From the Founder’s Personal Diaries: Entry #6

Wednesday, March 20, 2014

Entry #6

Dear Diary:

Welp! A few thangs have happened since my last confessional. I was accepted to Cal State Dominguez Hills as an upper-division transfer student. That was on my goal list. I start in the fall. All I n eed to do now is complete this math class and be done. So in two years, I will FINALLY earn my B.A. I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’ve beem maintaining a 6-pound drop in weight, which is a good, but it can be better. Considering I haven’t been as diligent since I started “The Biggest Loser Challenge” at work and Pizza Hut and I have been quite a passionate pair, it could be worse. I am taking a swim class every Saturday for 3 hours, so that may have something to do with it. However, next week is the final weigh-in and I could do better.

So this is a nice segue into my being honest about my relationship with food. It’s abusive and co-dependent.
*steps back and absorbs*

I’ve been to Overeaters Anonymous and was able to accept part of it, but I was younger and it was all about looking right and tight in my mini skirts. I didn’t fully accept the emotional attachments I have to food. It started early know that. I was pouring milk into my own bottles at age 4. Now that I take no responsibility. My parents needed to nip that. But my mother claims I made a big “issue” out of it. I don’t know….it’s quite symbolic of our relationship now…that passive-agressive parenting…

*sigh*

I digress slightly as “mother issues” are correlated to my eating, but as a mother myself, we do what we think is best for our babies and depending on where we are in our lives and the age we are, some decisions are planned in the moment…I get it.

Doesn’t make me less angry or frustrated that I obsess over food, calories, fat content, to eat meat or go vegan, be “normal” and just eat. But it’s such a challenge. I’m over 40, and I must admit that I still do not know how to eat…

And yet my body shows otherwise…

To be continued…

From the Founder’s Personal Diaries: Entry #6

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Entry #6

Dear Diary:

Whew! Where do I begin?

Well, my job is having “The Biggest Loser” contest. I thought, “Wow! How perfect is THIS?” It started this week – Monday to be exact. I was so excited to get the email. I saw flyers in the past where it had been done before. I stepped out of my comfort zone and created a team. I just started asking folks in my unit. We can have up to 15 people. My team is up to 11 now. I’m so excited about it. Who knew I’d have the nerve to ask and build a team. And of course, I’m the team captain. This is huge because I usually wait until I’m appointed. I’ll run against someone, but to take the initiative on some job extra-curricular activity isn’t me – well, without being asked to do it. It feels good to exercise my natural leadership skills. It also gives me the opportunity to play diplomat and mediator. A few co-workers on my team don’t gel well. So I will be doing my best to make sure I keep things interesting for them as team captain. And we want to win, so at least we ALL have that in common – that and the fact that we ALL were about five pounds MORE on the job’s scale than what our scales read at home. My scale lied to me – to my face even – and told me I was 229.7. Well, am I glad I didn’t record that in my journal or update my weight in my food tracker (which would have been a gain anyway – but that’s besides the point), 235.6 (or 8 – I forget – does it matter?) ain’t not 229.7. My co-workers were so gracious and reminded me that I weigh myself NAKED at home. As I mentioned in a previous post, getting under 230 is the goal. It’s no fun on this side. So I’ve got some work to do.

But I digress…

Another great thing that happened to me is my job status was converted from temporary to permanent. So I can scratch job off my list. It’s been a long time coming. My last full-time job ended in February 2008. Ever since then, it’s been unemployment (and extension thanks to President Obama), temp gigs, food stamps, and public assistance. I am NOT ashamed. You do what you have to do. Also during that time, Dad died…

Soooooooo..it’s been a ROUGH six years. I did manage to invest and start a business, but I still have to SELL in order to really call it that. BUT it’s still a business nevertheless. I have the business license to prove it. The point is I kept it moving in spite of those challenges and learned a LOT about myself. I’m a strong chick. I’ve got a LOT of nerve. When my mind is made up, things happen!

I’m finally growing up!

I’ll be starting school next month, I got the classes I want and NEED to transfer into the B.A. program (also sponsored by my job) in August. The Ph.D. will be just around the corner the way I see it. Things are great!

Today I found out that I have been transferred into another unit. My current supervisor wasn’t too happy about it. I’m disappointed as well. I really like my unit. My supervisor is awesome and I’ve learned a lot from her. Unfortunately, when you gotta move, you gotta move on this job. Apparently, you can be reassigned with no notice and/or warning. So essentially, my job, which consists of NO TRAVEL, calls for me to live out of a suitcase. I’m just moving one floor above, but it’s a world of difference when you’re the “new girl” all over again. The anxiety over making new friends, wanting to be like, and “fitting in” doesn’t go away when adolescence ends. On the contrary, unresolved low self-esteem triggers come back full force when you’re face with CHANGE.

So having this little curve ball thrown at me just as I was settling into my new permanent status and my assigned unit is a good thing. I must learn to embrace change. I thought about this all throughout the day. I met my new supervisor and new unit members. I’ve worked on that floor before but with a different unit. Still, it’s moving out of my comfort zone. I got comfortable and cozy on my floor, in my unit, in my routine. I also discovered that my need for control stems from low self-esteem. I’ll push myself when I’m up against a wall, but normally, I’ll do what is expected – whether being “Ms. Dependable,” “Ms. Sooooooooooooooooo Nice,” or “Ms. I’ll Do It!” It’s a need to be liked, not to simply be awesome in my natural self.

I have gifts and exceptional work ethic. I’m also very personable, diplomatic, and look to resolve issues. So this new unit is getting THE BOMB! Why not spread all of THIS around? Why confine it to one area? Let it permeate throughout the entire building and all units. I mean, after all, it is my goal to work in all areas and be knowledgeable in all programs. So the Universe is responding. I must not fight against it. I MUST embrace this small change and bring value to wherever they need me. Who knows what was said in those meetings when they chose me to go. People are genuinely sad to see me go. That flatters me. So I can walk away knowing that after a few weeks, I will bond with a few members of my new unit and continue learning and building.

This is what being on a JOURNEY is all about: road hazards, new friends, surprises, delays, detours, beautiful landscapes, breakdowns, adventures, winding roads, steep hills, rocky terrains, and above it all – I get to CHOOSE it all!

So I choose change….

And that just made me smile right now.

From the Founder’s Personal Diaries: Entry #5

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Entry #5

Dear Diary:

The photo says it all. That’s the kind of day I’ve decided to have. Let thy path part like the friggin’ Red Sea.

I’m just THAT fine!

Yeah, Baby!

To the Get Fit Black Girl Community

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! MAKE IT COUNT! CELEBRATE YOU ALWAYS!

Be the MOVEment!

From the Founder’s Personal Diaries: Entry #4

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Entry #4

Dear Diary:

Wanted to get this last entry in before the year ends. Then I can see how far I’ve come this time next year.

I have some lofty goals for 2014 and I will achieve them.

The first on my list is to RELEASE at least 80 pounds. I WILL train to compete in and complete NONSTOP my first marathon in 2015. I WILL complete three 10K’s and one mud run. I WILL begin my Bachelor’s program in August 2014.

This is a short list, of course. However, these are my highlights. These are very important goals. And i’d like to share this journey with all of my sistas in the Get Fit Black Girl community. I will need their love and support. In return I will give my all and be an example of what “Be the MOVEment” is really about…

Now…to the laboratory!

Happy New Year, Diary!

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From the Founder’s Personal Diaries: Entry #3

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Entry #3

Dear Diary:

Woke up teary-eyed. Still hurt and felt alone. Anxiety started to sink in. I’m at work today and have 10 minutes before I report to my desk. Glad I’m here. I’m also glad that I asked myself an important question before I caved into my emotions putting on my makeup: “What do you need?”

THAT indeed is the question of the day. I will take some time to think about it because the little girl in me is still searching for something and the adult me must help her find it and resolve her issues.

She’s been hurt enough…

“What do you need right now, Baby Girl?”

From the Founder’s Personal Diaries: Entry #2

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Entry #2

Dear Diary:

Since my last entry, I had winning results from my blood tests – blood-sugar levels normal, cholesterol normal, kidney and liver functions are normal, but the blood pressure sadly remained unchanged, and the weight on the scale read 238 point something. When 240 is staring right back at you, that “point-something” is not that big of a deal.

*sigh*

Of course, I did not keep up with the suggested plan the doctor gave to me – follow a diet plan, record everything I ate, exercise more, and get more rest and water. I did a half-a**ed job. So it’s not a surprise that I received half-a**ed results. The doctor didn’t mention medication even though that was the threat the last time I was there. So I mentioned it and told him that I wanted to focus on lowering my blood pressure naturally. Of course, he suggested that it would mean a “drastic” change in lifestyle. I was, for a minute, offended. I mean, after all, Doc, you don’t know my life. You see me coming in there at age 44, pushing 240 pounds, and blood pressure reads off the scale and think that it would be drastic. On the contrary. I have been down this road many, many, MANY times as far as weight battles are concerned. I’ve been up and down and back around and then some more. I have taken nutrition classes, I have been a vegetarian, vegan, RAW vegan, and a runner on this journey. Yes, this is the HEAVIEST I’ve ever been; and yes, this is the first time it’s affecting my health; and, yes, this is the first time my stress levels have had an impact on my ability to stick with any plan to change this all around. But I am NOT a stranger to DRASTIC changes.

PU-LEEZE!

The only thing that  has changed is my willingness to start anew with the information and knowledge gained along the way. This isn’t going to be a quick-fix. What I am doing is building character (as my Dad would say) and a mental toughness (as my Dad would also say) by developing new habits over time. This is where I failed in the past. I did things just enough to look good in my jeans and short skirts and get those catcalls, but my relationship with food was still abusive and addictive. My self-esteem was only on the surface. Underneath, I was still scared of my own shadow – still am on some days.

So keeping this in mind as I moved forward after my last doctor’s visit, I began to make some small changes – preparing all of my meals ahead of time, and it has not been a picnic with all of the Christmas office parties. I threw away a candy cane filled with M&Ms the other day only to come back to my desk the following morning to see another chocolate Santa waiting for me. But I managed to keep myself in check. I started tracking my food and exercise again, which has helped if I did permit myself to have ONE piece of candy or a quarter of a muffin. It stops my obsession over it before it begins. It’s a process, but I am proud of myself for the choices I’ve been making and keeping focused on my training.

I have decided (again) to set some goals. My stress levels must be managed by a routine and a flexible attitude. So far, so good. I had it out with my mother and daughter again. For some reason, when this happens, I get extremely focused. So I have to be careful not to use my focused energy on getting healthier to avoid these issues I have with them. Even today, on Christmas, while they have gone to my sister’s for Christmas dinner (and no, I didn’t get the invite – well, when you’re barely speaking to anyone, would you expect one?), I’m here alone in the house. I have had some moments here – sad, angry, lonely, feeling dismissed, and rejected. But I also brought some of this on myself. I will not take ALL of it. I started to really miss my father and started to feel sorry for myself. Thankfully, I was smart enough to go to the grocery store early this morning (yes, Albertson’s was opened until 6 p.m.) and get some things for the day and for the rest of the week. I’m so happy I did. I was able to get the kitchen early and prepare my meals. I had a feeling they were going to go out like they have done before when we weren’t on good terms. I think it’s kinda chicken sh*t, but if I’m honest, this worked in my favor. My anxiety levels went down when they left. So I chose to look at the positives:

  1. I have the house to myself.
  2. The kitchen is SPOTLESS and no dishes to wash.
  3. I can prepare my meals for the rest of the week without competing for space in the fridge.
  4. It’s quiet.
  5. I got up early to prepare my meals for the day to not be overwhelmed by whatever and whomever might be swirling around this house.
  6. I can write in piece.
  7. I can watch the big-screen TV in the living with NO interruption or background noise.
  8. I HAVE THE WHOLE HOUSE TO MYSELF!
  9. And I feel like my father and I are having that lovely one-on-one time that I adored when he was alive in the physical. I know he would appreciate my appreciating this quietness right now.

So these are the highlights. I have no real complaints other than I think it was kinda cold that for two weeks plans were made without me and no one even reached out to me – not even the sister I AM speaking to (I did get a text from her, but damn that! You can’t call?). I’m human, I’m hurt, there are unresolved issues in this family that others sweep under the rug, and I don’t want to live my life like that. It’s unhealthy for me to live in denial. I’ve done that my whole life. So I must suck this one up, have a GREAT workout, look inward for the peace and quiet strength to push towards my milestones (not just goals), and enjoy the rest of my day.

I weighed in at 228.8 pounds this morning. WOOT! That’s a 10-pound drop since the last time I was at the doctor’s. I thought I would never say this, but I have not been happier to see the 220s on the scale. LOL I’ve had some healthy snacks today and have two more meals left. Aside from this annoying dog barking outside right now, I’d say, this is a beautiful day.

So today, I celebrate ME! And it’s been a long time coming!

The running theme this week has been, “I have to FIGHT FOR THIS!” I must be willing to do what I have to do, go where I have to go, and let go of whatever it is that’s holding me back to reach my goals – even during holiday, emotionally challenging seasons.

So WHAT and HOW else can I celebrate ME today? Hmm….

 

 

 

 

 

From the Founder’s Personal Diaries: Entry #1

Friday, December 13, 2013

Entry #1

Dear Diary:

Welp. I have my follow-up doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I will get my lab results, a PAP smear (oh, how I love cold, metal forceps in my cookie jar), and I will find out whether the doctor will insist on putting me on high blood pressure medication. Yeah, like THAT’S ever gonna happen. He’s nice. He seems very thorough, but he is pushing 350, maybe more. Is HE on blood pressure medication? He gave me this wonderful plan to follow. For some reason, I’ve been very defiant. I don’t want to write everything I eat. I don’t want to take my blood pressure every morning. It’s more stressful and obsessive to do those things. I just want to LIVE MY LIFE! I want to create a plan that’s NORMAL. I do want to be healthy. I don’t like my knee hurting me or getting stiff after sitting for long hours at my desk at work. I don’t like getting winded after doing simple things. I don’t like not wearing my heels because my toe can’t take the pressure of all this weight.

I have not and probably won’t ever embrace my plus-size version of myself. But I don’t want to be restrictive either. I want to be NORMAL with my activities. I go through one extreme to another without any balance. Either I’m in a race to lose 100 pounds or I eat like there is no tomorrow. This has to stop. But I honestly don’t know where to begin. I comb through the Internet, reading articles on juicing and green smoothies. I did the raw food diet, I’ve been vegan, vegetarian, and a bona fide carnivore! I’m kinda burned out on all of this information about food combinations, portion control, eat meat, don’t eat meat – or don’t eat at all.
I have to be clear about what I want and how I will go about getting it.
Okay. So what do I want?

Firstly, I want to eat normally. I do enjoy green smoothies and juicing. But I know I cannot survive on those alone. Fasting doesn’t work for me. I’m 44. I’ve got to things in the rawest and purest form. If I don’t believe it, I won’t see it. In other words, fasting is OUT. My body is changing and I’m slowing adjusting to these changes. My body is screaming at me, “YOU’RE NOT A YOUNG GIRL ANYMORE!!!” to which I respond, “SCREW YOU!” So it retaliates with knee injuries, toe injuries, muscle spasms, rolls, fat pockets, and this chin is in a race with my boobs to hit the ground first. Some days I have to sneak up on the mirror to not be so startled. I have to keep calm with my blood pressure and all…

(rolls eyes)

I have the knowledge to be a healthy eater. I do practice eating healthy. It’s not consistent, but I do practice. Consistency is what I struggle with. So fasting and restrictive diets can’t work for me. I must ENJOY living, which includes eating WELL, often, and getting all the nutrition my body craves. Because I seriously doubt that at the cellular level, my body needs Church’s chicken to work. But must I do away with Church’s chicken forever? Perhaps I can work on not letting it matter and just have two pieces and not three or four. And then work on not having fries and apple pies. Maybe have the chicken and make a salad at home to go with it. And then maybe I wouldn’t want Church’s anymore but rather grill chicken at home…

Perhaps I should focus on taking my time with getting myself healthy. I’ve managed to eat my way up past 230 pounds, the heaviest in my personal recorded history. The way I dress is different. The way I carry myself is different. The way I walk, sit, breathe – all different. The threat of having to take prescription meds for weight- and diet-related PREVENTABLE issues is unacceptable.

But I did this to myself and have no one else to blame. I must take responsibility. Oh, hey…there we go. I must take responsibility and own up to this. I did this. I must hold myself accountable for the physical state I’m in.

Do I?

I think I will ask the doctor for a referral to a psychologist. I suspect that on the emotional side, there are some things I’ve buried underneath the flab. It will be a long, exhaustive process. I have no other choice. I cannot continue this way.

Because now, in THIS moment, I’m not the happiest I can be. And this is not how I want to live…ANYMORE.

Can You Stand the….Pounds?

Let’s face it. For some of us, lugging around extra weight can be depressing and a chore. Extra weight can have us hiding out, refusing to participate in, say, LIFE!  Sure there are plus-sized sistas whom we admire – Jill Scott, Queen Latifah, and Monique – HOWEVER, these sistas have what some of us lack: CONFIDENCE and SELF LOVE.

So what’s our problem?

Loving ourselves through any difficult process can be tough task without being taught HOW or if it wasn’t instilled in us at a young age. We at Get Fit Black Girl have been there, and we’re still learning and growing. We know it takes guts to stand in front of the mirror naked and look at all the battle scars (rolls and flab) left on our bodies after years of emotional eating. And yes, we did this to OURSELVES. The scars are reminders to us that we don’t love ourselves and are afraid of others loving us too.

When you think of it in terms of love, weight DOESN’T matter. Our plus-sized sheroes listed above are a true testament. Jill, Queen Latifah, and Monique all loved themselves first before slimming down. And even though they shed the weight, they are still not what Hollywood considers the ideal body type. However, we sistas see their beauty in their smiles and that glow. We recognize that beauty from within. We celebrate their ability to translate their self-love into taking better care of their health, which started with weight loss. And as our plus-sized icons have demonstrated, we don’t have to be a size 2 to be sexy AND healthy.

So how can we love ourselves? Well, it doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you’ve used food to hide the very problems you eat over like we have. One of the first steps we’ve taken towards loving ourselves is to take inventory. The inventory consists of all the hurt, pain, anger, resentment, sordid secrets, and guilt we carry around our waists, our arms, our abs, our thighs, and even under our chins. Loving ourselves means we must acknowledge it all. Unless we are able to come to terms with it, we will never be able to fully look at ourselves in the mirror, much less love what we see.

Know that the first inventory will be shocking, painful, and may create some emotional discomfort. That’s okay. Be concerned if you feel nothing. Call your BFF or that person in your life that you can trust, and bear it all. Cry it out, talk it out, and if necessary, talk with a counselor. The goal is to release the bad to embrace the good. What we’ve been hiding is our true selves, and we avoid life because we don’t know who we are.

If you’re unsure on how to begin an inventory, create three columns on a piece of paper (better to get a journal) by drawing lines vertically down the page. Head one column, “What/Whom I am resentful at.”  Label the second column, “The Cause.” And the last column, “It Affects My.” Be as detailed as possible. You can even divide the columns even further to pinpoint underlying emotions. For instance, if something happened that affects self-esteem, it may be tied up into how you behave or react. The exercise requires complete honesty, full disclosure, and a willingness to accept. Then repeat the inventory template for anger, fear, and yes, even sex. If you still need help, email us at getfitblackgirl at gmail dot com for templates to help you get started.

If one inventory is not enough, do another. Keep doing them until it becomes natural to feel GOOD! Do a daily inventory to make sure you’re emotional fitness is in tip-top shape! We no longer have to be a slave to food, nor do we have to wait until we lose weight to put ourselves on a pedestal. We deserve love and happiness. Why not start claiming it now? Why not feel good NOW?

It’s time to heal ourselves, Sistas!

It’s time to love ourselves.

KISSeS! (Keep It Safe and Simple, Sista)

GFBG