There’s no other word for how I’m feeling right now. I’m pissed. I was so excited 2 weeks ago to hit 205. 15 pounds. FIFTEEN. Man, I was well on my way to my goal.

So what happened?

I have no freaking clue. Yes, I “cheated” occassionally. Yes I altered my workout routine to try new things. But how did I manage to GAIN 6 pounds in 2 weeks. I’m almost back where I started. If you want to know why “cysters” often give up trying to get the weight off, this is why. It is like trying to climb a sand dune.

I read an article this week about how nutritionists balk at the idea of specific diets leading to weight loss. They said it is really an equation of eating less calories than you burn. No matter how you do it, you’ll then lose weight. I call bull. BULL.

But not only do I anecdotally call bull, I’m going to quantifiably call bull. I’m going to do an actual food diary where I compulsively measure out what I put in my body for the next week and how I exercise. They want to see how that equation just doesn’t work for everyone? Fine. I’ll prove them wrong.

For the forseeable future I’m going to put MyFitnessPal back on my phone and I’m going to track it all. IT ALL.

My body hates me.

Zumba Dos

I said I would return to Zumba, and I did. I didn’t stand in the back either. I stood right in the middle behind the instructor so I could follow her moves more closely. I also positioned myself in such a way that I couldn’t see myself in the wall mirror because of the stereo system.

I grooved. I moved. And now I’m done with that.

I released a lot of the tension that was preventing me from wiggling all my bits, and I was able to stay in rhythm with the quick steps and gyrations. I even stayed for the full hour. But with that full hour I just don’t feel like it was a workout.

If I’m going to take time away from all the other things I could be doing, I want it to feel like it took effort. When I left Zumba I was a little sweaty, but I didn’t ache. If anything, I just had ringing in my ears because of the loud music. I asked Hubs if he thought I would be a complete dork if I wore ear plugs to the next class, then I thought about how I really have no motivation to keep going to those classes. I think my stint with Zumba is done.

Starting next week I’m going back to the routine that worked well for me over the summer: 3 days a week of warm-up cardio then 30 minutes of weight training. We may actually get some fall weather soon, so I am excited to add in some walks around the neighborhood on my “off” days.

Goose and Gander

I can tell a real difference in how I feel when I get to the gym regularly and eat lighter foods. Although I’ve gently tugged the family along, for the most part I’m the only one who has really felt the pinch of better food choices. I’ll make vegetables with family dinners but not make them so embedded that the rest of the fam can easily avoid them.

I’m rethinking this approach.

I understand that preschoolers are inherently picky (and if you fight me on this I will literally hit you. Keep your exceptions to yourself). Peanut was incredibly picky through her preschool years and she’s now exploring things like asparagus and broccoli.

Hubs is solidly in adulthood, like me. And as much as I writhe when I smell vegetables cooking, I suck it up. Getting accustomed to eating those vegetables is what is going to get me to where I want to go. So just like getting up for work and paying bills, eating vegetables is just a thing you have to do in adulthood.

The fam has already started balking at the lack of dessert options in the house. Just wait until I start scaling back their cheese crackers and Goldfish. I’ve scaled back on the fruit juices significantly, and I’m eyeing the chips as the next to go. I empathize with them. Let me be perfectly clear that I hate to eat raw vegetables, and I’m only now coming around to some of them cooked. If I’m exhausted it is easy to go into the pantry and grab a handful of salty crackers or Cheerios. It is a lot harder to prepare an apple or roast some zucchini. That’s where I circle back to the idea of taking meal prep to the next level. Do I start making our own trail mixes and ready-to-eat snacks? Instead of whole apples do I get the pre-sliced ones, knowing the citric acid added by the vendor will prevent browning? I need to come up with something because when the days get long, the motivation to stay on the path is next to nil. If I’m feeling that way then I know the rest of the fam must be as well.

What’s good for this goose is also good for my gander.

Living in the Valleys

Remember the unsourced funk? How I was going to take some time to reflect and pray? I did something else instead. Last weekend I missed church because of Bubs’ illness. Hubs was still in Atlanta, so I was housebound. I decided to pull up the archived message and listen to it as I ate lunch. It thumped me right between the eyes.

We’ve been exploring the stories of Daniel and how to live in faith and experience worldly success. The message I had missed was about how to live in the valleys. Life isn’t a steady climb to the mountaintop, and the idea that how you live in those valleys — in those seasons you wish would be done — determines how (and if) you ever escape from them.


This idea that constantly looking over the horizon and thinking, “I’ll just be happy when this season is over,” or “I’ll be able to live more fully once _____ happens,” that is preventing us from living faithfully in the present. And all we really have is the present. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, and we aren’t guaranteed to get out of the valley we may be in right now.

That message was the absolute kick in the pants I needed today. Here’s how I’m applying it:

  1. I’m not going to wait until I look “good” to be in photos with my family and my kids.
    I was planning to hold off on having a talented photographer take photos of the family until I got closer to my goal weight — which will be potentially years from now. No. I want to capture images of my family as it is right now, because I’m not guaranteed Christmas, let alone Christmas cards. 
  2. The kids deplete my battery but this season is worth celebrating.
    Do you remember how hard I prayed and how hard I longed for Bubs? He was literally an answered prayer. He may be a handful, and together with Peanut they may play my nerves like a fiddle, but they are by far the biggest blessings in my life.
  3. Quit justifying cheating.
    Remember that chart I made? The one that showed that I was well on track toward the slow and steady march to my goal weight? Well, to be completely honest, I allowed that to justify the crap I ate when I was stressed. “Oh, I’m well on my way to my goal so I’ll make myself a s’more for dessert tonight.” Stop it. Those sugar bombs after dinner are literally sabotaging all the work I put in all day.
  4. Do uncomfortable things.
    I’m going back to Zumba Thursday. I’m going to stay the entire time. I won’t learn the moves until I learn the moves, and I won’t look graceful doing the moves until I learn them. The women I admired at that first class? They’ve probably gone twice a week for months, if not years. If I want to shake my groove thing, I need to get out there and shake my groove thing.
  5. Pray.
    Hubs suggested when I was struggling last weekend that I pray about it. I did and it worked. I have faith that I can pray about it and I may not see immediate results, but I have evidence throughout my life that when the results are supposed to show up, by golly they will.

Here’s to valleys and seasons, and thriving in spite of them.



So I was trying not to get down about the jump of 5 pounds at the latest weigh-in.  I didn’t do a very good job. The entire weekend I was grumpy — partially from being homebound alone with a sick kid but nevertheless grumpy. I’ve definitely gotten out of the good habits I tried to establish over the summer.

The daily grind has a way of pulling you away from your priorities and making you take care of fires. There is always something, too. It is going to take some real intentionality to get back on track.

Today I’m going to attempt Zumba. You know, that dance aerobics class that was a big hit 10 years ago? That one. I know weight training gives me the biggest results, but I’m not going to lie: I neglect hard cardio. I basically warm up before doing weights. Running doesn’t happen, and even quick walking doesn’t happen on the treadmill because it causes my feet to ache for days. So let’s see what happens when I try to dance this flubber off.

~ 2 hours later ~

Wow,  Zumba.

First off, the room was full of beautiful brown ladies who know how to gyrate. They were exercising and it was so beautiful, then I would spy myself in one of the wall mirrors. I didn’t fit in. At all. I thought the class was 30 minutes, so when that 30 minutes came and went I excused myself to the locker room. Once I was in the car I started crying. I have no real idea why. It wasn’t a boo-hoo cry, it was just a silent couple of tears that streaked down my cheek.

Why did Zumba hit my self esteem so hard? Or was it Zumba? What is weighing on me that it leaked out of my face this morning?

I went home and showered. It had been a while (I wasn’t motivated to shower during Bubs’ illness) and it helped a bit. But I am still in this unsourced funk. I feel like I’m missing something, or I’ve lost something. Maybe I’m mourning the loss of that great “high” from last week? I think maybe I need a “win” to point me back in the right direction.

With 2 hours until I pick up Bubs and start the Mom Chauffeur service again, I’m going to take some time to read and pray.