etc. is so much worse than simply not facing it.

There will still be a lot to talk about here so I’m going to focus on some specific things for a while – fitness, weight-loss, loving myself and not making excuses.  If I find myself in a serious, committed relationship, I’ll let you know :) .  Until then, let’s focus on what’s really most important here….


Let’s Talk About How Much I Weigh Today…

The last few weeks have been more stressful than usual, but I’ve managed to make (mostly) healthy choices in spite of that.   Last month, after stepping on the scale, I had to face the realization that my weight was moving in the wrong direction, and I finally starting taking steps to change it. I haven’t been specific about numbers in recent months because I’m already exhausted by the hateful comments that often find their way into my spam folder, but I’m ready to talk about them now.


In my attempt to find a new Weight Watchers meeting – one in which I feel like I can understand and connect with the leader and members, I learned that I am about 30 pounds heavier than I was at my lowest recorded weight.  That sucks, but I’d rather start over after gaining 30 pounds than 130 pounds.  Believe me, it would be easy to regain everything I lost, and I simply will. not. let. it. happen.

It has been almost one month since I decided to work toward 90 Days of Change.  I’ve dropped several pounds, and it feels good to know that I’m headed in the right direction.  Over the last month I have worked out with a personal trainer, tried Jazzercise with my friend Karyn, focused on eating foods that are high in protein, controlled my portions, limited processed carbs and pushed myself harder and more consistently at the gym.


I’ve also eliminated alcohol with exception of two vodka tonics that I had when I was out on Bourbon St. with Michelle (aka The Running Jewess) and friends during her recent visit to the Crescent City.  Do you know how hard it is to refrain from drinking when you’re participating in the debauchery that is the French Quarter?  I even chose salad at 2 am over fried food when the universe (and Michelle) convinced me to do so.  (Hold on a sec, while I pause to pat myself on the back. ;) Ha!)



I have noticed that I have more energy throughout the day, and I’m sleeping more soundly at night.  I rarely have trouble sleeping, but my bed feels positively amazing after a day of healthy eating, hydration and an intense workout.

Passing on burgers and fries or onion rings is hard, but making healthy choices throughout the day adds up to positive results that remind my why I started this journey in the first place.

When I started this blog, I did it to keep myself accountable, and that was the *only* reason. I didn’t care who saw it (even though, in reality, I knew that very few people saw it.)  Let’s be honest, my size doesn’t affect anyone here except me (and those who love me and want me to live for a long time.)  When I began publicly posting my weight and workouts, I did that for myself too.


So there it is in black and white…My reality in numbers.  I’d love to say that I’m not embarrassed to post this, but I am.  It’s hard to admit that I had gone so far, only to realize that I didn’t have it all figured out, but I’ve never cared about being a know-it-all (well, in this forum.)  I care about my choices, and for me, publicly posting my weight is the right one.  In addition to this post, I plan to update my weight-loss log regularly, in an attempt to push myself in the right direction.  I probably won’t say much about it in my posts because it’s really just for me.

I want to lose weight more than I want to eat cupcakes.  I want to be fit more than I want to drink French martinis.  I want to live a long, healthy and fulfilled life more than I want to eat Chinese take-out or fried chicken.  I want to succeed, and I hope that my desires will drive me to break the barriers that I’ve created for myself.

If you’re reading this, it’s time to show you something new, and even more importantly, it’s time to prove to myself that I can finish what I started.

Weight Watchers Activelink: Yes or No?

After weighing in last night I stayed for the meeting, and it was mostly about ActivelinkWeight Watchers’ new activity tracking gadget.

Before we discuss the ActiveLink I suppose I should admit that I’ve gained almost three pounds since my last meeting.  I knew that I’d be heavier when I stepped on the scale, but I’m also excited/relieved that I live close enough to attend my meeting regularly now.  Now let’s talk about this new gadget.

The piece costs just under $40, and there’s a $5 charge per month on top of the monthly pass fee that I already pay.

While I did not like that the meeting was all about why I should spend more money, I did like learning about its features.

People in my meeting have been using them for weeks, and most seem to love it.   I’m just not sure that it’s right for me.

At one point I owned a Bodybugg, and I found myself using it as an excuse not to move more.  I was happy to see that I was active, but I used it as a crutch.  It would be fun to try Activelink, but I wonder if I would use it as a crutch as well.

Do you have an Activelink, or a similar gadget?  Do think tracking gadgets are useful, or do you think they’re a waste of money?


Losing 100 Pounds and Gaining A New Life

A few months ago I shared a video of my friend Ryan’s 100 pound transformation.  He inspires me, and I asked him to share what he’s learned.  I’m so thankful that he took the time to express his thoughts, and I hope you’ll take the time to see what he has to say.  I’m lucky to be his friend.  Now here’s his post…


When I was 13 or so, and fat, over the summer break between grade 8 and grade 9, I ate the bare minimum to sustain my hour+ workouts everyday. Over the course of around 2.5 months, I lost about 40 pounds, and it was the first time I realized how much control I could have over my food.

Then, when I was around 17, I was feeling pretty down on just about everything, and would come home from school, and eat things like 2 boxes (8 total) of pizza pockets in one sitting… In the kitchen, the fridge/freezer was next to the microwave, which was next to a TV (a TV in the kitchen can be deadly!). I remember when I would eat like that, I would almost be in a trance, it was like a ritual, to be constantly heating 2 pizza pockets at a time, then as they would cool, getting the next batch ready so that I would constantly eat for the evening without ever having to wait for the next ones to be ready. That would sometimes be my entire activity on a Friday/Saturday night.

No surprise, I gained A LOT of wait when I was around 17, so much that I had to go to the doctor to find out what was this scary stuff growing on my skin… Turns out it was stretch marks. Just thinking about that now I have to just let it go…

So in my late teens, I really habituated myself to coping with negative emotions by using food to the extreme.

Most recently, in my mid thirties, I hit a true low point. I would go through drive thrus, and easily order $30+ worth of food… I’d go home, and eat, and watch my internet TV/movies… I’d eat until I was uncomfortable… I’d even eat in the car, in a trance… I’d hit up local supermarkets and buy boxes of ice cream bars, boxes of frozen pizzas, boxes of just about anything that was full of fat, salt, sugar, etc. and focus on whatever was on sale that day… It was some f*cked up version of hunting/gathering in the modern world.

I soon began to realize how strong my mind/thoughts were in affecting my behaviour…

I could “feel” the thoughts of “what will I eat?” coming on sometime in the late afternoon everyday… I’d start having thoughts about the drive thru, about the various pre-packaged pizzas, pastas, ice cream, etc. at the local supermarket… More than thoughts, these were almost like fantasies that I knew would soon become reality. It was almost like I was preparing myself to jump into another night of self-imposed insanity, and my mind was getting ready for it so that I could keep enjoying the thoughts before the moment happened.

I sometimes wondered if this was similar to what psychopaths might do when they start to visualize how they are going to get their own fix that night… Only for me, the victim was myself.

To be plain about it, food used to be a supercharged thing… How I used it, how it made me feel… Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, food was a force in all areas of my life, it affected everything…

And then, something changed…

I just started eating food that is natural.

Our bodies our ancient. We have been eating/adapting to food on the earth for a very very very very very long time. I’m sure almost all of the readers know where I’m headed here…

Processed/manufactured food (i.e. anything that isn’t grown from the earth) has only been around for a very short time. This is especially true for the last century or so, and we humans have taken manufactured food to a whole new level in just the past few decades.

So here’s how this affects me…

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, I give myself no limits. I make salads, and eat as much as I want, whenever I want. I eat fruits (fresh only, not canned/dried), and eat as much as I want. whenever I want.

When I’m hungry, I eat.

No measuring, no counting calories, I just listen to my hunger, and give it food from the earth.

And for me, pop/juice/liquid calories of any kind are nowhere to be found. I eat my calories. (Some might say my smoothies are liquid calories, but to me, they are just blended fruit, no milk, so I consider that food, as all the fiber and extra stuff is still in there.)

I don’t eat bread anymore, no more pasta, no more of almost everything that is on a shelf/fridge/freezer. I will eat some things of course, some brown rice, or beans from a can… Some balsamic vinegar. Some ground pepper, etc. So while there are exceptions, the vast majority of what I eat looks pretty close to the way it is grown.

Once in a while, I will have a burger… Once in a while, I will have something that is not “from the ground”…

I’ve learned that to be so focused on “not eating something” is one of the mind’s ways of just being stuck at the other end of the spectrum, so I cut myself some slack when my mind is craving something, and have it… But instead of eating a tonne of it, I have one of it, whether it’s a piece of chocolate, a burger, whatever… And I will always go for the highest quality possible. If it’s chocolate I’m craving, it’s not a candy bar that I eat, instead it’s a proper, fully decadent, amazingly made chocolate from a specialty store. If it’s a burger, it’s a damn tasty/fresh/amazing burger, not something from a fast food restaurant. If it’s ice cream, it’s something so rich and tasty that a few scoops is more than enough. And with the way my palette has adapted, processed food goes a loooooooong way…

The point of all this…

The turning point for me was realizing I had to make sure all the “healthy” food I ate something I really did enjoy. Before this recent change, I believed healthy food was always boring and bland, and anything used to make healthy food taste better would just make it “less healthy”. Then, when I started to make these amazingly fresh/tasty salads, and stir frys, and smoothies, and stews, etc., I began to realize I could actually enjoy immensely, and look forward to, ALL the food I was eating… everything… each meal, each snack!

When I realized that for me, to make this my life, I had to truly enjoy my “healthy” food, it was as if all the struggle and planning and worrying just disappeared. Suddenly the food in my life was both healthy AND tasty, and it was something I chose just as much for the taste, as for the benefits. It changed the way I look at food forever.

The biggest thing all this has done for me is that it has taken all the worry, and the negativity, out of food and eating. Since most of my food is not calorie dense, but is nutritionally dense, I rarely overeat. I am able to satisfy all cravings, and I just can relax around food as long as I am shopping and filling my cupboards with ” the good stuff”.

I would use the analogy that in the past, “eating healthy” was like walking a tight rope, there was always a level of concentration, and effort, and there was always the risk/danger of falling off the wagon.

These days, instead of a tight rope, it’s just walking… Easy, no effort, enjoyable, almost zen like.

Food is still enjoyable, but that dangerous charge it used to have is (almost completely) gone.

Of course, we live in a world full of advertising, marketing, etc. that is out to most often pull the wool over our eyes. Ingredients like “evaporated cane juice” make me shake my head, another example of food manufacturers trying to make their product sound like something it’s not.

So the other big thing this change has done for me is make me realize I need to be responsible for my food. As soon as something is processed, packaged, labeled, marketed, etc. it is more likely than not trying to deceive me in some way. Marketing is all about spin, about a point of view… If fresh fruits/veggies got the same level of marketing that all this processed food got… Well, that’s a whole other story… But since fresh food is not as profitable as processed food, it just will never happen… There’s a simple reason the world of food is so messed up in North America right now… The unhealthiest food is the most profitable…

I’ve realized the majority of food manufacturers do not have my best/healthy interests on their agenda. That’s just the way it is and most likely will never change. So I’ve learned to really be aware of what’s going on in my food, especially anything processed/manufactured.

Anyway, I don’t want to turn this into a soap box. No doubt we all live according to our beliefs, so these are just some things that go on inside my head. :-)

I’ll just finish by saying food is no longer an “issue” with me. It doesn’t stress me out, I’m not afraid of it, I’m not psychotically supercharged by it.

The way I got to this point was to eat most of my food the way nature intended… And yes, some of it is genetically modified, some of it is fertilized, some of it is picked green and gassed and shipped… I can’t change the world, but I can change what I eat.

I’m human, I’ll make mistakes, I’ll still struggle from time to time, but deep down I know I’ve finally figured out what works for me, and honestly, it’s almost always easy.